Category Archives: Notable event

On 29th January 1918 – men of the Robin Hoods join the High Peak Territorials

t7-robin-hood-rifles29 Jan 18: 10 Officers and 185 OR posted from 1/7th Sherwood Foresters and joined the Battalion.

1/6th Battalion War Diary [WO/95/2694]

Nominal Roles will be sent to the Battalion as early as possible.

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]


Possible Partial Nominal Roll

Unfortunately the Nominal Roll that was written in January 1917 no longer exists. However by examining the Victory and British War Medal Rolls it is possible to identify some of the men that most likely transferred from the 1/7 to 1/6th Battalion at this time.

  • 959/265035 WO Chris Greenwood
  • 1275/265049 Pte Thomas Wright
  • 1438/265069 Pte William Bradley
  • 1571/265117 Sgt Albert Henry Crofts
  • 1659/265146 L/Cpl Ernest Young
  • 1719/265172 Pte Fred Pilgrim
  • 1865/265215 Pte Walter Arthur Wilkinson
  • 2035/265290 L/Segt Claudius Richards
  • 2049/265295 Sgt Joseph Arthur Riffele
  • 2111/265329 Pte Walter Alford
  • 2113/265331 L/Sgt Percy Wallace Haskard
  • 2150/265352 Sgt Walter Leonard Moult
  • 2209/265385 Pte Edward Donnelly
  • 2301/265428 Sgt John William Sewell
  • 2344/265450 Pte Frederick Samuel Allen
  • 2346/265451 Pte Herbert Boot
  • 2348/265452 Pte Oliver Crump
  • 2379/265467 Pte Joseph Winfield
  • 2428/265491 Pte Samuel Henry Brindley
  • 2442/265495 Sgt Joseph Franklin Macklin
  • 2456/265503 Pte James Brady
  • 2527/265533 Pte William Moody
  • 2654/265606 L/Cpl George Frank Quinney
  • 2715/265639 Pte Sidney Pattinson Roe
  • 2729/265645 Pte Ralph Clifford Storer
  • 2824/265693 Pte George William Pare
  • 2867/265714 C/Sgt James Spencer
  • 2884/265724 Pte William Guildford
  • 3069/265806 Pte Thomas Allen
  • 3122/265830 Pte Albert Bland
  • 3134/265837 Pte William Joseph Watson
  • 3339/265935 Pte Ernest Parker
  • 3465/266009 Pte Percy Morrison Stevenson
  • 3534/266045 Pte Arthur Gunn
  • 3552/266053 Pte Arthur William Brown
  • 7119/267881 Pte John Albert Trueman
  • 267891 Pte Albert Edward Barker
  • 7156/267896 Pte Herbert Clay
  • 7176/267908 Pte Albert Towle
  • 7200/267922 Pte James Lomas
  • 7202/267923 Pte George Worsencroft
  • 7249/267946 Pte Frederick Chalres Wisby
  • 7262/267958 Pte Charles William Massingale
Note that all the men have 4-digit Territorial Force number indicating that they arrived in France in 1915 or 1916

 

On 26th January 1918 the two Robin Hood Battalions are amalgamated

t7-robin-hood-rifles26/1/1918: Orders have been received to the effect that 1/7th Sherwood Foresters will be amalgamated with the 2/7th Sherwood Foresters.

A nucleus of 12 Officers and 200 Other Ranks to be sent to 2/7th Sherwood Foresters and remainder of 1/7th Sherwood Foresters to be sent as drafts to the remaining three Battalions of the 139th Brigade. The brigade is then henceforward to be composed of three Battalions instead of four.amalgamation

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

Joseph William Jeffcoate and the lost graves of Lens

On the 1st July 1917 the 1/5th Battalion attack the German forward positions at N13 (white circles). See report here Pages from WO-95-2693-21:5th 1st July 1917

Map showing the area of attack by the 1/5th Battalion (white circles) and the locations of the four bodies identified after the War

What remains a mystery is why the bodies of Alfred Burnett, Frank Praill and Joseph Jeffcoate were found so far from the area of attack by the 1/5th Battalion.

5th Casualties July 1917Forty six men of the 1/5th Battalion were killed on the 1st July 1917 although many of these were originally posted as missing.

The graves of only four men are now known and these were recovered during the battlefield clearances of the 1920s


201347 Pte Joseph William JeffcoateJeffcoate casualty

Joseph was originally posted missing after the 1st July 1917, but his widow was not awarded a pension until February 1918.

JeffcoateJeffcoate discJoseph’s body was discovered at M6b in 1922-23 and identified by his disc and name on cross. He is now buried in Loss British Cemetery.


203506 Sergeant Arthur Edward Trenam aged 26Trenam

Trenam reburialArthur was recorded as killed in action on the 1st July and his body was later exhumed from N.13.c.6.5. close to where the 1/5th Battalion originally attacked.


203475 L/Cpl Alfred William Burnett aged 29

Burnett casuallty

BurnettAlfred was originally posted missing after the 1st July 1917 but his body was later exhumed in 1919 and he was reburied in MAROC British Cemetery.

Alfred’s sister later wrote to the War Office complaining about them sending blood stained possessions belonging to her brother (see below).Burnett Letter


202191 Pte Frank PraillPraill casualty

praill gravePraill spoon

Frank was originally posted missing after the 1st July 1917 but his body was later exhumed in 1919 and identified by his spoon. He was now reburied in Loos British Cemetery.

