Submitted by Wendy Patch
I am the granddaughter of the much celebrated Harry Patch, who is famous, for the most part because he survived the First World War. But I often think of my other grandfather, or great grandfather to be precise, who didn’t survive and of his wife, who was left a widow with five young children, my grandmother amongst them. His name was Warwick McCartney and he was a deserter. Who knows why, fear, no doubt but surely just as much a reluctance to leave his wife and young family. He was caught, taken to Scotland to be as far from his family as possible (he was a Londoner) to discourage absconding.
I know my great grandmother travelled up to Scotland by train to see him and that she knew when he was passing through London on his way to the front, so she went to the station hoping to see him as he passed through. Needless to say she was unsuccessful. He was put in the front lines, as I understand deserters often were and was killed, leaving his wife to manage on her own as best she could.
[Warwick’s] wife was called Caroline (maiden name Farmer) and she actually had seven children when he died, my grandmother Annie, Warwick (known as Wally), Nell, Carrie, Harry boy, Bobby and Georgie. The two little boys were in hospital, we think with diphtheria and when the policeman came to the door to tell her that her husband had been killed, she thought he’d come to tell her one of the boys had died. They did, in fact both die soon afterwards. Poor woman.
She married again a Bill Badder and had two more children, Joe and Joyce but Bill was “no good” so they divorced. Then her sister died in childbirth and she brought up the baby Donald and his older sister, another Joyce. She eventually married their father, when the law changed allowing her to marry her dead sister’s husband.
I remember her as a strong woman (she must have been) with a great sense of humour.
My mother was always telling us stories about her gran and loved her dearly.
Editor’s Note: As the image from the Ancestry website shows, Warwick may have been sent to Egypt (EEF = Egypt Expeditionary Force) for court martial, and so may not have died at the front in France.
Explore more memories from the ribbon
Mrs Drury of Richmond visited the museum to tell us about Jack Morley, her great uncle. Jack Morley was one of nine children of a hill farmer in Weardale, County Durham and a keen athlete. In 1914 he lived in Toronto, Canada whither he had emigrated and worked as a cabinet maker. When war broke out he returned to England, to his mother’s great joy, to join up in the Durham Light Infantry. One of his five brothers was Customs and Exciseman for Swaledale and Wensleydale, based in Richmond, near Catterick Camp where Jack did some training. Jack would ride over to Richmond to visit and would tie up his horse in the garden to the great delight of his nieces! Jack served in the 1915-1917 Salonica Campaign in northern Greece, at the time that city was badly burned. Jack organized the transport of supplies, mainly by mules through the hills up to the Struma Front. His height was 6’3” and together with his high-heeled riding boots and his high officer’s helmet, he made a commanding figure in securing the co-operation of the locals! In his time off he enjoyed shooting in the nearby Vardar Estuary marshes and brought home fine striped woollen socks run through with silver thread. The stamps from the postcards he sent home are still in a family stamp collection.
Submitted by Pat Burgess. James Scott Bainbridge was born on 10 October 1887, the youngest of three sons, to William and Isabella, the family lived in Ravensworth. On leaving Barnard Castle school he joined the staff of the chemical laboratory of Rowntree & Co. of York. He subsequently spent three years at Leeds University where he graduated Bsc with first class honours in chemistry; he also took the Associateship of the Institute of Chemists, later becoming a Fellow of that Institute. He returned to the staff of Rowntrees and remained there until just before the war, when he was appointed chemist to the Thorne Colliery Company. James did not take up this appointment, as upon the outbreak of war he enlisted as a private in the Yorkshire Regiment, along with his two brothers. His abilities and qualities were soon recognised, and promotion came quickly. As a Company Sergeant Major he went with his battalion to France. When the men of his section experienced attacks of poison gas he was enabled, by his expert knowledge of chemistry, to protect them. He was mentioned in despatches in 1915, and received a commission on 22 November of that year. Shortly afterwards he was wounded. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 1st July 1917 and appointed Adjutant on the death of Capt Sproxton on 20 July, and promoted to Acting Captain on 3 August 1917. Capt James Scott Bainbridge was mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s Despatch of 7 April 1918 for distinguished and gallant…
Vicky Hurwood’s great uncle, Septimus Frederick Herbert Allen was born in Richmond on 1 December 1891. He was the seventh son of Leonard and Mary Allan. He was awarded the 1915 Star and so joined the British Army before the introduction of conscription. Arriving in France on 25 January 1915, he initially served with the Army Service Corps before being transfered to the 9th battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. 48457 Private Septimus Allan was Killed in Action on 25th November 1917 and having no known grave he is one of the 35,000 men commemorated on the Arras Memorial. His name is also listed on the Richmond War Memorial.