Corporal 106297, 189th Special Company, Royal Engineers.

Killed Wednesday 13th October 1915, age 22.

Remembered on the Loos Memorial, France, Panel 4 and 5.

Former Student of chemistry



Herbert, son of William and Emma Hewitt of Stockport, was born in 1893. He attended Portwood Wesleyan School, Stockport and aged twelve won a Foundation Scholarship to Stockport Grammar School where he was a student for five years. He joined Manchester University in 1911, graduating with a B.Sc. (Honours) Chemistry (Second Class) in July 1914. He may have been intending to return to the University as a research student before the war broke out.

During his time at the University Herbert was a member of the Officer Training Corps and on 8th September 1914 he enlisted in 20th Battalion (University and Public Schools) Royal Fusiliers. He underwent ten months of training at Leatherhead in Surrey, Woodcote Park in Epsom and Mansfield in Nottinghamshire before his science background prompted a transfer to a “Special Company” of the Royal Engineers. He arrived with them in France on 26th July 1915 and took part in the first British gas attack on 25th September being recommended for a Distinguished Conduct Medal for tenacity in the attack. Whilst in the trenches at Hulloch on 13th October 1915, preparing for a new attack, he was hit by shrapnel from German artillery fire and died a short time later. Letters to his family offering condolences described Herbert as brave, a hero and a true comrade.

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