Was ap­pointed town post­man

Loughborough Echo - - NEWS -

THROUGH­OUT the cen­te­nary of the First World War, we have been re­mem­ber­ing the sol­diers from the Lough­bor­ough area who lost their lives while serv­ing their coun­try. Here, with the help of Marigold Cleeve and a small num­ber of re­searchers from the Lough­bor­ough Car­il­lon Tower and War Memo­rial Mu­seum, we look back at more of those who made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice in Au­gust 1917.

Her­bert Hart Court.

Her­bert Hart Court was born at 7A Park Street, Lough­bor­ough, in late 1886 or early 1887.

He was the son of Ed­win Al­bert Court and his wife Cather­ine (née Hart) who were mar­ried at the Gen­eral Bap­tist Chapel in Bax­ter Gate, Lough­bor­ough, on 9th Oc­to­ber 1877.

When Her­bert was born his fa­ther was a com­mer­cial trav­eller in the tim­ber trade but by 1901 he had be­come a tim­ber, slate and builders’ mer­chant.

Her­bert had two broth­ers Al­bert and Arnold and two sis­ters Edith and Eve­line. Her­bert at­tended the Bap­tist Church Sun­day School and in 1911 was a com­mer­cial clerk in the build­ing trade.

Her­bert ap­pears to have en­listed in late 1915. He ini­tially joined the Le­ices­ter­shire Reg­i­ment as Pri­vate 25640 but was trans­ferred to A Coy of the 6th Bat­tal­ion of the Northamp­ton­shire Reg­i­ment some­time in late 1916.

More pre­cise de­tails of his en­list­ment, trans­fer, and ar­rival in France are un­avail­able as his ser­vice record has not sur­vived.

The 6th Northants Bat­tal­ion, how­ever, re­ceived drafts of re­in­force­ments in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber 1916 and also in June 1917 and Her­bert could have been in any one of th­ese three drafts.

On 26th Septem­ber 1916 the 6th Bat­tal­ion took part in the cap­ture of Thiep­val, fol­low­ing which, on 3rd Oc­to­ber, they en­trained at Belle-Eglise and Acheux for Can­das and marched to Berneuil.

Af­ter 10 days in­struc­tion they moved via Beau­val and War­loy to Bouz­in­court and then Al­bert. Sev­eral trench tours fol­lowed, with breaks at War­loy, Al­bert and Ovillers. On 22nd Novem­ber they be­gan a five-day march to Neuf­moulin for re­fit­ting, drill and more train­ing. Be­tween 14th De­cem­ber 1916 and 11th Jan­uary 1917 the bat­tal­ion was at Canchy for train­ing in bomb­ing, sig­nalling and bay­o­net fight­ing.

On 11th Jan­uary 1917 the bat­tal­ion left for Rube­m­pré where they went into the line on 15th. This was fol­lowed by work­ing par­ties or­gan­ised from War­wick, Glouces­ter and McKen­zie Huts be­fore the bat­tal­ion took over part of the bat­tle front on 15th Fe­bru­ary as part of the Op­er­a­tions on the An­cre. On 17th Fe­bru­ary the 6th Northamp­ton­shire Reg­i­ment was the right hand as­sault bat­tal­ion at Boom Ravine, near Mi­rau­mont, with the 11th Royal Fusiliers on their left.

Whilst form­ing up be­fore dawn, the two bat­tal­ions were bom­barded by Ger­man ar­tillery and suf­fered many ca­su­al­ties.

Af­ter be­ing with­drawn to Bouz­in­court the bat­tal­ion trans­ferred to dugouts and tents in Thiep­val Wood.

Be­tween 22nd and 28th March they trans­ferred by bus, train and on foot to Thi­ennes and later to Man­queville for train­ing un­til 26th April. Re­turn­ing by train to Ar­ras on 27th April the bat­tal­ion marched to NeuvilleVi­tasse and two days later went into the trenches west of Chérisy.

On 3rd May 1917 the bat­tal­ion took part in the 3rd Bat­tle of the Scarpe, in­cur­ring 120 ca­su­al­ties.

Re­turn­ing to the Chérisy trenches on 2nd June the bat­tal­ion cap­tured an en­emy trench on the fol­low­ing day. Night bom­bard­ment of the en­emy re­sulted in re­tal­ia­tory ac­tion with Mi­nen­wer­fers. In mid-June the bat­tal­ion marched to War­lin­court where train­ing took place un­til 4th July.

Af­ter War­lin­court the bat­tal­ion moved to Flan­ders, ar­riv­ing at Canal Re­serve Camp north-west of Dick­en­busch on 6th July.

