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The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)

The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) was formed in in 1881 with the amalgamation of the 45th (Nottinghamshire) Regiment of Foot and the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot.

Battalions during the Great War 1914-1918.

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Last letter from Pte George Finch Army No18956
Last letter from Pte George Finch Army No18956

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Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.

Those known to have served with The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) during the Great War 1914-1918.

Select a story link or scroll down to browse those stories hosted on this site.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add,, or any recollections or photos of those listed, please get in touch.


Private Thomas Henry Bache 2nd Bn. Sherwood Foresters Notts & Derby Rgt (d.23rd Jul 1918)

This man was my Uncle and died 22 years before I was born.Presently I am researching my family tree,but at the moment I need more information regarding My Uncle Tom,I need to know if he as gassed or died of the flu.

James Bache


Pte Charles Ellis Sherwood Foresters

My Dad, who was born on the 20 September 1899 enlisted when he was 16 years old. He didn't talk much about his time in France and I failed miserably to be interested in what happened, which I very much regret. He always made us eat up out meals as children and told us the story of how luck he was when he had a tin of jam, yes, just a tin of jam - his mate had a tin of golden syrup. Imagine that - a growing boy of 16 and that was your meal! He did mention how scared he was when, one night he was on "Sentry go" and there was an awful banging noise very close to him - he HAD to investigate and it was a rat with its head stuck in a bully beef can. He was badly gassed and spent some time at the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley. After the war he was based an the Cologne Cavalry Barracks where he was friendly with a German family. Being gassed caused enormous abcesses and I remember he could not sit down for three Christmas dinners. He died at the age of 75 and I still miss that very brave man.

Molly Taylor


Private William Barwise Sherwood Foresters (d.23rd April, 1917)

I am trying to help an elderly lady who is trying to trace this person. He was killed in an assault in/or near Arras, and is buried in a cemetary in Arras. His brother, in the same assault saw him killed, and was never the same man again for the rest of his life. I cannot find any trace of him in Commonwealth Graves Commission. Has anyone any ides please? Reg.

Reginald C Clifford


Private Frank William Cox 3rd Sherwood Forresters Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regt (d.13th Aug 1917)

Frank was born in Leek in Staffordshire in 1889.Shortly after his birth his Father William Cox,mother Ameilia Annie and sister Emily along with Frank emigrated to Queensland Australia.However, after a short space of time William returned alone to England as the heat of Australia proved to much for him,the rest of the family remained.At some time Frank also returned to England,and at the age of 26 he was employed as a windowcleaner in Ashbourne.By this time his father had had two children with my grandmother,but they did not marry until 26 years later when his wife died in Australia.Frank was called up in 1916,and was sent to the front 5 months later.He was wounded 3 times in battle and in November 1916 he was returned to England to the Northern General Hospital Manchester suffering from combat fatigue.After,2 months he was posted back to the front and was killed in action at Passendale.In 1918 his effects were returned to my grandfather,letters, photos,a 50 cent Australian note(mutilated)a frenchbook and a cottonbag. His mother in Australia applied for his medals in 1919 but they were sent to my grandfather in 1921,The Victory medal and the British medal.He served 1 year and 249 days. Frank is remembered on The Menin Gate.



Private Roland Bullick 5th Battalion Sherwood Forresters

Roland Bullick was my father. He was a Company Runner with the 5th Battalion Sherwood Forresters and survived the war. I believe he 'lied about his age' to join up. I would like to know more about where he was trained, where he was in France etc. He talked about 'Wypers' and Poperinge but I dont know whether he was there. He talked about being in Paris after de-mobilisation. Any information would be very welcome.

Christine Turnbull


Lt. Walter Beakley 5th Btn. Sherwood Forresters

My grandfather Walter Beakley could not talk about the war I know he was wounded in the arm as he was not able to play the flute after the war I know he trained at Halton near Wendover Buckinghamshire. I believe he fought at the Somme with the 5th Sherwood Forresters and also served with 194 Coy, Chinese Labour Corps.

Patricia Beakley


Pte. William James Cornell 15th Battalion (d.14th Oct 1918)

My Great-Uncle, William James Cornell joined the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry on 28th May 1915, aged 15, using his elder brother Frank's date of birth. He was transferred into the Bedford Regiment and eventually into the 15th Battalion Sherwood Foresters on 4th April 1918.

