Lance Corporal William Sheen, 16676

  • Batt - 9
  • Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
  • Section -
  • Date of Birth -
  • Died - 03/05/1917
  • Age - 24

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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 Mr and Mrs J. Sheen. The War Diary entry for the 3rd May 1917 records. HINDENBURG LINE. At 5.15am Battalion in position. At 3.45am Battalion moved forward to attack. Heavy enemy barrage opened simultaneously with our own barrage immediately in front of BROWN LINE. Machine gun fire opened at once from right and left flanks and from U.2.a.1.6. Heavy casualties were suffered from enemy barrage Captain F. P. COX killed and 2nd Lt. KING wounded. At 4.00am the attacking troops on the left flank of the Battalion came across Battalion front forcing our troops to the right. A tank advanced down WOOD TRENCH but was forced to return owing to machine gun fire. 2nd Lt. -?-, 2nd Lt. GROOCOCK, Lt. LEAKE, 2nd Lt. BOYD and 2nd Lt. WILLET wounded. At 4.15am the attack was held up on front of FONTAINE trench (running through U.1.b and U.2.a.). At 5.00am The situation obscure. Runners sent forward with messages to Companies but none returned. At 7.00am Lt. WALKER sent forward with 5 other ranks and a Lewis gun to work down WOOD TRENCH (see attached map). Lt PLANT killed and 2nd Lt. CHOYCE wounded. At 7.40am Report received from Lt. WALKER that enemy were holding sunken road in front of FONTAINE WOOD and village in strength. Our men holding a line of shell holes about 50 yards in front of road. Telephone communication was established and Lt WALKER remained in WOOD TRENCH until night of the 3rd/4th May sending much valuable information. At 8.45am Message received from Captain MILBURN that he was holding a trench with 1 officer and 30 other ranks with enemy on both flanks and in front. He was unable to identify his position and could see no troops on either flank. At 11.40am Reports received from Liaison officer with Battalion on our left that Brigade on left had withdrawn. Communication with Brigade HQ extremely difficult wires being continually cut. At 12.00 noon Report received from Brigade HQ that the attack of the 64th Brigade on the right on the HINDENBURG LINE had made no progress. Continual machine gun fire and sniping made communications by runner impossible. At 5.30pm Message received from Lt. SCOTT (Officer Commanding “A” Company) via runner L/Cpl. Lattet, this runner had been 4 hours getting to the HQ as he had to run from shell hole to shell hole owing to enemy fire. Message stated that Lt. SCOTT was at U.2.a.1.6. with 2 other officers and 20 other ranks. Enemy were observed bombing down FONTAINE TRENCH and had commenced working round the flanks of this party. At 7.30pm Enemy opened a heavy bombardment of BROWN LINE and appeared to be counter attacking. All troops of 6th, 7th and 8th LEICESTERSHIRE REGT in BROWN LINE and trenches in rear were assembled to counter attack the enemy. Ration carrying parties were brought up and ‘stood to’ in support trench 40 yards in rear of BROWN LINE. At 8.00pm Enemy barrage still continued on BROWN LINE. Lewis gun posts were pushed forward from BROWN LINE. At 8.45pm Enemy barrage weakened considerably and ceased about 9.15pm. At 12.00 midnight Orders received that 13th NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS would take over the BROWN LINE held by the Brigade and that all advance posts of the 110th Infantry Brigade were to be withdrawn.

Leicestershire Project Findings
  • Conflict - World War I
  • Burial Place - Arras Memorial
Research from Michael Doyle's Their Name Liveth For Evermore
  • Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
  • Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
  • Burial Commemoration - Arras Mem., Pas de Calais, France
  • Born - Sharnford, Leicestershire
  • Enlisted - Hinckley, Leicestershire
  • Place of Residence - Star Cottages, Sharnford, Leicestershire, England

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