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15th July 1916 16th K.R.R.C. High Wood


Audax
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Saturday 15th July 1916. Temperature 72°F, morning mist clearing to a bright day.

16th (Service) Battalion (Church Lads' Brigade) 100th Brigade, 33rd Division.

The 100th Brigade attacked with the 9th Highland Light Infantry on the left, in the front line, the 16th KRRC being in support. The Highland Light Infantry were held up from the start by enfilade fire from HIGH WOOD. The Queen's reached the enemy's wire, and found it uncut. Our 16th Battalion was then put in to fill the gap between the two regiments. They advanced 1,000 yards over the open and lost heavily. Colonel Wyld was wounded and Captain E Wenham succeeded to command. The Battalion behaved most gallantly in this, its first big fight, and eleven Military Medals were awarded to NCOs and riflemen for their conduct in the attack. (Regimental History)

The Battalion lost on this day: (Killed in Action and Died of Wounds)

Rfn Edgar Wilfred Anderson, C/883, Spennymoor.

Rfn William Anderson, C/649, Long Eaton.

Rfn Albert Asden, C/929, Rawtenstall.

Rfn Ernest Atkinson C/207, Leicester

Rfn William Ball, C/256, Highfield, Wigan

Rfn Wilson Barber, C/1111, Oldham.

Rfn James Barnes, C/ 631, Chesham.

Rfn Frank Thomas Barron, C/461 Whitchurch, Salop.

Rfn William Ernest Bell, C/1454, Darlington.

L/Cpl Thomas Birkett, C/939, Durham

Rfn Nathaniel Blaker C/582, Worthing.

L/Cpl William Edwin Bradshaw C/356, Wigan.

Rfn Horace Albert Briggs, C/135, Lonf Eaton.

Sgt Leonard Brown, C/813, Birmingham.

Rfn Thomas Brown, C/1646, Felling-on-Tyne.

Rfn Holden Broxup, C/1402, Bradford.

Rfn Harry Bull,R/17138,New Barnett.

Rfn James Arncliffe Burdon C/1281, Stockton-on-Tees

Rfn William Ernest Burrows, C/460, Whitchurch, Salop.

Rfn William Charles Caiger, C/330, Sparkford, Somerset

Rfn Henry Charles Carter, C/331, Connah's Quay.

L/Cpl Thomas Frederick Cliff C/449, Whitchurch, Salop.

Rfn Levitt Geoge Cooper C/854, Leicester.

Rfn Wilfred Crook, C/932, Bolton.

L/Cpl William Cundall, C/210, Leicester.

Rfn Ernest Dixon, C/68, Burnley.

L/Cpl John Arthur Exall, C/380, Hereford.

Cpl Albert George Fenn, C/626, Chesham.

Rfn Charles Edwin Francis C/680, Windsor.

Cpl John Marrington Goff, C/83, Brightlingsea.

Rfn Arthur Thomas Goldsmith C/42, Eastbourne.

Sgt Frank Gomm, C/636, Chesham.

Rfn Cecil Graverstock, C/16, Croxley Green

Rfn Harold Guest C/1035, Wombwell.

Rfn James Hadfield C/490, Bolton.

Rfn Charles John Hatt C/130, Blyth.

Rfn Frank Hayes C/262, Chesham.

Rfn Joseph Henry Hill, C/1036, Wombwell.

Rfn George Hughes, C/38, Redhill.

Bglr Arnold Ingham, C/589, Ashton-under-Lyme

Rfn Louis Edward Jones, C/112, Sketty, Swansea.

Rfn John Henry Jones, C/682, Buckley, Flints.

Rfn Isaac Knill, C/1098, Ifracombe.

Rfn Joseph Knowles, C/282, Ashton-in-Makerfield.

Rfn Thomas Leach, C/511, Heywood, Lancs.

Rfn Cyril Herbert Long, C/900, Chard.

Rfn Percy Lowe, C/587, Audenshaw, Manchester.

Rfn Ernest Merrey, C/1072, Burton-on-Trent

Rfn Charles Minnett, C/475, Wombwell.

L/Cpl Frank Rumsey Moon, C/230, Redhill.

Sgt Joseph Reginald Mountenay, C/567, Bakewell.

