Ex­pe­ri­enced heavy en­emy ar­tillery and gas shelling

Wounded and also suf­fered poi­son­ing

Loughborough Echo - - LOOKING BACK -

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 June 1918.

Ever­ard Bernard Clarke.

EVER­ARD Bernard Clarke was born in Lough­bor­ough in the late spring of 1899.

He was the son of James William Clarke and his wife Emma Teresa (née Cowlam) who were mar­ried on 28th July 1880 at the Catholic Chapel, Lough­bor­ough.

Ever­ard’s father was a house painter and his mother a dress­maker.

In 1901 the Clarke fam­ily lived in Grif­fin Place, 70 Ashby Square, Lough­bor­ough, next door to Ever­ard’s wid­owed grand­mother, Maria Cowlan) but by 1911 had moved to 6 Burleigh Road. Ever­ard had four broth­ers Arthur, Ge­orge, James and Fred­er­ick and two sisters Mary and Frances. Three other sib­lings had died young.

Ever­ard’s ser­vice pa­pers have not sur­vived but he en­listed in about Oc­to­ber 1917 and joined the 2/6th South Stafford­shire Reg­i­ment as Pri­vate 46807. The pre­cise date on which Ever­ard was sent to France is un­known but the 2/6th Bat­tal­ion re­ceived drafts of re­in­force­ments on 10th March and on the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 23rd April 1918 and Ever­ard could have been in any one of th­ese drafts.

On 10th March 1918 the 2/6th South Stafford­shires were in re­serve and camped at Mory l’Ab­baye. From 10th to the night of the 19/20th March the bat­tal­ion pro­vided large overnight work­ing par­ties for dig­ging and wiring in nearby de­fence sys­tems.

On sev­eral oc­ca­sions the en­emy shelled ar­eas near the camp and the men were on ‘Stand to’ each day. The bat­tal­ion then went into the front line trenches in the Bul­le­court right sub-sec­tor.

On 21st March, the first day of the German Spring Of­fen­sive, the back ar­eas of the front line and the sup­port lines were heav­ily bom­barded with high ex­plo­sives and gas shells by the en­emy.

The en­emy then at­tacked in mass for­ma­tion and cap­tured the bat­tal­ion’s front line and head­quar­ters. Twenty-three of­fi­cers and 600 Or­di­nary Ranks of the bat­tal­ion were found to be miss­ing.

Af­ter re­peated attacks by the en­emy over the next two days the re­main­der of the

bat­tal­ion was obliged to with­draw to a ridge over­look­ing Ervillers which they held un­til re­lieved by the Suf­folks.

The bat­tal­ion then marched to Mi­rau­mont, en­trained for Al­bert, and marched to Bouz­in­court. Over the next four days, 25th-28th March, the bat­tal­ion marched via Beau­court to Can­das, en­trained for Au­vi­gny and trav­elled by lorry to Gauchin-Le­gal. Here they were bil­leted in the chateau and on 30th March the bat­tal­ion and bil­lets were in­spected by HM King Ge­orge V.

On 1st April the bat­tal­ion marched to Houdain, en­trained for Proven, and marched to Wa­tou where train­ing took place un­til 9th April. On 10th April the bat­tal­ion marched to Poper­inghe, took a train to Quin­ton Sid­ing and pro­ceeded to a camp near Ypres.

On the fol­low­ing day, af­ter be­ing shelled by the en­emy while in the camp, the bat­tal­ion moved to the sup­port line trenches at Pass­chen­daele.

On 12th April they were or­dered to with­draw from the line, re­turn to Wieltze sta­tion and en­train for Brand­hoek. From Brand­hoek the bat­tal­ion marched via Vlamert­inghe and Ren­inghelst to Locre and on 15th April went into the front line south-east of Bailleul.

As soon as the bat­tal­ion reached the front line the en­emy put down a heavy bar­rage on the rear lines and launched an at­tack, forc­ing the bat­tal­ion to re­treat to a po­si­tion west of Bailleul. This new po­si­tion was suc­cess­fully held de­spite heavy en­emy shelling and ma­chine gun fire un­til the Royal Scots were able to es­tab­lish a firm line nearby.

The bat­tal­ion then moved to Canada Corner Camp, hav­ing suf­fered an­other 95 ca­su­al­ties. Be­tween 16th and 18th April, while the bat­tal­ion was in camp, the camp was shelled sev­eral times.

