The Belper War Memorial is situated in the Memorial Gardens at the top of King Street, the main shopping area of Belper. Here are the details of each name on the memorial. The first page starts with surnames A-D.
Great War Roll of Honour - Belper War Memorial
Faded names carved on a piece of stone; we stand in front of them every Remembrance Sunday and say ‘We will remember’ but do we? Who were these men, what did they do at work and play, how did they die and where?
On the warm and sunny Monday morning of 29th June 1914 people in Belper reading their newspaper might have noticed that in some obscure Balkan country an Austrian Archduke and Duchess had been assassinated. They probably never imagined that that it was the first action in a chain of events that a few weeks later would result in the Great War.
The effect that the Great War had on a small close knit community like Belper is immeasurable, there could not have been many people, if any, unaffected by some family or personal tragedy in the town, for instance the choir of St Peter‘s Church lost in total seven of its members.
These are the stories of the men named on the Belper War Memorial who died in the Great War, it doesn’t include the hundreds of men from the Belper area who served in the Great War and survived, but who were mentally, and or physically scarred for life.
Besides the almost one million British men killed there were two and a half million wounded including 40,000 amputees. They were just ordinary people caught up in world-shattering events. Thirty six of the men named on the Belper Memorial died during the Battle of the Somme from Saturday 1st July 1916 to 18th November 1916. Fourteen of the 36 died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme most of them within minutes of leaving the trenches.
The cost of Saturday 1st July 1916 was truly horrendous in one short day the British Army suffered 57,470 casualties with a staggering 19,240 killed. On the eve of July 1st 1916 a Belper soldier, Private Walter Pepper of the 5th Sherwood’s wrote a poignant and heartrending letter to his wife back in Belper;
…….I could not rest without saying goodbye, happen for the last time…...but I want you to cheer up and be brave for the children’s sake. We must put our trust in God and hope for the best - to come safely through. We go over in the morning and I am in the first line. They are giving them a terrific bombardment….. It is simply hell upon earth here. My last thoughts will be with you at home as we are stepping over the trenches. May God watch over me and guard me and bring me safely through.
The main problem with researching the men is that they died over 90 years ago, a lot of the military records were destroyed, ironically in the blitz during the Second World War plus the ’class system’ ensured that Officer’s deaths were, in most cases, well recorded but the ‘ordinary’ Private soldier or NCO were recorded as ’Other Ranks’.
However in death each soldier of the British Empire gained the equality denied to them in life, each was worth the same be he a Lord or the Servant of a Lord he was given the same headstone 32 inches high by fifteen inches across.
The research is ongoing…………
Private 10072 Charles Adderley Inns of Court Officer Training Corps (The Devil's Own). Died from ‘cerebral trouble’ at the Kings College Hospital Camberwell London on Tuesday 23rd October 1917 aged 33, he had been transferred to the Kings College Hospital from the Aylesbury Hospital.
Charles joined the Inns of Court Officer Training Corp on Friday 1st December 1916 and served in A Company he then went to No. 14 Officer Cadet battalion on Tuesday 30th January 1917.
On Monday 28th September 1914, the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps moved to Berkhamsted and remained throughout the war. 12,000 officers were trained, and a memorial on Berkhamsted Common remembers the 2,000 who trained there never returned from the war.
Charles was buried in the Belper Cemetery with full military honours and is also named on the St. Alkmund's Church war memorial on Kedleston Road in Derby.
Born in Belper in 1885 enlisting in Pontefract Charles was the son of the late William Adderley, a Collector of poor rate in Belper for 21 years, and Harriet Adderley, of Belper, he was the husband of Margaret Burton (formerly Adderley), of 19 St. Alkmund's Churchyard, Derby, they had two children.
Charles was employed as a Clerk at the County Court Office in Pontefract but had previously been employed at the County Court Office Belper.
Second Lieutenant Randall Arthur Alcock 7th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment Killed in action near Flers on Sunday 1st September 1918 aged 32 during the British army’s advance of August-September 1918. Randall is buried in the Bancourt British Cemetery France.
Randall is also commemorated on the Alfreton War Memorial, he was the son of John Alcock a Railway Carrier and Lucy Alcock, of 9, Albert St., Belper.
Private 116038 George Henry Allsopp 10th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) killed in action on Sunday 1st September 1918 aged 21 near Gauche Wood during an attack on the German Trenches at Lechelle during the Second Battle of Bapaume.
This attack was met by an extremely stubborn German defence, with machine gun fire and bombing attacks driving the British back out of the wood. George has no known grave is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial France.
This Memorial bears the names of over 9,000 men who fell in the period from 8th August 1918 to the date of the Armistice in the Advance to Victory in Picardy and Artois, between the Somme and Loos, and who have no known grave. The battle of Bapaume, 21st August-3rd September, was the second phase of the battle of Amiens, this British offensive is often taken to be the turning point of the First World War on the Western Front.
George was the son of George Henry Allsopp a Plumber and Clara Allsopp, of 6, Joseph St., Belper.
Private 2647 William Allwood ‘F’ Company 5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters died of wounds on Friday 19th November 1915 aged 26, his wounds were received by an explosion of a German shell in the trenches near to the Boar's Head, a salient of the German lines, at Richebourg l’Avoue, which was a particularly dangerous piece of the front line. He had been hospitalised with internal and leg problems.
The Boar’s Head was so named because the westward pointing salient it created looked like the head of a boar. It was particularly dangerous for units occupying the line here, this salient had given the Germans the upper hand and had enabled them to lay enfilade fire on forward trenches, patrols in No Man’s Land and wiring parties.
William is buried in the St. Vaast Post Military Cemetery Richebourg-l'Avoue France. William was resident at 25 St Johns Road, Belper and enlisted in Belper in 1914 joining "F" Company. He also had three brothers who served, Thomas, Arthur and Frederick they all survived the war. Before the war William was employed at the Hartshay Colliery.
William Allwood’s MIC and a letter of thanks from his Mother for the return of his effects.
Private 4608 George Herbert Alton 1st/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) died of wounds on Tuesday 28th March 1916 aged 34 at The 42nd Casualty Clearing Station, he was wounded on Sunday 25th March and died three days later.
George had ten separate wounds, received on Saturday 25th March near Hooge, Ypres, he was in the grenade section of the Sherwood Foresters.
Just after midnight on the 25th March the Germans fired a mine in front of the trench being held by the 5th Battalion. The Germans occupied the crater. The 5th counter-attacked at 8pm the same evening with a party of bombers (grenadiers) with a Lewis gun covering them from the right. This was a ’small’ action from which neither side gained anything but it cost the 5th Battalion 11 men killed, 5 missing and 51 wounded. George was one of the wounded but succumbed to his injuries 3 days later, he was buried in the Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension. The Casualty Clearing Station was part of the casualty evacuation chain, further back from the front line than the Aid Posts and Field Ambulances.
