Private Patrick Kelly

Private. 1st Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment. Service Number: 51893.

A rather grainy looking newspaper photo of a man's face looking towards the camera

Private Patrick Kelly

Early life:

Patrick was born at Keighley in 1899 with his birth registered in the third quarter of the year. His parents were Martin Kelly and Mary Kelly née Gavan. They were living at 135, Westgate and Patrick aged one had an older brother Anthony, aged three. Their father Martin was employed as a stone mason's labourer.
In the 1911 census Patrick was eleven years old and at school. The family had moved to 150, Westgate which was likely another rented property. Father Martin was a labourer in the building trade. Patrick's older brother Anthony was thirteen and a doffer of worsted yarns and they had a younger brother John aged four. This census record shows that parents Martin (aged 47) and Mary (aged 40) had been married for seventeen years and had produced eight children, five of whom had died.

A newspaper report in the Bradford Daily Telegraph named Mary and Patrick being involved in a 'rumpus.' They had been summoned for assault by a neighbour, Margaret Kelly. A shorter version appears in the Keighley News of 17th July 1915, page 5.

Bradford Daily Telegraph, 13 July 1915, page 5.
At the Keighley Borough Court today, Mary Flaherty (married), Mary Kelly (married) and Patrick Kelly (labourer, son of the last named), all of Burlington Street, were summoned for assaulting Margaret Kelly, a neighbour. Mr. Harry Wall appeared for the defence.
The complainant said that a week last Saturday night she was on her own doorstep when Mrs. Flaherty went up to her and, without provocation, knocked her down and kicked her. She alleged that when she got up Mrs. Kelly then struck her, and that when she got up the boy Kelly struck her, knocking her down and splitting her head open. "They have murdered me." she said.
The defence was a total denial of any assault, though it was admitted that, after provocation, both Mrs. Flaherty and the boy Kelly pushed the complainant, who, being in a drunken condition, easily fell to the ground.
It was said that Mrs. Flaherty had been the mother of fifteen children, five of whom were living.
Mrs. Flaherty and Patrick Kelly were each fined 9s., and Mary Kelly was fined 6s., including costs.
[The 1911 census shows Mary Flaherty had only given birth to eight children, three had died and five were living with her during the census, at 55, Burlington Street. It is possible but unlikely she'd had another seven children between 1911 and 1915. There are eight infant deaths recorded for the Flaherty surname between 1902 and 1915.]

War service:

Patrick enlisted at Halifax when he was 18 and initially he was serving with the West Yorkshire Regiment, service number 75942. There is no Army service record for him but we estimate his enlistment was for General Service in late 1917. He must have arrived in France in summer of 1918 and after a matter of days at the front, he was wounded and he later died of his wounds after being evacuated to Etaples military hospital.
His medal records show he'd earned the British War Medal and Victory Medal and was transferred to the East Yorkshire Regiment with the service number 51893, when he reached France.

WO-95-2162-2 1st Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment.
War diary entry:
Map 57C - V23.c.6.1. 16th September.
2nd Lieutenant Whiting to T.H. 2nd Lieutenants W. Ayrton and H. Roberts(sic) (West Yorkshire regiment) joined the battalion & were allotted to companies as underneath:
2nd Lieutenant W. Ayrton - C Company, 2nd Lt. H. Robson(sic) - D Coy. Draft of 116 reinforcements and casuals arrived. Lieutenant H. W. Reid returned from base and assumed his duties as S.G.O.
[Patrick was probably part of the draft mentioned above]

V23.c.6.1. 17th September 11.30 am.
Meeting of all officers re-attack. Operation orders issued. Lieutenant Constant & 2nd Lieutenant R.K. Barton & 19 other ranks provided to III Army rest Camp.
2nd Lieutenant Whiling admitted to hospital.

