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Robert John COLES

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Surname: COLES

Forename(s): Robert John

Place of Birth: Bootle, Lancashire

Service No: 236065

Rank: Corporal

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

Battalion / Unit: 9th (Service) Battalion

Division: 11th (Northern) Division

Age: 27

Date of Death: 1917-10-09

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: Panel 42 to 47.

CWGC Cemetery: ---

CWGC Memorial: TYNE COT MEMORIAL

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial: SKIPTON, YORKSHIRE

Additional Information:

Robert John Coles was the son of William and Elizabeth Ann Coles (née - ) and brother of Lieutenant William Henry Coles (q.v.) and half- brother of Sapper Arthur Chivers Coles (386248) (q.v.). Robert's father was born at Clandown, Somerset and mother at Long Preston, Yorkshire.

1891 Walton on the Hill, Lancashire Census: 40, Muriel Street - Robert J. Coles, aged 9 months, born, Bootle Lancashire, son of William and Elizabeth A. Coles.

1901 Keighley, Yorkshire Census: Bridge House, Lawkholme - Robert J. Coles, aged 10 years, born Bootle, Lancashire, son of William and Elizabeth A. Coles.

1911 Skipton, Yorkshire Census: 19, Broughton Road - Robert John Coles, aged 20 years, born Liverpool, Lancashire, son of William and Elizabeth Ann Coles.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte Robert J. Coles, 2007, York. Huss.; Cpl 330074, York. Hrs.; 236065, W. York. R. Theatre of War first served in: (1) France. Date of entry therein: 15.4.15. K. in A.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Cpl Robert John Coles, 2077, 1/1 Yorks Hsrs.; 330074, 1/1 Yorks. Hsrs.; 236065, 9th W. York. R. Killed in Action 9.10.17.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Cpl Robert John Coles, 2007, 330074, 2360659, 9 W. Yorks.Date and Place of Death: 9.10.17. Belg'm. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Father - William. £32 17s. 7d.

UK, WW1 Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923: card(s) exist for Robert. Name(s) on card(s): Name of Dependant: William Coles. Relationship to Man: Father. Address: 19, Broughton Road, Skipton, Yorks.

On the 26 August 1917, the 1/1st Yorkshire Hussars Yeomanry (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own) left the XVII Corps, where they had been the Corps Cavalry Regiment, and went to Etaples Base Camp for infantry training.

Several soldiers of the 1/1st Yorkshire Hussars Yeomanry, including Robert John Coles, were killed in action during the Battles of Ypres, 1917, 31 July-10 November, at the Battle of Poelcappelle, 9 October 1917. They were attached to the 9th (Service) Bn Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment). See 'Craven Herald' (19 October 1917).

On the 13 November 1917 the 9th (Service) Bn Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) absorbed the 1/1st Yorkshire Hussars Yeomanry and became the 9th (Yorkshire Hussars Yeomanry) Bn Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment).

Robert is commemorated on the Midland Railway War Memorial at Derby.

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:

COLES, Cpl. Richard John, West Yorkshire Regiment, youngest son of Mr. W. Coles, stationmaster, Skipton, killed Oct. 9, 1917.

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Corporal Robert John COLES

Corporal Robert John COLES

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: 11th (Northern) Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 11th (Northern) Division

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

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: COLES

Forename(s): Robert John

Born: Skipton, Yorks

Residence:

Enlisted: Bradford, Yorks

Number: 236065

Rank: Cpl

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

Battalion: 9th Battalion

Decorations:

Died Date: 09/10/17

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War: France & Flanders

Notes: Formerly 2007, 1/1st Yorks Hussars

Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: COLES

Forename(s): Robert John

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 236065

Rank: Corporal

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

Unit: 9th Bn.

Age:

Awards:

Died Date: 09/10/1917

Additional Information:

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Obituary from ‘The Keighlian’ the School Magazine of Keighley Boys’ Grammar School

(Courtesy of kbgs.com)

ROBERT JOHN COLES

Corporal. Yorkshire Hussars.

