Herbert HIGGINBOTHAM
Rank: Private
Number: 64901
Unit: 1st Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 26 June 1918
Age: 35
Cemetery: Aval Wood Military Cemetery, Vieux-Berquin, Nord, France

Herbert was born in Stockport, the son of John and Maria. He was married to Charlotte Blackshaw Higgginbotham and they lived at 17 George Street in the West Hall Street area of town. His service number indicates he was not an early volunteer for the army and was probably conscripted sometime after early 1917.

On 26 June 1918, Herbert and his mates were in front line trenches at Le Sart, a small hamlet south west of the French town of Bailleul. "D" Company was ordered to attack enemy trenches in front of them to the north west of Merville. There was a  few minutes barrage of the enemy by rifle grenades and then 13 platoon, led by 2nd Lieutenant J Harper, and 14 platoon, led by 2nd Lieutenant A Robinson, left the protection of their trenches.

The report on the attack reads "At zero, 2nd Lt. Harper led his platoon along the hedge running along Roussel Farm - School Road and 2nd Lt. Robinson led his platoon along the canal bank. On reaching a position about 30 yards from the objective, both parties deployed into two lines and rushed the hedge. 2nd Lt. Robinson rushed at least 10 yards ahead of everybody else and got into the trench first, Unfortunately, he jumped right into a party of 2 or 3 Germans, who immediately seized him and hurried him back along the communication trench before the (illegible) could get in."

"2nd Lt. Hooper then led the whole party.... He got in (to the trench) through a gap where a German machine gunner was and wounded the gunner. Meanwhile the remainder of the party broke through the various gaps in the hedge and the Germans retired up the communication trench (leaving 2 machine guns) and throwing bombs as they went. Lance Corporal Moses immediately organised a bombing party and drove the enemy right across the road to the other side of the Shrine. He then went back and turned his Lewis gun on to them. Sergeant Harrison seeing that there was no officer or NCO on the left of the line (all having become casualties) immediately organised this platoon, got the captured machine guns into position for firing and eventually blazed away."

"The Germans subsequently made two more bombing raids along the trench, but were driven back each time by bomb and Lewis Gun fire. 2nd Lt. J Harper was killed later in the day. Casualties - six O.R.s killed and 10 wounded."

Herbert was one of the six Other Ranks killed.

   
           
   
     
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