Surnames O - P

 

 

Captain Thomas Alfred Oliver

Royal Flying Corps. 1 & 29 Squadrons.                                    

Killed in Action 14th August 1917,  Aged 22.

Commemorated Arras Flying Service Memorial.

Captain T. A. Oliver, Royal Flying Corps, late Royal Welch Fusiliers, who became an ace after gaining 5 victories during his service with No. 1 and No. 29 Squadrons:

Thomas Alfred Oliver, who was born at Loughborough in April 1893, an artist resident at Capel Earig, North Wales prior to the Great War, he enlisted in the Royal Welch Fusiliers at Carnarvon in August 1914 and was posted to the 6th Battalion. Three months later, however, he was successfully nominated for a temporary commission as a 2nd Lieutenant on the General List, and he subsequently transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.

Graduating as a pilot in December 1915, Oliver was posted to No. 1 Squadron in France in the new year and on 20 March, in a raid against the German floatplane base at Zeebrugge, he fought his first combat in a Morane LA (5119), with 2nd Lieutenant D.A. Carruthers aboard, against an Aviatik over Cassel-Poperinghe. Thereafter, he was more or less constantly in action until being rested in January 1917, a period that witnessed at least two successful encounters. The first of these occurred on 3 July 1916 in a dogfight over Houthulst Wood, when Oliver was piloting a Morane BB (5170):

'Lieutenant T. A. Oliver and Sergeant Mumford, in a Morane biplane of No. 1 Squadron, encountered five hostile aeroplanes, driving off four with little trouble. The fifth showed more fight, but was last seen diving vertically with the engine full on, and is believed to have been destroyed' (R.F.C. Communiques 1915-16 refer).

And the second on 6 August 1916:

'Lieutenant T. A. Oliver in a Nieuport Scout of No. 1 Squadron attacked a hostile machine over Kemmel which in appearance was very much like a Martinsyde. The Nieuport closed to within 150 feet of the hostile machine and fired two drums under the tail. The engine of the hostile machine was seen to stop, and it dived steeply. Five drums in all were fired at the German, whose machine was followed down to 3,000 feet with its propeller stopped. It is believed that the observer of this machine was also hit' (R.F.C. Communiques 1915-16 refer).

Following his rest from operations in the first half of 1917, Oliver was posted to No. 29 Squadron as a Flight Commander on 10 August. The very next day he added two more enemy aircraft to his tally in an engagement fought over Roulers, and the day after that yet another over Polinchove. But while on patrol on the morning of 14 August, Oliver, piloting a Nieuport 17 (B1557), was shot down and killed by Oberleutnant Wiegand of Jasta 10.

 
The Nieuport 17 was a French biplane fighter aircraft of World War I.
 
 
He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France.

Sergeant 45109 Percy Onions

 

Machine Gun Corps. (Inf.)

Formerly 2037 Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds London 15th Nov. 1918,  Aged 26.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery, 42-313. 

 

In a letter to his wife, Sergt P. Onions, of the M.G.C. writing from Tooting Military Hospital, describes how he was wounded rather severely on April 30th, by shell fire in the right leg, just above the ankle, with the result that the bone has been smashed, He adds: " I am very lucky to have my life." Sergt. Onions who prior to joining the Forces was employed as a clerk at the Brush Works, underwent an operation in France before being sent to Blighty," and the first news of his wounds was contained in a letter to the wife from a comrade in the corps. His officer has also written stating that the wound was very nasty and painful, and he was sorry to lose Sergt. Onions, who was always so very cheerful in or out of the line and under all sorts of circumstances.

Sergt. Percy Onions, M.G.C. of 27 Regent Street, Loughborough, died from wounds in a London hospital. He was a clerk at the Brush Works before the war, joining up in 1914, and he left a widow Florence.

Colour Sergeant 8559 Colin Herbert Orton

 

1st Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers.

Killed in Action 13th October 1914, Aged 31.

Buried Vieille-Chapelle New Cemetery, VI. D 8         

 

 

Colin was the only son of Arthur W. Orton and his first wife Mary (who died in 1886). He had three half-brothers and five half-sisters by his father's second wife, Edith, and the family lived at 11, Pinfold Gate. For some time Colin was a drummer at Holy Trinity Church Lads Brigade.

In 1902 Colin joined the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers and progressed to the rank of Colour Sergeant. In 1911 he was stationed in Rawalpindi, in the Punjab. When war broke out in 1914 his battalion was in Portsmouth, arriving in France on 14th August 1914. The battalion was soon in action at the battles of Mons, Solesmes, Le Cateau, the Marne, the Aisne, and at La Bassée.

Colin was killed in action on 13th October 1914 at the start of the Battle of La Bassée, where twelve 3rd Division battalions were confronted by thirteen German infantry regiments, four Jäger battalions and 27 cavalry regiments.

Private S/44213 Herbert Orton

 

6th  Bn, Gordon Highlanders.

Killed in Action 14th October 1918, Aged 19.

Buried Auberchicourt British Cemetery, II. C. 4.         

 

Herbert was the son of Herbert & Eliza Orton of 71 Ratcliffe Road, Loughborough.

Sergeant 4425 Henry Fred Osborn

 

3rd Dragoon Guards (Prince of Wales's).

Died of Wounds 21st May 1915, Aged 33.

Buried Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, VIII. D. 38.         

 

Henry Fred Osborn was born in Kesgrave, Suffolk, in 1881, the son of Robert Osborn, an agricultural labourer, and Ellen Osborn (née Grimwood) who were married in Nedging, Suffolk on Christmas Day 1873. Henry had an older brother George and four sisters Ida, Alice, Ellen and Clover. By 1901 the family had moved from Suffolk to Woodhouse, Leicestershire and Henry's father had become a waggoner.

In 1900 Henry enlisted at Lincoln and joined the 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards. His regiment was deployed to the Boer War from 1901 to 1903, and was on operations in Natal, Zululand and the Orange Free State. After 1903 the regiment was sent back to England, then to Ireland. Henry was certainly in England towards the end of 1909 as he married Elizabeth Emily Gladwell at St. Michael's, Aldershot on 28th October. Henry and his wife were also listed at Aldershot Barracks in 1911, together with their daughter Ida Mary (born in 1910) but Henry's wife sadly died on 19th June that year, aged 20.

It seems likely that Henry went in 1912 to Egypt with his regiment. In August 1914 he was probably in Cairo when his regiment was recalled to England, arriving in Liverpool on 18th October. On 31st October 1914 the regiment landed in France and on 4th November came under the command of the 6th Cavalry Brigade in the 3rd Cavalry Division. It subsequently took part in the first and second battles of Ypres. Henry was wounded during the Second Battle of Ypres and died on 21st May 1915 in a hospital in Boulogne.

Private 18609 Ernest Leslie Oswin

6th Bn, York and Lancaster Regiment.

Death presumed 7th August 1915. 

Commemorated Helles Memorial, Turkey, Panel 171-173.

Served under the alias of 'Ernest Handford'.

Ernest Leslie Oswin was born in Loughborough in 1898, the eldest son of Edward Oswin, an upholsterer and furniture porter, and his wife Sarah (nee Handford) who were married in Loughborough in 1890.

Ernest had two brothers Albert and Reginald and one sister [Sarah] Doris. Ernest's mother died in 1905 and in 1911 the widowed Edward Oswin was boarding with three of his children (Albert, aged 10, Doris, aged 8 and Reginald, aged 6) at 21 Gladstone St, Loughborough, the home of John and Eliza Foulds. Ernest in 1911 was an 'inmate' at the Northampton Society's Reformatory for Boys at Tiffield, Towcester, Northants and his occupation was labourer.

He used the alias of 'Ernest Handford' when he enlisted (Handford being his late mother's maiden name) and joined the 6th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment as Private 18609. He was killed at Gallipoli on 7th August 1915. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey as E. Handford.

Sapper 104571 Charles William Page

 

228th Field Coy, Royal Engineers.

Killed in Action 25th March 1918.

Buried Beaulencourt British Cemetery, III. E. 7.         

 

 

                               

Mrs Page visiting Charles Grave

Sergeant T2/14153 Arthur Frederick Palmer

 

475th H.T. Coy, 10th Div. Train, Army Service Corps.

Died of Malaria 8th September 1916, Aged 35.

Buried Pieta Military Cemetery, C. XI. 6. 

(his brother Edwin Palmer also fell see below)       

Arthur Frederick Palmer, known as 'Fred', was born on the 9th December 1879 at 15 High Street, Loughborough. He was the fourth son of Dr. William Grimes Palmer and his wife Eliza who were married on 2nd August 1871 at All Saints Church, Loughborough, by Archdeacon Henry Fearon. Dr. Palmer was a medical officer for the Loughborough District and Workhouse and later for the Rural Sanitary Authority of the Loughborough Union. Eliza was the niece and adopted daughter of John Tyler Esq., of Thorpe Villa, Loughborough.

Dr. and Mrs. Palmer had twelve children: Lucy, William, Henry, Ethel, John, Edith, Arthur Frederick, Gertrude, Edwin, Sybil, Kathleen, and Margaret. Between 1881 and 1891 the family moved from High Street, Loughborough, to Thorpe Cottage, Derby Road, Knightthorpe. Dr. Palmer died there from peritonitis and other complications on the 15th November 1889, aged 45, leaving Eliza a widow. In 1901 Fred was working as a mechanical engineer and living with his mother and six of his siblings at Thorpe Cottage. He was still living there with her and his brother Edwin in 1911. His mother Eliza died on 5th May 1914.

Fred volunteered at Leicester for active service at the outbreak of war in August 1914, giving his place of residence as Belvedere, Kent. He joined 475th Horse Transport Coy., 52nd (Lowland) Div. Train of the Army Service Corps as Private T2/14153. After a period guarding the Scottish coastal defences the 52nd Division was warned on 5th April 1915 that it would go on overseas service, a directive confirmed on 7th May, the destination being Gallipoli.

The units embarked at Liverpool and Devonport between 18th May and 8th June, the first units landing on Gallipoli (Cape Helles) on 6th June. The Division was then involved in the Battle of Gully Ravine (28th-29th June) and the Battle of Achi Baba Nullah (12th-13th July).

At the beginning of October 1915 the 475th Horse Transport Coy was transferred to the 10th (Irish) Division of the Army. It withdrew from Gallipoli and went via Mudros to Salonika, landing there between 5th and 10th October. In December 1915 the British Salonika Force fought a battle against Bulgaria at Kosturino, north of Lake Doiran.

During the first four months of 1916 the British Salonika Force redoubled its efforts to prevent Bulgaria invading Greece. Large amounts of barbed wire were used and a bastion about eight miles north of Salonika was created connecting with the Vardar marshes to the west, and the lake defences of Langaza and Beshik to the east, and so to the Gulf of Orfano and the Aegean Sea. This area was known as the 'Birdcage' on account of the quantity of wire used.

The Salonika Force then dug-in until the summer of 1916, by which time the international force had been reinforced and joined by Serbian, Russian and Italian units. The Bulgarian attempt at an invasion of Greece in July 1916 was repulsed near Lake Doiran.

