Lance Sergeant Robert William Berrington, 14032

  • Batt - 8
  • Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
  • Section -
  • Date of Birth - 1893
  • Died - 25/09/1916
  • Age - 23
  • Decorations - Military Medal

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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 John William Berrington a Bricklayer’s Labourer, born 1863 in Whitwick, Leics., and his wife Kenturah, born 1867 in Loughborough, Leics. Robert William was born in 1893 in Whitwick, Leics., his siblings were Nathaniel S., born 1888 and Florence, born 1886, both siblings were born in Loughborough, Leics., in March 1901 the family home was at 43, Union Street, Loughborough, Leics., in the Ecclesiastical Parish of St. Peter. In April 1911 Robert was employed as a Quarry Driller and was residing together with his widowed father at 90, Leicester Road, Whitwick, Leics., the family home of his paternal grandmother Jane Berrington, born 1840 in Diseworth, Leics. The War Diary entry for events from the 24th to the 30th September 1916 records. East of TRONES WOOD. About 7.00pm on the 24th the Battalion marched up to take a position prior to making an attack the next day. Before they reached the position the enemy heavily shelled our men, several casualties resulting. At 12.30pm on the 25th the first attack was launched, the 8th LEICESTERSHIRE REGT being in a position on the right of FLERS. The objective was the first German line, a distance of about a 1000 yards from the trench from which the Battalion launched the attack. The attack was made in waves, each platoon forming a wave, and 2 waves going over at a time. The attack was launched with splendid heroism, the first objective was gained in about ¾ of an hour, the men then stopped a short time to consolidate their gain, and to allow the artillery barrage to lift. They then pressed on to their second objective which was the village of GUEDECOURT. By the time they reached the village their ranks were sadly thinner, by the tremendous artillery barrage the enemy put up, and by machine guns which wrought terrible havoc. Never the less with dauntless gallantry they pressed on reaching the village and engaging the enemy in hand to hand fighting, which took place all the night. In the morning the 7th LEICESTERSHIRE REGT relieved the 8th LEICESTERSHIRE REGT in the village, and the enemy were finally driven out. The 8th LEICESTERSHIRE REGT were brought back to the second line of trenches, where they were relieved by the 6th LEICESTERSHIRE REGT on the 28th. They then went back to SWISS TRENCH where they remained until relieved on the night of October 1st.

Source: Leicestershire War Memorials Project.
Coalville Times article - Friday September 15th, 1916


Lance-Corporal Robert Wm. Berrington, of the Leicestershire Regiment, is another of the men to be honoured by his commanding officer, who in forwarding an intimation that Berrington has been awarded the military medal for gallantry in the field, offers his congratulations. Berrington joined the Army in September, 1914. He was educated at Whitwick National School and attended Whitwick Wesleyan Church, of which his late grandfather, Mr Wm. Berrington, was an esteemed member. He worked at Whitwick Granite Co.’s quarries for about 10 years, but prior to enlisting was employed at Enderby Quarry for about a year. He previously lived with his father, Mr John William Berrington, and grandmother, Mrs Wm. Berrington, at 90, Leicester Road, Whitwick, and has a good number of relatives in the neighbourhood. “Rob”, as he was familiarly known locally was one of the most energetic members of the Whitwick Gymnasium, and School of Arms generously built and provided by the Right Hon. Charles Booth, of Gracedieu Manor, for the use of Whitwick and district, and the gymnastic and general training under Sergeant Stone (Seaforth Highlanders) inoculating, as it did, the spirit of discipline and quick decision in time of danger and emergency – in a well trained mind and body – has borne good fruit on the field of battle, in the fierce struggle for the cause of right and freedom. The gallant soldier’s father, it is interesting to note, was formerly in the Leicestershire Yeomanry in which he served for 21 years, retiring with the rank of senior corporal and being the possessor of an long-service medal.

Coalville Times article - Friday October 13th, 1916


News has come through a reliable source that Sergeant R. W. (Bob) Berrington, has been killed in action. He was in the Leicesters and was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field in the July fighting on the Somme. He was employed by the Enderby and Stoney Stanton Granite Co. before enlisting, and was a steady and thoroughly trustworthy workman. Formerly, the deceased, who was 24 years of age, worked at the Whitwick Granite Quarry, and his relatives reside at Leicester Road, Whitwick. We recently published the details in connection with Berrington being awarded the military medal.

Coalville Times article - Friday May 17th, 1918


On Saturday evening at a service in the Whitwick Wesleyan Church, the Vicar (the Rev. T. W. Walters) unveiled a tablet to the memory of Sergeant R. W. Berrington, one of Whitwick’s Military Medallists, who was formerly connected with the Wesleyan Church and Sunday School. Had he lived, he would have been presented with a suitable gift by the Whitwick Soldiers’ Presentation Committee to commemorate his brave deed, but soon after receiving the Medal he fell in action, and the committee decided to erect this tablet to his memory. The Rev. J. R. Sharpley, of Ashby, presided at the service, in which the Revs. T. Cottam (Coalville), J. J. Hutchinson and A. Dalton (Whitwick) also took part. In the course of a short address, the Vicar paid a tribute to the gallant soldier and also to Whitwick men for the splendid manner in which they had responded to their country’s call. Unfortunately, fifty Whitwick men had now been officially reported killed in action. All the ministers spoke, and it was stated that ancestors of the deceased soldier for four generations had been connected with the Whitwick Wesleyan Church. The hymn, “For all the saints who from their labours rest,” was sung, also the National Anthem at the close. There was a good congregation.


