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The Battle of the Hohenzollern Redoubt: 13th October 1915

The unveiling and Dedication Service of the 46th (North Midland) Division (TF) Memorial. Friday 13 October 2006.

This memorial is a dedication to all who served and fell in the Hohenzollern Redoubt battle on the 13th October 1915. The whole of division comprised of Territorial Regiments, comprising of units from Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire, North Staffordshire and Monmouthshire, supported by Royal Field Artillery and Royal Engineers.

The dedication service took place just before the time the first wave went over the top. The last post was sounded after a whistle had been blown at the exact time they went over.

It was the division's first major action after its arrival on the Western Front but it was a gallant failure. The casualties incurred that afternoon changed forever the fine pre-war territorial character of the division.

The battle took place on the last afternoon of the battle of Loos, some 12 miles to the north, their objective was for "The Hump" an old mine slag heap which controlled the high ground, housing observation posts, machine guns etc.

The battle started with the usual artillery barrage early morning, after a lengthy pause, it was followed later with a gas attack, this proved to be ineffective, once again the high command demanded another pause before the troops went over the top. This gave the Germans the opportunity to occupy their positions ready for the expected attack.

The trench lines were only 200 yards apart, the Germans had a small bulge in their line which gave them a clear field of fire down no mans land, this had been fortified with machine guns.

Click here for a map of the battlefield

The 1/4th and 1/5th Lincolnshire Regiments were the first to go over the top, they were wiped out in less then half an hour. Of those killed 90% of the 1/4th Lincolns and 97% of the 1/5th Lincolns have no known graves. It is interesting to note that the percentage of casualties were higher than in the battle of the "Somme".

Click here for detailed casualty figures

Records show that as these were regiments whose recruits were from the same towns and villages many brothers, fathers and sons, uncles and cousins all died together.

(You can click on any picture to see a larger version.)

The cemetery on the site for the fallen has no Lincolns, only 24 have known graves they are scattered over an area of up to 20 miles away. The Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire's were one of the last to go over the top, winning a VC and MM. The MM won by a Sergeant Davis, who when commissioned later on in the war, had it converted to a MC.


Pte Hibbs of the 4th Battalion, The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, was awarded the D.C.M. (Distinguished Conduct Medal) for his actions during the Battle of the Hohenzollern Redoubt in 1915. To mark this event, his old workmates at Rustons Engineering Works in Lincoln, Presented him with a citation, together with "a purse of gold" and a book with all signatures of contributors.


The Information and pictures of Pte Hibbs Citation were provided by Mr John Hudson.

Despite all efforts, the battle was a complete failure, not a yard won, with the "The Hump" remained in German hands until the end of the war.

The Memorial has been made with Portland Stone, all angles being cut at 46�. A Regimental plaque, made from bronze, for each unit involved, has been fitted on every segment. The Lincolns having pride of place being the senior regiment involved. It has been placed pointing in the direction of the cemetery where the bulk of those who have a known grave lie.

Without the dedication and contributions made by those mentioned below this memorial would never had come about, many giving there time and effort had not been members of the regiment, giving there time out of respect to those who fell. We wish to express our thanks publicly to all involved.

The Lincolnshire Friends of the Hohenzollern Redoubt: Kenneth Aley, Keith Brimson, John Cooper, Jonathan Copek, Michael Credland, William Hulme OBE, Lyndon Jenkins, John Kitchen, Aiwyn Killingsworth, Kevin Martin, Peter Syrat.

  • Donations:
  • Michel Dedourge and family
  • Jean Luc Gloriant and family
  • Lincolnshire Co-operative Limited gave a generous donation of �5000
  •  
  • Service of dedication:
  • Ursula Lidbetter, Alien Home, Sorren Ashmore, David Demley, Bob Doe, Jane Powell, Gary Danes (all Co-op Head Office) and John Tinker, Dale Bavin, Lee Wilson from the Masons Department
  •  
  • Her Majesty's Consul General, Tim Jones
  • Revd. Canon Ray Jones of St. George's Memorial Church, Ypres
  • Capt. D J Lee BEM
  • Richard Lane
  • Auchy Le Mines School
  • Middlefield School of Technology, Gainsborough
  • Mike Hodgson
  • Tess Wilkins
  • Tom Brophy
  • Taff Gillingham
  •  
  • The Association for Military Remembrance - The Khaki Chums
  • Barham Stone Ltd.
  • Taylors, Eyre and Smith Ltd.
  • John Roberts Architects
  • Lincoln Waggoner's Rest - Keith Reams
  • First Steps Vocational Training Centre - Gary and Karen Futter, Richard Feakins
  • Students: Christina Everton, Ellen Markham

