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Forename(s): Harry

Place of Birth: Farnhill, Yorkshire

Service No: 5992

Rank: Private

Regiment / Corps / Service: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 1/5th Battalion

Division: 49th (West Riding) Division

Age: 23

Date of Death: 1916-12-14

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: In South-East part.


CWGC Memorial: ---

Non-CWGC Burial: ---



Additional Information:

Harry Walmsley was the son of Seth and Ida Walmsley, née Dawson. Seth was born at Farnhill and Ida at Shipley, Yorkshire. Harry was the cousin of Able-Seaman Walter Dawson (Tyneside Z/8773) (q.v.).

1901 Farnhill, Yorkshire Census: 5, Hanover Street - Harry Walmsley, aged 7 years, born Farnhill, son of Seth and Ida Walmsley.

1911 Farnhill, Yorkshire Census: 5, Hanover Street - Harry Walmsley, aged 17 years, born Farnhill, son of Seth and Ida Walmsley.

The British Army Service Record for Harry Walmsley exists but may be incomplete.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte Harry Walmsley, 5/5992, 1/5 W. Rid. R. Died 14.12.16.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte Harry Walmsley, 5992, 1/5th West Riding Rgt. Date and Place of Death: 14.12.16. 3rd Lond. Gen. Hos., Wandsworth SW. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Part Legatee - Norah Whiteoak £5 0s. 0d. Mother and Part Legatee - Ida £0 16s. 2d. War Gratuity: Mother and Sole Legatee - Ida £3 0s. 0d.

Data Source: Craven’s Part in the Great War - original CPGW book entry

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Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record:

WALMSLEY, Henry, aged 23, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, son of Mr. and Mrs. Seth Walmsley, of Farnhill, died in hospital in London.


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Private Harry WALMSLEY

Private Harry WALMSLEY

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 49th (West Riding) Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 49th (West Riding) Division

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

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records


Forename(s): Harry

Born: Farnhill, Yorks


Enlisted: Keighley, Yorks

Number: 5992

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion: 1/5th Battalion


Died Date: 14/12/16

Died How: Died

Theatre of War: Home


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records


Forename(s): Harry

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 5992

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Unit: 1st/5th Bn.

Age: 23


Died Date: 14/12/1916

Additional Information: Son of Seth and Ida Walmsley, of 5, Hanover St., Farnhill, Kildwick, Keighley.

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England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966


WALMSLEY Seth of 5 Hanover-street Farnhill near Keighley Yorkshire died 25 April 1950 Administration London 23 May to Reginald Walmsley weaving overlooker. Effects £1607 6s. 6d.

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St Andrew's Churchyard, Kildwick

St Andrew's Churchyard, Kildwick

CWGC private memorial

St Andrew's Churchyard, Kildwick

St Andrew's Churchyard, Kildwick

CWGC private memorial - detail

View Craven Herald Articles

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Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard Logo

14 July 1916


On Sunday evening a special service was held in the Farnhill Primitive Methodist Chapel, the preacher being the Rev. J.E. Woodfield. Mr. Woodfield took as his subject, “The world as it is to be,” and at the close of his sermon, in unveiling a Roll of Honour to the lads who had gone from the Farnhill Primitive Methodist Church to serve their King and Country, said they had put all on the roll who had been associated with the school at the time of enlistment, and all who had previously been associated with the school. They were very proud of those who had gone at the call of their King and Country in the hour of crisis, and he asked them to remember the lads in their prayers, and he hoped that they might be kept in the hour of danger, and as far as possible preserved from hurt and ill and, if it was the Creator’s will, brought back home again in safety.

Mr. Woodfield then read out the names of the men inscribed on the roll, which are as follows:–Herbert Barker, George Holliday, Heaton Mosley, Albert Kitson, Harry Kitson, Percy H. Walmsley, Walter Hargreaves, John W. Archer, Harry Walmsley, John Pollard, Fred Dixon, John Dixon, Harry Pollard, James S. Pollard, Frank Pollard Cecil Green, Wm. Hopkinson, Ernest Thompson, Wm. Thompson, Thomas Bulcock, Harry Bulcock, J. Robert Thornton, Reginald Sutcliffe, Irvin Bland, Tom Allsop, Arthur Daffern, Leo Spencer, Albert Atkinson, Albert L. Backhouse, Tom Whitaker, Arthur Turner, Arthur Overend, Fred Spencer, Arthur Greenwood, Edwin Garnett, Ernest Garnett, Charles Taylor, Alec Mosley, Ernest Dixon, Frank Pollard, Joseph Green, Harry Green, Frank Mosley.

