Private Norman WHIELDON
(Shown as: "WHEELDON" on SDGW and 1901 Census records)


Regiment/Service:
Sherwood Foresters
(Notts and Derby Regiment)
Unit:
2nd/6th Battalion (Territorial Force)
Service Number:
241835
(Originally: 4965)
Date of Death:
29 September 1917 - Killed in Action
Age:
24
Cemetery / Memorial:
Memorial Reference:
Panel 102


Personal History:

Norman was born in the March quarter 1892, at 2 Marlow Street, Fairfield, Buxton, the son of Jacob (Bus Driver) and Martha Ann (née Shirt) Whieldon. Norman had an older sister, Elsa, and five younger siblings, Maud, Gertrude, Harry, Mabel and Stanley. 
In 1901 (Census RG 13/3270) the family were living at 7 Woodland View, Fairfield Road, Buxton, and ten years later (1911 Census RG 14/21236) were at the same address and Norman was working as an "Upholsterer", according to 'The Buxton Advertiser' employed,  since 1915, by "E. C. Stott, and Co. Ltd.". 

In the September quarter 1916 Norman married Jane Burdy Poulie. After the War Jane moved to 12 Dawson Terrace, South Hylton, Sunderland.

[N.B. Norman's aunt, Priscilla Kiel, née Whieldon, was the mother of John Hermann KIEL, who died of wounds on the 14th December 1918 - see Footnote below]

Military History:
Norman enlisted into the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) on a Short Service attestation at Buxton. His Service Papers have not survived and his Medal Index Card does not give a date for when he was posted to France, but as he was not eligible for the '1915 Star' medal it must have been after 1915.

It seems that Norman was a "Derby Scheme" man with an original 4-digit number 4965. He was
called up to 2/6th Battalion on the 12th February 1916. The 2/6th Battalion was formed at Chesterfield
on 14th September 1914 as a second line unit. It moved on 2nd November to Buxton, with Battalion
HQ occupying the Empire Hotel [see right]. After a lengthy period of training in April 1916 the Battalion
was posted to Ireland to quell disturbances. At the time Norman joined the Battalion, it was serving in
Ireland, and, on the 13th October 1917, when reporting Norman's death, 'The Buxton Advertiser' stated
that he "... went through the Irish rebellion". On the 12th January 1917, the Battalion moved to Fovant
before landing at Boulogne on the 25th February 1917.


                             

Norman was photographed for 'The Buxton Advertiser', whilst in training with the 6th Battalion, under
the heading "Buxton Patriots in Training". He is on the left of the back row, with Privates Clarke,
Greaves and Emmerson. In front are Privates Burton and Norton.

During the Third Battles of the Ypres (31st July - 10th November 1917) the 2/6th Battle were engaged
in several phases as part of the 178th (2/1st Sherwood Forester) Brigade, particularly The Battle of the
Menin Road Ridge, 20th - 25th September, and The Battle of Polygon Wood, 26th September - 3rd
October 1917.

The 2/6th took part in The Battle of Polygon Wood 26th to 29th September and they were forward of
Wieltje.  The Battalion sustained 11 officer and 220 other rank casualties, many from continuous enemy
shelling. 'The Buxton Advertiser' reported that Norman was serving as a "Lewis Gunner".

Norman's Battalion attacked at 5.50 a.m. on the 26th and took its objectives by 7.30 a.m. The War
Diary reads as follows:

"5.50 a.m. - After heavy artillery barrage Battalion left its kicking off position, with 2/7th SF on the left
and the 177 Bde on the right. The objective which was from D14d36 inclusive to the Gravenstafel Road
(exclusive) was reached about 7.30 a.m. A number of prisoners were taken. The enemy shelled our
positions during the day." 

It went on for the 27th and 29th:

"27th - Shelled heavily during the day. 8pm Relieved the 2/5th Bn SF in the front line, who had held the
2nd objective."

"29th - 9.00 p.m. Battn relieved by the ANZACs and took up position in the old British front line in the
rear of Wieltje.
                           Total casualties 11 Offs 220 ORs."


                          

It must have been during the withdrawal on the 29th that Norman was killed in action. C.W.G.C. records show 66 Officers and men of the 2/6th Battalion who were killed during The Battle of Polygon Wood (26th September to 3rd October), mostly on the 26th. Three other men of the 2/6th, besides Norman, died on the 29th.

His parents were informed by "Lieut. Brightwell, of Tideswell [Derbyshire] who was the Officer in charge at the time. Whieldon was an efficient soldier."

Footnote:
· Norman was the cousin of Pt. 60240 John Hermann KIEL, 15th Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment, who died of his wounds in York Military Hospital
  on the  4th December 1918

· A number of other Buxton men enlisted in the 2/6th Battalion at about the same time as Norman - judging by their Service Numbers - and gave
  their lives:
   Sgt/Pt 240842 Raymond BENNETT - was killed in action on the 27 April 1917
   Pt 241700 William Kenneth WEAVER - died in the same Battle as Norman on the 26 September 1917
   Dr or Pt 241664 Harold HOY - died of his wounds on the 2 October 1917
   Cpl 241821 Phillip BERRIFORD - killed in action on the 3 April 1918

Sources:
· 'The Buxton Advertiser' - 13 October 1917
· I am grateful to Colin W. Taylor for the War Diary extract.
· .... and to Mike Briggs for the information on the re-numbering and the Derby Scheme

Link to CWGC Record
poppy
Pt Norman Whieldon
Territorials in training
Norman Whieldon's grave
..... about the "Derby Scheme"
    about the Battle of Polygon Wood
Polygon Wood - photgraphed
after the Battle
C L I C K on Picture above to see the full cutting