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In Memory of
CHARLES TEBBUTT
Private 38924
1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment
Who died on Friday, 25th January 1918
Age 18

Buried Plot III. Row G. Grave 23
Fins New British Cemetery, Sorel-Le-Grand, France

Commemorated in Perpetuity
by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
&
Remembered with Honour
Fins New British Cemetery

Fins New British Cemetery, Sorel-Le-Grand, France

On the 25th January 1918 the enemy attacked the British position at Loos. It was on this day that Private Charles Tebbutt was killed in action. Being only eighteen years of age at the time of his death, he was probably another conscript from the 1916 Act1. After joining the army he was posted to the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, and after a short period of training was part of a draft, which landed in France to replace regimental losses. A single man he was killed in action after serving at the front for just over two weeks. He is buried in Fins New British Cemetery, Sorel-Le-Grand, France.

Charles was the youngest son of William Tebbutt and his wife Betsy (née Norris), who lived at 83 Gladstone Street, Beeston, Notts. He was born in Chilwell and as a young lad attended the Chilwell National School, and was also an active member of the United Methodist Sunday School. After leaving school he worked in the "Tube" Department at Raleigh Industries on Triumph Road, Lenton, Notts, remaining there until his call-up papers were received.

Although William Tebbutt was born in Beeston, he and his wife Betsy (who was born in Harby, Leicstershire) set up home in Chilwell where all of their children were born.William was employed for forty years at the Chilwell Brickyard, working there until he suffered serious injuries as a result of an accident at work, when he was buried in a clay pit when the sides caved in. He then found light work as a winder with the Midland Shawl Company and moved, with his family, to 101 Gladstone Street, Beeston2.

All five sons of William and Betsy Tebbutt then living, served the "Colours". Charles' eldest brother, William Thomas, joined the South Lancashire Regiment in 1915 but died of pneumonia after only being in the forces for less than three weeks. There is no mention, however, of him in the Commonwealth War records3. The second son, Alfred, was a regular in the Royal Marines, having served since 1908; he survived the war. John James Tebbutt, then a married man with an infant daughter, enlisted in February 1915; after a short time in France, he was posted to East Africa where he contracted malaria, was invalided to Durban and eventually repatriated in December 1918, Another brother, Harry Tebbutt joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, in 1917 and died on 25 October 1918 of wounds received in action in France.4

A further member of the family, brother in law Private Charles Waters, gave up his carting business in Lancashire to enrol in the South Lancashire Regiment and whose wife, Mabel Annie, a sister of the Tebbutt brothers, came back to Beeston to look after her father.5

Fins New British Cemetery - Fins is a village on the road between Cambrai and Perrone. The British Cemetery is a little south-east of the village in the district of Sorel Le Grand.

Fins and Sorel were occupied at, the beginning of April 1917, in the German retreat to the Hindenberg line. They were lost on the 23rd March 1918, after a stubborn defence of Sorel by the 6th Battalion King's Own Scottish Borderers and the staff of the South African Brigade; the allies regaining the position in September 1918. The New British Cemetery was not begun until July 1917. It was used by fighting units (especially the 40th, 61st (South Midland) and 9th (Scottish) Divisions and Field Ambulances until March 1918, when it comprised about 590 graves in Plots I to IV. It was then used by the Germans, who added 590 graves to plots IV, V, and VI. Many more graves were added after the Armistice by closure of various cemeteries from the surrounding areas.6


Footnotes
1The Compulsory Service Act, which came into force on March 2nd 1916. It first applied to single men between the ages of 18 to 41 but was finally extended to married men of the same age groups.
21911 Census - Beeston - Piece 1223 RD429 SD3 ED3 Schedule 299 - William is then living at 101 Gladstone Street (possibly later renumbered to 83 as this is the address given in the brothers' Army Records) with his wife and four sons, William Thomas (aged 27, a brickyard labourer), John James (19, a gardener), Harry (16, an errand boy at the Co-op) and Charles (12, at school). The couple had had seven children in their then 29 year marriage, one of whom had died. By mistake, William had listed the other children and then crossed then out - Mabel Anna (26, married), Alfred (23, in the Royal Marines and another Harry (deceased). All five living sons served in the war, three of them died.
3William Thomas Tebbutt's Army Service Record survives but is understandably brief. It is likely that a death registration in Q1/1915 for William Tebbutt, age 31. in Warrington Registration District records his death. (GRO 78c 307)
4Army Service Records survive for John James and Harry Tebbutt. Harry attested originally in December 1915. presumably under the terms of the Derby Scheme which provided for such early registration with call-up only if needed. John James Tebbutt (then shown as "Jim" Tebbutt) is shown as living at 93 High Road, Beeston on a next-of-kin declaration for Harry, in November 1919.
5In the 1911 census, the couple are living at 442 Warrington Road, Glazebury, Lancashire. Charles was then working as a farm labourer. They had been married for 7 years and had one daughter. (Census Piece 1356 RD460 SD2 ED9 Schedule 45)
6This description of Fins New British Cemetery is based on that on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. (http://www.cwgc.org)

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