John was born in October 1876, the eldest son of Warrin and Ellen Mitton of Hawes. His father Warrin was both a joiner and a farmer. John married a girl from the Leyburn area, Mary Teresa, in July 1905 and had two daughters. Before joining the Army he spent four years as a postman in Raydaleside and previous to that, for about 14 years, a rural postman at Finghall near Leyburn. It was while he was there he got married. On leaving Finghall the people on his round presented him with a marble clock, pipe and a pouch containing some money. Needless to say he was a very well liked postman!
He played for Hawes football team for many years, and for two years the club secretary. He was a fine billiards player and a member of Hawes Church choir. John was described as a cheery likeable chap.
John enlisted at Leyburn joining the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment and embarked for France at the end of July 1916. On April 7th 1917 the Battalion readied itself for the Arras Offensive which was due to start on the 9th. Private John Mitton was killed on that opening day. He was 40 years old.
John is buried in the Neuville-Vitasse Road Cemetary, SE of Arras.
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Born in York, 16th of January 1886, the son of Major H L M Levin, 19th Foot (the Green Howards). Commissioned as Second Lieutenant on 28th of January 1905 and promoted to Lieutenant on the 3rd of October 1906. He became a Captain prior to the First World War on 23 April 1913. In the First World War 1914-18 he went to Belgium with the 2nd Batallion. Was severely wounded at Gheluvelt, 29th of October 1914 by a shrapnel shell. His life was saved by the silver lucifer box (match case) he carried in his brest pocket. For the remainder of the War was employed on the staff at home. He retired in March 1921, but was recalled in September 1939 with the outbreak of World War II. He was awarded the rank of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel and an OBE for his service. The photograph of his fellow 2nd Battalion officers is remarkable in that of the 26 Officers pictured in October 1914, 10 were dead by the end of the year, 3 more were killed subsequently, 10 were wounded and / or taken prisoner, and only 3 appear to have survived the War unscathed.
Olive was born on the 29th August 1899 in Harrogate. The 1911 census shows Olive living at home with parents George and Miriam, and baby brother George (aged 1). Other than she would gain employment at Barnbow Munitions Factory little is known of her life. Barnbow Munitions Factory, at Crossgates Leeds, was one of the new purpose built munitions factories to meet the demand for shells and ammunition. The factory was operational by December 1915, so it would have probably been around that time or shortly after that Olive started work there. It was a huge complex and at peak output was employing about 16,000 workers. The local train station was extended and would bring in workers from the surrounding towns and villages. It even had a farm producing 300 gallons of milk per day, with employees receiving a free daily milk ration. Munitions work was dangerous. Barnbow ran 3 shifts a day and involved hard manual work involving the use of heavy machinery. Most of the workforce was women and young girls, attracted by the high wages on offer. Conditions at the factory were very hot, the raw materials toxic which would turn their skin and hair yellow in a short time. This led to the nickname ‘The Barnbow Canaries’. The uniforms offered inadequate protection against the dust which could prove deadly if settling in the lungs, even though masks were provided. Olive worked in Room 42, as one of about 170 workers, where the fully loaded shells were…
Robin Snook submitted this information about his grandfather, Charles Tweedy. 113319 Driver Charles Tweedy served with the Royal Horse Artillery. He signed up on 29th October 1915 in Richmond and spent time at the North Training Camp at Ripon. He fought in France and at one point the horse that he was riding was blown from underneath him. He was lucky though and survived to fight another day. The horse’s bit is still in the family to this day.