Wetherby War Memorial - The Great War 1914 - 1918

Private Thomas Young

Gunter, R B N
Durrant, C M
Weston, C G
Kelly, K G
Armitage, G J
Durrant, H M L
Hargreaves, J P
March, G
Dukes, W
Fowler, R
Westerman, H
Kirk, J C
Wiggins, T A
Telford, G
Harper, J W
Alexander, H W
Mason, T F
Wilkinson, W
Brown, C
Adkin, J
Barton, F
Hobman, A
Webster, A E
March, E A
Miller, G
Hannan, E
Utley, G
Walker, F
Bygrave, E W
Chapman, E
Varley, N W
Bowen, F J
Byrom, F
Backhouse, S
Dalby, M
Crossland, A
Crossley, J S
Dean, R
Frost, A E
Hodgson, F H
Holt, J
Hood, W H
Hill, W
Kitchen, T
Linfoot, E
Metcalfe, J C
Marsden, J
Pawson, W
Precious, G
Scutt, T G
Wiggins, J
Walker, E
Wood, A
Young, T
Pratt, W
Taylor, H
Dawson, G W
Lister, J
Binge, T
Atack, G
Durham, E F
Precious, G R
Wheelhouse Smith, W
Backhouse, H
Swann, J W
Burnsides, G A
Coles, W
Kelly, H W
Miles, J G
Tapsell, K

2nd Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment
Died, 12th December 1914

Cemetery : Le Touret Memorial, Pas-de-Calais, France
Grave Reference or Panel Number : Panel 9 and 10

Son of William and Elizabeth Young of Fox Yard, Wetherby.
Tom was born at Bilton-in-Ainsty in 1881 to parents William, occupation, Farm Labourer, and Elizabeth Young. At some period between the years 1891 - 1901, the family relocated to Wetherby, the family residence being established in premises located in Fox Yard, off Bank Street.
Little is known of Tom's early life however it is apparent that he chose a career in the military and joined the British Army in 1907 at York, the terms of his enlistment being 7 years with the Colours to be followed by a further 5 years on the Army Reserve.
After undergoing a medical, Thomas was posted to join the ranks of the 2nd Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment, a Regular Army Battalion that had performed good service during the Second Boer War 1899 - 1902.

At the outbreak of war, the 2nd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment were serving at Malta, but was then ordered home. On the 25th September, the battalion arrived at Southampton and was sent to Hursley Park, Winchester, where the 8th Division (of which it was part of 23rd Brigade) was concentrating.

On the 4th November, the battalion (under the command of Lieut. Col. G.F. Phillips) sailed from Southampton and with other units arrived at Le Havre on the 5th.  After the battalions first experience of trench life on the 13th November just north of Ploegstreet Wood, the battalion (in Division), assumed command of a Sector of the line which extended just south fo the cross roads (Rue du Bois - Estaires - Voilaines Road) south west of Neuve Chapelle, north east of the village of Tilleloy on the 16th.  On the 1st December, the battalion was holding a portion of the line, Pont Logy -  Chapigny, three quarters of a mile north of Neuve Chapelle.  Wyralls history of the regiment notes "nothing of importance happened during the first seventeen days" although states that the battalion had been involved in active operations undertaken by the 8th Division. 

It would appear that Thomas lost his life due to 'Trench Wastage', snipers, enemy artillery activity etc. as opposed to any major assault.  The SDGW CD Rom seems to confirm this, as it lists only two O/Rs killed on the 12th.  Private John Robert Gill, the other casualty, is buried at Estaires Communal Cemetery.

A newspaper article dated January 11, 1915 reports :

"First Wetherby Man to Fall

The first Wetherby man to lose his life in the war is Pte. Thomas Young, of the 2nd West Yorkshires. Young had been in the army for some years, most of his time having been spent in India and Malta. But for the outbreak of the war he would have joined the reserves in October last. He was home on furlough with his parents at Fox Yard, Wetherby, in early September and in the same month went to France, where, on December 12, according to the official intimation, he was killed by a bullet wound to the head."


The Le Touret Memorial commemorates the names of officers and men who fell in the Great War and whose graves are not known. It serves the area enclosed on the North by the river Lys and a line drawn from Estaires to Fournes, and on the South by the old Southern boundary of the First Army about Grenay; and it covers the period from the arrival of the l l Corps in Flanders in 1914 to the eve of the Battle of Loos.