Passchendaele 8

Back to page 7 of the Passchendaele series.

Private Arthur Smith, who prior to the war was in the Territorial Force, has fallen this week in France. He was badly wounded and died before he reached the dressing station. Mrs Smith, who is left with her two children, received a letter from her husband by the same post as the letter conveying the sad intelligence of his death.

8th October War diary extract for the 1st, 8th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment

The Davy family grave in Oakworth cemetery, which has a memorial inscription to William Herbert Priestley, husband of Lily Priestley née Davy.

Rifleman William Herbert Priestley, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, who has only been in France a short time, was shot by a sniper through the neck early this week. Mrs Priestley, with her two children, reside at present with her mother at Joseph Street.
[William is remembered on the Oakworth memorial and on the Davy family grave in Oakworth Cemetery. His wife Lily never remarried and died aged 81 in 1966]

Private Milford Brown

Private Wilfred Brown, who prior to enlistment was in business at Oakworth as a painter, has been admitted to hospital, having received injuries to his foot.
[His name was actually Milford Brown and he was a master painter and decorator in Oakworth. He enlisted in October 1916 and went to France in January 1917. Having survived Passchendaele he was killed in action on 13th April 1918. He has no known final resting place and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial. He is also remembered on the family grave in Haworth Cemetery. He was 29 years old.]

The Brown family grave in Haworth cemetery which has a memorial inscription to Private Milford Brown


Private W. H. Wilmot

Private Harold Wilmot, Yorkshire Regiment, and of North Street, Haworth, was killed in action on September 20. Sergeant J. Birtley has written a sympathetic letter to Mrs Wilmot, in which he refers to the respect which her son had gained by his quiet and unassuming manners. He also sent her his Prayer Book. Private Wilmot was 25 years of age. He enlisted in 1915.
[Harold is remembered on the Haworth memorial and on the Wilmot family grave at West Lane in Haworth]

The Wilmot family grave at Haworth West Lane cemetery


Private C. Peacock

Private C. Peacock, Northumberland Fusiliers, 8, Back River Street, Haworth, and late of Cullingworth, has been wounded in both legs, and is in hospital in Liverpool. He has served thirteen months in France, and was formerly employed by Messrs J. J. Broadbent & Co., Cullingworth.

Signaller Joseph Kilmister

Signaller Joseph Kilmister, son of Mr and Mrs William Kilmister, of Mytholmes, Haworth. has been severely wounded in the right thigh and foot and is now in hospital at Glasgow. Signaller Kilmister was a tailor at Harrogate before enlisting.
[Joseph survived the war but his older brothers Robert (1915) and Thomas (1916) were both killed.]

Information has also been received that Private Stephen Brierley, of Oxenhope, has been wounded and is in hospital.

Gunner David Brierley

His brother, Private David Brierley, was wounded recently, and a few weeks ago his brother-in-law, Private Barrett was killed in action. Private Stephen Brierley was formerly engaged in farming, and for some years held the contract for scavenging under the Oxenhope District Council.

Private Albert Booth
Mr and Mrs Walker Booth, Shaw Farm Oxenhope, have received information that their eldest son, Private Albert Booth, has been wounded and is in a military hospital at Birmingham. A report, which caused widespread regret, that he had lost, or would lose, both arms has been in circulation, but happily this turns out to be inaccurate, and his recovery is now confidently anticipated. Previous to joining the Army about a year ago Private Booth, who is only 21 years of age, was an apprentice woolsorter with Messrs Thomas Parker & Son, Oxenhope.

Private Thomas Garforth

Mrs Thomas Garforth, Marsh, Oxenhope, has received a communication from the War Office that her husband, Private Thomas Garforth, has been killed in action. Private Garforth went out to France a few weeks ago. He leaves a widow.
[Thomas was a stone quarryman in Oxenhope along with his father and two brothers. He married Annie Somers Longworth in 1910. By 1911 he had changed jobs to become a labourer in electrical engineering. Thomas and Annie had one son, Norman, born and sadly died as a very young infant in 1912.
He was killed during a heavy bombardment by a shell explosion whilst on sentry duty in the firing line, and is buried in grave 18, row A, plot II of Favreuil British Cemetery. The family inscription on his headstone reads: "Rest Calmly Rest, For Though Thy Part Has Played." He is remembered locally on the Oxenhope War Memorial and on the family grave in Oxenhope cemetery along with his infant son, Norman. Thomas was 37 when he died.]

