Wetherby War Memorial - The Great War 1914 - 1918

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


Although at present the Wetherby War Memorial Website is far from complete, at this juncture I would like to express my thanks and appreciation of those individuals that have contributed to the advancement of the site at this early stage.

It has been a very great privilege to me to be contacted by some of the relatives of the men who are now commemorated on the memorial, many, now residing in various countries across the globe.

One of the first families to make contact with the Author were Chris and Shirley Durrant of Western Australia, in relation to Christopher, killed in East Africa in 1918 and Humphrey, died of wounds received at the Battle of Jutland, both sons of the then Vicar of Wetherby, Charles Durrant. Treasured family documents and photographs were then exchanged, culminating in a visit to Wetherby by Chris and Shirley that I for one will never forget despite the vagaries of the English weather! 

In relation to the first man to give his life from Wetherby in the Great War, Tom Young, the Author would like to express his gratitude to David Whithorn, of Basingstoke. David, an active member of the Great War Society, shared his extensive knowledge of the period and family documents for which I am eternally grateful. David, due to his efforts, proved to be the catalyst in persuading Leeds City Council to raise the memorial to the West Yorkshire Battalions now located at Bus-les-Artois, France. 

Only recently, the Author via the website, has been contacted by Mr. Andrew Rawlings, relative of Henry William Alexander, Hussars. Andrew's daughter is on a quest of her own, following in the footsteps of those who fought and died in the Great War. I heartily wish her my very best wishes on her ‘journey' into a greater understanding of events.

Of contributors to the website, the following have assisted the Author greatly by obtaining newspaper articles and documentation relating to the fallen of Wetherby :

Mr Dave Stowe of Leeds, a member of the Western Front Association has contributed numerous articles obtained from both Leeds Central Library and Leeds University. With particular reference to the latter institution, Dave kindly provided information on the studies of Charles Guy Weston and the formation of the Leeds Officer Training Corps, a comprehensive article on the aforementioned being published on the Western Front Association Website on the 16th January 2011. Of photographs and articles, Dave also spent his valuable time to contribute the following; Thomas Mason, photo and article, Leeds Mercury, 23/3/15, Arthur Hobman, photo and article, Yorkshire Weekly Post, 18/9/15, William Hood "Cheese, Lobster & Sardines" article, 2/3/15, Reginald Dean, photo and article, Yorkshire Evening News, 20/7/16, William Wheelhouse Smith, article relating to his death published in the "Leodiensian," the magazine of Leeds Grammar School, Volume XXXV No.6. Finally, and by no means least, the death notice of Charley Brown, Rothwell Courier & Times, dated 12/8/16. Dave has performed consistent quality research into the actions of the 10th (Service) Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment and that of the 17th (Northern) Division and shared his vast knowledge of the actions, terrain and topographical features of the Fricourt area during two visits accompanied by the Author to the battlefield at Fricourt. Published in the Journal Of the Western Front Association, "Stand To!" Number 83 and titled "Rethinking the 10th West Yorkshires at Fricourt," his ongoing research knows no bounds. Now involved with projects at Leeds University, the Author would like to express his thanks to Dave for his invaluable contributions not only to the website but to the help, time and assistance he has provided freely over the years. I wish him continuing success in the years to come.

The Author would like to thank the many members of the Great War Forum and those of the Western Front Association that have not only offered sound advice but have also made invaluable contributions. Of the "Pals," I would like to thank Mr. Robert (Bob) Pike of Saffron Walden, Essex, for his photographs of the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli. A published author, Bob's account of the men who fought and died from the village of Saffron Walden, "The Victor Heroes," published by Ancre Publishers, Saffron Walden, Essex, is a fine tribute to the sacrifices made by this village during the Great War.

Another "Pal" who has freely given his time is Steve Bramley of Cleethorpes. Steve's knowledge and enthusiasm as regards the actions of the Lincolnshire Regiment are infectious and I would like to express my thanks as regards his input into the actions of the 1/5th Lincolns at the infamous Hohenzollern Redoubt in October 1915.

For the photograph and obituary of William Wilkinson, Harrogate Advertiser dated 12/7/19, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Kim McMahon Of Harrogate, recently married and I would like to take this opportunity to wish the happy couple many years of wedded bliss.

With regards to the death of George Jones Armitage, the Author would like to thank Gareth Morgan of Australia for kindly providing the details surrounding the unfortunate crash that led to his death in 1917.

On technical matters, and there have and are ongoing issues with the website, I would like to express my appreciation to Brian Byrom of Collingham. Brian, a relative of Fred Byrom killed in action at the Dardanelles and a close family friend has provided not only photographic apparatus, but has supported the Author in various technical matters to someone who is alien to the workings and formats of a PC in general.

Russell Gore of Crawley has not only proved to be a font of knowledge as regards the actions of the London Regiments, but his encyclopaedic knowledge of the Ypres Salient is unsurpassed. This was brought to the fore on a recent trip to the Salient exploring the actions of the 1/5th West Yorkshire Regiment during their defence of Wytschaete on the 25th April 1918. With documentation provided by the Author, Russell interpreted the landscape providing a most definitive assessment of the terrain and the tactical situation that the West Yorkshire's found themselves in as the German Army pushed onwards towards Kemmel.

In relation to the commemoration of Kathleen Mary Tapsell, V.A.D., the Author would like to express his thanks to Mr. Dave Rees W.F.A. of the Hoole History & Heritage Society. Without his assistance, the photographs of Kathleen would have completely eluded the Author. I wish Dave my very best wishes for the future in his own research topics.

Regarding the exact circumstances as to the death of Lieutenant Charles Guy Weston, the Author is indebted to Mr. Ed Crutchley of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and his kind permission to quote the private papers of his great uncle, Lieutenant-Colonel Ronald Egerton Cotton, D.S.O., late of the 7th (Service) Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment.

There is however one "Pal" and member of the Western Front Association who is now absent from our midst, Kevin Galloway of Thornaby-on-Tees. Kevin sadly departed this life in February 2013 after a long illness bravely born. My first contact with Kevin seem many years distant now, 2002 if I am correct, in relation to burials of the 21st Battalion, (Wool & Textile Pioneers), West Yorkshire Regiment on the Somme circa 1916. Kevin set the Author the task of quantifying serial numbers to the Battalion, a study that he seemed to find effortless where others such as myself falter. There then flourished a friendship over the years via the internet where if I had a problem as regards what we ‘affectionately' called ‘number crunching,' Kevin would supply the answer. As regards both Forums, Kevin remained very active gladly sharing his extensive knowledge of the West Yorkshire Regiment, helping many a relative or just those with a general interest to find an accurate assessment of a soldiers service. A proud family man with a beautiful wife Susan, his first Grandchild Heidi was born and shortly before his untimely death, a second child was about to grace the family. Kevin's impact on research into the West Yorkshire Regiment however still lives on as it does in the hearts of others. From one "Pal t'other," Ca Ira!

Last but by no means least I would like to express my love to Nichola my wife and my three beautiful children, Alexander, Molly and Joseph. All have walked the Western Front over the years in various weather conditions varying from scorching August days to the freezing weather of mid winter. I hope in part, as the 100th anniversary of the Great War has now passed us by, that I have educated and provided my children with a greater understanding of the events that would witness ordinary men, perform extraordinary deeds, not just for their country, but for their mates.

Christopher James Noble

August 2016

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