This Page is dedicated to those men from Tadcaster and the surrounding towns and villages who fought for the Australian Forces in world war one. All these men left Yorkshire for a better life in a new country and gave their lives for the old one.
Special Thank You to National Archives of Australia who have released the records of men who served for all to see for free. And a big Special Thanks goes to Paul Wood for his help time and effort in Adelaide Australia in getting copyright permission for details of men to be published.
Over time I wish to add details other men from Yorkshire who served with the Australians if you wish a relative to be added please feel free to contact me.
Corporal 1317 60th Bn Australian Infantry Force KIA 20/11/1916 Aged 23. Born Harewood. Son of Hannah Abbey No father named Baptised 09/11/1892 Harewood. 1901/1911 Ernest and Hannah were living at No 16 Village Street Bolton Percy with Joseph and Emma Abbey Occupation Gardener.
Left London 06/11/1913 from London on board the Ballarat. Arrived early 1914 started a new life in Australia and on the 22/12/1914 aged just 22 years and 9 months he swore alliagance to the crown and enlisted into the Australian Imperial Force joining the 8th Bn Australian Light Infantry service number 1472 at Melbourne Victoria Australia. . No photograph of Ernest is available but during his medical examination he is described as being 5ft 8inches tall, weighing 11 stone 2 pounds, with a chest measurement of 33 to 36 inches with blue eyes, dark brown hair a medium complexion and a vaccination scar on his right arm.
Between December 1914 and April 1915 Ernest was in training and on 04/04/1915 he embarked for Alexandria Egypt to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, (a name given in March 1914 by the British to those forces on the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli which in October 1915 became known as the Dardanelles Army with the opening of the Salonika front in Greece.)
On the 25/04/1915 Ernest was part of the landings at ANZAC cove which was the first major battle the Australians had been involved in. Ernest was wounded from a gunshot wound to the hip and was evacuated to the hospital ship "Clan Mcgillivray", although during the confusion of battle he had been reported as missing in action. He was then transferred to the Hospital ship "Tigne" which was off the coast of Malta 27/06/1915, he then returned to duty with his Battalion at Gallipoli.
It wasn't long before Ernest was wounded once more and on the 05/07/1915 he suffered a serious shrapnel wound to his skull, where he found himself on board the Hospital Ship "Gascon" on 18/08/1915 he returned to Malta where he was posted to 'Ghan Tuffeha' camp located on the north west side of Malta.
Fortress orders were given to the troops on 21/05/1915 stating troops were not allowed to frequent local bars after a specific time. Ernest ignored this and on the 14th August 1915 he was caught in the Advance Bar in Valetta at 20.45pm more than likely worse for wear and received a charge of 3 days punishment. Ernest was sent back back to Egypt in the district of Mustapha Alexandria which was a convelesant hospital.
On 18/10/1915 he set sail aboard the Hospital Ship "Borda" to rejoin his Battalion at Anzac Cove arriving on 27/11/1915. Ernest had a couple of quiet months at the front and on 07/01/1916 was on the move again, this time disembarking from HMS "Empress of Britain" in Alexandria Egypt. Ernest was then transferred and taken on strength into the 60th Battalion on 24/02/1916 attaining a new service number 1317 and was stationed in Serapeum an area near Alexandria.
Ernest is then reported to have been detached to Zeitoun School of Instruction for duty at Duntroon Plateau which was an Australian post in the Sinai Desert near the Suez Canal named after the Duntroon Plateau training base in New South Wales. On 18/06/1916 Ernest was about to join the war in France travelling on HMAS "Kinfauns Castle" departing from Alexandria and landing in Marseilles France on 29/06/1916.
Ernest was reported on 19/07/1916 as being wounded in action from a gunshot wound. He was transferred on the 21/07/1916 to No 1 Con Depot and was in Boulogne being marched out to base on 31/07/1916 his service record describes it as "details Etaples class A".
On 18/08/1916 Ernest rejoined his unit, and on the 13th October 1916 was promoted to the rank of Corporal . Sadly Ernest Gave his life on 20/11/1916 no record survives to how or where he gave his life indeed Ernest lies where he fell to this day as he was never recovered from the field of battle.