The Roll of Honour, which is to be placed in the schoolroom, is very beautifully illuminated and framed. Surrounding the names are the flags of the Allies, with an inscription to the brave men who have gone forth from the Primitive Methodist Church, and at the foot of the roll are Tennyson’s word “Not once or twice in our own island story, the path of duty was the way to glory.”

22 December 1916

WALMSLEY – December 14th, at the 3rd London General Hospital from wounds received in action. Private Harry Walmsley, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, and eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Seth Walmsley, Hanover Street, Farnhill, aged 23 years.

22 December 1916


We regret to report the death of Pte. Harry Walmsley, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Seth Walmsley, of Hanover Street, Farnhill. Before enlistment Pte. Walmsley, who was 23 years of age, was employed as a twister by Messrs. Woodrow, Junction Mills. In January 1916, he joined the 11th Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, from which he was transferred to the 1/5th Duke of Wellington’s before going out to France on the 20th June. Exactly a month after, on July 20th, he received a shrapnel wound in the shoulder, and was medically treated at the base for three weeks, after which he went back to the trenches where, as he told his parents, he and his comrades were in the front trenches for seven weeks without a break.

Some time ago he fell ill, and after being in hospital in France was removed to the 3rd London General Hospital suffering from septic poisoning and pneumonia. His parents were sent for and found him dangerously ill. After staying there a few days they returned home, leaving him slightly better.

On Thursday last Mrs. Walmsley received a telegram informing her of her son’s death, and this was followed by a letter from the Ward Sister. The body was sent to Kildwick Station on Saturday night, where it was met by eight members of the Kildwick and Farnhill Institute and conveyed home to Hanover Street, before leaving for St. Andrew’s Church, Kildwick, on Sunday afternoon. The Rev. J. E. Woodfield, minister of the Primitive Methodist Chapel, Farnhill, spoke very feelingly and encouragingly to the family.

The bearers of the coffin, which was draped with the Union Jack, were members of the Kildwick Prize Brass Band, of which Pte. Walmsley was also a member. During the service, which was conducted by the Rev. Gerald Richardson, the organist, Mr. George Spencer, played the Dead March in ‘Saul’ most impressively. At the graveside the Primitive Methodist Choir sang a very touching hymn, which brought tears to many eyes.

The funeral was well attended. In addition to the family, representatives were sent from the Farnhill and Kildwick Institute, Volunteers, Kildwick Prize Brass Band, Conservative Club, and Junction Mills (who also sent wreaths, of which there were a great many). Crowds of people came from all the surrounding villages, the church being packed to overflowing.

Letters of condolence have been received from many friends, including the following:–

3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 14/12/16.

“Dear Mrs. Walmsley, – I extremely regret that the telegram breaking the news of your son’s sad death reached you before my letter. He had not seemed so well, but the final change was quite sudden, and in the middle of the night. It was quite impossible to get you here in time. His last thoughts were for you. He asked for you before he lost consciousness. He had not done so before or I would have sent for you. He passed away peacefully. Before this sudden change we had been hoping he was going to pull through. Please accept the sympathy of all the nurses of the ward.

“Yours very truly, W.H. WHITE (SISTER)”

05 January 1917


On Sunday a memorial service was held in the Primitive Methodist Chapel, Farnhill, for Pte. H. Walmsley (who death was recorded a fortnight ago in this paper), and for all who have given their lives for their country, especially for Joseph Green, Fred Dixon, Tom Allsop and Joseph Smith, who were old scholars of the Primitive Methodist Sunday School. The Rev. J.E. Woodfield preached a very touching sermon. There was a very large congregation, amongst whom were the members of the Volunteer Force under the command of Captain Alfred Clough, Sutton, members of the band, and a number of old scholars. An augmented choir sang the anthem ‘Our trust is in the Lord’ with great effect. Being the National Intercession Sunday, the prayers used were those provided on the form of service for the day. At the conclusion the ‘Last Post’ was sounded by Mr. Gordon Fowlds, a member of the Keighley Volunteer Force.

