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The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
Including historical descriptions, maps and statistical analysis.

World War One

Cecil Roberts

KILLED IN ACTION - 23RD MARCH 1918 - AGED 30


 

 

BORN IN CLOPHILL IN 1890.

PRIVATE 41465. 10TH BATTALION ESSEX REGIMENT. (FORMERLY 27132. NORTHANTS REGIMENT)

ENLISTED AND RESIDED BEDFORD

COMMEMORATED IN POZIERS MEMORIAL, SOMME, FRANCE.

In 1911 Cecil lived with his wife Hannah (nee Stanford) who was also from Clophill and 2 of their children. By the time of his death he had had at least 5 children, Gladys, Lionel, William, Beatrice & Fredrick. He worked as a farm labourer and lived in Back street.

His parents were Caleb and Sarah. Caleb was an agricultural labourer and had lived with his family in Back Street until his death in 1898. Sarah was living at 2 Mill Lane with 2 of Cecil's brothers in 1911, in 1901 they had lived at 4 Bedford Cottages, Jacques Lane. She had had 13 children.


Cecil joined the Bedfordshire Territorial Force in 1914. He was transferred to the Northants & then the 10th Essex regiment (53rd Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division) which landed at Boulogne in July 1915. In 1916 they were in action on The Somme in The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Thiepval Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre Heights and The Battle of the Ancre.

In 1917 they took part in the Operations on the Ancre, they fought during The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and in The Third Battle of the Scarpe before moving to Flanders. They were in action in The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck and The First and Second Battle of Passchendaele.

In March 1918 they saw action during The Battle of St Quentin which was the scene of 3 days intense fighting following a colossal German attack launched on the 21st. By the evening of the 22nd the Germans had breached the Reserve line so on the 23rd all available troops were called into action but were unable to stop the German infantry from making a nearly 40 mile breach in the British line.