Fred, who had been promoted to the rank of Sergeant, had been offered a commission, which he declined. He contracted malaria whilst on active service in Salonika and died at the Military Base Hospital, Tigné, Malta, on the 8th September 1916, aged 35. He is buried at Pieta Military Cemetery, Triq Id-Duluri (Our Lady of Sorrows) Street, Pieta, Malta, Grave C. XI. 6.

A newspaper report of his death noted that: 'Fred Palmer was educated at the Loughborough Grammar School and was well known and liked in the town. He was a member of local sports clubs and enjoyed taking part, especially in football where he was a member of the Loughborough Corinthians Football Club. He was also a good oarsman and a member of the Loughborough Boat Club. Fred acted as goalkeeper for the Loughborough Hockey Club and was regarded as a 'sound and useful player'.

Fred is commemorated on the memorial at All Saints Church, Loughborough, and on the Loughborough Grammar School Roll of Honour as well as on the Carillon.

Fred's brother Edwin, who served with the 2nd London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), was killed in 1917.
Loughborough Corinthians FC, winners of the Leicestershire Junior Cup, 1900/01.
Fred Palmer middle front row.

Corporal 233858 Edwin Palmer

 

2/2nd (City of London) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers.

Death presumed on or since 15th June 1917, Aged 34.

Commemorated Arras Memorial bay 9.      

(his brother Arthur Palmer also fell see above)   

Edwin Palmer was born on the 29th May1883 at 15 High Street, Loughborough and baptised on 29th June 1883 at All Saints Parish Church, Loughborough. He was the fifth son of Dr. William Grimes Palmer and his wife Eliza (née Tyler) who were married on 2nd August 1871 at All Saints Church by Archdeacon Henry Fearon. Dr. Palmer was a surgeon and medical officer for the Loughborough District and Workhouse and later for the Rural Sanitary Authority of the Loughborough Union. Eliza was the niece and adopted daughter of John Tyler Esq., of Thorpe Villa, Loughborough.

Dr. and Mrs. Palmer had twelve children: Lucy, William, Henry, Ethel, John, Edith, Arthur Frederick, Gertrude, Edwin, Sybil, Kathleen, and Margaret. Between 1881 and 1891 the family moved from High Street, Loughborough, to Thorpe Cottage, Derby Road, Knightthorpe. Dr. Palmer died there from peritonitis and other complications on the 15th November 1889, aged 45, leaving Eliza a widow. Edwin attended Loughborough Grammar School. In 1901 he was working as a bank clerk and living with his mother and six of his siblings at Thorpe Cottage. He was still living there with her and his brother Arthur Frederick in 1911.

After Edwin's mother Eliza died on 5th May 1914 it seems that Edwin may have moved to London. What is certain is that he became a cashier at the London, City and Midland Bank and in August 1915 joined the Inns of Court O.T.C. as Private 8537. The Inns of Court O.T.C. provided basic and officer training at Berkhamsted Common, Hertfordshire. The subjects covered were drill, musketry (although limited by a shortage of suitable ranges), entrenching (but little in the way of trench warfare, apart from bombing), map reading, field exercises in open warfare (designed to instil leadership and initiative), and lectures, which covered a whole range of subjects from sanitation, through tactics, to the history of the war.

Edwin subsequently joined the 2/2nd (City of London) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers as Private 233858. This was a 'home' unit of the London Regiment, an all-Territorial Force regiment, which was affiliated to the Royal Fusiliers. Initially a second line reserve unit it suffered from lack of equipment of all sorts which greatly affected training. After the passing of the Military Service Act in early 1916 the Battalion could be sent overseas, once trained. Edwin's service record has unfortunately not survived. Precise details regarding his military service are therefore unavailable. At some point, however, he was promoted to Corporal.

After being based in the Ipswich area, the battalion had a role in the East Coast defences in spring 1916. It moved again, to Sutton Veny, in July 1916. The Battalion received a warning order on 1st January 1917 that it would soon depart for France. The men crossed the Channel to Boulogne from 20th January and completed concentration at Lucheux on 8th February. The battalion took part in the pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line from 14th March to 5th April, the Battle of Bullecourt from 4th-17th May and the actions of the Hindenburg Line from 20th May -16th June.

On 15th June 1917 the 2/2 Londons were in the area of Bullecourt and engaged in a prolonged attack to take the Hindenburg Line to the north-west of the village. Edwin was reported missing on 15th June and was presumed to have been killed in action on or after that date. He was aged 34.

A local newspaper noted that Corporal Palmer 'had many friends in the town whose esteem he had won by his courtesy and consideration'.

Edwin is commemorated on the Arras Memorial bay 9, on the memorial at All Saints Church, Loughborough, and on the Loughborough Grammar School Roll of Honour as well as on the Carillon.

Edwin's brother Arthur Frederick died of malaria in 1916 while serving with the Army Service Corps.
Loughborough Corinthians FC, second team 1901/02
Edwin Palmer seated 2nd from the left.

Private 358082 Thomas Palmer

 

10th  Bn, The Kings Liverpool Regiment.

Killed in Action 4th October 1918, Aged 25.

Buried Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery Fleurbaix I. E. 44.         

 

Thomas Palmer was the son of Mrs. Robey, 19 Albert Street, Loughborough. His Captain says; it was a very brave action, and I have recommended him for a decoration. He will be a great loss to the company, as he was always cherry, willing, and an excellent stretcher-bearer. It is very hard to fill the place of such men. A Lieutenant who saw the action said that machine gun bullets were sweeping all over the position, but Private Palmer never hesitated for a moment. He reached the wounded man, bound and dressed his wounds. Private Palmers position became very serious and perilous, as he was in full view of the enemy. The air was ringing with bullets, but Tom calmly picked up his stretcher and was killed by a bullet in the neck.

Gunner 194561 Alfred John Paltridge

 

26th  Heavy Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery.

Killed in Action 9th September 1918,  Aged 21.

Buried Chapel Corner Cemetery, A. 28.         

 

Alfred was the son of Alfred John & Clara Paltridge, He was born at Loughborough.

Regimental  Sergeant Major 3538 George Charles Parker

 

Leicestershire Yeomanry.

Killed in Action 13th May 1915, Aged 42.

Commemorated Ypres Menin Gate panel 5.           

 

 

George Charles Parker was born in Clewer, Windsor, in 1872, the son of George Parker and Lydia Parker. His mother was a widow with three children when she married George's father, and she went on to have eight more children with George Parker, including George Charles. At first the family lived at Wellington Place, Clewer, and George's father was a gardener, but by 1911 his parents had moved to 30 Eton Square, Eton, and his father was a carman.

George Parker enlisted at Aldershot and fought with the 19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars in the Second Boer War. He had 5 bars, including one for the Defence of Ladysmith, with his Queen's South Africa medal. He was with the Hussars in Curragh, Ireland between 1903 and 1908 and in Norwich between 1908 and 1910. He eventually became a Squadron Sergeant Major and after leaving the Hussars, went on to be involved with the cadets at Eton College.

He married Edith Jane Kingston in 1905 in Eton. As World War 1 approached he enlisted in the Leicestershire (Prince Albert's Own) Yeomanry as Acting Regimental Sergeant Major and moved his young family to 22 Toothill Road, Loughborough. He and his wife had three children: Arthur (born 1906 in Curragh, Eire), William (born 1909 in Norfolk) and Edith Mary (born 1915 in Loughborough).

George died at the battle of Frezenburg, shot through the neck in A Squadron's trench whilst attempting to assist Lt. Colonel Evans-Freke. The colonel also lost his life that day.

George Parker belonged to the Howe and Charnwood Masonic Lodge and is commemorated on the Masonic Roll of Honour commissioned by the United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons' Hall, London. He is also commemorated on the war memorial in Loughborough Parish Church.
The Soar Valley Troop, 1914.
7. Cecil Pepper 9. Percy Jones 16. George Parker 21. Billy Moore 23. Dan Moore 24. Thirlby Hack

Lance Corporal Harry Parkinson

 

10th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 5th October 1917, Aged 22.

Commemorated Tyne Cot Memorial panel 50 - 51.      

 

Harry was the son of Frederick & Julia Parkinson of 36 Gladstone Street, Loughborough. His Mother passed away the following day after receiving the news of her son's death. 

Corporal M2/113122 Ivor John Parkinson

 

51st Auxiliary Bus Coy, Army Service Corps.

Died at Home 11th November 1918, Aged 25.           

Buried Loughborough Cemetery, 42/259.         

 

 

The funeral took place with full military honours of Corpl. Ivor John Parkinson, the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Parkinson, of Packe Street, Loughborough, who while on leave, succumbed to pneumonia. He had a wide circle of friends and admirers in Loughborough, where as a talented pianist his services were often called upon, and he assisted his mother, Madame Johnson, in her profession. He had been three years in France, and when home on leave fell a victim to influenza and pneumonia. 

Second Lieutenant Alfred John Parr D.C.M.

 

59th Bn. Australian Light Infantry. A.I.F.                                                                       

Died of Wounds 1st October 1918,  Aged 24.            

Buried Prospect Hill  Cemetery, Gouy. IV. A. 16.     

(his step brother Arthur Newbon also fell)  

 

Albert was the son of Mrs. Newbon (formerly Parr) 72 Pinfold Gate, Loughborough was awarded the D.C.M. 7/6/18 for conspicuous services in the field. He emigrated to Australia about a year before the war, after working at the Empress Works, and joined the Expeditionary Force early after the outbreak of war, having seen service in Gallipoli (wounded right nee 14/7/1915) Egypt and elsewhere before going to France. 

London Gazette 30879 of 3/9/18 and 30932 of 3/10/18 

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. 

During our attack the services rendered by this NCO were most valuable; he kept his platoon well in hand, and afforded every information to his Company officer as to the needs of the situation. He led an attack on and captured an enemy machine gun that was causing casualties, and near the final objective, with a bombing party, he captured another machine gun and two officers and fifty men. He showed great courage throughout and set a fine example to his men. 

2/Lieut. A. J. Parr 59thBattalion was reported wounded in action on the 29. 9. 18 and was carried out of the line by stretcher-bearers of this Battalion. He was conveyed to a R.A.P. of the 14th brigade and died a few minutes after arrival there. He was later buried at Prospect Hill Cemetery ½ mile E. of Gouy, 10 miles N. of S.T Quentin.

Mrs E. Newbon received the medals so bravely won by her son. 

D.C.M, 1914/15 Star, British war medal. Victory medal, Memorial plaque & memorial scroll. 

Alfred's D.C.M is on display at the Carillon War Memorial.
Alfred having Bayonet pratice.
 
 
 
 
 
Parr Twins

Prospect Hill  Cemetery

 Australian Memorial

Private 7877 Frank Parrott

 

2nd Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 30th November 1914, Aged 24.

Buried Le Touret Military Cemetery, I. D. 9.         

 

Frank Parrott was born at Dishley Cottage 1, Thorpe Acre, Loughborough, one of seven children of John and Drusilla Parrott who later moved to 62 Derby Road. Frank was a butcher by trade and when he enlisted in Loughborough on the 14th February 1906 he was "deficient of right forefinger".

