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West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Waless Own) in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Waless Own) during the Second World War -

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West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Waless Own)

If you can provide any additional information, especially on actions and locations at specific dates, please add it here.

Those known to have served with

West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Waless Own)

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Arkley John Edward. Pte.
  • Barnett John Ronald. Pte.
  • Barnett John Ronald. Pte.
  • Brownsey Donald.
  • Edwards Edwin George. Pte. (d.24th Mar 1945)
  • Gent Leonard. Pte (d.17th Mar 1941)
  • Grigg Reginald Trevor. Pte. (d.15th June 1944)
  • Hopson Thomas. Pte.
  • Morton John. Sgt.
  • Payne Walter. Pte.
  • Prince John . Pte. (d.15th Feb 1944)
  • Riley James. Pte.
  • Spence Arthur.
  • Sunderland James. Sgt. (d.18th Sep 1943)
  • Taylor George Frederick. Pte.
  • Taylor Horace Richard. Cpl. (d.18th Aug 1944)

The 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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There are 5 pages in our library tagged West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Waless Own)  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Second World War.

Access our library

Donald Brownsey 1st Battalion Ox and Bucks West Yorkshire Regiment

I am trying to find out about my father, Don Brownsey. He served in 1st Batt Ox and Bucks and later in the West Yorkshire Regiment from which he was discharged in June 1946. If anyone can help I will be very grateful.

David Brownsey

Pte. James Riley West Yorkshire Regiment

My Dad, James Riley, was taken prisioner at Dunkerque and to the best of our knowledge was sent to Stalag 5 in the Black Forest. We were some of the lucky ones who had their father returned to give us more years of happiness.

Peter Riley

Pte. John " " Prince 2nd Btn. West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) (d.15th Feb 1944)


Pte. George Frederick Taylor 2nd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment

my father seems to have had an interesting time in the Army.Three years later was involved in WW2. He apparently rose to sergeant but he must have blotted his copybook somewhere along the way because he was busted down to Private!

Maybe as a result of this he was encouraged to join the Glider Pilot Regiment 2 Wing because I have his soldier's release book stating he was a troooper in the aforesaid Regiment.

I would love to know more about how he ended up in a Glider Pilot Regiment and if anyone can enlighten me I would be very grateful.

I just wish I had asked him more questions when he was alive because like many soldiers he did not say much about his time in WW2.

Joyce McDonald

Pte. John Ronald Barnett 2/5th Btn. West Yorkshire Regiment

My Grandad Jack Barnett worked for Rowntree's in York and in 1940 joined the Territorial Army. Soon after joining he was called up to go to France as part of 46th Division. He would not return to England again until 1945, after been captured defending the La Basse Canal on the 24th May 1940.

Richard Barnett

Arthur Spence 59th Reconnaissance Corps

My Dad, Art Spence, served with the West Yorks then transferred to the 59th Recce then 53rd Recce. I have a number of photographs, but unfortunately, I don't know the names of other individuals except as inscribed on the back of the pictures.

Art Spence and Bren crew with replacements after losing 2 to a tank mine.

Half Track

Art Spence top left, Nick and Jock bottom right, Germany 1945 & prisoners on the road Hamburg

Top left POW's on road to Hamburg, Germany 1945

Art Spence and friend in Hamburg, June 1945

Frassett, Germany 1945

Frassett, Germany 1945.

George Gardner receives Military Medal from Monty in Dusselforf 1945.jpg

photo inscribed: please give this to Arthur Spence

Nijmegen brige, Holland 1944

Reichwald 1945 Churchill tanks.

Start of the attack Reichwald 1945.

Art Spence and squad.

Pontoon Bridge.

Arnhem bridge, September 1944.

Evrecy cross roads, france 1944.jpg

groesback start line 1945.

Nuncq, Germany 1945.jpg

Recce Regiment, Hamburg May 1945

Reichwald 1945

Reichwald 1945

Tiger tank at Falaise 1944.

Evrecy, France 1944.jpg

Flame throwing Churchill tanks, Reichwald 1945

In Germany 1945.jpg

Maeseyck, Belgium 1944.

Near Hamburg 1945

Normandy 1944.

Reichwald 1945.

s hertogenbosch shield, Holland, 53rd Welsh Division.

Churchill Tank, Reichwald 1945.

Courseulles sur mer, France 1945.

Manchesters giving support, Reichwald 1945.

