6803, Private, Herbert Edward CHAPMAN
Aged 41

1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment
Killed in Action on Thursday 24th October 1918

Born in Newmarket in Q2-1877 [Newmarket 3b:566], to John and Emma CHAPMAN (née BAILEY) of 1 Ditton Cottages, Woodditton Road, Newmarket.

1881 census...Herbert E [4] was living at Ditton Cottages with his father John[41], a farm labourer, born Ashley; his mother Emma [42] born Kennett and brothers James [18], farm labourer, born Ashley; Henry[16], grocers errand, boy born Ashley; William [13], tailors errand boy, born Ashley; Charles [11], born Ashley; Alfred [6] born Exning, and Arthur [1] born Ditton Lodge, plus his sister Alice [9] born Ashley.

1891 census...Herbert [14] was a grocers errand boy, living at Railway Crossing, Newmarket with his father, a Farm Horsekeeper; his mother; brothers James, a carman; Henry, a gardeners labourer;Alfred, a railway porter and Arthur, a scholar, plus sister Alice and a new sister Emma Ellen [8] born Woodditton.

1901 census...Herbert was now a painter and living with his parents, brothers Alfred and Arthur and sister Emma Ellen in Granby Street, Newmarket.
In Q4-1910 he married Stradishall born Edith Annie COE in Newmarket.

1911 census...Herbert and Edith were living at 3 Rutland Terrace, Newmarket. Herbert was a house painter.

Later Edith's address was 1 Algiers Place, Newmarket ( the small yard just behind and to the right of the Carpenters Arms)

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds. CWGC have him as Hubert Edward Chapman
The Battle of the Selle
The start line was southwards from Le Cateau on 17th October. By the 24th near Englefontaine ( the final objective) the 1st Middlesex (the Die Hards) were moved forward to support the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. At 4 a.m. on the 24th the advance was continued. The 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on the right, and 1st Middlesex on the left, formed up on a general line about two hundred yards west of Farm du Bois de Bousies-Paul Jacques road, continuing to the north. The 4th King's were in support. Very heavy machine gun fire met the Die-Hards as they advanced and many were shot down. The Battalion was now getting very weak in numbers and this, combined with exposed flanks, made progress very difficult. At 6.5 a.m. Captain Broad reported that the enemy's machine -gun fire was extremely heavy, but he believed that, although he could not get touch, some of the Battalion were ahead of him, though the enemy also was in front. At 7.25 am. he reported that he had "D" Company with "C" Company-totalling only fifty men. At 8 a.m. "C" Company had reached the cross-roads east of Wagnonville, with the Highlanders on the right and "B" Company on the left: the enemy were about two hundred yards in front. A bridge across the stream, which ran across the Roman road just south of the crossroads, had been destroyed. The situation, however, changed at about 9.15 a.m. when the 19th Brigade was seen advancing on the left, but by now the 98th Brigade had suffered such serious losses that the 100th Brigade took up the advance and passed through the former: the Middlesex then took shelter on the cross-roads with the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on their right.
In a sunken road the Battalion reorganised. After weeks of hard fighting and marching, such fighting indeed as had never been seen before, because knowing that the enemy was "on the run," every officer and man put forth all his strength. Very little sleep, very little rest, marching, fighting, fighting, marching-it seemed never ending and now here was the Battalion so pitifully weak that it could only muster ninety other ranks, with Captain Tate in command.

On the 25th the 100th Brigade was ordered to capture Englefontaine during the night of the 25th/26th October. The 1st Middlesex were not, however, in this attack, for the Battalion was still reorganising and on this day was formed into one company. It is indeed of importance to record this reorganisation, for the Battalion had no Lieut.-Colonel, no Major, and no Captain, and was commanded by a subaltern. The entry in the Battalion Diary states that: "The Battalion was reorganised as a company under the following officers-Lieut. Tatham (commanding), Lieut. Dobbs and 2/Lieut. Jarvis. The strength of the company was as follows: "A" Company, 1 officer and 30 men; "B" Company, 2 officers and 30 men; "C" Company, 1 officer and 42 men, and "D" Company, 2 officers and 40 men."
On 24th the 1st Middlesex had 31 killed, the same number as the previous day

© Pierre Vandervelden www.inmemories.com

Herbert is buried in Poix du Nord Communal Cemetery Extension, France. Ref:II.B.15
and commemorated on his parents headstone in Newmarket

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