Sidonie van Eepoel died just a few months before the end of the First World War at the age of 40. Her family story is shared with a quarter of a million other Belgians, who fled to England to escape the invading German Army in 1914. Around 10,500 of these refugees ended up in Yorkshire, the biggest intake of any area outside London. For those who stepped off the train after up to a month of travelling there was both relief and exhaustion. It was after mid-September 1914 that were the first Belgian migrants started to arrive in Yorkshire. Sidonie’s family arrived in Richmond in November 1914, establishing their home at 10 Frenchgate. A total of 17 Belgians appear to have been made welcome in Richmond, with some also living at 10 Park Wynd.
While Sidonie and her mother died during the war and were buried in Richmond in the town cemetery on Reeth Road, 15 of their friends and family returned to their native land when hostilities ceased. They were fit, safe and well thanks to the generosity and hospitality of the people of Richmond in their time of need. Photo submitted by Sara Cox.
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Gerald Francis Hadow was born in Scarborough in 1895, the son of Colonel A de S Hadow of the XIX Regiment of Foot (the Green Howards). He was commisioned as a Second Lieutenant on 15th August 1914 and promoted to Lieutenant in March 1915. His first actions were at the battles of neuve Chapelle and Festubert. His death at Givenchy on 15th June 1915 was recorded at the time: “He had reached the German barbed wire and finding he was practically alone, returned to his own trenches, which he reached untouched. Here he found his captain killed and all the other officers dead or wounded. His company went into action 180 strong and had 142 casualties. he returned to report to the C.O. and on the way, was struck on the head by a piece of shell. A captain under whom he served wrote; ‘I feel I have lost a young friend whom I had got to know and tested in perhaps the most severe time – war time – and he never failed. He was such a gallant little fellow and quite ready to die for the good cause.’”
Submitted by Jennifer Bullen daughter in law of Lieutenant Bullen. Tempest Carey Bullen was born on the 28th of May 1898 in North Shields. He is listed in the 1901 census along with his father Tempest Carey, his mother Edith, brothers William and Harry and sisters Edith Anna and Kathleen. His father’s occupation is listed as “ship broker”. The family were living in the Percy ward of Tynemouth and must have been comfortably off because they had a servant called Ada George and a nursery maid called Elizabeth Knox. By 1911 the family had moved to Woodbine Avenue in Gosforth. In the census Tempest’s mother Edith is listed as head of the family so it is likely that Tempest senior was deceased. His elder brother (aged 15) is now an apprentice Fitter. They have a boarder, Hugh Robson (an apprentice Ironmonger) and a servant called Mary Jane Malpas. Jennifer recounts that Tempest was under age when he first tried to enlist and was promptly sent home! He persisted and subsequently joined up and went on to be awarded the Military Cross in 1918 aged about 20. He survived the war and his death is recorded in 1976 in South Shields.
Submitted by Andrew Fynn. William John Blore was my Great Grandfather and was born in Leeds in 1877. He enlisted in the Yorkshire Regiment as a private in July 1894. His initial service was in India with the 2nd Battalion, during which his daughter Louisa Doris tragically died. More tragedy ensued in 1906 as his wife died after giving birth to his daughter Kathleen at Richmond. He did re-marry and seems to have left the army prior to 1909 when he was known to be a postman. As his military record is lost it’s unclear how he came to be back in service so we assume he must have volunteered and became part of the 6th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment (the Green Howards) in August 1914 as Company Sergeant-Major. On 3 July 1915, the 6th Battalion sailed from Liverpool on board the Aquitania, bound for the Dardanelles campaign. On 6 August 1915, the 6th Battalion embarked for Gallipoli and the landing and attack at Suvla Bay. At 23.00 hrs, following the landing at Suvla Bay, he was part of the attack on Lala Baba Hill, the first ‘Kitchener unit’ to be involved in a major offensive operation of the war. The attack eventually cleared the hill of the Turks but not before they inflicted serious casualties on the attackers which, unfortunately, included William, only hours into his first action. His body wasn’t found in the aftermath of the action and he is commemorated at the Helles memorial. His role at Gallipoli…