Village Web Site Forum

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 06:32
members of armed services in WW1 from the South Craven area
I am interested in those serving in WW1 and returning home to continue their lives - any suggestions for sources of such information ?
Joan M. Tindale
Thursday, February 20, 2014 21:21
Hi - updated our Cowling list and made albums of our men who lost their lives (60 WW1, 10 WW2) a few years ago, but am always open to queries. Research was quite complicated.
Planning to have framed lists made to go in our public buildings to commemorate WW1, as we still have 3 remaining memorials which differ, others now gone.
My own Grandad Harold Binns thankfully returned home with others, but was never the same again so I was told. So far I have not been able to find a complete list of our Cowling men who actually enlisted in the first place, though some can be found on our rolls of honour etc. Have asked the CWGraves Commission, the Skipton library, but so far no luck - as I am also interested in those who returned. Do have my Grandad's medals etc., but he didn't like to talk about his experiences very much.
Michael Geoffrey Towers
Longton, Preston, Lancashire
Sunday, March 16, 2014 08:47
Hi David,

Have you seen my post of 17 Jan 2014 covering a book called “Craven’s Part In The Great War” and subsequent messages.

My great uncle Matthew Horsman Towers died in 1916 and can be found in the book. A link from his page to the Craven Herald produces this entry

and you will see a reference to Harry Happs. Harry returned to live in Sutton-in-Craven and died in 1964. A number of his relatives are still in the area and I have contact with his great granddaughter Joanne Happs who married Colin Richards and lives in the Eastburn/Steeton area.

There may be other links to living relatives from other fallen soldiers mentioned in this book and, whilst it would be a daunting task to do research on this basis, you could use it as a fall back. Whilst I have a hard copy of the book, the content can be viewed on the web site
Brenda Whitaker
Queensland Australia
Sunday, March 16, 2014 21:01
Hi Michael - once again thank you for some information - I followed the link you gave David Birks and immediately was able to find a record of Smith Hardaker - my great uncle - although he was a 'Suttoner' he lived in Crosshills at the time he was killed so he hasn't appeared amongst the incredible research that Andrew Monkhouse has done. I haven't actively searched before but followed your lead - thanks for that. My mother used to talk about his photo being on the wall at No.3 King Edward Street when she was a girl, which is really all I knew.
If anyone wants any easy search try that link.
Andrew Monkhouse
Hanoi, Vietnam
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 03:10
Hi Brenda, one of the Craven Herald articles from 23 June 1916 states the following about your great uncle Pte Smith Hardaker/Hardacre (couple of variations in the spelling of his surname):

"He had seen considerable fighting, and was a bomber in the trenches, having been trained at a bombing school in France. At the battle of Loos he went into the German trenches with bombs, and for his work in this engagement he won a medal and bar"

I can only assume this means he won the Military Medal 'for bravery in the field' TWICE, or the Distinguished Conduct Medal TWICE, but I've searched the London Gazette and other sources and can find no reference to these awards.

I'll make some further inquires and see if we can come up with some additional information.
Brenda Whitaker
Queensland Australia
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 21:00
Thank you Andrew - I'm blown away and I appreciate your effort for me - I didn't intend for that, and to be honest I thought that since your move from Adelaide you were unable to be such a regular reader of this site - Thanks again. I will send the info to my brother Bruce.
Andrew Monkhouse
Hanoi, Vietnam
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 03:31
Hi Brenda, I'm afraid I haven't been able to elicit any further information or factual evidence that your your great uncle Pte Smith Hardaker/Hardacre "won a medal and bar" for entering German trenches with bombs during the Battle of Loos (this type of heroic action would certainly appear to merit the award of gallantry awards)

The only thought is that it could have been a foreign award(s) of some sort, but I know that foreign awards were not always gazetted.

By the way, I haven't finished my investigations into this matter. I may yet report back with some fresh information.
Brenda Whitaker
Queensland Australia
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 21:53
Thank you Andrew - I seem to go round in circles - but the information you have given me already is good and more than I had to start with. I greatly appreciate it.
David Birks
Saturday, May 10, 2014 13:52
Andrew Monkhouse
Hanoi, Vietnam
Thursday, May 15, 2014 01:28
Brenda, I'm sorry but my additional sources have failed to come up with the information I was hoping to retrieve.

The only thing I can say is that it is unusual for a newspaper report to use the terminology "won a medal and bar". In fact in all the Great War research I have done over the years I have never seen this description before.

Servicemen & servicewomen who were recommended for a gallantry award were recommended for a specific award such as a Military Medal or the Distinguished Conduct Medal, not a 'general' gallantry medal. As such the newspaper reports would specify which medal had been awarded.

Bit of a mystery, maybe one day some additional information might surface - it's possible!

Best, Andrew
Brenda Whitaker
Queensland Australia
Saturday, May 17, 2014 21:24
Andrew - I appreciate your effort with this - as you say it is a bit odd - however I am very grateful for the information so far. You are obviously keeping your finger on the pulse whilst having moved to different climes, good luck and thanks again.
Robin Longbottom
Sunday, May 18, 2014 06:59
Brenda, The West Riding Regimental archive is at Halifax. Details can be found online. They should be able to provide information with regard to the medal and bar. You could write to them, there will be a charge for a search, you will find an archive request form on their site. Alternatively you may have family who are local and willing to go and undertake a search for you.

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