Killed or Wounded in Action

News of those killed or wounded normally arrived in a letter from the Commanding Officer to the next of kin. The amount of information given as to circumstances and injuries would vary greatly, but never give the detailed location, often referring to 'in the field' or 'in France'. Of course it was always possible that families would over time receive news about more than one son.

Occasionally, news would arrive from a colleague to supplement that from a Commanding Officer. Not always were the communications co-ordinated.

It was not unusual for a wounded soldier to receive medical attention and be sent back to the front.

My Image
My Image
Swinton Grange

Malton took its share of the wounded men. They would arrive in batches at the station. The Malton Messenger of 31 October 1914 reports the arrival of 15 wounded British soldiers at the station and their greeting by a vast crowd. This may have been the first group to come to Malton. They were taken to Swinton Grange, the home of Major and Mrs Behrens, and cared for by the Red Cross.

Shell Shock

This term was initially used in the context of those exposed to exploding shells. However, frequently there were no physical signs of injury consistent with the symptoms. It was gradually realised that these men were suffering from the trauma of what they had experienced. There was little sympathy for the sufferers among colleagues or medical staff with mutterings of cowardice and insubordination and 'treatments' of a stern talking to, solitary confinement, electric shock and disciplinary action. Newspaper mention regarding Gunner EH Fish taken from the Malton Messenger, 5 February 1916

My Image

SEC.-LIEUT. W.E. LONGSTER, Cheshire Regiment, son of Mr. and Mrs. Longster, of Cemetery Road, Malton, is reported to have been killed by a shot from a trench mortar. Prior to the war Sec. Lieut. Longster was a journalist on the staff of the "Malton Messenger." He enlisted as a private in the 5th Yorkshire Regiment, rose tot he rank of sergeant, and was later given a commission in the leicester Rgt., being later transferred to the Cheshire Regiment. He only went to the Front about a month ago.

The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 5 August 1916


"The news was received today of the death of another Malton soldier, Private Charles Burini, of the 2nd West Yorkshire Regiment, who died at the base hospital at Boulogne on March 20th from wounds received in action. Burini was well known at Malton. His late father was drill-instructor for many years of the local company of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, after which he was school-attendance officer at Malton for a long period. Altogether, six soldiers from Malton and Norton have been killed in the war up to the present, besides two sailors." [1]

Segt. W.E. 'Tim' Dale died of wounds in France. Sometimes there was a little confusion as rumour circulated about deaths and casualties. The Dale family had a drapery store at 3-5 Market Street and had lost another son in September 1915 [2]

News reached Malton yesterday that Sergeant Albert Victor Craven, of the Green Howards Regiment, has been killed at the Dardanelles. Deceased was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Craven, of Greengate, Malton, and had served seven years in the Green Howards, rejoining his old regiment on the outbreak of the war. He was married, and leaves three children. [3]

Two Malton brothers have also lost their lives. Private Harold Matthews was killed near Paisey on September 20 by a German shell while digging a trench. His brother, Lance-Corporal Ernest Matthews, recovered the body two days later and buried it in the Paisey church yard. A month later, on October 18, Ernest was killed in action. Both belonged to the 9th Lancers, which they joined at the same time, and each leaves a widow and one child. [4]

Second Lieutenant George Ernest Kirby was reported missing and a telegram to that effect was sent by the Secretary of the War Office to his mother (who ran a watchmaking and jewellery business in the Market place). The newspaper coverage includes a photograph and biography and a report from his Commanding Officer including information that a colleague had seen a shell strike him [5]

Mr. J.A. Robinson, the Prudential Assurance Co.'s superintendent for the Malton district, received official notification through the war Office of the death in action of his son Pte. Alfred Robinson of the 5th Yorks Regiment, which took place on 25 April 1915. He was only 17 when he enlisted and had worked at Boulton & Cooper, auctioneers. The newspaper reports contain letters from a soldier friend, Company commanding officer and the Commander of the batallion. Initially Pte. Robinson was reported as wounded. [6]

