Ruth Kendon came into the museum and told us the story of her father, Reginald Howes.
Reginald Howes (1889-1977) attended the University of London Officer Training Corps (OTC) between 6 May 1915 and 20 July 1916 before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Yorkshire Regiment on 21 July 1916.
He served with the 4th Battalion as temporary Adjutant and Intelligence Officer, and was wounded on 15 September 1916 at Kemmel, just south of Ypres. Ruth remembers him saying he was wounded on the day tanks were first used.
Howes was awarded the Military Cross in March 1918, for “conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty” on the Somme, during the Kaiserschlacht offensive and promoted to Captain the following month. He was taken prisoner on 27 May 1918 and released on 14 December 1918.
Ruth kindly donated a number of items which belonged to her father to the museum for safekeeping.
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This is 65038 Private Samuel Revel Staite, born in 1878, a native of Leeds and self-employed house painter. He joined the army in Leeds on 11th December 1915, at the age of 37. He saw service with the Royal Engineers and the Northumberland Fusiliers. He served with the 6th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment in North Russia 1918-1919. After the war he returned to his job as a painter. His own son intended to enlist when the Second World War broke out, however, he was employed in a reserved occupation, so Samuel did not have to see him off to war. Samuel died in 1944. Members of the family still live in Leeds. Samuel’s grand daughters Philippa and Deborah brought their treasured family possessions into the museum for us to take care of. Their items relate to his service in Russia in 1918 and 1919, and will help us add to our collections of items from this less well known period of Green Howards history.
Richard Birkenhead Wilton was the son of Charles and Elen Wilton of Stafford. After the outbreak of war Richard joined the 15th (Reserve) Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment which had 12 officers and 750 non-commissioned officers and men. The battalion moved from Skipton to Rugeley in Staffordshire. In January 1916 Richard is listed as a temporary Second Lieutenant in the Reserve battalion. November 1916 sees him transfered at that rank to the 9th battalion. The Green Howards Gazette records that Richard was Killed in action on 1st October 1917. On the night of 30th September the 9th battalion took over from the 8th battalion in the line where the war diary states “Very heavy barrage put up by enemy from 4.30am; ‘C’ Coy on our left attacked; heavy casualties feared. Communication between HQs and Coys very difficult” His death is recorded on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.
Shirley Stephenson visited the museum to tell about the story and final letters of 5444 Private George Brown, 7th battalion, Yorkshire Regiment, the youngest brother of her mother in law. George was the seventh of nine children. Three of his brothers also served in France but survived. In 1915, he left his family home in Brandon, County Durham, to live with his older sister and her family on their farm in North Cowton. Here, he worked for them and was learning the trade of butchery, his sister and husband hoping to set him up, eventually, in his own business but he was called up in May 1916. He enlisted at Croft and was sent to Babworth Camp, Retford. At the beginning of July, he writes to his sister, Mary, and her husband, Tom, asking them to apply to his commanding officer for a month’s leave in order to assist them with haytime saying, ‘……tell him I worked for you and you can’t get anyone else…. I think you will succeed as he can’t refuse.’ Unfortunately, he could because the Regiment was posted to France; three weeks later, ‘we are going to face the foe….. we poor devils with three months’ training.’ By 25th July, George and his Company were training on the French coast ‘…… it is very hot here…… very tiresome marching around in the sand all day….. we get better food than in Retford but not much of it.’ Three weeks later his letter reads, ‘…. I am…