Bernard Dyson was born in Wortley on 6 July 1896 and had a twin sister Emma.
According to the 1901 census the family were living at Cote Green Farm. Wortley is a small village approx. 9 miles North of Sheffield.
Bernard and Emma were the youngest of seven children.
In 1902 Bernard attended Dungworth National School at Bradfield Sheffield together with Emma, Mary and William and their address was registered as Stacey Bank Bradfield. Sometime between 1901 and 1902 the family must have left the farm at Wortley.
In 1911 the family have moved again and are now in Old Whittington. They now live at 19 Church Street and the father’s occupation is given as ‘jobbing gardener’. Bernard is now 14 years old and is a Moulders Apprentice.
Bernard joined the 2/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters Regiment. His service number was 241831. I am unable to find a copy of his service record (however the obituary below would indicate he joined up in 1915).
The 2/6th Battalion was a Territorial Force they were formed at Chesterfield 14 September 1914 and then moved to Buxton.
February 1915 they were moved to London as part of 178th Brigade of the 59th Division, then moved to Dunstable and finally Watford.
1916 The Battalion were sent to Dublin
January 1917 The unit returned to England, Salisbury Plain
25 February 1917 Mobilised and landed at Boulogne France they were then engaged in various battles on the Western Front
During 1917 the pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of Cambrai, The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The capture of Bourlon Wood
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Bailleul, The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge.
On the 21st March 1918 the 2/6th Battalion were involved in heavy fighting south of Bullecourt village at Ecoust-Saint-Mein. They suffered heavy losses and there were many casualties. *From the report of H S Hodgkin Lt. Col (4th Dragoon Guards) Commanding 2/6th Sherwood Foresters ‘all ranks involved fought splendidly’.* However, Bernard was taken prisoner and was transported to Alten Grabow Concentration Camp in Germany.
Alten Grabow POW camp was approx 56 miles south of Berlin in Saxony. As many as 1200 prisoners of all different nationalities were held in the camp. Picture postcards of the camp can be found here
Sadly, Bernard died of pnuemonia on 6 November 1918 as this Index card from the International Committee of the Red Cross Archives shows.
Below is an excerpt taken from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph 1 February 1919.
Death of Whittington Prisoner of War
Mr and Mrs C Dyson of 35 Church Street Old Whittington Chesterfield have received the sad news of the death of one of their sons, Private Bernard Dyson, 2/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, from pneumonia, whilst a Prisoner of War at Alten Grabow Germany. He has served three years in the Army and was 22 years of age. Prior to joining the Army he was employed at the Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co. Ltd Chesterfield.
Bernard is buried in Berlin South Western Cemetery close to the village of Stahnsdorf and below is the information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Grave registration report.
The cemetery plan clearly shows where the grave can be located.
The inscription on Bernard’s grave reads:
‘Until the day breaks’
Full cemetery information can be found here
Bernards grave in Berlin South Western Cemetery.
The walk through the cemetery to the Commonwealth War Graves and the entrance to the Cemetery.
(The above photographs were very kindly taken by Karen Kreft when she visited her Great Uncle George’s grave in the same cemetery recently).
Bernard is remembered on Old Whittington War Memorials and on the family grave in Old Whittington Churchyard. He is also remembered on the Sherwood Foresters roll of honour at
Bernard Dyson was awarded the Victory Medal and The British War Medal.
*Excerpt taken from Narrative of the German Attack against the 2/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters on 21st March 1918 courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk