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  • Photograph Nottingham Evening Post courtesy of Jim Grundy, Small Town Great War Hucknall facebook.
Person Details
Grantham Lincolnshire
ALTERNATIVE SPELLING OF SURNAME - OCKLEFORD Harry Lane was born in Grantham in 1883 (birth registered A/M/J Grantham) and evidence suggests that he was the son of Frederick and Mary Ockelford. Harry and his family have proved difficult to trace but a notice of Harry's death in the local paper named a brother, George D [Dieters] Ockleford, and another brother, John Marshall (Jack), was named as his legatee. John has been traced to the 1871 Census when he was living with his parents and two siblings. Also, as will be seen from the family history below, it seems that a number of siblings, including Harry, later made their home in Nottingham with a married sister. If these do comprise the Ockelford family then it seems that there were at least nine children: Sarah (b. 1866), Lucy Mary (b. 1868), John Marshall (b. 1869), Minnie (1872), Frederick William (b. 1874), George Deiter (b. 1880), Rose Eleanor (b. 1882), Harry Lane (b. 1883) and Albert Edward (b. 1890). If the information that is available on various census is correct then it suggests that his parents' first child may have been a daughter, Sarah, born in 1866 and their last child a son, Albert Edward, born in 1890, although the age range of the children could also suggest that their father made a second marriage. One page of Harry's Short Service Attestation of 1902 survives and on this Harry declared that his father was dead although no record of his parents' deaths have yet been traced. However, looking at the records of some of his siblings there is a possibility that their family life had been disrupted by 1901 and perhaps as early as 1891. John Marshall Ockleford (b. 1869 Grantham), was recorded on the 1881 Census, living with his parents Thomas H and Mary E Ockelford (sic) at 73 (?London) Road, Spitalgate, Grantham, Lincolnshire, together with two older siblings, Sarah (4, b. 1866 Grantham) and Lucy Mary (3, b. 1868 Grantham). None of the family has been traced on the 1881 Census but in 1891 John Marshall (21) was a servant/journeyman butcher in the household of George Turner, also a journeyman butcher, at 13 Market Street, London, in the civil parish of St George Hanover Square. In 1901 there is a record of a Harry Ockelford (sic) living with his married sister, Minnie Coverley Ault nee Ockelford (29, b. 1872 Grantham) at 6 Broad Oak Street, St Ann's. Minnie had married William Ault (38 b. 1864 Nottingham) at Nottingham Register Office in 1897; the witnesses were Mrs Ockelford and Rose Ockelford. By 1901 William, a sugar boiler, and Minnie had two children, Sarah Elizabeth (b. 1898 Nottingham) and James (b. 1901 Nottingham). Also in the household on Broad Oak Street were Minnie's siblings, Frederick William Ockelford (26, b. 1874 Grantham) a general labourer, Rose Eleanor (19 b. 1882 Grantham) a blouse hand, Harry (17) and Albert Edward (10, b. 1890 Grantham). Ten years earlier in 1891 Minnie had been a servant in the household of Thomas and Valia Stockwell in Islington, London. By 1911 William and Minnie Ault and their two children had moved to Wales where William was still working as a sugar boiler. In 1911 they were living at 30 Alexandra Road, Swansea, but when William attested in 1914 at the age of 40 they were living at 243 Corporation Road, Newport, Monmouthshire. William served in the South Wales Borderers (3/14992) from 14 October 1914 to 14 January 1916 when he was discharged as unfit for active military service - he had developed chronic rheumatism after sleeping under canvas at Seaford, Sussex, in December 1914. Harry had joined the Army in April 1902 and by 1911 was serving in India with the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters. His brother, George Deiters (Deitiers) Ockelford (b. 1880 Grantham), had married Annie Elvidge (b. 1884 Nottingham) in Nottingham in 1900 and the following year in 1901 they were living at 2 Cradock Street, Loughborough, with their son George Frederick (1 b. 1900 Nottingham, registered as 'Ocklesford'). (George Frederick died on 6 August 1956, 71 Main Road, Wilford, Nottingham, Probate awarded to his married sister, Florence Lilla Richmond and her husband Charlie Richmond.) Ten years later in 1911 George and Annie were living at 28 Ethel Grove, Kings Meadow Road, Meadows, Nottingham. They gave the information on the census that they had had five children all of whom were still living, but only four were in the household on the night of the census; Alice (9), Florence Lilla (6), Annie (5) and Rose Eleanor (2). Also in the house and recorded as boarders were Nellie Elvidge (24 b. Farnsfield) and her two children Thomas Charlie (2 b. Nottingham) and Lilla (4m b. Farnsfield). John Marshall Ockelford who had been a journeyman butcher in London in 1891 was a butcher on his own account by 1911. He had maried Emmeline Mary Minchley (b. Bottsford, Lincolnshire) in 1892 (O/N/D, Grantham) and by 1911 they were living at 56 Burlington Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon, with their three children Thomas Henry (16) a grocer's assistant, Mabel Emmeline (14) and Albert Edward (9). At the time of Harry's death in 1914 his address was Guildhall Cottages, Shakespeare Street, Nottingham. As he was a regular soldier this may have been the home of one of his siblings. John Marshall Ockelford died on 22 December 1939 at the age of 70. Probate was awarded to his widow, Emmeline Mary, of 56 Burlington Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey. Annie Ockelford the wife of George Deiters died on 25 May 1944, although she died in Lancaster her home was at 10 Cross Street, Sandiacre, Derbyshire. Probate was awarded to her husband who was described as a leading boilersmith. George Deiters Ockelford died in 1961 (registered December, Basford) aged 81.
