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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Major Harold Carey Matthews was born in 1879, son of F W W Matthews, he went on to join the 4th Battalion Green Howards where he acted as subaltern during the Second Boer War. After retiring from the military he worked for Barclays Bank at Leyburn, where his father also worked. When World War One broke out he re-enlisted with the Green Howards and was promoted to Major, on 29th August 1914. He was killed in action on the 25th April 1915 near Ypres and is buried at Sanctuary Wood Cemetery, Belgium.
Submitted by Jon Bemrose. Private Fred Ward (50236) born 1898 in East Yorkshire. Working as a lad porter on the railway at Ampleforth before joining up. Joined the Green Howards at Richmond, but he was transfered to the Northumberland Fusiliers. Fred was in France, near Arras in early 1917 – Jon states: “The fateful day was the Battle of Arras, Easter Monday 9th April. It must have been terrible, having heard and seen all the death and destruction that had occurred before they set off at around 9:00am. My best guess is that they reached the “Blue” line, where they were hit by machinegun fire. Whether initially buried by shell fire or his comrades, Fred was later found and finally burried at Orchard Dump Cemetery, Arleux en Gohelle. I visited his grave in 2016, the first of the family to do so I am led to believe.”
The Green Howards Museum’s Fiona Hall shares her thoughts about Edward Methuen Stone, her maternal grandfather: “This picture shows my grandfather, Edward Stone, with my Mum on her wedding day in 1960. Edward was born in St Mary le Bow in London in about 1900; in the 1901 census he is shown as living with his parents and three older sisters – Eliza, Emma and Julia, and a brother, John in Armagh Road. There is absolutely no existing anecdotal information regarding Edward’s war service within our family. My older cousins, who knew their granddad as young children, can’t remember anything ever being said about it. My grandfather died ten years before I was born, and I can only remember my Mum saying what a kind and gentle father he was. My great uncle John was ten years older than Edward. It seems he served in the Royal Engineers and also survived the war. No service record exists for Grandad Stone, so we do not know when he enlisted or was demobbed, or precisely where he served, his medal card shows he was a Private in the Norfolk Regiment. A researcher at their regimental museum managed to find just one intriguing reference to him. On the 10th of October 1916 he is recorded as being in 23 Base General Hospital, Amara, Mesopotamia with a ‘slight gunshot wound’. That’s it. There’s nothing else. The boy from Bow was in what’s now Iraq! Needless to say my cousins are gobsmacked. How could we…