MORLEY, Herbert William

No. 15363, Guardsman, Herbert William MORLEY
Aged 30

1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards
Killed in Action on Friday, 27th September 1918

Herbert William Morley was born in Mildenhall (Mildenhall Q1-1888 4A:729) son of Charles W. and Joanne MORLEY (née ABREY).

1891 census...Aged 3, he was at Cottage, Plough Yard, West Row with his father Charles MORLEY [46] engine driver (portable); his mother Joanne [46]; brothers Leonard [28], Thomas [22] and Robert [20] all farm labourers, and Walter [6]; sister Mahala [9]. All recorded as born in Mildenhall.

1901 census...Aged 13, farm labourer, he was still at Plough Yard with his parents; brothers Leonard (horsekeeper) and Walter (farm labourer), sister Mahala and niece Violet MORLEY [5]

1911 census... Aged 22, a laundry vanman, he was boarding with Thomas and Jane JACKSON, at 12 Beattie Terrace, Blackhill, Co.Durham. His widowed mother and brother Leonard were still in West Row. His father had died in 1907.

He married Sarah Elizabeth BATY [10-9-1886](Lanchester Q2-1913 10a:546), later of 3 Buckham St, Blackfyne, Blackhill, Co.Durham. Their daughter Violet Mary [9-2-1914] was born in Lanchester.

He enlisted in Consett. The memorial has him in the 3rd battalion, existing military records say 1st Battalion.
War Diary:-
"FRONT LINE 26/9/1918..All Companies reached their assembly positions without a hitch. The battalion's objective was the main HINDENBURG LINE, about 1,000 yards east of the CANAL du NORD.
27/9/1918..At 5.20 am a barrage was put down on the eastern edge of the CANAL by 5 Brigades of R.F.A. The order for attacking was No.3 Coy on the right, No. 4 Coy on the left, No. 2Coy in support and No.1 Coy in reserve. One platoon of No. 2 Coy however was first detailed to capture RAT and MOUSE POSTS defending the old bridge across the CANAL at K.9.b.3.9.
The 1st Battn Scots Guards were on the right and the 3rd Battn Grenadier Guards attacking North of the left on the West side of the CANAL. The 53rd Division were to attack south from MOEUVRES and join up on the left of the battalion, until which time No.4 Company was detailed to form a defensive flank facing north.
Unfortunately MOUSE POST presented much greater difficulties than were expected, and the whole of Nos 2 and 4 Companies were held up on the western side of the CANAL. This post was finally rushed by Capt C.H.Frisby and three men, but valuable time had been lost. On account of this No.4 Company lost the barrage, thus enabling the enemy to get their machine guns into action. Nos 3 and 4 Coys however, reinforced by No.2 company pushed their way forward and reached a line about 200 yards from their objective, where they were completely held up. Bombing attacks were started but made little headway, although all hostile bombing attacks were driven off.No. 1 Company brought up ammunition and reinforced. Stokes Mortars were sent up. Lieut ENB Woodbury was hit be a machine gun when near the canal. 2/Lt WN Roe and Lt Lord Bingham who were hit later,had to remain up in front for at least 6 hours before they could be removed. 2/Lt CH Fitzherbert Brockholes was also hit and 2/Lt EAW Crosse was killed later, while Lt WH Gladstone was afterwards killed by a sniper. All the Sergeants in No. 4 company being casualties...? About 6 pm the battalion closed and marched to the BOURSIES are to billet in the east end of the village.

CWGC records have a total of 1st Bn Coldstreams killed as 30, all are buried in Sanders Keep.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Herbert Morley is buried in Sanders Keep Military Cemetery, grave 1:A:6
and originally on the Mildenhall memorial

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