1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Bertie John Newstead

Contributed by: Peter Frank Allen, on 2008-11-06

No portrait available
Rank
First Name Bertie John
Surname Newstead
Year of Birth 1895
Year of Death 1916
Regiment Royal Norfolk Regiment
Place of Wartime Residence Hanworth, Norfolk

Bertie John's Story

Uncle Happy is my Uncle Bertie John Newstead. Lance Corporal 10th Platoon, C Company 8th Battalion the Norfolk Regiment. He was killed in Action on 1st July 1916 on the Somme and has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France. His home was Hanworth Common in North Norfolk. He was always known to his family and friends as "Happy" long before joining up because of his cheerful nature. He was my mother's favourite brother, and he was killed just before her sixth birthday. His medals "Pip, Squeak and Wilfred" hang on the wall of my study, and I have visited the Thiepval Memorial in France and the area near the village of Carnoy in France from which the successful attack in which he took part was launched.

Uncle Happy, an ordinary Soldier.

From the local Newspaper:

We regret to announce that Lce-Corpl. B. J. Newstead, son of Mr and Mrs W. R. Newstead, head gardener to Col. Barclay, was killed in action on 1st inst. He joined a Norfolk Regiment at the outbreak of war, and the following letter from the captain of his Company shows he was an excellent soldier. A photo will appear next week.

B.E.F., France,

11th July 1916

Dear Sir, - I am sorry to have to inform you that your son, Lance Corporal Newstead, was killed in action on July 1st. I cannot speak too highly of the splendid work he did, both prior to and in the attack. The men were devoted to him, and by his cheerfulness in the face of danger, and steadfast devotion to duty; he has set a very fine example. His place will not easily be filled. All in the Company who knew him mourn his loss, and offer you their deepest sympathy, -

Believe me, yours sincerely

C. SHELTON, Capt., C Coy.

(Captain Charles Shelton of The Grange, White Hart Lane, Tottenham, London, was killed in 21 October 1916 in the final stages of the battle. He had been awarded the M.C. He was 22 years old, and is also commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial)

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