Biography of Private David Sandall, (39364)
12th/13th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers Regiment
Formerly 12th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers Regiment
Died 4th October 1917


  • Name: David Tales Sandall
  • Date of birth: 1893
  • Place of Birth: Baston, Lincolnshire, England
  • Date of Birth Registration: October – December 1893
  • Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England


  • Name: William Henry Sandall
  • DOB: 1859
  • Place of Birth: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England
  • Occupation: Platelayer railway


  • Name: Emma Cunnington
  • DOB: 1865
  • Place Of Birth: Baston, Lincolnshire, England
  • Marriage: 1883 Bourne District

Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)

  • Harriett Naomi Sandall, 1884, Baston
  • Kate Sandall, 1886, Wilsthorpe
  • James Richard Sandall, 1887, Wilsthorpe
  • Alice Sandall, 1890, Wilsthorpe
  • David Tales Sandall, 1893, Baston
  • Hilda Mary Sandall, 1896, Baston
  • William Henry Sandall, 1899. Baston
  • Edith Emma Sandall, 1902, Baston
  • Clara Cunnington Sandall, 1905, Baston


  • 1901: David is living with his parents in Baston, Lincolnshire.
  • 1911: David is living with John Pickering in Tallington Fen, Market Deeping, Lincolnshire. The census gives him an age of 17 and he is listed as a horseman on farm.

Relatives in services

  • David’s brother William Henry also fought and were killed in WW1. William can be found on our page dedicated to the Baston War Memorial.


  • No marriage for David has been found and because of his age we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.

Newspaper Mentions

  • War Office weekly Casualty List November 13th 1917
    Sandall 39364 D. (Barton, Peterborough)


  • War Office Weekly Casualty List December 4th 1917
    Previously reported wounded, now reported
    Sandall 39364 D. (Peterborough)

Military Records

Attestation Papers

  • None found

Soldier’s Died In The Great War

  • These records show that Private David Sandall, 39364 12th/13th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers Regiment was killed in action on 4th October 1917 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.

Pension Records

  • Available

Effects Left To

  • Father William


  • The British Medal
  • The Victory Medal


  • UK:
  • Baston, Roll of Honour in St John the Baptist Church


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
  • In memory of Private David Sandall, 39364, 12th/13th Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers who died on 4 October 1917.
  • Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Sandall, of Baston, Peterborough
  • Remembered with honour, Tyne Cot Memorial
  • Panel 19 to 23 and 162

© Marianne Lane

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

Military Service Timeline

  • Like over 60% of all enlisted men’s records, Williams records cannot be found and It is most likely that they were destroyed in the London warehouse fire that claimed so many WW1 records in the blitz.

    As the full service record is missing then the following account of David’s time in the war has been compiled from any remaining pension and medals records and as such no fixed dates can be confirmed.

    A calculation based on the £5 war gratuity payment made on behalf of David to his Father would indicate that David enlisted in the Army in the month following the 5th June 1916, although we do know that he enlisted in Grantham.

    In June 1916 David would have been 23 and therefore would have been eligible for conscription. This meant that any man between the ages of 18 and 41 from May 1916 had to join up for military service.

    The Military Service act came into being in January 1916 and stated that any single man aged between 18 and 41, unless they were in a protected occupation must join one of the services by 1st March 1916.  This was extended to married men by May 1916.

    The influx of men this created in 1916 overwhelmed the Army’s traditional, join a local regiment and get basic training with them, philosophy and so in September 1916 they adopted the Army Reserve Training Battalion strategy.  Men were sent to Reserve Battalions for basic training and on completion would be assigned a regiment and Battalion for their posting to the Front.

    Typical training would have been three months and so after joining in June 1916 David was a little to soon for the training reserves. Thus, it was most likely that William was posted to the 12th Northumberland Fusiliers for his training. Training under the old regime could last between three and five months depending upon the Regiment.

    David’s medal roll indicates that he was first posted to the 12th Battalion and later served with the 12/13th Battalion.

    The history of the 12th Battalion is as follows and explains the change from 12th to 12/13th Battalion.

    12th & 13th (Service) Battalion

    Sept 1914 Formed at Newcastle as part of the Third New Army (K3) then moved to Halton Park and joined the 62nd Brigade of the 21st Division, then moved to Aylesbury area.

    May 1915 Moved to back to Halton Park and then Witley, Surrey.

