Category Archives: New Content

‘Kriegsgefangenen-Sendung’ from 70107 Pte George Wealthall of Nottingham

George was posted to the 16th Battalion, the Chatsworth Rifles with 125 other men in early Sept 1916. These men were issued with the Regimental numbers 70052 to 70177.

In 1916 this numbering system was used to transfer men from the Territorial Battalions of the Sherwood Foresters to the Regular and Service Battalions under Army Order 204/A.C.I. 1499.

George was captured at Thiepval on 9th October during the attack on the SCHWABEN REDOUBT.

War Diary of the Chatsworth Rifles
Trench Map showing Schwaben Redoubt
The Schwaben Redoubt (Art.IWM ART 3000) image: A view across to a redoubt, with shattered trees and wide craters pocking the chalky soil. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

George was interned in Giessen POW Camp when he sent this card.

100055 Pte Samuel Atkinson

100055 Pte Samuel Atkinson

Samuel was born in Essex in 1899 to Samuel Arthur and Annie Louisa in 1899 and was one of four siblings. In 1911 the family was living at 7 Nettleham Road in Lincoln.

Samuel enlisted into the 2/1 Derbyshire Yeomanry in September 1916 aged 18 at which time he was a Bank Clerk. He was examined by the medical board on 15th February 1917 when he was passed fit for military service.

1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters

Service Record for 100055 Pte Samuel Atkinson

Following basic training Samuel embarked from Folkestone on Christmas Eve 1917 and going ‘K’ Infantry Base Depot, where he was transferred to the 2/7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (for record purposes). Samuel was amongst a number of soldiers who at that time were transferred to the Sherwood Foresters from the Derbyshire Yeomanry and Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers).

Samuel served was transferred the 1st Battalion on the 29th December and served with them until his wounding in May 1918.

On 27th May 1918 the 1st Battalion were engaged in the front line trenches:-

“1 a.m. Enemy barrage opened. VENTELAY neighbourhood + transport lines gassed. About 4.30 a.m. Battalion ordered forward to AISNE LINE……casualties heavy”

Samuel suffered a severe gun shot wound to the head and was admitted to the 11th Stationary Hospital in Rouen.

Service Record for 100055 Pte Samuel Atkinson

1/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters

Following his recovery Samuel was sent to ‘D’ Infantry Base Depot and then posted to the 1/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters on July 14th 1918.

1/5th Reinforcements – July 1918

Samuel was one of 130 men that were posted to the 1/5th Battalion in July 1915.

Service Record for 100055 Pte Samuel Atkinson

Samuel was wounded a second time on the 22nd July 1918 whilst the Battalion was holding front line trenches in the ESSARS Sector and were raided by the Germans.

1/5th Battalion casualties – July 1918

Samuel was on of 30 men of the 1/5th Battalion who were wounded in July 1918, he appears to have remained ‘at duty’.

Storming the Hindenburg Line

1/5th Battalion War Diary October 1915.

Samuel died of his wounds on the 3rd October 1918 as the 1/5th Battalion were attacking the villages of Ramicourt and Montbrehain.

“Killed in action or died of wounds on or since 3.10.18. Body buried by Rev M H ?? and 32 MGC 11.10.18”

Magny La Fosse Map
Magny La Fosse burial record

Samual was originally buried in Magny La Fosse Churchyard Extension [62b. H.25. a.9.2.] alongside 14077 Driver Arthur Johnson from Kiverton Park near Sheffield.

MAGNY-LA-FOSSE CHURCHYARD EXTENSION was made by an Advanced Dressing Station in October 1918, and contained the graves of seven soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from Australia and three men of the Chinese Labour Corps.

In 1924 Samual and Arthur’s bodies were exhumed and they were reburied in Tincourt Cemetery.

George Henry Raynor and the 19th (Reserve) Battalion, Sherwood Foresters

An interesting (and rare) find on Ancestry yesterday; the Attestation of George Henry Raynor from Nottingham into the 19th Battalion Sherwood Foresters.

