Submitted by Christine Gayton
Private Alfred Arthur Hibben was my great uncle
Private Hibben served in his home regiment, The 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment (R.W.K.).
He was born in Dartford Kent and enlisted on the 1st of April 1914 at Gravesend Kent. He was 5 foot 4 inches tall, weighed 109 pounds and worked as a plumber’s mate. His age was stated as 17 years, 248 days but in fact, he was only aged 16 having been born in the last 3 months of 1898!
He was posted to France on the 31st of January 1915, which still made him under the 19 years minimum required to fight abroad ( in reality he was still only 17).
On the 22nd of July 1916 the 1st R.W.K. attacked the south east corner of High Wood. No significant gains were made in this assault but the R.W.K. suffered 420 casualties, approximately 50% of those who went over the top.
Private Alfred Arthur Hibben was one of these soldiers and was therefore presumed killed on the 22nd of July 1916 aged 18 years. His body was not recovered but he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 11C, France.
The photograph shows Alfred aged 2 with his parents Arthur and Elizabeth and baby sister Ivy.
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John Matthew Hewison lived in Penshaw and enlisted at the start of the war at Shiney Row. He was the son of Matthew and Anne Hewison of Shiney Row and he was married to Agnes. He would have left for France in late August 1915 and the 8th Battalion would have been involved in training and undergoing acclimatisation visits to the front line when he was killed in action on September 22nd. 14961 Private John Hewison died at the age of 22 and had been in France for only 3 weeks. He was awarded the 14/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His wife inherited his effects of 14s/4d and a gratuity of £3-10s. He was buried at Brewery Orchard Cemetery, Bois-Grenier.
Hugh Bernard (Bobby) Morkill Hugh was born on the 1st October 1896 at Austhorpe Lodge, Whitkirk, Leeds. His father, John William Morkill, had married Hannah Shaw Hobson in Edinburgh in 1889 and they would have 4 children, Hugh being the third youngest. Hugh, like his father, was educated at Radley College Oxford enrolling there in 1910. He was a keen sportsman, being part of the College cricket XI in 1915 and a member of the first ever Rugby XV in 1914. During 1915 he was a college prefect. After college he enrolled at Sandhurst and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in December 1915. On the 22nd December 1915 he joined the Yorkshire Regiment. In 1916 he was in India with the 1st Battalion. However, becoming restless with the relative inactivity he joined the Royal Flying Corps. He was sent to the 20th Training Wing in Egypt completing his ground course in September 1917. He then completed his flying training and qualified as a pilot on the 13th October 1917. Hopes of active service were dashed when he was retained as an instructor. However, the 19th September 1918 would see his first air action against Turkish positions in Palestine. Apparently a pet ring-tailed lemur called Jimmy often accompanied Hugh on his flights! In 1922 he returned to the Yorkshire Regiment, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in 1940. He died in May 1991. Mike Senior, who knew Hugh Morkill in his later years recently visited the museum and recounted…
Harry was born sometime in the 2nd quarter of 1880 in Richmond North Yorkshire. He was the son of John James and Martha Kinchin of 11 Castle Hill Richmond. His father worked as a joiner. Harry was the eldest of eight children. The 1901 census shows Harry, 20, Walter 18, Allanson 16, Annie, 14, Moses 11, Martha 8, Elizabeth 5 and James Stroud 1. By the 1911 census Harry was married to Priscilla and had two daughters, Lilla 7 and Muriel Martha 1, and a son Walter 4. Harry also made a living as a joiner. At the time they resided at 7 Reynoldson Yard in Richmond. At the outbreak of war Harry and his brother Allanson joined up and went into the 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. Harry and Allanson left with the 4th Battalion from Newcastle for France on the 17th April 1915 and after disembarking at Boulogne on the 18th arrived at Ypres by the 23rd. The Battalion was immediately involved in the 2nd Battle of Ypres and on the 24th April were ordered to make an attack on St Julien. During the attack 5 officers and 10 other ranks were killed. On the next day, the 25th, the Battalion had just the one man killed in the trenches. Harry’s death is recorded as the 25th so he could have been that single death, or it’s possible that he was actually killed the day before. He was 34 years of age. Harry may have been buried after his…