Biography of Private John William Sandall (203642)
2nd/4th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment
Died 22nd March 1918

Soldier

  • Name: John William Sandall
  • Date of birth: 1882
  • Place of Birth: Kirkby Underwood, Lincolnshire, England
  • Date of Birth registration: October – December 1882
  • Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England
Father

  • Name: Edward John Sandall
  • DOB: 1859
  • Place of Birth: Kirkby Underwood, Lincolnshire, England
  • Occupation: Farm labourer
Mother

  • Name: Mary Pridmore
  • DOB: 1861
  • Place Of Birth: Dowsby, Lincolnshire, England
  • Marriage: 1881 Bourne District

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

  • John William Sandall, 1882, Kirkby Underwood
  • Emily Sandall, 1885, Kirkby Underwood
  • Harriet Annie Sandall, 1886, Kirkby Underwood
  • Sarah Elizabeth Sandall, 1887, Kirkby Underwood
  • Herbert Sandall, 1889, Kirkby Underwood
  • Albert Sandall, 1891, Rippingale
  • Walter Sandall, 1893, Rippingale
  • Mabel Sandall, 1895, Rippingale
  • Norris Sandall, 1901, Rippingale
Census

  • 1891: John is living with his parents in Rippingale, Lincolnshire.
  • 1901: John is living with the Brudenell family in Little Bytham. The census gives him an age of 18 and he is listed as a Horse keeper.
  • 1911: John is living with his parents in Rippingale, Lincolnshire.

Relatives in services

Wife

  • Name: Betsy Dodsworth
  • Date of Birth: 22ne November 1885
  • Place of Birth: Metheringham, Lincolnshire, England

Marriage

  • Date of Marriage: 5th November 1912
  • Place of Marriage: Morton nr Bourne, Lincolnshire, England

Wife’s Parents

  • John Dodsworth
  • Fanny Mann

Newspaper Mentions

  • Lincolnshire Echo Friday 12th September 1919
    At Rippingale it is proposed to make a house to house collection for the War Memorial Cross, to be erected at the estimated cost of £250, to the honoured memory of those who served in the great war, especially the fallen, those whp made the supteme sacrifice from here being: Arthur Hill, George Hill, Frank Kime, George Daff Pollard, John William Sandall, Walter Sandall, Charles Sharpe, Walter Scarborough, and Arthur Thompson.

Military Records

Attestation Papers

  • None found

Soldier’s Died In The Great War

  • These records show that Private John William Sandall, 203642, 2nd/4th Lincolnshire Regiment  was killed in action on 22nd March 1918 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.

Pension Records

  • Available

Effects Left Too

  • Widow Betsy

Medals

  • The British Medal
  • The Victory Medal

Memorials

  • UK:
  • Rippingale, outside memorial at St Andrew’s Church

 

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
  • In Memory of Private John William Sandall, 203642, 2nd/4th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment who died on 22 March 1918.
  • Remembered with Honour Arras Memorial
  • Panel Ref: Bay 3 and 4

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

Military Service Timeline:

  • Today we remember Rippingale man John William Sandall who died on this day, 22nd March 1918, serving with the 2/4th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.
     
    The following biography includes a very detailed description of the part that John’s Battalion played in the lead up to the German Spring Offensive of March 1918. Whilst some people may apologise for a long post I believe that for anyone interested in the history of the 4th Lincs and particularly this stage of the war, John’s story should be told in the wonderful details of the Battalion Diaries.
     
    For those more interested in local and family history i have marked the Battalion Diary with “———–” at the start and end of the entry and feel free to skip to the end of the diary but please take up his family’s story again at the end of the article for more family history information..
     