Mr J. W. Berrington and Family wish to convey their sincere thanks to the Whitwick Committee, and all friends who have in any way subscribed to the fund for a tablet to be placed in the Whitwick Wesleyan Church, which was unveiled by the Rev. T. W. Walters, on Saturday, May 11th, 1918, in loving memory of Sergeant R. W. Berrington, who was killed in action on September 25th, 1916, after winning the Military Medal for bravery on the battlefield in France. The ministers present at the ceremony were the Revs. J. R. Sharpley and T. Cottam, with the Baptist and Primitive Methodist ministers. We also wish to thank Mr G. F. Burton for the great interest he took in seeing that it was successfully carried through.

Coalville Times article - Friday August 8th, 1919



The members of the Marquis of Hastings Lodge on Monday held a Memorial Procession and attended a memorial service at the Whitwick Parish Church in honour of the ten members of the Society who were killed in the war. The procession, accompanied by the Volunteer Corps, Thringstone Boy Scouts, and the Whitwick Holy Cross Band, paraded from the Society’s headquarters to the Vicarage, where they were joined by the Vicar and Choir in their robes. During the procession the Whitwick Society of Bellringers rang a Quarter Peal with bells muffled. Service was conducted in church by the Vicar, who preached an eloquent sermon from the text, “Greater love hath no man than this - that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

The Holy Cross Band accompanied the hymn “O God our help in ages past,” the “Dead March in Saul,” was played by the organist (Mr R. G. West) and Mr D. Martin played the “Last Post,” bringing to a close a most impressive service.

After service, the procession, accompanied by the Holy Cross Band, embarked on a “Victory Parade,” in honour of the members of the Society who joined the Forces, and who were spared to return home again. En route, the members paid a visit to Bro. Michael McCarthy (Senior Trustee) and there partook of refreshments. After parading the principal streets in Whitwick and Thringstone, the members returned to their headquarters and partook of a capital dinner, provided by Mr J. Massey, the proprieter.

After dinner, a high-class musical programme arranged by the Whitwick Quartette Party was given. Bro. M. McCarthy was in the chair, supported by the Vicar, Father O’Reilly and Mr J. W. Eagles.

The toasts of the King, and Ministers of all Christian Churches, were given from the chair and enthusiastically received. Musical honours were accorded the Rev. T. W. Walters and the Rev. M. J. O’Reilly on rising to reply.

Father O’Reilly unveiled the Society’s Roll of Honour, and paid an eloquent tribute to the deeds of valour of the Army and Navy, especially mentioning the three Military Medallists of the Society, Bros. R. Berrington, R. C. Whitmore and T. Bailey.

The chairman proposed the best thanks of the Society be accorded to Mr J. W. Eagles, for writing the Roll of Honour, free of cost, to the Society, and on rising to reply, Mr Eagles was accorded musical honours.

The toast of the Marquis of Hastings Lodge was submitted by Mr Eagles. The Secretary replying gave the history of the Society from 1872, showing how the Society had grown and flourished, observing that when Bro. Michael McCarthy joined in 1882, the membership was 17, and the capital under £5, whereas at the present time, the membership was 440 and the funds available, £3,300. The secretary mentioned that the turning point in the Society’s career, was undoubtedly due to the interest and business abilities that Bro. M. McCarthy brought to bear on the Society when he became a member.

Bro. Walter Waterfield, in proposing the vote of thanks to the chairman, said it was undoubtedly due to the fact that Bro. McCarthy being a member of the Society, that it had made such progress. The toast to the Host and Hostess, and the singing of the National Anthem, brought to a close, a day to be remembered by the Society.

Coalville Times article - Friday 2nd January, 1920



The Marquis of Hastings Friendly Society at Whitwick, of which Mr Walter Whitmore is secretary, have set out upon a worthy object. When war broke out they had 350 members, and of these, no less than 90 joined the Forces, of whom ten were killed in action. The members are now endeavouring to raise £100 as a memorial to these fallen brothers, the sum to be invested and the interest used for relieving needy cases.

Towards this object, a very successful whist drive and fancy dress dance were held in the Whitwick Holy Cross Schools, on Wednesday night, when there was a large attendance and many of the dancers wore excellent fancy dresses for which prizes were awarded. The Whitwick Holy Cross Band played for dancing, for which the M.C.’s were Messrs. J. H. McCarthy and B. Massey, and the prize-winners were:

Ladies: 1 Miss Darby, as an Italian peasant; 2 Mrs Roulstone, a gipsy.
Gents: 1 Mr B. Hutchby, a Chinaman; 2 Mr Haywood of Coalville, as “Ole Bill.”

The prizes were presented to the successful competitors by Canon O’Reilly. The M.C.’s for whist were Messrs. F. E. Needham, E. Commons and T. W. Hull, and several good prizes were awarded. It is interesting to note that four of the club’s members won the Military Medal, these being Thomas Bailey, Robert C. Whitmore, Robert Berrington and Samuel William Taylor. The two latter were killed in action.

Research undertaken and submitted (including photograph from Coalville Times) by Andy Murby 15/10/2017

Leicestershire Project Findings
  • Conflict - World War I
  • Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
  • Other Memorials - Coalville War Memorial Clock Tower
Research from Michael Doyle's Their Name Liveth For Evermore
  • Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
  • Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
  • Burial Commemoration - Thiepval Mem., Somme, France
  • Born - Whitwick, Leics
  • Enlisted - Coalville, Leics
  • Place of Residence - 90 Leicester Road, Whitwick, Leicestershire, England

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