Private 13485 James Hall, later of Kings Cross, London, went out with 11 DLI on 20 July 1915. He was awarded the Military Medal (London Gazette, 6 August 1918). He survived the war, discharged to Class Z Reserve. Nothing further is known.
Private 14899 Thomas Hall, from Choppington, Northumberland, was reported missing in action, 28 March 1918, and is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial. He had been born in Ashington, Northumberland and enlisted in Morpeth. His service records have not survived, but his medal index card indicates that he was with 11 DLI from the beginning, going out to France on 20 July 1915. On 28 March 1918, the battalion was in the front line with 60th Brigade, 20th Light Division, defending the village of Arvillers and was due to be relieved at dawn. Before this could happen they came under fierce attack from the advancing German forces. Casualties were heavy as they managed to retreat under cover from 12th Rifle Brigade.
Private 12762 William Hamilton of Spennymoor was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Peace Gazette, 1919. Despite this, he had previously been court-martialled on 3 November 1915 at Laventie for striking an officer, found guilty and given a suspended sentence of one year imprisonment with hard labour. He survived the war and was discharged to Class Z reserve.
Sergeant V/346242 W Hammill died in the UK on 23 November 1918, and is buried in Bishopwearmouth Cemetery, Sunderland. There are no service records and no medal index card, nor does his name appear in the list of ‘Soldiers who Died’. His regimental number might indicate that he had been transferred from 11 DLI to a home unit, perhaps the Army Service Corps or Royal Engineers.
Private 15027 Bertie Handisides was a brewer’s labourer aged 24 years and 313 days, from Stranton, West Hartlepool when he enlisted 30 August 1914 at West Hartlepool. He was unmarried and made no allotment of pay to his mother. He was 5ft 7 in, 133 lbs, 35in chest, fresh complexion, grey eyes, light brown hair and C of E.
He was assigned to 11 DLI from the start, serving with B Company. While in training at Pirbright he was charged with overstaying his pass from midnight to 10.30 am on 3 Jan 1915 and was given 3 days confined to barracks and loss of 2 days pay. He got a further 7 days CB on 8 February 1915 for neglect of duty and there was a further illegible offence while stationed at Witley later in the year. Once overseas he got a further 10 days FP No 1 on 1 November 1915, an offence not officially recorded in the FGCM register, so obviously dealt with locally. Similarly he was fined 10s. and lost a days pay for being drunk on parade on 30 June 1916.
He was home on leave from 11 to 21 January 1917. From 13 to 19 August 1917 he was admitted sick to 61 FA (illegible). He was reported wounded and missing from 27 March 1918 when serving with B Company. The battalion were defending Arvillers against the German March Offensive on that day. Eventually a report was received at the War Office with his name on a German list of casualties and assumed to have died on 27 March 1918. He is buried at Caix British Cemetery.
Private 17493 Thomas Hannah, aged 39, from Carlisle, was reported missing in action on 30 November 1917, and is commemorated Cambrai Memorial, Louverval. This was the day that the Germans launched their counter-attack following the battle of Cambrai. He was the son of Thomas Hannah of 56 Thompson Street, Carlisle. Although his service records have not survived, his medal index card indicates that he trained with 11 DLI and went out with the battalion on 20 July 1915.
Private 77630 Ernest Hardaker later served as Private 34819 with 12 Yorkshire Regiment and Private 44920 Worcestershire Regiment. He did not serve overseas before 1916. Nothing further known.
Private 16228 Charles Hargreaves, was a labourer from Durham. He was killed in action 5 October 1916, and is buried in Bancourt British Cemetery.
Born St Nicholas parish, Durham, he amended his attestation form to be released quickly if the war lasted less than 3 years. He was aged 28 yrs 1 month. He was listed as killed in action 15 October 1916 while serving with A Company, though at this time the battalion were enjoying relief behind the lines at Méaulte.
His family were listed as: father John Hargreaves of Moody’s Buildings, Gilesgate Durham; mother Alicia [note: CWGC gives Selina] deceased; brothers John Hargreaves 50, Robert 28 and Albert 24; sisters all married – Margaret Ann Corbett 52 (same address), Agnes Graham 26 and Ethel Kendall 25
Very little of the actual service papers survive intact, but there is a great deal of correspondence after the war relating to a family dispute over who should have the medals, scroll and other effects. John Hargreaves senior could not sign his own name and was presumably illiterate. He was also elderly (note the ages of the oldest children).