Robert J. Coles, or, as he was generality called by his fellow pupils, Jack Coles, was a pupil from September, 1903, to July, 1905. He was the son of Mr. William Coles, now Station-master at Skipton and formerly in a similar position at Keighley.

After leaving School Jack Coles entered the service of the Midland Railway Company and was a clerk in the Chief Goods Manager’s Department at Keighley when War was declared. He had been a member of the Bradford “C” Squadron of the Yorkshire Hussars since 1911 and he reported for duty on August 5th, 1914, at Knaresborough. He was thus in the War from its very start and was soon sent across to France. In November, 1916, he might have returned to England as a “time-expired man,” but he unselfishly volunteered immediately for the duration of the War and sacrificed his leave. He was greatly attached to the Cavalry and it was with keen regret that he was obliged to leave his horse and take up duty with the Infantry. He was drafted into the 8th West Yorkshire Regiment, and on October 8th, 1917, was shot by a German sniper whilst one of a party of volunteers from the Regiment who had been asked by the Commanding Officer to undertake an attack upon a German post.

Jack Coles was a steady, unobtrusive young Englishman who always tried to do the duty that lay nearest him, and the sympathy of the School goes out to his sorrowing parents and brothers.

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995

1934

COLES William of 32 Cark-road Keighley Yorkshire died 7 April 1934 Probate London 9 May to Charles Frederick Coles customs officer and Herbert Judson commercial traveller. Effects £560s. 4d.

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'Craven Herald' (2 January 1920)

'Craven Herald' (2 January 1920)

William Coles, the father of Arthur Chivers, Robert John and William Henry Coles

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Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard Logo

19 October 1917

SKIPTON STATION-MASTER’S SON KILLED – CORPORAL JACK COLES

With regret we have also to record the death in action of Corporal Robert John (Jack) Coles, the third son of Mr. Wm. Coles, station-master at Skipton.

In a letter of sympathy to Mr. Coles, Captain Foster, of the Yorkshire Hussars, says:– “I am very sorry to have to inform you that Corporal Coles was killed on October 9th in the early hours of the morning. He should have taken part in the attack that dawn on the 9th, but he was hit by a sniper through the lungs and died very soon afterwards. As you will probably know, we have just joined the West Yorkshires. We were at a reinforcement camp waiting to join the Battalion when they asked for 50 volunteers to go up and make this attack, and Corporal Coles, with his usual keenness, was one of the first to volunteer. I have known him ever since the beginning of the war, and I can assure you we shall all miss him very much. He never got very excited, but he always got things done. Please allow me to express my deepest sympathy on behalf of all of us. We only hope it will be some consolation to you to know that he died for his country.”

In a postscript, the Captain adds:– “I have been speaking to Pte. Hutton, who saw your son just before he died, and he said that he lived for about half an hour after he was hit, but suffered very little pain. He died in one of our advance posts in the trenches of the battlefield.”

Twenty-seven years of age, Corporal Coles joined the Bradford Squadron of the Yorkshire Hussars five years ago last November, and was of course mobilised when war broke out, and had been at the Front about two and a half years. His time expired last November, but he rejoined and had the usual leave in July last. When he returned to the Front he was transferred to the West Yorkshires, as indicated in the above letter. He was educated at the Keighley Trade and Grammar School (where he was a keen football player, both as a scholar and an ‘old boy’), and afterwards entered the goods office at Keighley Station as a clerk.

His two brothers are also serving: Lieut. Willie Cole with the Yorkshire Regiment, and Sapper Arthur Cole, with the Royal Engineers.

