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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)
  • Austin James William. Pte. 8th (Service) Btn. (d.8th October 1916)
  • Bacon Victor. Pte. 6th Battalion (d.11th Oct 1915)
  • Bailey George Horace. Pte 1/5th Btn. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Bamber John Walton. Lt. 10th Btn. (d.1st July 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
  • Bolton Willie. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.26th April 1918)
  • Bond R. C.. Col.
  • Bond Reginald Copleston. Lt.Col. 2nd Btn.
  • Boyce Arthur Henry. Sgt. 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
  • Bransom Alfred Samuel. Pte. 2/4th Btn. (d.28th March 1918)
  • 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.
  • Cockcroft Thomas. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.7th Sep 1916)
  • 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.
  • Fletcher Harry. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.27th August 1917)
  • 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.
  • Gilding Leonard. Sgt. 6th Btn. (d.23rd Aug 1917)
  • 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.
  • Greenwood Oliver. Pte. 3rd Battalion, A Coy.
  • Griffiths Samuel. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.10th Jul 1917)
  • Haigh Arthur. Cpl. 2nd/4th Btn. (d.27th July 1918)
  • Haigh Arthur. Cpl. 2/4th Btn. (d.27th July 1918)
  • 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)
  • Hodgson John William. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.14th Apr 1917)
  • 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)
  • Hopkinson R. Pte. 1/5th Btn. (d.16th February 1916)
  • Hoult Edgar. Pte. 1st Btn., B Coy. (d.17th Oct 1918)
  • Hughes Daniel. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.22nd Oct 1914)
  • Hughes Griffith Thomas. Pte 9th Btn. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Hughes Thomas. Sgt. 12th Btn. (d.6th April 1917)
  • Huntington Charles Albert. Pte. 15th Btn.
  • 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)
  • Law Melvin. Sgt. 9th Btn. (d.1st July 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)
  • McGuirk Hector. Col.Sgt. attd. West African Regiment, WAFF (d.8th October 1914)
  • 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 Edward Pearson. Pte. 2nd/4th Btn. (d.9th Oct 1918)
  • Nicholson Wilfred. Pte. 7th Btn (d.2nd Apr 1918)
  • Nunn Louis. Pte. 10th Btn.
  • Nuttall Wilson. L/Cpl. 8th Btn. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Nuttycombe Albert. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.4th October 1917)
  • Oakes Henry Charles. Sgt. 10th Btn. (d.1st July 1916)
  • 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)
  • Painting Arthur James. L/Cpl. 8th Btn. (d.5th Dec 1916)
  • Parnaby Harold Edgar. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.15th September 1916)
  • Parratt Simon. Pte. 6th Battalion (d.16th Sep 1916)
  • Pearcy John. Pte 6th Btn.
  • Pearson Athelstan. 2nd Lt. 5th Btn. (d.13th June 1917)
  • Perry Jabez. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.24th Jul 1916)
  • Readman James. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.28th August 1915)
  • 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)
  • Shaw Sam. Pte.
  • 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 Wilfred Alan. 2nd Lt. 3rd Btn.
  • Smith William H.. Pte. 15th Btn. (d.16th Aug 1918)
  • Solomon Cyril George. Pte. 7th Btn.
  • Speight Walter. Pte. 8th Battalion, 13 Company, 6 Platoon (d.10th June 1917)
  • Staniforth Thomas Henry. L/Cpl. 10th Btn. (d.1st July 1916)
  • 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)
  • Tansley Henry. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.16th Sep 1916)
  • Telfer Henry Adam. Lt. 9th Battalion (d.1st July 1916)
  • Thompson John. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.26th April 1916)
  • 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.
  • Warner Frank. Pte. 5th Btm. (d.27th March 1918)
  • 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)
  • Whitmore William. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.18th April 1915)
  • 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)
  • Wood Sydney Lancelot. Pte. 2/4th Btn., H Coy.
  • 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)
  • Yate Charles Allix Lavington. Mjr. 2nd Btn. (d.19th 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 Robert’s second tour in the Trenches of Western France and Belgium, where he saw active service at Ypres and near Reims. Robert’s 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 “no longer physically fit for War Service” 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 “Agenda Française” (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 Robert’s 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 Robert’s 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 Caëstre 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 Robert’s entries. It contains some beautiful buildings and there is a “mountain” 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 that’s 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 Mary’s 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. Walter Speight 8th Battalion, 13 Company, 6 Platoon Kings Own YorkshireLight Infantry (d.10th June 1917)

Walter Speight enlisted on the 1st of February 1912 and joined the 5th Battalion. K.O.Y.L.I.

