Fred Schofield (1887-1917)

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An ongoing project to commemorate and research the lives of those who appear on war memorials and rolls of honour in the local area, who served in the military, or whose deaths were linked to conflict.

Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922

The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:

SCHOFIELD, FRED. Private. No 18919. 10th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment (Hull Commercials). Born Bradley, Huddersfield, 12.8.1887. Son of John and Mary Ann Schofield, 449 Leeds Road, Huddersfield. Employed as a mechanic's labourer by Messrs Sellars and Company. machinists, Manchester Road, Huddersfield. Single. Enlisted 1916. Reported missing, presumed killed, at Oppy Wood on 3.5.1917, aged 29 years. Has no known grave. Commemorated ARRAS MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING.
The following extract is taken from East Yorkshires in the Great War 1914-1918, by Everard Wyrall, '2.5.1917. At 11.30pm the 10th Battalion East Yorkshires moved up to their assembly positions, a new trench which had been dug by the 2nd Division before the Battle of Arleux which had taken place on the 28/29th April. The northern boundary of the frontage of attack allotted to the Battalion was along the southern edge of Oppy Wood to Oppy Support Trench: the southern bounds were along Link Trench to Oppy Support Trench. The latter trench ran from north-west to south-east about 200 yards east of the village. The move forward was carried out in brilliant moonlight and apparently observed by the enemy who, however did not open fire immediately. The Battalion was in position before midnight. Zero hour had been fixed for 3.45am but twice before that hour the enemy very heavily barraged the front line. At 3.45am there was a roar as the British barrage opened: it was timed to advance at 100 yards per 4 minutes. Almost immediately the German guns replied and soon clouds of smoke and dust added their pall to the darkness and it was impossible to see when the barrage lifted from the German trenches. With shells bursting all around them, the air whistling with machine gun and rifle bullets and all the infernal din of the battlefield deafening their ears, into the clouds of dust and smoke the advancing troops disappeared. On the right the 10th East Yorkshires found the German front line strongly held. The assaulting companies had gone forward beyond their barrage but ere they reached the hostiles lines the curtain fire had lifted and they were at once subjected to heavy machine-gun and rifle fire. Hacking at the barbed wire entanglements where they had not been cut by the guns or rushing through gaps which had been made, a considerable number of men of the 10th Battalion undoubtedly got into and beyond the first German line: some even penetrated to the first objective and one gallant man brought back eight prisoners to his own credit. All four Company Commanders had become casualties and the smoke and dust, added to the darkness, made it impossible to see what was going on on the flanks and, indeed, blotted out the objectives. In the struggle for the German first line the barrage had been lost, and it was rolling on far ahead by the time that small parties of men had penetrated the front system. As it was impossible to get forward or consolidate the line, the survivors of the 10th Battalion withdrew to the assembly trench occupied before the attack began and to shell holes in the neighbourhood, where they remained until the night of 3/4th May, for all day long the whole area was swept by artillery and machine-gun fire, whilst the enemy's snipers in Oppy Wood were continually on the watch for anyone who incautiously exposed himself.' 10th East Yorkshires – Attacking strength: 16 Officers, 484 other ranks. Losses: 13 Officers, 223 other ranks.

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