Herbert Dyson GRUNDY
Rank: Private
Number: 4508
Unit: 1/6th Battalion CHESHIRE
Date of Death: 8 September 1916
Age: 21
Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Herbert was named after his father who, at the time of the 1901 Census, was living in the South Manchester area, where he worked as a general labourer. The family later moved to the Edgeley area of Stockport, settling at 33 Robinson Street. Before he enlisted into the army, in the middle of 1915, Herbert worked locally at Sykes' Bleachworks.

He originally joined the local Territorial battalion - the 6th Cheshires - and trained with them. He went overseas in early July 1916, as part of large draft of new troops intended as replacements for the Battalion's casualties. However, by that time, the Battalion had not seen major action and was virtually at full strength. The new troops were split up and reassigned to a number of different battalions and regiments.

It is not possible to absolutely sure which unit Herbert was assigned to but it was, almost certainly, a battalion of the King's Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment. A considerable number of the group were attached to the 1/4th and 1/5th Battalions of that Regiment. An examination of the War Diaries of each Battalion suggests that the 1/5th may be the more likely. It is known that a group of 87 men from the Cheshires was attached to that Battalion of 24 July and that a large number were from the Stockport area.

On 8 September, the 1/5th King's Own was in the southern sector of the Somme battlefield, near the captured village of Montauban. They were working to improve the trench system. During the morning the commander of "B" Company reported that a British 60-pounder shell had fallen short, landing in the trench system, killing one man and burying two others. The man killed outright is believed to be Herbert Hoole. Herbet Grundy was probably one of the two men buried. His body was never recovered and identified and his name is inscribed on the nearby Memorial to the Missing.

Company Sergeant Major T Denwood later wrote to Herbert' parents saying he had been killed by an enemy shell and his death was instantaneous. "His loss is felt very much in the Company, as he had established a good comradeship amongst all, by his good spirit and lightheartedness. He was a good soldier and he died a noble death." No doubt, CSM Denwood was hoping to spare the family unnecessary suffering but if Herbert was, indeed, buried, his death will have been anything but instantaneous or noble.

It would seem that Herbert was killed before the paperwork officially transferred him to his new unit and, as such, he remains a soldier of the Cheshire Regiment.

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