Born and resident in Belper and enlisted in November 1915 in Derby. George worked at the Denby Furnaces and was the husband of Ada Potter (formerly Alton), of 9, Canada St., Belper they had three children aged in 1916 7years, 4 years and 1 year 9 months. He was the son of Mr Thomas and Mrs Alice Alton of Holbrook Road Belper, and was a member of the Cow Hill Primitive Methodist Chapel.
Private M/282557 Thomas Alton 623rd M.T. Company Army Service Corps.Died at the Kings College Hospital London on Thursday 1st February 1917 aged 34. The 623rd M.T. Company was formed on Sunday 2nd January 1916 and disbanded on Friday 13th June 1919. Based in London it undertook the roll of 3rd Kite Balloon Section (MT) and 31st Local Auxiliary (MT) Company (Railway Assistance).
Thomas was buried in the Belper Cemetery with full military honours. Thomas was the son of George and Mary Alton, of Heage, Belper and the husband of Alathea M. Y. Weston (formerly Alton), of 38, Swinney Lane, Belper. In 1901 Thomas was a Groom.
Corporal 681 Stephen Annable 1st/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) died of wounds at 1:00am on Tuesday 8th June 1915 aged 27. He is buried in the Loker (formerly Locre) Churchyard Belgium. Loker Churchyard was used by field ambulances and fighting units for burials from December 1914 to June 1917. Born and enlisted in Belper Stephen was the husband of Susannah Jones (formerly Annable), of Guide Post, Nether Heage, Derbyshire.
"Brave Belper soldier killed
Corporal Stephen Annable"
As fine a specimen of the true British soldier as one could wish to meet died of wounds received in action in the western campaign in the person of Corporal Stephen Annable,5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters and of Field Head Terrace, Belper
The deceased had been in the Territorial’s about Eight years, and was mobilized with the Belper company at the beginning of the war. After a period of training in England he crossed the channel with the troops of the North Midland Division and at the time he was wounded he was superintending trench construction work in which he is said to have excelled, Corporal Annable who was 27 years of age leaves a wife and three little children. Before the war he was employed at the Hartshay Colliery.
The heroic fight which Corporal Annable made against a insidious bullet wound is set out in letters from Lieutenant G.T.Aldous, the officer commanding his company and the Wesleyan Chaplain the Reverend E.Stanley Bishop. On June 4th the former wrote to Mrs Annable:-
"I am extremely sorry to tell you that your husband was wounded in the trenches yesterday rather seriously, but at present we have every reason to hope he will get over it all right. He was hit at dawn just has he had come off a piece of trench work he was superintending, work at which he is particularly clever. Unfortunately he could not be moved out of the trench until night, but everything possible was done to make him comfortable, he was very quite and patient. I told him I would write and tell you ,as he will not be able to write for a time but as I said we have every reason to hope that he will recover, though it is a serious wound, I will write again when I hear our he is getting on, but of course, they move the wounded right back from the firing line and I dare say he will be taken to England. I hope he will soon come back to us as I shall miss him very much from my platoon. He is one of my best men."
On June 8th Lieutenant Aldous penned the following lines to Mrs Annable:-
"You will have heard by this time that your husband died this morning. Mr Bishop the Chaplain will have written to you about it better than I can, but I would just like to write you a line to say how much we of his company feel his loss. I quite hoped when I wrote to you before that he would get over it .He made a splendid fight for it, but the wound was to serious. I went to see him in hospital twice, he was brave and patient all through, I know you will be feeling just now as if nothing could make up for this terrible loss, but it will console you some day knowing he lost his life fighting for his country and that he did his duty so bravely. He was buried this afternoon in a little country church yard. The captain, myself, and many of his comrades following him to his grave."
Lieutenant Aldous later promoted to Captain was himself killed on 25th March 1916.
Two letters were also received from the Rev.E.Stanley Bishop Wesleyan Chaplin. The first stated that Corporal Annable bore his wound like a "brave and true soldier" and we give the following extracts from the second, written after his death.
"Stephen died at one o'clock this morning (8th inst) he sank rapidly last night and we could see that the end was not far off. We gave him a soldiers funeral with all the honours we could pay to a brave comrade. We send our deepest sympathy in losing this man of whom we were so proud, and who was such an example in his patient suffering."
Lieutenant Hunter in whose company, Corporal Annable served before being transferred to that of Lieutenant Aldous wrote to the deceased's mother, on June 8th as follows;-
"I am writing to tell you how sorry I am to hear that your son died in hospital yesterday from a wound he received a few days back, when in the trenches. As you probably know he was moved from the Belper company some time ago. So I only heard of his wound this morning. We all officers and his men of his old company, feel his loss very much indeed and wish to convey to you our most sincere sympathy, Captain Naylor attended his funeral this afternoon. He was buried in the battalion cemetery and his grave will be marked with a cross on which will be printed his name, regiment, and date with the words "DIED OF WOUNDS.
Serjeant 261959 Harold Arnold 2nd/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment). Killed in action on Thursday 26th April 1917 aged 22 by shellfire at Jeancourt. Harold is buried in the Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension France. He was the son of Mrs. Ann Bagley, of 79, Lansdowne Rd., Swadlincote, Burton-on-Trent. Born at Stoke on Trent resident at Fleet House in Belper.
Harold enlisted on the Sunday 6th November 1915 at 5 feet 5 inches in height. With a ‘partial loss of middle finger, left hand‘. Served in France from Monday 26th February 1917; Promotions: Acting Lance Corporal on Monday 3rd July 1916, Acting Corporal on Saturday 17th February 1917; Serjeant on Monday 9th April 1917;
Personal effects returned to Harold’s mother. Letters and photos, a pocket wallet, a diary, fountain pen, cigarette case, cigarette holder, locket, gold watch, shoulder titles, gold ring, scarf, writing pad, knife, sleeping helmet, fork, key, razor, two combs, holdall, scissors, shaving brush, two button sticks, button brush, two tooth brushes. Prior to enlistment Harold was an assistant teacher at Belper National School under Mr Gee.
Private 2402 Arthur Ashton 1st/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) Killed in action on Sunday 7th November 1915 aged 19, shot by a sniper in the trenches in front of Richebourg I‘Avone. He had been slightly wounded a few months before and had been assigned to the Royal Army Medical Corp. on light duties. Arthur was buried in the Rue-des-Berceaux Military Cemetery Richebourg-L'Avoue France. His remains were exhumed and buried here after the Armistice from the battlefield in the neighbourhood.
Arthur enlisted in Derby in October 1914 and was born in Bourne, Lincolnshire. He had been a resident in Belper since 1913 lodging with Mrs Page of Brookside. He was a Porter with the Midland Railway at Belper station
Private 27371 David Johnson Barber 7th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry died in Salonika Saturday 7th April 1917 aged 31. He is buried in the Salonika Lembet Road Cemetery Thessalonika Greece.
David was the son of William Barber a Farmer and Licensed Victualler and Ruth Ellen Barber, of West Hallam, Derbyshire and the husband of Lilian J. Barber, of York Cottage, Wyver Lane, Belper they had two young children. Before enlisting David had been a cashier at the London City and Midland Bank in Belper and was well known locally as a fine cricketer.
