BAMBER BRIDGE IN WORLD WAR 1
680798 PTE. W. GREEN. R.F.A.
Wilfred Green was born in 1886 in Bamber Bridge. His father was John Green (b. 1860 in Walton Le Dale), a cotton weaver. His mother was Jane Lynch (b. 1855 in Walton Le Dale). John and Jane were married in 1878 and they had five children, four of whom survived: Elizabeth (b. 1880), Peter (b. 1884), then Wilfred and finally Mary (b. 1891). In 1911, the family was living at 163 Station Road, Bamber Bridge. Wilfred was a cotton weaver like his father and siblings. The following year, he married Margaret Alice Cutler (b. 1887 in Longridge) and they set up home at 90 Station Road.
The newspaper article says he enlisted in the early days of the War and from is service number we can infer that he enlisted with the other Briggers in the Royal Field Artillery in May 1915. However, he was posted to a different Brigade from the others, going to “A” Battery of 121 Brigade, which was part of Divisional Artillery for 38th (Welsh) Division. 38th Division, notoriously, suffered very heavy casualties as it assaulted and cleared Mametz Wood during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. It was withdrawn and did not see any further action for over a year. So one possibility is that Wilfred was posted to the Brigade as a reinforcement perhaps joining them in 1917. In 1917, 38th Division then fought at Pilkem and Langemark in the opening phase of the Third Battle of Ypres.
In 1918, 38th Division was engaged in the first phase of the German Spring Offensive, but they played a more significant role once the final advance began in August, though they were not involved in the initial attack. When the Final Push began on 8 August, the Brigade was at Senlis and then moved to Bouzincourt as the Germans retreated. On 21 August, they supported 21st Division as they proceeded up the Ancre valley towards Miraumont and then crossed the river opposite Beaucourt. On 24 August, they were in the area around Authuille where they advanced, encountering little opposition, and taking between 1000 and 2000 prisoners, capturing three field guns and numerous machine guns. On 26 and 27 August they progressed to Bazentin and Longueval, taking Ginchy on 29 August. The advance was halted near Morval on 30 August and the Brigade dug in to begin bombarding the German lines. In early September the Division made daily advances, from Morval towards Mesnil-en-Arrouaise, taking first Sailly-Saillisel, then Rocquigny, Léchelle, Ytres and Fins, where they arrived on 8 September. From the beginning of the month, they had advanced more than 20kms. They made a further attack on German trenches north of Fins on 9 September and it was here that Wilfred was killed. He was 32 years old. This action was all part of the general advance towards Cambrai which would fall on 10 October.
Service Number: 680798
Date of Death: 09/09/1918
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, "A" Bty. 121st Bde.
Cemetery/memorial reference: VIII. E. 29.
Cemetery: FINS NEW BRITISH CEMETERY, SOREL-LE-GRAND
Additional Information: Husband of Margaret A. Green,
of 4 Brownedge Lane, Bamber Bridge, Preston, Lancs.