Private Richard Horner

This is one of a series of posts about local men named on the Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour.
Richard Horner was in the Clarendon Street Children's home which was attached to the Keighley workhouse in 1911. He would certainly have known Charles Horner (not related) and Fred Firth who were there at the same time.

Private Richard Horner, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment. Service number 3/10557.

Early life:
Richard Horner was born in late 1897 and his birth was registered at Keighley. His father was Richard Horner, his mother's name is unknown*.

In the 1901 census he was just three years old and living with his Uncle John Smith and Aunt Sarah Smith at 2, Oakworth View, Cross Roads near Keighley.

By 1911 he was thirteen and an inmate in the Children's Home at 18, Clarendon Street, Keighley under the care of the Guardians and under the direct care of Ellen Uttley, a Foster mother for the Guardians. Five other boys of similar age were also living here and Richard was recorded as a schoolboy.
His father Richard appeared before the Keighley Court (sitting at Bingley) on charges of non-payment of arrears for maintenance to the Guardians. This judgement appears in the Bastardy records for January 29, 1913.

War service and death:
We believe Richard was 10557 Private Richard Horner of the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment, who was killed in action on February 23, 1915 whilst serving with the battalion in the trenches East of Zillebeke, near Ypres.
The 'Soldier's Died in the Great War' record shows him being born at Haworth and enlisting in Keighley.

War diary entry for the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment, for the period around the time of his death:
Battalion marched from Bailleul at 9 a.m. and arrived about 3.30 p.m. Quartered in huts about 1/2 mile South of village.
20.2.1915 YPRES.
Battalion marched out by companies at intervals to YPRES. A & C Companies went to dugouts near ZILLEBEKE, and farmed supports to Royal West Kent Regiment.
Battalion HQ established near here, B & D Companies billeted in Convent, YPRES.
Two men wounded this night.
No casualties. A & C companies were relieved in evening by B & D.
A & C returning to convent.
Battalion relieved Royal West Kent Regiment in trenches East of ZILLEBEKE. No casualties.
In trenches. Casualties 8 killed, 11 wounded. Lt. Griffin wounded.
In trenches. Casualties 6 killed and 16 wounded. Lieutenant Black & 60 other ranks reinforced Battalion.
Battalion relieved in evening. D Coy & 2 platoons of B. formed supports. Remainder returned to Bks. at YPRES.

Remembering him:

Richard has no known final resting place and is named on the Menin Gate at Ypres in Belgium and is remembered locally on St Peter's Church War Memorial, currently in the care of the Men of Worth Project and also the Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour which is in the care of Cliffe Castle Museum.

His remaining pay and war gratuity went to his father, Richard as his next of kin and sole legatee.
His father would also have received the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his son's war service.

* Richard's mother may have been Mary Ann Horner née Johnson.

Source information:

England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962
UK, World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
Soldiers Died in the Great War
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Keighley News archives at Keighley Library
Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour held at Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley.

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