ALLATT FISHER

Private 20534, 2/5th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment

Killed in Action 3 May 1917

Commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France

Son of George and Harriet Fisher


George Fisher married Harriet Wood in 1876.  Allatt was born in 1882, joining sister Hannah born in 1877 and son Charles Henry, born in 1880.  In 1881 the family were living in Milton Square, Heckmondwike and George was working as a carpet weaver.  A daughter Emma was born in 1893.  By 1911 George had died, leaving his widow, Allatt and Emma at home in Milton Square.  Charles had married in 1904.

Allatt enlisted on 9 December 1915 and was placed on Reserve until 20 May 1916.  After his medical examination in Halifax he was placed in category 3b, which suggests there were reservations about his fitness, and served with the 3rd Battalion on Home Garrison Service in the UK.  Despite that he was posted to the 8th Battalion and left from Folkestone on 6 September 1916. The 8th Battalion was in the Somme area.  On 27 September 1916 Allatt received gunshot wounds to his right upper arm and left leg.  He moved along the casualty chain from a Canadian Field Hospital to 49 Casualty Clearing Station, then by train to hospital in Rouen before embarking on the Hospital Ship Panama on 30 September 1916.  He arrived at the War Hospital, Seafield, Leith, Scotland on 3 October 1916.  This hospital had formerly been a Poor House and was intended to accommodate 165 officers and 420 other ranks.  After an X-ray Allatt had an operation on 5 October and a bullet was removed from his arm.  This wound was described as ‘very septic’ but there was no ‘nerve lesion’ and the multiple wounds to his leg were ‘not severe’.  He returned to the 3rd Battalion but after again leaving Folkestone for Boulogne on 8 March 1917 he was eventually posted to the 2/5th Battalion on 26 March 1917.

At 3:45am on 3 May 1917 the Battalion took part in the attack on the Hindenburg Line west of Bullecourt to the south east of Arras.  Following heavy bombardment of the German lines the battalion took parts of the German trenches but had to return to their own lines after a counter-attack around 4pm.  The whole Battalion came under heavy shell and machine gun fire and many survivors held out in shell holes until they could return to their lines after dusk.  The Battalion remained in the front–line trenches until relieved the following day.  Allatt Fisher was at first listed as missing, then shown as being killed ‘on or since’ 3 May 1917.

Allatt’s mother had been named as her son’s next-of-kin, but she had died in 1916, aged 62.  Allatt’s brother Charles of Southfield Farm, Norristhorpe became next-of-kin and was sent his brother’s British War and Victory Medals in 1921.

Allatt’s sister Emma married George Albert Harmer on 30 May 1914 with Allatt as a witness.  George Harmer enlisted on 13 April 1916 as Private 28557 in the West Yorkshire Regiment.  Despite being ‘gassed’ in France he survived the War and his name is shown on the Heckmondwike Roll of Honour.
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