William was killed in action on 14th October 1918, aged just 18, taking part in an attack on Cable Copse, Belgium. He has no known grave and is commemorated at the Tyne Cot memorial. If anyone knows anything about the action at Cable Copse, or about William, I would be grateful for any extra information.

Andy Cornell


Pte. John Joseph Paulson 10th Btn. Sherwood Forresters (d.7th July 1916)

John Paulson was the son of the late Jabez and Hannah Paulson, he was 23 years old when he lost his life on the 7th of July 1916. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.


Pte. White Thomas 1st Battalion, B Company Sherwood Foresters (d.13th Mar 1915)

Thomas White died of wounds at Rue De Tilleloy, at Signpost Corner, near Neuve Chapelle, France.

M. Gregory


Cpl. William Henry Hewing 7th Btn. Sherwood Foresters

My Grandfather, William Hewing was 19 when he went to war in France and was involved in some of the bloodiest and most gruesome battles ever endured by soldiers of the British Army. He was with the infantry in Richelbourge St Vaast in 1915, The Somme in July 1916, Vimy Ridge in winter 1916, part of the attack on Gommecourt later he saw action with the tanks at Ypres, Cambrai, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, Arras, Selle Villers and Bretonneaux.

I have a detailed account of the time he spent in France written by his own hand some years after the war. It is a very moving account which is being printed in the Derby Evening Telegraph on Monday 9th November.


Kay Bestwick


George Thomas Higton Sherwood Foresters (d.1917)

George Higton was my great uncle. For several years, I have heard disjointed stories about a relative who served in the great war, but have been unable to find out any information about him. If any one can help me in my search, please contact Thanks.

Shaun Higton


Pte. William Town 1/6th Btn. Sherwood Foresters (d.30th Apr 1917)

William Town was my grandfather. He joined the 1st Derbyshire Yeomanry in 1914 and served in the Mediterranean and was invalided home. During his time convalescing he married my grandmother on 17th November 1916.

He was sent to Ireland and in December 1916 drafted into the Sherwood Foresters 1/6th Battalion, C Company and sent to France on 4th January 1917. He was seriously wounded in the legs, arms and jaw on the 23rd April 1917 at Fosse 3 de Leivin and died on the 30th April 1917. My father was born 6 weeks later on the 6th June 1917.

William is buried in a war grave at Wimereux Communal Cemetery France just outside Calais. I visited William's grave some years ago. It is one of the only war graves cemetery where the headstones lay flat due to the sandy soil. I found it a very emotional visit and was glad to see how well the graves were kept.

My grandmother was re-married within the year her second husband served in the Northumberland Fusiliers and after he to was injured served in the Labour Corp. My father did not know his birth name until he was 14 years of age when both his mother and step-father died of TB within days of each other, having been brought up with his step-fathers name. All the above information has been gathered on and off over the last 15 years but I still yearn for more.

Pamela Thornton


Pte. Frank Mark Finan 10th Btn Sherwood Foresters (d.24th Aug 1918)

Frank Finan was born on the 4th May 1894 in a village called Dromore West in County Sligo. As far as I know he was an only child. He lived in a one or two room house with his grandparents and two aunts and his mother. The house is still standing to this day.

He joined the 3rd Battalion Irish Guards on the 20th of Jan 1916 and was transferred to the Connaught Rangers 22nd of June 1916 then posted to the 3rd Battalion at Kinsale on the 4th of July 1916. His transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles took place on the 1st of Nov 1916 and he was then transferred to the RFC as 3rd Class Airman on the 19th of December 1916. He served with No.2 Balloon Section, RFC and was attached to 63rd Royal Naval Division from the 3rd to 24th of Sept 1917 for Infantry Training, after which he was transferred to 10th Battalion Notts & Derby Regiment. Frank was 5ft 9 inches in height, with red hair and grey eyes.

There was mention in the 10th Bn history of a heavy gas attack on 15th August. "All remained quiet until very early on 15th. About 12.15 a.m. the enemy started a very heavy gas bombardment on the whole area occupied by the 17th Division; mustard gas presominated. For three hours he kept up a steady stream of shells; he chiefly bombarded the ridges, and as the night was absolutely still the gas floated down into the valleys and clung to the dense undergrowth. The area shelled stretched from our support line some 2000 yards westward, and this all became saturated with the deadly stuff. The sunrise brought with it a ghastly state of affairs; the casualties from the gas poisoning steadily mounted up, and long strings of men with their eyes bandaged, each holding the man in front, trailed slowly backwards down to the dressing station. Lieut-Col King, D.S.O. and Adjutant Capt. G F March M.C. both became casualties, and in all the battalion sustained losses to 18 officers and 510 other ranks; a total which for the moment made it almost cease to exsist as a fighting unit; only the garrison of the forward posts escaped the effects of the gas."

