Men from the Whaley Bridge fought in many Victorian wars. In the Boer War they sent soldiers to fight and St Johns ambulance men to act as stretcher-bearers.

The 6th Sherwood’s had a drill hall on New Horwich Road, Whaley Bridge for volunteers from the surrounding area. They would learn and drill in all things military many joined so they could attend the annual summer camp. The camps were held all over the UK for one week each year. Many thought of these much like a holiday a chance to get away from work and even the wife.

On the 3rd August 1914 the annual Territorial camp being held in Yorkshire was cut short and the men returned by train over night to Whaley Bridge. On the 4th August 1914 a telegram arrived at Whaley Bridge for all officers of the 6th Nott’s Derby Sherwood Foresters it read just one word “Mobilize”.

And so on the 4th of August 1914 The First World War began. Men of the 6th Sherwood Foresters headed to the drill hall on New Horwich road this battalion had the highest number of local men serving.

Very large crowds gathered and cheered their arrival. It was a hive of activity and great public interest .Two days later the 6th Sherwood’s marched out of Whaley Bridge to Chesterfield as large crowds waved them off and cheered them goodbye.

Its not surprising within only a couple of months over 300 men had enlisted into the Armed Forces from the Whaley Bridge area. This was a huge proportion of the male population of military service age. The main body being the Sherwood Foresters however many other regiments held recruiting rallies in the town and enlisted local men. Others would be called up when they were of age to fight some would enlist underage and others over age.

A group of H company 6th Notts Derby Sherwood Foresters senior NCOs taken in 1909 at the Scarborough camp.
1st Left - Armorer William Fidler enlisted in 1891 and served through till 1916.
3rd Left - Pioneer Sgt John Beard from Whaley Bridge.
4th Left - Colour Sgt William Seaton recommended for Victoria Cross in Boer War and awarded the Distinguished Conduct medal.
2nd Right - Col Sgt W Hidworth.

The 6th Sherwood Foresters Band at Pre war camp. Jim Depledge 2nd row from the top 5th from the left.

Lt Col Hall - left on horseback Chesterfield.

Click Here to See Picture Detail

6th Notts and Derby at Camp.

Whaley Bridge Officers and NCOS 6th Bt. Sherwood Foresters

01 January 1910
Sheffield Daily Telegraph

Volunteers Leaving Chapel en le Frith Sept 10th 1914

"H" Company Sherwood Foresters (Whaley Bridge) Aberystwyth 1912 Camp. (If you can ID these men please email). At the front seated is pioneer Sgt John Beard.

Whaley Bridge’s First Casualty

Arthur Albert Goddard had lived in the town before joining the Regular Army sometime before the outbreak of war though his service records are not available.

His battalion the 2nd Sherwood’s were involved in extremely heavy fighting on the 20th October 1914 during a German attack at Ennetteres France. The 2nd Sherwood’s took such heavy casualties they practically did not exist. Nearly the entire battalion had been killed wounded or captured. Arthur was one of the many men of the battalion killed. He was only reported locally as missing in the December of 1914.

The German Attack Ennetteres France October 20th 1914 2ND Sherwood Foresters.

At daybreak (20th October 1914) the enemy commenced a heavy shellfire on the village, the house occupied by the Battalion Headquarters being destroyed. At 7.10 a.m. it was reported that a considerable number of enemy were moving round our right flank towards the D.L.I arrived to reinforce the Battalion. About 1pm a vigorous attack was made on our front trenches, but it was driven off with considerable loss.

About 3pm enemy commenced his advance against the right flank supported by artillery from North, East and South. The enemy's advance was however very rapid, and we were vastly outnumbered. The few remaining men were collected and fell back, some covered the retirement of a battery of our guns and others assisted to man handle the guns on the road.

For some time the remnants of the Battalion held on to some high ground overlooking the sandpits at Ennetteres, but at 7pm fell back 710 N.C.O's and men missing.

Alan Rudman Cunliffe 3rd East Yorkshire Regiment

Leewood Reservoir Road Whaley Bridge

Alan appears to have been one of the many eager young men who rushed to enlist in 1914 when recruiting offices were flooded with recruits. He apparently used his family influence to guarantee acceptance as a recruit amongst the vast number of volunteers He enlisted on 23 September 1914 arriving in France in July 1915.

In October 1915 whilst loading a gun a shell exploded prematurely hitting Alan in the right eye. His eye was removed the same day. He was later fitted with a glass eye and spent some time recovering at a war hospital in Shefield.

One would think that this would have been the end of his military service. However the military decided that he was unfit for war service but fit for service at home. Alan’s father wrote to the War Office pleading for his discharge and Alan's return to the family business. It was in vain as Alan served at the Yorkshire Regiment depot until March 1919.

6th Bn Sherwood Foeresters 1914 possibly Chapel en-le Frith but not proven

7

The 6th Sherwood Foresters location Buxton.

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Reported In High Peak Reporter 1914 two Whaley Bridge Bank Clerks enlist.
Norman Jagger Royal Garrison Artillery awarded Military Medal For Bravery In The Field 1918. He survived the war.

Bombardier Norman Jagger MM.

 

Col. Hall Reviews The 5th 6th 7th and 8th Battalion: Sherwood Foresters
Location Buxton -
See the detail below

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(Awaiting caption)

Whaley Bridge Volunteers Band Sherwood Foresters Derbyshire C1912-13
This early photograph was taken by the respected local photographer Inkerman Hill of Whaley Bridge and shows some very young members, including Sam Depledge just to the right behind the drum and Herbert Dranfield the young lad middle row third from left, other members pictured include James Depledge, Bob Joule, George Holmes, Sam Haughty, Mr Holten and Brothers, Joseph & Albert Vere, Albert seated far right front row.

James Depledge 5th from left trombone Whaley Bridge Band

James Depledge middle back. Born 1872 died 1959

Pvt, John Marsden Kettleshulme

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