Private 16007 C Mallows went out with the battalion on 20 July 1915. He was mentioned in despatches, London Gazette 28 December 1918. He survived the war and was discharged to Class Z reserve. He was probably the Charles Mallows in the 1911 Census aged 26, coal miner from 37 West Terrace, Burnhope with a wife, Barbara Ellen and children Lilian and Charles.
Martland, Arthur William
Private 76675 Arthur William Martland hailed from Birkenhead but enlisted in Egremont, Cheshire. In the 1911 Census he was aged 34, born in Burscough, Lancashire, and living with his wife Ellen and four children at 40 Green Lane, Egremont, Cheshire where he worked as a Corporation Paviour. According to ‘Soldiers Died’, he served originally with the Royal Engineers, regimental number 1298. There is no indication of this on his medal index card, and it shows that he did not serve overseas before 1916. He died of wounds on 3 April 1918, and is buried in the St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen. Though his service records have not survived, we can deduce from this that he was wounded during the late stages of the March Retreat, but was hospitalised in Rouen, where he died. His children were Nathan, William, George and Dorothy.
Mawson, Joseph Henry
Joseph Henry Mawson enlisted on 27 August 1914. He probably trained with 16th or 17th DLI at Rugeley and was allocated to 11th Durham Light Infantry on transfer to France on 1 August 1915, a few days later than the main cohort of the battalion arrived at the Front. He was allocated the regimental number 15352 and rank of Private.
At some point during his service he became ill, was wounded or gassed. After recuperation in the UK, he was allocated regimental number 654958 Private in the Labour Corps. The number allocation also appears to date from October 1918, which suggests he may have been gassed (as indicated by family memories) in the Lens-Avion Sector during the summer of 1918. He may have spent time in France with 352 Prisoner of War Company Labour Corps, helping organise German PoWs into units on battlefield clearance and other tasks. He was issued with a Silver War Badge and was eventually discharged at Northern Command Labour Corps, Ripon on 1 February 1919.
In 1911, Joseph Mawson, aged 28 born Spennymoor, working as a coal miner hewer, lived at 50 Bessemer Terrace, Spennymoor, County Durham with his wife Catherine (née Richardson), 26 from Durham city. They married in 1906 and had three children at the time of the census: Edith Isabella 3 (born Tudhoe), Elizabeth Mary 2 (born Spennymoor) and Hilda aged 8 months, born Tudhoe. There is some suggestion here of moving between pits for work. There were four later children: William born 1912, Joseph Henry born 1916 (died March 1918), Albert born 1920 and George born 1923.
[Information from family records, medal index cards and Simon Mawson, grandson of William Mawson]
Private 32883 James McAllister, was one of two men with similar names who served with A Company, 11 DLI and who are buried close by each other. He died from wounds to the head on 20 December 1916, and is buried at Grove Town Cemetery, Méaulte.
A clothing assistant from 41 Russell Street, Jarrow, he was a Presbyterian. He was married, 21 June 1911, to Agnes (née Christenson). He had a son John James (b 1912) and daughter Doris (b 1913).
Details of service are sketchy in the surviving papers, but he appears to have volunteered under the Derby scheme, signing up 1 December 1915. He was 5ft 9½in, 127 lbs, 35in chest. Following training he was despatched to France on 14 September 1916, arriving with 11 DLI on 27 September 1916. He suffered a wound causing a compressed fracture of the skull (probably from a shell) and died of his wounds on 20 December 1916.
The effects returned to his wife included letters, post cards, photo, pipe, book, cigarettes, pair of scissors, tinder lighter, comb, disc, chain, wallet and cotton bag. His widow was awarded a pension of 22s 11d from 31 June 1917.
McAllister, James Edward
Private 17958 James Edward McAllister, aged 23, from Stanley, died of wounds 12 October 1916, buried Grove Town Cemetery, Méaulte. One of two men with similar names buried in the same cemetery, McAllister enlisted at Stanley on 31 August 1914 aged 21 yrs and 3 months, and had been born in Monkwearmouth. He was 5ft 5in, 112 lbs, 36 in chest, sallow complexion, light blue eyes, dark brown hair, with a tattoo mark on his left forearm.
Posted to 11 DLI (A Company) he had a number of minor offences during training. At Pirbright on 26 December 1914 he was given 5 days CB and 3 days loss of pay for absence off pass. At Lark Hill on 5 April 1915 he was given 14 days CB and loss of 7 days pay for overstaying a pass, and on 14 May 1915 was given 2 days CB for having dirty equipment.