23 February 1917


As briefly recorded in last Friday’s Herald, the news came to Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Dawson, of Main Street, Farnhill on the 14th inst. that their son, Royal Naval Seaman Walter Dawson, had died of wounds received in action. Seaman Dawson joined the Royal Naval Division in November 1915, and went to France with a land section of the Naval Division in July 1916. He took part in the ‘big push’, being in the light trench mortar battery. He had his last leave eight months ago. He was a well-known local footballer, playing with the Kildwick Old Boys for a good number of years, and was also a playing member of the Sutton United Football Club in the season when the United won the cup and medals. Shortly after his arrival in London he took part in a football match, and at the close one of the officers tapped him on the shoulder and said: “If you fight as well as you play football you will make a grand sailor”. He was a weaving overlooker at Messrs. J. Woodrow and Sons, Standard Shed, prior to joining up, was twenty-four years of age, and was married whilst on his last leave.

Seaman Dawson was a member of the Kildwick Conservative Club, and the club flag was flown half-mast as a token of respect to his memory. He was a thorough sportsman and highly respected, and was possessed of a bright and cheerful disposition. He had been closely connected with Kildwick Church, and had been a Sunday School scholar and formerly a choirboy. His brother, Archie Dawson, is with the Portsmouth Naval Yacht patrol.

A service to the memory of A.B. Walton Dawson was held in St. Andrew’s Church, Kildwick on Sunday afternoon. There was a large congregation and the service, which was a very impressive one, was conducted by the Rev. C. E. V. Hodge, M.A. In the course of his sermon on the words “Good Master what shall I do to inherit Eternal Life?” the Vicar showed how the lads who had given their lives had been called upon to make the greatest sacrifice of all in the service of their country, to leave all and to follow Christ. The Vicar extended his heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved parents and family.

Special prayers of intercession were offered for the souls of all who had given their lives from this parish:– Joseph Green; Joseph Smith; Walter Dawson; Harry Walmsley

At the close of the service the ‘Last Post’ was sounded on the cornet by R. Inskip, and the Dead March in ‘Saul’ was played by Mr. G. Spencer, the organist.

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28 July 1916


WOUNDED SOLDIER – Mr. and Mrs. Seth Walmsley received a letter from their son, Pte. Harry Walmsley, of the 1st 5th West Yorkshire Regiment, stating that he was slightly wounded in the shoulder. He is at present in the rest camp. Pte Walmsley joined the forces in January, and went across to France about six weeks ago.

22 December 1916

WALMSLEY – In hospital in London, Pte. Henry Walmsley, of the 1st 5th Duke of Wellington’s, son of Mr. and Mrs. Seth Walmsley, of Farnhill, aged 23.

22 December 1916


The funeral of the late Private Henry Walmsley, of the 1st 5th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, took place on Sunday afternoon last at the Kildwick Church burial ground, amid many signs of deep sympathy and respect. Hopes had been entertained that the young man would recover from his illness. He was visited by his father and mother (Mr. and Mrs. Seth Walmsley) during November, while in the hospital in London, where he was suffering from septic poisoning and pneumonia. On leaving their son the father and mother were very hopeful. It was with deep regret that the villagers learned on Thursday last that Pte. Walmsley had passed away.

Pte. Walmsley joined the army last January, and went to the front on June 20th. On July 20th he was wounded in the shoulder and was treated at a base hospital. He went back into the firing line, and was sequently officer’s servant at headquarters, where he was taken ill.

