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Person Details
He was the son of John and Edith Russell, of 328, Mansfield Road, Carrington, Nottingham. His effects of £200 5/2d were left to his mother Edith Russell (Probate Nottingham, 18/7/1917).
01 Jul 1916
20
810614 - CWGC Website
Lieutenant
11th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Lieutenant Edward Russell enlisted at the outbreak of war into the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps. He was gazetted into the Sherwood Foresters Regiment in November 1914 as Second Lieutenant, promoted Lieutenant August 1915. He was reported missing on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. 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, custodian of the Sherwood Foresters archives, 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 Thiepval Memorial
War obituary, All Saints Church News, August 1917: 'Edward Russell, 328 Mansfield Road, Lieutenant Sherwood Foresters, aged 20. Educated at Trent College, after training in the Inns of Court OTC he obtained his commission early in the war. Reported wounded and missing 1st July 1916 now officially presumed killed. Son of Mrs Russell and the late Mr J Russell MA. Baptized, confirmed and communicant at All Saints.' Article published 21st July 1916 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “WOUNDED. “LIEUT. E. RUSSELL. “Lieut. Edward Russell, who was included in the list of wounded in yesterday’s Post, is the son of the late Mr. John Russell, M.A., the president of the Bromley House Library. He joined the Inns of Court O.T.C. at the outbreak of the war, and was gazetted to the Sherwood Foresters in November, 1914. Promoted lieutenant in August last year he has been out in France for about twelve months.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
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