Extracts from his Soldiers own diary: 2nd time out 1917 Battle of Messines.

27 April 1917: Left Folkstone, England for Boulogne, France

28 April: Left Boulogne, France for Etaples (15 Miles March)

29 April - 12 May Training in Etaples

13 May: Landed near the Front line at Abeele rest camp

16 May: posted to KOYLI B Company 6 Platoon 3 Section (all decent boys!)

17 May: Training for Attack near Watou

20 May: Sent to rest Billets too ill with Flu Temprature 100.2

24 May: Left rest Billets for railway dugouts behind the front line

25 May: Night Working party St Peter’s Street

26 May: Trenches first left of Hill 60 very hot quarters. Man Named “Smith” who came out with me was killed

27 May: Bombardment

28 May: Bombardment continued 7 Casualties

29-30 May: Straffing pretty freely both sides

31 May: Going to M camp near Poperinge (NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN)

1 June: 3am Exciting night dodging shells under gas clouds (good days rest)

2 June: spent most of the day writing letters

3 June: Day in Poperinge buying presents for family

4 June: Went to Assembly trench waiting for time to mount

5 June: Assembly trench off St Peter’s Street (nothing Doing to pass time)

There are no More details in the Diary. Walter died of Wounds on the 10th of June.

John Wood


Pte. James Readman 6th Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.28th August 1915)

Private James Readman was the son of John Thomas and Sarah Readman of Thornaby-on-Tees. James is remembered with honour, buried in Etaples Military Cemetery.

Steve Randles


Pte. Sydney Lancelot Wood 2/4th Btn., H Coy. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

This information was sourced from the Red Cross website of POWs, CWG Commission and military documents that I own.

Sydney Wood served with the Colours from the 26th June 1908 to 3rd August 1914 (6 years 2 months). He was in South Africa from the 1st January 1909 to 1st December 1910 (1 year 11 months). In Hong Kongm 2nd December 1910 to 17th January 1913 (2 years 1 month) then in Singapore 22nd January 1913 to 14th January 1915 (2 years).

During War he served with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry from 4th August 1914 to 23rd March 1919 (4 years 8 months) when he became Army Reserve Class B. He reenlisted on the 24th of March 1919 and served until 5th February 1920 (10 months) He served in France from 15th January 1915 to 24th October 1915 (9 months) in Egypt from 25th October 1915 to 30th November 1915 (1 month) then in Salonica from 1st December 1915 to 18th August 1917 (1 year 9 months) He returned to France on the 15th of March 1918. He was taken POW on the 27th March 1918 and held until to 30th November 1918 (8 months)

His POW card reads: A55516 Wood S. Pte 9757. KOYLI Missing 27th March 1918 France. Rep. Mrs A Wood (mother) 34 Wodehouse St, Norwich, Norfolk, England According to a letter send to the family dated 28th June 1918, he is a prisoner in Germany. PH 40751 15 November 1918 Wood Sidney 9757 Pte 2/4th KOYLI H Coy born 14th March 1888, Norwich taken 27th March 1918 Sommecourt, unwounded. Transferred from Parchim POW camp to Freidrichsfeld POW camp.

Miranda Tindle


2nd Lt. Athelstan Pearson 5th Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.13th June 1917)

Second Lieutenant Athelstan Pearson was killed in action on 13th June 1917 while serving with the 5th Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France.


Sgt. Melvin Law 9th Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.1st July 1916)

Sgt Melvin Law served in the 9th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. During the Somme offensive on 1st July 1916, Sgt Law was killed in action. He has no known grave but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.