The medals were sent to Moody’s Buildings, where they were signed for by John Hargreaves (mark) witnessed by Robert Hargreaves. However letters were later sent by Robert Hargreaves on behalf of his father addressed from 25 Thirlmere Road, Darlington, requesting first the return of the medals and then the plaque from Mrs Corbett at Moody’s Buildings. They had to ask the Army to intervene as their direct letters were ignored. As the items were strictly the property of Mr Hargreaves, the Army did indeed write to Mrs Corbett on those lines.
A letter to the army from John Hargreaves (the son) explains the problem:
‘I am forwarding only to you the Medals required on behalf of my Sister Mrs Corbett. My Father has always stayed with her since my Mother died owing to his old age but since my Brother came home he never rested till he got my father from her and that is how the medals went to her. My Father told her she could keep them but my Brother says not and this is the result. I remain yours faithfully, John Hargreaves’ [5 Jan 1922]
Private 12384 Thomas Harker was originally from Loftus in North Yorkshire, but enlisted in Durham. He died of wounds on 16 January 1918 and is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. At the time the battalion was in the Ypres Sector near Zillebeke, working on repairing tracks and roads. His service records have not survived, but his medal index card indicates that he trained with 11 DLI and went out to France with the battalion on 20 July 1915.
Harkness, William Norman
Private 85167 William Norman Harkness was a conscript aged 19 when he died of gas poisoning 1 June 1918 at the 26th General Hospital, Étaples. There had been a gas attack on the DLI during the night of 27 May 1918 near Carency. He is buried in Étaples Military Cemetery.
He enlisted 23 June 1917 aged 17 yrs 353 days: 5ft 4in, 32½ in chest, fresh complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, weighing 107 lbs. Primitive Methodist, father Robert Christopher Harkness, and lived at 23 George Street, Blackhill near Consett. He was an apprentice bricklayer with the Consett Iron Company. He was placed in army reserve 23 June 1917, mobilised 6 August 1917 and posted for training to 7th West Yorkshire Regiment at their York depot, when he was 18 yrs and 1 month old.
His health was not perfect. He had suffered from meningitis fever as a child and had a slight heart abnormality, but was classed fit for overseas service. He was transferred to DLI from 1 October 1917 and sent out to France 5 April 1918 where he was assigned to 11 DLI. Mrs M E Harkness was named in his will and dealt with most of the correspondence from the War Office.
Private 18859 Reuben Harland, aged 24, was reported missing in action on 28 March 1918 and is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial.
Born Bill Quay, Gateshead, he was aged 21 yrs and 25 days when he enlisted at Birtley on 11 September 1914. He was a labourer (though a later form seems to have him classed as a boot repairer by trade). He was 5ft 5½ tall, 140lbs, 35in chest, fresh complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair. He was the son of William and Sarah Harland of 99 Mitchell Street, Birtley (after the war they had moved to Sewerage Farm Cottages).
He was assigned to 11 DLI, though there is a note in his papers transferring him to ordinary infantry rates of pay from 1916 under Army Council Instruction 1181. On 21 August 1916 he was deducted a day’s pay. He was on leave twice during his period with the battalion: 21-31 January 1917 and 2-16 February 1918. Shortly after this last leave he was awarded 10 days FP No 2 (not clear why – possibly late back from leave). On 28 March 1918 the battalion were being relieved from the defence of the village of Arvillers when they came under heavy attack from advancing German forces.
Harris, George W.
Private 25648 George W Harris, from Castleford in Yorkshire, was killed in action 31 August 1918 and is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension. While recorded as 11 DLI in the list of Soldiers who Died, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission have him recorded as with 18 DLI at the rank of Corporal. He may have been transferred and lost his stripes in the process.
Lance Corporal, later Corporal, 53700 Bert Harrison, from Worksop, did not serve overseas before 1916. He was nevertheless awarded both the Meritorious Service Medal for devotion to duty, London Gazetter 17 June 1918 and the Distinguished Conduct Medal, London Gazette 1 January 1919. The citation dated 3 September 1919 reads: “For gallant work and devotion to duty while in command of divisional observers for the last year, including the Ypres Offensive 1917, and the fighting on the Somme, March 1918. During the engagements at Canizy, Le Quesnel, Mézières and Little Wood his cheerfulness and coolness under fire were a splendid example to his men, and the able manner in which he organised his runners and kept divisional headquarters well informed of the progress of the fight”. In 1911 he was the 21-year old son of William and Sarah Harrison of Low Street, Carlton in Lindrick, Worksop, where he worked as screenman, above ground, in the local mine.
