The 2nd Battalion in August 1914 was stationed in Sheffield, part of the 18th Brigade of the 6th Division which was widely dispersed with two brigades in Ireland and one in Northern Command. They landed in France in September 1914 and after taking part in the Battle of the Aisne moved north to the Ypres salient where the division stayed for the next thirteen months sustaining some 11,000 casualties before moving down to the Somme. The battalion fought at Lens in June/July 1917 suffering losses of 183 or a quarter of its trench strength, and it was also at Cambrai.
Wylly’s is a factual, unembellished account avoiding dramatics. Casualty figures are given from time to time following actions with individual officers named, as are officers with incoming drafts. After the war a memorial tower was erected at the summit of Crich Cliff, near Ripley, to be seen for miles around. The account of its opening, on 6th August of some unspecified year is reproduced from the Derbyshire Advertiser: It commemorates 11,409 of the Regiment who died in the Great War and the 140,000 who served in its thirty-two battalions.
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