He was a labourer when he enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters in April 1902. In 1911 he was serving with 1st Bn Sherwood Foresters at Gough Barracks, Trimulgherry, Deccan, India.
20 Sep 1914
328579 - CWGC Website
Lance Corporal
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Harry served in the Militia (7th Bn KRR) before joining the Sherwood Foresters on 21 April 1902 on a 12 year engagement (3 years with the Colours and 9 years in the Reserve) when he was 18 years old. He must have extended his engagement as he was still with the regiment in 1911 when he was serving with the 1st Battalion in India. ‘The 2nd Foresters had served in India 1882-1898,’ writes John Cotterill, ‘returning home in 1902 via garrison duty in Aden and Malta. They led a peripatetic life in the UK serving on the Isle of Wight, in Aldershot, in various small garrisons in Ireland, in Plymouth and railway strike breaking in Derby in 1911 before arriving at Hillsborough Barracks in Sheffield in 1912. Here they mobilised 4/8/14 as part of 18 Brigade in 6 Division. As with most home based units they were under strength in peacetime so were composed of 40% reservists on mobilisation. Initially only four divisions were sent over the channel with 4th and 6th Divisions held back on coastal defence duties. As the threat of an early German invasion receded these two remaining divisions were deployed with 2nd Foresters, 930 men strong, arrived in St Nazaire on 11 Sept 1914. By this time the retreat from Mons was over and, indeed, on 12 Sept 1914 the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) began its advance from the River Marne to battle on the River Aisne.’ 2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (71st Bde, 6th Division) mobilised 4/8/1914 and disembarked at St Nazaire on September 11th. Hough was killed during the battalion’s first Great War action in the Aisne valley which the BEF needed to cross before attempting to take the strategically commanding Chemin des Dames high ground. On September 20th, they were in reserve north of Troyon. As other British units fell back, according to John Cotterill, ‘a request for help reached the 2nd Foresters... at 1400.’ first by A and C Coys led by Captains Parkinson and Popham, reinforced by ‘B’ and ‘D’’ Coys with most of the Westphalians fleeing before the Foresters’ bayonets.’ The unit war diary (TNA WO95/1616/3/1) records the dramatic action: ‘the enemy were seen to have taken trenches on the right of the British line on the ridge at the head of the Troyon Valley – the most vital point in the line of defence. The battalion moved out to re-take the trenches. A German column was seen to be marching off prisoners...The advance was met by a very heavy machine gun fire from the front and left flank which caused many casualties, the ground being devoid of cover and very cramped... a general advance was made with great dash and in spite of heavy losses the trenches were re-taken. The battalion then prepared to hold the trenches... This was a most important action as the safety of the British right and the bridge over the R. Aisne at Bourg depended on the maintenance of the trenches. All ranks behaved splendidly.’ The war diary estimated 180 2nd Bn casualties in the action of 20th September 1914. 49 men from the unit, including 24 commemorated on this website, were killed that day (CWGC Debt of Honour Register). 38 of these dead have no known grave and are commemorated on the Le Ferte-sous-Jouarre memorial to the missing and the remaining 11 are divided between cemeteries at Chauny, Sissone and Vendresse. Military Research by David Nunn and John Cotterill Chauny Communal Cemetery British Extension (grave ref. 5.M.16). He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
CWGC and Short Service Attestation - Ockelford Nottingham Evening Post notice (abridged), 11 November 1914: 'Ockleford killed in action 20 September, Harry Lane Ockleford, Lance Corporal of 2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters, age 30, brother of George D Ockleford.' Nottingham Evening Post photograph caption, 12 November 1914: 'Lance Corporal Ockleford, 2nd Sherwood Foresters, Guildhall Cottages, Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, killed in action September 20th.' Given Harry's address, he might have lived in the parish of St Matthew, Wollaton Street, church closed 1954, demolished 1956. Nottinghamshire County and City Memorial: St Matthew – 27 dead. There was a war memorial in St Matthew's church, now missing. Notts Archives PR 14,591: Faculty 13 December 1920, Parish of St Matthew, for placing a war memorial tablet in the church of the above parish. Schedule: To provide a place on the wall of the north transept of the parish church of St Matthew … a war memorial tablet of bronze and Hopton Wood Stone measuring 5 feet by 3 feet and containing the names of those who fell in the War together with an inscription in the words and figures following, that is to say: ‘To the Glory of God and in memory of those who died in the Great War 1914-1918.’ “Their names liveth for evermore.”
Remembered on


  • Photograph Nottingham Evening Post courtesy of Jim Grundy, Small Town Great War Hucknall facebook.
    Harry Lane Ockelford - Photograph Nottingham Evening Post courtesy of Jim Grundy, Small Town Great War Hucknall facebook.