Private Alfred Hollings, one of the five sons of Mrs Hollings, of Stanbury, has been wounded in the hand, and is in a Birkenhead Hospital.
[Alfred survived the war but his younger brother Percy was killed in action in May 1918 whilst serving with the Royal Garrison Artillery.]

SUTTON. - News has been received that Private Arthur Bottomley (Seaforth Highlanders), of Sutton, is in hospital in France suffering from trench fever. He is in the signalling section, and went out to France about last Christmas. In pre-war days he was a designer with Messrs T. and M. Bairstow, Sutton Mills.

Private Harlan Smith

Mrs Carey Smith, North Street, Sutton Mill, received a telegram from the War Office on Wednesday informing her that her only son, Private Harlan Smith, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, was in hospital at Boulogne suffering from gas pneumonia. Later a telegram was received announcing his death. Private Smith enlisted about two years ago, and was previously a teacher at the Leeds University.


Driver David Mason

Official information has been received that Driver David Mason, of the Australian Imperial Force, son of Mr Tom Mason, Chapel Street, Silsden, has died of wounds received in France. Driver Mason who was 24 years of age, and had been in Australia for several years prior to the outbreak of war, responded to the call for men in that country in 1914. He had taken part in active operations in Egypt, the Dardanelles, and had been for a good while on the western front. At the time of his death he had seen about three years' service. He was one of a trio of Silsden young men who joined the forces in Australia. Writing to Miss Bancroft and expressing sympathy, Driver P. C. Byrnes says: "We were in the dug-out together engaged writing when David was called out to the horse lines for something. He had only been out a few minutes when a German Taube came over and dropped bombs in the camp. We quickly learned that David had been wounded. I went out to dress his wounds, which were in both legs, and a fairly large piece of shrapnel had entered his back. He complained of his stomach, saying that he could feel the metal there. He died after being admitted to hospital, which was all done in haste. I enclose you the cards which he had written upon. . . David was well spoken of by all with whom he came in contact. [David died on September 30 and is buried in grave 20, row E, plot XXIV, at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Remembered on the


Private John Read
Mr and Mrs William Read, Wheatland Houses, Cross Hills, received a letter from Lieutenant R. Machin on Tuesday informing them that their younger son, Private John Read, of the West Riding Regiment, was killed in action in France on October 9. He was shot through the head by a German sniper, and death was instantaneous. The officers and men of the company sent their deepest sympathy, as they felt the loss of Private Read very keenly. The letter added: "He was a very nice fellow, and a good soldier, and in all circumstances did his duty cheerfully and well." The only consolation that remained for his parents was the fact that he died as a brave man and as a British soldier should die - fighting for a just cause. Private Read, who was 21 years of age, was an apprentice to the boot and shoe making business at Mr Harvey Smith's, Main Street, Cross Hills, at the time of enlistment in January, 1916. He was closely associated with All Saints' Church, Glusburn, and was held in high esteem in the district. His elder brother, Private William Read, (King's Royal Rifles) is on the Headquarters Staff in France, and was home on leave a few weeks ago. [John Dixon Read is remembered on the Tyne Cot memorial, also on war memorials at Crosshills, Kildwick and Sutton in Craven]


Private Harry Whiteoak
Mr and Mrs Smith Whiteoak, Corn Mill Houses, have received a letter informing them that their son, Private Harry Whiteoak, of the Northumberland Fusiliers, has been wounded in the recent fighting round Ypres, and is now in hospital in England. Private Whiteoak states that he was shot by a German right through the top part of his left leg, the bullet afterwards going through the right leg just above the knee. Luckily no bones were broken. He took part in the battle of Polygon Wood and Messines Ridge. This is the second time Private Whiteoak has been wounded. He was wounded in the "push" last April, received two wounds, and for his bravery in the fighting on that occasion, he was awarded the Military Medal. He stuck to his gun when twice wounded on April 9 at the battle of Arras. At the time of enlistment, shortly after the outbreak of war he was an overlooker employed by Messrs John Binns & Sons, Cowling.

