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.”
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Submitted by Marcia Howard. William Tuck was brother to my maternal grandmother Emma Clifford (nee Tuck) in Gloucestershire, my mother’s Uncle Willie, and therefore my great-uncle although I obviously never had the chance to meet him. My Granny Clifford went on to lose 2 more brothers; heartbreaking for both her parents, and for herself and remaining siblings. William Tuck went down with his ship during World War I. His name is on the front panel of the Naval Memorial on Plymouth Hoe. The following entry is from the Register of Naval Memorials erected at Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth:- TUCK, Pte. William George, PLY/16293, R.M.L.I. H.M.S. “Monmouth.” Killed in action at Battle of Coronel, 1st Nov., 1914. Age 21. Son of George and Annie Tuck of Britton Bottom, Hawkesbury Upton, Badminton, Glos.
William Hird was nominated for the Ribbon of Remembrance by Dianne Evans, and his story illustrates a problem that can occur with records that are a century old. Thanks to the original 1914-16 enlistment leger at the Green Howards Museum, we can say with some confidence that William enlisted on 10th December 1914 in the City of Durham and that he was posted to the 3rd Battalion, based at West Hartlepool on 18th January 1915. According to his medal card 18390 Acting Lance Corporal William Hird served in France from 19th September 1915, and was entitled to the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. William is recorded on the ‘Soldiers died in the Great War 1914-1919’ database as having died on 29 September 1916 as a Private in the 7th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. This might have been the case, but on examining the battalion war diary, the 7th Battalion were away from the frontline in training and there are no records of any deaths that day. Of course soliders would often die from wounds days after an offensive, however the Green Howards Gazzette for December 1916 records that 18390 W Hird was Killed in Action – there is a separate list for those who Died of Wounds. On further investigation, the Register of Soldier’s Effects lists William as being in the 6th Battalion when he was killed in action in France. The war diary of 6th battalion recounts the attempted assault on ‘Stuff Redoubt’…
Captain Frank Woodcock 5th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment Captain Woodcock, who was only 22 years of age, was the youngest son of John and Elizabeth Woodcock of Driffield Yorkshire. He was killed in action during an assault on the 15th of September 1916. Frank was one of 6 children having 2 brothers and 3 sisters, the family must have been “comfortably off” because the 1901 census records his father as “living on his own means” and they had a servant called Margaret. He was educated at Bridlington School, where he was in the Officer Training Corps (O.T.C.). He became a Second Lieutenant in a Territorial Battalion in December 1912. He was promoted Lieutenant in April 1914 and then to Captain in May 1915. The Regimental Gazette recorded his death as follows: “The death of Captain Woodcock deprives his battalion of a very capable Company Commander and a very popular Officer. Despite his youth, he very soon proved himself an Officer of much resource and dauntless courage. He was wounded when wiring in front of the trenches in July 1915, and returned to France in January 1916 when he succeeded to the command of a Company. It was in this capacity that he showed himself a cool and capable Commander with great initiative and pluck, always setting a fine example to his men when any dangerous work had to be performed. He was twice mentioned in despatches. Captain Woodcock is buried at Flatiron Copse cemetery in France.