Death of Albert Jollands

Albert Jollands was the brother of Ruth Jollands, who was married to George Panton(1821-1882), who was the son of John Panton(1804-1865) and his wife Mary. Albert was said to have been well-known in racing circles in Newark, as a trainer of steeplechase horses.

I was both saddened and a little intrigued when I had discovered yet another World War One soldier, who appeared to have died during the war. This was somewhat different however, as it was stated he had actually died at home. I had initially assumed he must have died of injuries sustained during the course of his duty. Surprisingly this was not the case.

Corporal Albert Jollands had served  in the South Nottingham Hussars as a letter carrier. At the time of his death (He died on August 24th,1915) it was stated that he lived at 4 White Yard, Nottingham.(I strongly suspect this is actually 4 White Cow Yard,Nottingham). Information below obtained from the website:

Nottinghamshire History

Close to Hollowstone and just behind “Horne’s Castle” is Scotland Place, and out of Scotland Place leads White Cow Yard, which is all that remains of the yard of the “White Cow,” an inn that formerly stood in Fisher Gate.

He had built himself a hut in a more secluded part of the military camp, where he had used to “sleep in solitude”. He was seen outside the hut at six o’clock before he  had started on his postman’s rounds.  At ten o’clock he had gone inside and drawn the curtains.  Around ten to eleven Albert Jolland’s dead body was seen by the Reverend, in his hut with the letters which were addressed to him, underneath him. It was said that Albert had a habit of reading with a candle on his chest and had no doubt fallen asleep. A verdict of “Accidental Death” was recorded. He was fifty four years of age.

Most of this information comes from the Nottingham Evening Post, 29 August 1915. (43)



Lance Corporal John George Panton(1894-1915)

John George Panton, Great Great Grandson of James Panton(1785-1857). Great Grandson of James Panton, town crier of the Bail.(1805=1849). Grandson of George Panton(1821-1882) Son of John James Panton and Sophie Elizabeth Wholey

It appears Lance Corporal John George Panton took part in the Battle of Neuve Chappelle, (as part of the Lincolnshire Regiment) which took place in  10th to 13th March 1915, as he is buried in the British cemetery at Neuve Chappelle. He was reported as wounded and in hospital(6 Montpelier Square) in August 1915. He is subsequently  described as sick August 1915,  On September 18th 1915, it is reported he has influenza. He appears to have returned to the fighting having been discharged  from hospital and was subsequently killed 18th November 1915.

History of the World War-Neuve Chapelle by Francis Andrew March


Walter Panton(1889-1917)

Dulce et Decorun Est Pro Patria Mori by Wilfred Owen

I think this is one of the most powerful works about war ever written.

Wilfred Owen’s poem had a huge personal impact on me. Suddenly war was very real, not just something I had viewed on the television.

I was reminded of this poem again when I encountered yet another dead WW1 soldier, Walter Panton. Twenty eight years old, in what should have been the prime of his life, instead(almost exactly one hundred years ago), it  had become the end of his life. Walter was the son of Frank and Mary Panton and great grandson of James Panton the town crier. I doubt it would ever have occured to James that one day his great grandson would die on the battlefields in France.

The following statement was published in The Lincolnshire Chronicle, 26th May 1917.


Mr and Mrs Panton of 7, Motherby Lane, Lincoln, wish to thank many friends for the kind expressions of sympathy shown to them in their sad bereavement.

A whole generation of young men was decimated, suffering in horrific conditions on the battlefields.  Those who did survive, had often suffered horrifically long after hostilities had ceased. One family member I  remember who had experienced The Somme, had always seemed distant and broken. Another uncle who had been gassed at The Somme, according to his daughter, would wake up at night screaming

I am suddenly tired of this-tired of the terrible carnage of these  poor young men as I remember yet another of our fallen heroes, on the website Lives of WW1.

Lives of World War One

One hundred years ago we were in the middle of WW1. My grandparents generation spoke of WW1 almost as if it were in the present. This is no longer recent history and nobody is left alive to recount the horrors from personal experience. The last surviving veteran of WW1 is believed to have been Florence Green(a nurse who died in 2012.)

Having heard of a great uncle who died on the fields of WW1 but whose body has never been recovered, I began a quest to discover more. My uncle fought in Mesopotamia. I knew the date of his death and his regiment and so I started my research from there. I found the war diaries of a member of his regiment(who had also died that day) and was able to glean from this and various newspapers accounts, much of the events from that fateful period in  January 1916.

The weather conditions had been horrendous. (There had been continuous torrential rain for days-the  muddy conditions the soldiers had experienced, were a nightmare.)  thus there had been open slaughter. The soldiers had frequently been unable  either to retrieve bodies or to help the injured, for some time. Many injured had died awaiting help, Hence it is probably unsurprising that my uncle had remained missing along with copious others.

The tragic events in Mesopotamia are described here  through recorded interviews with the army veterans who participated.

In October of 1916, the official account written by Sir Percy Lake ended with the following statement:


I cannot sufficiently express my admiration for the courage and dogged determination of the force engaged. For days they bivouacked in driving rain on soaked and sodden ground. Three times they were called upon to advance over a perfectly flat country, deep in mud, and absolutely devoid of cover, against well-constructed and well planned trenches, manned by a brave and stubborn enemy approximately their equal in numbers. They showed a spirit of endurance and self-sacrifice of which their country may well be proud.


I am in the process of identifying others in his regiment who died that same day and putting  together their stories also. I have done my best to ensure each one of them is remembered and have  attached my discoveries about the brave battle they fought.

It was to become one of Britain’s most humiliating defeats.. The suffering that was endured is almost unimaginable.  My uncle and others like him fought and  died thousands of miles away from home. I hope that in some small way,  to have helped honour their sacrifice..





Television interviews with WW1 veterans can be found here

If you wish to learn more about the battle in which my uncle and his regiment took part,  please feel free to use the contact form to request the information