Our fallen

Ash Ernest

Private. Service number 88497 Machine Gun Corps 2/bn. 11th Coy. Aged 19. Date of Death. 4th Oct 1917. Born in Norgrove Glous and resided in Bidford. Ernest’s Brigade the 11th took part in most major battles of ww1. 31st July 17-10th Nov 17 The battles of Ypres (Passchendaele). Ernest’s division were active in 2 battles at the time of his death: Battle of Polygon wood 26th Sept-3rd Oct 1917 and the Battle of Broodsende 4th Oct 1917. Ernest Ash is remembered on the Tyne cot memorial the worlds largest military cemetery 11,962 men are remembered here. Earnest was 18 years old when he joined up on the 10.5.1916. Disembarked Boulogne 14/5/17. Son of Edward and Amelia Martha Ash, Salford road, Bidford. Ernest was employed by the Co-op as a grocer’s assistant before the war. Had also worked has a farm labourer. He had 3 brothers and 5 sisters.

Alfred Henry

Sergeant. Ox and Bucks Light Infantry 2nd Battalion. 5th brigade 2nd Div. Service no. 31117. Aged 23. Date of death 20th Apr 1918. Alfred was fighting on the Arras front during the German push of spring 1918. Probably dying of wounds he received in action. Husband of Ethel. M. Collins (formerly Beard)of Home Farm cottage, Eastend, Lymington Hants. She had the words Faithful until death on his headstone in France. He enlisted in Birmingham in Sept 1914, at the time of his death he had been in France for one month. He was born in Barton. Youngest son of Henry and Elizabeth. Buried at Bac-Du-Sud British cemetery Bailleulval. SW of Arras.

Fredrick Mark

Private. service no 4738 15th Hussars (and cavalry of the line incl Yeomanry and Imperial The Kings. Household cavalry Camel Corps 1st division) Aged 32, An old contemptible of the original BEF. Arrived France Sunday 23rd Aug 1914. Would have been involved in the great Mons retreat a heroic rear guard action by the 1st division. Date died of wounds 30th June 1917. Saw service in France and Flanders. Born and resident of Bidford. Enlisted Alcester. He had also served in Africa. Before the war he worked at Bomfords in Salford. Third son of Able and Sarah Bennett, Salford road, Bidford. Mrs Bennett had a family of 8 boys six of whom were serving, another wished to serve but was retained by his employer. Fred was her first son to fall. She was residing in Rugby at the time of his death. Buried La Targette Neuville Vaast.

William Roger

Private. Dorsetshire regiment 6th battalion. Aged 23. Service no 11812. Joined Sept 1914. Posted to France 13.7.15. Date of death 2nd Jan 1917. 50th Brigade 17th Division. Although the battle of the Somme was regarded as over after the capture of Beaumont Hamel in Nov 16 operations in the Ancre valley continued through the winter of 1916/1917.William was a battalion runner and was killed by enemy shell. Born in Broom resident in Bidford. William was a bricklayers labourer before the war. Enlisted in B’ham at the age of 20 yrs. 2 months Height 5ft 2ins Weight 112 lbs. He was also wounded in Feb 1916 GSW to right side of chest (slightly) Rejoined his battalion on 23.3.16.Father William Bennett, Grange road, Bidford. Buried at the Guards cemetery Lesboeufs.

Samuel Frederick Baker

Captain.159836. Tank Corps Aged 29. Date of Death 20th Nov 1917. Awarded the Distinguished Service Order(DSO). He originally enlisted as 29022, Motor Cyclist Section, Royal Engineers. On the day Samuel died Byng’s 3rd Army launched an attack at Cambrai, 378 Mark IV tanks were used in the battle to smash through the Hindenburg line. (So Successful was this action that church bells were rung throughout Britain). Captain Samuel Blackwell received his DSO whilst serving as a 2nd Lt with the 9th Battalion Norfolk regiment in 1916. His citation reads:- “For conspicuous gallantry in action. He led a reinforcement party over the open under very heavy fire, bombing back the enemy and maintaining his position against three enemy counter-attacks for 36 hours. Later, he led a daring patrol, and proceeded over 100 yards along the enemy line and obtained valuable information”. Samuel is buried at Ribecourt cemetery which lies on the Southside of the Ribecourt-la-tour village and holds 273 casualties. Before the war Samuel was a farmer. Living Charingworth Ebrington. He has a memorial on the wall inside Bidford church. Son of Samuel Fowler Blackwell landowner and farmer and Rosetta Mary Blackwell, Bickmarsh Hall, Bidford.

Samuel F.

