IN MEMORy by Pierre Vandervelden

The visit of Commonwealth graves in Communals Cemeteries & Churchyards in Belgium & France

FINS New British Cemetery (Sorel le Grand) (Somme France)

Page 1 The Pictures

Page 2 List of Casualties

Photo Courtesy Peter Bennett (UK)
L/Cpl Alfred Farrington 21/09/1918
Alfred was the son of George and Isabella Farrington of 108, Frederick Street, Walsall.
He was killed during a bn attack on a sunken road known as Gloucester Road, near Villers Guislain, part of the outskirts of the Hindenburg Line.
for Graeme Clarke and the people of Walsall
Pte Arthur John William Hutton 25/01/1918 aged 22
Arthur was the son of John William and Elizabeth Hutton of 42, North Street, Ryecroft.
He enlisted in the Army at Walsall on Monday 10/09/1917 and was to serve for only ten days at the front before he met his death.
At about 8pm on that Friday, a working party from “B” Coy, which included Arthur, were engaged on digging a communication trench south of the farm when they were heavily shelled resulting in 9 men being killed and 9 wounded.
for Graeme Clarke and the people of Walsall
Sjt Sidney James Wilkinson 11/07/917
Sidney was a married man with one child residing at 37, Florence Street, Walsall.
He was killed by the explosion of a shell while in the trenches at Fins whilst his bn was being relieved in the line by a bn from the Suffolk Rgt.
for Graeme Clarke and the people of Walsall
Gnr Hugh Michael Crosby 10/12/1917
Hugh was a married man with five children residing at 1 House, 5 Court, Windmill Street, Walsall.
Having had 13 years prior service, Hugh was mobilised on Tuesday 05/08/1914 and drafted to France on Sunday 07/03/1915.
He was killed in action serving in the Sorel-Le-Grand area.
for Graeme Clarke and the people of Walsall
Mjr Herbert Henry Hayes 15/03/1893 - 01/10/1918
Herbert was born in London, the 2nd son of William Hayes, a naval Chief Artificer who himself was killed in the battle of Jutland 1916 (HMS Fortune).
In 1909 William’s career took the family from West Ham London to Southsea where Herbert studied at Southern grammar school.
He was described as a good student excelling at sports and games.
In 1913 Herbert won a scholarship and embarked on an engineering degree at the Royal College of Science in London.
On 17/09/1914 Herbert enlisted as 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Garrison Artillery.
Rising rapidly through the ranks he was promoted to Major, CO of 409 siege battery.
Herbert was clearly an outstanding officer, mentioned in dispatches twice and at the time of his death destined for further promotion.
What little of the war diaries of his siege Battery survives includes a description of the events leading to his death.
Written in immaculate copper plate the recorder describes:
“The battery came into position on the ridge in front of Homecourt on night of Sept 30. The B.C. post was set up in a tent in front of the football trench.
At 10am the enemy began shelling with 4.2 H.Vs and one burst in the rear of the tent.
The splinters riddled the tent and killed Major H H Hayes, the CO almost immediately.
He was buried at Fins cemetery at 3pm.
The Battery was with 58 Army Brigade RGA V Corps”
The General of the V Corps wrote of him:
"Ever since he has commanded his Battery, no man could have done more to improve its efficiency, and his personal gallantry was always outstanding."
Herbert’s family were apparently unaware that he married during the war to Alice McMurray of Glasgow Scotland and it would appear that his young wife was pregnant in 1918.
A grave in the local church Kirkcudbright has one William Hayes, apparently having died as a baby.
His probate dated 1919 declared his wife, Alice Catherine Hayes of Kirkcudbright as being the sole beneficiary of £299,12s.
Herbert served throughout the war from its beginning in 1914 and tragically fell 41 days prior to armistice.
Some facts, from his application for commission:
Age 21 years - Height 5’4 ½” - Chest 32” - Weight 8st 4.
Despite the passing of the years Herbert and his father Will are very much in the thoughts of their family.
for John Lawson
Herbert is also commemorated here.
Pte Sidney Winter 23/03/1918 aged 20
Sidney, 20th (County of London) Bn (Blackheath and Woolwich), London Regiment was killed in action.
He was the son of Henry and Annie Winter of 74 Sandhurst Road, Catford.
He was born in New Cross and enlisted at Blackheath, arriving in France on the 09/10/1915.
Prior to his death he was wounded twice whilst at the front.
At the time of his death his father was still serving overseas.
for Kevin Loughnane (Catford Roll of Honour)
L/Cpl Charles Alfred Lisher MM 08/03/1918 aged 22
Sunday 30 June 2013
ROUNDING up our articles on Lance Corporal Lisher, a Littlehampton reader has tracked down details of his medal.
Last week, we learned much about Charles Lisher thanks to research by several readers.
Peter Rudwick has now provided more information about his Military Medal, which others had been unable to trace.
“The following extract is from Richard Buckman’s The Royal Sussex Regiment Military Honours & Awards, dated October 2, 1917,” he said.
It reads: “Private C.A. Lisher, Royal Sussex Regiment, who belongs to Worthing, has recently gained the Military Medal, the following being the official record:-
“For most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in the battle of Ypres on July 31 and August 1 and 2. This private was a linesman, and was on duty night and day repairing breakages caused by shell fire.
“The line between Brigade and Battalion Headquarters ran along the derelict German Reserve line and although the line was shelled continuously and heavily, Private Lisher went out repeatedly by day and night, often under heavy shell fire, thus enabling communication between Battalion and Headquarters to be kept up.
“He is the son of Frederick George and Amelia Lisher, of 48 Orme Road, Worthing.”
Mr Rudwick also found a report on Thursday, March 21, 1918, which stated: “Worthing military medalist killed in action”.
The report continues: “Lance Corporal C.A. Lisher, 13th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment, only son of Mr and Mrs F.J. Lisher, 48 Orme Road, Worthing, has been killed in action in France.
“Enlisting in November, 1914, he beamed a popular soldier in his battalion and gained prominence as the winner of two regimental cups for boxing.
“For two years, he took part in the fighting in France, and was home on leave in January.
“Last year he was awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery.
“He had only returned to the front seven weeks when his parents received a letter from Lieutenant H. Tucker, an officer of the regiment, breaking the news of the death.”
According to the report, the officer added: “I always found him optimistic, even in difficult circumstances, and above all, without fear.”
Source, readers of/and the Shoreham Herald.
for Mary Connaughton


1 082 casualties

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Casualties informations come usualy from Commonwealth War Graves Commission, see links for more informations © Pierre Vandervelden - Belgium