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Nelson HOLMES

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Surname: HOLMES

Forename(s): Nelson

Place of Birth: Silsden, Yorkshire

Service No: 3417

Rank: Private

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

Battalion / Unit: 'D' Coy 1/6th Battalion

Division: 49th (West Riding) Division

Age: 18

Date of Death: 1915-12-16

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: IV. D. 3.

CWGC Cemetery: TALANA FARM CEMETERY

CWGC Memorial: ---

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial: SILSDEN, YORKSHIRE

Additional Information:

Nelson Holmes (born 14 July 1897) was the son of Timothy and Annie Holmes, née Smith and brother of Private William Summers Holmes (3/12591) (q.v.). Their father was born at Silsden and mother at Bradford, Yorkshire.

1901 Silsden, Yorkshire Census: 4, Mill Banks - Nelson Holmes, aged 3 years, born Silsden, son of Timothy and Annie Holmes.

1911 Silsden, Yorkshire Census: 67, Aire View - Nelson Holmes, aged 13 years, born Silsden, son of Timothy Holmes, widower.

The British Army Service Record for Nelson Holmes exists but may be incomplete.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte Nelson Holmes, 3417, W. Rid. R. Theatre of War first served in: (1) France. Date of entry therein: 29.6.15. K. in A. 16.12.15.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte Nelson Holmes, 6/3417, 1/6 W. Rid. R. K. in A. 16.12.15.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte Nelson Holmes, 3417, 1/6 W. Riding Regt. Date and Place of Death: 16.12.15. In action. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Father Sole Legatee - Timothy. £8 14s. 0d. Brother - Arthur. £2 18s. 4d. Sister in law - Mrs Nellie Holmes. £0 11s. 8d.

See also: ‘Guiseley Terriers: A Small Part in The Great War - A History of the 1/6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment’ by Stephen Barber (2018).

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

View Entry in CPGW Book

Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record:

HOLMES, Nelson, aged 18, 6th West Riding Regiment, son of Mr. T. Holmes, Aireview, [Silsden], killed in France Dec. 16, 1916.

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Private Nelson HOLMES

Private Nelson HOLMES

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

Surname: HOLMES

Forename(s): Nelson

Born:

Residence: Silsden, Yorks

Enlisted: Skipton, Yorks

Number: 3417

Rank: L/Cpl

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

Battalion: 1/6th Battalion

Decorations:

Died Date: 16/12/15

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War: France & Flanders

Notes:

Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: HOLMES

Forename(s): N

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 3417

Rank: Private

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

Unit: 1st/6th Bn.

Age:

Awards:

Died Date: 16/12/1915

Additional Information:

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Additional Photo(s) For Soldier Records

Talana Farm Cemetery

Talana Farm Cemetery

CWGC Headstone

Courtesy of Aurel Sercu, Boezinge, Belgium

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24 December 1915

NINTH SILSDEN SOLDIER KILLED

Information has been received of the death of Private Nelson Holmes, of the 6th West Riding Regiment, and son of Mr. Timothy Holmes, of 67, Aire View, Silsden, which took place on the Western Front on December 14th. Second-Lieut. F. Longdon Smith, in a letter received by his father on Monday, states:– “I am very sorry to have to write and tell you that your son Private N. Holmes, of D Company, 6th West Riding Regiment was killed about noon on the day of December 14th. He was on periscope duty at the time, and was fixing his periscope, and must have exposed himself for a second or two and was shot in the head by a sniper. He lived for a few minutes and the stretcher-bearer dressed his wound, but he was never conscious, and from the first we knew there was no hope. On behalf of the Officers, N.C.O.’s and men, I wish to express to you my deepest sympathy in your great loss. Since your son joined us out here he has always shown plenty of pluck and fearlessness, and we are all sorry to lose him.”

Private Holmes, who was only eighteen years of age on the 14th of July last, enlisted on the first day of December of last year. He served a period of training at Skipton, Derby, Doncaster, York, and Thorseby Park, leaving the latter place along with about half-a-dozen Silsden soldiers to go to the Front at the end of June last.

Private Holmes has a brother serving in the same regiment, he going out to the Front along with him. The deceased was a former member of the 1st Silsden Troop of Boy Scouts. This makes the ninth Silsden soldier who has given his life for his country.

