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 earned him the 1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.
He left behind his widow, Elizabeth, and his family. My own personal experiences of this are limited but I used to visit my ‘Grandma Blore’ on Sundays with my Grandad and I remember an old but strong willed woman who still used to get her coal up from the cellar most days, indeed her death came when she fell on the stairs down to the cellar and broke her hip, I was only 9 at the time. My Grandad rarely spoke to me about his dad and the fact that he never met him as he was not born until September 1915. He went on the serve in the Second World War and rarely spoke about that either.
But I do often reflect now on that brave man who volunteered to serve again and his wife who brought up her family and lived without her husband for over 60 years.
Explore more memories from the ribbon
Sgt. Ernest Brooke was born in Brighthouse, Yorkshire in 1886. In civilian life Ernest worked a railway signalman. Ernest’s medal records show he was entitled to the 1914 Star indicating that he was an ‘Old Contemptible’, part of the original British Expeditionary Force that fought in France and Belgium from August 1914. Ernest served with the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment until his death on 4th January 1918. The New Year 1918 that at 11pm (German midnight) on the 31st December 1917, ‘…all guns of artillery fired one round each, whilst machine guns fired two belts of ammunition each ‘to usher in the new year’. The following day, the 2nd Battalion were relieved from the front line and relocated to ‘Hedge Street Tunnels’. On the night of the 4th of January, a fire broke out in the area of the tunnel being occupied by the Battalion, resulting the loss of a further 20 lives from the 2nd Battalion – one of those lives being Ernest Brookes’. In accordance with his wishes, Ernest’s outstanding pay and War Gratuity, totalling £29, 7shillings and 19d to his mother, Hannah.
Elspeth De Montes told us about her grandad John MacKenzie, a carpenter, who was called up in August 1914. “John had been working as a carpenter for James Bryce in Clephanton since April 1910 when he was called up on 4th August 1914. He enlisted with the Highland Mounted Brigade at Nairn eventually being posted to to Egypt in 1916. He worked chiefly on the wagons, greasing and making slight repairs but he also saw action throughout his time in Egypt. During an air raid at Ramleh on 27th November 1917 5 men were killed along with approximately 100 horses.” John survived his time in Egypt, returning home on 4th April 1919. He kept some of his equipment in the Princess Mary Tin he received during his service. Elspeth still has his Princess Mary tin. He passed away in 1980.
Steven Shackleton told us about his great uncle, Thomas Edwards from Ironbridge. During the First World War, Tommy Edwards was a Corporal in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Prior to the war he had served as 86589 Pte T Edwards with the Territorial Reserve Battalion. He served with the 10th KOYLI and then transfered to the 2nd KOYLI before he was killed in action on 30th September 1918, aged 19. He is buried at Bellicourt British Cemetery in France. His mother was Mrs Francis Edwards of Hoylake, Cheshire and had the following inscription added to the bottom of his headstone: ‘Peace, perfect peace’.