Tag Archives: Captain Cyril John Wheatcroft

On this day 5th August 1917

5.8.1917: 2/Lt VH ARMITAGE MC awarded the Belgian Decoration “Chevalier de L’Ordre de la Boutonne”Armitage

Vernon Hay Armitage

C in C’s list No 145

To be Captain: Lieut CJ Wheatcroft

To be A/Capt: Lieut J Tolson and HH Jackson

To be Lieut: 2/Lt DS Foxwheatcroft tolson jackson fox

Cyril John Wheatcroft, Joseph Tolson, Humphry Henry Jackson and Donald Storrs-Fox

5.8.1917 St Elie Sector: Battn relieved 5th Battn in RIGHT SUBSECTION.Hulluch

1/6th Battalion War Diary [WO/95/2694]

4/5 August: 8th Sherwood Foresters carried out a raid on Enemy trenches in G5C.G5C 1917Raid August 1917

3014/305888 L/Cpl Herbert Taylor was missing presumed killed during the raid

5th Aug: Philosophe heavily shelled during the evening (over 350 shells fell)

Amongst the 1/5th Battalion men killed were:-

  • 5533/202268 Pte William Pawsley and son of Mrs MA Pawsey of 5 Sea View, Lower Halstow in Kent.203448 Shaw
  • 203448 Pte Albert Shaw from Worskop who died of wounds in the 1st Casualty Clearing Station.
  • Lieut Loris Stiles Spargo aged 25 and son of Nicholas and Ellen Spargo of Tregolls in Truro, Cornwall.

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

On this day 5th October 1916

5.10.1916 BELLACOURT: Lieut HIGHAM H Battalion from the Base.

Higham HW

5.10.1916 BASSEUX: CAPT CJ WHEATCROFT joined 139th Bde HQ as Assistant Staff CaptainWheatcroft cj

War Diary [WO/95/2694]

5th: About 25 field gun shells fired into our Quarry on the left sector. Otherwise a quite day. 

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

On this day 9th July 1916

9/10.7.1916 BAILLEULMONT: Battn carried Gas accessories to trenches of 137th Inf Bde.

saxby wheatcroft9.7.1916 BAILLEULMONT: Capts R Saxby (left) & CJ Wheatcroft (right) to Third Army School.

Johnson EBCapt EB Johnson (above) to Command “C” Company vice Capt Saxby.

4440 SeatonCapt W Seaton (above) attached to 7th Battn Sherwood Foresters.

War Diary [WO/95/2694]

9th: Large parties from the 6th & 8th Battns again carrying tonight gas cylinders from BERLES Dump to the trenches.

Bde Major visited trenches of 166th Infantry Brigade at BELLACOURT.

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

On U day 23rd – 24th June 1916

23/24.6.1916 TRENCHES: Battn continued digging advanced trench with 7th Battn finding covering party & reserve diggers. Rather heavy MG fire and shelling. Owing to the heavy rain the trench although linked up was not finished in depth.

24.6.1916: Battn marched into billets on the GAUDIEMPRE-PAS ROAD. Every man wet through & covered with mud from digging.

23.6.1916 GAUDIEMPRE: Capt CJ Wheatcroft rejoined from Base.

24.6.1916 GAUDIEMPRE: Lt TL Darbyshire rejoined from England.

War Diary [WO/95/2694]

23: A very heavy thunder storm this afternoon, which completely filled all the trenches with water – just like winter again. Pumps going hard to get the water out. Work on the new forward trench was continued this evening. Owing to the state of the ground work was very much hampered.

The enemy shelled a good deal too, but we were fortunate and only sustained a few casualties viz 1 killed & 12 wounded. The trench by the morning still required a good deal of work to complete it.

24: This is “U” day. Wire cutting by our artillery commenced today in accordance with pre arranged programme (see copy of Brigade Instruction & Operations Order No 63 attached). The enemy replied with crimps on our front line trench at various places knocking in the end of ROBERTS AVENUE to some extent. Work in the trenches had to be concentrated on pumping out the trenches which are in an awful state of water & mud.

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]


On this day 13th October 1915

46th DIVISION attacked enemy trenches on a line from DUMP TRENCH to North of HOHENZOLLERN REDOUBT.

137th Brigade on Right, 138th Brigade on Left, 139th Bde in Reserve.138th Brigade

Attacking positions of the 138th Brigade (4th & 5th Lincolns; 4th & 5th Leicesters; 1st Monmouths)137th Brigade

Attacking positions of the 137th Brigade (4th & 5th North Staffs; 4th & 5th South Staffs)Gordon Alley

6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (139th Brigade) in Reserve

At 12 noon Battalion came under orders of 137th Brigade to which it was in immediate support. Artillery opened at noon – gas attack at 1.0 pm. Infantry attacked at 2pm.