He served with his Regiment at home from the 12th July 1906 until 3rd March 1909 and then in India from 4th March 1909 until 12th October 1914, where he contracted rheumatic fever in February 1912 and spent twelve days in hospital. He was sent to France with the British Expeditionary Force on the 13th October 1914.

Frank's effects ("one small tin box and one bank book") were returned to his father. The small tin box was his Princess Mary Christmas 1914 gift box and it is now in the collection of Leicester City Museums Service.

Private SR/10050 Harold Cubiss Partridge

 

6th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment..

Died of Wounds 4th May 1917, Aged 23.

Buried Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, X. F. 2.         

 

 

Harold Cubiss Partridge was born in Loughborough in the summer of 1893, his birth being incorrectly registered as 'Harold Cupiss Partridge'. Harold was the son of Harry Partridge from Loughborough and his wife Mary Ann (née Jennings) who came from Cheshire. 'Cubiss' was the maiden name of Harold's maternal grandmother. Harold's parents were married at St. Margaret's Church, Whalley Range, Manchester, in 1876, moved to Westminster, London and then settled in Loughborough where Harold's father ran a hairdressing business at 23 Baxter Gate. In 1901 the Partridge family lived at 123 Nottingham Road but by 1911 had moved to 24 Glebe Street. Harold's parents later moved to 8 Ratcliffe Road. Harold had three brothers Harry, John and Walter and five sisters Gertrude, Annie, Alice, Kate and Lilian. Two other siblings died young. Harold's brother Harry, who had served with the 1st Leicestershire Regiment in the 2nd Boer War, died in 1913.

In 1911 Harold was a storekeeper at the Empress Works. He was subsequently employed at the Brush Electrical Engineering Company. He enlisted on 15th August 1914 and joined the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 10050. Posted to the 6th (Service) Battalion he was sent from the Depot to Bordon, near Aldershot, Hampshire where the emphasis was on individual training, squadron and platoon drill. In March 1915 the battalion went into billets in Liphook. In April the 6th Battalion became part of the 37th Division of the Army and concentrated at Cholderton on Salisbury Plain. On 22nd July the Division began to cross the English Channel and after forfeiting a day's pay for unauthorised absence on 22nd July Harold arrived in France on 30th July 1915. The Division initially concentrated near Tilques not far from St.Omer.

In September Harold's battalion was sent to Berles-au-Bois, south-west of Arras and near the front line. In the months that followed the 6th Battalion did tours in the trenches, alternating with the 8th Leicesters who relieved them. The battalion was engaged in localised operations seeking a tactical advantage and remained in the area around Bienvillers and Bailleulmont until July 1916. On 8th June 1916 Harold was admitted to the 49th Field Ambulance with an undiagnosed problem, but he was discharged to his unit on 17th June.

On 1st July 1916 the 6th Battalion moved from Saulty to Humbercamps, where it was held in reserve for the Somme Offensive which had just begun. On 6th July the battalion marched to Talmas to join the Army's 21st Division. From 7th to 10th July the battalion was in Hengest-sur-Somme, and from there on 10th proceeded by route march, bus and train to Fricourt, Between 14th and 17th July the battalion took part in an attack on and successfully captured Bazentin-le-Petit Wood and village. On 20th July the battalion entrained at Ribemont for Saleux, after which they marched to Hengest. Travelling part of the way in lorries and part of the way on foot they reached Arras on 27th July and relieved the 8th Leicesters in the trenches on 7th August. The remainder of August was spent in the trenches and in billets in Arras.

On 4th September the battalion left Arras for Liencourt and after a week there for training moved to Fricourt and Bernafay Wood, east of Montauban-de-Picardie. Here from 19th to 24th September the men were employed in the improvement of communication and support trenches in preparation for a forthcoming attack on Gueudecourt. On 25th September the 6th Leicesters moved up to the assembly trenches in order to be ready to support the 8th and 9th Leicesters as they advanced. Progress was made north and east of Gueudecourt but as the Leicesters consolidated their position the village itself and its approaches were heavily bombarded by the enemy. This situation remained the same over the next few days. After the attack the battalion returned to bivouac at Bernafay Wood.

On 4th October the battalion began a three-day transfer by train and route march to Sailly La Bourse and began trench tours in the Hohenzollern Sector near Vermelles. They remained in the front line, in the support trenches or in Reserve until mid-December when they moved to Auchel. From 21st December 1916 to 28th January 1917 the battalion was in training at Auchel. Training was continued at Houtkerque until mid-February. Trench tours at Noyelles and Vermelles followed until the beginning of April when the battalion transferred to Hamelincourt. From 11th to 13th April the battalion was in action at the start of the Arras Offensive and on 3rd May in an attack on Fontaines les Croisilles.

Harold was wounded on 3rd May and died of his wounds in the 32nd Casualty Clearing Station on 4th May 1917. His parents received a letter from a comrade which said that that while Harold was lifting another man up who had been hit, a shell burst, killing the man, and striking Pte. Partridge on the back of the head. Harold had been taken into hospital and operated upon instantly, but his injuries were so severe that he died about ten o'clock the following morning. He was only 23.

Harold was buried in Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery Grave X. F. 2. He is remembered on the memorial in All Saints' Church, Loughborough, on the Brush Company Roll of Honour (inside the Carillon) as well as on the Carillon.

Harold's brother Walter served with the 1/5th Leicesters, was wounded in 1915, but survived the war. His brother John had been turned down by the militia in 1900 through ill-health.

Lieutenant Thomas Bond Paul

 

Indian Medical Service.

Killed in Action 19th September 1915, Aged 25.

Buried Basra War Cemetery Iraq. V. W. 18.      

 

Thomas Bond Paul, born in 1890 in Loughborough, was the son of Dr. Reginald Paul, MRCS, surgeon and medical practitioner, and Amy Hodgson Paul (née Abbott) who were married at St Mark's Church, Notting Hill, London on 17th November 1879. Thomas had two older sisters Hilda and Margery, and one younger brother Geoffrey. Two other siblings Gilbert and Ruth had died shortly after birth.

From 1891 to 1901 the Paul family lived at 18/19 Fennel Street, but by 1911 had moved to 20 Woodgate, Loughborough. Thomas was educated at Loughborough Grammar School and took a special interest in the Loughborough Boat Club and in aquatic sports.

On leaving school, Thomas entered as a student at the Middlesex Hospital in London to qualify for the medical profession. He qualified in 1914 with a Licence in Medicine and Surgery of the Society of Apothecaries (LMSSA). In late July 1914 he entered for an examination for a commission in the Indian Medical Service. Out of sixteen successful candidates Thomas took the sixth position and he was appointed a Lieutenant in the Indian Medical Service on 1st August 1914. He left London for Bombay on the P & O liner SS Moldavia on 22nd August 1914.

Initially Thomas was sent to Belgaum, a city in the Indian state of Karnataka which served as a major military installation for the British Raj. He was then attached to the Indian Expeditionary Force commanded to protect the oilfields and pipeline near Basra, Mesopotamia.

The Indian formations contained some British units, including the 6th (Poona) Division to which Thomas Bond Paul had been assigned. The first part of this Division left Bombay on 16th October 1914 as part of Indian Expeditionary Force 'D', the remainder following at the beginning of November. They landed at the head of the Persian Gulf and after two days of fighting occupied the oil port of Al-Faw on 6th November. The capture of Basra followed on 21st November and of Qurna between 3rd and 19th December 1914. Early successes spurred more pushes deeper into Mesopotamia, despite the challenges of moving troops by boat through the marshlands of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. An Ottoman counter-offensive to recapture Basra in April 1915 failed but not without some hard fighting and the British took Nasiriyah on 24th July 1915.

Conditions in Mesopotamia defied description. Extremes of temperature (120 degrees F was common), arid desert and regular flooding, flies, mosquitoes and other vermin all led to appalling levels of sickness and death through diseases such as cholera, malaria and dysentery. Medical arrangements were quite shocking, with wounded men spending up to two weeks on boats before reaching any kind of hospital. Major Markham Carter reported to the Government of India that he found men 'with their limbs splinted with wood strips from 'Johnny Walker' whisky boxes, 'Bhoosa' wire, and that sort of thing'.

Thomas Bond Paul, Surgeon in His Majesty's Indian Medical Service, died of disease on 19th September 1915 while on active service at Nasiriyah, Mesopotamia. He was buried at Basra War Cemetery (now in Iraq). There are 2,551 burials from the First World War here, 74 are unidentified. In 1935 it became necessary to remove the headstones as the salts in the soil were causing them to deteriorate. The names of those known to be buried in the cemetery were recorded on a screen wall.

Lieutenant Paul was a bachelor and died intestate. Letters of administration regarding his estate were issued to the attorneys of his father Reginald Paul, sole next of kin, on 5th May 1916, ratified by a Committee of Adjustment assembled at Belgaum by order of G.O.C. Poona Brigade and His Majesty's Court of Judicature in Bombay.

Lieutenant Paul is commemorated at Loughborough Grammar School, Emmanuel Church, Loughborough, and on the Carillon.
 

Private 100744 Albert Peak

 

2nd Bn, Leicestershire Regiment

Killed in Action 25th September 1915, Aged 23.

Commemorated Loos Memorial panel 42 - 44.  

 

Albert Peak was born in 1892 in Loughborough, the son of Josiah Peak and Kate Peak (née Dexter) who were married in Loughborough in 1873. Albert had one older brother Robert, born in 1880. In 1881 the Peak family lived at 19 Meadow Lane, and Josiah was a blacksmith. By 1891 Kate had moved to 14 Court A, Moira Street in Loughborough with her son Robert while her husband Josiah was living in Attercliffe cum Darnall, Sheffield, earning a living at a boiler riveter.

Life must have become increasingly difficult for Kate Peak as in 1901 Albert, aged 8, is listed as having been adopted by an elderly widow, Ann Hoult, of 8 Court A, Barrow Street, Loughborough, while his mother was still living at Moira Street and working as a sorter in a dye works. In 1911 Albert was back living with his mother at 3 Court B, Pinfold Gate and was employed as a trimmer in a hosiery factory, but his mother Kate sadly died the following year.

Albert enlisted and joined the 2nd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as a Private on 13th August 1914. He embarked for France at Southampton on 3rd June 1915 and joined his battalion on 17th June. The 2nd Leicesters were at this point alternately in the trenches or in billets while war training, in the area of Calonne and Vieille Chapelle north-east of Bethune. The corps was then rested in a quiet sector until it was deployed for the Battle of Loos.

The initial attack at Loos was to be made by three divisions, with the Meerut Division leading the attack on the Indian front; Blackader's brigade, with two Gurkha battalions and the 2nd Leicesters, was on its right flank. Whilst the attack successfully crossed no-man's land under cover of the barrage, the right flank of the brigade was caught up in defensive wire, and only one battalion successfully made its way into the German trenches. Gas also affected some of the men and the smoke caused a dense fog, making direction difficult. From the 2nd battalion 72 men were killed, 217 wounded, 42 were gassed, and 96 were recorded as missing. Albert was one of the men killed.

Albert's brother Robert served for twelve years with the 15th and 19th King's Hussars and in 1901 was in Meerut, India. As a Reservist he also fought on the Western Front in 1914 until he contracted rheumatic fever and was discharged as severely disabled.

