Hugh Bernard (Bobby) Morkill
Hugh was born on the 1st October 1896 at Austhorpe Lodge, Whitkirk, Leeds. His father, John William Morkill, had married Hannah Shaw Hobson in Edinburgh in 1889 and they would have 4 children, Hugh being the third youngest.
Hugh, like his father, was educated at Radley College Oxford enrolling there in 1910. He was a keen sportsman, being part of the College cricket XI in 1915 and a member of the first ever Rugby XV in 1914. During 1915 he was a college prefect. After college he enrolled at Sandhurst and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in December 1915. On the 22nd December 1915 he joined the Yorkshire Regiment.
In 1916 he was in India with the 1st Battalion. However, becoming restless with the relative inactivity he joined the Royal Flying Corps. He was sent to the 20th Training Wing in Egypt completing his ground course in September 1917. He then completed his flying training and qualified as a pilot on the 13th October 1917. Hopes of active service were dashed when he was retained as an instructor. However, the 19th September 1918 would see his first air action against Turkish positions in Palestine. Apparently a pet ring-tailed lemur called Jimmy often accompanied Hugh on his flights!
In 1922 he returned to the Yorkshire Regiment, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in 1940. He died in May 1991.
Mike Senior, who knew Hugh Morkill in his later years recently visited the museum and recounted this tale. “I remember the Colonel (by which title he was universally and affectionately known in the village) telling me the following story:
He claimed that his belief in God was confirmed because of a flying incident when in Palestine. He had been on a patrol and was returning to his base when thick cloud cut out all visibility. In those days aeroplanes were not technically advanced and the pilot had to rely on eyesight. The Colonel was lost and had no idea where he was. He flew around for some time and eventually the fuel gauge showed empty. He said a fervent prayer asking for God’s help. The engine began to splutter and he prepared for a crash landing. Then suddenly a gap appeared in the mist and immediately below him was his landing strip. He just managed to get the aeroplane, and himself, down safely.”
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John Matthew Hewison lived in Penshaw and enlisted at the start of the war at Shiney Row. He was the son of Matthew and Anne Hewison of Shiney Row and he was married to Agnes. He would have left for France in late August 1915 and the 8th Battalion would have been involved in training and undergoing acclimatisation visits to the front line when he was killed in action on September 22nd. 14961 Private John Hewison died at the age of 22 and had been in France for only 3 weeks. He was awarded the 14/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His wife inherited his effects of 14s/4d and a gratuity of £3-10s. He was buried at Brewery Orchard Cemetery, Bois-Grenier.
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.
Information provided by Roger and Helen Raisbeck. Percy Charles Perry was born on 22 June 1886 to George and Selina Perry in Dorset, England. In 1902, at the age of 16, he joined the 5th Battalion of the Coldstream Guards at Yeovil (probably transferring to London before 1905). In 1905 he transferred to the army reserve (and enlisted again in 1914 service number 18562, Coldstream Guards). He fought at the Battle of Mons which was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in the First World War. He was wounded in action and hospitalised. He sent a photograph postcard home to his wife, Lucy, simply saying “I am first on your left [in the picture], going alright, PP”. Unfortunately he was unable to return to action and was discharged on 7 October 1915. He qualified for the 1914 Star (also known as the Mons Star) on 13 August 1914 as well as being awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal. Percy had 5 brothers, 4 of which joined the navy. One of his younger brothers, Ernest Sydney Perry, was lost in the Battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile on board HMS Monmouth on 1 November 1914. A newspaper cutting calling the Perrys a “Family of Patriots”, shows Percy in the centre flanked on either side by his brothers. Percy returned to civilian life back in England after his discharge in 1915 and encouraged his daughter Edna May Perry to knit socks for soldiers…