Percy Glover – a confusing story

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Percy Glover, Private 17/648, 2nd Leeds Pals, The Bantams

Percy Glover was killed in action on 17th July 1916, age 20, during the long Battle of the Somme.  He is buried in Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, France.  In the register he is given as the son of Mrs Emma Glover, of 8 Runcorn Street, Kirkstall Road, Leeds.  The register of soldiers’ effects gives Emma as his sole legatee, indicating that he had not married.  He was later awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  His army records have not survived, but his service number shows that he was a member of the 2nd Battalion, The Leeds Pals, also known as The Leeds Bantams. It was formed in Leeds in December 1914, and after training landed in France on 1st February 1916.  Percy had quite a low number, indicating that he joined fairly early, and this suggests he was a genuine bantam, not more than 5ft 3ins tall.  Later in the war, in December 1917, after Percy’s death, the 1st and 2nd Pals were amalgamated.  This is the sum total of facts known about Percy.  What now follows is conjecture, and a confusing story at that, unless anyone can provide us with more definite information.

Percy was the son of Percy Glover and Emma Bell, who had married in Leeds in 1895.  Percy senior was a steel worker on the 1901 Census, and before that a boiler smith’s apprentice.  But before the 1911 Census he was dead, probably in 1909.

It is also possible that this was his second marriage.  The 1911 Census shows Emma as a widow who had had three children, two of whom had died.  The 1901 Census has Richard, born 1890, Mary, born 1892, and Percy junior, born 1896.  The 1911 Census however has only Richard, shown as a stepson of Emma, and Percy.  There is an 1891 Census which shows a Percy Glover of the right age, a boiler smith’s labourer, with a wife Anne and son Richard, also the right age.  There is a marriage record for Percy Glover, in Leeds in 1889, when he may have married Annie Moss, but this is not definite.  I have found no death record for her.  The 1911 Census return was completed by Richard.  Possibly Emma was illiterate.  Her occupation is given as charwoman working in pubs.  Richard is a labourer in the iron trade and Percy an errand boy for a sweet shop!

Was 1911 Richard the son of Percy senior and a previous wife?  Did Emma also have a son Richard who died, or did they misunderstand the census questions?  Or have I been looking at the wrong family?  These questions cannot presently be answered.

In 1891 the Glover family was living in Watlass Street, Burley, and on the later censuses in Roseberry Street, Burley, and then Longside Street in Kirkstall.  When Percy junior was killed Emma’s address was given as Runcorn Street, Kirkstall.  In 1911 that address was occupied by another widow, Catherine Taylor, who had a lodger.  It is possible that by 1916 Emma had become the lodger, or had taken over the house, being herself a widow.

Such, then, is the possible story of Percy Glover.  If you can add to this, or correct it, please get in touch.

Researcher: Peter Taylor

Please Note:

  • All opinions and inferences are the researcher’s own.
  • Please refer to our Glossary of Terms for further information on the terms and phrases used in this post.
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George Carter – a Lincolnshire Pal

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George Carter, Private 27303, 1st Leeds Pals

George Carter was born in Surfleet, near Spalding, in August 1896 according to his POW records, or 1895 according to the 1939 Register, which I think is more likely to be correct.  His parents were John and Mary Ann Carter, she probably being Mary Ann Boor, and they had married in 1882.  They had eleven children, four of whom did not survive, and George was the fifth son.  He had four older brothers, William, Harry, Fred and John, who was possibly one that died, and three younger sisters, Holly, who may also have died, Nellie and Mary Rebecca.  This leaves the possibility of another child who did not appear on a census, and at least two others that died. (Find My Past)

Surfleet was, and still is, a small village near Spalding, and Seas End, where the family lived for most of this period, was a small part of Surfleet.  John was a farm labourer, and when the boys left school they followed the same trade.  There is little information about George until he joined the army, and not a lot then.

In 1914 George was 19, but he did not join up until 11th December 1915, when it seems he joined the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and was given the number 27537.  He was promoted to L/Corporal (unpaid).  By April the following year he had been transferred to the 1st Garrison Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment, with a new number, 27303, and was in Malta.   Here he proved himself to be a not too efficient soldier, being on a charge twice, for being on parade with a dirty rifle and bayonet, and being unshaven on parade.  Perhaps at this time he lost his stripe.  He was then transferred to C Company, 15th Battalion, the Leeds Pals, and in December was sent to France.

