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Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards)
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 1st Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 2nd Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 3rd (Reserve) Btn
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 18th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 2/4th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 2/5th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 3/4th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 3/5th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 4th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 5th Btn.
Kitchener's New Army:
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 10th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 11th (Reserve) Btn
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 12th (Teesside Pioneers) Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 13th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 14th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 15th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 16th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 17th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 19th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 1st (Garrison) Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 2nd (Garrison) Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 2nd Agricultural Company.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 6th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 7th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 8th Btn.
- Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) 9th Btn
Want to know more about Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards)?
There are:27720 pages and articles tagged Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) available in our Library
Those known to have served with
Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards)
during the Great War 1914-1918.
- Abell Maurice. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Adams John Albert. Lance Sjt. 9th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Ainsworth Albert. Pte. 12th Btn. (Teesside Pioneers) (d.10th Apr 1918)
- Akers Harold. Cpl. 9th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Allen Robert. Pte. 12th Btn. (Teesside Pioneers) (d.23rd Dec 1916)
- Allenby P. W.. Pte. 4th. (d.6th Oct 1916)
- Bailey Walter Percival. L/Cpl. 5th Btn. (d.24th Apr 1917)
- Ball Andrew. Pte. 4th Btn. (d.1st Oct 1918)
- Barugh Thomas Anthony. Pte. 6th Btn.
- Beal Ernest Frederick. 2nd Lt. 13th Btn. (d.22nd March 1918)
- Bell Christopher Brown. Pte 6th Btn
- Benton Thomas Charles. Sgt. 9th Battalion
- Beresford Thomas. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.25th Apr 1918)
- Berry Henry. L/Cpl. 9th Btn. (d.29th Sep 1917)
- Binks James Richard. Pte. 12th Btn. (Teesside Pioneers) B Coy. (d.9th Apr 1918)
- Blair William. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.30th Oct 1914)
- Bloom Harold. Lt. 12th Btn. (d.14th Feb 1917)
- Bollands Walter. Pte. 5th Battalion
- Bradley David. L/Cpl. 13th Btn (d.11th Jul 1917)
- Brannon Isaac. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.1st Oct 1915)
- Brogden Issac Arthur. Sjt. 12th Btn. (Teesside Pioneers) (d.23rd Mar 1918)
- Brown Arthur. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.18th Oct 1917)
- Brown Richard. Pte. 12th Btn. (Teesside Pioneers) (d.8th Jan 1918)
- Brown Robert. Pte. 13th Battalion (d.23rd Nov 1917)
- Brown William Scott. L/Cpl. 6th Battalion (d.14th Aug 1917)
- Buckle William. 2/Lt. 8th Btn. (d.7th June 1917)
- Buckle William. Pte. 4th Btn. (d.7th June 1917)
- Caldecoat Percy. Pte. 4th Btn. (d.13th Oct 1918)
- Callaghan Edmund. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.15th Jun 1915)
- Callaghan Martin. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.26th Sept 1917)
- Child Joseph Alfred. 2nd Lt. 9th Battalion (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Christie Joseph. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Christie Ralph Lindsay. Lt. 9th Btn.
- Christon Reginald. L/Cpl. 5th Battalion (d.30th Mar 1917)
- Clamp William. Cpl. 6th Btn. (d.9th Oct 1917)
- Clark George Thomas. Pte. 9th Battalion (d.23rd Jul 1916)
- Clarke James Henry Fisher. 2nd Lt. 7th Battalion
- Clarke Tom. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.19th Mar 1915)
- Cleghorn James. Pte. 2/5th Btn. (d.7th Mar 1917)
- Collinson Frederick George. Cpl 9th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Connolly John Patrick. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.8th July 1916)
- Cook Henry. Sjt. 12th Btn. (Teesside Pioneers) (d.9th Jan 1917)
- Cook John. Pte. 1/5th Battalion (d.15th Sept 1916)
- Cooper Herbert Wood. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.28th May 1916)
- Cornwell Joseph Tumans. Pte. 5th Btn. (d.11th Apr 1918)
- Corr Michael. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.27th Sept 1916)
- Coulson John. Pte. 2nd Btn. C Coy. (d.22nd Nov 1916)
- Coyle George. Pte, 2nd Btn (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Crabtree William Nelson. Cpl. 6th Btn. C Coy (d.28th Aug 1915)
- Cross George Oliver. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.26th Jun 1917)
- Crossley George. Pte. 13th Btn.