There were further unspecified causes for punishment when overseas. He was deprived of 7 days pay on 3 November 1915 and 3 days pay on 11 March 1916 – this is usually a sign of absence without leave, perhaps late back from home leave, but could be other causes. These punishments were dealt with locally and not through the Courts Martial system, so cannot have been too serious.
He was wounded in the back on 2 August 1916, slightly enough to be back on duty by 8 August. He died of wounds on 12 October 1916 at 2/2 London CCS, possibly one of several men wounded a few days earlier while working on Tatler Trench under heavy fire.
By the end of the war his father was deceased and his mother Mary Ann McAllister of 3 Wylam Terrace, Stanley West signed for the medals. He had an older brother, Thomas and a sister Mary.
McCarroll, Frank (Francis)
Francis McCarroll served as Corporal, later WO Class II, 12848 in 11 DLI and survived the war. He came from Thornley, near Wheatley Hill and is mentioned in ‘The Employees and Residents of Thornley, Ludworth and Wheatley Hill’, published locally. He went overseas on 20 August 1915, not with the first wave on 20 July. Born around 1892 in Benton, the son of John and Mary McCarroll, before the war he was a coal-miner, single at the time of the 1911 census, when he lived in Wheatley Hill with his parents.
Private 25276 James McCarthy, from West Hartlepool, was killed in action on 13 October 1916, and is buried in Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, near Guillemont. According to ‘Soldiers Died’ he formerly had the regimental number 11660, also with DLI, but his medal index card does not show this and indicates that he went out to France with 11 DLI on 20 July 1915. His service records have not survived, but he appears in the 1911 Census living at 76 Alice Street, West Hartlepool, aged 30 working as a blast furnace labourer. He is ‘boarding’ with Mary Ann Anton, aged 28, who is a widow with five children – the last of which is acknowledged as McCarthy’s child.
McCaughey, John William
Private 14820 John William McCaughey died of wounds on 14 December 1916, and is buried in Grove Town Cemetery, Méaulte.
McCaughey was born in Tow Law and enlisted at Newcastle on 1 September 1914. He was a labourer aged 28 yrs 8 months and unmarried, 5ft 5 in, 140lbs, 39 in chest, fresh complexion, grey eyes, brown hair, Roman Catholic. He was assigned to 11 DLI, served with D Company and during his training he exhibited an unpleasant tendency towards drunken behaviour.
13 November 1914 at Woking, he was arrested drunk on High Street, Knaphill at 9pm and lost 2 days pay. A rather worse incident at Pirbright on 18 December 1914 saw him absent from tattoo until confined at 11.15 pm, being found drunk and then ‘committing a nuisance in his bed’, for which he was fined 2s 6d, lost 2 days pay and was confined to barracks for 7 days. At Lark Hill on 14 July 1915 he was admonished for overstaying his pass until 9pm on 15 July and lost 1 days pay.
He died of wounds at 34 CCS on 14 Dec 1916 (gun shot wound, thigh and abdomen). A telegram saying he was wounded must have been sent, as a letter was written on behalf of the mother requesting information on his present whereabouts and condition of health. His mother was Mrs Bridget McCaughey of 11 Alexandra St, Consett and seems to have been unable to write. She received his effects: disc, letters, photos, cards, 2 pipes, crucifix, religious book, set of rosary beads, 3 coins value 25 cents, cotton bag. His father, Owen McCaughey, was deceased.
Private 17478 Hugh McDonald was killed in action, 28 September 1915, and is buried at Aubers Ridge British Cemetery.
McDonald enlisted at Stanley on 29 August 1914. Born in Collierley, he was a miner aged 21 yrs 3 months. He was 5ft 6¼in, 126 lbs, 37½ chest, fresh complexion and Roman Catholic. He had a tattoo mark in the form of a crown on his left forearm.
He was assigned to 11 DLI, D Company, and there was a clean conduct sheet while in training. He was awarded a loss of 7 days pay for absence on 6 August 1915. He was killed in action on 28 September 1915. According to the records he was initially buried at the Communal Cemetery Estaires and later re-buried at Rue du Bacquerot Military Cemetery, Laventie in Winchester Plot (CWGC gives Aubers Ridge Cemetery, so there may have been a further removal).
