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William Henry Corbett, Age 23

Private, 19675, 7th Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry.

KSLI cap badge
K.S.L.I Regiment Cap Badge.

William was living at 9 Ladies Row, Hinkshay, Dawley at the time of his enlistment. He was the son of William (a labourer) and Ellen of 60 Single Row, Hinkshay.

Private Corbett was killed in action on July 14th 1916, during the successful night attack on the Bazentin Ridge, When the attacking Battalions (7th KSLI & 8th East York's) crawled into No-Mans-Land and formed up and after a hurricane bombardment of the German trenches attacked and were into the German lines before they could react.

He had enlisted in the January 1916 and was drafted to France in the June. Before enlisting he had worked for the Randley brickyard and had his education at Langley Council School. A memorial service was held at the Dawley Parish Church for William on August 29th 1916.

Corbett W H 19675
William Henry Corbett.

William's body was never found and he is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial on the Somme Ref; Pier and Face 12A & 12D.

Corbett W H 19675 MC

WWI Medal Rolls Index Card


victory-medal britishwar-medal
Victory Medal British War Medal

Battles Of The Somme - Battle Of Bazentin Ridge - 14/07/1916:
Location: Bazentin-le-Grand. British victory. The battle marked the beginning of the second phase of the Battle of the Somme.

Dismissed beforehand by a French commander as 'an attack organised for amateurs by amateurs', in contrast to the disaster of the first day of the Somme it turned out to be hugely successful for the British. Aimed at the German second line defences, those on Bazentin Ridge were held by 3rd Guard Division of German Second Army.

Two corps of British Fourth Army were tasked to attack them, on the left XV Corps against Bazentin-le-Petit and Bazentin-le-Grand, on the right 3rd Division and 9th (Scottish) Division of XIII Corps between Bazentin-le-Grand and Longueval. The attack of 3rd Division from Montauban towards Bazentin-le-Grand did not go as planned, 8th Infantry Brigade found the wire in front of them uncut, and were held up for a time, and 9th Infantry Brigade encountered heavy machine-gun fire before securing Bazentin-le-Grand.

Whilst the German defensive barrage missed the assaulting battalions it caught the supporting waves, 7th King's Shropshire Light Infantry being particularly hard hit. In securing all their objectives 3rd Division suffered 2322 casualties.

In follow up operations around the ridge on 20th July, 10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers and 2nd Suffolk Regiment of 76th Infantry Brigade were among a relieving force who fought their way to relieve the 1st South African Brigade in Delville Wood. In the early hours of 23rd July, 9th Infantry Brigade were part of a further attack on Delville Wood and the north end of Longueval.

The attack began at 03.40am and the troops were quickly engaged by German machine-guns from the front and left flank. The advance covered a considerable distance but was forced back, where the survivors were bombarded by German artillery.

Following these operations 3rd Division were relieved during the night of 25th July.