Ernests family ensured his name lived on by placing it on the Bolton Percy Village war memorial and on the brass plaque in the local church. Without that act 85 years ago Ernest Abbey would have just been another name on a memorial wall in France and i would not have found details of a brave Yorkshire man who gave his life for his new country in aid of the old one. Memorial Bolton Percy.
Remembered Villers-Bretonneux Memorial France.
COULTAS George Herbert
Private 2124 6/15th Bn Australian Infantry KIA 25/09/1916 Aged 35. Born Bramham 1890. Son of John Born Bramham 1847 a gardener by trade and Susannah Sangwell Born Hull 1848 Married Bramham 1869. Went to Australia in 1901. Enlisted Port Douglas Queensland Australia 30/03/1915. At his medical described as being 5ft 2inches Brown Eyes Black Hair with a dark complexsion, with a tattoo on his right forearm. The record shows despite his height he is fit for active service. On the 12/06/1915 George embarked on the troopship " KAROOLA" Click Here and joined his battalion in Gallipoli on the 02/08/1915. George doesnt give the impression of being particularly happy as his service career is littered with fines and punishments from being absent without leave.
At lemnos on the 26/09/1915 he was fined 3 days pay for being absent from parade. George was then sent in December of that year to Alexandria Egypt. On the 31/01/1916 he missed roll call on was absent until the 5th of February as a result he was fined 5 days pay under rank. George could not stay out of trouble and was fined 10 shilling's and again 1 days pay for being drunk in Cairo and being AWOL between 5pm and 10.15 pm. Later that month he missed his parade and was awarded 4 days C.B.?
This continued throughout 1916 including the following. 13/04/1916 Awarded 24 hours F.P no 2. 05/07/1916 awarded 168 hours F.P no 2 by the C.O 0f 15th Battalion. on the same day George was awarded a further 28 days F.P no 2 by the CO of 15th Battalion a total forfeiture of 30 days pay. 25/07/1916 Awarded 14 days F.P no 2 by CO of 15th Battalion AWOL whilst still undergoing previouse punishment.
On the 10/08/1916 George was wounded in action in France and was taken to the hospital in Etaples near Bologne. He rejoined his regiment on the 25th of that month and was soon absent again this time on the 09/09/1916 a punishment of 5 days being awarded. He rejoined the 15th Infantry on the 12/09/1916 and George returned to action where he gave his life on the 25/09/1916.
A piece of paper in Georges file recorded that he was court martialed on the 23/09/1916 and was awarded 12 months J. H. R ? in pencil it is written not confirmed. This court martial is not on Georges official record and he passed away 2 days after the court martial.
After George gave his life Susan his mother had remarried and was named Susan Coucon and was living in Wheatley Road Doncaster. She was entitled to 30/Shillings war pension, this was increased to 40/ shilling in 1918. However Susan tried to cancel the pension in 1917 claiming she had adequate pension funds. At the same time she asked if her sons personal belongings could be returned and the public curater in Brisbane sent a letter to the officer in charge in Victoria barracks Melbourne. Finally records show that in March 1922 his mum Susan recieved a memorial plaque and a month later a memorial Scroll. George had one brother Frederick Charles who also gave his life in the war and is remembered in the Bramham section of this site. Memorial Bramham. Australian War Memorial Adelaide.
Laid to Rest Dickebush New Military Cemetery Belgium.
TO SEE GEORGES SERVICE RECORD CLICK HERE.
Serjeant 5963 22nd Bn Australian Infantry KIA 03/10/1917 Aged 34. Born Tadcaster. Enlisted York. Son of John a Brewerey Labourer Born Askham Richard 1856 and Jane Simpson Born Stillington 1857. He served in the Kings Own Shropshire Battalion seeing service in India and South Africa in the Boar War between 1899 and 1905, before settling with his wife Isabella and his child near Melbourne living at 17 Victoria Street Coburg Victoria Australia. Enlisted 05/09/1916 aged 33yrs and 7 months into the 22nd Bn Australian Infantry, at his medical he was described as being of a Fresh Complexion 5ft 7 and 1/2 inches, with Blue Eyes and Brown Hair. William had a tatoo and each forearm, and a scar on his right hand and left knee.William was paid 5 shillings per day 3 of which went to his wife and child. Embarked for Plymouth on the 02/10/1916 on Board HMAT Nestor from Melbourne. Set sail for France 03/02/1917 aboard HMS Arundall and was billeted to Etaples near Boulogne the area used for training troops before joining the trenches. On the 24/02/1917 William joined the front line and was promoted to Lance Corporal at the beginning of March 1917.
