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Rendall, H., Pte., D.C.M., 1916

Medal Index Card

Newcastle Chronicle Wednesday 19/07/1916

Newcastle Chronicle 17/11/1915

In Abbeville Communal Cemetery is the Commonwealth War Grave of 11368 Private Hector Rendall, serving with the 12th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers who died 10/07/1916.

Hector Rendall was born 5th July 1885 at 22 Somerset Street, Westoe, South Shields. The second of 4 sons born to Peter Rendall, a Seaman from Lerwick in the Shetland Islands and Jane Richardson from Tyne Dock, South Shields. He was baptised 29th July 1905 at St Michaelís Church in South Westoe, South Shields.

The 1891 Census has them living at 12 Dock Buildings, Chirton, Percy Main, as his father, Peter, was now a Police Constable working on the River Tyne. On 11th March 1893 Peter died of Chronic Fibroid Pneumonia and Cardiac Arrest and the family were now living back at Janeís parentsí address of 17 Derby Terrace, Westoe, South Shields. The 1901 Census has the family living at 60 George Potts Street, South Shields and Hector is employed as a Labourer in Pit Screens. In the 1911 Census they had moved to the Wallsend area, living at 7 Parker Terrace in Rosehill. Hector is now employed as a Metal Foundry Labourer at Wallsend Slipway Company. In 1913 Robert, his elder brother, died of Lymphadenoma on 9th April, aged 31 years.

In 1914 Hector enlisted shortly after the war commenced and joined the 12th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, which was formed at Newcastle in September 1914 as part of Kitchenerís Third New Army, and joined 62nd Brigade, 21st Division. The Division concentrated in the Tring area, training at Halton Park before winter necessitated a move into local billets in Tring, Aylesbury, Leighton Buzzard, High Wycombe and Maidenhead. The artillery was at High Wycombe and Berkhamsted, R.E. at Chesham, and A.S.C. at Dunstable. In May 1915 the infantry moved to huts at Halton Park, whilst the artillery moved to Aston Clinton, with one brigade staying at Berkhamsted and the R.E. to Wendover. On the 9th of August they moved to Witley Camp. They proceeded to France on the 9th September and marched across France, their first experience of action being in the British assault at Loos on the 25/26th September 1915, suffering heavy casualties, just a few days after arriving in France.

Entry from Newcastle Journal 17/11/1915 regarding the D.C.M. Citation

11368, Private H Rendall 12th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. For conspicuous gallantry on the 25th-26th September 1915 at Hill 70 where he remained at his machine gun all night under heavy and continuous fire, doing excellent work after his comrades on either side of him had been killed. His coolness and bravery and devotion to duty were most marked.

Entry from the War Diary 24th December 1915 Captain Shann (?) and seven privates proceeded on short leave to England, this being the first short leave granted to this battalion (Hector was one of the seven men granted a short leave).

When he was home on leave in January 1916, Private Rendall was presented with a gold watch by the officials and workmen of Wallsend Slipway in commemoration of his bravery at Loos.

Entry from Newcastle Chronicle Wednesday 19/07/1916

"WILLINGTON QUAY DCM KILLED Private Hector Rendall, D.C.M, Northumberland Fusiliers, son of Mrs Rendall, 7 Parker Terrace, Rosehill, Willington Quay, who has died of wounds received in action during the fighting at the beginning of the present month, has been buried in a cemetery at Abbeville, information to that effect having been received from a chaplain. Private Rendall was 31 years of age. He was formerly employed at the foundry of the Wallsend Slipway Company. He enlisted shortly after the war commenced, and he was awarded the D.C.M. for conspicuous gallantry during the battle of Loos, when he stemmed a German attack with his machine gun. When home on leave in January Private Rendall was presented with a gold watch, suitably inscribed, by the officials and the workmen of the Slipway Company, in commemoration of his bravery at Loos.

The information supplied by Christine McGranaghan, great-great-niece.

He is remembered at Wallsend on W7.23 and in Willington Quay on W56.05

Between 1st and 4th July, the 21st Division saw action to the north of a village named Fricourt. The 12th and 13th Northumberland Fusiliers did not take part in the initial assault on the morning of 1st July 1916 but it was intended that they would follow in support at midday. The Green Howards Battalion suffered such heavy losses, however, that the advance of the 12th Battalion did not get underway until the evening, and by July 2nd the Battalion was in the front line trenches at a sunken road and later in a position known as Patch Alley. On July 3rd the Battalion went on to take part in an attack on both Shelter Wood and Birch Tree Wood and both were taken after heavy fighting. During the night of 3rd/4th July the Battalion was withdrawn from the front line and sent to rest in billets in a rear area. Since the 12th Battalionís War Diary shows that it was in rest billets on 10th July 1916, and hence not in action, it must follow that Private Rendall had been wounded before that date and it was only then that he eventually succumbed to his wounds. It seems almost certain, therefore, that the wounds had been sustained during one of the actions between 1st - 3rd July and, given that he is now buried in Abbeville near the Channel Coast, it seems equally certain that he had been evacuated from the battlefield and taken to the rear areas for medical help. Hector died of wounds on 10th July 1916 at 2 Stat Hospital in Abbeville and is buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery. Grave Reference IV.D.10.

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The CWGC entry for Private Rendall

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk