John Charles Glenn Pickering and his younger brother Albert James from Wing both died in the First World War. They were from a family of eight children to Charles and Jane Pickering and both brothers were born at Wing and still living in the family home when they joined the army. Their mother died when they were very young so their aunt moved in to look after them. John was a farm labourer, and enlisted in Uppingham into the 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment in April 1915, six months after his brother Albert had joined the 2/5th Battalion. John went to France in November the same year, and fought and died in the Battle of the Somme, killed by a shell in September 1916. The Leicestershire's were part of 71st Infantry Brigade which took part in an ambitious attack on 15 September aimed at capturing Morval, Lesbouefs, Gueudecourt and Flers. The battalion war diary described what happened: "At about 5.50am two enemy aeroplanes appeared above us but did not stay long. About this time also a tank was noticed on our right moving quietly up to the enemy's front line. On arriving there he immediately opened fire with his machine guns enfilading the German trenches on either side. He was very heavily fired on by the enemy's machine guns which apparently had no effect." Zero hour was fixed for 6.20am. "The leading Companies advanced at the walk at 30 yards distance between lines. A heavy machine gun was immediately opened by the enemy. The support Companies followed in the same formation 300 yards in rear of last wave of leading Company." Things were beginning to go wrong. "The mist and smoke was terribly thick and allowed no observation by support Companies and Battalion HQ as to exactly what was happening...throughout the advance the battalion suffered very heavily from machine gun fire...and held up by very strong and undamaged wire in front of Quadrilateral [a German strong point]." The attack petered out and eventually the Leicestershires were forced to withdraw with casualties of 14 officers and 410 men killed and wounded, including four others from Rutland. John was 22. He is buried at Guillemont Road Cemetery, grave V.1.7, and both brothers are remembered on Wing's war memorial.
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