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 1896 at Appleby-in-Westmorland, Hubert was the son of George William Calver Kelly and Margaret Douglas Kelly, the 1901 Census recording that the family were residing in premises located in Pembroke Street. One of three children, his father describes his occupation at this juncture as that of a Land Agent and Surveyor (Own Account). In late 1901 or early 1902, the family relocated to Boston Spa, and in 1903 the Kelly family relocated once again to Wetherby and took up residence in a property described in the Electoral Roll as "Broomhill," this being located in Deighton Road.
George W.C. Kelly subsequently took up employment as a Land Agents Assistant on the Montagu Estate, his employer being one Mr. Rowland Francis Meyrick of Hall Orchards, Wetherby, who had been appointed to manage the estate in the year of 1901. A veteran of the Second Boer War, Meyrick had served as a Lieutenant in the 2nd Brigade of the Rhodesian Field Force, one brother, Captain St John Meyrick Meyrick, being killed in action during the war whilst serving with the 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders. 
Ingmanthorpe Hall: A Short History Of The Late 19th And Early 20th Centuries
Encompassing the lands that surrounded Ingmanthorpe Hall, the lands of the estate stretched from the boundaries of York to the east and to Wetherby in the west, a distance of almost thirteen miles. Upon the death of Mr. Andrew Montagu in 1895, his estates were bequeathed, in trust, to his nephew, Frederick James Osbaldeston Montagu. The estate was then let the following year by the trustees to one Mr. Frederick Brent Grotrian, a newspaper owner and all round businessman. Claims were made in the following years against the trustees of the estate as to monies owned by Andrew Montagu but in February 1903, Frederick Montagu inherited the Montagu estates in both Yorkshire and the Midlands upon attaining his twenty-fifth birthday. A large celebration was held at the Hall in June of that year whereupon a silver bowl was presented, this being purchased by the farmers and tenants of the estate, the bowl, mounted on a silver stand and weighing seventy ounces, being presented by Mr. Edward Peter Burrell, a Farmer of Street House, Kirk Deighton. In April 1905, Frederick Grotrian died at the Hall aged 67 years, an end to a happy family association with Ingmanthorpe and the estate. Interred at Kirk Deighton, his widow, Elizabeth, departed the estate and went to reside at their other family home, "West Hill House," Hessle, Hull. When Elizabeth bade farewell to Ingmanthorpe Hall is not precisely known however the tenancy passed in 1908 to one Major James Edward Platt, J.P.
A horse and cattle breeder, Platt had also served in the military with the Yeomanry Cavalry and was appointed a Justice of the Peace in the Barkston Ash district in June 1908. A divorced man of what was described as "considerable means," he married once again to one Elise Castelli in 1901 in London. An active member of the Bramham Moor Hunt, the Major enjoyed a 'sporting life' to the full and indulged in shooting, horse racing amongst other activities. This was confirmed to his tenants at a dinner held at the Angel Hotel, Wetherby, in February 1908 upon him taking the tenancy of Ingmanthorpe, most of those who farmed and worked on the estate being present. After toasting the health of Mr. Montagu to which Mr. Meyrick replied, Mr. John Henry Hoole, a Farmer of Moorside, Cowthorpe, proposed a toast to Major Platt. The Major stated, as per the terms of his tenancy, that he did not want many rabbits at Ingmanthorpe, but, he wished to see an increase in the amount of hares on the estate for sporting activities. The subject of partridges, pheasants and foxes was also discussed, the evening, as the Skyrack Courier reported, resolving itself into a "convivial meeting, conjuring being performed and songs sung".          

Major James Edward Platt JP
Downham Market Gazette Dated The 11th of December 1909

