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Remembered Today:

21st Battalion KRRC - the original Yeomen


Liz in Eastbourne

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Liz in Eastbourne

I've found another pair of brothers who enlisted with the Yeoman Rifles together and were killed in action serving with them.

We already know about the Crossley twins, who were killed on the same day at Ploegsteert Wood, 30 June 1916, and the Pallisters from Boston Spa who both joined the 21st and died serving with the KRRC, but George was KiA at Flers while William was later transferred to the 18th Bn after being wounded and died of wounds in April 1918.

The Dean brothers were both pawnbrokers living at 1, Selby Street , Wakefield, sons of an insurance collector*, so do not exactly fit the stereotypical Yeoman, the farmer or farmer's son, but then as we know many didn't. Both attested at Wakefield on 13 December 1915 and were approved at Helmsley on 17 December. Both are commemorated on the St Andrew's Church war memorial in Wakefield.

Thomas Gibson Dean, born 1891 in Micklefield, Yorkshire, was Rfn C/12897, was killed at Flers on 15/17 Sept 1916 (form says 15/17, CWGC and SDGW say 17 - as usual we probably don't know which day he actually died). He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

John Stanley Dean, born 1898 in Hemsworth, Yorkshire (where the family were living in 1901), was Rfn C/12895, was wounded at Flers (gunshot wound to right arm). He seems to have been treated in France (Rouen), joined 1BD in November, had influenza, and eventually rejoined the 21st Bn in December. He was wounded in action again on 15 June 1917, but not seriously as he rejoined a week later, and was then killed on 5 August 1917. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

There was a brother between these two in age, George F, born c 1893, who survived the war, and I noticed that there's a number, C/12896, between Thomas and John. I haven't been able to find a military record for George. Could he have been a third brother in the Yeoman Rifles? I wonder if the local papers of autumn 1916 or 1917 had any reports on this family, who must have been devastated. I shall put a query on RootsChat. Or perhaps there's a Wakefield Forum pal who could look some time?

Liz

EDIT *Purely for biographical interest - the Deans' father was a miner on all census returns except 1901, starting at the age of 14 when he was an ironstone miner in Derbyshire and ending with the 1911 census when he was 54 and a Coal Miner Hewer in Wakefield. So their background was tougher than it looked at first.

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
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I originally read this topic as I had found a Spennymoor man who served with the 21st Battalion KRRC and forwarded the information to Liz. She then informed me that 13 Spennymoor men served in the Battalion, and even though I was not actually researching the KRRC I decided to help out trying to find the Spennymoor men as I have received plenty of assistance from members of the GWF over the years. I have passed the information I have to Liz, and below are the men I have traced to date.

Rifleman C/12753 John Frederick ELVES accidentally killed while cleaning a machine gun on 10.8.1916. Lived 93 Front Street, Tudhoe Colliery, Spennymoor.

(Lt R A Eden wrote to his family:- 'I am very sorry to inform you of the death of your son, which took place at 6 o'clock this morning 10th August. He was cleaning a machine gun when it went off accidentally, and the bullet struck him in the thigh. He died more from shock than the actual wound. He was not in my platoon at the time, as he became a machine gunner some little time ago, but I thought I must write and sympathise with you in your great loss. He was always one of the keenest, and cheeriest men of the platoon, and will be missed by both us and the machine gunners. Please let me know if there is anything I can do'.

Rifleman C/12722 Matthew Henry BROADLEY killed in action 13.4.1918. Lived 95 Front Street, Tudhoe Colliery, Spennymoor and had been the neighbour of Elves. When Elves died in 1916, Broadley was another who wrote to the family.

Rifleman C/12982 Arthur BRADLEY, he had been admitted to Rouen Hospital with a serious wound to his leg and died of wounds 30.9.1916. Lived with his parents at 3 Ruby Terrace, Spennymoor.

Rifleman C/12982 Percy Evelyn LAMBTON lived Depot Cottages, Spennymoor. He was a schoolteacher before enlisting. In October 1916 his father was informed that his son, of the machine gun section of the KRRC had been shot through the chest and is now in Rouen Hospital. He survived the wound as he is recorded in the AVL for Spennymoor in 1918 when against his name is recorded '13 Officers CB' Survived war and in 1926 lived Lea View, Works Road, Spennymoor.

Rifleman C/12604 William Henry CLOSE KIA 17.9.1916. Lived 25 Clyde Terrace, Spennymoor with his father who was a grocer, William worked with his father in the grocery business before the war.

Pte R/20065 Frederick Arthur Thomas BUTTERFIELD KIA 17.9.1916. Lived Spennymoor where he was an accountant before the war.

His father was manager of the Spennymoor Co-op Store.

Rifleman C/12973 John Robert JAMES lived 5 Wood Street, Spennymoor with his parents and was a coal miner before the war.

Rifleman C/12603 Arthur PRATT lived 31 Beaumont Terrace, Spennymoor by AVL 1918

I will try and find the missing men and hope to add them in the future.

John

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Liz in Eastbourne

John

It's great to have all this information, especially as some of the men from the Durham area appear in Eden's and Dennis's books.

