Wednesday, 14 November 2012

UPDATE of Remembrance Special


What was the story of the men mentioned in last weeks Great War NEWS special? 

Private Edward Hyson

Edward was the son of Bertha and James Hyson, born on 5th December 1895 at “Marsden Moor”, Staveley.  He was baptised on 22nd December.  By 1901 James Hyson has died and Bertha is now a widow with three young children; John William 8 years old, Edward now 5 years old and daughter Elizabeth 2 years old.  They live at 10 Marples Row, Staveley.

On the 1911 census Edward is living with Bertha and Eli Breakwell (Bertha had remarried on 24th December 1901 at Staveley Parish Church) at 22 Portland Terrace, Langwith.  He is 15 years old and works as a rope lad in the colliery.

Edward joined the 3rd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment on 29th August 1914 – Private 13692.  He was 5ft 6 inches tall and weighed 104lbs, with a fresh complexion and brown hair.  Edward was Church of England.
He embarked for France on 3rd May 1915 landing in Rouen a day later on 4th May.  Ten days later on 15th May he joined the 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment.  During his service he was charged with misconduct for being absent with out leave for 2 days, he was made to forfeit this pay for this unauthorised leave.
Medal receipt from Mrd Breakwell for Edward Hyson
Private Edward Hyson was killed in action on 15th September 1916, aged just 20 years old. He was awarded the Victory, British and 15 Star medals.

The memorial to Private Edward Hyson is at Thiepval, France pier & face 2c & 3a.
Private James Betts
James was born in Birmingham in 1899. His father had died before the census in 1901, when two year old James was living with his widowed mother, Amelia Betts at 25 William Street, Birmingham.  James has two older siblings; Ada 10 years, Beatrice 7 years and two younger siblings; Frederick 1 year and 5 month old Sidney.  Also living in the house as a “lodger” is George Abell a 26 year old railway porter. 
James Betts particulars in November 1914

James lied about his age in order to join the Sherwood Foresters and on 22nd August 1914 at Mansfield, he gave his age as 19 years 23 days.  He was accepted as Private 13170 of the Sherwood Foresters Regiment but his service was short lived as on 19th September later that year he was discharged on the grounds that he was “not likely to become an efficient soldier”.  Was his young age preventing him from carrying out his duties?  No, James had not been caught out on his being under age, he was however flat footed a medical condition that could not be ignored for the military.  At this time James was 5ft 6 inches, 138 lbs, with brown eyes and dark brown hair.  He also followed the Wesleyan Church.
Reason for discharge - Private Betts
Obviously a determined young man, just two months later on 17th November 1914 James has another shot at joining up to serve his country.  This time he went to Derby and was again accepted into the 14th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, Private 19560.  He still claimed he was 19 years 1 month old and in answer to the question “have you ever served in any branch of His Majesty’s Forces?” he originally wrote “yes” but that was crossed through and “no” written as the answer.   This time he lasted slightly longer, gaining 66 days service until he was again discharged due to his flat feet on 21st January 1915.

Eventually his determination paid off and James successfully enlisted to the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.  Private 15143.  He arrived in France on 25th May 1915. 
Sadly James was hospitalised after a gunshot to the knee, he died on 2nd November 1916 from his wounds.  He is buried at St Sever Cemetery Extension at Rouen, France (grave ref O.I.R.1).  He was awarded the Victory, British and 15 Star medals.   James was only 18 years old, too young for military service overseas.

Gunner T P Smith

Thomas Peter Smith was the son of Edward and Alice Smith.  In 1911 aged 18 years he was living with his family at Nether Moor, Wingerworth.  He is employed as a coal loader at the colliery.
Thomas was 21 years 183 days old when he signed up for service on 26th August 1914 at Chesterfield.  He joined the 72nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery as a gunner, Gunner 33756.  Thomas entered the theatre of war on 8th July 1915.
Thomas was killed in action on the 2nd anniversary of his enlistment, 26th August 1916.  He was awarded the Victory, British and 15 Star medals.   All of his medals were received and signed for by his wife Phoebe Ann Smith, 2 Waterloo Street, Clay Cross. 
After the death as Phoebe was a widow she was entitled to claim a widows pension but as their eldest daughter Sarah Eliza Kirk was born before her parents were married the War Office required a statement from the Police to confirm that Thomas was her father.  This was proved and young widow Phoebe was awarded a pension of 18s 6d a week for herself and two children which commenced on 19th March 1917.
Thomas and Phoebe had married in 1912 at the Chesterfield Register Office.  They already had a daughter Sarah Eliza who was born around the same time.  There was a boy named Thomas P Smith born in the summer of 1916, just a few months before the death of Gunner T P Smith, this child looks like he may well be the son of Thomas and Phoebe.
Thomas is buried at Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz on the Somme, France (grave ref X.J.I).

Private Roger Ryan

Roger was the second son of Timothy and Betsy Ryan, he had elder siblings Ellen and James and younger siblings Charles and Anne.  In 1910 the family lived at 34 Factory Street, Brampton and Timothy was a coal miner.  By 1911 Roger has flown the nest and is lodging at 38 Sunny Springs, Stonegravels with Frederick and Mary Hardy.  He is 20 years old and works as a crane driver.

Roger enlisted at York, Private Roger Ryan 9822 West Yorkshire Regiment.  He joined the theatre of war on 8th September 1914.  His service records have not survived but information can be taken from the medal roll and “Soldiers who died in the Great War” database.

Private Roger Ryan of the 1st Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment was killed in action on 25th September 1916. 

The Commonwealth War Grave Commission document Roger as being a Lance Corporal.  Whether Roger gained a promotion is not known, but Lance Corporal Roger Ryan 9822 is remembered at Thiepval Memorial (pier & face 2A 2C and 2D).  He was awarded the Victory, British and 14 Star medals for his service.

Sergeant Alex Carlile

Alexander was born around 1890 at New Whittington, Chesterfield.  The son of Frederick and Annie, Frederick was a coal miner.  The name is spelt differing ways throughout the years; Carlisle being the most common.

He married Charlotte Hodgkinson at the Chesterfield Register Office in 1911.  The obituary stated that Charlotte had been ill and had died whilst Alex was away from home.  Her death was registered in the summer of 1916, just a few months before her soldier husband also passed away.

The service records have not survived for Alex, but his medal card confirms that he joined the Notts & Derbys Regiment (Sherwood Foresters) firstly before transferring to the Lancashire Fusiliers.  His service number in the Notts & Derbys was 18445.

Alex was killed along with four other men when they were hit by a shell on 12th October 1916.  He was serving with the 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers. 

He was buried at Combles Community Cemetery Extension (grave ref iii.F.3).  The cemetery is on the Somme close to Albert.

The man mentioned in the “Wounded” section named Corporal F Carlile was the younger brother of Alex.  As far as I can see, Fred survived the war and lived until 1973.  He served with the 9th Battalion Sherwood Foresters.





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