- Dalton Harold. Pte. 12th Btn. (Teesside Pioneers) (d.22nd Oct 1918)
- Daynes James. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.18th Oct 1917)
- Dean Frederick. Pte. 12th Btn. (d.11th Apr 1918)
- Devitt Robert. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.28th Sep 1915)
- Dickinson Joseph Bradley. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.13th Jan 1915)
- Dine Robert Henry. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Doyle John James. Pte. 4th Btn. (d.23rd Mar 1918)
- Dunn Oliver Edward. Pte. 4th Btn. (d.23rd April 1917)
- Edmonds G.. Pte. 12th Btn. (Teesside Pioneers) (d.4th May 1917)
- Edwards George. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.15th Jun 1915)
- Excelby Albert Hugill. Pte 5th Btn.
- Freemantle William Raylton. Pte. 4th Btn (d.20th Sept 1914)
- Garrett Thompson. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.12th Jun 1917)
- Godfrey James. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.17th July 1917)
- Godsmark Fred Bell. Pte. (d.1st July 1916)
- Green Thomas. Pte. 3rd Battalion (d.19th Aug 1920)
- Grieves Charles. Pte. 9th Battalion (d.21st Mar 1918)
- Guy Sidney George. Capt. 13th Battalion
- Hammond John George. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.10th July 1916)
- Hanson Harold Vickerman. CQMS. 2nd Btn.
- Hardisty William Francis. Pte. 8th Btn.
- Hazel Joseph. Pte 9th Battalion (d.10th July 1916)
- Hepburn William Stephen. L/Cpl. 2nd Btn. (d.8th July 1916)
- Heyworth John Richard. Pte. 13th Btn. (d.4th Apr 1919)
- Hirsch David Philip. Cpt. 4th Btn. (d.23rd April 1917)
- Hodgson Francis. L/Cpl. 7th Btn. (d.13th May 1917 )
- Hodgson James Richard. Pte. 4th. (d.15th Sep 1916)
- Holmes John Wiseman. Pte. 12th Battalion (d.13th Dec 1917)
- Holmes William. Pte. 4th Battalion
- Holt George. Cpl. 8th Battalion (d.10th Jul 1916)
- Hubbard Robert. Pte. 4th Btn. (d.12th Apr 1918)
- Hyde John Thomas. Pte. 12th Btn. (d.26th Nov 1917)
- Jackson Henry Foster. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Jackson Varo. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.27th Oct 1918)
- Jarman Rees Price. 13th Battalion (d.3rd Apr 1917)
- Johnson James. Pte. 6th Battalion (d.1st Dec 1915)
- Joicey Thomas. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.31st July 1917)
- Jowett Francis Meshack. Pte. 1/4th Btn. (d.28th Oct 1918)
- Jowett Francis Meshack. Pte. 1/4th Btn. (d.28th Oct 1918)
- Lawson David Slater. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.10th July 1916)
- Marwood Harold. Pte. (d.9th Oct 1917)
- Mattimoe James Francis. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.18th Sep 1918)
- McKee Edward. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.10th Oct 1916)
- McRoy James. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.27th Aug 1917)
- Mills William Ernest. Pte. 2nd Battalian (d.6th Nov 1914)
- Myers Edward. Pte. 7th Btn. A Company (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Nicholson Lancelot. 2nd Lt. 9th Btn. A Coy (d.20th Sep 1917)
- O'Boyle John. Pte. 12th Battalion (d.11th Apr 1918)
- O'Brien Thomas. Pe 6th Battalion (d.22nd Aug 1915)
- Ord George Henry. Pte. 10th Btn.
- Orton Joseph. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.19th Oct 1917)
- Palmer William. Sgt.
- Pearce George Scott. Pte. (d.18th Jan1920)
- Peirson Taylor. Sgt. 12th Btn. (d.10th Apr 1918)
- Plews Edward. Pte. 4th Btn.
- Pogson Stafford. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.2nd Jul 1917)
- Pollard Albert. L/Cpl. 2nd Btn. (d.12th Mar 1915)
- Poole Harry. Rfmn. 7th Btn. (d.9th Dec 1916)
- Reay J.. L/Cpl. 9th Btn. (d.8th Jun 1917)
- Richardson James. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.22nd Aug 1915)
- Riley Lancelot. Pte. 1/4th Btn. (d.7th Nov 1917)
- Roberts Robert. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.8th Oct 1916)
- Robinson Horace Edward. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.28th Mar 1918)
- Robson Thomas Anthony. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.5th May 1917)
- Rose Frederick. Drm. 2nd Btn. (d.4th March 1917)
- Rowan John. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.18th Oct 1916)
- Rutter Job. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.22nd Dec 1915)
- Rymer James. L/Cpl. 8th Btn. (d.10th July 1916)
- Rymer Robert. Sjt. 150th Coy (d.10th Apr 1918)
- Sample Alfred James. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.2nd Apr 1917)
- Sampson George. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.30th Oct 1914)
- Scott J. T.. L/Cpl. 9th Btn. (d.8th Jun 1917)
- Scott Percy. Pte. 7th Battalion (d.16th Oct 1917)
- Sharp William Arthur. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.24th April 1917)
- Shields John James. Sgt. 9th Btn. (d.10th Jul 1916)
- Short William Henry. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.7th Aug 1916)
- Simpson Joseph Marmaduke. Pte. 5th Battalion (d.20th Sep 1918)
- Slack C. M.. Capt. 4th Btn.