Private 13486 Alfred Hattam (some records give Hatton) came from Gateshead, trained with 11 DLI and embarked for France with the battalion on 20 July 1915. He was killed in action 15 September 1917, and is buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery, Boezinge. On that day the battalion were making preparations for the assault by 20th Light Division on Langemarck in the Ypres Sector, carrying munitions to forward dumps, wiring the front line and constructing tramways in communications trenches. They were under constant fire.
Hayes, Geoffrey G, Lt-Colonel.
Hayes was a Regular officer with DLI in India before the war. He was on leave to England at the outbreak and was made Captain and Adjutant 11th DLI from 18 September 1914. He rose to Lieutenant-Colonel until sick leave April 1918. He was mentioned in despatches twice and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. He remained in service following the war until retirement 9 June 1934. He died from heart disease at Tywyn Nursing Home at Aberdovey in North Wales on 4 July 1976.
He was born 30 August 1887, the son of Henry Hayes of Scarborough, and educated at Charterhouse and Sandhurst. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant 4 May 1907, served with 1 DLI in India. Adjutant 11 DLI in September 1914 when home on leave. Made CO in 1916. Awarded DSO Cambrai 1917. Gassed during March 1918 and forced to relinquish command due to poor health. Returned as a regular after the war, retiring in 1934 as Lieutenant Colonel. Died Aberdovey 1976.
Summary of service from his records:
04/05/1907 commissioned 2nd Lt, DLI
04/01/1912 promoted Lieutenant
Aug-Sep 1914 home in UK
18 Sep 1914 appointed Temp Captain
25 Sept 1914 adjutant 11th DLI [to 19/07/1915]
10 Jun 1915 promoted Captain
19 Jul 1915 ceased as Adjutant
20 Jul 1915 apptd T/Major (battalion going overseas)
13 Dec 1916 apptd Acting Lt Col cmdg 11 DLI
03 Nov 1917 apptd Temp Lt Col cmdg 11 DLI [to April 1918]
Apr-Sep 1918 hospital and sick leave
Sep-Nov 1918 cmdg 2/5th Norfolk Regt, home
Nov 18-Nov 19 cmdg 2/5th Norfolk Regt, home (following end of war)
10 Nov 1919 relinquished rank of Lt Col, to Captain (presumed)
Nov 19-May 26 ‘regimental duty’ [location unspecified]
May 26-Aug 28 attached West African Rifles [location unspecified]
24 Mar 1928 promoted Major
01 Aug 1928 restored to establishment and to 2nd DLI in India
According to the various reports collated with the summary to discuss his continued service in the army, he was consistently recommended for promotion between 1920 and 1928, which was eventually granted. The various reports, including those where he was attached to the West African Rifles, contain a number of examples of negative behaviour but are generally not adverse. He was described as excitable, having a temper and a sharp tongue, lacking in tact amongst his fellow officers and believing in the superiority of his own opinions. On the other hand he demonstrated great practical ability as a soldier possessed a considerable degree of initiative.
The reports from Lt Col Turner of the 2nd DLI are uniformly adverse, picking up on his negative traits as mentioned above, but lacking the balance in relation to his practical abilities, which are dismissed as average. In each case where his report is cited he observes that he himself had ‘not previously informed this officer of his deficiencies’. In his responses to these reports Hayes not unreasonably asks for specific evidence and points to numerous successes in running his own units, including the whole Battalion. He suggests that Turner has taken a personal dislike to him and, whatever the reasons for it, this dislike is evident in Turner’s reports and his lack of actual conversation with Hayes about his shortcomings.
The summary report covering these extracts also refers to negative aspects of Hayes’ career going back to his early slowness to fit in to the army, including a note from 1914 that he would never be popular with his fellow officers. There is no assessment, for example, of his success as a commander during the war and the awards he received. One is left with an impression that Hayes was regarded as not fitting into the ethos of the regimental mess in India, which coupled with recent ill health, led to his leaving the army with the honorary rank of Lt Colonel. It is hard, on the basis of the evidence as presented in these reports set against the evidence of his war service, not to come to the conclusion that Hayes was dismissed because he did not fit in, rather than on the basis of ability.
Hayes married twice. In 1921 he married Gladys Mary, the daughter of Walter Ingram. In 1930 he married Margaret Ellen, daughter of Charles Edwin Lowe of Sugnall Hall, Staffs. His grandson, Stephen Hayes, served with the Durham Light Infantry in the 1960s.