William suffered Gun Shot Wounds to his right arm left thigh and face on 20/04/1917, was evacuated to Hospital in England staying at the Norfolk War Hospital until the 20/05/1917 where he reported for training at Perham Downs. He was charged with being AWOL and forfeited two days pay in June 1917, and was promoted to Serjeant a few days later Gaining the rank of Company Serjeant Major at the beginning of September 1917.
On the evening of the 03/10/1917 near Zillebeke one and half miles from Ypres, William was with Company A Platoon No 11 carrying out burial duties for men who had lost their lives that day. After they had finished they went back to Muhl Trench and William sat down on the step to light up a cigerette it was reported that a shell landed killing William from severe head injuries along with a Leiutenant Norman John Moore of the 23rd Battalion and Eight others instantly. ( six men from the 22/23rd Bn Australian Infantry were buried at China Wall Cemetery on the 03/10/1917.)
The Australian Red Cross interviewed witnesses at the scene, William was described as being called "Bill" "Dolly" and wore South African King and Queens medals. William had all the papers of the men they had been burying which were reported as being lost. See Eye witness reports Please press back button to return to site.Perth China Wall Military Cemetery. In 1921 a certificate showing authentation of three photos of a memorial cross Row M Plot 6 are recorded, a copy being sent to his wife Isabella. Isabella recieved Williams effects after the war a pipe, holdall, and a shaving kit, also details of Williams Will Isabella recieved a pension as did Williams Daughter Elsie Remembered Ypres Menin Gate Memorial Belgium. Memorial Tadcaster.
Private 345 2nd Bn Australian Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron DIED Disease 20/11/1917 Aged 22. Born Healaugh nr Tadcaster. Son of John Pool Born Steeton nr Colton Tadcaster 1856 and Kate Huscroft Born Healaugh in 1862 Married 24/10/1885 Healaugh St Johns Baptist Church.
Ralph surname is spelled Poole on the Australian service records and the Commonwealth War Graves Site indeed the local memorial in Healaugh spells it this way. However on his birth certificate it is spelled Pool. Ralph had two brothers Fred Born 1889 and Frank born 1891 one of these brothers emigrated to Australia with Ralph. Memorial Healaugh. Tootool Australia.
In 1901 the family were living in Healaugh and Ralphs father John was working as a domestic gardener probably at the Old Vicarage or Healaugh Old Hall. At the outbreak of WW1 Ralph was in Australia and on the 1st of December 1914 Ralph aged 19 years and 9 months enlisted into B Sqn of the 7th Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron at Holsworthy New South Wales. At his medical he is described as being 5ft 11 inches tall weighing 168 lbs a chest measurement of 37- 40 inches a dark complexion gray eyes and brown hair.
Left Sydney on the Ayrshire 20/12/1914 presumably for Egypt and in 1915 set sail for Gallipoli on H.M.T Kiteon ? 10/10/1915 Ralph reported sick with Diarrhea and was placed on the hospital ship Assaye which took him to Malta. 16/10/1915 Ralph was admitted to St Patricks hospital on the island and he was transferred to Ghain Tufficha on the 23rd of that month. In early November Ralph was transferred to Imtarfa Hospital with Enteric fever and in early January was feeling well enough to be transferred to Cairo Egypt on board H.M.T Valdivia.
Ralph had obviously emigrated with one of his brothers 09/01/1916 a F. Poole of "French Park the Rock Sydney N.SW" sent a letter to the officer in charge of Victoria Barracks Melbourne asking for details of the whereabouts and Health of his brother Ralph. A reply was sent explaining Ralphs next of kin was in Tadcaster England and an address in Malta was given for any letters to be sent to Ralph. I do not know which brother this was either Frank or Fred.
