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Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Want to know more about Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry ?

There are:48510 pages and articles tagged Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry available in our Library

Those known to have served with

Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Adamson Frederick Varley. Pte 2nd/4th Btn, "A" Coy (d.4th Nov 1918)
  • Addison James. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.3rd Dec 1915)
  • Ainley George. Pte. 1st/4th Btn. (d.30th Jul 1918)
  • Annable Ernest. L/Cpl. 8th Btn. (d.21st Jan 1916)
  • Arnold Richard Henry. Private 2/5th Battalion (d.3rd May 1917)
  • Ashton Sam. Private 5th & 3rd Btns
  • Atkinson Harry . Pte. 8th Btn. (d.1st July 1916)
  • Bacon Victor. Pte. 6th Battalion (d.11th Oct 1915)
  • Bailey George Horace. Pte 1/5th Btn. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Barnes Louis Frederick. Pte. 6th Btn (d.2nd August 1915)
  • Bateman Frank. Pte. 1/4th Btn. (d.10th Sep 1918)
  • Bellamy Charles William. Pte. (d.16th Sep 1916)
  • Bellamy Ernest Charles William. Pte (d.15th September 1916)
  • Bentley F.. L/Cpl. 8th Btn, B Coy. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Bentley Thomas Harold. Pte.
  • Billing Frederick. Cpl. 1st Btn (d.1st Oct 1915)
  • Binnie Arnold. Pte. 5th Btn. (d.21st Jul 1918)
  • Blackburn R. Pte. 1/4th Btn
  • Bond R. C.. Col.
  • Bond Reginald Copleston. Lt.Col. 2nd Btn.
  • Bradshaw Robert Henry. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Brady John. Cpl.
  • Brady Michael. Pte. 15th Btn. (d.18th Sep 1918)
  • Brain Arthur. Cpl. 1/5th Btn. (d.10th Jul 1917)
  • Bramwell William Lister. Pte. 9th Battalion
  • Briggs Ellis. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.10th Feb 1917)
  • Brown Frederick. Pte. 2nd Battalion
  • Buckley Harry Helmsley. 2nd Lt. 6th Btn.
  • Buckley Harry Helmsley. 2nd Lt. 6th Btn.
  • Burkinshaw Frank. Pte. 5th Btn (d.3rd Nov 1918)
  • Cades Lawrence. Cpl. 15th Battalion (d.16th Aug 1918)
  • Carter Herbert. Pte 8th Btn. (d.8th Jun 1917)
  • Chamberlain Francis. Sgt. 1st/4th Btn. (d.9th Oct 1917)
  • Chapman William. Pte. 2/4th Battalion (d.13th March 1917)
  • Clarke John Alfred William. Pte. 9th Bn (d.16th Sep 1916)
  • Cleverton Robert. Pte. 9th Btn.
  • Comer James. Pte. (d.1st July 1916)
  • Cooke William. Pte. 1st/5th Battalion (d.2nd July 1916)
  • Cooling Ernest. Cpl. 8th Battalion (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Coucom Henry H.. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.30th October 1914)
  • Crookes Fred. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.2nd Sep 1915)
  • Dale Richard Wiliam. Pte. 9th Btn.
  • Darling Bert Harper. Pte. 2nd/5th Btn. (d.14th Jul 1917)
  • Davies John Edward. Pte. (d.May 1918)
  • Degnan James. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.4th Nov 1918)
  • Douglas John James Wilton. Pte. 5th Btn (d.4th Nov 1918)
  • Dove Henry. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.3rd April 1917)
  • Easom Arthur Frederick. Pte. 9th Battalion (d.26th Apr 1918 )
  • Ellis William Rhead. L/Cpl. 12th Battalion, B Company
  • Erasmus David. Pte. 2/4th Battalion. A Company. (d.20th Nov 1917)
  • Evans Thomas. CSM 16th Btn.
  • Firby Ambrose Binks. Pte.
  • Ford J.. 15th Btn. (d.15th Nov 1918)