- Slater Charles Henry. L/Cpl. 9th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Smith Joseph. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.18th May 1916)
- Smith William. Pte. 6th Btn.
- Smithies Clifford. L/Cpl. 18th Btn.
- Southwick Harry. Pte. 10th Battalion (d.3rd April 1917)
- Spoors William. Cpl. 8th Battalion (d.10th Jul 1916)
- Stevenson William. Pte. 8th Btn.
- Strong William. Pte. 4th Battalion (d.26 Jun 1917)
- Tanfield William Robinson. Cpl. 10th Btn (d.7th Jan1917)
- Thompson George. Pte. 10th Battalion (d.28th Sep 1915)
- Thompson James. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.22nd Oct 1914)
- Thurgood John .
- Turner Alfred. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Walker Charles Henry . Pte. 6th Battalion
- Walker John. Pte. 8th Battalion
- Watson John. Sgt. 8th Btn. (d.10th Dec 1917)
- Watts James Charles . Pte. 5th Btn (d.27th Feb 1916)
- Webb Herbert Edward. 2nd Lt. 4th Battalion
- Whitehead John Thomas. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.16th Oct 1915)
- Widdas John Edward. Pte. 5th Btn. (d.15th Sept 1916)
- Wilson H.. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.10th Oct 1918)
- Wilson Ira Israel. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Wood Frederick. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.10th Jul 1916)
- Wood Frederick. Pte 9th Btn. (d.10th July 1916)
All names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List
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Cpt. David Philip Hirsch VC MID. 4th Btn. Yorkshire Regiment (d.23rd April 1917)Philip Hirsch was killed in action on the 23rd of April 1917, aged 20. Commemorated on Bay 5 on the Arras Memorial in the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras, France, he was the son of Harry and Edith Hirsch, of Weetwood Grove, Leeds.
An extract from The London Gazette, dated 14th June, 1917, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in attack. Having arrived at the first objective, Capt. Hirsch, although already twice wounded, returned over fire-swept slopes to satisfy himself that the defensive flank was being established. Machine gun fire was so intense that it was necessary for him to be continuously up and down the line encouraging his men to dig and hold the position. He continued to encourage his men by standing on the parapet and steadying them in the face of machine gun fire and counter-attack until he was killed. His conduct throughout was a magnificent example of the greatest devotion to duty."s flynn
2nd Lt. Ernest Frederick Beal VC. 13th Btn. Yorkshire Regiment (d.22nd March 1918)Ernest Beal was killed in action on the 22rd of March 1918, aged 35. Commemorated on the Arras Memorial in the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery in Arras, France, he was the son of John J. W. and Jane Stillman Beal, of 55 East St., Brighton
An Extract from the London Gazette, dated 31st May, 1918, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery and determined leading when in command of a company detailed to occupy a certain section of trench. When the company was established, it was found that a considerable gap of about 400 yards existed between the left flank of the company and the neighbouring unit, and that this gap was strongly held by the enemy. It was of vital importance that the gap should be cleared, but no troops were then available. Organising a small party of less than a dozen men, he led them against the enemy. On reaching an enemy machine gun, 2nd Lt. Beal immediately sprang forward, and with his revolver killed the team and captured the gun. Continuing along the trench he encountered and dealt with another machine gun in the same manner, and in all captured four enemy guns, and inflicted severe casualties. Later in the evening, when a wounded man had been left in the open under heavy enemy fire, he, regardless of danger, walked up close to an enemy machine gun and brought in the wounded man on his back. 2nd Lt. Beal was killed by a shell on the following morning."s flynn
Pte. Thompson Garrett 7th Btn. Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) (d.12th Jun 1917)Thompson Garrett served with the 7th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) during WW1. He was killed in action, aged 19, on the 12th June 1917 during the Battle of Arras and is buried at Grave IV.J.33 Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, near Arras, Pas de Calais, France. He was the Son of Ingram and Martha Garrett, of 21, Low Downs Square, Hetton Downs, Co. Durham.Anne Mann
Pte. William Henry Short VC. 8th Btn. Yorkshire Regiment (d.7th Aug 1916)William Short died of wounds on the 7th of August 1916, aged 31 years and is buried in the Contalmaison Chateau Cemetery in France. He was the son of James and Anne Short, of 35, Vaughan St., Grangetown, Middlesbrough, Yorks. Born at Eston, Yorks
