At 11.00am on Sunday 11th November this year, silence will fall across the country as we gather together to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. A conflict, in which, over 16 million people lost their lives. 45 of those lives were men who worked for, or had links to the Council, or as it was known at the time – Derby Borough Corporation.
In 2015, research was undertaken for Derby Local Studies and Family History Library by a student from the University of Sheffield. You can read the stories of 29 of these men below or explore more on our special timeline website.
First, Councillor Mike Carr, Mayor of Derby has penned a short letter asking for your support as we mark this historic moment.
“Citizens of Derby,
May I take this opportunity to ask everyone to support this year’s Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, as we commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One.
The funds raised are essential, as the Legion responds to over 300,000 calls for help each year.
We are all aware of the debt we owe to the men and women who served so selflessly so many years ago, but tragically there has been only one year since WWII when a British serviceman has not been killed on duty.
Today we hear of tragedy on a daily basis and there have been men and women from Derby and Derbyshire directly affected. We can do our part by giving as generously as possible to the Poppy Appeal and by wearing a poppy with pride.
The Annual Remembrance Day Parade and Service will take place in The Market Place, Derby and I will be there on Sunday 11th November at 11.00 am. I will also be at Soldiers’ Corner at Nottingham Road Cemetery in Chaddesden on Saturday 10th November at 11.00 am. Public attendance has grown in recent years and I am hoping for the continued support from everyone – I hope that these trends will continue to grow going forward.
Thank you in anticipation of your support.”
Mayor of the City of Derby
Councillor Mike Carr
‘For one’s country’
Derby Corporation employees and the First World War
Research completed by Jessica M Rowan, University of Sheffield
On behalf of
Derby Local Studies and Family History Library
Names appearing on the memorial plaque in Derby Council House:
Annison, R W
Richard Williams Annison, born c.1876, in Tunbridge, Kent. Moved to Normanton, Derbyshire by the time of the 1911 census. At the time of the enlisted, he lived at 9 Augustines Street, Normanton (close to the Normanton army barracks). He was married to Winnifred Mary Annison, aged 40, and had a daughter, Mary Annison, aged 7. He had previously served with the army in Tirah, India, where he was married to Winnifred in 1901. Before the war he worked as a tram conductor. Annison enlisted at Derby and took the post of Company Sergeant Major with the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment), service number 6102. He served in the Balkan theatre of war, unfortunately killed in action on the 9th of August 1915. He is memorialised in Helles, Gallipoli (now Turkey). His service earned him the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, presented to Winnifred, his widow, following his death.
Thomas Anslow, born c.1885 to Thomas and Kate Davis of Derby. It is unknown why he took the name Anslow, rather than Davis. He was one of nine children, living at 55 William Street, Derby. Anslow had married Bertha Louisa Gunt, and was living next door to his parent’s home at 57 William Street, but it is unknown if they had any children at the time he enlisted. Before the war, Thomas was working as a blacksmith. Anslow took up service with the Lancashire Fusiliers, as a Private. He served in the Western European theatre of war where he was killed in action on the 22nd of August 1915. He has no known grave, but is memorialised at Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery in France.
Jacob Brooks, born c.1885 in Wirksworth, Derby to David and Elizabeth Brooks. Prior to the war, Jacob lived at 43 West End, Wirksworth, Derbyshire and worked as a Quarryman. He had a wife, Ada Brooks and two children, names unknown. He enlisted for the war and was appointed a Private with the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) and given service number 240543. Jacob completed 2 years and 310 days with the Sherwood Foresters, serving in the Western European Theatre of war until he was injured in a trench collapse during the fighting. He was ‘crushed in the back’ and honourably discharged on the 16th of July, 1917, being ‘no longer physically fit for war service’. His injuries were ultimately fatal, with Jacob dying of his injury on the 15th of February 1919. Jacob Brooks is buried at Wirksworth Cemetery, Derby.
Alfred Brown was born in Pilsey, the son of William and Ada Brown. He enlisted for the war and was appointed to the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment), 1st/7th battalion. He was also attached to the V46 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery, the North Midlands section. Alfred served on the Western Front and was killed in action on the 22nd of July 1917, aged 25. He is buried at the Barlin Communal Cemetery, in France.