  • Forrester John George. Pte. 26th Btn.
  • Fox Albert. 9th Btn (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Gascoyne Samuel Francis. Pte.
  • Gawthorpe William. Pte. 34th Btn. (d.21st Mar 1918)
  • Gilchrist John. Pte. 8th Btn.
  • Gilroy James. Pte. 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion
  • Glaves Thomas Harold. Sgt. 6th Battalion (d.11th Sep 1916)
  • Goodacre George. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.12th September 1915)
  • Gothard John Willie. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.26 Aug 1914)
  • Gourley Thomas. Pte. 4th Battalion (d.20th Oct 1917)
  • Greenwood John . Pte. 4th Btn.
  • Griffiths Samuel. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.10th Jul 1917)
  • Haigh James. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.7th May 1916)
  • Haigh Sidney. Pte. 8th Btn (d.8th Jun 1917)
  • Hallam Leonard Octavious. Pte. 9th Battalion (d.23rd March 1916)
  • Hanson Harold Vickerman. CQMS. 2nd Btn.
  • Harding Robert. L/Cpl. 2nd Btn (d.18th Nov 1916)
  • Hellmore William. L/Cpl. 6th Battalion
  • Hempsall Oswald. Pte. 9th Btn.
  • Henry George Carruthers. 2nd Lt. 2nd Battalion
  • Hepworth Harry. L/Cpl. 2/4 Battalion (d.27th March 1918)
  • Hern Thomas Walter. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.12th Dec 1917)
  • Hewitt James. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.19th Aug 1915)
  • Hinch James North. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Holding Arthur. Sgt 3rd Battalion
  • Hollings Ernest. Pte. 3rd Btn.
  • Holmes Frederick. Sgt. 2nd Btn.
  • Holton Philip John. Pte. 9th Battalion (d.16th September 1916)
  • Hughes Daniel. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.22nd Oct 1914)
  • Hughes Thomas. Sgt. 12th Btn. (d.6th April 1917)
  • Jackson John William. Cpl. 9th Btn (d.22nd March 1918)
  • Johnson John. Mjr.
  • Jones Herbert Thomas. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.11th April 1917)
  • Justice James Robert. WOI. 1st Btn.
  • Kay William Henry. Sgt. 10th Btn. (d.19th May 1918)
  • Ketley George Albert. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.3rd Oct 1916)
  • Kitson Arthur. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.3rd Apr 1917)
  • Lake Thomas. L/Cpl. 2nd (d.2 December 1917)
  • Langford William Henry. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Lawson George Harry. Pte. 1st Battalion (d.21st Aug 1918)
  • Lee Alfred. Pte. 9th Btn.
  • Letch John. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.17th July 1915)
  • Liunberg John Lemon. Pte. 6th Battalion, Z Company (d.10th Apr 1917)
  • Longson John Henry. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.25th September 1916)
  • Lynch Colmer William Donald. Lt.Col. 9th Btn. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Lyons John. L/Cpl. 7th Btn.
  • MacDonald Walter Gordon. Sjt. 12th Btn. (d.12th May 1917)
  • Markham Charles Frederick. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.3rd Mar 1915)
  • Marshall John Edward. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.13th Jan 1916)
  • Marshall Thomas James Webster. Sjt. 6th Battalion (d.12th Jun 1916)
  • McQuade John. Pte. 20th Btn. (d.20th Dec 1915)
  • Meredith William Harold. Pte. 1st Btn (d.3rd Oct 1918)
  • Merrill William. Pte. 1/5th Battalion
  • Merrill William. Pte.
