Newmillerdam War Memorial
First World War
Newmillerdam adjoins Sandal and its lakeside memorial, unveiled on 4 June 1920, illustrates some of the links that exist between the two communities. For example, one of the men named on the memorial is buried in St Helen’s churchyard in Sandal.
MOST of the village of Newmillerdam falls within the civil parish of Crigglestone, and the two war memorials in that village record the names of the fallen from Newmillerdam. The Crigglestone Parish Archive contains a history of these soldiers and also WW1 and WW2 photographs of many of the servicemen with Newmillerdam and Crigglestone connections. This archive is held by local historian and former parish council chairman Keith Wainwright, who can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Bramald, an officer in the 4th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died on 9 October 1917. His name appears on the Tyne Cot Memorial at Zonnebeke, West-Vlaaderen, Belgium. The memorial forms the north-eastern boundary of Tyne Cot Cemetery, nine kilometres from Ypres town centre. He was probably the person of that name whose birth was registered in Wakefield in the September quarter of 1889.
45562 Private Walter Brooke, 6th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, died on Tuesday, 1 October 1918, aged 22. He is remembered on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial in the Pas de Calais.
His photograph appeared in the Wakefield Express on 30 November 1918. Memorial notices published on 7 December 1918 included one from Newmillerdam Football Club. Pte Brooke had enlisted at Pontefract
No information can be found with certainty about Private Calvert’s military service but he could be the person with exactly that name whose birth was registered in Wakefield in the June quarter of 1894.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s register contains no listing for an ‘Eddie’ Calvert but there are four with just the initial ‘E’. In three cases where ages are given, these do not coincide with the Wakefield birth, or the family lived elsewhere. The fourth is 41808 Pte E. Calvert, York and Lancashire Regiment, whose age and family details are omitted. He died on 25 January 1921 and is remembered at Sheffield (Burngreave) Cemetery.
During the First World War there were two major hospitals in Sheffield – the Wharncliffe in the Wadsley Asylum, and the 3rd North General, housed in 15 separate buildings.
Sheffield (Burngreave) Cemetery contains scattered military graves from both wars. Behind the Cross of Sacrifice in Plot JJ is a screen wall naming 1914-18 casualties whose graves could not be marked by headstones, most of them buried in the plot of ground immediately in front of it. Pte Calvert is probably among them.
Wakefield Family History Sharing website http://www.wakefieldfhs.org.uk/ speculates that the man named on the Newmillerdam Memorial could be Edgar, son of Charles and Martha Calvert, of Jerry Clay Lane, Wrenthorpe, but this seems unlikely. Edgar, who was serving in the Northumberland Fusiliers, was killed on 3 May 1917, aged 29.
47523 Private Tom Alfred Cole, 9th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died on Friday, 22 March 1918. He lived at Hillside, Newmillerdam, and was 19 years old.
Wakefield Express 4 May 1918
Private Tom Cole, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, whose parents reside at Newmiller Dam, has been Killed in Action in France. Deceased was formerly a member of the Wesleyan choir and a playing member of Newmiller Dam Football Club. Before enlisting he worked at the Crigglestone Coke Ovens
200759 Private Alfred Colley, brother of Walter (see below), served with the 2nd/4th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He died aged 22 on Monday, 30 April 1917 and is buried at Ervillers Military Cemetery in the Pas de Calais. He was the son of Tom and Elizabeth Colley, of Newmillerdam, and brother of Walter (see below).
Wakefield Express 12 April 1917:
NEWMILLERDAM SOLDIER ACCIDENTALLY KILLED
THE BURSTING OF A SHELL
Mr and Mrs Colley, of Woodmoor Cottage, Newmillerdam, have received official intimation that their youngest son, Private Alfred Colley, has been accidentally killed by one of our shells. A sergeant in the course of a letter to the deceased's parents says: Colley was in the Trench Mortar Battery, and when firing a mortar one of the shells burst in the gun, killing Colley and another man and wounding the remaining three of the gun team, it was a pure but unavoidable accident.
The sergeant adds: "Your son was always cheerful and keen and was one of the best men we had. Your son was buried on the 5th inst and we are having a cross put over his grave. The burial service was read by our Brigade Chaplain and the hymn ‘Jesus Lover of My Soul’ was sung. All the officers and available men were there.”
200760 Private Walter Colley, brother of Alfred (see above), ‘A’ Company, 2nd/4th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 26 on Wednesday, 27 March 1918. He was the son of Tom and Elizabeth Colley, of Newmillerdam. He is remembered on the Arras Memorial in the Pas de Calais, France.
Wakefield Express 29 March 1919:
KILLED IN ACTION
Mr and Mrs Colley, Woodmoor Cottage, have now received information regarding their son Lance Corporal Walter Colley, 2/4th King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Machine Gun Section, who was reported missing March 1919 but now believed to have been Killed in Action 27th March 1918. He was 26 years of age.
