NOSTALGIA: Casualties of the terrible year of the Somme

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THE long list of men from Dewsbury killed in France during the Battle of the Somme, which occurred in July 1916,continued to grow throughout that year.

On the first day of the Battle, 41 men from Dewsbury lost their lives, many of them were reported missing, and their bodies were never found. Following such tragic losses, the people of Dewsbury braced themselves for more, and they were not long in the waiting.

During the month of September 1916 – exactly one hundred years ago this month – another 55 men from Dewsbury were killed. The picture above shows the first soldiers leaving Dewsbury within days of the outbreak of World War One in 1914.

Patriotism was running high when this picture was taken of crowds turning out to wave off the brave men of Dewsbury setting off for battle. They stand outside the Great Northern Railway station, at the bottom of Crackenedge Lane, opposite to where the Market now stands.

One cannot help wondering how many of them came home, for by the end of the war in 1918, 1,200 men from Dewsbury had lost their lives.

My apologies for poor quality of picture but at least it does give some idea of how many people turned out to say farewell to our brave soldiers.

Below is a list of the names of the 55 men from Dewsbury who died in September 1916. Look closely at them, for one could be your ancestor.

George Wilson, Hope Street, Dewsbury, Bdr WR Brigade RFA.

Walter Booth, 344 Lees Hall Road, Thornhill Lees, Pte Duke of Wellington’s WR Regt.

Norman Dennison, 3 Cardigan Road, Thornhill Lees, Pte Duke of Wellington’s WR Regt.

Stanley Gawthorpe, Ravensthorpe, Duke of Wellington’s Reg WR.

Ernest Hinchliffe, 839 West Lea, Ravensthorpe, Sgt Duke of Wellington’s WR Regt.

George Herbert Hornsby, Chidswell, Pte Duke of Wellington’s WR Regt.

Henry Howgate, 42 Junction Road, Dewsbury, Pte KOSB.

Rolla Hirst Jackson, 51 Commercial Street, Dewsbury, L/C West Yorks Reg.

James Edward Kay, Edge Top, Thornhill, Pte 1/5 Duke of Wellington’s WR Reg .

James Henry Simpson, Back Princes Street, Dewsbury, 42 Old Bar, Mirfield, Pte KOYLI.

Charles W Smith, 12 Queen Street, Thornhill Lees, Pte Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regt.

John W Sykes, Earlsheaton, Pte Duke of Wellington’s WR Regt.

James Wild, 3 Back Princes Street, Dewsbury, Pte Duke of Wellington’s WR Regt.

Percy Senior, 37 South Woodbine Street, Dewsbury, Pte 1/5 West Yorkshire Regt.

Walter Garfitt, Ravenshouse Road, L/C Duke of Wellington’s WR Reg.

Thomas Newton, 84 Ward’s Hill, Thornhill, Pte KOYLI.

Percy Oldroyd Megson, Pte KOYLI/Duke of Wellington’s.

Harry Denton, The Ings, Thornhill, Pte Connaught Rangers, died of fever at Salonika.

Alfred Hubert Cowley, 15 Leeds Road, Dewsbury, Pte KOYLI.

Thomas Henry Lee, 119 Brewery Lane, Thornhill Lees, 22nd West Yorks.

John Richard Pennock, 12 Glencoe Terrace, Thornton Road, 1/5 KOYLI.

Walter Hatfield, 41 Caulms Wood Road, Pte KOYLI.

Ernest Blackburn, 68a Westgate, Dewsbury, Rfm King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

George Foster, Middle Road, Dewsbury, Gnr 6th KOYLI.

John Edward Holland, 28 New St, Westtown, Pte KOYLI.

John McMullen, 6 Huddersfield Rd, Westtown, Pte 2nd Yorks and Lancs Regt.

William Mooney, 39 Leeds Road, Dewsbury, Pte KOYLI.

Lionel Richardson, born at Ossett, Cpl King’s Royal Rifles.

Charles Stead, 114 Savile Street, Savile Town, Cpl 1st Scots Guards.

Harold Coope, 13 Ivy Cottages, Dewsbury, Pte KOYLI.

Reginald Dawson, 11 Unity Terrace, Westtown, L/C 7th Suffolk Regt.

Lionel Walshaw Ledgard, Briestfield, Pte Yorks & Lancs Regt.

Simon Parratt, born Louth, Lincolnshire, but lived in Dewsbury, Pte KOYLI.

Percy Senior, Town Green, Earlsheaton, Pte KOYLI.

George Taylor, 40 Bowling, Westtown, Pte KOYLI.

Joseph Tierney, 63 High Street, Westtown, Pte 2nd Coldstream Guards.

Nelson Secker, 23 Charles Street, Thornhill Lees, Pte 1/5 Duke of Wellington’s WR Reg.

Dick Jackson, 3 Springfield View, Ashworth Rd, Dewsbury, Pte KOSB..

Joe Haigh, 86 Hardy Street, Dewsbury, Pte 1/4 KOYLI.

William Spencer, 8 Lower Cross Street, Dewsbury, Sgt KOYLI.

Jesse Howgate, Duke of Wellington’s Reg (WR).

James William Asquith, 3 Ings Road,Dewsbury, Pte KOYLI.

Herbert Oaks Clegg, 12 South Woodbine Street, Dewsbury, Pte KOYLI.

John William Goddard, 3 Kaye Street, Savile Town, Sgt East Yorks Regt.

Edmund Watson, Earlsheaton, Scots Guards.

Patrick Shannon, 47 Granville Street, Dewsbury, Pte Lancashire Fusiliers.

Harry Dyer, 65 Back Whitley Street, Dewsbury, Pte 9th Lancashire Fusiliers.

John Maguire, Pte Lancashire Fusiliers.

Rupert Clegg, 83 Healds Road, Dewsbury, Pte 5th Canadian Bttn.

John Thomas Machin, (one of six brothers fighting in the war) 3 Cardigan Road, Thornhill Lees, Sgt Coldstream Guards.

John H Winter, 46 Back Lawson Street, Dewsbury, Pte 7th Bttn: KOYLI.

John Bamford, 18 Parker Road, Westtown, Pte West Yorks Regt.

George Johnson, Sgt King’s Royal Rifles.

Wright Ouldridge, 27 Combs Road, Pte 6th Yorks and Lancs Regt.