Edith Purkiss wanted to tell us about her father’s war service. George Johnson Junior was a Richmond lad whose father, also called George had seen active service in Egypt with the West Yorkshire Regiment. The 1911 census shows George Jnr was working as a groom and living in Richmond at 20 Bargate along with his parents and siblings.
George Jnr enlisted into the Yorkshire Regiment on 3rd September 1914. Having survived the First Battle of the Somme unscathed he was later injured at the Second Battle of the Somme in 1918. He lay in no man’s land for a considerable amount of time, wounded, until he was carried to safety by Mr Buchanan who later became manager of Timothy Whites & Taylors chemist shop (now Boots). George was severely wounded in his right leg and left arm, and was sent to a convalescent hospital in Sheffield to recover. His wounds were so severe that he was discharged, aged 24 years on 26th June 1918.
Although he survived, George suffered from ill health due as a result of his wounds all his life. Ironically, he was finally granted a war pension of the day he died, 15th June 1959.
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Submitted by Paul Elliott. Many people will, no doubt, have the same experience as myself, in that my grandparents and parents never discussed or talked about their war experiences. Arthur Dobson was a Great Uncle of whom I was totally unaware. He was born in 1896 and lived with his parents, Benjamin and Emily at Commercial Street, Rothwell, Leeds. He was a miner. He joined the Kings Own Yorkshire Light infantry as 37722 Private Dobson and went to France in September 1915 with the 9th Battalion. They were active at the Battle of the Somme and Arthur was posted as missing in September 1916. His parents twice put appeals for information about him in the Yorkshire Evening Post. He was eventually found to have been killed in action on September 16th 1916. He is commemorated on Rothwell war memorial and at Thiepval. He was 20 when he died.
Harold Moore was born around 1898 at Mirkport near Hawes, with his twin sister Hilda. He was the second youngest of a family of ten children to Richard and Mary Moore. In 1901 they were living at Mirkpot Farm on the Hawes-Ingleton road where Richard was a farmer and stonemason. By 1914 they were living at Catriggs Farm near Hawes. Harold enlisted in Leyburn in May 1918 joining the 9th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. He arrived in France on October 11th, just one month from the Armistice and the cessation of hostilities. As Harold joined his Battalion, it had just come out of front line action in the Premont area between St. Quentin and Cambrai. A week later on the 24th October the Battalion was involved in capturing a machine gun post in a wooded area. During this action Harold, along with a number of other casualties, was severely wounded and later died. He had been in the war just 13 days. Private Harold Moore is buried in the Premont British Cemetery SE of Cambrai. He was just 20 years old.
Submitted by Zoe Johnson at the Richmondshire Museum. Geoffrey Stapleton Rowe Roper 2nd Lieutenant Alexandra Princess of Wales Own, Yorkshire Regiment. His Canadian service records show that Geoffrey served as a private in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Imperial Army from which he was discharged on the 15th October 1915 to join the Yorkshire Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was awarded a Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in action on the 25th of August 1916 when ‘he held his platoon with great dash in the assault, and afterwards crawled back to the trenches to make a report. He then returned to his platoon being under close and heavy fire’, this extract was taken from the London Gazette. Serving with the 7th battalion during the Arras offensive of 1917 on May 9th, 2nd Lt Roper and his men were moved into the line in trenches north of the river Scarpe. The battalion were involved in a bitter fighting around Curly and Cupid trenches and had gone into the line with 18 Officers and 436 other ranks and when they came out on May 15th there were only 5 Officers and 228 men left. 2nd Lt G S R Roper MC was killed in this action on May 12th 1917 aged 27. He is remembered on the Cabaret-Rouge British cemetery, Souchez, 7 miles north of Arras. He was the son of George and Elizabeth Roper of The Lodge, Gilling West, Richmond; his Father being a local magistrate and county Alderman, holding…