Biography of Private Harry Sandall (27173)
2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Died 4th May 1917
- Name: Harry Sandall
- Date of birth: 1898
- Place of Birth: Irnham, Lincolnshire, England
- Date of Birth registration: January – March 1898
- Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England
- Name: George Sandall
- DOB: 1857
- Place of Birth: Kirkby Underwood, Lincolnshire, England
- Occupation: Farm labourer
- Name: Emma Susannah Marshall
- DOB: 1855
- Place Of Birth: Kirkby Underwood, Lincolnshire, England
- Marriage: 1878 Bourne District
Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)
- Lily May Sandall, 1878, Kirkby Underwood (Died 1879 Age 0)
- Fred Sandall, 1880, Gosberton
- Herbert Sandall, 1882, Kirkby Underwood
- Lucy Sandall, 1884, Irnham
- George Robert Sandall, 1885, Irnham
- Ernest Edward Sandall, 1887, Irnham
- William Sandall, 1889, Irnham (Died 1891 age 2)
- Emma Susannah Sandall, 1891, Irnham
- John Willie Sandall, 1892, Irnham
- Arthur Sandall, 1896, Irnham
- Harry Sandall, 1898, Irnham
- Plus 1 other children whose name are unknown, taken from 1911 census.
- 1901: Harry is living with his parents in Irnham.
- 1911: Harry is living with his father in Stainfield.
- No marriage for Harry has been found and because of his age we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.
- Sheffield Daily Telegraph Monday 18th June 1917
WARWICKS – Sandall (27173), H. (Bourne)
- None found
- These records show that Private Harry Sandall, 27173, 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment was killed in action on 4th May 1917 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.
Effects Left To
- Father George
- The British Medal
The Victory Medal
- Haconby, plaque in St Andrew’s Church
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
- In Memory of Private Harry Sandall, 27173, 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment who died on 4 May 1917 Age 19.
Son of George Sandall, of Stainfield, Bourne, Lincs.
Remembered with Honour Arras Memorial
© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials
© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials
- Harry enlisted in the Army in Spalding and was first posted to the 4th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment (5057).
His medal rolls reveal that he enlisted after 1915 but the exact date is not known. It is expected that his full military records would have been destroyed in the London warehouse fire caused by the WW2 Blitz.
- He was one of many cousins from the local villages to sign up. Harry’s cousins John Thomas, Edmund, William and Robert Wilson Wyer also fought and were killed in WW1. Edmund, William and Robert can be found on our page dedicated to the Haconby War Memorial and John on the Kirkby Underwood War Memorial.
- Most usually a transfer of Regiment would occur after a man had been wounded and then classed as fit for service again, thus being posted to a Battalion where they would be most needed. As we are not sure when or why Harry was transferred to the 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, we can not really be sure of his movements during the war but can look at the last month of his life through the Battalion diaries of his final posting to the 2nd Royal Warwicks.
- 1st April 1917 – Ruins, St Leger
Wet day, C company holding a line of posts in front line on left front of St Leger. Remainder of Battalion in reserve at St Leger. Draft of 24 other ranks joined for duty.
Casualties:- Killed 1, Wounded 4
- 2nd April 1917 – Ruins, St Leger
Snow, Battalion in reserve to 91st Infantry Brigade who made an attack, the objectives being first :- U.25.b.4.3. (Exclusive) along railway to U.25.a.5.5. thence along road to factory (inclusive) at T.24.b.0.4
Second:- Establish a line of posts on a general line U.20.c.4.4 – U.19.d.9.7 – T.18.b.5.3
- Battalion afterwards held posts in new front line in front of Ecoust.
Casualties:- Killed 3, Wounded 3.
- 3rd April 1917 – Line of posts Ecoust
Fine day. During the night 2nd/3rd we pushed forward posts to within about 700 yards of the Hindenburg Line, in connection with the second advance of the 91st Infantry Brigade.
