St Helen’s Church, Sandal

First World War A-M



The bronze memorial at the west end of the church honours the fallen of both world wars.

A. Amos

18746 Private Alfred Amos, 6th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, killed in action on 20 July 1915. Commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres.

Amos was a single man who lived with his parents at Haw Park and worked at Walton Colliery before joining the colours. He was killed by a shell bursting in his trench and he was buried nearby (Wakefield Express 31 July 1915)

H. Ashton

1846 Private Harry Ashton, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 21 of wounds on 19 December 1915. Buried Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, 12 kilometres west of Ypres town centre.

Wakefield Express, 1 January 1916


Private Harry Ashton was only 21 years of age, and lived with his parents at Sparable Lane, Sandal. He had been in the ‘Terriers’ for about three and a half years, and previous to the outbreak of the war was a Blacksmith apprentice at Messrs J Rhodes and Sons Ltd . Some three months ago he was wounded in the back and leg, but the nature of the injuries was not so serious as expected. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ashton had been looking forward to him coming home on leave for Xmas.

The other day Mrs. Ashton received the following letter from the Sister in Charge [M. Wharton] of one of the Military Hospitals in France:-

“It is with much regret that I send you bad news. Your son was admitted to us yesterday suffering from a severe attack of gas poisoning. He was quite unconscious, and in a very critical condition on admission. Everything was done that could be done, it was of no avail, and he passed away in the early hours of this morning. He will be laid to rest in our soldiers’ cemetery, and a cross bearing his name, number, date and regiment will mark his grave. He gave his life for King and Country and will have a Military funeral, and every respect will be shown him.

“With deepest sympathy, and I pray that God will comfort you in this dark hour.”

R.E. Atkinson

2007 Private Robert Edward Atkinson, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, killed in action aged 22 or 24 on 19 December 1915.

Atkinson, who was gassed, lived at 40 Ings Cottage, Crofton, and left a widow and two children. He worked as a miner at Walton Colliery. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Wakefield Express both give his age as 22, but a further newspaper announcement by the widow gives it as 24.

W. Bell

Captain Wilson Bell, LL.B., King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, was killed in action aged 36 on 15 March 1917. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.

He was the husband of Dora Ellen Bell, of Woodlands Cottage, Sandal, and the son of Thomas Person Bell and Elizabeth Bell, of North Road, West Kirby, Cheshire. He was Assistant Solicitor of West Riding County Council.  (Wakefield Express 24 March 1917)

The website An Imperishable Record - The People of the North-West Wirral and the Great War states:

"Wilson Bell was the son of Thomas Pearson Bell (born in Scotland in about 1851) and Elizabeth (born in Irthington, Cumberland in about 1854). He was born in West Derby in Liverpool and christened at St. Mary’s church in Edge Hill. Thomas was described as a book-keeper in 1891 and Chief Clerk to the Public Health Service in 1901. At the time of Wilson’s death, he was also a Hoylake and West Kirby councillor. Wilson became a solicitor. He married Dora Ellen and settled in Wakefield, where he worked as the assistant solicitor for West Riding County Council. He must have been a part-time soldier with the Territorial Army because he began his war service in November 1914. He went to France on 15th January 1917.

"When he was still at home in West Kirby, like many Anglo-Scots, Wilson and his family attended the Presbyterian church. The Reverend Kirkland was their minister. He delivered Wilson’s eulogy at a remembrance service on 24th March 1917. He based his sermon on Revelation 21:3 – 'God himself shall be with them and their God' and, movingly, went on to describe the young man: 'No purer or nobler soldier has fallen in the great struggle of right against ambitious might. He was one of our own boys; we knew him from his childhood, and have followed his career with the closest interest all the way. He was a good man with a genial personality. He was a brilliant student; one well skilled in the law, and certain of high promotion in his calling, but the bullet of a German sniper has extinguished all our hopes – yes, extinguished all our hopes, but the man lives after his warfare has been finished; he lives crowned with the victor’s crown! … He lies – his body lies – in a grave in the fields of France. He himself is home with his Lord.'"

L. Bentley

Eleven individuals with this surname and first initial appear in the CWGC register. A process of elimination leaves the most likely man as 18771 Private Lewis Bentley, ‘D’ Company, 9th Bn, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own), who died on 25 October 1915. He was the son of Mrs. L. Bentley, whose address at the time the register was compiled was 10 Eve Place, Dewsbury Road, Leeds. He is commemorated on the Hill 10 Memorial, Gallipoli.

A.W. Blackburn

27045 Gunner Arthur Wilfred Blackburn, Royal Field Artillery, died aged 21 on 20 November 1915.   

He was the son of James and Mary Hannah Blackburn, of Ivydene, Ashdown Road, Sandal. He is commemorated at the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

Wakefield Express, 4 December 1915:

Mr and Mrs J Blackburn, of Ashdown Road, Sandal, have received official intimation that their youngest son, Gunner Arthur Wilfred Blackburn of the Royal Field Artillery, died from dysentery in the 21st General Hospital, Alexandria, on November 22nd after being at the Dardanelles. Gunner Blackburn, who was 21 years of age, enlisted on New Year’s Day and he was in the employ of Messrs Heywood, engineers Huddersfield. 

