Over the past week, we have been very proud to receive donations of items relating to two members of the regiment who served during the First World War.
Ruth Kendon visited us carrying a suitcase full of photographs, letters, kit and literature relating to Captain Reginald Mowling Howes MC of the 4th Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment. Earlier in the week, we’d spent time with Robert Amis, who’d brought us material belonging to his grandfather, Captain Henry Amis.
Ruth is Captain Howes’ daughter, and we spent an absorbing and emotional morning with her and her husband looking through the items. Some of them Ruth decided she couldn’t part with, but much of the collection has now been taken into the keeping of the museum, to be catalogued and used in further study and future exhibitions.
Reginald Howes attended the University of London Officer Training Corps (OTC) between 6 May 1915 and 20 July 1916 before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Yorkshire Regiment on 21 July 1916.
He served with the 4th Battalion as temporary Adjutant and Intelligence Officer, and was wounded on 15 September 1916 near Flers. In his correspondence he talks about seeing the first tanks on the Western Front – tanks were first used at Flers on 16 September 1916.
He was taken prisoner on 27 May 1918 (during the Kaiserschlacht offensive), before being released on 14 December 1918.
The donation comprises a wealth of personal material, including letters and accounts of his service.
Particularly gripping is his account of the German offensive of 1918 and his capture. His compass is still in full working order. We haven’t tested the biscuit which was given to Prisoners of War, which Captain Howes saved for posterity…