Private 13245 George Thomas Pears

 

8th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 15th July 1916. Aged 25.

Buried Heilly Station Cemetery II. B. 43. 

(his brother John Pears also fell see below)  

George Thomas Pears was born in Loughborough in 1891, the son of Albert Pears and his wife Martha Ann (née Bradshaw) and was baptised on 19th January 1894 at Loughborough Methodist Chapel. George's parents were married in Loughborough in 1883 and they had eight children: John, Albert, William, George, Mary, Dorothy ('Dolly'), Ernest and Lilian. Ernest and Lilian, however, both died aged one. George's father was a labourer in 1891 and the family lived at 51 Paget Street, Loughborough. In around 1895 his father started a coal dealing business but unfortunately went bankrupt a couple of years later and in 1901 he was employed as a collector of the town's refuse, with the family living at 100 Leopold Street. In 1911 George's father was described as a 'Scavenger for the Corporation', George himself was a labourer and spinner in a hosiery factory, and the Pears family had moved to 51 Oxford Street. Between 1911 and 1914 George joined Messenger and Co. in Loughborough, the makers of Edwardian glasshouses.

George enlisted on 5th September 1914 in Loughborough and joined the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 13245.

George was sent firstly to Aldershot for training and then to Shorncliffe in Kent at the end of February 1915. In April 1915 George's battalion became part of the newly established 37th Division of Kitchener's 2nd New Army and the Division began to concentrate on Salisbury Plain. George was billeted at Perham Down. On 25th June the units were inspected by King George V at Sidbury Hill. On 22nd July the Division began to cross the English Channel and George, having spent the previos five days in hospital, travelled to France on 29th July 1915. Initially the 37th Division concentrated near Tilques.

The 8th Battalion then moved via Watten, Houlie, St. Omer, Eecke and Dranoutre to Wulverghem and Berles-au-Bois, a short distance from the front line. In the months that followed the 8th Battalion did tours in the trenches, alternating with the 6th Leicesters who relieved them. They were Involved in operations in Bailleul, Le Bizet, Armentières, Mondicourt, Beauval and Berles-au-Bois. In April 1916 the 8th Leicesters moved to the Doullens area for six weeks for cleaning up, resting and training. In mid-May they returned once more to the trenches in the Bienvillers-Bailleulmont sector, but nearer Gommecourt. In June there was a series of nightly excursions into No-Man's Land with patrols attempting to gather information on the enemy's dispositions. On other occasions there were working parties out repairing the British barbed wire entanglements. The situation became increasingly hazardous as the month wore on when the Germans began to use a new and more accurate type of trench mortar.

The 8th Battalion did not participate in the first days of the Somme Offensive but was held in reserve. On 6th July they left billets at Humbercamps and marched to Talmas, continuing on the following day to billets in Soues. On 10th July the battalion marched to Ailly-sur-Somme, entrained for Méricourt and travelled from there by lorry to bivouacs in Méaulte. Between 10th and 13th July the battalion was in the trenches near Fricourt and subjected to fairly continuous enemy fire. On 14th July the battalion was involved in the attack on Bazentin Le Petit village and Bazentin Le Petit Wood and at some point George was wounded. He was taken to No. 36 Casualty Clearing Station at Heilly but died from his wounds on 15th July, aged 25. During the following week George's parents received news of his death in a letter from the sister in charge of the Casualty Clearing Station. After regretting the unfortunate circumstances which caused her to write she continued: 'He was admitted to this hospital last night suffering from a wound of the chest and one of the left leg. The wound of the chest was the fatal one. We did all we could to relieve him, but could not prevail to save his life. He passed away very peacefully at 10.40 a.m. today (Saturday). He will be buried by the chaplain in the military cemetery attached to this camp......He was a very brave patient'.

George is buried in Heilly Station Cemetery, Grave II.B.43. He is commemorated on the memorial at the former St. Peter's Church, Loughborough, and on the Roll of Honour from Messenger and Co. (held by the Carillon Museum) as well as on the Carillon.

George's mother Martha died a few months after George and his brother John, who served with the North Staffordshire Regiment, was killed in Mesopotamia in 1917.

Private 25584 John James Pears

 

7th Bn, The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment).

Killed in Action 25th Jan. 1917. Aged 31.

Buried Amara War Cemetery, Iraq XVII. D.2                

(his brother George Pears also fell see above)   

 

John James Pears was born in Woodthorpe, near Loughborough in 1885, the son of Albert Pears and his wife Martha Ann (née Bradshaw) and was baptised on 30th August 1885 at Loughborough Methodist Chapel. John's parents were married in Loughborough in 1883 and they had eight children: John, Albert, William, George, Mary, Dorothy ('Dolly'), Ernest and Lilian. Ernest and Lilian, however, both died aged one. John's father was a labourer in 1891 and the family lived at 51 Paget Street, Loughborough. In around 1895 his father started a coal dealing business but unfortunately went bankrupt a couple of years later and in 1901 he was employed as a collector of the town's refuse, with the family living at 100 Leopold Street.

On 12th April 1909 John married Sarah Ann Morley at Loughborough Methodist Chapel and in 1911 they were living at 15 Edward Street, Loughborough. John was working as an assistant grocer for Messrs. Peark's at Loughborough He also worked for a number of years for the Primitive Methodist Sunday School in Swan Street. John and Sarah's son John Leslie was born in Loughborough on 5th March 1914. By 1915 the couple had moved to 24 Ash Street, Burton upon Trent as John had secured employment with the Burton upon Trent Co-operative Society's Grocery Department as a grocer.

John enlisted in Burton on 10th December 1915. He joined the Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment) and was mobilised on 31st May 1916. After John was mobilised his wife returned to live in Loughborough at 122 Paget Street.

From the Depot John was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion as Private 25585. The battalion was stationed at Forest Hall, Newcastle and was on duty with the Tyne Garrison. On 14th October 1916 John was once again posted, this time to the 7th (Service) Battalion which was with the Tigris Corps in Mesopotamia.

On 12th December the Tigris Corps, having been given reinforcements and now under the overall leadership of Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Stanley Maude began an advance from Sheik Sa'ad towards Kut, the ultimate aim being the capture of Baghdad. The exact date on which John joined 'A' Squadron of the 7th Battalion is unrecorded but he was certainly there by January as on 7th he was given one day's field punishment No. 2 'for discharging his rifle with neglect'. This punishment was being placed in fetters and handcuffs but not attached to a fixed object, together with hard labour and loss of pay. The soldier was still able to march with his unit.

Maude led the troops to victory at the Battle of Abdul Hassan on 9th January 1917. Ahead of the men now stood the Hai Salient, a strategically important position held by the Ottoman Empire. An attack was ordered for the 25th January 1917. Following an artillery bombardment the troops left the cover of the British lines and set off across No-Man's Land towards the enemy defences. Enemy machine guns fired at the North Staffords, slaughtering their ranks. Despite the fierce defence, the Staffords made it to the Salient. Now, the fighting was fierce close combat. Troops fought hand to hand, thrusting and stabbing with bayonets, or swinging loathsome entrenching tools, some of them customised for attack using nails or heavy weights.

John James Pears, aged 31, was killed in action during the successful attack on the Hai Salient. He is buried in Amara War Cemetery, Iraq, Grave XVII. D. 2. In 1933 the grave headstones were removed after it was found that they were being damaged by salts in the soil and a memorial wall erected instead with the names of the dead engraved upon plaques.

His brother George who was with the 8th Leicesters died on the Somme in July 1916. John's mother died shortly afterwards aged 59 in the autumn of 1916.

John's widow was remarried in Loughborough in 1923 to John A. Smith.

 

Amara War Cemetery.
In 1933, all of the headstones were removed from this cemetery when it was discovered that salts in the soil were causing them to deteriorate.   Instead a screen wall was erected with the names of those buried in the cemetery engraved upon it.
 

Private 74166 James Pearson

 

Royal Defence Corps.

Formerly 2809 Cheshire Regiment

Died at Home 10th November 1918, Aged 28.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery 39-313.         

 

James lived at 51 Hasting Street, Loughborough.

Captain Lawrence Peel

 

2nd Bn, Yorkshire Regiment.

Killed in Action 23rd October 1914. Aged 30.            

Commemorated Ypres Menin Gate panel 33.         

 

 

Lawrence Peel was the third son of William Peel, J.P., and Meliora Sybella Peel of Knowlmere Manor, Newton, near Clitheroe, Lancashire. He was educated at Horris Hill, Newbury, Berkshire and Winchester College. He passed out from Sandhurst with distinction in 1903, being gazetted to the 2nd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment. He served for several years in India and South Africa becoming Adjutant of his battalion in 1907 and Captain in 1911.

At the outbreak of war he was with his regiment in Guernsey and proceeded to the front within a few weeks in command of the Divisional Cyclist Company of the 7th Division. Lawrence Peel was reported missing on the night of October 23rd-24th 1914, whilst leading his Company in an attempt to capture some farm buildings on the Zaanvoorde Ridge, near the Ypres-Menin road. His name was mentioned in one of Lord French's earliest despatches. Lawrence Peel married the Hon. Ethel Laura Brooks, daughter of the 2nd Baron Crawshaw, in 1912 at St. George's, Hanover Square, London, and they had one son, Geoffrey William Peel, born in 1913. His widow was remarried in 1925 to Lt. Colonel Sir Robert Edward Martin and lived at The Brand, Loughborough.
 
Officers of the Second Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, photographed in October 1914.
Captain Peel back row 1st on Left. 
 
One thing that is remarkable about this photo is that of the 26 Officers photographed in October 1914, 10 were dead by the end of the year, 3 more were killed subsequently, 10 were wounded and / or taken prisoner, and only 3 appear to have survived the War unscathed.
 
Lieut. Philip Chabert KIDD. Killed 30 October 1914.
Capt Michael Day Wade MAUDE. Died of Wounds 14 October 1917.
Lieut. Q/Master Edward PICKARD. Survived the War, serving throughout with the 2nd Battalion.
2nd Lieut. William Arthington WORSLEY. Wounded and taken prisoner, 30 October 1914.
Lieut. Richard WALMESLEY. Killed 23 October 1914.
Captain Lawrence PEEL. Killed 24 October 1914.
Lieut. Frank Cooper LEDGARD. Killed 23 October 1914.
Captain Robert Boulton CORSER. Wounded 1 November 1914. Survived the War.
Captain Hugh LEVIN. Severely wounded 29 October 1914. Survived the War.
Lieut. Leslie Hanson MARRIAGE. Wounded 29 October 1914. Survived the War.
Lieut. Richard Herbert PHAYRE. Killed 26 October 1914.
Lieut. Hubert Stanley KREYER. Wounded 11 March 1915. Survived the War.
Lieut. COLLEY. Survived the War.
Lieut. THORNE. Survived the War.
Captain Bryan Seymour MOSS-BLUNDELL. Wounded November 1914. Survived the War.
Major Thomas Wolryche STANSFELD. Wounded November 1914. Survived the War.
Major Wilfred Beckett WALKER. Killed 29 October 1914.
Lieut. Colonel Walter Lorenzo ALEXANDER. Killed 14 May 1915.
Colonel Charles Arthur Cecil KING. Killed 30 October 1914.
Captain Cusack Grant FORSYTH. Killed 14 September 1916.
Captain Hugh William McCALL. Wounded October 1914. Survived the War.
Captain Ernest Scott BROUN. Killed 30 October 1914.
Captain Claud Gifford JEFFERY. Died of Wounds 24 October 1914.
Lieut. Walter Anfrid Auschar CHAUNCY. Wounded September 1915. Survived the War.
2nd Lieut. Hugh Geoffrey BROOKSBANK. Died of Wounds 16 December 1914.
2nd Lieut. Robert Henry MIDDLEDITCH. Wounded and taken prisoner, 30 October 1914.
 

