Lieut. Follett Holt (OBLI/Tank Corps)
The recent advances made on the Western Front were bound to be at a price and it is with sadness that I have to report Follett’s death on August 22nd near Bray-on-Somme in the battle to re-take Albert.
Follett served in France with the 6th Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (the same unit as Oswald Blencowe, who died on the Somme in 1916), but since June he has been attached to the 4th Tank Carrier Company.
His captain wrote most generously of the love both officers and men had for him and how he died a gallant Englishman:
“On the 22nd we went forward in the attack just north of Bray and it fell to Follett’s lot to carry up some much needed supplies to the infantry under a devastating barrage…
He never hesitated but pressed forward to his objective, and the last I saw of them they were moving forward to the enemy lines. Unfortunately, a direct hit from a shell knocked them out before they arrived at their destination…
His corporal rushed up to him and found him dead along with one of his men, three others being wounded in the same tank.”
Despite the circumstances, it is very much hoped that Follett will receive a proper burial:
“We made several efforts during the day to reach the tank which was in the enemy lines, and at last I succeeded in getting to it yesterday morning when I saw Follett’s remains, but was unable to remove his body owing to very heavy shelling. However, the news tonight is that the Boche has been pressed further back, and I hope by daylight tomorrow to be able to get to the tank and bury him.”
As a young Dragon, Follett’s gentle, affectionate nature won him many friends amongst us, and his love of home was a guiding factor in his life.
The German successes earlier in the year have been dramatically reversed and since August 8th and the advances made in the Battle of Amiens it really seems possible that the tide may have turned.