William John Blore

Timelines: Ribbon of Remembrance William John Blore

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.

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