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Bidford war memorial

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NICHOLLS.  Arthur Harry

Private. Worcestershire Regiment 2nd Bat. Service no 12878. Aged 19. Date of death. 2nd Nov 1914. Part of the 5th Brigade 2nd Division. Arthur, who died of wounds, was an old contemptible (men of the BEF who saw service before 22nd Nov 1914). The BEF embarked to France on 9th Aug 1914 aboard the ship "Lake Michigan", taking part in the battle of Mons then in the 1st  battle of Ypres Oct 31st-Nov 22nd British captured it from the Germans in the days leading to Arthurs death the Germans pushed back the allies relentlessly, by 31st Oct they had taken Geluveld and almost broke through the British line on the Menin road, on the 1st Nov they took the Mesen ridge and Wijschate, while british troops captured Geluveld. This as now gone down in history as an heroic stand by the heroes of 2nd Worcs. The BEF now almost virtually destroyed, cooks, batman, signallers and other non-combatants were called into action, both sides were now exhausted, and the war in the trenches began. Son of Frederick and Fanny Nicholls, of Ivy Cottage Marcliff, Nr Bidford. Worked as a farm labourer. Buried Poperinghe old military cemetery.


     Poperinghe old military cemetery

OAKEY. George James

L/Corporal. Service no 30290. Grenadier Guards 3rd Battalion. Killed in action date died 25th Sept 1918. Born Crowle Worcs Enlisted Stratford. Resident Barton. The Guards regiments were regarded as being among the elite units of the British Army.. Attached to 2nd Guards Brigade 3rd Army. George was killed in battles around the town of Hermies which was re-captured in Sept 1918. He was involved in battles in both France and Flanders. Buried at Hermies Hill British cemetery.

        Hermies Hill British cemetery


PAYNE.  William John Henry 

Private, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. 2nd Battalion. Service no 19336. Date of death 4th May 1917. Part of the immortal 7th division who suffered over 68,000 casualties William was killed during the battle of Arras, which began in a snowstorm on the 9th Apr 1917 the British sector was to the east of Arras the battle slogged on until mid May following a large-scale attack at Bullecourt on the 4th May the day William died, casualties were particulary high on the British sector. It became the greatest killing battle of the war with daily casualty rate of higher than the somme 4,076 a day. Widow Emily. Remembered on the Arras Memorial.

                     Arras memorial


PITCHER.  Bernard Harold 

Lance corporal. Royal Warwickshire Regiment. 11th Battalion. Aged 21. Date of death 10th Apr 1917. Service no 9249. Lived in Bidford, worked as an errand boy in 1911. Born in Wellesbourne.. 1st battle of Scarpe (a river) 9th-14th Apr 1917. To capture Monchy-le-preux, it was a bitterly cold spring period with sleet and rain 112 brigade with 111 brigade were at the forefront of this battle to capture the high ground to the East of Arras. Whilst the 4th Division had been engaged on the north of the river Scarpe the 37th Division, with the 11th Royal Warwickshire in the 112th Brigade, were in action in the south. There also the German line was breached and the village of Feuchy taken. On April 9 the 11th Royal Warwickshire was in support, but advanced at evening to a point south of Feuchy Chapel on the Cambrai Road. In the early afternoon of April 10 the battalion moved forward to the west of Monchy-le-Preux. That night they dug in at Les Fosses Farm, with their left resting on the Cambrai Road. Early next morning the battalion led on the right in the attack on the high ground between Monchy and Guemappe. Advancing by short rushes, they got to a point about fifty yards east of the road from La Bergere to Monchy, where they held their ground till relieved at evening. Son of Thomas and Ruth Pitcher of 70, Charlotte road, Stirchley Birmingham. Remembered on the Arras Memorial.

                       Arras memorial


PITCHER. Carl Rudolph

Brother of Bernard (above) born in Wellesbourne.. Private. Wiltshire regiment 2nd Battalion Aged 19. Date of death 30th May 1918. Service no 36422. 2nd Battalion Wilts Regiment on the day Carl was killed in action fighting nr Chambrecy. Part of the war diary for the day Carl died states "Enemy attacks in the early hours of the morning our flanks heavily engaged forced to give ground withdrawing to Est of Sarcy suffering heavy casualties, only 5 officers and 120 men remained, position consolidated and strengthened by a party of Welsh fusiliers". Son of Thomas and Ruth Pitcher, 70 Charlotte road, Stirchley Birimingham Buried at Chambrecy British cemetery in France.