It was Dennis who mentioned the thirteen Spennymore boys. It's especially exciting to have a letter written by Eden to the parents of Rfn Elves, and interesting to know that Broadley was Eden's servant. Arthur Pratt was the man Eden nicknamed 'Tiger', which stuck - an exceptionally brave man on the night trench raids, Eden said. He survived the war and I haven't found his records.

I liked the story you told me of the discovery of a memorial to Rfn Bradley in a Spennymore church and wonder if you might post the picture and newspaper article extract?

Liz

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In relation to Rifleman C/12982 Arthur Bradley who was KIA 30.9.1916, an article appeared in a local newspaper in 2006 trying to trace the relatives or anyone with knowledge of the family.

'Ninety years after Rifleman Arthur Bradley died in the 1st WW, members of the Trinity Methodist Church, Rosa Street, Spennymoor discovered a small white porcelain font set on a wooden plinth as they were clearing a cupboard. A brass plaque on the plinth stated that the font was dedicated to the memory of Rifleman Bradley by his aunt and uncle. An appeal was then made for any relatives or anyone with knowledge of the family to contact the church'.

I visited the church recently and obtained a photograph of the font set, I was informed that no relatives or other persons came forward after the appeal. Bradley is not recorded on the church war memorial.

John

post-14035-036921300 1289835472.jpg

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Liz in Eastbourne

Thanks, John. I suppose the problem is that he was (like most of the young riflemen) unmarried, and he was the only surviving child of the Bradleys. The aunt and uncle could have been Bradleys or Coldwells (Mrs Bradley's brother and wife who lived at Tudhoe Colliery, Spennymoor) or another name - Mr Bradley had a brother and two sisters but no aunts and uncles were listed on the relatives form unfortunately. But you never know, a distant relative might find him here. So for the record, the plaque in your photograph says:

In loving Memory of

Our Dear Nephew

Rifleman Arthur Bradley KRRC

Who Died of Wounds in France 1916

His casualty form shows that he was wounded at Flers; the entry dated 16/9/1916 says Wounded in Action 15/17.9.16.

Liz

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Liz in Eastbourne

Trenchtrotter has just been to pay his respects to the Earl of Feversham's grave in the AIF cemetery and posted a photograph on his thread in Battlefield Touring subforum here - #26, top of page 2.

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Liz in Eastbourne

I've had some great help from the Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum at Winchester recently and the archivists found me a photograph of the original officers of the Yeoman Rifles, taken (presumably at Aldershot ) in February 1916. It's wonderful to put faces to names we have become familiar with from the books and war diaries - Eden and Feversham we already know, but this is the first time I have seen a picture of Gerald Foljambe and many junior officers. I thought some people here might be interested so I bought a copy and am able to post it here by kind permission of the RGJ Museum.

I'll try to post enlarged sections later and some more details of the officers, but the whole group picture shows, back to front, each row left to right:

(Back) 2 Lt JS Anderson; 2 Lt RWR Law; 2 Lt DJ Yeaman; 2 Lt JN Waldy; 2 Lt HT Turner; 2 Lt GT Potter; Lt GE Tarrant; 2 LT EA Gardner; Lt CG Leatham; 2 Lt RA Eden; 2 Lt GF Howard;2 Lt JM Cole.

(Middle, standing) Lt JFB Ewen; Lt JB Coates; 2 Lt TPA Hervey; 2 Lt M Cole; 2 Lt RCS Baxter; 2 Lt AF Livingstone; 2 Lt PA Jones; 2 Lt AJ Willans; Lt CF Thorpe; 2 Lt RP Graham; 2 Lt C Liddell; 2 Lt FG Mackintosh; Lt G Sheardown.

(Front row, seated on chairs) Lt FM McCausland; Lt KL Godson; Capt AT Watson; Maj RE Paget; Capt and Adj JA Thompson; Lt Col Earl of Feversham; Maj Hon GWS Foljambe; Capt P Lloyd-Greame; Capt LFOS Honey; Capt NH Linzee; Capt RC Burton.

(Front, seated on ground) Lt GHL Burton; Lt RC Robinson; 2 Lt OM Fry; Lt W Gregson.

598ebaa04c9cd_KRRC002.jpg.2e6773159a6c60e62470c71b63f9411d.jpg

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
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This enlarged section shows:

Back row: Waldy, Turner, Potter, Tarrant, Gardner, Leatham, Eden;

Middle row: Cole, Baxter, Livingstone, Jones, Willans, Thorpe;

Front row seated on chairs: Watson, Paget, Thompson, Feversham, Foljambe, Lloyd-Greame;

Front row seated on ground: Burton, Robinson.

598ebb9f72004_KRRC003.jpg.1c27faa4ccdf95d2f15442567433949e.jpg

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
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Here's the enlarged left-hand section of the group. There's some overlap, but I don't want to fiddle with it: my technical skills are still a bit limited (it's thanks to Sue Light of this forum that I've finally got round to using Photobucket). EDIT sad to see my reference to the late and very much lamented Sue Light, editing this post in 2017, but as Photobucket turned all my photos into sales pitches for their paid services, and the forum now allows easy uploads, I'm going through putting the photos in again.