  • Morley Marmaduke. Lt. 8th (Service) battalion (d.1st July 1916)
  • Mottley Herbert William. Capt. 1st Btn
  • Nash Enoch. Sgt. 10th Btn
  • Nicholson Wilfred. Pte. 7th Btn (d.2nd Apr 1918)
  • Nuttall Wilson. L/Cpl. 8th Btn. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Nuttycombe Albert. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.4th October 1917)
  • Oglesby Albert. Pte. 3rd Btn. (d.12th Oct 1917)
  • Oglesby Albert. Pte. (d.12th Oct 1917)
  • Ormrod Harry. Lt. 8th Btn. (d.1st July 1916)
  • Outram John A.. Pte. 12th Btn. (d.1st July 1916)
  • Oxby Joseph Henry. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Oxby Joseph Henry. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Parratt Simon. Pte. 6th Battalion (d.16th Sep 1916)
  • Pearcy John. Pte 6th Btn.
  • Perry Jabez. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.24th Jul 1916)
  • Richards Lawrence. Pte. 9th Batallion
  • Richardson John Elder. Pte. 6th Btn (d.15th Sep 1916)
  • Robinson Henry. Sgt. 2nd Btn. A Company
  • Robinson Joseph Best. Pte.
  • Roe George Ernest. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.11th Jun 1916)
  • Rose Edward. Pte. 148 Brigade
  • Rose Edward. Pte. 1/4th Btn.
  • Saddler Arthur. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.5th Aug 1915)
  • Scaife John Thomas. Pte. 5th Battalion (d.19th Mar 1917)
  • Scott Milnes. Pte. (d.12th March 1917)
  • Scott William. Sgt.
  • Seaton Bernard. L/Sgt. (d.1st October 1916)
  • Senior William. Private 1st / 5th Battalion (d.9th Oct 1917)
  • Sewell Robert. Pte 2nd Btn, (d.5th May 1918)
  • Shaw Frank. Pte. 1st Battalion (d.12th April 1918)
  • Simmons James W.. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.19th Aug 1916)
  • Smiles Edward William. Pte. 21st Batallion (d.9th Oct 1917)
  • Smith George Brown. Pte. 6th Battalion (d.9th Apr 1917)
  • Smith William H.. Pte. 15th Btn. (d.16th Aug 1918)
  • Solomon Cyril George. Pte. 7th Btn.
  • Stead George. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.16th Aug 1917)
  • Stevenson John Henry. Pte. 70th Coy (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Sutton Henry Craggs. Pte. 10th Btn. A coy. (d.4th Oct 1917)
  • Swallow Haigh. Pte. 2nd Battalion
  • Sykes Arthur. Lance Corporal 1st Battalion (d.8th November 1918)
  • Sykes Eli. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.31st Oct 1914)
  • Waller Horace. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.10th Apr 1917)
  • Walton Ernest. Pte. 8th Btn (d.1st July 1916)
  • Walton Ernest. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.1st July 1916)
  • Ward Billy. Sgt.
  • Watson Oliver Cyril Spencer. Lt Col. 2nd/5th Btn. (d.28th Mar 1918)
  • Weaving Philip James. Pte. 2nd Battalion
  • Webb Henry W.. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.31st Oct 1917)
  • Western Lewis. Pte.
  • Westwood William Howell Powell . Cpl. 2/5th Btn. (d.3rd May 1917)
  • Williams Douglas. 2nd Lt. (d.10th July 1916)
  • Williams Thomas Valentine. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.18th Nov 1916)
  • Williams Thomas Valentine. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.18th Nov 1916)
  • Williams Thomas Valentine. Pte 2nd Battn (d.18th Nov 1916)
  • Woof Reginald Henry. Pte 6th Btn. (d.16th Sep 1916)
  • Yate Charles Allix Lavington. Mjr. 2nd Btn. (d.20th Sep 1914)
  • Yate Charles Allix Lavington. Major 2nd Btn. (d.20th Sep 1914)