Dorothy Briggs V.A.D.

Miss Dorothy Briggs, of Sandal Cliff, who is named at the foot of the memorial for WW1 casualties, died aged 40 on 28 April 1919 of heart failure following influenza. She was buried at Wakefield Cemetery on 1 May 1919 following a service at St Helen’s.

An entry in the cemetery burial register reads: “Succourer of many.” Widely missed... (the last word is illegible). The birth of a Dorothy Briggs was registered in Wakefield in the September quarter of 1878.

The 1911 census shows her living with her widowed father, worsted hosiery manufacturer William Briggs, at 4 South Parade, Wakefield. The household included her brother, William Gerald Briggs, and sister Marjorie Ellen Briggs. Dorothy’s estate in 1919 totalled just over £4,000. Probate was granted to her brother (then Assistant Director of Education for West Riding County) and sister.

No entry in the CWGC register.

Note: The Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) was an organisation providing field nursing services, mainly in hospitals, in the UK and other countries in the British Empire. The organisation was founded in 1909 and by the summer of 1914 there were more than 2,500 Voluntary Aid Detachments in Britain. Each individual volunteer was called a detachment, or simply a VAD. Of the 74,000 VADs in 1914, two-thirds were women and girls. At the outbreak of the First World War VADs eagerly offered their services to the war effort. The British Red Cross was reluctant to allow civilian women a role in overseas hospitals; most VADs were of the middle and upper classes and unaccustomed to hardship and traditional hospital discipline. Military authorities would not accept VADs at the front line. Nevertheless, they provided an invaluable source of bedside aid and many were decorated for distinguished service.

J. Broadhead

10839 Signaller/Private John Broadhead, of the 2nd Bn, Coldstream Guards, was killed in action aged 20 on 14 September 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme. His address was given as Castle Terrace, Walton.

C.A. Bruce

C/6820 Rifleman Charles Arthur Bruce, 13th Bn, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, was killed in action aged 23 on 30 May 1916. He was the husband of Evelyn Bruce and son of John William and Mary Bruce, of Church Lane, Sandal. He is buried at Strand Military Cemetery, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium.

Wakefield Express 10 June 1916:


The death is reported of Private Charles Arthur Bruce of the Kings Royal Rifles and the sad news has been conveyed in a letter to the young widow, Haddingley Hill, Sandal, but who is now living with her mother-in-law Mrs Bruce, Church View, Sandal.

Second Lieutenant Cook writing from ‘The Trenches’ on June 2nd says:- ‘It is with the greatest regret that I have to inform you of the death of your husband, who was killed by a bullet yesterday when in the trenches. His death was almost instantaneous, and he suffered very little pain. I found him one of the steadiest and reliable men in my platoon, always bright, and cheery and a pleasure to have by one’s side. By his death we have lost a fine soldier and a true and staunch comrade, and I say with all sincerity that by his death the country is less by one of nature’s gentlemen. We all sympathise most deeply with you.’

The Brigade Chaplin has also set a sympathetic letter in which he says that the deceased ‘lies buried in a certain wood near the trenches and you will be glad to know that many of his comrades were present when I took the funeral.’
Rifleman W. Farrow writes stating that the deceased had only been in the trenches five minutes when he was shot through both legs. ‘We are still sorry to lose him,’ he adds, ‘because he was very popular with the lot of us.’

Deceased who was 23 years of age joined the colours in August last, previous to which he worked as a miner at Walton pit.

C. Bruce

There is a strong possibility this is the same man as the one listed above.

L.W. Burton

Two men with both initials appear in the CWGC register. They are 608334 Rifleman Leonard Walter Burton, London Regiment (London Irish  Rifles), who died on 23 March 1918 and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, and 13791 Private Leonard William Burton, 1st Bn Northampton Regiment, who died on 27 September 1916 and whose name appears on the Thiepval Memorial. No age or family details are recorded in either case.

E. Calvert

Although his name is recorded on the St Helen’s memorial, no information has been found linking this man to Sandal, although there is an E. Calvert named on the memorial at Wrenthorpe, Wakefield. This is Private Edgar Calvert, 5th Bn, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, son of Charles and Martha Calvert, of Jerry Clay Lane, Wrenthorpe. He died on 3 May 1917, aged 29..

E. Clarke

201263 Private Ernest Frederick Clarke, 10th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 26 on 19 December 1917. Remembered at Epehy Wood Farm Cemetery, Somme.

Clarke, who lived at Walton House Cottage, Walton, enlisted in November 1914, previous to which he had worked in the brickyard at Sharlston Colliery. He died of severe wounds caused by a shell burst. A Wakefield Express report of 5 January 1918 gives his age as 25.