04 January 1918

SKIPTON STATIONMASTER’S SECOND WAR BEREAVEMENT

The sympathy of all Skipton people will go out to Mr. William Coles, the Skipton Stationmaster, in the great loss he has sustained by the death in action, on December 28th, of another son – Second-Lieutenant William H. (Willie) Coles, of the Yorkshire Regiment. The distressing news was telegraphed by the Records Office to the deceased soldier’s widow, who has been residing at Oxford, on Tuesday night, and no details have yet been received. Twenty-eight years of age, Second Lieutenant Coles was, prior to the war, attached to the West Riding Territorials, and afterwards served for five years in the Yorkshire Hussars, attaining the rank of Quartermaster-Sergeant. In November 1916 he was offered and accepted a commission, and was posted to the Yorkshire Regiment. He had taken part in a good deal of fighting, and was wounded in the left elbow last Easter. After leaving the Keighley Trades and Grammar School he entered the service of the Midland Railway, and was for some time a clerk in the goods office at Bingley. Later he accepted a position in the office of Messrs. Bradley and Jacques, chartered accountants, Keighley, and when war broke out his future was full of promise. Of a studious nature, he had made great progress in his profession, and had passed with distinction in all the examinations for accountancy except the final, which he was ready to sit for when war broke out. Mr. Coles third son, Corporal Jack Coles, was killed on October 9th, and another son, Sapper Arthur Coles, is serving with the Royal Engineers on the Italian Front.

28 June 1918

SKIPTON STATIONMASTER’S THIRD WAR BEREAVEMENT – SAPPER ARTHUR COLES, R.E.

We regret to say that news was received on Wednesday from an officer to the effect that Sapper Arthur Coles, the eldest son of Mr. Wm. Coles, the Skipton Stationmaster, had paid the supreme sacrifice during the recent Austrian offensive on the Italian Front. This is Mr. Coles’ third war bereavement, and the sympathy of the public of Skipton will go out to him in his great trouble. Corporal Jack Coles was killed in action on October 9th 1917, and Second Lieutenant William. H. Coles fell in action on December 28th last. Mr. Coles’ only remaining son, Charles, is serving in the Navy. Sapper Coles, who was about 35 years of age, had served in the Army prior to the war, and enlisted again on the outbreak of hostilities, and had served in France.

02 January 1920

PENDING RETIREMENT OF SKIPTON’S STATION-MASTER

Mr. William Coles, the Skipton Stationmaster, having reached the age limit, has been notified of his retirement from the Midland Railway Company’s service after March 31st, 1920.

Mr. Coles entered the service of the Company in 1878 at Cheltenham as a porter, and was transferred to Bradford as a passenger guard in 1882, to Hellifield as a foreman in 1885, and in 1888 when the Midland Company began to run their Scotch trains over the L. and Y. line he was sent to the Exchange Station, Liverpool, to take charge of the Company’s business there. Here he remained for twelve years, and in 1900 was transferred to Keighley as station master. He removed to Skipton in October, 1908, to succeed the late Mr. A. Norman, on his retirement 10½ years ago. Mr. Coles has been in the Midland service nearly 42 years.

Mr. Coles is a Wesleyan, and connected with the Skipton Water Street Church, where he has held the office of leader, steward, Sunday School superintendent, and representative to District Synod; has served two terms as president of the Skipton Free Church Council and delegate to the National Council several times, and is a life member of the Executive Committee. He has been a Sunday School worker for 45 years, and at the present time is the president of the Skipton Sunday School Union.

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24 November 1916

COMMISSION FOR SKIPTON SOLDIER

Quartermaster-Sergeant W.H. Coles, of the Yorkshire Hussars, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Coles, stationmaster at Skipton, has been promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant, and is at present attached to the 4th Yorkshire Regiment, stationed at Catterick Bridge. Prior to the war Second Lieut. Coles was for some time attached to the 6th West Riding Regiment, later being transferred to the Yorkshire Hussars with which he was connected up to receiving his commission. He is 27 years of age, and was formerly employed by Messrs. Bradley and Jacques, chartered accountants, Keighley. Mr. Coles has two other sons serving, Sapper Arthur Coles, who is attached to the Royal Engineers, and Corporal Jack Coles, of the Yorkshire Hussars, who has been in France twenty-one months. Sapper Coles has also seen service in France, he being brought home ill some time ago, and spent seven weeks in hospital at Lincoln. He is at present in a convalescent camp in the South of England.

19 October 1917

COLES – Killed in action, Oct. 9th, Corporal Robert John (Jack) Coles, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, and formerly of the Bradford Squadron of the Yorkshire Hussars, youngest son of Mr. W. Coles, station-master, Skipton.

