Captain Frank Woodcock 5th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment
Captain Woodcock, who was only 22 years of age, was the youngest son of John and Elizabeth Woodcock of Driffield Yorkshire. He was killed in action during an assault on the 15th of September 1916.
Frank was one of 6 children having 2 brothers and 3 sisters, the family must have been “comfortably off” because the 1901 census records his father as “living on his own means” and they had a servant called Margaret.
He was educated at Bridlington School, where he was in the Officer Training Corps (O.T.C.). He became a Second Lieutenant in a Territorial Battalion in December 1912. He was promoted Lieutenant in April 1914 and then to Captain in May 1915.
The Regimental Gazette recorded his death as follows: “The death of Captain Woodcock deprives his battalion of a very capable Company Commander and a very popular Officer.
Despite his youth, he very soon proved himself an Officer of much resource and dauntless courage.
He was wounded when wiring in front of the trenches in July 1915, and returned to France in January 1916 when he succeeded to the command of a Company. It was in this capacity that he showed himself a cool and capable Commander with great initiative and pluck, always setting a fine example to his men when any dangerous work had to be performed.
He was twice mentioned in despatches.
Captain Woodcock is buried at Flatiron Copse cemetery in France.
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Sergeant John (Jack) Charlton joined the Army as a Territorial in 1908 when he enlisted in the 4th Battalion, Alexandra, Princess of Wales’ Own Yorkshire Regiment (The Green Howards). He served on the Western Front from April 1915 where he had a distinguished career, earning a Distinguished Conduct Medal and being Mentioned in Despatches in 1917. One particular act stands out from his memoirs which earned him a commendation from his Commanding Officer was while serving at the Arras Front while he was in charge of Battalion communications. After heavy shelling cut phone lines he used a Lucas Day Light Signalling Lamp to request an artillery barrage to defend the HQ from German gas shells. This Lamp was donated to the Museum and can be seen on display. Jack also suffered injuries during his service, firstly in April 1915 when he was gassed at Zillibeck and another, more serious gas attack got him sent home towards the end of 1917 where he remained for the rest of the War. While on Leave in 1916 Jack got engaged to Phillis Blow but they didn’t get married until 1918 after we was sent home. During 1918 he attended various training courses including a Signals Course at the Armoury School near Dunstable but before he was able to finish the Armistice was signed and so he was demobbed at Hornsea.
In October 1915 Geoffrey Howard Smith was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 5th Battalion from being a member of the ranks of the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps (O.T.C.). At that time he was probably based at the O.T.C. training camp at Berkhamsted Common Hertfordshire. In August 1916 he is listed as wounded in France. He recovers from his wounds but in June 1918 he is listed as missing then confirmed as a prisoner of war in September 1918. Smith remained in captivity until his release and return to England in January 1919. This event is recognised by a letter sent to him from King George V.
Harry was born sometime in the 2nd quarter of 1880 in Richmond North Yorkshire. He was the son of John James and Martha Kinchin of 11 Castle Hill Richmond. His father worked as a joiner. Harry was the eldest of eight children. The 1901 census shows Harry, 20, Walter 18, Allanson 16, Annie, 14, Moses 11, Martha 8, Elizabeth 5 and James Stroud 1. By the 1911 census Harry was married to Priscilla and had two daughters, Lilla 7 and Muriel Martha 1, and a son Walter 4. Harry also made a living as a joiner. At the time they resided at 7 Reynoldson Yard in Richmond. At the outbreak of war Harry and his brother Allanson joined up and went into the 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. Harry and Allanson left with the 4th Battalion from Newcastle for France on the 17th April 1915 and after disembarking at Boulogne on the 18th arrived at Ypres by the 23rd. The Battalion was immediately involved in the 2nd Battle of Ypres and on the 24th April were ordered to make an attack on St Julien. During the attack 5 officers and 10 other ranks were killed. On the next day, the 25th, the Battalion had just the one man killed in the trenches. Harry’s death is recorded as the 25th so he could have been that single death, or it’s possible that he was actually killed the day before. He was 34 years of age. Harry may have been buried after his…