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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The Stansfeld family have many connections with the regiment. Both Thomas and his brother older brother ‘Jock’ served with the regiment in 1880s and 1890s. Thomas’ son and nephew also joined the regiment and both saw action in the Second World War. Thomas Wolryche Stansfeld was born in Leeds in 1877. He joined the regiment in 1897 and quickly rose to the rank of Captain. Stansfeld fought in the War in South Africa including the Battle of Paardeberg. Stansfeld was a skilled rider and joined the regiment’s Mounted Infantry Battalion. He was involved in many actions against the Boers, including the capture of the Elandsfontein railway station near Johannesburg. He narrowly escaped death when a bullet smashed into his cigarette case, leaving him unharmed. Stansfeld’s battlefield experiences were a major asset to the regiment in the First World War. During the First Battle of Ypres he ordered his company to rapidly fire at different intervals; fooling the Germans into believing that they were facing a nest of machine guns. Stansfeld survived the battle and fought throughout the First World War. After the war Stansfeld held a number of senior posts, including Commandant of the Small Arms School at Hythe. He retired from the Army in 1929 and died on the 23rd February 1935.
Albany was born on the 18th April 1882 to Robert Scott and Elizabeth Bridgwood in Bradford, Yorkshire and was 32 years old when war broke out. He was married to his wife Mary Ascough, had two young children, son Kenneth and daughter Olive. He had a job as an estate gardener and lived in a tied cottage in Snainton, Yorkshire. He enlisted in Scarborough and it is unclear why he joined the war effort with the Territorial Force but it was said he was not a drinker and had numerous Temperance Medals to prove so! He began his military career as a member of the Territorial Force with the service number 5506. His medal roll adds that he was in both the 6th and then the 5th Battalions of the Yorkshire Regiment, before he was transferred into the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment in 1916, with a new service number of 242699, possibly first seeing action at the southern end of the British Somme offensive line and at the battle of Transloy Ridges, in October 1916. During this time period he came home wounded, was allowed to recuperate, and once he was fit, he returned back to the front line in early 1917. During the German Spring Offensive of 1918, the Germans grouped in thick fog and overran the trenches where Albany was fighting and took him, along with many others, prisoner on March 22nd. Unfortunately a shell exploded nearby and captors and captured alike were killed. He was 4 weeks…
Submitted by Pam Reed – William was her first cousin once removed. William Billam was born Robert William Beckwith Earsdon in Jarrow on 17 September 1893. By 1906 his mother and stepfather Elizabeth and George Billam had moved to Hinderwell, 8 miles north of Whitby. In 1911 William was living with them and had taken his stepfather’s surname of Billam. In 1913 William married Ada Simpson and continued to live in the same village. On the outbreak of the First World War he enlisted on 15 August 1914 at Whitby as 12122 Private Billam in the 11th Reserve Cavalry Regiment. However on 1 November 1914 he was discharged as ‘being unlikely to make an efficient soldier’. Having failed to make the grade in the cavalry, he promptly volunteered for the infantry . At the end of 1914 he enlisted again at Whitby as 18687 Private Billam in the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. William was killed on 1st July 1916, first day of the Battle of the Somme. He was buried in the Dantzig Alley British Cemetary in Mametz along with 2052 other British soldiers. His name is on the Hinderwell War Memorial. He left a widow and 2 year old daughter. Extract from the Whitby Gazette Friday 18 August 1916 as follows:- Killed in action on July 1st. Private William Billam, aged 22 years. He was the first to enlist from Hinderwell on August 15th 1914. “His country called and he answered”