John was born on the 8th August 1855, the only son of Robert and Mary Lodge of The Rookery Bishopdale near Aysgarth. He was educated at St. Peter’s School, York and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He graduated MA in 1879 and was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple, London in 1883.
At 18, John had joined the 5th West York Militia, which became the 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment in 1881.
He would serve with the battalion in the 2nd Boer War (1899-1902). The Aysgarth parish magazine of June 1902 reported on his return from two years’ active service.
“A large and enthusiastic crowd met him at the station, the West Burton Band playing appropriate airs. After much hand shaking and cheering, Mr Tomlinson in an admirable speech welcomed Colonel Lodge back to Wensleydale… After Colonel Lodge replied, giving a most interesting sketch of what he had had to do in South Africa, the band headed the procession from the station, Colonel Lodge riding in a wagonette with his sisters.”
From 1906 until retirement in 1912 he would be the Battalion Commander. At the outbreak of the First World War, John offered his services and returned to his old Battalion as Major, remaining with it until May 5th 1916 when he was appointed to the command of a Garrison Battalion.
As Squire of Bishopdale, Colonel Lodge was a Justice of the Peace for the North Riding and was on the Yorkshire Fisheries Board. He was a skilled angler and marksman. John never married. He died at home after a short illness on the 23rd August 1917 aged 60.
John Lodge had been associated with the Yorkshire Regiment for 43 years.
In October 2021, a portrait of John Lodge was donated to the museum. Read the story here.
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Elsie was born on the 16th August 1864 at Naini Tal in India. Her father John Forbes David Inglis was a chief commissioner in the Indian Civil Service. She was one of six siblings. Her father retired in 1876 and after a two year period in Tasmania, where two of her eldest brothers had settled, returned to Edinburgh. Fortunately for Elsie her father considered education for his daughter just as important as for a son. It was in Edinburgh, and then Glasgow, that Elsie studied medicine, something that was unusual and difficult for a woman to achieve. However she passed the requisite exams in 1892 and took up the position of house surgeon at a new hospital for women in Euston Road London. She was also an ardent supporter of women’s suffrage. Elsie returned to practice in Edinburgh and studied for further medical degrees at the University of Edinburgh graduating MB, CM in 1899. She now dedicated her life to her work, including the founding of a nursing home and maternity centre, and the suffrage movement. When war broke out in 1914 Elsie visited the War Office to offer her services. At the time the war was perceived to be short affair, and consequently Elsie received the historic remark: ‘My dear lady go home and sit still’. The remark became famous amongst British nurses working in Serbia. Whilst working under terrible conditions they would ask as to what was their next task. The answer, received with much amusement, would be…
Sgt. Ernest Brooke was born in Brighthouse, Yorkshire in 1886. In civilian life Ernest worked a railway signalman. Ernest’s medal records show he was entitled to the 1914 Star indicating that he was an ‘Old Contemptible’, part of the original British Expeditionary Force that fought in France and Belgium from August 1914. Ernest served with the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment until his death on 4th January 1918. The New Year 1918 that at 11pm (German midnight) on the 31st December 1917, ‘…all guns of artillery fired one round each, whilst machine guns fired two belts of ammunition each ‘to usher in the new year’. The following day, the 2nd Battalion were relieved from the front line and relocated to ‘Hedge Street Tunnels’. On the night of the 4th of January, a fire broke out in the area of the tunnel being occupied by the Battalion, resulting the loss of a further 20 lives from the 2nd Battalion – one of those lives being Ernest Brookes’. In accordance with his wishes, Ernest’s outstanding pay and War Gratuity, totalling £29, 7shillings and 19d to his mother, Hannah.
Mrs Drury of Richmond visited the museum to tell us about Jack Morley, her great uncle. Jack Morley was one of nine children of a hill farmer in Weardale, County Durham and a keen athlete. In 1914 he lived in Toronto, Canada whither he had emigrated and worked as a cabinet maker. When war broke out he returned to England, to his mother’s great joy, to join up in the Durham Light Infantry. One of his five brothers was Customs and Exciseman for Swaledale and Wensleydale, based in Richmond, near Catterick Camp where Jack did some training. Jack would ride over to Richmond to visit and would tie up his horse in the garden to the great delight of his nieces! Jack served in the 1915-1917 Salonica Campaign in northern Greece, at the time that city was badly burned. Jack organized the transport of supplies, mainly by mules through the hills up to the Struma Front. His height was 6’3” and together with his high-heeled riding boots and his high officer’s helmet, he made a commanding figure in securing the co-operation of the locals! In his time off he enjoyed shooting in the nearby Vardar Estuary marshes and brought home fine striped woollen socks run through with silver thread. The stamps from the postcards he sent home are still in a family stamp collection.