Private 241292 Thomas Pepper

 

11th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 3rd June 1918.

Buried Esquelbecq Military Cemetery, II. E. 14.         

 

Pte. Thomas Pepper's Wife and four children lived at 109 Station Street, Loughborough. He worked at the Brush before enlistment.

Gunner 64559 Charles Percival

 

50th Coy. Royal Garrison Artillery.

Died Sierra Leone 27th Nov. 1916, Aged 37.

Commemorated Freetown (King Tom) Memorial.       

 

 

Charles Percival was born in 1879 in Shepshed. He was the son of Thomas Percival and his wife Mary (née Harris) who were married in 1874. Charles had six brothers Thomas, John, William, Enoch, Alfred and Harry and one sister Ada. He also had a half-brother Thomas Percival (formerly Harris) born four years before his mother married Thomas Percival. Charles's father was a farm labourer in 1881 and the Percival family lived at 44 Chapel Street, Shepshed. By 1891 they had moved to 117 Station Street, Loughborough and Charles's father was employed as a railway platelayer's labourer. They later moved to 35 Station Street. Charles's mother was a hosiery weaver until the family left Shepshed.

In 1900 Charles married Annie Pollard in Loughborough and by the end of 1901 they had two children Florence and Charles Leonard. In 1901 Charles was a storeman at an electrical works and he and Annie lived at 37 Pinfold Street, Loughborough. By 1911 they had moved to 38 Russell Street and Charles was now employed as a railway drayman while Annie was a point seamer of wool hosiery.

Charles's service record has not survived but it is known that he trained as Gunner 64559 with the Royal Garrison Artillery and was sent to Freetown in Sierra Leone, Africa. His service number indicates that he enlisted sometime towards the end of 1915.

Freetown was a port of considerable strategic importance to the Royal Navy and was defended by the 50th Company of the Royal Garrison Artillery with two 9.2 inch and four 6 inch guns. Eighty-three Sierra Leonian gunners were commanded by nine British officers and senior non-commissioned officers (NCOs). Freetown also had a military hospital which received sick troops from almost every convoy which passed through from Australia and New Zealand bound for England, German East Africa and Mesopotamia.

Within the area of Freetown itself malaria and typhoid were endemic. An A.I.F. soldier Bill Beckett recorded in his diary that Major Beckett said of Freetown: 'We are not here because we like it, but because someone must look after this outpost of the Empire. When you are at anchor in the Bay, you see the best of the Town, as it looks very pretty from the Bay; but it is really a rotten place, and is known as the white man's grave' . The walls of churches in Freetown are covered with memorial tablets to British soldiers who died while serving at the Garrison. Charles died from malaria, aged 37, on 27th November 1916.

Malaria in the First World War was an unexpected adversary. In 1914, the scientific community had access to new knowledge on transmission of malaria parasites and their control, but the military were unprepared, and underestimated the nature, magnitude and dispersion of this enemy. At least 1.5 million solders were infected, with case fatality ranging from 0.2 -5.0%. In sub-Saharan Africa many casualties resulted from high malaria exposure combined with minimal control efforts for soldiers considered semi-immune. Clinical treatment primarily depended on quinine, although efficacy was poor as relapsing Plasmodium vivax and recrudescent Plasmodium falciparum infections were not distinguished and managed appropriately.

Charles is commemorated on the Freetown (King Tom) Cemetery Memorial, Sierra Leone.

Private 62192 Enoch Percival

 

West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own).

Killed in Action 19th July 1918, Aged 19.

Buried Merville Communal Cemetery Ext, III. E. 24.         

 

 

Enoch was the son of Mrs. M. Percival of 12 St. John Street, Long Eaton.

Private Joseph William Percival

 

5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died at Home 20th April 1922, Aged 30.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery, 28 - 210.         

 

Joseph lived at 2 Biggin Street, loughborough.

Joseph William Percival

Has no memorial on his grave.

Second Lieutenant Albert Perkins

 

149th Coy. Machine Gun Corps. (Inf.)

Killed in Action 4th October 1917, Aged 27.

Buried Duhallow A.D.S. Cemetery I. D. 31.      

(brother Norman G. Perkins  also fell see below)                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

 
 
Charity match for the Loughborough Hospital against a Loughborough Wednesday team.
 
Albert Perkins seated front row on the right.

LOUGHBOROUGH TOWN CLERK'S SON KILLED

Much sympathy was felt in Loughborough with the Town Clerk (Mr. Harry Perkins), who on Tuesday evening received official notification of the death of his second son second Lieut. Albert Perkins, of the Machine Gun Corps, which took place on Oct. 4thfrom wounds. Second Lieut. Perkins was 27 years of age, and married. He was articled to the late Mr. A. E. King, architect, and on his death joined Mr. Haynes in carrying on the business. He enlisted in September 1914, with a number of Loughborough young men. In the Public Schools Battalion, and went to France In November 1915, returning to England the following March to take his cadet's course for a commission. The deceased officer was then attached to the 149thMachine Gun Corps, with which he continued until he had to go into hospital for sickness from which he recovered in about a month, and was then transferred to the 197th M.G.C. and stationed near the Flanders coast.

A letter of Sympathy was received by Mrs. Albert Perkins from the Captain of the Machine Gun Company to which her late husband, Second Lieutenant Perkins, was attached. The writer expresses the deepest sympathy of his brother officers, and says-"Although he only joined this company a week ago, we were all beginning to have a very warm regard for him, and I am sure that he had not been so unfortunately taken from us we should soon have learned to love him. His bright cheery disposition and companionable ways makes us feel his loss keenly. This being so with us, who only knew him for one short week, makes it very easy for us to have some little idea as to your feelings at the loss of one who must have been dearer to you than life itself". The writer goes to say he was with Second Lieutenant Perkins when he died. During a terrible bombardment a shell burst just outside their shelter and a splinter struck him on the right breast, and in five minutes he passed away, quite peacefully and painlessly. The letter adds: "He died a soldiers death- to my mind the most glorious death to die- but he was young and fair, cut off in his prime, which is always so sad. He showed all the qualities of a gallant soldier and a gentleman, which though, I hope will cheer you when you think of the departed dear one."

 

Ordinary Telegraphist Norman George Perkins

 

Bristol Z/7455 Wireless Station (Aberdeen) H.M.S. President.

Died at Home 23rd June 1919,  Aged 19.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery, 13/241. 

(his brother Albert Perkins  also fell see above)       

Norman was the son of Mr. Harry & Phoebe Perkins of Ludlow House Cumberland Road, Loughborough.

Private 18884 James Phillips

 

6th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 17th December 1917, Aged 38.

Buried Humbercamps Communal Cemetery Ext. I. D. 3.         

 

Able Seaman 217302 Owen Phillips

 

H.M.S. Bulwark Royal Navy.

Killed in Action 26th November 1914,  Aged 30.

Commemorated Portsmouth Naval Memorial 2.         

 

 
 
 
Owen Phillips was one of eleven children of John Owen and Mary Ann Phillips. In 1891 the family lived at 32 Sparrow Hill, Loughborough, but both parents had died by 1905. Three of the six boys in the family, Owen, Edward, and Joseph, joined the Navy, the other three, John, Harley, and James, joined the Army.

Owen, after a short spell as a foundry labourer, joined the Navy at Portsmouth as a stoker on 19th September 1901 and gained his naval commission as an Able Seaman on 31 July 1911. He served in a variety of shore-based establishments and on a number of naval vessels and on 18th November 1913 joined H.M.S. Bulwark, a pre-Dreadnought battleship.

At the outbreak of war H.M.S. Bulwark, based at Portland, was attached to the Channel Fleet, conducting numerous patrols in the English Channel. On 14th November 1914 she was transferred with the rest of the 5th Squadron to Sheerness in the Thames Estuary to guard against a possible German invasion of England.

On 26th November 1914, while anchored at Kethole Reach in the estuary of the River Medway she was blown apart by a powerful internal explosion, with the loss of 736 men. Owen Phillips was one of those lost. The explosion seems to have been caused by the overheating of cordite charges which had been placed adjacent to a boiler room bulkhead.

In addition to the Portsmouth Memorial Owen is also commemorated on a memorial at the Dockyard Church, Sheerness, and on a memorial in Woodlands Road Cemetery, Gillingham, Kent, as part of the Naval Burial Ground.

Owen's wife Alice was left a widow with their small daughter Lilian. As for Owen's brothers, only Harley, Edward and Joseph were alive by the end of 1915. John was discharged from the Army as medically unfit in 1913 and died the same year of tuberculosis and James died of nephritis not long after the Battle of Loos in 1915.

Corporal 4681 Leonard George Arthur Phipps, afterwards Pilkington

1/10th (Scottish) Bn. The King's (Liverpool Regiment).

Died of Wounds 16th September 1916, Aged 23.

Buried St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen, Grave B. 19. 29.

(His brother John Herbert also fell see below)

Leonard George Arthur Phipps, known to his family as 'Arthur', was born at 18 Factory Street, Loughborough in 1893. He was the son of John Phipps, a mechanic and fitter of hosiery frames, and his wife Catherine (née Carrington) who were married in Loughborough in 1881. Arthur had one brother John Herbert, known as 'Herbert' and three sisters Mary, Alice and Sarah. When Arthur's mother died in 1900 his maternal aunt Emma Pilkington (née Carrington) and her husband Henry, a fitter, took Arthur aged seven and Herbert aged ten to live with them. In 1901 Arthur and Herbert were living at 205 Bristol Road, Northfield, Worcestershire. Arthur's father, meanwhile, remained in Loughborough with his three daughters, having moved to 10 Duke Street.

Not long after 1901 Emma and Henry Pilkington moved with their nephews Arthur and Herbert to 26 Sefton Road, Sandylands, Heysham, Lancashire, and in 1902 Emma and Henry had a son of their own called Alec Henry, a cousin for Arthur and Herbert. Arthur's whereabouts in 1911 are unknown but their father died that year in Loughborough. Arthur and Herbert's sisters were all married by 1912 and two of them Alice and Sarah stayed in Loughborough.

Arthur enlisted in early June 1915 at Lancaster and joined the 1/10th (Scottish) Battalion of the King's (Liverpool Regiment) as Private 4681 'Arthur Pilkington'. He was sent to France on 6th September 1915 and took part in the second attack on Bellewaarde Ridge on 25th September. This was a disastrous diversionary attack launched to draw German attention away from the opening day of the Battle of Loos.