On 3rd May 1917, during the Battle of Arras, he was listed as missing.  In fact he had been wounded, a gunshot wound to his face which fractured his jaw.  The Germans had captured him, and they sent him to hospital.  He was put into Duisburg POW Camp, and from there went in February 1918 to Münster, Camp II, where he was recorded as still wounded, and probably unable to give full details, as there is no Next of Kin listed, and his place of birth was noted as Torfleet.  On 24th April he was well enough to be moved to Münster, Camp III, but less than a month later he was repatriated, and came home via Boston. (grandeguerre.icrc.org)

He still ended up in hospital, this time the King George Hospital in London, where he was assessed and recommended for a medical discharge on account of his wound.  He was discharged from the hospital and from the army on 20th September, and received a Silver War Badge, as the war at this point was still in progress.  In February of 1919 he also received the King’s Certificate, recording his service.  Later still he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. (Ancestry)

He returned to Lincolnshire, to Surfleet, and unlike many wounded soldiers, managed to live a useful life.  He married Gladys M Walker in March 1924, in Spalding, and they appear on the 1939 Register, along with Evelyn, Irene, John and Ivy, their children, plus two others whose records are still closed.  They lived at 13 Broadgate, aka Holly Cottage.  Next door at number 12 were John and Mary Ann, now OAPs, and next door to them, at number 11, lived Fred and his wife Elizabeth, and two children, Mary and Hilda.  It is likely that George died in Spalding in March 1959, at the age of 63. (Find My Past)

Researcher: Peter Taylor, based on information from Keith Riggall, a descendant of George.

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Arthur Jackson – a bit of a mystery

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Arthur Jackson, Corporal 15/504, 1st Leeds Pals

There are two Arthur Jacksons listed in the Pals.  Both joined on the same day, 11th September 1914, at the time when service numbers were being issued in alphabetical sequence.  Consequently they have consecutive numbers, 503 and 504.  They are undoubtedly two separate and different people, although their careers were very similar, but their fates different.  15/503 Arthur Jackson has been considered elsewhere.  15/504 is rather more of a mystery.

There are virtually no records surviving for Arthur, just those relating to his medals and wound badge.  The form for this latter, which was filled out on 15th November 1917, gives his age as 27 years and 2 months, suggesting that he was born in September 1890, but, assuming he was born in Yorkshire, I have so far found no birth record that really matches. (Ancestry)

Without an address I have been unable to trace him on the census, and the List of Applicants for the Pals, which normally includes addresses, only has the other Arthur.  This could easily be a copying error, with two identical names in succession, but it doesn’t help.  There are possibilities, but without definite evidence these would be just guesswork.

All we can say for certain is that having volunteered he was put into B Company, where he joined No.6 Platoon.  He was promoted to Lance Corporal and then later to Corporal, but whether this was an immediate promotion or one that happened in the normal course of events I cannot say.  He did his training at Colsterdale, Ripon and Fovant, before sailing with the battalion for Egypt, where he landed on 22nd December 1915.  At the beginning of March 1916 he sailed for France, landing on 8th, to prepare for the Big Push.  There is no reason to think he did not take part in the Battle of the Somme, and if so he survived.  At some point he was wounded, quite severely, but probably not until the following year.  As a result he was discharged from the army on 6th October 1917 as unfit for further service.  He was awarded the Silver War Badge to indicate that he had served and been wounded, and after the war ended he was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. (Ancestry)

If anyone can add to this information it would be much appreciated.

Researcher: Peter Taylor

Please Note:

  • All opinions and inferences are the researcher’s own.
  • Please refer to our Glossary of Terms for further information on the terms and phrases used in this post.

Horace Iles – too young

Horace Iles, Private 15/1784, 1st Leeds Pals

Horace Iles was killed early on the morning of 1st July 1916, just one of nearly twenty thousand British soldiers who died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.  He was 16 years, 5 months and 8 days old, and was probably the youngest Leeds Pal to die in the Great War.  At that age he should not even have been in the army, never mind in France.  But he was a determined young man.

