In August 1914 the East Yorks consisted of two Regular battalions (1st and 2nd), a Special Reserve (3rd) and two Territorial battalions (4th and 5th Cyclist). After the outbreak of war eight Service (Kitchener) battalions were raised (6th to 13th) as well as two Reserve (14th and 15th) and two Garrison battalions (1st and 2nd). The 4th Battalion TF formed a second and third line battalion, 2/4th and 3/4th. Ten of the nineteen battalions went on active service. This history covers all the battalions though only very briefly those that did not go overseas. The author, a prolific writer of divisional/regimental histories follows his customary pattern of arranging his story chronologically with chapters devoted to specific battles and periods of trench warfare. In the margins of the text describing events he notes the dates, as in a diary, and identifies the battalions involved. The Roll of Honour lists the officers alphabetically by ranks without indicating the battalion or date of death; the other ranks are shown by battalions and by ranks within each battalion, again without date of death. The total dead for the war amounts to 403 officers and 7,080 other ranks, the 1st Battalion incurring the greatest number - 1,536 WOs, NCOs and Men. Four VCs were awarded for which the citations are given. Honours and Awards are listed in three groups: British awards (1,125 in all), Mention in Despatches (397) and Foreign awards (94); battalions and dates are not specified. The 1st Battalion went to France with 18th Brigade, 6th Division, joining the BEF at the Battle of the Aisne. In November 1915 it was transferred to 64th Brigade, 21st Division with which it remained for the rest of the war on the Western Front. The 2nd Battalion was in India and arrived home in December 1914, joining the newly formed Regular division, the 28th with which it went to France in January 1915. In November the division was transferred to the Macedonian front. The 6th Battalion was the only one to go to Gallipoli, which it did as the Pioneer Battalion of 11th Division. In December 1915 the battalion was evacuated with the division and ended up in France in July 1916. All the other battalions that went on active service fought on the Western Front, three of them - 8th, 12th and 13th were disbanded in February 1918 in the reorganization of the BEF that reduced brigades from four to three battalions. Given the number of battalions covered in this single volume the account of all the activities is necessarily compressed, based essentially on the War Diaries, without anecdotal contributions The maps are very good, uncluttered yet displaying tactical detail easy to follow.
The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment ) 7th and 8th Territorial Battalions 1914–1918: Written in Letters of Gold
Author: Andrew J. Kirk
Pubpsher: Pen and Sword
The Leeds Rifles is a detailed chronicle of the four Battalions of Riflemen who left Leeds for the Western Front. In 1914, just as now, they were more numerous and less fashionable than the City Battalion, The Pals and their full war time story has never been told. This volume describes their volunteer origins and how they came to be woven into the social fabric of Leeds from where they drew their enduring esprit de corps, discipline and resolve.It takes the reader on a journey across the Western Front contrasting the First Line Battalions lot, to stand in the mud of Ypres and endure all without breaking with the Second Line Battalions blooding at Bullecourt and transformation as part of an elite assault Division that went on to occupy Germany.Its told in part, by those who were there and experienced the fear, elation and the sadness of loss and who took strength from their Volunteer ethos and their common origins in Leeds.All the Leeds Rifles main battles are described in detail as are the helter-skelter actions of the Last 100 Days of mobile warfare and escalating casualties, when the defeated but still defiant German Army found itself in full and final retreat. Follow the fortunes of these enfants de Yorkshire, these Leeds Lads as they speak out from the pages of history with a very familiar accent.
