Frank Sharpe

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Number: 200180                           Unit: 4th Lincolnshire Regiment.

Rank: Pte.                                                Commemorated:
                                                     Arras Memorial, Arras, France.

PERSONAL DETAILS.

The son of Mr. & Mrs. W. Sharp, King Edward Road, Woodhall Spa, Frank had been mobilised as an original member of the Woodhall Territorials. Frank had, obviously, been through some heavy fighting prior to his death and had, in fact, only been out of hospital a fortnight after under going an operation on his throat.

SERVICE DETAILS.

Under the Army reforms, introduced by the Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane, of 1907, the existing Yeomanry and Volunteer forces were to be combined under a new organisation to be known as the Territorial Force.  In 1908 the 3 existing volunteer battalions of the Lincolnshire Rifle Volunteers, were reorganised to form the Lincolns 4th and 5th Battalions.  On the outbreak of war in August 1914, the territorial force was immediately mobilised and, as part of the 46th Division, the 4th battalion went overseas.  On the 1st March 1915, both the 4th and 5th Lincolns disembarked at Havre; thus the 46th Division gained the distinction of becoming the first territorial division to arrive in France.  Between the 9th and 26th March the 4th Lincolns proceeded by stages to the front line, arriving at Ploegstreert for instruction in trench duties.

By the time of Frank’s death, his battalion was well versed in trench warfare, having been engaged in many major battles.  March 1918 witnessed the launch of the German Spring offensive and we find the 4th Lincolns now comprising part of the 177th Brigade.  It was in reserve, being at Mory Camp.  At 5.00am on the 21st March, owing to the heavy bombardment of the front line, the Lincolns were ordered to stand to.  It was not long before further orders followed, instructing the Lincolns to move into their support positions situate in the 3rd trench system of the front line.  Here they would stay until 12.00 noon when, it soon became apparent the enemy had now taken all before them, up to and including the second trench system.  The enemy’s machine gun fire now became intense, but no change in position took place for the remainder of the 21st.  The 3rd trench system offered little protection, however, and so the Lincolns dug in.  The night of the 21st passed without incident, as did the morning and early afternoon of the 22nd.  By about 4.00pm, however, masses of Germans could be seen swarming around the right of the 4th Lincolns, thus turning the battalion.  They were forced to withdraw back to Mory.  It was during this withdrawal that Frank died.

 

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