On 18th April the bat­tal­ion marched to Terdeghem, near Steen­vo­orde, and on 19th to a camp at Elverd­inghe. Be­tween 21st and 26th April the bat­tal­ion was in train­ing at Rous­brugge be­fore mov­ing to Ren­inghelst on 27th April and oc­cu­py­ing the Ren­inghel­stOud­er­dom re­serve line on 28th April.

Here they ex­pe­ri­enced heavy en­emy ar­tillery ac­tiv­ity and gas shelling

Dur­ing the first five days of May the bat­tal­ion pro­vided work­ing par­ties for the Royal En­gi­neers, dur­ing which time there were a few more ca­su­al­ties. The pre­cise point at which Ever­ard was wounded is un­known but he was taken to hos­pi­tal in Rouen and died there of his wounds, aged 19, on 1st June 1918.

Ever­ard’s father and mother re­ceived a let­ter from the ma­tron of the hos­pi­tal con­cern­ing the last hours of their youngest son.

The ma­tron said their son re­ceived se­ri­ous wounds in the arms and later de­vel­oped gas poi­son­ing.

He was taken into the op­er­at­ing the­atre and ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble done to drain off the poi­son, and she added; ‘Dur­ing the last few hours, when he re­alised the end was near, he asked the sis­ter to write to his mother and fam­ily and say that ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble had been done and he was ready to go. He was such a splen­did pa­triot, and every­one who knew him miss him so much’.

Ever­ard was buried in St. Sever Ceme­tery Ex­ten­sion, Rouen, Grave Q. II. F. 16. He is re­mem­bered on the me­mo­rial in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Lough­bor­ough, and on the Car­il­lon.

Ever­ard’s brother Fred served with the Le­ices­ter­shire Reg­i­ment and Royal Field Ar­tillery and sur­vived the war.

Thomas Pep­per.

Thomas Pep­per was born in late 1880 in Lough­bor­ough and bap­tised on 16th March 1881 at All Saints Church, Lough­bor­ough.

He was the youngest son of Henry Pep­per and his wife Martha (née Brooks, or Brookes) who were mar­ried at Emmanuel Church, Lough­bor­ough, on 12th Au­gust 1860.

Thomas’ father was a frame­work knit­ter of cot­ton hosiery and the fam­ily lived at 3 Court D, Pin­fold Gate, Lough­bor­ough. Thomas had five broth­ers William, Harry, Joseph, Arthur and Ge­orge and two sisters Emma and Mary.

In 1886, when Thomas was five, his mother died but his sis­ter Emma took over the run­ning of the house­hold in Pin­fold Gate and looked af­ter her father and the four youngest chil­dren.

Thomas’ father died in 1900 and Thomas, who was now an iron turner, went to live with his brother William, wife Alice and fam­ily at 27 Rose­bery Street. Be­tween 1901 and 1902 he moved to Cob­den Street.

Thomas mar­ried El­iz­a­beth Selby, who also lived in Cob­den Street, on 25th Jan­uary 1902 at Holy Trin­ity Church, Lough­bor­ough. The cou­ple went to live at 36 Welling­ton Street and by 1911 had four chil­dren Thomas Leonard, Gla­dys, Elsie and Lil­ian.

Be­tween 1913 and 1918 they had four more chil­dren: Arthur, Eric, Dora and Eva and moved to 109 Sta­tion Road.

The date of Thomas’ en­list­ment is un­known as his ser­vice pa­pers have not sur­vived but he was prob­a­bly con­scripted in late 1916.

At the time he en­listed he was work­ing at the Brush Com­pany as a black­smith’s striker.

He joined the 2/5th Bat­tal­ion of the Le­ices­ter­shire Reg­i­ment as Pri­vate 3616. He was sub­se­quently posted to the 11th (Ser­vice) Bat­tal­ion (Mid­land Pioneers) of the Le­ices­ter­shire Reg­i­ment as Pri­vate 241292 and is likely to have been among one of the many drafts of re­in­force­ments sent to the 11th Bat­tal­ion be­tween July and De­cem­ber 1917.

Pi­o­neer bat­tal­ions were cre­ated to pro­vide the Royal En­gi­neers with skilled labour for build­ing roads and trenches, but they were still fight­ing sol­diers. On 1st July 1917 the 11th Bat­tal­ion was at Mazin­garbe where it had been since the be­gin­ning of Fe­bru­ary 1917, com­plet­ing tun­nelling work. Nearly ev­ery day dur­ing this pe­riod there had been ca­su­al­ties among the bat­tal­ion and hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions were com­par­a­tively high. On 2nd July the bat­tal­ion went by bus to Wa­tou and marched to a camp of pitched tents for in­struc­tion un­til 18th July. On 19th July the bat­tal­ion trans­ferred by bus to a pitched camp at Dicke­busch.

