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Corby Glen man who died 100 years ago is remembered in WW1 project

Members of the Lincolnshire Yeomanry from Corby Glen pictured from left are Harry Musson, Fred Adcock, Bugler Gibson, Charles and Percy Adcock. Photo: Corby Glen History Society
Members of the Lincolnshire Yeomanry from Corby Glen pictured from left are Harry Musson, Fred Adcock, Bugler Gibson, Charles and Percy Adcock. Photo: Corby Glen History Society

A village which lost 24 men in the First World War is remembering another young man who lost his life 100 years ago.

Private Fred John Adcock, of A Squadron, 1st/1st Lincolnshire Yeomanry, died of his wounds in Palestine on August 30 1917.

Fred Adcock
Fred Adcock

The Corby Glen man, together with those others who lost their lives, is being remebered in a special project being put together by local man Chris Wesley.

Chris aims to publish a book detailing the stories of all 24 men in November 2018 to mark the centenary of the end of the war.

Chris’s research has uncovered the intriguing story of Fred and his older brothers, Harry and Percy, who all joined A Squadron in Grantham. As well as the three brothers, their cousin Charles Adcock and Thomas William Henry ‘Harry’ Musson also joined on the same day. Their service numbers were consecutive, from 1641 to 1645.

Another Corby Glen man, George Fisher, had been in the Yeomanry for some years and was instrumental in getting the five men to enlist in November 1913. He received half a crown for each recruit. They were expected to parade with their own horse or a borrowed one.

Fred Adcock's grave.
Fred Adcock's grave.

It was not until October 27, 1915 that the men were mobilised overseas and they sailed from Southampton on His Majesty’s Transport Mercian bound for Salonika.

The ship anchored off Gibraltar on November 2. As it continued eastwards the next day it was intercepted by a German submarine which fired its 88mm deck gun at the ship, destroying its signals room. The Mercian took evasive action and, after 90 minutes of battle, the submarine gave up the chase.

The attack on the Mercian resulted in 22 men killed, 55 wounded, 22 missing and 19 horses killed.

The ship’s destination later changed and the Yeomanry arrived in Alexandria in Egypt on November 22 1915. They were deployed against the Senussi Arabs, who were in revolt in western Egypt.

Fred Adcock on his horse.
Fred Adcock on his horse.

Up to the end of March 1916, the regiment had not suffered any fatalities and the rebellion was crushed.

It would not be until March 1917 that the Lincolnshire Yeomanry took part in its first major battle – the first battle of Gaza.

On August 30, the regiment was attacked at Goz El Bazal by three enemy aircraft, which dropped 21 bombs, wounding eight men, including Fred, and killing Private Joseph Beck, who came from Sleaford. The regiment returned to El Shauth where Fred died of his wounds.

Later the regiment had to give up its horses and became a machine gun unit in France. Up until then the Lincolnshire Yeomanry had only suffered 60 fatalities.

In September, Percy Adcock was severely wounded when he was hit by a shell fragment, breaking his jaw. He later said he was ‘left for dead’ at the dressing station and it was only when an orderly saw a little movement that it was realised he was still alive.

Percy had to undergo facial reconstruction leaving him with some scarring and a stutter for the rest of his life. Corby Glen soldiers Charles Adcock, Harry Musson and Ted Lambert were still with the unit, 20km from Mons, when notification of the Armistice came on November 11.

Chris says that the World War One project team in Corby Glen has identified 87 men from the village who served in the forces during the war. The team would like to hear from anyone who has information on any Corby Glen men who served. Information can be sent to corby glen1914@gmail.com

All relevant information will be credited and used in a book to be called ‘When Time Ticked Blank – Corby Glen 1914-18’.


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