Alfred was born around June 1882 at Thornaby near Stockton, the son of Thomas Salmon, a foreman brewer. Alfred would eventually become an assistant grocer at Leyburn. Here he courted Lizzie Chiltern. Lizzie’s brother James had joined the West Yorkshire Regiment and was killed in June 1917 aged 20. It would appear that they never married as Alfred’s attestation form, when he signed up, has him as unmarried. The 1911 census has Alfred living in Leyburn as a boarder to a widow Catherine Pearson, aged 70.
He enlisted on the 8th April 1916 at Leyburn joining the 5th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. By early 1917 Alfred had been wounded and was to spend the rest of 1917 and part of 1918 convalescing in England. He was discharged from the Army on the 15th April 1918, his rank being Lance Corporal. Alfred was now living in Waverley Terrace, Darlington. It was here that he died from pneumonia, exacerbated by his war wounds on the 16th February 1919 aged 36.
Alfred was buried in Darlington West Cemetery.
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William Hird was nominated for the Ribbon of Remembrance by Dianne Evans, and his story illustrates a problem that can occur with records that are a century old. Thanks to the original 1914-16 enlistment leger at the Green Howards Museum, we can say with some confidence that William enlisted on 10th December 1914 in the City of Durham and that he was posted to the 3rd Battalion, based at West Hartlepool on 18th January 1915. According to his medal card 18390 Acting Lance Corporal William Hird served in France from 19th September 1915, and was entitled to the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. William is recorded on the ‘Soldiers died in the Great War 1914-1919’ database as having died on 29 September 1916 as a Private in the 7th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. This might have been the case, but on examining the battalion war diary, the 7th Battalion were away from the frontline in training and there are no records of any deaths that day. Of course soliders would often die from wounds days after an offensive, however the Green Howards Gazzette for December 1916 records that 18390 W Hird was Killed in Action – there is a separate list for those who Died of Wounds. On further investigation, the Register of Soldier’s Effects lists William as being in the 6th Battalion when he was killed in action in France. The war diary of 6th battalion recounts the attempted assault on ‘Stuff Redoubt’…
Marcia Howard submitted this photo of her father, Philip Baker (right) and her Uncle Leslie – both ready to defend King and Country in 1915. The story she has to tell connects the First and Second World Wars: “Philip my father and Uncle Leslie were the two youngest of the boys in their large family. With an ‘Army’ father in the Hampshire Regiment, it depended on his posting as to where each child was born. Uncle Leslie b.1907 was born in Bermuda, although by the time my dad arrived, they were back in England and he was born 1910 in Winchester. Older siblings had been born in various locations including County Cork, Aldershot and Hampshire. My grandfather Ernest Benjamin Baker was discovered to have haemophilia, a condition which eventually caused his demise, but with an Army Pension, was retained as an Army Messenger as far as I am aware. My grandfather, who died well before I was born, suffered a nose bleed after falling off his bike which caused him to bleed to death. From checking the National School Admission Register, Leslie went to St Thomas’s Higher Grade National/Service Church of England school in Winchester. I couldn’t find details of where my father Philip went to school, but I do recall him telling me during my early teenage years, that he had hated school, and one day had just walked out, never to return. It was a year before he was officially allowed to leave. Fortunately for him he was both…
Marguerite was born on the 25th March 1892 in Kensington London. From an early age she had a love of books. She attended Norland Place School in Notting Hill. It was soon apparent that she was academically gifted. She also excelled at sport, especially Hockey. During the war years she became Honorary Secretary of the Norland School Old Girls Association. Marguerite left school in 1908 and went on to higher education attaining First Class honours at the Cambridge Higher Local with a distinction in history. In 1910 she went to Dresden in Germany to study culminating in First Class Honours again with a distinction in spoken German. She was also fluent in French. In January 1911 went to Canada in what was a combines holiday/studying venture. October of that year would see her entering Clough Hall Newham College Cambridge to study further in the German language, again attaining First Class honours. At the outbreak of war Marguerite was employed by the Young Men’s Christian Society (YMCA). The Society had been established in London in 1844 as a prayer and bible study group. At the outbreak of war it turned their attention to providing support for servicemen. In November 1914, working with the BEF, it established centres in France. By 1918 there were over 300 centres. Marguerite would find herself working in the War Office Translation Bureau because of her language skills. From March 1918 Marguerite was part of the Army Education Service of the YMCA at Etaples on the northern…