St Helen's Church, Sandal
First World War
The bronze memorial at the west end of the church honours the fallen of both world wars.
Among the war graves in the churchyard they are two where the soldiers are not listed on the menorial. They are 29991 Private Jabez Sayles who was serving with 3rd Bn King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry when he died, aged 28, on 23 February 1919. He was the husband of Alice Sayles, of 5 Poplar Terrace, Agbrigg Road, Sandal Cross Lane.
The other grave is the resting place of 200154 A. Ward, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who died on 5 March 1919 There are no further details about him in the CWGC register.
18746 Private Alfred Amos, 6th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, killed in action on 20 July 1915. Commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres.
Amos was a single man who lived with his parents at Haw Park and worked at Walton Colliery before joining the colours. He was killed by a shell bursting in his trench and he was buried nearby (Wakefield Express 31 July 1915)
1846 Private Harry Ashton, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 21 of wounds on 19 December 1915. Buried Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, 12 kilometres west of Ypres town centre.
Wakefield Express, 1 January 1916
ANOTHER SANDAL MAN’S DEATH
Private Harry Ashton was only 21 years of age, and lived with his parents at Sparable Lane, Sandal. He had been in the ‘Terriers’ for about three and a half years, and previous to the outbreak of the war was a Blacksmith apprentice at Messrs J Rhodes and Sons Ltd . Some three months ago he was wounded in the back and leg, but the nature of the injuries was not so serious as expected. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ashton had been looking forward to him coming home on leave for Xmas.
The other day Mrs. Ashton received the following letter from the Sister in Charge [M. Wharton] of one of the Military Hospitals in France:-
“It is with much regret that I send you bad news. Your son was admitted to us yesterday suffering from a severe attack of gas poisoning. He was quite unconscious, and in a very critical condition on admission. Everything was done that could be done, it was of no avail, and he passed away in the early hours of this morning. He will be laid to rest in our soldiers’ cemetery, and a cross bearing his name, number, date and regiment will mark his grave. He gave his life for King and Country and will have a Military funeral, and every respect will be shown him.
“With deepest sympathy, and I pray that God will comfort you in this dark hour.”
2007 Private Robert Edward Atkinson, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, killed in action aged 22 or 24 on 19 December 1915.
Atkinson, who was gassed, lived at 40 Ings Cottage, Crofton, and left a widow and two children. He worked as a miner at Walton Colliery. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Wakefield Express both give his age as 22, but a further newspaper announcement by the widow gives it as 24.
Captain Wilson Bell, LL.B., King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, was killed in action aged 36 on 15 March 1917. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.
He was the husband of Dora Ellen Bell, of Woodlands Cottage, Sandal, and the son of Thomas Person Bell and Elizabeth Bell, of North Road, West Kirby, Cheshire. He was Assistant Solicitor of West Riding County Council. (Wakefield Express 24 March 1917)
The website An Imperishable Record - The People of the North-West Wirral and the Great War states:
"Wilson Bell was the son of Thomas Pearson Bell (born in Scotland in about 1851) and Elizabeth (born in Irthington, Cumberland in about 1854). He was born in West Derby in Liverpool and christened at St. Mary’s church in Edge Hill. Thomas was described as a book-keeper in 1891 and Chief Clerk to the Public Health Service in 1901. At the time of Wilson’s death, he was also a Hoylake and West Kirby councillor. Wilson became a solicitor. He married Dora Ellen and settled in Wakefield, where he worked as the assistant solicitor for West Riding County Council. He must have been a part-time soldier with the Territorial Army because he began his war service in November 1914. He went to France on 15th January 1917.
"When he was still at home in West Kirby, like many Anglo-Scots, Wilson and his family attended the Presbyterian church. The Reverend Kirkland was their minister. He delivered Wilson’s eulogy at a remembrance service on 24th March 1917. He based his sermon on Revelation 21:3 – 'God himself shall be with them and their God' and, movingly, went on to describe the young man: 'No purer or nobler soldier has fallen in the great struggle of right against ambitious might. He was one of our own boys; we knew him from his childhood, and have followed his career with the closest interest all the way. He was a good man with a genial personality. He was a brilliant student; one well skilled in the law, and certain of high promotion in his calling, but the bullet of a German sniper has extinguished all our hopes – yes, extinguished all our hopes, but the man lives after his warfare has been finished; he lives crowned with the victor’s crown! … He lies – his body lies – in a grave in the fields of France. He himself is home with his Lord.'"
Eleven individuals with this surname and first initial appear in the CWGC register. A process of elimination leaves the most likely man as 18771 Private Lewis Bentley, ‘D’ Company, 9th Bn, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own), who died on 25 October 1915. He was the son of Mrs. L. Bentley, whose address at the time the register was compiled was 10 Eve Place, Dewsbury Road, Leeds. He is commemorated on the Hill 10 Memorial, Gallipoli.
27045 Gunner Arthur Wilfred Blackburn, Royal Field Artillery, died aged 21 on 20 November 1915. He was the son of James and Mary Hannah Blackburn, of Ivydene, Ashdown Road, Sandal. He is commemorated at the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
Wakefield Express, 4 December 1915:
Mr and Mrs J Blackburn, of Ashdown Road, Sandal, have received official intimation that their youngest son, Gunner Arthur Wilfred Blackburn of the Royal Field Artillery, died from dysentery in the 21st General Hospital, Alexandria, on November 22nd after being at the Dardanelles. Gunner Blackburn, who was 21 years of age, enlisted on New Year’s Day and he was in the employ of Messrs Heywood, engineers Huddersfield.
Miss Dorothy Briggs, of Sandal Cliff, who is named at the foot of the memorial for WW1 casualties, died aged 40 on 28 April 1919 of heart failure following influenza. She was buried at Wakefield Cemetery on 1 May 1919 following a service at St Helen’s.
An entry in the cemetery burial register reads: “Succourer of many.” Widely missed... (the last word is illegible). The birth of a Dorothy Briggs was registered in Wakefield in the September quarter of 1878.
The 1911 census shows her living with her widowed father, worsted hosiery manufacturer William Briggs, at 4 South Parade, Wakefield. The household included her brother, William Gerald Briggs, and sister Marjorie Ellen Briggs. Dorothy’s estate in 1919 totalled just over £4,000. Probate was granted to her brother (then Assistant Director of Education for West Riding County) and sister.
No entry in the CWGC register.
Note: The Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) was an organisation providing field nursing services, mainly in hospitals, in the UK and other countries in the British Empire. The organisation was founded in 1909 and by the summer of 1914 there were more than 2,500 Voluntary Aid Detachments in Britain. Each individual volunteer was called a detachment, or simply a VAD. Of the 74,000 VADs in 1914, two-thirds were women and girls. At the outbreak of the First World War VADs eagerly offered their services to the war effort. The British Red Cross was reluctant to allow civilian women a role in overseas hospitals; most VADs were of the middle and upper classes and unaccustomed to hardship and traditional hospital discipline. Military authorities would not accept VADs at the front line. Nevertheless, they provided an invaluable source of bedside aid and many were decorated for distinguished service.
10839 Signaller/Private John Broadhead, of the 2nd Bn, Coldstream Guards, was killed in action aged 20 on 14 September 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme. His address was given as Castle Terrace, Walton
C/6820 Rifleman Charles Arthur Bruce, 13th Bn, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, was killed in action aged 23 on 30 May 1916. He was the husband of Evelyn Bruce and son of John William and Mary Bruce, of Church Lane, Sandal. He is buried at Strand Military Cemetery, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium.
Wakefield Express 10 June 1916:
SANDAL SOLDIER KILLED IN ACTION
‘A FINE SOLDIER AND A TRUE AND STAUNCH COMRADE’
The death is reported of Private Charles Arthur Bruce of the Kings Royal Rifles and the sad news has been conveyed in a letter to the young widow, Haddingley Hill, Sandal, but who is now living with her mother-in-law Mrs Bruce, Church View, Sandal.
Second Lieutenant Cook writing from ‘The Trenches’ on June 2nd says:- ‘It is with the greatest regret that I have to inform you of the death of your husband, who was killed by a bullet yesterday when in the trenches. His death was almost instantaneous, and he suffered very little pain. I found him one of the steadiest and reliable men in my platoon, always bright, and cheery and a pleasure to have by one’s side. By his death we have lost a fine soldier and a true and staunch comrade, and I say with all sincerity that by his death the country is less by one of nature’s gentlemen. We all sympathise most deeply with you.’
The Brigade Chaplin has also set a sympathetic letter in which he says that the deceased ‘lies buried in a certain wood near the trenches and you will be glad to know that many of his comrades were present when I took the funeral.’
Rifleman W. Farrow writes stating that the deceased had only been in the trenches five minutes when he was shot through both legs. ‘We are still sorry to lose him,’ he adds, ‘because he was very popular with the lot of us.’
Deceased who was 23 years of age joined the colours in August last, previous to which he worked as a miner at Walton pit.
Two men with both initials appear in the CWGC register. They are 608334 Rifleman Leonard Walter Burton, London Regiment (London Irish Rifles), who died on 23 March 1918 and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, and 13791 Private Leonard William Burton, 1st Bn Northampton Regiment, who died on 27 September 1916 and whose name appears on the Thiepval Memorial. No age or family details are recorded in either case.
There is a strong possibility this is the same man as the one listed above.
Although his name is recorded on the St Helen’s memorial, no information has been found linking this man to Sandal, although there is an E. Calvert named on the memorial at Wrenthorpe, Wakefield. This is Private Edgar Calvert, 5th Bn, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, son of Charles and Martha Calvert, of Jerry Clay Lane, Wrenthorpe. He died on 3 May 1917, aged 29..