This is the date of the gas attack that Frank died from on the 24th of August 1918. His mother died 3 yrs to the day after Frank died, she had never married and the whole immediate branch of his family died out when he died. Frank is buried in Mont Huon Cemetery in France, he was 24 years old.

Paul Freehill


Sgt. Walter Lindsell 16th Btn. Sherwood Foresters (d.10th October 1916)

Walter Lindsell enlisted on the 15th of May 1915 with 16th (Chatsworth Rifles) Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters and was sent to Buxton. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on 25th of May 1915. The Battalion were at Redmires Camp near Sheffield from the 9th of June 1915 and Walter was promoted to Corporal on the 18th June 1915. He was demoted to Private at own request on the 4th of August 1915. On the 2nd of September 1915, they transferred to Hursley Park and moved to Aldershot on the 30th of September 1915. Walter was promoted to Corporal on the 28th of October 1915 and finally to Sergeant on 12 November 1915. They moved to Witley Camp, Surrey on the 8th of November 1915 and embarked from Southampton for France on the 6th of March 1916.

Walter was seriously reprimanded for highly improper conduct in the field on the 3rd of June 1916. He rejoined his Battalion in the field on the 9th of September 1916. Walter was listed as wounded, missing and presumed dead on the 10th of October 1916.

David Lindsell


Capt. William Pritchett 17th Btn. Notts and Derbys Regiment (Sherwood Foresters)

William Pritchett went out into no mans land, leading a squad, with orders to blow up a knocked out tank the Germans were using for artillery ranging. Looking inside the tank he saw it'd been caught in a gas attack, as the interior was yellow, and the remains of the crew and their uniforms were broken down by the mustard.

He lost his rank as Acting Captain when the 17th Sherwood Foresters were disbanded but regained the rank on 21/3/18 with the 7th Robin Hoods, only to be captured that very day. The day of The disaster at Bullecourt.

Phil Goddard


2nd Lt. Leslie William Hawkins 6th Battalion Notts & Derby Regiment

Leslie Hawkins was my Grandpa. He enlisted in the Second County of London Yeomanry in December 1915. He transferred to the Machine Gun Corps in August 1917, then Kings Own Royal Lancs. Then after a discharge, he was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant of the 6th Battalion in the Sherwood Foresters in March 1918. He saw action at Bellenglise, Sambre-Oise Canal and Cambria. He survived, resigned his commission in 1922.

Apparently he rarely talked about the horrors. He died at 80, but sadly being too young to know, I never got a chance to talk to him, recognise what he had done or really appreciated his experience in his presence. Clearly an extraordinary man but also in my memory, good to be around. Gone but never forgotten.

Brian Neil


L/Cpl. Frederick Samuel Fentem 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derbyshire) Regiment (d.19th Jun 1919)

I came across Fredrick Fentem, a Great Uncle, when tracing my family tree. I always knew he had died in the First Wold War, as my grandmother (Nanny) named my dad after him so I heard his name quite often.

I hadn't realised he was a professional soldier having enlisted in 1907 at the age of 18 years, and at his death was a Lance Coporal. Frederick died in Flanders, France in 1915. I think Nanny grieved the loss of a favourite younger brother.

Jane Blofield


Pte. John F Limerick 1st Btn Sherwood Foresters (d.27th Apr 1915)

My uncle Jack was the eldest of nine children, he is buried in the Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery at Fleurbaix.

Terry Jones


Pte. Vernon Greenhough 9th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (d.4th Oct 1917)

Vernon Greenhough was a miner from Crich in Derbyshire the eldest son of William and Elizabeth Greenhough, he enlisted in the 16th Battalion Chatsworth Rifles on 4th June 1915. He suffered a viii gun shot wound on the 9th October 1916. He recovered from his injury and reposted to join the 9th Battalion, Sherwoods (Notts and Derby Regiment). Vernon was killed while on an attack (the same assault where Fred Greaves was awarded the vc) near Poelcappelle, Belgium, on the first day of the battle of Broodseinde, Passchendaele. His body was never recovered but his spirit is always in our hearts.

