Soldiers R - W

Rifleman Thomas Rice
266351 7th Bn Cameronian (Scottish Rifles)
Died 2nd November 1917 Aged 19
Newbridge Lane
Remembered: Jerusalem Memorial

Rifleman Rice was one of three sons of George & Emma Rice of Newbridge Lane, who served in the forces in The Great War. He was serving with the Egyptian Expeditionary Forces when he was killed by a shell burst at just 19 years of age. A keen and talented footballer it was reported that many thought him to be the finest centre-forward playing in the English school-boy league. He captained the Brimington school boys side and played alongside Horace Stott in the challenge for the Clayton Shield in 1911. He was said ‘ be always a modest and unassuming lad, who was never spoilt by his success and was well liked by all with whom he came in contact.’ From letters received by his mother from soldiers who fought by her son’s side it is evident that he displayed the same characteristics in the Army which rendered him so popular as a schoolboy footballer.

 No Known Grave - The soldiers name is inscribed on Panel 28/29 of the Jerusalem Memorial

Private James Ritchie

18198 1st Border Regiment
Died 4th July 1915 Aged : 19
Station Road
Buried : Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Gallipoli

Private Ritchie came to live in Station Road just before the outbreak of war. His father had moved the family from Bolton when he was appointed manager of a new colliery at Whittington and his son worked there as a miner. The young man enlisted in November 1914 and on 17th March 1915 set sail for the Dardanelles where he met his death - at Gully Ravine, Gallipoli. 153 men from his regiment were lost in that engagement, when the Turks mounted a counter-attack. In his last letter home to his parents dated 23rd June, the 19 year old soldier stated that he ‘….had witnessed the Australians charge the Turks with picks and shovels because they had no time to fix bayonets’ 

Grave ref: VII.D.10

L/Corp Henry Rodgers

24144 9th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)
Died 17th July 1917
Aged 37
Cow Lane & Church Street
Married with 5 children
Buried: Essex Farm Cemetery, Flanders

L/Corp Rodgers was born in Grassmoor, and moved to Brimington with his family around 1895. He married Amelia Redfern in 1900 and lived first in Cow Lane, then by 1911 the couple were living at 38 Church Street with their 5 children. He worked as a miner before he enlisted in the forces in early 1915. His battalion was shipped to the Dardanelles in summer of 1915 where he saw action in Sulva Bay Gallipoli. Sometime during 1916 the soldier was re-deployed first to Egypt then France and finally in 1917 to Belgium. L/Corp Rodgers met his death near Ypres. He died of his wounds at the Essex Farm advanced dressing station which was close to the front line trenches and he is buried.

 Grave ref:  I.P.3

Private Wilfred Rowe

266350 1st/ 4th Bn Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Died 26th September 1918 Aged 24
Pondwell Corner
Buried: Brimington Cemetery

Private Rowe joined the Scottish Rifles in early 1915 and was sent immediately to Egypt where he served for a considerable time. By the time his unit was transferred to France, Private Rowe was already ill –through drinking unfit water whilst in the middle-east. He was invalided back to England and spent considerable time in hospital first in Leeds and then Ilkley hospital where he died. He was given a military funeral prior to his interment in Brimington cemetery. A large number of wounded soldiers from Chesterfield hospital followed the hearse and ‘A’ company of the 2nd VB Sherwood Foresters provided a firing party at the grave side. Before the war the soldier was a pipe fitter at Staveley Iron and Steel works. He was 24 years old. 

Grave ref: 2732 

Private Joseph Sammons

268853 1st/5th Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)
Died 3rd October 1918 Aged 25
Coronation Road Married with two small daughters
Buried: Ramicourt British Cemetery, France

Private Sammons lived at Coronation Road with his wife Florence and two small daughters Roshanna and Florence. He joined the army in May 1916 and had been in France for eleven months before he was killed in action. He died whilst his battalion was heroically capturing the French village of Ramicourt from the Germans and he was buried very close to where he fell together with a number of his comrades. He was 25 years old. 