201263 Private Ernest Frederick Clarke, 10th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 26 on 19 December 1917. Remembered at Epehy Wood Farm Cemetery, Somme.
Clarke, who lived at Walton House Cottage, Walton, enlisted in November 1914, previous to which he had worked in the brickyard at Sharlston Colliery. He died of severe wounds caused by a shell burst. A Wakefield Express report of 5 January 1918 gives his age as 25.
Lieutenant Cecil Robson Cliff, Royal Field Artillery, died aged 24 on 3 October 1918. He is buried at Wakefield Cemetery, grave ref G C 156. He was the husband of Jessie Muriel Lowery (formerly Cliff), 16 Cyprus Street, Wakefield, and the son of Joe Sidney Cliff.
Wakefield Express, 5 October 1918:
WAKEFIELD OFFICER’S DEATH, WIFE’S DOUBLE BEREAVEMENT
HER HUSBAND AND ONLY CHILD DIE THE SAME DAY
The death took place on Thursday morning at the residence of his father-in-law Mr Wood, Cyprus Street, St John’s, Wakefield, of Lieutenant Cecil Robinson Cliff, eldest son of Cr and Mrs Sidney Cliff, Manygates Terrace, Sandal, and there was a distressing coincidence in the fact that Lieutenant and Mrs Cliff’s child - a baby boy eight months old, also died the same day.
Much sympathy has been expressed with the respective families in the great trouble, especially with the young widow, who married in May 1916 and has so suddenly been bereft of both her husband and child.
Lieutenant Cliff, who was only 24 years of age, was educated at the Academy, York Street, and afterwards he joined his father, the Managing Director of Messrs E. P. Shaws and Co Ltd, Mineral Water manufacturers, Westgate, Wakefield.
When war broke out he was a Trooper in the Yorkshire Dragoons . He went to France early in 1916 and about two years ago he was given a commission in the Royal Field Artillery . In July of the same year he was invalided home with shell shock and on his recovery he returned to the Front in 1917. In April this year he was again invalided home after having been wounded in the thigh and suffering from gas poisoning.
After being in hospital at Oxford he was transferred to Blackpool, where it was thought he was making a satisfactory recovery, in fact he was to have returned to France next Monday. He was joined in Blackpool by his wife and child, and in returning home last Wednesday week he got a chill. He had immediately to take to his bed and receive medical attendance but he got worse and passed away shortly before eight o'clock on Thursday morning, the cause of death being pneumonia complicated by gas poisoning which had permeated his system. The funeral will take place at the cemetery this afternoon.
The August 1915 London Gazette entry marking his appointment as a temporary second lieutenant can be found here
47523 Private Thomas Alfred Cole, 9th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died of wounds on 22 March 1918. He is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme. No further information available.
19942 Private Thomas David Cooper, 7th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, killed in action aged 27 on 17 September 1916. He was the son of Harriet Cooper, of Avondale Place, Sandal.
Wakefield Express 7 October 1916:
SANDAL SOLDIER KILLED
Official intimation has been received that Private T. D. Cooper, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, Avondale Place, Sandal, was killed in action on September 17th. Deceased, who was only 27 years of age and single, enlisted in October 1914, previous to which he worked at Walton Colliery. He was a prominent member of Brook House Working Men’s Club.
Photograph published in the Wakefield Express 31 August 1918
P/1213 Sergeant James Crease, 1st Traffic Control Company, Military Foot Police, died aged 38 on 10 August 1918. Buried at Ligny St Flochel British Cemetery, Averdoingt, Pas de Calais, France. Husband of Mrs A.O. Crease, later of 11 Wolseley Road, Wood Green, London, formerly of Sandal.
Wakefield Express 24 August 1918:
Sergeant James Crease, Military Police, whose widow and six young children live at Station Street, Sandal, died in hospital in France on August 10th after an operation for a strangulated hernia and peritonitis . Deceased, who was 39 years of age, was an old soldier. He served seven years with the Grenadier Guards and for nearly three years of this period he was in the South African War.
Afterwards he was five years on the reserve, which had expired when the present war broke out. He was then employed as a policeman at the Westgate Railway Station, and in May 1915 he volunteered for active service. After being six months at Aldershot he proceeded to France, attached to the Military Police, his duties entailing a great deal of cycling which no doubt accounted for his hernia . On being removed to the hospital he was seen by Sergeant J. Ernest Harris [son of the Chief Constable of Wakefield] and an old friend of Crease’s when ambulance classes were held at Westgate Station. Everything was done for the sufferer, but he never really recovered from the shock, and passed away peacefully.
Mrs Crease has been the recipient of very kind and sympathetic letters from Sergeant Harris, Captain Davison, Lance Corporal Beresward, Lieutenant Eastman, the Sister in Charge of the hospital and the Church of England Chaplain. In the course of his letter Captain Davison said Crease ‘was the finest and most reliable Sergeant it was ever been my good fortune to have met. He was held in high esteem by all the officers and men’.
Writers of other letters stated that ‘he was an excellent soldier, who by his devotion to duty and good fellowship won the confidence of the officers and all Company’ and ‘he was a man of fine character, and a true and noble Englishman’.
Photograph published in the Wakefield Express 31 August 1918
278049 (RFR/PO B/925) Petty Officer 2nd Class George Davis, RN, of HMS Bulwark, died aged 40 on 26 November 1914. He was the son of William and Harriet Davies, of East Ardsley, Yorkshire, and husband of Grace Tomlinson (formerly Davies) later of 24 Upper Oxford Street, Doncaster. Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
The Wakefield Express reported that he lived in Portobello Road and that he was a Wakefield tramways man.
His Royal Naval service papers, which can be downloaded from The National Archives websitet here,
show he was born at Eccles Hill on 25 October 1874.
HMS Bulwark was a Formidable-class battleship that blew up at Sheerness as a result of an internal explosion.
For more information on the ship click
202477 Private Harold Day, 9th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, was killed in action aged 36 on 10 August 1917. He was the son of Joseph and Clara Day, of Chickenley Heath, Dewsbury, and the husband of Violet Day, later of 3 Welbeck Street, Wakefield, previously of Sandal. He is commemorated at Croisilles British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
Wakefield Express 1 September 1917:
CATHEDRAL DAY TEACHER KILLED
Private Harold Day, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who was killed in action August 10th leaves a widow and a little son who live at Ellis Terrace, Sandal. He attested under the Lord Derby Scheme and was called up at the beginning of June 1916. He went into training at Clipstone and proceeded to France in May. Previous to joining up he was assistant master at the Cathedral Boys School where he had been since 1906. His death is a very great loss to the Cathedral School for he was an excellent teacher, and had he lived he would have done well in his profession. His death is very greatly regretted by the managers, teachers and scholars who thought very highly of him.
79316 Sergeant Ernest Edwards, Durham Light Infantry, died of wounds aged 24 on 18 September 1918. He is buried at Trefon British Cemetery, Caulaincourt, Aisne, France. He was the son of Mr and Mrs J. Edwards, of 4 Belmont Terrace, Sparable Lane, Sandal.
The Commonwealth Wars Graves Commission’s website states:
On 22 March 1918 Caulaincourt and Trefcon were captured by the Germans, in spite of a stout defence by 50th (Northumbrian) Division. The villages were regained by British troops in September 1918. The cemetery was made by the IX Corps (6th and 32nd Divisions) in September 1918, and was called at that time Caulaincourt Military Cemetery.
Wakefield Express 12 October 1918:
Sergeant Ernest Edwards., Durham Light Infantry son of Mr and Mrs Edwards of Belmont Terrace, Sparable Lane Sandal, and a nephew of Aid E. Davies has died from wounds received in action in France on September 18th at the age of 24 years.
Sergeant Edwards who formerly worked at Walton Colliery enlisted in the K. O. Y. L. I. in August 1914. Afterwards he was transferred to the West Yorks, Hull Pals, East Yorks and latterly to the Durham Light Infantry. He had been wounded twice and gassed once. He received a Gallantry Card from Brigadier General Crawford for leading his men in a successful raid against the enemy on May 21st 1918 and also recommended for a commission.
93662 Private Charles Greenwood Ellis, of the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) died aged 19 on 26 March 1918. He was the son of George Henry and Eliza H. Ellis, of 6 Newlands Street, Sandal. He is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission states:
The Pozieres Memorial relates to the period of crisis in March and April 1918 when the Allied Fifth Army was driven back by overwhelming numbers across the former Somme battlefields, and the months that followed before the Advance to Victory, which began on 8 August 1918.
The memorial commemorates over 14,000 casualties of the United Kingdom and 300 of the South African Forces who have no known grave and who died on the Somme from 21 March to 7 August 1918.
There is no further information on this man.
C/12363 Rifleman George Robert Elsey, 21st Bn, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, was killed in action aged 20 on 15-17 September 1916. He was the son of George Elsey, of Greenside, Walton, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.
Various Roll of Honour announcements were made by family and friends in the Wakefield Express.
The CWGC lists 71 men with this name and initial, three of whom served with the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, three with the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own) and two with the York and Lancaster Regiment.
224962 Pioneer William Goodwin, Special Brigade Depot, Royal Engineers, died of wounds aged 23 on 17 August 1918. Husband of Sylvia Goodwin, of Alpha Terrace, Elmtree Street, Belle Vue, Wakefield, and son of J.R. Goodwin and the late Fanny Goodwin, of Chevet Farm. Buried at Wakefield Cemetery (Grave ref A U 1403).
Wakefield Express 24 August 1918:
Pioneer William Goodwin, Royal Engineers, formerly organist at Newmillerdam Wesleyan Chapel, who was wounded on March 16th, died at Netley Hospital last Saturday. He was 23 years of age and prior to enlisting in March 1917 was employed at Messrs R.H. Barker and Co, Thornes.