    John as born in Kirkby Underwood, Lincolnshire in 1882, his birth being registered in the December Quarter in Bourne. His parents were Edward John Sandall, a farm labourer born in Kirkby in 1859 and his wife Mary Pridmore born in 1861 in Dowsby. The couple were married in 1881 and settled in Kirkby Underwood where their first five children would be born. By 1891 they had moved to Rippingale where they brought up another four children, making nine children in all.
    John William Sandall, 1882, Kirkby Underwood
    Emily Sandall, 1885, Kirkby Underwood
    Harriet Annie Sandall, 1886, Kirkby Underwood
    Sarah Elizabeth Sandall, 1887, Kirkby Underwood
    Herbert Sandall, 1889, Kirkby Underwood
    Albert Sandall, 1891, Rippingale
    Walter Sandall, 1893, Rippingale
    Mabel Sandall, 1895, Rippingale
    Norris Sandall, 1901, Rippingale
     
    In 1891 John is living with his parents and five siblings in Rippingale, next door to the grocer’s shop in a three room house. Father Edward is working as a Horseman on a farm.
    Ten years later in 1901, 18 year old John is living with the Brudenell family in Little Bytham in a house called Brudenell’s Lodge. He is working as a Horseman on a farm which we assume to be Brudenell’s farm as the head of the household John is living with is William Brudenell a farmer.
     
    By 1911 John is back with his parents in Rippingale still working as a farm labourer the same as father Edward.
     
    John was married in Morton to 5th November 1912 to Betsy Dodsworth.
    Besy was born in 1885 in Metheringham to John Dodsworth an agricultural labourer and his wife Fanny Mann. Sadly Fanny passed away in 1896 in Metheringham. The young Besty and her father were iving with her grandmother in Metheringham in 1891. Later they moved to Morton, near Bourne some time before 1901, bringing her grandmother and Aunt Jane with them. In 1901 they can be found living in a house called Cardyke, most likely Cardyke farm in Morton Fen, John was now working as a Yardman and Shepherd.
    Later her father was working as a cowman and shepherd when they can be seen in Morton Fen in 1911, with Betsy working as a Cook, Domestic.
     
    Like a majority of WW1 records, John’s are not to be found and most likely destroyed in the fire in the records warehouse in London which caught light in the blitz.
     
    We have to piece John’s life in the war together from available records, which are a little sparse.
    From the records we can see that John served with the Lincolnshire Regiment and his medal card gives a service number of 203642, other records around his death show that he was actually serving with the 2nd/ 4th Battalion which is also the only battalion listed on his medal roll entry.
    The territorial service numbers were reallocated a six digit number in 1917, with the 4th Lincolnshire’s being given numbers 200001 to 240000 and so its impossible to find when John joined the Army from his service number.
    The only clue we have is from his effects register which somehow lists him as serving with the 8th Leicestershire regiment, although the date of death and service number are correct. This same record shows that John’s next of kin was due a war gratuity payment of which is calculated on length of service thus giving us a good idea of a date he joined.
     
    Conscription came into place in arch 1916, with all men under 41 years and single being signed up for war service. This was changed in May 1916 to include married men such as John. Agricultural labourers could have an exemption applied for by their employer as it would impossible for farms to function without all their men.
     
    John Sandall enlisted in Bourne at some point after the 23rd March 1917 and was issued the service number 203642 and was accepted into the 2nd / 4th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.
    As we have no first hand records we cannot say how long John trained for or when he would have embarked to join his battalion in the field.
     
    The 2nd / 4th was the second line unit of the 4th Battalion Lincolnshire regiment and had been raised in 1914, first seeing action in Ireland before returning to England in January 1917. They were mobilised for war in February 1917 and saw action action on the Western front including the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, the Battles of the Menin Road Ridge, Polygon wood and Bourlon Wood. The Battalion was absorbed into the 1st / 4th battalion on the 31st January 1918.
     
    As we mentioned without having exact dates we cannot say what happened to John in the War or what actions he was involved in , all that we know is that he was officially serving with the 2nd / 4th at the time of his death on the 22nd March 1918.
     
    ——————————–
    For this period we can look at the war diary for the 2nd / 4th Battalion and we find that in the January the Battalion had been in the area of Maizieres undertaking various training sessions, parades and route marches. On the 31st January the 1st and 2nd line Battalions were amalgamated and now the composite battalion was to be known as the 4th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.
     