C.R. Cliff

Lieutenant Cecil Robson Cliff, Royal Field Artillery, died aged 24 on 3 October 1918.  He is buried at Wakefield Cemetery, grave ref G C 156. He was the husband of Jessie Muriel Lowery (formerly Cliff), 16 Cyprus Street, Wakefield, and the son of Joe Sidney Cliff.

Wakefield Express, 5 October 1918:


The death took place on Thursday morning at the residence of his father-in-law Mr Wood, Cyprus Street, St John’s, Wakefield, of Lieutenant Cecil Robinson Cliff, eldest son of Cr and Mrs Sidney Cliff, Manygates Terrace, Sandal, and there was a distressing coincidence in the fact that Lieutenant and Mrs Cliff’s child - a baby boy eight months old, also died the same day.

Much sympathy has been expressed with the respective families in the great trouble, especially with the young widow, who married in May 1916 and has so suddenly been bereft of both her husband and child.

Lieutenant Cliff, who was only 24 years of age, was educated at the Academy, York Street, and afterwards he joined his father, the Managing Director of Messrs E. P. Shaws and Co Ltd, Mineral Water manufacturers, Westgate, Wakefield.

When war broke out he was a Trooper in the Yorkshire Dragoons . He went to France early in 1916 and about two years ago he was given a commission in the Royal Field Artillery . In July of the same year he was invalided home with shell shock and on his recovery he returned to the Front in 1917. In April this year he was again invalided home after having been wounded in the thigh and suffering from gas poisoning.

After being in hospital at Oxford he was transferred to Blackpool, where it was thought he was making a satisfactory recovery, in fact he was to have returned to France next Monday. He was joined in Blackpool by his wife and child, and in returning home last Wednesday week he got a chill. He had immediately to take to his bed and receive medical attendance but he got worse and passed away shortly before eight o'clock on Thursday morning, the cause of death being pneumonia complicated by gas poisoning which had permeated his system. The funeral will take place at the cemetery this afternoon.

The August 1915 London Gazette entry marking his appointment as a temporary second lieutenant can be found here

T.A. Cole

47523 Private Thomas Alfred Cole, 9th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died of wounds on 22 March 1918. He is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme.

No further information available.

T. Cooper

19942 Private Thomas David Cooper, 7th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, killed in action aged 27 on 17 September 1916. He was the son of Harriet Cooper, of Avondale Place, Sandal.

Wakefield Express 7 October 1916:

Official intimation has been received that Private T. D. Cooper, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, Avondale Place, Sandal, was killed in action on September 17th. Deceased, who was only 27 years of age and single, enlisted in October 1914, previous to which he worked at Walton Colliery. He was a prominent member of Brook House Working Men’s Club.

Photograph published in the Wakefield Express 31 August 1918

J. Crease

P/1213 Sergeant James Crease, 1st Traffic Control Company, Military Foot Police, died aged 38 on 10 August 1918. Buried at Ligny St Flochel British Cemetery, Averdoingt, Pas de Calais, France. Husband of Mrs A.O. Crease, later of 11 Wolseley Road, Wood Green, London, formerly of Sandal.

Wakefield Express 24 August 1918:

Sergeant James Crease, Military Police, whose widow and six young children live at Station Street, Sandal, died in hospital in France on August 10th after an operation for a strangulated hernia and peritonitis . Deceased, who was 39 years of age, was an old soldier. He served seven years with the Grenadier Guards and for nearly three years of this period he was in the South African War.

Afterwards he was five years on the reserve, which had expired when the present war broke out. He was then employed as a policeman at the Westgate Railway Station, and in May 1915 he volunteered for active service. After being six months at Aldershot he proceeded to France, attached to the Military Police, his duties entailing a great deal of cycling which no doubt accounted for his hernia . On being removed to the hospital he was seen by Sergeant J. Ernest Harris [son of the Chief Constable of Wakefield] and an old friend of Crease’s when ambulance classes were held at Westgate Station. Everything was done for the sufferer, but he never really recovered from the shock, and passed away peacefully.

Mrs Crease has been the recipient of very kind and sympathetic letters from Sergeant Harris, Captain Davison, Lance Corporal Beresward, Lieutenant Eastman, the Sister in Charge of the hospital and the Church of England Chaplain. In the course of  his letter Captain Davison said Crease ‘was the finest and most reliable Sergeant it was ever been my good fortune to have met. He was held in high esteem by all the officers and men’.

Writers of other letters stated that ‘he was an excellent soldier, who by his devotion to duty and good fellowship won the confidence of the officers and all Company’ and ‘he was a man of fine character, and a true and noble Englishman’.

Photograph published in the Wakefield Express 31 August 1918

G. Davis

278049 (RFR/PO B/925) Petty Officer 2nd Class George Davis, RN, of HMS Bulwark, died aged 40 on 26 November 1914. He was the son of William and Harriet Davies, of East Ardsley, Yorkshire, and husband of Grace Tomlinson (formerly Davies) later of 24 Upper Oxford Street, Doncaster. Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

The Wakefield Express reported that he lived in Portobello Road and that he was a Wakefield tramways man.