Another weighty regimental history, two volumes, 820 pages in all covering the record of twenty-two battalions in France, Flanders, Italy and Gallipoli (all of them served on the Western Front). When war broke out the regiment consisted of two Regular battalions (1st and 2nd), two Special Reserve (3rd and 4th) and four Territorial battalions (5th to 8th); the 1st Battalion went to France with 6th Division in September 1914, the 2nd Battalion came home from Malta to join the newly formed 8th Division (Regular) and went to France in November 1914. Both battalions remained in the same brigades (18th and 23rd) and divisions throughout the war. The four Territorial battalions each formed a 2nd and a 3rd line battalion; the four original battalions made up the 146th Brigade, 49th (West Riding) Division, arriving in France in April 1915, the second line battalions combined to make the 185th Brigade, 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division which arrived in France in January 1917. Kitchener's call to arms resulted in eleven Service battalions being raised, 9th to 18th (the 17th was formed as a Bantam battalion) and 21st; of these only 13th and 14th did not go on active service. The 21st Battalion became a Pioneer battalion in 4th Division and the 22nd was a Labour battalion which also went to France. This history records events in chronological order, the dates of the operations being described are shown in the margin as are the identities of the battalions involved. Volume 1 (x + 355pp with 18 maps and 15 b/w photos) covers the period from the outbreak of war to the end of 1916, the close of the Somme offensive and includes the Dardanelles campaign where the 9th Battalion was in action with the 11th (Northern) Division. On 1st July 1916, the first day of the Somme, the 10th Battalion attacked at Fricourt and incurred the heaviest casualties of any battalion - 710, of whom 307 were killed including the CO, 2IC, adjutant and two company commanders. More than half of them are in in Fricourt New Military Cemetery which is in the No Man's Land across which they attacked and where they died. The CO (Lt Col Dickson) and his adjutant (Capt Shann) lie side by side. There is a Roll of Honour for the period covered in which the other ranks are listed alphabetically by battalions as are the Territorial battalion officers; the other officers are shown in one group in alphabetical order with the battalion number in front of the name. Although the note at the head of the officer casualty list states that the theatre in which death occurred is France and Flanders unless otherwise indicated, nonetheless 'Gallipoli' is not shown against the names of the officers of the 9th Battalion who died there, and so one is left with the wrong impression they died on the Western front.
The Irish Guards in the Great War - The 2nd Battalion of the Irish Guards - The entire First World War History. This, the second volume of Rudyard Kipling's history of the Irish Guards in the First World War, focuses attention on the activities of the Second Battalion and its total war service. This junior battalion first saw action in 1915 and it is in the first pages of the book that we read of the death of Kipling's son John. The battles of the Western Front are described in detail from the battalion's perspective and there is much within the narrative to remind us that this is the work of a master writer. This volume contains a comprehensive honour roll of the men of both 1st and 2nd Battalions and the Reserve Battalion of the Irish Guards who were killed in action or died of wounds or disease during the war; also included is a full list of those decorated - making this book an invaluable resource for genealogists.
The Life and Death of the 2/5th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War
Author: Fraser Skirrow
Pubpsher: Casemate Publishers
Massacre on the Marne is a graphic reconstruction of the experiences of a small closely knit group of fighting men - the 2/5th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment - in the Great War. These men were not elite regular troops or Kitcheners' Men - they were Territorials. In many ways they were typical of the men who fought on the Western Front. Using the words of the men themselves, taken from their letters, diaries and memoirs as well as quotations from the reports and dispatches of the time, Fraser Skirrow records how they learnt the painful lessons of trench warfare and became a highly efficient fighting unit. He also records how their hard-won efficiency was not enough to save them, for the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918 was their last - in a few terrible hours they were virtually wiped out. This meticulously researched history allows the reader to follow the careers of these men through every phase of the war, from recruitment to the final tragedy, and it makes compelling reading.
William Mitchinson analyses the role and performance of the Territorial Force during the first two years of World War I. The study looks at the way the force was staffed and commanded, its relationship with the Regular Army and the War Office, and how most of its 1st Line divisions managed to retain and promote their local identities.
Henry Williamson is perhaps best known for his Hawthornden Prize-winning "Tarka the Otter", yet he devoted a major part of his life to fiction which drew closely on his experiences during World War I, including his sequence of novels "A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight". His time in the trenches affected him profoundly and, like many young soldiers, he was changed utterly by what he saw. This book draws closely on his letters, diaries, photographs and notebooks written at the time to give an account of life in the trenches of World War I. It also affords an insight into the making of a novelist.
Numbering over five million men, Britain's army in the First World War was the biggest in the country's history. Remarkably, nearly half those men who served in it were volunteers. 2,466,719 men enlisted between August 1914 and December 1915, many in response to the appeals of the Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener. How did Britain succeed in creating a mass army, almost from scratch, in the middle of a major war ? What compelled so many men to volunteer ' and what happened to them once they had taken the King's shilling ? Peter Simkins describes how Kitchener's New Armies were raised and reviews the main political, economic and social effects of the recruiting campaign. He examines the experiences and impressions of the officers and men who made up the New Armies. As well as analysing their motives for enlisting, he explores how they were fed, housed, equipped and trained before they set off for active service abroad. Drawing upon a wide variety of sources, ranging from government papers to the diaries and letters of individual soldiers, he questions long-held assumptions about the 'rush to the colours' and the nature of patriotism in 1914. The book will be of interest not only to those studying social, political and economic history, but also to general readers who wish to know more about the story of Britain's citizen soldiers in the Great War.