Charles Ormerod


Private 13368
1st Bn, Devonshire Regiment

Charles Ormerod was killed in action on 20 October 1918, and is buried in Béthencourt Communal Cemetery, France (Grave Ref. C. 29).

At the time of his death the 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, was involved the Battle of the Selle - part of the final Allied advance in Picardy.

At this time they formed part of 95th Brigade, 5th Division.

The Battalion War Diary for the period 19 - 21 October 1918 reads:

"19th Oct The Battalion moved forward and assembled East of R. SELLE by 23.30 hrs in readiness for the attack next morning. Assembly.

To hospital 3 other ranks.

20th Oct At 02.00 hrs the 13th Brigade attacked and captured part of the railway line running from SOLESMES to LE CATEAU. At Zero plus 34 minutes the 95th Brigade passed through the 13th Brigade and advanced with the intention of capturing the Green Line (the 1st Objective) 1000 yds East of the railway No 1 Coy on the right, No 2 Coy on the left, No 3 Coy in left support and No 4 Coy right support.

The Green Line was captured by 04.00 hrs. The Battalion consolidated in depth and remained in this position according to orders for 3 hours. The 42nd Division was attacking on our left and 1st Bn East Surrey Regt on our right.

At Zero plus 300 minutes the support companies passed through the Green Line and continued the assault on the Brown Line (Final Objective) which was situated on the crest just West of SOLESMES - OVILLERS Road. Owing to heavy artillery and machine gun fire from front and flanks and heavy condition of ground this objective was not reached by all and advanced elements had to withdraw. Eventually the Battalion withdrew to a line just East of the Green Line and took up position by about 12.00 hrs. About 100 prisoners and 6 machine guns were captured during these operations. Orders were received that the Corps would again attack the Brown Line at 16.00 hrs. At this hours Nos 4 and 3 Companies advanced under a creeping barrage and captured the Brown Line. Patrols were pushed forward to the SOLESMES - OVILLERS Road which was found to be held by the enemy.

During these latter operations at least 100 prisoners and numerous machine guns were captured by the Battalion.

Lieut J.B. Beaumont was killed. Capt. E.F.G. Davies M.C., 2/Lieut R.S.A.G. Badger and 2/Lieut A.H. Wyatt were wounded, the latter being buried by a shell. The following officers joined Battalion:- Lieut G.W. Hinton and F.H. Gillard, 2/Lieuts M.A. Wilcox and A de la Rue Brown.

Killed 22 other ranks. Wounded 55 other ranks. Missing 7 other ranks.To Hospital 12 Other Ranks.

21st Oct During the evening of the 20th and early morning of 21st forward Companies came under a heavy shrapnel barrage. The Battalion held its position throughout the day.

Enemy seen to be withdrawing and taking up position on high ground just West of BEAURAIN. During the night."

Charles is believed to be the Charles Ormerod, who was living with his father, John, and siblings at 169 Walmersley Old Rd, Bury, at the time of the 1901 Census.

The First World War Medal Rolls show that Charles was entitled to the British War Medal, Victory Medal and 1914-15 Star (having served in France from 14 September 1915).

The Medal Rolls index card for Charles confirms that he was killed in action on 20 October 1918.

The Soldiers Died in the Great War Database records Charles as Charles Omerod. The Database notes that Charles was born in Bury, and lived in Manchester. He enlisted in the Army in Rochdale.

Charles' grave in Béthencourt Communal Cemetery
A section of British Trench Map 20-57BNE-2A-290918, showing the area over which the 1st Bn, Devonshire Regiment advanced on 20 October 1918.