His Royal Naval service papers, which can be downloaded from The National Archives websitet here,
show he was born at Eccles Hill on 25 October 1874.

HMS Bulwark was a Formidable-class battleship that blew up at Sheerness as a result of an internal explosion.

For more information on the ship click

H. Day

202477 Private Harold Day, 9th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, was killed in action aged 36 on 10 August 1917. He was the son of Joseph and Clara Day, of Chickenley Heath, Dewsbury, and the husband of Violet Day, later of 3 Welbeck Street, Wakefield, previously of Sandal. He is commemorated at Croisilles British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Wakefield Express 1 September 1917:


Private Harold Day, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who was killed in action August 10th leaves a widow and a little son who live at Ellis Terrace, Sandal. He attested under the Lord Derby Scheme and was called up at the beginning of June 1916. He went into training at Clipstone and proceeded to France in May. Previous to joining up he was assistant master at the Cathedral Boys School where he had been since 1906. His death is a very great loss to the Cathedral School for he was an excellent teacher, and had he lived he would have done well in his profession. His death is very greatly regretted by the managers, teachers and scholars who thought very highly of him.

E. Edwards

79316 Sergeant Ernest Edwards, Durham Light Infantry, died of wounds aged 24 on 18 September 1918. He is buried at Trefon British Cemetery, Caulaincourt, Aisne, France. He was the son of Mr and Mrs J. Edwards, of 4 Belmont Terrace, Sparable Lane, Sandal.

The Commonwealth Wars Graves Commission’s website states:

On 22 March 1918 Caulaincourt and Trefcon were captured by the Germans, in spite of a stout defence by 50th (Northumbrian) Division. The villages were regained by British troops in September 1918. The cemetery was made by the IX Corps (6th and 32nd Divisions) in September 1918, and was called at that time Caulaincourt Military Cemetery.

Wakefield Express 12 October 1918:

Sergeant Ernest Edwards., Durham Light Infantry son of Mr and Mrs Edwards of Belmont Terrace, Sparable Lane Sandal, and a nephew of Aid E. Davies has died from wounds received in action in France on September 18th at the age of 24 years.

Sergeant Edwards who formerly worked at Walton Colliery enlisted in the K. O. Y. L. I. in August 1914. Afterwards he was transferred to the West Yorks, Hull Pals, East Yorks and latterly to the Durham Light Infantry. He had been wounded twice and gassed once. He received a Gallantry Card from Brigadier General Crawford for leading his men in a successful raid against the enemy on May 21st 1918 and also recommended for a commission.

C.G. Ellis

93662 Private Charles Greenwood Ellis, of the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)  died aged 19 on 26 March 1918. He was the son of George Henry and Eliza H. Ellis, of 6 Newlands Street, Sandal. He is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission states:

The Pozieres Memorial relates to the period of crisis in March and April 1918 when the Allied Fifth Army was driven back by overwhelming numbers across the former Somme battlefields, and the months that followed before the Advance to Victory, which began on 8 August 1918.

The memorial commemorates over 14,000 casualties of the United Kingdom and 300 of the South African Forces who have no known grave and who died on the Somme from 21 March to 7 August 1918.

There is no further information on this man.

G.R. Elsey

C/12363 Rifleman George Robert Elsey, 21st Bn, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, was killed in action aged 20 on 15-17 September 1916. He was the son of George Elsey, of Greenside, Walton, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.

Various Roll of Honour announcements were made by family and friends in the Wakefield Express.

J. Frost

The CWGC lists 71 men with this name and initial, three of whom served with the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, three with the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own) and two with the York and Lancaster Regiment..

W. Goodwin

224962 Pioneer William Goodwin, Special Brigade Depot, Royal Engineers, died of wounds aged 23 on 17 August 1918. Husband of Sylvia Goodwin, of Alpha Terrace, Elmtree Street, Belle Vue, Wakefield, and son of J.R. Goodwin and the late Fanny Goodwin, of Chevet Farm. Buried at Wakefield Cemetery (Grave ref A U 1403).

Wakefield Express 24 August 1918:

Pioneer William Goodwin, Royal Engineers, formerly organist at Newmillerdam Wesleyan Chapel, who was wounded on March 16th, died at Netley Hospital last Saturday. He was 23 years of age and prior to enlisting in March 1917 was employed at Messrs R.H. Barker and Co, Thornes.

G.W. Grice

41833 Private George William Grice, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), son of the late Charles and Mary Jane Grice, of Newmillerdam. Commemorated at Senlis French National Cemetery, Oise, France.

Wakefield Express Roll of Honour 17 August 1918:

Died of wounds at a Casualty Clearing Station, France, July 23rd, Private George William Grice, of Chevet Lodge, Newmillerdam, aged 36 years

Note: The CWGC register gives the date of death as 30 July 1918.