An extract from The London Gazette, No. 29740, dated 8th Sept., 1916, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery. He was foremost in the attack, bombing the enemy with great gallantry, when he was severely wounded in the foot. He was urged to go back, but refused and continued to throw bombs. Later his leg was shattered by a shell, and he was unable to stand, so he lay in the trench adjusting detonators and straightening the pins of bombs for his comrades. He died before he could be carried out of the trench. For the last eleven months he had always volunteered for dangerous enterprises, and has always set a magnificent example of bravery and devotion to duty."s flynn
Pte. John Coulson 2nd Btn. C Coy. Yorkshire Regiment (d.22nd Nov 1916)John Coulson was killed in action on the 22nd of November 1916, aged 36. Buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery, Somme, France, he was the husband of Elizabeth A. Coulson, of 29 Stainton St., West Hartlepools flynn
Pte. Henry Foster Jackson 9th Btn. Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) (d.7th Jun 1917)Henry Foster enlisted in his home town of Middlesbrough, he was killed in action at Battle Wood on the first day of the Battle of Messines, he was 24 years old. Henry has now known grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate in Ypres and on the Middlesbrough War Memorial which forms the gates to Albert Park in the town.
2nd Lt. Joseph Alfred Child 9th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment (d.7th Jun 1917)Joseph Child from Liversedge in Yorkshire, was an employee of the Leeds office of the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company, like many of his colleagues he answered Lord Kitchener’s call to arms and attested as a Private with the 7th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment on the 7th of August 1914. He is described as being 20 years old, five foot five and three quarters, weighing 114lbs with a 34 inch chest, fresh of complexion with blue eyes and blond hair.
Joseph, must have taken his duty seriously and diligently as he rose rapidly through the ranks, being promoted to Lance Corporal in October 1914, Corporal in early November and to Sergeant before the month was out. On Christmas Eve 1914, having already been promoted to Colour Sergeant, he was granted a Temporary Commission as 2nd Lieutenant and posted to the 9th Battalion. His Commission on the 2nd Jan 1917 was published in the list in the London Gazette on the 2nd Feb.
Joseph arrived in France on the 13th June 1915 with his battalion as part of the 23rd Division and went into the front line near Armentieres, a sector which was considered to be quiet, where they received training from the 27th Division. In early 1916 they were on Vimy Ridge and in the spring moved to Bomy to begin intensive training for the Battle of The Somme.
Although very little of Joseph’s service record survives, we can assume that he was with his battalion on the 1st of July when they captured Contalmaison and remained with them through the various phases of the famous battle.
Spring of 1917 saw Joseph’s battalion training for the next great offensive of the war, the Battle of Messines at this time he was attached to 69th Trench Mortar Battery, in the same brigade as the 9th Battalion and destined to fight alongside them. During the night of the 6th of June 1917 they moved into position near Battle Wood close to the Ypres-Warneton railway line. At 3.10am the following morning, the first attack of the Battle of Messines was launched with the detonation of 19 huge mines, which shattered the enemy defences. The 9th Battalion were in the second wave of the attack and moved forward at 6.50am into the area around Caterpillar Crater, though Joseph and his Trench Mortar men may well have joined the attack from the outset.
Joseph was killed that day and now lies at Bedford House Cemetery. This large cemetery contains over 5000 graves and is situated just south of Ypres. The enclosure in which Joseph lies, contains graves of those men brought in from other burial grounds and from the battlefields of the Ypres Salient in the 1920’s. From the list of cemeteries, which were concentrated into Bedford House, it is possible that Joseph may have been buried at the Asylum British Cemetery, in the grounds of the old Hospice du Sacre Coer (Sacred Heart Mental Hospital) which was just to the west of the railway station at Ypres. This may indicate that Joseph was injured in the action and evacuated to the Field Ambulance at Ypres where he passed away. Sadly, like so many others, his service records were badly damaged during the London Blitz in 1940, only three pages partially survive, but from this we can deduce that he was an intelligent man, keen to serve his country and that he performed his duty well.
Joseph Child is listed on the Roll of Honour in Christ Church, Liversedge where he was baptised, on the War Memorial at Cleckheaton where he lived and on the Roll of Honour of the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company for whom he worked, the company is now part of Aviva and Joseph’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on their website.