The body arrived home about one o’clock on Sunday morning. The deceased was very highly respected in the village of his birth. He was a very promising member of the Kildwick and District Prize Brass Band. Prior to enlisting he was employed at Messrs. John Woodrow and Sons, Junction, as a twister. The funeral, which took place on Sunday afternoon, was very largely attended, most of the organisations in the villages being represented. The chief mourners were father and mother and members of the family and relatives. There were representatives from the Primitive Methodist Church and Sunday School, the Brass band, Paxton Society, the Institute, and Unionist Club, fellow workers. Mr. J. Brigg, C.C., of Kildwick Hall attended; also Mr. Geo. Bottomley (District Councillor). The bearers were Messrs. J. Hopkinson, J.W. Hartley, B. Whitaker, H. Wilcock, H. Heaton. A. Ogden, E. Gibson, and J. Whitaker, all fellow members of the band, in uniform. As the bier entered the church Mr. George Spencer played on the organ ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth.’ The service was conducted by the vicar-in-charge, Rev. G. Richardson. Mr. Appleby, the deceased’s schoolmaster, read the Scripture portion. The mourners left the church to the strains of the ‘Dead march’ in ‘Saul.’ At the grave side the Primitive Methodist choir sang a hymn. Floral tributes were numerous. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack, and bore the inscription, ‘Henry Walmsley, died Dec. 14, aged 23 years.’

The parents of Pte. Walmsley have received the following letter from Sister White at the London General Hospital, Wandsworth:–“I extremely regret that the telegram breaking the news of your son’s death reached you before my letter. He had not seemed so well, but the final change was quite sudden, and in the middle of the night it was impossible to get you here in time. His last thought was for you. He asked for you before he lost consciousness. He had not done so before or I would have sent for you. He passed away quite peacefully. Before this sudden change, we had been hoping he was going to pull through. Please accept the sympathy of the nurses of the ward.”

05 January 1917


On Sunday evening last a service in memory of Pte. Harry Walmsley, who died recently in hospital, and Corpl. Joseph Green, who died suddenly in France, both scholars who have passed through the Primitive Methodist Sunday School, was held in the Primitive Methodist Church, being conducted by Rev. J.E. Woodfield, the superintendent minister. A large gathering was present at the service to show their sympathy and respect, among whom were members of the local Volunteers, numbering about 20, under the command of 2nd Lieut. A. Clough, Company Sergt. Midgley, and Drill Instructor L. Simons. Mr. J.J. Brigg, C.C., of Kildwick Hall, was also present. As the congregation gathered Mr. L. Barker played ‘O rest in the Lord’ on the organ, and during the service the choir sang the anthem ‘In Thee have I put my trust.’ Being the day of national intercession, Rev. J.E. Woodfield read the National Prayer of Intercession.

The words upon which the preacher based his remarks were "He saved others, Himself He cannot save" (Matt. xxvii., 42). The preacher said these words were spoken in reference to Christ as a mockery, yet they embodied the very principal for which Christ lived and died. Only now were we realising the truth of these words. Before the war the words had a theoretical or theological meaning, but now, as never before, through the bitter experience of the last two years, we have learned that the true way is the way of sacrifice. We have learned that to save others we must give ourselves. The principals contained in these words were being carried out to-day in every part of our far flung battle line where our brothers were bearing sacrifices for us. They had put themselves between our enemies and us. They were shedding their blood for us, and “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.” This world has been cursed by selfishness. He had prayed for the coming of the Kingdom of God, but it would only come when selfishness was banished, and it would only come through sacrifice. There was nothing more terrible than the taking of life. The sacrifice of the weakest for the strong was the natural course, but what was taking place to-day was that the strong were sacrificing themselves for the weak. The cross of Christ was still shown in the sacrifices in France, Flanders, and Mesopotamia. He believed with all his heart that the cross of Christ was behind all the sorrows and the heartaches of the world. He did not glory in war. He had preached peace, and would preach peace again after the war. To-day the world was longing for peace, and the latest cry was “Never again.” But it would be “again” unless we had a different spirit, unless we had a different kind of peace. An armed peace was no guarantee. We were called upon to sacrifice for others, and what we need was to set forth the principals for which Christ dies and for which our brothers died. We must make Christ’s policy our policy. To our bereaved friends he would say there is consolation in the thought that they died to save others. Their sacrifice would be counted unto them for righteousness. They gave themselves for others.

Following the sermon ‘The last post’ was sounded by Volunteer Gordon Foulds, of Keighley. The service closed with a verse of the National Anthem. All the names of the young men who have left the village were read out. Solos were given by Miss Florence Midgley, ‘He will guide me,’ and Miss Annie Hardacre, ‘Angel Land.’ Mr. Jos. Petty accompanied on the organ.

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