“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

D Co RHR

Scarboro

“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.

4471/241528 Frederick George Hall

Enlisted in August 1915 and served with the 1/6th and 1st Battalions

Victory Medal
Medal Index Card
Medal Roll

Frederick enlisted into the 3/6th (or 2/6th) Battalion in August 1915 and was subsequently posted to the 1/6th Battalion. He was not awarded a 14-15 Star so probably arrived in France in 1916. He was still serving with the 1/6th Battalion at the time of the Territorial Force renumbering in spring 1917. At some time (and for reasons unknown) he was transferred to the 1st Battalion. He survived the War.

Transfer of men from the 2/6th Battalion to the 22nd Battalion, The London Regiment

The 68**** and 69**** number series

After the 2/6th Battalion had been reduced to Cadre on 7th May 1918, 16 Officers and 665 other ranks were transferred to “K” Infantry Base Depot (IBD) at Calais. At the same time 15 Officers and 560 other ranks of the 2/5th Battalion were also posted to the IBD at Calais following the disbanding of that Battalion.

2/6th Battalion War Diary May 1918 (National Archives WO/95/3025)

Transfer to the Queens (1/22nd and 1/24th Battalions) in August 1918

London Regiment cap badge
Compulsory transfer to the 24/London Regiment

Following the disbandment of the 2/5th and 2/6th Battalions some of the men were compulsory transferred to the Royal West Surrey (Queen’s) Regiment and posted to either the 1/22nd or 1/24th (County of London) Battalions (The Queen’s) in August 1918 and allotted new regimental numbers.

A very interesting picture showing a mixed group of Sherwood Foresters and the County of London (The Queen’s) Regiment. It is interesting to speculate that this picture might represent the transfers of August 1918.

The two Officers and three NCOs are badges to the County of London (The Queen’s) Regiment
In addition forty other ranks are badged to the Notts & Derby Regiment; possible representing a platoon

Transfer to the 1/22nd Battalion London Regiment 25th-26th August 1918

The names of 80 men who transferred from the 2/6th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters to the 1/22nd Battalion, London Regiment can be identified.

Of these:

12 (15%) were men from the original deployment of the 2/6th Battalion in February 1917.

The remaining 68 (85%) had been posted to the 2/6th Battalion after January 1918; the majority of these in March and April 1918 to make up for losses on the 21st March and the later Battle at Kemmel Hill.

These 80 men were issued numbers between 686195 and 693555.

241805 Pte Lancelot Harry Shillitoe from Bury St Edmunds

Enlisted into the 2/6th Battalion, transfered to the 10th Battalion and missing in action in April 1918.

Lancelot Shillitoe

Lancelot enlisted in Chesterfield into the 3/6th Sherwood Foresters in February 1916 and was one of several men from Bury St Edmunds that enlisted into the 6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters; Lancelot’s mother was from Chesterfield, which may explain his choice of Regiment.

Medal Index Card
Medal Role

Lancelot most likely arrived in France with the 2/6th Battalion in February 1917, but at some point transferred to the 10th Battalion. This would have been at an Infantry Base Depot and Lancelot might have been wounded or sick (and recovering).

Soldier’s Effects

He was posted missing (and death presumed) on 21st April 1918 whilst serving with 9 Platoon in ‘C’ Company. Lancelot appears on several British Red Cross Enquiry Lists including those issued on 2nd August and 20th November 1918.

At the time of his death the 10th Battalion were occupying front line trenches close to Aveluy Wood on the old Somme Battlefield the trenches were very shallow causing numerous casualties; ‘C’ company were occupying the OUTPOST LINE. On the 21st April the Germans began shelling the front line.

“From 9am to 6pm there was no news from Captain FB Joyce MC, who was in Command of two Platoons of ‘C’ Company holding the positions on the railway. During the afternoon the shelling increased in intensity; and at 6pm two runners arrived from ‘C’ Company saying that when they left at 5.15pm the Company had already suffered heavy casualties”

[10th Battalion History by Lieut. WN Hoyte]

It now seems certain that Lancelot. H. Shillitoe (Sherwood Foresters), nephew of Mrs J. G. Shea, Eastwood House, Chesterfield, who has been reported missing since April 21st 1918, was killed on that date. Information has been received through Red Cross sources that Cpl Shillitoe’s Company was held up by an enemy counter attack on the date stated, and a comrade states that he saw the young soldier laid low by gunshot. The occupation of the area by the enemy rendered it impossible to recover the body, but the soldier of whom inquiries have been made has no doubt whatsoever that Cpl. Shillitoe was killed. Cpl Shillitoe, who was 20 years old, was the third of four soldier sons of Mr Thomas Shillitoe, Upper Norwood, a London Contractor and Builder. His maternal grandmother was the late Mrs Stilwell, Glenholme, Chatsworth Road, Brampton. In civil life he was at the engineering works of Bryan Donkin Company, Derby Road. Joining up on February 8th 1916, when he was under military age, he went with the 2/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters to Ireland in connection with the rebellion. His brother, who enlisted at the same time, is still serving. 