THE MEMORIAL DESIGN & CONCEPT

Instigated in June 2004 by the Lincolnshire Friends of the Hohenzollem Redoubt, the Memorial was designed by Michael Credland and takes the form of an octagonal broken column 46 inches high. It is constructed of Portland stone with two tiers of steps forming the base. 6 inches overall width. These dimensions are entirely symbolic, in that the 46th (North Midland) division (TF) was the sole British Army division involved in the attack on the Redoubt on Wednesday 13th of October l915.

On private memorials a broken column signifies the loss of the head of the family, but in this instance it represents the loss of an army column. The angle of cut off at the top of the column, again figurative, is 46 degrees. The pitch line of the steps is also 46 degrees.

The land for the Memorial that was generously gifted by the local farmer, Monsieur Michel Dedourge, measures 46 square metres.

The main sponsors of the project, Lincolnshire Co-operative Limited, carried out the construction of the memorial employing their own monumental masons. Each facet of the octagon carries a bronze plaque giving details of the British Regiments and Corps Involved together with representative cap badges. The battlefield map, also cast in gunmetal and fixed to the top of the column, has bilingual Inscriptions outlining the attack, researched by Lyndon Jenkins, and an evocative and poignant couplet penned by Kevin Martin. The plaques have been manufactured by Taylors, Eyre & Smith Limited of Loughborough, Leicestershire, who cast countless memorial bells and plaques in churches throughout Great Britain after the Great War, in honour of the fallen.

The Inscription "THEIR COUNTRY FOUND THEM READY", which is carved on the top step of the Memorial, was chosen by Martin Middlebrook. It comes from the popular war-time song "Keep the home fires burning" composed by Ivor Novello In 1915.

The design of the Memorial has been acclaimed by numerous organisations and individuals as being a fitting and dignified tribute to the fallen and equally applauded for the sensitive choice of materials which complement the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's memorials and cemeteries throughout the Western Front.

  • Project Designer Michael Credland of Martin
  •  
  • Lincolnshire Military Research - Martin Middlebrook, Lyndon Jenkins and Kevin Martin of Boston, Lincolnshire
  •  
  • Sculptures and Builders Lincolnshire
  • Co-operative Limited of Lincoln
  • Barham Stone Limited of Market Harborough
  •  
  • Manufacturer of Plaques
  • Taylors, Eyre & Smith Limited of Loughborough

The Hohenzollem Redoubt Memorial at Auchy-les-Mines, France

The memorial dedicated to the 46th Division has been set so that the apex faces the Redoubt and set so that a visitor can walk some 200 yards to the cemetery where most of the fallen who have known graves are buried.

It is intended to plant flowers and a hedge around the memorial. Two bench seats taken away by Lincoln City Council dedicated to the 1/4th and 1/5th Lincolns will, on completion of the memorial, be placed in the garden.


The residents of Auchy-les-Mines made us all welcome, providing a Champagne reception after the dedication and have kindly undertaken to maintain the memorial on behalf of the friends of Hohenzollern Redoubt. On behalf of the Association, our grateful thanks.

After the dedication a squad of soldiers marched down from the redoubt in WW1 uniforms, wearing the insignia of each regiment involved, giving all present a rendering of war time songs.

The above article and photographs were first published in the Newsletter of the Stamford Branch of the Royal Lincolnshire and Royal Anglian Association. Thanks to the editor - Keith Harris - for giving us permission to reproduce them here.

11th November 2006 at the new 46th (North Midland) Division Memorial at the Hohenzollern Redoubt, Loos, just after Wally Hibbard, Mick Reams, Ken Johnson (his father was a Lincoln) and Terry Marker (who took the photograph) had a short ceremony at the Memorial at 11 o'clock.