Michael Greenhough


Pte. Ernest Whitehead 1/8th Btn Sherwood Foresters

My father, Ernest Whitehead, enlisted in October 1914 and lost an arm whilst serving in France in 1916. He subsequently became a postman, the only disabled postman I have ever come across. He served as a postman for 29 years.

My father, who was a farm waggoner, enlisted on 22nd October 1914 and served with the 1/8th Sherwood Foresters in France from 6th June 1915 to 25th April 1916. He returned to the UK after losing his right arm just below the elbow. He would never talk about that time and I don't even know the circumstances in which he was wounded. It looks likely that he lost his arm on the 15th or 16th April in the trenches east of Berthonual farm near Mt St Eloy.

It is interesting that, until I unearthed it, even my mother didn't know that it was the second time he had been wounded (Aug 1915). After a period in Roehampton Hospital and discharge he became a Postman in October 1919, a job he held down until he was retired at 60 in 1949.

An amusing aside - My father had two artificial arms complete with hand. One for everyday use and one for “best”. When my father died he was buried wearing his “best” artificial arm and hand. My mother could not decide what to do with the other arm and hand. The NHS did not want them back and she could not face putting them in the dustbin. So for whatever reason decided to bury them in her garden. We chuckled but Mum couldn’t understand what we found so funny. We could picture the scene years later when some poor person digging in the garden found a hand and arm emerging. What a shock.

Apart from discharge papers etc. I have nothing from my father's time in WW1.

The little Dad said: He said once with a chuckle about the Belgians running along the trench and shouting " La Boche La Boche". He said that he had been to Armentiers when the song "Mademoiselle from Armentiers Parlez Vous" was on the wireless. My sister says that our father was in hospital with gassed Canadians. He mentioned this once while watching All Quiet on the Western Front. My sister also says that when he lost his right arm a shell burst in the trench and killed all the men by him including someone he enlisted with. For other family connections in WW1 see

Mike Whitehead


Pte. George Walker 11th Battalion Notts and Derby Regiment (d.1st July 1916)

We have a world war one memorial penny and that belonged to George Walker. Walker,George 19288 Notts and Derby Regiment, 11th Battalion.Killed in action the Somme 01/07/1916 no known grave remembered at Thiepval.

Iain Kerratt


Cpl. Alexander John Richardson 1st Battalion, D Company Notts & Derby Regiment

Alexander, originally from Paddington, England, was employed as a motor driver at Welbeck for at least a year before the outbreak of the first World War. At 18 yrs old, he enlisted at Worksop on Sept. 2, 1914 and was posted to the 4th Battalion Notts & Derby for his basic training, which I believe was at Sunderland. Alec landed in France on Jan 4th, 1915 and was posted to the 1st Battalion Notts & Derby, joining the battalion on Jan. 22, 1915. He was wounded in the abdomen by shrapnel on Feb 25, 1915 while in the line, but stayed in France and returned to the battalion. It is unknown how long he was recovering, but I assume he luckily missed the Battle of Neuve Chapelle.

Alexander joined the Tank Corps on Dec. 28, 1916 because of his mechanical abilities, originally with "A" battalion, 77047. He was a driver in action during the June 7th, 1917 Battle of Messines. Shortly after, he became part of the "Hush Operation", a plan to land on the Belgium coast with troops and tanks. According to my grandfather's notes this plan was "duly washed out" and his group returned to England to become the core of the 16th battalion, Tank Corps. He was an instructor (including bayonet and physical training) during The Tank Corps build up in the first half of 1918.

The 16th battalion, Tank Corps landed in Sept. 1918 and took part in the Battle of the Selle, driving the Germans back. Alexander was wounded when his tank was hit by a shell on October 5/6, 1918 in the Ramicourt valley during the Battle of Montbrehain. He stayed in France and rejoined his battalion after recovering, promoted to Sgt. on Nov. 30, 1918. He survived the flu in late Dec. 1918 and was sent to the UK on Jan 30, 1919 for demobilization.

His notes state the he worked with the Air Ministry, assisting in the return of parts to Leyland motors for a year. Alexander sailed to Canada in April 1920, started a family, and lived until 1981.

I remember him talking about his war experiences around the dinner table only when asked. He remembered mostly being "cold and wet". My father told me he saw many horrible things, lost close friends and would wake up at night screaming.