Rifleman 43041 Thomas William Barker 10th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles killed in action on Thursday 26th July 1917 by shellfire on the Messines Ridge during the Battle of Messines aged 23.
He had been wounded twice before, once by shrapnel in the arm, and then shrapnel wounds to the head after which he was hospitalised in the Military Hospital Oswaldtwistle Lancashire but he recovered and returned to the frontline. Thomas is buried in Derry House Cemetery Wytschaete Belgium. The cemetery was named after a farm, which had been nicknamed "Derry House" by soldiers of the Royal Irish Rifles. Thomas was the youngest son of Mrs. Martha Barker and the late Mr John Barker, of High St., Belper, before enlisting he had worked for Holden and Sons and was a member of the Congregational Church.
Captain Raymond Theodore Frederick Barnett M.B.E, R.A.M.C. (T.F.) enlisted as a Corporal in the Royal Engineers at the start of the war. Born in Swindon Wilts 1889 birth registered Highworth Wilts son of Frederick W Barnett a Railway Guard and Emma Barnett. Prior to enlisting Raymond was chemistry master at the Herbert Strutt School. He died on Thursday 12th February 1920 aged 31 his death was registered in Conway North Wales and he is buried in the Dwygyfylchi Churchyard. His address given at his death was Pendyffryn Hall which was a tuberculosis sanatorium. It looks likely that Raymond contracted TB during the war and decided to spend the rest of his days in North Wales.
Men whose deaths are linked to their service were entitled to be regarded as “war deaths”, even if they died after discharge. In fact the Commonwealth War Graves Commission still considers cases brought to its attention even though it is over 90 years since the war ended.
His gravestone reads;
IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR DEAR BROTHER
CAPT RAYMOND F T BARNETT BSc MBE DIED FEB 20TH 1920 AGED 31.
"HE NOBLY ANSWERED DUTY'S CALL
AND GAVE HIS LIFE FOR ONE AND ALL"
Raymond Theodore Frederick Barnett gained a commission of Lieutenant within the RAMC on the 25th September 1917, he is listed in the 1918 Army List as serving with the 2nd London Sanitary Company. The Sanitary Company’s seemed to get involved in all sorts of things: testing water quality; carrying out all manner of bacteriology and other scientific tests and experiments often on chemicals recovered from enemy trenches during trench raids.
He gained an award from the King of Italy;
The London Gazette, Of TUESDAY, the 26th OCTOBER, 1920.
Order of the Crown of Italy.
Lieutenant Raymond Theodore Fred Barnett, Royal Army Medical Corps (Territorial Force). Private 3839 John Bates 2nd/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) died in Idridgehay on Monday 13th December 1915 aged 32. John is buried in Kirk Ireton (Holy Trinity) Churchyard Wirksworth Rd. Wirksworth. John was born in Bolton Lancashire but was resident in Belper he was a Stove Fitter and was the son of John Bates a Baker and Martha Alice Bates and the husband of Rose Bates, of 32, Mill St., Belper.
Driver 85097 Samuel Wood Bath "A" Battery. 106th Brigade. Royal Field Artillery. Died of a bullet wound to his mouth and neck in the 3rd Canadian Hospital Boulogne on Sunday 5th August 1917 aged 37.
He is buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery France. Samuel enlisted in February 1915 and was the husband of Florence Amelia Bath, of 1, Cemetery Rd., Belper (they had three children the youngest being two years old at the time of Samuel‘s death). He was the son of Joseph Bath of 57 Penn Street Belper. Samuel was formerly a jeweller who had a shop in High Street Belper and later a confectionery and grocery shop at Field Head, he was a member of the Primitive Methodist Church. His brother Alonzo also served on the Western Front with the Motor Transport Corp.
Private 70220 George Edward Belfield 17th Battalion (Welbeck Rangers) Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment). Killed in action in the Ypres Salient on Friday 16th March 1917 aged 29. He is buried in the Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Born in Belper George enlisted in Ripley and was resident in Alfreton, he was the husband of Mrs. E. Bradshaw (formerly Belfield) of 6 Park Street Alfreton Derbyshire.
Private 317145 Samuel Arthur Belfield 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in Action at the First Battle of Ypres on Saturday 31st October 1914 aged 24. Samuel was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal. There is also mention of a clasp this is a bronze clasp worn with the 1914 Star inscribed - 5th August - 22nd November 1914 - and was issued to those who had been under fire during that period.
On 25th-26th October 1914 the focus of the German attacks turned south, against the 7th Division on the Menin Road. On 26th October part of the line crumbled under the impact of yet another German attack, but once again enough reserves were found to block the gap and give the retreating units time to withdraw. The 2nd Battalion were at Roberts Heights near Pretoria (South Africa) at the outbreak of war and were immediately recalled to England, landing at Southampton on 19th September 1914. Having refitted for European warfare, the Division left Southampton at 8am 5th October on the S.S. Winifredian and after a brief stop at Dover for supplies, landed in Zeebrugge at 6.30am on the 7th October.
The Division moved almost 40 miles south to meet the rest of the army and on the 18th October 1914, around the 10Km marker stone on the Ypres-Menin road, they met the German Army for the first time in a brief skirmish. The following day saw the Division attack Menin.
Extract from the Regimental Diary for the Bedfordshire Regiment 31/10/1914.
‘31 Oct 1914 - near Inverness Copse Early in the morning about 2.30 A.M. orders were received to occupy a small fir wood about 250 yards in front of our line which was then held by Loyal North Lancashire.Regiment. Captain Lemon & 2 platoons of C Company were ordered to hold this position. This wood had been subjected to heavy shell fire from two sides during the previous day. Shell fire started as soon as it was light. It soon became evident that the enemy were advancing in force on the left of the wood held by Captain Lemon & also on the right. The Adjutant went to report the situation to Brigade H.Q.& almost immediately on his return to Battalion H.Q. 2 orderlies arrived with an order from the Brigadier to retire fighting towards MENIN-YPRES Road. Part of the Battalion moved back in compliance of this order. An order was sent to Captain Lemon to retire from the fir wood upon the Battalion. Part of the Battalion remained in the trenches till late in the afternoon about 4.30 p.m. the losses were very severe on this day‘.
The C.O. Major J.M.Traill & 2nd in Command Major R.P.Stares remained in the trenches & were shot at short range. Lieut.Peterson was killed in the fir wood. Lieut.Gott was wounded in the Fir wood. Captain A.B.Lemon was twice wounded in the fir wood & captured. Captain C.S.Garnet Botfield was severely wounded. 2/Lieut.W.Dixon wounded. Captain E.H.Lyddon missing. Lieut.Anderson missing. The Battalion strength on night October 31st-1st November was 4 officers, 350-400 other ranks. 4 officers were Captain & Adjutant C.C.Foss. 2/Lieut.B.H.Waddy. Lieut.S.D.Mills, Transport Officer. Captain & Quarter Master H.Cressingham
A short line was taken up and entrenched.
