Corporal Miles Little. 1/5th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own). Service number 202758.
Miles was born in Askrigg in 1891, registered in Aysgarth, North Riding of Yorkshire in the last quarter of the year. His parents were James and Louisa Little (née Cleminson).
He was 9 in the 1901 census and living at 121, Stanbury, with his parents, three brothers and five sisters. James was a labourer in a stone quarry. Miles was attending Stanbury Village School and is mentioned in the school log in September 1902 when he won the book 'Hereward the Wake' by Charles Kingsley at Prize Day and he was mentioned again that October when he collected a flower specimen. In April 1906 the family had a major heartbreak when their mother Mary Louisa died.
By the time of the 1911 census, Miles was 19 years old and was living at 89, Stanbury with his widowed father, two brothers and three sisters. James was now a farmer on his own account (probably at Church Farm) and Miles was employed as a cotton weaver.
Miles enlisted to the Army reserve class B at Haworth on December 10th 1915. He had a medical examination on 7th April 1916 at Halifax, aged 24 years and was described as a weaving overlooker. He transferred to the 3/7th West Riding battalion and remained in home service until mobilisation on July 18. He arrived in France the next day to join the 1/5th battalion. The
Battle of The Somme was in full swing and they were in action in the trenches at Leipsig Salient known as: Bluff Black Horse Ridge, Forceville, Bouzincourt Hedauville, Quarry Post and South Bluff.
Miles sustained a minor injury on September 27, 1916 whilst collecting bombs. An inquiry was held and he was found not to blame for his injury.
At some point in the next two years Miles was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal, then later, Corporal. He is also wearing the Lewis Gun proficiency badge above his stripes which means he was a Lewis Gun Instructor.
1918 - War Diary of the 1/5th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment:
[Preamble: in the three days preceding, Miles Little had taken part in an attack as part of 49th Brigade, which resulted in the capture of Naves Village]
At 09:00 the 148th Brigade passed through our line to continue the attack. The Battalion despite heavy enemy shelling maintained its line during the whole day until 18:00 when in consequence of orders received, withdrew into Divisional Reserve, the 148th Brigade taking over the line. Companies moved to U.8.a. Battalion HQ establishing itself at FACTORY U. 7. c. 1. 3.
Casualties. Wounded 2nd Lt. L. J. Quarrington. Killed 5 other ranks. Wounded 55 other ranks. Missing 11 other
Miles was one of the wounded and died of his wounds that day. He was buried in grave 18, row A, plot V of Naves Communal Cemetery Extension.
He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service. His father James did not receive any of Miles' remaining pay or war gratuity, but he did receive his medals and probably his memorial plaque and certificate in 1921. James Little died on 18th January 1931. It wasn't until 1950 before Miles' effects of £140 0s 8d were settled through his will.
He is named locally on the Stanbury and Oldfield War Memorial in Stanbury Cemetery and on the Little family grave, also in Stanbury Cemetery.
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919
Keighley News archives in Keighley Library
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923
National Archives war diaries - WO95 series.