Here are:

Back: Anderson, Law, Yeaman (has he really got a cigarette in his mouth?!), Waldy, Turner, Potter, Tarrant;

Middle: Ewen, Coates, Hervey, Cole, Baxter, Livingstone, Jones;

Front: McCausland, Godson, Watson, Paget, Thompson, Feversham;

Front on ground: Burton, Robinson.

598ebc9b0ef36_KRRC005.jpg.2b96db21032feb80c429c1a6d2ba72a7.jpg

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
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I still have the right-hand section to post, but it keeps appearing in an unrotated form, sideways on...so I shall go away and come back later in the hope that I can get it to agree to stay right way up.

I think Foljambe looks extremely dashing and entirely lives up to my mental image after reading Eden's account of him!

Liz

EDIT

OK, it's in the next post:

Back: Leatham, Eden, Howard, Cole;

Middle: Thorpe, Graham, Liddell, Mackintosh, Sheardown;

Front: Lloyd-Greame, Honey, Linzee, Burton;

Front, sitting on ground: Fry, Gregson.

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I hope it may be useful to post some details of the officers of the Yeoman Rifles in 1915 -1916, especially as shown in the photograph already posted (courtesy of the Royal Green Jackets museum at Winchester). Please do add more info.

598ebe7ee2ad1_PatchWatson.jpg.739e2cb986ca7b9ba9a008a6c4e9f571.jpg

Starting with one of the more colourful figures, the man with the eye-patch in the front row is Captain A T 'Patch' Watson, who had the temporary rank of Major at the time of his death in 1917. He was badly injured at Flers-Courcelette on 15 September 1916, but it's interesting to find that his earlier loss of an eye was not a military wound, though it was caused by a gun shot. Presumably he enjoyed shooting as well as hunting, like Feversham.
 
Major Arthur Toward Watson
Obituary from The King's Royal Rifle Corps Chronicle 1917
Major Arthur Toward Watson, MA, of Bishopthorpe, Yorkshire, was the son of Mr HW Watson, of Burnopfield House,County Durham. Educated at Harrow and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he had always wished to be a soldier, but his ambition was foiled by the loss of an eye due to a gunshot wound. As a coal-owner, he developed large connections with Belgium, France and Spain, which countries he frequently visited.
He married a daughter of Captain Ellis Brooke Cunliffe, of Pelton Hall, Shropshire. A fine rider to hounds, with many interests, happily married, with two children, and in his forty-sixth year, he might well have remained doing his duty as a civilian, but he was not made that way. The writer saw him ride three races, one after the other, in a joint point-to-point meeting of the Scots Greys and the York and Ainsty, and finish in all of them, and this was the spirit which actuated him throughout. Obtaining a commission in the Remount Department in September 1914, he was appointed DADR, Northern Command, in January 1915.
On the formation of the 21st(Yeoman) Battalion of the King's Royal Rifle Corps, under the command of the late Earl of Feversham, Arthur Watson transferred to it, and threw his great energy into becoming a Rifleman. In May1916 he went with his Battalion to France, and was severely wounded on the Somme on September 15th, 1916. Although still feeling the effects of his wound, he rejoined in April 1917, and commanded his Company through the battle of Messines. He was temporary Major when, being again hit, he died of his wounds on August 5th, 1917.
Major Watson was very proud of being a Rifleman, and he lived and died in accordance with the Regiment's greatest traditions. Gallant to a fault, straight in life as he rode, cheery and kind, "Patch Watson" was one of those the Regiment may be proud of numbering among its sons.
 
Mentions in G.V. Dennis's
A Kitchener Man's Bit, ed. Michael E. Hickes 1993, MERH Books Easingwold.
Dennis gives him the initial R, erroneously, but otherwise calls him Patch.
p 11 R Watson of Bishopthorpe to 'B' Coy
p 142 (April 1917 'at Dickebusch, where we went into billets being held in reserve to the 122 Brigade which was holding the St Eloi sector.')
 
Two officers, wounded earlier, returned to the battalion – Captain Patch W. and 2nd L/t Waldy, a popular 'C' Company sub.
p 168 (This section is inaccurate – see Eden's eye-witness account below - but shows how stories spread.)
Some time during the approach to our assembly position, or at the position, we lost our Captain, "Patch" Watson. Some said that because he had been transferred to the new 2nd
KRRs as its Commanding Officer, (sic– but this cannot be right. 2nd KRRC was not new, and he wouldn't have been eligible to command it - Lt-Col Richard Abadie was O/C 2/KRRC at this time, an experienced professional soldier. Perhaps 22nd? From Eden's comments clearly a reserve battalion at home, anyway) he had decided to pay a last call on his old company ('B') and against wishes made the fatal visit; some said that he brought up some mail just to see the old company; others said that he grew impatient with the slow progress forward and had got out of a trench and whilst on the top of it Jerry had seen him and a salvo of shells was sent over and he was hit.
Not far from where he fell the battalion MO and Lance-jack George Williams had set up a medical aid post and so were very quickly on the scene and found that Patch was beyond help. The force of the shell explosion had knocked the patch off his eye. He was buried at La Clytte Cemetery on August 6th. The Colonel (Talbot Jarvis)and George with Claude Hey and others of the burial party all saluted in turn at the edge of his grave. Patch had associations with Bishopthorpe Church, in the churchyard of which, whilst on one of his leaves, he planted an acorn picked up in France. It has grown into a large oak tree.
(Dennis says that Claude Hey, a rifleman in D Coy, lived at Bishopthorpe in old age.)
 