    After amalgamation the Battalion initially stayed in the Maizieres area undertaking amongst other things musketry training eventually leaving the area on the 9th February for Barly.
    Over the next week they would travel though several camps, being occupied in some in digging of shelters, some men being attached to a tunnelling company and other seeing duty on the tramway.
     
    From the words of the 4th Battalion Diaries we can piece together John’s last month and details the Battalion’s observations of the lead up to the German Spring Offensive which would start on the 21st March. The 4th Battaion were part of the 177th Infantry Brigade of the 59th Division.
     
    This next section is quite long as the Battalion were about to spend 29 days in the line,.
     
    On the 18th February the Battalion would relieve the 2/4th Leicesters in the Brigade right sub sector and on the 19th they were holding the line immediately east of Bullecourt, overlooking Reincourt and Hendecourt.
     
    19.2.18 – “A” Company’s posts were less than 50 yards from the enemy front posts on the extreme right and on our left no enemy position lies between us and the factory situated 400 yards away on the Bullecourt – Hendecourt road. Our trenches were in poor condition but are rapidly being Improved. Our snipers have good practice on numerous targets at short range.
     
    20.2.18 – Trenches
    The enemy sentries seem to have been in the habit of looking over the top and evidently wish to fraternise.
     
    21.2.18
    Movement near our trenches is decreasing and out of rifle range men begin to hurry when using overland tracks.
     
    22.2.18
    Evidently the enemy sentries are growing more wary, soft caps give way to steel helmets and periscopes appear.
     
    23.2.18
    A number of men were seen moving about in an enemy post – a rifle grenade was fired and was observed to fall amongst them.
     
    24.2.18
    2/Lt H Jeynes M.C. discharged from hospital to duty.
    Inter company relief – C Company relieved A company in the right front sector.
    D Company relieved B company (John Sandall’s Company) in the left front sector.
    B company are in support in Railway Reserve
    A company are in support in Ecoust-Noreuil Line.
     
    25.2.18
    2/Lt J.E. Rogers admitted to F.A. (Field Ambulance)
    Quiet day – Tank Avenue our main communication received a ration of shells.
     
    26.2.18
    Enemy two-seater plane brought down immediately in front of our front line. Patrol went out to examine it at night and brought back light machine gun and fragments of camera.
    2/Lt F.C. Robertson to 3rd Army Musketry Camp as instructor.
     
    27.2.18
    Nothing of interest to report 2/Lt S.L. Bromfield returns from leave.
     
    28.2.18
    Our trenches were not subjected to heavy fire but there was considerable counter battery work and shelling of back areas. This applies for the most part of the whole tour. We have had a very quiet time in the line when we think of the reputation Bullecourt has earned.
     
    1.3.18 – Bullecourt
    Another quiet day. 2/Lieut G Jolson rejoined from 3rd Army S.O.S. School and 2/Lieut K F Howes & Lieut G.W. Border proceeded to England for 6 months tour of duty and were struck off the strength of the Battalion.
     
    2..3.18
    The enemy were very quiet and continued to attempt his friendly overtures and our snipers had another good day. In spite of his outward appearances the higher authorities warned us that much movement was taking place well behind his lines with a view, t was thought, to a very large offensive.
    We were ordered to make a raid with a view to taking a prisoner and A Company was detailed for the task. 2/lieut R Greenwood was to lead the raid and Captain H Hand to train the party. The whole party consisting of 40 other ranks proceeded to Mory L’Abbaye camp to train.
    At dusk we were relieved in the line by the 2/5th Battalion Lincs Regiment, and the Battalion went into reserve in front of Ecoust, C&D companies being South of the village and A&B companies North.
     