On New Year's Day 1916 the battalion was resting in Reninghelst south-west of Ypres but on 8th January transferred to Bailleul and entrained for Pont Rémy. From there they marched to Heucourt-Croquoison south of Abbeville in Picardy where they remained until 4th February and received training in physical drill and bayonet fighting, musketry, range practice, route marching and French digging. The Army's 55th Division, to which the battalion now belonged, was inspected at Hallencourt on 29th January. On 4th February they moved to Prouville where training continued until 12th February when they went into the trenches at Bellacourt south-west of Arras. Trench tours alternated with time in billets at Grosville and La Herlière. At some point Arthur was promoted to the rank of Corporal.

On 8th March the battalion moved to Saulty and continued with trench tours until the end of June. On 12th-13th July they moved to a position in front of Agny village, the battalion being in Brigade Reserve. On 18th July they were ordered to move to Bernaville and in late July they took over a section of front line near the village of Guillemont, Somme. They were in action at the Battle of Guillemont (3rd-6th September), the Battle of Ginchy (9th September) and the Battle of Flers-Courcelette (15th-22nd September).

The date when Arthur was severely wounded in action is unknown but he died on 16th September 1916 in No. 9 General Hospital, Rouen. He was only 23. He was buried in St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, Grave B. 19. 29. His effects were shared between his aunt Emma Pilkington and his three sisters.

Arthur is remembered under the name 'Arthur Phipps' on the memorial at All Saints Church, Loughborough. He is also remembered under the name 'Arthur Pilkington' on the war memorial as well as on his brother's gravestone in St. Peter's Churchyard, Heysham, and on the Morecambe and Heysham War Memorial, Memorial Gardens, Marine Road, Morecambe.

Arthur's brother Herbert served with the 51st Auxiliary Bus Company of the Army Service Corps and died of pneumonia while still in service in 1918.

Private DM2/208114 John Herbert Phipps, afterwards Pilkington

Army Service Corps, 51st Auxiliary Bus Company

Died at home 7th November 1918, Aged 28.

Buried in St. Peter's Churchyard, Heysham, Lancashire.

(His brother Arthur also fell see above)

John Herbert Phipps, known to his family as 'Herbert', was born at 18 Factory Street, Loughborough in 1890. He was the son of John Phipps, a mechanic and fitter of hosiery frames, and his wife Catherine (née Carrington) who were married in Loughborough in 1881. Herbert had one brother Leonard George Arthur, known as 'Arthur' and three sisters Mary, Alice and Sarah. When Herbert's mother died in 1900 his maternal aunt Emma Pilkington (née Carrington) and her husband Henry, a fitter, took Herbert aged ten and Arthur aged seven to live with them. In 1901 Herbert and Arthur were living at 205 Bristol Road, Northfield, Worcestershire. Herbert's father, meanwhile, remained in Loughborough with his three daughters, having moved to 10 Duke Street.

Not long after 1901 Emma and Henry Pilkington moved with their nephews Arthur and Herbert to 26 Sefton Road, Sandylands, Heysham, Lancashire, and in 1902 Emma and Henry had a son of their own called Alec Henry, a cousin for Herbert and Arthur. By 1911 Herbert, now calling himself 'Herbert Pilkington', had set up business as a newsagent in West Street, Morecambe. Herbert's father died in 1911 in Loughborough. Arthur and Herbert's sisters were all married by 1912 and two of them Alice and Sarah stayed in Loughborough.

Herbert enlisted at Morecambe and joined the 51st Auxiliary Bus Company of the Army Service Corps as Private DM2/208114 using the name 'John Herbert Pilkington'. He trained at Hounslow, Middlesex, before being sent to France. He was on leave from France when he died from pneumonia at home - 26 Sefton Road, Sandylands, Heysham - on 7th November 1918, aged 28.

Herbert was buried in St. Peter's Churchyard, Heysham, Lancashire.

Herbert is remembered under the name 'J. Herbert Phipps' on the memorial at All Saints Church, Loughborough. He is also remembered under the name 'Herbert Pilkington' on the war memorial in St. Peter's Churchyard, Heysham, and on the Morecambe and Heysham War Memorial, Memorial Gardens, Marine Road, Morecambe.

 




St. Peter's Churchyard, Heysham

 

2nd Lieutenant Francis Burton Pitts

 

3rd Bn, attd 8th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 17th May 1917, Aged 27.

Buried Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, X.V.I. G. 7.      

 

Francis Burton Pitts, known as Frank, was born in Loughborough on the 9th January 1890. He was the second child of Thomas and Honor Pitts (née Thursby Vale). His parents were married on 1st June 1887 at the Church of St. Mary and St. John, Rothley, and at the time of the marriage Frank's father was the Rector of Loughborough. A Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Thomas Pitts had been previously an Assistant Master at Haileybury College, Curate of Little Amwell Church, Hertfordshire, and Rector of Thurning, Huntingdonshire. Frank's mother was the daughter of Henry Edward Martindale Vale, a Major in the Worcestershire Regiment and Deputy High Sheriff of Herefordshire. Frank had two brothers Bernard and Hugh and one sister Honor and the Pitts family initially lived at 43 Vicarage Close, Loughborough, later moving to The Rectory, Rectory Place.

In January 1897, when he was seven years old, Frank joined Loughborough Grammar School where he was educated until he was fourteen. In 1904 he left Loughborough to attend Magdalen College School, Oxford where he was selected for the football team in his first season. He also enjoyed playing golf. Frank left Magdalen College School in 1906. In 1909, when he was nineteen, Frank entered the Royal College of Music where he studied piano and organ and stayed until the 18th December 1912. He gave his home address as The Rectory, Loughborough and his London address as 9 Addison Bridge Place, Kensington.

Frank initially enlisted with the 21st (Service) Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), known as the 4th Public Schools Battalion. As Private 3098 he trained at Epsom, Clipstone Camp, Mansfield, and Salisbury Plain and on 14th November 1915 was sent to Morbeque, France. On 26th February 1916 the battalion transferred to GHQ, just before it moved from St. Omer, to Montreuil sur Mer. The battalion was disbanded on 24th April 1916 as many of the men were commissioned. Frank received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant on 8th August 1916 and joined the 3rd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment at the Humber Garrison.

By 11th October 1916 Frank had been dispatched to France to join A Company of the 8th Leicesters, which was in the Bernafay Wood area of the Somme, repairing trenches. Trench tours at Vermelles took up the rest of October, all of November and the first few days of December before a transfer to the Hohenzollern sector. On 15th December the battalion moved to rest billets in Sailly-Labourse prior to training in Auchel from 20th December.

Training continued at Auchel until 27th January 1917 and then at Houtkerque until 13th February when the battalion was sent to the trenches at Noyelles and Vermelles. By the end of March the battalion was in Humbercamps, now well behind the front line. As they advanced toward the Hindenburg Line they found that the enemy had booby-trapped many of the ruins.

On 3rd May 1917 the battle of Bullecourt took place, the village lying in the heart of the Hindenburg Line. The assault was one of the biggest since the Battle of the Somme, but received little recognition in newspapers at the time. Over a thousand yards of No Man's Land had to be covered before the enemy was even reached and large numbers of the 8th Battalion were taken prisoner, including Frank Pitts.

A local newspaper included the following:

Canon Pitts received a letter from his son [via the Red Cross, Geneva], who was reported by the war office on 11th May as 'missing and believed wounded'. The letter was written about seven or eight days after he had been hit. Through the kindness of the Rector, we are able to give some extracts from the letter: 'I once thought I should never write to you again, I suppose you all heard about our weeks doings in France. Well I wonder if anyone ever thought we would get through it. The Red Cross Germans were certainly very good, and helped all they could for our injured men and officers. Some dirty work was doing on all around us, and our bombardment died for a second. Well it was decided that our party was to move away at once, myself and three men under a German. We waited to arrange about a stretcher case, which did not seem like getting away. Well off we started, we four (of course the British were close to now. We tried one way - no snipers, We tried another, firing too close that one). All I then know was that I had been hit, and was writhing at the bottom of a shell hole, the others vanished. I was in that same German trench within an hour, how it was done, God only knows. A red cross was binding me up, and giving me water. This is about seven or eight days ago, and this is the third hospital I have been to. Of course, I am still in bed, very weak, but the worst is now over. I wonder what it will be like to be on my feet again. Goodbye, I expect Loughborough will see me just about the same sometime'.

Frank died of his wounds, aged 27, on 17th May 1917. He was buried by the Germans in Bouchain Military Cemetery, east of Arras, but in 1924 the War Graves Commission removed all those British soldiers whose bodies lay in this cemetery. Pitts' remains were reinterred at Caberet-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, Grave XVI. G. 7.

Frank is commemorated on war memorials at All Saints Parish Church, Loughborough, Loughborough Grammar School, and Magdalen College School, as well as on the Carillon.

Frank's mother died not long afterwards, on 19th October 1917. His brother Bernard served as an Army Chaplain and his brother Hugh served as an Officer with the Machine Gun Corps. Both brothers survived the war.

 

Francis seated front Right
 

Lieutenant Edward Stephen Plumb

 

3rd Bn, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regt.)

Killed in Action 8th September 1917, Aged 26.

Buried Duisans  British Cemetery, VI. A. 7.         

 

Lance Corporal 13448 John Thomas A. Pollard

 

2nd Bn, King's Own Scottish Borderers.

Died of Wounds 25th April 1915, Aged 21.

Buried Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, VIII. A. 21.         

 

 

John Thomas A. Pollard was born in Loughborough in 1894, the son of John Pollard, hosiery machine manufacturer, and Mary Ann Pollard (née Fearey) who were married in Loughborough in 1892. John's mother died in 1909. John had one brother Arthur and five sisters and in 1911 the family lived at 72 Albert Promenade, Loughborough. Before enlisting John was a fitter for Cotton's Ltd., a hosiery machine manufacturer.

John Pollard joined Kitchener's Army at the end of August 1914 and served as a Private and then a Lance Corporal (Regimental no.: 13448).with the 2nd Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers. He went to France on 19th January 1915 and was involved in the Capture of Hill 60 (17-22 April 1915), the Battle of Gravenstafel (22nd-23rd April 1915), the site of the first German poisonous gas attack, and the Battle of St. Julien (24th April- 5th May 1915), all phases of the Second Battle of Ypres.

John was wounded during the Second Battle of Ypres and transported to one of the military hospitals in Boulogne, but did not survive.

Lance Corporal 0/2256 James William Ponsford

 

72nd Coy, Army Ordnance Corps.

Died at Sea 15th April 1917, Aged 32.

Commemorated Chatby Memorial Egypt.

 

James William Ponsford was born in 1884 at Highfields, Leicester, and baptised at Emmanuel Church, Loughborough, on 7th September 1884. He was the eldest child of Edward Arthur Ponsford and his wife Emma (née Main) who were married at Emmanuel Church on 24th July, 1883. James's father was initially a hosier in Leicester but later became an agent for the Prudential Insurance Company.

James had one brother Harry and one sister Lily. Another brother Arthur died aged two. In 1891 the Ponsford family was living with Emma's parents James and Sarah Main at 17 Forest Road, Loughborough and a year later James's mother died, aged 31. In 1901 Edward Ponsford was living with his three surviving children at 43 Fearon Street, Loughborough, and young James was now a junior clerk in a school.