Account of Watson's death in Anthony Eden's Another World, 1976, Allen Lane, London
This eye-witness account on page 146, though mentioning no name, clearly refers to Watson and shows that Dennis's first and second story have some truth in them, but not the third. As adjutant, Eden was with the Colonel on this occasion. He may have been wrong in his recollection that Patch returned to the battalion in April to lead the same company, though, as Dennis, in D Company, refers to him as 'our Captain'.
Just before the Ravine Wood engagement began one of our senior officers had been appointed to a senior job at home. He was not a young man in years for an active command in the field, yet he had commanded a company and been badly wounded on the Somme and had returned to lead his company again at Messines. We were glad he was to have the rest he had so well earned, but he insisted that he must come up the line once more to say goodbye to us. This he did, leaving his horse a mile or so in the rear. Once mounted he would never see the war again.
Our farewells exchanged he turned to go, when his eye fell upon a package of letters, his company's mail waiting to go down the line. 'Can I take those with me for the last time?' he asked. 'Of course,' the colonel replied with a smile. Our guest stooped to pick up the small bundle and at that moment a shell burst beside him. He was gravely wounded. We managed to get him down the line, but he died at La Clytte and was buried there with some of his own riflemen.

I think that's all I've found on Patch.

Liz
EDITED to add image from group photo.
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Liz in Eastbourne

I forgot to ask - what was DADR York? There are two Times obituaries for Major Watson, on 11 and 17 August 1917, which also both refer to this without explanation.

Director of ? Recruitment of some kind? Couldn't find it by searching here or on Google but I am sure someone here will know.

Liz

EDIT

I think I've found it -Deputy Assistant Director of Remounts!

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Liz in Eastbourne
Hello again, anyone who's looking in - I feel slightly embarrassed about giving a monologue, but if I don't put down the details I have of these officers before Christmas, I fear I never will. So I am referring to that photograph again. Sadly my technical advances haven't yet run to cropping a figure from my part-group enlargements (EDIT: with Nigel's help I am now able to add individual faces from the photograph) so please refer back to the last section I posted.

Sheardown.jpg.3e078e5f0f56f40e7b066eda3bc05483.jpg

Lieut. G D Sheardown (later Captain and MC)
Standing on the right of the picture is George Douglas Sheardown, whose outstanding contribution at Gird Ridge on 7 October 1916 was recognised with the Military Cross. Born (on 6 September 1887) and brought up in Sculcoates, East Riding, Yorkshire, George was one of the three children of Edward and Mary Sheardown. His father was a seed merchant and corn crusher in 1891, 1901 and 1911, and as the family had a cook and housemaid they must have been comfortably off, but he was obviously not in the landed-gentry class of some of the other officers.
I have yet to look up his military record at the NA, as the exchequer won't run to any more expense on this before Christmas, but the outline of his career can be gained from London Gazette, his MIC and the two books.
He transferred to the 21/KRRC from The Durham Light Infantry (LG 14 Dec 1915) and was promoted from Temporary 2nd Lt to Temp. Lt (LG 19 Jan 1916) and then to Temporary Captain immediately after Flers-Courcelette (LG 31 Oct 1916). The War Diary for September 1916 states (as earlier recorded on this thread) that he took over command of D Company
vice
Capt Coates wounded.
When the Yeoman Rifles went into action at Gird Ridge on 7 October 1916, three weeks after Flers, they were at half strength and the weather was appalling. Eden relates how B and D Companies were in the lead, each to build a strong point in support of the advancing Royal Fusiliers. Fusiliers and riflemen all suffered heavy casualties.B Company had suffered the most. 'D Company had suffered heavy casualties, but it had reached its objective and was building its strong point under its company commander's energetic guidance. This was Geoffrey Sheardown
(sic –just an error, as Eden was writing many years later and most of the records show only initials),
a very tough and experienced officer.' This strong point became the most advanced portion of the line.
It was for this achievement that Sheardown won his MC. He remained with the Yeoman Rifles until the end of 1917, when he went to the East Yorks Regiment, still as Captain (LG 21 Dec 1917). He went with them to Iraq (MIC), and at the end of May relinquished his commission on account of ill-health contracted on active service and was granted the honorary rank of Captain.
(4 June Supplement to LG 30725 of 31 May 1918). In 1937 he was retired from the reserve list because of his age (50).
I have no definite information about any family but he appears to have married a Miss Leonard in 1912 in Partington, East Yorkshire, and another George Douglas Sheardown who may have been their son was a flying officer in W W 2.
Liz
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Another incomplete account of an officer on
the right-hand section of the photograph, this time
standing on Eden's right (left as you look at it) in the back row of the group photograph

Temporary Second Lieutenant C G Leatham (later Capt. and MC)

Leatham.jpg.a8f7beade211551bc9998f6ad0d65399.jpg

Claude Guy Leatham was known by his second name, Guy; his first name was after his father, who was a solicitor in Pontefract and Deputy Lieutenant of the West Riding. He and his two brothers went to Charterhouse; one became a doctor, and one of his two sisters, Ruth, is described as an artist on the 1911 census return. Guy was a solicitor in his father's firm after being articled in London. The family were well off, to judge by the fact that in 1911 with only their two daughters at home, Claude and Mary Leatham employed six household servants and a groom.

