Welcome to my blog......

The purpose of this blog is to remember the fallen heroes of the Great War, whose names are recorded on the memorial plaque situated in St Barnabas Church, New Whittington, Chesterfield.

To mark the centenary of World War 1 I aim to research all of the men on the memorial. I hope to ensure that the brave men who gave their lives for their country 100 years ago are remembered and each man's story told.

I would love to hear from anyone who may have information regarding the men; photos, letters or passed down memories. Any descendents are most welcome to contact me and I will provide copies of the research that I have undertaken.

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left to grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them"

For The Fallen,
Laurence Binyon September 1914.

Thursday, 10 March 2016



Private 16689

Leicestershire Regiment

Missing presumed dead - 10th March 1916

World War 1 brought tremendous loss to the Warren family; Arthur and Annie Warren lost three sons to the cause, the first was William on 10th March 1916.  Next came Henry Warren on 21st March 1918 and later that year Arthur Warren on 29th June 1918.

Arthur Warren was a sawyer born in Therfield, Hertfordshire and Annie Matilda Hunt was from Grafton Underwood near Northampton; they married on 16th May 1881 at Staveley parish church.  Annie had lived in the Staveley area since she was a child.  Their first son was baptised on 26th January 1882, his name was James Edward (named after his maternal grandfather James Hunt).  
Next came a daughter Lily in 1884 who sadly did not survive infancy, she died later that year. John Frederick baptised on 22nd December 1886, then Arthur baptised 17th January 1889 at New Whittington.

After a tough few years Annie and Arthur were probably delighted when in 1890 Annie gave birth to a baby girl; also named Annie, she was baptised on 20th November 1890.

The 1891 census shows the Warren family living at London Street, New Whittington.  Not long after the census was taken John Frederick died aged just 4 years old.  Over the coming years more children were born to Arthur and Annie; William and Ellen were baptised on the same day, 21st June 1895 and Henry was baptised 8th January 1897. 

Another sad time had troubled the Warren family, when in 1896 their eldest son James Edward died aged 15 years old.  James was employed at Staveley Company's wagon shop.  He "got wedged between two waggons, and suffered in consequence serious injuries internally, which necessitated his removal to the Chesterfield Hospital".  Unfortunately the doctors were unable to save James and he died the following night (1).

William was 5 years old on the 1901 census, the family live at 22 London Street, New Whittington. 

1911 the eve of war....

The Warren family had left New Whittington and were now living at 2 Higher Albert Street, Stonegravels.  William was 15 years old and had found employment as a pipe moulder at the iron works.  Arthur snr and Arthur jnr were both employed as sawyers at the local timber yard.  Henry the youngest son aged 14 years was an apprentice engineer at the iron works. 

Poignantly this, the last census before the Great War shows Arthur and Annie living what was probably a very ordinary life, with their three sons who would be taken from them so prematurely.

The girls had left home; Annie was the cook at the Temperance Hotel also known as the Park Hotel, run by Henry Victor Davis.  I have not located Ellen on the 1911 census.

A few years later on 14th September 1913 Annie married George Venus Lloyd at Scarborough.  George was living at Coventry at the time.

Sadly Annie, William's mother died not long after in 1913, she was 53 years of age.

William's war....

William's service records have not survived and unfortunately the war diaries for the 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment are not online as I write this memorial.  However, I have been able to piece together a brief outline of William's war service.

His medal card states that he joined the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F) on 4th October 1915.  William would have enlisted months before this date and undertaken basic training prior to entering the theatre of war.

The 2nd Battalion had already seen active service, they arrived in France a year earlier on 12th October 1914.  William and his fellow recruits would join a battalion which had seen the horrors of the war for a whole 12 months prior to William arriving.  The 2nd battalion was a battalion of professional soldiers whom had been serving in Runihet as part of the Gharwal Brigade prior to the outbreak of WW1.

And so William and the 2nd Battalion moved away from the western front and on 7th November 1915 they joined the 28th Indian Brigade in Egypt.  Private 16689 William Warren, a young man from the small village of New Whittington would now experience the thrill of travel to far away places he would only have read about when at school.

A month later in December of 1915 they moved on to Basra, Mesopotamia and rejoined the 7th Meerut Division.  William's battalion were commissioned to liberate the 6th Poona Division who had become besieged at Kut by over 10,000 Turkish soldiers.  In January 1916 they took part in the Battle of Shaikh Saad it was yet another bloody battle, which the British were ill prepared for; with limited transport, machinery and men the push was extremely difficult.  They were outnumbered on two consecutive nights but were surprised to find on their third attack that the Turks had made a retreat.  Despite this, the British had gained minimal ground, they had not been able to free the besieged men at Kut, they had however suffered around 4,000 casualties.