From here they worked on the con­struc­tion of light rail­ways, track lay­ing, bal­last­ing and grad­ing through­out Au­gust and Septem­ber. In Oc­to­ber they moved into skele­ton houses in Ypres and be­gan mak­ing them into bil­lets as well as tak­ing turns by com­pany at a rest camp in Eecke. At the be­gin­ning of Novem­ber the bat­tal­ion re­turned to Béthune, marched to Petit Servins, went by bus to Beaulen­court and marched to tents in Des­sart Wood. Work from here in­cluded road re­pair­ing, dig­ging a pipe trench, fill­ing shell holes, dis­man­tling old dugouts and load­ing and un­load­ing. On 25th Novem­ber the bat­tal­ion moved to Ba­paume to work on a broad gauge rail­way near Havrin­court.

In early De­cem­ber the bat­tal­ion was bil­leted in trenches near Ribecourt and then in tents at Etri­court be­fore mov­ing by bus to Hen­dri­court-lez-Ransart for rest, train­ing and ri­fle drill un­til 26th De­cem­ber.

On Boxing Day the bat­tal­ion moved to Cour­celles-le-Comte to be­gin con­struct­ing Nis­sen huts and cook­houses for a new camp on the Achiet-le-Grand to Achiet-le-Petit road. This work lasted un­til 19th Jan­uary 1918, af­ter which the men went to Beaumetz-les-Cam­brai and Beugny to lay duck­boards, ex­ca­vate sump holes, deepen trenches, and mine for new dugouts.

The bat­tal­ion also took over eight Lewis gun posts from the Royal Scots. In Fe­bru­ary the bat­tal­ion was tun­nelling and wiring, dig­ging drains on the Vaulx-Morchies road, re­pair­ing the Vaulx-Lag­ni­court road and grad­ing and cut­ting a rail­way.

In March the bat­tal­ion be­gan ex­ca­vat­ing a tun­nel, clean­ing and widen­ing a road to Lag­ni­court, mak­ing dugouts and screens along the Morchies road and con­struct­ing a trench rail­way in Lag­ni­court.

This work con­tin­ued un­til 20th March, just be­fore the en­emy be­gan a Spring Of­fen­sive. On 21st March 1918 the bat­tal­ion was or­dered to ‘Stand To’ in the Vaulx-Morchies Line where it suf­fered a heavy en­emy at­tack. Ca­su­al­ties over 21st and 22nd March to­talled 231.

On 23rd March the bat­tal­ion marched via Ba­paume and Achiet-le-Grand to Pi­o­neer Camp, Lo­geast Wood, and were al­most im­me­di­ately or­dered to oc­cupy an out­post po­si­tion on the east­ern edge of the wood.

On the fol­low­ing day they marched to Puisieux-au-Mont and en­trained for Doul­lens. Af­ter one night at Mondi­court or the Citadel on 26th March they en­trained for Pe­sel­hoek or Proven and marched to F Camp.

On 27th March the bat­tal­ion moved to Ryveld where it re­mained un­til 3rd April reequip­ping and train­ing.

On 3rd April they moved by light rail­way from Remu Sid­ing to Hell­fire Corner and went into bil­lets at White Chateau.

From 4th-15th April the bat­tal­ion did gar­ri­son work and also worked on trenches and the for­ward roads be­fore mov­ing to Car­bine Camp. From here they worked on trench con­struc­tion and wiring. On 28th April they moved to Hollis Camp, Brand­hoek, and were or­dered to bat­tle po­si­tions in the Vlamert­inghe-Hal­labast line.

Dur­ing May the men were oc­cu­pied strength­en­ing and im­prov­ing a trench near the Poper­inghe road, main­tain­ing and wiring the Vlamert­inghe line, de­mol­ish­ing huts in Car­bine Camp and sal­vaging ma­te­ri­als, work­ing on an ad­vanced post near Zille­beke and lay­ing duck­board­ing.

Hollis Camp was shelled twice and men also be­came ca­su­al­ties while at work.

On 27th May the en­emy also be­gan a bom­bard­ment and opened an at­tack.