The Battalion was relieved at night by 2nd Border Regiment and marched to bllets in Mory.
Casualties:- Wounded 2
- 4th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins, Mory
Fine Day. The Battalion was relieved in evening by 2nd Duke of Wellington Regiment and marched back to billets and ruins of Courcelles, arriving about 8pm.
- 5th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Fine day. Battalion employed in cleaning clothing and equipment, also renovating billets. 2nd LT J A Healing to officers court, Aldershot.
- 6th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Wet day. Good Friday. Divine Service for all demominations.
- 7th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Fine day. Renovating Billets for which material was obtained from Royal Engineers. Major general T H Shoubridge, C.M.G., D.S.O, G.O.C 7th Division visited.
- 8th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins, Courcelles
Fine Day. Divine Service for all denominations. Working Parties at Achiet Le Grand, unloading trains. C Company and 2 platoons A Company.
- 9th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins, Courcelles
Cold windy day. Working Parties at Achiet Le Grand, unloading trains. D Company and 2 Platoons A Company. Remainder of Battalion renovating billets. T Capt. H M Keen 2/1st Sussex Yeomanry and 34 other ranks joined for duty.
- 10th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins, Courcelles
Snow. Working Parties at Achiet le Grand under R.T.O. – A Company. Road Work – B and C Company. D Company as per programme of training. Orders re defensive measures were issued in the event of the enemy breaking through our lines. The Battalion detailed to be right reserve Battalion in Mory
- 11th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Cold Day (Snow and Sleet). The 62nd Division and Anzacs attacked the German lines and the Battalion was ordered to move up to Ervillers in reserve. Battalion started at 1.30pm, arriving at Ervillers at about 3.30pm. Billeted in Ruins.
- 12th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Ervillers
Wet day. Battalion was ordered to move back to Courcelles, Ervillers was cleared by 10.30pm, companies marching independently to billets vacated previous day. Orders received placing Battalion at disposal of C R E 7th Division at 7PM for work on St Leger defensive line
- 13th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Fine day, renovating Billets etc, cleaning clothing and equipment. Battalion still under orders of C.R.E. 2/LT V H Mercer, struck off strength (Sick in England)
- 14th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Fine day. Lt Col A G Pritchard CMG proceded to take over command of 10th infantry brigade with rank of Brigadier General, vice Brigadier General C Gosling CMG (Killed)
Major C B Hore, assumes command of Battalion.
Battalion still under orders of C.R.E.
- 15th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Wet day. Orders received from Brigade to be ready to move forward at 2 hours notice. 8.20am Orders received to stand by ready to move forward at short notice owing to Anzacs having been driven out of Lagincourt by enemy. 10.10am orders received to cancel above and carry on as usual as Anzacs have counter attacked and regained lost ground and captured prisoners. Orders re move at 2 hours notice still hold good.
2nd LT E L Brown struck off strength (To Eng: Sick)
- 16th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Parades :- 9am to 12:30pm companies in open order fighting at A.15.a. Battalion still under orders to move at 2 hours notice.
- 17th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Wet day. Parades 9an to 12:30pm companies at bayonet fighting, physical drill, close order drill, musketry and Box respirator drill at A.15.a. Battalion still under orders to move at 2 hours notice.
- 18th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Wet day. 11 Platoon working under Town Mayor. Battalion employed on renovating Billets etc. Still under orders to move at 2 hours notice.
- 19th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Wet day. Working Parties :- 1 company reported to R.R.M.E for work on Eastern Crater Ablainzeville. 1 Platoon under Town Mayor.
- Parades:- 9am to 12.30pm. Companies at bayonet fighting, physical training, close order drill, musketry and box respirator drill. Orders re moving at 2 hours notice cancelled at 6pm. Battalion gave a demonstration of intensive digging. G O C 7th Division was present.
- 20th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Fine day. Working Parties:- 1 Platoon under R.E., 1 platoon under Town Mayor.