Henry Clayton was born at St Luke’s, Derby. He was married to Catherine Clayton and had two sons and lived at 36 Percy Street, Derby. Prior to the war, Henry was employed by Derby Corporation as a Lamp Trimmer. Henry enlisted for the war in 1915, despite being 50 years old at the time. He was appointed to the 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment as Private number 17756. He was killed in action on the 10th of September 1915, just a few months into his service. He is commemorated at Poelcapelle British Cemetery in Belgium. At the time of his death, Henry’s son had also enlisted and was serving with the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
Rueben Coles, born c.1896 in Normanton, Derbyshire to Ernest and Georgina Stafford. The 1901 census places him, aged 6, living with his parents and 8 siblings at 6 Newdigate Street, Normanton. Between 1911 and 1915, Reuben worked as a gardener for pubic grounds, employed by the Council. Reuben enlisted at Derby, and took the post of Private in the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment), 10th Bn. His service number was 14839 and he served in the Western European Theatre. He was killed in action on the 14th of February 1916, in Belgium. He has no known grave, but is memorialised in Ypres Cemetery, his name written on the Menin Gate Memorial. He was one of the youngest men memorialised on the plaque in Derby Council House, being just 20 at the time of his death.
George Collins, born c.1896 in Derby. Aged 17 at enlistment, gave address as 12 Southwood, St David’s, Derby and occupation as Pork Butchers Labourer. George enrolled in the Army prior to the start of the First World War, joining in February 1913. During the war, he was given the service number 1813 and deployed with the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) as Lance Corporal, to the Western European theatre of war. During the war, he had a lengthy record of hospital treatment for various conditions, including a septic left leg wound. George was killed in action on the 1st of July 1916 and is commemorated at the Theipval memorial.
Corbett, W L
William Launcelot Corbett, born c.1898 in St Chad, Derby. William, known as Launcelot, was the son of Mrs Sarah Bertha Corbett, who lived at 79 Walbrook Road, Derby at the time of his enlisting. His father, William, died in 1913. William Launcelot initially enlisted in 1915, aged 18 and took up the post of Private with the Seaforth Highlanders, with whom he served in France. He was wounded in 1916, but not badly as he rose to Corporal with the Highlanders by 1918. He then became a cadet with the Royal Air Force, stationed at the 13th Training Depot within England. During his training, he was involved in a flying accident in which he was fatally wounded. William Launcelot died at Prees Heath Camp, Market Drayton on the 9th June 1918 ‘on active service’.
Henry Daykin, born c.1897 in Derby to Henry Ernest and Hannah Mary Elizabeth Daykin. He had one younger sister, Kathleen Neuman Daykin. At the time of the 1911 census, Henry was living with his parents at 38 Violet Street, but by the time of his enlisting they had moved to 10 Byron Street, Derby. Henry enlisted in 1914 aged 18, but only faced active service from the 26th of February 1917. He was enlisted to the Sherwood Foresters A ‘Coy’, 2nd/5th reserve battalion, service number 200950. He served in the Western European Theatre of war, where he was wounded in action. Henry died of his wounds on the 14th of April 1918 and is buried at Mendingham Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Dorrington, T H
Thomas H. Dorrington, born c.1884 to Thomas and Margaret Ellen Dorrington of St Peters, Derby. In 1911, Thomas was living at House 1, Court 2, Hope Street, Derby with his wife Jane Dorrington, a waste paper sorter, and their two children, Thomas (5) and Francis (3). He was working as a general labourer, employed by the Corporation. Thomas Dorrington, service number 22585 joined the war in France on the 17th of August 1915 as a Private in the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment). He died of wounds sustained in action on the 30th of June 1916 and his body was buried at the Poperinge Cemetery in West Flanders.
Arthur Elton, son of William and Eliza Elton of 64 Grayling Street, Derby born at Litchurch, Derby. Little is known about his life before his war service and the service records for Arthur Elton are not found. Arthur, service number 9277 enlisted at Nottingham and took up the post of Private in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 2nd battalion with whom he held active service in France and Flanders. Arthur was missing and officially recognised as killed in action in the Western European theatre of war on the 31st of October 1914, aged 22. He is likely to have been killed during the Battle of the Yser during ‘The Race to the Sea’. He is memorialised at the Le Touret Memorial in France.
Thomas Gamble, born in Nottingham c.1885 to Thomas and Elizabeth Gamble. His service records shows that he was married to a Margaret Dawson, with whom he had two children aged 4 and 2 (names unknown). He was employed as a Paint Grinder and was living at 18 Fowler Street, Derby when he enlisted on the 26 of August 1914. He was appointed to the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) as a Private and given service number 13379. He served in the Balkan Theatre of war where he was killed in action in Gallipoli on the 9th of August 1915, less than one year after enlisting. Thomas was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, and the British War and Victory Medals for his conduct in the war effort.
Gleeson, G J
George James Gleeson, born c.1890 to Mrs M.A Gleeson, of 41 back, Parker Street, Derby. In the 1911 census, George was a sanitary clerk but by the time he enlisted on the 8th of December 1915, he had been promoted to Municipal Clerk within the Corporation. He was married to Mary Weary on the 10th of April 1912, at the age of 22. He held no previous military experience, but was a qualified map reader. Service number 24827, he was mobilised to the 3rd North Staffordshire Regiment on the 2nd of May 1916, and gained promotion to Sergeant with that regiment on the 27th of February 1917. He was killed in action on the 18th of April 1918 and commemorated at Voormezeele Enclosure No. 3 in Belgium.
