Author Archives: mikebriggs1910

About mikebriggs1910

Professor of Genetics at Newcastle University | Rare Disease Researcher | Yorkshire Cricket & Psychedelic Rock | Mostly on the Fells

Spanish Flu and the 5th Reserve Battalion during November 1918

Background

On the 1st September 1916 the 5th Reserve Battalion Notts & Derby Regiment was formed through the amalgamation of the 3/5th and 3/6th.

The Reserve Battalions were first station at Swanick before moving to Lincolnshire in mid-1916. At this time they were house in huts around Saltfleet, Louth and Somercotes.


The training of conscripted soldiers during 1918

From examining the Army Service Records of men that were mobilised during 1918 it would appear that the 3rd, 4th and 5th Reserve Battalions provided significant training of the new recruits.


Casualties suffered by the 5th Reserve Battalion (1915-1918)

According to Soldiers Died in the Great War (1914-19) only nine men died whilst serving with the 5th Reserve Battalion and for most of these their service records are available.

  • 1414 Dmr Joseph Albert Lomas 30th December 1915 of general tuberculosis
  • 242142 Pte John Pattison 29th June 1916
  • 202721 Pte Frederick Wheeler 1st October 1917
  • 268967 Pte William Hancock 30th May 1918
  • 118287 Pte H Street 30th June 1918
  • 119037 Pte Charles Baker Whilloughby 25th July 1917 of pneumonia
  • 241053 Pte Herbert Steeples 16th August 1918 of cerebro-spinal meningitis
  • 119042 Pte Charles Henson 20th August 1918 of ‘spinal fever’
  • 118881 Pte Robert Wheatley 30th October 1918 of influenza

It would appear that the first cases of ‘influenza’ were contracted during the summer of 1918.


Spanish flu strikes during November

In contrast to SDGW the Common War Graves Commission lists a further 7 men that died between the 14th-19th November 1918.

  • 2/Lieutenant George Rodney Seneschall aged 24. Son of Mr. R. and Mrs. A. Seneschall, of 43, Salisbury St., Long Eaton.
  • 120935 Pte Joseph Holt aged 31. A coal miner from Kirkby who was mobilised and posted to the 5th Res Battn on the 1st August 1918. He was admitted to Hospital on the 13th November and died at Louth in the VAD Hospital 9 days later. Son of Mary Ann Laban (formerly Holt), of Mount Pleasant Rd., Castle Gresley, Burton-on-Trent, and the late James Alfred Holt. Born at Linton Heath.

    120963 Pte John Lowbridge aged 29. A miner from Chesterfield who was mobilised and posted to the 5th Res Battn on the 1st August 1918. He was admitted to Hospital  on the 13th November and died at Louth in the VAD Hospital 3 days later. Son of John and Emma Lowbridge, of Pear Tree Cottage, Bridge St., Pilsley.


    121031 Pte Frank Edward Bennett a coal miner from Pleasley Hill. who was mobilised and posted to the 5th Res Battn on the 8th August 1918. He was admitted to Hospital on the 11th November and died at Grimsby Military Hospital 5 days later. 


    121038 Pte John Jackson aged 33. A shunter from Kilburn in Derby who was mobilised and posted to the 5th Res Battn on the 8th August 1918. He was admitted to Hospital on the 9th November and died at Grimsby Military Hospital 6 days later. Son of Peter and Mary Jackson, of Repton, Derby, husband of Annie Jackson of Rueson Green, Kilburn, Derby.


    121043 Pte William Woolins aged 19. A miner from Codnor who was who was mobilised and posted to the 5th Res Battn on the 9th August 1918. He was admitted to Hospital on the 10th November and died at Grimsby Military Hospital 10 days later. Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Woollins, of Church St., Waingroves, Codnor, Derby.


    121238 Pte Stephen Parish aged 32. A miner who was mobilised and posted to the 5th Res Battn on the 2nd September 1918. He was admitted to Hospital on the 8th November and died at Louth in the VAD Hospital 7 days later. Husband of Florie Parish, of 17, Hugley Rd., Halesowen, Birmingham.

VAD Hospital in Louth where many of the men died of Spanish Flu

Training and transfer of men conscripted into the Sherwood Foresters in 1918

Been looking at how the 1917-8 conscripts were trained and posted overseas……

Quite interesting really. The 3rd and 4th Reserve Battalions in the Northeast and the 5th Reserve in Saltfleet appear to have undertaken most of the training and men were then posted onto just several different Battalions via the Infantry Base Depots.

Time to complete the story of the 2/6th Battalion attack on Passchendale Ridge in September 1917

Realised that I have two Victory Medals from men that were casualties during that attack so it is time to tell their story……the best that I can.

2505/240611 Pte Thomas Henry Mainwaring from Ashbourne

240611 Mainwaring

2893/240787 Sergeant Oscar Hubbuck from Brampton

2893 Hubbuck medal2893-hubbock-wounding-1917