Horace’s story begins with his mother.  In Leeds in 1889 Elizabeth Moore Beeton married Arthur Heworth, a joiner, and they had a son, Arthur Barron.  But Arthur senior was not destined for a long life, and in 1896 he died, at the age of 37.  The family was living in Woodhouse, no great distance from another family, that of William Iles, also a joiner, so possibly they knew each other.  He had married Harriet Roberts in 1884, and they had a daughter, Flory (also spelled Florry and Florrie).  But Harriet too died, in September 1898, leaving a widower, as Arthur had left a widow, and in September of the following year the two married.  One year later, on 22nd January 1900, Horace was born, and three months to the day he was baptised in Emmanuel Church, Woodhouse.  He subsequently had two younger brothers, Wilfred and Sidney, to go with his half-sister Flory and half-brother Arthur. (Free BMD & Ancestry)

Horace appeared on the 1911 Census, still at school, but also listed as a newsboy, presumably selling papers on the street, like his contemporary Ned Parfitt, famously photographed announcing the sinking of Titanic in 1912, and also killed in the war. (Famous 1914-1918, R van Emden & V Puik)  When he left school he was apprenticed to a blacksmith, but this lasted little over a year.  The war started in 1914, when Horace was 14.  It appears that some little time later he was on a tram when a lady presented him with a white feather.  Although he was far too young he gave up his apprenticeship and presented himself at the recruiting office.  He was clearly a tall and well-built lad, and by lying about his age persuaded them to accept him for the Pals.  His army number suggests this was in the spring of 1915.  He went for training at Colsterdale, Ripon and Fovant, but this had not finished in time for him to go with the battalion to Egypt.  Instead he joined D Company in France in 1916, just in time for the Big Push.  On 22nd May, while in the trenches, he was wounded, and after treatment in hospital was given seven days’ home leave.  This was to be the last time his family saw him.

The family tried hard to persuade him to tell the authorities his true age, when they would have been obliged to sent him home, but Horace didn’t want to let his mates down, particularly with the big battle, which it was hoped would end the war, about to start.  His sister Florrie, having now married Robert Bews and with a son of her own, Cecil, kept trying.  On 9th July she wrote again to him:

Bob has not heard yet but he is expecting to hear any day now. We did hear that they were fetching all back from France under 19. For goodness sake Horace tell them how old you are, I am sure they will send you back if they know you are only 16. You have seen quite enough now just chuck it up and try to get back. You won’t fare no worse for it. If you don’t do it now you will come back in bits and we want the whole of you. (Milner p.154)

But it was too late, Horace was already dead, and Florrie’s letter was returned, unopened, and marked ‘Killed in Action’.

He is buried with other Pals in the Serre Road Cemetery No.1, Pas de Calais, France. (CWGC)  He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. (Ancestry)

Researcher: Peter Taylor

Please Note:

  • All opinions and inferences are the researcher’s own.
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Stanley Wood – a short, sad war

Stanley Wood, Private 60845, 15/17th West Yorkshire Regiment

Stanley Wood was born in Meanwood, Leeds, in 1899, the youngest child of George Wood and Sarah Ann Oddy(?), who had married in Leeds in September 1876. (Free BMD, but both surname and dates are unconfirmed)  They had seven children in all, five of whom survived.  So Stanley’s siblings were Sarah Jane, James William, Percy, John A, Herbert and Eliza (spelled Elizor by her father in 1911).  I suspect Percy and another un-named child did not survive.  Percy appeared on the 1881 Census but probably died later the same year. (FreeBMD)

George was a sandstone quarryman, and his son Herbert followed him in the trade, but John became a gardener.  In 1881 the family was living in Parkside Road, Meanwood, where they stayed until they moved to Oddys Fold, just off Parkside Road, an interesting coincidence if Sarah Ann’s maiden name was Oddy.  Stanley was possibly born at this address. (Census returns from Ancestry and Find My Past)

Stanley’s service records are missing, so we can only guess at his army career.  When the war started in 1914 he was only 15, too young to volunteer, though some boys did try it.  His army number indicates that he was a later joiner, certainly after September 1916 and probably later than that.  He was not 18 until 1917, and may well have been conscripted then.  Officially he could not be sent overseas until he was 19, which was in 1918, but such was the shortage of men that he may have been sent sooner.  Either way he was in France with the Pals in 1918, and on 19th July, at the start of the allied advance which ultimately ended the war, Stanley was killed, age 19.  He is buried in Merville Communal Cemetery Extension. (CWGC)  He was subsequently awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. (Ancestry)

Based on material from ‘Meanwood Men’ by Cynthia Ruston

Researchers: Cynthia Ruston and Peter Taylor

Please Note:

  • All opinions and inferences are the researcher’s own.
  • Please refer to our Glossary of Terms for further information on the terms and phrases used in this post.