Frederick Grace was born in Bedford but came to reside in Derby, at 9 Parker Street with his wife Emma Grace and their two children, Frederick and Mabel. He was a Police Constable in the Derby Borough Police. He enlisted for the war and was appointed to the Western Front as a Guardsman with the Scots Guards 2nd Battalion, regiment number 6108. Frederick was killed in action on the 25th of September, 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. He is commemorated at the Theipval Memorial.
Archibald Howell, born c.1891 to Joseph and Henrietta Howell of Derby. In the 1911 census, Archibald was working as a Clerk for the Borough Rates, in direct employ of Derby Corporation and living at 44 Oliver Street, Derby. He enlisted for the war, joining the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment), as a Private and given the service number 17150. The Army Register of Soldiers Effects suggests that Archibald was taken as a Prisoner of War and then officially declared dead on the 14th of February 1916. He is buried at Oostaverne Wood Cemetery and was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal, which went to his mother Henrietta.
Ernest Jennings, born c.1882 in Meadows Ingham, Nottinghamshire. Married to Sarah Jennings at the time of his enlistment on the 1st of December 1915 and given service number 82005. Took up a post in the South Staffordshire Regiment, but transferred to the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 15th battalion as an Acting Corporal. Ernest was killed in action on the 20th of October 1917 and is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium. It is likely that Ernest Jennings was killed during the Battle of Ypres. He was posthumously awarded the British medal and the Victory medal, which were awarded to his widow Sarah.
Herbert Lowe, son of Mary Jane Lowe was born c. 1894 in Derby and was baptised at St Pauls Church in Derby. He was the youngest of three siblings, with an older brother and sister. Herbert had been working as a butcher at the time of the 1911 census but was employed as a cleaner at the Midland Railway Station in Derby at the time of his enlisting, and lived at 29 Drage Street. He initially enlisted six months before the start of war and was called up to serve with the Derbyshire Yeomanry and given the number 1691 at the start of hostilities. Herbert saw action in the Balkan Theatre of war, and was killed in action in Gallipoli on the 21st of August 1916. He is commemorated at the Helles Memorial in Turkey and in the church yard of St Paul’s in Derby.
Arthur Meredith was a policeman in Derby prior to the war and lived in Leopold Street, Derby. Arthur joined the war effort as a 2nd Scots Guard Reservist, who was called up on the outbreak of war. He was invalided home with rheumatism but returned to the front several months later. Serving in the Western theatre of war, Private Arthur was wounded on the 19th of June 1915 and subsequently died of his wounds. He was buried at a cemetery near Bethune, in France. His story was included in the Derby RAM’s Diary of the Great War.
Orme, A V
Albert Victor Orme, born in Mickleover, Derbyshire in 1892 to William and Mary Orme. In the 1911 census, Albert, aged 19, was working as a Labourer in a paint works but by the time of his enlistment, Albert had become a member of Derby Borough Police and was living at Woodbine Cottage in Mickleover, Derby. He enlisted at Derby and was appointed to the Derbyshire Yeomanry and trained with the Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line. Albert was active in the Balkan Theatre of War and was killed in action in Gallipoli on the 20th of August 1915. He is commemorated on the Helles memorial.
Richard Orme, or Jesse Richard Orme as he was also known, was born on the 4th of September 1887 to William and Lucy Orme, of Duffield, Derbyshire. From the 1911 census, we know that Richard (aged 21) was working as a municipal clerk for Derby Corporation. Before the war he married Dorothy Edelweiss Orme and was living at West Side, Chevin Road, Milford in Derby. He signed up for service and was attached to the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) as a Corporal. He served in the Western European theatre of war. On the 14th of February 1916, Richard was killed on active service in Belgium. He is commemorated at the Menin Gate in Ypres.
Arthur Palmer was born in Derby, approximately 1879. In the 1911 Census, Arthur is listed as living at 14 Sowter Square, Curzon Street, Derby with his wife Ellen Elizabeth Palmer and their six children; Rose, Ellen Eliza, Alice, Arthur Hubert, William and Albert George. He was working as a Destructor Furnace Man, with Derby Corporation. Arthur enlisted for service and was appointed to the Sherwood Foresters, 17th Battalion as a Sergeant and given service number 71072. He served on the Western Theatre of War, before being killed in action on the 24th of October, 1916, another casualty of the Battle of the Somme. Arthur is commemorated at Mill Road Cemetery, Theipval.
