Rifleman H. Hutchinson


UNIT: 1st Royal Irish Rifles

NUMBER: 40691

STATUS: Killed in Action

DATE OF DEATH: 21st March 1918

CEMETERY OR MEMORIAL: The Pozieres Memorial

AGE: 23

Herbert was born in Romanby and was the son of Mr. J.J. and Mrs. A.A. Hutchinson of 14 Victoria terrace, Northallerton. Before joining the army, he worked for Mr HE Lightfoot, an ironmonger in Northallerton.

He originally enlisted in the Yorkshire Regiment (No. 24475) before being transferred to the 1st Royal Irish Rifles.

He was killed, aged 23, on the first day of the massive German attack which was intended to win the War before the Americans could arrive in sufficient numbers to make defeat for the Germans inevitable. Using troops released from the collapse of the Russian Front after the Russian Revolution, they attacked in overwhelming numbers and pushed the British back across the old Somme battlefield. Ground which the British had taken months to capture, at such cost, in 1916, was overrun by the Germans in a matter of days. The Germans had more important things to attend to than the bodies of their enemies, and many of them were hastiliy buried, with no proper records being kept.

It is not surprising therefore that many of those who died during this advance, like Herbert Hutchinson, have no known grave and are commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial to the Missing of the Somme in 1918.