Corporal. Royal Engineers 94th Field Coy. Aged 36. Date of Death 20th Sept 1917. Service no 63401. Samuels company were active at the time of his death in the battle for the Menin Road 20th-25th Sept 17 (3rd Phase of the battle for Ypres) Samuels division suffered more than 39,000 casualties in the war. Oxford rd cemetery: NE of the town of Ieper Belgium. Oxford rd was the name given to a road that ran behind the support trenches during the war. Son of Harry and Elizabeth Churchley; husband of Hilda M Churchley of Burford rd, Bengeworth ,Evesham, Nr Bidford. His wife had the inscription He died that we might live, onto his gravestone in France. He had 2 children William and Edward. Samuel was employed as a bricklayer before the war with Mr C.Knott of Evesham. Buried Oxford rd cemetery.


Corporal. Hampshire Regiment 2nd battalion. aged 25. Date of death 13 August 1915. service no 11788. Whitmore’s battalion was a member of the 88th brigade 29th division, Whitmore died at sea when the troopship he was embarked on ‘RMS Royal Edward’ was torpedoed and sunk in the Aegean by UB14 13th Aug 1915. His battalion went on to be involved in the Gallipoli campaign fighting in the Helles battles and the Krithia battles one of which was the battle for the Krithia vinyard the 88th brigade made a costly and futile attack along the exposed Krithia spur,fighting continued until the 13th Aug the losses at Krithia vinyard were in excess of 4,000. Kitchener said “your country needs you” he also said “withdraw from Gallipoli”. a soldier once said of Gallipoli,” the body slowly dying from the inside, the water was death, the food was death, life was death, germs were the killer flood was a killer,(In late November heavy rain turned the trenches into rivers when the water off the mountains came rushing down the peninsula, many drowned) the Turkish sniper was a killer”.And to add more misery October brought blizzard conditions many suffering frostbite. But out of adversity came some sort of victory the withdrawal from the peninsula was a complete success without any loss of life. Remembered on the Helles memorial to the missing. Resided in Bidford and was employed as a bricklayer. Known has Whit and very popular in the local football circles. Whit was born in Sedgley, Staffs. Son of Mr and Mrs William Henry Edgar Clarke, of Salford Rd, Bidford.

Albert Charles

Private. Royal Warwickshire Regiment 14th Battlion.13th brigade 5th div, Aged 22. Service no: 16326. Died of wounds, Date of death 5th Sept 1916. Alberts Battalion 1st Bham South Midlands division, were at the heart of the battle on the Somme in the summer of 1916 until Nov 16. The battalion was involved in the Battle of Guillemont on the Somme. They were in action at Falfemont Farm. On September 3 the 5th Division was at the extreme end of the British line, where the 13th Brigade attacked, with the 95th on their left and the French on their right. Their objec-tives were Falfemont Farm (which had to be secured to protect the French left) and the line of trenches on the north up to Wedge Wood. The attack on the latter was entrusted to the 14th Royal Warwickshire. After repeated attempts, through the splendid push and bravery of Captain Addenbrooke and 2nd Lieut. Barrow, ” C ” Company on the left captured the gun-pits in a valley running south from Wedge Wood. Mean-time ” A ” and ” B ” Companies had advanced very gallantly, but the attack on Falfemont had failed and their ranks withered away under the enemy fire from the Farm. ” A ” soon dwindled to a mere handful, which still continued to advance in the most undaunted manner. ” B ” had suffered almost as much, but also struggled on till they reached and held a trench just south of Wedge Wood. The 15th Royal Warwickshire had simultaneously delivered a second attack on Falfemont Farm, which like the first was stopped by machine-gun fire. The 15th Brigade had been in reserve that day, though a patrol of the 16th Royal Warwickshire, under Lieut. J. Hughes, made a most gallant attempt to get into the Farm at evening. This brigade took up the assault on September 4, when the 16th Royal Warwickshire, in support of the Norfolks, at last managed to dig in close to the German trenches. Early on the following morning through their combined efforts Falfemont was captured. Then the 15th Royal Warwickshire passed through, and after some considerable fighting cleared Leuze Wood. The casualties during these days in the 16th were over 250, and in the 15th nearly as many, whilst those of the 14th (chiefly on September 3) were even greater. British casualties on one day alone (July 1st) were 54,000 of these 19,240 were killed. The Somme offensive cost over half a million British casualties. Albert was discharged in Dec 1915 due to ill health but reenlisted in Feb 1916. La Neuville British cemetery Corbie is 15mls SW of Albert. Son of Jack and Ellen Collett; husband of Marie Collett, Golden Hillock road, Small Heath, Birmingham. Native of Bidford. Albert was one of a total of 5 sons from the Collett family who were involved in the Great war Albert being one of 3 killed.


