Lieutenant Thomas Ginger. Signals Officer. 4th Battalion.
Thomas Ginger was awarded the Military Cross as a result of his bravery during the German ‘Spring Offensive’ of March 1918. In the citation for his award it describes how ‘On the first day his senior Officers were killed and in numerous rear-guard actions he found himself in command of considerable bodies of men’.
One such example is during the retreat across the River Somme near Brie, when Ginger was ordered to take his men and cover the retreat of the remains of the 50th Division. He took his tired men to the far bank and took up positions to hold the advancing Germans back. At the same Lt George Begg, 239/Field Company was wiring the bridge that the retreating men were crossing. As German troops started to appear on the horizon and the last of the Durham Light Infantry crossed the bridge, Begg primed the detonator and pressed the plunger home. Nothing happened. This was repreated three times. When the bridge did blow, Begg looked across the river to see Ginger and his men still focusing fire on their foe. Eventually Ginger managed to construct a rudimentary footbridge, allowing his men to cross to safety.
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Arthur John Buchanan Richardson Arthur was born in Guisborough North Yorkshire in the first quarter 1895. He was the eldest son of Colonel William Richardson, a solicitor of Guisborough and his wife Averil Mary, daughter of Arthur Buchannan, also a solicitor of Guisborough. Arthur entered Rugby Public School, Warwickshire, in 1909 and left in 1913. In August 1913 he entered as an Articled Clerk in the firm of Solicitors founded by his great grandfather and carried on by his grandfather. He received his Commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment in June, 1913, and went to camp with them in August, 1913. He was again in camp in August 1914, at Colwyn Bay, when War broke out. The Regiment was recalled into training at Darlington, when he was given the command and a new Company of Signallers. He next went with the Battalion to Newcastle on Tyne, on coastal defence. Arthur would not die leading his men over no-man’s-land or in some heroic fighting. He would die of meningitis, contracted on service, in his billet at Newcastle on 4th January 1915. Three months later, the Battalion went out to France. Arthur was just 19 years old. A local newspaper report, headed “Cleveland Mourns the Death of a Gallant Officer”, provides details of a military funeral at Guisborough Church attended by local dignitaries: ‘The coffin was borne by men of the 4th Battalion, with fellow Officers Colonel Bell, Captain Charlton and Lts Williams and Jervelund present….
The story of Private Arthur Bateman was compiled by Margeret Sparke, his granddaughter. Arthur was born in 1879 – the son of William and Mary Bateman of Battersea. He worked as a labourer and married Emily Jackman in September of 1903. After the outbreak of war Arthur joined the Yorkshire Regiment, enlisting at Kingston-on-Thames. His service was quite unusually as he was posted to a total of 4 battalions. He served with the 4th, 7th, 6th and 2nd battalions of the Yorkshire Regiment. He has two regimental numbers (9166/235033) – the earlier number suggests that he may have served with the 4th battalion before the war as a Territorial soldier. He died on 6th November 1918, just before the Armistice came into force and is buried in Bettrechies Communal Cemetery in France. Tragically, with Arthur’s death being so close to the end of the war, his widow Emily only found out that he had been killed in action while taking part in an Armistice street party.
Richard Oliver was 22 years old when he enlisted at Cramlington in September 1914. He was from Esh Winning, Crook, Co. Durham and was a miner. He enlisted in the Northumberland Fusiliers but was posted to the Yorkshire Regiment. He served in the 9th and 10th Battalions and whilst with the 10th Battalion in 1915 he was awarded the Military Medal. He served in France and Italy and became disabled due to the effects of gassing. He was discharged in March 1920 and was initially given a pension of 8 shillings a week, but this was subsequently withdrawn and his appeal rejected. He left the army as a Corporal, he served in France from 1915 to 1917 and on the Italian Front from November 1917 until December 1918.