John Sweeny was 22 years of age when he enlisted in the Yorkshire Regiment in late 1914. He was the son of John and Mary Sweeney of Washington Station, Co. Durham.
The 8th Battalion arrived in France in late August 1915 and John is reported to have been wounded in that November. He was again wounded in December 1916 and was killed in action in August 1917. The only reported 8th Battalion casualties at this period were working as Yukon Pack Carriers, re-supplying the front line with munitions in the area of Ypres.
He is commemorated on Panel 33 of the Menin Gate at Ypres, Belgium. 144466 Private John Sweeney of ‘A’ Company was awarded the 15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
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Arthur John Rispin was born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1888. His father, Thomas was a stoker on the railways and his mother called Mary Ann attended to domestic work. He married Mary Elizabeth in 1910 – unfortunately they lost a child in the first year of their marriage. Few records survive relating to his service during the First World War, apart from those relating to his death on 9th October 1918 aged 31. In his photograph he is wearing a badge on his collar signifying that he served with the 12th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment which was the Pioneer Battalion. However upon his death he is listed as serving with the 9th Battalion. His effects and a war gratuity of £21 were left to his widow, Mary. Arthur is commemorated on the Town Memorial in Stockton, and the Busigny Communal Cemetery near St. Quentin, France.
Submitted by Ron Taylor, “raised in Shute Road Catterick Camp, moved to Scotton and was schooled in Richmond before wandering around with the forces”……who wanted to tell us about his grandfather, Percy. Percy was born about 1891 in Brighton Sussex, and died 20 September 1967 aged 76. 68703 Bdr Percy Levi Lelliott, enlisted in the 119th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, Sussex on 12 Dec 1915. He undertook initial training at Shorncliffe. His unit embarked for France on 5 June 1916, and he fought at the Battle of the Somme. Percy distinguished himself in the field on several occasions by bringing in wounded men under heavy gunfire, sometimes dragging them by his teeth. He was subsequently awarded the DCM. Discharged as Sgt (Acting BSM) 13 February 1919. Percy retired in 1946 after a long career in the Police Force. PC Lelliott received four Commendations from the Watch Committee and local magistrates, two of which referred to rescue operations at Fairlight and Ecclesbourne Cliffs. Retired, Grandpa Percy sat in his Windsor Chair, smoked his pipe and tended his greenhouse.
Thomas Holman, great-grandfather of Carl Watts, the Green Howard Museum’s Learning Officer, worked as a boiler maker at the Wellington Foundry in Lincoln. At the outbreak of war the company which owned the foundry, Fosters, converted production from agricultural vehicles to war machinery. It was here that the first tanks were developed under the management of William Tritton. Secrecy was of the utmost importance, and the original code name for the revolutionary new vehicle was ‘The water-carrier for Mesopotamia and Russia’. Bill Rigby, chief draughtsman and designer recounted in the mid-1980s that eventually a group of the boiler makers came to is office, fed up with the long winded code name. Their suggestion that it should just be referred to as ‘the bl**dy tank!’ has stuck with the vehicle and its successors ever since. Thomas Holman is pictured with colleagues back row, third from the left in front of ‘Lurcher’ a Mark IV male tank in November 1917. His brother George Edward Holman served with the 6th battalion Lincolnshire Regiment at Gallipoli, Egypt and France. The efforts of the brothers were combined on 15 September 1916, as 6th Lincs were at the Battle of Flers Courcelette – the first battle to see the use of the tank.