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  • This photo was first published in the Lincolnshire Chronicle dated 5th August 1916 
following the death of David Hopkinson 
Courtesy of Alan Riches
Person Details
He was the son of Henry and Elizabeth Hopkinson of North Scarle, Lincoln and the husband of Catherine Emma Hopkinson of 17,Cromford Road,West Bridgford, Nottingham.
01 Jul 1916
26
793306 - CWGC Website
18896
Lance Corporal
11th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
David Hopkinson enlisted at Nottingham in November 1914 and served in "A" Company 11th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derbys) Regiment. He went to France in September 1915 . He was killed on the first day of the Somme. Battalions attacking Ovillers on 1st July 1916 had to cross 'Mash Valley' one of the widest expanses of No Man's Land (750 yards) along the entire Somme front. Today, looking from Ovillers Cemetery (German front line) towards distant houses (British front line) across open fields offering little cover, the magnitude of their task is still evident. 11th Battalion Sherwood Foresters' War Diary recorded: 'Casualties along the whole line were very heavy and a general attempt was made to crawl forward under intense machine gun and shrapnel fire, any available cover being made use of.... Lt Colonel Watson, walking diagonally across the front collecting men as he went gave fresh impetus to the advance by his personal example... A third attempt, led by Captain C E Hudson*, to reach the German trenches by the sunken road on the right flank was made but... was brought to a standstill by heavy frontal and flank fire as they came over the brow of the hill in the last 80 yards. The casualties sustained by the battalion during the day amounted to 21 officers and 508 men. The strength of the battalion on entering the trenches on 26th June was 27 officers and 710 men.' 11th Bn Sherwood Foresters War Diary TNA WO95/21871(3). 125 men from 11th Battalion Sherwood Foresters were killed during the attack on Ovillers (CWGC Debt of Honour Register). *John Cotterill adds 'The man who brought the 11th Foresters out of action on 1 July and, one of the 6 unwounded officers, was Capt Edward Hudson who would go on to get a VC as CO of 11th Foresters on Asiago Plateau in Italy in 1918'. 2nd Battalion Middlesex Regiment suffered 264 fatalities during the same advance. Concerns of their CO Lieutenant Colonel Edward Thomas Falkiner Sandys DSO, a brave and well respected officer, that his battalion would be badly mauled crossing such an expanse of open ground with uncut wire an added hazard, did not impress his superiors. Sandys was wounded during the attack and evacuated to the UK. Depressed at the fate of so many men who had trusted him, Sandys shot himself in a London hotel room and died a few days later. 8th Division's Official History records a total of 5,121 casualties on 1st July 1916. Military Research by David Nunn Thieval Memorial Pier and Face 10C 10D and 11A.
Lance Corporal David Hopkinson Lincolnshire Chronicle 5th August 1916 North Scarle Wounded and missing - Since the beginning of July constant inquiries have been made, but as yet nothing definite has been found out as to the whereabouts of Lance Corp David Hopkinson No 18896 ' B' Company 11tth batt, Sherwood Foresters, who enlisted at Nottingham in November 1914, and went to France in September 1915. The first intimation received about him was from a comrade, who said that David was wounded, but could not say any more about him. Enquiries at the War Office and Lichfield failed to enlist any satisfactory news and finally a letter was sent to his commanding officer. To which the following reply has been received - 'B' Company 11th Sherwood Foresters, B.E.F. France, July 23rd 1916. Dear Sir - " I have made enquiries about your son, and find that he was in the attack about three weeks ago. I am very sorry to say he has been missing since then, only a few of our men were taken prisoner and I am afraid we cannot hold out much hope, he was a valuable N.C.O and is greatly missed by his company." Yours faithfully G.S. Unwin Second Lieutenant. Lance Corporal Hopkinson is the second son of Mr and Mrs Henry Hopkinson, farmer and a native of this parish, being a wheelwright by profession, serving his apprenticeship in the village before removing to Nottingham where he enlisted. He was possessed of a very kindly and genial disposition hence the many kind and interested enquiries about him, clearly showing genuine anxiety for his welfare. Lance Corp Hopkinson was married just prior to leaving for France , his wife residing at the marital home in West Bridgford, Nottingham,
Remembered on

Photos

  • This photo was first published in the Lincolnshire Chronicle dated 5th August 1916 
following the death of David Hopkinson 
Courtesy of Alan Riches
    David Hopkinson - This photo was first published in the Lincolnshire Chronicle dated 5th August 1916 following the death of David Hopkinson Courtesy of Alan Riches
  • newspaper article from the Lincolnshire Chronicle dated 5th August 1916 see 'extra information' for full text. 
Courtesy of Alan Riches
    David Hopkinson - newspaper article from the Lincolnshire Chronicle dated 5th August 1916 see 'extra information' for full text. Courtesy of Alan Riches
  • Photo published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 15th November 1916, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
    David Hopkinson - Photo published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 15th November 1916, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
  • Photo taken from German machine gun positions (now Ovillers British Military Cemetery) showing the terrain over which 8th Division including 11th Sherwood Foresters (70th Brigade), advanced on 1st July 1916. Houses beyond the distant tree line now stand on the 1st July 1916 British line.
    Photo David Nunn - Photo taken from German machine gun positions (now Ovillers British Military Cemetery) showing the terrain over which 8th Division including 11th Sherwood Foresters (70th Brigade), advanced on 1st July 1916. Houses beyond the distant tree line now stand on the 1st July 1916 British line.