Corporal Laban Feather, 2/4th Battalion Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regt. Service number 265899.
Laban was born on January 24, 1890 and his birth was rgeistered in Keighley in the first quarter of the year. Parents Charles and Margaret Feather. He was baptised in Oakworth on March 2 the same year. They were living at Low Bank, Oakworth and Charles was a Weaver.
In the 1891 census he was one year old and living at Low Bank in Oakworth with his parents and brother George plus his maternal grandfather Thomas Smith.
In 1901 he was eleven and living at Low Bank in Oakworth with his parents, four brothers and one sister. Charles was a worsted weaver.
By 1911 he had left home and was boarding at 15 James Street, Lane Ends with Alfred and Mary Jane Galleymore and the Booth family. Laban was twenty-one and a woolsorter for a worsted cloth manufacturer. On December 19, 1914 Laban married Alfred and Mary Jane's daughter Hilda Booth at Christ Church in Oakworth. At the time they were both resident at 3, John Street in Oakworth.
Laban enlisted in the Army in 1914 He served with the 2/6th West Riding Regiment and must have been posted to the 2/4th battalion at some point. He was serving with the 2/4th Battalion West Riding Regiment Trench Mortar Battery when he was killed in action on July 23, 1918. Laban was 28 years old. Hilda was later living at 55, Queen Street, Keighley. His body was never found and he is named on the Soissons Memorial.
2/4th Battalion West Riding Regiment war diary from July 1918:
The battalion took part in an attack which lasted from July 20 and they were in the trenches until July 30. The attack took place between Courtagnon and Marfaux, with the objective being to take Marfaux, which was heavily defended. The men became exhausted by the end of the attack and did not achieve any major victories, although they advanced a long way into enemy territory. Laban was killed in action during this attack.
Keighley News August 17, 1918 page 3: WORTH VALLEY
News has been received that Corporal Laban Feather, Trench Mortar Battery, of Oakworth, was killed on July 13. Corporal Feather, who enlisted in 1914, had been in France about eighteen months, and prior to enlistment he was employed as a woolsorter by Messrs. William Haggas, Sons & Co., Ltd, Oakworth.
Laban was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service.
He is remembered on the Oakworth War Memorial and the Oakworth Wesleyan roll of honour in Oakworth Methodist Church and on the Slack Lane Baptist Church war memorial in Oakworth Community Hall.
His brothers Norman Feather and Frank Feather both served and both survived the war.
Birth, marriage and death records.
1901 and 1911 census.
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920.
Army service records.
Keighley News archives, Keighley Library.
Photographs by Andy Wade.