Author Archives: mikebriggs1910

About mikebriggs1910

I'm not a Historian by profession - merely an (over) enthusiastic amateur. By day I'm a Professor of Genetics at Newcastle University with a translation research interest in rare bone diseases. At weekends I can be classified as a Yorkshire Cricket & Psychedelic Rock fan, but mostly I'm just on the Fells (or in the pub - when they were open!).

663/240052 Sergeant Frank Greatorex from Clay Cross

Enlisted in May 1908 and arrived in France in February 1915. Caught pneumonia in May 1918, returned to England and was discharged in February 1919.

Medals awarded to Frank Greatorex (image courtesy of Shane Harper)
Medal Index Card
Frank only served overseas with the 1/6th Battalion
Frank was treated for pneumonia at the 23 CCS and 18th General Hospital before being transferred to England on the 16th May 1918.

172/238002 Sergeant James Mellor from Derbyshire

A pre-War Volunteer who enlisted into the Territorial Force in April 1908. Arrived in France in February 1915 and served with “D” Company. Wounded at Kemel in May 1915. Disembodied in January 1919.

Awarded the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal in April 1913 (image courtesy of Shane Harper)
James served with the 1/6th and 1/5th Battalions

The short lived Hunmanby Camp

August 1914

#1715: The 7th (Nottingham) Battalion – the ‘Robin Hood Rifles’
#1512: The 6th (Derbyshire) Battalion
#1514: The 5th (Derby) Battalion
#604: “The Brimington Lads” the 6th (Derbyshire) Battalion
#601: Captain Gilbert Heathcote’s C “Ashbourne and Buxton” Company, the 6th (Derbyshire) Battalion
Hunmanby Camp August 1914

2190 Pte Walter Edward Lamb from Chapel-en-le-Frith

A pre-War Territorial who originally served with ‘H’ (Whaley Bridge, New Mills and Hayfield) Company and arrived in France in February 1915 with ‘B’ (Whaley and Chapel) Company. Wounded by a shell explosion in Ypres on 4th July 1915. Discharged due to wounds in May 1916.

The casualties numbered thirty-two; nine men were killed or died of their wounds and another 23 were wounded. 

On 4th July a routine fatigue party 200 strong and under the command of Captain Edgar Heathcote marched to the front line, but came under heavy shellfire on the return journey:-

“On the Saturday night we went up to the lines on fatigue, and travelled up a long way in motor lorries; it was quite an exciting journey for us after we left the lorries to march through Ypres, especially as for many of us it was the first experience of the war. Fritz was sending over a few gas shells and we were all sneezing and rubbing our eyes. We drew spades and set off after a short rest, landed at the work, finished off fairly quickly and started for home – home consisting of bivvies made from water-proof sheets, and some of us hadn’t even got those. We had a pretty rough journey coming through Ypres, had just downed tools and started the march towards the houses, when Fritz began shelling; of course he managed to get a lucky shot right in the middle of us, killing and wounding about half the party, many of whom had not yet even seen the trenches”.

[Battalion History]

See here https://derbyshireterritorials.uk/the-great-war-1914-1918/1915-2/ypres/

1719/265172 Pte Fred Pilgrim from Nottingham

A Pre-War Territorial who enlisted in February 1913. Arrived in France with the 46th Division in February 1915. Transferred to the 1/6th Battalion – probably in January 1917. Disembodied in March 1919.

Fred’s WW1 Medal entitlement including his Masonic Medal

Medal Index Card summarising his War experience

Fred was admitted with influenza to No2 General Hospital at Havre on the 25th June 1916 (?) suggesting that he missed the debacle that was the ‘1st day of the Somme’.

Medal Roll

Fred was still serving with the 1/7th Battalion at the time of the Territorial Force renumbering and was issued with the Regimental number 265172, which was with the block assigned to the 7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (265001-305000).

It is highly likely that Fred was to the 1/6th Battalion when the 1/7th Battalion was disbanded in January 1917.