Kenneth Henderson was born on the 29th May 1895 at Sutton in Surrey, the third and youngest child of Robert and Janie Henderson. His father was a bank manager. The family were quite reasonably well off as the 1911 census shows the family having 3 servants. By this time Kenneth was at Charterhouse School. His early life is undocumented.
On the outbreak of WW1 Kenneth enlisted in the 28th Battalion, The London Regiment (Artists’ Rifles). This was a popular unit for volunteers and a number would be selected to be officers in other Regiments, as Kenneth would be. On the 26th October he landed in France with the Artists’ Rifles and on the 15th March 1915 was made temporary 2nd Lieutenant with the 2nd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment. During 1915 he saw action with the 2nd Battalion at Fromelles, Festuber and Givenchy. On the 7th July 1916 during the Somme offensive he received his fourth wound of the war.
After the war he was with the newly reconstituted 6th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment, for service in the Russian Archangel campaign. It was here that he received the Military Cross. The London Gazette of the 21st January 1919 read: ‘He has carried out the duties of a Company Commander of a mixed force at Bolshe-Ozerki and has worked in a very efficient way. He has had continuous service on this front since November 1918 and in four engagements in which his company has taken part he has proved to be a fearless and good leader of men’. When the campaign was over the 6th were disbanded and Kenneth would return to the 2nd Battalion.
In July 1919 the 2nd Battalion were deployed to Ireland. This was in the wake of the violent ‘troubles’ that had beset the country regarding the establishment of an Irish Republic. July 1921 saw a truce followed in December by the Anglo-Irish Treaty (something unacceptable to the extreme militant Republicans). This treaty enabled the larger part of the British Garrison to depart leaving just a small number of troops, including Kenneth, for naval base guard duties. On the 26th April 1922 four British soldiers, including Kenneth, were arrested by the IRA at a hotel in Macroom, near Cork. They were charged with being spies. On the 29th of April they were taken to Kilgobnet, a few miles from Macroom, and shot. The Newfoundland dog they had with them suffered the same fate. Their bodies had been buried in boggy ground and were not discovered until December 1923. They were recovered on the 12th and repatriated to England.
Kenneth’s funeral and burial took place at Aldershot on the 14th December 1923 (pictured above).
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Betty was born on the 3rd September 1896 in Clifton in the Bootham area of York. She came from a well off middle class background and was educated at home until she was 14 whereby she was despatched to boarding school at St Georges Wood in Haslemere Surrey. From school she went to Brussels to study music. In 1913 the family moved to Harrogate where Betty’s father, Arthur, established himself as a leading estate agent. Betty had a younger brother born in 1901, James Arthur Radford, in which in her letters referred to him as JARS. Both Betty’s parents were active supporters of the YMCA. Her mother Catherine served throughout the war as chair of the YMCA’s Women’s Auxiliary. Betty appears to have acquired early in her life a high sense of civic duty. Betty and her parents were part of the group that travelled to London to help with the Belgium Relief Fund after the outbreak of WW1. They would be involved in the transferring of refugee families to the Harrogate area from their encampment at Alexandra Palace. In January 1916 one of Betty’s aunts went to France to manage a YMCA canteen and Betty was determined to join her. She set off on February 11th, aged 19, to join her in the St Denis Hut outside Paris. She completed her time at St Denis, took some home leave and returned to France to become a driver at Etaples in April 1917. Betty was extremely young at the time…
Mairi Featherstone visited the museum to see if we could find out a little about her grandfather, David Logan’s First World War service. After a some investigation, it became clear that he had been in the Royal Field Artillery. On of the original postcards revealed that he had been at Scotton Camp (it is inscribed with “Cooks and Waiters, Sergeant’s Mess, Scotton Camp, Yorks 19/6”), which was eventually absorbed into Catterick Camp during the war. No 5 TF Artillery Training School was based at Scotton Camp in 1915, which is the most probable reason for his time there. David’s medal card shows that he was in France by May 1915. There are two regimental numbers on his medal card, an early number, 971 referring to the Territorial Force RFA and a second reference 645569. 645569 Gunner David Logan was entitled to the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal at the end of his war service.
Colin Parker’s Grandfather, Earnest Tewson A/Cpl 13277 joined the Yorkshire regiment in Eston. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. This was for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He held onto his post, after his platoon commander had been killed, and only withdrew when the situation was secure, and all his ammunition and bombs had been expanded, he saved the whole line from been turned. After the war, Earnest worked at Dorman Long, married Ava (Abby), and went on to have two children Elsie and Lily (Mr Parker’s mother), and lived in Grangetown, near Eston.