Pte Albert Hugill Excelby 5th Btn. Border RegimentAlbert Hugill Exelby, was one of four sons of George Exelby and Elizabeth Hurworth who served in the Great War: William (b 26/3/1894), George junior (31/3/1895), Joseph (20/4/1896) and Albert (22/5/1897). They also had two daughters, Mary (b 16/4/1899) and Jane (b 26/3/1901
Albert joined the Territorials on 1st April, 1914 giving his age as 17 years, though he was only 16. His medical examination records him as 5 foot 10 and a half with a 36" chest, good physical development and good vision. He spent two years in the 4th Yorkshire (Reserve) Battalion, before being transferred to the 3rd Border Regiment on 4th July, 1916, and was sent to France on 12th July. Two days later he was transferred to the 5th Battalion. On 19th September 1916, Albert received a gunshot wound to his left arm and was sent back to England, Albert was for a time a patient in the VAD hospital in Stokesley Manor House. He returned to his unit in France in December and was wounded on three further occasions, April 1917, October 1917 and May, 1918. He was officially demobed in February 1919, aged 21 and received an enhancement of 20% to his pension due to disability caused by a gunshot wound to the left thigh giving him a pension of 8 shillings and threepence per week.
Albert married Eliza Hindmarsh, nee Green in August 1922. Eliza had two daughters from a previous marriage and she and Albert had two more: Beatrice in 1923 and Margaret in 1929. Albert Exelby died in Middlesbrough in 1950.Angela
Capt. C. M. Slack 4th Btn. Yorkshire RgtCaptain Slack was a prisoner in Koln POW Camp.
Pte. Fred Bell Godsmark Yorkshire Regiment (d.1st July 1916)Whilst doing a family history of my paternal grandmother name of `Godsmark` found several `Godsmarks` who had died in the 1st World War. Fred Bell Godsmark died on the Somme, he was 20 years old. Sad to say his older brother aged 22, William Edward Geady died earlier in the conflict on the 1st day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916
CQMS. Harold Vickerman Hanson 2nd Btn. Yorkshire RegimentThe Great War cast its shadow over my grandfather's life even before it began, because in August 1914 Harold Hanson went on a Cook's Tour of the Rhineland. It might be thought that this was not the best time to visit Germany, but the holiday had been booked months beforehand when the European situation had appeared quite stable. Everywhere the British party travelled they became increasingly alarmed at the sight of large-scale movements of German troops, which their German guide tried to reassuringly describe as 'just manoeuvres'. However, it was quite evident that Germany was mobilising for war, and the tourists were relieved when they left for home a day or two before the outbreak of hostilities, otherwise they would have faced spending the war in a Civilian Internment Camp in Germany.
My grandfather, being a Yorkshireman, volunteered to join the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and passed his army medical examination as A1 - i.e. fit for combat duty, in spite of the fact that his eyesight was so poor he had resigned from his school cricket team at the age of 13 because he could no longer see the ball! My grandfather was sent to a huge army camp on Salisbury Plain for his basic training where he vividly remembers bayonet practice on rope-hung sacks of sawdust, and the drill sergeant barking out the order 'And before you withdraw the bayonet - give it a twist!' One winter's morning in the 1970's, I was volunteered by my office manager to help him light the central heating boiler when the stoker, a local man, hadn't turned up. My task was to chop firewood for which I was handed a World War One bayonet, which was so razor sharp that with very little effort I soon had a large pile of firewood ready. Remembering my grandfather's training, I shuddered to imagine thrusting this lethal weapon into a human body!
Not long after the commencement of my his training, a very unpleasant event occurred. Fresh rations suddenly and mysteriously disappeared, to be replaced by what the army called hard tack - large square biscuits, nicknamed dog biscuits by the men. The absence of fresh food was entirely owing to the incompetence and indifference of the military authorities - after all, the recruits were not stationed in a remote outpost of the British Empire, but in south-west England! After a few days of this treatment, rioting broke out in one of the barrack huts which were grouped around a large square quadrangle. The riot quickly spread to all the other huts. Furniture and windows were smashed and the dog biscuits used as projectiles, being hurled around indiscriminately. My grandfather, not wishing to participate in the riot or to be hit by one of the fearsome biscuits, dropped to his knees. He had no sooner done so than one of his comrades received one of the biscuits full on the forehead, causing a deep gash from which blood spurted. The man was knocked unconscious by the blow, and fell to the floor at the side of my grandfather, who crawled to one of the windows. Looking out he saw a group of officers standing huddled together in the middle of the quadrangle, heads together, discussing the deteriorating situation. Every now and again, one of the officers would turn and look apprehensively at the huts full of rioting men. Eventually the officers dispersed without attempting to approach any of the huts to remonstrate with the recruits - they were obviously afraid to do so, the men being in such an ugly mood. However, the riot had the desired effect because first thing next morning there was fresh food for breakfast - and plenty of it! No disciplinary action was taken against any of the rioters - the military authorities preferring to pretend that the riot had never happened. Doubtless they realised that the men had been pushed too far - and they wouldn't want the newspapers getting wind of the affair!