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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Pte. Alfred Lee MM 9th Btn. Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

My grandfather Alfred Lee served in the 9th Battalion, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. I believe he originally enlisted in the Leeds Pals but by the time of this citation just days before the end of the war he was in the 9th Battalion. He served as a stretcher bearer and survived the conflict. He would have been 18 at the onset of the war. He was one of 5 brothers. He lost one brother Charlie at sea who I believe was under age when he enlisted. He didn't talk about the war. His mother had the citation framed and on her wall and it mow hangs on my living room wall.

Susan Johnston


Pte. Herbert Thomas Jones 9th Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.11th April 1917)

Herbert Jones was the first husband of my grandmother, Florrie Lilian Cox of Bristol, and all I have about them as a couple is their marriage certificate. From the certificate we learn that they were married on 3 July 1915 at the Parish Church of Roath, Cardiff. His age was given as 26. (I have not been able to verify this - rather a lot of people of shared his name!). His occupation was given as 'collector'. His father was George William Jones, retired gentleman. Her father was Edwin John Cox, confectioner, and he was also a witness. The other witness was Elsie May Cox, cousin to the bride. Both gave their residence as 6, Tyler Street. I believe the photo was taken shortly after the marriage. I have a companion photo of the couple, where the bride's wedding ring is definitely on display!

My grandmother never spoke of her first husband. I remember my father saying she regarded the subject as 'too painful'. Herbert is buried in Cojeul British Cemetery in France.

s flynn


Pte. David Erasmus 2/4th Battalion. A Company. Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.20th Nov 1917)

My great great uncle, David Erasmus, was killed on 20th November 1917 age 41, on the first day of the battle of Cambrai. He served with A Company, 2/4 battalion of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

The attached postcard was written in February 1918 by 2nd Lieutenant Frank Cocker who was injured on November 27th 1917 unaware that David had been killed. The postcard notes that David was doing "excellent work rescuing men under trying conditions" and that Frank was back in the UK recovering from having his hair "parted by a bullet". Frank Cocker returned to the frontline and was again injured in July 1918, he survived the war and lived to a ripe old age, writing his memoirs in a published book called "Comrades In Arms". I wonder if my great great uncle David Erasmus would've been awarded a medal based on the information on the postcard about him rescuing men and whether he was killed during those rescues.

The full transcribed text of the postcard is as follows:

Mrs Erasmus, 58 Rees Street, Gelli Ystrad, S.Wales

Please reply to Sec Lieut. F. Cocker, 33 Grosvenor Terrace, Brighouse Yorks.

Feb 11th 1918

Dear Mrs Erasmus, I write you to make inquiries about your son who was in my platoon in France. When I last saw him he was doing some excellent work, rescuing wounded men under very trying conditions and I have often wondered since whether he came through that day alright. I got my hair parted by a bullet, but am better now & shall soon be going out again. Kindly drop me a line & if he happens to be in hospital I would like his address.

I am, Yours Faithfully,

Frank Cocker 2/4b K.O.Y.L.I

Although he hasn't been officially recognised, having a first hand account of his actions from someone who fought alongside him at the very least tells me that he was a hero who should in some way be remembered.

Richard Williams


Lt Col. Oliver Cyril Spencer Watson VC, DSO. 2nd/5th Btn. Middlesex Hussars (d.28th Mar 1918)

Oliver Watson also served with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He was killed in action on the 28th of March 1918, aged 41 and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial in the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery in Arras, France.

Son of William Spencer Watson, F.R.C.S., and Georgine Mary Jane Mair Watson, he served in the Tirah Campaign with 19th Bn. Yorkshire Regt., also served in China during the Boxer rebellion.

An extract from "The London Gazette," dated 18th May, 1918, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery, self-sacrificing devotion to duty, and exceptionally gallant leading during a critical period of operations. His command was at a point where continual attacks were made by the enemy in order to pierce the line, and an intricate system of old trenches in front, coupled with the fact that his position was under constant rifle and machine-gun fire, rendered the situation still more dangerous. A counter-attack had been made against the enemy position, which at first achieved its object, but as they were holding out in two improvised strong points, Lt. Col. Watson saw that immediate action was necessary, and he led his remaining small reserve to the attack, organising bombing parties and leading attacks under intense rifle and machine-gun fire. Outnumbered, he finally ordered his men to retire, remaining himself in a communication trench to cover the retirement, though he faced almost certain death by so doing. The assault he led was at a critical moment, and without doubt saved the line. Both in the assault and in covering his men's retirement, he held his life as nothing, and his splendid bravery inspired all troops in the vicinity to rise. to the occasion and save a breach being made in a hardly tried and attenuated line. Lt. Col. Watson was killed while covering the withdrawal."

s flynn


CSM Thomas Evans 16th Btn. Cheshire Regiment

Attestation for Thomas Evans

After being discharged from the K.O.Y.L.I. due to ill health (deafness, rheumatism and debility) aged 63 years in November 1914, Thomas Evans joined the Cheshire Regiment in December 1914 stating his age as 45 years and 5 months.