[Sources: Durham County Records Office, Army Historical Records, DLI Museum]
Lance Corporal John Henderson died of wounds on 19 December 1915 and is buried at Rue Petillon Military Cemetery. He was born St Aidan’s parish, in Gateshead, and enlisted at Newcastle aged 33 yrs 338 days, on 31 August 1914. He was a miner and married. He had previously served with 1st DLI for 3 years to 1902. He was 5ft 7 in, 140lbs, 38 in chest, fresh complexion, hazel eyes, light brown hair, C of E. He was posted immediately to 11 DLI as Private, promoted unpaid acting Lance Corporal on 6 July 1915 and paid Lance Corporal from 14 July 1915.
His conduct in training was average:at Pirbright, 26 Dec 1914 -absent off pass from midnight 26 until 2pm 27 Dec, forfeited 1 day’s pay. At Lark Hill, 15 May 1915 – overstaying pass from midnight until 3pm 18 May 1915, FP No 2 10 days and forfeited 3 days’ pay.
While serving in France on 27 July 1915 he spent time in hospital at St Omer with influenza, being sent back to duty on 1 August 1915. He was serving with B Company in December 1915, joining the battalion in a round of Pioneer work in all its varieties. Occasionally they came under shell fire and it is this that probably caused the wounds from which he died. His personal effects were sent home but not listed in his service records.
His family were: wife Julia Henderson, 14 Northern Terrace, Dudley, Annesford, Northumberland. Children: William b 14 June 1907, John b 27 March 1910, father dead, mother Elizabeth Henderson, 3 Northern Terrace (plus brother and sister, latter married and living at 50 Northern Terrace). His widow received a pension of 18s 6d from 10 July 1916.
Private 11591 Michael Hennessey of D Company, served as a witness at the Brown Enquiry 4 April 1917 (report on an accident). He joined 11th DLI on 25 November 1915, probably as reinforcements from 16 or 17 DLI. He survived the war, discharged Class Z. His service records have not survived.
Private (later Acting Corporal) 20185 Robert Henry went out with 11 DLI on 20 July 1915. He was later awarded the Military Medal (London Gazette, 27 October 1916). He enlisted 17 August 1914 and was discharged with the Silver War Badge on 22 April 1919.
Heslop, George Christopher
Temporary Captain George Chritopher Heslop was awarded the Military Cross ‘for consolidation work under machine gun and artillery fire at the Somme, September 3rd and October 7th 1916’. He survived the war. The citation refers in the first instance to the successful capture of the village of Guillemont and the second to work consolidating a location known as Tatler Trench in the area beyond Guillemont.
Private 16000 James Hewitt died of wounds to the shoulder and face at Boulogne Stationary Hospital on 21 March 1916, and is buried Boulogne Eastern Cemetery. The wounds from which he died were received when doing normal Pioneer work based near Elverdinghe in the Ypres Sector. The battalion worked under constant heavy fire.
Born Grahamsley, nr Crook, he was 24 yrs 6 months, and a miner, when he enlisted at Durham on 31 August 1914. He amended his terms of engagement for a speedy release if the war lasted less than three years. He was 5ft 3½in, 148lbs, 36 in chest, fair hair, hazel eyes, light brown hair, and a Wesleyan. He was assigned to 11 DLI, and served with B Company, No 5 Platoon.
His conduct during training was average:
Pirbright, 26 Dec 1914 absent off pass from midnight to 7pm 27 Dec 14, forfeited 1 day’s pay
Lark Hill, 18 Apr 1915, overstaying pass from midnight until 9 am 19 Apr 1915, admonished and forfeited 1 day’s pay
Lark Hill, 25 Apr 1915, improperly dressed for church parade, 3 days confined to barracks.
His family were: mother Mrs Rachael Hewitt of 131 School Row, Oakenshaw, who was paid 11s 6d in separation allowances; personal effects were sent to father Mr Thomas Hewitt 6 July 1916, not listed; he had an older brother and four sisters
Hewitt, John Cousin
Private 13306 John Cousin Hewitt was killed in action 11 February 1916, and is buried Ferme-Olivier Cemetery, Elverdinghe. The battalion were under frequent bombardment in this area, even in billets.
He was born Medomsley, County Durham and was aged 23 yrs 6 months, and a labourer, when he signed up Newcastle 3 September 1914. He was 6ft tall, 155lbs, 38 in chest, fresh complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, C of E. He was sent to 11 DLI on 3 September 1914 and served with C Company. He was made acting Lance Corporal on 2 October and acting Corporal on 14 October, but reverted to Private on 4 February 1915 after problems with conduct.