Rfn Henry Oscar Mullanny, C/1320, Bradford.

Rfn John Arthur Mullanny, C/1403, Bradford.

L/Sgt Edgar Newbold, C/343, Long Eaton.

Rfn Frank Offen, C/487, Brighton

Rfn John Page, C/758, Selly Oak.

Rfn Arthur Pattison, C/32, Bishop Auckland.

Rfn Harry Pearce, C/627, Chesham.

Rfn Cecil Pepper, C/1210, North Wlasham.

Rfn Francis Bibby Pickering, C/987, Carlshalton.

Rfn Edwin Purcell, C/1199, Blackburn.

Rfn Ernest Rhodes MM, C/1064, Rochdale.

Rfn Rfn Robert Adam Watson Robinson, C/911, Berwick-on Tweed.

Sgt Robert Ernest Robinson, C/34, Bishop Auckland.

Rfn Charles Rogers, C/5, Croxley Green.

Rfn Robert Arnold Roper, C/1019, Stockton.

Sgt William Henry Taylor, C/241, Mytholmroyd.

L/Sgt Russell Thompson, C/1008, Harden, Durham

L/Cpl G George Henry Tranter C/1119, High Wycombe.

Rfn Alfred Valks C/1115, Sedgefield, Durham.

Rfn George William Watson, C/853, Leicester.

L/Cpl George William Welburn, C/1097, Birkby, Yorks.

Sgt Robert Welsby, C/202, Kearsley.

Rfn Ernest Wheatley, C/1129, Middleton, Lancs.

Rfn Frank Whitehead, C/527, Rochdale (Died of wounds 16th July 1916)

Rfn Harry Wood, C/1234, Wallington, Surrey.

Officers

Major Adrian Deighton Cooban. Age 33.

Capt Herbert Phillip Deedes. Age 34

Lieut James Bryn Hitchens. Age 43

2nd Lieut Kenneth George Denniss. Age 22.

2nd Lieut Richard Dermott Atkinson Age 24 (died 16 July 1916)

----------------

List based on SDGW

Can any pals add information from local knowledge please?

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Hi Audax

C-527 Frank Whitehead, Died of Wounds 16th July 1916. Aged 25 years. Member of St Clement, Spotland, Rochdale C.L.B. Lived at 218 Spotland Road. Married with one Child aged 14 months old. Attended St Clement's Sunday School.

Also from my dad's group of pals is Rfn Henry Taylor C/523 (dow 16/7/1916). Now I don't know when he was wounded but it could have been that fateful day.

Bob

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'All K.R.R. men tell the story of Major Cooban, who so gallantly led the battalion into action on one of the red letter days of the war. Hit by a bullet, he fell to the ground mortally wounded; but his only thought was for his men. "Charge on men!" he cried, charge on!" Almost as he spoke the dauntless spirit was at rest. The soldiers heard the dying command, and they went on until their object was accomplished'

Reverend James Duncan, Chaplain to the Forces attached 16th Bn KRRC (CLB) 'With The C.L.B. Battalion in France (Skeffington; 1917)

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My GGF `s CLB number was c250. He would have joined up and trained with many of the boys who fell 90 years ago.

He did not sail to France until much later in the War due to his age but may well have been named in this thread if he had.

RIP lads.

Roland.

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Lieut James Bryn Hitchens

Hitchens was educated at Winchester and Magdalen College, oxford. He later joied his father's firm in the City of London and shortly after war was declared was granted a temporary commission in the 16th KRRC. He went to France in the Autuumn of 1915. He was killed in action on the 15th July 1916. He Father, the late John Knill Hitchens, lived at Beech Grove, Sunningdale.

His name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database has his name incorrectly spelt as HICHENS

HICHENS, JAMES BYRN

Initials: J B

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: King's Royal Rifle Corps

Unit Text: 16th Bn.

Age: 43

Date of Death: 15/07/1916

Additional information: Son of the late John Knill Jope Hichens and Mary Helen Hichens.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 13 A and 13 B

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  • 3 months later...