The original soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Bedfordshire’s were amongst the "Old Contemptibles" - the title proudly adopted by the men of the BEF who saw service before 22nd November 1914. They were the professional soldiers of the British Army, and most were regular soldiers or reservists. They took their honourable title from the famous "Order of the Day" given by Kaiser Wilhelm II at his headquarters in Aix-la-Chapelle on the 19th August, 1914 -
"It is my Royal and Imperial Command that you concentrate your energies, for the immediate present upon one single purpose, and that is that you address all your skill and all the valour of my soldiers to exterminate first the treacherous English; walk over General French's contemptible little Army."
Samuel has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Ypres Belgium. Born and resident in Belper enlisted in Bedford Samuel was the Husband of Ethel Belfield, of 7, Chesterfield Rd., Belper, they had one daughter Gerty.
Private 26676 Allan Bembridge 16th Battalion (Chatsworth Rifles) Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) killed in action in The Battle of the Somme on Saturday 1st July 1916 aged 24, his age is listed in military records as 24, however he enlisted in 1914 at the age of 16, which would have made his real age when he died 18.
On Saturday 1st July 1916, the weather was hot with an early morning mist when at 7:30am supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a disastrous failure. The 1st/5th Battalion went over the top at Gommecourt and was cut to ribbons. They suffered particularly badly. 184 men and 11 Officers were killed. The net gain that day was effectively zero.
"Our Battalion got cut up very badly. As soon as we got on top of the parapet they began to drop like rabbits; we were caught by crossfire from machine guns. There would be ten times as many wounded as killed. I had to bandage myself up as best I could and then creep back to the dressing station. We crept past many who were dead or dying. When we got to the dressing station we were taken away by the red cross ambulance. I can tell you it was awful, and I never witnessed anything like it before." Private A Reynolds.
Allan, like so many others on that terrible day, has no known grave and is commemorated on The Thiepval Memorial France. Born and enlisted in Belper Allan was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bembridge, of 3, Nottingham Rd., Belper, and prior to enlisting was employed at the Park Foundry. One of three brothers killed, John who was killed on the same day, and Arthur who was killed in October 1916. A fourth brother Percy survived the war, although he did spend some months in hospital with back injuries due to falling when an upper floor collapsed in a building in which he was sheltering.
Private 26676 Arthur Bembridge 16th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) killed in action on Tuesday 10th October 1916 aged 24. The Battalion were ordered to make an attack on the German held portion of the Schwaben Redoubt, which was a German strongpoint consisting of a mass of gun emplacements, trenches and tunnels, this warren of defensive works helped anchor the German line on the Somme until late 1916.
The attacking companies had gone half way across No Mans Land when they were swept by German machine gun fire. "B" Coy (with one platoon from 17th Sherwood Foresters) reached its objective and consolidated the captured trench but suffered heavy casualties. "C" Coy were held up by wire in front of the German trench, while "D" Coy were held up by heavy machine gun fire. The fighting lasted about 2 hours by which time the attacking troops were exhausted and they were eventually forced back. Casualties to the 16th Battalion during the assault on the Schwaben Redoubt were very heavy, comprising 13 Officers and 224 Men.
Arthur has no known grave and is commemorated on The Thiepval Memorial France. Arthur had spent some months in 1916 in hospital in England suffering from pneumonia but recovered and rejoined his unit in France. Born and resident in Belper Arthur enlisted in Derby and was the son of Mr and Mrs Thomas Bembridge, a Stone Quarryman of 3, Nottingham Rd., Belper.
One of three brothers killed, Allan who was killed on the same day as his brother John. A fourth brother Percy survived the war, although he did spend some months in hospital with back injuries due to falling when an upper floor collapsed in a building in which he was sheltering. Arthur lived with his sister Mrs Varney on Nottingham Road Belper.
Private 24201 John Bembridge 1st/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters killed in action on Saturday 1st July 1916 aged 28 he was attached to the machine gun section of the Sherwood Foresters. The 1st/5th Battalion went over the top at Gommecourt and was cut to ribbons. They suffered particularly badly. 184 men and 11 Officers were killed. The net gain that day was effectively zero. John has no known grave and is commemorated on The Thiepval Memorial France. One of three brothers killed, Allan who was killed on the same day, and Arthur who was killed in October 1916. A fourth brother Percy survived the war, although he did spend some months in hospital with back injuries due to falling when an upper floor collapsed in a building in which he was sheltering. John lived with his sister Mrs H Spencer of Parkside Belper.
Private 201212 Albert Beresford 1st/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) killed in action on Sunday 24th June 1917 aged 19 by a shell during an attack on German trenches at Lens. Albert is buried in the Maroc British Cemetery Grenay France on Tuesday 26th June 1917.
During the greater part of the war this was a front-line cemetery used by fighting units and field ambulances, and protected from German observation by a slight rise in the ground. Albert was the son of Mr Albert and Mrs Anne Beresford of Cow Hill Belper, his father Mr Albert Beresford senior had worked at Denby Colliery but suffered severe injuries during an accident at the pit in 1911, which left his son Albert the main wage earner in the family. Albert had enlisted in Belper in February 1915 at the age of 17 previously he was employed at Denby Colliery and was a well known local footballer playing for St Swithuns.
Gunner 84956 George Alexander Berkin Royal Field Artillery died on Saturday 10th February 1915 in Kilmarnock aged 29. He was travelling to Glasgow by train after joining the army, the train stopped at Kilmarnock, he got off the train to get some refreshment. The train however started as he returned to the platform and as he attempted to board the train he slipped between the carriage and the platform, sustaining a broken arm, a broken jaw and other facial injuries. He was taken to Kilmarnock Hospital but died a few days later. The body was conveyed to Belper by the kindness of a colonel of a Scottish regiment who was billeted nearby. He was buried in Belper Cemetery with full military honours.
George was the son of Mr and Mrs Luke Berkin of George Street Belper his father Luke was a Blacksmiths Striker. In 1901 George was a Drapers Errand Boy.
Private 59406 Harry Birkin (Berkin) 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment). Died of pneumonia at the 17th Casualty Clearing Station at 6:20am on Friday 13th July 1917 aged 36. He had been in hospital for 6 days. Harry is buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery Belgium
Born in Belper in 1881 he was resident in Belper, Harry enlisted in Derby in August 1916 and was the son of Luke Berkin a Blacksmiths Striker and Jessie Berkin who lived in Swiney Lane Belper in 1901 when Harry was a Carriage Frame Fitter, however before enlisting he had been employed on the Strutt‘s estate as a painter.
Harry Birkin’s (Berkin) Medal Index Card
Gunner 90582 William Blackham Royal Field Artillery 5th Battery. 45th Brigade. Died of wounds on Friday 4th December 1917 aged 40, caused by a shell burst while leaving the guns for a rest period. He is buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery Belgium. For much of the First World War, Vlamertinghe (now Vlamertinge) was just outside the normal range of German shell fire and the village was used both by artillery units and field ambulances. William was the third son of Edward Blackham a Gardener and Maria Blackham, of 9, The Scotches, Belper.