    4.3.18
    B Company proceeded to Mory to bathe. At 1pm A company raid party consisting of 2/Lieut H.R. Greenwood and 36 other ranks left Mory L’Abbaye in G.S. Wagons and proceeded to Ecoust where hot soup was provoded for them.
    The night was especially dark and they did not reach the assembly trench till 2.30am. The general plan wqs to blow two gaps in the enemy wire with Bangalore Torpedos and rush two posts which had been located.
    Some difficulty was experienced in placing the torpedos in position in position. They were finally blow simultaneously at 3.45am. The torpedos did their work well but little wire was encountered behind the right gap.
    The party went in as arranged but the time taken in negotiating this wire enabled the enemy posts to run away, so we were denied the satisfaction of obtaining any prisoners. 2/lieut H.R. Greenwood then searched the trench in vain, ordered the withdrawal and was himself with only four men acting as a rearguard, when this little party was counter attacked in force, and had considerable difficulty in getting back to our own lines.
     
    6.3.18 – Bullecourt
    A company proceeded to Mory to bathe. Captain H Ward proceeded to 2/5th Lincolnshire Regiment to act as second in command.
     
    7.3.18
    D Company proceeded to Mory to bathe. During the last five days working parties have been found by the Battalion under brigade instructions.
     
    8.3.18
    The Battalion relieved the 2/4th Leicesters on the right sub-sector. B company on the right, A company on the left, D company in support and C company in reserve. The first two company H.Q.s being in tower reserve and the last two in Tiger trench. Battalion H.Q in Railway Reserve.
     
    9.3.18
    During the last few days large numbers of all calibres had been brought up behind Ecoust and counter preparation bombardments had been arranged to be laid down if any patrols should discover the enemy attempting to mass an attack.
    With this in view, strong fighting patrols were sent out nightly and a standing patrol watched the enemy lines during the hour before dawn.
     
    10.3.18 – Bullecourt
    At 7am a deserter walked up to one of B company’s posts and gave himself up. He stated that the enemy was going to attack on the morning of the 13th inst.
     
    11-12.3.18
    The enemy was very quiet. Our artillery kept up harassing fire in enemy back lines and trenches at stated period during the whole night. Pom Alley, Copse Trench, & Bullecourt – Hendecourt Road receiving particular attention. Our heavies also bombarded Reincourt & Hendecourt.
     
    13.3.18
    In view of the information supplied by the deserter taken on the 10th Inst; our artillery laid down an annihilating barrage on enemy trench system.
    Enemy reply was weak, Bullecourt receiving particular attention.
    Lieut J.R. Neave M.C. and 5 souls attempted to enter enemy trenches through the southern gap cut by the ammonal tube, on morning of 5th Inst and obtained a prisoner. They found however that the enemy was very alert and used a new kind of ground flare, which burnt with a very brilliant white light and lit up the whole party, who were fired on and had to retire.
     
    14.3.18
    Inter Company relief. C Company right front, D Company left front, B company in support, A Company in reserve.
    Lieut J.R. Neave M.C and 6 scouts again attempted to capture a prisoner leaving our trenches just before midnight they worked up to a point North of the left gap cut on the 5th Inst and were cutting their way through the wire when a bomb thrown from the enemy trench fell amongst the party wounding Lt J.R. Neave M.C and 3 other ranks. At the same time a party of Germans was seen to be coming towards them in no man’s land and the whole party had to retire. On arrival at our trenches it was found that Pte Smart, who had been wounded, was missing. Pte Evens, who was also wounded and 2 other scouts at once went out to find him, but Pte Evans fainted and had to be brought back.
    The two other scouts again went out but were unable to find any trace of the missing man. They were fired on and had to withdraw to our trenches. Later another party of the 2/4th Leicesters from who’s trench the patrol had gone out made a fruitless search without success.
    For his conduct on tis occasion Pte Evans was awarded the military medal by the corps commander.
     
    15-18.3.18 – Bullecourt
    Quiet
     
    19.3.18 – Mory
    The Battalion was relieved by the 6th North Staffords and proceeded to Mory Camp North, where it arrived after practically 29 days in the line, at 2am and was in Brigade Reserve.
     