I ask my teenage children, who watch their TV's, chat and text on their phones, listening to the Ipod's and wear the name brand clothing, "can you imagine going to war at 18 years old, living in water filled trenches all year round with lice and rats, always hungry, being shot at, shelled, bombed, watching your comrades be blown apart or shot, dieing in front of you for almost 5 years".

They can't.

John Douglas Richardson


Cpl. George Brain 10th Battalion Notts and Derby Regiment (d.22nd Mar 1918)

George started his overseas service on 31st Dec 1915 in the Balkans in Gallipoli with 9th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment). Believed to have joined the regiment at Imbos. In early 1916 whilst on leave in Egypt he met up with his brother Harry Brain of the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars. A family photograph records this event. (Harry on left George on right)

By July 1916 the 9th battalion was in France as was the 10th Battalion. At some time between July 1916 and March 1918 George transferred to the 10th Battalion.

George was killed on 22nd March 1918 and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. On the day of his death the battalion was at Hermies retreating from the Germans and was probably caught by machine gun fire as his unit passed along the Havrincourt/Bertincourt valley. George is also commemorated on the Tollerton, Notts village war memorial.

Keith Brain


Cpl. Harold Dunnicliffe Notts & Derby Regiment (d.11th Dec 1917)

Corporal Harold Dunnicliffe, Notts & Derbys Regiment was killed at the Battle of Bethune on 11th December, 1917 aged 22 years. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Panels 87/89 of the Loos Memorial in Northern France.

David Buckley


L/Cpl. Charles Wilkinson 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters (d.19th Sept 1918)

Charles Wilkinson 1893-1918

Charles Wilkinson is buried in Savy British Cemetery in France.

T Morris


Pte. Thomas Hartigan Sherwood Forresters

Thomas Hartigan was my Mother's uncle, he served in the Sherwood Forresters with his brother Patrick who was sadly killed in action in 1918. They were from Moymore Ennistymon County Clare, the Republic of Ireland

Roy Mullin


Pte. George Rockley 9th Btn. Sherwood Forresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) (d.7th Jun 1917)

George Rockley was my grandfather who was killed in action when my father was 18 months old.

Sue Barrett


Pte. Frederick George Wiggins 2/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (d.15th Apr 1918)

Frederick Wiggins was from Lime Tree Hill, Burford, Oxford, he was killed on the 15th of April 1918,whilst serving with the 2/5th Sherwood Foresters. I'm researching my family tree and would like to know more.

Mark Simpkins


Pte. William Day 10th Battalion Notts and Derbys (Sherwood Foresters) (d.30th Aug 1918)

On the 29th of August 1918 William Day was wounded when the battalion attacked and took Flers and Gueudecourt, he was treated at No 3 Casualty Clearing Station which was based at Gezaincourt. He was buried at Bagneux British Cemetery at Gezaincourt having died of wounds on 30th August, his medical records stated that it was a gun shot wound. He was 20 years old.

The 10th Battalion Notts and Derby Regiment (Sherwood Foresters) had been fighting in the second Battle of Bapaume 1918 at the time. William had gone to France as part of a draft of conscripted reinforcements on 14th August 1918 and was at "K" Infantry Base depot when he was posted to the 10th Battalion. William was in France for 16 days before his death. He had been initially called up on 5th March 1916 but continued to work as a miner before being conscripted after a medical exam at Chesterfield on 11 April 1918. He joined the regiment at Derby on 22nd April 1918.

Kevin Garcia


Pte Jesse Reeves 10th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regt) (d.6th Aug 1916)

Named after his father, Jesse Reeves was born in 1894 and worked as a Colliery Banksman at Bentink Colliery, Kirkby-in-Ashfield. At the outbreak of WW1 he enlisted with the 10th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derbyshire Regiment). He married Elsie Raynor at St Mary’s Parish Church on 13th February 1915, and had a son, William Ernest.

After training Jesse left for France, entering the Theatre of War on 29th July 1915. Jesse served in the trenches on the Ypres Salient moving south for the Battle of the Somme, his last battle being at Delville Wood. On 6th August 1916 whilst acting as a stretcher bearer bringing in a wounded officer he was shot through the head by a sniper and died instantly. There is no known grave for Jesse and he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, St Mary’s Churchyard Cenotaph and a commemorative plaque inside the church.

Dennis Weston

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