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Surname: CHILTON

Forename(s): Harry

Place of Birth: Osmotherley, Yorkshire

Service No: 37895

Rank: Private

Regiment / Corps / Service: Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 17th (Service) Battalion. (2nd Leeds)

Division: 35th Division

Age: 23

Date of Death: 1917-10-23

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: VI. D. 51.


CWGC Memorial: ---

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial: HAWES, YORKSHIRE

Additional Information:

Harry Chilton-Merryweather (born 6 August 1893) was the son of Nicholson and Elizabeth Chilton-Merryweather, née Gibbon. Nicholson was born at Gayles Fields, Gayles, Yorkshire, the son of John C. and Isobel Merryweather. Elizabeth was born at Sadberge, Co. Durham. In the 1881 Census, Nicholson, named as Nicholas, was employed as a farm servant by Elizabeth’s father, John Gibbon. Nicholson and Elizabeth married in 1882.

1901 East Harlsey, Yorkshire Census: Chapel Wood - Harry Chilton, aged 7 years, born Osmotherley, Yorkshire, son of Nicholson and Elizabeth Chilton.

1911 Osmotherley, Yorkshire Census: Middlestye Farm - Harry Chilton, aged 17 years, born Osmotherley. [Harry was employed as a Cow Man by Betsy Bell, Farmer.]

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte Harry Chilton, 37895, W. York. R. D. of W. 23.10.17.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte Harry Chilton, 37895, 17th W. York. R. Died of Wounds 23.10.17.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte Harry Chilton, 37895, 17th (S) Bn W. Yorks. Date and Place of Death: 23.10.17 France. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Mother sole legatee: Betsy E. £9 2s. 0d.

UK, WW1 Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923: Pte Harry Chilton, 37895, 17th W. Yorks. Date and cause of death: 23.10.17. Mustard Gas. Name(s) on card(s): Dependant: Mrs Betsy Elizabeth Chelton [sic], Relationship: Mother. Address: Riggend, Burtersett, Nr Hawes, Yorkshire. Reverse of card names Betsy as Mrs B. E. Chilton, born 1864. Relationship: Foster-mother. Another card gives the name of Betsy E. M. Chelton.

The 15th (Service) Bn Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) (1st Leeds), informally known as the Leeds Pals, were amalgamated with the 17th (Service) Bn Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) (2nd Leeds) to form the 15th/17th Battalion on the 7 December 1917.

Harry is commemorated on the Roll of Honour in St Peter's Church, Osmotherley.

Photograph courtesy of Ian Chilton-Merryweather.

Data Source: Local War Memorial


Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record: ---


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Private Harry CHILTON

Private Harry CHILTON

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 35th Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 35th Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: CHILTON

Forename(s): Harry

Born: Northallerton, Yorks

Residence: Barlby, Selby

Enlisted: York

Number: 37895

Rank: Private

Regiment: Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)

Battalion: 17th Battalion


Died Date: 23/10/17

Died How: Died of wounds

Theatre of War: France & Flanders


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: CHILTON

Forename(s): Harry

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 37895

Rank: Private

Regiment: West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own)

Unit: 17th Bn.

Age: 23


Died Date: 23/10/1917

Additional Information: Adopted son of Mrs. B. E. Chilton, of Cotterdale, Hawes, Yorks. (CWGC Headstone Personal Inscription: A NOBLE SACRIFICE)

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HARRY CHILTON by Ian Chilton-Merryweather

From my research I believe the following to be right:
There has always been confusion over the family name. In many of the census documents etc, the family is recorded as Christian name C Merryweather, where every member of the household has the C in their name. In others it is just recorded as Christian name Chilton. The name Chilton has also been recorded as a second Christian Name. Often it is only by linking the Christian names, the names of children being the same in subsequent documents and family knowledge that I have been able to follow the lineage.

Harry Chilton-Merryweather was born on 6th August 1893 on the eastside of Osmotherley High Street to Nicholson Chilton-Merryweather and Elizabeth Anne Gibbon and was baptised on 17th September 1893. He was the 7th child of 11.
By 1901 the family had moved to Chapel Wood Farm near Lady Chapel, Osmotherley and in the 1911 census he is shown as a cow man on Middlestye Farm, Osmotherley. His parents and younger members of the family are recorded as living at Swinesty Crag, Osmotherley.
Harry enlisted in the 17th Battalion of the Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire) Regiment, regimental number 37895. The 17th Battalion was a bantam battalion for people of short stature but otherwise fit and willing to enlist.
He was in a mustard gas attack on the battalion at Wijdendrift on 19th October 1917 and died of his wounds on 23rd October 1917. He was buried at Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium; Grave ref. VI. D. 51.
The inscription on the memorial says Adopted son of Mrs B. E. Chilton, which is incorrect. His mother Elizabeth was known as Bessy, and the inscription, I believe, is a confusion on the initials E and B. His father had died in 1915 so the sole beneficiary would be his mother as shown in the military records.
There is a H Chilton shown on the Hawes War Memorial, but not on the Osmotherley War Memorial. I think this is tied to the inscription on the gravestone, as he lived all his life in Osmotherley. I am hoping that the release of the 1921 Census data might clear this up as it will identify where Betsy moved to from Swinesty Crag.


Sidney Chilton-Merryweather was the younger brother of Harry, and was born on 19th January 1899. In 1917, he joined the Northumberland Fusiliers and served in Egypt. He was stationed somewhere near the Dead Sea as he told me stories about floating on it. The 2/7th Battalion NFs were their only battalion in Egypt in 1917 so I have assumed that this is which battalion he was in. He said the nearest thing he saw to the enemy was throwing grenades at dummies with German helmets!
There are no other records as they were destroyed by fire.

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Additional Photo(s) For Soldier Records

Private Harry Chilton-Merryweather

Private Harry Chilton-Merryweather

Courtesy of Ian Chilton-Merryweather

Sergeant Sidney Chilton-Merryweather, the brother of Private Harry Chilton-Merryweather

Sergeant Sidney Chilton-Merryweather, the brother of Private Harry Chilton-Merryweather

Courtesy of Ian Chilton-Merryweather



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    One Response to Harry CHILTON

    1. Vicki Morton March 13, 2018 at 7:35 am #


      Charlie, my son and I are researching the H. Chilton from our war memorial in Osmotherley – same gentleman. You’ve made our search a lot easier, thank you. We are planning a visit to the Hawes Memorial in the Easter holidays now to photograph our evidence.

      Thank you

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