Walter James Stocks – small soldier from a large family

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Walter James Stocks, Private 17/144, 2nd Leeds Pals

Walter James Stocks was born in Leeds in 1896, the first child of Robert Leopold Stocks and Clara Annie Turner, who had married in Sheepscar five years before.  Robert was a house painter, and by 1901 they had two more children, Ernest Leopold and Roberts Baden.  Both here and on the 1911 census Roberts is spelled with an ‘s’, and I suspect he was named, having been born in 1900, after either Lord Roberts or Robert Baden-Powell, or both, they being heroes of the South African War.  Sadly that was as far as the family got, as in September of the following year Robert died, at the very young age of 33. (Free BMD)

In 1907 Ada Impey died in Leeds, at the age of 45.  She was the wife of Joseph Charles Impey, a sheet metal worker from Bedfordshire.  They had five children, Charles William, Joseph, Emma, Eliza and Nellie.  There had been a sixth, Eleanor, but she sadly did not live to her second birthday.  In 1909 Clara Annie Stocks married Joseph Charles Impey, and on the 1911 Census the families are listed together.  Nellie was the same age as Ernest, but the other Impeys were all older than Walter.  Charles and Joseph were both painter’s labourers, at the same firm as their father, while Eliza worked as a domestic.  Interestingly the Stocks boys are all listed as sons, not step-sons, to Joseph. (Census records from Find My Past)

Three years later the war broke out, and in December of that year the Lord Mayor of Leeds formed The 2nd Leeds Pals Battalion, The Bantams, specifically for men who did not reach the officially required height of 5ft 3ins.  Walter’s army records are missing, so we have no details, but his army number of 144 tells us that he joined very early, probably in the first few days, and that he deliberately joined the Bantams, he was not posted there to make up the numbers.  The Bantams did their initial training at Ilkley, followed by Masham, before moving to Salisbury Plain.  They were due to sail for Egypt with the 1st Battalion but this move was cancelled, and they were sent to France instead, arriving at the beginning of February 1916.  On 24th of that same month Walter was killed in action, and is buried in Du-Bacquerot No.1 Military Cemetery, Laventie, Pas de Calais, France.  He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. (Ancestry)

Based on material from ‘Meanwood Men’ by Cynthia Ruston

Researchers: Cynthia Ruston and Peter Taylor

Please Note:

  • All opinions and inferences are the researcher’s own.
  • Please refer to our Glossary of Terms for further information on the terms and phrases used in this post.

 

Edward Collingwood Wintle – First overseas casualty of the 1st Leeds Pals

Private 15/999 15th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, 1st Leeds Pals

Private Edward Collingwood Wintle was the first soldier of the 1st Leeds Pals (15th Battalion) to die on active service. He was born at Chesterfield, Derby on 21st September 1894 and was the youngest son of Thomas Gilbert Wintle, a solicitor, and his wife Margaret Constance Wintle née Jackson. Edward was educated at Wharfedale School, Ilkley Grammer School and by private tuition and was subsequently employed on the staff of the Liverpool, London and Globe Insurance Company, at their Bradford office. He and his elder brother Noel Gilbert were boarding with their parents in Paddington, London in 1901 and in 1911 the family were living at Hazelmere, Ilkley. (Sources: 1901 & 1911 Censuses).

Edward enlisted in the Pals on 13th September 1914 and, after training, joined 9 Platoon, commanded by Second Lieutenant George Emil St Brooksbank which was part of C Company under the command of Captain George Clifford Whittaker. He served with the battalion at Colsterdale, Ripon, Fovant and in Egypt. On 8th February his platoon returned from guard duty at Point 80 and were cleaning their weapons when Sergeant Joseph Prince, Edward’s best friend who had encouraged him to join the Leeds Pals, accidentally shot and mortally wounded him; he died later that night. Although Joseph Prince was subsequently tried by Court Martial it was agreed the tragic event was an accident and new instructions were issued regarding the safe cleaning of weapons.