Don Hargreaves


Sgt. William Henry Kay 10th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.19th May 1918)

William Henry Kay was from a large family that originated in Kimberworth, Yorkshire, having 11 brothers and sisters. He was married to Sarah and they had three children, James, Noah and Jane. He was a blast furnaceman in Middlesbrough before the war and they lived in Grangetown.

He started his military career in September 1914, when he joined the newly formed 10th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps. In June 1916 he was promoted to Sergeant. In Aug 1916 he transferred to the Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment then in September to the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

In March 1917 he was transferred again to the Durham Light Infantry, but was soon moved to the Labour Corps, probably due to ill health. By May 1918 he was back in DLI barracks in Newcastle where he died of a heart attack on the 19 May 1918. His son James, who was 14 when war broke out, also served, but I can not find any details. He survived the war but died in an accident a few years later.

Andrew Coles


Pte. Robert Cleverton 9th Btn. Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

This is a copy of the contents of the diary written by Robert Cleverton written between 1 April 1918 and 21 July 1918. It covers Robertís second tour in the Trenches of Western France and Belgium, where he saw active service at Ypres and near Reims. Robertís first active tour was fighting on the Somme where he received shrapnel wounds and contracted Trench Fever before being evacuated to the UK for convalescence in November 1917.

Robert was born on 1 April 1898. He enlisted in the KOYLI on 16 March 1915 at the age of 16, two weeks before his 17th birthday, but falsified his year of birth as 1897 to make him nearly 18. He was demobilised from the Army on 14 March 1919. He joined the RAF on 14 August 1919. His service record again gives his birth year as 1897. He served in the RAF for less than a year and was released as ďno longer physically fit for War ServiceĒ on 30 July 1920. After his service careers Robert married twice, had 7 children in his first marriage and 4 in his second. He lived mainly in Weymouth, Dorset, where he worked as a Master Butcher. During the Second World War he served as a sergeant in the Home Guard. He died on 1 May 1969.

The diary itself is actually a small pocket ďAgenda FranÁaiseĒ (French Diary). In the front of the diary it states that it originally belonged to Paul Moingeon from Gigny near Beaune. It is not known how it came to be in Robertís possession or if there is any connection between this and the entries from 31 May 1918. The only entries in the diary are those made by Robert between 1 April 1918 and 21 July 1918. The original diary is held by the children of Robertís second marriage.