His conduct during training was not especially poor:
Pirbright, 9 Dec 1914, [offence not clear] admonished by Captain Lloyd
Pirbright, 17 Dec 1914, absent from bathing parade – admonished
Pirbright, 4 Feb 1915, not washing before breakfast, late falling in on parade, neglect of duty when acting as orderly Sergeant – reverted to Private
Lark Hill, 5 Apr 1915, overstaying pass from 12 midnight to 10.15pm 6 Apr 1915, awarded 4 days confined to barracks, forfeits 1 day’s pay
The next of kin for correspondence was his mother Mrs Sarah Ann Hewitt of 7 Garden St, Blaydon: also father Samuel and three brothers (one in Australia) and one sister.
Private 45678 Charles Hildreth was killed in action 16 August 1917 and is buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery, Boezinge.
Hildreth originally joined 6 DLI as a Territorial, with the regimental number 4219. He signed on 13 August 1915 at Crook, though he lived at 3 Albion Street, Tow Law. He was 19 years and 2 months old, a miner, 5ft 8¼in 147lbs, 37½in chest, and a Wesleyan. He was the son of Joseph Hildreth, his mother was deceased, and he had brothers William and John and sisters Dora Armstrong (27) and Elizabeth Jane Hildreth (16). Dora was classed as his guardian and the whole family, apart from the father seemed to live with her at 38 North Street, Tow Law.
On recruitment he immediately signed the form E 624 agreeing to serve outside the UK. The part of the agreement referring to the fact that he should only have served with 6 DLI was at least partly honoured in that he remained with DLI. In training his conduct was good, apart from receiving 7 days confined to barracks and 4 days loss of pay for a period of absence from his unit at Whitley Bay 10/6/1916. This was probably overstaying his embarkation leave.
13/8/1915 3/6th DLI
25/6/1916 1/6th DLI
10/9/1916 15th DLI
16/9/1916 wounded, left hand, shot wound and sent to England
21/9/1916 attached Depot
31/10/1916 To Command Depot Ripon
22/1/1917 to 3 DLI
6/3/1917 to BEF Base Depot and assigned 11 DLI
16/8/1917 killed in action. B Company
Since his mother was dead, Charles made his younger sister Elizabeth the recipient of his separation allowance and allotment of pay, which was rather unusual. She got 8s 6d plus 3s 6d (12s). On his death she became the recipient of any effects (only a single disc is recorded, but there may have been other items), medals, scroll and bronze plaque, as per his will dated 9 March 1917.
Private 75610 Alan Hill was from Stillington. He was reported missing in action as of 28 March 1918, and is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial. He was born in Great Stainton, Co Durham and enlisted in Newcastle. According to the list of Soldiers Who Died, he was missing on 22 March 1918. He was not an early recruit, not being entitled to the 1914-15 Star, and a note on his medal index card includes a request from the War Office in 1922 to dispose of his medals – presumably unclaimed. According to the 1911 census he was from a farming family, the son of Edward and Mary Isabel Hill. He would have been 20 when he died.
Private 376565 Jabez Hill, aged 40, from Leicester, died 8 April 1918, and is buried at the Sains-au-Nord Communal Cemetery. This would indicate that he had been wounded during the March Retreat and died in hospital in France before being repatriated. He was the husband of Florence Sarah Hill of 28 Birstall Street, Leicester. His service records have not survived but the medal index card indicates that he was not an early recruit entitled to the 1914-15 Star. According to the 1911 census he was a ‘clicker’ in the boot trade and his wife was a needle hand in the hosiery trade. Even then they lived at 28 Birstall Street, but had no children.
Hill, William Henry
Private 11843 William Henry Hill, from Hexham, died of wounds, 16 November 1915, and is buried Merville Communal Cemetery. He was the husband of FC Hill of 37 Mansfield Street, Gateshead. While his regimental number suggests that he may have volunteered relatively early, his medal index card do not show him entitled to the 1914-15 Star, despite dying in France during 1915.
Private 36163 William Hindle, aged 37, died 29 September 1918, and is buried in Darlington West Cemetery.
