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.
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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.
Ruth Kendon came into the museum and told us the story of her father, Reginald Howes. Reginald Howes (1889-1977) attended the University of London Officer Training Corps (OTC) between 6 May 1915 and 20 July 1916 before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Yorkshire Regiment on 21 July 1916. He served with the 4th Battalion as temporary Adjutant and Intelligence Officer, and was wounded on 15 September 1916 at Kemmel, just south of Ypres. Ruth remembers him saying he was wounded on the day tanks were first used. Howes was awarded the Military Cross in March 1918, for “conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty” on the Somme, during the Kaiserschlacht offensive and promoted to Captain the following month. He was taken prisoner on 27 May 1918 and released on 14 December 1918. Ruth kindly donated a number of items which belonged to her father to the museum for safekeeping.
Sidonie van Eepoel died just a few months before the end of the First World War at the age of 40. Her family story is shared with a quarter of a million other Belgians, who fled to England to escape the invading German Army in 1914. Around 10,500 of these refugees ended up in Yorkshire, the biggest intake of any area outside London. For those who stepped off the train after up to a month of travelling there was both relief and exhaustion. It was after mid-September 1914 that were the first Belgian migrants started to arrive in Yorkshire. Sidonie’s family arrived in Richmond in November 1914, establishing their home at 10 Frenchgate. A total of 17 Belgians appear to have been made welcome in Richmond, with some also living at 10 Park Wynd. While Sidonie and her mother died during the war and were buried in Richmond in the town cemetery on Reeth Road, 15 of their friends and family returned to their native land when hostilities ceased. They were fit, safe and well thanks to the generosity and hospitality of the people of Richmond in their time of need. Photo submitted by Sara Cox.