H. S. Haworth

Lieutenant Harold Stanley Haworth, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 36 on 13 August 1916. Son of the late F.G. and Mrs L.M. Haworth, of Wakefield, husband of Adeline Elizabeth Haworth, later of Westleigh, Stanhope Road, Darlington. Commemorated at Lonsdale Cemetery, Authuile, Somme. He is also recorded on the war memorials at both St Helen’s, Sandal, and St Peter’s Church, Stanley.

Wakefield Express 19 August 1916:


Wakefield and district, in common with other towns in the county, is making a great sacrifice in this terrible war and many splendid young men have laid down their lives in this great struggle for righteousness and freedom .

We regret to have to record the death of another Wakefield Officer in the person of Lieutenant H. Stanley of the Wakefield Territorials, a telegram being received on Monday that he had been killed on the previous day. Lieutenant Haworth had been at the front only about ten days he being one of the draft sent from the Reserve Battalion at Clipstone. He joined the Forces in February 1915.

Lieutenant Haworth, who was 36 years of age, was the youngest son of the late Mr F. G. Haworth of Stanley Garth and resided in Castle Lane Sandal. He married a daughter of Mr R. Davies of Darlington and there is one child. He was a member of the firm Messrs Haworth Bros, and Wormold maltsters and was educated at the Wakefield Grammar school and the St Peters School, York.

His name also appeared on the war memorial at St Peter's Church, Stanley

Image: Yorkshire Rugby Football Union "In Memoriam" 1914-1919

A.V. Hirst

15/1302 Private Albert Victor Hirst, 15th Bn, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own), died of wounds aged 19 on 13 May 1917. He was the son of Edwin Lodge Hirst and Sarah Beatrice Hirst, of Yule Croft, Sandal. Commemorated at St Pol Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France.

Wakefield Express 19 May 1917:


New has been received by Mr Edwin Lodge Hirst, Yule Croft, Sandal, of the death in hospital in France on Sunday of his third son Private A. Victor Hirst of the West Yorkshire Regiment. Prior to the war he was learning farming at Bilby, Nottinghamshire, and at the beginning of 1915 he joined the Leeds Pals. In November he went with his regiment to Egypt and proceeded to France in April 1916 and has been in the firing zone ever since. Private Hirst, who was only 19 years of age, was educated at the Woodhouse Grove School.

The photo is taken from what was probably the Roll of Honour for Woodhouse Grove School. The text says:

Private Hirst was another Grovian member of the Leeds Pals - trained at Colsterdale, Ripon and Salisbury. From the latter camp he proceeded to Egypt, reaching Cairo on Christmas Day 1915. He returned to France in the March of 1916 and saw much active service, the 15th West Yorkshires being the first to go over the parapet on July 1st 1916. Later he was attached to the Head Quarters Staff as a runner but was taken sick with fever on May 12th 1917 and died only a day later at St Pol's Hospital. He was interred with Military honours at St Pol Cemetery.

F. Hollings

2549 Private Frank Hollings, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, gassed near Ypres and died aged 20 on 20 December 1915. He was the son of Isaac and Emily Hollings, of 103 Haddingley Hill, Sandal. Commemorated at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium.

Wakefield Express, 1 January 1916:


Private Frank Hollings was only 20 years of age and lived at 163 Haddingley Hill Sandal. He was employed at Messrs J. S. Booth’s mill, and on the outbreak of the war joined the l/4th. Hollings was a smart well built young fellow who had won fame with the Wakefield Trinity Harriers. In fact along with his brother Issac, who is now attached to the 8th Cavalry Field Ambulance, now in France, have won several valuable prizes including a handsome silver cup. 

He was also a member of the Y.M.C.A. football club. In a letter to Mrs Hollings [deceased’s mother] Bandsman Fred Falias writes: ‘It is with deep regret I have the painful news to break to you of the death of your beloved son Frank. I cannot realise that I have lost my best chum. I have been the stretcher bearer for his company since we came out, and we have always been the best of pals, and when he was made stretcher bearer he was told to work with me. That made us bigger pals where ever we went. He was looking forward to coming on leave and was planning how to spend it, but alas it had not to be. I hope it will be a bit of consolation to know he was always ready to do his duty. 

Lieutenant Colonel Haslegrave, in the course of a sympathetic letter to deceased's father Issac Hollings, says: ‘Your son acted very bravely during the time the gas attack was on, and he carried out from the front line three men who were gassed, and in doing that noble act probably lost his life. He was a very plucky lad, and I have recommended him for immediate reward for his great bravery.’

H. Holmes

200314 Private H Holmes, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died 25 April 1918. Commemorated at Crucifix Corner Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux, Somme.

Wakefield Express, 10 May 1919:

In our advertisement column last week the father and sister of Private Harry Holmes, Burkill Street, Sandal, asked for any information concerning this soldier who had been reported missing since April 25th 1918. They have now received information from Private George Whiteley, of Outwood, stating that Holmes was killed in action on that date. 

Private Holmes was mobilised with the Wakefield Territorials in 1914; he was then 18 years of age. He went to France in April 1915 and was wounded and gassed in 1917. He served three years in France.