Germany 1945

Second Army Thanks Giving Service

Mike Spence

Cpl. Horace Richard Taylor 2nd Btn. West Yorkshire Regiment (d.18th Aug 1944)

My Grandfather, Horace Taylor died in India, I never knew him and have no photo of him but he will never be forgotten. I will keep searching so I can pass his story on to his great grandsons and beyond.

Suzanne Taylor

Pte. Walter Payne 2/5th Btn. B Company West Yorkshire Regiment

My father, Walter Payne was in the 2/5 West Yorks Regiment and was held at Torun from June 1940, he was captured at Bethune, France and was taken prisoner at the tender age of 19.

He died in 1979 without ever telling me anything about his time in the prisoner of war camp other than he worked on a farm. Last year myself and my husband went to lay a poppy wreath in Dunkirk for my dad's fallen comrades, it was something he always wanted to do but never got the chance.

If anyone out there has anyone whose dad may have known my dad I would be grateful for any info you have can you let me know. Thanks for any help.

Gloria Payne Leigh

Sgt. James Sunderland MC. 6th Btn. Yorks and Lancaster Regiment (d.18th Sep 1943)

I never knew my uncle James Sunderland as he died before I was born. It is only over the last few months that I have been given photos and newspaper reports about him. Seems he was a bit of a hero (as were so many). He recieved MC and bar and died in Italy. Another member of our family still has his medals.

Pte. Edwin George Edwards 2nd Btn. West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) (d.24th Mar 1945)

Edwin George Edwards died aged 27 whilst serving with the West Yorkshire Regiment, he was the son of Rose Edwards of Jarrow.

Edwin is buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

Vin Mullen

Pte. John Ronald "Jack" Barnett 2/5th Btn. West Yorkshire Regiment

My partner's grandad John Barnett was in B company 2/5th Battalion, West Yorks Regiment and was taken POW at La Bassee Canal in May 1940. We visited the canal, Robeque and Dunkirk which was very interesting, along with the memorial they have placed in Robeque for his regiment. However his grandad died just after he was born so he only has the war diaries to go on anything that happened. Does anyone have any information on this please or know someone still alive that might have fought in the same company?

Emma Jack

Pte. Thomas Hopson West Yorkshire Regiment

My granddad, Tom Hopson, is the one bottom right corner in the photo. On the back is a short message to my grandmother and an official stamp mark with the following words, Gepruft 30 Stalag 1V A. Is there any way of obtaining some more information? I do not know any of the other men in the photo.

Editor's note: Gepruft means approved by the German censor to be sent to England from the POW camp Stalag 4A.

Tom Hopson

Sgt. John Morton West Yorkshire Rgt.

My grandfather was a POW and was taken prisoner at the beginning of the war. I have a book he wrote when he was a prisoner and also a poem he wrote called "Alphabet of War". His name was Sgt John Morton of the West Yorkshire Regiment.
  • A stands for Adolf, the cause of the war,
  • B is the bunkum we get from HawHaw,
  • C is the country in which they both live,
  • D is their deeds, which we cannot forgive,
  • E's the expenses this blooming war's cost,
  • F is the Frenchman, who turned, ran and lost.
  • G is for Goering and Goebbels, all boast,
  • H is for Hitler, the man hated most,
  • I is for Italy, that entered the war,
  • J is the Jerry who fought them before,
  • K is our King and the leader we find,
  • L is the Lion who growls close behind,
  • M are the men that follow it up,
  • N is for never we'll give up the cup,
  • O is for optimist, this I might be,
  • P is for pioneers on land, air and sea,
  • Q is the question "Can we stand fast?"
  • R is the realm we'll hold to the last,
  • S is the swastika, symbol of hate,
  • T is for Turkey who knows of their fate,
  • U is for US we're prisoners, quite true,
  • V is the Vow that we'll see it right through,
  • W is the waiting for this war to cease,
  • X is the yearning for our folks at home,
  • Z is the Zeal that no more shall we roam,

    I found my grandad to be a very brave man. He told of his time as a prisoner at Stalag 383 and it was bad as to what they all had to go through. He told me he complained of toothache and the Germans took all of his teeth out with pliers and gave him nothing for the pain. I have his medals but no photos of him in the war.

  • Debbie Moore

    Pte. John Edward Arkley 1st Btn. West Yorkshire Regiment

    John Arkley served from 9th of June 1944 until 10 June 1952. He spent time stationed in Austria. At one point 3 Arkley brothers were in Austria at the same time. John, Tommy and either Arthur or Raymond. John and Tommy met their wives in Austria and brought them back to England. John passed away just 2 weeks before his 90th Birthday. I have his regiment certificate of service.

    Marion McDonald

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