It is not known when Thomas was wounded but he died from his wounds, aged 35, on 3rd Jan­uary 1918 and

was buried in Esquel­becq Ceme­tery, Grave II. E. 14.

Thomas is com­mem­o­rated on the me­mo­rial in the former St. Pe­ter’s Church build­ing, Lough­bor­ough, on the Brush Com­pany Me­mo­rial in the Car­il­lon Mu­seum, and on the Car­il­lon.

Al­bert Ed­ward Stevens.

Al­bert Ed­ward Stevens was born on 30th July 1897 in Lough­bor­ough and bap­tised on 9th Fe­bru­ary 1898 at St. Mary’s Church, Boulton, Der­byshire.

Al­bert was the son of Sa­muel Stevens and his wife Sarah Jane (née Go­drich) who were mar­ried on 14th Septem­ber 1895 at St. Mary’s Church, Boulton.

In 1901 the Stevens fam­ily was liv­ing at 7 Hill Street, Derby, and Al­bert’s father was a rail­way labourer, but in 1903 they moved to Quorn and by 1906 were back in Lough­bor­ough, firstly at 45 Re­gent Street and later at 18A Sta­tion Street.

In Lough­bor­ough Al­bert’s father was em­ployed as a sawyer’s labourer at an en­gi­neer­ing works.

Al­bert had two broth­ers Francis and Ge­orge and four sisters El­iz­a­beth, Emily, Hilda and Winifred. An­other sib­ling Elsie died aged two.

In 1910 young Al­bert, aged 12, got him­self into trou­ble. He was charged with ob­tain­ing by false pre­tences the sum of 1 shilling from Ada Bishop, the money of Al­bert Moon, fruiterer, of Church­gate.

Al­bert was stated to be un­truth­ful but of con­sid­er­able abil­ity which was mis­placed. As Al­bert had al­ready been un­der pro­ba­tion for one month the Bench de­cided to send him to a re­for­ma­tory school for four years.

Al­bert was sent to the Northamp­ton­shire So­ci­ety Re­for­ma­tory School for Boys, Tiffield, near Towces­ter.

The in­dus­trial train­ing in­cluded shoe­mak­ing, tai­lor­ing and tech­ni­cal draw­ing.

Phys­i­cal drill was a reg­u­lar part of the boys’ rou­tine and part of the din­ing-room was fit­ted up as a gym­na­sium, where air ri­fle shoot­ing was

also prac­tised. Foot­ball and cricket matches were played with other lo­cal teams, and a fife and drum band was started.

Be­fore Al­bert’s years at Tiffield had ex­pired, how­ever, Mr. Bur­der of Lough­bor­ough, for whom Al­bert had pre­vi­ously done some gar­den­ing, ar­ranged for Al­bert to be re­leased on licence and Al­bert was bound as an ap­pren­tice to Messrs. Bailey and Simp­kin, out­fit­ters, of Mar­ket Place, Lough­bor­ough.

In 1914 Al­bert un­for­tu­nately got into trou­ble again for steal­ing money from some pre-pay­ment gas me­ters in empty houses be­long­ing to Lough­bor­ough Cor­po­ra­tion.

Mr. Bur­der, how­ever, once again spoke up for Al­bert and said that Mr. Bailey, of Bailey and Simp­kin, was quite will­ing to take him back again.

Al­bert was put on pro­ba­tion for two more years.

On 8th Au­gust 1915 Al­bert en­listed with the Royal Navy Vol­un­teer Re­serve (RNVR) as Or­di­nary Sea­man Z/3046 and sent to a train­ing de­pot. Three weeks later, on 2nd Septem­ber, he was trans­ferred to the Royal Marine Divi­sional En­gi­neers as Deal/5171/S.

The en­gi­neer re­cruits com­menced their train­ing at Martin Hill Sta­tion, be­tween Dover and St. Mar­garet’s Bay, be­fore mov­ing to Bland­ford. On 5th De­cem­ber 1915 Al­bert was sent with a draft of men to Mu­dros, a town on the island of Lem­nos in the north Aegean Sea and used as an Al­lied base and har­bour in the Gal­lipoli Cam­paign.

Al­bert ar­rived in Mu­dros on 26th Jan­uary 1916 and joined the 1st Field Com­pany of Royal Naval Di­vi­sion (RND) En­gi­neers who had just re­turned from the Gal­lipoli Penin­sula in Jan­uary 1916.

In April 1916 it was de­cided to bring th­ese troops back to France and at the same time com­mand of the Di­vi­sion was trans­ferred from the Ad­mi­ralty to the War Of­fice. The Di­vi­sion was now re­named the 63rd (Royal Naval) Di­vi­sion.