J. Kemplay

2519 Lance Sergeant John Kemplay, 1/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 31 on 23 July 1916. Son of James Kemplay, of Wakefield, and husband of Ida Kemplay, of 6 Victoria Terrace, Walton. Buried at Authuile Military Cemetery, Somme.

Wakefield Express, 5 August 1916:

The death is reported in action on July 23rd of Sergeant John Kemplay formerly of Denston Street, Wakefield, and whose widow lives at Victoria Terrace, Walton. He joined the colours in September 1914 and had been in France since April 1915. Previous to enlisting he was clerk in the Wakefield Gas Light Company offices.

Deceased who was 31 years of age was only married in January last when home for a short leave. He was a man very well known and highly respected, being an Alto singer in the Cathedral and the Sandal Musical Union and a prominent member of the Wakefield Trinity Harriers.

H.V. Lambert

201116 Corporal Harry Victor Lambert, 2/4th Bn and 4th Reserve Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 27 on 11 May 1918. Son of Henry and Annie Lambert, husband of Lily Lambert, of 77 Duke of York Avenue, Manygates Lane, Sandal. Buried at St Helen’s Churchyard, Sandal, Grave ref: 4. 13. 1077.

Wakefield Express 18 May 1918:


Mr P. P, Maitland [Coroner] opened an inquest at the City Police Station on Tuesday on the body of Harry Vincent Lambert [27] Spring Bank Cottages, Sandal, who joined the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in November 1914 and who died at his home on Saturday night.

There was a suggestion that the man had been prematurely discharged from the Dewsbury War Hospital. There were present at the inquest the Rev W. Mahon, Chairman of the Wakefield board of Guardians, and the Rev A. A. Parry, Vicar of Sandal.

Evidence was given by the widow, who stated that her husband, formerly a miner at Nostell Colliery, joined the Army in November 1914. In May last year she received intimation that he was in hospital at Rouen suffering from trench fever and gas poisoning. Afterwards he was removed to Glasgow, where he remained in hospital until last September, when he came home for ten days .

He complained of pains in the body and head and was sent to the Park Lane Military Hospital Wakefield but on November 24th he was transferred to the Dewsbury War Hospital for further treatment. He underwent two operations at the hospital but was very weak afterwards, and did not seem much better. A fortnight ago her husband wrote to her stating that he was sleeping in a hut, and that when he woke at nights he was shivering and full of cold.

On Saturday week she received a letter from him stating that he was getting discharged from the Army and that he was being sent home in the course of a week. He was eventually discharged from the hospital, but whether it was at his own request or not she could not say. She took his clothes to Dewsbury on Wednesday week and when she saw him he was shivering and complained of cold. When he got home he was very ill, and Dr Downie, who was sent for, said he was suffering from Bronchitis and Double Pneumonia. He became delirious and remained so until he died.

The Coroner said they would have to adjourn the inquiry for the attendance of Dr Russell, the Medical Officer at the Dewsbury War Hospital, and Dr Downie. He was very anxious to know why the poor fellow was discharged from the Dewsbury Hospital. They must not prejudge the case but it was evident from the widow’s evidence that he was very ill and it looked as if he had been sent home prematurely.

It was an exceptional case, and there were two points which they wanted to clear . This man had served his King and Country in France for some time, was injured in the process of active service, and ultimately died. The first point was whether he had died as a consequence of doing his duty in the Army and secondly was it justifiable to have sent him home to die so shortly after. One point was important and the other serious. The inquest was adjourned until Thursday next.

Note: A further account of this inquest can be found in the Wakefield Express dated 25 May 1918, Page 3.

F. Leach

201447 Private Fred Leach, 2/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died on 8 November 1918, only three days before the Armistice, according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Roll of Honour announcements in the Wakefield Express variously give the date as 9 and 10 November.

Pte Leach is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Pas de Calais. The memorial bears the names of more than 9,000 men who fell in the period 8 August 1918 to the Armistice on 11 November.

Fred Leach’s wife lived in Sandal and the Wakefield Express reported on 14 December 1918 that he was the youngest son of John Leach, killed in action on November 10. He had served four years in France.

T. Leach

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s register contains multiple entries under this name, none of which can be identified as the man whose name appears on the St Helen’s memorial.

G.A. Lister

27281 Sergeant George Arthur Lister,  7th Bn, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, was killed in action aged 38 on 31 July 1917. He was the son of Edward Lister, of Wakefield, and the husband of Mary E. Lister, of 7 George Street, Sandal. He is buried at Voormezeele Enclosure No 3, Ypres.

On 3 August 1918 and 16 August 1919, the Wakefield Express published a Roll of Honour announcement from his widow and children.

F. Lister

The CWGC register lists 12 names with this initial, five of whom served in Yorkshire regiments.

J. Lumb

220118 Private Jasper Lumb, 2/4th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 35 on 27 November 1917. He is commemorated with 7.000 others on the Cambrai Memorial at Louveral, France.

