Herbert Law


Private, 32539 B Coy 8th King’s Shropshire Light Infantry.
Lived at 11 Taylor Street, Rawtenstall.
Died of Wounds, 19th September 1918, aged 40.
Commemorated on the Doiran Memorial, Greece. 

click to enlargeHerbert was the son of Joseph Law of Loveclough, and lived at No 11 Taylor Street Rawtenstall, he married Emily Ann Ivett, and his in laws Elizabeth and James Ivett, also lived on the same street as them, their address being No 1 Taylor Street, which is just around the corner from the two Taylor brothers who are both on Providence Chapel War Memorial. In his Civilian Life, Herbert was a joiner by trade working for the then Crawshawbooth firm of Ormerod and Ashworth, and whose premises were 845 Burnley road Crawshawbooth. He enlisted in September 1916 at Rawtenstall and became No 32539 Pte H.Law B Company of the 8th Battalion Shropshire Light Infantry being stationed at first at South Wales.

Herbert was drafted to Salonica in 1917 and was to die there, one year later, in battle.
On the 18th of September the Kings Own Shropshire Light Infantry were deployed and Herbert was wounded, the wounds must have been too severe as he died the next day.

Herbert is yet another with no known grave, his grave marker could have been destroyed by later action which was sometimes the case, but he is commemorated on the Colonial Hill War Memorial at Diorn Village in northern Greece, near the Macedonian border.  The Photograph of Herbert, was kindly supplied by Herberts Grandson, Mr Neil Chadderton.

The  Doiran Memorial 418 officers and 10282 other ranks of the British Salonika Force who died in Macedinia and Serbia.  To commemorate 1979 of all ranks who have no known grave but whos names are on the panels.

Herbert’s wife Emily also wrote to the Mayor of Rawtenstall for a Mayors card to commemorate Herbert’s life, and in September 1919 on the first anniversary of Herbert’s death, his mother in law Mrs Ivett, put an epitaph in the Roll of Honour, which was printed in the Rossendale Free Press and also included was the name of her nephew Private Wilf Popple killed in action with the 10th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers in August 1918, also added were remembrances from Herbert’s brothers and sisters. Below is the official notice from the Record Office dated the 3rd of October 1918 to Herberts wife Emily, informing her of him dying from wounds received, although now faint, the details can still be read.

The Letter below dated 20th of March 1919 from the British Red Cross must have added closure to any thoughts Emily may have had as to whether Herbert may still be alive. With kind thanks to Herbert’s Grandson Mr Neil Chadderton for the copies of both letters.

Brief description of the action

In July 1918 General L.F.F Franchet d’Esperey became Commander in Chief and launched a major offensive with six Serbian and two French Divisions against a seventy-mile frontage held by just one Bulgarian Division.
The attack began with a heavy nightime bombardment in the early hours of September 1918, resulting in a five-mile penetration by nightfall on September the 16th.
On the 17th of September the Serbs advanced 20miles, and with the French and Greeks on their flanks widened the breach to 25 miles.
The British attack, launched on September the 18th 1918 was on the front between the Vardar and Lake Doiran, and stopped the Bulgars sending troops westwards against the right flank of the penetration.

By September the 19th the Serbian Cavalry had reached Kevardaci, and two days later the whole Bulgarian front had collapsed.

This offensive was no cakewalk for the British Salonica Army, they faced a formidable foe with the Bulgarian soldier, well disciplined but regarded as fair by some who faced them in battle.       There is a book by Alan Wakefield and Simon Moody entitled Under the Devil’s Eye, Published by Pen and Sword, ISBN 184884461-1 which covers extensively the hardship both from disease as much as fighting, that the Salonika Expeditionary force had to endure and I reccomend it to all.

  One Response to “Herbert Law”

  1. Many thanks for this excellent report on my Grandfather, Herbert Law.

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