Private John Walker, 10174
- Batt - 6
- Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
- Section -
- Date of Birth -
- Died - 17/07/1916
- Age - 40
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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 husband of Alice Walker. The War Diary entries relating to the events from the 14th to the 17th July 1916 records the following. FRICOURT. The 110th Brigade attacked and captured BAZENTIN – LE – PETIT WOOD and village and held same. Appendix I. The action attached.
Narrative of action of the 6th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment from 3.00am 14/7/16 to 8.00am 17/7/16.
The Battalion moved from FRICOURT WOOD via the southern and eastern edge of MAMETZ WOOD and reached the north east corner of this wood just before 3.00am. The Battalion was formed in four lines by 3.15am under a fairly heavy bombardment and lined up with the 7th Battalion LEICESTERSHIRE REGT. on its left about 100 yards in front of MAMETZ WOOD. At 3.25am 1st and 2nd lines advanced on German first line, and five minutes later the third and fourth lines advanced, and, crossing first line, assaulted and took the German second line. The first German line was very much knocked about and some 25 or 30 prisoners were taken in it. The right Company blocked German first line trench on right of the attack, and also the same in the German second line. While crossing “No man’s” land the barrage was not very severe but the two right Companies suffered a good many casualties from enemy machine guns in BAZENTIN-LE-GRAND WOOD, which had not then been cleared by 7th Division on our right. There were also two enemy machine guns in the south east corner of BAZENTIN-LE-PETIT WOOD. These were charged by the third and fourth lines and the detachments killed, and the guns taken. There were not a large number of Germans in second line when it was entered. The trenches had been so knocked about that it was difficult to consolidate them. At 4.00am first and second lines, leaving small parties to deal with any dugouts, advanced to German second line, which was also being consolidated by the third and fourth lines. At 4.20am three platoons remained in German second line, and the rest of the Battalion advanced to the “one hour” line, which was reached after suffering a good many casualties from enfilade fire from the direction of BAZENTIN-LE-GRAND WOOD. Soon after this the enemy, retiring in front of the 7th Division from BAZENTIN-LE-GRAND WOOD on our right, were enfiladed from the eastern edge of the wood by our Lewis guns, and suffered heavy losses. For some time the right Company had to form a defensive flank as many of the enemy were trying to get from BAZENTIN-LE-GRAND WOOD to BAZENTIN-LE-PETIT WOOD. At 5.20am the Battalion advanced to the “two hour” line and remained there till 6.00am, waiting for the 7th Division to come up on our right. At 6.00am the Battalion was reinforced by several platoons of the 9th Battalion LEICESTERSHIRE REGT. At 6.05am the line advanced against the village, and, the left of the 7th Division not being up, the whole village was assaulted and taken, and 3 officers and 200 prisoners. At 6.40am the ROYAL IRISH RIFLES entered the village and the eastern portion was handed over to them. At 7.15am the Battalion occupied and began consolidating the line from the northern end of the village, thence southwards to the north eastern point of BAZENTIN-LE-PETIT WOOD, thence along northern edge of wood halfway to the railway. An attempt to get the real objective was heavily enfiladed from a point just outside the wood near the railway. About 50 prisoners were taken in a trench along northern edge of wood. At 8.30am the enemy made a counter attack against the northern portion of village. The 7th Division who were not very strong here fell back on cemetery. The Battalion conformed and held northern edge of wood and the prolongation of same through the village. At 9.15am the 7th Division were reinforced and retook eastern portion of village, and the Battalion resumed its previous line, joining up with the 7th Division north of the village. At 3.00pm the enemy made another counter attack against northern and north eastern edge of village. Many of them reached the road running from north end of village to railway and were at once stopped by our rifle and Lewis gun fire. The Battalion held and consolidated this position on the night of the 14th and also on the 15th there was no change. At 2.00am on the 16th a party of one officer and 50 men were sent out to try to consolidate the original objective along the road. They were preceded by a party of one officer and 40 men of the YORKSHIRE REGT. The latter party got to the road and held it for some time while our party was trying to consolidate, but were heavily bombed and enfiladed from enemy post just outside wood near railway, and was forced to retire. On the night of the 16th the Battalion was relieved by the 10th KING’S OWN YORKSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY and the Battalion went into bivouac just south of FRICOURT WOOD, arriving there at 1.00am the 17th instant. The Battalion suffered the following casualties 7 officers killed and 20 wounded. 500 other ranks killed, wounded and missing.
War Diary entry on the 16/7/16:-
6th Battalion right supported by 9th LEICESTERSHIRE REGT. 7th Battalion LEICESTERSHIRE REGT. on left supported by 8th Battalion LEICESTERSHIRE REGT.
War Diary entry on the 17/7/16:-
The Battalion marched from FRICOURT WOOD at 7.45pm and arrived at RIBEMONT at 12.30am 18th July 1916.
- Conflict - World War I
- Other Memorials - Loughborough Carillon, War Memorial Bell Tower
- Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
- Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
- Burial Commemoration - Thiepval Mem., Somme, France
- Born - Radford, Notts
- Enlisted - Loughborough, Leics
- Place of Residence - 9 Fennel Street, Loughborough, Leicestershire, England
- Memorial - CARILLON TOWER MEM., LOUGHBOROUGH, LEICS
- Memorial - SHEPSHED MEM., LEICS
- Memorial - ALL SAINT'S CHURCH, LOUGHBOROUGH, LEICS