Parades:- 9am to 12.30pm, companies in attack on strong points.
Captain C W C Wasey to Warloy for duty at 5th Army Musketry Camp.
- 21st April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Fine Day, working parties :- 1 company at work on Crater, West End of Ablainzeville. 1 Platoon under Town Mayor Courcelles. 1 Platoon under R.E. Parades 9am to 12.30pm. Companies digging in with entrenching tools, making strong points and wiring. Lieut N.A.M. Ring joined for duty. 2/LT B B Henry struck off strength, duty with Trench Mortar Battery (Authty, A.G, G.H.Q. No C.R
- 22nd April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles.
Fine Day. Parades:- Divine Service for all denominations 18703/ E. of 31.3.17.
Orders received for 2nd in command (Maj: Fox) to reconnoitre with 2nd in Command 2/K.A.C. the high ground west of Courcelles, in the event of having to make a counter attack. To consider of delivering counter attack either from the Ervillers – St Leger Valley or from about the Ervillers – Arras or Ervillers – Hamelincourt Roads.
- 23rd April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Fine Day. Parades :- Battalion attack on Ayette and forming an outpost line after attack. Working Parties:- 1 company under R.M.R.E. at Bucquoy. The Battalion was put under a gas cloud at 3.30pm at A.8.a. The G.O.C 7th Division was present at the demonstration.
- 24th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Fine Day. Parades:- Companies practising intensive digging, judging distance and fire control at A.15.a
Working parties:- 1 platoon for Town Mayor Courcelles. 1 company under R.M.R.E. at Western Crater Ablainzeville
- 25th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins, Courcelles.
Fine day. Parades:- Companies at Musketry, Company Drill, Bayonet fighting and sections being exercised in their particular weapon, at A.15.a. Working Parties :- 1 Platoons for Town Mayor Courcelles. 1 company under R.M.R.E. at Bucquoy.
The 5th Army Commander, General Sir K de la C. Gough, K.C.B., visited the Brigade Area. He saw the Battalion at training and inspected some of the Billets. He expressed his satisfaction at everything he saw.
- 26th April 1917 – Fine Day.
Parades:- 9am to 12.30pm. New method of wiring, attack on strong points. Working Parties:- 1 Platoon for Town Mayor. 1 company under R.M.R.E at crater East End of Ablainzeville. No 458 Sgt T Lynch C company appointed to a permanent commission in Royal Warwickshire Regiment and posted to the Battalion dated 26th April 1917.
- 27th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Fine day. Parades:- Route March Courcelles – Ayette – Boiry – St Rictude – Courcelles. Start at A.15.c.5.5. 1 company on 300yrd Range. Working parties:- 1 platoon for town mayor.
- 28th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Fine day. Parades:- 9am to 12.30pm. Musketry, close orders drill, deploying from artillery formation, and bayonet fighting at A.15.a.
Lecture for officers and N.C.Os on musketry at 2.45pm. Working Parties:- 1 Platoon for Town Mayor. 1 company under R.M.R.E. at crater east end of Amblainzeville.
- 29th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Fine day. Parades:- Divine Service for all denominations. Working parties:- 1 platoon for town mayor. 1 company under R.M.R.E at Bucquoy Cross roads.
- 30th April 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Parades:- 9am to 12.30pm. Companies acting as advance guard and putting out outposts at A.15.a
Working Parties:- 1 Platoon for Town Mayor. 1 Company under R.M.R.E at Sucerie, Courcelles at 8am. 1 company under R.M.R.E. at Sucerie, Courcelles at 9am.
The Battalion attended a demonstration in the use of 3” Stokes Mortars in open warfare at 3.30pm at A.8.c
Major C.B. Hore permitted to wear the Rank of Lt.Col whilst commanding the Battalion, pending announcement in the London gazette. Authority: Head Quarters 7Th Division No 1326/269/A of 30th April 1917.
