Elspeth De Montes told us about her grandad John MacKenzie, a carpenter, who was called up in August 1914.
“John had been working as a carpenter for James Bryce in Clephanton since April 1910 when he was called up on 4th August 1914. He enlisted with the Highland Mounted Brigade at Nairn eventually being posted to to Egypt in 1916. He worked chiefly on the wagons, greasing and making slight repairs but he also saw action throughout his time in Egypt. During an air raid at Ramleh on 27th November 1917 5 men were killed along with approximately 100 horses.”
John survived his time in Egypt, returning home on 4th April 1919. He kept some of his equipment in the Princess Mary Tin he received during his service. Elspeth still has his Princess Mary tin. He passed away in 1980.
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Si Wheeler submitted the story of his great grandfather, Dixon Overfield, but it’s also a great example of the impact of war on all those connected to the soldier who served. “Dixon was married to Margaret and they had a daughter Madge, born in 1915. Dixon enlisted in Filey in September 1916. He originally joined the Royal Field Artillery but soon got transferred to the 6th Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment. He was sent to France and saw action at Arras, before being moved to Belgium. Dixon survived this fight, but twelve days later he too was killed in action at the Battle of Poelcappelle on the 9th of October 1917 when a shell burst just above himself and several comrades. Their bodies were never recovered. Dixon is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Dixon’s wife died in 1924, leaving my grandmother, Madge, aged 9, an orphan. Raised by two aunts, then entering service at 13, Madge was taken under the wing of her housekeeper boss, Lizzie Andrew and became part of her extended family. Aged 18, Madge moved to London to train as a nurse, working through the Blitz and marrying a Dunkirk evacuee soldier, my granddad, Harry Wheeler. Harry didn’t mind where they settled to start married life, so they moved to Swanland in East Yorkshire, where Lizzie lived. My parents live there to this day.”
Albany was born on the 18th April 1882 to Robert Scott and Elizabeth Bridgwood in Bradford, Yorkshire and was 32 years old when war broke out. He was married to his wife Mary Ascough, had two young children, son Kenneth and daughter Olive. He had a job as an estate gardener and lived in a tied cottage in Snainton, Yorkshire. He enlisted in Scarborough and it is unclear why he joined the war effort with the Territorial Force but it was said he was not a drinker and had numerous Temperance Medals to prove so! He began his military career as a member of the Territorial Force with the service number 5506. His medal roll adds that he was in both the 6th and then the 5th Battalions of the Yorkshire Regiment, before he was transferred into the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment in 1916, with a new service number of 242699, possibly first seeing action at the southern end of the British Somme offensive line and at the battle of Transloy Ridges, in October 1916. During this time period he came home wounded, was allowed to recuperate, and once he was fit, he returned back to the front line in early 1917. During the German Spring Offensive of 1918, the Germans grouped in thick fog and overran the trenches where Albany was fighting and took him, along with many others, prisoner on March 22nd. Unfortunately a shell exploded nearby and captors and captured alike were killed. He was 4 weeks…
Researched by John Mills. Born 27th of January 1880 Thomas was the son of Sergeant Valentine Goode also of the Yorkshire Regiment and his mother was called Helen. He was part of a large family; he had five brothers and two sisters. He enlisted in Richmond on the 27th of August 1897. Being a first rate rifle shot he devoted himself to musketry and became an instructor. He served throughout the whole of the Boer War with the 1st Battalion. He was awarded the Queen’s medal with 6 clasps and the King’s with 2. In 1905 he married Mary Agnes Grace Dobinson. In 1914 he was with the 1st Battalion in India, his campaign medals indicate he was in France some time after 1915. He became a 2nd lieutenant in the Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert’s). He survived the war and retired with the rank of Captain on the 8th of June 1920. He was awarded the M.B.E. on the 3rd of June 1919 for his services in connection with the war in India. He must have returned to the army to serve in World War 2 because he has campaign medals (World War 2 service medal and war medal). Perhaps this might have been in some form of instructor role.