Lance Corporal Ughtred Binns, 1/6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment. Service number 2568.
Ughtred Binns was born in Keighley on 7th July 1892. He was baptised on 21st August of that year at St John's Church, Ingrow in Keighley. His parents were Joseph and Mary Binns and Joseph was a Joiner. Their home was at 21, Prospect Place in Keighley.
Mary Binns was formerly Mary Emmott. She was the daughter of Isaac Emmott who had a well known greengrocer's shop at the top of High Street in Keighley, known locally as 'Top O'Town' and pictured here. This shop was eventually taken over by Isaac's son, John H. Emmott, who was Mary's brother and Ughtred's uncle:
By 1901 Ughtred was eight years old and the family was living at 2, Ethel Street, Keighley. His father was a foreman joiner for a laundry engineering works. Ughtred had an older sister Margaret who was a cloth mender aged 20, and an older brother Robert aged 16, who was an electrical engineer. He also had a younger brother Fred who was just one year old at the time.
By the time of the 1911 census Ughtred was 18 and living at 4, Ethel Street in Keighley with his parents, sister Margaret a cloth mender aged 30, and a brother Fred aged 11 who was at school. Joseph was still a foreman joiner for a laundry machine maker and Ughtred was a patternmaker for a laundry engineering works. it is quite likely he was working at the same place as his father and that this was Summerscales Limited of Keighley. The census states that Joseph and Mary had given birth to six children during their thirty years of marriage, but one child had died some time before the 1911 census.
Ughtred's Army Service record gives us the following information:
On 7th September 1914, he attested for 4 years service with the 6th Battalion West Riding Regiment at Keighley and his home address was given as 4, Darley Street, Keighley. He stated that he had previously served with the 6th Battalion, but that his time had expired. Ughtred also signed for overseas service on the same date and joined the Imperial Service Section.
He was one of the men listed in the nominal roll of 1/6th Battalion who embarked from Doncaster on 14th April 1915. These men entrained for Folkestone and on arrival boarded the S.S. Onward which was a cross channel ferry pressed into Army service for the war. They disembarked in Boulogne the next day and marched the few miles to St Martin's rest camp for the night. Ughtred served with them for the next few months. He had been a corporal in the Territorials before the war and was promoted again to Lance Corporal (substantive) on the 3rd of June 1915. He was killed in action on 25th November 1915. He had served for 1 year and 80 days and was buried behind the lines in plot IV., row G., grave 13 of what was to become Talana Farm Cemetery, Belgium. He was just 23 when he died. The family's personal inscription reads: FOR LIBERTY AND HOMELAND.
Keighley News Saturday 4th December 1915, page 5:
LOCAL WAR LOSSES. KEIGHLEY TERRITORIALS KILLED.
News was received on Monday last that Lance-Corporal Ughtred Binns, of the 6th West Riding Regiment, had been killed in Flanders. Writing to the father, Mr. Joseph Binns, of Darley Street, Beechcliffe, Keighley, under date November 26, Second Lieutenant F. Longden Smith stated: "I cannot say how sorry I am to have to write and tell you that your son, Lance-Corporal Ughtred Binns, was killed yesterday afternoon by a trench mortar.
He was at the time at work with his machine gun section in the trenches, and he was blown out of the trench by an explosion and killed instantaneously. I should like to say on behalf of the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men alike, how much we all thought of him. He was one of those invaluable men who are always cheerful however black the outlook.
Lance-Corporal Binns was single and 23 years of age, and prior to enlisting soon after the outbreak of war worked as a patternmaker at Halifax. He served his time with Summerscales, Limited, Keighley. He was formerly in the Territorials, holding the rank of corporal, and he re-enlisted in his old regiment soon after war was declared, and quickly became lance-corporal. He was a fine young fellow both in character and physique, and had played football with the Keighley Celtic, Caledonians and Beechcliffe clubs. He was also connected with the Parish Church Sunday-school.
Like his many friends, he had borne the hardships with equanimity, and his letters home were always cheerful in tone. In one of his last letters he wrote: "I am more content to be doing my small part here than those fellows can be who have stayed at home. Although I have had about seven months of it now, I have never regretted the step I took, for someone has got to do it... It is the young fellows we need here, not the old ones."
There is still at "The Keighley News" office waiting for a claimant a photograph of two children which had been found at the front by Lance-Corporal Binns.
West Riding Regiment, war diary entry for 25th November 1915:
TRENCHES F31 - F35. Sheet 28 C7a16 - B12b82.
Officer Commanding A Company in F31 reported having captured a German, the prisoner was one of four who had been sent out on patrol, our men opened fire on them, the prisoner came up to our front line, when taken stated one man had been killed and the other two had run back, he was wet through, his name was JOHANNES ROHI age 19, 11/12 years of the 240th Infantry, he was well clothed and fed.
2 pm. Sap in F 35 heavily bombarded by 3 trench mortars VIII Battery requested to retaliate.
3 pm. Several shells fell between trench HQ and Boesinghe - Brielen Road, 3 burst, 7 duds.
2.30 pm. a balloon was observed to ascend near HULLS FARM. Picked up by 4th Bn. D of W Regt.
2 PM. No. 2568 L/Cpl U. Binns D Coy. Killed by trench mortar in F 35, buried Sheet 28B B 18.c.7.8.
Ughtred's effects form dated 20th February 1916 states his family received the following personal items:
Testament. (Bible); Note book; Pocket book; Letters; Pencil; Photos; Wallet.
His father Joseph (as sole legatee) also received Ughtred's back pay in two payments, of £13 13s and 4d on 23rd February 1916 and a further £1 17s 0d on 23rd March 1916. He also received a war gratuity of £4.10s. 0d on 24th July 1919. Later Ughtred's engraved Great War Memorial scroll and King's certificate arrived on 22nd October 1921 and probably in early 1921, Joseph would have received the engraved 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his son's war service.
After the war, Ughtred's parents were still living at 4 Darley Street and the relatives' form W.5080 records the details of where the rest of the children were living at this time:
Brother Robert Binns, age 34. 41, Cope Street, Coventry.
Brother Isaac Emmott Binns, age 32. 163, Railroad Avenue North, Andover.
Brother Fred Binns, Age 20. 47, Myrtle Road, Cumberland Park, Acton, W3. London.
Sister Margaret Land, age 38. 10, Nashville Road, Keighley.
These details were certified 7th May 1919 by Rector E.F.G. Hunter - Clerk in Holy Orders at the Rectory, Keighley.
Apart from his grave in Belgium, Ughtred is also remembered locally. He is named in Keighley's Great War roll of honour at Keighley Library and on the war memorial in St Andrew's Church.
The consensus of our Keighley Local History Society, is that Ughtred was pronounced either Ootred or Yewtred. If you know better, please get in touch with us!
England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
British Army World War I Service Records, 1914-1920
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
UK, World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Soldiers Died in the Great War
Keighley News archives at Keighley Library WO95
Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment war diary WO95 2801-1
Graces Guide to British Industrial History
Keighley and District Local History Society archives.