Like his colonel, Lt Leatham had been a territorial yeomanry officer; he had served from 1908 to 1914 in the Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons. (London Gazette 28819, 7 April 1914, records that he resigned his commission as from 8 April.) Anthony Eden mentions him in his book as 'a friendly subaltern' at Aldershot. I do not yet know which Company he belonged to but am guessing B, by process of elimination and also because it would have fitted his West Riding place of origin. I would be very grateful if someone could find the London Gazette entry for his Military Cross: I do not know which action this was awarded for but it was probably at Flers, where the battalion won three MCs.

He was listed with a large group of Temporary Second Lieutenants (Eden, Ewen, Sheardown, Gregson, GJL Burton, Robinson, Yeaman and Turner) in the London Gazettes 29426 of 31 December 1915 and 29443 of 18 January 1916, but I haven't found the date of his promotion to Lieutenant.

When the Yeoman Rifles were disbanded in March 1918, Leatham was transferred to the Royal West Surrey Regiment. (LG 30729 of 4 June 1918) He became Temp Capt. in August 1918 9LG 16 August 1918) and was transferred to the General List in December to be an ADC. Finally the London Gazette 32062 of 24 Sept 1920 recorded under

'Service Battalions

Royal West Surrey Regt'

that he had resigned his commission on 3 March 1919 and retained the rank of Captain.

When he died in 1936, this obituary appeared in The Times (April 3):

CAPTAIN C.G. LEATHAM

Captain Claude Guy Leatham, MC, of Wentbridge, and of Messrs Claude Leatham and Co, Solicitors, of Wakefield, Castleford and Pontefract, died on Wednesday in a London nursing home, at the age of 49. He was a clerk to the Pontefract West Riding magistrates.

Captain Leatham was a keen horseman and saw service with the cavalry* during the War. For seven or eight years in succession he won the members' cup at the point-to-point meeting of the Badsworth Hunt, of the committee of which he was a member. About three years ago, during early morning riding exercise, he was thrown, and for a long time lay unconscious on frozen ground before he was found. He was seriously ill for many months, and never made a complete recovery. He was a bachelor.

* Not for the first time, the Yeoman Rifles seem to have been mistaken for cavalry, because of their name – or perhaps it was because Guy Leatham was such a well-known horseman and had earlier been in a Yeomanry regiment which was cavalry.

Liz

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Liz in Eastbourne

Captain (Robert) Claud Burton, wounded at Gird Ridge 7 Oct 1916

598ebfb1757d7_ClaudBurton.jpg.cd07a9ef4c523d3fe5131fdf857ed2b5.jpg

Seated on a chair on the far right of the group photo. (Not to be confused with Temporary Lt Gerald J L Burton, seated on the ground on the far left).

Claud Burton was born in 1892, the third of five children of David Fowler Burton, barrister, county alderman and JP, and his wife Mary Sophia, of the Hall, Cherry Burton, Beverley, Yorkshire. He was educated at Malvern College and Brasenose College, Oxford.

In the Easter vacation of 1911 he was at home with his parents, aunt and sister at the beautiful Georgian house that had been in the family for over 100 years, along with 1,000 acres of farmland, with four domestic staff and a garden boy; in 1901 there had been nine indoor servants including the governess, and a groom. The estates were sold in 1916, except for 42 acres surrounding the house. Two younger brothers were naval cadets in 1911, Ralph at Dartmouth and Christopher at Osborne; the eldest brother Cecil, who was Captain of Yorkshire cricket after the war, was away in the West Indies with the English cricket team. Claud was a good cricketer too, playing cricket for Oxford University and also for Yorkshire in 1914.

Five years later Captain R C Burton was with the Yeoman Rifles on the Somme, and is mentioned in the bleak account of the events of 7 October1916 in Eden's book Another World, p 112:

'B Company was in much worse plight (than D Company led by George Sheardown, above). Enemy machine guns were constantly active…their losses from machine-gun fire had been cruel, there were dead and wounded fusiliers and riflemen everywhere…

There were only a few survivors and these were in scattered handfuls, scarcely able to move under the intense machine-gun fire. Most of the casualties appeared to have taken place either during the short advance or during gallant but vain attempts to take on the securely-entrenched German machine gunners. For whatever reason, the barrage had not knocked them out.

We had nearly finished our task and the autumn day was beginning to fade when we found another batch of wounded, including B Company commander, Claud Burton. He spoke cheerfully enough but his voice was feeble and he looked pale and weak. He had been wounded early in the attack and could add nothing to what we knew, but he had refused to be carried down sooner, declaring that the more severely wounded must go first, which was typical of this modest and gentle man. Now his turn had come, but the wait had chilled him to the bone, so that I laid my British-warm on him with instructions to the stretcher-bearers to return it later.'