41833 Private George William Grice, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), son of the late Charles and Mary Jane Grice, of Newmillerdam. Commemorated at Senlis French National Cemetery, Oise, France.
Wakefield Express Roll of Honour 17 August 1918:
Died of wounds at a Casualty Clearing Station, France, July 23rd, Private George William Grice, of Chevet Lodge, Newmillerdam, aged 36 years
Note: The CWGC register gives the date of death as 30 July 1918.
Lieutenant Harold Stanley Haworth, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 36 on 13 August 1916. Son of the late F.G. and Mrs L.M. Haworth, of Wakefield, husband of Adeline Elizabeth Haworth, later of Westleigh, Stanhope Road, Darlington. Commemorated at Lonsdale Cemetery, Authuile, Somme. He is also recorded on the war memorials at both St Helen’s, Sandal, and St Peter’s Church, Stanley.
Wakefield Express 19 August 1916:
ANOTHER WAKEFIELD OFFICER KILLED
Wakefield and district, in common with other towns in the county, is making a great sacrifice in this terrible war and many splendid young men have laid down their lives in this great struggle for righteousness and freedom .
We regret to have to record the death of another Wakefield Officer in the person of Lieutenant H. Stanley of the Wakefield Territorials, a telegram being received on Monday that he had been killed on the previous day. Lieutenant Haworth had been at the front only about ten days he being one of the draft sent from the Reserve Battalion at Clipstone. He joined the Forces in February 1915.
Lieutenant Haworth, who was 36 years of age, was the youngest son of the late Mr F. G. Haworth of Stanley Garth and resided in Castle Lane Sandal. He married a daughter of Mr R. Davies of Darlington and there is one child. He was a member of the firm Messrs Haworth Bros, and Wormold maltsters and was educated at the Wakefield Grammar school and the St Peters School, York.
His name also appeared on the war memorial at St Peter's Church, Stanley
Image: Yorkshire Rugby Football Union "In Memoriam" 1914-1919
15/1302 Private Albert Victor Hirst, 15th Bn, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own), died of wounds aged 19 on 13 May 1917. He was the son of Edwin Lodge Hirst and Sarah Beatrice Hirst, of Yule Croft, Sandal. Commemorated at St Pol Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France.
Wakefield Express 19 May 1917:
New has been received by Mr Edwin Lodge Hirst, Yule Croft, Sandal, of the death in hospital in France on Sunday of his third son Private A. Victor Hirst of the West Yorkshire Regiment. Prior to the war he was learning farming at Bilby, Nottinghamshire, and at the beginning of 1915 he joined the Leeds Pals. In November he went with his regiment to Egypt and proceeded to France in April 1916 and has been in the firing zone ever since. Private Hirst, who was only 19 years of age, was educated at the Woodhouse Grove School.
The photo is taken from what was probably the Roll of Honour for Woodhouse Grove School. The text says:
Private Hirst was another Grovian member of the Leeds Pals - trained at Colsterdale, Ripon and Salisbury. From the latter camp he proceeded to Egypt, reaching Cairo on Christmas Day 1915. He returned to France in the March of 1916 and saw much active service, the 15th West Yorkshires being the first to go over the parapet on July 1st 1916. Later he was attached to the Head Quarters Staff as a runner but was taken sick with fever on May 12th 1917 and died only a day later at St Pol's Hospital. He was interred with Military honours at St Pol Cemetery.
2549 Private Frank Hollings, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, gassed near Ypres and died aged 20 on 20 December 1915. He was the son of Isaac and Emily Hollings, of 103 Haddingley Hill, Sandal. Commemorated at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium.
Wakefield Express, 1 January 1916:
WAKEFIELD TRINITY HARRIER’S DEATH
HIS BRAVE ACT CARRIED THREE MEN FROM THE FRONT LINE
Private Frank Hollings was only 20 years of age and lived at 163 Haddingley Hill Sandal. He was employed at Messrs J. S. Booth’s mill, and on the outbreak of the war joined the l/4th. Hollings was a smart well built young fellow who had won fame with the Wakefield Trinity Harriers. In fact along with his brother Issac, who is now attached to the 8th Cavalry Field Ambulance, now in France, have won several valuable prizes including a handsome silver cup.
He was also a member of the Y.M.C.A. football club. In a letter to Mrs Hollings [deceased’s mother] Bandsman Fred Falias writes: ‘It is with deep regret I havethe painful news to break to you of the death of your beloved son Frank. I cannot realise that I have lost my best chum. I have been the stretcher bearer for his company since we came out, and we have always been the best of pals, and when he was made stretcher bearer he was told to work with me. That made us bigger pals where ever we went. He was looking forward to coming on leave and was planning how to spend it, but alas it had not to be. I hope it will be a bit of consolation to know he was always ready to do his duty.
Lieutenant Colonel Haslegrave, in the course of a sympathetic letter to deceased's father Issac Hollings, says: ‘Your son acted very bravely during the time the gas attack was on, and he carried out from the front line three men who were gassed, and in doing that noble act probably lost his life. He was a very plucky lad, and I have recommended him for immediate reward for his great bravery.’
200314 Private H Holmes, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died 25 April 1918. Commemorated at Crucifix Corner Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux, Somme.
Wakefield Express, 10 May 1919:
THE FATE OF A SANDAL SOLDIER
In our advertisement column last week the father and sister of Private Harry Holmes, Burkill Street, Sandal, asked for any information concerning this soldier who had been reported missing since April 25th 1918. They have now received information from Private George Whiteley, of Outwood, stating that Holmes was killed in action on that date.
Private Holmes was mobilised with the Wakefield Territorials in 1914; he was then 18 years of age. He went to France in April 1915 and was wounded and gassed in 1917. He served three years in France.
2519 Lance Sergeant John Kemplay, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 31 on 23 July 1916. Son of James Kemplay, of Wakefield, and husband of Ida Kemplay, of 6 Victoria Terrace, Walton. Buried at Authuile Military Cemetery, Somme.
Wakefield Express, 5 August 1916:
WAKEFIELD CATHEDRAL CHORISTER KILLED
The death is reported in action on July 23rd of Sergeant John Kemplay formerly of Denston Street, Wakefield, and whose widow lives at Victoria Terrace, Walton. He joined the colours in September 1914 and had been in France since April 1915. Previous to enlisting he was clerk in the Wakefield Gas Light Company offices.
Deceased who was 31 years of age was only married in January last when home for a short leave. He was a man very well known and highly respected, being an Alto singer in the Cathedral and the Sandal Musical Union and a prominent member of the Wakefield Trinity Harriers.
201116 Corporal Harry Victor Lambert, 2/4th Bn and 4th Reserve Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 27 on 11 May 1918. Son of Henry and Annie Lambert, husband of Lily Lambert, of 77 Duke of York Avenue, Manygates Lane, Sandal. Buried at St Helen’s Churchyard, Sandal, Grave ref: 4. 13. 1077.
Wakefield Express 18 May 1918:
DISCHARGED FROM HOSPITAL
INQUIRY INTO A WAKEFIELD SOLDIER’S DEATH
SHIVERING IN A HUT
Mr P. P, Maitland [Coroner] opened an inquest at the City Police Station on Tuesday on the body of Harry Vincent Lambert  Spring Bank Cottages, Sandal, who joined the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in November 1914 and who died at his home on Saturday night.
There was a suggestion that the man had been prematurely discharged from the Dewsbury War Hospital. There were present at the inquest the Rev W. Mahon, Chairman of the Wakefield board of Guardians, and the Rev A. A. Parry, Vicar of Sandal.
Evidence was given by the widow, who stated that her husband, formerly a miner at Nostell Colliery, joined the Army in November 1914. In May last year she received intimation that he was in hospital at Rouen suffering from trench fever and gas poisoning. Afterwards he was removed to Glasgow, where he remained in hospital until last September, when he came home for ten days .
He complained of pains in the body and head and was sent to the Park Lane Military Hospital Wakefield but on November 24th he was transferred to the Dewsbury War Hospital for further treatment. He underwent two operations at the hospital but was very weak afterwards, and did not seem much better. A fortnight ago her husband wrote to her stating that he was sleeping in a hut, and that when he woke at nights he was shivering and full of cold.
On Saturday week she received a letter from him stating that he was getting discharged from the Army and that he was being sent home in the course of a week. He was eventually discharged from the hospital, but whether it was at his own request or not she could not say. She took his clothes to Dewsbury on Wednesday week and when she saw him he was shivering and complained of cold. When he got home he was very ill, and Dr Downie, who was sent for, said he was suffering from Bronchitis and Double Pneumonia. He became delirious and remained so until he died.
The Coroner said they would have to adjourn the inquiry for the attendance of Dr Russell, the Medical Officer at the Dewsbury War Hospital, and Dr Downie. He was very anxious to know why the poor fellow was discharged from the Dewsbury Hospital. They must not prejudge the case but it was evident from the widow’s evidence that he was very ill and it looked as if he had been sent home prematurely.
It was an exceptional case, and there were two points which they wanted to clear . This man had served his King and Country in France for some time, was injured in the process of active service, and ultimately died. The first point was whether he had died as a consequence of doing his duty in the Army and secondly was it justifiable to have sent him home to die so shortly after. One point was important and the other serious. The inquest was adjourned until Thursday next.
Note: A further account of this inquest can be found in the Wakefield Express dated 25 May 1918, Page 3.
201447 Private Fred Leach, 2/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died on 8 November 1918, only three days before the Armistice, according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Roll of Honour announcements in the Wakefield Express variously give the date as 9 and 10 November.
Pte Leach is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Pas de Calais. The memorial bears the names of more than 9,000 men who fell in the period 8 August 1918 to the Armistice on 11 November.
