201603 L/CPL Henry IBBOTSON M.M.

201603 L/CPL Henry IBBOTSON 1/4th York and Lancaster Regiment

201603 L/CPL Henry IBBOTSON 1/4th York and Lancaster Regiment                           

Military Medal

Military Medal



Was born on the 14th of January 1895 at Worrall, Sheffield.

His mother was Rosilla (variously spelt Rosella/Rosalie) but his father is not named on his birth certificate.

Rosilla was born at Worrall c.1872, her father was Albert, mother, Harriet and she had a brother, Tom.

In 1881 she was living with her family at Worrall but by 1891 had moved to 436 Brightside Lane, Sheffield where she was described as a ‘visitor’ and her occupation given as ‘laundress’.

In 1900, she married John Trevarrow (a Devon man) and in 1901 they were living at Worrall.

By 1911, she was still at Worrall with John and now had two sons, Albert aged 9 (bn.c.1902) and John, 6 (bn. c. 1905)

She died in 1940 at Wortley.

Henry Ibbotson first appears on the 1901 census, living with his grandparents, Albert and Harriet and uncle, Tom at ‘The Lunn’, Bradfield.

In 1911 he is described as a ‘farm servant’ at Wortley.

It therefore appears that he was illegitimate and it seems unlikely that John Trevarrow was his father. Who is father was then, is open to speculation (see later)

No service papers exist for Henry but he obviously joined the York and Lancaster Regiment and was posted to the 1st/4th Battlion, The ‘Hallamshires’.

Henry was awarded the Military Medal in 1916 for bravery whilst acting as a stretcher-bearer during a trench raid during the battle of the Somme. This trench raid took part on the 14th September 1916 and was led by Lieutenant Christmas. Under heavy shell fire they first captured an enemy trench and then, before turning to flank another, received multiple casualties from German fire requiring several of the wounded to be rescued. For their actions, Lieutenant Christmas was awarded the Military Cross, Sergeant Shute, the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Henry Ibbotson, the Military Medal. This award is confirmed in the London Gazette of 16th November 1916 and is also mentioned in the war diary dated 24th September 1916 thus, an immediate award.

He was killed in action on the 2nd May 1917. The Battalion history records that during a ‘quiet’ period on a fine day whilst stationed at Pont-du-Hem, a number of men had taken time to write letters home when an 8-inch shell, the first of some 350, landed amongst the billets immediately killing 12 men and wounding 16.

Henry Ibbotson was one of those men.

On a family gravestone in Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield, Henry’s death is recorded thus: ‘Also to the memory of L/Cpl Henry Ibbotson MM, 1/4th York and Lancs Regt, nephew, killed in action in France, May 2nd 1917, interred in Pont du Hem Cemetery. “ He gave his all ”.

This family plot commemorates his Uncle, Tom, Edith his wife and their daughter Ivy.

 Now for the conundrum.

This group was bought from A H Baldwin & Sons Ltd., of London.

Their listing indicated :

“ He was the brother of Lieutenant Arnold Ibbotson, York & Lancaster Regiment who was also killed in action, France/Flanders on the 13th October 1918 “.

The group had previously been offered for sale by DNW in 2009 bearing the same statement.

Not only did my research fail to confirm this fact it suggested that it was not in fact true. I contacted the previous owner of the group but he could shed no light having accepted what he had been told at face value and done no confirmation research of his own.

Arnold Ibbotson was also born in Sheffield. His parents are recorded as Willis and Helen.

In 1901 the family are at Bury St Edmonds in Suffolk and Willis is described as a ‘commercial traveller’.

Arnold Ibbotson enlisted at Haverhill, Suffolk on the 10th December 1915 and was commissioned into the York and Lancaster Regiment in July 1917. By this time his father had died and his mother, Helen, was living at 34 Springvale Road, Crookes.

There is however, one very curious fact. Both Henry and Arnold were born on the same day – 14th January 1895.

The mystery will probably never be solved………………or will it?

Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery

Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery


Henry's Headstone

Henry’s Headstone


Henry’s family headstone found in Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.

IBBOTSON family headstone

IBBOTSON family headstone


        ‘ HE GAVE HIS ALL ‘