First World War

Sherwood Forest During WW1

The Warwickshire Yeomanry (soldiers) were stationed in the forest from the start of the war. They were a cavalry (horse) regiment so they commandeered (took over) all the stables in Edwinstowe, behind the Black Swan and the Jug and Glass and local farms.

Edwinstowe War Memorial The Unveiling Ceremony

On Sunday afternoon in the presence of a very large assembly, the Memorial Cross erected by the people of Edwinstowe to the men from the parish who laid down their lives in the war, was unveiled with solemn and simple ceremony. The unveiling was preceded by a service in the Church, which in itself was a tribute to the gallant dead, and an expression of the love and pride the people of Edwinstowe entertain for those who made the supreme sacrifice. *

December 1920

Go to War Memorial to read more.

The Fallen World War 1 – Edwinstowe Parish (Edwinstowe, Clipstone, Budby and Carburton) Including men who had links to Edwinstowe Parish including those who died, served and were wounded. Some details researched are deemed personal to families and are kept in the archives and not published on the website. * Contact us for further details.

All details are as accurate as possible at time of publishing and entries are updated as new information is found.

“If I should die, think only this of me: That there’s some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England.” Rupert Brooke (1887-1915).

The memorial plaque in St. Mary’s Church Lady Chapel bears the inscription:

This Chapel was restored to the Glory of God and in proud memory of the men of Edwinstowe, Clipstone and Carburton who fell in the Great War, 1914-1918. (Names of Clipstone and Carburton men are included because, at the time, those two villages formed part of the ecclesiastical parish of Edwinstowe).





Private Ernest Bentley, a Private in the Cheshire Regiment and then in the Highland Light Infantry, was killed in action on 8.8.1917 aged 24. His father George Thomas Bentley. His wife was Monzella (née Simpson) Bentley  He lived at ‘Little John Cottage and was a wagon maker. His wife lived on until 1960. His death is recorded on a gravestone in the churchyard.

Some of our readers are aware of the anguish endured by Monzella Bentley when, for over forty years, she didn’t know where her brave husband, Ernest, was lying after his untimely death in 1917. Their daughter, Violet, and her husband, Norman Boucher, were determined to find Ernest’s final resting place. They made unremitting enquiries into Ernest’s fate and, eventually, his grave was located in Ieper Cemetery in Belgium. Violet was further comforted when a photo of her father was discovered by John Hammond. Violet and Norman visited the cemetery, where it was established that Ernest had lost his life at Ypres. So, in 1986, sixty-nine years after his death, Ernest’s name was added to the village memorial. Thus, Violet was relieved of the darkness and despair which she had long shared with her mother and brother for many anxious years. Clarence Jenkinson Belfield, a Private with the 21st Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, died in September, 1916, aged 25 years, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. He was a relative of Bob Belfield and lived in Old Clipstone. This tribute wouldn’t be complete without reference to Budby which is still part of the wider parish of Edwinstowe. A tall stone cross, twelve feet high on a square plinth, and close to the A616, Ollerton to Worksop road, proclaims:

Charles Bentley  Distinguished Conduct Medal Drummer C BENTLEY (11919), 2nd Battalion. Notts, and Derbyshire Regiment For conspicuous gallantry and resource on August 9th, 1915, in laying out and repairing telephone wires, and carrying messages all day under a very heavy shell and rifle wire. His devotion duty and bravery were most marked.

Private Charles William Branford, of the 1st Battalion, Sherwood Foresters. He was the son of Walter and Ellen Branford. He was brother to Horace, Frederick, Mable, Albert and Ivy. In 1911 they lived on Town (High) Street Edwinstowe. He was a groom and later a baker. He went missing 27.3.18 and in October was declared a POW but he died on 27.10.1918, (2 weeks before the end of the war) aged 23. He is buried in Hautmont Communal Cemetery, Nord, France. Further details at this link NCC Role of Honour

Private Norman Bowyer, of 1st Battalion East Yorkshire RegimentSon of Benjamin E. G. Bowyer, gardener, and the late Hannah Bowyer, of West Lane, Edwinstowe. He is accorded the initials H. H. on the plaque. A Private in the East Yorkshire Regiment, he was killed in action on 24.10.1917, aged 19.