    20.3.18
    At 5am in view of the expected enemy attack the Battalion stood to under Brigade orders. The morning proved quiet and the order to stand down was given at 7am.
    During the day the Battalion bathed at Mory Baths. The remainder of the time was spent in resting and cleaning up
     
    21.3.18 to 25.3.18
    “As per narrative attached” – These are the words in the Battalion Diary
     
    “Account of operations from 21.3.18 to 25.3.18” To be attached to the WAR DIARY.
     
    21.3.18.
    At 5,5 a.m. the Camp was awoken by the unmistakable sound of a violent bombardment apparently on the Front System. The order was given to turn the men out, and it was generally anticipated that the expected attack had developed.
    At first there was little shelling of MORY and the back areas but this gradually developed. There were no direct hits actually registered on the Camp.
     
    At 5.30 a.m. 2/Lt. BROMFIELD arrived and reported that he had brought up the mules and pack animals for Lewis gun limbers and S.A.A!
     
    At 5.40 the Battalion was ordered by Brigade to ‘Stand To’. Breakfasts were hurried on and were partially eaten when the order came to move forward into a position of readiness in B.17 and B.24.
     
    The Battalion moved across country in artillery formation and took up without incident its allotted position in Brigade Reserve, 5th LINGS.REGT. on the Right Front and 4th
    LEICS REGT. on the Left Front.
    We lay waiting here in artillery formation until 12 noon, and during this time the bombardment between ECOUST and NOREUIL as far as one could make out continued unceasingly, and if anything with greater violence. There was no doubt now that the great German Offensive had actually commenced, and unofficial
    news was received from a Battery that the enemy had laid a heavy barrage on ECOUST and that very heavy fighting was going on forward of this place.
     
    It was a fine hazy morning and nothing could be seen by us of the battle. Enemy aeroplanes were conspicuous by their absence, there were several of ours about.
    At 12 noon 4th LEICESTER and 5th LINCS. REGT. received orders to move up and occupy the and 2nd System Trenches, and this Battalion to be in Reserve in the 3rd System about junction of NOREÜIL and ECCUST SWITCH.
    Battalions accordingly moved up in artillery formation and the two forward Battalions on passing on passing the 3rd system trenches discovered that the enemy had overrun ECOUST Ridge and were themselves occupying the 2nd System.
     
    He had come over the ridge in very large numbers, and succeeded, before a position could be taken up, in cutting off three companies of the 5th Lincolns.
    He had brought up with him a great number of Machine Guns which he used freely.
    “In order to hold up the advance A, B and D Companies took up a position in the firing line of the 3rd System with the remaining company of the 5th LINCOLNS on their Right in the NOREUIL SWITCH and the 4th LEICESTERS on their left in C.14.c.
    “C’ Company were In Reserve Line of the 3rd System. This System was merely a “Spitlocked” trench affording, no cover to the men. Tools were Immediately gathered from a neighbouring dump and the men dug in with a will.
     
    At 2 p.m. we were – in conjunction with the 5th LINCOINS -“to counter attack PONTEFRACT and DEWSBURY trenches. This order was cancelled almost at once as it was realised that the operation was impracticable
     
    Our right flank was this time exposed and the 6/7th ROYAL SCOTS FUSILIERS were brought up to protect it from an attack up the NOREUIL VALLEY. This Battalion’s front Line, hwever, established a junction with our support-line, still leaving the Right Flank of the front line exposed at the junction of NOREUIL SWITCH and the 3rd System. Battalion Hd.Qrs were constituted at C.19.a.3.5, and ammunition was got up to all Companies.
    At about 8pm a hot meal was brought up and was much appreciated by all ranks.
     