Given the detail, there can be little doubt that Eden is right in giving him B Company, though Dennis in his book puts him with D in late 1915 at Helmsley. Dennis also implies Captain Brooksbank was commanding B Company at Gird Ridge as he 'sent back Corporal Frank (Dusty) Miller twice to ask for reinforcements'. Until we have his military record, there remain some hazy patches in Burton's story. He was evidently in the territorial force before the war and may have served with the Leicestershire Regiment (LG29382 of 26 Nov 1915: Temp 2 Lt R C Burton to Temp Lt) though with this relatively common name there is a danger I may be mixing up two different men.

What is certain is that Burton was sent down to Eastbourne to recuperate from his wounds at the Cavalry Command Depot convalescent hospital, and in 1919 joined the staff of Eastbourne College, where he spent the rest of his working life and was head of cricket. The archivist at the college, who was a pupil there, remembers him and his family.

Supp to LG 17 August 1920

Unattached List for the Territorial Force

Capt RC Burton, late Ser. Bns, KRRC, to be Lt for service with Eastbourne College Contingent, Jnr Divn, OTC, and to relinquish the rank of Capt. 18
th
Aug 1920

EDIT He died in Eastbourne in 1971.

End of tonight's story.

Liz

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Captain Lancelot Frederick Ogston Scott Honey (wounded at Flers, 15 September 1916)

Honey.jpg.a4e3fb6c692fd3ad4e923aee0e01b96e.jpg

(Seated on a chair third from right on the group photo.)

Born in Belvedere, Kent in December 1888, the son of a London lawyer, Frederick Henry Honey, and his Scottish wife Elizabeth Harriet Fisher Honey, Lancelot (Lance? Fred?) was living with them and two sisters in Kensington in 1891, but away in 1901. I have not found where he was educated, but in 1911 he was lodging with two other men in Greenwich and describes himself on the census return as a colonial civil servant. By this time his parents had retired to Seaford, near Eastbourne. There was a fourth living child, according to their statement: at a guess, a son, who was like Lancelot away at school in 1901.

Captain Honey is mentioned as adjutant from the very beginning of the battalion's time at Helmsley by GV Dennis in A Kitchener Man's Bit (as previously mentioned on p 3 of this thread in the discussion of the Flers casualties): he says Honey 'specialised in teaching us to salute'. This photograph, however, clearly shows Captain and Adjutant J A Thompson seated on Feversham's right (with two straps like braces instead of the diagonal one, and insignia on his collar – where's he from, please can someone advise?) at Aldershot in February 1916.

My guess is that he was sent elsewhere soon after the photograph and Honey took over; Dennis, who didn't start keeping his diary till he was in the field and wrote his story up in 1928-9, probably forgot Honey wasn't yet adjutant at Helmsley.

EDIT details re Thompson are further on, and he was adjutant of the battalion till about July when he had a riding accident.

Dennis and Eden both mention Honey at Flers on 15 September 1916:

'the Adjutant, who liked smart saluting on pay days, was hit in the eye'. (Dennis, p. 83)
'Feversham was killed leading his riflemen and Honey, his adjutant, lost an eye.' (Eden p. 98)
 

He appears to have gone to another battalion after recovering from his wounds – with only one eye, he may still have been on active service as the example of 'Patch' Watson shows, but I have as with the other officers not yet looked for his record. (Still hoping Father Christmas may descend on this thread and bring one or two!)

The Supplement to the London Gazette of 15 June 1917 states:

K.R.Rif.C.

Temp. Capt. LFOS Honey from a Serv. Bn to be Temp.Capt. (attd) 11 Mar 1917, with seniority 17 Jan 1916.

He evidently survived the war.

Liz

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Honey died on 14 Feb 1934, at Little Ote, Bakeham Lane, Egham, Surrey, according to Probate Records. He left his widow Hilda Benson Honey 1024pnds 4s and 1d.

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Liz in Eastbourne

I like the penny.You didn't dig up his military record at the same time, did you, Perth Digger?

Here is one of the young second Lieutenants, straight out of school and into the army just before he was 18, and dead the following year.

Temp. Second Lieut. James Skelton Anderson: Died of wounds after Gird Ridge, 7 October 1916

He is at the back of the group photo, on the left. 598ec196a5410_JSAnderson.jpg.8f82c388a744dda000caf1200017b777.jpg

James was the eldest of three children, all boys, of Kenneth and Louisa Anderson of Stamford House, Wimbledon Common. At the time of the 1911 census, all the boys being away at boarding school, the parents were alone in the house except for five servants. His father was owner of the Orient Steam Navigation Company, and was knighted in 1919..

There are also photographs of him on De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour and Harrow Memorials of the Great War (both available online.)