Another Officer who was at HIGH WOOD, was Captain James Rockcliffe Smith. M.C. He was the son of Robert Vaughan Smith and Harriet Elizabeth Smith (nee Lynch). He was born on 15th January 1883 and educated at J W Leathley's School, High Broughton, Manchester. He was on the staff of the Commercial Union Assurance Company. He was gazetted as 2nd Lieutenant 24th Septmeber and went to France with 16/KRRC in November 1915. He was woundedkilled in action at Bullecourt on 20th May 1917 whilst leading his company during an attack at Fontaine Les Croisilles. He is buried there. An officer wrote: A fine soldier and a leader of men, who were always ready to follow him anywhere. Like everything else he took in hand, he put his heart and soul in soldiering, and proved a most capable and trustworthy officer, and one who would have gone far if he had been spared.' He was awarded the M.C. for gallantry in the fighting for FOURNEAUX WOOD. He was wounded on 21st July 1916. He took a zealous interest in the Church Lads' Brigade and was a keen athlete, being Captain of the Broughton Cricket Club and the North Manchester Association Football Club.

Are any pals able to help with details of the date of his M.C. and the citation for its award?

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Hichens,

The Winchester Roll also has his name spelt as Hichens.

post-1871-1162082110.jpg

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Lieutenant James Bryn Hichens

Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Lieutenant James Bryn Hichens, son of J.K.H. Hichens Esq. of Beech Grove, Sunninghill, was born on October 16th, 1872, and entered Mr. Morsheads House from Mr. Kynnersley's preparatory school at Ascot, as an Exhibitioner: he was Senior Commoner Prefect in 1890, President of Boat Club and a member of Commoner VI. While at Winchester he lost the sight of one eye through a blow from a football. In 1891 he went up to Magdalen College, Oxford, with an Exhibition and in 1893 was placed in the First Class in Classical Moderations. He took his degree in 1895 with a Second Class in Literae Humaniores and in 1900 joined his fathers firm (Messrs. Hichens and Harrison, Stockbrokers, of Austin Friars).

On the outbreak of war he obtained a commission in the 16th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps (a battalion recruited entirely from the Church Lads Brigade, in which he had always taken a keen interest) and went to France in November 1915. He fell in action near High Wood on July 15th, 1916.

Andy

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post-7977-1162249148.jpg RICHARD ROY LEWER

Rank: Lieutenant

16th Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps

Age: 26

Date of Death: 21/07/1916

Son of Henry William and Florence Eliza Lewer, of "Priors" Loughton, Essex.

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  • 3 months later...
post-7977-1162249148.jpg RICHARD ROY LEWER

Rank: Lieutenant

16th Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps

Age: 26

Date of Death: 21/07/1916

Son of Henry William and Florence Eliza Lewer, of "Priors" Loughton, Essex.

Late catch-up with this thread.

I have the following from my research into names in the Memorial Book of St Anne's Parish Church, Aigburth, Liverpool, completed about 7 years ago.

COOBAN, Adrian Deighton. Temp. Major, The King's Royal Rifle Corps.

Killed in action 16/7/16, serving in 16th Battalion, buried at Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, near Albert. Age 34. Res: Prenton, son of the late James. He had helped to found the Church Lads Brigade in Aigburth. 16th Bn. KRRC is identified as a CLB battalion in "The Battle of the Somme" by Gerald Glidden.

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  • 3 months later...

Another to die on the 15th of July was my grandmmother's cousin.

Rifleman Christopher Rostron C/1405

16th Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps

His name is listed on the Thiepval Memorial.

Lived at 17 Springfield Street, Darwen.

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EDP

Another to die on the 15th of July was my grandmmother's cousin.

Rifleman Christopher Rostron C/1405

16th Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps

His name is listed on the Thiepval Memorial.

Lived at 17 Springfield Street, Darwen.

That would be the same Rifleman Rostron featured in this 2006 Newspaper story about a letter delivered to his family 90 years later?

Somme letter to finally reach family

From

http://new.edp24.co.uk/content/news/story....3A17%3A04%3A950

11 July 2006 07:30

It is a poignant reminder of the monumental tragedy wreaked by the Battle of the Somme.

This week, a letter intended for the family of a first world war solider will finally be delivered - 90 years after his “heroic†death in northern France.

For decades, the forgotten message of sympathy to the relatives of Rifleman Chris Rostron was in the possession of a Norfolk veteran and his family.