It was during this time that my grandfather's deficient eyesight was finally discovered - on the firing range! Each recruit had been given a numbered target to aim at, and the accuracy was plotted by monitors. My grandfather had been firing away for a few minutes when the Captain in command of the firing range came up behind him and demanded 'Which target number are you aiming at?'
My grandfather looked round in some surprise and replied 'I'm aiming at my designated target - No. 2.'
The Captain then said 'Well my monitors tell me that your shots are hitting target No. 4. You had better get along to the M.O. (Medical Officer) and have your eyesight tested.'
The M.O. was going to write out a medical discharge there and then, but it had to be countersigned by a second M.O. who, being a brusque, no-nonesense type said â€œOh thereâ€™s no need to discharge this man, he's quite fit enough for non-combat duties.'
Accordingly, my grandfather's civilian record was examined and he was awarded the rank of C.Q.M.S. (Company Quatermaster Sergeant) and then posted to Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment a.k.a. The Green Howards. This meant that my grandfather had to bid farewell to the other 29 comrades in his barrack hut, everyone of which, my grandfather subsequently learned after the war, had been either killed or wounded. Not one had come through the war unscathed.
As C.Q.M.S. my grandfather's duties were varied. On one occasion for instance, he was ordered to oversee a group of Conscientious Objectors who had been set to work digging latrines (toilets). On another occasion he was required to dispose of a huge quantity of discarded uniforms which were dumped on his quadrangle in large rotting heaps. This didn't please his Colonel who demanded 'What's all this bloody mess, Quarters?' My grandfather's response was to ask the Colonel to look more closely at the heaps, upon which he exclaimed 'Good Heavens, they're moving!' The heaps of rotting uniforms were so heavily infested with lice that the constant wriggling of the creatures was making each pile slowly and rhythmically rise and fall, which gives some indication of the appalling conditions in the front-line trenches. From time to time my grandfather received inducements to sell army supplies on the black market, but being a man of scrupulous honesty he always firmly rebuffed such overtures.
With the declaration of the Armistice, my grandfather looked forward to demobilisation, and to be re-united with my grandmother, whom he had married a year previously. However, his hopes were dashed when he was told he was to be posted to Dublin for several months as part of the British Forces garrisoned there, in order to counter the activities of the Irish Nationalists.
My grandfather found the atmosphere in Dublin was poisonous with hatred towards the British to such an extent that off-duty soldiers were under strict orders not to walk through the city streets in groups of less than three. Accordingly, one day he was walking along with two other sergeants when, passing two Irishmen on the pavement, one of the Irishmen made a derogatory remark about the British. Unfortunately, one of the other two sergeants had a quick temper and spontaneously lashed out with his fist, knocking the offending Irishman flat on his back. This was the signal for every Irishman in the vicinity to pounce on the three sergeants, and things would have gone very badly for them had not providence been on their side in the form of a Public House on the corner of the street which just happened to be full of off-duty Seaforth Highlanders, who liked nothing better than a good scrap, and on hearing the rumpus in the street outside, they piled out of the pub, and very soon the entire street was full of men knocking the daylights out of each other. My grandfather took this welcome intervention as an opportunity to make his escape because, although he was a good amateur boxer, he boxed at Bantam Weight, so he was no match for a burly Irishman. However, he was left with the prospect of making his own way back to the barracks along streets where every British soldier was a marked man, and he couldn't afford to hurry or look nervous - fortunately the journey passed without incident.
Although my grandfather did not enjoy his sojourn in Dublin, there was one bright note. The food in the sergeants' mess was prepared by local women, instead of the usual army cooks, and I remember my grandfather telling me that these ladies cooked some 'wonderfully tasty meals' - so at least he was well fed!
Following eventual demobilisation, my grandfather expected to get his old job back without any trouble because the Government had made it very clear to employers from the very beginning of the War that jobs of men serving in the forces were to be kept open for them on their return. However, in spite of having given exemplary service, my grandfather found his employers strangely reluctant to re-employ him. As my grandmother and baby daughter (my mother) had been living with my great-grandparents during the war, my grandfather had to find both a home and an income, and jobs at the time were hard to come by. Therefore he had to swallow his pride and turn to a Veterans' Association who were successful in applying pressure on his employers. He later learned that his job had been taken by a man who had not served in the war but was a relative of one of the Company Directors. This episode graphically illustrates the difficulties soldiers faced when returning to civilian life.
