Soldiers who Survived
Rank / Number
Date of Birth
Army Service Corps
Army Service Corp / TH/245878 - 997B
Herbert was born in March 1885 in Bacup, Derbyshire. On leaving school at 12 he was apprenticed to a boot and shoe maker.
When he had completed his apprenticeship he became a Journeyman and later a Master Boot and Shoe Maker and opened his own shop and repair facility. He married Edna Jane Rivett on 2nd July 1907. They were both 22 years old.
Herbert and Edna had one son born in 1912, John.
Herbert was already in the T.A. when he enlisted in the Army Service Corps 20th January 1915. The Corps were responsible for supplies to the trenches at the front. An enormous number of horses were required and with his experience of leatherwork and stitching he became a saddler (Corporal) in charge of a company who worked to repair harnesses and saddles and move horses and wagons about.
On joining the Army, he was 5ft 7inches, with fair complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair.
He was in England from January 1915 to 27th February 1917. He then went to France until 23rd July 1917. While in France working with the horses at the battlefront he was threatened with mustard gas which remains low and in hollows. They were instructed to move to higher ground because there were not enough gas masks for men or horses and as they manoeuvred the horses, the wind veered and they were caught in the cloud.
He was repatriated back to England on 24th July 1917 and remained at home until 27th September 1917 when he was discharged as no longer fit for war service.
Herbert served with the Colours in the Army Service Corps for 2 years 251 days including 146 days in France. It was said of him "A very good soldier - willing and hard-working. Thoroughly honest, sober, trustworthy and well.... An efficient and capable.. CO"
Herbert returned to Bacup to try to resume his shoe-making business. When he was out in cold winter weather trying to collect money owed to him, he contracted "flu". He died on 1st December 1918 aged 33 at 15 Flag Street, Bacup leaving a widow and 3-year-old son. His widow could not run the business and had a small child to bring up, so she resumed her previous trade as a weaver and worked in the cotton industry.
Acknowledgement: Brenda Smith, grand-daughter and Rainhill resident.