The names of the remaining eight are Private Harold Snowden, Private Ben Hodgson, Private Isaac Wade, Private Rhodes Spence, Private W. Gill, Private Ernest Hustwick, Gunner Edward Lund, and Private Jobey Faulkner.

14 January 196

SILSDEN – Service in Memory of Fallen

A service in memory of two Silsden soldiers, Private Nelson Holmes of the 6th West Riding Regiment, and son of Mr. Timothy Holmes, of 67, Aire View, Silsden, whose death took place on the Western Front on December 14th, and Private Robt. Read, of the 9th West Riding Regiment D Company, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Read, of 32, Tufton Street, who died in hospital from wounds received on December 19th, was held at the Parish Church on Sunday morning. There was a large congregation. During the service special lessons were read and hymns sung. The Vicar (Rev. E.E. Peters) conducted the service, preaching from 1 Corinthians xiii., 12 and 13.

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24 December 1915

CRAVEN’S ROLL OF HONOUR – SILSDEN

Private Nelson Holmes, of the 1st 6th West Riding Regiment, killed in France on December 16th. He was 18 years of age. Son of Mr. T. Holmes, Aireview, Silsden.

24 December 1915

DEATH OF ANOTHER SILSDEN SOLDIER

News was received on Monday of the death of Pte. Nelson Holmes, D Company, 1/6th West Riding Regiment, who was killed in France on December 16th. Pte. Holmes, who was only 18 years of age, is the eighth Silsden soldier who has lost his life. He enlisted on December 1st, 1914 and after seven months’ training left for the front on July 1st. Prior to enlisting he resided with his father, Mr. T. Homes, Aireview, Silsden, who has another two sons fighting, one in France and one at the Dardanelles. The sad news was received by Mr. Holmes in a letter from Second Lieut. F. Longden Smith, which reads as follows:–

“Dear Mrs Holmes,– I am very sorry to have to write and tell you that your son Private N. Holmes, of D Company, 1/6th West Riding Regiment, was killed about noon yesterday. He was on periscope duty at the time, and was fixing his periscope, and must have exposed himself for a second or two and was shot in the head by a sniper. He lived for a few seconds, and the stretcher-bearer dressed his wound, but he was never conscious, and from the start we knew there was no hope. On behalf of the officers, and men I wish to express to you my deepest sympathy in your great loss. Since he joined us out here he has always shown plenty of pluck and fearlessness, and we are all sorry to lose him.”

14 January 1916

SILSDEN

MEMORIAL SERVICE – An in memoriam service was held on Sunday morning last at the Silsden Parish Church for the late Private Nelson Holmes, 6th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, and Private Robert Read, 9th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, who were killed in action. Special hymns and psalms were sung, and an appropriate sermon was preached by the Vicar.

28 July 1916

SILSDEN’S GALLANT HEROES

Since the war commenced Silsden has lost fourteen of her gallant fighting sons while serving their King and Country. Their names are:–Pte. Ben Hodgson, Pte. Rhodes Spence, Pte. Isaac Wade, Pte. J. Faulkner, Pte. Nelson Holmes, Gunner Edward Lund, Pte. Ernest Hustwick, Pte. Wm. Gill, Pte. Harold Snoddin [Snowden] (killed on the railway while on guard duty in the country), Pte. Thomas Stanley Wrigglesworth, Pte. John Gill, Sergt. John Baldwin, Pte. Robt. Reed, and Pte. Herbert Harper.

05 January 1917

INTERCESSION AND MEMORIAL SERVICE AT SILSDEN – Impressive Sermon by Rev. W. Dickinson.

An intercession and memorial service for the fallen heroes in the war was held at the Silsden Primitive Methodist Church on Sunday evening last. There was a large congregation, and the officiating minister was Rev. Wm. Dickinson (pastor). During the service the hymns 'O God our help in ages past,’ ‘Lord God of hosts, Whose Almighty hand,’ ‘God the all terrible! King Who ordainest,’ and ‘When wilt Thou save the people’ were sung. Miss Clara Fortune also ably sang the solo ‘O rest in the Lord,’ and at the close of the service the organist (Mr. Bernard Longbottom) played the ‘Dead march’ in ‘Saul,’ and the National Anthem was sung.