Fred Leach’s wife lived in Sandal and the Wakefield Express reported on 14 December 1918 that he was the youngest son of John Leach, killed in action on November 10. He had served four years in France.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s register contains multiple entries under this name, none of which can be identified as the man whose name appears on the St Helen’s memorial.
The CWGC register lists 12 names with this initial, five of whom served in Yorkshire regiments.
27281 Sergeant George Arthur Lister, 7th Bn, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, was killed in action aged 38 on 31 July 1917. He was the son of Edward Lister, of Wakefield, and the husband of Mary E. Lister, of 7 George Street, Sandal. He is buried at Voormezeele Enclosure No 3, Ypres.
On 3 August 1918 and 16 August 1919, the Wakefield Express published a Roll of Honour announcement from his widow and children.
220118 Private Jasper Lumb, 2/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 35 on 27 November 1917. He is commemorated with 7.000 others on the Cambrai Memorial at Louveral, France.
Wakefield Express 15 December 1917:
REFUSED TO GO BACK THOUGH HE WAS WOUNDED
DIED LIKE A TRUE GALLANT SOLDIER
The death took place in action on November 27th of Private Jasper Lumb, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, second son of Mr Lumb, Crossley Street, Sharlston.
His widow, who is left with one child, has received the following letter from Lieutenant McClausland:-
‘It is my painful duty to have to inform you of your husband’s death, he died like a true gallant soldier. He had been wounded but refused to go back, and was killed by a shell on November 27th in the big advance. He was one of our very best Lewis gunners, always keen and cheerful and to the fore. He was loved and respected by everyone in the company, and we all feel we have lost a personal friend, whose place can never be filled. Please accept my sympathy in your great loss.’
Deceased, who was 35 years of age, enlisted on November 12th 1914, previous to which he was a fitter at Walton Colliery. He had been in France since January 1915.
Captain John Pelham Blanchard Maitland, 11th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 32 on 2 August 1915. He was the son of Pelham Page Maitland and Edith Mary Maitland, of Kildare, Manygates Lane, Sandal, and husband of Gertrude Mary Maitland. He is buried in St Helen’s Churchyard, south of the church.
Wakefield Express 31 July 1915:
CAPTAIN J. P. B. MAITLAND SERIOUSLY ILL
We regret to hear that Captain J. P. B. Maitland, of the 11th Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, son of the West Riding Coroner [Mr P. P. Maitland] is seriously ill in the Military Hospital at Harrogate suffering from Pneumonia and Rheumatic Fever.
Wakefield Express 7 August 1915:
DEATH OF CAPTAIN J. P. B. MAITLAND
THE SON OF THE WEST RIDING CORONER
MILITARY FUNERAL AT SANDAL
It is with regret that we have to record the death of Captain John Pelham Blanchard, the only son of Mr P. P. Maitland of Sandal, the West Riding Coroner. Deceased, like his father, was a solicitor by profession, and was only 31 years of age - a fine well set young fellow.
After the outbreak of the war he at once responded to the call of his King and Country, and joined the Officers’ Training Corps at Leeds and it was obvious that military duties were very much to his liking . Eventually he was granted a commission in the 11th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, stationed at Harrogate, and owing to his invariable courtesy and genial disposition he soon made himself a great favourite with both officers and men. He threw his heart and soul into his duties, and his efforts were rewarded by early promotion to senior Captain of his Battalion.
His desire was to go to the seat of war, and take his part in the fighting but this was not to be. Camp life in wet weather tries the most robust constitution, and Captain Maitland contracted a severe cold, which quickly developed into Pneumonia and Rheumatic Fever. He was removed to the Beaulieu Military Hospital, Harrogate, but despite the best medical attention and nursing he passed away on Monday night.
Much sympathy in their bereavement has been expressed with deceased Father and Mother and his young widow, [the younger daughter of Dr Greig] and her two children. The funeral took place at Sandal Church on Thursday afternoon and was attended by a large gathering of sympathizers. The Rev A. A. Parry officiated. Before the service commenced the Organist [Mr Harold Chapman] played ‘But the Lord is mindful’ and ‘Rest in the Lord’. Later the funeral marches by Beethoven, and Handel were played. A detachment of 100 men from deceased’s regiment attended in charge of Captain Molison, Second Lieutenants Goldman, Purdy and Kernaghan Colonel Stead, 11th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I., Captain Moorhouse, 9th Battalion, Second Lieutenant Trueman, Major H. S. Goodyear V.D. and other officers also attended. The mourners included Mr P. P. Maitland [father] Mrs Maitland [the widow] Dr Greig, and Messrs Mc Turk [South Cave, Uncles and cousins of the deceased] Mr W. H. Kingswell junior [President of the Wakefield and District Law Society] and several members of the legal profession were also present. The coffin was unpolished oak and many wreaths were sent. After the firing party had discharged the usual volley the buglers sounded ‘The Last Post’
665 Private Rowland Healey Day Marsden, 10th Bn Lincolnshire Regiment, who died aged 27 on 1 July 1916. Son of the late John Day Marsden and Harriett Ellen Wilson Marsden, brother of Leon C. Marsden. CWGC gives the home address as 28 Agbrigg Road, Sandal Magna.
Pte Marsden is buried at London Cemetery and Extension, Longueval, Somme.
Wakefield Express 3 March1917
SANDAL SOLDIER KILLED IN ACTION
Last July it was reported that Private Rowland Marsden of the Lincolnshire Regiment,
youngest son of Mr. and Mrs J. D. Marsden of Oakdene, Sandal was missing on the 2nd of July in connexion with one of the earliest battles in the memorable ‘Big Push’.
This week however his parents have received word that he was killed in action July 1st. The deceased soldier, who was very well known in the district was, 24 years of age.
ROLL OF HONOUR
MARSDEN: Private Rowland, Lincolnshire Regiment, killed in action July 1st 1916 youngest son of Mr and Mrs J. D. Marsden, Oakdene, Sandal, Wakefield.
Note discrepancy in ages
This individual cannot be identified with any certainty but there is a 200758 Private Thomas Marsden, who served in the 2/4th Bn King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and died on 13 March 1917. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Another possibility is 305525 Private Thornton Marsden, who died on 1 March 1918 and served in the West Yorkshire Regiment.
R/35768 Rifleman Tom Marshall, 12th Bn, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, killed in action aged 21 on 20 November 1917. He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval, France.
A family Roll of Honour announcement in the Wakefield Express on 29 December 1917 described him as ‘a happy boy’. He was a member of Wakefield Rugby Football Club.
Image: Yorkshire Rugby Football Union "In Memoriam" 1914-1919
19935 Private John Edward Martin, 15th Bn, Cheshire Regiment, was killed on 6 May 1916, aged 29.
Wakefield Express 20 May 1916:
SANDAL SOLDIER KILLED IN ACTION
- ALWAYS WILLING AND NEVER GRUMBLED
News has been received of the death in action of Private John Edward Martin, Cheshire Regiment. Deceased was 29 years of age, and previous to joining the colours worked for Messrs G. J. Studley.
He met his death during a heavy bombardment. The widow has received a letter from Captain S. F. Morgan who said Martin was one of his best men, ‘He was always willing and never grumbled . The men of his section and one of the officers attended his funeral and four of his old pals carried him from the hospital to his grave, which is in a proper cemetery, and his grave will be taken care of and tended. He was hit with machine gun bullets while working at night.’
Lieutenant Reginald Ernest Melly, 20th Bn, King’s Liverpool Regiment, killed aged 28 on 30 July 1916. Son of Florence Melly, later of Highbury Bank, Meriden, Warwickshire, and the late Ernest Louis Melly, a solicitor. Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.
His birth was registered in the Ormskirk district in the September quarter of 1888 (FreeBMD website). No further information could be found on this individual.
PO/1091(S) Private Henry Wheaton Miller, 190th Machine Gun Company, Royal Marine Light Infantry, was killed in action aged 19 on 26 October 1917. Son of John Robert and Annie Louisa Miller, later of 15 Bridge Cottage, Doncaster Road, Wakefield, and formerly of Ashdown Road, Sandal. Named on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium.
Wakefield Express 17 November 1917:
Another son of Mr and Mrs J. R. Miller of Princess Terrace, Ashdown Road, Sandal, has paid the supreme sacrifice in the person of Private Henry W. Miller a Machine Gunner in the Royal Marine Light Infantry.
This is the second son of Mr and Mrs Miller have lost through the war, Private Sidney Lawrence Miller, Lancashire Fusiliers, being killed on September 26th 1916.
In a sympathetic letter Lieutenant Thos Westly states:- ‘Your son was killed on 26th October. My petty officer was quite near your son when a shell practically hit him, and I feel it was a mercy that he suffered no pain, as death must have been instantaneous .
‘We evacuated the position an hour later owing to heavy shell fire but when we returned a few days later your son had been buried where he fell, and a cross put over his grave. I know we shall miss him, and I feel with his death we have lost a gallant soldier and comrade.’
Miller, who was only 19 years of age, enlisted on September 25th 1915, previous to which he worked in the Raising department at Messrs G. and J. Studley’s Mill. He was well known and highly respected in the district and was a fine example of young manhood. He had previously been wounded in January 1917 and after being in hospital went back to France in July. Official notification of his death has now been received.
Note: Reference to the CWGC website shows that 27636 Private Sidney Lawrence Miller served with 9th Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers, and is buried at Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovillers-la Boisselle
14623 Private John (Jack) Moore, 1st Bn, Coldstream Guards, died aged 21 on 9 May 1916, as a result of an accident. Born at Armley, Leeds, he was the son of Joel and Fanny Moore, of Kenroyd, Welbeck Street, Wakefield. He is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium.