Hindle enlisted under the Derby scheme on 11 December 1915 aged 34 years and 6 months, from 10 Valley Street, Darlington. Slater and tiler. C of E. Wife was Elizabeth Jane Hindle ( née Bell), and there were six children (the last born December 1915). He was mobilised 13 June 1916 and posted to 11 DLI on 27 October 1916. He was wounded in the knee while the battalion was based in the Ypres Sector and in hospital 31 January 1918 to 12 March 1918, after which he was judged Cat A III. He rejoined his unit on 6 April 1918, having had the good fortune to miss the March Retreat. However he was one of a number of 11 DLI men poisoned by mustard gas on 4 June 1918. He was sent to Queen Mary’s Hospital for the East End, Stratford, where he remained until 27 August, before being sent on to hospital in Colchester. He died there on 29 September 1918 and his widow claimed the body. He is buried in Darlington West Cemetery.
The following personal items were returned to the widow 11 March 1919: handkerchief, tin of tooth paste, razor and case, tooth brush, 2 buttons, pocket mirror, comb, wallet, photos, 2 cards, booklet, 2 letters, new testament, purse, 2 bags, shaving soap, 2 gold stripes (metal) 2 numerals, cap badge, 2 sleeve badges, 4 discs, tin of polish, cigarettes.
The widow received a pension of 42s 1d for herself and the six children. Medals were sent on in due course, but not acknowledged. In 1911 the family, then with four children (Alice Jane, Albert, William and Edith), lived at 10 Valley Street, Darlington.
Private 18276 James Hinksman, aged 27, died of wounds 5 October 1916 and is buried Carnoy Military Cemetery.
Born in Bill Quay, Hinksman enlisted 31 August 1914 at Felling and was posted straight to 11 DLI. He did not go out with the battalion on 20 July 1915 and was posted 17 August 1915 to the Pioneer Depot at Weymouth. There were a few problems with his conduct during training.
Lark Hill, 10 May 1915 , overstaying pass until midnight 11 May 1915 awarded 7 days confined to barracks and loss of 1 day’s pay
At Depot, Westham Camp Weymouth
24 Sept 1915, absent from drawing rations 7.30 am, two days confined to barracks
1 Oct 1915, absent 9 hours from tattoo roll call, awarded 10 days confined to camp, 1 day’s pay
11 Nov 1915, overstaying leave to 18 Nov 1915, seven days confined to camp, 7 days’ pay
Hinksman rejoined 11 DLI on 6 January 1916 and died of wounds serving with A Company on 5 October 1916. Because he did not go out to France until 5 January 1916 he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star.
His family were: father Richard Hinksman, 1 William Street, Felling; mother deceased; brothers Amos 35 and Richard 39. In 1911, James was an apprentice rivetter, aged 21, living with his family: Richard 52, Martha 50, and brothers Richard 23 and Thomas 16 at Armstrongs Buildings, Felling on Tyne.
Private 21/24 Henry Hodgson, aged 32, from Barnard Castle, died of wounds 16 August 1917, and is buried Bard Cottage Cemetery, Boezinge. He was the son of Thomas and Sarah Hodgson of Barnard Castle. His widow, Jane Ann, re-married to become Mrs McDermott of 18 Rose Street, Spennymoor. He was not an early recruit, not entitled to the 1914-15 Star.
Holmes, Joseph Andrew
Second Lieutenant Joseph Andrew Holmes served with 11 DLI before transfer to the Indian Army and another DLI battalion. He arrived in France with his commission on 10 April 1917. He applied for his medals 15 September 1921 giving an address of The Hazels, 37 Kenwood Park Road, Sheffield. On his arrival in France he would have been no more than 19 years old. He appears in the 1911 Census as the 13 year old son, at school, of Joseph Henry Holmes, Stock and Shareholder, and Alice Mabel Spencer Holmes, of 31 Springhill Road, Sheffield.
Private 76882 Redfern Holt, from Mirfield, near Huddersfield, in Yorkshire, was reported missing in action, 30 November 1917, and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval. He had previously served with the Royal Engineers, 241976, though this is not indicated on his medal index card. In 1911 he was aged 29, single, and worked as a joiner, name spelled Redfearn. He lived with his parents Allan and Mary Ann, brothers Arthur and Joseph and sister Elizabeth on a farm at Hopton near Mirfield.
Sergeant 18754 John Hook of Durham, was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, London Gazette, 1 January 1918. The citation dated 7 April 1918 reads: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During the operations he displayed the most conspicuous courage and good leadership on several occasion. His personal example and able handling of his men enabled important work to be carried out under fire of all kinds.” It is not clear to what actions these apply but the description would match the work of the battalion during the capture of Langemarck during the Ypres Offensive of 1917. John Hook went out to France with the battalion at the rank of Private on 20 July 1915 and rose to the rank of Colour Sergeant. The name was common in Durham so not traced in 1911 Census.
