This section remembers those men from Tadcaster and its surrounding villages that gave their lives serving with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces and the Royal Air Force in aid of the old country for the King and Empire.
These men answered the call with the same enthusiasm and passion as men all over Britain did. A perfect example of this is Captain Stearne Tigue Edwards a Royal Air Force ace who lays at peace in Tadcaster Cemetery. Stearne is reported to have walked 200 miles to enlist with three of his pals one being his best friend Roy Brown who is credited with shooting down the Red Barron.
Any further information that you can assist with would be greatly appreciated.
Private 525190 7th Bn British Columbia Regiment Canadian Regiment KIA 02/09/1918 Aged 41. Born Bickerton 21/11/1876. Son of George Born Bickerton 1838 and Mary Morley Born Copmanthorpe nr York 1839 Married 1861 Copmanthorpe. Husband of Maude Louisa Married Canada. CWGC Trail British Columbia. 1901 Living working in York Occupation Railway porter. Enlisted Victoria British Columbia 24/02/1917 Occupation Smelterman. At his medical on the 03/07/1917 William was described as being 5ft 7 1/2 inches tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes and greyish brown eyes.
Notice the mist to the left of the picture above the grave stones. It was a clear bright day when the picture was taken and there was nothing to deflect onto the lens !
In the background is Upton Wood where the Canadians attacked from, e is a danger sign as you approach the wood due to the explosives still in the ground
CHAPMAN Arthur Edwin
Serjeant 746278 116th Bn Manitoba Regiment Canadian Infantry Accident at Cambrai 13/09/1918 Aged 28. Born Bilton nr Wetherby 20/12/1890. Son of George Born Tockwith 1857 and Jane Livsey Born Barlow 185 they Married 1884. CWGC Bilton Cottages Bilton. 1911 Dunnington Common York Occupation Horseman on Farm. Enlisted Oshawa Ontario 26/10/1915 described as being 5ft 3 inches tall with a fair complexion and a Methodist.
Service records give an account of Arthurs Death from one of the company guides.
We were being relieved from the front line at Escourt St Quentin and were proceeding to billets.
At about 01:30 am on the 13/09/1918 when crossing a light railway track Arthur was hit by the first car of an ammunition train which was being shunted from the rear and severely injured.
He was taken to No 42 casualty clearing station where he passed away shortly after. A court of enquiry found no one to blame and that it was an accident.
Special thanks to Marika Pirie of Toronto Ontario Canada for the above postcard of the Oshawa Memorial Park Canada this from the 1940s.
EDWARDS Stearne Tighe
Captain Royal Air Force Died of Wounds after a Crash 21/11/1918 Aged 25 AWARDS Distinguished Service Medal and Distinguished Service Cross.
EDWARDS Stearne Tighe
Captain Royal Air Force Gave His Life 21/11/1918 Aged 25. AWARDS Distinguished Service Medal and Distinguished Service Cross. Born Franktown Carleton Place Ontario Canada 13/02/1893. Enlisted Ontario Canada. Son of Edwin Dennis and Annie Caroline Tighe. At the outbreak of war it was reported that Stearne walked 200 miles from Port Nelson where he was working as a Railway Construction worker to join up with three of his pals including his best friend Arthur Roy Brown who was credited with shooting down the Red Barron.
Stearne joined the Royal Naval Air Service and attended the Wright Brothers flying training school in Dayton Ohio US, where he attained his ACA certificate on the 13/10/1915, and on the 31st was given the rank of Sub-Lieutenant in Otttowa. Stearne was posted in April 1916 to Eastchurch Airfield in Kent this airfield was used by the RNAS for training their pilots in target practice.
Stearne moved around squadrons throughout the war included a posting for a short time with his best friend Arthur Roy Brown, attaining 16 kills to become one of the top Canadian Aces of the war.
London Gazzette on 17 November 1917 DSC Award
For recognition of services including: "driving an aircraft into the sea and on the same day he attacked three more aircraft inflicting damage to another aircraft shooting its wings off."
Eventually the pressure told on Stearne and in May 1918 he suffered a nervous breakdown and he was sent home to Canada on leave to rest. Stearne was awarded the DSC Bar for conspicuous bravery and brilliant leadership of fighting patrols against enemy aircraft.
"On the 02/05/1918 whilst leading a patrol of four aircraft when they encountered a hostile formation of eight enemy scouts and drove one enemy plane out of control. Soon afterwards he encountered another formation of six enemy aircraft driving one down only breaking off when he ran out of ammunition."
Stearne was posted back to No 38 Training Squadron at Tadcaster Bramham Moor Airfield in October 1918 as a trainer.
Thank you to David Hanson for the following information
"Captain Edwards was acting as an instructor at Tadcaster, On 12/11/1918 he was spinning in Sopwith Pup B4181 when he recovered too late and struck the ground, receiving serious head injuries. He died at 05.15 on 22/11/1918 in hospital at York".
Arthur Roy Brown survived the war and never forgot his best friend dedicating a plaque to Stearne in the Presbyterian Church in Carleton Place Canada.
"In loving memory of Captain Stearne Tighe Edwards DSC RAF son of Mr and Mrs Edwards, Carleton Place Ontario Canada who died of injuries received on Armistace Day."
"A Brave and Gallant Gentleman."
Laid to Rest Tadcaster Cemetery. Local Memorials Presbyterian Church in Carleton Place Canada & Carleton Place War Memorial Canada.
More details of Stearnes life can be found by visiting www.theaerodrome.com click on Aces then by nation click on Canada and go to page two click on Stearnes name details will follow.
