Paul Goad, a resident of Frenchgate and local history enthusiast submitted his research on one of the families from Frenchgate at the time of the Great War.
The Fawcett family lived at 55 Frenchgate, Richmond throughout the First World Ward. John Fawcett, who worked in agriculture and construction, lived here with his wife Elizabeth Grace, daughter Elizabeth Alice and two sons, Christopher and Cyril Edgar. John was born in Castle Bolton in Wensleydale, Elizabeth Grace in Thornton Buckinghamshire and all three children hailed from the small parish of Walburn, Downholme a little way up Swaledale from Richmond.
At the outbreak of hostilities Christopher was 20 and Cyril 14. As the eldest, Christopher was the first to enlist on 27th November 2015, three months shy of his 22nd birthday. Prior to enlistment he worked as a butcher, a profession he continued after the war. In January 1916 he joined the 4th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry. The 4th DLI were a reserve Battalion and were station at Seaham Harbour from 1915 through to the end of the War. Records confirm that Christopher was based at Seaham from 1916 to June 1918 serving in D Company. A copy of a charge sheet shows that Christopher was late returning from leave on June 12th 1916 for which he was forfeited 1 days pay.
In October 1917 Cyril enlisted at the age of 18 years and 1 month, giving his trade as a Motor Driver. Despite his Attestation papers suggesting that he was interested in joining the Royal Naval Air Service he was posted to the 22nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry. Following initial training Cyril joined his Battalion in France on April 1st 1918. In May as part of the 8th Division the Battalion was moved to a ‘quiet’ part of the front south of the River Aisne. When the Germans attacked on 27 May, the 22nd Battalion, although Pioneers fought as infantrymen. Losses were significant with Cyril being one of the many casualties killed in action. He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
At the time of his brother’s death Christopher was hospitalised in Seaham Infirmary with influenza. In late 1918 Christopher was transferred to the 12th Battalion DLI and joined them in Italy. In July 1919, still in Italy, he was transferred to the 22nd Battalion the Manchester Regiment. He returned to England in October 1919 before being demobilised in November. He too, was subsequently awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
It would seem from his records that he returned to his pre-war employer Sykes and Sons Butchers. Christopher married Edith Bickerdike in the autumn of 1930 and they had two children Margaret and David. Christopher continued to live in Richmond until his death in 1960.
Explore more memories from the ribbon
Teresa Maxwell came into the museum to tell us about her grandfather, Percival Charles du Sautoy Leather. Captain Leather was born at Cramond near Edinburgh on 28th March 1867. He graduated from New College, Oxford in 1886. He worked as a Tea Planter and Stock Broker. Captain Leather original saw service as a Captain with the 3rd Battalion, the Northumberland Fusiliers but was transferred to the 4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment on 5th September 1914 and he joined his new Battalion in France on 8th May 1915. It was not long before he was in action and he suffered the effects of a gas attack on 23rd May 1915 and was wounded again at Sanctuary Wood in June 1916. His wounds ended his military service and he relinquished his Commission on account of ill health stemming from his wounds and was granted the honorary rank of Captain from 15th November 1918. After the war Percival lived at Maison Dieu in Richmond where he died on 4th October 1944.
Story from Harry Binks, via Val Slater of Coverdale. Harry was named after his father, whose story is outlined below. My father, Harry Binks, was born at Highfield in Carlton on 11 September 1893, a short while before his twin brother Thomas. The 1901 Census recorded the family still at Highfield where my grandfather Thomas was farming, but shortly afterwards they moved to Lane House on the edge of the village. Harry went to Horsehouse school. In 1911 the family was living at Lilac Farm (House) – now Abbots Thorn – but Harry was not at home. He would have been working away as a farm labourer in Kettlewell; however he has not been found on the Census. On 11 December 1915 Harry enlisted at Leyburn. His address was Lilac House, Carlton and next of kin his mother Elizabeth Binks – his father having died in 1912. Harry’s occupation was farm hand. He was assigned to the Yorkshire Regiment – “The Green Howards” – and posted to France in October 1916, fighting at the Western Front until April 1917. Harry returned to France in September 1917 where the main focus was the Third Battle of Ypres, including the infamous Battle of Passchendaele. In December Harry was injured by gun shot wounds to his right thigh. After treatment he was deemed no longer physically fit for war service and discharged to the reserve in June 1918. At the end of the war Harry was in the Slough area where a number…
Carol Sheard of Richmond shared these details with us about her grandfather. Henry Tissiman was born on 10 July 1892. Aged 22, he enlisted on 12th April 1915 at Scarborough as L/12208 Driver H Tissiman with the Royal Field Artillery. He was posted to ‘C’ Battery, 161 Brigade. He went to France on 30th December 1915 from Liverpool and landed at le Havre. He suffered the effects of gas and was briefly hospitalised on 28th February 1916. His service record details that he was granted leave to return home 17th September 1918 until the 1st October during which time he married Emily Guest. This photograph was taken on their wedding day, 21st October 1918. He died on 30th July 1992 at Harrogate.