We are pleased to be able to identify many of the soldiers who appear in the 5th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment film. Here are just a few of them:
Private Arthur Sherwood
Arthur Sherwood has been identified in the film by his granddaughter Gilly. He can be seen marching over Lendal Bridge with a cheerful smile. Arthur was a coal miner from Barnsley and was recruited by Captain Rideal on 5th August 1914. At five feet two and a half inches tall, he was half an inch below the regulation height.
Arthur was wounded in the knee but served until 21st January 1919. After the war he married and lived at 11 Robinson Square, Barnsley.
Private Yates, seen on parade playing the bass drum, had been in the army in India for 12 years and before that had taken part in the Jameson Raid on the Transvaal Republic. He left the army before the war to work in the coal mines and joined up again as a private in 1914, aged 41.
A year later he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry at the Yser Canal, on 10th July 1915. His citation reads: “Two men, who had been wounded, were cut off from the rest of the platoon. Lance-Corporal Yates, with great bravery, crawled a considerable distance over exposed ground and under a heavy fire to reach them.”
Lieutenant Eustance Cattle
Son of Frederick and Caroline Cattle of Ravenswood, Heanor, Derbyshire, Lieutenant Cattle was educated at Scarborough College and Rydal Mount, Colwyn Bay. Prior to the war he joined Nottingham University Officers’ Training Corps and received a commission in September 1914. He was given the temporary rank of Lieutenant and was killed in the bombing raid on the German ‘A’ trenches from Thiepval Wood on 7th July 1916 aged 20.
He was gazetted for the Military Cross, the citation stating:
‘For conspicuous gallantry in action. He led a bombing attack under very difficult circumstances, and finally tried to work round the enemy’s flank, crossing the open to do so, under close and heavy fire from enemy snipers.’
Writing to Eustace’s parents, Captain Reid described the action: ‘He was left fighting like a tiger and surrounded by the Huns … Absolutely a hero!’ The Cattle family would face further loss in 1917 when their eldest son, Captain James Henry Nightingale Cattle was killed by a shell explosion.
Lieutenant Colonel Charles Fox
Lieutenant Fox was in the battalion before the war and took command on 1st April 1914 after Colonel Mitchell stepped down. After six months at the front he also stepped down. He was born in Barnsley, the son of James Fox and Jane Duval. He married Mary Elizabeth on 8th February 1896 at St Margaret’s, Ilkley; their son, Charles, was born in 1899 and a daughter, Marjorie, in 1902.
Colonel Fox died at Westwood Lodge, Ilkley and left an estate of over £37,000. In civilian life he was a director of James Fox and Sons, brewers, wine merchants and vintners of Barnsley. He was elected a board member of Barnsley FC in 1913.
Lieutenant Henry “Harry” Colver
Harry was the son of Robert (Sheffield steel magnate and Master Cutler) and Elizabeth Colver of Ranmoor in Sheffield.
He was in the battalion before the war and went with it to France with ‘A ‘Company, where he was promoted to captain. Despite army regulations forbidding the use of cameras at the front, he took many fine photos of the regiment and his colleagues in France, collected in "Images in War: Flanders” by Jon Cooksey. It is thanks to his photographs that we have been able to identify so many men in the film.
Harry was killed on the Yser canal on 19th December 1915 by a German gas attack. He is buried in the Bard Cottage cemetery.
Colour Sergeant Major George Lumb
CSM Lumb of ‘C’ Company, son of Joseph Lumb, had two brothers, Albert and John William, who also fought in the war; all three survived.
George, who joined the territorials before the war, was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry under fire. “When his battery was ordered to take up a position and hold a road he reconnoitred the position and put the posts in order under heavy machine gun fire. He later took charge of the carrying parties.”
His grandson, George Lumb, identified his grandfather in the film.