Private Hubert Richard Craven, 1/6th Battalion West Riding Regiment. No. 2570 and later, 265625.
Hubert Richard Craven was born on 29th May 1893, his birth was registered in Keighley in the third quarter of the year. His parents were Elijah J. and Annie Craven.
Hubert's father Elijah was a printer and stationer (employer).
By 1901 Hubert was seven years old and living at 6, North Street in Keighley with his parents, sisters Kathleen Mary (5) and Phyllis Margaret (3) and brothers Frederick John (2) and baby James Elijah at just 2months of age.
By 1911 the family had moved to 25, Unity Street at Morton Banks and Hubert was a 17 year old worsted spinning overlooker. His father Elijah was now working as a printer's and stationery traveller and they now had another brother George Andrew (8) and sister Alice Beatrice (5) although two other unnamed children had died.
Hubert must have enlisted fairly early after the outbreak of war as his name appears on the nominal roll for the 1/6th battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment when they all left for France from Folkestone and disembarked from SS Onward at Boulogne early in the morning of 14th April 1915. His early service number was 2570 and this changed to 265625 when the territorial numbering changed to six digit numbers in 1917.
Hubert served with the 1/6th battalion continuously and apparently survived the experience unscathed until he was wounded on 16th April 1918 and his details appear in the war diary casualties list.
The 1/6th battalion West Riding Regiment war diary:
The following information for this day in the front line at St Jan's Cappel, which is six miles due South of Poperinghe in Belgium:
During the morning the enemy registered our line with trench mortars and field guns and there was considerable machine gun fire from both sides, also enemy movement in small parties. Our artillery gave us considerable support and when enemy were seen collecting they put down a very satisfactory shoot at about 4 pm, The enemy showed great activity with his trench mortars and field guns and shortly afterwards attacked opposite the sight of 'A' Company. The attack was completely repulsed and a certain amount of the success achieved was due to prompt cooperation of Stokes battery.
Patrols were at once sent out to pick up prisoners. The patrols were very successful and brought in two complete light machine guns and 16 prisoners, several of whom were wounded. The night passed fairly quietly and a good lot of (barbed) wire was put out.
Details of this appear a few weeks later in the local newspaper:
Keighley News, 11th May 1918, page 3:
Mrs. A. Craven, of 25, Unity Street, Morton Banks, has received intimation that her eldest son, Private Hubert C. Craven, West Riding Regiment, is in hospital at Boulogne suffering from shell wounds in the right hand and chest. Private Craven is 24 years of age and joined the forces in September, 1914, and has been in France about three years. His younger brother is in training.
Hubert discharged to the class Z Reserves on 3rd March 1919 so he was presumably still fit for service almost a year after his wound in May the previous year. He received an Army pension.
Hubert's younger brother Frederick appears in the 1920 electoral roll as an absent voter with the suffix NM meaning he was still serving for the military at the time.
Hubert retrained as a jeweller after the war - he worked for Feather's jewellers at 100 Cavendish Street in Keighley and was responsible for winding the Keighley Mechanic's Institute clock:
He was living with his family at 21, Canal Road, Morton Banks between 1928 and 1938, but in 1939 he was registered as a jeweller's caretaker and was living at 100 Cavendish Street which would have been above Feather's jewellery shop.
Hubert died in 1975 at the age of 82.
He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service.
Birth, marriage and death records.
1901 and 1911 census.
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920.
1939 England and Wales Register.
Keighley News archives, Keighley Library.
The National Archives - War diaries WO95-2801-4: January to September 1918.
Keighley Mechanic's Institute photograph courtesy of Keighley and District Local History Society.
Photograph and Hubert's Army identification tags supplied by Charles Driver.
More information on Army identification tags here, courtesy of Sarah Ashbridge for the Commonweath War Graves Commission.