Private 265262 15/17th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, The Leeds Pals

Not a great deal is known about Gosnay, as his army record is missing, only his medal records and register of effects remaining. (Source: Ancestry website)

He was born on 1st November 1895, his father, Robert, a drayman, dying the following year, at the age of 36. His mother, Annie Victoria Gosnay, remarried in 1899, to Frederick Jones. Gosnay had three older brothers, John AG, Robert H and Walter, an older sister Elizabeth, younger sister Annie and a step-brother Frederick V Jones. The last two children were born in Leeds, the older ones in Wakefield, where the family was living in 1891. By 1901 they were in Burley, and still there in 1911, with Gosnay an iron moulder at Scotch Forge, like his brother Robert. (Source: Census records)

When war was declared he may have joined up quite soon, firstly serving with 7th then 6th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment, with the number 1941.  He arrived in France on 16th April 1915.  At some point after the Battle of the Somme he was transferred to 15/17th Battalion, The Leeds Pals, and given the number 265262. (Source: Medal Card)

In June 1917 he married Mabel Patterson Robson in South Shields, and in the first quarter of the following year a child’s birth was registered there, in the name of Gosnay. (Free BMD website)

On 30th September 1918, at the age of 23, he was killed in action, and buried in the Messines Ridge British Cemetery. His brother Robert, who served with 10th Battalion, had been killed on the first day of the Somme, and is named on the Thiepval Memorial. (Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission website)

Mabel subsequently remarried, in September 1919, Richard W Jones, but whether he was a relative or just a coincidence is not known. (Source: Free BMD website)

He was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. (Source: Medal Card)

Researcher: Peter Taylor

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