The Harrow obituary is worth quoting in full:

2nd Lieutenant J S Anderson
King's Royal Rifle Corps
Church Hill 11³ – 15²  [Died of wounds]Aged 19  October 10th  1916
Eldest son of Sir Kenneth Skelton Anderson (OH), KCMG, Shipowner, and of Louisa Mary, daughter of James Cochran Stevenson, for many years MP for South Shields. A younger brother, Cadet Kenneth Angus Anderson, RN, was killed in the explosion of HMS
Bulwark, on November 26th , 1914.
2nd Lieutenant Anderson obtained a Commission in the 15th Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps on August 26th, 1915, within a month of leaving School, and was transferred to the 21stBattalion at Aldershot. He went to France with his Regiment in May, 1916, and after some months of trench warfare near Ploegsteert, was sent to the Somme. He was severely wounded on October 7th, 1916, whilst leading his men in an attack near Guedecourt and died three days later at a Casualty Clearing Station at Heilly, near Albert.
 
His Commanding Officer wrote:-
"He was a most capable and efficient Officer, and no Company Commander in the Expeditionary force had a more loyal or hardworking Subaltern. He was very brave and did his work well over the parapet, looking after his men with a discretion beyond his years."
His Company Sergeant-Major wrote:-
"During our night searches I was deeply impressed by his calm and clear reasoning, as well as by his cool courage….In the attack he led his Platoon with great gallantry until cut down."

Anthony Eden had much in common with Anderson, both being from families with intellectual interests as well as wealth and powerful contacts, and both having lost younger brothers who were 16-year-old midshipmen – Anderson's in November 1914, Eden's in May 1916, so that he received the news while he was with the Yeoman Rifles at Ploegsteert Wood. Eden's eldest brother had been killed in action in 1914. Anderson's youngest brother Hew survived the war. They were the same age, but Eden writes about him from the perspective of an old man looking back.

 
'B Company was in much worse plight (than D Company). Enemy machine guns were constantly active, and it was not easy to form a true picture of what was happening. At the outset I walked into a stretcher party bearing one of our young officers. He had only joined us a short while before. I asked him where he had been hit and he looked up at me, smiled and said a little ruefully, 'In the stomach.'
We both remembered how a few nights before some of us had been discussing, as was common enough in a Somme interlude, where we would prefer to be hit. Each had his preference, an arm, a shoulder, a leg; we had all agreed that the stomach was the one to be feared. Next day I learned that Anderson had died before reaching the casualty clearing station.
Anderson was typical of the best of our volunteers. He was short-sighted and no doctor would have passed him under any serious test. No doubt he had ducked that somehow. He was an intellectual and an excellent company officer. By a chance which I would never have dreamt possible in 1916, I became many years later the friend and colleague of his uncle, Walter Runciman.'

(Eden p.110-11 – he goes on to discuss how many young men who would never have been called athletic or strong showed exceptional courage in the war.)

Eden recalls Anderson's death as taking place before he ever reached the Casualty Clearing Station on 7th October. The other records give 10th October. It will be remembered that the records of the Yeoman Rifles usually say 7th - 10th October for Gird Ridge casualties, just as they usually say 15th -17th September for Flers. The photograph shows that Anderson was with the battalion from the early days at Aldershot, as stated by the Harrow obituary, so he had not joined them as recently as Eden implies.

If my earlier assumption is correct, and both men were in B Company at Gird Ridge, then the Company Commander who wrote the words above in praise of James Anderson was Claud Burton, himself wounded at Gird Ridge.

Liz

 

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Hello Liz,

Monologue or not, this thread has grown and developed into a fascinating read and a valuable resource for anyone with an interest in the battalion. You have done some extremely good work here and should be pleased with what you have produced.

I will see about helping you out with cropping some faces for you to add to your idividual officers' posts.

Keep up the fascinating work.

Cheers,

Nigel

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His service record is WO339/4889, but I don't have access to it.

He does have a MIC.

I like the penny.You didn't dig up his military record at the same time, did you, Perth Digger?

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Liz in Eastbourne

Hello Liz,

Monologue or not, this thread has grown and developed into a fascinating read and a valuable resource for anyone with an interest in the battalion. You have done some extremely good work here and should be pleased with what you have produced.

I will see about helping you out with cropping some faces for you to add to your idividual officers' posts.

Keep up the fascinating work.

Cheers,

Nigel

That's very heartening, Nigel, thank you!

Your offer of help on cropping some faces is also very welcome, and I'll PM you about it.

It is I hope only temporarily a bit of a monologue and I do hope it will be a resource. I hope Mark'll have time to look in during the holiday too - he's been too busy, but as you know from the beginning his KRRC knowledge has been crucial. I've been getting general help on ranks and promotions etc elsewhere on the forum; I am mainly occupied in researching non-WW1 topics and will never match the breadth of knowledge of many here so it's essential.

Thanks again,

Liz

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Liz in Eastbourne

His service record is WO339/4889, but I don't have access to it.

He does have a MIC.

I know - I guess we could both access it for the same fee.

(EDIT No we couldn't, we'd have to go to Kew. ) I thought it was worth a try, though, in case you had had it up your sleeve, from prior researches on the battalion...

They will all have to wait till I have more money and time.

The MIC was where I got his full name; the Ogston is transcribed Ogslon by Ancestry but there's a t-cross visible on the line.

Liz

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Liz in Eastbourne

Temp. Lieut. Gerald John Lloyd Burton (later Captain and MCwith bar)

Wounded 1916 and 1917

Seated on the ground, left, in the group photo.