  • 1 April 1918 Left Folkestone for France for the second time and landed in Boulogne. Left Boulogne for base at Etaples. Own Birthday 20 years old today.
  • 2 April 1918 Etaples nothing doing
  • 3 April 1918 Etaples
  • 4 April 1918 Left Etaples for the 9th Battalion KOYLI. Got off train at a place called CaŽstre and marched to Reinforcement Camp at Steenvoorde.
  • 5 April 1918 Still at Reinforcement Camp at Steenvoorde.
  • 6 April 1918 Left the Reinforcement Camp for Locre (Loker) and found the 9th KOYLI there.
  • 7 April 1918 Left Loker and went in Reserve to the 49th Division at Ypres. We were in the Ritz Dugouts and expected Fritz attacking any moment.
  • 8 April 1918 Still in Ritz Dugouts. Heavy Bombardment by German Artillery.
  • 9 April 1918 Same as previous page.
  • 10 April 1918 Left Ritz Dugouts for Maida Camp 2 km from Ypres.
  • 11 April 1918 Left Maida Camp for front line trenches at Kemmel Hill. Heavy shelling all the way up. Relieved D.L.I. (Durham Light Infantry).
  • 12 April 1918 Front Line trench. L/Cpl Tolson killed by sniper after killing 4 Germans. German Pillbox 50 yds away. Machine Gun inside.
  • 13 April 1918 Front Line all quiet.
  • 14 April 1918 Front Line all quiet.
  • 15 April 1918 Front Line. Heavy shelling both sides at stand-to.
  • 16 April 1918 Front Line. Trench mortar bombardment by Fritz. 2 killed 6 wounded quite close to me. 1st letter from Mother.
  • 17 April 1918 Front Line all quiet. Heavy shelling in the rear of us by Fritz.
  • 18 April 1918 Front Line all quiet.
  • 19 April 1918 Front Line all quiet. Wiring most of the night.
  • 20 April 1918 Front Line 2 killed close to me.
  • 21 April 1918 Front Line all quiet.
  • 22 April 1918 Front Line all quiet. Patrol 2 hrs tonight.
  • 23 April 1918 Front Line all quiet.
  • 24 April 1918 Front Line all quiet. Wiring most of the night.
  • 25 April 1918 Relieved at 10pm by 1st East Yorks and marched about 6 km to Jager Camp. Heavy shelling of camp during the night several wounded and killed. Fritz also sent Gas over for 4 hours.
  • 26 April 1918 Left camp for Front Line as Germans had broke through our line and Fritz advancing in hundreds but we stopped him by rifle and machine gun fire. Next morning we made a counter attack.
  • 27 April 1918 Page missing
  • 28 April 1918 Page missing
  • 29 April 1918 Division relieved from Ypres Front. Marched to Cassel and stopped 1 night in open field.
  • 30 April 1918 Left Cassel for Lederzeele 19km, 10 miles. Arrived Lederzeele 5pm.
  • 1 May 1918 Reorganisation of companies and platoons.
  • 2 May 1918 Still at Lederzeele. Received letter from Mother.
  • 3 May 1918 Still at Lederzeele.
  • 4 May 1918 Still at Lederzeele.
  • 5 May 1918 Still at Lederzeele.
  • 6 May 1918 Still at Lederzeele.
  • 7 May 1918 Still at Lederzeele.
  • 8 May 1918 Left Lederzeele for Saint Omer by road. Entrained at Saint Omer for unknown destination.
  • 9 May 1918 Train all day.
  • 10 May 1918 Train all day.
  • 11 May 1918 Arrived at some station and marched to Romigny. 25 km from Reims.
  • 12 May 1918 Left Romigny for Jonchery. Arrived Jonchery. Left Jonchery for support line trenches. Relieved the French at Berry-au-Bac between Reims and Soissons.
  • 13 May 1918 All quiet in support not 1 shell.
  • 14 May 1918 Lotties birthday. Support Line not 1 shell
  • 15 May 1918 All quiet support line.
  • 16 May 1918 All quiet support line. Received letter from Mother.
  • 17 May 1918 All quiet support line. Received letter from the old man Mr R Cleverton and cigarettes also letter from Mrs Rixon.
  • 18 May 1918 Support Line quiet. Received letter from Ethel.
  • 19 May 1918 Support Line quiet. Received letter from Lottie and one from home to say parcel is coming.
  • 20 May 1918 Support all quiet. No parcel.
  • 21 May 1918 Relieved by East Yorks and went to Front Line and relieved the D.L.I. all quiet front line. No parcel.
  • 22 May 1918 Front Line all quiet. No parcel.
  • 23 May 1918 Front Line all quiet. No parcel.