On 8th June 1907 James married Lucy Minnie Hampton at All Saints' Church, Loughborough, and a year later his widowed father was married in Loughborough to Emma Jackson. In 1911 James, now a senior clerk for Loughborough Borough Education Committee, was living with his wife at 30 Curzon Street, but not long afterwards James gained a new position in Doncaster and he and his wife moved to 19 St. Vincent Road, Doncaster.

The date of James's enlistment is unknown but he joined the 72nd Coy of the Army Ordnance Corps (AOC) as Private 2256 and was promoted to Lance Corporal.

The AOC dealt with the supply and maintenance of weaponry, munitions and other military equipment. The depots at Woolwich, Weedon and Pimlico were supplemented by the wholesale takeover of warehouses throughout the country and in early 1915 a depot was established at Didcot to be the major focus for the receipt and distribution of AOC stores. Ammunition storage was also expanded dramatically and the former peacetime magazines at places such as Portsmouth and Plymouth were supplemented by purpose built depots at Bramley, Altrincham, Credenhill and Didcot. On the Western Front a highly successful logistic infrastructure, largely rail based, was created to support the front. Parallel systems, but of less complexity, supported operations in Italy. Other expeditions such as Gallipoli, Salonika, Palestine and Mesopotamia brought supply challenges and large logistic bases were established on the Egyptian Canal Zone and Basra.

On 15th April 1917 James was on board the HT Cameronia en route from Marseille to Alexandria, Egypt. The Cameronia was serving as a troopship at the time and had approximately 2,650 soldiers on board who were reinforcements for Mesopotamia when it was torpedoed by the German U-boat U-33 150 miles east of Malta. The ship sank in 40 minutes, taking 210 lives. Although most of the crew and soldiers were picked up by the escorting destroyers HMS Nemesis and HMS Rifleman, survivors having sufficient time to take to lifeboats, James, aged 32, was one of those lost.

According to a newspaper report 'A letter was received by the wife of Lance Corp. W. Ponsford that he was on a transport, which was torpedoed on 15th April, and it is feared that he is drowned. His father lived on Storer Road, and his wife is at present staying with her mother, Mrs. Hampton, at 12 Regent Street Loughborough'.

James is commemorated on the Chatby Memorial, Egypt, and on the memorial in the former St. Peter's Church building, Loughborough, as well as on the Carillon.

In 1920 James's widow was remarried at Emmanuel Church, Loughborough, to Walter Cockain of 59 Frederick Street.

Sergeant  Richard Maurice Poole

 

Sherwood Foresters.

Died at Home 1st August 1917,  Aged 37.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery  31/171.

 

The Military Funeral took place at Loughborough Cemetery of Richard Maurice Poole, a time expired soldier, who died on Friday 1stAugust, after a long illness. Deceased lived at 106, Russell Street Loughborough, and was 37 years of age. He had been 17 years in the Army, part of the time with the 1stLeicesters, and then with the Notts and Derby Regiment. He went through the Boar War and received two medals and five clasps. During the present war he had been on home service with his regiment. He leaves a widow. The funeral service was conducted by the Rev, Father Hayes, and a firing party from Glen Parva attended. Volleys were fired over the open grave and the "Last Post" was sounded. The bearers were six members of the deceased's club.

Private 5305 John Potter

 

156th Protection Coy, Royal Defence Corps.

Died at Home 19th November 1918,  Aged 44.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery 49/171.         

 

John was the Husband of Ellen A. Potter of 16 Station Street, Loughborough. He served in the South Africa Campaign with the Royal Berkshire Regiment.

Private 12580 John Humphrey Powell

 

8th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 3rd May 1917, Aged 29.

Commemorated Arras Memorial bay 5.      

  

John Humphrey Powell was born in Wandsworth, Surrey, in late 1887 or early 1888. He was the son of James Lawrence Powell, a Welshman, and Jane Powell (née Humphrey) who came from Sussex. His parents were married in July 1878 at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Shakleford, Godalming, Surrey. John's father was an engine maker and turner and in 1891 the Powell family lived at 10 Burtop Road, Wandsworth. John had four brothers Henry, James, Ernest and Charles and one sister Ellen. By 1901 the family had moved to 98 Burder Street and by 1911 to 4 Glebe Street, both in Loughborough. John became a machine printer for Messrs. J. Corah and Sons, printers in Woodgate. In 1911 John married Elizabeth Gertrude Wade and the couple moved into 6 Glebe Street. Their daughter Gertrude was born in 1912.

John enlisted in August 1914, and joined the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 12580. From the Depot he was sent firstly to Aldershot for training and then to Shorncliffe, Kent, in February 1915. In April 1915 John's battalion became part of the newly established 37th Division of Kitchener's 2nd New Army and the Division began to concentrate on Salisbury Plain. On 25th June the units were inspected by King George V at Sidbury Hill. On 22nd July the Division began to cross the English Channel and Ernest travelled to France on 29th July 1915. Initially the 37th Division concentrated near Tilques.

The 8th Battalion then moved to Wulverghem and Berles-au-Bois, a short distance from the front line. In the months that followed the 8th Battalion did tours in the trenches, alternating with the 6th Leicesters who relieved them. They were Involved in operations in Bailleul, Le Bizet, Armentières, Mondicourt, Beauval and Berles-au-Bois. In February 1916 John came home on a short furlough.

In April 1916 John moved with the 8th Leicesters to the Doullens area for six weeks cleaning up, resting and training. In mid-May the battalion returned once more to the trenches in the Bienvillers-Bailleulmont sector, but nearer Gommecourt. In June there were nightly excursions into No-Man's Land attempting to gather information on the enemy's dispositions and daily working parties to repair the British barbed wire entanglements. The situation became increasingly hazardous as the month wore on when the Germans began to use a new and more accurate type of trench mortar.

The 8th Battalion did not participate in the first days of the Somme Offensive but was held in reserve. at Humbercamps, Talmas, and Soues. On 10th July the battalion marched to Ailly-sur-Somme, entrained for Méricourt and travelled from there by lorry to bivouacs in Méaulte. Between 10th and 13th July the battalion was in the trenches near Fricourt and subjected to fairly continuous enemy fire.

On the 14th July the battalion was in action at the Battle of Bazentin Ridge. After the battle the battalion withdrew to Ribemont and then to Méricourt, and having entrained for Saleux, marched to Soues. At the end of July the battalion moved by train and on foot to St.-Quentin-Lattre and went into the trenches at Arras until 2nd September with rest breaks at Agnez-les-Ouisans. After this there was training at Lignereuil until 13th September when the battalion marched to Frevent and entrained for Dernancourt. On 15th they reached a point between Fricourt and Méaulte before proceeding to Trônes Wood on 16th.

From 17th-23rd September the battalion was in reserve and supporting the troops in the front line by providing carrying parties. In the evening of 24th September the battalion took up battle positions and on the following day, the start of the Battle of Morval, launched a successful attack on the right of Flers and then pressed on to Gueudecourt, Considerable losses, however, were suffered in this action.

After Morval the battalion withdrew to Dernancourt, entrained for Longpré and marched to Pont Remy before transferring to the Hohenzollern Reserve, support and frontline trenches. The battalion remained in the Hohenzollern sector, with breaks at Mazingarbe and Vermelles until 15th December when they marched to billets in the candle factory at Béthune. From there the battalion moved to Auchel where they remained until 26th January 1917 training. On 28th December the troops were entertained by a Lena Ashwell concert party.

From Auchel the men moved to Winnezeele to continue training in tactical manoeuvres before returning to Béthune and the front line trenches at Sailly Labourse. In April 1917 the battalion moved to Hamelincourt and occupied the Outpost Line on the Hénin-Croisilles road until 13th April, then transferred to Bailleulmont for training before going into support at St. Leger. On 3rd May the battalion took part in an attack on the village of Fontaine-lès-Croisilles where casualties were high and John, aged 29, was killed in action.

A letter from the Lieutenant of the battalion to John's wife said that after the engagement on 3rd May he was reported missing and no further trace could be found. John is commemorated on the Arras Memorial Bay 5, on the memorials at All Saints' Church and Trinity Church, Loughborough and on the Carillon.

John's widow married Edward Glithero in Loughborough in 1920.

Rifleman R/13928 William Ernest Powell

 

12th Bn, King's Royal Rifle Corps.

Killed in Action 27th August 1916,  Aged 19.

Commemorated Thiepval Memorial Somme, Face 13 & 13 b.      

  

William Ernest Powell was born in Walthamstow, Essex, in 1897, the son of William Henry Powell and his wife Florence Ada (née Ganderton) who were married in Walthamstow in 1896. In 1901 the family was living at 14 North Road, Walthamstow and William Ernest's father was a stationer's bookkeeper. William Ernest's father unfortunately died in 1904, aged 29. By 1911 Florence Ada Powell was earning her living as a monthly nurse. She and a daughter Elsie Florence, aged 7, were resident in the Turner household at 86 Shernhall Street in Walthamstow. William Ernest, meanwhile, was with his grandparents Henry and Mary Ann Ganderton at 46 Barrett Road, Walthamstow. Aged 14, he had left school. William Ernest's mother subsequently moved with William Ernest and his sister Elsie to 2 Russell Street, Loughborough.

When war broke out William Ernest enlisted in London and joined the 12th (Service) Battalion of the King's Royal Rifle Corps as Rifleman R/13928. This battalion was part of Kitchener's army and came under orders of the 20th (Light) Division of the Army. Training began near Winchester before the battalion moved to Bisley, Surrey, and then to Blackdown, Sussex, in November 1914. In February 1915 the battalion transferred to billets in Hindhead, Surrey. On 10th April 1915 final training began at Larkhill, Wiltshire. The battalion proceeded to France on 22nd July 1915, landing at Boulogne and with the Division concentrating in the St. Omer area. The battalion then moved to the area of Fleurbaix for trench familiarisation. In September 1915 they were in the trenches south of Laventie north-east of Béthune.

By February 1916 William's battalion was in the front line trenches east of the Yser Canal. The battalion was in action at the Battle of Mount Sorrel in the Ypres Salient (2nd-14th June) in which the Division, along with the Canadians, recaptured the heights. In August 1916 they were in action again on the Somme in the Battle of Delville Wood (15th July - 3rd September). William was killed in action, aged 19, on 27th August 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial Face 13 and 13B.

William's sister Elsie married Albert Reeve in Loughborough in 1924. His mother died in Birmingham in 1940.

Lance Corporal 20744 Harold Edwin Price

 

2nd Bn, Leicestershire Regiment..

Died of Wounds Mesopotamia 12th Jan. 1917, Aged 18.

Buried Amara War Cemetery, Iraq XXI. A. 18.         

  

Harold Edwin Price was born in Crewton, Derbyshire in 1898 and baptised on 23ed February 1898 at Boulton, Derbyshire. He was the eldest child of Edwin Price and his wife Emily (née Holt Green) who were married on 8th August 1896 at Boulton. Harold had four brothers Wilfred, William, Sidney and John and two sisters Edith and Ethel. In 1901 the family lived at 8 Alexandra Street, Alvaston, Derby and Harold's father was a bricklayer's labourer, but by 1911 they had moved to Golden Square, Hathern, Leicestershire and Harold's father was employed as an agricultural labourer.