William had been a regular soldier joining the RGA at the age of 17 in 1894 and had served in India for twelve years. As a boy, before enlisting at 17, he had worked for Mr W S Bowler a chemist and the late Mr Bacon, locally known as the ’Cow Doctor’. He had two brother’s who served, Joseph and Herbert who both survived the war.
Corporal 6148 James Blagg Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. Died of a machine gun bullet wound to his stomach at the No 5 Casualty Clearing Station on Saturday 10th August 1918 aged 36. James is buried in the Crouy British Cemetery Crouy-Sur-Somme France. He was wounded on Thursday 8th August 1918. This cemetery was used between April and August 1918 for burials from the 5th Casualty Clearing Station.
James was born in Leeds on Saturday 17th June 1882. His next of kin was his Auntie Mrs Lucy Harrison of Belper Lane, Belper. Before enlisting at *Valcartier Quebec Canada on Friday 25th September 1914 James was a Farrier. At the time of his enlistment James was 5 foot ten inches tall had blue eyes and black hair and a waist measurement of 41 inches. *At the outbreak of World War 1 in 19l4, a large section of the Township of Valcartier was selected by the Canadian Federal Government as a site for a Military Training Camp. He had been in Canada since 1909 were he had worked as a blacksmith.
Corporal WR/256137 Charles Frederick Bloor 14th Light Railway Operating Company Royal Engineers killed in action at Poperinghe on Tuesday 13th August 1918.
Although the British army on the Western Front used the French standard gauge railways to move men, equipment and supplies along the lines of communication from the Channel Ports to the Divisional railheads from the earliest days of the Great War, it relied largely on horsed transport and manual effort to move it from the railhead to the front lines. The formation of the RE Light Railways companies in early 1917 was innovation that was one of the factors that transformed the operational abilities of the army. Goods and men could now make the last leg of the journey to the front by light rail.
The 14th Light Railway Operating Company Royal Engineers arrived in France on Tuesday 22nd May 1917. Charles is buried in the Hagle Dump Cemetery Belgium.
Private 200141 Albert Blount 1st/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Somme on Saturday 1st July 1916 aged 26. On 1st July 1916 the 139th Brigade went over the top at Gommecourt and was cut to ribbons. The 1/5th Battalion suffered particularly badly. 184 men and 11 Officers were killed.
"When we moved up for our attack we found that many of these [trenches] had been hit by German shells, killing or wounding the men inside. That place was full of dead men, torn-off limbs and badly wounded who begged for help, but we dared not stop. The communication trench almost ran with blood that morning. While we were waiting in our front line to go over, a German machine-gun was spraying the top of the trench, flicking up dirt from the parapet."
Private F W Turner
Albert has no known grave and is commemorated on The Thiepval Memorial France. Albert was born and enlisted in Belper and was the son of Mr and Mrs Herbert Blount of Mill Lane Belper prior to enlisting Albert worked at the Hartsay Colliery Ripley, he was single.
Private 70205 James William Blount 17th Battalion ('Welbeck Rangers') Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) killed in action by a piece of shrapnel at Ypres on Sunday 17th June 1917 aged 21. James had previously been wounded in the head in October 1916 and had been invalided back to England and treated at Leeds Hospital before returning to the frontline. He is buried in the Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery Belgium
James was the son of John George and Emma Elizabeth Blount (nee Annable), of 73, Penn St., Belper, he enlisted in Belper on Saturday 10th October 1914. Before enlisting James was employed at Denby Colliery and was a member of the Primitive Methodist Church. His mother’s brother Stephen Annable was killed on Tuesday 8th June 1915.
James Blount’s Memorial Card
Private 40960 William Bond 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers formerly 10305 Training Reserve. Killed in action at Langemarck on Friday 5th October 1917 aged 30. William has no known grave and is commemorated on The Tyne Cot Memorial Belgium. Born in Belper in 1887 he enlisted in Derby on Friday 5th January 1917 William was the son of Mr and Mrs Samuel Bond of Penn Street Belper and the husband of Mrs Esther Bond of 106 Nottingham Road Belper they had one infant daughter, before enlisting he was employed at Holden‘s as an upholsterer and was a member of the St Peter‘s Choir.
Private 1615 Charlie Boot 5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) Killed in action on Tuesday 10th October 1916 aged 22. Charles is buried in the Bellacourt Military Cemetery Riviere France. Charlie was born and enlisted in Belper and was the son of John George Boot a Blacksmith and Eliza Boot, of 7, Nottingham Rd., Belper.
Serjeant 417436 Ernest Boot 2nd/1st North Midland Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corp. He was killed in action at St Quentin on Thursday 21st March 1918 aged 33. A huge German offensive was launched on Thursday 21st March 1918, following the largest bombardment ever seen on the Western Front. The Allied Fifth Army was driven back by overwhelming numbers across the former Somme battlefields.
Ernest has no known grave and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial France. This Memorial commemorates over 14,000 casualties of the United Kingdom who have no known grave and who died on the Somme from 21st March to 7th August 1918. The Field Ambulance was a mobile front line medical unit (it was not a vehicle). The theoretical capacity of the Field Ambulance was 150 casualties, but in battle many would simply be overwhelmed by the numbers of incoming casualties.
Born in Belper enlisted in Derby resident in Alvaston Ernest was the son of John Boot a Railway Platelayer and Mary Boot, of Belper and the husband of Caroline Boot, of 19, Alvaston St., Alvaston, Derby. In 1901 Ernest was a Druggist Assistant.
Private 17126 William Herbert Boot 1st Battalion Scots Guards killed in action at Cambrai on Friday 27th September 1918 aged 19 during the storming of "Sanders Keep" a German fortification 2 kilometres South-West of the village of Graincourt-les-Havrincourt between the Hermies and Havrincourt roads. It was stormed by the Scots Guards on the 27th September, 1918 William was killed during in this attack. William is buried in the Sanders Keep Military Cemetery Graincourt-les-Havrincourt France. William was born in Belper enlisted in Derby he was the son of Herbert Boot a Laundry Labourer and Emma Boot, of Windmill Lane, Belper.
Gunner 81956 William James Booth 6th Depot Royal Field Artillery. Died on Friday 19th February 1915 aged 15 from Meningitis. He was buried with full military honours in the Glasgow Western Necropolis.
The 6th Depot Royal Field Artillery was located in Maryhill Barracks Glasgow which is why he was buried in Glasgow, he is buried in the same grave as Driver Samuel Miles aged 37 from Birmingham who died on Thursday 18th February 1915 and Driver John Taylor aged 25 of Fladbury Worcester. James was of ’big physique’ and therefore although only being 15 years old he was able to pass himself off as an 18 year old. Before enlisting James was an assistant in the Public Benefits Boot Shop. James was the son of William Booth a Joiner with the Midland Railway and Susanna Stuart Booth, of Cemetery Rd., Belper.