  • 24 May 1918 Front Line all quiet. Letter from Evelyn and photos of Mary but no parcel. Parcel must have got lost.
  • 25 May 1918 Front Line all quiet.
  • 26 May 1918 Front Line slight shelling in the afternoon. Heavy shelling by Fritz about 12 midnight still continuing.
  • 27 May 1918 Front Line 4 a.m. Barrage of shells also Gas by Fritz. Hundreds of Germans following barrage. Our Lewis Guns playing hell with them. Piece of shrapnel in the face and gassed.
  • 28 May 1918 L/Cpl Brown a pal of mine killed. Lt Greenshields hand blown off. Arrived at Field Ambulance. Germans still advancing as they broke through on the left and got round us and we had to retire.
  • 29 May 1918 Arrived 37 C.C.S. and were told to get out of it as quick as possible and Fritz was close on. All walking cases went to Ville-en-Tardenois 10 km away and the Germans hold that now. 300 stretcher cases left. Fritz may have got them!
  • 30 May 1918 Entrained for unknown hospital. Fritz bombing railway by aeroplane. French, English and Americans all mixed up on this Red Cross train.
  • 31 May 1918 Arrive at Buanne and put in a French Hospital only 2 meals a day here mostly French in the hospital. (There is no place called Buanne in France and Robert spells it differently in following diary entries. For consideration this could be Beaune in Burgundy. The Americans completed the building of a military hospital there in January 1918. The town has a similar name to Robertís entries. It contains some beautiful buildings and there is a ďmountainĒ near by. All of which Robert refers to in the following entries). Buanne a very nice place something like Oxford and most students speak good English.
  • 1 June 1918 I am still at the French hospital at Buanne expecting move tomorrow to Rouen. No church parade since I left Rugeley.
  • 2 June 1918 I went for a walk this afternoon (Sunday) and the country around here is the prettiest I have ever seen and I am writing this at the foot of some French Mountain. This place would just suit Mother but I think I would sooner be in England even if I had to live in Narrow Marsh.
  • 3 June 1918 Still at Buenne and this afternoon we went for a walk round and found a place where cherries were growing wild. We picked about 14lb. Should like to send some to Mother but of course thatís impossible.
  • 4 June 1918 Left Buene today at 12 noon. Arrived in Paris at 3 a.m. the next morning.
  • 5 June 1918 We were given a good feed at the Red Cross at Gare du Nord and then had a look round Paris. Left Paris at 11 a.m. for Rouen. Arrived Rouen at 5 p.m. and went to 10th General Hospital.
  • 6 June 1918 Left 10th General Hospital for Convalescent Camp and promised a staff job there. Shall know for certain in the morning.
  • 7 June 1918 Have been before the doctor and marked for employment as Bugler in the camp. Got paid 20 Francs today. Wrote to Ma, Evelyn, Lottie, Ethel, Mary, Mrs Rixon but they will not get away until tomorrow Saturday.
  • 8 June 1918 Still at Convalescent Camp.
  • 9 June 1918 Still at Convalescent Camp feeling pretty bad.
  • 10 June 1918 Sent back to hospital No. 6 General.
  • 11 June 1918 17 Ward 6 Gen feeling bad.
  • 12 June 1918 Marked for Blighty.
  • 13 June 1918 Left No. 6 General for England. Left Le Havre for England 10 p.m. on the HMHS Grantully Castle.
  • 14 June 1918 Arrived Southampton 10 A.M. and left there on Ambulance Train for Whalley Lancashire.
  • 15 June 1918 R1 Ward Queen Maryís Hospital Whalley Lancashire.
  • 16 June 1918 Whalley.
  • 17 June 1918 Whalley
  • 18 June 1918 Whalley.
  • 19 June 1918 Whalley.
  • 20 June 1918 Whalley.
  • 21 June 1918 Whalley.
  • 22 June 1918 Whalley.
  • 23 June 1918 Transferred to Pike Law Military Hospital Rawtenstall Lancs.
  • 24 June 1918 Pike Law.
  • 25 June 1918 Pike Law.
  • 26 June 1918 Pike Law.
  • 27 June 1918 Pike Law.
  • 28 June 1918 Pike Law.
  • 29 June 1918 Pike Law. Went to Manchester with Ethel.
  • 30 June 1918 Pike Law.
  • 1 -21 July 1918 Pike Law.