Clip thanks to Nigel's assistance. 598ec200c83c2_GeraldJLBurton.jpg.8a9e2a791029f2fb6749e941f5f909df.jpg

This is the other Burton, and I think he was the one in D Company – but this is largely guesswork.

He was born on 9 September 1892, the tenth of eleven children of William F Burton, landowner, and his wife Georgiana, who lived at Goltho Hall in Lincolnshire. In 1901 they had a nurse, a governess, a cook and three other live-in maids: they did outnumber their house servants, unlike many people at the time, but there were gardeners, labourers and a groom in adjoining properties.

He was educated at St Lawrence College, Ramsgate, Kent, and as he gained his Cambridge degree at Pembroke College in 1920, I assume he resumed studies started before the war, probably 1912-14. In 1914 he enlisted in the Honourable Artillery Company, with whom he went to France on 18. 9.1914 and became a Lance-Corporal, according to his MIC, before taking a commission in the 7th Lincs Regiment on 11.5.1915 (MIC) and then the Yeoman Rifles in the autumn of 1915.

He was rapidly promoted to Lieutenant and then to Captain when the Battalion left for France.

An anecdote in Dennis refers to Captain Burton and CSM Gibson being accidentally sprayed by a phosphorus bomb thrown by the Royal Engineers while they were at Ploegsteert Wood.

(EDIT This was certainly Gerald Burton, because the War Diary for July 9th says so, and still calls him Lieut. Dennis's account suggests that Burton wasn't much hurt: the CSM, on the other hand, had to be sent back to Blighty, later joining a Machine Gun Company. The War Diary however says that both were evacuated.)

There was a [junior officer] Burton mentioned as being in D Company at the outset. It could well be that the '??Yorkshire cricket' in the text at that point was an editorial insertion, since the other Burton was better known in Yorkshire.

The fact that Dennis does not call the Burton in the first reference 'Captain', but puts him in a group of junior officers, is further evidence that it was GJL.

The KRRC Chronicle of 1916 gives a casualty list, transcribed here by Mark on 17 Sept (page 3) which includes both Burtons. Gerald could have been wounded at Flers or Gird Ridge, or his earlier misfortune could have kept him out of both actions. If anyone can find Military Cross citations on the London Gazette, I'd be very interested to know what this was for, and it might well clarify where he was wounded.

(EDIT Since writing this account I have found his MC and bar in the LG and they were for action in 1917. I now think his burns in the phosphorus incident in mid-July 1916 may have kept him out of Flers and Gird Ridge. He was wounded again at Tower Hamlets Ridge in Sept 1917 (War record 1917).)

The London Gazette entries I have found are as follows.

31 Dec 1915 and 3 Jan 1916 – GLJ Burton in a list of Temp. Second Lieutenants (Ewen, Sheardown, Gregson, Robinson, Yeaman, Turner, Leatham, Graham and Eden, all in the group photograph) notified in previous Gazettes and antedated to 29 Sept.

19 Jan 1916 – GJL Burton promoted to Temp. Lieutenant along with Leatham and Gregson.

18 Aug 1916

Temp Lt GJL Burton to be Temp. Capt 5 May 1916

(This raises the question of whether he was already known as Captain from the battalion's departure for France on 5 May, since it's not announced in the LG till August. In the incident described above Dennis remembers him as Captain but the War Diary calls him Lieutenant. )

12 April 1918

KRRif Corps

Temp Capt GJL Burton relinquishes his commission on account of ill-health caused by wounds, and is granted the honorary rank of Captain. 17 April 1918

Supp. To LG 31766 of 3 Feb 1920 p.1526

UNATTACHED LIST FOR THE TERRITORIAL FORCE

Capt GJL Burton MC (late KRRifCorps) to be Capt for service with the Cambridge University Contingent (Infantry Unit) Senior Div., OTC Feb 4th 1920

After taking his degree Burton became a plant breeder in the Department of Agriculture, Kenya and founded Egerton College, Njoro, according to the online site The Peerage. He was twice married (in 1928 and 1943) and divorced, and had no children.

Liz

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Dear Liz, I had the great good fortune to meet "the last" yeoman, Mr Gerald V Dennis. I had written an short article about a North Riding Constabulary officer (Percy Chapman) who had been killed in 21 KRRC. I was later invited to the last three of the Reunions which were held in Helmsley on the Sunday nearest the date of the Flers Battle. Gerald was the kindest of men, whose memory was razor sharp. He also kept a comprehensive diary throughout the war, which he typed into a book in 1928. Gerald died, aged 98, on 5 December 1993. His ashes were scattered in Duncombe Park on 18 September 1994. It was a moving ceremony with a bugler provided by the KRRC. Anyhow, Geralds book was privately published in 1994 through the hard work of his good friend Michael Hickes - whose father and uncle were Yeomen. The book , which I have a copy was entitled "A Kitchener Man's Bit". Frank Arnold is mentioned as being the first man to enlist in York. Some years later, I found an official photo of 7 Platoon B Company 21 KRRC and there is a Private Jackson pictured. For a number of years after, I searched the war graves for 21 KRRC men and would send gerald a photo. He would, usually recall the events. A truely amazing man. Hope this is of some interest. Will gladly look up any further names you may have. Yours aye, Jim K

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