Lance Sergeant Alec Hill Holroyd, 204635

  • Batt - 1
  • Unit - Lincolnshire Regiment
  • Section -
  • Date of Birth - 1895
  • Died - 15/04/1918
  • Age - 23

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Source: Michael Doyle Their Name Liveth For Evermore: The Great War Roll of Honour for Leicestershire and Rutland.
He was the son of Robert Holroyd a bricklayer, born 1852 in Cropwell Butler, Nottinghamshire and his wife Mary Elizabeth Holroyd (nee Hill, married in the 2nd quarter of 1882 in the Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire district)), born 1858 in Grimston, Leicestershire. Alec Hill Holroyd was a schoolboy and was born in the 1st quarter of 1895 in Ab Kettleby, Leicestershire, his siblings were, Ethel, a domestic mother’s help, born 1883, Horace, a bricklayer’s apprentice, born 1886, Edgar, a farm worker, born 1887, John Robert, a schoolboy, born 1893, Wilfrid, a schoolboy, born 1898 and Ann Emma, born 1900, all his siblings were born in Ab Kettleby, in March 1901 the family home was at South Side, Ab Kettleby. In April 1911 Alec was employed as a builder’s apprentice and was residing in the family home at Ab Kettleby, together with his father, a builder, his mother and siblings, John, a builder’s apprentice and Ann, a schoolgirl.
On Friday December 22nd 1916 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “LOCAL AND DISTRICT NEWS.” – AB KETTLEBY. – MILITARY. – Lance-Corpl A. Holroyd and Pte. George H. Gale, have been spending the past week end at home. Like their comrades they look fit and well, and we wish them the best of luck for their welfare in the future.
On Friday November 16th 1917 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “DISTRICT NEWS.” – AB KETTLEBY. –HOME ON LEAVE. – During the present week Sergeant A. Holroyd of the Lincolnshire Yeomanry and Private J. R. Holroyd of the Canadian Contingent, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Holroyd, of this village, have been spending a few days at home. They returned to their respective regiments with the best wishes of their numerous friends.
The War Diary records: 12-19 Apr-18 – IN THE LINE. The ensuing period is best described by reproducing verbatim the official account of the Operations, sent by Brigadier General, G. H. GATER, D.S.O., Commanding 62nd Infantry Brigade, to the next Higher Command.
Account of Operations from 10th to the 19th April 1918.
On the evening of the 12/13th April, 1st Lincolnshire Regt. relieved 12/13th Northumberland Fusiliers in the WYTSCHAETE Sector. The battalion was responsible for holding the line from BOAERT FARM exclusive on the right, to STANYZER CABARET Cross Roads inclusive on the left, which line was extended on the night of the 15/16th to SCOTT FARM. From that date until the attack on the morning of the 16th, the battalion was subjected to a very heavy and continuous bombardment, which was made all the more trying for the men owing to the lack of shelter. Between the evening of 12/13th and 15/16th casualties amounted to 2 Officers and 80 O.R. The battalion only went into the line with 12 Officers, including Battn. H.Q., so that the strain on these few officers was tremendous. In spite of this the fighting spirit of all ranks was maintained at the highest level. On the afternoon of the 13th, the enemy shelled the village very heavily, but owing to the vigilance of the Vickers and Lewis Guns, no infantry attack took place. At 4.30am on the morning of the 16th, the enemy put down a terrific bombardment on our front line, on the village and on all approaches. The bombardment lasted, without any lull, till 5.30am, when it was lifted on the fronts of the left and centre battalions, but kept on the 1st Lincolnshire Regt. for ten minutes longer. Under cover of a dense fog the enemy attacked on the flanks of the battalion, and succeeded in breaking our line just North of the STANYZER CABARET Cross Roads, and at PECKHAM. Strong parties of the enemy then wheeled inwards and attacked both flanks of the battalion, the frontal attack does not appear to have been pressed. Owing to the dense fog and bombardment it was impossible to get a clear idea of the situation, and the Companies did not know they were attacked until the enemy appeared at close quarters. Fighting under heavy disadvantage, as the fog denied them the full use of Lewis Guns and rifles and made it impossible to locate the enemy, the battalion stood firm, and fought it out to the last. No Officer, platoon post or individual surrendered and the fighting was prolonged until 6.30am. Ample evidence of this is provided by the Commanding Officer and Battn. H.Q., who made a last stand at the Cross Roads, and did not leave there until 7.00am. They, a mere handful of men, withdrew slowly, fighting all the way through WYTSCAETE WOOD. The withdrawal was covered by the Adjutant, Captain McKELLAR, with revolver and bombs, firing into the enemy at close quarters. This enabled the Commanding Officer, Major GUSH, to get away his wounded and the Commanding Officer of the 12/13th Northumberland Fusiliers, who was also wounded. The splendid behaviour of the battalion undoubtedly saved the situation by breaking the full force of the attack, enabling a defensive flank to be formed, covering the 64th Brigade from NORTH HOUSE to BLACK COT, and the reserve battalion to be pushed up to the line VANDARNE FARM – LAGASHE FARM so as to prevent a further break through. The hard fighting left the enemy disorganised and unable to consolidate, and materially assisted the counter-attack delivered in the evening.
Signed. G. H. GATER. BRIG. Gen.
Comdg. 62nd Infantry Brigade.
On Friday August 2nd 1918 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “AB KETTLEBY.” – KILLED AT THE FRONT. – It is with very great regret we have to announce that Mr. and Mrs. R. Holroyd have had official intimation from the War Office that their son Sergt. Alec Holroyd, of the Lincolnshire Yeomanry, has been killed at the front during the recent push. From a private source they had received similar news a week or two ago, and this has since been confirmed, much to the regret of his many friends. Sergt. Holroyd was most highly respected by everyone who knew him, and his sad death at so early an age came as a great grief to his parents and relations. He was a respected member of Court Ab Kettleby Reliance of the Ancient Order of Forester’s, and it has been decided to hold a Forester’s memorial service at the Parish Church on Sunday evening, August the 18th, to show their respect to their late Brother. The service will be conducted by the Court Chaplain, Bro. the Rev. E. P. Doudney, M.A.

Leicestershire Project Findings
  • Conflict - World War I
Research from Michael Doyle's Their Name Liveth For Evermore
  • Unit - Lincolnshire Regiment
  • Former Unit n.o - 2615
  • Former Unit - Lincolnshire Yeomanry
  • Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
  • Burial Commemoration - Tyne Cot Mem., Zonnebeke, West Vlaanderen, Belgium
  • Born - Ab Kettleby, Leicestershire
  • Enlisted - Lincoln
  • Place of Residence - Ab Kettleby, Leicestershire, England

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