<i>WW1 Casualties</i>

WW1 Casualties

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.

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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

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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]

Pte. Reginald Ward, Worcestershire Regiment, son of Mr. J.W. Ward, cabinet maker and furnisher, and Mrs. Ward, Newbiggin, Malton, was killed in action in France on 26 April. He was formerly in a labour battalion. In Civil life he assisted in his father’s business. [10]

Much sympathy is expressed locally with Mr. George Simpkin Cattle, Town Clerk of Malton, and Mrs. Cattle in their having received official intimation that their son, Pte. Walter Cattle, Scottish Rifles, has been missing since since 6 April. Walter was the last of five brothers to join up, and is but 20 years of age. He was on the staff of Beckett’s Bank. [11]

  • [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
  • [10] Yorkshire Gazette, 18 May 1918
  • [11] Yorkshire Gazette, 18 May 1918

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]

Mr. Sleightholme Sturdy, of Castlegate, has received information from a Kirbymoorside chaplain that his youngest son, Corpl. Jack Sturdy, York and Lancaster Regiment (Machine Gun Section), has been wounded in the hands and feet, and admitted to hospital in France. Corpl. Sturdy was wounded the first time 15 months ago. [4]

  • [1] Malton Messenger, 22 May 1915
  • [2] Malton Messenger, 7 November
  • [3] Yorkshire Gazette, 26 June 1915
  • [4] Yorkshire Gazette, 29 June 1918
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]

Mr. and Mrs. Allinson, Chancery Lane, Malton, have received information that their son, Lce. Corpl. H. Allison, is a prisoner of war in Germany. He is one of six brothers who are serving with the colours, and was previously wounded. Prior to the outbreak of war he was a fireman in the employment of the North Eastern Railway Co. He was one of the leading football players in Malton, being a clever centre-forward and a prolific goal scorer for the Malton Bible Class Club [3].

Corpl. William Kitching, R.F.A., son of Mr. James and Mrs. Kitching, of Castlegate, Malton, is a prisoner of war in German hands, and so far as is known is well circumstanced. In private life he was a shorthand clerk in the office of Mr. S. Rudge, solicitors of Malton. He took a keen interest in Malton Church Bible Class, and was a prominent member of the football club, to which he acted as secretary for some years. He was also a member of Malton Cricket Club [4].

  • [1] Malton Messenger, 21 November 1914
  • [2] Yorkshire Gazette, 29 June 1918
  • [3] York Herald, 1 May 1918
  • [4] Yorkshire Gazette, 22 June 1918

Lance-Corpl. W. Cook, West Yorkshire Regiment, of Malton, is one of 396 men of his regiment who are missing [1]

  • [1] Yorkshire Gazette, 18 May 1918

See information about other aspects of the war on these pages:

Recruitment | Medals & Bravery | Casualties | War Memorial

Information in Four Categories


Lots of information about who lived here and where! Families, Malton Butchers Cricket Team, Malton People Database, Memories of Malton, Charles Dickens Connection, Town Bellman, Town Crier, Wives Wanted, Malton in the 1840s, Census including some transcriptions, 1858 List of Voters for St. Michael's, Earl Fitzwilliam Rent Accounts, Newspaper announcements of births, deaths and mariages

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What was the town like in Victorian and Edwardian times? Where is/was that street? House numbering, Malton in the 1840s, Planning & Building Control, Toilets in Chancery Lane, Streets Butcher Corner, Castlegate, Greengate, Market Place, Middlecave, Newbiggin, Old Maltongate, St. Michael Street, Saville Street, The Mount, Wentworth Street, Wheelgate, Yorkersgate, York Road, Peasey Hill, Planning & Building Control, Town Guides Old Pictures and Maps, Walks around the town take in a bit of history! Land Hearth Tax, 1873 Return of Owners of Land, Property, North Riding Register of Deeds, Finance Act 1910


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What happened here both locally and in response to wider events? Baker's Chronology, New Malton Spa, Emigration, The Telephone Comes to Malton, Cemetery, Horse Procession, Coronation of Queen Victoria, 1937 Coronation Celebrations, St. Michael's School, Racecourse, Emigration, Malton Golf Course, Sebastopol Cannon, Middlecave Windmill, Traffic, Theatre, Queen Victoria's Jubilee, Coronation of Edward Vll, Longster's Spa Garden, Curling, Talbot Hotel Newspapers Historical Background, Malton Messenger, Malton & Norton Gazette, including digital copies of the first few editions from 1855 Worship Three Ecclesiastical Parishes, 1857 locations, St. Michael's, St. Leonard's, Primitive Methodists, Unitarians, Independents, Catholics, Baptists, Wesleyans, Society of Friends, Congregationalists, 1851 Religious Census Police & Fire Police, law & order, prostitution, fire brigade, fires, Fire Brigade Friendly Society Pubs & Beerhouses Brewster Sessions, landlords, Temperance movement, closure dates Secret Orders Freemasonry, Friendly Societies, Oddfellows, Independent Order of Rechabites, Shepherds and Charities The Railway Victorian Heyday, Abolition of the Turnpikes, Accidents, Station Location, Railway Crossing & Bridge, Excursions, Railway Buildings, York & Scarborough line, Malton & Driffield line, Malton and Whitby line Health The sanitary condition of Malton 1854, nuisance removal, local board of health, the Dispensary, the Cottage Hospital, Apothecaries, Doctors and Surgeons, Dentists, Galvanism, 1932 typhoid outbreak, Health & Housing in 1909, Cholera, Smallpox, Smallpox Vaccination, Typhoid, 1918 Influenza epidemic Workhouse Settlement & Removals, managing the workhouse, state of the workhouse 1818, workhouse provisions, scandal at the workhouse, life in the workhouse, one of yours in the workhouse, masters & matrons, advertisements for staff First World War War is declared, the Wider War Effort, Employment issues for local tradesmen, Zeppelin Raids, Local Recruitment Advertising and Meetings, Military Tribunals, Medals and Bravery, Casualties, War Memorial, Armistice is Signed

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