Private Herbert NALL


Regiment/Service:
Sherwood Foresters
(Notts and Derby Regiment)
[Formerly: 5th/North Staffordshire Regiment]
Unit:
"B" Company, 1st Battalion
Service Number:
235045
[Formerly: 242006 North Staffordshire Regiment]
Date of Death:
21 November 1917 - Killed in Action
Age:
20
Cemetery / Memorial:
Memorial Reference:
Panel 101

Personal History:
Herbert was born in October / November 1897, the son of Robert (Cab Proprietor) and Prudence (née Raybould) Nall. He had an older brother and sister, Robert and Mary, and a younger brother and sister, Nellie and James Raybould.

In 1901 the family were living at 14 Midland Terrace, Fairfield, Buxton. (Census RG 13/3269) Ten years later (1911 Census RG 14/21234) they had moved to 8 West Road, Buxton.

Herbert's mother, Prudence, died in the September quarter 1914. When Herbert enlisted in 1916 he was 5 ft. 3½ ins. (1.61 m.) tall, had a 'fresh' complexion, dark brown eyes and black hair. He recorded his religion as Church of England.


Military History:
According to his Service papers Herbert enlisted at Buxton, the 11th December 1915, initially in the North Staffordshire Regiment, being posted to the Army Reserve, and mobilised on the 15th May 1916. During his training he qualified as a "Lewis Gunner".

He was posted to France, arriving at Calais on the 16th May 1917. On arrival he was transferred to the 5th (Reserve) Battalion, Notts and Derbyshire Regiment at the I.B.D. (Infantry Base Depot), before being posted to the 1st Battalion on the 5th June 1917, joining it in the field 2 days later. At that time he received his new Regimental Number of 235045. The 1st Battalion were attached to the 24th Brigade in the 8th Division.

Herbert was killed in action after just 190 days in France and a total Service of 1 year 346 days. He was one of 14 men of the 1st Battalion killed that day; all but 2 are commemorated with him on the Tyne Cot Memorial, having no known grave.

The Battalion History gives details of the action on the day Herbert and his comrades were killed - in particular to his "B" Company:

"The month of November had hardly opened and the Battalion was up in the line, when several officers of the American Army, now arriving in Europe, were attached to the 8th Division, and two of these, Lieutenants Hutchings and Pullen, reported their arrival at Battalion headquarters and were posted for duty to "B" Company. On the I7th the Foresters moved by rail and road to Brandhoek, and thence on the 19th to Wieltje, going up almost immediately from there to the front line as supporting battalion in the sector just north of Passchendaele. On the following day the Battalion was holding the line and was subjected to very heavy shelling, the casualties, mainly in "B" and "D" Companies, being not far short of go, while Lieutenant Wakefield was killed on this day and another subaltern, Lieutenant Brewer, on the 2ist. Theoretically the Battle of Ypres was over some ten days or more, but fighting and death did not sensibly diminish.

The shell-swept battlefield was deep in mud, and it was almost impossible to dig trenches. The Battalion transport had a bad time-the only way to the front was by a wooden causeway laid on the mud, and after dark this was kept under enemy fire. There were several casualties among transport men and animals bringing up rations and ammunition by night, and the greatest credit is due to Captain J. B. Mudge, the transport officer, his staff and personnel.

On November 24th the Sherwood Foresters moved back into divisional support at St. Jean, but, on the afternoon of the last day of the month, entrained at Brandhoek for Wizernes. From here, on Christmas Day, the Battalion went back again to St. Jean, and the end of 1917 found it in Red Rose Camp in divisional reserve." [The two Officers named above were Lt. Montague Steven WAKEFIELD, 3rd Battalion - attached to the 1st - and Lt. Wilfred Aubrey BREWER.]

Sources:
· "1st and 2nd Battalions the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) in the Great War" - H.C. Wylly
   (ISBN-10: 1845744241) page 52.

Commemorated on:
Link to CWGC Record
The Tyne Cott Memorial
Herbert's name on the Memorial
poppy