James Booth’s Grave
Private 35620 Samuel Bower 17th Battalion ('Welbeck Rangers') Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) Killed in action in the front line trenches near Thiepval (River section) on Tuesday 17th October 1916 aged 24, during the last few days of The Battle of the Somme. Samuel has no known grave and is commemorated on The Thiepval Memorial France. Samuel enlisted on Monday 7th February 1916 and was the son of Frank Bower who was a Labourer for the Belper UDC and Maria Elizabeth Bower, of Dalley Lane, Belper, Derbyshire. Before the war Samuel was a Communicant at St Faith’s Lane End Belper.
Serjeant 200031 Fred Bowler M.M. 1st/5th Battalion. Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) killed in action at Gommecourt Wood on the first day of the Battle of Somme on Saturday 1st July 1916 1916 aged 26. On Saturday 1st July 1916 the 139th Brigade went over the top at Gommecourt and was cut to ribbons. The 1/5th Battalion suffered particularly badly. 184 men and 11 Officers were killed. Comprising the main Allied attack on the Western Front during 1916. The Battle of the Somme is famous chiefly on account of the loss of 58,000 British troops (one third of them killed) on the first day of the battle, 1st July 1916.
Extract from the Battalion History.
‘Sergt. Bowler, Bombing Sergt., was one of many killed immediately before advancing from the jumping off trench’.
“Personally I have come off lucky. We were sent in the trenches the night before the charge, and we had three bags of bombs to carry, a pair of wire cutters, 200 rounds of bullets, a shovel or pick and we were standing in the trenches all night up to the knees in water. The rum we had did us good, for it was a cold night."
Private John Bates
Fred was awarded the Military Medal posthumously for ‘gallant action’ at the Hohenzollern Redoubt in 1915. His medal was presented to his widow in the grounds of Nottingham Castle by Sir John Maxwell. He had also seen action at the Battle of Loos. Fred has no known grave and is commemorated on The Thiepval Memorial France. Fred was born in Belper and enlisted in Belper and left for France on Sunday 28th February 1915 he was the Husband of Elizabeth Ann Cotton (formerly Bowler), of High St., Belper, they had no children, and the second son of Mr and Mrs James Bowler of Parkside Belper. Prior to enlisting Fred was employed at Hartshay Pit.
Private (Signaller) 41089 George Bowmer 11th Battalion Manchester Regiment. Killed in action at Epinoy on Thursday 3rd October 1918 aged 23 by shellfire while holding an outpost in the frontline. He is buried in the Sucrerie Cemetery Epinoy France. Epinoy was captured by the 11th (Northern) Division on Wednesday 27th September 1918 and the cemetery was made by fighting units after the battle.
George was the son of Joseph Bowmer a Quarryman and Anne Rebecca Bowmer, of The Hollies, The Green Heage. George was born at Heage, and before enlisting in May 1916 was an assistant at the Heage branch of the Ripley Co-operative Society.
Private 96009 William Brailsford 10th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) Killed in action on Friday 12th October 1917 aged 23, 300 yards south of the Ypres to Staden railway line. On Friday October the 12th zero hour 5:25am the 10th Battalion attacked the German trenches in front of them at Hazenbrouck.
The accompanying creeping barrage was thick and intense and the attack was a complete success, however the Germans made several counter attacks throughout the day which were repulsed but resulted in 171 casualties for the Battalion. William was one of the casualties he was buried by his comrades but as so often happened his grave was obliterated by later shellfire and he has no known grave and is commemorated on The Tyne Cot Memorial Belgium. The Tyne Cot Memorial is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. He was killed on the same day in the same action as William Loving. William was born Belper enlisted in Belper resident in Belper. He was the youngest son of Mr William Brailsford a Foreman for the Belper UDC.
Second Lieutenant Charles Reginald Brandreth 7th Battalion attached to the 2nd/8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) killed in action at St Quentin on Thursday 21st March 1918 aged 24. A huge German offensive was launched on Thursday 21st March 1918, following the largest bombardment ever seen on the Western Front. The Allied Fifth Army was driven back by overwhelming numbers across the former Somme battlefields.
Charles has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial in the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras France. Charles was the son of Henry Brandreth an assistant Schoolmaster and Martha Brandreth, of Highfield View, Nottingham Rd, Belper. Before joining up Charles was employed by Haynes and Sons grocers of Belper.
1st Class Stoker 312400 John George Brentnall HMS Invincible Royal Navy drowned on Wednesday 31st May 1916 aged 29 during the Battle of Jutland. The Invincible was the last of the three British battle cruisers to be lost during the battle of Jutland, where she was the flagship of Admiral Horace Hood.
In May 1916 the 3rd Battle Cruiser Squadron had been sent to join the Grand Fleet to get some invaluable gunnery practise. This squadron led the advance of the Grand Fleet from Scapa Flow which came close to catching the German High Seas Fleet.
At around 6.15 p.m. on the Wednesday 31st of May 1916 HMS Invincible joined in the battle against the German battle cruisers. The Invincible opened fire first at 10,000 yards, disabling the Wiesbadenand and the Pillau, two light cruisers (although the Pillau later escaped). The Invincible also scored two hits on the Lützow, but was exposed to fire from that ship and the Derfflinger. The fifth hit, from Derfflinger, hit the roof of “Q” turret, penetrating the thinner battle cruiser armour. The explosion set fire to the cordite propellant, the flash spread back to the magazine and the ship was blown in half and reports said that she sank within 15 seconds at 6.33pm.
‘Flames shot up from the gallant flagship, and there came again the awful spectacle of a fiery burst, followed by a huge column of dark smoke which, mottled with blackened debris, swelled up hundreds of feet in the air‘.
John being a Stoker would have been well below decks so if he survived the explosion he would have had no chance of escape. 61 Officers and 965 men were killed. Only seven of her crew survived.
After the war, the wreckage of the Invincible was located by a minesweeper at 57-02-40 N/ 06-07-15.E. 55 metres down. The pieces of the ship rest on a sandy bottom near each other, the stern right-side up and the bow upside-down. The roof of the aft 12 inch turret is missing, the guns still loaded. She is protected as a War Grave. The ship is John’s last resting place and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial which commemorates 9,667 sailors lost during the First World War with no known grave.
Airman 1st Class 78600 George Brown 22nd Squadron Royal Flying Corps born in 1895, at Belper, his birth was registered in December, 1895, this indicates he was probably born during the last few months of the year as the births were listed quarterly,
This information is from "The Sky Their Battlefield" by Henshaw. ‘On Sunday 19th August 1917 Bristol F2b, 22 Squadron, shot up, AG.1AM G Brown WIA, head‘.
George died of bullet wounds to the head 2 days later on Tuesday 21st August 1917 aged 21. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission erred in listing his rank he was in fact an Air Mechanic, 1st Class, not Airman a rank which came later after the RAF was created. (Air Mechanic First Class was a catch all rank: it included fitters, carpenters, etc as well as observers and air gunners). He is buried in the Coxyde (now Koksijde) Military Cemetery Belgium. No. 22 Squadron was formed at Fort Grange, Gosport, on 1 September 1915 and departed for France seven months later with twelve FE2B two-seat pusher biplanes. These outdated aircraft were used for a year on reconnaissance tasks.
