sketcher Posted 11 June , 2013 Share Posted 11 June , 2013 Earlier this evening whilst browsing the sites I came across a short discussion from 2006 about Tor Top Trench and Hill 62. The hill was known as 62 due to its height but it was known as Tor Top due to an uncle of mine who named a trench while digging it in mid 1915. At the time he was still short of his 19th birthday but had been gassed at the start of 2nd Ypres, and had later been standing in a trench next to his older brother who was shot in the head by a sniper. His name was Jack Cooper DCM of the 1/5th Sherwood Foresters who had spent his life until 1914 living in a house in Torr Top Road, New Mills Derbyshire. In his own words, as dictated to a newspaper reporter in the 1960s........"I was with the Forresters at Ypres in 1915 where we were holding the front line. There were very few trenches at the edge of Sanctuary Wood close to the Germans who held the slightly higher ground, and we needed to dig trenches higher up Hill 62 so we had to start digging them, which we did night after night. In my sector were other local lads, Fred Wright and Frank Swann, etc. Then one night we were told that the night after a "brass hat" would be coming round to see how we were doing. The Germans were sending up verey lights and by the light of one I took a field post card out of my pocket, wrote Torr Top on it and, with a bullet from a pouch, stuck it into the side of the trench. Next night the "brass hat" came round, and when a verey light went up he spotted the post card notice. I can see him now, wearing a monocle, as he turned to one of his staff officers and asked, "What does that say?" "Torr Top Trench, sir," said the officer. "Very appropriate." said the "brass hat". It was appropriate too because the trench was being dug into rising ground. So, the trench became Torr Top officially, and the Engineers put up the board, made from the top of a box, which is now in New Mills Library, giving the trench and the one connecting the name "Tor Top", one of the r's being left off. I was lucky enough to know Jack as a child and as an ex soldier who had seen active service, and in his later life we drank a few pints together and talked at least about his war which he had bottled up for so long. In 2002 his son George wore his dad's medals on his right breast while a Memorial to 4 lads from Torr Top, New Mills, had a plaque unveiled in their names. Within the space of a few square yards had lived two lads awarded the MM and two others awarded the DCM. To settle a wee question as to whether Hill 62 and Tor Top were the same thing, I can most certainly say that they were. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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