Only his identity disc was returned in the way of effects, along with the medals at the end of the war. He left his father John, mother Mary Jane, four brothers and five sisters.
Private 21789 Ambrose McDowell of Fencehouses was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, London Gazette, 3 September 1918. The citation reads: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During the progress of a counter-attack this man showed great courage and determination. He was one of a small party who reached the objective, and during village fighting, when men were wavering under heavy fire from the houses, he pushed on to the further end of the village, materially assisting in the success of its recapture.” The location of the incident is not mentioned, but this may relate to events during the March Retreat. According to his main medal index card, he first went overseas on 17 August 1915, so was probably one of the cohorts of men arriving with 11th DLI from 16th or 17th DLI after training. He survived the war, being discharged to Class Z. He was not a young man at the time of these events, probably about 39 or 40. In the 1911 Census he was a coal miner hewer already aged 32, with a wife Susannah and daughter Elizabeth, living at 20 Newchester, Great Lumley, Fencehouses.
Regimental Sergeant Major 15084 Patrick McEvoy died of wounds and is buried at Heath Cemetery, Harbonnières. He was awarded the Military Cross. A Company.
Durham County Record Office [D/DLI 7/434/1] hold a copy of a letter, Army Form B.104-82, from Infantry records Office York dated 22 May 1919, signed Captain Fairbairn and addressed to Mrs E M McEvoy 30 Dagnam Road, Balham, London SW12, which reads:
It is my painful duty to inform you that a report has been received from the War Office notifying the death of 15084 A/RSM Patrick McEvoy, 11 Bn DLI, in field hospital Harbonnieres 20 April 1918. Died from shot wound through chest.
There are also the letters [D/DLI 7/434/2] which accompanied medals: 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal. Dated 30 January 1922.
In the Durham Light Infantry Museum, Medal Collection, the following notes accompany the display of his medals: Born Sunderland (1890) McEvoy enlisted 11 DLI at outbreak of war. Following the Battle of Cambrai the German Army counter-attacked on 30 November 1917 at Gouzeaucourt. In order to allow 11 DLI to withdraw to a new line, Acting Regimental Sergeant Major Patrick McEvoy was ordered with 20 men, to cover the retreat. This he did, though at great cost. He later died of wounds during the March Offensive, aged 28. He was awarded a posthumous Military Cross.
McEvoy’s service records also survive at the National Archives, reference WO 363/M152.
Patrick McEvoy enlisted in Sunderland aged 28 yrs 11 months on 4 August 1914. He was a labourer who had been in the militia but was time expired, and was attached to Special Reserve 4 DLI. He was 5ft 5in tall, weighed 128 lbs, chest expansion 2 in from 34½ ins. He had a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. At the time he was living at 36 Walings Rigg, Sunderland, but by the end of the war his widow Evelyn May McEvoy had moved to 10 Degnan (or Dagnam) Road, Balham, London SW12.
According to the records he had no registered father and was the son of Mary Shields of 29 Outram Street, Sunderland. He had a half brother, John Henry Shields aged 16. By 19 July 1915 he was confirmed in the rank of Sergeant with 11 DLI.
His medical papers (B103) recorded a bout of diarrhoea on 2 September 1916 for which he was admitted to the CRS. He was promoted to CSM in the field on 17 September 1916. He was granted leave to the UK from 23 November 1916 to 2 December 1916. On 4 February 1917 he was promoted acting RSM. He had further leave on 4 September 1917.
On 13 April 1918 he was reported as having been killed in action on 29 March, suffering a shot wound to the chest at Harbonnières, dying in the field hospital there and being buried in the military cemetery. He was awarded posthumously the Military Cross (London Gazette, 3 June 1918 – no citation recorded). He was attached to A Company and had a clean conduct sheet.
Mrs McEvoy was provided with a pay allotment of 26s 6d, which was reduced to 21s 3d as a pension from 28 October 1918. A letter dated 19 March 1920 informed her that his remains had been exhumed and moved to the Heath Cemetery. His medals were sent to her by post on 29 May 1921. A further letter was recorded awarding the MC.
Private 16467 Anthony McFarlane was killed in action, and is buried at Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery.
McFarlane was a Pipe Maker (labourer) and enlisted at Gateshead on 5 September 1914, aged 34. He was 5ft 6½in, 128½lbs, 36 in chest, dark brown hair and C of E. He was born in Derwenthaugh, Blaydon. His mother was Mary Jane McFarlane of School House, St Cuthberts Square, Blaydon and she received 7s 9d allowance. He had two brothers and five sisters.
