Attwood FLETCHER
Rank: Corporal
Number: 7572
Unit: “D” Company, 1st Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
Date of Death: 27 March 1917
Age: 30
Cemetery: Maroc British Cemetery, Grenay, Pas de Calais, France

Most men commemorated on our local memorials were civilians who found themselves at war either through being conscripted or for one of the many reasons that caused them to volunteer. But, for Attwood, it was his job. He had joined the army as a regular soldier in about 1904.

His parents, Attwood and Mary, had married in 1875 and, in 1901, were living at 49 Back Water Street in the Portwood district of Stockport. They had three children at home - 14 year old Attwood who was working as a stable boy and Thomas (19) and Eliza (11).

In the late autumn of 1908, Attwood married Mary Elizabeth Medcalf and they are thought to have lived at 16 Swann Street, also in Portwood. Over the years, they had two sons together.

When War was declared in August 1914, the 1st Shropshires were in Ireland but were ordered to Cambridge with the other units comprising the British 6th Division. They went overseas on 10 September as reinforcements for the hard-pressed British Expeditionary Force. Their first experience of major action was not until the summer of 1915 around the village of Hooge, just outside the Belgian town of Ypres. They were also engaged in several of the major attack during the Battle of the Somme of the summer and autumn of 1916.

During this time on the western front, Attwood had been injured twice - but it's not thought these were particularly serious injuries. On 27 March 1917, the Battalion was having a quiet time. "A", "B" and "C" Companies were in billets at Les Brebis (near the French town of Lens). "D" Company, however, appears to have been near the front line at nearby Maroc. The Battalion's War Diary notes that one man was killed and another wounded. Attwood was the man who had been killed. His Captain wrote to Mary saying he had been hit in the head by a shell splinter and had died instantly. He had been "a real good soldier and an efficient NCO".

   
           
   
     
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