ALBERT GALLIMORE (DCM)

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service Number: 12635.
Regiment: 1st Bn. North Staffordshire Regiment Killed In Action Tuesday 29th May 1917 Age 22County Memorial Congleton
Commemorated\Buried VLAMERTINGHE MILITARY CEMETERY
Grave\Panel Ref: VII.C.20.
Belgium

Son of Mr. Charles Gallimore, and Mrs. Elizabeth Gallimore, of 20, John Street, Congleton, Cheshire, and 29, Dane Street, Congleton, Cheshire. He had no sisters or brothers. Prior to the war he had been employed as a Collier, (Coal Miner Hewer).

Extract from the Congleton Chronicle in 1915

It will be remembered that on the 30th of May 1915, a supplement to the London Gazette recorded that a Congleton man Lance Corporal A. Gallimore of the 1st Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Naturally Congleton people were proud that such a distinction had been bestowed on a fellow townsman, and the circumstances under which the award had been given has given rise to much speculation. We now know a little about the terrible fighting which took place on a portion of the British front on the night of the 29th and 30th of April when Private Albert Gallimore earned the D.C.M., and knowing, we raise our hats to our gallant townsman. Be sure that such deeds will not be allowed to die into oblivion or as is sometimes the case with noteworthy records of deeds of daring do relegate them to the darkest recesses of the lumber room. One must need to dip one’s pen into an April rainbow to paint in primary colours the heroism of the 1st Battalion North Staffs on that night, tragic to many a brave lad, in April, when the Hun with devilish ingenuity carried out a gas attack on a considerable scale near Welverghem on a front of 3,500 yds. The operation was commenced with heavy rifle and machine gun fire of a devastating and death dealing nature, under cover of which the poisonous gas was released. Immediately afterwards a terrible barrage or curtain of artillery fire was placed on three parts of this area and no less than eight infantry attacks were launched. It conclusively demonstrates the tenacity and dour determination of our troops when it is realised that of those attacks, carried out with characteristic German thoroughness, only two penetrated our trenches, one was immediately repelled, while the other was driven out by a counter attack after about 10 minutes occupation. It was during the expelling of the enemy from the British trenches that Private Gallimore displayed the courage that won him the admiration of officers and men and the D.C.M. It was about the time the shelling had been going to the North Staffs for about an hour, after which time the Germans launched the attack, and as already stated gain a footing in the British trenches. Then followed a scene that beggar’s description. The assailants hurled themselves upon each other with equal fury. The Germans whose ardour had been stimulated with doses of ether, attacked with great resolution, but the men of Staffordshire covered themselves with immortal glory, resisting the enemy with heroic tenacity and gradually forcing him over the parapet.

The rifle played a little part in this terrible drama knife, bayonet, revolver and hand grenade were the chief weapons used. There is a flavour of the old time, hand to hand fighting about the feat of Private Gallimore who was on the Reserve Bomb Store. He rushed on at a critical moment in the melee, pulled a barrier down and after organising a bombing party, engaged the enemy with great fury. He then acted as bayonet man and got among the enemy eventually having a hand to hand encounter with a German N.C.O. whom he placed (hors de combat) and disarmed. They succeeded in driving the Germans back to their own trenches. Under heavy fire Private Gallimore had previously brought up bombs and assisted materially in rallying the men. Such is the story, without any attempt of embellishment of how a Congleton lad won fame in the conflict of nations, a story that will be told and retold in happier days with infinite gusto. Lance Corporal A. Gallimore's father, Sapper Charles Gallimore of the Royal Engineers was posted as killed some time ago.

The Citation reads:
12635 Pte. A Gallimore 1st Bn. North Staffordshire Regiment.
For conspicuous gallantry and good work. Under heavy fire he brought up bombs, and assisted materially in rallying the men. He then acted as bayonet man, and got in among the enemy. He has previously done fine work.


Extract from the war diary of the North Staffordshire Regiment.

On the 14th of May 1917, Lance Corporal Arthur Gallimore of the 1st Battalion, the North Staffordshire Regiment who were attached to the 24th Division, 72nd Brigade were situated at Brandhoek. At 12:00 hours they relieved the 11th Battalion, the Sherwood Foresters in Brigade support in the Zillebeke trenches. They then moved by train from Brandhoek to Ypres. The Battalion was now in X Corps, 2nd Army. On the 15th of May they were still in Brigade support with their headquarters at Halfway House, the enemy was quite in the front and left sub sector but shelling and minenwerfer occurred in the right sub sector. The next few days remained quite except on the 18th when the Germans attempted a raid on the 8th Battalion, the Queens again in the right sub sector but there were no casualties. The 20th of May saw the Battalion relieve the 9th Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment in the left sub sector, this was completed during the night of the 20th/21St of May. "B" and "D" Companies were in the front, with "A" and "C" Companies in support. The 21st of May saw the Battalion holding the front line in the left sub sector and even though the day was quiet the enemy shelled the trenches. Again, the next was quiet until the 24th when the Germans attempted to raid the 8th Battalion, the Royal West Kent Regiment in the right sub sector under the cover of artillery fire. On the 24th of May an inter-company relief took place " D" Company relieving "A" Company in the front line "C" Company relieved "B" Company in the front line while '1 B" and "A" Companies went into support. The next few days were quiet apart from the enemy shelling the back areas at night. On the 29th of May the Brigade were relieved by the 89th Brigade. The North Stafford’s being relieved by the 19th Battalion, the Kings (Liverpool Regiment) this being completed by the night of the 29th/30th of May 1917. The Battalion then proceeded by train from Ypres (now Leper) to Hopoutre where they went into camp. The only casualty during the 29th of May 1917 was Lance Corporal Albert Gallimore, the circumstances of his death are unknown. The War Diary of the North Staffordshire Regiment records no action or incident for that day. He is buried in the Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery in Belgium.

 

 

 

© Cheshire County Memorial Project
2016