The letter, written by comrades of the 18-year-old soldier, from Lancashire, following his death from a machine gun bullet on July 15, 1916, was never sent because it had no address.

But, the message will finally reach its destination on Satur-day, following a lengthy research project carried out by former Thetford man David Stearne.

“It would be an emotional moment anyway, but it will be made even more poignant by the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and the 90th anniversary to the date and time when he was killed. It makes it all the more sad, but happy to pass it on, he said.

The family historian was trawling through the papers of his late grandfather Henry Stearne earlier this year when he came across the letter from Lance Corporals Frank S Jones and Tom J Bradley of the King's Royal Rifle Corps.

The note, dated July 26, 1916, expressed their 'great sorrow and deep sympathy' for the loss of Rifleman Rostron.

We hope it will comfort you a little to know that he died one of the most heroic deaths that I have seen. He died very quietly and just looked as though he was asleep. We feel his loss very much as he was one of the best & most generous chaps we had & the rest of the platoon have asked me to express their deep sympathy to you, it said.

Its keeper, Henry Stearne, lived in Thetford all of his life and served in the Great War from start to finish as a general soldier in the 4th, 8th and 20th Hussars. He was awarded the Mons Star, fought in the Battle of the Somme, and also served in the second world war before his death in 1955.

Mr Stearne, who now lives in Kent, said he could only speculate on why his grandfather had the letter.

Perhaps he found the letter on the battlefield, perhaps he was part of a burial party that found it on the body of another soldier, or perhaps it had been given to him. Either way, the letter was never posted, he said.

But after four months of detective work and a newspaper appeal, Mr Stearne tracked down David Bentley, from Wrexham, great nephew of Rifleman Rostron.

He will present the letter on Saturday to remember the 90th anniversary of the death of the young solider, who has no known grave, but is remembered with 73,000 others on the Thiepval Memorial, in France.

The family has always had the letter, but never known what to do with it. As a genealogist for the last 20 years, I felt the least I could do would be to try to trace any surviving descendant to whom I could pass on the original sad little letter and fulfil an obligation on my late grandfather, said Mr Stearne.

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Yes. He is one in the same. My grandmother saw the newspaper article while she was on holiday in St. Annes and cut it out for me mentioning that he was her cousin.

She never did meet him as she was only born in May of 1916. My great-grandfather was 12 years younger than my grandmother's uncle, hence the gap in age between her and Rifleman Rostron.

It's an interesting branch of our family. Another of my grandmother's cousins, Alice Rostron, was the first wife of writer Gerald Kersh.

Are those medals in the picture of the linked article Rifleman Rostron's or Henry Stearne's?

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  • 1 month later...

See my first post:

HERBERT PHILIP DEEDES attended Hailybury School 1896-1900

Captain 16th Battalion., King's Royal Rifle Corps

who died on Sunday 16 July 1916 . Age 34 .

Additional Information: Son of the Rev. Philip and Josephine Deedes, of "Aldwych," Russell Avenue, St. Albans, Herts. Cemetery: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL Somme, France Grave or Reference Panel Number: Pier and Face 13 A and 13 B Haileybury Register 1862-1911 Hailey 1896-1900 born 26 February 1842 Killed in Action

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  • 1 year later...

Major Adrian Deighton Cooban

The only son of the late James Cooban and Mrs Cooban oF Prenton,Cheshire. He was educared at the Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby. For many years he had been avidly interested in the Church Lads' Brigade being one of the leaders of the movement in Liverpool. Major Cooban volunteered for service at the outbreak of war, amd after a few weeks in the ranks of the Liverpooll Regiment, was given a captaincy in the Regiment with the 16th Battalion. being promoted Major when the Battalion proceeded to France in September 1915. He was killed in action at High Wood on the 16th July 1916 aged 33 years.

(KRRC Chronicle 1916)

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34th Division attacked on the 15th July. 112th Brigade (attached from 37th Div) went over the top for the first time in the assault on Pozieres. 1100 Casualties. 350 of them in 8th East Lancs.