WAR A HARMFUL THING

Preaching from the text Psalm 46, 9th verse, ‘He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth,’ Mr. Dickinson said it seemed almost superfluous to say in this sad day in which we lived that war was a serious and harmful thing. It was, however, a great outstanding fact. When they looked at the expense even in times of peace, when nations made preparations for war, it was even then a great expense, but in days of actual warfare as to-day, when the nation was spending at least £5,000,000 a day, then it was that they were reminded that war was a serious thing from a financial point of view. They tried to have dreams or visions as to what would have been done with that money for philanthropic purposes and for the social amelioration of the people of this country, but the country had put those dreams or visions in the back ground. Then we had the cruelty of it, and the passions that it excited. It marched to hunger and thirst and wounds and death. Then we had the bereavements. Children were made orphans, women were made widows, and parents mourned over children and many were left childless. Then we also had the deplorable feelings produced by war, feeling of revenge, feelings that produced quarrelsomeness, a desire for power and an unholy lust of ambition. That was seen by the works of the great Napoleon, and also by the Kaiser and the Prussian War Lords. The question that now forced itself to the front was ‘Is all war morally wrong?’ We had a very high ideal, and we believed that war was all wrong. They read in the Old Book that David was not allowed to build the temple of the Lord because his hands had been stained by blood, and he was spoken of as a man of war. But, in these days we had to look at actual facts. What was the actual state today? When one side would prepare for war and was determined to declare war, what then could we do? That great poet in Russia called Tolstoy preached the doctrine of being passive, but when we came to think of it, could we be passive? If our homes were to be destroyed and our wives and children to be taken from us, could we be passive? Did it not arouse within us that spirit of manhood that we must assert ourselves and that we must fight? If we were not prepared to do that, all he could think was that we were cowards. They ought to bury their heads and be ashamed of themselves. In days of peace with one breath they would denounce all war, and yet in the very next breath they would ask the question why the Congo atrocities were not stopped even if force were necessary. To-day they looked upon a devastated Serbia, Montenegro, Belgium, and alas Roumania, and they came to the conclusion that there were worse things than war – Armenia and the Congo, and the slavery of the South Americans; and what would have been the slavery of Europe had it not been for the call to arms in a cause that was just and righteous?

A JUST AND RIGHTEOUS CAUSE

If it were not for that conviction that the cause for which they were at war was just and righteous, many of them would have failed to preach, to pray, or to look to God. But, it was that which gave them strength that they looked to him Who was the present help and refuge in their trouble. In their fight against war whom should they attack? Often in the past the attack was made upon the soldier. They could not do that to-day as far as this country war concerned. They had a great civilian army, and they were fighting for freedom, for righteousness, and for justice. They never wanted to be soldiers, they never wanted to fight, but the call had come and they could do no other. Who made war, and why should there be war? Not the soldier. In the days that were gone, it was more the civilian than the soldier, the civilian because he was represented by his Parliament and that Parliament as the representative of the civilian often made war, because the lust for power and the lust for gold had got hold of them. Then in the commercial world, amongst what was known as the ruling classes, there was generally speaking a disposition to make war because there was the old saying that trade followed the flag. The soldier fought because he was ordered to do. It was neither Roberts, Kitchener, nor Buller who made the Boer War. If anybody made it, it was Kruger, Milner, and Chamberlain, and it was made because they had greed for power, and an unholy ambition and wish for gold. If they went back through the pages of history, they would find that that was the source of war as far as this country was concerned. He had come to the conclusion that the man who shouted for war had an axe to grind. The man who shouted for war ought to be made to go and face the music and not to send others. What did soldiery stand for? Generally speaking it stood for the aggressive, the quarrelsome, the brute force. They could not say that of the civilian army that had been raised by this country. They were not aggressive, they were not quarrelsome, and neither could they say that they were asserting brute force. He was sorry to have to say it of the Central Powers where conscription had been reigning for so many years. It was the brute force and the aggressive power that they would have to abolish. But when they had said that, they were bound to come to the conclusion that

