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Remembered Today:

Thomas HOWLETT 1/6th Bn West Yorkshires - Bradford

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Tommy Howlett started his War Journal on 15 April 1915.

A German sniper ended it, and Tommy's life, on 27 September 1915.



In May 2016 I obtained (in digital form) the war journal of Pte Thomas Edward Howlett, 185, from Bradford. I was interested because Tommy Howlett is in Talana Farm Cemetery, Boezinge, near Ypres. It was not until November 2017 that I found the 'energy' to try to start to decipher the handwriting. That was because I obtained (again in digital form) the “Brocklehurst Album”, a collection of approx. 160 small photographs taken by Pte Fred Brocklehurst, who was also in the 1/6th Bn West Yorkshire Regiment.


Combining the Journal, the Photo Album, the Battalion's War Diaries and what I know of the battlefield where Tommy Howlett died, into an article seemed a good idea for a "small" project to keep me occupied. If however I had known that this small project would keep me busy for over 6 months, almost every day...


But now it is finished. I converted the 145 pages (with approx. 250 photos) into a PDF. I think I can say that I have reason to be pleased with the result. And so I would like to offer it to anyone on the Forum who may be interested in what Tommy Howlett and his pals of the 1/6th Bn West Yorks went through between mid April 1915, when he left Gainsborough and arrived in Boulogne, and 27 September 1915, when he died on the east bank of the Boezinge Canal and was buried in Talana Farm Cemetery in my village of Boezinge (Boesinghe)


If you are interested, please feel free to ask. If I have your e-mail address, just let me know. If I do not have your e-mail address, contact me in a PM, or in an e-mail.   aurel.sercu[at]telenet.be


The PDF version I am offering is a little more than 12 MB. E-mailing should be no problem. And if so I can also send an identical but lighter version of almost 10 MB (gross weight 13.5 MB). And if you would like to receive an even better version of 21 MB, I can send it using WeTransfer.


In the article I pay attention to many (about 3 dozen) of Tommy Howlett's pals. I intend to list their names in a following posting. I will also list the places where Tommy Howlett was between disembarking in Boulogne, and his death in my village of Boezinge.

X Howlett portrait PrScr.jpg

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Maybe some of the following names can be useful in someone's research.


These are the pals mentioned by Tommy Howlett in his Journal. Let it be clear: what Tommy Howlett wrote, is a brief mention. For each day between 15 April and end of September 1915, the entry is only 1 to 3 short lines. Where possible I try to give some extra information. A number of these men are listed here because there is a (low quality) photo in the “Brocklehurst Album”. And even when the information does not add anything, the context in which a man is mentioned does?...


Lance-Corporal John Pickard BROWN, 1858, shot in the shoulder, 20 -05-1915

Lance Corporal Harry S. CRYER, 1962, KIA 19-08-1915

Pte John CUTCLIFFE, 1863

Serjeant Robert Ivor DERWENT, shot in the leg on 14-05-1915, KIA 01-07-1916

Corporal ELLIS, shot in the side on 13-06-1915, later Labour Corps

Serjeant P. C. EMMISON, 2080

Serjeant John HAMMOND, 204, KIA 16-05-1915

Pte John LISTER, 1429, KIA 11-08-1915

Lieutenant E. MYERS (wellknown rugby player)

Pte Charles NEWBY, 2505, KIA 19-08-1915

Serjeant Leslie P. RENDALL (Rendell), 245

Lance Corporal Henry Charles SPEIGHT, 2221

Pte Fred W. WHITTAKER, 1802, brother of John Charlton WHITTAKER 1801, KIA 28-04-1918

CSM William (Billy) WALMSLEY, 240011, died 25-10-1918


n the article I also pay attention to the following men, because they can be clearly linked to what the Battalion and Company (“C”) Tommy was in, or because there appears to be one or more photos in the 'Brocklehurst Album'. For some of them there is only a few lines and/or photo, for a few half a page or more. But again, the context in which they are mentioned may somehow be relevant?...


Pte Arthur BAILEY, 2104, KIA 31-05-15

Pte Arthur Kenneth BLOOMER, 2070, 01-07-1916

Pte Haydn BOOTH, 3936, DOW 21-08-1915

Pte Frederick T. BROCKLEHURST, 2222

Pte George CURE, KIA 29-07-1915

Pte C. (H.?) BURGESS, 2735, KIA 30-04-1915

Pte George W. CONDER, 2006, KIA 11-10-1915.

Pte Gilbert CONNELL, 2387, KIA 21-07-1915 (1/5th Bn)

Pte William JENNINGS, 98, 03-06-1915

Pte Harry LAYCOCK, 1453, 11-08-1915

Pte Albert MARGERISON, DOW 17 -07-1915

Pte Bernard NAREY, 2224

Pte Andrew (Andy) NIGHTINGALE, 2373, 19-12-1915

CSM John POTTAGE, KIA 12-08-1915

Pte Fred ROBINSON, 3474, KIA 17-071915

Pte Edwin RUFFE, 1622

Pte Arthur SMITH, 2108

Pte Stanley (Tubby) UNDERWOOD, 1130, KIA 25-04-1918

Lance Cpl John WALKER, 3051, 25-04-1918

Pte W. WATKINS, 1374, KIA 29-08-1915




Howlett article ScreenShot p 1.jpg

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And these are the places where Tommy Howlett was, for a day or a while.

France : Boulogne - Merville - Le Sart - Laventie - Fauquissart - Estaires - Fromelles - Neuve Chapelle - Sailly - Fleurbaix - Bac St Maur       Belgium : Proven - Poperinge - Brielen - Vlamertinge - Boezinge.

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Just an example of part of a page in Tommy Howlett's Journal. Not taken at random. It is maybe one of the most dramatic pages in the Journal, when he mentions, on 19 August 1915, the death of two good friends : L/Cpl Harry (Henry) CRYER, 1962, Pte Charles NEWBY, 2505.

They have no known grave, their names being on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres.


Harry CRYER was born in London, but his mother was from Bradford. He was 28 when he was killed in action.

Charles NEWBY, age 21, was from Bradford, a Sedbergh Grammar School student, who served in the ranks rather than as an officer.



19 AUG 1915 death CRYER & NEWBY.JPG

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  • 2 years later...

May I ask if you can send me this copy of the album?

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