Arthur Pinder – Air Mechanic 1st class, Royal Flying Corps. He was an Air Mechanic 1st Class. Arthur was the son of George and Elizabeth Pinder at Lidgett House, later of The Crown Hotel Wells-next-the-Sea Norfolk. He was brother to Georgina and Frances May as well as Sidney who died in action – see below. He died in hospital on 1.7.1917, aged 33. He was born in Edwinstowe. In the 1911. His family lived at Lidgett House and he was a domestic chauffeur. His father worked as a pyrotechnician and had a firework factory on Sandy Lane. *

Sidney Reuben Pinder, a Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps. Sidney was the son of George and Elizabeth Pinder at Lidgett House, later of The Crown Hotel Wells-next-the-Sea Norfolk. He was brother to Georgina and Frances May as well as Arthur who died in action – see above. He was killed in action at Marquillies, France, on 19.2.1918, aged 29. Arthur’s and Sidney’s names appear on a headstone in Edwinstowe churchyard, along with the name of Gunner Wilfred Dennis (killed in action at Grenway, in France, near Lens., aged 36), who had married their sister, Georgina Pinder. * Below the account of the action – click on the date:

19 February 1918 – 80-84

Camel aircraft

Private Frederick Parsons, of the 6th Lincolnshire Regiment, enlisted on the 2nd September 1914 . He was killed in Gallipoli, Eastern Turkey, in the Dardanelles campaign, on 9.8.1915, aged 20. He was the son of John and the late Sarah Ann Parsons of Mansfield Road. His name appears on a headstone in the churchyard, along with the names of his mother and father, with the inscription, ”Peace, perfect peace.

Fred’s death as recorded in Parish Magazine October 1915:

News was received through H. Rabbitt from the Dardanelles at the end of August, that Fred Parsons had been killed in action. The sad news was confirmed by the War Office at the beginning of September, Fred was of a bright, cheerful disposition, popular with his companions and a very young yet, promising soldier. He was one of those who readily volunteered for service, when his country needed him, and whose name and memory must ever be honoured by us. We must deeply sympathise with Mr. Parsons and his daughters in their sad bereavement. Harry Parsons, his elder brother, joined the Police at the outbreak of war.

Driver George William Coupe, he was son of William, a railway plate layer, and Edith Coupe, of East Lane. He was sister to Edith. He was a driver in the 179th Inf. Bde., Army Service Corps formerly Leicestershire Regiment. He died on 5.11.1918, aged 19 on active service at Ramleh, Palestine. He was held in the highest esteem throughout the village. His name appears on his parents’ gravestone. *


William Coupe, father of George.

Lance Corporal Simon Riley Harrison, of the 2/8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters. He was son of Mrs. Hannah Harrison, of East Lane and lived on Town (High) Street with his elder sister, May, and younger brothers Willie and Sidney. Before his call up he was a farm worker.  He died on 27.4.1917, aged 20.

Private Ernest Richard Dorsey, He was the son of Richard and Ruth Dorsey, of Edwinstowe; husband of Louisa Dorsey, of 80, Seville Place, Strand Rd., Dublin. He joined the 733rd Coy. Labour Corps formerly Royal Army Medical Corps R.A.M.C. He died on 2.11.1918, aged 33, 9 days before the end of the war.

Private Walter Rabbitt, of the 11th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters, died on 8.10.1918. He was the son of Joseph and Maggie Rabbitt and the brother of Ephraim (killed in action 25.4.1917 aged 20 see below), and Lewis Rabbitt. In 1911 they lived at Mill Lane and later 7 Hazel Grove. He is buried in the Doingt Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France.

