John Vivian Nancarrow was born on the 6th June 1885 in Middlesbrough. He was eldest son of George and Charlotte Nancarrow of ‘Ravenscroft’ at Grove Hill in Middlesbrough. John was educated at Leys School and Kings College in Cambridge attaining an MA and a Law degree. He was admitted a Solicitor in 1909 and became Secretary to Middlesbrough Chamber of Commerce.
He had joined the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry in 1907 and later was attached to the Northumberland Fusiliers at Newcastle. At some point he moved to Cornwall and was attached to the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. In 1911 he is recorded as being a Solicitor in Camborne Cornwall. Shortly after John was back in Middlesbrough joining the 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment as a Lieutenant. He was promoted Captain in late 1913. Prior to his mobilisation to France he had become engaged to Miss Elsie Harkness of Stokesley North Yorkshire.
The 4th Battalion arrived in France in April 1915 and were at Ypres by the 23rd. The Battalion were straight away into Ypres offensive being involved in the Battle of St Julien. During the attack at Fortuin on the 24th John was leading his men forward when he was shot and died instantly. Subsequently his body was never recovered. He was 29 years of age.
John is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres.
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Percy Raworth was Judith Farrar’s grandfather’s cousin, she visited the museum to tell us his story. Percy Raworth was born in 1890 and attended Elmfield College in York. His father William ran a local building firm, and later became a local Councillor in Harrogate. By 1911 Percy was a Joiners’ apprentice and well on the way to joining the family firm. His career seems to have taken a side track as he was working as a ‘Stock Keeper’ at his brother-in-laws leather warehouse at Rushden, Northamptonshire when he enlisted. Originally a member of the Machine Gun Corps, Percy went on to serve with the Tank Corps, specifically, ‘D’ Brigade and win the Military Medal. The Rushden Echo of 10th November 1916 notes that he: Has been in action several times with the ‘Tanks’, once he was four hours under fire digging the ‘Tank’ out of a German dug-out into which it has sunk. On another occasion the ‘Tank’ caught fire, and Private Raworth and his driver got the military medal.’ Percy died on 23rd September 1917 of wounds he received during a German air raid. It seems that his tank again became grounded and whilst Percy was digging it out German aircraft attacked. Capt. F. A. Robinson wrote to Percy’s father: ‘…he was struck by an enemy bomb. He was made as comfortable as humanly possible under the circumstances, and you will doubtless find some consolation in the knowledge that he did not appear to feel very much pain……our experiences…
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.
Reasearched by John Mills. Leslie Hanson Marriage was born in Chelmsford in 1892. He was educated at Marlborough College from 1905 to 1910 and in the summer of 1910 passed into the Royal Military College Sandhurst. He left in late 1911 and was commissioned on the 20th September as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Yorkshire Regiment. He made Lieutenant on the 2nd September 1914. He went to France with the 2nd Battalion and was wounded near Ypres on the 29th October 1914. He served with the Motor Machine Gun Corps in France from 10th August 1915 and was again wounded in March 1916. This time his wounds were described as ‘shell shock’ though the actual details are unknown. He was repatriated to England for rehabilitation. Six months later in November 1916 he was fit enough to be given command of a Home Cadet Battalion. In November 1917 he was appointed to the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. April 1918 would see him back in France second in command of the 74th MGC taking part in the action around the Somme and Albert to the Hindenburg Line in September 1918. He was promoted to acting Lieutenant-Colonel in December 1918. He volunteered for service in Russia for which he sailed in May 1919. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1920 and retired from the Army in September 1922. He married in 1926 and died in 1935.