Submitted by Robert Amis.
Captain Henry Amis (Robert’s grandfather) was commissioned into the 5th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant on 12 March 1915, Henry Amis transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.
Family legend has it that 2Lt Amis was prone to crashing, which may account for his transfer back to the Yorkshire Regiment. The then Captain Amis was again serving with the 5th Battalion when on 28 October 1917 he was wounded and evacuated, suffering from the effects of mustard gas. Once he had recovered, he returned to the front line where he faced Germany’s final throw of the dice, the so called ‘Kaiser’s battle’ which was unleashed on 21 March 1918. Henry and the 5th battalion were in the thick of the fighting; trying to hold back the German advance.
On 27 May 1918 he, along with 24 other officers and 638 Other Ranks, was declared missing. Amongst the papers donated to the museum by Robert is the diary of Captain Amis’ girlfriend, Dorothy Beckton. On 10 June 1918 she wrote…
‘Telegram saying my H G missing. I felt a sort of stunned at first…A horrible time of despondency, but there is really no need. I think my darling boy is almost sure to be a prisoner in Germany. It is rather heavy waiting but as soon as I can hear that he is safe, will be alright. And we shall be able to make up afterwards. I hope they will treat the dear old boy well. Please God, let it all turn out alright.’
Henry spent the rest of the war as a POW. Once he was liberated he returned home on 26th December 1918, first to Leith, then to Ripon where he was hospitalised with influenza but Dorothy got to see him and, thankfully, he recovered (and married her).
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The Outhwaite family came to live in Stalling Busk in the Raydaleside area near Bainbridge in the 1730s to farm the land. Thomas’s father William had married Eleanor Pickard, a girl from Newbiggin near Aysgarth. They later lived for a time at Ingleton in the Dales where Thomas was born in 1880. Thomas would be one of 6 children. Shortly after 1880 they moved back to Stalling Busk. Thomas’s father eventually became the gamekeeper on the estate of Colonel Percy Williams, MP, of Raydale Grange. In 1905 Thomas’s brother William took over the Rope works in Hawes, which still operates today under the Outhwaite name. By now Thomas had married Gertrude Sherrington, a girl from Tunstall near Catterick and was working with his father on the Raydale Estate. Thomas enlisted in 1915 joining the 9th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. It was during The Battle of Messines in June 1917 that on the 19th Private Thomas Pickard Outhwaite was wounded, he died of his wounds later that day. He is buried at the Military Cemetery in Poperinge.
Wilfred Wood, an employee of the North Eastern Railway before the outbreak of war, served with the 5th battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. His commanding officer, 2nd Lt G H Smith wrote the following to his father: “Dear Mr Wood – It is with deep regret that I inform you of the death in action of your son, Pte. W. Wood. He was instantaneously killed on the morning of the 19th instant by a whizz-bang shell, which dropped into the trench he was in; he was buried behind the line on the 20th, and a good cross is being erected to his memory. Words cannot express how deeply I feel for you in your great loss. He was a good soldier, and always kept up bright spirits. The men of my platoon join me in the deepest sympathy for you” 240637 Private W Wood died on 19 July 1917 and is buried at Heninel Communal Cemetery Extension.
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.