Wetherby War Memorial - The Great War 1914 - 1918

Private Hubert William Kelly

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

54th Battalion, Australian Infrantry, A.I.F.
Died 4th May 1918, age 22

Cemetery : Stourbridge Cemetery, Worcestershire, England
Grave Reference or Panel Number : D.803

Born in Appleby, Westmorland, son of George William Calver Kelly and Margaret Douglas Kelly, of "Southend", Stockport Road, Timperley, Cheshire.

Hubert enlisted in Forbes, New South Wales, Australia and died of wounds (Gas).

The cemetery contains 47 burials of the 1914-18 war, (including those of 13 Australian soldiers, near which a Cenotaph is placed); and a War Cross is erected on the main roadway close to the entrance. The First Southern General Hospital had a section in the Stourbridge Infirmary. Most of the First World War graves are scattered, but 17 form a small plot.

The following details are taken from the Embarkation dates of A.I.F. Forces, held at the Australian Archive.

Hubert William Kelly, single, of Rankin Street, New South Wales. Occupation, Station Labourer. Father, George William Calver Kelly, of St. James Street, Wetherby, Yorkshire, England. Religion, Methodist. Unit 54th Battalion - 6-9 Reinforcements (October 1916-January 1917).  Huberts Medical Examination states : height, 6 feet, weight, 11 stone 2 lbs, chest measurement 35 inches, complexion, fair and hair, light brown.  Religion is stated as Methodist.

Embarked from Sydney, 07/10/16 on HMAT Ceramic, ship number A40 and disembarked at Plymouth on 21/11/16.  According the Hubert's Attestation Papers, he went to enlist on 22nd May 1916 and was declared as 'joined' on 9th June 1916.

Hubert proceeded to Hurdcott Camp to join the 14th Training Battalion at camps 5 and 6.  It was whilst here, only a month after (19/12/16), that he contracted Influenza which forced him to be admitted to Fovant Military Hospital on 25th December 1916.  Eventually returning to fitness an discharged from hospital on 1st July 1917, Hubert proceeded overseas to France on 24th January 1917 aboard S.S. Princess Clementine from Folkstone. After a period of training at Etaples with the 5th D.B.D.M, he "March out to join unit", as stated on his Casualty Form Active Service on 6th December 1917 and on the same date, was "Taken on strength" of the 54th Battalion.

On the 24th October 1917, Hubert again was "To Hospital Sick", cause is given as "Admitted Diarrhoea" and was first sent to the 8th Australian Field Ambulance and then transferred to the 5th D.R.S. Eventually regaining fitness, Hubert was discharged to duty on the 9th December 1917 rejoining his unit on the same day. After a period of Home leave which commenced on the 4th December 1918, he rejoined his unit on the 22nd February 1918.

Reported as "Wounded In Action", with an annotation "Gassed" on the 17th April 1918, Hubert was admitted to the 55th Field Ambulance and then on to the 55th Casualty Clearing Station and eventually sent to the 9th General Hospital at Rouen on the 19th April 1918. Hubert was eventually sent back to England on the H.S. "G" Tully Castle (Authors note; Grantully Castle of the Union and Castle Line),on the 22th April 1918 and admitted to the First Southern General Hospital, Stourbridge on the 24th April 1918. Unfortunately Hubert finally succumbed to his wounds which is given as "shell gas poisoning" on the Casualty Form Active Service document at 8.40 a.m. on the 4th May, and buried on the 6th May 1918 at 3.00 pm in the Consecrated Portion of the cemetery. The officiating clergyman was the Rev. W.H. Pritchard, Wesleyan Minister of Brierley Hill, nr. Birmingham. Hubert's Burial Report states;

"The coffin was borne to the grave by members of the R.A.M.C. attached to the Hospital and a firing party of 6 wounded Australian soldiers was in attendance. The "Last Post" was sounded. Wreaths were placed on the coffin. The parents of the deceased were in attendance".

Hubert's last will and testament, taken from his Pay Book, seems all the more poignant;

"In the event of my death I give the whole property & effects to my Mother, Mrs. Kelly "Givioley" Mt. Pleasant Rd, Camborne, Cornwall, England".

Dated 22 February 1918.

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