Private Wintle’s body was buried on the morning of 9th February in Kantara Military Cemetery, Egypt; his coffin being carried by his fellow ‘Pals’. (Source: CWGC Register). In addition, a memorial service was held the following Sunday at Point 80 for the men who were unable to attend the funeral.

Lieutenant Stanley Morris Bickersteth and several friends recorded his death. Bickersteth stated: ‘We had an unfortunate accident at the beginning of last week, a fellow while unloading his rifle …… by some mistake or other fired a round and killed his best Pal who was standing two yards off.’ Another officer wrote: Private Wintle always did his duty faithfully and well, and died a true and loyal soldier’ and Clifford Hollingworth recorded: ‘I marched down from point 80 to attend the funeral, I had my bugle with me and I remember the Colonel [Stuart Taylor] was in tears. When we got there, there were about four officers and a firing party ….. Then we got into line and sounded the Last Post’.

Edward Wintle was posthumously awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal (Sources: Medal Index Card). and his family received a War Gratuity of £5.10s (£5.50p). (Source: Effects Register).

Additional Sources:
De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-18
Leeds Pals Laurie Milner

Researcher: David J Owen

Please Note:

  • All opinions and inferences are the researcher’s own.
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Stanley Smith – a big family man

Stanley Smith, Private 15/1849, 1st Leeds Pals

Stanley Smith came from a particularly large family.  His parents were Tom and Annie Smith, and they had twelve children, six boys and six girls, of which Stanley was the ninth.  Initially the family lived at Bulmer, where Tom, an agricultural labourer, had been born, but by 1881 they were in Leeds, living in Chapel Allerton.

Their eldest child, Ada, is listed on the 1881 Census as Ada A Brown, which led me to the possibility that Annie was Annie Brown, daughter of John Brown, also an agricultural labourer, and his wife Hannah, who lived in Sheriff Hutton, where Annie Smith was born.  By 1891 Ada had become Ada A Smith, but even supposing I have the right Annie there is no way of knowing whether Tom was Ada’s father.

By 1901 the family had moved, from 17 to 4 Myrtle Square, perhaps a larger house, as the family had increased by four, including Stanley.  In 1911 they were at 5 Monkbridge Grove, and the four eldest had left home.  At least one, John William, had married, as there was a granddaughter, Ivy, on the census.  Stanley was now 14, and a grocer’s errand boy. (Find My Past)

Stanley’s service records have not survived, so we cannot know exactly how his career progressed, but he must have volunteered for the Leeds Pals in June or July of 1915, judging by his army number.  When the war started he was 17, and may  have decided, or been made, to wait until he was 18 before joining.  He would probably not have trained at Colsterdale, but gone straight to Ripon, and then to Fovant, but he does not appear to have gone with the battalion to Egypt, as he was not awarded the 1915 Star.  The Pals were only in Egypt for about three months before they sailed to France, and it is probably there that Stanley joined them.  Whether he was involved in the Battle of the Somme we do not know, but he took part in the battle of Arras, which happened in April and May of 1917, as it was there that he was killed, on 3rd May.  His body was not found and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. (CWGC)  He is also named on the memorial at Holy Trinity Church, Meanwood, but he is the only member of his family there, so even if any of the other five sons joined up they appear to have survived.  Stanley was subsequently awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. (Ancestry)

Based on material from ‘Meanwood Men’ by Cynthia Ruston

Researchers: Cynthia Ruston and Peter Taylor

Please Note:

  • All opinions and inferences are the researcher’s own.
  • Please refer to our Glossary of Terms for further information on the terms and phrases used in this post.

Thomas Potts – from Buslingthorpe to Belgium

Thomas Potts, Private 37780, 17th West Yorkshire Regiment

Thomas Potts came from a large family.  He had four brothers and a sister older than himself, and then three more, younger, brothers, all born in Leeds.  He was the sixth child of James Potts, a joiner, and Adelaide Kay, who had married in Leeds in 1872, and he was born at the end of 1885, or possibly early in 1886.  The family lived in the Buslingthorpe area of Leeds, in Metz Place and then Servia Road. (Find My Past)

In 1891, when Thomas was five, the family was almost complete.  Only Albert had yet to be born.  But by 1901 James had died, probably three years earlier, at the age of fifty, and eight years after that Adelaide also died, aged fifty-six.  On the 1901 Census she had been listed as head of the family, and for some reason named as Ann.  One is tempted to wonder if the enumerator couldn’t spell Adelaide.  So by the next census, in 1911, Thomas himself had become head, looking after his three younger brothers, the older children having all, it appears, left home.  They were living in Camp Road, not far from Camp Road Baptist Chapel, whose minister, Rev.E.A.Cartwright, himself volunteered for the Pals, and was killed in action in August 1917. (Milner p.24)  Thomas Potts was one of those named on the chapel’s war memorial. (Find My Past)

In 1911, however, Thomas was a house painter and his brother George a house plasterer, so perhaps they worked together.  The other two brothers worked in the cloth trade.

