Wakefield Golf Club
First World War
The question of a memorial was first raised at a management committee meeting on 30 September 1920 when the secretary was instructed to make enquiries. At the next meeting members considered the possibility of a ‘simple stone cross’ to be placed in a prominent position on the links. It was suggested the cross should be at least nine to ten feet tall.
At a meeting on 15 June 1921, it was proposed that the memorial should be a sundial in front of the clubhouse at Woodthorpe, Sandal. This was later agreed and the unveiling was eventually set for Saturday, 7 January 1922. The sundial was designed by golf club member and architect W. Harold Watson, who was responsible for other war memorials in the district.
The club memorial bears an inscription in the bronze setting of the sundial itself, which reads: 'To the Glory of God and in Memory of the members of the Wakefield Golf Club who fell in the Great War 1914-1918. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi'. There were no names on the memorial until the First World War centenary year in 2014 when, following research by SCA committee member Richard Taylor, these were engraved on the pedestal, the cost being met by subscriptions from members.
The following Roll of Honour is based on the Wakefield Express report of the unveiling, plus research in the club's minute book and membership registers. Where names also appear on the St Helen's Church memorial, research was carried out by David Burnage, of Kettlethorpe.
Thomas Allport was the son of Howard Aston Allport and Sarah Coote Allport, of Dodworth Grove, Barnsley. He was a 33-year-old captain in the 5th Bn, York and Lancaster Regiment, when he died on 1 August 1915. He is buried at Talana Farm Cemetery, near Ypres in Belgium.
Talana Farm was one of a group of farm houses named by the army from episodes of the South African (Boer) War. The cemetery was begun by French troops in April 1915, taken over by the 1st Rifle Brigade and 1st Somerset Light Infantry in June 1915, and was used by fighting units until March 1918. Thomas was educated at Winchester College and then at New College, Oxford, in 1900-1903, after which he went to work for the Midland Railway in the Welsh District until around 1906-1907.
The Winchester College website states it was reported that he was killed at Boesinghe while attempting to give assistance to a wounded German who was lying close to the British lines and calling out for help. (It appears he was shot by a sniper.)
Lieut Bernard Gordan (sic) Anderson MC is listed in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s registers as the son of Reginald Gustavus Lincoln Anderson (a club member with a family ticket) and Blanche Gertrude Anderson, of The Close, Sandal. He was serving with the 10th Bn, Lincolnshire Regiment, and died aged 25 on 8 August 1916. He is buried at Wakefield Cemetery.
The Andersons lost another son during the war. He was 2nd Lieut Reginald Dudley Bawden Anderson who was serving with 11th Bn, York and Lancaster Regiment, when he was killed, aged 20, on 1 July 1916. He lies buried at Redan Ridge Cemetery No 2, Beaumont-Hamel.
Click on the links below for a series of contemporary news cuttings in pdf format:
There are many servicemen with this name and initial in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s register. This man was described by the golf club as a lieutenant with the name ‘Jno Bates’, a member under a family ticket. He could therefore have been the son of E. Bates, of Westfield Grove, Wakefield.
Leslie, the son of ironmonger Frederick Beaumont and his wife Elizabeth, who for many years lived at Lynwood, Cardigan Terrace, Wakefield. The golf club members’ register records his address as Cardigan Terrace, Wakefield. He was commissioned into the Prince of Wales's Own and held the rank of 2nd lieutenant. Killed on 17 August 1916, aged 20, and named on the Thiepval Memorial
Major Victor Louis Sydney Beckett, who died aged 34 on 14 July 1916 while serving in the 9th Bn Yorkshire Regiment. (No other likely combination of initials appears in the CWGC register.) He was the son of Dr Francis Mears Beckett and Harriet Elizabeth Beckett, of St. Audrey's, Ely, Cambs. Golf club records give his address as St John’s North, Wakefield.
A university man, Victor Beckett entered Christs College at Cambridge in 1901. He was one of the original officers of the 9th battalion who landed at Boulogne on 27 August 1915. The battalion spent the winter of 1915 in the Armentieres sector and the spring of 1916 in and out of the line around Angres and the Souchez river. Major Beckett and the battalion arrived on the Somme on 24 June 1916. Their first taste of the front line came on 3 July in the La Boiselle area. A week later the battalion took part in the attack on Contalmaison during which Beckett was wounded. He was taken from the line for treatment at the casualty centre at Heilly Station where he died of his wounds.
Major Beckett’s grave can be visited today at Heilly Station Cemetery at M ericourt-L’Abbe, five miles south-west of Albert. His name is also inscribed on Ely War Memorial in Cambridgeshire.
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, and his name appears on the memorial in St Helen’s Church, Sandal.
He was the husband of Dora Ellen Bell, of Woodlands Cottage, Castle Road, 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.'
Captain James Wilson Brack Boyd, 3rd Bn, York and Lancs Regiment, was attached to the 2nd Bn when he was killed, aged 36, on 16 July 1916. He was the youngest son of William Brack Boyd, of Faldonside, Melrose, Roxburghshire, and was born in Belgium. Golf club records give his address as The Old Parsonage, Bretton. Buried at Brandhoek Military Cemetery.