The surviving records are faint and badly damaged but it is possible to reconstruct something of his story. His medal index card indicates that he trained with 11 DLI from the start and went out to Francerwith them on 20 July 1915.
29 July 1916 – reported to 60 FA with conjunctivitis
2 August 1916 – transferred to 35 CCS where corneal abscess was diagnosed
18 August 1916 – transferred for treatment to No 4 Base Hospital
26 October 1916 – reported to Base Depot at Etaples
21 December 1916 – to unit
19-29 August 1917 – leave to England
30 November 1917 – killed in action (Cambrai)
A letter was sent after the war to say that his remains were re-buried at Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery.
Private 16678 Thomas McGarry of Durham was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Peace Gazette. According to his main medal index card, he went overseas on 25 August 1915, probably with 12 or 13 DLI. Nothing further known.
Private 3/11659 Joseph McGill, aged 46, from Monkwearmouth, was killed in action 25 March 1918, and is buried in Bouchoir New British Cemetery. He was the husband of Margaret McGill of 16 Stainton Street, West Hartlepool. They appeared in the 1911 Census at No 5 Back Stainton Street, when Joseph was aged 40, Margaret 45 and they had a son, also called Josepg, aged 3. Joseph McGill worked as a labourer in the iron works.
Private 3/10374 William McGregor, from Pity Me, Durham, was killed in action, 13 October 1915, and is buried at Rue-du-Bacquerot No. 1 Military Cemetery. His medal index card indicates that he went out to France on 4 August 1915. His service records have not survived.
McKay, John Davison
Private 18867 John Davison McKay died of wounds on 17 December 1916, and is buried in Grove Town Cemetery, Méaulte.
McKay was born in Birtley and enlisted at Durham on 11 September 1914. He was a labourer aged 20 yrs and 60 days, 5ft 4, 37 in chest, 131½lbs, of fair complexion and Roman Catholic. He was allocated to 11 DLI, D Company but was suffering from ill health in the period just before and after embarkation. On 3 July 1915 at Lark Hill he was hospitalised for five days with lumbar myalgia ‘simulating colic’, but no cause could be diagnosed. After successful heat treatment he returned to his unit and went overseas with them. On 10 August 1915 at Neuville he reported to 7 CCS with colic and by 17 August 1915 was at General Hospital Étaples with suspected appendicitis. He reported to 7 CCS Neuville again on 10 September 1915 with colic and was sent to 22 General Hospital Carrier with both appendicitis and scabies. He was at Étaples on 27 September 1915 and back to his unit on 21 October 1915. On 24 February 1916 he reported at 60 FA with septic dermatitis (probably related to the scabies) and on 7 March 1916 was at 20 DRS with influenza. He was back with his unit on 14 March only to report to 60 FA and DRS on 21 March with an ulcer on his ankle. He was back with his unit on 24 March 1916.
He died of wounds on 17 December 1916. The effects returned home on 28 May 1917 were letters, photos, three RC emblems, rosary, three books and a coin bag. Correspondence went to his father Edward Dodds McKay. He left a mother Elizabeth, six brothers and five sisters.
Private 15082 Roderick McKenzie served as a witness at the Bowlt Enquiry, 4 August 1915, when Pte Bowlt fell out of a window. Strangely, his medal index card shows an embarkation date of 20 August 1915. There are no service records.
Private 16721 Thomas McKie was killed in action 23 August 1916, and is buried in Carnoy Military Cemetery.
McKie enlisted at Newcastle on 1 Sept 1914. Born in Blackhill, Consett, where he lived, he was 24 yrs old, unmarried and an iron worker when he enlisted. He was 5ft 5¼in, 126lbs, 34 in chest, fresh complexion, blue eyes, brown hair and Roman Catholic. Both parents were dead by the end of the war and there were 4 brothers and 7 sisters all living in the Consett and Leadgate area. One of his sisters, Mrs E Johnson of 24 Thomas St, Blackhill took family correspondence and the medals. There is very little in the records. He served with A Company, 11 DLI, appears to have had a clear record for conduct and health, and was killed in action on 23 August 1916.
Private 15081 Albert McLean was killed in action 2 August 1916, and is buried in Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps.
