The Nostalgia Column with Margaret Watson

Margaret Watson.
Margaret Watson.

THE names of more than a thousand Dewsbury men killed in World War One are inscribed on the war memorial in Crow Nest Park, and among them is that of Private Horace Waller, of Batley Carr, who was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Also awarded the Victoria Cross, just four days after Horace was awarded his, was Sgt John William Ormsby, also of Dewsbury, who survived the war.

TRIBUTE TO THE FALLEN: The unveiling of the war memorial in Crow Nest Park some years after the First World War.

TRIBUTE TO THE FALLEN: The unveiling of the war memorial in Crow Nest Park some years after the First World War.

Both men served with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry along with many of the men whose names are inscribed on the memorial above.

This coming Saturday, Private Waller and Sgt Ormsby will both be honoured by their old regiment with a Freedom Parade in Dewsbury Town Centre.

The names of all the other men on this memorial, who gave their lives for their country, will surely not be forgotten on this special day.

For Sgt Ormsby, always used to say when he wore his medals at public functions, that he only wore them in memory of the men who never came home – the real heroes.

It is one hundred years ago this month that the town of Dewsbury rejoiced when two of its sons were awarded the highest honour a monarch can bestow.

Sgt Ormsby, a father of two, was able to go to Buckingham Palace to receive his medal from the King, but Private Waller’s medal, awarded posthumously, was received on his behalf by his parents.

On Saturday, at 11am, two commemorative paving stones honouring the brave deeds of these two heroes will be unveiled on Longcauseway Gardens.

The name of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry has changed over the years as they have merged with other regiments, and their current name is the 3rd Battalion The Rifles.

After the Second World War, the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry was granted the Freedom of both Dewsbury and Batley.

Below are the names of the men from Dewsbury killed during the month of April 1917.

It is interesting to note the roads and streets from where these men came, and the occupations they held.

Some of them may seem not to have a connection with Dewsbury, but they will have, otherwise their names would not be on the memorial.

Grateful thanks to members of Dewsbury Sacrifices, the local voluntary group, researching the lives of those named on the memorial.

John Idle, Private, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, whose occupation was that of a glass blower, of 2 Ingham Road, Westtown, Dewsbury.

Timothy Kenny, Pte K.O.Y.L.I, George Street, Wellington Rd, a dyer in a chemical company.

Tom Goldthorpe, Pte 2nd Battalion, K.O.Y.L.I, 17 Knowles Hill Rd, Dewsbury Moor.

Albert Watson, Pte 30823 “X” Coy. 6th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I, Warwick Cottages, Batley Carr, Dewsbury.

John William Armstrong, Pte Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, 12 George St, Thornhill Lees. Died of pneumonia in the Field Hospital of St Pol-sur-Ternoise, Pas de Calais and buried in St Pol Communal Cemetery Extension.

Thomas Tolan, Pte Connaught Rangers, 56 Back Tweedale St, Dewsbury, mill worker, killed in Baghdad and buried in Baghdad Northgate Cemetery.

John Arthur Clifford Bell, Pte 57625 King’s Liverpool Regiment, the Mansion House, Crow Nest Park.

Ewart Doodson, Gunner Machine Gun Corps, Tanks, adopted son of Mr and Mrs Tyas, 4 Scout Hill Terrace, Dewsbury.

Ben Wright Howarth, Pte 52203 Canadian Regiment, parents born in Dewsbury but living in Canada, aged 21.

Norman Howgate, Pte King’s Own Scottish Borderers, Marsden Cottage, Old Bank Rd, Earlsheaton.

Thomas Hoyle, Pte Gordon Highlanders, Chickenley Lane, Dewsbury.

Frederick Satchwell, Pte 9th Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 7 Elmwood St, Flatts.

Fred Secker: Pte 27th Battalion Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, 1, Hanover Square, Dewsbury, son of William and Annetta Secker and husband of Jane.

James Shaw, Pte, York and Lancaster Regiment, aged 35, son of John and Ann Shaw and husband of Julia Ann of 37 Elizabeth Terrace, Woodville Rd, Dewsbury.

Joseph Warhurst, Lance Corporal 10th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I, aged 32, husband of Edith, of Woodville Terrace, Leeds Rd, Dewsbury.

Herbert Wilkinson, Pte, York and Lancaster Regiment, 8 Vulcan Terrace; buried in Railway Dugouts Burial Ground near Ypres.

Horace Waller VC, Pte 10th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I, 82, Upper Rd, Batley Carr, Dewsbury. Son of John Edward and Esther Waller “The Laurels”, Healds Rd, Dewsbury, buried Cojeul British Cemetery, St Martin-Sur-Cojeul.

Horace was awarded the Victoria Cross for his outstanding bravery.

The following is an extract from The London Gazette 8th June, 1917, stating: “For most conspicuous bravery when, with a bombing section forming a block in the enemy line, a very violent counter-attack was made by the enemy on this post, and although five of the garrison were killed, Pte Waller continued for more than an hour to throw bombs, and finally repulsed the attack.

“In the evening the enemy again counter-attacked the post and all the garrison became casualties, except Pte Waller, who, although wounded later, continued to throw bombs for another half an hour until he was killed.

“Throughout these attacks he showed the utmost valour, and it was due to his determination that the attacks were repulsed.”

Henry Waterhouse, company Sergeant Major 1/4th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I, son of Stocks and Jane Waterhouse, husband of Clara Waterhouse of 6 Ann St, Leeds Rd, Dewsbury.

Harry Shaw, Pte 10th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I, Back Thornton St, Dewsbury, killed on the 11th April 1917 and buried in Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty.

William Henry Hirst, Pte 2 nd Battalion K.O.Y.L.I, 204, The Nook, Earlsheaton; killed on the 14th April and commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Arthur Oldroyd, Pte (signaller) K.O.Y.L.I, enlisted in Dewsbury but born in Sydney New South Wales, Australia.

Harry Ellis, Driver Royal Field Artillery 3rd Division Ammunition Column, aged 27, son of Jonas and Elizabeth Ann Ellis, of 66 Cemetery Rd, Westtown.

Luke Blackburn, Pte Cameronians (Scots Rifles, Crown Hotel, Chickenley, killed on the 19th April and buried in Gaza War Cemetery.

James Edward May, Pte 2nd Battalion K.O.Y.L.I, killed 20th April 1917 and buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen.

John Henry Stocks, Lance Corporal of the 8th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, Whitley St, Dewsbury.

Fred Lodge, Pte, 10th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment, 24 Oastler St, Westtown, killed 21st April and commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

George Raymond Peace, Pte Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, son of Joseph and Sarah Elizabeth Peace, 10 King Edward’s Drive, Harrogate, a native of Batley.

Robert Hagger, Pte “D” Battery, 76th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, Firth’s Buildings Leeds Rd, Dewsbury.

Edgar Kilburn, Pte 2nd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, aged 21, son of Charles and M Kilburn, 1, Charles St, Leeds Rd.

William Labourn, Lance Corporal King’s Own Scottish Borderers, aged 22, son of Mr J Labourn and Mrs C Labourn, of 37 Battye St, Eastborough.

William Pamment, Pte 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, of 28 Halliley St, Flatts. He is commemorated on the Basra Memorial.

George Hirst, Pte Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, 26th Tyneside Irish Battalion; son of Mr Frank Hirst, Thurstonland, Huddersfield, and husband of E.A.M. Hirst, 2 The Avenue, Moldgreen, Huddersfield.