This short-lived Battalion was formed at Brocklesby in August 1915 from depot companies of the 15th, 16th and 17th Bns. Moved to Ripon in November 1915 and on to Harrogate in July 1916; then to Durham in July 1916. It was finally absorbed in the Training Reserve Battalions of 19th Reserve Brigade at Newcastle on 1 September 1916.

See Long Long Trail.

George originally attested in December 1915, most likely as part of the ‘Derby Scheme’. He was mobilised on the 15th April 1916 and on the following day was posted to the 19th Sherwood Foresters at that time stationed at Ripon. Following basic Infantry train George was transferred to the 17th Battalion and embarked for France on the 31st July 1916.

He was later attached to the 117th Machine Gun Company (39th Division) where he contracted bronchitis and returned to England on the Hospital Ship “Dieppe”.

After his convalescence George returned to France and served with the 2/7th Battalion Durham Light Infantry and 33rd Battalion London Regiment (Rifle Brigade) before being demobilised in February 1919.

1199 Acting Sergeant John William Burton, Signal Section, 1/5th Battalion

Many thanks to Martha Gratton who very kindly sent me pictures of her Great Grandfather John William Burton.

Men of the 1/5th Battalion entraining for Luton from Friar Gair Station in Derby on the 16th August 1914. The arrow indicates John Burton and on the back is written “Signallers 1/5th Sherwood Foresters”. Also identified on the back are Signalling Officer Captain Reginald J Case and Signalling Sergeant H Bonnell. 

To be continued………

The cooks of the 2/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)

The cooks of the 2/6th Battalion (Notts and Derby Regiment) initially encountered difficulties due to a lack of cooking utensils. However Sgt-Quartermaster Roberts was quickly able to secure the necessary items. Cook-Sergeant Samuel Garside was later to be a member of the Tug of War Team that won a famous ‘victory’ on June 16th during a Divisional Gymkhana held at Luton.

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.

Albert Heath; the soldier photographer

Albert Heath was born in Clay Cross in January 1880 and was a photographer by trade residing on Thanet Street. He married Mary Alice (nee Osbourne) in 1907 and they had at least one child; George Albert who was born in July 1910.

Albert enlisted into the 2nd Volunteer Battalion Sherwood Foresters in March 1904 and re-enlisted into the 6th Battalion Notts and Derby Regiment on the 1st April 1908. He attended all the Annual Campus between 1908 and 1914.

I have 8 Albert Heath original postcards, which appear to cluster into 3 distinct groupings based on the locations/dates and/or the style of backing.

1908-09: Scarborough Camp

Note: Although not dated, and there is no clue from the background where these two shots were taken, it is likely to have been at one of the early Camps 1908-1909 (or 1910?) because the men are wearing both the old Volunteer (cloth) and new Territorial (dress) shoulder badges (see below). Interestingly these also appear to be consecutive cards (#52 and #53).

1912: Llanfarian, Abermaide, Aberystwyth Camp

The background terrain identifies this as the 1912 Camp near Aberystwyth and once again all three cards have the same backing.

1913: The Clumber Camp

The second card bears a 1913 stamp and both share the same background.

1914: The 46th North Midland Divisional Cycling Company

On November 1914 the 46th North Midland Cyclist Company was established and Commanded by Captain BH Winder. Albert transferred to this Company and accompanied them to France on the 28th February 1915.

Captain Basil Hawthorne Winder

In June 1915 Albert ‘contracted sugar diabetes’ which at the time was not deemed ‘the result of service doubful if aggravated”

Albert was discharged on ‘Termination of Engagement’ on the 15th April 1916 having served 8 years and 7 days with the Colours.

However, War service did not leave Albert unscathed and in June 1917 Mary applied for an increase in her husband’s war pension because he was an out patient in Derby Infirmary. In August 1917 this was granted because the medical board agreed that ‘this man’s condition may be regarded aggravated by Service since declaration of War’.

Arthur died on the 17th August 1917. His son George Albert died in February 1926.