Or to read about Roy Arthur Brown Stearns best friend who shot down the Red Barron try www.constable.ca/brown.htm (be aware this will take you away from this site )
If you have any pictures or information please contact me .
REYNOLDS Ernest Fulton
Second Lieutenant Royal Air Force Killed in Crash 10/12/1918 Vol 9c Page 2283 Aged 21. Born New Glasgow Nova Scotia Canada 1897. Thank You to David Hanson for the following information "Ernest was ferrying Sopwith Camel E7149 from no 46 Training Depot South Carlton Lincolnshire to Tadcaster. Whilst trying to find the aerodrome in fog he crashed into a tree near Toulston Hall and was killed". Memorial None.
Laid to Rest Tadcaster Cemetery.
HARLAND Daniel D
Private 790215 47th Bn Canadian Infantry KIA Between 21/08/1917 and 25/08/1917 Aged 35. Born York ? Son of James and Elizabeth Elizabeth Re Married to George Bulmer Denton 1889. CWGC Residence Church Fenton. Enlisted 10/12/1915 New Westminster British Columbia.Residence Mission British Columbia. Next of Kin James residing Harrogate. Dan was already serving in 104th presumably a terratorial brigade. Described as being 5ft 6 and a half inches with a chest size of 36 and a half inch with brown eyes a medium complexion and a mole on his right shoulder blade. Remembered Vimy Memorial. Memorial Kirk Fenton Church.
Private 447824 50th Bn Alberta Regiment Canadian Infantry KIA 11/01/1917 Aged 34. Born 13/03/1883 Knaresborough England. Son of John and Elizabeth. Husband of Rhoda Birdsall Born 1880 Stutton near Tadcaster Married 1905. Rhoda Married Sidney A Simpson in late 1917. Enlisted Calgary Alberta 05/11/1915. Residence 2102 16A St West Calgary Occupation Teamster. Described at his medical as being 5ft 9 inches tall, having a chest size of 34 inches with brown eyes a dark complexion and dark brown hair.Memorial None.
Thank you to Tony Cheal of Harrogate for the following piece which he had researched for his website and has kindly let me place on this page.
Harrogate Herald 31st of January 1917 We regret to hear of the death of Private James Robinson, who was killed on action on the 11th January while discharging the duties of sentry at a difficult and trying post, laying down his life as nobly as any soldier could. He was a native of Knaresborough and was employed by Arthur Taylor, greengrocer, Knaresborough, for twelve years before going out to Canada, where he voluntarily enlisted. He leaves a widow and three children, who reside at 9 Hampden Terrace, York Road, Tadcaster.
Harrogate Herald 1917 Mrs J Henry, Briggate, Knaresborough, has received intimation that her brother, Private James Robinson, of the Canadian Infantry, has been killed. The Lieutenant of his regiment states that he was shot whilst coming off sentry. Private Robinson was the son of John Robinson, of Meadley Square, and before migrating to Canada was ten years in the employ of Arthur Taylor, fruiterer, of High Street. He was in his 33rd year, and leaves a wife and three children.
Laid to Rest Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery France.
THEOBOLD Charles Spurgeon
Flight Cadet 325044 Royal Air Force 38th Training Depot Squadron Bramham Moor Killed in a Crash 26/10/1918 Aged Born Grenffell Saskatchewen Canada. Residence Toronto. Memorial None. Thank you to David Hanson for providing the following details "Charles was training in SE5A E5880 when at 07.20 he pulled out of a dive too sharply and a wing came off."
Laid to Rest Tadcaster Cemetery.
WHITEHEAD Herbert Steele (HARROGATE)
Gunner 301740 10th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery KIA 08/04/1917 Aged 20. Baptised Harrogate Christ Church. Son of John and Emma Steele 1911 Fawfield Kirby Hill Boroughbridge 1916 5th Artillery B 454 Greenwood Place 09 Winnipeg South Manitoba Canada.
Harrogate Herald April 1917. Driver G Milnes, of the Overseas Battery, Wrote : I am sorry I cannot inform you of the exact place, as you are well aware that we are not allowed to mention the name of the front we are holding. However, it happened on Sunday, April 8th, 1917, and by this time probably the English papers will be full of another big advance, also a very important hill taken by the Canadians; in fact, I may the strongest that Fritz held on the Western Front. Our division of artillery were directly opposite this point. The day before the attack being Sunday, Fritz commenced to shell the battery position, and having no dugouts to go into, we built a narrow trench running in rear of the guns to go into in case Fritz discovered our position.
That is, of course, provided we had no orders for firing, at which time gunners cannot leave the guns on any consideration. As it happened, at this time we had no orders to fire, so thinking they would be safer in the trench, the gunners clambered in and were somewhat crowded, when Fritz landed a 5.9 right into the trench, just between, Bert and a fellow called Longworthy being killed both instantly.
#Longworthy# and Whitehead were, I think, without doubt the two finest and well-respected boys we had in the battery.The former received a piece of shell about as big as my fist through his back and coming out at his chest; while Bert, although not touched by any of the splinters, got completely buried, and the weight of the falling earth and rock broke his spine. Seven others were wounded at the same time, but only one was at all serious.# Gunner Harold Lamont Longworthy# Service Number 301660 was 22 years of age and was from Regina Saskachewan.
Harrogate Herald 18th April 1917 A Harrogate lad, of the Canadian Forces, has been killed at the Front. It is Herbert S Whitehead, younger son of Mr Jack Whitehead, formerly architect, of Harrogate, now of Canada. The lad was in a dug-out, when a shell came and buried him. Death must have been instantaneous, for his spine was broken by the heavy debris.
Laid to Rest Villers Station Cemetery, Villers-Au-Bois France.