McLean enlisted at West Hartlepool on 30 August 1914. Born in Witton Park, he was a metal labourer aged 29 yrs 117 days and married. He was 5ft 3¼in, 168 lbs, 39½in chest, had a slight scar on left side of chin and professed Presbyterian.
His conduct suggests some element of being unsettled in uniform. At Woking on 14 October 1914, he created a disturbance in camp around 10.30 and attempted to break out of the guard tent. Initially only admonished, he was also fined 2 days pay. At Pirbright on 26 December 1914 he was absent off pass until 29 December and was given 5 days CB. While in France he was deprived of 4 days pay (no cause recorded). He was killed while the battalion were involved in trench work under fire at The Dell.
After the war (by 1922) his wife had re-married to become Mrs Isabella Hughes of 15 Sarah Street, Belle Vue, West Hartlepool. Until her re-marriage she was awarded a pension of 25s for herself and four of her children, the oldest Alice having been born in 1900 not being eligible. There were two sons, Robert Thomas and John Watkin (the latter having left home, from pre-marriage) and two other daughters, Jane Ann and Daisy Ellen. There may have been some delay in receiving the medals as the son Robert wrote to the War Office requesting information.
Private 16721 Thomas McLean was killed in action aged 27 on 5 October 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Thomas McLean attested at West Hartlepool on 2 September 1914. He had been born in Whitby, was a ship plater’s helper and aged 25 yrs 9 days, not married. He was 5ft 4½in, 117lbs, 34 in chest, fair complexion, grey eyes, auburn hair, C of E and had a slight scar on left side of nose.
His conduct with 11 DLI was not ideal, either during training or overseas, though the charges were fairly average. At Pirbright 2 January 1915 he overstayed his pass and was awarded 5 days CB and 3 days loss of pay. At Witley North on 7 March 1915 he was absent from tattoo until 11.45 pm and admonished. Shortly after being in France in August 1915 he received 4 days FP No 2. On 4 May 1916 he was deducted 3 days pay and on 8 August 1916 received 7 days FP No 2. Interestingly he was one of the two brothers allowed home on 31 August 1915 from France for his father’s funeral.
He was killed in action serving with C Company on 5 October 1916 when the battalion were working in Tatler Trench. He left four brothers (John, James, William and Leonard) and a sister Isabel. On 3 Feb 1917 Mrs Jane McLean wrote to the War Office from 7 Acclam Street:
‘I would be indebted to you if you could inform me, as to what has become of the effects of my son Private T McLean 16721 11th Battn BLI. And Oblige, yours faithfully, Mrs McLean’
There is no record of reply. As there is also no known grave one must assume the worst as to how he had been killed.
McLean, William George
Corporal 18569 William George McLean was the brother of Thomas McLean. Both were allowed home on 31 August 1915 following the death of their father. William survived the war. In the 1911 Census, he was aged 23, the eldest of five children of John and Jane McLean at 7 Acclam Street, West Hartlepool. Thomas was aged 21, Leonard was 18, Alfred 15 and Isabel was 12. All of the boys worked in shipbuilding, William as a plater, Thomas as a boilersmith’s labourer, Leonard as a blacksmith and Alfred as a shipwright. The father, aged 53, was a sailor who ‘occasionally served on new ships’.
Private 16277 Francis McMahon, aged 23, from Felling, died at home on 31 October 1915, and is buried St Mary’s Churchyard, Heworth. He was the son of Peter and Margaret McMahon of 62 Back Street, South Dempster Place, Felling. His service records have not survived and there is no medal index card, which may suggest that he never served overseas. In the 1911 Census he was living at the same address with his parents, was supposedly already aged 23 then, and worked as a colliery labourer, above ground. He had been born in Monkwearmouth.
Private 20257 James McSoley, aged 36, died of wounds (accidental injuries) 30 September 1915, and is buried in Rue-du-Bacquerot No. 1 Military Cemetery. He was born in Bishop Auckland, the son of Arthur McSoley, but at the time of enlistment was living in Otley. He was there, aged 31, in 1911 with his wife Margaret aged 32, working as a mason’s labourer and living at 15 Crow Lane. The battalion war diary records that around the time of his death parties were working on fire and communications trenches, while some men were being supplied to mining and tunnelling companies. His service records have not survived but his medal index card indicates his arrival in France with 11 DLI on 21 July 1915, the second day of disembarkation. The card also shows a reference that Margaret had to make a written request for issue of his 1914-15 Star, to which he was entitled. She was then living at 49 Nelson Street, Otley.