WEST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT IN THE WAR 1914-1918 Volume One
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. Volume 2 (xi + 494pp with 9 maps and 8 b/w photos) covers 1917-18 and Italy where the 11th Battalion served from November 1917 to the end of the war in 23rd Division, suffering only two officers wounded, 11 other ranks killed and 58 wounded in that last year of the war. There is a Roll of Honour for 1917-18, arranged as in Volume 1. In all the regiment had 12,700 dead and was awarded four VCs for which the citations are all at the end of Volume 2.
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