Herbert GLEAVE
Rank: Private
Number: 28315
Unit: 11th Battalion SOUTH WALES BORDERERS
Date of Death: 1 September 1917
Cemetery: Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium

Nothing is known for certain about Herbert's life, except that he enlisted in Stockport and is remembered on the Hazel Grove War Memorial. His connection with Hazel Grove suggests he was probably the 16 year old boy listed on the 1901 Census as being the son of local insurance agent, David Gleave and his wife, Martha. The family originated from Dodworth, Yorkshire and Herbert's two older siblings had been born there. The family had moved to Cheshire in about 1883 with Herbert being born in Bosden in 1885. In 1901 , they were living at 4 Queen's Road.

The 11th Battalion of the Borderers was raised at Brecon in the late autumn of 1914. Most of the original recruits would have been local to that area but numbers will have been "topped up" from amongst the general recruits and, certainly, any replacements for early casualties could have come from anywhere. Herbert's service number is sufficiently low to suggest he may have been amongst the original members who went overseas at the end of 1915.

Its first major action was at the Battle of the Somme during the late summer and early autumn of 1916, when the men fought as part of the 38th (Welsh) Division of the Army. The Division suffered so many casualties that it took no part in major action for a year. However, the troops were back in the front line on 31 July 1917 for the attack that marked the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres. On this day, the Battalion was involved in fierce fighting around the banks of the Steenbeck - a large stream which ran through  the battlefield.

A month later, the continued attacks had pushed the front line forward and the Steenbeck was now well within the British area. On 30 August, the Borderers found themselves back in the locality where, east of the stream, 200 men provided a working party helping to build a supply tramway. The Battalion's War Diary, held at the National Archives, records  that two men were wounded during this time (no doubt, by shrapnel from German shelling). One of them was almost certainly Herbert. He was evacuated to a military field hospital, some twenty miles away at Poperinge, where he died the next day.

Some further information about Herbert may be found in the book "Hazel Grove to Armageddon" by john Eaton.

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