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Wilfred Holland was born in Bamber Bridge in the first quarter of 1896. His father was Thomas Holland, (b. 1856 in Preston) a spinner by trade; his mother was Margaret Alice Lancaster (b. 1860 in Bamber Bridge). After they married in the late 1870s, Tom and Margaret moved to the School Lane area between Bamber Bridge and Walton Le Dale. They had 16 children, 13 of whom survived infancy: Joseph (b. 1879), Elizabeth Ellen (b. 1880), Isabella (b. 1883), Peter (b. 1884), Annie (b. 1886), Mary Jane (b. 1888), Thomas (b. 1889), George (b. 1890), John (b. 1893), Thurstan (b. 1894), then Wilfred, James (b. 1898) and finally Margaret Alice (b. 1903). Tom Holland died in 1903, aged 47, just a few months after the birth of his youngest daughter. In 1911, Wilfred was living with his mother and 6 siblings at 20 School Lane, Bamber Bridge and working as a cotton spinner in the mill across the road.

When Wilfred attested on 11 December 1915, he gives his occupation as rubber worker. He was 5’ 6” tall and had a 37” chest. He was mobilised on 3 February 1916 and posted to 2/4 Bn of the Loyals with service number 4820, which would later become 202005. 2/4Bn came under orders of 170th Brigade in 57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division. 57th Division went to France on 8 February 1917 (Wilfred was with them). In June 1917, 2/4 and 2/5Bns were briefly detached from 57th Division and attached to 3rd Australian Division with the task of holding the front from the River Lys to St. Yves as a defensive front on which other operations could pivot.

Having achieved this objective, the Bns rejoined 57th Division in mid June and moved to billets at Estaires. On the 28-29 July, “D” Coy of the Battalion carried out a successful raid on the enemy trenches, taking a number of prisoners. On 2 August the Bn went back into Brigade reserve at l’Épinette but immediately upon their return to the trench line on 10 August, the Bn came under heavy shelling and Lt. R. de P. Eddison and four men were killed and nine were wounded. Wilfred Holland was among the dead. He was 21 years old.

Rank: Private
Service No: 202005
Date of Death: 10/08/1917
Age: 21
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 2nd/4th Bn.
Cemetery: CITE BONJEAN MILITARY CEMETERY, ARMENTIERES

Other men from 2/4 Bn killed that day:

200771 CPL ERNEST GLADWIN
201382 PTE JOHN RICHARD BOWES
LT RICHARD De PAIVA EDDISON
203172 PTE ISAAC JAMES RITSON

Additional Information

The Holland family featured in a series of articles in the Preston Guardian about patriotic families. This article appeared in May 1916, when Wilfred was in training.

Cpl. Joseph (b. 1879) was later promoted to Sergeant. He was 02420 SGT. J. HOLLAND, Royal Army Ordnance Corps. He landed in France on 11 July 1915.

Thomas (b. 1889) was 03394 PTE. T. HOLLAND of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. He enlisted on 31 December 1914 and arrived in Egypt on 14 October 1915. He was subsequently transferred to the Loyal North Lancs Regiment with service number 36451 and discharged on 29 January 1919.

George (b. 1890) is 8983 PTE. (later SGT.) G. HOLLAND. He served with 2Bn KRRC and arrived in France on 13 August 1914. Just after this article was printed in the Preston Guardian, George was awarded the Military Medal (announced in the London Gazette, 13 October 1916). He was later promoted to Sergeant.

SGT. JOHN HOLLAND joined the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with service number 16 and landed in France on 4 May 1915 with 4th (later 1/4th) Battalion. He was promoted to Corporal and then to Sergeant. At some stage (but after the beginning of 1917) he was transferred to the Hampshire Regiment with a new service number 205922 and he served with 1st (Garrison) Battalion.

The Preston Guardian article says Thurstan was in the Loyal North Lancs Regt., whereas he was actually in the East Lancs Regt. (7Bn). He was 17011 PTE. W. T. HOLLAND and he was killed on The Somme on 25 July 1916.

Peter (b. 1884) was a time-expired soldier with 9 years’ service.

Bill Brierley

Bill Brierley

Before taking early retirement in 2007 and returning to his native Lancashire in 2009, Bill Brierley was head of the School of Languages and Area Studies at the University of Portsmouth.Bill has researched his own family history and has developed a further interest in World War 1 especially as it impacted on the villages of Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge, where his family originates from.Bill has also displayed his work at Lostock Hall library and contributed to other displays at Leyland Library and South Ribble Museum.
Bill Brierley

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2 Responses to 202005 PTE. W. HOLLAND. L.N.LAN.R.

  1. Robert Dixon says:

    I was most intersted to read this. I am a nephew of Richard De P Eddison who was killed on the same day and who is also buried Cite Bonjean Cemetery.My uncle came from Harrogate and was the eldest of four children. His father was a Solicitor.

    • angela fahy says:

      Robert, your uncle’s name is on a war memorial in St Wilfrid’s Church Harrogate, I volunteer there and we are putting together an exhibition about those named. Any further information on your uncle, or his parents, would be very welcome

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