The following information comes from the Grey Family website at http://milfieldgreys.co.uk/index.html
Undated cutting on page 58 of large scrapbook: ‘Captain J. W. Brack Boyd. - We sincerely regret to record that Captain James Wilson Brack Boyd, York and Lancaster Regiment, attached to the Trench Mortar Brigade, was killed at the front on the 16th inst. by a chance shell while on his way to his battery. He was the only surviving son of Mr William Brack Boyd of Faldonside, Roxburghshire, and was 46 years of age and unmarried. Educated at Cargilfield and Fettes College, he was afterwards for some time in the office of the late Mr James Brunston, chamberlain to his Grace the Duke of Roxburghe. From Broomlands he proceeded to the office of Mr George Grey of Milfield, Northumberland, and left there to become factor to Lord Leith of Fyvie.
‘He was afterwards in charge of Mr Grey’s business at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and ultimately he became agent on the Yorkshire estate of Lord Allendale, and for the last seven years had resided at Bretton, near Wakefield, where he was held in high esteem by all with whom he came in contact.
‘In September, 1914 - shortly after the outbreak of war - Mr Boyd received a commission in the 3rd Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment, and was wounded at the second battle of Ypres in April, 1915. Following his recovery, he was in command of the Machine Gun School at Sunderland, and returned to his battalion only a few weeks ago. Captain Boyd was a man well liked by all who knew him, and especially in the Border district, with which his family has long been honourably identified, his loss will be sincerely deplored.’
His name is also on the memorial of the Cargilfield Prep School memorial chapel on the Scottish War Memorials Website.
Capt Arthur Clarkson Chadwick, adjutant of the 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 29 on 29 October 1915. He was the son of Charles Harrison Chadwick and Fanny Chadwick, of Myrtle Bank, Dewsbury.
He is buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery, near Ypres. For much of the First World War, the village of Boesinghe (now Boezinge) directly faced the German line across the Yser canal. Bard Cottage was a house a little set back from the line, close to a bridge called Bard's Causeway, and the cemetery was made nearby in a sheltered position under a high bank. Burials were made between June 1915 and October 1918 and they reflect the presence of the 49th (West Riding), the 38th (Welsh) and other infantry divisions in the northern sectors of the Ypres Salient, as well as the advance of artillery to the area in the autumn of 1917.
Major W. H. Charlesworth, 6th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died on 15 September 1916 and is buried at Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval. CWGC records (probably completed some time after the war) say he was the son of Eva G. Hellins, of Marnhull Rectory, Sturminster Newton, Dorset.
The golf club members’ register records that W. H. Charlesworth, of Woolgreaves, died in 1916 without giving further details.
Captain William Bertram Creswick, 4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, was attached to 179th Field Company, Royal Engineers, when he died on 10 April 1916. The 179th was a tunnelling company which he joined as a lieutenant on 12 September 1915. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. Born in Wakefield in 1886. His name also appears on the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School war memorial. The golf club’s registers record a Devon home address
Douglas Knowles Day, son of Charles and Minnie Day, was a superintendent in the Post Office. He was born in Birmingham and in the 1901 census was seven years old and living in Handsworth, Staffordshire, with his parents and a servant. When the Commonwealth War Graves registers were compiled after the war, his father is recorded as living at the Westward Ho Hotel, Westcliff-on-Sea.
Douglas joined the 10th Bn, East Lancashire Regiment, and became a 2nd lieutenant attached to the 6th Bn, dying of wounds on 19 November 1915, aged 21. He is remembered at Hill 10 Cemetery, Gallipoli, and on the Queen Elizabeth Grammar school war memorial, Wakefield. He was a golf club member under a family ticket.
This may be a mistranscription for “J. N. Ellis”, a lieutenant in the 3rd Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, attached to the regiment’s 2nd Battalion. He was 19 years old when he died on 1 December 1917. He is buried at Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest on the Western Front. He was the son of George Ellis, of Easthorpe. Mirfield.
Sgt George Roland Ellis, a pilot with 77 (Home Defence) Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, who died aged 25 on 25 July 1917. He is buried at Mirfield (St Mary) Cemetery where his headstone (now damaged) says that he died in a flying accident and gives his birth date as 11 June 1892. He was the eldest son of George and Elizabeth Ellis of Easthorpe, Mirfield, and probably the brother of C. W. Ellis and J. N. Ellis (see above).
The 77 Squadron Association website records that the squadron moved to Penston, near Edinburgh, in July 1917 and it was to be the unit’s home for the next 18 months: Defensive patrolling and practice night flying continued, this often dangerous work resulting in the odd crash, including a fatal one on July 26th 1917 when Sgt GR Ellis in BE2e A8671 fell into a spinning nose dive after stalling on a turn and crashed. He had been practising his night flying. Another machine crashed the same day.
