Private Herbert Briddon
15145, 10th (Service) Bn., Sherwood Forester(Notts and Derby Regiment) who died of wounds on 22 July 1916, aged 32
Remembered with Honour
Staveley Memorial (as Britton)
Chesterfield (Spital) Cemetery (Old. 3978)
Ironworks labourer, Herbert Briddon Snr, married Ellen Buckles in 1875. The couple made their home at Storforth Lane in Hasland near to Ellens’ parents and it was here that their children Arthur, Clara and Elizabeth Ellen were born. By 1891, 15 year old Arthur was working as a coal miner and the family had grown to include Gertrude, Albert, HERBERT and baby Ethel. Arthur was killed the following year in an accident at Grassmoor Colliery.
Herbert had been born in the Summer of 1884 and, in 1901, was working as a self- employed coal carter. Two more siblings, Ernest and Ethel had been born before the turn of the century. Clara married Joseph Sharpe in 1898, Elizabeth Ellen married Henry Whilton in 1899 and Gertrude had first married Thomas Barber in 1901 and then Benjamin Sharpe in 1909.
Herbert Senior was employed at the blast furnace owned by the Staveley Coal and Iron Company in 1911 and the family had moved to live at number 84 on the newly built Devonshire Cottages at Barrow Hill. Unmarried sons, Herbert and Ernest, were the only two children still at home and both were employed at Staveley Works; 25 year old Herbert as a labourer at the blast furnace and 19 year old Ernest as an iron and brass moulder. Recently married Albert was living on School Board Lane at Brampton and his younger sister Ethel was staying with her sister Gertrude. Youngest child Mabel had been born in 1896 but had sadly died aged 13.
Herbert enlisted at Chesterfield and joined 10th (Service) Bn., Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) as Private 15145. The Battalion had been formed at Derby in September 1914 as part of Kitchener’s Second Army and came under orders of the 51st Brigade in the 17th (Northern) Division. Early days were somewhat chaotic, the new volunteers having very few trained officers and NCOs to command them, no organised billets or equipment. They moved firstly to Wool in Dorset and then on to West Lulworth in October 1914, returning to Wool in December. In June 1915, they moved to Winchester.
After receiving an order that the Division would be retained for home defence, subsequently cancelled, advance parties left for France on 6th July. Main embarkation began on 12th July and Herbert landed at Boulogne, France, on 14th July 1915 where units moved to concentrate near St Omer.
The Division spent the rest of 1915 in trench familiarisation and then holding the front lines in the southern area of the Ypres salient. They were involved in fighting at the Bluff, part of a number of engagements officially known as the Actions of Spring 1916 and on the Somme at the Battle of Albert in July 1916.
During the evening of the 9th/10th July, orders were received for the Battalion to move up to the front line with as much S.A.A. that could be carried. ‘A’ and ‘D’ companies occupied Quadrangle Trench during an attack on Quadrilateral Support by the S. Staffs. However, during the evening the Germans were seen retiring from Quadrangle Support and the 10th Sherwood Foresters were ordered to advance and occupy the now empty trench with the 7th Lincolnshires in support.
“The attack commenced promptly at 9.45 p.m. and two companies of S. STAFFS immediately occupied the trench left by the assaulting troops, which had been fairly heavily shelled for some time. . . . . a wounded runner brought back the news that QUADRANGLE SUPPORT was captured and that as yet there was no news of the attacks on the right and left by 7th LINCOLNS. . . . .
At 11 p.m. information was received that 7th Lincolnshires in the line had received no orders to move forward: they were immediately sent forward to assist in holding the captured trench.” The remainder of the night passed quietly and the longed for relief by the 110th Bde was completed by 4 a.m.
Herbert was badly wounded on 9th July and was sent back to England. He arrived at Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 11th July but died on 22nd at the Armstrong College Hospital. His body was returned to his family and buried with full military honours at Spital Cemetery.
Herbert’s “In Memorium” notice from his family in the Derbyshire Times newspaper includes the verse:
His King and Country called him
The call was not in vain
On Britain’s Roll of Honour
You’ll find our loved one’s name
* Herbert’s younger brother, 22 year old Ernest, was working at Bryan Donkins when he enlisted with the Leicestershire Regiment at Chesterfield on 5th September 1914. He was posted to the Sherwood Foresters on 9th September but was discharged as no longer physically fit for war service in July 1915 after a severe attack of rheumatism affected his heart. He was then living at Brimington.
© Ann Lucas
Reference: 10th(S) Battalion The Sherwood Foresters’, by Lt. W.N. Hoyte