On 3rd Au­gust, in the Bat­tle of Pil­ckem Ridge, the bat­tal­ion was sent into the line, suf­fer­ing heavy shelling and bom­bard­ment.

On 10th Au­gust the men were again or­dered to at­tack and 50 Or­di­nary Ranks were killed and 40 were wounded.

Her­bert, aged 30, was one of those killed. His body was never found and he is com­mem­o­rated on the Menin Gate Memo­rial, Ypres, pan­els 43 and 45, and on the Bax­ter Gate Bap­tist Church Memo­rial as well as on the Car­il­lon.

Her­bert’s brother Arnold served with the Le­ices­ter­shire Reg­i­ment and the Royal En­gi­neers and sur­vived the war.

Arthur Steven­son.

Arthur Steven­son was born in Lough­bor­ough in early 1898.

He was the el­dest son of Arthur Steven­son, a cot­ton pat­tern frame­work knit­ter, and his wife Mary Jane (née Gib­son).

Arthur Ju­nior’s par­ents were mar­ried at Em­manuel Church, Lough­bor­ough, on 19th April 1897.

He had two broth­ers Wal­ter and Leonard and one sis­ter Mary. An­other brother Ge­orge died un­der the age of one.

In 1901 the fam­ily lived at 104 Leopold Street, Lough­bor­ough, but by 1911 had moved to 79 Sta­tion Street.

Arthur Ju­nior’s par­ents later moved to 12 Granville Street and then to 15 Beech­wood Ter­race, Bur­ley, Leeds.

Arthur ap­pears to have en­listed in late 1916.

He joined the 13th (Ser­vice) Bat­tal­ion of the Cheshire Reg­i­ment (in­for­mally known as the Wir­ral Bat­tal­ion) as Pri­vate 292136.

The 13th Cheshires re­ceived a large batch of 178 Or­di­nary Rank re­in­force­ments from Eng­land on 13th Fe­bru­ary 1917 and it seems likely that Arthur was in this batch. It is im­pos­si­ble to know for cer­tain whether this was the case, how­ever, as Arthur’s ser­vice pa­pers have not sur­vived.

When the re­in­force­ments ar­rived the bat­tal­ion was in train­ing at Carters Camp, De Seule, on the Ypres Salient.

On 20th Fe­bru­ary the bat­tal­ion be­gan a move via Caëstre and Cam­pagne to Ac­quin where they re­mained for just over a month in fur­ther train­ing, in­clud­ing dig­ging and range prac­tice.

At the end of May the bat­tal­ion en­trained at Wat­ten for Bailleul and trav­elled by road to La Crèche.

More work­ing par­ties fol­lowed be­fore the Brigade con­cen­trated at Breer­m­er­schen on 5th June. Here tools, bombs, and flares were is­sued in prepa­ra­tion for an at­tack and on 7th June the bat­tal­ion took part in the Bat­tle of Messines, suf­fer­ing con­sid­er­able ca­su­al­ties.

Dur­ing the rest of June there were sev­eral trench tours in the line amid in­ter­mit­tent shelling. For the re­main­der of June and most of July the bat­tal­ion was train­ing at Ma­tringhem and Abeele and pro­vid­ing work­ing par­ties for road mak­ing.

On 5th Au­gust the bat­tal­ion took over the line at Belle­warde Ridge, with two com­pa­nies at Westhoek Ridge. On 10th Au­gust, from Wind­hoek Ridge, the bat­tal­ion at­tacked the Ger­man front and sup­port lines. 50 Or­di­nary Ranks were killed and 266 were wounded. Arthur, aged 19, was one of those killed.

Arthur’s body was never found. He is re­mem­bered on the Menin Gate Memo­rial, Ypres, pan­els 19-22, and on the memo­rial in the for­mer St. Peter’s Church build­ing, Lough­bor­ough, as well as on the Car­il­lon.

Arthur’s brother Wal­ter served with the Sher­wood Foresters. He sur­vived the war.

Ge­orge Henry Bar­radell.

Ge­orge Henry Bar­radell was born in 1883 at 5 Fen­nel Street, Lough­bor­ough, and bap­tised on 17th Jan­uary 1886 at All Saints Par­ish Church.

He was the el­dest son of Her­bert Bar­radell, a tailor, and his sec­ond wife Mary Lin­coln (née Porter) who had both been wid­owed be­fore mar­ry­ing at All Saints Church on 3rd De­cem­ber 1882.

Ge­orge had three broth­ers Leonard, Ernest and Arthur and one sis­ter Ma­bel. He also had one sur­viv­ing half-sib­ling Lil­lian from his fa­ther’s first mar­riage to Han­nah Ol­liver.