George enlisted in the Kings Royal Rifles in July 1915 and was wounded at Ypres a few months later recovering after eight weeks in the Wharncliffe Hospital Sheffield. On his return to France he was transferred to the Royal Flying Corp. He was the son of Edwin Brown a School Attendance Officer and Elizabeth Brown, of 5 Short Street, Belper. Prior to enlisting George worked at the Denby Hall Colliery Marehay.
Corporal M2/117262 David John Burbridge Motor Transport Army Service Corp. attached to the 4th Light Armoured Motor Battery died of dysentery on Monday 23rd April 1917 Dar-es-Salaam East Africa aged 30.
At the outbreak of the First World War Tanzania was the core of German East Africa. From the invasion of April 1915, Commonwealth forces fought a protracted and difficult campaign against a relatively small but highly skilled German force under the command of General von Lettow-Vorbeck. When the Germans finally surrendered on 23 November 1918, twelve days after the European armistice, their numbers had been reduced to 155 European and 1,168 African troops. Dar es Salaam was the capital of German East Africa.
David was born in Horsham, enlisted in Coventry and was the son of Joseph Henry and Ellen Mary Burbridge and the husband of E. K. Burbridge, of Garfield, Thame, Oxon, England, they had one child and had recently lost another child.
He was a partner in the garage on Bridge Street, Blount and Burbridge, and a member of the Belper Methodist Church he is also commemorated on the war memorial in the church and the Thame War Memorial Oxfordshire.
Trooper 1961 George Burdett Derbyshire Yeomanry Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line (including Yeomanry and Imperial Camel Corp) Died of wounds on Monday 23rd August 1915 in Gallipoli.
Hill 10 is a low remote hillock to the north of a salt lake it was taken by the 9th Lancashire Fusiliers and the 11th Manchester’s on the early morning of 7 August 1915.
Extract from the Derbyshire Yeomanry History 1914-19.
‘I remember no more gallant case than that of Private Burdett as told by the Doctor in charge of the Brigade dressing Station on August 21st.
Private Burdett came to the dressing station (a mud hut through which bullets were passing fairly plentifully), having suffered a severe face wound the wound was sufficiently bad to attract the Doctors attention, but on being told to come and have it dressed he refused to do so until several others had been attended to first.
After waiting half an hour he allowed himself to be attended to, and was just departing, the dressing having been completed, when the Doctor asked whether he had been hit anywhere else? “No” he said “only a little one here” pointing to his stomach.
In spite of his assurance that it was nothing much the Doctor insisted on further investigation and to his amazement discovered that poor Burdett had been cut clean open. Nothing could be done and he died three days later without a murmur or complaint’.
He is buried in the Hill 10 Cemetery Turkey. The cemetery was made after the Armistice by the absorption of graves from nearby sites and from the 88th Dressing Station, 89th Dressing Station, Kangaroo Beach, 'B' Beach, 26th CCS and Park Lane cemeteries.
George was born in Belper enlisted in Belper in October 1914 and was resident in Belper he was the son of Mr and Mrs George Burdett of Dale View Derby Road Belper. Before joining up he was employed at James Beresford Butchers shop on Bridge Street Belper.
Private 7974 Arthur Butler ‘South Africa Medal’ Rifle Brigade died at home of Tuberculosis at Nottingham Road Belper on Sunday 22nd November 1914. He re-enlisted in August 1914 and passed as fit, but after a spell in hospital he was invalided out of the army in October 1914 returned home and spent the last five weeks of his life confined to bed. Arthur was a an army Reservist and had fought in the South African War where he was involved in 5 conflicts. Arthur was the son of Mr and Mrs John Butler of The Fleet Belper and the husband of Mrs G Butler (nee Spencer)
Private 70741 John Butler 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regt.) killed in action by a shell on Wednesday 24th October 1917 at Ypres aged 34. John is buried in the White House Cemetery St Jean-les-Ypres Belgium. White House Cemetery was begun in March 1915 and used until April 1918 by units holding this part of the line. John was a Postman for the Ambergate and Fritchley area and was the son of George Butler a Quarryman and Hannah Butler. John was single.
Private 32115 Percy Cartwright 11th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) Died of wounds Monday 3rd July 1916 aged 24. Percy was wounded on Saturday 1st July when the 11th Battalion were ordered forward but faced withering German machine gun fire.
"After we got out over all the trenches we came to No man's Land. The Germans had gone to a hiding place somewhere, but they must have had a machine gun to every man………. They simply swept the earth with bullets. The Germans always like to kill the wounded off, and they shelled us, besides using their machine guns on us. There were a good many killed after they got wounded……"
Percy was one of 518 casualties suffered by the 11th Sherwood Foresters during the attack and the Battalion were relieved later that night. Percy is buried in the Ribemont Communal Cemetery Somme France He was born in Belper enlisted in Belper, and was the son of the late Albert Cartwright and the nephew of Ebenezer Cartwright of Church Street.
Private James Cauldwell
Private 2101 James William (Billy) Caudwell ‘F’ Company 1st/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) . Killed in action on Thursday 6th May 1915 Aged 24 at Lindenhoek Chateau Kemmel, shot in the head by a sniper when going on sentry duty .
Extract from a letter written by Sergeant Jones.
‘I saw him reel and I ran to catch him, but he fell. I reared him up but it was all over. A portion of his head had been blown away by the snipers bullet’.
James was killed waiting in the frontline before the Battle of Aubers Ridge, which prompted a famous exchange between General Sir Henry Rawlinson and Brigadier Reginald Oxley.
Rawlinson: "This is most unsatisfactory. Where are the Sherwood Foresters?"
Oxley: "They are lying out in No-Man's Land, sir, and most of them will never stand again."
James is buried in the Lindenhoek Chalet Military Cemetery Belgium. The first burials were made in the cemetery in March 1915 and it continued to be used by fighting units and field ambulances until October 1917. It was enlarged after the Armistice when over 100 graves were brought in from the battlefields surrounding Kemmel.
James was born in Belper, he had joined the Territorial’s in June 1914 enlisted in Belper in August 1914 he was the brother of Mrs. Emily Barker, of Pottery Houses, Kilbourne Rd., Belper and resided with his other sister Mrs Lizzie Frost at Whitemoor Hall Belper. He was the son of the late Mr James Caudwell of Nottingham Road and was related to Cauldwell Bros millers of Rowsley and his Grandfather had occupied Pottery Farm for several years.
Lance Corporal 2409 Henry Clayson 1st/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on Saturday 1st July 1916 Aged 19. On 1st July 1916 the 139th Brigade went over the top at Gommecourt and was cut to ribbons. The 1/5th Battalion suffered particularly badly. 184 men and 11 Officers were killed.
