Private Arthur Julian. 10th Bn. Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment. Service No: 19278.
Arthur was born at Driffield in 1894, registered there in the third quarter of the year. Parents George and Mary Elizabeth Julian. His father was the railway station master.
In 1901 he was six years old and living with his parents, two brothers and three sisters. George was the station master at Middleton on the Wolds and they had one domestic servant, Charlotte Harrison.
By 1911 he was sisteen years old and living with his parents, two brothers and three sister. George was still the station master and Arthur was a general labourer. They had moved to Oakworth and Arthur was doing farm work at Streethead Farm near Oldfield in Oakworth.
He attested at Haworth with the 11th Battalion West Riding Regiment on December 9, 1915, aged twenty-one years and five months. He was mobilised at Halifax on February 29, 1916 and went into training. He was posted to the 2nd Battalion West Riding Regiment and embarked on July 3 and disembarked in France on July 4 and went to the 34th Infantry Base Depot, probably at Etaples. He was re-posted to the 10th Battalion West Riding Regiment on July 16. He was killed in action on July 30 of that year. He had been in France for less than a month. His body was never found and he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing in the Somme region, France.
10th Battalion West Riding Regiment War diary entry for July 30, 1916:
July 26. Left for divisional reserve which was in trenches in front of BÉCOURT WOOD. Nothing to report beyond the usual artillery activity.
July 27. Still in BÉCOURT WOOD. Received orders to move into front line system of trenches through CONTALMAISON.
July 28. Arrived in front line system of trenches as ordered. We sustained some casualties.
July 29. The enemy was shelling the main road through village and was very near to doing some serious damage. The battalion was soon again in action. We sustained somewhat severe casualties which read as:- 2 officers killed, 4 wounded, 1 missing. 31 'other ranks' killed, 124 wounded, 13 suffering from 'shell shock', 30 missing.
July 30. The Battalion was relieved by the 9th Yorks Regt about 6 pm and took up position in reserve in SCOTT'S REDOUBT & whilst here we had no casualties.
Keighley News November 4, 1916 page 5:
Private A. Julian, West Riding Regiment, of Street Head Farm, Oakworth, has been missing since July 30. He only went out to the front on July 1.
His father George wrote to the authorities after a newspaper rumour that a Sergeant Julian was in a German prisoner of war camp but the Army could not ascertain if this was true.
Here is his father's letter, which is in Arthur's army records. It is dated 19th August 1918 (and stamped 24th August when received):
Streethead Farm, Oakworth, Keighley. Aug 19/18.
The Officer Commanding, Records Office. Duke of Wellington's W. R. Regt. Halifax.
We have recently seen it announced in the newspapers by a Sgt Mallett of Bradford that there is a Sgt Julian, an unwounded prisoner of war at Parchim, Germany.
We have a son Pte. Arthur Julian, 19278, W. R. Rgt, who was reported missing on July 30/16 & we have wondered whether there is any connection. So far as we know our son was a private when he went into action, but may have been given a Sgt's uniform by the Germans afterwards as a makeshift if he is still alive.
We are trying to get in touch with Sgt Mallett, in the meantime would it be too much trouble for you to refer to your records & let us know whether there is a Sgt. Julian missing from the West Riding Rgt. If there is, then our hopes are again dashed to the ground.
Can you render any assistance in following up the clue please, if not, what office should we apply to.
I am yours obediently,
Arthur was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service.
He is remembered locally on the Stanbury War Memorial.
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920
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.