Corporal Ephraim Rabbitt, in the 8th Battalion who had enlisted in November 1915, Durham Light Infantry. His training was at Cannock Chase. He was drafted to France in February. He died on 25.4.1917 aged 21 from wounds received in action in France.  He was the son of Joseph and Maggie Rabbitt and the brother of Walter (killed in action 8.10.1918 see above), and Lewis Rabbitt. In 1911 they lived at Mill Lane and later 7 Hazel Grove. and is buried in Bucquoy Road Cemetery, Ficheux, Pas de Calais, France.  He was highly respected by his workmates. The deceased was of a quiet and unassuming character, and of sober and industrious habits.  It was recorded that he was one of the very best N.C.O.’s. He was a man on whom we could always rely to do his best and be cheerful. *

Private Fred Rabbitt, in the 1st Battalion who enlisted with the Sherwood Foresters on the 5th September. He went into his training at Crown Hill Barracks, near Plymouth. He was drafted out to France in the following December and went in to the trenches for the first time on Christmas Eve. He had 19 months of fighting in France without having been wounded, though he had been in hospital suffering from frost bite. His death on 8.7.1916, aged 29,  was instantaneous being due to shell-shock.  He was a member of the Men’s Bible Union and Parish Church choir, possessing a natural alto voice, a regular communicant and a man of prayer. He was held in highest esteem throughout the parish, and universal regret was extended to his wife and mother. *

Harry Rabbitt, son of William and Maria Rabbitt and brother to William, Arthur, Theresa, Ida and Ivy Rabbitt. In 1911, they were living at Kirkstall Lodge, High Street, Edwinstowe. He was a Labourer in Woods. He joined the 9th Bn. Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)  Further details at this link NCC Role of Honour. *

Lance-Corporal James William Creamer, a Lance-Corporal with the 1st/3rd Battalion, Sherwood Foresters, who died on 17.10.1918, aged 24 and is buried in Fresnoy le Grand Communal Cemetery Extension, Aisne, France.  He was the son of Mrs Annie Creamer of White House, Sutton Road, Mansfield.

Henry (Harry) Deakin, a Private with the 10th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters, who died on 14.12.1915 of wounds (shrapnel spinal injury) in Paris, and is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium. He is buried in Levallois-Perret Hauts Seine.

Private Ernest Estrop, a Private with the 2nd Battalion, Sherwood Foresters. He lived at Low Buildings Clipstone. He was the son of John, a farm worker from Rushton, Lincs. and Emma, from Rufford. He was one of 13 children of whom 10 were still living when he died on 1.7.1917. He was buried in Loos British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France;

Private William Charles Dumbarton, of the 66th Auxiliary Patrol Company, R.A.S.C.. He lived in Portland Row Edwinstowe.  He died on 11.7.1917, and is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France; 

Joseph Dalby of the  Sherwood Foresters killed on 11th March 1915 buried in Le Toiret Cemetery.

Private Charles Albert Jackson of the 8th Battalion Prince of Wales (North Staffordshire) Regiment having previously served in the Sherwood Foresters Regiment. He was a Farm Day Boy and lived with his father, Charles Gregory Jackson and mother, Frances Fanny Jackson at Mill Cottages, Hazel Grove, Edwinstowe. His father, Charles, was a Carter for the Estate. He had two younger brothers, Lawrence and Horace and two younger sisters Fanny and Doris, all born in Edwinstowe. He died on 12th April 1918. He is buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, West-Vlandeeren, Belgium

Private Bernard Rodgers, of the Gordon Highlanders died on the way to the coast of India on the 11th September 1914. His regiment was en route for the front. He was the son of Charles and Alice Ann Rodgers of High Street. His brother was Sydney see below.

Private Sydney Rodgers,  enlisted on 15th June 1915 with the Battn, Lincolnshire Regiment aged 19 years. He was the son of Charles and Alice Ann Rodgers of High Street. He was a farm labourer and was born in Sheffield. He trained at Grimsby and was drafted to France at the end of November.  He died 25th February 1916 aged 20 when he was shot in the trenches by a sniper . He was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Rodgers of High Street Edwinstowe, Bernard above was his older brother.

