Submitted by Ron Taylor, “raised in Shute Road Catterick Camp, moved to Scotton and was schooled in Richmond before wandering around with the forces”……who wanted to tell us about his grandfather, Percy.
Percy was born about 1891 in Brighton Sussex, and died 20 September 1967 aged 76.
68703 Bdr Percy Levi Lelliott, enlisted in the 119th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, Sussex on 12 Dec 1915. He undertook initial training at Shorncliffe. His unit embarked for France on 5 June 1916, and he fought at the Battle of the Somme. Percy distinguished himself in the field on several occasions by bringing in wounded men under heavy gunfire, sometimes dragging them by his teeth. He was subsequently awarded the DCM. Discharged as Sgt (Acting BSM) 13 February 1919.
Percy retired in 1946 after a long career in the Police Force. PC Lelliott received four Commendations from the Watch Committee and local magistrates, two of which referred to rescue operations at Fairlight and Ecclesbourne Cliffs. Retired, Grandpa Percy sat in his Windsor Chair, smoked his pipe and tended his greenhouse.
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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.
Arthur John Rispin was born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1888. His father, Thomas was a stoker on the railways and his mother called Mary Ann attended to domestic work. He married Mary Elizabeth in 1910 – unfortunately they lost a child in the first year of their marriage. Few records survive relating to his service during the First World War, apart from those relating to his death on 9th October 1918 aged 31. In his photograph he is wearing a badge on his collar signifying that he served with the 12th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment which was the Pioneer Battalion. However upon his death he is listed as serving with the 9th Battalion. His effects and a war gratuity of £21 were left to his widow, Mary. Arthur is commemorated on the Town Memorial in Stockton, and the Busigny Communal Cemetery near St. Quentin, France.
Vicki Walker of Little Crakehall called into the museum to show us a photograph of Duncan Harvie, her grandfather. The photo is a postcard addressed to ‘Mary and Sam’, sent on 3 April 1916 and shows a group of Signallers on board HMS Laconia. Duncan Harvie (5th South African Regiment) is sat at the front of the group with crossed legs. The ship’s log shows the Laconia (an armed merchant cruiser) to be anchored at Zanzibar on that date, on it’s way to British East Africa (now Kenya). The ship was used in the early part of the war to patrol the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean, but in April 1915 her role changed and she was used as a headquarters ship to aid in the fight in German East Africa. Following her return to to Cunard, the Laconia was sunk by U-50 160 miles northwest of Fastnet while returning form the United States on 25th February 1917. Twelve people were killed following a double torpedo strike.