Gunner Alder Friend

Mr and Mrs Arthur Friend, Ryeland Street, Cross Hills, on Saturday received a letter from an Army chaplain informing them that their only son, Gunner Alder Friend, of the Royal Field Artillery, had died at a casualty clearing station in France on October 9, from the effects of German poison gas. He joined the Royal Field Artillery in April, 1916, and went out to France in March last. At the time of enlistment he was a loomer and twister at Messrs George T. Mason & Sons, Cross Hills. He was of a very cheerful disposition, and was held in high esteem.
[Thomas Alda Friend was buried in grave 21, row M, plot I, at Chocques Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, and is remembered on the Kildwick memorial and the Crosshills memorial]

News has been received by the wife of Private Oscar Brown (West Riding Regiment) that her husband has been slightly wounded in the hand during the recent fighting in France. His three brothers - Harry, John and Cyril - are all out in France with the forces.
[Oscar Brown survived this period of the war, but was killed in action on April 10, 1918 at Holanderie, near Fleurbaix, France and is remembered on Crosshills, Kildwick, and Sutton in Craven war memorials]


Private T. Whitaker
Mrs Thomas Whitaker, Main Street, Farnhill, has received information from an Army chaplain in France that her husband, Private Thomas Whitaker, was seriously wounded in the left arm by shrapnel, on September 25. Mrs Whitaker later received information that her husband had been sent to the War Hospital at Clandon Park, London, and she went to see him on Friday week. Private Whitaker is still in a very serious condition, septic poisoning having set in, and it is not yet known whether his arm will have to be amputated. At the time of enlistment two and a half years ago he was put in the Army Ordnance Corps, in which regiment he attained non-commissioned rank. He was afterwards transferred into the Inniskilling Fusiliers, going out to France nearly two years ago. It is sixteen months since he was in England before. He was formerly employed by Messrs John Dixon & Son, bobbin makers, Steeton. His brother, Mr William Whitaker, who is engaged on the mercantile marine, was on the Appam at the time of its capture by the German ship Moewe in January, 1916, and was taken along with the other persons on board the Appam to Newport, where they were released.


Bombardier Ernest Hutchinson
Mr and Mrs Thomas Hutchinson, Little Lane, Morton, have received information that their son, Bombardier Ernest Hutchinson of the Royal Field Artillery, is in hospital in France suffering from trench fever. He joined the Army in September, 1914, and has been in France since January, 1916. He is 25 years of age, and previous to joining the Army was employed by Mr J. Harold Wright, Morton. He has one brother serving in the Army and another in the Navy.

Gunner Herbert Cork

Gunner Herbert Cork, of the Royal Field Artillery, whose parents reside at 5, Laythorpe Terrace, Morton, is in the 2nd Canadian Hospital in France suffering from shrapnel wounds in the right thigh received whilst on the way to a dressing station with a "pal." He is 25 years of age and joined the Army in November, 1915. he has been in France since March last.


Driver I. C. Pickup
Mrs Pickup, 7, Ickornshaw, has received intimation from a chaplain in France that her husband, Private I. C. Pickup, of the West Riding Regiment, was wounded on October 9 and is in a base hospital. previous to enlistment in March last year Private Pickup was employed as a twister and loomer by Messrs Farrow & Windle, Free Gate Mill, Cowling.

Private Harry Wilson
Private Harry Wilson, son of Mr and Mrs Nathan Wilson, of Main Street, Cononley, and brother of Sergeant George Wilson, who was awarded the Military Medal a short time ago, has been brought from France to this country suffering from wounds and trench feet. He is at present in Canterbury Hospital and reported to be progressing favourably.
[Sadly, Harry Wilson died of heart disease on December 1, 1919 aged 25 years]

Mr T. Bowker, of Out Laithe Farm, Lothersdale, has received information that his son, Private C. Bowker, of the Royal Field Artillery, has been wounded in the right jaw by shrapnel. He is progressing favourably.