[Derbyshire Courier, 21st September 1918]

10th Battalion casualties.
Poziers Memorial
Pension Record

Lancelot body was not recovered after the War and he is Commemorated on the Poziers Memorial. His mother Sarah was awarded a pension after the war.

268073 Pte Frederick Albert Surman from London

One of the ‘London recruits’, but did he serve with the 1/6th or 2/6th Battalion……..

Victory and British War Medals
Medal Index Card

Frederick was born in Fulham in 1898 and was one of the ‘Londoners’ that were posted to the Sherwood Foresters Battalions of the 178th Brigade, 59th Division in September 1916.

Medal Roll

He originally served with the 2/7th Battalion because in Spring 1917 he was issued with a number allocated to the 7th Battalion (265001 – 305000). However, the medal roll shows that he was transferred to the 2/6th Battalion and then the 2nd Battalion before finally ending up in the Middlesex Regiment.

31 Ambulance Train 25th October 1917

In October 1917 Frederick suffered a shell wound to the right leg and was transported on the 31 Ambulance Train from Brauy to Commines. At this point he is recored as serving with ‘B’ Company in the 2/6th Battalion.

1/6 Battalion War Diary 19th-28th October 1917
2/6th Battalion War Diary 25th-31st October 1917

At the time of his wounding only the 2/6th Battalion was occupying front line trenches and recorded 11 other ranks wounded during their 5 days in the front line.

Admission and discharge book for No. 2 General Hospital at Le Havre – 2nd July 1916

Lists 78 men from the 46th North Midland Division who were wounded on the 1st July 1916 during the attack on Gommecourt


Division Patch

The men are from the following Battalions:-

5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Notts & Derby (139th Sherwood Brigade)

5th and 6th North Staffs (137th Staffordshire Brigade)

5th Leicesters and 4th Lincolns (138th Lincoln and Leicester Brigade)



The men were transported on the Hospital Ships HS Panama or HS Lanfranc to the UK.

HS Panama
HS Lanfranc

Kaiserschlacht vignettes: Robert Alwyn Dane from Eyam

2843/240759 Sergeant Robert Alwyn Dane from Eyam

2843/240759 Sergeant Robert Alwyn Dane

Robert enlisted in October 1914 into the 2/6th Battalion and arrived in France in February 1917. He was wounded in April 1917 and granted leave to the UK in September 1917. Robert was recorded as ‘missing in action’ on the 21st March 1918 and later died of his wounds on the 14th April.

Casualty Form – Active Service
Robert was wounded in the back
Derbyshire Time from 1918

Kaiserschlacht vignettes: Bernard Boam from Winster

4743/241691 L/Cpl Bernard Boam

Bernard Boam

Bernard attested in December 1915 and was mobilised in January 1916. He arrived in France with “B” Company, the 2/6th Battalion in February 1917 and was made a prisoner of War on 21st March 1918.

Record of capture
Repatriation list
Hospital admission list
Pension card

Bernard was repatriated in August 1918 and admitted to The King George Hospital on Stamford Street in London. He was discharge in December 1918 and awarded a pension. Bernard died in 1971.

King George Military Hospital
George Hospital, ward {c. 1915-1918} Credit: Wellcome Library, London.

Kaiserschlacht vignettes: George Robert Yeomans from Upper Marehay in Derbyshire

83786 Pte George Robert Yeomans, Lewis Gunner, B Company, 2/6th Battn, aged 20 from Upper Marehay.

“We were holding the line on March 21st 1918. I was wounded in the left leg by a gun shot and taken prisoner a few hours afterwards. My leg was amputated April 8th 1918 at Cassel Germany”

George attested into the 3rd Battalion The Sherwood Foresters in April 1917 arrived in France on 5th December 1917. He was initially posted to the 11th Battalion, but was then transferred to the 2/6th Battalion and posted to “B” Company.