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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

RSM WH Fear 8th Bn, West Yorks Rg (Leeds Rifles)

mark ashwell

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Hello All,

My great-great-uncle William Henry Fear was RSM in the West Yorkshire Regiment -8th Bn. (The Leeds Rifles)

He was awarded the Military Cross and is listed in the London Gazette dated 26th June 1916. A few weeks later, on 14th July 1916, he was then Killed in Action. I assume at the battle of the Somme.

I have his medal card but don't really understand it.

Is there any way I can find out how he died?, and how he "won" his MC?

Any useful pointers would be appreciated.

Best Regards,

Mark Ashwell


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The 1/8th War Diary has only one page covering the whole of July 1916.

On the 4th, 5th and 6th July it was based at Martinsart Wood in Divisional Reserve.

"7th do Took over front line from 10th Cheshire Regt, having our HQ at Wood Park with

48 Div on right and 1/6 on left.

8th )

to ) Wood Post Took part in demonstrations connected with other operations.

15th )

15th do Relieved 1/6 in Leipzig Salient."

No casualties are mentioned by name but the remarks column reads

"Casualties during July OFFICERS Killed 2, Wounded 12,Missing 1,Gassed 1

OR Killed 56,Wounded 297,Missing 13, Gassed 3"

The total strength of the Battalion at the end of the month was 30 officers and 705 Other Ranks

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  • 11 years later...


I've spotted your post from 2005 regarding your relative RSM William Fear of the 1/8th W Yorkshire Regt, The Leeds Rifles.

I have written a book about the WW1 service of the Leeds Rifles ( in which my Grandfather served) and I'd be very grateful for any information or pictures you may have of your relative.

I note also from the string about the lack of information in the Battalion War Diaries. I share the frustration! - the 1/7th & 1/8th Diaries are very thin (with lots of 'nothing to report' days) whereas the 2/8th & 2/7th seem to have written everything down!


Any information would be gratefully received.


Best Wishes,

Andrew Kirk



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