Charles Saysell, son of John and Lydia Saysell of Portsmouth was born in 1894. The 1911 census tells of his birth at Landport, Portsmell, Portsmouth but that by 1911, when he was 17, he was living in Derby and working as a Rubber Wrapper. Charles enlisted in Derby and was appointed to the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, 8th Battalion as a Corporal and given the service number Y/1676. He served in the Western European Theatre, principally in France and Flanders before being killed in action on the 22nd of July 1916, probably during the Battle of the Somme. He was awarded the Military Medal Award and is buried in Rolincourt Military Cemetery, France.
Scattergood, G R
George Roby Scattergood, born 15th of May 1884 to Joseph and Josephine Scattergood of Derby. The 1911 census lists George, aged 26, living at 33 Mount Street, Derby with his parents and working as a Tramway Motorman. George enlisted and was appointed Lance Corporal with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 2nd Battalion, with the service number 24591. He served in the Western European Theatre and was killed in action on the 12th of February 1917 in the Somme sector. He is commemorated at the Theipval Memorial, the memorial that specifically remembers the missing of The Somme.
Sephton, R W
Reginald William Sephton, born c.1894 in Derby to Thomas and Elizabeth Sephton. The 1911 census places Reginald, aged 17, as a Student Teacher at an Elementary School, employed by Derby Corporation and living at 82 Leacroft Road, Derby. Reginald enlisted and served as a Private with the London Regiment, 13th battalion in the Western European theatre of war. He was killed in action on the 17th of November 1916, aged 23, during the Battle of the Somme and specifically during the Battle of the Ancre. He is commemorated at the Theipval Memorial.
Thomas, E O
Evan Owen Thomas, born in Ffestiniog, Mainsforth can be seen in the 1911 census as living in Egremont, Cumbria and married to Edith Annie Thomas. They had two children, Eric (9), and Hilary (7). Between the 1911 census and the time of Evan’s enlistment, the family moved to 16 Keep Street, Derby. Evan first was appointed to the Sherwood Foresters, but was later deployed with the South Staffordshire Regiment as a Corporal in the 3rd Special Reserve Division. Evan died on the 19th of January 1918 of wounds sustained during his service. He died at home, aged 43 and is buried in the Nottingham Road Cemetery in Derby.
Thompson, A M
Albert Maurice Thompson was born in 1889, one of six children born to John William and Mary Alice Thompson of West View, Heyworth Street, Derby. In 1908, Albert was living in Battersea, London at St John’s Training College for Male Students, a teacher training college. He had also signed up for the army, joining the Middlesex Regiment in 1908, a home counties based regiment. He served with this regiment for three years before transferring to the Notts and Derby Regiment, probably around the time his teacher training had finished. At the outbreak of war, Albert was deployed to France with the British Expeditionary Force and the 5th Sherwood Foresters. He was a Signaller, an important part of communications based very close to the front lines, providing signals back to Company & Battalion HQ. Albert Thompson was killed in action on the 26th of June 1915, following six years’ service with the army. His parents were sent his British War and Victory Medals after his death and he was buried in Sanctuary Wood Cemetery, Belgium.
George Tibbert, son of James and Frances Tibbert of 83 Whitecross Street, Derby was born approximately 1896. He first joined the war effort with the Derbyshire Yeomanry, and started training at Mansford Hall Camp but was discharged 63 days later on the 22nd of July 1915 with ‘flat feet’ which made him unable to march and thus for ‘being unlikely to become an efficient soldier’. However, he eventually joined the Seaforth Highlanders and saw action in the Western theatre of war, specifically in France and Flanders. George was killed in action on the 3rd of June 1916.
Harry Ward was born at Kirk Ireton, Derbyshire to John and Elizabeth Ward. In the 1911 Census, he was working as a Farm Servant in Kirk Wood. Harry enlisted at Blackwell Hullard, Derby and was initially appointed to the Sherwood Foresters, but was transferred to the Labour Corps, 208th Division Employment Coy and given service number 632225. The Labour Corps were hugely important for the war effort, given the tasks of building roads and communications networks, camps, stores and moving these with the movement of the trenches. Harry was killed in action on the 18th of October 1918, less than a month before the ceasefire. He is commemorated at Caudry British Cemetery, France.
Whitehead, R C
Reginald Charles Whitehead, born 1898 to Eusibas (?) and Martha Whitehead. In the 1911 census, the family were living at 19 Clive Street, Crewton in Derby and Reginald was just 13 years old and still at school. By the time of the war, his father had died and he was living with his mother at 69 Clive Street. During the war, Reginald joined the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby regiment) as a Private. He was wounded and subsequently died of his wounds of the 21st of June 1917, aged 19.
Due to common names and a lack of information, details on the following are yet to be found. Can you help?
Allen, F G; Brown, T; Davies W I; Fitch H E; Gaunt G P; Gilbert A; Hopkins G; Kerry, C; Lonnon S; Piggin S; Robinson C J; Seaton E; Sims J H; Swinburne A V; Taylor J; Walters A;