Private 75586 Ernest Hope, aged 19, from Wakefield, was reported missing in action, 26 March 1918, and is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial. He was a conscript. His service records have not survived. He was the son of George and Mary Hope of ‘Dale Garth’, Thornes Road, Wakefield. In 1911 he was still at school aged 12. His father was a bricklayer and his older sister Daisy worked in a bakery. Younger children were Jack and Doris. They lived at 25 Plumpton Street.
Sergeant 13451 John Hopkinson, aged 23, from Gateshead, died of wounds, 25 March 1918, and is buried St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen. He enlisted in 1914 and went out to France with the battalion on 20 July 1915, rising from the rank of Private in D Company. His service records have not survived. He was the son of Hannah Hopkinson and the late Edward Hopkinson of 62 Peareth Street, Gateshead. In 1911the family were at the same address, and John worked as a metal cleaner, aged 16. He was one of seven children. His father worked in a quarry.
Private 21665 Walter Horner was listed in the York Absent Voters List for 1918 and in a list of Prisoners of War. He was a single man living at 49 Hallfield Road, York. He was captured 24 March 1918, held captive in Germany, and repatriated 28 December 1918. Leave expires 14 March 1919.
Private 15045 Robert Horsburgh went out with the battalion on 20 July 1915. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre, London Gazette 5 April 1918. He survived the war and was discharged to Class Z reserve.
Howcroft, Frederick James
Private 17384 Frederick Thomas Howcroft, according to one medal card, went out with the battalion on 20 July 1915 and later served with the East Surrey Regiment with the regimental number 35616. He also has a medal index card under the name Frederick J Howcroft, and there is a note on the other card to say that this was the correct name. In the 1911 Census he is probably Frederick James Howcroft, the 15 year old step son of Estill Frank and Sarah Alice Frank of 3 Back Barrington Street, Sunderland. He was a stable boy born in West Hartlepool.
Howells, David J.
Private 17019 David J Howells, aged 21, from West Hartlepool, killed in action 2 August 1916, buried Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps. He served with B Company and went out with the battalion on 20 July 1915. He was the son of Mr Chadwald Howells of 6 Sarah Street, West Hartlepool. In 1911, aged 15, he lived with his parents, his mother being Annie Maria Howells. His father was a puddler in the Rolling Mills and it is probable that David also went to work there.
Private 46109 Fred Hoyland enlisted 9 December 1915 and was discharged 12 December 1917. He started service with DLI Depot, before serving with 11 DLI then as Private 39551 87 Training Reserve Battalion. He was discharged as unfit for war service and issued with the Silver War Badge, aged 30. The date suggests that he became unfit as a result of experiences either in the Battle of Third Ypres or the Battle of Cambrai. While it is speculative, he may be in the 1911 Census as the 24 year old son, grocer’s assistant, of William and Ellen Hoyland of 24 Chapel Street, Birdwell, near Barnsley.
Huddart, Joseph Ethelbert
Private 32882 Joseph Ethelbert Huddart, aged 31, from Hebburn, Jarrow, died of wounds 18 April 1918, and is buried Roye New British Cemetery. His service records have not survived, but the location of his burial and the date suggest that he was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans during the March Retreat and subsequently died in one of their field hospitals. He was the husband of Sarah L Huddart (née Steele) of 4 Collingwood Street, Hebburn on Tyne. He was not an early recruit and not entitled to the 1914-15 Star. In 1911 he was single, aged 23, living with his parents and working as a tailoring cutter in Jarrow. He married Sarah in the spring of 1912 in South Shields.
Private 12716 William Hughes, from Belfast, enlisted in Darlington. He went out to France on 4 August 1915, probably as reinforcements from 16 or 17 DLI. He was reported missing in action, 22 March 1918, and is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial.
Private 25043 Thomas Hughff, from Dipton, died of wounds 31 May 1918, and is buried at Étaples Military Cemetery. He went out to France on 2 September 1915 and may have served with another DLI battalion before joining 11 DLI. He was probably one of several victims of a gas attack on the 11 DLI positions at Carency on 27 May 1918. His service records have not survived. He was very likely the Thomas Hughff aged 14, colliery screenboy at Framwellgate Moor near Durham, listed in the 1911 census as the son of Francis Robert and Jane Ann of 151 Newcastle Row, Framwellgate Moor, although the census records him born in Framwellgate.