Private George Gilpin Taylor, of the 9th Sherwood Foresters, died from dysentery, at the Dardanelles, 12th August 1915. His wife Mrs Taylor, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Heavill of Edwinstowe. G.G. Taylor is commemorated on Warsop with Sookholme memorial *

Private William Horace Allcock (also known as HW) was born in Clipstone. He was the son of John and Eliza Allcock of Clipstone. He had a brother called John Frederick and sisters called Mary Anne Edith and Elizabeth Agnes.  2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment also on Thiepval Memorial, Somme.  He died 4.3.1917 at the Somme.

Private Frederick Cecil Thomson, of the 2nd/8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters  was killed on 27th April 1917 aged 22. Thomson was born in Edwinstowe and was the son of Thomas Jervis and Ada Thomson of Hazel Grove House. His father was a house painter as was his brother Sereack Cecil. He also had a sister Alice Culler.  His death is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.

Private William Henry Little, of the 26th Royal Fusiliers (City of London) Regiment. He was  son of William Henry and Gertrude Little of London.  His wife was Florence May (née Lowe) of  Belper Derbyshire. grocer at Edwinstowe Co-op. He d3.8.1917 aged 30. His name is also entered at Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

John George Hill Roberts was a telegraphist on HM Submarine H10, Royal Navy. He volunteered on 14.5.15. He sailed on the HMS Alecto which was lost at sea. He died on or about the 14.1.1918 aged 19. Before his call up he was an apprentice carpenter on the Welbeck estate. He was the son of John W. (forester woods foreman) and Sarah Grace Roberts, of Clipstone Archway, Edwinstowe. He married Sarah Grace Skepper (or Skipper) in Horncaslte, in 1895. In 1911, they were also living in Archway House.  He had an elder sister Grace M, and a younger sister Kathleen M.

Private Samuel Steeples of the 14th (King’s) Hussars. He Died on 16.1.1918 aged 27. He is buried in the Tehran War Cemetery, Iran. Also known as JS and SG Steeples. He lived in Edwinstowe.

Private Charles Henry Wilson of the 2nd/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters Regiment. Charles died on 21st March 1918 aged 25. He is named on the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. He was born in South Collingham, the son of Henry and Sarah Elizabeth Wilson of Clumber Gates, Carburton, and worked as an Estate Garden Labourer. He had 2 younger sisters Alice Elizabeth and Florence May.

Clarence Jenkinson Belfield, son of John & Mary Ellen Belfield. A brother Horace Edgar Belfield. In 1911, they farmed at Clipstone. Mrs. Belfield later moved to the Dog and Duck public house in Clipstone. He was a rifleman in 21st Bn King’s Royal Rifle Corps. He name is also on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. He died 17 .9.1916.

Able Seaman Clarence Wardale, born 17.12.1887. He was the son of William and Annie Wardale of Rufford Road. He had 11 brothers and sisters. He was a farm worker before he joined the Royal Navy as an Able Seaman in 4.12.1906, serving in 1911 aboard HMS Albemarle. He went down on H.M.S. Good Hope in the Battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile 1.11.14 aged 26. See 4 brothers below Further information

His name is also on Portsmouth Naval Memorial Hampshire.

Ernest Wardale of the Sherwood Foresters) served in Punjab and South African War, Edward Wardale with North Sea fleet, Bernard Wardale and Harold Wardale with Kitchener’s Army.

Gunner William S. Wilkinson was husband to Eveline Gertrude Wilkinson of High Street, Edwinstowe. He died of bronchial pneumonia in Salonica, on the 2nd January 1919. Wilkinson enlisted Royal Garrison Artillery on the 16th June 1916, and went through his training at Woolwich, in Ireland, and at Yarmouth. Prior to his enlistment, Gunner Wilkinson, who hails from Houswell, occupied the position as rural Postman 144 of the Clipstone district, a position he had occupied for the past 17 years. The deceased soldier had seen over two years’ fighting in the East without being wounded, and it is extremely distressing for those at home to lose their dear ones after the fighting has finished. The deceased was held in the highest esteem through the parish, and universal regret was extended to his wife when the sad news was received. Deceased, who leaves wife and three children to mourn his loss, was greatly respected by his officers and comrades alike, as the following letters of sympathy testify:                                                                                                     Mansfield Reporter 19.9.1919

Retford Times, 2nd November 1916 reported below;

“In grateful memory of those men from this parish who gave their lives in the Great War.”

