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.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016



Private 16216

11th  Battalion Sherwood Forester Regiment

Died of wounds - 5th July 1916

Norman Edward Rose was born in 1895, baptised at St Johns Church, Staveley on 3rd April 1895.  He was the son of Charles Parnham Rose and Mary Barksby Simpson.

Charles originated from Coston in Leicestershire, born in 1870 he most likely came to the Chesterfield area for work; he was a iron moulder by trade.  He married Mary on 3rd July 1893 at St Johns Church, Staveley, Mary's home village.

Their first child was born later that year, a daughter named Gertrude and then came Norman in 1895.  The Rose family moved to New Whittington and on 22nd January 1897 another daughter was born named Hilda May, followed by Leonard on 2nd April 1899.  The Rose family was now complete.

On the 1901 census Norman was aged 6 years old and attended the local school at New Whittington.  The family lived at 103 South Street, New Whittington.  Ten years on in 1911 Norman aged 16 years had left school and followed his father working as a pipe fitter.  They had moved a few streets away to Wellington Street, but still lived in New Whittington.

Gertrude was the first to marry and in 1914 she tied the knot with her sweetheart Thomas Hemsworth.  

Norman's war....

Unfortunately Norman's service records have not survived, however we can piece together some of his service using newspaper reports and his medal card.

The newspaper article dated 5th August 1916 states that Norman joined the Sherwood Forester Regiment 2 years before his death.  The 11th Battalion Sherwood Foresters were formed at Derby in the September of 1914 so it looks likely that Norman may well have enlisted at this time.

Norman carried out his training at Farnham in Surrey before embarking for France in August 1915.  Norman was present with the 11th Battalion's landing at Boulogne, France on 27th/ 28th August 1915. The battalion made their way by transport and on foot to Outtersteene. Only days later on 11th September A & B Coys proceeded to the trenches at La Chappelle D'Armentieres.  The next day C & D Coys joined the trenches.  Two weeks after landing in the theatre of war, in active service Norman would find himself plunged straight into army life. Even more alarming was that the 13th September saw 2 men wounded and on 14th September one man was killed.  

October, November and December were spent relieving in the trenches and marching to and from those trenches.  The war diary notes in detail each and every man wounded or killed, even the other ranks are named.

By the end of March 1916 Norman and his comrades had been moved to the area around Albert, the area known as the Somme.  In June the battalion spent time sending out patrols to observe the enemy and their positions.  During the week of the 8th June the battalion were marched to Framvillers where they were to "take part in an exercise involving the attack of certain German lines of trenches" on 12th June the "Brigade practised the same attack at Framvillers". 

1st July 1916....

The battalion war diary includes the following lines with regard to the first day of the Battle of Albert, the Somme offensive -

"The battalion formed part of the attack at Ovillers.  Return of casualties is herewith attached".

A further statement describes the actions on that day; the battalion received notification at 7.45am on the morning of the 1st July, stating that "the German first line was taken, and shortly after the battalion were ordered to taken (sic) our front line vacated by the 9th York and Lancaster Regiment.  This was done independently by Coys by pre-arranged routes, under fairly heavy shrapnel fire"

"Casualties along the whole line were very heavy, and a general attempt was made to crawl forward under intense machine gun and shrapnel fire, any available cover being made use of".

One day later, on 2nd July 1916 the battalion was removed from the battle lines and returned to billets. They marched to Dernancourt where they entrained on 3rd July to be taken to Ailley-Sur-Somme where they left the train and marched to Argoeuvres and then on to Dissy where they arrived on 4th July.  The diary misses a day and then on 6th July the battalion continue their march on to Saluex.

Norman was recorded as died from wounds sustained, the date of death was 5th July 1915.  It is likely that his wounds were sustained on 1st July 1916.  If so the battalions first aid base was the advanced dressing station near Quarry Post, Norman may well have been taken there to receive medical care.

The numbers of casualties during that one day for the 11th Battalion Sherwood Forester Regiment are tragic....

"The casualties sustained by the battalion during the day amounted to 21 Officers and 508 N.C.O's and men.

The strength of the battalion on entering the trenches on 26th June was 27 Officers and 710 men"

Norman Rose was just 21 years old when he lost his life fighting for his King & Country. He is buried at the Puchevillers British Cemetery on the Somme, France.  Grave ref 1 C 26.

His grave has the sign of the cross.

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

Norman's death was reported in the Derbyshire Times dated 5th August 1916 page 8.  It reads as follows ....

"A War Office communication was received last weekend
by the parents of Pte. Norman Rose, Station Road, 
New Whittington, announcing the death of their
son from wounds received in action.

Pte. Norman Rose was 21 years of age and 
joined the Sherwood Foresters two years ago.
He received the greater part of his training at Farnham, 
and had been in France just eleven months.

A little while ago he was slightly wounded,
and was laid up in a base hospital for a short time, 
but returned to the fighting line.

Full details of his death are not available, but
it is known that he died on 5th July, while it is also
believed that he received his injuries in going to 
the aid of his Officer Lieut. W H V Nelson, who also died,
and of whom he was very fond.

Before enlisting deceased worked in the Staveley Company's
Ireland Colliery"

A photograph of Norman was also included in the obituary notice.

Life went on....

Charles and Mary Rose remained in New Whittington.  In 1939 they were lving at 49 Devonshire Avenue, Charles was described as a retired miner, so it looks likely that at some point he left the iron making trade to work down the coal mines.  

Mary died a few years later in 1941 and Charles followed in 1959.

Gertrude and Thomas were proud parents when on 10th June 1916, less than a month before Norman's death they had their first son.  They had already named him after his brave uncle who was off fighting for King & Country; Norman.  Three years later in 1918 they had another son named Cyril.  

Thomas worked his way up the career ladder and in 1939 he was recorded as being a pit deputy underground at the colliery.  They lived at 15 Markham Crescent, Staveley.  

Gertrude died in 1954 and Thomas in 1962.

Hilda married Alfred Bird in 1921.  They had three son's; Frank, Alfred and Leonard.  In 1939 the family were living at 189 High Street, New Whittington and Alfred was employed as an iron foundry labourer.  The two eldest boys also had good jobs; Frank was a salesman for a confectioners business and Alfred was a junior clerk at the iron and munitions factory.

Hilda died in 1966 aged 69 years old.

Leonard joined the Navy in 1918.  His service card states that he first served on 15th March 1918 and his final date was 4th July 1919, when he served on the Queen Elizabeth.  The card also gives us a description of Leonard; being of fresh complexion, with brown hair and grey eyes. He was 5ft 5 1/2 inches tall and was described as having a very good character.

Leonard married Edith Ellen Finney in 1926 and they had two children; John and Eilleen.  They also stayed in New Whittington living at 107 High Street in 1939.  Leonard died in 1966 aged 67 years old.


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

If you are descendant of the Rose family and would like to add your own family "story" then please do feel free to contact me.

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 5th August 1916 page 8

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