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Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry during the Second World War -

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Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

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

Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Atkinson Leslie Cyril. Pte.
  • Dean Frank Edward.
  • Dean Frank Edward.
  • Ellis Charles William.
  • Gibbs Arthur John. Pte.
  • Gibson James Kenneth. Lt. (d.22nd March 1944)
  • Gledhill William Henry. Pte.
  • Haythorne Charles Edwood. Pte.
  • Haythorne Charles Edward.
  • Hoyle Arthur. Sgt. (d.17th June 1941)
  • Jessop John Cunliffe.
  • Levick George Frederick. Pte.
  • Manchester Charles. Sgt Mjr.
  • Mardon William Richard.
  • Marsden Alfred. Pte. (d.12th July 1940)
  • Marsh Ron.
  • Marsh Ronald Ralph Frederick. Sgt.
  • McMeakin William Ernest. Sgt. (d.5th Oct 1944)
  • Millea Thomas. Pte. (d.7th May 1942)
  • Millea Thomas. Pte. (d.7th May 1942)
  • Needham Thomas Ernest. Pte. (d.7th January 1941)
  • Stockton James Edward. WO2 (d.11th July 1940)
  • Taylor Malcolm Alfred. Sgt.
  • Thompson Christopher Harold.
  • Yale William Henry. Pte. (d.7th September 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 4 pages in our library tagged Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Second World War.

Access our library

Frank Edward Dean Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

I am searching for any information on my great uncle, Frank Edward Dean. As far as we know he was with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and was captured at Anzio in 1943. Any info, no matter how insignificant, may help. Thank you.

Keith Parker

Pte. Leslie Cyril Atkinson Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

Les Atkinson was my father who was in the TA prior to the outbreak of WW2, he was in the Ox and Bucks and was sent to Northern Ireland where he married Mary Dunnion from Co Tyrone, he was stationed in or near Coleraine at the time of his marriage, and was married in Coleraine. He transferred to KOYLI, in 1943/44, and saw action in Italy. It would be nice to know if anyone remembered him, it might be a bit late.

Les Atkinson

Sgt. William Ernest McMeakin 1/4th Btn. C Company Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.5th Oct 1944)

Bill McMeakin was my father in law whom I never knew. He was killed in action on the 5/10/44 in the battle for Poppel forest near the Dutch town of Goirle. He is buried in the war cemetery in Leopoldsburg just over the border in Belgium. My wife, his daughter Patricia and myself visited his grave last May. An extremely moving and sad moment. Bill's name is on the war memorial in the town of Goirle, although it is spelt wrongly. ie MacMeakin instead of McMeakin.

If any of Bills old comrades are still about, or if anybody knew him, we would love to hear from them.

Fred Kirkham

Sgt Mjr. Charles Manchester

Charles Manchester was my father who I never met. I am told by his pals the he was a Sargeant Major in the Kings Own Yorks Light Infantry in WW2. After injury during service he was transferred to the Royal Army Service Corps. I have tried without success to find him listed anywhere. If anyone can assist me I would be eternally grateful.

Beryll Withers

Pte. Charles Edwood Haythorne King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

My great grandfather, Charles Edwood Haythorne, otherwise known as Ted, served in the K.O.Y.L.I Regiment. He was part of the British Expeditionary Force which was captured at Ypres where he was part of the rear guard for Dunkirk.

I have found a photograph on this site of prisoners in Stalag XXB, which one of them, I believe, is my great grandfather. From my relatives I believe he was taken from Stalag XXB and put to work in a labour camp. He informed the Germans he was a farmhand instead of telling them the truth, that he was a miner because he would have been put in the mines, which he knew would have led to his death in a matter of months, weeks or even days.

I know some time in the early 1980’s he was offered a medal for his services at Dunkirk which he refused to send for as he said quote “If its took all these years to say I deserved a medal for what I did, I don’t want it.” My great grandfather didn’t agree with the length of time that it took the British Government to decide that all those that suffered, served and many that gave their lives in protecting Dunkirk needed a medal. Which could have, quite rightly, been issued many years before. He thought it was a disgrace how many of those who served had passed away after the war with no recognition for what they did.

If anyone can help me in finding out information on my great grandfather and how to retrieve his service medals (and Dunkirk medal) please can you email me with any information at all; it would be really appreciated.

Jemma Gill

Ron Marsh 9th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps

I served in the 9th KRRC from 1939 to 1942 then with the 9th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry until demob.

In North Africa

Ron Marsh

Charles Edward Haythorne Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

My father, Charles Edward Haythorne (known as Teddy) was captured at Dunkirk and was taken to the POW camp Stalag XXb. If anyone can tell me anything about him please get in touch.

Margaret Haywood

Sgt. Malcolm Alfred "Mac" Taylor King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

My father. Malcoln Taylor was a regular soldier before the war and served as a bandsman and going to Knellar Hall. He served in India before the War and also was in Gibraltar. During the war he served in Norway and in the Desert before going into Italy and Anzio and on up through Italy. He never talked much about his wartime experiences and sadly died in 1972. If anybody knows anything about him I would be grateful if you could let me know.

