FINCHAM, Herbert

No. 14232, Private, Herbert FINCHAM
Aged 23

Norfolk Regiment, 1st Battalion
Missing in Action on Sunday 4th June 1916

Born in Lakenheath on 15th December 1892 (Mildenhall Q1-1893 4A:780], eldest son of Sargeant Henry and Harriett FINCHAM (née FLACK).

1901 census...Herbert FINCHAM, aged 9 was at Weston Road, Hopton, Brandon with his father Sargeant FINCHAM [37] a carpenter, born Lakenheath; his mother Harriett [34] born Lakenheath; sisters Ethel [12] and Beatrice [10] both born Lakenheath; brothers Frederick [4] and Albert [2] and sister Dorothy [6 months] all born in Hopton.

1911 census...Aged 19, a domestic gardener, Herbert was at Market Weston, Thetford with his parents (father now a wheelwright); sister Ethel was away, but at home were Beatrice, Frederick, and Albert, plus new siblings, Arthur [9] Edith [7] and John [4]. All three new children were born in Hopton. There had been 12 children born in this marriage but 4 had died by 1911.

His father Sargeant died in 1922.
From his Army documents, the relatives form of 1919 gives his parents as at Market Weston, brother Frederick was in the Army in France, Albert was living near Bristol, Arthur and Walter were still at home, as were Beatrice and Edith, but Edith was still single but living in Stoke Poges, Bucks.

The pension card still has the family home in Market Weston, Thetford, his father dying on 14-4-1922.

He enlisted in Norwich on 1st September 1914, giving his date of birth (aged 21 years and 260 days) a casual labourer, 5' 7 3/4" (170.9 cm) tall, 127 lbs (57.8 kg) and a chest of 37" expanding to 39" (94 to 99.1 cm), grey eyes and light brown hair.
He received punishment of 7 days confined to camp on 20th December 1914 for failing to comply with a written order, no other details are given
He was admitted to hospital at Felixstowe from 4 March to 12 April 1915 with scabies. On 30th April 1915 he sailed for France, joining the BEF on 1st May.
In October and again in December 1915 he suffered some injury to his right foot. His leave from 8th to 15th May 1916 was delayed for some reason to 13th May 1916. Records do not show if that was actually home leave.
On 7 March 1917 it was regarded for official purposes that he had died on or since 4th June 1916.

In March/April 1916, the 1st Norfolk’s took up position in front line trenches North East of Arras, astride the road to Bailleul.
The German bombardment of the 1st June wrecked the left trench of the Norfolk’s front. the next day bombs fell on the trenches on the right, killing four and wounding eight. Then on the 4th June, the enemy exploded two large mines on the Norfolk front, followed by an infantry attack which was cost many lives, but the Norfolks held their ground. The 1st Norfolks lost 35 dead on the 4th June 1916, of whom 18 have no known grave and are named on the Arras Memorial.

© Commonwealth War Graves Commission

No Known Grave
Herbert Fincham is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France bay 3

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