Woodborough’s Heritage

Woodborough, a Sherwood Forest Village, recorded in Domesday

A dedication to Woodborough men who fell in World War I

Woodborough is situated 8 miles north-east of the City of Nottingham. Woodborough is now an affluent commuter village of some 1800 people. [2004 Ed]. In 1914 though, the village was considerably smaller and its 700 inhabitants were mainly involved in market gardening or the hosiery trade. As with other villages in Great Britain, it was suddenly wrenched from its slow, laid back life to the realities of war, a war which was horrendous in nature due to its modern weaponry and as a consequence, there was a huge loss of life.

It is not known how many Woodborough men enrolled or were conscripted. What we do know is that 16 men went to war and never returned to their homeland. Half of the men named on the memorial died in the final year of the war. Surprisingly, only one man died during the Battle of the Somme and one man died at Ypres. One man drowned at sea. The youngest to die was aged nineteen and the eldest, was forty-four. Six of the men were under the age of twenty-three years. Almost one third of the men have no known grave but are commemorated on the various memorials around northern France. The researcher has visited all known graves of the Woodborough men or the commemoration memorials of those persons whose bodies were never found.

One third of the men were enrolled with a local regiment. These include two local regiments - the Nott's and Derby's Regiment (now the Sherwood Foresters) and the South Nott’s Hussars. The remaining men were enrolled with various other regiments from other parts of the country. This was not by design as few men could choose their regiment especially towards the latter end of the war. One reason was because some of the men did not live in Woodborough at the time of the war; however they had lived in Woodborough at some stage in their lives or had at least a strong connection with the village. As a result of this, they joined their local regiment wherever they were at that time. Another reason was because men were called into regiments where they were needed most, usually, due to high losses in the field but also because rural regiments did not have the great numbers which urban regiments employed. One has also to allow for transfers within regiments during the war and this was especially common during the final year.

The map of north-east France shown here on the right, depicts the last resting place of the Woodborough men who fell during the first world war.


Combles - Harold Orange

Etaples - Percy Shipstone

Landrecies - Fred S Foster

Loker - William H Ridgard

Loos - Arthur Spencer

Queant - Ernest Orange

Prémont - John W Poole

Romeries - Harry Desborough

Key to the Albert region

Aveluy - Richard C Savidge

Pozières - George Teather, Edmund J Webb

& Leonard J Woodford Thiepval - John T Desborough

Index of names in alphabetical order

FOSTER, Fred Severn
ORANGE, Ernest
ORANGE, Harold
POOLE, John William
RIDGARD, William Henry
SAVIDGE, Richard Claude

WEBB, Edmund James
WHITE, Arthur Edward
WOODFORD,  Leonard Thomas


Chronological order of deaths

[use names below as links to individual research]  

RIDGARD, William Henry [Revised May 2015]
SPENCER, Arthur [Revised October 2015]
DESBOROUGH, John Thomas [Revised October 2016]
WHITE, Arthur Edward [Revised November 2016]

ORANGE, Harold [Revised February 2017]
POOLE, John William [Revised April 2017]
RICHARDSON, Sidney [Revised June 2017]
SHIPSTONE, Percy [Revised June 2017]
TEATHER, George [Revised March 2018]
WEBB, Edmund James [Revised March 2018]

SAVIDGE, Richard Claude [Revised April 2018]
WOODFORD, Leonard Thomas [Revised April 2018]

SPENCER, Samuel [Revised May 2018]
ORANGE, Ernest [Revised October 2018]
DESBOROUGH, Harry [Revised October 2018]
FOSTER, Fred Severn [Revised October 2018]


The regiments in which they served

H Desborough - Cheshire Regiment and the 37nd Battalion Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)

J T Desborough - 2nd Battalion North Staffordshire and the 7th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
F S Foster - 13th Battalion Durham Light Infantry
E Orange - 169th Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force and the 116th Canadian Overseas Expeditionary