Wakefield Express 15 December 1917:


The death took place in action on November 27th of Private Jasper Lumb, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, second son of Mr Lumb, Crossley Street, Sharlston.

His widow, who is left with one child, has received the following letter from Lieutenant McClausland:-
‘It is my painful duty to have to inform you of your husband’s death, he died like a true gallant soldier. He had been wounded but refused to go back, and was killed by a shell on November 27th in the big advance. He was one of our very best Lewis gunners, always keen and cheerful and to the fore. He was loved and respected by everyone in the company, and we all feel we have lost a personal friend, whose place can never be filled. Please accept my sympathy in your great loss.’

Deceased, who was 35 years of age, enlisted on November 12th 1914, previous to which he was a fitter at Walton Colliery. He had been in France since January 1915.

J.P.B. Maitland

Captain John Pelham Blanchard Maitland, 11th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 32 on 2 August 1915. He was the son of Pelham Page Maitland and Edith Mary Maitland, of Kildare, Manygates Lane, Sandal, and husband of Gertrude Mary Maitland. He is buried in St Helen’s Churchyard, south of the church.

Wakefield Express 31 July 1915:


We regret to hear that Captain J. P. B. Maitland, of the 11th Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, son of the West Riding Coroner [Mr P. P. Maitland] is seriously ill in the Military Hospital at Harrogate suffering from Pneumonia and Rheumatic Fever.

Wakefield Express 7 August 1915:


It is with regret that we have to record the death of Captain John Pelham Blanchard, the only son of Mr P. P. Maitland of Sandal, the West Riding Coroner. Deceased, like his father, was a solicitor by profession, and was only 31 years of age - a fine well set young fellow.

After the outbreak of the war he at once responded to the call of his King and Country, and joined the Officers’ Training Corps at Leeds and it was obvious that military duties were very much to his liking . Eventually he was granted a commission in the 11th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, stationed at Harrogate, and owing to his invariable courtesy and genial disposition he soon made himself a great favourite with both officers and men. He threw his heart and soul into his duties, and his efforts were rewarded by early promotion to senior Captain of his Battalion.

His desire was to go to the seat of war, and take his part in the fighting but this was not to be. Camp life in wet weather tries the most robust constitution, and Captain Maitland contracted a severe cold, which quickly developed into Pneumonia and Rheumatic Fever. He was removed to the Beaulieu Military Hospital, Harrogate, but despite the best medical attention and nursing he passed away on Monday night.

Much sympathy in their bereavement has been expressed with deceased Father and Mother and his young widow, [the younger daughter of Dr Greig] and her two children. The funeral took place at Sandal Church on Thursday afternoon and was attended by a large gathering of sympathizers. The Rev A. A. Parry officiated. Before the service commenced the Organist [Mr Harold Chapman] played ‘But the Lord is mindful’ and ‘Rest in the Lord’. Later the funeral marches by Beethoven, and Handel were played. A detachment of 100 men from deceased’s regiment attended in charge of Captain Molison, Second Lieutenants Goldman, Purdy and Kernaghan Colonel Stead, 11th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I., Captain Moorhouse, 9th Battalion, Second Lieutenant Trueman, Major H. S. Goodyear V.D. and other officers also attended. The mourners included Mr P. P. Maitland [father] Mrs Maitland [the widow] Dr Greig, and Messrs Mc Turk [South Cave, Uncles and cousins of the deceased] Mr W. H. Kingswell junior [President of the Wakefield and District Law Society] and several members of the legal profession were also present. The coffin was unpolished oak and many wreaths were sent. After the firing party had discharged the usual volley the buglers sounded ‘The Last Post’.

R.H.D. Marsden

665 Private Rowland Healey Day Marsden, 10th Bn Lincolnshire Regiment, who died aged 27 on 1 July 1916. Son of the late John Day Marsden and Harriett Ellen Wilson Marsden, brother of Leon C. Marsden. CWGC gives the home address as 28 Agbrigg Road, Sandal Magna.

Pte Marsden is buried at London Cemetery and Extension, Longueval, Somme.

Wakefield Express 3 March1917


Last July it was reported that Private Rowland Marsden of the Lincolnshire Regiment,
youngest son of Mr. and Mrs J. D. Marsden of Oakdene, Sandal was missing on the 2nd of July in connexion with one of the earliest battles in the memorable ‘Big Push’.

This week however his parents have received word that he was killed in action July 1st. The deceased soldier, who was very well known in the district was, 24 years of age.


MARSDEN: Private Rowland, Lincolnshire Regiment, killed in action July 1st 1916 youngest son of Mr and Mrs J. D. Marsden, Oakdene, Sandal, Wakefield.

Note discrepancy in ages.

T. Marsden

This individual cannot be identified with any certainty but there is a 200758 Private Thomas Marsden, who served in the 2/4th Bn King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and died on 13 March 1917. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Another possibility is 305525 Private Thornton Marsden, who died on 1 March 1918 and served in the West Yorkshire Regiment.

