Acting Sergeant David Nuttall

This is one of a series of posts about local men named on the Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour.
David Nuttall was in the workhouse in 1901.

Acting Sergeant, 8th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment. Service number 31136. Formerly 9953, York and Lancaster Regiment.

Acting Sergeant David Nuttall - Keighley news photograph from November 1916.
Early life and the Workhouse
David Nuttall was born in Shipley in 1892 with his birth being registered in North Bierley, His parents were John Nuttall and Jane Nuttall née Smith.
Very little of his early life has been found, but by the age of nine he was listed as a pauper in the Keighley Union Workhouse in 1901. No other family members were recorded there with him and we don't know where his father John was living at the time. His mother Jane was boarding with Samuel Reynolds at 178, Westgate in Keighley with three children, Rose aged 9, Lilly aged 4 and Harold aged just 5 months. Speculating, it appears that husband John was absent (at least for the census) and David had been put into the workhouse to take some pressure off Jane, who had the two girls and baby Harold to look after.
David seems to have moved about a bit for work because in 1909 he was convicted on July 14th at Huddersfield Borough Court for stealing and received seven days in prison with hard labour. His occupation was Iron turner and he would have been aged around 17.
In 1911 he was convicted at Doncaster on January 17 for breaking Colliery Rules and received 7 days or a 25 shilling fine. Occupation: Pony driver and aged around 19 at this time.
On August 24, a few months after this minor conviction and whilst still living at Doncaster, he enlisted with the York and Lancaster Regiment with the service number 9953. His age was recorded as 18 years and 11 months. His occupation was still 'Pony driver' and his family were listed as: Father John Nuttall - Merchant Service*, Mother Jane Nuttall, sisters Rose and Lily. Living at 17, Wellington Street, Keighley.
On October 22, 1913 he was confined to barracks for 8 days for hitting an NCO during an inspection. He broke out of barracks during this time and was brought in front of a district court martial and received 14 days detention. Returned to duty November 20, 1913.

*This mention of 'Merchant Service' might mean that his father John was in the Merchant Navy and although this information is likely to be recorded after David was killed in 1916, this could explain why his father's name is absent from a lot of records.

War service
His service record shows the following time-line:
1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment.
March 4, 1913 to November 18, 1914. On October 22, 1913 he was confined to barracks for 8 days for hitting an NCO during an inspection. He broke out of barracks during this time and was brought in front of a district court martial and received 14 days detention. Returned to duty November 20, 1913. The battalion were at Jubbulpore in India from August 1914.
David returned to the UK 'Home' for six months between November 19, 1914 and June 1, 1915. (Posted Private 3rd Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment on May 4, 1915.)

He was then posted to 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment and to France on June 2, 1915 to June 9, 1915 when he returned 'Home' from June 10, 1915 to September 13, 1915.
The 1st Battalion then moved to the Mediterranean on September 13, 1915.
David was transferred to the 8th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment as a Lance-Corporal on September 26, 1915. Service number now 31136.
Fractured ankle March 30, 1916 - old injury
Promoted to rank of Corporal July 14, 1916.
Appointed acting Sergeant November 4, 1916. (the date he was killed in action)
It's likely his death was due to the heavy enemy bombardments which the battalion was subjected to in this period at the front line, recorded in the battalion war diary:

War diary of the 8th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment:
Courcelles. 1/11/16.
The day was spent in preparing for the trenches, arms equipment and "Iron rations" being inspected.
4 pm: The B'n left billets, companies at ten minutes interval and marched via Colin Camp to the 8th Infantry Brigade at SERRE SECTOR trenches, relieving the 7th King's Scottish Light Infantry. Relief was completed about 11.30 pm.
2/11/16 to 4/11/16.
Usual trench routine - patrols, working parties etc. Enemy's trench mortar and artillery showed considerable activity throughout the tour, resulting in heavy retaliation from our Batteries.
5 pm: Relief commenced by the 1st R S F's and completed about 10.30 pm. On relief the B'n proceeded to billets at LOUVENCOURT.
Casualties during the tour: 5 killed, 10 wounded. The weather was unsettled.
(Acting Sergeant D. Nuttall would have been one of the five men killed.)

After the war, his remaining pay and war gratuity were paid to the next of kin and sole legatee, his mother Jane Nuttall.
Jane would also have received the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service, plus the King's certificate and a Great War memorial plaque engraved with his name.

Remembering him

His photograph appeared in the Keighley News shortly after his death but without any accompanying information.
On the first anniversary of his death an 'In Memoriam' poem and notice appeared mentioning his parents, sisters and brothers, plus a short note of affectionate remembrance from 'Miss Smith.' (Smith was his mother's maiden name, so it's likely this person was a relative.)

In Memoriam poem from David's family a year after his death.

David Nuttall is buried in grave 40, row E, plot I of Euston Road Cemetery, Colincamps, Somme, France.
Locally, he is named in Keighley's Great War roll of honour book in Keighley Library and on the Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour held by Cliffe Castle Museum.

Source information:

England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920
UK, World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
Soldiers Died in the Great War
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Regimental information courtesy of 'The Long Long Trail.'
National Archives - British Army war diaries
Keighley News archives - held at Keighley Library
Keighley's Great War roll of honour - held at Keighley Library
Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour - held at Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

Please verfiy you are not a computer program by answering the following question to submit your comment *