    22.3.18
    The Battalion was relieved in the firing line by the 14th ARGYLL & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS and 10/11th HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY. which relief was complete by 5.30 a.m.
    During the night the enemy had dug himself in in the 2nd System, and at 2.30 p.m. he attacked the Front Line of the 3rd System and the ARGYLL & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS fell back on to the Reserve Line. Battalion Hd.Qrs by this time had been removed to B.24.4.9.8. As information was received that our line was still intact beyond VRAUCOURT, a mixed party of SCOTCH and LINCOLN troops were got together and reoccupied the Front Line, ‘B’ Company forming a defensive flank on the 3rd System.
     
    At 4.30pm masses of Germans swarmed round the far side of VRAUCOURT and turned our Right Flank which necessitated our withdrawal to the Army line in front of MORY. This withdrawal was carried out with great difficulty and under the heaviest fire, and as the Army Line was only a ‘spiltocked’ trench the men had once again to dig in. Tired as they were becoming, we were able, by 7.20 p.m., to report that the Battalion was intact and dug in in the Army Line.
    Up to this point in the fighting tremendous casualties had been inflicted on the enemy who appeared to have an unceasing supply of men.
    Later the enemy managed to get round the left Flank of the 4th LICESTERS and we were being fired on from both front and rear. The position became untenable and it was necessary to
    withdraw in conjunction with the 4th LEICESTERS. The only way open to the South West and the Battalion retired in a orderly manner to the Sunken Road in B.27.b and d.
    Though the men were becoming very tired they fought every inch of the way and obeyed all the orders of their Officers and N.C.Os in a most exemplary and cheerful manner.
    As soon as the sunken Road was reached patrols were sent forward to MORY L”ABBAYE and the Army Line, but the enemy was found to be well into MORY in considerable numbers. During, the night “B’ Company occupied the Southern edge of MORY and held up the enemy with almost continuous Lewis gun and rifle fire.. The 4th LEICESTERS holding the West of MORY, drove him off in hand to hand fighting. Battalion Hd Qrs were constituted at this time in B27 central.
     
    23.3.18
    Early in the morning it was perceived that with the enemy holding the high ground North of MORY it was impossible for the Brigade to hold on where they were and at 6.10 a.m. orders were received to take up a defensive position in B.20.a.
    This withdrawal was carried out across 500 to 600 yards of open country under very heavy Machine Gun fire at close range.
    The extended lines of our men moved back in splendid order with the greatest steadiness until they arrived at the position where they dug in in front of the BEHAGNIES-ERVILLERS Road.
    The East Lancs* who were now on our Right, 5th LINCOLNS on our left and the 4th LEICESTERS continued the line to the MORY-ERVILLERS Road.
     
    We had now been fighting almost continuously for over 2 days during, which time sleep or rest had been almost impossible, and news that we should be relieved by a Battalion of the
    40th Division, and to withdraw our line to the West of the BEHAGNIES-ERVILLERS Road, was very welcome.
     
    We received this at 7.15 p.m., but later, owing to the situation round MORY being still obscure and the high ground North of the village being again almost in the hands of the enemy this relief could not take place.
     
    *This seems iincredible and is not supported by 1 E/LANCS diary. Probably 2nd S Lancs ?
     
    24.3.18
    The weather still kept bright and the day we was particularly quiet enabling the men to get a short and well earned sleep. During the morning congratulatory messages were received from the Field Marshal C in C, Corps Commander and the G.O.C 40th Division.
    It had been estimated that some 4 German Divisions had been thrown against the 59th Division, who, though they had to give ground still kept their line intact. The above messages were read to the men whose spirits were raised by the knowledge that their hard work had been appreciated.
     
    We were again expecting relief by the 126th Inf Brigade but at 9pm orders were received that this Brigade was being employed to fill the gap on our right, where the enemy were reported to have broken through between SAPIGNES and BIHUCOURT. About midnight the 4th LEICESTERS reported that the enemy had advanced on the North of the MORY-ERVILLERS Road and were enfilading their trenches. At the same time the enemy made a frontal attack on this Battalion, who though their losses were heavy, succeeded in driving him back towards MORY.
     