While clearing out my grandparents' bungalow after their deaths within a month of each other, I came across a momento from my grandfather's army days - the casing of a hand grenade that both my mother and myself had played with as children. When a scrap metal dealer came, I tossed the grenade on to the pile of metal objects, remarking with a smile, 'Here's an extra bit of metal for you.' I laughed at his evident alarm and reassured him, 'It's quite harmless, it's hollow inside.' He still looked very dubious, but he took it with the rest and drove away. That same evening my mother received a phone call from a police sergeant who asked her if there was any more live ammunition lying around the property. Apparently the scrap metal dealer had handed in the grenade at a local police station and the Bomb Squad had successfully detonated it. As a child I had, from time to time, considered removing the pin of the grenade in order to ascertain how the pieces of the casing fitted together. I had always been deterred from this course of action by reasoning that the pin fitted so tightly that I might not be able to restore it to its original position. Of course, if I had pulled out the pin I should not now be writing this account, and many years after the signing of the Armistice, the Great War would have claimed yet another casualty.
Pte. William Buckle 4th Btn. Yorkshire Regiment (d.7th June 1917)William Buckle was educatedat Ayresome School, Parliament Road, Middlesbrough and Middlesbrough High School In 1911 he became a Clerkat Salt Union Ltd and later at Messrs B Samuelson and Co Ltd. At Northallerton on the 1st of September 1914 he attested and joined the 4th Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (Territorial Force) for one Years Embodied Service at Home as Private Number 1999. He is described as being 21 years old, 5’ 9”, with black hair, grey eyes, fair complexion. On the 8th of September 1914 he signed Territorial Force agreement to serve overseas in event of National Emergency In Autumn 1914 the Northumbrian Division forms and his battalion trains in Newcastle area. In January 1915 the 4 Battalion are in the Cramlington area. On the 16th of Apr 1915 the Northumbrian Division (including 4 Ballation Green Howards) are ordered to the Continent. The following day the 4 Battalion Yorkshire Regiment take the 9am train from Newcastle to Folkestone and embarked for Boulogne At 2am on the 18th they arrived in Boulogne and the next day arrived at Cassel by train and marched to Godwaersvelde and were billeted. On the 22nd they embussed to Vlamertinge. At 5pm the German Gas attack begins in the 2nd Battle of Ypres and the following day the battalion are in on the West of the Yser Canal. On the 24th of April 1915 they are shelled and suffer their first casualties). At mid day they are ordered to cross Canal (under fire) and concentrate at Wieltje. They dug in outside Potijze Chateau but then were ordered to attack through Fortuin to St Julien. They took up positions 700m south of St Julien but were ordered to retire to Potijze (Wieltje Ridge) at about 10pm. Heavy rifle and MG fire resulted in 12 killed and 82 wounded. On the 25th of April they are in trenches near the Chateau all day and retired after dark to C Camp (N of Vlamertinge), west of Canal. On the 28th they occupied trenches astride the Fortuin Road where they were again shelled. They were first gassed on the 1st of May as they repulsed attacks (34 killed and 84 wounded.) On the 3rd of May 1915 they returned to C Camp. he next day they were shelled all day and after dark marched back to Steenvorde to billets. At 3pm on the 9th they were bussed to Brandhoek and lined Reserve Trenches. On the 13th of May the Battalion is in dugouts North of Vlamertinge. and at 3am on the 14th moved to the Lille Gate area of Ypres. At 8pm on the 15th of May they marched along railway to Railway Wood, North of Menin Road. 21 were wounded over next few days and on the 21st of May 1915 they were relieved after dark and moved to Camp A south of Vlamertinge. After dark on the 23rd they moved to trenches astride Menin Road at Hooge. and at 2am the next morning were subjected to a gas attack during Battle of Bellewaarde and a day of fighting. 32 were killed and 171 were listed as wounded or missing. They were relieved after dark to hutments in rear.
