Rifleman Herbert George Stillman

Date of Birth c. 1891
Age at Death 24
Date of Death 12 July 1916
Service Number S/14370
Military Service 12 Battalion, Rifle Brigade
Merton Address 7A Robinson Road, Colliers Wood
Local Memorial Christ Church, Colliers Wood

Additional Information

Herbert was born in Hendon, Middlesex between October and December in 1891 and was baptised on 3 January at St Mary’s Church the following year. His parents, William and Jane were living at 5 Heading Street, Hendon, and his father was employed as a Carman. By 1901 the family had moved to 6 Balham High Street, and William now had his own business as a Greengrocer. Herbert was now aged nine, and the rest of the family included his older sister Helen aged 18, and brother, William aged 11. By the time of the 1911 Census, the family had moved again to 62 Balham Hill. William Jnr had now joined his father as a Greengrocer, while Herbert was employed as a Fitters Mate/Motor Engineer. Helen had moved out of the family home, but a cousin, Frank Stillman aged 7, was now living with the family.

During the Great War, Herbert enlisted with the 12th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade as a Rifleman. After training at home, the Battalion landed in France in July 1915 at Boulogne-sur-Mer as part of the 60th Brigade, 20th Division. The Battalion would have been involved in action at the Battle of Mont Sorrel, Ypres, Belgium (2–13 June 1916).

The 12th Battalion’s War Diary for 12 July 1916, records that the soldiers were billeted in the Rue De Boeschepe, Poperinghe, Belgium, where there was heavy shelling, and that two officers were killed by one shell in the square. It is probable that Herbert, who died of wounds on that day, was also killed by that shell, as the only other casualties recorded on the 12 July were Captain Thompson and Captain Keele - the two officers mentioned in the Diary.

A later entry for 21 July 1916 records the number of Casualties for the year since the Battalion embarked for France (22 July 1915): The casualties were recorded as 48 Officers and 1,030 Other Ranks, which included 147 Missing and 148 killed and that the battalion had spent 116 days in the front line trenches.

The Register of Soldiers’ Effects records that his father and mother, as joint legitimate heirs, were entitiled to Herbert’s last pay of £2.11.8 plus £3.00 War Gratuity. The family had since moved to 7A Robinson Road, Colliers Wood.

Herbert is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium and is commemorated locally at Christ Church, Colliers Wood.

Herbert’s brother, Corporal William Edward Stillman, was killed during the Great War, and his story is also included on this website.


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