Submitted by Glennis Robson.
John Albert Lancaster was my uncle, he was my mother’s elder brother (13 years older). My mother spoke of much loved brother who was a source of goodness and “spoilt” his baby sister.
On receiving the news of his death my grandmother picked my mother up from school. They made their way home down the back lanes to hide their tears from passers by.
“Jack”,as he was known, was killed on the 16th of October 1917 at hill 60 in Flanders aged 19 after only a few months at the front.
He enlisted in the Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) regiment on the 6th of December 1916 in Newcastle. His father William, a farrier, also joined up declaring that if his son was prepared to fight so was he. Unlike his son he survived the war. Having no known grave his name is on the Menin Gate. In 1988 my husband Keith and I visited the Western Front to see his name and the battlefield where he died. Since then “our Jack” has been in the consciousness of the wider family. Every November we place a poppy cross by my mother’s grave-stone in St Mary’s churchyard.
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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.
Wilfred Wood, an employee of the North Eastern Railway before the outbreak of war, served with the 5th battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. His commanding officer, 2nd Lt G H Smith wrote the following to his father: “Dear Mr Wood – It is with deep regret that I inform you of the death in action of your son, Pte. W. Wood. He was instantaneously killed on the morning of the 19th instant by a whizz-bang shell, which dropped into the trench he was in; he was buried behind the line on the 20th, and a good cross is being erected to his memory. Words cannot express how deeply I feel for you in your great loss. He was a good soldier, and always kept up bright spirits. The men of my platoon join me in the deepest sympathy for you” 240637 Private W Wood died on 19 July 1917 and is buried at Heninel Communal Cemetery Extension.
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.