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Remembered Today:

Colonel William Shirley Northcote Toller


Marigold1

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I Have looked for (and failed) to find the citation for the DSO awarded to Colonel William Shirley Northcote Toller of the 1/5th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment and 1/7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters.

 

His award only, without citation, is listed in The London Gazette as follows: The London Gazette. Supplement 29438. 11 January 1916. p. 574.

 

Can anyone, I wonder, find it? All help greatly appreciated.

 

Marigold

 


 

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Hi Marigold,

 

There wasn't a (later) published citation. His was a new year honours award, given for recognition of general good service, rather than for a specific act.

 

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Images sourced from the National Archives

 

Regards

Chris

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Hi Marigold, a January award is likely to be a King's New Year's Honour, as such no citation, however there is wn article in the 14th January 1916 edition of the Leicester Daily Post which has a write up on him...it can found on the British Newspaper archives... Annoying I keep getting an error message when trying to open it 

 

Andy 

Screenshot_20200228_180812.jpg

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its quite common to have no citation Im afraid

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(DSO) The London Gazette. Supplement 29438. 11 January 1916. p. 574.

(MiD) The London Gazette. Supplement 29422. 1 January 1916. p. 38.

 

Also found this

 

From June to September 1915 the battalion remained in the area of Zillebeeke and Ouderdom, before moving to Hesdigneul in October, La Couture in November and Merville and Thienne in December. From June to November 1915 Major Toller was appointed a Temporary Lieutenant Colonel.

While in the trenches at Vermelles in October, during the final stages of the Battle of Loos, temporary Lt. Colonel Toller was knocked down by shells and suffered concussion. When he recovered he was briefly sent to command the 1/4th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment and then to the 1/5th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment until 10th November. On his return to the 1/5th Leicesters he reverted to the rank of Major and was involved in trench tours between Festubert and Neuve Chapelle until the end of the year.

January 1916 was taken up with a potential move of the 1/5th Leicesters to Egypt which was aborted at Marseilles, the battalion being returned to Candas, and the area of Vimy Ridge. In mid-February 1916 the 1/5th Battalion took over the line north of the River Ancre opposite Beaumont-Hamel in France. On 29th February the battalion moved to the area of Doullens where the men worked on improving the trenches despite being subjected to a considerable bombardment from the enemy with mines and craters being blown.

From 9th March 1916 the 1/5th Leicesters were in the area of Vimy Ridge, Pas de Calais, either in the front line, in support, in reserve or at rest. On 27th April the battalion was sent to the neighbourhood of Neuville St. Vaast to work with the French and English tunnellers and then to billets in Luchaux for bayonet training. This was followed by a period at Souastre digging cable trenches, and constructing bomb stores and gun pits in preparation for a 'big push'.

In February 1916 Major Toller had been awarded the DSO, which he received from King George V at Buckingham Palace on 20th May 1916.
 

 

John

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Dear Chris, Andy, Coldstreamer and John,

I am most grateful to all of you for your help, particularly as I had no idea that some of these awards would not have a citation. Very many thanks indeed.

Marigold

 

 

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There are a couple of articles in FmP archives

 

Oddly I could not get an  obit, just a funeral notice.

 

toller1.jpg.ac9c87a347c66ac80f2283ed5f9f320e.jpgtoller2.jpg.8bb884bec17a56d9d8517895707c4c32.jpg

 

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  • 3 months later...

He shared a room with my GF. Room 57 The Citadelle at Mainz. Picture taken 13/5 18. He is seated 4th from left.

Photo 22 Men of Room 57. 13-5-18.jpg

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Dear Phil,

 

What a marvellous photograph. This would have been not long after Colonel Toller was taken a Prisoner of Way by the Germans (on 21st March 1918).

 

We would like to put this photo on Colonel Toller's entry in the Gallantry Awards section of the electronic Loughborough Roll of Honour. Would you be agreeable to this?

 

Is your grandfather in the photo too? What was his name and which regiment was he with?

 

Kind regards,

 

Marigold

Marigold Cleeve

Principal Researcher, Carillon War Memorial Museum, Loughborough, UK

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Hello Marigold, yes, please use the photo as you wish. My GF. William Pritchett (seated 2nd from left) was acting Captain A Company, of the 7th Sherwood Foresters. Capt F. Pragnell adjutant, is left of him. They were captured 21/3/18,and I think most if not all of these men were captured that fateful day and served with the Sherwood Foresters. 

  Of the 200 plus British battalions that saw action that day, the 7th suffered the most casualties. 25% killed, 72% captured, ie fewer than 3% survived and avoided capture.
  There are photos of the prison in 'The Robin Hoods 1/7, 2/7th 3/7th Batts. SFs'. Naval and Military Press Ltd, written by batt. officers.
 My GF kept a diary whilst POW. I dont think Lt. Col Toller gets much of a mention - but Ill check and if anything interesting turns up I will let you know.  Phil
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  • Admin
On 28/02/2020 at 17:42, Marigold1 said:

Colonel William Shirley Northcote Toller of the 1/5th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment

Hi Marigold, as I am sure you are aware he gets mentioned in Captain Hills book a number of times. Here is a link to it. It is quite helpful as there is a search included so all you have to do is type in his name and every mention if flagged. Regards, Bob. https://archive.org/details/leicestershire00hilluoft/page/n157/mode/2up?q=Toller

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Dear Phil and Bob,

 

Thank you very much for all the effort you have made to help. I am extremely grateful.

 

Marigold

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Dear BullerTurner,

 

William Shirley Northcote Toller had a very distinguished military career. He joined the Leicesters in April 1900 as a 2nd Lieutenant. He became a Lieutenant in August 1900 and a Captain in 1901. In 1913 he was promoted to Major. In 1915 he was appointed a Temporary Lieutenant Colonel. On 4th July 1916 he left the Leicesters and took over command of the 1/7th (Robin Hood) Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters, being made a Lieutenant Colonel. After the war he became Honorary Colonel of the 1/5th Battalion of the Leicesters.

 

Marigold

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Hi BullerTurner - cant comment on the uniforms - my knowledge is v poor in that field. Cant recall the source of the caption - but I sure recognise my GF. Any of the others look Lt.Colonish?  I have just compared his photo in the history of the Robin Hoods with the photo above tho, and they look alike to me.

 

Phil.

Edited by daggerphil
Info check.
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  • 1 year later...

Morning all, 

Totally new to this site so its wonderful to see that hopefully other peoples relatives may have shared a room in MAINZ with my 4x Great Uncle...... Capt. AGF Elwood (2/6 SF)

I have attached some photos from his POW diary in which he got everyones signature from who he shared a room with. Phil, from reading some of your other posts, i believe your GF was William Pritchett? I have also attached a few drawings from their room, number 57. I have also attached a photo of my GGGGU as i believe his photo looks very much like the chap sat on the far left but i know there has been mention that is was Capt F. Pragnell adjutant? I wonder if there was any other photos floating around of Room 57 and the men who lived there??

 

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Thanks Steve - v. similair style sketches to my GFs.  I guess they wouldve shared the pencils used.  Phil

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  • 6 months later...

Hi Steve, how are you keeping? Hope you are well.  Any progress with the diary transcription?

Bye, for now,

 

Phil.

 

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