ALLWOOD, Ernest [of Mansfield]

Private 1/8th Sherwood Foresters

By Cliff Hughes



Born 1889 in Mansfield, Notts.Lived Greenwood's Yard, off Bridge St/Ratcliffe Gate

Had 2 younger brothers.

Went to St Peter's C of E school, Mansfield.

Ernest Allwood, a bricklayer, became a pre-war Territorial soldier in the 1/8 th Sherwood Foresters: he enjoyed the week-long summer camps. He landed in France with the 46 Division in February 1915. The Foresters had a lively introduction to the war in poor trenches at Kemmel, where the front lines were very close together. Later in the year, they were on the flank of the first German flamethrower attack, at Hooge, and played a valuable role in holding their part of the line in this attack.

In the autumn of 1915 the Foresters suffered heavy casualties in their partially successful attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt near Loos. The battalion was in reserve at the Somme on 1 st July 1916. Ernest survived these and subsequent actions and I often wonder whether he was fortunate to be on courses or in administrative roles at crucial times. (He also mentioned being absent from the battalion as a result of the consumption of 'vin blanc'.) When his company undertook an ill-fated attack at Lens in April 1917, Ernest was not in the attacking force. His brother Horace, a miner, did take part in the attack and gave his watch and other possessions to Ernest because he didn't expect to return: he didn't return, at least for nearly 2 years, as he was taken prisoner. His descendats live in Sutton-in-Ashfield.

Ernest was wounded later in 1917 and, fortunately, this wound kept him away from the Western Front for the remainder of the war. Following convalescence he was sent to join the 2/7 th Durham Light Infantry. This battalion was sent to northern Russia in October 1918 as part of the expeditionary force supporting the White Russians against the Russian revolutionaries. The photograph was taken in Murmansk in 1919. Ernest was a storeman there, and had a relatively cushy time, skating and enjoying his share of the stores.

Ernest was affected by his experiences. His daughter remembers him saying in his sleep “Hark at Jerry tonight” and even running downstairs in his sleep shouting “The b*****s is after me!”. He nevertheless attended the Remembrance Day parades in Mansfield annually. He became a foreman bricklayer, married in 1923, and died in 1977.

Ernest is seated front right on the photograph.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'ALLWOOD, Ernest [of Mansfield]' page
This page was added by Cliff Hughes on 03/03/2014.

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