Huthwaite War Memorial Project


Huthwaite War Memorial

Robert William Edward Johnson

Corporal 3944 - Sherwood Foresters
Notts Derby Regiment 5th Battalion

Killed in Action Flanders 24th August 1916 : Aged 19

Bellacourt Military Cemetery, Riviere - I C 2

Born in Hucknall Huthwaite c1897; a son of Robert William and Mrs Harriett Johnson can now be more fully named as R.W.E. Johnson. Robert junior enlisted at Alfreton, reflecting where his parents then held Derbyshire addressing of 19 Nuttall Street. This young Corporal has since been found also listed upon that towns memorial, all giving likely reason for not discovering mention in our own Notts Free Press.

War records can now confirm how 3944 Corporal Robert William Edward Johnson died aged 19 from a fatal head wound, while also even detailing the circumstances from diary Operation Orders 77 - WO-95-2692-6, researched and published under the linked referenced title "Derbyshire Territorials in the Great War"
Certified death
Mapped patrol points lay between two areas named The Talus and The Blockhouse.
24th 7am: A patrol of 5th Sherwood Foresters found wire laid on the river bed under The Blockhouse intact.
7.30pm: A Party under Lieut Sandover left our front line near the top of Willows and reached the enemy's wire under the Blockhouse forty minutes later.
8.30pm: Lieut Smalley with 8 men and a Lewis Gun B Party left our trenches and took up their position in the Ravine to support the first party.   Lieutenant Sandover hearing a party working to his right front endeavoured to find a gap in the German wire between the Ravine and the Blockhouse.   After passing through two rows of wire he and Sgt Loomes were cutting through a third row when challenged by the enemy's sentry 15 yards from them who threw four hand grenades.   Finding it was impossible to surprise the enemy's post, Lieut. Sandover ordered his party to withdraw.   In the meantime Rifle and Machine Gun fire had been opened from the German trench and Cpl Johnson was hit in the head.   Lieutenant Sanderson dragged the Corporal through the wire with the assistance of Pte Marriott who had returned to help him, and the whole party gained the cover of the river bed without further casualties.

Additional Referencing and Links

Written 23 Jul 06 Revised 29 Aug 15 © by Gary Elliott