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  • 5 Plantagenet Street Nottingham the home of Thomas and May Sharp.
Person Details
Hyson Green Nottingham
He was the son of Henry and Mary Ann Sharp of 97 Derby Road Long Eaton. His father was a baker/confectioner/gingerbread maker. He was the husband of May Sharp of 5 Plantagenet Street Nottingham. Sharp joined the OTC at University College Nottingham where he trained to teach after obtaining a (London external) B.Sc. Sharp was the youngest of five, with two sisters teaching in 1901 and brothers employed as a draughtsman and an architect’s pupil. .
Sharp attended Mundella School Meadows Nottingham. In August 1914, he was teaching at St Andrews’ Trust School, Nottingham.
07 Oct 1916
23
812250 - CWGC Website
6679
1/5th Bn London Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own)
Sharp married in late 1915 around the time Lord Derby and Asquith were pledging that no married men would be conscripted whilst single contemporaries were still available and marriage probably deferred his call up until the following May. Sharp was deployed to the Civil Service Rifles in the summer of 1916, after thirteen weeks basic infantry training, as part of a draft replacing original civil service volunteers killed during the spring, notably at Vimy Ridge a year before its capture by Canadian forces. Sharp arrived in France during the late summer of August 1916 and helped reinforce men exhausted by ‘the rotten game of war’: the dirt and squalor, the crippling fatigues, the horror of seeing men wounded and killed and the apparent futility.’ On September 12th, the battalion marched through Albert and occupied positions south west of High Wood at 1800hrs two days later. When German forces were finally expelled from Delville Wood in early September, following weeks of brutal struggle, High Wood remained the final important strategic vantage point on the ridge still in enemy hands. The CSR were part of 47th Division whose task was the capture High Wood as part of the opening phase of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. The objective was achieved but with terrible casualties; 15 CSR officers and 365 o/rs were lost as 47th Division was ‘met with such heavy fire from unbombarded German machine gun positions that few survived to contribute to their respective war diaries.’ Promised support from tanks degenerated into a fiasco. The king’s congratulatory telegram reflected public celebration of the “success” but a survivor recalled seeing ‘men torn to fragments by the near explosion of bombs and – worse than any sight - I heard the agonised cries of men in mortal pain.’ It is possible that Sharp was a fortunate survivor of this action although it seems more likely, in view of the CSR’s losses in High Wood that he joined the battalion in its immediate aftermath. After little rest and only three weeks to regroup, the battalion returned to action in a doomed assault on the Butte de Warlencourt, a sixty foot high ancient burial mound two miles north of High Wood. The Butte was riddled with tunnels and deep dugouts and heavily defended by mortars, machine guns and belts of barbed wire. A survivor of 47th Division’s assault on the Butte de Warlencourt recalled ‘at 2pm on a grey, mournful afternoon of Saturday 7thOctober 1916, I was again over the top. Within a few minutes we had rushed forward with fixed bayonets, a distance of about 60 yards when Jerry’s machine guns caught our sparsely distributed onslaught. I was bowled over, so were men on my left and right.’ At 13.45, the Civil Service Rifles were ordered to attack the Butte de Warlencourt which stood about 2,800 yards from their assembly trenches. ‘A’ Company made some progress on the left but ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ Companies were bombarded by artillery fire and massacred by machine guns and their own creeping barrage as they emerged from the cover of buildings. ‘Not a man turned back,’ noted the divisional history, ‘and some got right under the Butte but they were not seen again.’ ‘Battalion badly cut up,’ recorded the CSR’s war diarist as 354 men became casualties. Listed among the dead was Private Thomas Sharp. Source David Nunn Britannia Calls: Nottingham Schools and the push for Great War victory
Mundella Magazine, Xmas 1916, 'Our Fallen': ‘Another old Mundella boy has fallen in action in France, at the age of 24. Six months ago TP Sharp joined the Civil Service Rifles as a private and after 4 months training was sent abroad. In the ranks he was beloved by all his comrades, who each had a genuine regard for him and he died as he had lived, a comrade to be proud of and one who never shirked a duty. TP Sharp was a graduate of London University and had a brilliant career before him and our sympathy goes out to his young wife and the stricken family.’ Research Rachel Farrand
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  • 5 Plantagenet Street Nottingham the home of Thomas and May Sharp.
    Photo David Nunn - 5 Plantagenet Street Nottingham the home of Thomas and May Sharp.