For more information on Frank see here

On this day 1st July 1917

1.7.1917 Trenches: In conjunction with rest of Division one Company (“A” Company) attacked German positions West of Lens. Objective was gained but was not held.St Pierre 1917

Casualties during the operation:-

  • 2/Lieut RCF DOLLEY missing
  • Lieut J Taylor wounded
  • 2/Lieut TAD MABBOTT wounded
  • Other Ranks – 8 killed, 29 wounded, 4 wounded and missing, 3 missing.Casualties 1st July 1917Dolley small

Reginald Charles Francis Dolley

1/6th Battalion War Diary [WO/95/2694]


1 July 1917 casualties139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

On this day 3rd April 1917

3.4.1917 LIGNY-LES-AIRE: Annual Dinner given by remaining Sergeants of the original Sergeants Mess to the remaining Officers who were present at the first Dinner at BRAINTREE in February 1915.

List of Officers, Warrant Officers and Sergeants present at the Dinner held on 3rd April 1917Officers Arpil 1917

  • Lieutenant Colonel John Eaton Blackwell DSO (8th Battn)
  • Major Cyril Benton Johnson
  • Surgeon Major Arthur Wilson Shea
  • Captain William Seaton
  • Captain Victor Owen Robinson
  • Captain Cyril John Wheatcroft
  • Captain Charles Victor Henry Cheatham Blackwall
  • Captain Edeward Mallalieu Brooke-Taylor
  • Captain Joseph Tolson
  • Captain Humphrey Henry Jackson
  • Lieutenant Brian Eccles Johnson
  • Lieutenant Joshua Taylor
  • Lieutenant Donald Storrs Fox
  • Lieutenant and Quartermaster William Duncan Jamieson
  • 4508 RSM Herbert Henry Jackman
  • 166 RQMS William Barker
  • 356 CSM Thomas William Slater
  • 570 CSM George William Dakin
  • 2410 CSM Thomas Jackson Henshall
  • 170 CQMS Sampson Bennett
  • 265 CQMS John William Mycock
  • 812 CQMS Hubert Bacon
  • 1270 CQMS Thomas Jackson
  • 744 Sergeant James McMahon
  • 1767 Sergeant William John MacFarland
  • 570 Sergeant James Miller
  • 76 Sergeant William Kay
  • 1865 Sergeant Fred Pott
  • Sergeant S Burke
  • 146 Sergeant William Bramwell
  • Sergeant J Mellor (5th Battalion)

Arrival of the ‘Newton Pippin’ Grenades

We spent the remainder of Christmas Week quietly and about New Year’s Day 1917 an issue of a new Rifle Grenade arrived in the trenches. The grenade which had been given the name “Newton Pippin” after the apple was very vicious and had a range of 400 yards and because there was a danger when being fired from a rifle of a premature detonation it was considered safer to attach a cord to the rifle trigger and pull it from behind a sandbag barricade.

Henry NewtonHenry Newton (1880-1959) designer of the “Newton Pippin” rifle grenade and a Captain in the 5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters.

They were new to this part of the front and therefore treated with suspicion and care. The Commanding Officer gave me instructions to operate the grenade against the German dugouts and emplacements behind the German front line so for 3 or 4 days we prepared a number of emplacements in the front line or just behind. It was a reasonable understanding on the part of the inhabitants of the front line trenches that if the Sector was reasonably quiet it should be left that way. They did not welcome any introduction of new weapons because as soon as something new was tried out the Germans retaliated with all sorts of flak, trench mortars, minewerfers, shrapnel and high explosive shells which of course soon made life very unhealthy indeed.

On the 3rd January we sallied forth from the support line about 30 strong carrying our stock of Newton Pippins in cases. We arrived at our prepared emplacements and soon the word went round that we intended to use them against the enemy so extra steps were taken to get some shelter from the resultant retaliation. The first grenade was pushed down the muzzle of the rifle, the range checked by means of lowering or raising the muzzle. I attached the cord to the trigger took the end round the protective barricade and making sure that my men were all well out of the way pulled the cord.

Crack went the cartridge and away soared the grenade. We followed the course and the explosion in the German rear. It was marvellous and very effective. This was just what we wanted. I loaded – again the same result. The Germans who I suppose were considering the new weapon were up to now fairly quiet but I knew from experience that they were considering the range factor. How far and from which direction had the grenade come? I know also that one of the enemy had been detailed to watch and listen for the crack of the cartridge or the twang of a catapult.

I loaded again, pulled the cord and away went the grenade – the subsequent explosion amongst the German dugouts, then about a couple of minutes afterwards I heard the unmistakable thump in the German line of trench mortar. Down it came just behind us, then another thump and another crack, one on our front line. They were feeling for our position but they had not got the range. I fired two more mortars. It was time to pack up and get back to safety of our dugout. It was very unfair of us to create this unhealthy disturbance in the front line but the job had to be done however unpleasant.

Next day we repeated the dose and a few senior officers came to observe the result of this remarkable weapon. The retaliation this time was very severe and of course the plea from our front line was to get out and leave them in peace.

[2305 Pte Frank Longson]

Despite the retaliation of the German artillery no men of the 139th Brigade were killed during these few days.