Lieut Clifford Walker Ellis, of the 3rd Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He was attached to the 9th Bn KOYLI when he died on 1 July 1917, aged only 19. He is buried at the Gordon Dump Cemetery, Ovillers-La Boiselle. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s register records that he was the son of George and Elizabeth Ellis, of Easthorpe, Mirfield. The two other Ellis boys on the golf club’s Roll of Honour were also their sons; all were probably members on their father’s family ticket. George wrote to the club secretary in February 1920 resigning his membership as a family ticket holder but said he would continue on his own behalf. A sad conclusion to a tragic family story.
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, on the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School war memorial, Wakefield, and on the memorials in St Helen’s Church, Sandal, and at 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.
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 (who had a family ticket at the club) 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.
He is also commemorated on the memorial in St Helen’s Church, Sandal.
There are several men with this initial and surname on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s register. Club records list an Arthur Jessop, of Green Lea, Ossett, but do not indicate that he died while serving in the Forces.
Lieut Frank Alford Kingswell was serving with the 8th Bn, Rifle Brigade, when he died on 22 March 1918. He is remembered on the Pozieres Memorial and on the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Memorial, Wakefield. Born in Barnsley in 1880, he was the son of Alderman and Mrs Kingswell of Holmfield, Wakefield. He served with the Yorkshire Dragoons during the Boer War and was Mentioned in Despatches. The 1911 census shows that he had trained as a solicitor and was working in Richmond, Surrey. When war broke out he enlisted with the Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons and was attached to the 8th Bn, Rifle brigade (The Prince Consort's Own). In November 1916 he suffered gunshot wounds to his right arm and leg. He recovered well and returned to the front but died in March 1918.
He was a member of Wakefield RFC’s very first team in 1901. From the start of the 1920–21 season, his brother Billy made the former Outwood Church ground (renamed in memory of his brother) available to the club, which later moved to College Grove. It folded in 2004.
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's 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’.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s records state that 2nd Lieut Douglas Cameron Moodie, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 25 on 15 March 1917. He was the son of James E. and Alice A. Moodie, of 1 Blenheim Gardens, Brixton Hill, London. He is buried at Merville Communal Cemetery. The town of Merville was a British hospital centre from 1915 to 1918. He is named in the golf club’s registers but no address is given.
George Ernest Skevington, Wakefield Golf Club professional, was killed aged 30 on 20 June 1917. He was serving as a private 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 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.
His name appears on the St Helen's Church memoria. Roll of Honour announcements in the Wakefield Express on 7 July 1917 and 22 June 1918 also record that he was a professional at Woodthorpe golf club.
Lieut Christopher Babington Sugden was the son of Thomas Babington Sugden, who in 1901 was the Town Clerk and Borough Coroner, and his wife Edith Constance. The family lived at St John's Lodge, Wakefield. Christopher served in the 4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and died on 25 May 1915, aged 22. He is remembered at Bois-Grenier Communal Cemetery, near Armentieres, and on Queen Elizabeth Grammar School war memorial, Wakefield
Club minutes record his rank as major. The War Graves registers name only one possibility with that rank – Major James Robert Walker, MC, ‘B’ Battery, 62nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, who died aged 40 on 20 March 1917. The registers, compiled after the war, say he was the son of T. and L. Walker; husband of May Walker, of Greylands, Christchurch, Hants. He served 20 years with ‘C’ Bty, Royal Horse Artillery and is buried at Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras. His Military Cross was gazetted in January 1916 when he was a lieutenant (temporary captain) in the Royal Artillery.
His death is recorded in the golf club minutes on 28 April 1917 when the initials appear to be ‘J. N.’. His address in the members’ register is given as Haxby House, South Elmsall, but his second initial seems to have been amended clumsily, making it difficult to read.
Geoffrey Charles Norton Wardley was a lieutenant in the 24th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillerty, when he died of wounds in France on 24 July 1916. The club’s records give his address as Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Common War Graves Commission’s register states that he was a native of Buxton and was the youngest son of Mr Charles F. and Lucy Wardley, of 115 Station Road, Pendlebury, Manchester. He is commemorated on Buxton War Memorial and is buried at Bronfay Farm, Bray-Sur-Somme, used by British troops during the Battle of the Somme when the XIV Corps main dressing station was at the farm. His death is also marked on a family headstone at Kersal (St. Paul) Churchyard, Lancashire (pictured).
Wisden on the Great War: The Lives of Cricket's Fallen 1914-1918 records: “…he was not in the Eleven whilst at Eton but played for Trinity College whilst at Cambridge.”
The Victorian Society adds further information about names that appear on memorials at Kersal: “Charles Furniss Wardley JP, 115 Station Road, Pendlebury, and formerly of Wakefield and Buxton… Magistrate for Derbyshire. In 1910 he sold the proprietorship of the High Peak News, the Buxton Advertiser and the Matlock Guardian, and a printing, publishing and account book manufacturing business, to the Derbyshire Printing Co Ltd for £11,600.” It confirms the details of their son’s death.