On the 31st July 1915 my fathers eldest brother, Arthur Binns, was killed
in action to the north of Ypres, Belgium. He was in the Sherwood Foresters,
Notts/Derbys regiment, 1st/7th Battalion, also known as The Robin Hoods..
I was provided with information about the relevant action by Steve Morse,
who has written considerably about The Sherwood Foresters, and I reproduce
The 1/7th TF (Robin Hood) Battalion were part of Notts & Derby Brigade,
North Midland Division. and in 12 May 1915 became the 139th Brigade, 46th
Division. They landed at Le Havre in the last days of February 1915. They
were earmarked for the Battle of Neuve- Chapelle but no breakthrough
occurred so they moved to Belgium. The first death was through 'friendly
fire' An instructor from 1st Hants accidental shot Corporal C W T Sheppard!
The 139th brigade held the trenches in front of Wytschaete. At the end of
June 1915 the 46th Div moved up to the salient to relieve the battered Divs
up there. The Foresters Brigade moved in first and held the most northerly
part of the Div front. This was just below the Menin Road near Hooge
including Zouve and Sanctuary Wood.
The duties were rotated, spending 6 days in the trenches, 6 in reserve, 6 in
front line and 6 in one of the brigade reserve positions - Maple Copse.
Only one outbreak of serious fighting took place during their three month
stay and that was to involve the Forester Brigade.
In the early hours of 30 July the Germans launched a Flammenwerfer attack
(1st time used) on 14th Light Division. They fell back which exposed the
flanks of the 1/8th and 1/5th Sf who were holding the line. The SF reacted
swiftly and moved up the 1/7th Bn from the Brigade Reserve at Maple copse.
They were ordered to fill the gap that had appeared on the left flank of the
Division. Their CO Lt-Col C W Birkin was seriously wounded by a shell burst
before the battalion set off but a 'spare' officer Lt-Col A W Brewill was
available. They established a new line in the gap created by the German
attack, helped fight off further attacks and then brought in many wounded
men of the 14th Div. The situation was stabilised with the three Forester
battalions performing very well. This was their first experience of
The 1/7th had 12 men killed and about 80 wounded.
Lt-Col Brewill was awarded the DSO. Sgt Charles Crawley the DCM.
As a result of the losses the Foresters were moved to a quieter sector.
I have previously mentioned on this forum about the extra information you
can find from Newspapers now digitised and available online, and I found the
death of my uncle recorded in the Nottingham Evening Posts Roll of
honour, where I also discovered that he was engaged at the time, as indeed
were many other young men, and whose fiancées would never, ever see them
again. There were other members of the Sherwood Foresters mentioned in the
Evening Post of August 14th and I am listing them in case they may be
connections to other forum members.
BINNS Killed in action, July 31st, Private Arthur Binns, 1/7th Sherwood
Foresters (Robin Hoods), dearly beloved son of Joseph and Elizabeth Binns, 4
Buckingham Terrace, Fisher Street, aged 22 years. Died while doing his duty.
Sadly missed by father, mother, brothers and fiancée.
BIRCH. Killed in action, July 31st, Private H. H. Birch, 7th (Robin Hoods)
battalion, Willoughby House, Haydn road, aged 22 years.
BLANKSBY Killed in action, July 27th, 2888 Private Alfred Blanksby, 1/7th,
Sherwood Foresters (Robin Hoods), dearly loved and only son of Edward and
Sarah Blanksby, 12, Morley-terrace, Church drive, Carrington, aged 18 years.
Nobly he lived and nobly he died.
COOK. Killed in action, July 31st, Private T. Cook, 1/7th Robin Hoods,
aged 19 years. Sadly missed by mother, father, brothers and sisters.
COUSINS. Killed in action, July 31st, Private John Cousins, 1/7th
Battalion Robin Hoods, dearly-beloved husband of Hilda Cousins of
Crown-street, youngest and dearly-beloved son of Eliza and Frank Cousins, of
17. Paxton-street, Gordon-road, aged 23 years. He gave his life for others.
DICKMAN. Killed in action about July 30th, Rifleman C. E. Dickman, 9th
Kings Royal Rifle Corps, dearly loved and only son of Mr. and Mrs. W. E.
Dickman, 8 Sophie Road, Nottingham.
ORTON. Killed in action, August 1st, Private Harry H. Orton, aged 18, 1536
1/7th Robin Hoods, eldest son of E. H. Orton, 61 Manning-street.
POTTINGER. - Killed in action, August 1st, Lance-Corpl. J. W. Pottinger,
1/7th Sherwood Foresters, the dearly loved husband of Nellie Pottinger, 10
Taylors-cottages, Melton-street, London-road. He did his duty.- Sadly
missed by sorrowing wife.
PRIOR. - Killed in action, August 1st, Private George Prior, No. 1773, 1/7th
Sherwood Foresters, only brother of Joseph Prior, 13 Brook-street. In life
respected, in death lamented.
TASSELL. Died of wounds, July 15th, Private W. Tassell, 1/7th Battalion
Sherwood Foresters (Robin Hoods). Ever in my thoughts. Loving wife and
YEALAND. Killed in action, July 30th, Private Sidney Yealand, 1/7th
Sherwood Foresters (Robin Hoods), dearly-beloved son of John William and
Emma Yealand, 49, Crosby-road, West Bridgford, aged 21 years. Died whilst
doing his duty.
All the above transcribed as per the original.