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  • This photograph of John Harwood Fletcher was first published in the 'Retfordian' magazine following his death.
Person Details
Heanor, Derbyshire
He was born in 1887 the son of John Keyworth a lace manufacturer and Mary Ellen Fletcher. They had four children and lived at Parkfield House, Heanor. In 1901 he was boarding at at King Edward VI Grammar School Retford. In 1911, the family was still living at Parkfield House, although John was listed as being a warehouseman, apparently working for his father in the lace trade. The entry is struck through and marked 'away'. John married Alice Maud Fisher on 20th February 1912 at All Saints church, Sawley, Derbyshire. Probate Nottingham 8/3/1918; probate awarded to his widow (effects £96/9s/11d)
01 Jul 1916
29
752297 - CWGC Website
Second Lieutenant
1/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
John had served in the Sherwood Foresters before the war and was gazetted on 12th December 1905: '1st Nottinghamshire (Robin Hood) Volunteer Rifle Corps; John Harwood Cash Fletcher, Gent., to be Second Lieutenant.' Dated 13th December, 1905. He left the army when he got married. He rejoined and went out to France in May 1916. He took part in the battle of Gommercourt on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, and was killed in action. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial. The 7th Sherwood Foresters took part in the 'Diversionary Attack' near Gommecourt on July 1st 1916. As with all of the attacking battalions the men of the 7th Sherwoods became seriously confused in the thick smoke and parties veered off to left and right, some entering the Z where they were quickly hunted down and killed by the men of the 91st RIR. Some men led by the bombing officer, 2nd Lt Burton, reached nearly as far as the German third line but the officer was fatally wounded and his small party was forced to withdraw where they met others desperately trying to defend a few traverses in the German front line. Bombed from either side and with their officers either dead or wounded the men were forced out.
The following article is taken from the 'In memoriam' section of the 'Retfordian' magazine which was an in house publication of the King Edward VI Grammar School, Retford :- Lieut Harwood Fletcher, who was an officer in the Robin Hoods for some years before the war, but had resigned on his marriage, re-joined his regiment and went out to France in May 1915. He saw a good deal of service, but on July 1st 1916, was posted as missing after operations in front of Gommecourt, where he was seen in the German second line, wounded. No further traces of the gallant officer could be found, to the intense grief of his mother, his widow, and two little children. News of his death was published on 8th July 1916 in the Nottingham Daily Express :- “Mr. J. K. Fletcher, of Arboretum-street, Nottingham, has received a telegram from the War Office announcing that his son, Second-Lieutenant J. Harwood C. Fletcher, of the Sherwood Foresters, had been reported missing, and believed killed. Lieutenant Fletcher, who is in his 30 year, and married, was in business with an uncle at Mansfield prior to the outbreak of war, and having formerly held a commission, volunteered for service about six months' ago, and had only been on active service for five weeks.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Remembered on

Photos

  • This photograph of John Harwood Fletcher was first published in the 'Retfordian' magazine following his death.
    John Harwood Cash Fletcher - This photograph of John Harwood Fletcher was first published in the 'Retfordian' magazine following his death.