Wakefield Express, 20 May 1916:
SANDAL CORPORAL’S FATAL ACCIDENT
DIED IN HOSPITAL FROM BULLET WOUND
Mr Joel Moore, of Welbeck, Sandal, has been officially informed of the death of his youngest son Corporal Jack Moore, Coldstream Guards, who died in hospital at the front on May 9th from wounds in the abdomen, the result of an accident.
The bereaved parents have received sympathetic letters from the Army Chaplain and the Sister in Charge of the hospital where the deceased died. The letter said deceased had an operation, and everything was done that could be done to save his life, but he passed away at 2.15 pm in the afternoon. He was very brave and patient.
Deceased, who was 20 years of age, was educated at Dewsbury Parish Church School, and winning a scholarship he went to Heckmondwike High School, subsequently continuing his studies at the Dewsbury Technical School. Afterwards he was employed with his father the dyer Messrs G J Stubley’s at Wakefield. He was well known in local association football circles, having played with the Wakefield St Johns and Sandal clubs.
He joined the colours in January 1915, going to the front in October and discharging the duties of Officer’s Servant.
Second Lieutenant Daniel Morton, 4th Bn, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, died on 10 May 1915, aged 35. He was the son of Eleanor Harris Morton, of Scott’s Terrace, Sandal, and the late Daniel Morton. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres.
Wakefield Express Roll of Honour 1 July 1916:
MORTON: Reported wounded and missing May 10th 1915, now reported killed. Second Lieutenant D. Morton, son of Mrs and the late Daniel Morton, of Sandal.
72287 Sapper Leonard Walls North, of Base Signals Depot, Royal Engineers, died on 13 October 1918, aged 29. Son of Leonard and Anne North, later of Newmillerdam and formerly of Milnthorpe. Buried at Abbeville Community Cemetery extension, Somme.
Wakefield Express, 26 October 1918:
Sapper Leonard W. North, Royal Engineers [signalling section], only surviving son of Mr and Mrs North, Birdleigh, Milnthorpe, died from Bronchial Pneumonia in the 3rd Australian General Hospital, Abbeville, France, on the 13th inst. He was 29 years of age and in civil life he was a fitter in the employ of Messrs E. Green and Sons.
Although engaged on important work, he felt it his duty to fight for his Country, and he enlisted on November 5th 1914. In April of the following year he went to the Dardanelles and in December, having contracted enteric fever, he came home to England where he was in hospital in Manchester for six months.
In December 1916 he was sent back to Alexandria and was with General Allenby’s Forces in Jerusalem and other places, where he had a very trying time, the attack of enteric having left its effects. In September 1917 he returned to England and after being at home on leave for fourteen days - when it was obvious that he was not well - he returned to duty in France in July last. The change of climate and his weakened condition had serious effect, but he stuck manfully to his duties as long as he possibly could.
ROLL OF HONOUR
NORTH: On the 13th inst at Abbeville France of Broncho-Pneumonia, Sapper Leonard W. North Royal Engineers aged 29 years the dearly beloved son of Mr and Mrs L. North, "Birdleigh" Milnthorpe.
R/17434 Rifleman Robert Osbourn, 2nd Bn, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, died aged 20 on 10 or 12 (CWGC) July 1917. He is commemorated on the Nieuport Memorial, Belgium.
Wakefield Express Roll of Honour 28 August 1917:
Killed in action somewhere in France on July 10th 1917, Bugler R Osbourn, aged 20, King’s Royal Rifles, of Walton.
15325 Private Arthur Parr MM, 1st Bn Coldstream Guards, died of wounds aged 32 on 5 November 1918. Son of William Parr, husband of Alice Beatrice Parr, of 69 Haddingley Hill, Sandal. Buried at Villers-Pol Communal Cemetery extension.
Wakefield Express 12 October 1918:
MILITARY MEDAL FOR SANDALITE
TAKING DESPATCHES UNDER HEAVY SHELL FIRE
The Military Medal has been awarded to Private Arthur Parr, Coldstream Guards, whose home is at 69 Haddingley Hill, Sandal. He is a despatch rider and earned his distinction by taking despatches under very heavy fire. Prior to enlisting in 1915 he worked at Kirkgate branch of the Wakefield Industrial Society Ltd.
Wakefield Express Roll of Honour, 7 December 1918:
PARR: In loving memory of my dear husband Private Arthur Parr, Coldstream Guards, of 69 Haddingley Hill, Sandal, who died of wounds on 5th November 1918 aged 32. From his sorrowing wife and children.
A photograph of Pte Parr was published in the Wakefield Express on 5 October 1918, His name also appears on the war memorial at Caythorpe, Lincolnshire, https://www.loveden.org.uk/families/parr/.
Arthur Parr's great nephew Adrian Parr has contacted us to say: "On 11 November 2008, and again on the centenary of the Armistice, I was warmly received by the elected Mayor and local people at Villers-Pol. This picture in the regional newspaper, La Voix du Nord (https://www.lavoixdunord.fr/487657/article/2018-11-13/des-familles-anglaises-venues-se-recueillir-pour-la-commemoration-de-l-armistice ) shows Monsieur Simon, the Mayor of Villers-Pol, France, with me laying a wreath on Arthur Parr's grave, and an unrelated British family in the background."
13502 Private George Pashley, 9th Bn, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment), died of wounds aged 27 on 20 May 1918. He was the son of George and Ellen Pashley, of Ivy Dene, Ashdown Road, Sandal. Born at Newmillerdam. Buried at Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais.
Wakefield Express, 8 June 1918:
Private George Pashley (27), Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, a single man who lived with his brother Mr John Pashley and his wife at Ivydene, Ashdown Road, Sandal, was killed in France on May 20th. He had been wounded and was in hospital, which was bombed by the Germans from the air, and he was killed. Previous to enlisting in September 1914 he worked at Mr Moodie’s wine and spirit merchant, Wakefield. He had been three years in France.
267378 Corporal Leonard Pickard, 1/6th Bn, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, killed in action aged 34 on 30 April 1918. Son of the late Henry Pickard and Anne Pickard, of Sandal. Buried in the Jerusalem War Cemetery, Palestine (now Israel).
Wakefield Express Roll of Honour 25 May 1918:
PICKARD: Officially reported killed in action in France, 30th April, Corporal Leonard Pickard, aged 34, son of Annie and the late Henry Pickard, Manygates Lane, Sandal.
Note the apparent discrepancy in the place of death. The CWGC register gives the Jerusalem grave reference/ panel number as O.1.15
18874 Private E. H. Pickles, 7th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who was killed in action aged 20 on 27 August 1916. He is buried at Carnoy Military Cemetery, Somme. Son of Mr and Mrs J. H. Pickles, of Ashdown Road, Sandal.
Note: Probably Ernest Harold Pickles whose birth was registered in Wakefield in the June quarter of 1896
80178 Gunner William Alfred Pickles, 29th Division Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery, died aged 26 on 23 October 1915. Commemorated on the Mikra Memorial, Thessalonika, Greece.
Wakefield Express, 20 November 1915:
SANDAL SOLDIER THOUGHT TO BE DROWNED
Mrs Pickles, of Ashdown Road, Sandal, has received official intimation that her son Private William A. Pickles of the Royal Field Artillery, with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, is reported missing and thought to be drowned. Pickles. who is 26 years of age, worked at Sharlston Colliery when joining the Colours in August 1914.
Note 1: The Mikra Memorial is in the Mikra British Cemetery. The memorial commemorates, among others, almost 500 nurses, officers and men who died when troop transports and hospital ships were lost in the Mediterranean and who have no grave but the sea. They are commemorated at Mikra because others who went down in the same vessels were washed ashore and identified and are now buried at Thessalonika.
Note 2: The 29th Division served in Gallipoli and, after the British forces’ evacuation, transferred to Salonika (now Thessalonika).
34268 Private Charles Poxon, 5th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 38 on Christmas Day, 25 December 1918. He is buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery. Son of Mr John Poxon, of 10 Haw Park, Walton. Also named on Walton War Memorial.
No further information available. Three men with this name and first initial recorded in the CWGC register.
3573 Private George Frederick Priday, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 21 on 31 December 1915. Son of David and Fanny Amelia Priday, of Low Town, Walton. Buried at Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais.
Wakefield Express Roll of Honour, 6 January 1917:
PRIDAY: In loving memory of our beloved son, brother and friend, Private George Frederick Priday, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who fell asleep from gas poisoning at Etaples Farm, December 31, 1915. Mother, Father, Brothers and Sisters.
Note: Numerous Roll of Honour announcements including verses continue to at least 1919.
Multiple entries in the CWGC register.
Captain Guy Hepworth Roberts, 2/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died of wounds aged 25 on 22 November 1917. Son of Arthur Hepworth and Mary Alice Roberts, of Woodthorpe Hall, Wakefield. Buried at Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery, Manancourt, Somme.
Wakefield Express, 1 December 1917
WAKEFIELD CAPTAIN’S SACRIFICE
WHILST LEADING HIS MEN IN AN ATTACK
HIS GALLANT EXAMPLE AND LEADERSHIP
THE LOSS OF AN EXCELLENT COMPANY COMMANDER
Captain Guy H. Roberts, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who died of wounds on the 22nd inst received whilst leading his men in the great attack on the 20th, was the elder son of Mr and Mrs A. H. Roberts, Woodthorpe Hall near Wakefield. As soon as war was declared Captain Roberts tried to enlist in the Artists’ Rifles and again in the Public School Boys Naval Division, but was rejected for defective eyesight. He was, however, given a commission in our local Territorials in November. When the Division was finally formed the Brigadier asked him to serve on his staff, and in September 1916 General Braithwaite, Commanding the Division, appointed him his personal A.D.C. This post Captain Robert held until May 1917 when he rejoined his regiment (which had suffered heavy casualties in officers) to go into the fighting line. Captain Roberts got his Company in July last, and had been in the front line since January.
