The 10th Sherwood Foresters was formed in Derby on 13th September 1914 and allocated to 51st Brigade, 17th (Northern) Division in Kitchener’s Second New Army; it remained in that brigade and division for the whole of the war. Training in England took place in Lulworth and Wool, and in May 1915 the division moved to the Winchester area for final intensive training. In mid July 1915 the division left for France, 10th Foresters crossing on night 14th/15th. For the remainder of the war the division served on the Western Front. The author crossed to France with the battalion (‘B’ Coy) but, as he explains in his epilogue, he was only with it to March 1916 and thereafter he was with HQ 51st Brigade with brief stretches at divisional HQ and 50th Brigade, close enough to keep contact with his old battalion.
Unusually, this history opens with the nominal roll of officers who went to France with the battalion in July 1915, followed by the list of honours and awards, then the narrative begins. The battalion first saw action in the Ypres salient in the trenches at Sanctuary Wood and then at the Bluff. It later moved down to the Somme where it was involved in the battle for Fricourt and Delville Wood; in the first eleven days of the Somme offensive the battalion suffered 381 casualties, 15 of them officers. It remained on the Somme front till the New Year and then the division was transferred to the Arras sector for the Spring offensive, fighting in both battles of the Scarpe. The battalion was in action during Third Ypres at both battles of Passchendaele and during the German last fling in March 1918. The battalion’s final battle was fought at the Foret de Mormal on 4th November in the advance to the Sambre. This is a straightforward, factual history, recording the battalion’s moves in and out of the front line and describing the fighting in which it was involved and naming officer casualties, rather than an account embroidered with various personal memories and anecdotes. It is presented just as the author wrote it (when he wrote it is not made clear) without any editorial comment, but it is a welcome addition to the pool of unit histories that make up a vital part of the literature of the Great War.
10TH (S) BN THE SHERWOOD FORESTERS. THE HISTORY OF THE BATTALION DURING THE WAR
The record of a Kitchener battalion that fought on the Western Front with 17th (Northern) Division from July 1915 to the armistice. Contains list of Honours and Awards and list of battalion officers who embarked for France with the battalion.