Submitted by Paul Elliott.
My Great Uncle, Ernest Scriminger was born in Leeds in 1886. He was the eldest son in a family of 4 sons and 5 daughters. he worked as a grocer’s assistant before joining the 3rd Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment and serving in the Boer War.
He enlisted in the Green Howards in November 1904. he was almost 19 years of age, but was less than 5’4″ tall and only weighted 8 stone. The 2nd Battalion spent time in India and on garrison duty in South Africa before he transferred to the reserve.
He was recalled to the regiment on the outbreak of war in 1914 and went to Belgium in the October. He would have served in the 1st Battle of Ypres and at Estaires. 1st Ypres saw the 2nd Battalion reduced in strength from 1000 men to only 300, with 250 killed and many wounded and missing.
He was reported to be involved in the action at Neuve Chappelle on 12th March 1915, in which Corporal William Anderson won the Victoria Cross. Corporal Anderson lead a bombing unit of 9 men and succeeded in driving off the enemy with his bombs and those of his injured men. He is reported to have taken a large number of prisoners. He later died attempting a similar action.
Ernest was wounded and taken prisoner. He died in a prisoner of war camp at Nider Ochtenhausen a year later. Only a week after receiving a letter from him, requesting tobacco and pipes, his parents received a letter from a Lance Corporal Hambidge of the Wiltshire Regiment, informing them of his death. he died from erysipelas, St Anthony’ Fire, a bacterial skin infection. He was buried at Hamburg, “in a manner befitting a soldier”, with the other prisoners of war in attendance.
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The story of Private Arthur Bateman was compiled by Margeret Sparke, his granddaughter. Arthur was born in 1879 – the son of William and Mary Bateman of Battersea. He worked as a labourer and married Emily Jackman in September of 1903. After the outbreak of war Arthur joined the Yorkshire Regiment, enlisting at Kingston-on-Thames. His service was quite unusually as he was posted to a total of 4 battalions. He served with the 4th, 7th, 6th and 2nd battalions of the Yorkshire Regiment. He has two regimental numbers (9166/235033) – the earlier number suggests that he may have served with the 4th battalion before the war as a Territorial soldier. He died on 6th November 1918, just before the Armistice came into force and is buried in Bettrechies Communal Cemetery in France. Tragically, with Arthur’s death being so close to the end of the war, his widow Emily only found out that he had been killed in action while taking part in an Armistice street party.
Diane Hawthorne sent in a request for us to look into her grandfather’s First World War service – this is what we managed to discover. Gosnay William Riley attested on 10th December 1915 into the 11th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment at Brighouse and was assigned the regimental number 27654. The 11th was a Home Service Battalion dealing with Drafts and Reinforcements. In September 1916 the 11th amalgamated with the 16th Durham Light Infantry as a Training Battalion thereby losing its distinct identity. At some time prior to this Gosnay transferred to the 10th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. He had been promoted to the rank of Corporal. Sometime thereafter he transferred to the 9th York and Lancaster Regiment. His Regimental number was 34441. On the 3rd March 1919 he became a reservist in the British Army with many thousands of others.
William was the son of William and Mary Rutley of 8 Mabal Street, Middlesbrough. He enlisted in late 1914 and was posted to the 8th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. The 8th Battalion left for France in late August 1915 and occupied trenches in the La Rolanderie and Bois-Greniers districts throughout October, November and December. William is reported to have died of wounds on December 16th. He was 22 years of age. He was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was buried at Sailly-sur-la Lys Canadian Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais.