Names U-V

Unsworth, James Cuthbert

Lance Corporal 21022 James Cuthbert Unsworth, aged 28, died of wounds, and is buried in Grove Town Cemetery, Méaulte.

He enlisted Newcastle 27 October 1914. He had been born Poplar, London, was aged 25 yrs 211 days, coal heaver, married. He was a big man, 5ft 9, 157½lbs, 40 in chest, sallow complexion, brown eyes, dark brown hair, C of E.

He was allocated to 11 DLI and served with A Company. His conduct during training was clean and he left for France with the battalion on 20 July 1915. On 21 October 1915 he was made up to acting Lance Corporal unpaid and was confirmed at that rank on 21 April 1916. On 5 October 1916 he died of wounds at 2/2 London Casualty Clearing Station. The battalion had been working in the trenches under heavy fire, including gas shells. There were seven men killed and twenty-one wounded (including Unsworth).

His widow, Mrs E Unsworth, 13 Kelvin Gardens, Dunston on Tyne received a pension for self and 2 children (amount not legible in the records). His will left everything to her except the sum of £5 and his bike for his brother John at N5, Colliery Road, Dunston.

Urwin, Fergus William

Private 17968 Fergus William Urwin, aged 22, died of wounds 6 October 1916, and is buried in Bernafay Wood British Cemetery.

He enlisted Stanley, 31 August 1914, born Craghead Northumberland, 21 yrs 10 months, miner, 5ft 5ins, 133 lbs, 36 in chest, fresh complexion, blue eyes, mid brown hair, C of E. He was assigned to 11 DLI, serving with D Company.

In training he was occasionally in minor trouble. At Pirbright on 9 December 1914 he was given 5 days confined to barracks for talking in the ranks. He was absent from 8-9 January 1915 and confined for 3 days with a day’s pay lost. On 24 January he was absent from attoo and given another 3 days confined to barracks, followed with the same punishment on 28 January 1915 for ‘continually laughing in the ranks’. At Lark Hill on 7 April 1915 he was caught trying to go sick without a cause, given 9 days Field Punishment No 2 and fined a day’s pay.

On 20 July 1915 he went to France with his unit. On 8 October 1915 he was admitted to 61 Field Ambulance with scabies, but back to duty next day. On 6 October 1916 he died of wounds received while working in the trenches under fire.

His personal effects sent to father, Mr George Urwin, 27 West Terrace, Burnhope. His mother was dead, and he had 2 brothers and 3 sisters). In 1911 Fergus was listed aged 17, working as a pony putter, probably alongside his coal miner father. They then lived at Craghead, Chester le Street (not Northumberland, as indicated in the service records).

Urwin, Percy

Private 24911 Percy Urwin first went overseas to join 11 DLI on 11 September 1915 and later transferred to Scottish Rifles with the number 55728. He was discharged with the Silver War Badge (details not found in SWB records). Nothing further is known. He does not appear to be related to Fergus Urwin.

Uttley, Lawrence

Corporal 53710 Lawrence Uttley, aged 24, was reported missing presumed killed in action 23 March 1918, and is commemorated Pozières Memorial.

Although service papers have survived many of them are faded. The following details have been reconstructed.

He enlisted Sheffield 4 January 1915, aged 24 yrs 10 months. He was a Turkish Bath Attendant with Sheffield City Council, living at 19 Bloor St, Sheffield. He was 5ft 5½, 128 lbs, 37 in chest. He made a 7s 9d weekly allotment to his widowed mother, Mrs Louisa Uttley, 48 Whitehouse Road, Walkley, Sheffield. His older sister Louisa also worked at the same Baths. He had an older brother, Ernest, who was a foundry labourer.

He was allocated to the 12th (Sheffield) Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, Regimental No 1233. On 10 June 1915 he was made acting Corporal, confirmed at that rank on 30 October 1915. He mas made Acting Lance Sergeant on 11 March 1916. On 1 September 1916 he was allocated to 91st Training Reserve Battalion. He eventually went overseas from Folkestone on 22 December 1916 and reported to Infantry Base Depot Étaples, who assigned him to 12 DLI. On 8 February 1917 he was re-assigned to 11 DLI, with the note that he was a qualified range finder. However he reverted to Corporal on joining battalion on 11 February.

He was reported missing presumed dead, with effect from 23 March 1918, in the early stages of the German March Offensive.

It is not entirely clear from the surviving papers whether or not he served overseas before the end of 1916, in which case it seems an extremely long period of home based training. The 12th (Sheffield City Battalion) Y&L served briefly in Egypt from December 1915 to March 1916 before moving to France. The 91st TRB was formed out of remnants from 12th, 13th and 14th battalions, incorporated first as the 15th Battalion, and based at Blyth in Northumberland. It may have been that Uttley was not considered particularly fit for some reason, though it seems odd that he qualified as a range finder (possibly for machine gunners?).

Vaccare, Domnick

Private 52623 Domnick Vaccare, died 2 October 1917, and is buried in Mendinghem Military Cemetery.

He enlisted Hull 11 December 1915 under the Derby Scheme, and was mobilised Hull 8 August 1916, aged 24 yrs 3 months, married, living at 17 Marrick Terrace, Hull, docks labourer. He was 5ft 6, 137 lbs, 37½ in chest. As a docks worker, Vaccare had been classed as in a reserve occupation, List D (form from Hull Dock Workers’ Committee).

His wife was Alice Ann (née Beadle), married 5 August 1915, with daughter Grace, born 29 October 1912. He paid 19s 6d a week allotment to wife, who was then living at 17 Emma’s Terrace, Nornabell St, Holderness Road, Hull. His other family included parents Arthur and Susan Vaccare, brother Arthur, sister Kate.

On 8 August 1916 he was assigned to 14th East Yorkshire Regiment, with the number 26751. On 1 September 1916 the battalion was renamed the 90th TRB, based at Blyth, Northumberland. On 3 December 1916 he went overseas, and was assigned to 11 DLI, D Company.

On 22 September 1917           he was wounded, admitted to 64 CCS and sent on to DAAG-2. On 2 October 1917 he died of his wounds. When he was wounded, 11 DLI were preparing strong points, trenches and tracks ready for further attacks during the Third Ypres Offensive around the Canal Bank and Steenbeck.

Following his death the pension authorities made enquiries through Hull Police to confirm whether the child was supported by Vaccare and this was confirmed by them 16 January 1918. As a result the child was awarded a pension of 5s 0d a week rising to 6s 8d from 15 April 1918. The mother had since remarried and was now Mrs Alice Ann Wright of 92 Day St, Hull. There were no other children by her marriage to Vaccare.

Vans, Robert

Private 14759 Robert Vans, from South Shields, was killed in action 12 October 1916, and is buried Bancourt British Cemetery. His service records have not survived, but his medal index card indicates that he went overseas on 11 September 1915, which indicates that he originally served with either 14 or 15 DLI.

Veal, Harry

Private 53342 Harry Veal enlisted 27 November 1915 and was discharged 1 May 1919, aged 38, with the Silver War Badge.

Veitch, James

Sergeant 25207 James Veitch was mentioned in despatches, London Gazette 9 July 1919. He served with 11 DLI from the outset, initially as a Private. He survived the war, discharged to Class Z reserve.

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