Wilfred Wood, an employee of the North Eastern Railway before the outbreak of war, served with the 5th battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment.
His commanding officer, 2nd Lt G H Smith wrote the following to his father:
“Dear Mr Wood – It is with deep regret that I inform you of the death in action of your son, Pte. W. Wood. He was instantaneously killed on the morning of the 19th instant by a whizz-bang shell, which dropped into the trench he was in; he was buried behind the line on the 20th, and a good cross is being erected to his memory. Words cannot express how deeply I feel for you in your great loss. He was a good soldier, and always kept up bright spirits. The men of my platoon join me in the deepest sympathy for you”
240637 Private W Wood died on 19 July 1917 and is buried at Heninel Communal Cemetery Extension.
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Students at Hackforth and Hornby School researched this story for the Ribbon of Remembrance. Do you know the story of Major Robert Henry Edmund Hutton-Squire? He was a World War 1 Hero. A person from our area: a soldier in the British Army who fought for our freedom. Major Robert Hutton-Squire was born on the 10th October 1877, at Holtby Hall, his family home, in the Parish of Hornby, near Bedale. As a child, Robert grew up at Holtby Hall with his older siblings, John and Emmeline; his younger siblings, Lucy and Eleanor; his father, Robert, a magistrate and militia army officer and Catherine, his mother. Very sadly, Lucy died in 1903, before the outbreak of World War 1. She was buried at St Andrews Church in Great Fencote, near Holtby Hall. The family were looked after by their servants, including a housekeeper, a butler, a cook, a nursery maid and a gardener. Robert Hutton-Squire did not go to his local school (Hackforth & Hornby C of E Primary School). In 1891, he was a boarding scholar at Charterhouse School with his brother, John. He was at school, away from his family. After he left school, Robert trained as an engineer. In 1899, he was working in India, in Madras. In 1900, he joined the British Army in India, as an officer in the Royal Artillery. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1901. In 1906, his father died and was buried alongside his daughter in Great Fencote. In 1911, Lieutenant…
Information from Judith Farrar which relates to her husband Don’s great-uncle. Joseph Stoney’s occupation before the war as a stonemason, a skilled trade which places strenuous demands upon the worker’s hands. This was of some consequence following his attempt to enlist at the start of the First World War. He had previously been a territorial soldier with the West Yorkshire Regiment and when war broke out he naturally offered his services to his former regiment. His record shows that he was accepted, but that after only sixteen days he was discharged. The medical discharge paper records ‘Deformity of both thumbs, rheumatoid arthritis. Loss of gripping power. General debility.’ This judgement is reinforced by a second comment in a second hand, ‘Not likely to become an efficient soldier.’ This judgement did not deter Joseph from trying again, as his medal card attests. He managed to join the 1st Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment as 21581 Private J Stoney and was awarded the British War medal. Unfortunately John died either on the way out to India where the battalion was stationed, or when returning on leave. John died from dysentery on 10 May 1917 and is buried in the Cape Town (Maitland) Cemetery. His headstone appears to record the correct regimental number, but displays the West Yorkshire badge, rather than the Yorkshire Regiment.
Jonathan Helm submitted this information about his Great Grandfather, Harold Surtees. Lance Corporal Surtees (2048/200407), was born in West Hartlepool and lived in Great Ayton. He volunteered for service in a local meeting on 2nd September 1914. Serving with the 1st/4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, he was posted to France as part of the 50th Northumbrian Division on 18th April 1915. Although little is known of his exact war record, his photograph indicates two wound stripes and the Whitby Gazette when reporting his death noted that he had been “three times wounded and gassed”. The only confirmed record of wounding is in the War Office Casualty List, which was printed in The Times on Wednesday 25th October 1916. This is likely to have occurred during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette (15th – 22nd September 1916) which was fought during the Battle of the Somme. He died on the 10th April 1918 (aged 26) from wounds sustained when the battalion fought at the Battle of Estaires in an attempt to stop the German advance. Harold is buried at the Haverskerque British Cemetery in France. He left behind his wife, Sarah, and their two children, Harold and Mary.