Deceased, who was very popular in the village, was a scholar and afterwards a teacher in the Primitive Methodist Sunday School, a well known playing member of the village cricket team, and a member of the village institute. Before enlisting Lance Corporal Colley worked at Crigglestone Colliery.
01859 Sgt Darwent, who was married, was serving in the 1st/4th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, when he was gassed and died on the same day as John Bramald (above). He is also remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial.
Wakefield Express 3 November 1917:
NEWMILLERDAM SERGEANT KILLED
Official news has been received that Sergeant (Acting Sergeant Major) Darwent, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, was killed in action on October 9th. He was a native of Newmillerdam and a nephew of Mr and Mrs Ogley, Hill Top, Newmillerdam.
Sergeant Darwent was very well known for his extremely genial character. He joined up soon after the commencement of the war, and after training proceeded to join his battalion in France in May 1915. He was in several engagements and was both wounded and gassed on December 19th, 1915. He returned to his battalion after his last leave in July.
42537 Private Thomas Depledge, who is buried at Mendinghem Military Cemetery, near Ypres, died on 1 August 1917, aged 19. He was serving in the 2nd Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own) and was the youngest son of Susan Depledge, of Slack Lane, Newmillerdam, and the late Andrew Depledge, of Woolley.
Wakefield Express 18 August 1917:
DID HIS DUTY TO THE LAST
A YOUNG SOLDIER’S MESSAGE HOME TO HIS MOTHER
The death from wounds has taken place of Private Thomas Depledge, West Yorkshire Regiment, son of the late Mr Andrew and Mrs Depledge, of Slack Lane, Newmillerdam, formerly of Woolley. He joined the colours in May 1917 and had been at the front two months. He was 19 years of age and before enlisting worked at the Coke Ovens at Crigglestone.
Mrs Depledge has received a letter from the Chaplain who states that her son was admitted to hospital suffering from severe wounds in the abdomen, left thigh and left arm, and though he was attended by most skilful surgeons and nurses he passed away peacefully at 5.55am on the 1st inst. She has also received a letter from Sergeant E. Steel who says: ‘Your son’s last words to me before he was carried away were to ask me to send you a letter and tell you he had no pain, also to tell you he had done his duty. I can state myself that he did his duty to the last. Although very young he was brave.’
Subsequent Roll of Honour announcements add Pte Depledge died at a casualty clearing station. His brother Arthur was a prisoner of war in Germany.
41833 Private George William Grice was the son of the late Charles and Mary Jane Grice, of Newmillerdam. He was serving with the 10th Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) when he died on Tuesday, 30 July 1918, aged 36. Commemorated at Senlis French National Cemetery, Oise, France.
Wakefield Express, 17 August 1918:
ROLL OF HONOUR
GRICE: Died of wounds at a casualty clearing station, France, July 23rd (sic) 1918, Private George William Grice, Scottish Rifles, son of the late Mr and Mrs Grice, of Chevet Lodge, Newmiller Dam, aged 36.
Ever Remembered, by his loving Sisters, Brothers and his dear friend Ruth Batty.
Notes: Also appears as G.W. Grice on St Helen’s Church Memorial, Sandal. The Wakefield Family History Sharing website adds that he enlisted into the Highland Light Infantry at Wakefield under the number 4645 but later transferred to the Cameronians.
No further information available at this time.
3/8804 Private Thomas Laister, who served in the 7th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment, died on Thursday, 8 February 1917. He is commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial on the Somme.
Wakefield Express 3 March 1917:
NEWMILLERDAM SOLDIER KILLED
Mr and Mrs J Laister, of Sunnybank, Newmillerdam, have received official news of the Death in Action of their son, Private Thomas Laister, Yorkshire Regiment. Deceased, who was 33 years old, formerly worked as a miner. He had seen over two years on active service.
200758 Private Thomas Marsden, 2nd/4th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died on Tuesday, 13 March 1917. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial on the Somme.
Wakefield Express 24 March 1917
NEWMILLERDAM SOLDIER KILLED
News has been received of the death in action of Private T. Marsden, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, of Quarry Hill, Newmiller Dam, and his parents have received the following letter from one of his officers: "I very deeply regret to have to inform you of the death of your son who was killed in the advance on March the 14th. I hope it may be of some consolation to you to feel he died as a gallant English soldier fighting for his country. It is very sad to feel that after so long training he should go so suddenly, but I am sure that while the example of such gallant men remains he will be remembered by his friends and comrades with whom he served so well."
Deceased, who was 21 years of age was in the Machine Gun Section and previous to enlistment he worked at Fountains Colliery. He was a well known swimmer.
11456 Lance Corporal (Acting Corporal) Arthur James Marson, 6th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who died on Sunday, 15 August 1915, is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres.
Wakefield Express 4 September 1915
A CHEVET SOLDIER KILLED
Lance Corporal Arthur J Marson, of the B Company, 6th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, was killed by a German shell in France on August 15th.