Pte. Louis Nunn 10th Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

I have a postcard to my grandmother from her brother informing her of contact details: Private L Nunn, D company, 10th battalion, 14 platoon, Yorkshire Light Infantry, British Expeditionary Force, France. He immigrated to Canada after the war to farm very successfully.


Sgt. Leonard Gilding 6th Btn. Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.23rd Aug 1917)

Leonard Gilding was the son of John Henry and Mary Ann Gilding and the brother of Oonah, Gerty, Joseph, Thomas, Alfred, John Henry, Rose Jane and John Henry Gilding. In 1911 they lived at 40 Goodhead Street, meadows Nottingham. He died of wounds 23rd Aug 1917 at the age of 24 and is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Belgium. He was a colliery labourer working the coal mines in Nottingham before the war.

Laura Hamilton-Harding


Mjr. Charles Allix Lavington Yate VC. 2nd Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.19th Sep 1914)

Charles Yate was born in Madeley, Shropshire on 14th March 1872, and graduated from the Royal Military College Sandhurst in 1892, thence posted to 2 KOYLI based in Bombay (Mumbai), India.

At the outbreak of WW1 Major Yate was 42 years old, and a company commander in the 2nd Battalion KOYLI, and was amongst the first to land in France. During the retreat from Mons, 2 KOYLI deployed two companies to act as rearguard whilst the remainder of the battalion fell back in good order. They held the line against fierce attacks by the enemy throughout the day until their ammunition was exhausted. By this time, only Major Yate and 19 soldiers remained in action and, no ammunition remaining, he and his men fixed bayonets and charged the enemy. Major Yate V.C. was captured by the Germans and, because of repeated attempts to escape from his captors, was sent to Torgau prison in Lower Saxony.

He broke out of Torgau but was found by factory hands on their way to work who saw through his disguise, and although fluent in German, he was unable to convince them of his identity. Dressed in civilian clothes, Major Yate knew that he would be probably executed as a spy, and before the workers could arrest and subdue him, he cut his own throat and committed suicide rather than be taken.

He is buried in the CWG cemetary, Stahnsdorf, near Potsdam, and his death is marked on the war memorial situated on The Green, Madeley. He left a widow but no children. His V.C. is on display as part of the KOYLI exhibits at Doncaster Museum, South Yorkshire.

Jeff Pearson


Pte. John William Hodgson 2nd Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.14th Apr 1917)

John Hodgson enlisted in Mexborough, South Yorkshire. He was killed in action on 14th of April 1917. I believe near St Quentin, France. His body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Nr Albert, France. At the time of his death he was approximately 30 years of age. Pre-war he was an ironworks labourer.

John Moss


Pte. Willie Bolton MM 9th Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.26th April 1918)

Willie Bolton was killed in action.

Michael Heppenstall


Lt. John Walton Bamber 10th Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.1st July 1916)

John Bamber was born in Ladysmith in 1886 and was present as a 13 year old boy with his family at the siege of Ladysmith.

He was accepted at St. Augustine's Training College, Canterbury, England in 1912 for training as an ordained missionary but suspended his training and signed up when war broke out. He went to Halton Camp and from there was billeted in Maidenhead where he became engaged to a local girl.

He sailed for France in September 1915 and was in the Battle of Loos and then the Battle of the Somme where he was killed by machine gun fire during the first assault.

He is commemorated on a plaque in All Saints Church, Maidenhead, and also in Durban Cathedral and Pietermaritzburg Boys' College.

Ken Smith


Pte. Charles Albert Huntington 15th Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Charles Huntington originally served with the Essex Regiment then through amalgamations in 15th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He served in KOYLI as part of BAOR in 1919. Charles survived the war and died aged 87.

Charles Albert Huntington 15th KOYLI on left. Soldier on right is unknown


Pte. Edgar Hoult 1st Btn., B Coy. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.17th Oct 1918)

We have no real data other than the minimal data to be found from the surviving records. Not even sure of his date of signup. What is sure is that Private Edgar Hoult fell on 17th October 1918, near Le Cateau in the Battle of the Selle, less than one month before the end of the war.

I have been scouring the web to find more information, there are no family members that I am aware of that might help with more information, but I feel it would be nice if his name were included on your website along with those of his comrades.

John Millard

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