H Orange - 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards

J W Poole - 2/8 Battalion Notts & Derbys Regiment
S Richardson - 5th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers

W H Ridgard - 1/8 Battalion Notts & Derbys Regiment
R C Savidge - 10th Battalion Notts & Derbys Regiment
P Shipstone - 10th Battalion Cheshire Regiment
A Spencer - 1/8 Battalion Notts & Derbys Regiment
S Spencer - South Notts Hussars
G Teather - 15th Battalion Notts & Derbys Regiment
E J Webb - 7th Battalion Durham Light Infantry

A E White - 1st Battalion Sherwood Forester

L T Woodford - 2/4 Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) formerly 6th Battalion KOYLI & the 2/4th London Regiment



History of 1/7 Battalion Sherwood Foresters 1914–1918 - A W Brewill

History of 1/8 Battalion Sherwood Foresters 1914–1919 - Capt. W C Weetman

The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers - Basil Peacock

The Grenadier Guards in the Great War 1914–1918 - Sir. F Ponsenb

The History of the Cheshire Regiment in the Great War - Arthur Crookenden

Historical Records of the South Nott’s Yeomanry 1794–1924 - G Fellow

The Durham Forces in the Field 1914–1918 - Capt. W Miles
The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the Great War 1914–1918 - R C Bond
The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment  - Col. H C Wylly CB
Machine Gunner 1914–1918 - Edited by C E Crutchley
British Battalions on the Somme - Ray Westlake
The Somme Battlefields - Martin & Mary Middlebrook
Kitchener’s Army (The Raising of the New Armies 1914–916 - Peter Simkins
Battlefields of The First World War - Tonie & Valmai Holt
Macclesfield Courier and Herald May 1915

Acknowledgements to:-

some of the residents of Woodborough.

© The above document is the work of J Powley, who holds the 2006 copyright, but who kindly provided copy for use on this website. We acknowledge with gratitude the work that has been undertaken on this subject. Where other researchers are involved this is acknowledged.


Above: A very typical scene

WW1 soldiers, Fred S Foster second from left.


The Woodborough War Memorial - The FIRST WORLD WAR

Chronology of events and deaths of World War One

4th August 1914 - Britain declared war on Germany
8th August 1914 - Britain declared war on Austria
23rd August 1914 - The Retreat from Mons
18th October 1914 - 1st Ypres
22nd April 1915 - 2nd Ypres

8th May 1915 - Death of W H Ridgard
25th May 1915 - 2nd Ypres ended
25th September 1915 - Battle of Loos commenced
8th October 1915 -  Battle of Loos ended
14th October 1915 - Death of A Spencer
21st February 1916 - Battle of Verdun commenced
1st July 1916 - Battle of the Somme commenced
25th October 1916 - Death of J T Desborough

14th November 1916 - Death of A E White
17th November 1916 - Battle of the Somme ended
18th December 1916 - Battle of Verdun ended

3rd January 1917 - Death of S Richardson
20th February 1917 - Death of H Orange
7th April 1917 - Death of J W Poole
7th June 1917 - 3rd. Ypres began
23rd June 1917 - Death of P Shipstone
10th November 1917 - 3rd. Ypres ended
21st March 1918 - German Spring Offensive began
28th March 1918 - Death of G Teather
28th March 1918 - Death of E J Webb
22nd April 1918 - Death of R C Savidge
25th April 1918 - German Offensive halted
25th April 1918 - Death of L T Woodford
27th May 1918 - Death of S Spencer
30th September 1918 - Death of E Orange
1st August 1918 - Allied Offensive began
24th October 1918 - Death of H Desborough
28th October 1918 - Death of F S Foster
11th November 1918 - Armistice signed

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Part of a display of hand knitted poppies erected in Governors’ Field to commemorate the centenary on

11th November 1918 of the ending of World War I.

We also remember those from Woodborough

who did not return home from World War II