Private. Labour corps. (Formerly 130236 R.F.A.)143146. Date died 28th June 1918. Aged 26. Labour corps formed in Jan 1917 numbered around 390,000 men of this total around 175,000 were working in the UK many were physically unfit for front line duties. Philip Died of peritoneum in Bridgewater hospital.UK. He was kicked in the stomach by a horse and as a result was transferred to the Agricultural company, was formerly a driver with the Royal Field Artillery (130236) probably serving in France and Flanders while in the R.F.A. Born 1892 Marcliffe Nr Bidford. Employed as a steamroller drivers assistant at Bomfords in Salford. Also worked as a farm labourer. Married to Annie E. His mother Sarah Ann was widowed. Father William, He had two older brothers Charles and Walter. Philip is Buried in Stow-on-the-wold Cemetery.


Frank died of pulmonary tuberculosis on Wed 17th May 1922. Aged 30. The husband of Fanny Davis who lived in Broom. He is buried in the local cemetery at Bidford.


Private. Service no 6897. Worcestershire regiment 3rd Battalion, 25th div 74th brigade. Date of death 10th July 1916. Herbert’s brigade were at La Boisselle, taking part in the attacks at Ovillers, there were many attacks between the 5th and 16th July Herbert was killed in action on the 10th. Born and resident of Bidford. He is remembered on the Thiepval memorial were over 72,000 Identified casualties to the missing from the battles of the somme. Mother Emma Russell.

Edward George

Corporal. service no Y/1227. Kings Royal Rifle Corps, 9th Battalion. Date of death 24 Aug 1916. Edwards battalion was part of the 42nd Brigade 14th division. Heavily involved in the battles of the Somme, Edward was killed in action probably in one of the battles for Delville wood which was secured on the 25th Aug 1916 by the 14th (light) division. Born in Stratford Resident of Bidford. Father Francis. Edward is buried in Delville wood cemetery Longueval.

Christopher John

Private. service no 11762. Oxford and Bucks light infantry. 2nd battalion. Date died 13th Nov 1916. Christopher was killed in action his Division was heavily involved in the battles on the Somme around the time of his death battles were ranging along the Ancre river between 13th-18th Nov 1916 North of Thiepval. UK casualties on the Somme were 360,000 of these 95,600 killed. Mother Mrs Amelia E Moore. Occupation Farm Labourer. Christopher is buried at Redan ridge cemetery Beaumont-Hamel.

Michael Charles

Rifleman. Kings Royal Rifles Corps 12th Battalion. Served 8th Bn KRRC and 17th Bn KRRC. Service No A/3398. Date of death on or since 16th Aug 1917. Aged 26. Part of the 20th division, the KRRC were active in the Battle of Langemarck, 3rd battle of Ypres 16th-18th Aug 1917, It took place in the wettest weather in 75 years, the battle fields turning into quagmires and became known as Passchendaele after the village to the east of Ypres, the battle cost 300,000 allied casualties, Michael although dying of disease was one of these. Son of Michael Charles and Elizabeth Ann Finnemore of Marcliff, Bidford. His mother requested Dearly Beloved to be on his gravestone. Buried Harlebeke New British cemetery.

Leacroft Howard. (William)

Sapper. Canadian Engineers 1st field company. Service no 5089. Date died 15th June 1915. Died at Givenchy aged 30. On the evening of Tuesday, the 15th of June, 1915, the 1st Canadian Brigade found itself involved in one of the bloodiest engagements of the whole war. Over against its left flank was a German “fortin,” known to us as Stony Mountain, bristling with machine guns, guns which later did terrible execution. Before it, some 250 yards more to the south, was another strongly entrenched post known as “Dorchester.” The operation orders directed that the 7th British Division on the Canadian left (with the East Yorks next to us) should make a frontal attack on Stony Mountain. The 1st Canadian Battalion (Ontario Regiment), under General Mercer, was to attack in support and secure the two lines of enemy trenches between Stony Mountain and Dorchester. Working parties of the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Battalions were to secure and connect the trenches taken by the 1st, or, if necessary, assume the defensive. A Canadian national at the time of his death Son of Mrs G.L. Freer of Port Hammand. B.C. and the late Howard Freer. Born Bidford August 27th 1884, trade carpenter. Family lived at Bidford grange,his father Howard was a farmer. Remembered on the Vimy memorial.

Henry (Harry)

Sergeant. Worcestershire regiment 3rd battalion. 7th Brig 3rd Div. service no 13202. Entered service 12/8/14 an old contemptible. Date died 16th June 1915. Henry was involved in the 2nd battles of Ypres. One of which was the 1st attack on Bellewaarde on the 16th July 1915 the day Henry was killed in action. By exploding shell in his trench. The 3rd Worcs attacked with the 7th Irish rifles and were met by heavy artillery and machine gun fire, ground was won and consolidated. Henry was born and resident in Bidford. Served as a police constable in the Birmingham area. Mother Mary sister Elizabeth Brothers Benjamin, Frank, Joseph, John, Justus. Enlisted Worcester. Ypres (Menin gate) memorial.