Submitted by Pat Burgess.
James Scott Bainbridge was born on 10 October 1887, the youngest of three sons, to William and Isabella, the family lived in Ravensworth.
On leaving Barnard Castle school he joined the staff of the chemical laboratory of Rowntree & Co. of York. He subsequently spent three years at Leeds University where he graduated Bsc with first class honours in chemistry; he also took the Associateship of the Institute of Chemists, later becoming a Fellow of that Institute. He returned to the staff of Rowntrees and remained there until just before the war, when he was appointed chemist to the Thorne Colliery Company.
James did not take up this appointment, as upon the outbreak of war he enlisted as a private in the Yorkshire Regiment, along with his two brothers. His abilities and qualities were soon recognised, and promotion came quickly. As a Company Sergeant Major he went with his battalion to France. When the men of his section experienced attacks of poison gas he was enabled, by his expert knowledge of chemistry, to protect them. He was mentioned in despatches in 1915, and received a commission on 22 November of that year. Shortly afterwards he was wounded. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 1st July 1917 and appointed Adjutant on the death of Capt Sproxton on 20 July, and promoted to Acting Captain on 3 August 1917.
Capt James Scott Bainbridge was mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s Despatch of 7 April 1918 for distinguished and gallant service, and devotion to duty.
His body was never recovered and he is remembered on the Pozieres Memorial, in France.
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John Benson Lishman was nearly 47 when he was called up to join the London Electrical Engineers in February 1918 as a Pioneer. While his War Service was relatively brief and uneventful it was the work he did before enlisting that proved to be his enduring legacy. On April 10th 1915, Lishman set up the first meeting of the 8th Darlington Scout Group with 12 members. It was his idea to provide activities for young people while their fathers were away fighting. The first thing the boys did was set up a Drum & Fife band and played concerts in aid of the Red Cross. Some of examples of the 8th’s packed programme include camping, hiking, badge work and collecting materials for the war effort, most of which they still do today. It was a sad day when the Troop learned that their Scout Master was leaving them, as this excerpt from their Log Book tells: “The lads had collected a small pocket wallet & the Secretary presented it as a small – a very small token of love & respect for the work & time spent on us by the S.M.” Lishman returned to the Group in 1919 and after a “solemn handshake” it was back to normal. Submitted by the grateful Leaders and Members of the 8th Darlington Scout Group.
William Hird was nominated for the Ribbon of Remembrance by Dianne Evans, and his story illustrates a problem that can occur with records that are a century old. Thanks to the original 1914-16 enlistment leger at the Green Howards Museum, we can say with some confidence that William enlisted on 10th December 1914 in the City of Durham and that he was posted to the 3rd Battalion, based at West Hartlepool on 18th January 1915. According to his medal card 18390 Acting Lance Corporal William Hird served in France from 19th September 1915, and was entitled to the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. William is recorded on the ‘Soldiers died in the Great War 1914-1919’ database as having died on 29 September 1916 as a Private in the 7th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. This might have been the case, but on examining the battalion war diary, the 7th Battalion were away from the frontline in training and there are no records of any deaths that day. Of course soliders would often die from wounds days after an offensive, however the Green Howards Gazzette for December 1916 records that 18390 W Hird was Killed in Action – there is a separate list for those who Died of Wounds. On further investigation, the Register of Soldier’s Effects lists William as being in the 6th Battalion when he was killed in action in France. The war diary of 6th battalion recounts the attempted assault on ‘Stuff Redoubt’…
At over six feet tall and 22 stone, Bill Moore must have been an impressive sight! While originally from Wells, he made his way to the north of England with his travelling boxing booth. For a time he set up at Darlington, but at the outbreak of war in 1914, Moore decided to move his show to Catterick Camp. The ‘Tommies’ must have enjoyed what he had to offer. Boxing matches even involved Annie, his daughter and a captive bear which on one occasion escaped onto local moorland. Military Police eventually tracked the animal down, much to the relief of the locals.