SOLDIERY HAS ITS GOOD POINTS

The soldier side by side with the doctor stood to give his life for his country and that was a great deal. He would advise anyone to pause before he sneered at a soldier. He stood between them and the enemy, and if it had not been for the brave men who had stood thus, where would they have been to-day? They had no words too high in their commendation and admiration and love for the civilians of this Empire, who had stood between them and the enemy in this time of crisis. The question came to each one of them what was their position and what were they doing in the national crisis that was before them, and still after all they came to the conclusion that the soldier's life as they saw it to-day was a regrettable necessity, that all those brave men should have to shoulder the musket and defend our shores and fight for the freedom, righteousness, and justice of a cause that none of them disputed. They regretted in this the 20th century that such a thing should have happened. It ought not to have come to pass, and it never would have come to pass if the great Central Powers of Europe had taken heed of the sayings of Christ, and had seen His crucified hands instead of the mailed fist, and if they had listened to His beatitudes instead of the philosophy of the German teachers. How were they to lessen those evils? They must attack the root, that lust for power, that quarrelsome spirit, and that unholy ambition that had dominated the great Central Powers. How were they to attack the root? By educating the people for peace at the proper time, and that perhaps was not just yet. It was an easy matter to give descriptions of the horrors of war, to speak of its abominations, and even to denounce statesmen and people who sanctioned war, but how few people there were who searched for methods by means of which war could be put down and destroyed. When the history of the war and the part which the British Empire had taken in it came to be written – he was not a prophet or the son of a prophet – he ventured to say that the writer would pay a fine testimony to the ex-Foreign Minister of this country (Sir Edward Grey) who night and day at the beginning or before the declaration of war strove with all the brain power he had, and with every ounce of strength, he could put in, to avert this great catastrophe. If to-day he was in the back ground, he would looked upon as one of the finest statesmen this country ever had. On what lines were they to educate people for peace? There was a form of Government not only to arrest this demon war, but to bind him in chains. What was it? A cosmopolitan administration or a great Federal Government of the world. They might be dreamers, but certainly there would come a day either in London, Paris, or New York, when there would be a great Federal Government, and that Government would help them to the day when wars would cease.

THE CHURCH'S ROLL OF HONOUR

Proceeding, Mr. Dickinson said he was sure he was voicing the feelings of all present when he said they sympathised very deeply with the families of Pte. Percy Kellett and Lance-Corpl. T.C. Green, both of whom were in hospital suffering from wounds. They prayed for their speedy recovery, and also that their parents and relatives might he comforted. Then they had Ptes. Bernard Locker and Gannett Longbottom, who were reported as missing, and it was hoped that before long good news would be heard of them. They had to add two other names – Pte. Dan Faulkner and Gunner W.H. Sutcliffe, both of whom had been killed in action – to their list of fallen who had been intimately associated with their church and Sunday-school. Mr. Dickinson then read a list of Silsden soldiers who had died serving their King and Country. They were as follows:– Pte. Harold Snoddin [Snowden], Pte. B. Hodgson, Pte. I. Wade, Pte. R. Spence, Pte. E. Hustwick, Gunner E. Lund, Pte. W. Gill, Pte. J. Faulkner, Pte. N. Holmes, Pte. R. Read, Pte. J. Gill, Pte. S. Wrigglesworth, Sergt. J. Baldwin, Sergt. R. Hill, Pte. Wm. Richmond, Pte. W.H. Teale, Corpl. F. Taylor, Pte. H. Harper, Pte. D. Faulkner, and Gunner W.H.Sutcliffe.

Mr. Dickinson also read the church's roll of honour, which comprised 110 names.

27 December 1918

Steeton Soldier’s Death

Mrs. Wm. Summers Holmes, Silsden, has received word in a very touching letter from the assistant matron of the 29th Stationary Hospital, Italy, that her husband had died from influenza. Pte. Holmes joined the army on the 5th of August, 1914, and went with the 8th Dukes to Gallipoli and after service there was transferred to Egypt, then from Egypt to France, and from France to Italy. Although he had been in many battles he had never been wounded. Pte. Holmes leaves a widow and two little children. He is the son of the late Timothy Holmes, Aireview, Silsden. His brother, Pte. Nelson Holmes, was killed in 1915; another brother, Pte. Edgar Holmes, was wounded in the arm and has since been discharged.

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