Grave ref:  B.36

Private Edwin Sims

19634 10th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)
Died 14th December 1915 Age 22
South Moor Road,
Remembered : Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium

Private Sims of South Moor Road, Brimington was officially pronounced dead in a letter to his parents,- Harry and Sarah Sims, on New Year’s Day 1916. His commanding officer Lieut. Hoyle wrote that the soldier was ‘an honest, upright man and one who would make a good soldier’. His regiment was holding the front lines in the southern area of the Ypres salient at the time he was killed. Private Sims was 22 years old at the time of his death and had worked at Markham & Co in Chesterfield. His employers sent words of condolence to his family stating that the young man was ‘….of a cheery disposition and showed great promise’ The soldier himself had written to his parents only weeks before he was killed, telling them that he was enjoying his work in the army.

No Known Grave -  Private Sims' name is inscribed on Panel 39-41 on the Menin Gate

Private George Smedley

235571 1st Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Died 8th October 1917
Remembered: Tyne Cot Memorial, Passchendaele, Belgium

Private Smedley is remembered on the Brimington War Memorial but thus far we can only find a few pieces of personal details about the soldier. We know he was 19 years old when he died and had joined the forces in 1916 and that his mother lived in Brimington at the time of his death. And it was she who was sent the news that her son had died.

No Known Grave -  Private Smedley's name is inscribed on Panel 64 of the Tyne Cot Memorial

Private Alfred Smith

11980 8th Bn Lincolnshire Regiment
Died 26th Sept 1915 Aged 20
Wheeldon Mill
Remembered: Loos Memorial to the Missing Dud Corner Cemetery
Private Smith’s parents, John and Hannah Smith of Wheeldon Mill, learned of their son’s death from another soldier’s mother, who had received a letter from her son telling her he had been injured and that his friend Private Alfred Smith had been killed in the same incident and that they had been fighting side by side. Yet Alfred Smiths parents heard nothing official regarding their sons death for many weeks. Private Smith was just 20 years old and had worked at Whittington Moor Potteries before enlisting and was spoken of as being ’’an exceptionally fearless young man and one who would never think of shirking any duty no matter what danger may have to be faced’’

No Known Grave -  Private Smiths name is inscribed on panel 34 of the Loos Memorial

Private Edward Carrington Smith

106882 Machine Gun Corps
Died 20th October 1917 Aged 19
Station Road
Remembered : Tyne Cot Memorial, Passchendaele, Belgium

Private Smith was born in Staveley—the son of Edward & Emily (Carrington), and the young Edward moved to Station Road, Brimington, shortly before the outbreak of war. He joined up to fight on the 7th June 1916 and originally joined the Sherwood Foresters before being transferred to the Machine Gun Corps in 1917. In autumn of that year he embarked for the western front, reaching Boulogne on the 4th September. Just over a month later on 20th October 1917 he was killed defending the Ypres Salient from heavy German bombardment. He was 19 years old.

No Known Grave - Private Smiths name is inscribed on Panel 154-159 of the Tyne Cot Memorial

Private Ernest C Smith

70677 15th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)
Died 14th July 1918 Aged 30
Back Street
Buried: Abeele Aerodrome Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium

Private Smith was born in Sheffield and moved to Back Street Brimington with his parents Isaac and Louisa sometime around 1900. According to his records Private Smith joined the army in 1916 and saw action in France before moving to the Ypres salient in summer 1918. On 13th July 1918 his unit was sent ahead to relieve the 4th Bn North Stafford's from the front line and he and 34 others were killed as part of the action. He was initially buried in the local civilian churchyard at Boeschepe but was removed and reburied in Abeele Military cemetery more than a year later. He was married to Eleanor in 1910 and lived in Arkwright village prior to his death they had a daughter Doris, born the following year. His younger brother Herbert was killed in July 1916 at the Battle of the Somme. 

Grave ref: II.B.4

Private Herbert Smith

13288 7th Bn Leicestershire Regiment
Died 14th July 1916 Aged 21
South Moor Road
Remembered: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Private Smith of South Moor Road, Brimington Common was just 21 years old when he was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. His parents Isaac and Louise received the terrible news in a letter from Lady Hughes who wrote ‘…… I am writing for Private William Collins, South Wales Borderers as he can neither read nor write. He feels sure you will be comforted to know that he buried Private H Smith on July 14th alongside his comrades. He was buried in the wood where he fell, and Private Collins asks me to say he was very reverently buried. A matchbox and pocket-book which Collins took from your son's pocket I will send to you later’ Private Smith was killed on the same day and the same place as three other Brimington lads. He was a miner before the war and his brother Ernest was also killed 2 years later in 1918.

