Submitted by Josephine Parker.
My Uncle – Reginald James Owen Thompson (son of Owen Thompson who is featured elsewhere on the Ribbon of Remembrance) lied about his age and forged his mothers signature to join the Leicester Fusiliers at the age of just 14. He served in France and later, after the First World War, he served in China.
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Albany was born on the 18th April 1882 to Robert Scott and Elizabeth Bridgwood in Bradford, Yorkshire and was 32 years old when war broke out. He was married to his wife Mary Ascough, had two young children, son Kenneth and daughter Olive. He had a job as an estate gardener and lived in a tied cottage in Snainton, Yorkshire. He enlisted in Scarborough and it is unclear why he joined the war effort with the Territorial Force but it was said he was not a drinker and had numerous Temperance Medals to prove so! He began his military career as a member of the Territorial Force with the service number 5506. His medal roll adds that he was in both the 6th and then the 5th Battalions of the Yorkshire Regiment, before he was transferred into the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment in 1916, with a new service number of 242699, possibly first seeing action at the southern end of the British Somme offensive line and at the battle of Transloy Ridges, in October 1916. During this time period he came home wounded, was allowed to recuperate, and once he was fit, he returned back to the front line in early 1917. During the German Spring Offensive of 1918, the Germans grouped in thick fog and overran the trenches where Albany was fighting and took him, along with many others, prisoner on March 22nd. Unfortunately a shell exploded nearby and captors and captured alike were killed. He was 4 weeks…
Arthur was born at Smeaton Hall , Great Smeaton, Northallerton, Yorkshire on the 9th September 1877. He was the son of Colonel A. F. Godman. He was educated at Rugby School and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Yorkshire Regiment in May 1898. Whilst serving in India he wrote two articles for The Green Howrads Gazette. One was about ‘G’ Company’s donkey! Apparently awarded an Army Temperance Medal despite having a taste for alcohol! Advancing to Lieutenant in November 1900 he saw service in Somaliland. Promoted Captain in January 1906 and, after a posting in South Africa, returned to the UK to serve as Adjutant for the University of London Officer Training Corps. He was appointed Staff Captain attached to the 21st Infantry Brigade in 1914. Severely wounded at Ypres on the 30th October 1914, on recovery he was posted to the General Staff in France. Promoted Major in August 1915 he was attached to the 4th Brigade, Royal Flying Corps. He served as Brigade Major during the Battle of the Somme and advanced to Temporary Lieutenant Colonel, Assistant Adjutant General, on the RFC staff from July 1917. By the end of the war he was a Brigadier-General and was confirmed as a Wing Commander in August 1919. The following month he was posted as Assistant Commander, RAF Cranwell. He was posted to RAF HQ India at Simla being promoted to Group Captain in June 1923. Returning the following year to the UK he served consecutively as: Officer Commanding, School of Technical…
Maureen Hunt told us about her grandfather, William Smith. William was born around 1883 in Wirksworth, Derbyshire and worked as a bath attendant at Matlock before the war. He volunteered early in the war and possibly joined the High Peak Rifles (later 6th battalion, Sherwood Foresters). He recounted to his family the horrors of war, having fought at the Battle of Ypres. Later in life he complained of chest pains as a result of having been gassed in the trenches. He was taken prisoner by the Germans on 21 March 1918, during the German Spring Offensive. He did not return to England until 1919. Gardening became a favourite pastime, helping him to cope with the mental and physical scars of war. William died in 1962 at almost 80 years of age.