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WW1 Heroes
10 Samuel Fletcher
Private: 10th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment The day of Wednesday the 13th of October 1915 dawned bright and sunny over the Loos battlefield. This was the 19th day of the "Big Push" during which Avening had already lost two of its sons - Charles William Fletcher (Roll of Honour No. 8) and Charles Smith (Roll of Honour No. 9). Samuel Fletcher was in the same battalion (10th Gloucestershire) as Charles William which had been billeted in Cheltenham in November 1914, moved to Salisbury Plain in April 1915 and landed in France on the 8th of August. Sam had survived the first day of the battle and the battalion was withdrawn from the front line and spent up to the early days of October resting and training. At this time, the battalion also suffered a mumps epidemic. They were called for again on the 7th of October although reduced from a full strength of 750 down to 400 men. Initially, they occupied British Support Line trenches. On the 11th, they moved further forward into a battle position and were to attack 1400 yards of enemy positions along the La Bassée-Lens Road, south west of Hulluch. At midnight of the 12th/13th they took up their position in the firing line and spent the morning drawing bombs and making final preparations. There was an initial artillery bombardment, aimed to cut the German wire and a gas attack, starting at 1 pm. The gas was stopped at 1.50 pm, giving the enemy evidence of an imminent attack and the battalion, along with their comrades of the 1st Brigade and 1st Division, went over the top at precisely 2 pm. Because of the prior warning, they immediately met fire of increasing intensity from rifle, small arms and machine guns and then found that only four passages had been cut through the wire. Despite efforts to break through, the attack was halted, by which time the battalion had lost a further 150 men wounded, killed or missing. Sam (aged 26) was one of the latter. He has no known grave but is remembered on the Loos Memorial, tended by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. He was posthumously awarded the British Medal, the Victory Medal and the 1915 Star. He was one of the eight children of Henry Fletcher and his wife Esther (née Glastonbury) being born on Thursday the 17th of January 1889 and was baptised aged 93 days on Saturday the 20th of April in Holy Cross Church, Avening. From the Parish Records we can trace his Fletcher ancestry back a further three generations to William Fletcher, born in the mid-1700s. We have been unable to locate any immediate relatives.
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10 Samuel Fletcher
Private: 10th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment The day of Wednesday the 13th of October 1915 dawned bright and sunny over the Loos battlefield. This was the 19th day of the "Big Push" during which Avening had already lost two of its sons - Charles William Fletcher (Roll of Honour No. 8) and Charles Smith (Roll of Honour No. 9). Samuel Fletcher was in the same battalion (10th Gloucestershire) as Charles William which had been billeted in Cheltenham in November 1914, moved to Salisbury Plain in April 1915 and landed in France on the 8th of August. Sam had survived the first day of the battle and the battalion was withdrawn from the front line and spent up to the early days of October resting and training. At this time, the battalion also suffered a mumps epidemic. They were called for again on the 7th of October although reduced from a full strength of 750 down to 400 men. Initially, they occupied British Support Line trenches. On the 11th, they moved further forward into a battle position and were to attack 1400 yards of enemy positions along the La Bassée-Lens Road, south west of Hulluch. At midnight of the 12th/13th they took up their position in the firing line and spent the morning drawing bombs and making final preparations. There was an initial artillery bombardment, aimed to cut the German wire and a gas attack, starting at 1 pm. The gas was stopped at 1.50 pm, giving the enemy evidence of an imminent attack and the battalion, along with their comrades of the 1st Brigade and 1st Division, went over the top at precisely 2 pm. Because of the prior warning, they immediately met fire of increasing intensity from rifle, small arms and machine guns and then found that only four passages had been cut through the wire. Despite efforts to break through, the attack was halted, by which time the battalion had lost a further 150 men wounded, killed or missing. Sam (aged 26) was one of the latter. He has no known grave but is remembered on the Loos Memorial, tended by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. He was posthumously awarded the British Medal, the Victory Medal and the 1915 Star. He was one of the eight children of Henry Fletcher and his wife Esther (née Glastonbury) being born on Thursday the 17th of January 1889 and was baptised aged 93 days on Saturday the 20th of April in Holy Cross Church, Avening. From the Parish Records we can trace his Fletcher ancestry back a further three generations to William Fletcher, born in the mid-1700s. We have been unable to locate any immediate relatives.
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