Harold's service record has not survived but he appears to have enlisted at Loughborough sometime in 1915. He joined the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 20744 and was at some point promoted to Lance Corporal.

Harold was sent out to Mesopotamia to join the 2nd Battalion where Britain was fighting Turkish forces allied to the Germans. Having arrived at Basra he would have travelled by boat up the River Tigris to Ali Gharbi, 150 miles south-east of Baghdad to join the Tigris Corps.

In January 1916 General Townshend and his troops had been besieged at Kut-al-Amara since mid-December and three unsuccessful attempts were made to break the siege. Battles took place at Sheikh Sa'ad, the Wadi and Hanna resulting in many casualties. A further attack at Dujaila Redoubt in March failed.

In April 1916 No. 30 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps carried out the first air supply operation in history. Food and ammunition were dropped to the defenders of Kut, but unfortunately their parcels often fell into the Tigris or into the Turkish trenches. On 5th April a battle began for Fallahiyeh which the British soon captured but with heavy losses. Beit Asia was taken on 17th April. A final effort against Sannaiyat was made on 22nd April but this was unsuccessful and the Allies suffered about 1,200 casualties in the process. During the remainder of April other attempts were made to dislodge the enemy from their position at Sannaiyat but without any success. All attempts to relieve Kut failed and on 29th April 1916 General Townshend was forced to surrender to the Ottomans at Kut.

The surrender at Kut was a severe blow to British prestige and morale and the troops were exhausted by their efforts. The Tigris Corps nevertheless still maintained a close watch on the Turks in the areas of Sannaiyat and Beit Isa. In mid-May it became apparent that the enemy had withdrawn from Es Sinn and the British were able to occupy the Dujaila Redoubt. The intense heat in June, however, caused a heavy toll from sickness and disease among the troops.

As the heat lessened in September and October the enemy raised its activities in sniping and bombing from the right bank of the Tigris. In December the Tigris Corps began a long offensive operation with the purpose of dislodging the enemy from the right bank position and severing the enemy's communication channels. During this operation Harold was wounded in action by shrapnel. He died from his wounds on 12th January 1917 in Basra, aged 18.

Harold is buried Amara War Cemetery, Iraq, Grave XXI. A. 18. In 1933 the grave headstones were removed after it was found that they were being damaged by salts in the soil and a memorial wall erected instead with the names of the dead engraved upon plaques.

Harold is remembered on the memorial in the former St. Peter's Church building, Loughborough, and on the Carillon.
Amara War Cemetery.
In 1933, all of the headstones were removed from this cemetery when it was discovered that salts in the soil were causing them to deteriorate.   Instead a screen wall was erected with the names of those buried in the cemetery engraved upon it.
 

Private 16035 Christopher Priestley

 

9th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 1st October 1917.

Commemorated Tyne Cot Memorial panel 50 - 51.      

 

Sergeant 7631 John (Jack) Priestley

 

1st Bn, King's Own Scottish Borderers.

Killed in Action Dardanelles 26th April 1915, Aged  32.                                                           

Buried Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, XI. B. 4.         

 

 

After being reported wounded and the missing from April 26. Sergt. John Priestley of the 1stK.O.S. Boarders, and a native of Loughborough, has now been officially reported as killed in action on that date while serving with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Deceased was 32 years of age, the youngest son of the late Mr. Henry Priestley, of South street Loughborough, and his sister is Mrs. F. Dakin of 26 Alfred street Loughborough. He had seen 14 years' service in the army and was a clever footballer, playing frequently in regimental cup teams at full back.
                                                                              

 John (always known as Jack)

 enlisted at Leicester as a Private in the

    Kings Own Scottish  Borderers Regiment in 1901 

    

Jack was a competent footballer and played in the Regimental Cup teams at full back. 

Jack's prowess at football also made him popular with his great-nephew when he came home on leave. Fred Dakin remembered Uncle Jack bringing him a real leather football which made Fred the "bees knees" in the street

Rifleman 6993 James Prime

 

1st Bn, Rifle Brigade.

Died POW Germany 9th March 1915, Aged 36.

Buried Berlin South - Western Cemetery, XIX, D. 10.        

 

James Prime died of typhus in a Prisoner of War camp in Wittenberg, Germany.

The 1st Battalion, the Rifle Brigade, landed at Le Havre on 23rd August 1914 in time to provide infantry reinforcements at the Battle of Le Cateau. They were subsequently in action at the Battle of the Marne, the Battle of the Aisne, and at Messines.

Sometime in the autumn Prime must have been wounded, as Malcolm Hay, author of Wounded and a prisoner of war by an exchanged officer [i.e. Malcolm V. Hay] (Blackwood, 1916) records seeing him at the beginning of December in the German-occupied town of Cambrai with a party of convalescent British soldiers from the Civil Hospital.

On December 7th Prime, Hay and two others were sent in a hospital train from Cambrai to Giessen, where they were badly treated. From there they were transported to Klein Wittenberg, Westpreussen. Hay noted that 'As soon as we arrived in Wittenberg all the people were at the station, a big crowd, men and women. They all had big sticks, some had bars of iron, and we had to run the gauntlet of this- of course I could not do so. I got one terrible kick, but anyhow I managed to get into camp, and as soon as we got into camp we got knocked about by the Germans, and everything was taken from us… I took typhus first: when I was in hospital four or five days, Prime was carried there; he was put down on the floor, and died four or five days afterwards. Sergeant Spence of the Scots Guards was with him when he died. Just before the end they got him a ramshackle bed made up with boards, no mattress'.

Prime was initially buried in Klein Wittenberg, but in 1920 his remains were moved to Berlin South-Western Cemetery, Grave XIX, D. 10. He is commemorated on a memorial at Klein- Wittenberg.

James Prime was born in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. In 1909 he married Alice Baxter in Loughborough, and in 1911 the couple were in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, where Prime was employed as a postman. By the time he died Prime had two young children, James Noel (born 1911 in Ashbourne) and Margaret Alice (born 1913 in Loughborough).
need photo

Private 1844 Charles Edgar Pritchard

 

Leicestershire Yeomanry.

Killed in Action 13th May 1915, Aged 22.

Commemorated Ypres Menin Gate panel 5.           

 

Charles Pritchard, born in Woodhouse Eaves in 1893, was the only surviving son of Charles Leppington Pritchard, joiner and builder, and Elizabeth Ann Pritchard (née Bradshaw) of Maplewell Road, Woodhouse Eaves. (The Pritchards had had one other son who died aged one.) In 1911 Charles Edgar assisted his father in his business.

Charles Pritchard was killed at the Battle of Frezenberg.

Captain Harold Heafford Proudfoot

 

Royal Army Medical Corps.

Attd 26th Bde. Royal Field Artillery.

Killed in Action 2nd September 1916, Aged 27.

Buried Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz VIII. I. 7         

 

 

Harold Heafford Proudfoot was born on the 21st August 1889 at Green Park, Claremont, St Ann, Jamaica, the son of the Rev. James Proudfoot and his wife, Harriet Heafford Proudfoot (née Jacques). Harold's father was a missionary with the United Methodist Free Church while his mother was the daughter of a master baker, coal merchant, farmer and local preacher from Mountsorrel. His parents were married on 1st February 1888 in St. Ann, Jamaica and Harold had one sister Winifred born in St. Andrew, Jamaica in 1891.

When Harold was five and Winifred three the children were brought to England on the Don (a Royal Mail ship) arriving at Southampton on 13th November 1894. In 1897 Harold's father was sent to the church's mission in Sierra Leone but it seems that the family did not go with him. His father came home on furlough every two years from 1898 onwards.

In 1901, when Harold was eleven, he was living with his mother and sister Winifred in Main Street. Mountsorrel, near his mother's family. Harold firstly attended Quorn Grammar School and in 1903 became a boarder at the Loughborough Grammar School. In 1906 Harold's mother accompanied her husband to Sierra Leone and in 1908 Winifred also went with them. Harold had begun medical training at Edinburgh University in 1906. In 1911 Harold and Winifred were living with their mother at 24 Frederick Street, Loughborough, and in the same year Harold graduated with an M.B., Ch.B.

Harold held various medical appointments: Resident Medical Officer (Burnley Royal Infirmary), Second House Surgeon (Bolton Infirmary), Assistant Medical Officer (Monsall Fever Hospital, Manchester) and House Physician (Edinburgh Royal Infirmary).

Harold received his commission in the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Lieutenant in May 1915 and was promoted to Captain in May 1916.

On 2nd September 1916 he was in the Mametz area of France attending the 26th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery when he was killed, along with two other officers, by a bursting shell. He was just 27 years old.

Harold Heafford Proudfoot is buried at Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, Grave VIII. I. 7.

He is remembered on the Loughborough Carillon War Memorial, St. Peter's Church Mountsorrel Roll of Honour, Edinburgh University's Roll of Honour, Manchester University's Roll of Honour, Rawlins Old Quornians Association Roll of Honour, Loughborough Grammar School's Roll of Honour and the Lenton War Memorial, Nottingham.

In 1917 probate on Harold's estate was granted to his father at 279 Derby Road, Nottingham. By 1920 his parents had moved to Woodhouse Road, Quorn, and later to Sandymount, Woodward Avenue, Quorn where they spent the remainder of their lives.

Second Lieutenant Albert William Howard (Bert) Purnell

 

120th Siege Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery.

Died of Wounds 20th November 1917, Aged 24.

Buried Harlebeke New British Cemetery I. C. 16.         

 

Albert was the son of Mr. Walter & Alice Purnell of Burton Walks, Loughborough. He joined the Army soon after the outbreak of war, and was with the motor transport until early 1917, going out to France in October 1914. When he came home he took up a commission. In August after passing through the cadet course at Bournemouth, he was gazetted to the Royal Garrison Artillery, and left for France October 1917. Information received stated that he was in charge of an observation post well up in the front at the time he was missed, so that he may possibly be a prisoner of war, he was educated at the Loughborough Grammar school, and on leaving there went into the engineering department at the Empress Works, where his father is a director. After staying there a short time he went to Germany and remained there four years, studying engineering, He returned home one year before the war.

Gunner 149601 John Herbert Putt

 

D Bty. 86th Bde, Royal Field Artillery.

Killed in Action 29th April 1918,  Aged 24.

Buried Blangy-Tronville Communal  Cemetery Somme 20.         

 

John's sisters H. and G. Putt of 17 Rendell Street received information that their youngest brother, Bombardier J. H. Putt R.F.A., was killed in action on April 29th. Previous to enlisting in May 1916, he was employed by Mr. T. Sleigh Forest road. He had a brother in India and another in Scotland wounded. Bdr, Putts Major, writing to the bereaved sisters says that they all regretted his death which must have been instantaneous, and he would be greatly missed. He had done such splendid work out there and was always brave and cool in times of danger. The Corporal of the section who had known Bdr, Putt since he joined the battery, says that an enemy shell bursted on the building where several were billeted, and he was killed instantly with another comrade, while others were wounded. He was highly respected by the officers, N.C.O.'s and men of the battery.