Year of birth: 1891
Address: 42 Fallsbrook Rd, Streatham, London SW16 6DU
Date of death: September 26th, 1915 (died in France)
Burial site: Loos Memorial, panel 65 to 67
Age of death: 24
Service number: 496
Regiment: East Surrey Regiment (ESR)
Squadron: 9th Battalion
On the 26th of September 1915, the day of Herbert Vidler’s death, the 9th Battalion "took cover in German support trenches", which had been captured by Allied troops on the previous afternoon. There was an attempt to supply these men with rations, but German shell fire prevented this. At 10:20am, orders were received to attack at 11:00am. This attack was targeted at enemies hindering this aid mission. The 72nd Brigade formed the main advance and support lines, whilst the 71st Brigade stood by as reserves.
The attack was launched at 11:00am exactly, and was carried right up to enemy trench lines. However, the attack was prevented from advancing after a failure to cut the barbed wire surrounding German trenches, making it impossible for the 72nd Brigade to infiltrate enemy lines.
Casualties suffered at this point in the advance were high, due to the use of machine guns on the 72nd Brigade. The fatalities numbered 14 Officers and Lieutenants, whilst countless other privates died or suffered life-threatening injuries. At this point, the 9th ESR, 72nd Brigade and other support regiments were ordered to retreat, whilst enemy shelling continued.
From this information, we can therefore assume that Herbert Vidler’s untimely death on the 26th September 1915, aged 24, was as a result of the chaotic chain of events listed above.
The National Archive’s reference WO 95/2215/1
To access a map of the former residence of the Vidler family, please click here
By Chad and Laura, Year 12