 No Known Grave  - Private Smiths name is inscribed on Panel 2C -3A of the Thiepval Memorial

Private Robert H Smith

16013 12th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)
Died 28th March 1918 Aged 30
Queen Street,
Remembered: Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France

Private Smith was the son of William and Jane Smith of 43 Queen Street. He joined the Sherwood Foresters in 1915 and landed in France around August of that year. His battalion was engaged in many crucial battles throughout the next two and a half years. He was killed in action at the beginning of the final German offensive of the war, along side another Brimington soldier - Private Alfred Malam. He was 30 years old and had been a furnace labourer at Staveley Iron & Steel before the war.

 No Known Grave -   Private Smiths name is inscribed on Panel 52-54 of the Pozieres Memorial

Private John T Souter

47930 22nd Bn Northumberland Fusiliers 
Died 21st March 1918 Aged 35
Ringwood Road
Married with one son
Remembered : Arras Memorial, France

Private Souter joined the Northumberland Fusiliers in June 1916 but his unit was held in reserve for a long time, so he did not leave for the western front until January 1918. He lasted just a few weeks before he was killed in action at Arras, France in March 1918. It was many months after he was listed as missing before his wife—Lily - was officially told that her husband had died. Before the war Private Souter was a painter and decorator, and lived at 49 Ringwood Road with his wife and young son Joseph.

No Known Grave - Private Souters name is inscribed on Bay 2 & 3 of the Arras Memorial

Private Horace F Stott

15896 6th Bn Lincolnshire Reg
Died 13th January 1916 Aged 17
Melbourne Place, Station Road,
Buried: Brimington Cemetery

Private Stott was the youngest boy from Brimington to die in the Great War, he was just 17 years old. He was wounded in the head at Scimitar Hill Gallipoli in Oct 1915, and was shipped back to England where he died in Wandsworth Hospital, London. He was brought home to Brimington and given a full military funeral in the village. His parents and particularly his father never got over their young sons death. Before the war Horace was a talented footballer and was in the Brimington school boy teams who won the famous Clayton Challenge Shield in 1913. His story epitomizes the youth of Britain in that era.
( Read Horace’s special story) 

Grave ref: 738     

“  A Silent Thought,  A Secret Tear,  Keeps His Memory Ever Dear “

Private George H Symonds

11617 2nd Bn Grenadier Guards
Died 7th November 1914 Aged 28
Married one child
Remembered: Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium

Private Symonds had served with the Grenadier Guards as a young man, so as soon as war was declared he rejoined his old regiment and was sent to France on 11th September 1914 as part of the British Expeditionary Force. News of his death was received by his wife Beatrice and his brother Alfred. But it was some time later before they were told the details of where or how he had been killed—near Ypres during a continuing heavy bombardment from the enemy.
In his last letter home to his wife dated 5th November, Private Symonds had written that he was in good health and that they were experiencing some ‘fine firework displays from the enemy shells flying overhead’
Aged 28 he had been a policeman before the war, and left a widow and one child who was only a month old.

No Known Grave - Private Symonds name is inscribed on Panel 9 & 11 of the Menin Gate

Private William H Taylor

240179 2nd/6th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)
Died 28th September 1917 Aged 24
Ringwood Road
Buried: Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele, Belgium

Private Taylor joined the Territorial's in March 1914 so was mobilized at the outbreak of war in August of that year. At the time he was employed at the Great Central Cinder works, although he had followed his father down the pit after leaving school but left the mines after a few years. The young soldier is reported to have fought through some of the hardest battles during 1915 and 1916 until he was killed at the infamous Battle of Passchendaele, in September 1917. He was just 24 years old and lived with his family at Ringwood Road, Brimington. 

Grave ref: LII.D.4

Private John F Thorneycroft

12340 1sth Bn Irish Guards
Died 22nd May 1918 Aged 24
Victoria Street Unmarried
Buried: Doullens Communal Cemetery Ext No 2 France

Private Thorneycroft had only been in the army for 8 months when he died of gunshot wounds to his abdomen on 22nd May 1918. He had previously been wounded a few weeks before and in a letter to his parents dated ironically the -22nd May he told them he had just been discharged from hospital and was fully fit. So he must have been killed within days - perhaps hours of his discharge. Before the war Private Thorneycroft lived with his parents Henry and Harriet Thorneycroft, at 62 Victoria Street. And was one of 6 children. He was 24 years old. 