- 1st May 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Parades:- Brigade Field Day at Ayette. Working parties:- 1 company under R.M.R.E at Crater, East end of Ablainzeville.
- 2nd May 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
Fine Day. Thorough inspections of all fighting equipment were held during the day. Operational Orders were issued at 6.30pm
- 3rd May 1917 – Mory Copse
Fine Day. The Battalion moved to Mory Copse on night of 2nd / 3rd inst, parading at A.16.d.30 at 1.10am., to take part in operations of 5th and 7th Corps and 1st Anzac Corps, who are to attack the Hindenburg Line at 3.30am on the 3rd May. The 22nd Infantry Brigade is at the disposal of G.O.C. 62nd Division as a reserve.
- In accordance with B.M.390 the battalion moved to Railway Embankment in U.2.5.b and U.26.2 at about 6am, as the attack of 62nd Division was not successful. Battalion operation orders were issued at 6.45pm for an attack on Bullicourt.
- A Company will be on the right and C company of the left. Objective of A Company V.21.d.9.6 to V.21.d.5.6. C Company will also form defensive flank from left to join up with right of defensive flank formed by the 1st R W Fus, D company will give 2 Platoons to A company and 2 Platoons to C Company for carrying and mopping up.
- A company will establish a block in trench which runs North from V.22.c.9.6. C Company will also establish a block on the other side of Sunken Road about U.21.d.4.7. and also a strong point at this junction with Sunken Road at U.21.d.5.6. Patrols will be pushed forward to the front. B Company will deploy posts in rear of final objective. 1 of B Company’s Platoons will carry R.E. material. B Company will assist A and C companies in their attack if required.
- Battalion Headquarters will be at C.2.d.9.9.
- The battalion dressing station will be behind the embankment at C.2.b.1.9.
- 4th May 1917
The Battalion left the Railway Cutting in U.26.c at 12.30am on morning of 4th inst and was formed up in rear of Railway Line in U.27.c. at 1.50am. They moved from here to attack at 3.45am. Companies moved from Railway Cutting in U.26.c. to open ground North East of Ecoust in C.2.b under cover of embankment, from here they moved forward by Platoons to the line from where the advance was to take place.
A conference was held on operation orders No 125, issued by 22nd Infantry Brigade at 5.45pm, 3rd inst, and the salient points, objectives of Companies and boundaries were discussed and written down by O.C. Corps.
- Communication was maintained by 3 methods viz:-
- by Runners – with an advanced post at C.3.a.7.8 ,
- By Signalling – a visual station was established at the Tank in front of Bullecourt about v.27.b.2.3. and also a receiving station at C.2.d.8.9. Owing to heavy fire and bad visibility the men who survived withdrew and reported at Battalion Headquarters at 8.30am. The signalling lamp was also broken by shell fire.
- Pigeons – One pair was released and one pair died of shell shock.
- At 6am the Corporal in charge of Battalion Runners was sent forward to try and discover the positions and strength of Companies, also if possible to obtain written messages from officers.
- At 10am the Sergeant in charge of scouts and 2 men were sent to try and locate posts, find numbers of men, Lewis Guns, etc., in each position held by the companies. At 12.30pm Lieut W.C. Fowler M.C. (Battalion Intelligence Officer) was sent forward and corroborated the statements brought back by runners and scouts. Any exact position and strength of posts held in front of V.27.c., 40 men under N.C.Os. Both these parties were digging in. There were also scattered posts of men unable to move owing to fire and scattered about in shell holes betweenv.27 central and village, it was not possible to ascertain their exact numbers.
- Also 60 men had been collected and reformed at place ordered behind Railway Embankment in C.2.a.9.9. After 2pm dispositions were as follows:-
- V.27.Central, a post of 3 Lewis Guns and 10 men
- Dug in front of Railway Embankment, 2 officers and 100 other ranks. These were connected with 1st R.W. Fus on their left by a Lewis Gun post under Sgt at V.27.c.6.6.