In the year of 1908, the Kelly family had relocated from "Broomhill" to premises located in St. James Street. The family had also been blessed with the birth of another son, Arnold Douglas Kelly, who had been born in April of the previous year. The year of 1909 would also prove to be a memorable year for Major Platt. With political aspirations, he was adopted as a prospective candidate for the Borough of Great Yarmouth Borough in December, his manifesto including free trade, votes for women and unemployment amongst others. A Liberal, which went against the grain of the majority of the landed gentry in the Barkston Ash district, he was defeated for the seat by Mr. Arthur Fell in January 1910. His expenditure on the campaign may explain why the Major gave up the shooting lease for the estate in the following March, all the Gamekeepers appliances and effects for the rearing of pheasants and other game being sold at an auction held by Messrs. Thomlinson & Son held on the estate. In September of 1911, Ingmanthorpe Hall came up for let once again. Advertised as an unfurnished mansion with twenty-three bedrooms, the hall also had good stabling, gardens, and comprised of seventeen acres of land. The Hall was lit by electric light, and shooting rites were advertised over five thousand acres of land. Mr. Meyrick was the point of call for any would be landowner at the Ainsty Estate Office, Wetherby.
By April 1911, the Hall was under the upkeep of a Caretaker, one Mr. Eli Hull of York, a former Locomotive Driver. In June 1913, Mr. Montagu began to sell off large portions of his estate including farms, arable and grass lands, building sites, small holdings, villa residences and cottages at both Upper and Nether Poppleton, Knapton and Moor Monkton. In an auction held at the Station Hotel, York, the total amount realised by the sale amounted to £37,567, the highest price being paid by the West Riding County Council for Manor Farm at Nether Poppleton that sold for £8,600. By the year of 1914, there was a new tenant, one Dr. Walther Hiby, a Managing Director and Chemist in the firm of the Otto Coke Oven Company. Patenting a number of processes in the extraction of chemicals from Coke and the design of Coke Ovens, Hiby was a German by birth and already had business interests in the north of England. A keen horse rider who rode out with the Bramham Moor Hunt on a number of occasions, Hiby also had a residence in Harrogate along with Malcolm Grahame Christie, also on the board of the Otto Company.
Upon the outbreak of the Great War, rumours had begun to circulate about both Hiby and Christie, as regards the former, that he had been arrested on charges of espionage. These rumours proved to be completely unfounded but as a Reserve Officer in the Landwehr, Hiby had an obligation to return to Gemany within 48 hours and report himself or else he faced the prospect of assets being confiscated or ultimately being shot. It is known that he did in fact depart for Germany prior to the declaration of war by England, a Patent filed in 1916 suggesting that at this juncture he was residing in the Netherlands, a neutral country, and it was here that he would die in 1935 aged 60 years. Christie, the General Manager of the Leeds Branch and a pioneering aviator also fell under suspicion, rumours even circulating that he had been shot. Donating several aircraft to the War Office, Christie himself would join the Royal Flying Corps and ultimately the Royal Air Force being awarded the C.M.G., D.S.O. and M.C. in a long and illustrious career.
Ingmanthorpe Hall, would remain on the Electoral Roll in the name of Dr. Hiby until 1915 however in 1914 the hall was acquired by one James Birkmyre, a successful Scottish businessman, possibly in the spring of that latter year. Birkmyre had previously been residing in a flat located in Portland Place, Marylebone, London, with his wife who he had married in 1912. Once again Birkmyre was a man who was attracted to a sporting and farming life, his wife also playing golf with the Wetherby Club.
As the Ingmanthorpe Estate had now changed hands in the year of 1914, Hubert's fortunes would also change at this juncture. With his brother Kenneth now employed along with his father at the Ainsty Estate Office, the Kelly family had also been blessed by the birth of another child, Arnold Douglas Kelly born in April 1907. For Hubert, he had made the decision to emigrate, possibly due to skills acquired during the course of his education. Of a farming and horticultural bent, his choice was to be that of farming in a land of opportunity, that land was to be Australia.       
An Agricultural & Horticultural Education
Educated at the Ellesmere School, Park View, Harrogate, and the Knaresborough Rural Secondary School, it was at the latter establishment that Hubert received an education adapted to those residing in a rural district. Open to both boys and girls, boys were to study nature, horticulture, the keeping of accounts, surveying and woodwork in addition to a myriad of subjects related to a rural life. For girls, they were to receive instruction in cookery, laundry work, needlework and what was referred to as "general household knowledge," for those to find an occupation in the home or in the country. Initially an 'experiment' in this form of education, the school, under the leadership of the Headmaster, one George Winfield Hefford, B.Sc., F.I.C., the Knaresborough R.S.C. had been founded in 1908 as an extention of the King James Grammar School that had suffered financial 'difficulties' for quite some time. The Knaresborough R.S.C. provided a course of instruction over a period of three years for children aged from 12 - 15 years of age, a further year could also be engaged if it was thought to be desirable. A fee of one guinea per term was payable in advance, with books and stationary per term charged at three shillings. By the January of 1911, this fee had risen to the princely sum of £1, 4 shillings per term, and by July of that year, despite the rise in the admittance cost, the school numbered over 130 pupils. As regards Huberts' time spent at the school, there is just one fascinating insight, an exam result published in the Ripon Observer dated the 4th of August 1910. In a competition judged by the Knaresborough Horticultural Society, in the First Year Category, presumably Huberts' first year at the school, both he and one A. Brabiner came in second place, both scholars pupils in Boys Form III C and achieving marks of 530 and 507 respectively. Precisely when Hubert departed the school is unknown, but I am sure that his memories of the time spent at the school were indeed happy ones.
After departing school, Huberts' activities are unknown however he, along with a number of Farm Students resident in the United Kingdom, made the decision to emigrate to Australia. Purchasing a Third Class ticket, Hubert boarded the S.S. "Hawkes Bay" at Tilbury, London on the 18th of June 1914, the ship, bound for Melbourne. A ship operated by the Commonwealth and Dominion Line Ltd., the "Hawkes Bay" had been launched and completed in the year of 1912 at Belfast. Capable of a speed of 13 knots, on this voyage she carried 891 souls of varying nationalities, many either Farmers or Farm Students or with occupations related to the land, the Ship's Master being one Frederick Charles Lidstone. The voyage it appears was uneventful, the ship passing the island of Ushant, off Brittany, on the 20th of June and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands on the 24th of June respectively. Reaching Cape Verde on the 26th of June and bound for Capetown, South Africa, it was on the 10th of July that the "Hawkes Bay" pressed on to Melbourne which was reached on the 29th of July, all onboard reported to be well upon their disembarkation.           

S.S. "Hawkes Bay"
Courtesy Of Ships Nostalgia

As rains had only just fallen in the State of Victoria after a prolonged spell of winter dryness, for those who had just disembarked, they were of a declining number of immigrants to the State, many opting to relocate to New South Wales. Consequently, Hubert, occupation stated as that of a Labourer/Farmer, took up residence at premises located in Rankin Street, Forbes, New South Wales. (Authors note: In surviving service documents, Hubert is referred to as a Labourer, Stations Labourer and Farmer. His employer is not known).