Bancroft, David

BORN CAISTOR, LINCOLNSHIRE 1888. SON OF NICHOLSON BANCROFT (1847-1920) & MARY ANN PARKER BANCROFT (1848-1909). A GROCER’S ASSISTANT. HE BOARDED AT 40 VANE STREET, SPRINGBANK WEST (1911 CENSUS). HE MARRIED MARY ELLEN KIRBY ON 11/12/1913. THEY LIVED AT 8 CEDAR GROVE, EXCHANGE STREET AND AT THIS ARMY RECORDS ADDRESS, WITH THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE MAY (BORN 02/10/1914). HE ENLISTED IN HULL, ON 30/05/1916, AGED 27 YEARS AND 11 MONTHS. HIS ARMY RECORDS DESCRIBE HIM, AS 5 FOOT, 3 INCHES TALL, 166 LBS WEIGHT, 38 INCH CHEST SIZE. HE ARRIVED IN FRANCE ON 17/09/1916. SERVING WITH THE 10TH EAST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT FROM 08/10/1916. HE WAS KILLED IN ACTION, AT OPPY WOOD, ON 3RD MAY 1917, AGED 29. HE IS COMMEMORATED ON THE ARRAS MEMORIAL. HIS DEATH WAS REPORTED IN THE HULL DAILY MAIL, ON 19/06/1917.
HE WAS BROTHER, TO HARRY, EDITH, ADA, FRED, CHARLOTTE, ETHEL AND FRANK. HIS OTHER BROTHER, PRIVATE, ARTHUR BANCROFT, 39698, 15TH NOTTS & DERBY, WAS KILLED IN ACTION, ON 16/09/1916, AGED 37.

The attack on Oppy Wood, part of the Battle of Arras, was a significant battle for the East Yorkshire Regiment and particularly for the city of Hull.  All four Hull Pals battalions were involved on 3 May and all suffered heavy casualties, with 40% of those present killed or injured. 2nd Lieutenant Jack Harrison, a local teacher and rugby player with Hull FC, won a posthumous Victoria Cross for his bravery in rushing a machine gun position to protect his platoon. His body was never found.
The village of Oppy in France had been in German hands since October 1914 and was part of a formidable defensive system including trenches, dug-outs and thick barbed wire defences. During the Battle of Arras, which began in April 1917, the British tried to take Oppy. The first attack was a failure. A second attack was partially successful. The third attack on 3 May, known officially as the Third Battle of the Scarpe, was again unsuccessful with significant loss of life. The troops were ordered to attack at 3.45am, rather than at dawn, and the defending Germans could easily see the line of British soldiers clearly lit by the full moon. The British continued to attack Oppy and were finally successful the following year. The City of Hull Memorial at Oppy was unveiled in 1927 and commemorates the men of the Hull Pals who were killed on 3 and 4 May 1917.

First name:
DAVID
Military Number:
23939
Rank:
Private
Date Died
03/05/1917
Place died:
Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France
Age:
29
67 , CUMBERLAND STREET, HULL, EAST YORKSHIRE, UK