Marson, who was highly respected, was a foreman in the gardens at Chevet Park, and he enlisted along with other employees on August 15th, 1914. He always wrote cheerfully of the duty they were called upon to undertake on their country’s behalf.
225003 Private Brooke Smith, 1st Battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), died on Saturday, 4 August 1918, aged 20. He is buried at the Summit Trench Cemetery, Croiselles, in the Pas de Calais.
He was the son of Mrs H. E. Smith, of School Hill, Newmillerdam, and the late Mr Smith.
Summit Trench was part of the Hindenburg Line. The cemetery, which is near the site of the trench, is a battle cemetery, made at the end of August 1918 by the 56th (London) Division.
201971 Private Harold R. Sykes, ‘A’ Company, 2nd/4th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died on Thursday, 3 May 1917. The son of George and Agnes Sykes, of Newmillerdam, he is commemorated by name on the Arras Memorial, which marks the deaths of 35,000 men.
Wakefield Express 26 May 1917
Official intimation has been received by Mr George Sykes, Rock Cottage, Newmiller Dam and formerly of the Dam Inn, of the death in action on May 3rd of his son, Private Harold Sykes, of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
Sykes, who was only 19 years old*, was struck by a shell during the recent fighting. He enlisted in 1915, prior to which he was employed at Messrs J Rhodes and Sons Grove Iron Works. Another brother, George, is in the same regiment and is also in France.
*The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s register is probably inaccurate when it gives his age as 20.
A Roll of Honour announcement in the Wakefield Express on 25 January 1919, states that Private James Taylor, of the 2nd/4th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died on 23 January 1918. The notice was placed by his mother, father and family, from Newmillerdam.
A search of the Commonwealth War Graves Commissioner’s register does not reveal anyone of that name and regiment being killed at or about that time.
212402 Private William Thomson, 8th Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, died aged 21 on 16 January 1916. An announcement in the Wakefield Express on 5 February 1916 states he was ‘late of Chevet Gardens’ and that he was killed in action while on sentry duty. It also places him in the 7th Battalion KOSB.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s register records that he was a native of Scotland and was the son of Adam and Isabella Thomson, of Church Gates, Bolton-by-Bowland, Clitheroe. He is buried in Vermelles British Cemetery near Lens, France.
202017 Corporal Wray Walls was the son of William Walls and Elizabeth Midwood Walls, of Newmillerdam. He was a member of ‘W’ Company, 1st/4th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, when he died aged 29 on Saturday, 2 November 1918. He is buried at Maing Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France.
Wakefield Express 23 November 1918:
Corporal Wray Walls, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, son of the late Mr William Walls and of Mrs Walls of Newmiller Dam, was wounded by a Machine Gun bullet on November on November 2nd and died on the way to the dressing station.
The commanding officer, in the course of a sympathetic letter, said he was exceedingly popular with all ranks, he was an efficient soldier and his place would be difficult to fill.
Corporal Walls, who was 29 years of age and single, enlisted on April 25th 1915 and went to France early in January 1916. In civil life he was a clerk in the employ of the North Western Railway Company at Huddersfield and the district goods Manager has sent a kind letter of sympathy to the deceased's mother.
200762 Sgt Warwick served in the 4th Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and died aged 30 on Sunday, 2 February 1919. He is buried in St Helen’s Churchyard, Sandal. The CWGC register gives no further information.
His headstone at St Helen's is pictured here
3119626 Private Rowland Williams died aged 20 on Sunday, 22 July 1917. He was serving in the 2nd Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, and is buried at Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery in Iraq. He was the third son of Charles and Fanny Williams, of Hill Top, Newmillerdam.
A family announcement in the Wakefield Express on 11 August 1917 stated that he died of heat stroke. A photograph also appeared in that day’s paper.
Notes on other local casualties not named on the Newmillerdam Memorial:
44241 Lance Corporal Frederick Marsh Linford, 50th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), who died on 27 May 1918 is commemorated on the Soissons Memorial but he is not listed on the Newmillerdam memorial. He was the son of William and Charlotte Linford, and the husband of Eliza Linford, of 2 York Place, Newmillerdam. His son, Stoker Petty Officer Thomas Linford, who was killed in the Second World War, is named at Newmillerdam.
13502 Private George Pashley, 9th Bn, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment), who died of wounds aged 27 on 20 May 1918, was born at Newmillerdam. He was the son of George and Ellen Pashley, of Ivy Dene, Ashdown Road, Sandal. Buried at Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais.
For full details see the St Helen’s Roll of Honour
R/15610 Corporal Arthur Earnshaw, 7th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, died on 7 September 1916. He is buried at Boulogne Eastern Cemetery. He was the son of Luke and Ann Earnshaw, of Newmillerdam, and husband of Mrs A Earnshaw, of Shaftesbury Road, Brighton.