Private William Lomas STADEN

Sherwood Foresters
(Notts and Derby Regiment)
11th Battalion
Service Number:
Date of Death:
14 October 1917 - Died of wounds.
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Number:
I. P. 56.

Personal History:
William was born in Brandside, Derbyshire, in the December quarter 1893, the son of John (Labourer) and Elizabeth (née Wild) Staden. He had four older siblings, Thomas, Annie Maude, John and Joseph, and in 1901 (Census RG 13/3269) the family was living at The Old School House, Fairfield, Buxton.  
By 1911 (Census RG 14/21234) William had a younger brother, Edward Reginald, and the family had moved to 49 Kings Road, Fairfield. William was by then working, as a "Milk Seller - Deliverer". After the War William's father (widowed in 1918) moved again to 17 Klondyke Villas, Bench Road, Fairfield. Buxton.

Military History:
William enlisted at Buxton into the 11th Battalion, Notts and Derby Regiment and although his Service Papers are lost, other Buxton men with a similar Service Numbers, [see below] enlisted in the 11th Battalion in September 1914, so we may assume that William joined up right at the start of the War. His Medal Index Card shows that he entered France on the 27th August 1915, which is consistent with the 11th Battalion landing in France.

The 11th (Service) Battalion was formed at Derby in September 1914 as part of K3 (Kitchener's Third New Army) and became part of the 70th Brigade in the 23rd Division. It moved to Stanhope Lines at Aldershot in December 1914 and then to Shorncliffe in February 1915 to Bordon in May. As stated above, the Battalion landed at Boulogne on the 27th August 1915 and concentrated near Tilques.

William's Division was attached to III Corps on the 5th September 1915 and moved to the Merris-Vieux Berquin area, where trench familiarisation began. Just 9 days later, on the14th, they took over a front line sector between Ferme Grande Flamengrie to the Armentieres-Wez Macquart road, where they remained for about five months, not being relieved until the end January / early February 1916.

A month later, on the 3rd March 1916 orders were received to relieve the French in the Carency sector. The front to be held was between the Boyau de l'Ersatz and the Souchez River. This location included the posts on the Notre Dame de Lorette Hill, a very exposed position, subject to intense shelling.

William's Battalion took part in the opening day of the Somme offensive on 1st July 1916 and suffered such grievous losses it was relieved that night. [Read more about the Battalion's action during the Battle of the Somme on Private Thomas RADFORD's page.]


During the Battle William's Battalion were engaged in a number of the major phases: The Battle of Albert, 1st - 13th July; The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, 14th - 17th July; The Battle of Pozières Ridge , 23rd July - 3rd September; The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, 15th - 22nd September; The Battle of Morval, 25th - 28th September, and The Battle of the Transloy Ridges, 1st -18th October.

The following year he was again in action, firstly during The Battle of Messines, 7th - 14th June 1917, followed by The Third Battle of Ypres, (31st July - 10th November 1917). William fought at The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, 20th - 25th September, and The Battle of Polygon Wood, 26th September - 3rd October.


[Read more about the Battalion's action during these Battles on Private Harry EYRE's page.]

William died of wounds possibly as a result of the battle around Polygon Wood on 23rd / 24th September, when 10 members of the 11th Battalion were killed in action. However, another 16 men of the 11th Battalion were killed or died of wounds on the 16th / 17th October 1917, most of whom have no known grave and are commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

William is buried at Godewaersvelde, a village near the Belgian border, about 10 miles (16 kilometres) south-west of Ypres. The cemetery was begun in July 1917 when three casualty clearing stations were moved to Godewaersvelde. It was no doubt in one of these CCS that he died, suggesting he received his wounds either that day or shortly before.

The 11th Battalion had been assigned a tour in the trenches, starting on the 18th October. The Official History simply says: "On the way to the front line the shelling was intense."

· I am grateful to Lyn Robson for the photo of William's grave
· I am also grateful to Martin McNeela for information from the War Diary
· "The Men from the Greenwood: being the war history of the 11th-service-Battalion Sherwood Foresters" by Percy Fryer, p. 100

Link to CWGC Record
William Staden's grave
.... Read more about the 11th Battalion during The Battle of the Somme
.. about The Battle of Menin Road     
.. about The Battle of Polygon Wood