    Sept 1915 Mobilised for war and landed in France and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

    The Battle of Loos (the Division suffered over 3,800 casualties and took the rest of the year to rebuild)

    The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of Le Transloy.

    The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The flanking operations around Bullecourt, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Second Battle of Passchendaele, The Cambrai Operations.

    10.08.1917 Amalgamated with the 13th Battalion forming the 12/13th Battalion.

    It is most unlikely that David would have joined the Battalion in the field before September 1916 as he would have been in training in England. Once in France he would have joined an Infantry Base Depot and from there be posted to his battalion.

    As we have no concrete dates we can only talk about David’s time with the Battalion from when it became the 12th/13th as we know he would have been present at this point as both Battalions were listed on his medal roll card.

    August 9th 1917 – Boyelles
    In the trenches – Quiet day, no shelling. The 13th Battalion Northumberland fusiliers were relieved by the 8th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment at about 3.30pm. The Battalion relief marched to Camp A Moyenneville.

    August 10th 1917 – Moyenneville
    In rest. The 12th and the 13th Battalions Northumberland Fusiliers were amalgamated today the new Battalion to be known as the 12/13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. The 13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers moved across by companies moving to F Camp. The following companies were amalgamated:-

    A Company of the 12th Battalion and A company of the 13th Battalion
    C Company of the 12th Battalion and B company of the 13th Battalion
    B Company of the 12th Battalion and C company of the 13th Battalion
    D Company of the 12th Battalion and D company of the 13th Battalion

    1st September 1917 – Berneville
    The 12/13 battalion Northumberland Fusiliers in rest bilets in the XVII Corps area; a draft of 79 other ranks arrived from 31st I.B.D (31st Infantry Base Depot, Etaples)

    2nd September 1917
    Training carried out in the new method of attack, and all anti gas appliances tested and gas drill practiced constantly.

    3rd September 1917
    34 Other Ranks arrived as a reinforcement from the 31st I.B.D.

    4th – 7th September 1917
    Battalion training and reorganising carried out.

    8th September 1917
    2nd Lt A E Woods and 2nd Lt F Wilkinson transferred to the 8th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.

    10th September 1917
    The 62nd Brigade held an assault at Arms at Dainville, in which the 12/13th Battalion was highly successful,  gaining 8 first places and 12 second places in a total of 22 events.

    11th September 1917
    A reinforcement of 9 other ranks arrived from the 31st I.B.D

    16th September 1917
    The Battalion marched from Berneville to Savy and entrained there at 8pm. Travelling via St Pol, Aire and Hazebrourk, Caestre was reached at 7am where the Battalion detrained and marched into billets in the Pradelles area: Battalion Headquarters were located in Pradelles with A and C in farms near that village; B and D Companies were in farms nearer Borre where 62nd Brigade Headquarters were situated. A draft of 16 other ranks joined the Battalion from the 31st I.B.D. The Billets were found to be good, although scattered and the attitude of the inhabitants unusually friendly. Weather very fine and warm, the 21st Division now under orders of the 10th Corps.

    18th September 1917 – Paradelles
    A draft of 17 other ranks joined the Battalion from 31st I.B.D. The Battalion continued its training special attention being paid to tactical schemes for junior officers and NCOs, to fit them for the new warfare required by the altered German tactics of holding isolated shell holes instead of a trench line.

    19th September 1917 – Paradelles
    A few 15 inch naval shells fired by the enemy fell near D Companies billets doing no damage ; they were probably intended for the Railway Station at Hazebrouck about 3/4 mile distant, but being fired at a range of over 20 miles were carried wide by the breeze.

    20th September 1917
    2nd Lt Edmonds and 40 other ranks of A Company detached for duty on board tramways in the Dickebussch area.

    21st-22nd September 1917
    Battalion remained at Paradelles training; weather continued very fine.

    23rd September 1917 – Le Rouklosmille
    Battalion marched from Pradelles via Fletre to Le Rouklosmille, a distance of about 4 miles and went into farm billets in and around that area. Brigade Headquarters at Le Rouklosmille, Divisional Headquarters Meteren.

    24th September 1917
    2nd Lt J Ridley and 10 other ranks arrived from 31st I.B.D. The Battalion continued training in the new area.

    25th September 1917
    Two platoons of B Company detached for duty on camps dumps and Tramways in the Dickebucsh area. 2nd Lt B E Astbury joined the battalion from 31st I.B.D.

    26th – 27th September 1917
    Battalion continued training in the Le Rouklosnille area.