T. Marshall

R/35768 Rifleman Tom Marshall, 12th Bn, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, killed in action aged 21 on 20 November 1917. He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval, France.

A family Roll of Honour announcement in the Wakefield Express on 29 December 1917 described him as ‘a happy boy’. He was a member of Wakefield Rugby Football Club.

Image: Yorkshire Rugby Football Union "In Memoriam" 1914-1919


J.E. Martin

19935 Private John Edward Martin, 15th Bn, Cheshire Regiment, was killed on 6 May 1916, aged 29.

Wakefield Express 20 May 1916:


News has been received of the death in action of Private John Edward Martin, Cheshire Regiment. Deceased was 29 years of age, and previous to joining the colours worked for Messrs G. J. Studley.

He met his death during a heavy bombardment. The widow has received a letter from Captain S. F. Morgan who said Martin was one of his best men, ‘He was always willing and never grumbled . The men of his section and one of the officers attended his funeral and four of his old pals carried him from the hospital to his grave, which is in a proper cemetery, and his grave will be taken care of and tended. He was hit with machine gun bullets while working at night.

R.E. Melly

Lieutenant Reginald Ernest Melly, 20th Bn, King’s Liverpool Regiment, killed aged 28 on 30 July 1916. Son of Florence Melly, later of Highbury Bank, Meriden, Warwickshire, and the late Ernest Louis Melly, a solicitor. Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.

His birth was registered in the Ormskirk district in the September quarter of 1888 (FreeBMD website). No further information could be found on this individual.

H.W. Miller

PO/1091(S) Private Henry Wheaton Miller, 190th Machine Gun Company, Royal Marine Light Infantry, was killed in action aged 19 on 26 October 1917. Son of John Robert and Annie Louisa Miller, later of 15 Bridge Cottage, Doncaster Road, Wakefield, and formerly of Ashdown Road, Sandal. Named on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium.

Wakefield Express 17 November 1917:

Another son of Mr and Mrs J. R. Miller of Princess Terrace, Ashdown Road, Sandal, has paid the supreme sacrifice in the person of Private Henry W. Miller a Machine Gunner in the Royal Marine Light Infantry.
This is the second son of Mr and Mrs Miller have lost through the war, Private Sidney Lawrence Miller, Lancashire Fusiliers, being killed on September 26th 1916.

In a sympathetic letter Lieutenant Thos Westly states:- ‘Your son was killed on 26th October. My petty officer was quite near your son when a shell practically hit him, and I feel it was a mercy that he suffered no pain, as death must have been instantaneous . 

‘We evacuated the position an hour later owing to heavy shell fire but when we returned a few days later your son had been buried where he fell, and a cross put over his grave. I know we shall miss him, and I feel with his death we have lost a gallant soldier and comrade.’

Miller, who was only 19 years of age, enlisted on September 25th 1915, previous to which he worked in the Raising department at Messrs G. and J. Studley’s Mill. He was well known and highly respected in the district and was a fine example of young manhood. He had previously been wounded in January 1917 and after being in hospital went back to France in July. Official  notification of his death has now been received.

Note: Reference to the CWGC website shows that 27636 Private Sidney Lawrence Miller served with 9th Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers, and is buried at Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovillers-la Boisselle

J. Moore

14623 Private John (Jack) Moore, 1st Bn, Coldstream Guards, died aged 21 on 9 May 1916, as a result of an accident. Born at Armley, Leeds, he was the son of Joel and Fanny Moore, of Kenroyd, Welbeck Street, Wakefield. He is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium.

Wakefield Express, 20 May 1916:


Mr Joel Moore, of Welbeck, Sandal, has been officially informed of the death of his youngest son Corporal Jack Moore, Coldstream Guards, who died in hospital at the front on May 9th from wounds in the abdomen, the result of an accident.

The bereaved parents have received sympathetic letters from the Army Chaplain and the Sister in Charge of the hospital where the deceased died. The letter said deceased had an operation, and everything was done that could be done to save his life, but he passed away at 2.15 pm in the afternoon. He was very brave and patient. 
Deceased, who was 20 years of age, was educated at Dewsbury Parish Church School, and winning a scholarship he went to Heckmondwike High School, subsequently continuing his studies at the Dewsbury Technical School. Afterwards he was employed with his father the dyer Messrs G J Stubley’s at Wakefield. He was well known in local association football circles, having played with the Wakefield St Johns and Sandal clubs.

He joined the colours in January 1915, going to the front in October and discharging the duties of Officer’s Servant.

D. Morton

Second Lieutenant Daniel Morton, 4th Bn, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, died on 10 May 1915, aged 35. He was the son of Eleanor Harris Morton, of Scott’s Terrace, Sandal, and the late Daniel Morton. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres.

Wakefield Express Roll of Honour 1 July 1916:

MORTON: Reported wounded and missing May 10th 1915, now reported killed. Second Lieutenant D. Morton, son of Mrs and the late Daniel Morton, of Sandal.


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