Saturday, October 27, 1917 page 3:



Private Thomas Thompson MM

Private Thomas Thompson, West Riding Regiment, of 83, King Street, Keighley, has been officially reported killed in action near Ypres. A fortnight since Mrs Thompson had a letter from a comrade of her husband's stating that he had been killed, by a pathetic coincidence on the same day one of his children lay dead. A month before he was home for a short leave, and brought with him many trophies from battlefields in France and Belgium. Private Thompson was awarded the Military Medal for gallant conduct in October, 1916, and early in this year was presented with the French Military Medal. After being decorated by the General of his division, he wrote a pathetic letter to his wife in which he stated that if anything happened to him his medals had to be given to his son David, aged 10 years old.
The official record of the brave deed for which Private Thompson was awarded the Military Medal is as follows: - "On the 4th October, 1916, in front of Le Sars, he found and dashed through a gap in the enemy's wire, called out it's position to his comrades, and urged them to follow. Getting to the enemy's parapet he picked up enemy bombs which were lying there and threw them into the enemy trench, and then stood on the enemy parapet calling for more bombs."
Sergeant Jennings, who was charging the enemy side by side with Thompson on the morning of September 20, describes the battle thus in a letter to his mother: - "How I got through this terrible battle God only knows. The biggest shells were used by the Germans, and it was hell upon earth. I am sorry that I have to be the bearer of Tommy Thompson's death. It was at 5.30 on September 20 that my company went over the top to attack the German trenches. I was going on, and Tommy was by my side. We captured the first German trenches and a lot of prisoners, and then we advanced to the second German line trenches. While we were charging a shell fell among my company. A piece of it hit Tommy and knocked him over. I left one of our men to dress his wounds, and I could not stay with him myself, as we were going on to capture the next trench. When I got back I was sorry to hear that poor Tommy had died. So I hope you will give Mrs Thompson my deepest sympathy and that of every man in the company. Tell her that he did his duty like a brave, manly soldier." Sergeant Jennings' home is also in King Street, Keighley. Private Thompson enlisted soon after the outbreak of war, and fought in many of the great battles in France and Belgium for over two years. At a meeting of the United Irish League, Market Street, of which Thompson was a member, a resolution of condolence was passed on Monday with his wife and family in their great bereavement.
[Tommy was killed in action on September 20 and has no known grave. He is remembered on the Tyne Cot memorial, in Keighley's Great War roll of honour book in Keighley Library and on the St Anne's Church war memorial, North Street, Keighley. He was 38 years old]

Gunner Percy Swift

Gunner Percy Swift, R. F. A., and son of Mr and Mrs Benjamin Swift, 3, Malsis Road, Ingrow, has been killed in action. A comrade writes: "Gunner Swift was killed by an enemy shell while with his gun. He was buried in a little cemetery near to the place where he fell - a ridge the name of which is famous in the history of the war, and upon which many of our lads have their last resting place. By his side lies another of the gun detachment, who met his death a day or two before. The deepest and most heartfelt sympathy of the battery is with you. I can hardly express my own feelings at losing so true a comrade and so capable a soldier. He was cheerful under the very worst circumstances, a man who hid his own troubles, and was the first to help out his pals in difficulties. I trust that time will soften the awful blow." Twenty-six years of age, Gunner Swift joined the colours in 1915, and had been in France nearly two years. Formerly he carried on business as a greengrocer at Keighley. A brother, Private Ben Swift, is also serving.
[Percy died of his wounds on September 20 aged 27 years and is buried in grave 18, row H, at Bus House Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium, and his brother Ben died on March 25, 1918 age 19 years and is buried in grave 11, row H, plot III of Brie British Cemetery, France. They are both remembered in Keighley's Great War roll of honour, on the Ingrow war memorial and on the family gravestone at Utley Cemetery, Keighley.]

Signaller Fred Nutt

Signaller Fred Nutt, West Yorkshire Regiment, son of Mr Amos Nutt, Cliffe Terrace, Ingrow, has been wounded in both legs, and is in hospital at Bangor, Scotland. He enlisted in September, 1914, and though he has seen much fighting this is the first time he has been wounded. He was in hospital last year, but rejoined his regiment in December last. At one time he was a railway signalman at Keighley, and at the time he joined up, he was in a similar occupation at Ardsley. Two of his brothers are with the forces - Charles, who is in the R.A.M.C., being in Mesopotamia.

