235045, Private, Henry CHAMBERS
Aged 23

D Coy, 8th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment
(enlisted as No. 7007, Hertfordshire Regiment)
Died of his Wounds on Sunday 5th August 1917

Born in Newmarket in Q3-1894 [Newmarket 3b:489], to James William and Martha Sarah CHAMBERS (née WEBB) of 61 St Philips Road, Newmarket.

1901 census...Henry [6] was at 61 St Philips Road, Newmarket with his father James William [51], a stableman, born in Essex; his mother Martha Sarah [48] and his sister Sarah [20] and brother James [5], all born in Newmarket.

1911 census... The same family were still at 61 St.Philips Road, Newmarket, the two boys having become bootmakers.

From his cap badge the photograph must have been from his early days in the Army, with the Hertfordshires. The two brother had consecutive regimental numbers in both

the Hertfordshires and the Lincolnshires His entry in "Our Exning Heroes" reads:
He joined up on November 15th, 1915, and went out to France on December 9th, 1916. He was severely wounded on July 31st the following year and died of his wounds on August 5th, at the age of 23.
All his life he had taken the greatest interest in S.Philip's Church, and for several years had been one of its chief supporters. A Memorial Service was held for him on the Sunday evening after he died, when the Vicar preached from the word: "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes" (Rev. vii. 17)
He referred to three special phases of his life in that Church. First, as Cross Bearer, when, on festivals he used to carry the symbol of our Holy Faith. Second, as a Chorister, and at one time, a trainer of the Choir. Strange to say, his voice never broke, and he as able to sing a beautiful treble to the end. But it was specially on his reverent behaviour that the preacher dwelt. Third, as a Sunday School Teacher. "There are not many young men working hard all the week who will practically give up the whole of Sunday to Christian work, but this he did all his young life. It was a pleasure to him to do it. You had only to look at his bright and happy face to see there manifested the life of Jesus."

After a spell in camp at Mount Kemmel, on the first day of the 3rd Battle of Ypres, known as Passchendaele, the 8th Lincolns were in the attack on Rifle Farm (just south of Hollebeke) on 31st July. They lost 7 officers and 170 other ranks (56 killed) in that operation before being relieved on 1st August by the 13th Rifle Brigade. They spent that night at Kemmel Hill before moving on 2nd to the reserve area near Bailleul.
The day was not only the start of an horrific battle, it was made worse by 22 m/m of rain falling on land already soaked by a very wet summer indeed. The 4th Middlesex and one company of 8th Lincolns advanced at Zero Hour to the line July Farm-Rifle Farm. At 7.50am the second phase began with the Lincolns advancing alongside 8th Somerset Light Infantry to the western edge of Beek Farm where the Somersetís A Coy dug in while two platoons tried unsuccessfully to clear Beek Wood. A German counterattack forced the Lincolns back from Rifle Farm. Another attack at 8pm was defeated by artillery fire.
As Henry is buried at Outtersteene is is most likely he died at either No 2 or No 53 C.C.S. as they and No 1. Australian C.C.S. were located there at the time. Outtersteene is about 8 km from the Belgian border, due south of Poperinge.
Only 2 of the 8th Battalion died this day. The battalion having been relieved on 1st August, the few deaths between 1st and 5th would have been due to wounds.

His death was reported in the Bury Free Press of 18th August 1917,together with that of Ernest Chenery

Henry (seated) with brother James and his early grave marker

The 2 brothers, Henry 3rd from right, James 2nd from right, back row

photographs by courtesy of Alan Farr

photo: Michael Pettitt

© Roy Beardsworth

Henry is buried in Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul, France. Ref:I.A.6
and is also commemorated on the Roll of Honour in St Philip & St Etheldreda's Church, Exning Road.

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details