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Richard Hobbs (1895-1917)

From Burnhope, served with 15th Battalion DLI, killed in action at Arras.

Though Richard Hobbs was born in Castle Eden in 1895, the son of William James and Mary Hobbs, he grew up in Burnhope, where he lived with his parents and seven brothers and sisters and worked in the local colliery.

On 23 September 1914, Richard Hobbs, then aged 19 years old, went to Durham and enlisted, joining the 15th (Service) Battalion DLI – part of Kitchener’s New Army.

On 11 September 1915, after long months of training, the 15th Battalion DLI arrived in France and within a week was fighting at the Battle of Loos. During this battle, on 26 September, 20192 Private Hobbs was gassed. After being treated by a field ambulance and then a casualty clearing station, Private Hobbs was transferred to a hospital on the French coast at Etaples.

Rejoining 15 DLI on active service, Richard Hobbs was struck down by trench fever in October 1916. After recovering, he again rejoined his battalion.

On 3 May 1917, the 15th Battalion DLI attacked part of the Hindenburg Line near Fontaine les Croisilles, east off Arras, losing 11 men killed, over 70 men wounded, and 28 men missing in the fighting. Private Hobbs was one of the missing and his body was never recovered from the battlefield.

For more information:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission,-richard/

North East War Memorials Project

Civil Parish: Lanchester

Birth date: 1895

Death date: 3-May-1917

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 3 Pavilion Terrace, Burnhope, County Durham.

Employment: Underground pony driver, Burnhope colliery.

Family: Parents: William James and Mary (née Readshw) Hobbs.
Siblings: Elizabeth, Edith, James, Laura, Beatrice, Clara and Polly Hobbs.

Military service:

Enlisted 23 September 1914, as 20192 Private, 15th Battalion DLI.
Killed in action 3 May 1917.

Medal(s): 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.

Memorial(s): Arras Memorial, France
Burnhope Memorial Garden

Gender: Male

Contributed by Burnhope War Memorial Research Group. | With additional research by Durham County Record Office.