Private Arthur Alexander Carrodus

News has been received at Keighley of the death from wounds of Private Arthur A. Carrodus, of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, on October 7 at a casualty clearing station. Private Carrodus belonged to the well-known musical family of that name at Keighley. He was the third son of the late Frederick A. Carrodus and a nephew of the late J. T. Carrodus and of Mr Seth Waring, the ex-cricketer. Enlisting in the Borderers he was on active service in the South African war, and had since been living in Scotland. During the present war he rejoined his old regiment, and last year was invalided home with an injury to his hand. Private Carrodus was 41 years of age, and leaves a widow and an infant son.
[He is buried at Godewaersvelde Cemetery in France and also remembered on the Temple Street Methodist Church war memorial at Cliffe Castle museum, and in Keighley's Great War roll of honour in Keighley Library.]

Private Tom McAvoy

Private Tom McAvoy, West Riding Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs W. H. McAvoy, 98, Wesley Place, Ingrow, has been wounded in the right shoulder, and is also suffering from severe perforation of the chest as a result of gunshot in the recent fighting round Ypres. He is in hospital in France. Called to the colours in July, 1916, he went to the front in October, 1916, but was home with trench feet last January. Before joining the colours he was employed by Messrs Scott Bros., tool makers, Keighley.

Seaman T. E. Sugden

Seaman Gunner T. E. Sugden (35), formerly of Emily Street, Keighley, has been drowned as a result of the sinking of His Majesty's destroyer Mary Rose in the attack on the convoy in the North Sea last week. Gunner Sugden joined the Navy as a by of 13 years, and was of fine physique, standing fully six feet hight. He had previously in the present war been on four different ships when they were sunk - the Cressy, Formidable, Irresistible and Natal, being unharmed in each instance. He had only recently been posted to the Mary Rose. He leaves a widow and two children.

Private Walt. Lewis

Gunner Walt Lewis (20), of 16, Craven Road, Keighley, has been killed in action. Lewis, who before the war was employed by Messrs Hall and Stell, textile machine makers, Keighley, was gassed a few weeks ago, but had returned to duty. The mother, Mrs Tom Lewis, had just returned from a visit to another son, Sergeant Bob Lewis, who has been severely wounded, and is now in a London hospital, when she received the news of Walt's death. A third son, Gunner Tom Lewis, is in hospital in Manchester.

Gunner P. Rayner

Gunner P. Rayner, Royal Garrison Artillery, son of Mr and Mrs Rayner, 19, Beech Grove, Keighley, has been admitted to hospital suffering from a gas shell wound. He has been in France since the outbreak of war, having joined the Army fifteen months previously. He is 23 years of age, and was formerly employed by Messrs Hattersley & Son, Keighley.

Private H. Slater

Private H. Slater, West Kent Regiment, and son of Mrs Slater, 105, West Lane, Keighley, is reported missing after an engagement on August 10. Twenty-nine years of age, he enlisted in December last, and went to France in July. He was formerly employed by Messrs C. Hanson & Co., spinners, Keighley.

Private Arthur Hinchliffe

Private Arthur Hinchliffe, Machine Gun Corps, of 87, Dalton Lane, Keighley, died of wounds on September 30. Enlisting at the outbreak of war, Private Hinchliffe was at the front over two years. He was married, and in civilian life was employed by Messrs J. P. Heaton & Co., Low Bridge Mills, as a yarn scourer.

Gunner T. Green

Gunner T. Green, Royal Field Artillery, of 26, Chelsea Street, Keighley, has been killed in action. Aged 19 years, he enlisted in May, 1916, and had been in France since August of that year. In civil life he was employed as a loom fitter, by Messrs George Hattersley & Sons, Limited, North Brook Works, Keighley.
[Thomas Green was the son of Tindall and the late Annie Green of 26, Chelsea Street, Keighley and he is buried in Reninghelst New Military Cemetery, Belgium. His name is inscribed as a memorial on the family grave at Utley Cemetery in Keighley]

The Green family grave at Utley with a memorial to Thomas Green

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