             Chambrecy British cemetery

POWER.  George Henry Fosbroke

Lieutenant. (commissioned Aug 15th 1914)  ( Duke of Cambridges own (Middx reg "The Die Hards") 6th Battalion Attached to "C" company 3rd Battalion 85th Brigade 28th Div. Died of wounds 9th May 1915 aged 21. Born 8th Jan 1894. Educated Merchant Taylors School and commoner of New college Oxford where he was president of the fencing club. His family were informed that he was seen by a member of his regiment having been struck by enemy shellfire, which blew his hand off. However his body could not be located. Commemorated on the Menin gate memorial at Ypre and on a bronze tablet in the parish Church.


       Menin gate memorial Bay 49 stone L                                                            Bronze tablet.


PULHAM.  William Francis 

Driver. Army Service Corps. unit 239th H.T.Coy. Date of Death 17th Mar 1917. Born is Stow aged  over 50. William's 239th HT Company formed in Feb 1915, served overseas. Died of shell shock in Kemstone Military hospital. Before the war he was employed as a general labourer/ joiner. His H/T company was orginally formed for Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. William is buried in his home cemetery at Bidford, in the North West at St Laurence church. His son also fell details below.


PULHAM.  Cecil Raymond 

Private. service no 19934 Machine Gun Corps (MGC known as the suicide club) formely 1583 K.R.R.C. Killed in action 21st Mar 1918, Born Abbots Morton,working as a plough boy in 1911. On the day the German spring offensive started "operation Michael". Enlisted 29.9.14. Resident Alcester. Served in France and Flanders. His father William Francis Pulham fell details above. Montescourt-Lizerolles communal cemetery.


Montescourt-Lizerolles communal cemetery


REEVES.  Norman Chester

Farrier Sergeant. Aged 22. service no 208635. Died in Egypt. served in the Corps of Royal Engineers. Formerly with the Warwick Yeomanry (7th field coy R.E). Date died 24th Jan 1917. Born Alcester. Enlisted in Iron Cross Warks. Died of Paratyphoid in No 24 Casualty clearing station. Before the war he was employed as a blacksmith. Son of Ada Cantrill(formerly Reeves), of 84, West St. and the late Charles Reeves. Native of Kings Heath, Bham. Buried at Kantara war memorial Cemetery. Eygpt.

   Kantara war memorial cemetery Eygpt


RICHARDSON.  Thomas Arthur

Private. Worcs Regiment 3rd Battalion. Date of death 12th Mar 1915. Aged 35. Service no 6298. Born in Alcester resided in Bidford. He had served in the South African War and was mobilised upon outbreak of war Arrived France 11 Sept 1914.  War diary extract for the day Thomas was wounded in action.. Attack on Spanbreok mill Lindenhoek Belgium 12th Mar 1915. The Battalions detailed for the attack included the 3rd Worcs, The assault timed for 8.40am after a night march from billets at Locre, problem at first light was a dense fog which delayed the attack eventually clearing in mid afternoon when the attack started 2 battalions rose from the water logged ditches knee deep in mud, the enemy fire was fierce and deadly, officers and men went down at every step, small parties of men managed to breach through the German lines and seizing a group of ruined houses this being the only success, the rest of the 2 attacking companies of the 3rd Worcs had been shot down and were lying killed or wounded on the broken mud between the trench lines, soon the enemy began to  press back inwards along the trench's towards the ruined buildings using bomb and bayonet the Worcester lads held firm for over 3 hours, no help came, instead the artillery misinformed as to the position annihilated the helpless party in the ruined buildings. The losses in the disastrous attack were severe casualties were 9 officers and 77 other ranks killed.Thomas received a severe thigh wound and died in a casualty clearing station Nr Chocques. Remembered at Ypres on the Menin gate memorial and Salford Priors war memorial.


