Howard Muckle a resident of Richmond for the last 50 years (via Corbridge and Newcastle) provided this story of his grandfather, Blackbird Baggott.
Blackbird Baggott (named after his mother Jane Blackbird) joined the Hawke Battalion of the Royal Naval division in 1915 and served at Gallipoli as an infantryman between May and August that year. The British Royal Naval Division was made up of men from the Royal Navy and its reserve forces. These men, who were not needed at sea, fought on land alongside the Army during World War One. The records cover more than 50,000 officers and ratings who joined the Royal Naval Division or who passed through Crystal Palace, London when it was used as an initial training centre during the First World War.
Blackbird was transferred to the Army Service Corps and then the Royal Flying Corps as a Fitter from 1916 to 1919. After being demobbed in 1920 he married and had two children but rejoined the RAF in 1923 (with service number 47402). He served with 1 Squadron, 55 Squadron in Iraq from 1926 – 28, and then 503 Squadron in the UK, with whom he was serving when he died in 1935.
His death certificate stated Blackbird Baggott died of Malnutrition whilst based on a training camp at RAF Halton.
Explore more memories from the ribbon
John Thompson, husband of Martha and father figure to Thomas, John and Jonah, resided in Little Crakehall, Bedale, where he worked as a blacksmith – an occupation that in December 1914, aged 44 years, led him to be specially enlisted into the Army Service Corps to serve as a farrier. Unbeknown to his family, John’s service records reveal that in January 1915, he embarked with the British Expeditionary Force to the Western Front, being transferred to Egypt in October, and later transferred to Salonica, Greece in November. On one occasion in 1915, when on active service, John was found to be ‘drunk, out of bounds and improperly dressed’, offences for which he received a fine of five shillings on January 1st 1916- not a good way to start the new year! In July 1916, John was admitted to the 2nd Western General Hospital, Manchester, where he received treatment for myalgia, influenza and rheumatism in his feet and reported suffering from a ‘troublesome cough’. Following discharge from hospital in August, John was deemed ‘no longer physically fit for war services’ and subsequently returned home to Little Crakehall that September. John soon discovered that he was not the only family member to suffer in July 1916 – aged only 20, his son, John Jr, had been killed in the Battle of the Somme. On the 10th of July 1916, John Jr, serving with the 8th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, was ordered to attack and capture Contalmaison. Advancing from Horseshoe Trench, John came under…
Submitted by David Taylor. Albert Victor Taylor was my great uncle. He was born in Middlesbrough in 1897, the son of Thomas and Margaret Taylor (nee Hill). At the age of 3 in 1901 he was living at 119, Barritt Street, Middlesbrough with his father, a steam engine fitter and his mother. By 1911 the family were living at 19, Haddon Street, Middlesbrough and Albert Victor’s Occupation was an errand boy for a leather merchant. Like many others in his age group Albert Victor Taylor followed the call to join the Colours. He became a private in 1/5th Battalion Alexandra Princess of Wales’s Own Yorkshire Regiment. His service number was 241492 and he was killed in action at Berny-en-Santerre in France on March 3rd 1917. His name is inscribed on the Thiepval Memorial.
Joseph was born around 1897 in Aysgarth North Yorkshire. His father James was a cowman on a local farm. The 1911 census shows one other child, a son Simon. Before joining up Joseph was employed as a farm hand in West Burton. Joseph enlisted at Leyburn joining the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. By September 1916 he was at the front. Joseph would prove to be a brave soldier, twice being recommended for distinction. He was finally rewarded at the end of April 1918 when he received the Military Medal for gallantry he had shown during the action in the St. Quentin area from March 21st to the 28th. Sadly one week later he was dead. On the 6th May the Battalion was in the Ypres Salient. During heavy engagements with the enemy he was killed on the 8th May. He was 21 years of age. His body was never recovered. Private Joseph Dixon Raw MM is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Cemetery.