Born in York, 16th of January 1886, the son of Major H L M Levin, 19th Foot (the Green Howards).
Commissioned as Second Lieutenant on 28th of January 1905 and promoted to Lieutenant on the 3rd of October 1906. He became a Captain prior to the First World War on 23 April 1913.
In the First World War 1914-18 he went to Belgium with the 2nd Batallion. Was severely wounded at Gheluvelt, 29th of October 1914 by a shrapnel shell. His life was saved by the silver lucifer box (match case) he carried in his brest pocket. For the remainder of the War was employed on the staff at home. He retired in March 1921, but was recalled in September 1939 with the outbreak of World War II. He was awarded the rank of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel and an OBE for his service.
The photograph of his fellow 2nd Battalion officers is remarkable in that of the 26 Officers pictured in October 1914, 10 were dead by the end of the year, 3 more were killed subsequently, 10 were wounded and / or taken prisoner, and only 3 appear to have survived the War unscathed.
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Maureen Hunt told us about her grandfather, William Smith. William was born around 1883 in Wirksworth, Derbyshire and worked as a bath attendant at Matlock before the war. He volunteered early in the war and possibly joined the High Peak Rifles (later 6th battalion, Sherwood Foresters). He recounted to his family the horrors of war, having fought at the Battle of Ypres. Later in life he complained of chest pains as a result of having been gassed in the trenches. He was taken prisoner by the Germans on 21 March 1918, during the German Spring Offensive. He did not return to England until 1919. Gardening became a favourite pastime, helping him to cope with the mental and physical scars of war. William died in 1962 at almost 80 years of age.
Story submitted by Mrs Drury. Jack (John Adam) Bell was the son of a gamekeeper at Langdon Beck in Teesdale, County Durham. He grew up in the countryside a became a railway clerk. When he joined the army and went to experience life in the trenches he had the horror of standing next to a fellow soldier when his head was blown off. Jack also had to endure the news that his own brother had been killed. Jacks country knowledge became most useful in the mire of Flanders. He would cut trenches to make a sleeping place out of the mud, trap rabbits and stew them in a metal helmet. He would look after horses for officers who had never had to look after their own mounts before. He described how starved the horses were near the front line – the near stampedes when fodder was brought and how the horses gnawed each others’ manes and tails for food. He remembered how long the cavalry had to stand mounted and how weak horses collapsed. Remounts were needed constantly and Jack was sent in to break in and train them. He was stationed on the Thames, possibly at Tilbury, to receive horses, practically wild sent by ship from South America and often in a sorry state on arrival. He had six weeks to prepare each batch (size unknown) for dispatch abroad. During this training Jack rode these recovered and lively horses with a ladies side saddle as he said it was…
Researched by John Mills. Born 27th of January 1880 Thomas was the son of Sergeant Valentine Goode also of the Yorkshire Regiment and his mother was called Helen. He was part of a large family; he had five brothers and two sisters. He enlisted in Richmond on the 27th of August 1897. Being a first rate rifle shot he devoted himself to musketry and became an instructor. He served throughout the whole of the Boer War with the 1st Battalion. He was awarded the Queen’s medal with 6 clasps and the King’s with 2. In 1905 he married Mary Agnes Grace Dobinson. In 1914 he was with the 1st Battalion in India, his campaign medals indicate he was in France some time after 1915. He became a 2nd lieutenant in the Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert’s). He survived the war and retired with the rank of Captain on the 8th of June 1920. He was awarded the M.B.E. on the 3rd of June 1919 for his services in connection with the war in India. He must have returned to the army to serve in World War 2 because he has campaign medals (World War 2 service medal and war medal). Perhaps this might have been in some form of instructor role.