                 Menin gate memorial                                                                 Panel 34


ROSE.  Arthur Earnest 

Lance corporal, Royal Kings rifle corps. 2nd Battalion 1st Div. Aged 21. Died of wounds, Date of death 1st Oct 1915. Service no Y/1225. Lance corporal Arthur Rose probably lost his life after the Battle of Loos 25th Sept 1915-19th Oct 1915. His division lost 6,OOO lives in this battle 2nd Kings lost 450 men. Buried at Chocques military cemetery. Son of Henry James and Sarah Ann Rose, Salford Rd, Bidford. Worked as a market gardener.

             Chocques military cemetery

ROSE.  Leonard Sylvester

Sapper. Royal Engineers 240134. Died of tuberculosis on 5th March 1919 Aged 23. born 13th July 1895 in Bidford. He enlisted in Feb 1917. and he was discharged on 24th July 1917. He had been severely gassed and was discharged as being unfit for duty. He served overseas at some time after 1st Jan 1916. Brother Arthur also fell. Buried Bidford cemetery. Leonard worked as a farm labourer.

                   Bidford cemetery

RUSSELL.  Thomas Albert   

Private. Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry 2nd Bn Aged 20. Date of death 4th Oct 1915. Died of wounds in Boulogne hospital. Service no 11765. Four other brothers also served and three were discharged. Part of 5th brigade 2nd Div. Thomas probably became a casualty of the battle for Loos 25th Sep-19th Oct 1915, his division attacked along both banks of the La Bassee canal the 5th brigade attacked one on the canal and one in Front of Givency the attack failed, brigade suffered 950 men lost with little gain eventually retreating back to their original trench. Boulogne EC was one of the hospital cemetery's which suggests Thomas was wounded in action, later dying in a military hospital. He worked in 1911 as a tamming labourer. Son of Henry and Julia Russell, Tower Hill, Bidford.

     Boulogne Eastern cemetery

RUSSELL.  Reginald 

Private Royal Warwickshire Regiment 16th battalion. Date of death 21st Aug 1918. Service no 23133. 15th Birgade, 5th Division. On August 21 Sir Julian Byng attacked on a front of nine miles, from Moyenneville to Beaucourt. The leading divisions broke the enemy's line at the first rush, and then the 5th, 63rd and 3rd Divisions took up the advance. In the 5th Division the 13th Brigade was in reserve, whilst the 16th Royal Warwickshire had to pass through the right brigade of the 37th Division, after the capture of the high ground above Bucquoy. In spite of the heavy mist and smoke of the barrage, which was so thick that it was impossible to see more than a few yards, they kept good direction and were through Bucquoy in correct time. After a halt they advanced again, and moving on a compass bearing got across the railway and gained their final objective on the crest of the hill beyond. Reginald was killed in action during the battle of Albert and is buried at Adanac Military cemetery, Miraumont

                 Adanac military cemetery

SEYMOUR.   John Earnest 

Private. An Old Contemptable. Goldstream Guards 3rd Battalion. Aged 27. Date of death 9th Aug 1915. Service no 6395.He was an old soldier discharged in 1912 remobilised in Aug 1914. Arriving in France on the 13th Aug. John died of wounds. The coldstream guards became 1st Guards brigade Guards division. John may have been wounded in the battle of Festubert or Aubers later dying in hospital at Lillers. All 3 guards battalions took part in this battle to capture high ground above Lille, attack after attack was mown down by German machine guns. The attacks lasted 3 weeks, artillery fire also accounted for casualties while forming trenches. Son of John and Minnie Seymour, of Marlcliffe, Bidford, Husband of M.E. Seymour, of Salford rd, Bidford. Buried Lillers communal cemetery.

             Lillers communal cemetery


Gunner, Royal Garrison Artillery, 109th Heavy Battery. Aged 29. Date of death 29th March 1915. Service no 662 and 275662. 109 brigades armament being the 4.7inch guns.  Edwin was buried in St Sever cemetery where hospitals were stationed on the Southern out skirts of Rouen.   Edwin died of Pneumonia in No.12 General Hospital. Before the war he was a builders labourer. He served some years in the army with service in India and Malta. Resided in Bidford born in Stoke. Son of Arthur E. Sheasby, Icknield St. Bidford. Buried St Sever cemetery Rouen.

