Anthea Dunne dropped into the museum with a photo of her father (pictured in the centre of the group), and after a little research she has managed to piece together the story of his service during the First World War.
William George Samuel Padden was my father from Pontnewydd, near Newport, Monmouthshire, he volunteered and enlisted at Carmarthen in west Wales on 9th October 1914, as part of The Pembrokeshire Yeomanry, the Territorial Force. As a Private in the Pembroke Yeomanry, he was given the regimental number 4390. Although not compelled to, he signed up as willing to serve overseas.
He was transfered to 210 Company of the Machine Gun Corps (part of the 4th Dismounted Brigade) on 22nd October 1916 and given the new regimental number 74792. Initially a private in the Machine Gun Corps, he later became a corporal (29th May 1918).
In April 1916 he sailed for Alexandria as part of the 4th Dismounted Brigade, fought in Egypt, stationed at Wadi El Natrun for 2 years. By 1917 this brigade had become part of The Welsh Regiment. By May 1918 he was fighting on the Western front in France. He was wounded on September 25th 1918 and sent home to a military hospital in Reading with a fractured right femur. He was finally discharged from hospital on May 3rd 1919 with a 40% degree of disablement and a pension of 12 shillings a week [with a temporary bonus of 20%].
He received a Silver War Badge in 1921 due to his injuries and was awarded his British War and Victory medals in April 1922. He was a single man throughout the war. In fact he did not meet and marry my mum until 1940. By then he only had a slight limp. He never talked about the war at all when I was growing up and I didn`t know to ask!
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Submitted by Paul Elliott. My maternal grandfather, Edwin Scriminger, was born in 1892 and worked as a bricklayer living in the Leeds suburb of Meanwood. He joined the West Yorkshire Regiment in early 1915 and went to France. He became a Lewis gunner and, unfortunately, in 1916, a casualty, when he was hit in the lung by a bullet. Invalided from the front line to a casualty clearing station, he was sent to hospitals in Colchester and Stourbridge. On his eventual recovery he was sent to the Northumberland Fusiliers where he became a mess servant. In 1918 he was transferred to the Durham Light Infantry and sent to Archangel on the North Russia expedition. Like the majority of those sent to Russia he was not considered physically fit enough to be sent back to France. The DLI were used principally for guard duties, although some of his notes describe the subduing of a mutiny by Croat troops. After demobilisation in 1919 he returned to the building industry, eventually becoming a manager in a house building company. He died of cancer in 1972, aged 81. His service numbers were: 24904 West Yorkshire Regiment. 41631 Northumberland Fusiliers. 24th Batt. 78110 Durham Light Infantry. 2/7th Batt.
Judith Farrar visited the museum to tell us about Rifleman John Stoney, the uncle of her husband, Don. John enlisted as R/41447 Private J Stoney, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, and was attached to the 9th battalion, London Regiment (Queen Victoria’s Rifles). The final letter from John to his sister, Hilda still survives. The letter of 12th June mentions many things – a royal visit to Leeds, his hopes that his sister is selected for the school cricket team and the fact the locals in France ‘won’t even let us get water from their pumps.’ A key passage states ‘I was sorry to hear about the explosion at the munition works and hope the casualties are not so heavy as you say they are reported to be.’ He died tragically close to the end of the war, aged 18 on 25 August 1918 and is remembered at the Memorial in Vis-en-Artois.
Submitted by Pat Burgess. Ralph Metcalfe and Elizabeth Close were possibly unmarried when their eldest son was born towards the end of 1893 at Gunnerside. Hence he was given his father’s surname as a christian name and his mothers surname name. Ralph and Elizabeth were both born in Swaledale, he in Muker, and she at Melbecks. In 1901 the family, which now included another two sons and two daughters, was living at Fell House, Hartley, Nr. Kirkby Stephen. Metcalfe enlisted at Richmond, as it appears he was working at Browson Bank Farm, on the A66, at that time. His Battalion was sent to fight in Palestine, where sadly he contracted malaria and died on 14 June 1918. He is buried in Gaza War Cemetery.