Lance Corporal 201605 Andrew Bishop, MM

Bishop Andrew 96 331x600  Bishop Andrew 96 432x600

Killed in Action on Thursday, 16th August 1917, age 24.
Buried in Grave L. D. 7. at Poelcapelle British Cemetery, Langemark-Poelkapelle, West-V., Belgium.

1st/7th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 144th Brigade of 48th Division.
Formerly 3927 1st/7th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment.

Husband of Mrs Annie Bishop, 32 Waterloo Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Dudley, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/491196/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Andrew David GT Bishop registered September quarter 1894 at Dudley.

1901 Census
"In fields adjoining Tipton Road", Dudley. This was between 3 and 4 Birmingham Road, Dudley, adjacent to the Guest Hospital Lodge.
George Bishop (59, Colliery Engineer, born Hopton, Shropshire), his wife Hannah (51, Grocer - on own account, born Tipton), and their 5 children: George (18, Fireman at Colliery, born Tipton), Benjamin (16, Coal Mine Labourer, born Tipton), Mary (14, Grocer's Assistant, born Tipton), Nancy (9, born Tipton), and Andrew (7, born Dudley).

1911 Census
32 Waterloo Street, Tipton, Staffs.
George Bishop (69, Widower, Retired Colliery Engine Driver, born Hopton, Shropshire), and 2 of his children: Anne (20, born Tipton), and Andrew (16, General Labourer at Pig Iron Blast Furnaces, born Tipton).

Andrew Bishop married Annie Baker at St Paul's, Tipton, in 1914 and had one son named George born in 1914.

Personal Data

A great granddaughter of Andrew Bishop did a school project on her Family Tree which says:
"George Bishop (Andrew's father) was a rope splicer who worked on the winding gear at the pit-head at Tipton. He lived with his family in a place called the 'Old Roof' - probably fields adjoining Tipton Road, which was a small farm with stables where they stabled horses for 4d a night. They also kept pigs. George and Hannah were both good shots and would use their guns to shoot their meals -rabbits, ducks, pigeons etc. They also sold vegetables. George was a skilled model maker and he liked to make model steam engines from brass. They later moved to a shop in High Street, Tipton where Hannah baked bread and made pies etc. She delivered these by bicycle. One day in winter (March quarter 1907) she slipped and broke her leg and died at the age of 56. "

Andrew joined the Army in April 1915 and after his training landed in France "after Whitsun 1916". Like his parents, Andrew was believed to be a crack-shot, and a family story says that he shot at Bisley Rifle Competitions scoring near 100%. The family used to have a silver cigarette case commemorating his success which was lost over the years.". He was last at home in late summer 1916 when he had been taken ill and spent time in hospital in Bristol, a short leave preceded his return to his unit.

After the 1/7th Worcesters had captured Epehy on 1st April 1917, they were again in action nearby on the 24th April. This was the attack on Gillemont Farm, located on a spur overlooking the Hindenburg Line and so of strategic importance. During the day, their colleagues the 1/8th Worcesters had captured Gillemont Farm but been unable to hold it. At 11pm the 1/7th Worcesters advanced and after some confused hand-to-hand fighting captured Gillemont Farm, and held it against bombardment and counter attack until relieved almost 24 hours later. Amongst 7 Military Medals awarded that day was one of Private A. Bishop.

After Andrew's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £2/5/1d (2 pounds, 5 shillings and 1 penny); this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Annie, in November 1917. His War Gratuity was £10/10/0d (10 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to Annie in October 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Andrew had enlisted in April 1915.

Andrew's widow, Annie, received a Grant of £5/0/0d (5 pounds exactly) on 29th September 1917, and then a weekly pension of 18/9d (18 shillings and 9 pence) with effect from 18th March 1918.

Action resulting in his death

Battle of Langemarck 16th August 1917
The 1/7th Worcesters were in 144 Brigade of 48th (South Midlands) Division. Their initial role on 15th August 1917 was to be in support to 145 Brigade in their attack from the line of the Steenbeck near St Julien. By 11.00am, 1/7th Worcesters were ordered to assist 144 Brigade on the far side of the Steenbeck, as the attack was faltering against the chain of concrete block-houses including Maison du Hibou, Hillock Farm, Jew Hill and Border House. The battle ebbed and flowed during the day, but by nightfall Border House and Jew Hill had been captured. Orders then came that 'C' Company of 1/7th Worcesters were to attack the strongest of the block-houses. 'C' Company was to rush Maison du Hibou without artillery support under cover of darkness, but with covering fire from the Lewis guns of 'D' Company.

The plan failed as they were met with a hail of machine gun bullets from front and flank, and nearly all the leading wave was shot down. Clearly Maison du Hibou could not be taken without artillery support. This support was to be provided for the renewed attack at 2.30am on August 17th, this time by 'B' Company which had relieved 'C' Company. In short, 'B' Company reached the buildings and fought their way in, but after the Germans brought up fresh men, the 1/7th were compelled to pull back.

We can be sure that Andrew Bishop was killed in the attack on Maison du Hibou as he was initially buried at map reference C.5.d.7.0 which is approximately 200 yards from Maison du Hibou. This location is approximately 600 yards south-west of the Canadian 'Brooding Soldier' Memorial near St. Julien. On 30th Ocotber 1920, a number of isolated battlefield burial in this area were exhumed and re-buried in Poelcapelle British Cemetery, one of them was Andrew Bishop who was identified by his Identification Disc.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 27th October 1917
Has gained Military Medal
Lance Corporal Andrew Bishop
Official information has been received by the widow of the death in action, on August 16th, of Lance Corporal Andrew Bishop of the 7th Worcesters, whose home was at 32, Waterloo Street, Tipton. Only on June 1st he was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty in action.
The deceased soldier was 24 last July. He was employed from a boy at the Tipton Green Furnaces, and then for a short time was at the Coneygree Brick Works. Always a good shot, he was naturally attracted to the Army, which he joined on April 12th 1915 - two and a half years ago. He leaves a widow and little son to mourn his loss. He came home on furlough from Salisbury Plain at Whitsun 1916, before proceeding to France. In the late summer of that year he was taken ill and sent home to England, he being an inmate of an hospital in Bristol. His wife had not seen him since September of last year. Bishop has a brother (Private George Baker) who was wounded in the Dardanelles.