Jack Hobson lived with his mother at 28 Cemetery Terrace, South Road, Stourbridge. In 1914 he was employed at the Stourbridge Ironworks of John Bradley and Co. He was an early volunteer for the Worcesters and was posted to the 1st Battalion. This battalion went to France in November 1914 and quickly took over front line duties in Artois. During the winter of early 1915 there was little by way of serious attacks but plans were put in hand for a major British attack in Artois during March. The Battle of Neuve Chapelle opened on the 10th March with the Worcesters in the second line. When the advance stalled, the battalion moved north of the village to attack the German line. At about 2.30 p.m. A and D companies attacked gallantly across the open ground but sustained heavy casualties in the face of German fire. Even worse, artillery support fell short and the forward platoon was virtually wiped out. During the night the Germans brought up reinforcements including the 21st Bavarian Reserve Regiment. In the misty dawn the Worcesters faced the charge of fresh troops with some anxiety, but at the crucial moment a 'mad minute' of accurate rifle fire broke the charge. They then counter-attacked and drove the Bavarians back to their trenches. However, no other units had kept up with them and further counter-attacks left the Worcesters exposed. In order to return to their lines, they had to cross the open ground under German machine gun fire. Losses were again heavy and included Colonel Wodehouse, the Commanding Officer. Private Jack Hobson was seriously wounded on the 10th or 11th and was taken to 26 Field Ambulance Station. Here he died on the 12th March 1915. He was 24 years of age and is buried in Estaires Cemetery (3 C 16) and commemorated on the Stourbridge and St. Thomas's church Memorials.
Market Street, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY8 1AQ
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