Private Alfred Clark Dring
from Alan Bednall
On July 1915, Alf got a job as a miner at the Wollaton colliery within easy walking distance of his home. He didn’t stay there long, however, leaving at the end of his first week. Some time later, following an argument with his father, Alf enlisted in the 15th (Service) Battalion the Sherwood Foresters "The Bantams" (men with heights ranging from 5 feet to 5 feet 3 inches) following a change in the minimum height for Army recruits and went with it to France. The situation he and his comrades found themselves in a few days before he died is described in "The Blast of War: A History of Nottingham’s Bantams. 15th Battalion Sherwood Foresters 1915-1919" by Maurice Bacon and Michael Langley Printed by The Sherwood Press (Nottm.) Ltd. 1986. Alfred died towards the end of the War in one of the toughest battles he and his comrades had to face. In January 1918 they went into the line as the left Division of II Corps on the line of the Broembeek where they experienced "a difficult period of tough trench and patrol warfare with rain and snow making conditions grim". By the 9th March the 15th (Service) Battalion was in reserve with the 105th Brigade at Eyhoek and Crombeke expecting a major German offensive. On the 23rd/24th of March, the Battalion moved to Maricourt and later pushed on to Curluwood. At mid-day Sunday 24th orders were received to counter attack. ‘Y’’ & ‘‘Z’ Companies moved forward and held the advancing enemy, with the 15th Cheshires on the right flank. Contact could not, however, be established with any troops on the left flank and towards 4.30 pm the two front Companies were outflanked by the enemy and virtually wiped out. A withdrawal to a fresh position on CURLU-MAUREPAS ROAD was ordered and successfully carried out. This action was said to have been the most severe test the 15th (Service) Battalion had to face. Private Alfred Clark Dring was one of the many who died on Sunday 24th March 1918 and were buried in the Doullens Cemetery –Extension 1, on the Somme.