Private 12209 William Hume probably served in B Company, and gave evidence to the Arkless enquiry, 31 March 1917, enquiring into the causes of an accident befalling Arkless. He went out with the battalion on 20 July 1915 and survived the war but was wounded, discharged on 12 February 1919 and awarded Silver War Badge on 10 March 1919. [See Arkless]
Hunt, Arthur William
Private 15047 Arthur William Hunt, aged 23, from Hendon, Sunderland, was killed in action, 16 August 1917, and is buried Bard Cottage Cemetery, Boezinge. He served with 6 Platoon, B Company and went out with the battalion on 20 July 1915.
Born St Paul’s Durham, miner’s labourer, Hunt signed on at West Hartlepool 31 August 1914. He was not married, living with his aunt at Castle Eden Colliery, where he probably worked. He was 5ft 7 in, 136lbs, 36 in chest, fresh complexion, brown eyes, dark brown hair, CofE. Scar on top of head. His parents lived in Sunderland (Pottery Bank, then 8 Lodge Terrace, Hendon). His mother Mary E Lynn got his medals after the war and during it she received 7s 1d plus 2s 11d (10s) from his pay.
His conduct deteriorated during the war, but there are clear reasons for his problems.
31/9/1914 to 11 DLI
8/6/1916 to Depot
31/8/1916 to 3 DLI, South Shields
3/9/1916 overstaying pass until 7 Sept – lose 5 days pay
22/9/1916 absent from tattoo – 7 days CB
1/10/1916 absent from 11 pm until apprehended by civil police on 4/10/1916, failing to salute an officer, being improperly dressed in town – 7 days CB and 4 days pay
2/11/1916 absent from 9.30pm to 7.15 am next day – 4 days CB
8/11/1916 absent from 9pm till 10.30pm same day – 7 days CB
9/11/1916 breaking out absent from 8.30 to 8.45 – 10 days CB from 16/11
30/11/1916 absent without leave
30/12/1916 struck off for absence
5/3/1917 rejoined 3 DLI and put in detention 29 March 1917
30/3/1917 tried and convicted by District Court Martial of absence, given 17 months
16/4/1917 given special release with remission for embarkation
17/4/1917 to BEF Base
18/4/1917 12 DLI
11/5/1917 11 DLI
16/8/1917 killed in action
Effects returned to family: photos, pocket book, religious book, paper, wallet, 2 discs
Health and conduct were jointly a problem for Hunt and it may be that the two were linked. On 17 November 1915 he was found to have albuminuria (protein in the urine, which is related either to kidney damage or diabetes and hypertension). He spent time in hospital at Étaples and then was attached to No 10 Entrenching Battlion from 16 December 1915. He was back in hospital with influenza on 17 March 1916, had problems with his lungs and was sent back to Étaples. He was still there on 6 June 1916 – the medical record is over-written, but it is possible that the word ‘typhoid’ can be made out. Two days later he was back in England (see above). It is at this point that the conduct issues spring into action. Previously, during training, he had a virtually clean record with 11 DLI, other than one short absence when at Pirbright on 6 Dec 1914, for which he got 2 days CB.
Hunt, John William
Lance Corporal 17728 John William Hunt, aged 23, from Middleton-in-Teesdale, died at home from pneumonia on 11 January 1916, and is buried in St Mary’s Churchyard, Barnard Castle. He was the husband of Frances Hilda Hunt of 44 Galgate, Barnard Castle, and the son of George and Mary Hunt. He had served with 11 DLI from the outset and went out with the battalion on 20 July 1915.
Private 13786 William Hurst, from Gateshead, was killed in action, 22 March 1918, and is buried at Mézieres Communal Cemetery Extension. Given the date of his death, he cannot have fought with the battalion at Mézieres on 29 March, but may have died from wounds in a British field hospital during the Retreat, or died in German captivity and his remains were re-interred there after the war. He served with 11 DLI from the outset, going out with the battalion on 20 July 1915.
Private J Huscroft, from Gateshead is listed on the Gateshead Roll of Honour as being from 11 DLI. His medal index card gives the regimental number 16274, date of enlistment 28 August 1914, but a discharge date of 4 December 1916 and the indication ‘Durham Light Infantry A.R.P.’ He may therefore have been initially assigned to 11 DLI but declared not fit for overseas service and employed at home.
Private 18885 Walter Hutchinson of Forest Hall went out with 11 DLI on 20 July 1915. He was later promoted to Corporal and awarded the Military medal (London Gazette 6 August 1918). He survived the war and was discharged Class Z Reserve.