In 1912, on Boxing Day, Thomas married Nellie Marshall at St.Michael’s Church, Buslingthorpe.  Thomas was now an orphan, and Nellie had lost her father, so although both men were named on the certificate, both were marked as deceased.  Thomas’s witness was his brother Herbert, and Nellie’s her sister Lily.  Both had addresses in Woodhouse, just round the corner from each other, and after they were married they lived in Bentley Lane, Meanwood. (Find My Past)

Thomas’s service records have not survived so we do not know exactly what happened, but although he was 29 when war was declared he does not appear to have volunteered.  His army number suggests he did not join up until after September 1916, which, as an older married man, is not so surprising.  He probably fought through the battle of Arras, April to May 1917, but at some point later that year he was wounded, and died of those wounds on 28th October.  He was 32, and was buried in Dozinghem Military Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. (CWGC)  He is also named on the memorial at Holy Trinity Church, Meanwood.  He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. (Ancestry)

Based on material from ‘Meanwood Men’ by Cynthia Ruston

Researchers: Cynthia Ruston and Peter Taylor

Please Note:

  • All opinions and inferences are the researcher’s own.
  • Please refer to our Glossary of Terms for further information on the terms and phrases used in this post.

John Robert Kirk – another lost gardener

John Robert Kirk, Private 15/1243, 1st Leeds Pals

John Robert Kirk was born in Meanwood, the fourth child of Henry Kirk and Mary Atkinson, who had married in 1884, in Holy Trinity Church, Meanwood.  They lived at 8 Hustlers Row, a row of ‘model’ cottages in Meanwood woods, built in the 1850s by John Husler, a local quarry owner and builder. (North Leeds Life Nov.2017)  Henry had grown up in No.10, and his mother and a sister still lived there.  Henry and Mary had eight children altogether, though one had died. John’s older siblings were William Henry, Susannah and Samuel, the younger ones Florence May, Ronald Edward and Frederick Noel.  All the children are listed as born in Leeds, which probably means Meanwood, as the family certainly didn’t move during this period.  Susannah was presumably named after her grandmother.  Henry worked in the wool trade, initially as a warehouse manager, and later as a cloth salesman.  William was a solicitor’s clerk, Susannah a milliner and Samuel a joiner and cabinet maker. (Find My Past)

When John left school he didn’t follow any of these trades but instead became a gardener, working at Elmete Hall, and it may have been there that he met Tom Hutchinson (q.v.).  Even though Tom was four years older they probably became pals, working together, and as such, when war came in 1914, their army numbers suggest they volunteered more or less together.  But before that, in September 1914, they became brothers-in-law when Susannah married Tom.  They would have been attested early in 1915, and sent to Colsterdale, where the Pals had begun their training.  Unfortunately John’s service records are mostly missing, but he would have followed the same pattern as the rest of the battalion, moving from Colsterdale to Ripon, and then to Fovant, before, in early December 1915, embarking for Egypt, to defend the Suez Canal.  Luckily it didn’t need much defending, and in March they sailed again, this time for France, ready for the Big Push.

If John took part in the Battle of the Somme, and we cannot know for certain, then, unlike Tom and so many of the Pals, he survived.  He survived until May 1917, when the Pals took part in another major battle, Arras, where once again they suffered very heavy casualties.  On 3rd May John was listed as missing, presumed dead, and this was subsequently confirmed.  His body was never found and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. (CWGC)  He is also named on the memorial at Holy Trinity Church, Meanwood.  He was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. (Ancestry)

Based on material from ‘Meanwood Men’ by Cynthia Ruston

Researchers: Cynthia Ruston and Peter Taylor

Please Note:

  • All opinions and inferences are the researcher’s own.
  • Please refer to our Glossary of Terms for further information on the terms and phrases used in this post.