                    St Sever cemetery

SMITH.   John Corbett 

Private. Royal Warks Regiment 10th battalion. Aged 42. Born Bidford enlisted in Stratford. Date of death 10th Oct 1915. John was a sniper. Service no 10698. John's regiment was heavily involved in the battle for Loos 25th Sept-19th Oct 1915, he was shot in the head by a sniper. His Battalion arrived in France in July 1915, served in trenches near La Bassee until April 1916. Buried in Merville Communal Cemetery 1268 burials. Son of Thomas Vardy Smith and Sophia. Before the war John was a gardener.


           Merville communal cemetery

SMITH.  Frederick George    

L/Cpl. Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire regiment) 7th battalion 'C' Coy. Resident Bidford. Service no 17017. Killed in action during the attacks on the Petit-Couronne during the battle of Dojran on the 24th Apr 1917. On the night of 24,25th Apr 1917 Frederick was killed in action on enemy trenches. Extract from war diary for that night. 'C' Coy. Objective Z8 - Z10. The Company formed up outside our wire at 2115. Liaison was established and on the barrage lifting the company entered the enemy trenches and drove him out after lively fighting with bombs during which serious losses were inflicted. A portion of this sector was cleared but owing to lack of co-operation on left flank ('D' Coy being held up by the uncut wire) the company was forced, on the delivery of a vigorous enemy counter attack, to evacuate the enemy's lines. A rally of the company was effected 50 yards from the enemy's trenches but the attack failed owing to heavy casualties, all the company officers and 8 Senior N.C.Os being either killed or wounded. CSM Thorne who was left in command saw that there was nothing for it but to withdraw to our lines. One Lewis gun did not return. The second was brought back undamaged".  Frederick was formerly with the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry Regiment. Son of Esther Collect formerly Smith Alcester road, Bidford and late John Smith. Buried Doiran military cemetery Salonika.

Doiran military cemetery Saonika


Private. Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, 5th Battalion. Also served 2nd and 6th Ox and Bucks. Aged 24. Date of death 3rd May 1917. Service no 12349. Entered the theatre of France 1st May 1915. Attached to 42 Brigade 14th Light div, Lewis's brigade was on the western front throughout the war. The battle for Arras 9th Apr-15 May 1917. The 3rd battle of the Scrape 3rd May-4th May 1917. The 5th battalion made an attack at Vis-en-Artois a few miles east of Arras The attack was to commence on 3rd May out of 523 men in the battalion casualties were 299 among them Lewis, 'A' company which he served lost 75 men out of 129 who attacked. Before the war he was employed at Broom mill as was his father. Known as 'Jack' by the family. His father Henry Thomas Stanford (buried in the churchyard at Bidford along with Julia Stanford, Jack’s mother). Awarded medals Victory, BWM and Star. Son of Henry Thomas and Julia Stanford of Broom Nr Bidford. (Some details of Jacks service supplied by a local relative)




 TARRANT. Frederick 

Private. Worcestershire Regiment. 4th battalion 88th brigade 29th div. Aged 31. Date of death 4th June 1915. Service no 11625. Frederick was with the men of the Gallipoli campaign who landed on 'W' beach, he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles memorial. Frederick was killed in action. Fell in the 3rd battle of Krithia 4th June 1915.  Sickness also claimed over 145,000 lives dysentery, diarrhoea and enteric fever being the main killers. Son of William and Fanny Tarrant, Alcester Rd, Bidford.

                 Helles memorial

TAYLOR. Thomas Henry 

Lance corporal. service no. 12808 Date of death 20th June 1915. Ox and Bucks  5th battalion were part of the 42nd brigade  14th div. Aged 22. Thomas was killed in action in the actions of Hooge. In a period of consolidation during  early 1915, trenches being fortified and improved, losses during this time were about 300 men a day along the front from snipers and shellfire, gas was also a major killer, causing 5,000 deaths in the spring of 1915. Chlorine being the main cause of death. Thomas was born in Bidford enlisted in B'ham. Farm Labourer in 1911. Son of Joseph and Jane Taylor of Barton nr Bidford. and brother to Walter listed below.

                   Menin gate

TAYLOR.  Walter William

Lance corporal. Service no 17178. Hampshire regiment 1st battaliion. Formerly 12776 Ox and Bucks light infantry. Died aged 30 12th May 1917 awarded 1914-15 Star BWM and Victory medals. Hampshire regiment was part of the 11th brigade 4th Division. Walter was killed in action, 2 battles which his regiment were probably involved in were the 3rd battle of the scarpe and the capture of Roeux both in early May 1917. Born in Littleton Pastures Worcester. Resident of Bidford. Son of Joseph and Jane Taylor of Barton, Nr Bidford. And brother of Thomas listed above. Buried Point-du-jour Athies.