Sec-Lient. Raymond Galtry, younger son of Mr. Charles Galtry, tailor, of Malton, has been killed in action. He had risen from the ranks [7]

We regret to state that news has been received to the effect that Sergt. Percy Fewster Kendall, Malton, 5th Yorkshire Regiment, has died in hospital from wounds received whilst fighting in France. It will be remembered that in our last issue we announced that he was suffering from wounds and was then in a critical condition. Under date Jan. 27th last, Mrs Kendall, who lives with her little daughter in Wheelgate Square, has received the following letter signed by D. Ellis Rowland:- "Dear Mrs Kendall, - As Church of England Chaplain here (with the british Expeditionary Force, France), I have the sorrowful duty to write to inform you of the death of your husband. He was admitted into this hospital a few days ago with a gunshot wound in the back, and his case was quite hopeless from the first. However, we have the best of surgeons in this hospital, and after being operated on he regained consciousness. I first saw him on Saturday, and last saw him about 11.30 last night. He died about 12.15. He naturally suffered a good deal, and his death at least was a happy release. He had every comfort and every attention. We often had prayer together during those days he was here. I buried him to-day, with another of his comrades, in a soldier's grave, in the cemetery attached to the hospital. May God, who has called him away to His service, be your protector and give you consolation in your sorrow. - Believe me, yours faithfully, D. Ellis Rowland." The deceased was a native of Malton, but was for a time in the Police Force at Otley. He returned to Malton about four years ago, and for a time held an appointment as attendant at the Norton Picture House. [8]

Mr James Lawty, tailor, Greengate, Malton, has received news from the War Office, York, that his son, J.W. Lawty, who was in the King's Own Yorkshire L.I. was killed in action in France on July 1st [9]

  • [1] Yorkshire Evening Post, 26 March 1915
  • [2] Malton Messenger, 25 December 1915
  • [3] Newcastle Journal, 2 September 1915
  • [4] Yorkshire Evening Post, 4th November 1914
  • [5] Yorkshire Gazette, 5 August 1916
  • [6] Yorkshire Gazette, 26 June 1915
  • [7] Yorkshire Evening Post, 18 October 1917
  • [8] Malton Messenger, 5 February 1916
  • [9] Malton Messenger, 5 August 1916

Prior to his enlistment, William Gilroy was employed at Robsons Garage in Castlegate. While fighting in Ypres he sustained horrific injuries and was brought back to England and taken to hospital in Cardiff. [1]

News has been received that Private Albert Ellis of Malton who is at present serving with the 4th West Yorks Regiment has been wounded during his fighting with France Malton Messenger, 7th November

Mr and Mrs T Armstrong, of Belmont ter., Malton, received official information on Thursday that their son, Private E.F. Armstrong of the 2nd Duke of Wellington's Regiment, had been shot in the right arm, and was in hospital. Private Armstrong was wounded in December, and returned to the fighting line about the middle of May after recovering from shot wounds in the left shoulder [3]

  • [1] Malton Messenger, 22 May 1915
  • [2] Malton Messenger, 7 November
  • [3] Yorkshire Gazette, 26 June 1915
Taken Prisoner

Corporal Harold Bell of Newbiggin, Malton, is reported to have been wounded and a prisoner of war in Germany [1]

There is a number of Malton and district soldiers missing, but news is constantly coming through that one or another is a prisoner of war; and so relatives are heartened by the thought that their men, too, may be alive, though nothing has been heard from them. The latest Maltonian of whom word has been received it Pte. Wallace Piercy, son of Mr. Charles Piercy, joiner and cabinet maker, and Mrs. Piercy, Victoria-rd., Malton, who had been missing for about three months. A letter has been received from him this week saying that he is a prisoner in Germany. He is an old boy of Malton Grammar School, and one of the most promising young workers of Malton Wesleyan Church [2]

  • [1] Malton Messenger, 21 November 1914
  • [2] Yorkshire Gazette, 29 June 1918

This website is constructed using RapidWeaver. Specific theme design is © Copyright ThemeFlood