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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Vicky Hurwood provided this information about her grandfather, George Ernest Hurwood. He was born on 19 November at Scorton 1880 to Richard and Mary Hurwood. He worked for the Post Office with his father. When the war broke out George would enlist as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers, his Regimental Number being 67828. His medal card gives his ‘Theatre of War’ as France where he had arrived on the 7th October 1915. He was awarded the 1915 Star, which means he enlisted before conscription was introduced, along with the British War medal and Victory medal. George made and engraved match box covers recording Ypres 31/7/17 and Arras 9/4/17 which Vicky still has at home. He survived the war and is commemorated on a list at the Scorton War Memorial Institute. He ended the war as a Sergeant and from his demobilisation on the 30th June 1919 became a Class Z Reserve.
Maud Florence Hoare Maud was living in Ashford in Middlesex when she enrolled as a VAD for the British Red Cross. She joined in January 1915 and was stationed at the Military Hospital Catterick Camp. Maud spent approximately a year at Catterick Camp. Stationed from 15th January 1918 until the 9th of February 1919. This information, provided by Alathea Anderssohn has been drawn from the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Lives of the First World War’ archive.
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”