Ralph was still not well enough to be sent back to the front and was sent home for a three month convalescence onboard the Hospital ship "Nestor" leaving Malta 12/02/1916 arriving in Melbourne 13/03/1916.
12/09/1916 from Melbourne on board "Hymettus" with the 21/7th Light Horse Infantry landing at Moascar. In December of that year Ralph was taken on strength into the 2nd Bn Machine Gun Sqn.
06/11/1917 Ralph is reported to have been wounded with gunshot wounds to both thighs and testicles and admitted into the 65th Casualty clearing station at Ismara. On the 14th of November Ralph was transferred to the 14th General Hospital and was reported to have been dangerously ill.
Ralph was finally moved to the 31st General Hospital in Port Said Egypt 20/11/1917 passed away from his wounds, he was buried 26/11/1917 in Port Said cemetery Egypt the service being carried out by Chaplain W.A.Ceayes.
Yorkshire Herald York July 1916
A letter was received by the Australian authorities 07/01/1918 from a Mrs Celia Rothery of Northcote Avenue Kilara N.SW in it she explained she had received a letter from Ralphs bother who was described as living up country stating that he was not aware or had received any notification of Ralphs passing. She went on to say she had received a card from Ralph dated the 14/11/1917 saying he had been wounded and indeed her son who served with Ralph himself invalided on the 9th of November had heard of Ralphs passing.
It was explained that only the next of Kin on the soldiers form was his father and mother in Healaugh Tadcaster. 20/06/18 Kate signed for the return of Ralphs personal belongings. This was done in early 1918 and on the 23rd of January 23/01/1918 Ralphs mother Kate was issud with a war pension of 40\ shillings. The final chapter in Ralphs story is regarding his pension in that in 1920 Ralphs brother "F" 9Fred or Frank) applied to take over the 40\ shillings i can only presume that John and kate, Ralphs parents had passed away.
Ralphs Gravesite in 1920 (Copyright AWM. Government)
Laid to RestPort Said War Memorial Cemetery Egypt. A special thank you to Ralph Mclean of the South African War Graves Project for the above.
KELLY Hubert William
Private 2688 54th Bn Australian Infantry KIA 04/05/1918 Aged 22. Born Appleby Westmorland. Son of George William Calver Kelly and Margaret Douglas CWGC "Southend," Stockport Road Timperley Cheshire. Enlisted 22/05/1916 Forbes New South Wales Aged 20 yrs and 2 months old, Residence Rankin Street Forbes NSW Australia, also giving an address of St James Street Wetherby Occupation Labourer. Described as being 6ft tall weighing 11 stone 2 lbs. fair complexion grey eyes and brown hair, a chest measurment of 35 inches and described his religion as Methodist.
07/10/1916 Hubert set sail onboard the Ceramic for Plymouth from Sydney arriving on the 21/11/1916 and was admited to Hospital with influenza in the December staying there for a month. 24/01/1917 Hubert left for Etaples a training base near Boulogne, onboard the S/S Princess Clementine from Folkstone. 17/04/1918 Was Gassed after being treated by the 55th Field Ambulance was transferred to the 9th General Hospital at Rouen.
22/04/1918 Hubert was moved to the 1st Southern General Hospital at Stourbridge nr Birmingham where he passed away at 8.40 am 04/05/1918. At 3 pm on the 06/05/1918 Hubert was layed to rest in an Elm coffin at Stourbridge Cemetery. The funeral was attended by Huberts parents, and the service was conducted by the Rev Pritchard Brearley Hill Birmingham. The coffin was bourne to the grave by members of the Royal Army Medical Corps and a firing party of six wounded Australian Soldiers, the last post was sounded and wreaths were layed on his coffin.
Finally on his service records a letter was recieved from a Minnie ? enquiring to the state of Huberts health as she had not heard from him in three months, possibly a girlfriend of Huberts. Sadly there is no reply to Minnie on record and one can only assume that unfortunatly all correspondance was prioratised and only given to next of kin. His will dated 22/2/18 all effects were to be given to his mother who was shown as residing at Mt Pleasent Road Camborne Cornwall. Laid to Rest Stourbridge Cemetery Worcestershire. Memorial Wetherby. To view Huberts service record Click here.