Unit: 1st Lincolnshire Regiment.
Commemorated: Romeries Cemetery France
EXTRACTS FROM THE HORNCASTLE NEWS
SATURDAY OCTOBER 9TH 1915
“MAREHAM PARENTS ANXIETY”
“Mr & Mrs. Chester of Mareham-le-Fen, have truly played their part in the Great War, for they supplied four sons for the Army. Pte. William H. Chester of 7th Lincolns was killed in the recent advance in Belgium; Pte. Herbert Chester of the 7th Lincolns was wounded in the shoulder and chest in the same battle; Pte. Felix Chester of the 6th Lincolns is now serving in the Dardanelles and Pte. James Chester of the 4th Lincolns is now training at Grimsby.”
“MAREHAM SOLDIER KILLED”
It is with great regret that we learn of the death of Pte. William H. Chester, of the 7th Lincolnshire Regiment who fell in the great victory gained by the Allies on September 25th. He was killed during one of the charges.He was born on December 8th 1893 being the Son of Mr. & Mrs. Chester, Mareham-le-Fen. He enlisted on the outbreak of War, prior to which he was a waggoner with Mr. Mastin, of Tumby Woodside. Deep sympathy is felt with the parents in their sad loss.”
Raised following Kitchener’s call to form a new army, the 7th battalion was in the 51st Brigade of the 17th (Northern) Division. The division began its formation in September 1914 and comprised of units from the Midlands, the North of England and Dorset. It was based around Wareham, Dorset. The division soon received its orders to proceed overseas and, on the 6th July 1915, divisional advance parties left Southampton. The remainder of the division began its embarkation for France 6 days later. When in France, it concentrated around St. Omer. By the 19th July it was being sent to the front in the area around Ypres. Instruction into trench warfare was soon complete and the division saw its first major action in August 1915, when it attacked the village of Hooge.
By the mid September, the battalion war diary records:
“Conditions in the front line on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd are described as very quiet, until on the latter date our guns began a heavy bombardment of the German line, with the result that the enemy’s retaliation was violent. The 23rd and 24th were also noisy for all along the line the British Artillery were engaged in shelling the enemy’s trenches, in order to deceive him as to the point of the attack to be launched on the 25th September.
In their trenches at Voormezeele, the 7th Lincolns on the 25th September fired fifteen rounds rapid in order to deceive the enemy that they were about to attack”.
According to the war diary of the 7th Lincolns, casualties for the battalion between the 18th July and 25th September were:
Died of wounds: 2/Lt. J.K.Brice-SmithWounded: Major W.L. Crawford, 2/Lt. H.A.Padley
Other Ranks: Killed: Twenty-one Wounded: One hundred and eight