19 October 1917

SKIPTON STATIONMASTER’S SON KILLED

Corporal Robert John (Jack) Coles, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, third son of Mr. Wm. Coles, stationmaster, of Skipton, was killed in action on the 9th inst. Corporal Coles joined the Bradford Squadron of the Yorkshire Hussars five years ago last November, and was home in July last for his time-expired leave. On his returning to the front he was transferred to the West Yorkshire Regiment. He had been at the front about two and a half years. He was educated at the Keighley Trade and Grammar School, and later was employed as a clerk in the Midland Railway Goods Office at Keighley. He played football with the school team both as a scholar and as an old boy. Mr. and Mrs. Coles have two other sons serving, Lieut. Willie Coles, who is with the Yorkshire Regiment, and Sapper Arthur Coles who is attached to the Royal Engineers. In a letter to Corporal Coles’ parents, Capt. Foster writes:– “I am very sorry to inform you that Corporal Coles was killed on October 9th in the early hours of the morning. He should have taken part in the attack at dawn on the 9th, but was hit by a sniper through the lungs and died very soon afterwards. We have been transferred to the West Yorkshire Regiment, and we were at the reinforcement camp waiting to join the battalion when 50 volunteers were asked for to go up and make this attack. Corporal Coles with his usual keenness was one of the first to volunteer. I have known him ever since the beginning of the war. I can assure you that we shall all miss him very much. He never got very excited, but he always got things done. Please allow me to express my deepest sympathy on behalf of us all. We hope that it will be some consolation to know that he died for his country.” In a postscript he adds:– I have been speaking to Pte. Hutton, who saw your son just before he died. He said that he lived about half an hour after he was hit. He died in one of our advanced posts of the trenches on the battlefield.”

04 January 1918

SKIPTON STATION-MASTER LOSES ANOTHER SON

We regret to announce that Second- Lieutenant William H. Coles, of the Yorkshire Regiment, son of Mr. William Coles, station-master at Skipton, was killed in action on December 28th. Prior to the war Second-Lieutenant Coles was for some time attached to the West Riding Regiment, later being transferred to the Yorkshire Hussars, with which he was connected as Quartermaster-Sergeant up to receiving his commission. On Wednesday morning of Easter week Second-Lieutenant Coles was wounded in the left elbow, and was admitted to the first Northern General Hospital, Leicester. He was 28 years of age, and was formerly employed in the Midland Railway Goods Office at Bingley, and latterly by Messrs. Bradley and Jacques, chartered accountants, Keighley. Second-Lieut. Coles, who was educated at the Keighley Trade and Grammar School, was of a studious turn of mind, and but for his services being requisitioned for the war he would have sat for his final examination for the accountant profession in November, 1914. Mr. Coles lost another son, Corporal Jack Coles, in October last. There is still another son serving, Sapper Arthur Coles who is attached to the Royal Engineers, and is at present in Italy.

28 June 1918

CRAVEN AND THE WAR

Skipton Station Master’s Third War Bereavement

The sympathy of all Skipton people will go out to Mr. Wm. Coles, the Skipton station-master, in the great loss he has sustained by the death in action on the Italian front of another son, Sapper Arthur Coles, of the Royal Engineers. The distressing news was conveyed in a letter to the deceased soldier’s sister at Keighley from his commanding officer. Sapper Coles, who was 35 years of age, was a soldier prior to the war. He joined up at the outbreak of hostilities, and went out in November, 1914. Two other sons have previously fallen – Sec. Lieut. Wm. H. Coles, of the Yorkshire Regiment, who was killed in December, 1917, and Corpl. Jack Coles, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, who was killed on October 9th, 1917. Mr. Coles has another son serving in the navy.

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    One Response to Robert John COLES

    1. Felicity Sanderson October 9, 2017 at 10:30 am #

      Remembering Jack Coles on the one hundredth year anniversary of his death.
      We will remember you, Robert John Coles.

      Of the four sons of his father, William, three died in the Great War. Jack’s brother Charles survived, married and had two children and five grandchildren. Jack’s brother, William had a posthumous daughter, one grandson and three great grandsons.

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