Sgt. Ernest Brooke was born in Brighthouse, Yorkshire in 1886. In civilian life Ernest worked a railway signalman.
Ernest’s medal records show he was entitled to the 1914 Star indicating that he was an ‘Old Contemptible’, part of the original British Expeditionary Force that fought in France and Belgium from August 1914.
Ernest served with the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment until his death on 4th January 1918.
The New Year 1918 that at 11pm (German midnight) on the 31st December 1917, ‘…all guns of artillery fired one round each, whilst machine guns fired two belts of ammunition each ‘to usher in the new year’.
The following day, the 2nd Battalion were relieved from the front line and relocated to ‘Hedge Street Tunnels’. On the night of the 4th of January, a fire broke out in the area of the tunnel being occupied by the Battalion, resulting the loss of a further 20 lives from the 2nd Battalion – one of those lives being Ernest Brookes’.
In accordance with his wishes, Ernest’s outstanding pay and War Gratuity, totalling £29, 7shillings and 19d to his mother, Hannah.
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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…
Willimina ‘Minnie’ Melville 28/04/1886–11/02/1967 Minnie was born in Johnshaven, Scotland and volunteered for the British Red Cross in November 1916. She was initially stationed at Whalley Military Hospital as a VAD nurse from 4/11/1916 to 26/06/1917, before moving to Catterick Camp Military Hospital, again as a nurse, from 15/01/1918 until 6/04/1919. Willimina Melville, now Mrs Scales married James Jarvis Scales in 1922 and they were married up until her death on the 11th of February 1967. Minnie and Jim had emigrated and were living in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada in 1967. This information, provided by Alathea Anderssohn has been drawn from the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Lives of the First World War’ archive.
Submitted by Andrew Fynn. William John Blore was my Great Grandfather and was born in Leeds in 1877. He enlisted in the Yorkshire Regiment as a private in July 1894. His initial service was in India with the 2nd Battalion, during which his daughter Louisa Doris tragically died. More tragedy ensued in 1906 as his wife died after giving birth to his daughter Kathleen at Richmond. He did re-marry and seems to have left the army prior to 1909 when he was known to be a postman. As his military record is lost it’s unclear how he came to be back in service so we assume he must have volunteered and became part of the 6th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment (the Green Howards) in August 1914 as Company Sergeant-Major. On 3 July 1915, the 6th Battalion sailed from Liverpool on board the Aquitania, bound for the Dardanelles campaign. On 6 August 1915, the 6th Battalion embarked for Gallipoli and the landing and attack at Suvla Bay. At 23.00 hrs, following the landing at Suvla Bay, he was part of the attack on Lala Baba Hill, the first ‘Kitchener unit’ to be involved in a major offensive operation of the war. The attack eventually cleared the hill of the Turks but not before they inflicted serious casualties on the attackers which, unfortunately, included William, only hours into his first action. His body wasn’t found in the aftermath of the action and he is commemorated at the Helles memorial. His role at Gallipoli…