Peter Taylor

Sgt. Arthur Hoyle 7th Btn. Royal Tank Regiment (d.17th June 1941)

My father, Arthur Hoyle, was a regular with the Royal Tank Corps after TA service with the KOYLI's. He was killed in action on the 17th June 1941 with the 7th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment while helping to save some Guards Regiments during Operation Battleaxe. As it happens one of the regiments was the 3rd Coldstreams, the regiment my Grandfather had served with in the Great War.

Robert Hoyle

John Cunliffe Jessop 1st Btn. Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

My uncle, John Cunliffe Jessop, according to notes my grandfather made, was moved to Oflag VIIB before 2 May 1941. He was in the 1st KOYLI and was captured in Norway.

Before Oflag VIIB he had been in a "reprisal camp" in Poland. He was one of those moved to Moosburg (Stalag VIIa) starting on 14 April 1945. Except that he produced a number of embroidered pictures while he was there, I don't think that I have any other information. I have been told that many of these were embroidered with sock wool because someone (I think the Red Cross) was able to supply wool for darning socks. These were therefore browns and greys or whatever colours were used for men's socks. At some stage he did have a range of bright colours.

John Jessop

Pte. George Frederick Levick 1st Batt Kings Own Yorkshire Light Inf

My uncle George Levick was captured in Italy on 22/01/1944 whilst serving with the 1st Battalion of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (K.O.Y.L.I) with the 15th Infantry brigade he was sent to Stalag IVB then on 29/02/1944 was transferred to Stalag IVD his P.O.W number was 270602

Philip Levick

Pte. William Henry Gledhill 1st Btn. Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

My grandfather William Henry Gledhill joined the 4th Battalion King's own Yorkshire Light Infantry Territorial Army in April 1936. He joined the regulars, 1st Battalion KOYLI in July 1936. William served in Gibraltar, Burma and in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force in September 1939 to defend the Belgian-French border. On 10th May 1940 German forces invaded France driving the British forces through Belgium and north-western France, and forcing their eventual evacuation from several ports along the French northern coastline in Operation Dynamo. The most notable evacuation was from Dunkirk. During this time William was captured by German forces and spent the rest of the war in a German prisoner of war camp Stalag VIII-B344 in Lambinowice, Poland. His POW number was 5077. William was forced to work in German coal mines until January 1945. As the Soviet armies resumed their offensive and advanced into Germany William, like most prisoners, was marched westward in groups of 200 to 300 in the so-called Death March until he was liberated by Allied forces.

In November 1945 William was medically discharged from military service with chronic bronchitis, arthritis and rheumatism of the knees and ankles. William Henry Gledhill received the 1939–45 Star and War Medal 1939–1945.

Jonathan Gledhill

Frank Edward Dean King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

I am searching for any information on my great uncle, Frank Edward Dean. He was with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and was captured at Anzio in 1943. Can you help?

Keith Parker

Christopher Harold Thompson King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

I am trying to find anyone who can tell me about my father. His name was Christopher Harold Thompson and he was born in 1922 (I think). He was with the KOYLIs during WWII. I believe he was from the Leeds or Bradford area. Does anyone remember him?


William Richard Mardon Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

My great uncle, William Mardon, served with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry between 19th December 1942 and 1st December 1946. He was captured and sent to Stalag VIIA, where he refused to try to escape! He said that his German captors were decent people and treated him well. Bill also picked up the German language. He didn't like talking about his war experiences and, after reading correspondence between his brothers and sisters, you can understand the heartbreak and the atrocity of war. He died in 2005.

Michael Turner

Lt. James Kenneth Gibson 1st Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.22nd March 1944)

James Gibson was a member of the Insurance Institute of Hull. He died at Anzio.

Pte. Arthur John Gibbs King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Because Arthur Gibbs was swarthy his nickname was that for an Italian lad. He volunteered for duty behind enemy lines. His stories like those on active service were many. He was part of a firing squad for soldier found guilty of collaborating with the enemy.

George Gibbs

Charles William Ellis 70th Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Charles Ellis served with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

Lee Cambell

Pte. Alfred Marsden 1/4th Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.12th July 1940)

Private Marsden was the son of Joseph Denton Marsden and Mary Marsden, of Bramley, Yorkshire.

He was 21 when he died and is buried in the Seydisfjordur Cemetery in Iceland, Front Row, Grave 1.

S Flynn

Pte. Thomas Ernest Needham 1/4th Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.7th January 1941)

Private Needham was the son of Henry and Edith Needham, of Sheffield.

He was 27 when he died and is buried in the Seydisfjordur Cemetery in Iceland, Front Row, Grave 2.

S Flynn

WO2 James Edward Stockton 1/4th Btn. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (d.11th July 1940)

Warrant Officer Class II Stockton was the son of James and Annie Stockton; husband of Emily Stockton, of Bradford, Manchester.

He was 32 when he died and is buried in the Seydisfjordur Cemetery in Iceland, Back Row, Grave 4.

S Flynn

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