Writing to his father the Colonel of the Company says:- ‘We all mourn the loss of a cheery gallant friend, and in addition to the loss of an excellent Company Commander whom I cannot replace. Your boy was looking forward with great confidence to the attack, and I saw and spoke to him just before our troops were launched. All his arrangements were in perfect order, and he was as merry and cheerful as ever. The last words he said when we left him were “We are going to have a great time today.”’
His Major in the course of a kind letter, says:- ‘Guy died leading his men into an attack which was completely successful and it was his gallant example and leadership which greatly helped us to gain our objective.’
Captain Roberts, like many other Wakefield boys, began his education at the Preparatory School in Wakefield kept by Misses Gissing and afterwards he proceeded to a well known preparatory school at Buxton. From here he won an open exhibition at Oundle and was a member of the school football fifteen, head of his house, and captain of his house cricket and football teams. He also rowed in his house boat, and was an all round athlete.
Captain Roberts, who was 25 years of age, was articled to a well known firm of Charted Accountants in Sheffield and had passed the preliminary and intermediate examination of the Institute.
Note: The article was accompanied by a photograph of Capt Roberts.
There are 12 people with this name and first initial in the CWGC register, including a Territorial Force nurse
Lieutenant Joseph Senior, 45 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps (formerly of the 11th Bn West Yorkshire Regiment) died of wounds aged 24 on 9 May 1917. He is buried at Bailleu Communal Cemetery Extension (North). He was the son of Arthur Senior of Manygates Park, Sandal.
Wakefield Express, 19 May 1917:
DEATH OF A WAKEFIELD OFFICER
SHOT IN AN AERIAL ENCOUNTER WITH THE HUN
FIRING HIS GUN THOUGH MORTALLY WOUNDED
HIS AMAZING CALMNESS AND COURAGE
A BRILLIANT SCHOLASTIC CAREER CUT SHORT
Another of Wakefield's most promising citizens has given his life for King and Country. We refer to Lieutenant Joseph Senior, the eldest son of Mr A. Senior, Manygates Park Sandal, of the West Riding Treasurer’s Department at Wakefield. The young Lieutenant – he was only 24 years of age –was one of the cleverest scholars sent from the Wakefield Grammar school, but in addition to his intellectual attainments he was a young man of high character, and respected by all who knew him. In the Army his great learning and courteous and genial disposition made him a very valuable officer, and he was not long before he proved himself to be a very gallant soldier, and one who must have advanced rapidly in the service had his life been pared Lieutenant Senior had a brilliant scholastic career.
At the age of 11, when a scholar at the Wakefield St John’s School he won a Story Scholarship tenable at the Wakefield Grammar School and was successful in winning his form prizes every year. In the Oxford Senior Examination he was awarded the first place in all England out of 14,000 candidates. Proceeding to University he gained an Open Classical Scholarship and Care Exhibition at Clare College Cambridge, and also won a West Riding County Major Scholarship and School Leaving Exhibition. At the end of his first year’s University career he was placed first in his college and the scholarship was increased and extended for a further period of two years, at the end of which he took the Classical Tripos with first class honours and was awarded the OWST Prize, which is only awarded to the candidate who is placed amongst the first six in the University Examinations. He also won the Dr Green silver cup for general learning at the University. At the outbreak of war he had entered Wren’s College, London, for a special course to prepare him for the Civil Service higher branch, After six weeks there he was offered a commission in the West Riding Regiment and after training in England he was sent to France, where he became attached to the Cyclist Corps. Nine months ago he volunteered and was accepted for the Royal Flying Corps and six months ago he was promoted to Lieutenant. A brother of the deceased, Second Lieutenant Walter Talbot Senior, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, was reported missing at Thiepval on September 3rd last. During the attack he was seized by four Germans and pushed into one of their dugouts. Later on he escaped bringing with him a supply of German bombs, which he used with great effect against the Hun. No further news has been received of him.
Another brother George holds a commission in the K.O.Y.L.I. attached to the Sherwood Foresters and is taking part in the present severe fighting. Writing to his father this week upon the sad news of his brother’s death he says:- ‘Try to bear up father. The trees here are speaking to us, although maimed, cut down, they are trying to carry on, giving fourth bud and blossom, teaching us how ever we are battered to carry on.
All the brothers were educated at Wakefield Grammar School and each gave promise of exceptional education powers. Lieutenant Senior met his death in a fearless manner. The Army Chaplain writing to Mr Senior states that he understands the gallant officer was fired at from an enemy machine, and that after striking his machine entered the lower part of his body inflicting such injuries that his condition was hopeless. He died at the hospital the same night and next morning he was buried in the cemetery with very possible military honour.
A thrilling account of the encounter in which Lieutenant Senior met his death is given by Captain W. McArthur who has written to deceased's father as follows:- ‘We were leading an offensive patrol and spotting a Hun, I dived on him. We pursued him down a considerable distance and he went for the ground. We had hardly turned round to make for home, when as far as I can make out, about three other Huns got on our trail, there was a bit of firing which I evaded several times by turning the machine as quickly as possible but after the second or third burst which hit our machine Joe told me down the telephone that he had one finger smashed and he thought he was hit in the stomach. This sounded very bad, but I was cheered to hear him speaking in his usual perfectly calm way. The Huns still came on and I thought the only thing to do was to turn and twist and avoid them as much as possible
when to my astonishment I suddenly heard Joe firing his gun again. It really was amazing. We eventually got back, and I went down to the nearest aerodrome to the lines where I knew there was an hospital adjoining. When we landed he said in his matter of fact way, “Well I think they will have to lift me out, I don't feel as though I could get out alone.” The only sign of pain he gave was to encourage me to get down as quickly as possible, but his calm courage, with never a complaint while he was being put on the stretcher and going to hospital, made me think he was certainly going to pull through. His loss here is mourned desperately by us all. He was the most perfect gentleman one could wish to meet – amazing calm and courage on all occasions, combined with perfect manners and such a delightful disposition. It is impossible to know exactly what happens in aerial flights, but many times I have attributed my safe keeping to his inexhaustible courage and skill and then yesterday but for his extraordinary pluck, we should probably have been shot down. I can no longer thank him, as I have always been able to - I can only thank you for the most gallant observer I could ever have had.’
Mr Senior has been the recipient of several letters, which testify to the affection and esteem in which his son was held at school, at college, and as a soldier. The Major commanding the No 45 Squadron sends a very sympathetic letter giving details of the funeral. Pilot G. H. Cook writes that deceased was a great favourite in the mess, and was liked by the whole squadron. ‘He was the most perfect gentleman and charming friend I ever knew. Although he had a bad internal wound and had lost a finger he continued to fire his gun as long as there was a target to shoot at - typical of his wonderful calm and courage.’
Mr J. E. Barton M.A., lately Headmaster at the Wakefield Grammar School, in the course of a beautiful letter says:- ‘He gave not only life but all the hope of a splendid career, and when he was already a soldier he was not content until he could face the greatest danger of all and live his life in his hands day by day for his country. So brave a soul, so modest, and restrained in spite of his unusual attainments has surely some other and wider destiny to fulfil behind the veil which we cannot pierce.
Sympathetic letters have also been received from Mr M. H. Peacock M.A. Oxford, a former headmaster at the Wakefield Grammar School, Mr J. R. Wardale, a tutor at Clare College, Cambridge, Mr W. L. Mollison, the Master of Clare College, and Captain G. M. Beck, who was a tutor at Clare College, who writes:- ‘I am sure that Clare has lost no more promising and no more brilliant man since the war began.’
Image: Yorkshire Rugby Football Union "In Memoriam" 1914-1919
Second Lieutenant Walter Talbot Senior, 6th Bn, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own), died aged 22 on 3 September 1916. Son of Arthur Senior, of Manygates Park Sandal. Buried at Connaught Cemetery, Thiepval, Somme.
Brother of J. Senior (see above), a report of whose death includes this information:
Second Lieutenant Walter Talbot Senior, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, was reported missing at Thiepval on September 3rd last. During the attack he was seized by four Germans and pushed into one of their dugouts. Later on he escaped bringing with him a supply of German bombs, which he used with great effect against the Hun. No further news has been received of him... All the brothers were educated at Wakefield Grammar School and each gave promise of exceptional education powers.
Image: Yorkshire Rugby Football Union "In Memoriam" 1914-1919
38887 Private Harry Shaw, 2/4th Bn, Royal Berkshire Regiment, died aged 19 on 21 March 1918. Son of William and Alice Shaw, of 63 Warren Avenue, Portobello. He is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme.
Wakefield Express, 27 July 1918:
Private Harry Shaw (19), Royal Berkshires, son of Mr and Mrs Shaw, Back Montague Street, Agbrigg, was killed in action on March 21st. Previous to enlisting eighteen months ago he worked at Crigglestone Colliery. The news of his death was sent by a comrade who assisted to carry in the deceased, who he said died nobly.
57660 Pte George Ernest Skevington, Wakefield Golf Club professional, was killed aged 30 on 20 June 1917. He was serving in the 18th Bn, The King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, and he lies buried at the Railway Dugouts Cemetery (Transport Farm) 2kms west of Zillebeke village in Belgium, where the railway runs on an embankment overlooking a small farmstead, which was known to the troops as Transport Farm. The site of the cemetery was screened by slightly rising ground to the east, and burials began there in April 1915. They continued until the Armistice, especially in 1916 and 1917, when advanced dressing stations were placed in the dugouts and the farm.