Grave ref:  II.C.4


Private Arthur Turner

14205 9th Bn Leicestershire Regiment
Died 14th July 1916 Aged 21
Hays Yard
Remembered: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Private Turner lived with his father John and his sisters at 35 Hays Yard Brimington and was just 21 years old when he was killed at what became known as the 2nd Phase of the battle of the Somme. A letter from his Commanding officer to the soldiers father stated’’ I have heard from the regiment that your son was killed in action at Bazentin Wood on July 14th. One consolation, his death was perfectly instantaneous and painless. He was hit in the heart by a shrapnel bullet. I always looked upon your son as one of the best men I had in my platoon, full of pluck always cheerful and a splendid worker. His death will be a great loss to us. Words are useless in a case like this I know, but will you accept my sincere sympathy in your great loss.’’ Private Turner worked at Staveley Works before the war.

No Known Grave -   Private Turners name is inscribed on Panel 2C-3A  on the Thiepval Memorial

Private Walter Turner

26671 15th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)
Died 25th October 1917 Aged 19
Queen Street
Remembered : Tyne Cot Memorial, Passchendaele, Belgium

Private Turner joined the forces in May 1915 at the age of only 17. Seven months after signing up, he was wounded in action on the Western Front and was taken, first to a casualty clearing station and then such was the extent of his injuries he was moved back to England and transferred to the Ontario Military hospital in Orpington, Kent. But with the urgent need for men at the front, once he had been pronounced fit, he was sent back into action. His battalion saw action at the Battle of the Somme and at Arras in France before moving to Flanders and the infamous Passchendaele. And it was there that he was killed in action in October 1917. He was just 19 years old and lived with his widowed mother in Queen Street, Brimington.

 No Known Grave  - Private Turners name is inscribed on Panel 99-102 of the Tyne Cot Memorial

Sapper Charles H Unwin

486540 Royal Engineers
Died 15th June 1918 Aged 25
South Moor Road,
Buried: Grand Seraucourt British Cemetery, France

Sapper Unwin was the eldest son of Charles and Annie Unwin of 102 South Moor Road, Brimington Common, and the young Brimington man enlisted in the army in November 1915 and was drafted to France the following August. Uncertainty surrounded his death. He was first reported missing on May 30th 1918 then an official communication was sent to his parents stating he had died of wounds to the abdomen on 15th June. Then they received a postcard from their son stating he was a prisoner of the Germans and had been injured in the leg. A further postcard followed from the soldier saying he was doing well. But it was many weeks later before the War Office confirmed to his parents that they had lost their son and officially confirmed his date of death as 15th June 1918. Before the war the soldier was a talented violinist and well known in the area for his musical abilities. He worked as a labourer on the Sutton estate at Duckmanton. He was 25 years old.

Grave ref:  VII.D.2 (The cross on the window base on the north wall inside Brimington Parish church was given in memory of the soldier ) 

Private William E Wallace
18247 2nd Bn Yorks & Lancs
Died 30th October 1915 Aged 34
Station Road
Married with 3 children
Buried :  Hop Store Cemetery, Nr Ypres, Belgium

Private Wallace was born in Rotherham and moved to Whittington around 1905, and shortly after that he joined the Army reserves, but unfortunately was discharged for ‘a felony’ after only a few months. Known as Ernest, he married a widow- Emma Taylor in 1907, by which time he was living at 144 Station Road, Brimington and working as a miner. In January 1915 he enlisted again and rejoined his old battalion the Yorks & Lancs and on 18th March was sent to France. His service record shows a number of misdemeanours committed by the soldier. In June 1915 he was sentenced to Field Punishment No 2 - placed in fetters and handcuffs for a specific time - for refusing to obey an officer and using offensive language to an N.C.O The following month, July 1915 his unit was moved to Belgium where he was injured. He died on 30th October 1915 of wounds inflicted whilst fighting in the Ypres area. He left a daughter Frances, a son Ernest and a step daughter Jesse. His widow remarried in 1917 and moved away from the village.


Grave ref:  I.D.21

Signaller Albert E Wheeler

25480 11th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)
Died 16th January 1917 Aged 29
Station Road
Married with three children
Buried : Railway Dugout Burial Ground, Ypres , Belgium

Signaller Wheeler was a native of Morton in Derbyshire. He had emigrated to Canada in 1912 and returned to England in early 1914 and found employment with the Midland Railway company. He was stationed in Brimington with his wife and three children. Sometime during 1915 he enlisted in the army and was sent to the Western Front. It is thought he was on sentry duty near Ypres Belgium, when the Germans started shelling and he—and a number of his comrades were killed by shell fire. A memorial service was held for him at Morton Church, where he had once been a choirboy and bell ringer. He was 29 years old.

