Category Archives: On this day

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

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.

“It is artic up here………”

Posted from Scarborough Camp in 1909 by Will who was in “D” Company, the Robin Hood Rifles.

“Duke”; Mascot of the 1/6th Battalion taken in 1909

Mon July 26/09



“Hope you had a good day to day. I would sooner have been at home. It is artic up here. No catch at all. Will”

The post card was posted to:-

F R Gibbs Esq, Castledene, Alexandra Park, Nottingham

Frederick Richard Gibbs was a well know Nottingham clock and watch maker – see here. By 1911 the Gibbs Family had moved to ‘Castledene’. He and his wife a son called Frederick William, who was born in 1909, so he is not the ‘Will’ that sent the postcard.

OTD 16th October 1915; 3/6th Battalion at Bolton Park near Grantham

Capt. R Saxby and Second-Lieut. A. H. Goodall, both of whom were wounded while serving with the 1 6 Battalion in Flanders, have joined the unit this week. The post of Regimental-Sergt.-Major has not yet been filled, and the duties are temporarily being carried out by Company-Sergt.-Major J. Platts.”

Captain Reginald Saxby taken in 1909
2/Lt Alec Harrison Goodall
280 Company-Sergt.-Major John Platts taken in 1914

The tragic suicide of 3828 Company Sergeant Major Thomas Wood from Sheffield

On the 4th October 1915 at Belton Camp near to Grantham

Thomas was a 38 year old clerk when he enlisted into the 6th Reserve Battalion, the Sherwood Foresters in Chesterfield on the 2nd May 1915. Thomas had previously served over 18 years with the 2nd Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and rising to the rank of Colour Sergeant.

Service Record for Thomas Wood recording that he had served in South Africa and Hong Kong and has passed numerous courses of instruction.

Attestation of Thomas Wood witnessed by Major C Harold Heathcote
Thomas was immediately posted to the 3/6th Battalion and promoted to the rank of Acting Company Sergeant Major. He was subsequently promoted to Acting Sergeant Major in June 1915.
In October 1915 Thomas took his own life
Newspaper article

Captain William Seaton, who had known him for a month, described Thomas as a very good man indeed and an excellent sergeant-major. Thomas left a wife and four sons who received a pension.

It would appear from Captain Seaton’s testimony and Thomas’s final letter that he was under considerable pressure “Try and think as well as you can of me. I have tried to do my best, but when there is only man, what are you to do? I cannot bear the strain any longer”

Thomas wrote to Major Towler stringing that “my accounts are in an awful muddle”, but on examination “so far as he knew the accounts were alright”.

The History of the 3/7th Reserve (Robin Hood) Battalion Sherwood Foresters, written in 1921, records that there were a shortage of Officers and NCOs in these early days of the Reserve Battalions.

Thomas’s widow Catherine and their four young sons were awarded a pension.

4478/241531 Pte Francis Yates

1/6th Battalion and Labour Corps; arrived in France in 1916 and wounded on 1st July 1916

Unfortunately very little is known about Francis Yates, but it would appear that he arrived in France in 1916, served with “B” Company and was wounded on the 1st July 1916 [Information from 1/6th Battalion casualty book formerly kept in Officers Mess at Chesterfield Drill Hall].

Interestingly his medal index card does not record his 4-digit Regimental number (4478), whilst the 6-digit number (241531) would suggest that he was ‘still with’ the Sherwood Foresters in Spring 1917. His 4-digit number indicates that he enlisted in early August 1915.

Indeed, there is a reference in the Grantham Journal on Saturday October 16 1915, that Privates Philip Larkin, Frederick Watts and Francis Yates of the 3/6th Battalion where brought before Chesterfield Borough Bench for being ‘absent without leave’. At the time the 3/6th Battalion were camped at Belton Park with the rest of the 3rd North Midland Division.

Grantham Journal
1/6th Battalion casualty book formerly kept in the Officers Mess at Chesterfield Drill Hall
Birmingham Evening Post, Friday 4th August 1916 confirming Francis Yate’s wounding. Amongst the other Sherwood Foresters is 2198 W Barnes from Stafford
Admission list for No. 2 General Hospital confirming the wounding of 2198 Pte W Barnes of the 1/5th Battalion on the 1st July 1916

At some point Francis was posted to the Labour Corps and given the regimental number 601701. From a search of the Army Service Records of 601763 Pte Eli Rushton, 601795 Pte Wilkinson Haworth and 601798 Pte Edward Rumbol (who all have similar 6017** regimental numbers) it would appear that this transfer happened in June-July 1918.

MIC only recording 241531 and 601701
Francis was awarded a Pension

Another great purchase……..

Hunmanby August 1914

Pictures of the very short Summer Camp of 1914 in Hunmanby are hard to find and this is only my second……….

The reason being – War was declared and the men of the Sherwood Foresters quickly returned to their home station for mobilisation.

This is epitomised by the entry in Sergeant Percy Walker’s diary…

The picture shows men of the 5th or 6th Battalions cooking by the roadside…

Is this T5 or T6……
I’m calling this as T5
Great shot!

And just for comparison – here is the Robin Hood Rifles…..same photographer……just taken later

RHR at Hunmanby in August 1914