George was the son of Charles and Annie Skevington, of The Hawthorns, Brough, Yorkshire. As well as drawing army pay while he was serving, the golf club still paid him 10s a week. In 2000 the club was able to purchase and display a hickory shaft putter that he made while he was at Woodthorpe.
Roll of Honour announcements in the Wakefield Express on 7 July 1917 and 22 June 1918 record that he was a professional at Woodthorpe golf club.
201162 Private Charles Richard Smith, 2/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 22 or 23 on 27 November 1917. Son of Henry and Sarah Smith, of 4 Victoria Terrace, Walton. Commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval.
Wakefield Express, 8 December 1917
News has been received of the death in action of Private Charles Richard Smith, of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, whose parents live at 4 Victoria Terrace, Walton. He enlisted in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in December 1914, and had been in France over twelve months. He previously worked at Walton pit, and was a member of the Walton Athletic A.F.C. and also in the choir at Walton Church.
In a letter to deceased's parents Second Lieutenant Rodgers says:- ‘He was killed instantly by shell fire during the recent operations . I can honestly say he was the smartest man in the platoon, and I was terribly grieved at his death. His death is felt throughout the whole Company as he was respected by everyone.’
He was the son of Mr and Mrs Harry Smith and was 22 years of age.
A later Roll of Honour announcement in the Wakefield Express says Pte Smith was killed in action near Bourlon Wood.
556 Private George Smith, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. died aged 28/29 on 20 November 1915. He was the son of Walter and Jane Smith, of Wakefield, and husband of Evelyn Smith, later of 15 Haigh Moor Street, Wakefield. He is buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery, Ypres.
Wakefield Express, 27 November 1915
WALTON TERRITORIAL KILLED
A BULLET FROM A GERMAN MACHINE GUN
The death as taken place in action of Private George Smith of the l/4th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who lived with his wife and son at Priory Square, Walton. Major Harry Moorhouse, writing to the widow on Sunday last, expresses regret that Smith died on Saturday night from a bullet wound in the knee from a German machine gun whilst on a working party. The wound was so serious that every effort to save his life was to no avail. He is buried in a Military Cemetery just behind the firing line, alongside some of his other comrades who have fallen.’
Lieutenant H. G. Fraser, in writing to deceased’s mother, who also lives at Walton, states that Smith was a very popular man in the Company, and his death is deeply deplored by both Officers and men.
Private Smith, who was 28 years of age, worked at Walton Pit, and formerly lived at Thornes Lane Wharf, Wakefield. He had been a member of the Territorials for eight years, and he was home on furlough about three weeks ago. Deceased had two brothers in the army. One of them Driver H. Smith, Royal Field Artillery, is now in Greece, and on a ship which was torpedoed. He was in the water eight hours before being picked up by a French boat. The other brother is in the l/4th Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He has been wounded and is now in hospital at Mansfield.
Wakefield Express, 18 December 1915:
THE DEATH OF A WALTON SOLDIER
‘THE LIFE AND SOUL OF No 6 SECTION’
In reference to the death of Private George Smith, l/4th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, of Walton, his widow has received the following letter from Private Richard W. Paterson of the 2nd Platoon A Company:- ‘The boys in your husband’s old section wish me to express their profound sorrow at his unfortunate death. His ready wit, unfailing good humour and spirit made very dear to us all.
‘He was the life and soul of No 6 Section, so you can readily understand how much we miss him, and we realise what a great loss it is to you. Be brave and show a cheerful heart ever as George did in face of the greatest hardship.’
26882 Lance Corporal Harold Spencer, 8th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 22 on 7/8 June 1917. Son of Herbert and Elizabeth Spencer, of Woodthorpe Lane, Milnthorpe. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres.
A Roll of Honour announcement appeared in the Wakefield Express on 7 July 1917.
13990 Lance Corporal Gilbert Stubley, 95th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), died aged 23 on 13 April 1918. Son of George Henry and Selina Stubley, of 2 Gladstone Square, Sparable Lane, Sandal. Commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium.
Wakefield Express 11 May 1918:
Lance-Corporal G. Stubley was killed in action on April 13th. He was 23 years of age, and the only son of Mr and Mrs G. H. Stubley, Gladstone Square, Sparable Lane, Sandal and the husband of Mrs G. Stubley, Haddingley Hill, Sandal.
Previous to joining the Army he worked under his father at Messrs G. and J. Stubley’s Mills at Wakefield. He enlisted in December 1916 and was drafted to France in April 1917 , He left there for Italy in December 1917, but returned to France a few days before his death. The Commanding Officer, in the course of a sympathetic letter to Mrs Stubley, says her husband was killed by a shell and laid to rest with a few of his comrades.
‘The enemy,’ added the Colonel, ‘had made repeated attacks upon our lines and the machine gun company, notably the section to which your husband belonged, had done wonderfully well. His death is deeply regretted by all the company from the Commanding Officer downwards as he was an excellent soldier and a good comrade. He died a soldier’s death, and laid down his life for a great cause, that of Honour, Right and Freedom.’
The CWGC register contains the names of 51 servicemen with this name and initial
47375 Gunner Harry Wood Teale, 67th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, died aged 27 on 15 October 1918. He was the son of Emmanuel and Charlotte Teale, of Avondale Terrace, Sandal. Buried at St Aubert British Cemetery, France.
Wakefield Express, 2 November 1918:
Gunner Harry W Teale, Royal Garrison Artillery, Avondale Terrace, Sandal, has been killed inaction. His parents have received a very kind letter from his Major, who states:-
‘I deeply regret to have to inform you that your son was hit by a shell splinter in the neck and died instantly. We buried him to-day [October 16th] in a little British cemetery behind the lines, and as many of the battery as could possibly leave the guns were there, and the Church of England service was read over him. We all join in tendering our sincerest sympathy to you in your great loss. We cannot guess the depth of it, but we know how much we are going to miss him . Your boy was a brave cheerful and extremely capable soldier. He was very popular with everyone, and he died on duty. His life is yet another sacrifice in our great cause, but I know he would give it willingly.’
Gunner Teale who was 26. was one of those young men of whom his country had every reason to be proud. At the outbreak of the war he was employed as a fitter at Armstrong and Whitworth of Newcastle, and although by reason of his important occupation he could have been exempted military service he declared his determination to fight for his country which he loved. He at once offered his services, but owing to suffering from a serious form of varicose veins he was rejected. Not to be denied he underwent two operations, but he was rejected a second time at Wakefield . He was, however, determined not to be beaten, and very much to his delight he succeeded in ‘getting through’ at Leeds for the regular army. Truly a fine example of British pluck, determination, and genuine patriotism.
The CWGC register records 21 servicemen with these initials.
1726 Private Philip Totty, ‘A’ Company, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 21 on 5 September 1915. He was the son of John and Sarah Totty, of 6 Ash Grove, Sandal. He is buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery, Ypres.
Wakefield Express, 9 September 1915
A WAKEFIELD PRIVATE KILLED - ‘BRIGHT AND WILLING LAD'
News has been received of the death of Private Philip Totty of Calder Grove Road, age 21, who was a boiler maker at Spurr, Inman and Co's Works. His parents have received several sympathetic letters from the Battalion. Captain J. P. Critchley, writing on the 7th inst, expresses his great regret on the death of Totty who says ‘he was always a bright and willing lad and tried to do his duty to the best of his ability, and it was whilst doing his duty that he met his death. There is a little consolation to you to know that he did not suffer long, as he died very shortly after receiving his wound. I trust your sorrow will be lightened by knowing that your son died in upholding the glory of his country.’
Lieutenant Colonel H.J. Haslegrave, in the course of a sympathetic letter, says Private Totty was killed in action on September 5th and adds:- ‘He will be buried just behind the firing line. A cross be placed over the grave, which will be looked after by a committee appointed for the purpose.’
Company Quarter-Master A. H. Weaver says Private Totty was wounded by a German bullet whilst performing his duty in the trenches. He was immediately attended to but subsequently died whilst in the hands of the medical staff. ‘No word of mine,’ continues Q.M.S. Weaver in his letter to the deceased's mother, ‘can in any way compensate you for your terrible loss, but all I can say is that my close connexion with him, I had learnt to regard him with great affection, as indeed had all his comrades.’
Corporal M. H. Horton, writing to Mrs Totty, says:- ‘Philip was the pet of the section and one of the liveliest lads in the platoon, always ready to do his duty without a grumble. We had just turned out on the Sunday night September 5th for a working party, and had gone about 100 yards down the communication trench when he was hit by a bullet in the right wrist and right side. The stretcher bearers were on the spot immediately, and made him as comfortable as possible.
‘He stuck it like a hero scarcely a murmur all the time although quite conscious. Before taking him away his last words were "Write home". The bearers informed me that he died on the way to the dressing station. As his section commander I was with him when he was hit and I am writing on behalf of the section who send their deepest sympathy.’
50314 Private William Hesselgrave* Water, 24th (Tyneside Irish) Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers, died on 10 September 1917. He is named on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.
Wakefield Express Roll of Honour 10 August 1918:
WATERS: On or about 10 September 1917 somewhere in France, William Haslegrave*, the dearly loved husband of Martha Water, 3 Haddingley Place, Sandal, and son of the late Reverend D. D. Waters.
* The latter spelling is likely to be correct. The former is taken from the CWGC register.
57600 Lance Corporal Lionel Walker, Royal Air Force, died of wounds aged 25 at Milton Hill Red Cross Hospital on 1 November 1918. He is buried in St Blaise Church, Milton, Berkshire. Husband of Harriet Twimbury Whone (formerly Walker), of Tranby House, Welbeck Street, Sandal.