Joanna Malley


Pte. James Gilroy 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers

James Gilroy transferred to the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry



Pte. Frank Shaw 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.12th April 1918)

Frank Shaw is my uncle (my mother's brother) he joined the army aged 16 on 19 Nov 1915 serving with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry with number 2345. His father, (my grandfather) wrote to the War Office including Frank's birth certificate proving that he was only 16 at the time of enlistment. The Army had no choice but to transfer him to class with army reserve, and send him home.

Frank wrote to his former battalion prior to his 18th birthday reminding them that he was due to report, however, he was sent a mobilisation order sending him to the 2/9th Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry, it was now he became private 50839.

On 28th March 1918 he finally sailed for France He was transferred to the Royal Scots Fusiliers renumbered to 41355 and joined the 1st battalion on 2nd of April 1918 and was killed a week later west of Locan near the Basses Canal.

Frank was never found but he is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial. The names of the missing are carved into regiment panels that run around the inside of the memorial. One of them is a young man, so keen to join the army that he falsified his real age of 16 and once spotted wrote to remind the army to recall him. Once with his battalion in France, he served for exactly a week before losing his life.

Rod Sheard


Pte. John George Forrester 26th Btn. Northumberland Fusiliers

Jack Forrester served in the 3rd Tyneside Irish, 26th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers and transferred to 10th Btn Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in Feb 1918. In WW2 he served with the Auxiliary Fire Service.

John Broughton


Pte. Ernest Hollings 3rd Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Ernest Hollings is my paternal grandfather. He was born in Leeds in 1898 and died in Leeds in 1971. The National Roll of the Great War states the following: "He joined in October 1916 and in the following month proceeded to the Western Front, where he served in various sectors. He took part in the Battles of Arras, Bullecourt, and Passchendaele and many other important engagements, and was wounded in action at Ypres. He was in hospital in France and Wales before being invalided from the Army in March 1919, and holds the General Service and Victory Medals."

Additionally Ernest was awarded the Silver War Badge. His badge number is B280254. I understand that he was shot through the hand though this has yet to be confirmed. My research at this point is very much a work in progress.

Peter Hollings


Sgt. William Scott King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

I am looking for information on my grandfather Sgt. William Scott, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in WWI. I know little about him.

Sheila Scott


Pte. Ernest Walton 8th Btn. Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.1st July 1916)

My Great Great Uncle, Ernest Walton, was killed in action on the 1st day of the Battle of the Somme.

Anthony Chapman


Pte. John Alfred William Clarke 9th Bn Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Kings Own Yo (d.16th Sep 1916)

Alfred William Clarke was the son of Sarah Hannah Clarke from Wellington, Somerset. Alfred was born in London in 1897 and subsequently moved to Yorkshire in 1900 with his Mother and Step Father, Joseph Fenney. Nothing more is known of Alfred until his reported death in action, presumably at the battle of Flers in 1916.

John B Clarke


Sgt. Billy Ward King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Sgt Billy Ward was a prisoner at Friedrichfeld POW Camp. He escaped to Holland.


Cpl. John Brady King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Cpl. Brady was captured at Le Cateau on 26th August 1914, probably during the retreat from Mons. He became a POW at three camps: Sennelager and Minden, both in Westphalia, and at Munster II in Rhein.


Col. R. C. Bond King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Colonel Bond was a POW in Torgau camp in Saxony.


Pte. Edward Rose M.M. 1/4th Btn. Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Edward Rose was my Great Uncle. He was awarded the M.M. and was Gazetted on the 5th January,1917, for an action on the 22nd of October 1916, with the 1/4th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry at Hebuterne, where he was a Lewis Gunner. This was on the Somme. He also received The British War Medal and The Victory Medal. He served four years with the 49th West Riding Division Territorial Force before going to war aged 20 on the 1st of March,1915. He was born on 29th September 1894, at Crofton, near Wakefield, and died aged 31, on 6th of December 1925 in Wakefield Asylum (now Pinderfields Hospital) of Shellshock and Post Traumatic Trauma. A sad end to a very brave man.

Barry Conway


Pte. John McQuade 20th Btn. Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.20th Dec 1915)

John McQuade was killed in action on the 20th of December 1915, age 40. At this point I have limited information about John.

Andy Lewis


CQMS. Harold Vickerman Hanson 2nd Btn. Yorkshire Regiment

The 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 “Oh there’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.

Certificate of Employment During The War (Front)

Certificate of Employment During The War (Back)

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