Grave ref:   VII.E.15

Private Albert Wilson

23867 15th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)
Died 15th October 1916 Aged 22
Victoria Street Married with one son
Buried: Arras Cemetery, Faubourg-d'Amiens, France

Private Wilson was born at Duke Street, Whittington Moor to John and Annie Wilson. And the family moved to Victoria Street Brimington sometime prior to 1911. He married a girl from the same street —Sarah Starbuck in early 1914 and had a son called William born later that year. In late 1915 he joined the Sherwood Foresters and was quickly sent out to France. He was killed in action in Arras on 15th October 1916 and is buried in the Faubourg d'Amiens British Cemetery there. He was 22 years old. 

Grave ref:  I.G.64

L/Corp Leonard Wilson

66054 10th Bn Royal Fusiliers
Died 16th May 1918 Aged 32
Heywood Street
Married with one son
Buried: St Sever Cemetery, Rouen, France

Private Wilson was born in Nottingham, and by 1911 he was a grocers manager at Hunters Stores in Brimington and lodging at 17 Foljambe Road. He married Effie Renshaw in 1914 and had a son, and moved to a larger property in Heywood Street. In January 1917 he joined the forces and was quickly transferred to the 10th Bn Royal Fusiliers and was promoted to Lance Corporal. He saw action on the Somme and at the Battle of the Hindenburg Line when the Germans made a final push. He was 32 years old when he died from gas poisoning.

Grave ref:   P. XI. B. 1A    “  Peace After Pain From His Loving Wife And Child “

L/Corporal Harry Wood

31422 8th Bn East Yorkshire Regt
Died 11th April 1917 Aged 25
High Street
Buried : Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, France

L/Corporal Wood answered the call to arms in August 1915 and joined the Yorkshire Regiment. Born in the area he had moved to Rotherham with his family for a time, and returned to marry a local girl. He saw action in some of the most infamous battles of 1916 and 1917 including the Battles of Scarpe and Arras. He died as a result of gas poisoning after being taken to a clearing hospital in Abbeville, France. He was 25 years old, married and lived at 2 High Street Brimington. 

Grave ref:   I.M.17

Corporal Reginald O Wood

8634 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusilliers
Died 14th May 1915 Aged 25
King Street,
Remembered : Helles Memorial, Turkey

Corporal Wood was the nephew of Mrs Sims of King Street. He had lived with his aunt for many years and he attended school in Brimington where according to reports he ‘…. had always displayed a strong desire to join the army’. So he joined as soon as he was of an age to do so, and served in China for three years and then in India, Crete and Malta. He returned to England in late 1914 and was sent almost immediately to the Dardanelles. He landed in Cape Helles, Gallipoli on 25th April 1915 and his division went through the worst of the fighting there. In his last letter to his aunt dated April 22nd 1915 he wrote that he was expecting promotion to the rank of sergeant. He was 25 years old when he was killed in action on the 14th May 1915.

No Known Grave - Corporal Woods name is inscribed on Panel 97-101 of the Helles Memorial

Private Norman Woolley

1602 1st/6th Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)
Died 8th August 1915 Aged 21
King Street
Engaged to be married
Buried: Hooge Crater Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium

Private Woolley lived with his parents at 40 King Street and as an 18 year old in 1912 he joined the Army Reservists. So when war was declared he was called up immediately, and after a few weeks training in Clumber Park, he was sent to France, arriving there on 28th February 1915. Quickly his unit was then redeployed to Belgium, to help defend the Ypres Salient. The soldier had recently become engaged to Miss Mabel Bingham of Prospect Street Stonegravels, Chesterfield who he was expected to marry on his next leave. And standing 5’ 5” tall and of slight build, he was reported to be a ‘very fit young man’ He was killed by a sniper 8th August 1915 during the fierce fighting around the Hooge chateau, just outside Ypres. He was 21 years old.

Grave ref:  IV.H.11

Not Forgotten Brimington    Not Forgotten Brimington   

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 14th Nov 2021

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THE SOMME - 1916

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