|In Memory of
9th The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)
Who was Killed in Action on Tuesday, 4th December 1917
No Known Grave. Panel 4
Cambrai Memorial to the "Missing", Louverval Cemetery Doignies, Nord, France
Commemorated in Perpetuity
by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Remembered with Honour
Cambrai Memorial to the "Missing"
Louverval Cemetery, Doignies, Nord, France
Fred Bust was born in Hyson Green, Nottingham in 18832, one of four surviving children of Robert (b. 1857, Halam, Notts) and Annie Topham Bust (née Owen, 1863, Burnley, Lancashire)3.
Robert was a curtain lace maker who, in 1901, was living with his wife and family at 77 Selhurst Street, Nottingham. All three of their then family had started working in the lace trade. Fred, then 15, was working as a lace
draughtsman.4. Sometime in the next decade, probably in 1909, the family moved to Beeston, quite probably following Abraham Parkes' Lenton-based curtain making operation, very likely Robert's
employer, which expanded to Beeston's Anglo-Scotian Mills, to fill the vacuum that followed the demise of Wilkinson's curtain lace operation 5. By 1911, the family, was living at 125 High Road, Beeston - then
part of a small group of houses known as Marlborough Villas on the western corner of what is now Marlborough Road. Fred was then working as a tailor's traveler6. It seems that the family was prospering as,
within a few years, they moved to 73 Marlborough Road, part of a fashionable new development that opened up at that time7.
Fred's Army Service Record records that he attested on the 11th December 19158, apparently under the terms of the Derby Scheme. In the first year of the War, over a million men had volunteered to serve
but by then the number coming forward was falling fast. The Derby Scheme, which was launched in the autumn of 1915 by Lord Derby, the newly-appointed Director-General of Recruiting, was designed to persuade single men
to attest and be placed in the Reserve and Fred, who by then was working as a labourer, appears to one of those who responded to this initiative. He was mobilised from the Reserve on 21 February 1916 and appointed initially
to 3rd Battalion Sherwood Foresters but was transferred to the 2/8th Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) in April 1916. In June 1917, he was posted to the Western Front, joining 9th Battalion which was about to become involved
with the Third Battle of Ypres (widely known as 'Passchendaele'). The terrible conditions, almost relentless enemy action and high casualties that he would have faced would have been a terrifying introduction to the realties of the War.
In November, the Battalion took part on the Cambrai operation, described by Sir Douglas Haig as the gaining of a 'local success by a sudden attack at a point where
the enemy did not expect it' and to some extent it succeeded. The proposed method of assault was new, with no preliminary artillery bombardment. Instead, tanks were
be used to break through the German wire, with the infantry following under the cover of smoke barrages. The attack began early in the morning of 20 November 1917 and
initial advances were remarkable. However, by 22 November, a halt was called for rest and reorganisation, allowing the Germans to reinforce such that by 29 November, it was clear
that the Germans were ready for a major counter attack. During the fierce fighting of the next five days, much of the ground gained in the initial days of the attack was lost. For
the Allies, the results of the battle were ultimately disappointing but valuable lessons were learnt about new strategies and tactical approaches to fighting. The Germans had also
discovered that their fixed lines of defence, no matter how well prepared, were vulnerable9.
On November 30th/December 1st, the battalion was urgently relocated to Rocquigney and then to Bertincourt, where it took over defence of the front line and resisted enemy counter-attacks
with some success before being withdrawn. It appears likely that Fred was killed by the enemy shelling that they faced during that time10.
As Private Bust's body was never found, he is commemorated on the CambraI Memorial which stands on a terrace at one end of the Louverval Military Cemetery,
which is situated south of Louverval a small village on the north side of the N30, Bapaume to Cambrai road, 13 kilometres north-east of Bapaume and 16 kilometres south-west of Cambrai. The Memorial commemorates
more than 7,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South Africa who died in the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917 and whose graves are not known. It was designed by
H Chalton Bradshaw with sculpture by C S Jagger. The chateau at Louverval, was taken by the 56th Australian Infantry Battalion at dawn on 2 April 1917. The hamlet stayed in Allied hands until
the 51st (Highland) Division was driven from it on 21 March 1918 during the great German advance, and it was retaken in the following September. Parts of Rows B and C of
the cemetery were made between April and December 1917 and in 1927, graves were brought in from Louverval Chateau Cemetery, which had been begun by German troops in March
1918 and used by Commonwealth forces in September and October 1918. The cemetery now contains 124 First World War burials11.
Private Bust was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal12. His Army financial effects of £9 16 7d were paid to his father on 27 May 1918. He also received his War Gratuity of £9 on
22 December 191913. His parents and their youngest son Harold and his wife Alice continued to live at 73 Marlborough Road. Annie died there in November 1925, as did Robert in February 193314.
Fred's older brother, Robert Owen Bust, served in the Great War, first with the Sherwood Foresters before transferring to the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. He survived the war.
1The photograph of the Cambrai Memorial is from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. (http://www.cwgc.org)
2His birth was registered in Nottingham Registration District (of which Hyson Green is part) in Q2/1888 (Ref 7b 269).
3Robert and Annie were married at St Leodegarius Church, Basford, Nottingham on 20 January 1883. As well as Fred, they had three children who survived childhood - Robert Owen (1883-1959), Lucy A (1887-1964) and
Harold (1902-1958). Another daughter, Rose Ellen (1884-1892), died as a child.
4Nottingham, 1901 Census, Piece 3183 Folio 136
5The firm of lace curtain makers, A & F.H. Parkes was one of the first tenants of Anglo-Scotian Mills after the mill complex was acquired by Pollards in 1909. They later bought the front section of that imposing
building on Wollaton Road and it became widely known as 'Parkes Factory'. The firm prospered and later opened another factory on Nuart Road, Beeston. If Robert Bust (and later his son Harold) were indeed part of this
firm, they are likely to have done well as key employees of a successful business.
6Beeston, Notts, 1911 Census, Piece 20426 RD429 SD3 ED1 Sched 62.
7The Marlborough Road address is given on Fred's Commonwealth War Graves Commission Memorial page.
8The dates of his attestation, recall from the reserve, transfers, etc are from his Army Service Records which is available on ancestry.com.
9This outline of the strategy and outcome of the Cambrai operations is from the Commonwealth War Graves description of the Cambrai Memorial.(http://www.cwgc.org)
10This brief account is based on 9th Battalion's war diary - available at ancestry.com.
11This description of the Cambrai Memorial is based on that on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. (http://www.cwgc.org)
12Private Bust's medal awards are recorded in the Medal Rolls, available on ancestry.com.
13Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929, available on ancestry.com.
14Annie's death was recorded in Basford Registration District (of which Beeston was part) in Q4/1925 (Ref 7b238). Robert's death was recorded there in Q1/1933 (Ref 7b 281). Their youngest son Harold married
Alice Eaton at Beeston Parish Church on 10 July 1926 and continued to live at 73 Marlborough Road. Harold & Alice were recorded there on the September 1939 Registration with Harold working as a lace curtain twisthand.
Lodging with the family was Reverend Harold Isherwood (1907-1989), then a newly ordained Deacon at Beeston Parish Church. He went on to serve as Vicar General of both the Diocese of Gibraltar and the Jurisdiction of
North and Central Europe. He was consecrated a bishop in 1974. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Isherwood_(bishop) for more details.
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