On 12th May 1916 Al­bert left Mu­dros and ar­rived at Mar­seille on HMT Io­nian on 22nd May. From Mar­seille the com­pany trav­elled by train to Pont Remy, de­train­ing on 24th May and marched to bil­lets at Hoc­quin­court. Head­quar­ters

were at nearby Hal­len­court.

The war di­aries for the com­pany from May to Au­gust 1916 have been lost but the com­pany was pre­sum­ably at­tached the 47th Di­vi­sion with the rest of the Royal Naval Di­vi­sion for as­sim­i­la­tion into the Bri­tish Ex­pe­di­tionary Force and train­ing in the An­gres-Souchez sec­tor of the front.

On 7th Au­gust 1916 Al­bert was ap­pointed to the po­si­tion of Tai­lor (Deputy As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor of Ordnance Ser­vices) but af­ter eleven days he re­turned to the 1st Field Com­pany.

From 1st-16th Septem­ber 1916 the com­pany was at Calonne, work­ing on the con­struc­tion of deep dugouts at Calonne and Aix-Noulette, re­pair­ing and im­prov­ing trenches at Calonne, and dig­ging gun pits at Bul­lyGre­nay.

On 17th Septem­ber they moved via Sains-en-Go­helle and Hersin-Coupigny to Ba­jus. At Ba­jus there were squad and phys­i­cal drills, pa­rades and in­spec­tions and train­ing ses­sions un­til 4th Oc­to­ber when the com­pany moved by march and train to a camp near Acheux. On 6th Oc­to­ber the com­pany marched on to Mailly-Mail­let and again pitched camp.

Work now be­gan in the Serre sec­tor on deep dugouts, on a pipe­line, and at the Royal En­gi­neers Park at Beaus­sart. From 10th Oc­to­ber there was ad­di­tional work in the Redan sec­tor and from 15th Oc­to­ber hut con­struc­tion in the En­gle­belmer sec­tor. Fur­ther work at En­gle­belmer in­cluded mark­ing out assem­bly trenches, im­prove­ments to a pump­ing plant, the con­struc­tion of cages for pris­on­ers, putting up trench mor­tar boards and block­ing up dis­used trenches.

On 7th Novem­ber Al­bert was sent to hos­pi­tal suf­fer­ing from ap­pen­dici­tis. When he re­joined the Royal Naval Di­vi­sion one month later on 7th De­cem­ber he was sent to the 2nd Field Com­pany.

In Jan­uary 1917 the com­pany was in­volved in oper­a­tions on the An­cre, tak­ing over po­si­tions around Grand­court, and after­wards moved to the area of Martin­sart.

On 31st Jan­uary 1917 the three field com­pa­nies of the

Royal Naval Di­vi­sion en­gi­neers were trans­ferred to the Corps of Royal En­gi­neers in the Army. Al­bert be­came Sap­per 207783 in the 248th Field Com­pany, Royal En­gi­neers. From 2nd Fe­bru­ary to 7th March the com­pany was based at Mes­nil. Dur­ing this time they re­paired the Hamel-Beau­court road, Mill Road bridge, and a light rail­way, erected Nis­sen huts at Varennes, made shel­ters for stretch­ers, strength­ened and wired the front line, ex­ca­vated dugouts, deep­ened trenches and re­paired wag­ons.

From 8th to 20th March the com­pany was at Val de Mai­son, on drill and pa­rades in the morn­ings and work­ing in the af­ter­noons. On 21st March they be­gan a six-day move via Barly, Nuncq, Marest and Né­donchel to Oblinghem where they rested un­til 2nd April.

On 3rd April the com­pany moved to Re­breuve to re­pair the Estrée-Couché road and then pro­ceeded to St. Catherine, north of Ar­ras, to mend wells, erect barbed wire in front of the re­serve line, build ar­tillery bridges over trenches, and work on the Ar­ras-Bailleul road. Progress, how­ever, was im­peded by heavy en­emy shelling.

In May the com­pany was con­struct­ing and im­prov­ing camps at Ecoivres. They also mapped out a trench sys­tem prac­tice ground. Dur­ing June the com­pany worked on the front line trench sys­tem, mak­ing fire trenches, drain­ing the area and ex­tend­ing a tramway.

In July the com­pany was in the Gavrelle sec­tor for work in Oppy Wood.