Hohenzollern 5

“A” Company (Capt VO Robinson) moved to front line trenches. “B” Company (Capt Dick) & “D” Company” (Capt CJ Wheatcroft) ordered to push on to DUMP supporting S. STAFFORDS but MAJOR BLACKWALL found attack unsuccessful & kept them in trenches. All Companies (less 3 platoons & M.G.) eventually in front line and immediate support trenches.Balckwell JE October 1915

“Great congestion in trenches owing to evacuation of wounded & carriage of S.A.A & bombs. Battn Bombardiers under 2/Lt LYTLE twice attacked BIG WILLIE but attack unsuccessful.”HohenzollernLytle WA October 1915

Oct 13th. Heavy bombardment of German trenches 12 till 2 p.m. Then Staffs, Lincs & Leicesters charged & took line. Gas many losses. About 4-30 p.m. we (Sherwoods) moved up into reserve trenches. Saw many wounded come down, some an awful mess. Nice day.

About four thirty on the morning of the thirteenth the artillery fire commenced, the whole area seemed to shake, of course the Germans joined in. This Redoubt to be attacked was about a hundred and fifty yards in front of our assembly trenches, and for about two hours was subjected to such a hail of shell fire that we were quite sure that no one could possibly remain alive to defend the position against our attack.

The first unit of our division at a prearranged time leapt from their trenches to the attack, and as soon as they left the protection of the deep front line all Hell broke loose. The enemy concentrated still further heavy artillery fire. This was to smash the next wave attempting to get out. In the awful stretch of ground the attacking first wave was met by such a withering scythe of machine gun fire that the Brigade lost fifty per cent of its strength in the first twenty five yards, the remainder somehow struggled on through that murderous hail, and only a very small part got a foot hold in the Redoubt.

It was now the turn of my Battalion to try and join them, but the fire was so great and effective that it was decided to wait a while to try as a sort of surprise. It will be appreciated that a frontal attack over the top was out of the question, as the artillery had not destroyed the German machine guns. In the meantime remnants of the attacking waves and some members of my Brigade had succeeded in worming their way along an old trench to join up with the lucky few in the Redoubt, they were established and consolidating the position, they mounted their machine guns and the artillery was asked to concentrate their fire on the German front line, to stop them gathering for a counter attack to regain the lost position.

About two thirty in the afternoon a message was received from the captured position that they badly needed bombs to repel the counter attack which surely would come at night fall. I was detailed to take a party of twelve men to carry bombs across this dreadful stretch of ground, with instructions that if we reached the captured position which was very doubtful to remain there and help in the defence.

Never shall I forget that dreadful journey, we started up by the disused trench, but it was so packed with dead and dying men also debris, that it was impossible to proceed, I therefore gave instructions to scramble out into No Mans Land, this I knew was very dangerous but could not be helped. We scrambled across guns, bodies, arms, legs and heads, the carnage had been complete. The first attacking wave had been completely wiped out, and any moment I expected the German fire to wipe us out. I imagined that every moment the trigger minded Germans would spot us and that would be the end, but somehow our little party struggled on. We were lucky in the extreme, either the Germans were resting, or they did not contemplate any attempt to cross that miserable stretch of ground in daylight. We made it in one piece.

Our crossing had been observed by the men in the Redoubt, in fact when we arrived along side them they told us that with every step of our journey they expected us all to be blown to smithereens, I shall always remember the words of one of the Officers who had observed our progress – “good show – here take a pull of this”, as he handed me his brandy flask, and although I was not a habitual drinker that brandy was very refreshing.

[2305 Pte. Frank Longson]

On this day 12th October 1915

12.10.1915 Fouquereuil: Capt EB Johnson to hospital sick. Capt CJ Wheatcroft to Command “D” Company.

Johnson EB

Captain Evelyn Brownlow Johnson

Wheatcroft cjCaptain Cyril John Wheatcroft

Battn (less details) moved out in fighting order and occupied support trenches EAST of VERMELLES branching of GORDON ALLEY and HULLUCH ALLEY.Gordon Alley

War Diary [WO/95/2694]

Oct 12th. Paraded for deficiencies 10-30 a.m. Took packs to store 1 p.m. Set off to trenches (fighting order) 3-30 p.m. Stopped & had tea about 6 p.m. near Sailly. Got to support trenches near Vermelles about 10-30 p.m. & relieved Guards. Seemed a long way. Nice day.

[3289 Pte George William Beardsley]

We started our trek from the rear areas on the eleventh of October, and by the night of the twelfth – thirteenth, we were in our jumping off positions. All seemed to be fairly quiet, the battle that started on September the 25th seemed to have died off.

[2305 Pte Frank Longson]chateau_vermelles