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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Researched by Katy Douthwaite Cecil Christian Jervelund was born in 1891, the son of a Danish Merchant, Albert Neilson Jervelund, becoming a naturalised British citizen in 1889. Before joining the army, he worked as a Clerk at the local Iron and Steel Works. Charles, his elder brother was a regular Officer in the Yorkshire Regiment and served in India, South Africa and Bermuda. Cecil had been an Officer with the 4th Yorks since 1913 and went to France with them on 18th April 1915. On May 24th, at Hooge, the Germans launched a devastating gas attack, in which 30 Green Howards were killed in action, 70 were wounded and 98 were missing. The heavy toll included Cecil, who was taken to hospital suffering from the effects of gas. After recovering and returning to his unit, Cecil was promoted to Captain on 16th February 1916. He survived the War and appears again in October 1920 when he was once more made a Captain in the 4th Yorks Battalion after they reformed as part of the new Territorial Army. He married Marguerite D Mangin in Ripon, Yorks in 1918 and died in 1942 at Middlesbrough.
Information provided by Marion Moverley. Robert Thackwray Moverley was born on the 3rd March 1896 at Woodside Farm Sessay near Thirsk in North Yorkshire to Butler and Fanny Margaret Moverley. Robert’s father Butler was a farmer. The 1911 census shows a family of 5 children with Robert having brothers Edward and Harold, and sisters Dora Fanny and Florence Lotta. Robert worked as a railway clerk for the L.N.E.R. at Bennington Station and then at Boroughbridge. He would also work in the railway offices at York and Selby. On the outbreak of war Robert enlisted as a Private with the Yorkshire Regiment and would rise through the ranks to Sergeant. Little information is available regarding his time in the Military, even in determining the Battalion he was with. We do know that in September 1916 he was at Mulgrave Castle Hospital near Whitby so he must have received wounds of some description while at the Front. Also, from October 1917 to April 1918 he was seconded as an Adjutant to the 51st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. It would appear that this was a home based appointment. Letters of commendation from that period indicate he was a proficient and diligent soldier. On the 1st March 1919 he was transferred to the reserve on the completion of his service. Robert married Mary Blunsom on the 5th May 1923. They would have two children, Joan Margaret and Alan. His wife Mary died in 1959. Robert remarried on the 5th May 1961 to Dulcie Elizabeth Frankish…
Researched by John Mills. Flora Sandes was the only woman to officially fight on the front line during WW1, having joined the Serbian Army. Flora was born on the 26th January 1876 in Nether Poppleton, near York, the youngest of eight children. From an early age she exhibited an adventurous nature, a real tomboy, somewhat surprising for the daughter of a vicar! At the aged of 9 the family moved to rural Suffolk. Even her middle class upbringing didn’t dull her desire for adventure. After school she trained as a stenographer in London and scrapped together all her money, and together with the proceeds of a legacy from an uncle she went off to see the world travelling to places like Egypt, Canada and America. Flora was 38 years old when WW1 broke out and was living in London at the time. She enlisted as an Ambulance Service Volunteer and just 8 days later she was on her way to Serbia with the first volunteer unit to leave Britain. She worked in Military Hospitals and by October 1915 was fluent in the Serbian language. She eventually enlisted in the Serbian Army, one of the few countries in the world that accepted female soldiers. She soon made a name for herself, rising through the ranks to Sergeant within a year. It wasn’t just soldiering that Flora matched her male counterparts. She could hold her own racing cars, shooting, smoking and drinking. She survived the front line fighting, received a terrible shrapnel…