Wakefield Express Roll of Honour 9 November 1918:
WALKER: In sad but sweet memory of Corporal Lionel Walker, Royal Air Force, the dearly loved husband of H. T. Walker and nephew of Mr and Mrs Ellis, 14 Elm Street, Wakefield, who died November 1st 1918 age 26. Interred with full Military Honours in the peaceful churchyard at Milton Steventon, Berkshire. Loved by all who knew him.
From his sorrowing Wife and Auntie and Uncle.
24439 Sergeant Lionel Robson Warburton, 4th Bn, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, died of wounds aged 25 on 22 August 1918. Son of Seth and Mary Ann Warburton, of Beech Cottage, Walton. Buried at Daours Communal Cemetery extension, Somme.
Wakefield Express Casualty List, 28 September 1918:
Sergeant L.R. Warburton, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, has died in France as a result of an accident. Before enlisting he was under-gardener for Mr J.V. Hodgson, Walton House.
3452 Private Herbert Ward, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died (gassed) aged 18 on 19 December 1915. Son of John and S.A. Ward, later of 12 Apple Tree Lane, Stanfree, Chesterfield. Native of Walton, Wakefield. Buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery, Ypres.
Wakefield Express, 1 January 1916:
A YOUNG WALTON SOLDIER
Private H. Ward, of Wood’s Yard, Walton, who was 18 years of age, joined the 2nd/4th King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in November 1914. Although so young he was an enthusiastic soldier, and he had his desire when he went to join the 1st/4th at the front. Regularly he wrote cheery letters to his parents. Any hardship did not appear to trouble him, and he always spoke highly of the good food and warm clothing with which they were provided. He was a fine young fellow weighing about 11 stone, and his height 5ft 6ins. Previous to enlisting he worked at Walton Colliery.
The Wakefield Express published numerous Roll of Honour announcements, many with verse, from various members of the family until at least 1919.
200762 Sergeant H. Warwick, 4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 30 on 2 February 1919. He is buried in St Helen’s churchyard. The CWGC register gives no further information.
The initial may be an error but there is 200762 Sergeant H. Whitehouse, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who died 2 February 1919, aged 30.
The CWGC register lists two men with the initial ‘V’. One was an Australian; the other was 28162 Private Vernice E. Whitehouse, 4th Bn, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own), son of Mrs May Whitehouse, of Harrogate. Pte Whitehouse, who died on 17 November 1918, is buried in Grove Road Cemetery, Harrogate. He is shown in the Harrogate area in both the 1901 and 1911 censuses so is unlikely to be the man named on the St Helen’s memorial.
12007 Gunner Percy Wilkinson, 168th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, died aged 27 on 31 January 1917. He was the son of Mr G. Wilkinson, of Woodyard Cottages, Walton. Buried at Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps, Somme.
Wakefield Express, 17 February 1917:
WALTON SOLDIER KILLED IN ACTION
A MAN WHO DID NOT KNOW WHAT FEAR WAS
ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR MEN IN THE BATTERY
Information has been received of the death in action of Gunner P. Wilkinson, of the Royal Field Artillery, who lived with his parents at Woodyard Cottages, Walton. He was 27 years of age. He enlisted in April 1915 and had been at the front thirteen months. Prior to enlistment he worked at Walton Colliery.
Deceased's mother has received several sympathetic letters from Officers and others connected with the Battery. The Chaplin (Reverend R. E. Grice-Hutchinson) writing on February 2nd says:- ‘I am so grieved to have to write and tell you that I was called upon to carry out the burial of your son on Thursday. I have seldom heard of a man whose death was spoken of with greater regret both by his Officers and fellow soldiers in the Battery. Lieutenant James, who commands the sub section to which he belonged, told me what a capital fellow he was, and his Sergeant (who was present at the funeral) said that he was the cheeriest and brightest man in the Battery, and did not know what fear was. He was killed in action in the Battery. Mr James told me his fellow soldiers were making a cross for his grave as a mark of their respect for him. I am afraid it must be a terrible blow to you, but I am sure you will be glad to know how popular your boy was and that he died in a moment while doing his duty. He could not have suffered at all.
Lieutenant Harold L. James in the course of his letter says:- ‘It is with the deepest regret that I have to inform you of the death of your son Percy he was hit today January 31st with shrapnel and died almost Instantaneously. His last remarks were "I am hit". I can assure you he was of a fearless nature and always willing to do his duty at all times, and he won the admiration of all who knew him. His social disposition made him one of the most popular men in the Battery, and as you undoubtedly know he was always ready to give anyone a helping hand. His death will be deeply felt by us all, and kindly accept the sincere sympathy of the Officers, N.C.O. of the Battery who share with you in this painful loss. In closing please accept my deepest sympathy. I was his section Officer for ten months, and I shall miss him very much.
Sergeant A. Ward also sends a sympathetic letter, in the course of which he says:- ‘Your son was always a good and willing young man, ever ready to give one a helping hand. He was of a brave and fearless nature, and was liked very much in the Battery by Officers, N.C.O. and men. We shall miss him very much, I can assure you. Little did I think when I came on leave and told you how he was getting on, that I should have to write a letter of this description three months later.’
3119626 Private Rowland Williams, 2nd Bn, Leicestershire Regiment, died aged 20 on 22 July 1917. Son of Charles and Fanny Maria Williams, of Hill Top, Newmillerdam. Buried at Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery.
Wakefield Express Roll of Honour, 18 July 1919:
WILLIAMS: In loving memory of our dear son and brother Private Rowland Williams, 2nd Leicestershire Regiment, who died in Mesopotamia from head stroke, July 22nd 1917, aged 20 years.
235102 Private Arthur Willis, 17th Bn, Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment), died on 19 July 1917. Buried at Woods Cemetery, Ypres.
Wakefield Express, 22 September 1917:
THE DEATH OF A SANDAL SOLDIER
Further particulars are to hand regarding the death of Private Arthur Willis, Sherwood Foresters, of Sandal. In a letter to the widow, Private H. Earnshaw states that ‘Willis's death was caused by a shell bursting near his dug-out on Sunday morning August 19th. He did not suffer any pain as he was unconscious and only lived a few minutes after it happened. He was laid to rest by some of his pals in a little cemetery set apart for the English who have met their death doing their duty for King and Country. All the boys who knew him join with me in expressing our deepest sympathy with you and your family in your sad bereavement.’
Official notification of his death was received last week. Private Willis, who was twenty seven years of age, was a son of Mr Willis, formerly Stationmaster at Sandal, and was well known and highly respected in the district. He served his apprenticeship with Mr Firth, butcher, Sandal, and afterwards went into business on his own account. He joined up on March 1st last.
J42160 Ordinary Seaman (Oswald) Cyril Wilson, Royal Navy, died aged 19 when his ship blew up at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916. The CWGC register. compiled after the war, says that he was the son of Louisa E. Green, of 5 Fern Bank Cottages Road, Sandal. His named bronze memorial plaque or "Death Penny" was offered for sale on eBay in May 2016.
Wakefield Express Roll of Honour, 8 July 1916:
WILSON: At the Battle of Jutland on H.M.S. Queen Mary, Seaman Cyril Wilson, aged 19, second son of the late Albert Wilson and Mrs Green, of Heath View, Walton.
Note 1: The battlecruiser Queen Mary, along with the other Jutland wrecks, has been declared a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 to discourage further damage to the resting place of her 1,266 officers and men. Surveys of this site in 2001–03 showed the wreck is actually in three sections, with the two forward sections being heavily damaged and in pieces. Her aft end is upside down and relatively intact except for her propellers, which have been salvaged. Examination of the damage to the ship has suggested that the initial explosion was in the magazine of the forward 4-inch battery.
Note 2: Oswald Cyril Wilson was born on 16 January 1896 and his Royal Navy service record can be downloaded from The National Archives website (fee payable).
22163 Private Harold Wilson, 1/4th Bn, York and Lancaster Regiment, died aged 25 on 13 October 1918. Son of Mrs L.E. Green, of Fern Bank Cottages, Agbrigg Road, Sandal. He is buried at York Cemetery, Haspres, France.
Wakefield Express, 14 December 1918:
Signaller Harold Wilson, York and Lancashire Regiment, eldest son of the late Mr Albert Wilson and Mrs Wilson Green, Fern Cottages, Sandal, who was previously reported missing on October 13th is now presumed to have been killed on that date. He was 25 years of age and previous to enlisting in February 1916 he was in the employ of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company at Barnsley.
58109 Private Hudson Womack, 5th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 19 on 27 August 1918. Commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Pas de Calais.
The family inserted a Roll of Honour announcement in the Wakefield Express, edition dated 28 September 1918. No address given.
201347 Private Walter Wood, 2/5th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 30 on 20 November 1917. Son of Mrs Sarah Ann Mountain (formerly Wood), of 4 Providence Terrace, Wakefield; husband of Edith Clements (formerly Wood) , of Station Cottage, Sandal. Commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval.
Roll of Honour announcements in the Wakefield Express on 8 December 1917 included the following:
WOOD: In loving memory of my dear husband, and daddy, Private Walter Wood King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, of Back Montague Street, Sandal Cross Lane, aged 30 killed in action somewhere in France, November 20th 1917.
Lt Col (retired) Walter Herbert Wright, 1st/4th Bn, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, of Castle Lodge, Sandal Magna. Born 1848; died in Leeds on 8 November 1915, Active in local army recruitment. Buried at Lawnswood Cemetery, Leeds. Member of Wakefield Rugby Football Club and former president of Wakefield Grammar School Old Savilians Club. For further details see the accompanying Yorkshire Post obituary
There are 108 records under this name in the CWGC register, none shown as relating to Sandal and only one to Yorkshire. There are, however, many such gaps in the register.
These men are buried in the churchyard. They have their own headstones but their names do not appear on the memorial inside the church.