Stephen

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Major Adrian Deighton Cooban

The only son of the late James Cooban and Mrs Cooban oF Prenton,Cheshire. He was educared at the Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby. For many years he had been avidly interested in the Church Lads' Brigade being one of the leaders of the movement in Liverpool. Major Cooban volunteered for service at the outbreak of war, amd after a few weeks in the ranks of the Liverpooll Regiment, was given a captaincy in the Regiment with the 16th Battalion. being promoted Major when the Battalion proceeded to France in September 1915. He was killed in action at High Wood on the 16th July 1916 aged 33 years.

(KRRC Chronicle 1916)

One of the men to die Pte William Ball from Wigan,commemorated on the Thiepval memorial, later that day his brother Samuel Ball most probably still reeling from the death of his younger brother earned the Military Medal for keeping a machine gun in action whilst everyone else in the gun crew had been killed, later to be killed himself in 1918 at Zonnebeke.

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I would like to remember ...

Rfn Herbert Hassell, C/1422, from Cork, Ireland

Rfn Alexander Clarke, C/315, from Portrush, Ireland (pictured)

both of whom died as a result of the actions at High Wood with the 16th KRRC.

Former members of the Church Lads Brigade.

post-7658-1216135440.jpg

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Another Officer who was at HIGH WOOD, was Captain James Rockcliffe Smith. M.C. He was the son of Robert Vaughan Smith and Harriet Elizabeth Smith (nee Lynch). He was born on 15th January 1883 and educated at J W Leathley's School, High Broughton, Manchester. He was on the staff of the Commercial Union Assurance Company. He was gazetted as 2nd Lieutenant 24th Septmeber and went to France with 16/KRRC in November 1915. He was woundedkilled in action at Bullecourt on 20th May 1917 whilst leading his company during an attack at Fontaine Les Croisilles. He is buried there. An officer wrote: A fine soldier and a leader of men, who were always ready to follow him anywhere. Like everything else he took in hand, he put his heart and soul in soldiering, and proved a most capable and trustworthy officer, and one who would have gone far if he had been spared.' He was awarded the M.C. for gallantry in the fighting for FOURNEAUX WOOD. He was wounded on 21st July 1916. He took a zealous interest in the Church Lads' Brigade and was a keen athlete, being Captain of the Broughton Cricket Club and the North Manchester Association Football Club.

Are any pals able to help with details of the date of his M.C. and the citation for its award?

Smith was awarded his MC in the New Years Honours List 1917. See photos below as 2nd Lt (C Coy) and Capt.

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Another Officer who was at HIGH WOOD, was Captain James Rockcliffe Smith. M.C. He was the son of Robert Vaughan Smith and Harriet Elizabeth Smith (nee Lynch). He was born on 15th January 1883 and educated at J W Leathley's School, High Broughton, Manchester. He was on the staff of the Commercial Union Assurance Company. He was gazetted as 2nd Lieutenant 24th Septmeber and went to France with 16/KRRC in November 1915. He was woundedkilled in action at Bullecourt on 20th May 1917 whilst leading his company during an attack at Fontaine Les Croisilles. He is buried there. An officer wrote: A fine soldier and a leader of men, who were always ready to follow him anywhere. Like everything else he took in hand, he put his heart and soul in soldiering, and proved a most capable and trustworthy officer, and one who would have gone far if he had been spared.' He was awarded the M.C. for gallantry in the fighting for FOURNEAUX WOOD. He was wounded on 21st July 1916. He took a zealous interest in the Church Lads' Brigade and was a keen athlete, being Captain of the Broughton Cricket Club and the North Manchester Association Football Club.

Are any pals able to help with details of the date of his M.C. and the citation for its award?

post-7658-1216201818.jpg

post-7658-1216202370.jpg

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Cooban, already mentioned above, is remembered in the Book of Remembrance at the parish church of St Anne, Aigburth in Liverpool. The following is in the annotated list, which will be amended in the light of the other posts.

Daggers

*COOBAN, Adrian Deighton. Temp. Major, The King's Royal Rifle Corps.

Killed in action 16/7/16, serving in 16th Battalion, buried at Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, near Albert. Age 34. Res: Prenton, son of the late James. He had helped to found the Church Lads Brigade in Aigburth. 16th Bn. KRRC is identified as a CLB battalion in "The Battle of the Somme" by Gerald Glidden.

EDIT

I see I have already posted this information but am grateful for the new material from others

Daggers

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