    25.3.18
    At 4am the Battalion came under the direct orders of the 120th Inf Brigade.
    The morning nd early afternoon were quiet but at 4pm the situation on the right became critical, the enemy forcing his way into BEHAGNIES. The Battalion was therefore ordered to withdraw to the Corps Line in front of GOMIECOURT and manned the trench just West of the BEHAGINES-ERVILLERS Road. Here we found ourselves out of touch with mixed LANCASHIRE Battalions.
    The trench was directly enfiladed by the enemy from BEHAGNIES, and had been dug straight without traverses and would have been impossible to hold in daylight. It also has a most indifferent field of fire.
    At 10pm, orders were received for the Battaion, who were being relieved, to withdraw to BUCQUOY, and to leave a standing patrol in the Corps Line until 2p. This patrol was supplied by “B” Company and was withdrawn without casualties.
    The whole Battalion arrived in BUCQUOY, and though the men were very tored and exhausted their spirits were excellent.
    During the whole 5 days fighting they had proved their superiority over the enemy, and in spite of the numerical odds up against them had carried out the tasks allotted to them in a splendid manner.
     
    CASUALTIES
     
    Officers –
    21.3.18
    Capt. H.WARD – Killed (attached 2/5th LINCS)
    2/Lt M.S. PAGE – Killed
     
    22.3.18
    Major H.G. DEAN – Wounded
    Capt. S. LEE – Wounded
    2/Lt H. JEYNES – Killed
    2/Lt A.M.H. BAIN – Killed
    2/Lt G. Toulson – Wounded
     
    Other Ranks
    Killed – 27
    Wounded – 114
    Missing – 55
     
    ——————————–
     
    John William Sandall was mentioned on war office daily list NLS 1918_WList43 dated 20/05/1918, posted as missing.
     
    Officially he would later be posted as killed in action, even though his body was never found. In November 1918, the Red Cross received a request for Prisoner of War information for John Sandall. The reply was not found as a prisoner of war, hence once again pointing to being killed in action.
     
    Betsy Sandall was living at Smithfield Cottages in Rippingale when she started to receive her widow’s pension on the 25th November 1918.
     
    Betsy would also receive John’s effects, a combined war gratuity and monies owed by the Army of £11-9s-11d, but not until it was authorised in July 1919.
    The unusual thing is that the Effects Register says 8th Leicestershire but with right date and service number for John Sandall and effects left to widow Betsy.
     
    On the 10th June 1921, the Army authorised the British War Medal and Victory Medal to be issued in John’s name.
     
    The 1921 census shows that the Dodsworth family were still living at Car Dyke Farm in Morton fen, Betsy moving back in with her father John who was still working as a shepherd. Her uncle Josephis in the household working as a foreman both he and John working on the farm of John Measures. Betsy is listed as Betsy Sandall, a widow and a house keeper (Home Duties).
     
    The next we know of Betsy is in the 1939 register where she can be found living in Metheringham House, Station Road, Morton. Her Father John and his siblings Joseph and Jane, both still single after all this time.
     
    Betsy Sandall would eventually remarry but not until 1941. She married George Booth Bates. George Booth Bates was the brother of Serjeant Bates covered in our Morton and Bourne memorial pages also a veteran of WW1. Betsy eventually would pass away on the 28th June 1952, 38 years after her husband made the ultimate sacrifice.
     
    John Sandall came form a larger extended family in which many member’s served in WW1. One phot added to this article shows the Wyer / Sandall Cousins and their fate.
     
    The last word about the family must go to the CWGC:-
    In Memory of Private John William Sandall, 203642, 2nd/4th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment who died on 22 March 1918. Remembered with Honour Arras Memorial Panel Ref: Bay 3 and 4
     
    John is one of 22 of our local men commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

Sources:

  • WW1 Soldier’s Records (www.ancestry.co.uk)
  • British Newspaper Archive.
  • Fold 3
  • Find My Past
  • Genealogist
  • Forces War Records
  • British Army Service Numbers
  • War Gratuity Calculator
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  • National Archives – Battalion War Diaries
  • General Registry Office

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