         Point-du-jour Athies

WHEATLEY.  Henry John (Harry)

Private. 3rd battalion Worcs Reg. 7th brigade 3rd div. Died of ill health at home in Feb 1915 aged 30. The Husband of Minnie Wheatley. Children John, Eva, and Dorothy. He was Born in Broadheath Worcs. Before the war he was employed by the post office, and he returned to this employment after discharge being unfit for military duty. He also served during the a African war. Buried at Bidford.

                 Bidford Church

WILKES.  Christopher Samuel  J 

Air Mechanic 2nd class. Royal Air Force. Attached to G.H.Q.,B.E.F. who died aged 19. on the 24th August 1918. Cause of death drowning. Before the war he was employed as a chauffeur to the Bishop of Worcester Son of Christopher Ernest and Louisa Harriett Wilkes. Brook house, Abbotts Salford, nr Evesham, Worcs. He is also Commemorated on the Salford priors war memorial. Buried Etaples military cemetery.

         Etaples military cemetery

WOODHOUSE.  William 

Gunner 66th Siege battery RGA. 54124. Killed in action on 4th Oct 1917 aged 22. Before the war he worked for Cadbury's in Bournville. Joined in Nov 1914. Joined Fort Rowner Gosport 26 Nov 1914 posted 18 March 1916. The son of William and Mrs Woodhouse Tower Hill Bidford Husband of Rose Ellen, married 10th Feb 1915 at Bidford, father of Jessie. Rose Ellen was awarded a pension of 18 shillings and 6 Pence. Buried in the White House Cemetery,  Iper West-vallanderen.Belgium.

             White house cemetery

WRIGHT.  Frederick Henry

Private 23038. 4th Battalion Worcs Reg 88th Brigade, 29th Div. Killed in action at Krithia Vinyard Aug 6th 1915. Fredericks Brigade the 88th alongside two brigades of the 42nd  division attacked the Turkish trenches on the morning of the 6th Aug capturing some, the Turks then counter-attacked, recaptured the lost trenches The British attacked again, and again captured trenches, another counter attack by the Turks drove them out. Unfortunately the British did not hold any ground and the 88th Brigade suffered may losses on this day including Frederick and its fighting ability reduced greatly. British casualties were in excess of 4000. Son of Frederick a bricklayer and Alice Wright of New cottages, Barton. Commemorated on the Helles Memorial Turkey.

            Helles memorial Turkey

WRIGHT.  George Benjamin

Private. 16355. Ox and Bucks regiment Light Infantry.7th - France and Flanders 21 Sept 15. Salonika 24 Nov 17. Bulgaria 30 Sept 18 to 20 Apr 19. Died of Pneumonia on 7th Dec 1918. aged 21. George served in France and Flanders for a number of years ironically succumbing to a virus in Bulgaria after the war was over. Son of Benjamin and Alice Wright of Rushford, Salford Prior. He was born in Horsepools Stroud. Buried in the Sofia war cemetery Bulgaria. His brother Frederick also fell (details above).

    Sofia war cemetery Bulgaria


Not on the memorial but was a local his mother lived at Mount Pleasant Bidford.

PERKS   Norman Arthur

Rifleman, 50144. Kings Rifle Corps posted to D Coy 12th Bn London Regt (the Rangers) killed in action 12th Sept 1918 aged 18. Son of Amy Perks of Mount Pleasant, Bidford-on-avon.  Buried Epehy wood farm cemetery, Epehy. His mother requested the Latin CHRISTUS NOBISCUM STATE on his headstone. (Motto of Alcester Grammar School).


       Epehy wood cemetery

Also remembered in Bidford is 2nd Lieutenant Edward ROUND.

He has a bench dedicated to him a tribute by his wife Gerturde Lucy, situated on Marriage Hill on the outskirts of Bidford. 4th Bn Worcs Reg. died on 21 April 1917. Killed in the battle of Arras age 36. His family lived in Dudley. Buried Feuchy Chapel British Cemetery, Wancourt.