On the 25th of May Pte Buckle was treated at No 5 Field Ambulance for gunshot wounds to right hip and right chest/shoulder. The following day he was treated at No 1 British Red Cross Hospital in Le Touquet and on the 28th was transferred to Military Hospital at Fort Pitt, Chatham. On the 6th of June Pte. Buckle was transferred to Lees Court Military Hospital at Faversham for 2 months.Mark Tovey
Pte. John Thomas Whitehead 9th Btn. Yorkshire Regiment (d.16th Oct 1915)John Whitehead died of wounds and is buried in a grave in France at Erquinghem-Lys Churchyard Extension. We are still searching for a photo of him.Stephen Ford
Pte. Job Rutter 10th Btn. Yorkshire Regiment (d.22nd Dec 1915)Job Rutter was the son of John and Sarah Rutter of Ashfield Green, Newmarket, Suffolk and husband of Ada Lilian (later Dargue) of 84 Pierson St., North Ormesby, Middlesbrough.Katie Edwards
Pte. Robert Devitt 10th Btn. Yorkshire Regiment (d.28th Sep 1915)Robert and John Devitt were brothers who joined up in 1914. Robert Devitt joined the Yorkshire Regiment and John joined the Northumberland Fusiliers. They were both killed within two days of one another in September 1915 at the Battle of Loos. They had been in France less than three weeks. My granny Nora Brown nee Devitt (sister of R and J) recalled to me in the late 1960s that her mother Sarah received two telegrams on the same day informing her that her only two sons had been killed. Their father Edward, who was already an invalid, never recovered from the shock and died a couple of years later.
Robert is buried in Noux les Mines, France but John has no known grave - he is remembered with honour on the Loos Memorial.Susan
Pte Christopher Brown "Yorkie" Bell 6th Btn Yorkshire Rgt (Green Howards)My great-grandfather Christopher Bell served in the 6th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards), in both the Dardanelles and on the Western Front where he was badly wounded and lost an arm.Niall Hall
2nd Lt. Herbert Edward Webb MID. 4th Battalion Yorkshire RegimentMy paternal grandfather, Herbert Webb was a Colour Sargeant in the 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment who was seconded to the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers on the 2 May 1916 He was seconded to improve the discipline of the 5th Battalion, until the 30 October 1917 when he was transferred back to the 4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment as a Second Lieutenant. He was promoted to this rank on the 14th of October 1917. He was mentioned in dispatches for something before he was transferred back to the Yorkshire Regiment, though I do not know what it was for - Schappe-Balie 26th of October 1917?James Webb
2nd Lt. James Henry Fisher Clarke 7th Battalion Yorkshire RegimentI was given James Clarke's officer's sword and War Dept. death cert by my mother. My great uncle first went to France in 1914, he was injured in Ypres the top by machine gun fire at Friecourt at 14.30 on the first day of the Somme 1st of July 1916. He is buried at Dantzig Alley British Cemetery. I would love to find any photo's of him. I am his great nephew and have been researching him for a few months.Darren Morgan
Lt. Harold Bloom 12th Btn. Yorkshire Regiment (d.14th Feb 1917)Lt. Harold Bloom, 12th Battalion, Yorkshire Regt was killed 14th February, 1917Mike Hutchinson
Pte. Percy Caldecoat 4th Btn. Yorkshire Regiment (d.13th Oct 1918)Percy Caldecoat died 13th October 1918. His name is inscribed on a screen wall in the Worms (Hochheim Hill) Cemetery in Germany.s flynn
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Beneath Hill 60 [DVD]
BENEATH HILL 60 tells the extraordinary true story of Oliver Woodward, the legendary Australian metal scientist. In 1916, Woodward faced the most difficult decision, ultimately having to separate from his new young love for the deadly carnage of the Western Front. On treacherous territory, behind the German enemy lines, Woodward and his secret platoon of Australian tunnelers face a suicidal battle to defend a leaking, tunnel system. A tunnel packed with enough high explosives to change the course of the War.More information on:
Beneath Hill 60 [DVD]
Hill 60: Ypres (Battleground Europe)
The shell-ravaged landscape of Hill 60, some three miles south east of Ypres, conceals a labyrinth of tu nnels and underground workings. This book offers a guide to the memorials, cemeteries and museums at the site 'More information on:
Hill 60: Ypres (Battleground Europe)
Beneath Hill 60 [Paperback]
'Ten seconds, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one - fire! Down goes the firing switch. At first, nothing. Then from deep down there comes a low rumble, and it as if the world is spliting apart...' On 7th June 1917, nineteen massive mines exploded beneath Messines Ridge near Ypres. The largest man-made explosion in history up until that point shattered the landscape and smashed open the German lines. Ten thousand German soldiers died. Two of the mines - at Hill 60 and the Caterpillar - were fired by men of the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company, comprising miners and engineers rather than parade-ground soldiers. Drawing on the diaries of one of the key combatants, "Benealth Hill 60" tells the little-known, devastatingly brutal true story of this subterranean war waged beneath the Western Front - a stygian battle-ground where men drowned in viscous chalk, suffocated in the blue gray clay, choked on poisonous air or died in the darkness, caught up up in vicious hand-to-hanMore information on:
Beneath Hill 60 [Paperback]
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