V23.c.6.1. 18th September 12.30 am.
The Battalion marched off to point of attack at W23.b.5.6. to W.17.b.9.3.
The Battalion attacked from forming up point & captured objective at X8.d.7.1. to X15.b.8.0. "Meunier Trench." also "Meunier Support" at X8.d.8.5. to 15.b.8.0. Very little opposition was encountered approx 400 prisoners & numerous machine guns were captured.
Five guns and limbers were captured including their whole personnel at point X14.b.7.4. They comprised of Two 4.2 Howitzers 105 Millimeters; Two 5.9 Howitzers 150 Millimeters; One Whistanger 77 Millimeter.
Ammunition wagons & 24 horses belonging to these guns were also captured. 12 horses were dead & 12 were sent back unwounded.
The opposing forces were the 3rd battalion 403rd regiment of the 201st Division. Adjutant Oberlieutenant Riottmeister von Euneson(sic) & his adjutant Oberlieutenant Kuntze(sic) were killed. All orderly room correspondence sent to Brigade.
The Battalion held the line from the morning of the 18th till the night of the 19th.
Lt. Sutton took over A/Adjutant after 2nd Lieutenant Howard was wounded.
Equancourt. 19th September 11 pm.
The Battalion was relieved by the 2nd Battalion Argyle & Sutherland Hughlanders in Meunier trench and Meunier Support at 8.30 pm. & then proceeded to Equanacourt V.10.c.5.5. to tents & bivouacs to rest.
Casualties in this month period:
Officers killed 2nd Lt. Webster G.A. and 2nd Lt. Butt J.G.
Wounded: 2nd Lt. Howard S.W. and 2nd Lt. Riley V.L. and 2nd Lt. Ayrton W.
Missing: 2nd Lt. Barret(sic) W.K.
Other ranks: Killed, 11. Wounded, 68. Missing, 38.
[Because the Battalion had no more casualties reported after this battle, it's likely that Patrick was one of the 68 wounded men, and was transported along the evacuation chain to Etaples Hospital where he later died of his wounds, two days later on the 21st September.] National library of Scotland: Trench Map
A trench map indicating the location of Equancourt and the German trench system Meunier trench and Meunier support trench, shows that they were to the immediate South West of Villers-Guislain.

Keighley News Saturday 12th October 1918 page 3:
Private Patrick Kelly, West Yorkshire Regiment, son of Mrs. Kelly, of 22, Burlington Street, Keighley, has been killed in action. He joined the colours when 18 years of age, and had only been in the fighting line about eight days when he met his death. He was formerly employed by Messrs. Summerscales & Co., Keighley.

Summerscales and Sons were based at Coney Lane, Keighley and they also had a site in Halifax. They made all manner of cast iron machines for all sorts of purposes, both domestic and industrial and even supplied the Army with special disinfectors during the war.


Patrick was buried in grave 36 or row G in plot LXVI at Etaples Military Cemetery.
Locally he is remembered in the Keighley Borough Roll of Honour in Keighley Library and also on St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church war memorial on North Street in Keighley.
He was nineteen years old when he died.

An ornately carved war memorial in pink and grey marble, the lists of names are enhanced with gold leaf.

St Anne's Church war memorial in Keighley

Patrick's father Martin Kelly also died in 1918 aged 53, his death was registered in the second quarter of the year which may mean that Patrick was aware of it as it was some months before he died of his wounds.

Patrick had made a soldier's will and his mother Mary was named in it as his sole legatee. On 10th January 1919 Mary received the sum of £2 19s. 10d which was the balance of his Army account, likely to be his remaining back pay minus any stoppages. She also received a war gratuity of three pounds on 27th November 1919.
Mary also received a dependant's pension of 12 shillings and 6 pence per week which continued until her death.

She would have recieved his British War Medal and Victory Medal in 1920/1921 and his war memorial plaque and King's Scroll around the same time.

In the 1921 census, Patrick's mother Mary was 58 and living at 22, Burlington Street in Keighley with her sons Anthony aged 23 and a furnace labourer for Hattersley & Son iron foundry, and John aged 15 and a doffer and worsted spinner for Robert Clough.

Mary died in 1928, having never remarried.

Information sources:

England & Wales Births 1837-2006
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
Bradford Daily Telegraph from the British Newspaper Archive
Keighley News archives at Keighley Library
The National Archives
War diary 1st Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment W)-95-2161-2-3
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Soldiers Died on the Great War
UK, British Army World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
UK, World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
UK, World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923
Gro War Deaths, Army Other Ranks (1914 To 1921)
1921 Census

2 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for this. Patrick is my Great Uncle. My Grandad, John, was his younger brother. My Dad, Patrick, was named after him.
    • Andy Wade
      You are most welcome Linda!

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