Cooper, G. Gratton, J. Knight, * G. Robinson, F. Watkinson. H. Widdowson.

Unaccountably, the name of Private E.G. Mendham, Machine Gun Corps, who died on 12.2.1919, aged 24, is missing. He is commemorated in Edwinstowe churchyard by a gravestone, with a carved crown and crossed rifles. He was born in Budby, the son of Albert and Adah Mendham.

* Private John Knight of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, the only child of John and Jane Knight of Budby, died, aged 21, as a prisoner of war in Germany and was interred in Berlin Southwestern Cemetery.          

D.W.  – Acorn Magazine Article

reported in The Parish magazine October 1915 The following men have recently been wounded:-   E. Estrop. W. Fletcher, G. Hill, G. F. Hutton, R. Reavill.

Mansfield Reporter October 9th 1914    A Patriotic Family

The proud distinction of sending five sons to serve their country in its present need belongs to Mr. and Mrs. William Wardale.

Whilst two of their sons Edward and Clarence are already serving with the fleet in the North Sea, three other sons Ernest, Bernard and Harold are with Lord Kitchener’s army. Mr. Wardale himself, who is 74 years of age, is also an old soldier, having served in his younger days with the 1st Battalion of the 14th Bucks and Hants regiment for over six years; four years being in the West Indies.

Regulars and reservists:

Major H. J. Tilney (14th Hussars),  Bernard Rodgers (Gordon Highlanders),  Percy Robinson (Royal Field Artillery),  Chas Hope Carton (Royal Army Medical Corps),  Edward and Clarence Wardale (Navy),  Herbert Robinson, Ernest Greaves (Navy),  Joseph Victor Bell (Life Guards),  Joe Else (5th Lancers),  Harry Deakin (Grenadier Guards),  Albert Herbert Freeman, George Thompson (Royal Engineers),  George Frederick Jebb (Royal Marines),  Samuel Steeples. Tom Barker, George Priest (Notts and Derbys),  George Ernest Clarke,  Albert Thompson (Kings Own Yorks Light Infantry),  Fred Doley, Frank Hall (Lincs Regiment),  Edward Savage (Royal Army Veterinary Corps),  George Stevenson, K Flintoff


 Reuben Morley, Fred and Herbert Morley, Fred and Harry Rabbitt,  Ernest, Bernard and  Harold Wardale ,  William Noel Wright,  Arthur and Sydney Pinder,  Fred Parsons,  Arthur Parnell,  Arthur Reedman,  William Fletcher,  George Hutton,  Tom and Albert Charles Jackson,  Ernest Meakin,  Percy Reavill,  Walter Raymond Dixey,  Arthur Antcliffe,  John James Stokes,  William Pattison Bell,  Percy Bowskill,  George William Bennett,  Fred Barker,  James Lyley,  Alexander Talbot,  Arthur Walker,  Ernest Estrop,  Robert Birdsal,  John H Marlow,  John Pottinger,  George Hill,  Edward Alfred Harvey,  B. Hunt,  Matthew Grass.

The Choristers who sang before King Edward V111 – Rufford Abbey, September 18th 1907

Before WW1 and showing some of the men of Edwinstowe Parish in Peace Time.

Back Row:  F. Schamach, W Rabbitt, H. Lees, A. Rabbitt, F. Rabbitt

Front Row:  J. Kitchen, S. Parsons, W. Lees, G. Gutteridge, F. Levick (Organist), E. Gouk, T. Musgrove, W. G. Moore, H. Rabbitt