    28th September 1917
    Battalion marched from Le Rouklosmille to Arragon camp 1 mile west of Westoutre. The day was very hot but no men fell out; camp was reached at 2.30pm.

    29th September 1917
    Very fine hot weather, hostile airplanes vary active at night, a large number of bombs were dropped, but none in the immediate vacinity of the camp. The Battalion Lewis guns engaged the hostile aircraft at intervals during the night.

    1st October 1917 – Westoutre
    The Battalion (12/13 Northumberland Fusiliers) marched out of Arragon Camp Westoutre to a bivouac between Ridge and Scottish Woods – Immediately south of Dickebusch lake; a nucleus party was detached at Westoutre and marched under Major Edlemann DSO to Murrumbidgee Camp at La Clytte.

    There was considerable bombing near the Battalion Bivouac, but no damage was done to the Battalion Lines.

    2nd October 1917 –
    The Battalion marched from the bivouac at Scottish Wood to Zillebeke Lake at 4pm; teas were taken on the south side of the lake, some shelling was experienced here. At dusk the Battalion moved up into Brigade Support – the 62nd Brigade taking over from the 110th Infantry Brigade. The Battalion transport remained at Scottish Wood (N.5.A)

    3rd October 1917
    The 3/4th Battalion Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment held the Brigade front line, the Brigade being on the left of the Divisional front, the 64th Brigade on the right & the 110th brigade in Divisional Reserve. The Brigade frontage held by the Royal West Surrey Regiment extended from J.10.D.2.5 to J.11.C.40.55. The 12/13th Northumberland Fusiliers and the 10th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment were right and left support Battalions respectively, the 12/13 Northumberland Fusiliers having 2 companies (C&D Company) in front on the eastern edge of Glencorse Wood and A&B Companies and Battalion Headquarters in the tunnel at Clapham Junction (J.13.D.9.8) The Battalion remained in these positions all day. There was occasional heavy shell fire, but casualties were not heavy. 62nd Brigade Headquarters were in Sanctuary Wood at J.13.c.65.10.

    4th October 1917
    The 21st Division was ordered to attack the line J.11.55.05 – J.11.d.2.3 – J.12.a.1.5 in conjunction with 5th Division on the right and the 7th Division on the left and ” to form a defensive flank facing South South-East and Esst with a view to protecting the Southern flank of the attacking troops on the North” (The remainder of the second army, including the Anzac corps) ” and obtaining observation of the Reukelbeek Valley and the spur running S.E to Becelaire”

    The 62nd Brigade attacked on the left of the Divisional front, the 64th Brigade on the right and 110th Brigade were in Divisional Reserve. The 62nd Brigade had as 1st objective the Road from J.11.c.60.55 to J.11.a.85.30, for this the 3/4th Queens were detailed, the second objective was the line J.11.d.65.75 – J.11.b.95.15-J.12.a.1.5; this was to be carried out by the 12/13 Northumberland Fusiliers on the right and the 10th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment on the left; the 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment in Brigade Reserve.

    At 2am on the morning of the 4th C and D Companies moved forward to their assembly position immediately in rear of the jumping-off position of the 3/4th Queens. A & B Companies followed by Battalion Headquarters moved from Clapham Junction at the same time. Between Glencourse Wood and Polygon Wood a hostile barrage was encountered, but the Companies pushed on and suffered comparatively few casualties.

    At about 5.20am the Battalion had formed up in its position in the assault as follows; D Company on the right, C Company on the left, A Company supporting D Company and B supporting C Company: Battalion Headquarters immediately in rear of B Company. The Companies were composed of three platoons & were formed up each on a one platoon front echeloned in depth. The 10th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment having been caught in and delayed by a hostile barrage, the 1st Battalion Lincolnshire   Regiment came up on the left of the 12/13 Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.

    At Zero (6am) the Battalion moved forward to the attack (The final objective of the Battalion being a line drawn from the Southern End of Judge Copse on he right to Judge Cott on the left); moving forward close behind the 3/4th Queens Royal West Surreys. The first opposition encountered by the Battalion was from the shell holes of the enemy original front line where some of the enemy appear to have been passed over by the leading battalion & several casualties were suffered.

