Sister Katherine (Kate) Evelyn Luard
Kate was born in Averley Essex on the 29th June 1872, the daughter of the vicar and the tenth of thirteen children. Her childhood was spent at Aveley Vicarage and then Birch Rectory near Colchester. Between 1887 and 1890 she attended Croydon High School for Girls. Her headmistress and school founder, Dorinda Neligan, had been a nurse in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/1, as well as being a suffragette and campaigner for women’s rights. She may well have been the inspiration for Katherine’s desire to go into nursing.
On leaving school Kate took various jobs to earn money to train as a nurse. This she did at Kings College Hospital in London. In 1900 she served with the Army Nursing Service for two years in South Africa during the 2nd Boer War of 1899-1902. Following nursing work at home, on the 6th August 1914, aged 42, Kate enlisted in the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve. Kate served in France until 1918, firstly on ambulance trains then at Casualty Clearing Stations. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross and Bar, and was twice mentioned in dispatches for gallant and distinguished service in the field.
Her various letters to her family at home were published in two books: ‘Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front 1914-15’, published anonymously in 1915, and ‘Unknown Warriors: The Letters of Kate Luard RRC and Bar, Nursing Sister in France 1914-1918’ first published in 1930.
Kate never married and remained in nursing for the rest of her working life. She died on the 16th August 1962.
Researched by John Mills.
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Harold was born in 1894 in Well, a small hamlet to the east of Masham in North Yorkshire. He was the eldest of five children of Thomas and Elizabeth Binks. Thomas had also been born in Well, whereas Elizabeth was from Thornton Watlass near Bedale. Thomas was employed as a gamekeeper on the nearby estate of Snape Park. Harold enlisted in Leyburn in 1915 and joined the 13th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. The Battalion mobilised and arrived in France on June 6th 1916. The Battalion went into the front line near Loos and would see action at The Battle of Ancre on the Somme. In 1917 they saw action during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and at the Battle of Cambrai. March 21st 1918 saw the start of the German Spring Offensive. At the action between Arras and Bapaume on the 22nd March Private Harold Binks was killed. His body was never recovered. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. He was 23 years of age.
Information provided by Marion Moverley. Robert Thackwray Moverley was born on the 3rd March 1896 at Woodside Farm Sessay near Thirsk in North Yorkshire to Butler and Fanny Margaret Moverley. Robert’s father Butler was a farmer. The 1911 census shows a family of 5 children with Robert having brothers Edward and Harold, and sisters Dora Fanny and Florence Lotta. Robert worked as a railway clerk for the L.N.E.R. at Bennington Station and then at Boroughbridge. He would also work in the railway offices at York and Selby. On the outbreak of war Robert enlisted as a Private with the Yorkshire Regiment and would rise through the ranks to Sergeant. Little information is available regarding his time in the Military, even in determining the Battalion he was with. We do know that in September 1916 he was at Mulgrave Castle Hospital near Whitby so he must have received wounds of some description while at the Front. Also, from October 1917 to April 1918 he was seconded as an Adjutant to the 51st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. It would appear that this was a home based appointment. Letters of commendation from that period indicate he was a proficient and diligent soldier. On the 1st March 1919 he was transferred to the reserve on the completion of his service. Robert married Mary Blunsom on the 5th May 1923. They would have two children, Joan Margaret and Alan. His wife Mary died in 1959. Robert remarried on the 5th May 1961 to Dulcie Elizabeth Frankish…
George William Cattermole was born in Tudhoe County Durham in 1889 to George, a colliery worker, and Mary. He had two elder sisters called Sarah and Elizabeth. By 1906 he had left school and became a farm labourer. Aged 17 he travelled to Richmond and enlisted into the Yorkshire Regiment, 23rd April 1906. He was initially posted to the 3rd battalion and remains with the Yorkshire Regiment, recorded as living in the barracks at York during the 1911 census. By September 1918 Pte Cattermole is serving with the 2nd Battalion who were deployed near Arras. The war diaries describe the battalions involvement in an attack on the village of Epinoy on 27th September 1918 during which 5 officers and 127 other ranks are recorded as missing, possibly including George. Shortly after the regimental gazettes record George as a prisoner of war. He is released from captivity after the armistice on 11th November 1918 and returned to England.