Herbert Turgoose

south staffordshire regiment badgePrivate 42213, 2/6th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment, killed in action 21st March 1918, aged 18

Born at Keadby on 28th October 1899, Herbert was the younger brother of Harry and the second and one of the ten children of George and Edith Turgoose (nee Walton). His mother was from Stairfoot, Barnsley and his father from Keadby. In 1901 his father was a porter on the Grand Central Railway and in 1911 a general labourer. The family lived in Friendship Terrace, Station Road, Keadby.

Herbert enlisted in the army at Scunthorpe most likely in 1917. He probably went out to France in December 1917 or early 1918 as a reinforcement for the 2/6th South Staffordshire Regiment who had suffered heavy casualties in a gas attack in Bourlon Wood in November 1917.

On 19th March 1918 the 2/6th South Stafford’s moved from camp at Moray to the front line at Bullecourt. The following day was quiet but this was to change on the 21st March as the battalion were to receive the full force of Operation Michael, the German Spring Offensive against the Somme. Beginning with a massive artillery bombardment that lasted from 2.00am until 8.00am, this was followed with a mass infantry attack that totally overwhelmed the outnumbered 2/6th South Staffords along with many other units on the front line that day. The front line troops ,reserves and battalion headquarters were overun and only a few men in training and the band escaped and the battalion had all but ceased to exist.

Herbert Turgoose was among the 600 men of the 2/6th South Staffords killed or captured at Bullecourt among them Herbert Turgoose. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

Herbert is remembered on both Althorpe War Memorials.