    After crossing Juniper Trench the Battalion came under fire from the flanks; on the right a strong point which was not being attended to by any troops opened fire and caused trouble, 2nd Lt Edmonds at once moved up A Company on to the right flank of the Battalion and attacked and captured this strong point, taking between 30 and 40 prisoners, a party of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (64th Brigade) who came up shortly afterwards were left in this strong point as a garrison.  A Company moving on half left resumed its position in support of D Company. Meanwhile on the left flank C and B Companies suffered casualties from a strong point near Juniper trench (about J.10.D.6.8) near junction of 12/13 Northumberland Fusiliers with the right flank of 1st Lincoln Regiment; in conjunction with 1st Lincoln Regiment this strong point was captured. Continuing the advance the Battalion became somewhat scattered owing to the boggy nature of the ground chiefly on the left flank; heavy rifle and machine gun fire was now directed against the Battalion from the opposite ridge and a strong point near Judge Trench (about j.11.c.7.8), heavy casualties were suffered here. The strong point at J.11.c..7.8 was was captured by C company, rifle grenades being used first with good effect. Meanwhile heavy machine gun fire continued to come from the front and right flank and many casualties occurred. Lt Col Dix M.C. now reorganised the left half Battalion and leading on B Company into the front line to strengthen C Company was himself killed whilst leading the remaining men of these two Companies up to the first objective. Captain Ruddell, who was already wounded took command and gave orders to consolidate the first objective, along the line of which the 12/13th Northumberland Fusiliers and 1st Battalion Lincolnshires were now intermingled with the men of the 3/4th Queens, at this juncture Captain Riddell was severely wounded and the command of the Battalion passed to Lieutenant J Mckinnon, the Lewis Gun Officer, all officers senior to him having become casualties; one officer was now left in each Company, namely 2nd Lt Edmonds in command of A Company, Lt Jackson of B Company, Lt Cherryman of C Company and 2nd Lt Hutchinson of D Company. Before the barrage moved on D Company found it necessary to attack a strong point at J.11.c.65.60 on the right of the Battalion front which was causing trouble, a large number of enemy were killed at the point and three machine guns captured.

    7.40am – At zero plus 100 minutes the barrage moved according to plan (7.40am) to allow of the capture of the final objective and the 12/13th Northumberland Fusiliers on the right and the 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment pushed on towards their respective objectives still under heavy machine gun and shell fire directed from the ridge opposite. Having reached a point 250 yards short of the final objective the Battalion dug in, in line with the 1st battalion Lincolns on the left and coincidentally in advance of the 64th Brigade on the right; a defensive plank was at once formed on the right by A Company who obtained touch with the 9h Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Consolidation was satisfactorily completed by dusk and A Company withdrew into close support in Judge Trench. The total advance effected by the Battalion was 1100 yards from our original front line. No counter attacks developed against the Battalion front, but heavy barrage fire constantly fell on the  battalion owing to S.O.S signals sent up by neighbouring units.

    5th October 1917
    Early in the morning Captain Brunton M.C. took charge of the Battalion and remained in command until the 6th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment relieved the 1st Battalion Lincolnshire and 12/13th Northumberland Fusiliers on the evening of October 5th. Lt McKinnon marched the Battalion out to the bund at Zillerbeke Lake, Captain Brunton remaining behind to point out the position to the new Battalion, Captain Brunton was severely wounded on the morning of the 6th October.

    6th October 1917
    The Battalion arrived at Zillebeke Lake at 3am and went into dugouts. The Casualties suffered were:-

    Officers Killed: 7 – Lt Col S.H. Dix M.C., Lt F Legeter, Lt Lowth, 2nd Lt Waistell, 2nd Lt Lummis, 2nd Lt Gregory and 2nd Lt Lethbridge.

    Officers Wounded: 13 – Captain Oakshott, Captain Riddell, Captain Herbert, Captain Graham, Captain Griffin M.C. RAMC (remained on duty), Lt Philip D.S.O. M.C., Lt Bramwell, 2nd Lt Dickenson, 2nd Lt Alford, 2nd Lt Thomas, 2nd Lt Unwin and Captain Brunton M.C & 2nd Lt Clifford, the officer in charge carrying party.

    Other Ranks Killed: 44
    Other ranks Wounded: 320

    The war office casualty list of the 8th October lists Private David Sandall as wounded. A later list of the 26th November 1917 then listed Private David Sandall as previously reported wounded now reported wounded and missing.

    Private David Sandall of the 12/13th Northumberland Fusiliers was missing presumed dead in the action described in detail on the 4th October 1917.

    Fighting alongside the 12/13th Northumberland Fusiliers was the 1st Lincolns and Bourne man Stephen Kettle was to be killed serving with them on the 4th October.


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