"At about 8.0 a.m. as the forward trenches were cleared of troops, we began to move forward, but everywhere found the trenches which were still in many parts deep in mud and water, blown in, or blocked by dead bodies, or wounded men trying to make their way back." Captain W.C.C. Sweetman.
Henry has no known grave and is commemorated on The Thiepval Memorial France. His next of kin was his sister, Maud Horsley, of Shaw Lane, Holbrook. In April 1915, he was wounded in his right foot and left buttock. Henry resided on New Road, Belper he enlisted in Belper on Friday 4th September 1914.
Corporal S/5536 Samuel Arthur Cooper 10th Battalion Rifle Brigade. Killed in action during the Battle of the Somme on Friday 4th August 1916 aged 25. Samuel has no known grave and is commemorated on The Thiepval Memorial. Samuel was born in Belper enlisted in Belper and was resident in Belper.
Samuel was the husband of Gertrude Mary Stephenson nee Harrison (formerly Cooper), of 126, May Rd., Bridlington, Yorks. Gertrude was the daughter of Mr Harrison a hairdresser of Bridge Street Belper. He was the son of Mr Arthur Cooper a crate maker of Kilburn Road Belper. Samuel had previously been employed at the Denby Iron Works, he was a member of the St Peter‘s choir and of a ‘quartette party of the town‘.
Private 201915 Ernest Cooper 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) Killed in action at Passchendale on Wednesday 26th December 1917 aged 22. Ernest volunteered to collect water dixies from an area identified as being covered by snipers.
His Battalion was in support trenches just to the rear of the front line when he was killed by sniper fire on Boxing Day 1917. He was originally buried by his comrades but then, as in so many cases, his grave was obliterated by shell-fire. Ernest has no known grave and is commemorated on The Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing Belgium which bears the names of almost 35,000 officers and men whose graves are not known and were killed in the Ypres Salient.
Born in Belper enlisted Derby Ernest was the son of James and Julia Cooper, of Whitemoor Lane, Belper and the husband of Mrs. B. A. Aldred (formerly Cooper), of Overstone Row, Holbrook Moor, Derby.
Private 201915 Ernest Cooper
Private 66324 John Lambert Cowan 1st/6th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers formerly 85336 Sherwood Foresters killed in action on the last day of the Battle of Estaires during the German Spring offensive on Thursday 11th April 1918 aged 18.
Extract from the Northumberland’s War Diary.
‘By 10am 'D' Coy on the left and 'B' Coy were holding their positions against repeated attacks supported by heavy trench mortar and machine gun fire. However, the Battalions right flank was now exposed because the 5th Durham Light Infantry (151st Brigade) had been forced back, the enemy were heading for Neuf Berquin and the 5th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers had been withdrawn.
Harlech Strong Point was very heavily shelled at point blank range from the river at Estaires and was subjected to a considerable amount of gas. The 6th Battalion was brought forward to try and re-establish a line, but they were unable to progress very far, so by 2pm the line was gradually being forced back‘.
John is buried in Poelcapelle British Cemetery Belgium. John was the son of Charles Cowan who was originally from Ireland and was a Grocery Store Keeper and Elsie Cowan, of Bridge St., Belper.
Private 22402 Walter Cranfield 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) killed in action on Friday 15th September 1916 during the attack on the Quadrilateral Redoubt a strong German fortification near Ginchy on the Somme. Between Wednesday 13th and Sunday 17th September 1916 the 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters was engaged in fierce attacks around the Quadrilateral Redoubt.
"The Bosche machine-gunners now kept up a slow and very deadly fire, and anyone who popped his head above his shell hole was hit“.
The Battalion attacked the Quadrilateral Redoubt with a total of 681men, 17 Officers and 421 Other Ranks were killed, wounded or missing after the attack. He firstly served in the 3rd Battalion and with 'F' Company and was then posted to the 2nd Battalion on Thursday 9th December 1915. Walter is buried in Guillemont Road Cemetery Guillemont France. Walter was born in Brampton, enlisted in Chesterfield and was a resident of Milford. Prior to enlisting he was with the Great Central Railway in the Engineering Department based at Grassmoor Station near Chesterfield.
Private 2389 Arthur Cresswell 5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment). Died after an operation in Nottingham on Monday 24th September 1917 aged 21. Arthur was buried in the Belper Cemetery with full military honours. Arthur enlisted at the Royal Drill Hall Becket St., Derby on Friday 4th September 1914 he was 5 foot 4 inches tall with a 34 inch waist.
Arthur was severely wounded when a bullet deflected of his ammunition pouch and hit him in the head and shattering his right arm on Tuesday 8th June 1915 near Kemmel while doing sentry duty in the trenches, which resulted in him having his right arm amputated and having ‘permanent total incapacity’ he was 19. An abscess formed on the stump of his right arm when he was in No 11 Base Hospital Boulogne and he was invalided back to England. He received an artificial limb on Monday 13th March 1916 and was discharged from the army on Tuesday 11th April 1916 due to ‘no longer being physically fit for army service’
Arthur was born in 1896 at Belper he was the son of Joseph Creswell a Beer Retailer of the Horse and Jockey Cow Hill Belper and Sarah Cresswell. Before enlisting Arthur had worked at the Sewing Cotton Company Belper.
Lance Corporal 242756 James Davis Lewis Gun Section ‘B’ Company 2nd/5th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry killed in action at Cambrai on 28th March 1918 aged 21. James has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial France. James was born in Belper and enlisted in Derby and was the son of Mrs. Martha Davis of the Top Pottery Houses Belper, and the husband of Hannah Davis, of Bakewell Rd., Matlock, they had one child.
Serjeant 200806 William Henry Day 16th Battalion ('Chatsworth Rifles') Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) Died on 23rd November 1917 aged 34 shell at the 2nd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station from the effects of being gassed by a mustard gas shell. He is buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. Lijssenthoek was close to the Front, but out of the extreme range of most German field artillery, it became a natural place to establish casualty clearing stations.
William was the son of William Alfred Day a Sarah Ann Day of the Royal Oak Sunny Hill, Milford and the husband of Harriet Walker Day, of 17, Long Row, Belper, they had one child. Prior to enlisting William worked at the Cotton Mills.
Private 31079 William Dawson 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment died of wounds on 11th April 1917 at Bethune aged 26. He is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery France. Enlisting on Tuesday 6th June 1916 William was the son of Joseph Dawson a Railway Guardsman and Elizabeth Dawson, of 4, Parliament St., Peterborough, before enlisting he had been a Commercial Traveller for Messrs Lamplugh and Sons of King Street Belper, he was single. William was an accomplished violinist and regularly played at St Swithun’s, St Peter’s and the River Gardens.
Private 2639 John William Dring 5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) killed by German shellfire while resting in a dugout on Tuesday 30th May 1916 aged 34. John is buried Foncquevillers Military Cemetery France. The village of Foncquevillers was later "adopted" by the town of Derby. John enlisted in Belper in April 1915 and lived on Belper Road, he was the son of the late Mr John Dring, of Belper who had been a Foreman Platelayer for the MRC and Mrs Ann Dring.