On 8th March 1916 the 7th Meerut Division (of which the 2nd Battalion Leicestershire regiment were part) were involved in the Battle of Dujaila.  The attack commenced at 10am but by noon of that same day the troops had come to a stand still, they could advance no further.  The surviving men returned to their garrison.  Their were 3,500 casualties. 

Private William Warren 16689 was missing presumed dead between the 8th - 10th March 1916.  His official date of death is 10th March 1916.

He was reported missing in the Derbyshire Courier on 22nd July 1916 (3), over 4 months after his death it was noted that the War Office refused to issue a death certificate for William as he was still known as missing.  The article told how his family were anxiously awaiting news and that two other brothers were also serving; Private Arthur Warren was serving with the Notts & Derbys and Private Henry Warren was with the Lincolns.

The article also told how William had been injured during the year past and had "one of his fingers shot off while in action".  His family were also playing their part, his father Arthur was engaged in war work, one sister was employed in munitions and the other was temporary post woman (most likely Ellen as her husband was a post man on enlistment).  William was also a member of the Sunday School at St James Hall on Vicar Lane, Chesterfield.

William is remembered on the Basra Memorial, Iraq, panel 12.

Basra Memorail to the Leicestershire Regiment, Warren W is remembered
With kind thanks to Carol Pike.

The above photo of the Basra Memorial is the property of Carol Pike.  Carol kindly allowed its use on this blog to remember William Warren.  Please take a look at her website www.ancregreatwar.co.uk

William was awarded the British War Medal, Victory Medal and 15 Star for his service.

Life went on....

Arthur Warren Williams father lived with his daughter at 31 Victoria Street, Stonegravels at the time of Williams death.  He was employed by Allen & Orr Timber Merchants. 

Newspaper articles in 1918 state that Arthur was a cripple.  He died in 1925 aged in his early 70's. 

Arthur Warren served with the 11th Battalion Sherwood Forester Regiment.  A newspaper article (2) on the front page of the Derbyshire Courier stated that Arthur was employed at Sheepbridge furnace's prior to enlisting.  He was reported killed in action  on 29th June 1918 whilst fighting in Italy.  The article also told that he had been wounded and gassed the year earlier.  Arthur's story will be told on this blog on 29th June 2018.

Annie Lloyd nee Warren and her husband George remained living in Scarborough.  In the December of 1916 George signed up for active service.  At that time they were living at 83 Beechville Avenue, Scarborough.

George served with the Royal Tank Corps; a remarkable time for George to be involved in the new technology of modern warfare.  Looking at this service records he was only a short man of 5ft 1", this height would have made an ideal candidate for tank warfare. 

Annie was left in Scarborough to look after their two young children; Barbara Gladys born on 6th April 1914 and Robert Venus born on 18th August 1916. 

Thankfully George survived the war, being demobilised on 26th January 1919.  He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory medal for his service.  The couple lived out their married lives by the sea in Scarborough; Annie died in 1961 and George died not long after in 1965.

Ellen Warren may have married George H Draper in 1919. If this is correct then the couple may have had a son named Arthur H Draper in 1919.  What became of Ellen after this date is not known? can anyone shed any light on the story of Ellen Warren? please let me know if you can.  Ellen may have had a son out of wedlock, born in 1914 James Edward Warren was the beneficiary of his uncle Arthur Warren's soldiers effects in 1918. 

Henry Warren enlisted with the 5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment on 28th August 1914.  He was aged only 19 years and 14 days old.  He was promoted to Corporal in the January of 1918.  Prior to the war he was employed by Staveley Iron Company.

Henry was reported missing in action on 21st March 1918.  He was serving in France at the time.  Henry's story can be read here.

If you may be connected to this family or have any further information on William Warren or his family please do either leave comments via the pen icon below or drop me an email.

I hope that I have not given details of living persons, if so please advise and I will remove immediately.

Please note all information has been taken from online indexes and sources.  Due to the sheer numbers of people to be researched I am unable to purchase vital event certificates to confirm my research.

Ref and further reading  -
Parish registers

Medal rolls

Soldiers who died in the Great war

Register of soldiers effects

Newspaper articles - Derbyshire Times, Derby Courier
CWGC  http://www.cwgc.org

Leicestershire Regiment http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/leicestershire-regiment/

Leicestershire Regiment


Carol Pike www.ancregreatwar.co.uk

(1) Derbyshire Times 20th June 1896 page 8.

(2) Derbyshire Courier 20th July 1918 page 1.

(3) Derbyshire Courier 22nd July 1916 page 5.


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