They also re­paired bridges, erected cam­ou­flage and im­proved the back bil­lets and sta­bles. Much of Au­gust and Septem­ber was spent work­ing on the front line trench sys­tem and dugouts as well as erect­ing new divi­sional head­quar­ters. Dur­ing the last week in Septem­ber the com­pany was at Bethen­court in train­ing for ac­tive oper­a­tions.

On 3rd Oc­to­ber the com­pany en­trained at Savy for Proven and pro­ceeded to Herzeele. Here they erected their own camp be­fore be­gin­ning road re­pair work, dig­ging drains and lay­ing and fix­ing duck­boards. On 23rd

Oc­to­ber the com­pany moved to bil­lets by the Yser Canal to lay and fix tramways and re­pair var­i­ous points de­stroyed by shell­fire.

On 4th De­cem­ber they moved to Clifford Camp in the back area to over­haul and clean trans­port ve­hi­cles.

On 8th De­cem­ber the com­pany en­trained at Hopoutre for Ba­paume and marched to camp at Baras­tre. From here they moved up to Etri­court and then Metz to erect wire en­tan­gle­ments on the re­serve line and ex­ca­vate new front and sup­port line trenches. The com­mu­ni­ca­tions trenches were also cleaned. This work con­tin­ued un­til 23rd Jan­uary 1918, when the com­pany left Metz for Bert­in­court for sim­i­lar work there. From 21st Fe­bru­ary -20th March work was completed on the Ribecourt de­fences and on the de­fence sys­tems be­tween Trescault and Ribecourt.

When the Ger­mans opened their Spring Of­fen­sive on 21st March the com­pany was forced into an al­most con­tin­u­ous re­treat to Trescault, Neuville, Ytres, Roc­quigny and then Le Transloy.

On 24th March they held the line west of High Wood with the Drake and Hawke Bat­tal­ions of the Royal Naval Vol­un­teer Re­serve and on 25th March held the flank po­si­tion west of the High Wood to Mart­in­puich road but they were sub­se­quently forced to re­tire across the An­cre. Af­ter de­stroy­ing a bridge and erect­ing bar­ri­cades at Hamel the com­pany moved via Mes­nil to En­gle­belmer.

From 1st-14th April the com­pany dug and wired new front and sup­port lines at En­gle­belmer be­fore mov­ing to Acheux to work on the divi­sional head­quar­ters and for train­ing.

On 24th April they be­gan work on the Vaden­courtVarennes pipe­line and on dry weather tracks in the area. In May the com­pany drained, deep­ened and wired front line trenches and made new com­mu­ni­ca­tions trenches to the front line and out­posts in the En­gle­belmer and Bouz­in­court area. In­ter-sec­tion re­liefs were car­ried out, with one sec­tion kept in re­serve at Clair­faye to make a

dis­in­fect­ing cham­ber for the am­bu­lance and to clean and paint trans­port. On 5th June 1918 the camp out­side En­gel­belmer was shelled by the en­emy.

Al­bert was in a shal­low dugout and a shell hit the roof, killing him in­stantly and wound­ing two oth­ers. He was only 20.

Writ­ing to Al­bert’s par­ents, his Ma­jor, on be­half of the com­pany and him­self, re­gret­ted the loss of one who had been a long time with them, and who had done much good work.

Al­bert was buried the same day in En­gle­belmer Com­mu­nal Ceme­tery Ex­ten­sion, Grave D. 15, the ceme­tery where

sev­eral of his com­rades who fell to­wards the end of 1916 also lay.

The Lieu­tenant for whom Al­bert for some time acted as bat­man, also wrote a mes­sage of con­do­lence and sym­pa­thy to the fam­ily, in which he said: ‘You will miss his cheery let­ters, and my thoughts go out to you in this sad loss.

“One can only trust that when the day breaks and the shad­ows flee away we shall all be reunited once more. May God bless and keep you and yours at this time’.

Al­bert is re­mem­bered on the me­mo­rial in the former St. Pe­ter’s church build­ing, Lough­bor­ough and on the Car­il­lon.

Ever­ard Bernard Clarke

World War One. Army Ef­fi­ciency Tests. Horses and men in gas masks. Septem­ber 1917. Photo Daily Mir­ror

Rus­sian sol­diers seen here suf­fer­ing the ef­fects of poi­son gas be­ing cared for by mem­bers of the Rus­sian Red Cross not far from the front line trenches. Circa Au­gust 1915.

Photo Daily Mir­ror

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