Herbert Beacroft of the Royal Engineers.
Herbert was originally enlisted on October 25th 1916 into the 2nd/4th KOYLI (Kings Own Yorks Light Infantry) Private 9613 and later Private 359486.
He was born in Scawby in 1876 the son of Mark and Rebecca; his siblings were Emily and Ernest E Beacroft, and Harry Daubney who may have been adopted. Herbert was married on 31st January 1897 in the Primitive Methodist Chapel to Helen Gouldthorpe with whom by the time of war he had had six children with Edith 11-05 Ethel Dec 8th 1910 Vera Feb 23-1912 Lionel? (illeg) Herbert and Ernest born in 1900.The family lived at Clifford's Avenue 6 Pasture Road.
Men of this category were called up a little later in he drafts, though he could consider himself a little hard done to considering his age to be called up.
Men had been invited to put their names down into what was called the group scheme. The group scheme declared that you had offered your services and in the unlikely scenario, that you were called up you would be obliged to go into the military. There were points systems. If you were married you got knocked down the list, if you had children you got knocked further down the list-in theory. So he was called up rather quickly, and by late 1916 after the bloody disasters on the Somme, just about no-one was exempt.
Herbert worked at the Farmer's Co. (ACC Chemical Works etc) and had not done military service previously. He was attested at Lincoln. He had also done some time at the brickyards.
His medical notes picture him as 5.ft 7in.,131lb, (9 odd stone) of good physique.
As he was in a 2nd line company, initially he would in theory have been in the rear lines mostly. Herbert remained on home duty until 14-1-17 when he was sent out with the Expeditionary Force, to France.
He transferred to the Royal Engineers on 26-2-17 as a Sapper 359486 in the 252 Tunnelling Company. This tunnelling was actually fraught with danger. The mine shafts were dug out in silence under the enemy lines so that ammonal could be planted and the enemy blown sky high. However the Germans were doing the same, and the chance of a meet in the middle was high enough, the risk of tunnels falling in and a counter mining incident all too common. He would have been 42 years old by then. It is plausible that his experience with chemicals was an asset to the work involved.
Upon leaving the army he was still eligible for call up despite his age and army trade and he would have been compelled to go to Newark to re-enlist.
So Herbert made it through the war. But as he was leaving, Ernest aged 18 was going to guard the Rhine in a Youth Battalion.
He had listed into the 53rd Youth Battalion Sherwood Foresters and had gone overseas in September 1918. He had been home from the Watch on The Rhine, returning and drowning six days later while swimming at Cologne. He is buried in the same cemetery, Cologne Southern as Alfred Taylor Woodcock of Barton.
He had been back from leave at home for 6 days when he met his end.
Interestingly Ernest had a deformity of his femur, which was due to an old fracture and possible disease.
Ernest was one of the names missing until recently from the Barton Cenotaph and one of the first that I identified as missing through the Parish Magazines that the Late Hugh Varah let me study. according to family the omission broke his mother's heart.
Now thankfully this has been put right.
Despite the rigours of war, Herbert passed away in 1936 at the age of 60 not long after his wife Helen who predeceased him in December 1935. Hebert was buried in August 1936 his address then being Whitecross Street.
Many thanks to the Beacroft family for the loan of this photo