- 120 other ranks were collected at C.2.a.9.9.
- Finding from these reports that both flanks of party in V.27.c were in the air, Lewis Guns and Snipers were pushed forward to guard flanks and gain touch with 1st R.W. Fus.
- At dusk the numbers of men on the embankment in V.27.c had been increased to 160 other ranks. Afterwards a party of 1 Lewis Gun and 15 other ranks came in who had been attached to 1st R.W.Fus.
- The strength of the Battalion going into action was 20 officers, 609 other ranks. After the action the strength was 8 officers, 362 other ranks.
- Only 3 junior officers were left out of those who carried out the attack.
- The steps taken to re-organise and ascertain the strength of the Battalion were as already stated and with sentries posted to stop any stragglers and direct them, 1 at Battalion Head Quarters and another at C.2.b.6.8.
- The positions of Battalion Headquarters and company headquarters during the attack were:-
- Battalion Headquarters were at C.2.d.9.9
- Company Headquarters moved forward with the attack, later in the day one was established on Railway Line about V.27.c.0.5.
- Explanations as to cause of attack passing a failure:-
- Concentration probably observed by enemy as he put down heavy barrage at 3.30am which had to be passed through.
- Sudden alteration of plans which only allowed hurried consultation with O.C. Companies at 3.40am on place of deployment.
- Position held heavily by machine guns and second belt of wire uncut on front attacked by battalion.
- It appeared that the village was honeycombed with dug-outs and underground passages which allowed the enemy to get behind our men, 1 Sgt described it as being in a maze.
- The fact that the enemy outranged us with his egg bombs.
- The difficulty in obtaining information was very great owing to open nature of the ground and to the larger number of machine guns and snipers. 50% of Runners becoming casualties.
- The extremely heavy enemy shelling on whole front in addition to 3 heavy barrages which he put down along the line of attack from V.27.a.8.2 to V.27.d.2.4.
- The smoke and dust caused by shelling made it difficult to see any distance.
- At 5.30pm it was agreed that the Battalion in conjunction with the 1st R.W. Fus should push forward strong patrols into Bullecourt. About 200 men were collected and Captain V Sharkey M.C. was placed in command. These pushed forward to the Sunken Road at the west end of the village and at 11pm commenced to attack. The enemy held his fire until they reached the 2nd belt of wire, which was uncut, and then opened strong rifle fire and machine gun fire which caused heavy casualties.
- Communication wasimpossible as the signalling lamp was broken by shell fire na dboth pigeons has died of shell shock. The attack was a failure.
- Casualties for the day were as follows:-
- Killed – Lieut J. S. Harrowing. M.C., 2nd Lieut A.G. Fawdry.
- Wounded – 2nd Lieut H. Toft, 2nd Lieut W.E. Frost, 2nd Lieut R.G. Hudson, 2nd Lieut N. Miller, 2nd Lieut W.E. Ward, 2nd Lieut J.E.W. Rance M.C.
- Missing – Lieut N.A.M. Ring, 2nd Lieut E. Heatherington, 2nd Lieut F.G. Burrell, 2nd Lieut H.H.H. Lister.
- Other ranks:-
- Killed – 13
- Wounded – 141
- Missing – 82
- Wounded at Duty – 5
- Total of above 241
- 5th May 1917 – Railway Embankment
Fine Day. The 22nd Infantry Brigade were relieved by the 20th Infantry Brigade in the evening. The Battalion left the Railway Embankment at about 9pm and marched to a camping ground at Mory-Abbaye where they remained the night in bivouacs.
- 6th may 1917 – Billets and Ruins Courcelles
- Fine day. Companies marched at Courcelles independently leaving camping ground at 10am, and took over the same billets as vacated on the night 2/3rd inst. Remainder of day spent cleaning billets and equipment and making up deficiencies in fighting equipment.