Three other half-sis­ters had died young be­fore Ge­orge was born.

In 1891 the fam­ily lived at 50 Glad­stone Street, Lough­bor­ough, but by 1901 had moved to 56 Ashby Road. Ge­orge’s par­ents later moved to 137 Rat­cliffe Road.

In 1901 Ge­orge, aged 18, was a litho stone pol­isher but in Jan­uary 1904 he was ap­pointed a town post­man in Lough­bor­ough. In June 1905 he be­came a ru­ral post­man on the Lough­bor­ough to Swith­land route and on 8th June 1907 he mar­ried Edith Bux­ton from Crop­well Bishop, Not­ting­hamshire, at All Saints Par­ish Church, Lough­bor­ough.

In Septem­ber 1910 Ge­orge was ap­pointed a post­man at Le­ices­ter and he and Edith moved to 239 Western Road, Le­ices­ter. They later moved to 90 Stu­art Street, Le­ices­ter. Their only child Her­bert was born on 5th June 1914.

Ge­orge en­listed at Le­ices­ter on 6th De­cem­ber 1915 and be­came part of the Army Re­serve.

He was mo­bilised on 8th June 1916 and sent to the Le­ices­ter­shire Reg­i­ment De­pot. On 13th June he was posted to the 3rd Bat­tal­ion of the Le­ices­ters as Pri­vate 30544 and sent to join them at the Hum­ber Gar­ri­son, Pa­tring­ton, near Hull.

On 1st March 1917 Ge­orge went to France, hav­ing been posted to the 6th Bat­tal­ion of the Le­ices­ter­shire Reg­i­ment in the trenches at Ver­melles and in the Ho­hen­zollern Sec­tor.

Not long af­ter­wards, on19th March 1917, Ge­orge was trans­ferred to the 10th Bat­tal­ion of the Cheshire Reg­i­ment and be­came Pri­vate 50633.

On 17th April the bat­tal­ion re­turned to Le Bizet for train­ing and then moved to Ros­sig­nol Le Chien Blanc to work on the light rail­way and build heavy trench mor­tar re­place­ments.

At the be­gin­ning of May there was thir­teen days train­ing at Setques.

On 6th June the bat­tal­ion went into the as­sem­bly trenches and on the fol­low­ing day at­tacked the en­emy in the Bat­tle of Messines, in­cur­ring many ca­su­al­ties.

Af­ter be­ing with­drawn to the sup­port lines the bat­tal­ion was moved to Ravels­burg and then to Den­nebroeucq for train­ing un­til 6th July, af­ter which they trav­elled by bus and lorry to Win­nipeg Camp near Busse­bom. On 9th July they went into the trenches west of Ypres be­fore pro­ceed­ing to Belle­warde Beck to work on the trenches amid en­emy shelling. Fol­low­ing a break at Ren­inghelst they went into the line on 1st Au­gust.

On that day the 10th Cheshires re­lieved the 2nd Northamp­ton­shire Reg­i­ment in sup­port on the newly cap­tured Belle­waarde Ridge. The men were dis­trib­uted in shell­holes in front of and be­hind the ridge and were con­tin­u­ously shelled. This op­er­a­tion was part of the Bat­tle of Pil­ckem Ridge, near Boesinghe, which took place from 31st July to 2nd Au­gust 1917 and was part of the open­ing at­tack of the Pass­chen­daele Of­fen­sive. Af­ter the bat­tle and with his bat­tal­ion pro­ceeded via Half­way House to Van­cou­ver Camp. On 10th Au­gust the bat­tal­ion was or­dered to move up to the front line at Westhoek Ridge where they were heav­ily bom­barded on the fol­low­ing day.

Seventy or­di­nary Ranks were wounded dur­ing this ac­tion and 16 killed.

Ge­orge was one of those wounded and he died from his wounds on 13th Au­gust 1917, aged 34.

He was buried at Li­jssen­thoek Mil­i­tary Ceme­tery, Poper­inghe, Grave XVII. F. 11.

Ge­orge is com­mem­o­rated on the war memo­rial of the Church of the Mar­tyrs, Le­ices­ter, and on the war memo­rial in All Saints Church, Lough­bor­ough, and on the Car­il­lon.

Af­ter her hus­band died Ge­orge’s widow moved back to Lough­bor­ough to 36 Bur­der Street.

Ge­orge’s brother Ernest en­listed with the Le­ices­ter­shire Reg­i­ment in 1914 but was dis­charged as med­i­cally un­fit.

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