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Thomas LANGMAN

Main CPGW Record

Surname: LANGMAN

Forename(s): Thomas

Place of Birth: Carlisle, Cumberland

Service No: 11274

Rank: Private

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

Battalion / Unit: 2nd Battalion

Division: 5th Division

Age: 23

Date of Death: 1915-05-05

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: 31.

CWGC Cemetery: RENINGHELST CHURCHYARD EXTENSION

CWGC Memorial: ---

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial: SKIPTON, YORKSHIRE

Additional Information:

Thomas Langman was the son of William Henry and Agnes Langman, née Wilson. William was born at Devonport, Devon and Agnes at Austwick, Yorkshire.

1901 Skipton, Yorkshire Census: 72, Broughton Road - Tom Langman, aged 6 years, born Carlisle, Cumberland, son of William H. and Agnes Langman.

1911 Skipton, Yorkshire Census: 72, Broughton Road - Tom Langman, aged 16 years, born Carlisle, Cumberland, son of William Henry and Agnes Langman.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte Thomas Langman, 11274, W. Rid. R. Theatre of War first served in: (1) France. Date of entry therein: 29.4.15. D. of W. 5.5.15.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte Thomas Langman, 11274, 2nd W. Rid. R. K. in A. 5.5.15.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte Thomas Langman, 11274, 2nd Bn W. Riding Regt. Date and Place of Death: 5.5.15. Gas poison. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Mother and Sole Legatee - Agnes. £8 5s. 1d.

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:

LANGMAN, Tom, 2nd Battalion Duke of Wellington’s, 72, Broughton Road, [Skipton], gassed in France and died May 5, 1915.

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Private Thomas LANGMAN

Private Thomas LANGMAN

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: 5th Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 5th Division

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

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: LANGMAN

Forename(s): Thomas

Born: Carlisle

Residence:

Enlisted: Skipton, Yorks

Number: 11274

Rank: Private

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

Battalion: 2nd Battalion

Decorations:

Died Date: 05/05/15

Died How: Died of wounds

Theatre of War: France & Flanders

Notes:

Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: LANGMAN

Forename(s): T

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 11274

Rank: Private

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

Unit: 2nd Bn.

Age:

Awards:

Died Date: 05/05/1915

Additional Information:

View Additional Text

View Additional Text For Soldier Records

Private Tom Langman (Courtesy of the family of Thomas Langman)

Tom Langman – 11274 2nd Batallion, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment

Died 5th May 1915 of gas poisoning.

Buried at Reninghelst Churchyard Overflow Cemetry, grave 31.

Tom was a regular soldier, the son of a Railway Guard and a Mill Hand. He lived at 72 Broughton Road.
His movements in 1914-1915 were as follows:–

August 1914 Malta
14th September 1914 to England on SS 'Galicia'
25th September 1914 arrive Southampton and to Hursley Park, Winchester to join 23rd Brigade, 8th Division.
4th November 1914 to France
5th November 1914 arrive Le Havre
11th November 1914 to Neuve Eglise
13th November 1914 Messines Ridge
14th November 1914 3 wounded
18th November 1914 Neuve Eglise, 3 days in trenches, 3 days billets
December 1914 Neuve Chapelle, Red Barn billets, Estares-La Bassee
18th December 1914 Attack Moated Grange
19th December 1914 German counter attack, Major Cooper-King, Lt. Shaw and 2 other officers killed. 120 other ranks killed / wounded.
25th December 1914 return to front line at La Flinque. No shots fired.
29th December 1914 first bath at La Gorgue
1915 In the Hooge area

2/Dukes then were involved in the bitter fighting around Hill 60.
17th April 1915 Took part in attack on Hill 60, which was taken after 3 mines were exploded beneath the German trenches at 7pm on the 17th.

The following is taken from a report bt Lt. CWG Ince, the adjutant at the time, which was first printed in the Times as Eye-Witness at Headquarters in France in April 1915:–

At the time the mines were fired, the 2nd Battalion was in its billets in the town. Some of us were enjoying a well-earned and excellent dinner cooked by our soldier staff. It was not long before we received orders to move up in support of the units of the 13th and 15th Brigades on Hill 60.

At 3 am on April 18th A Company was ordered up into the line and at 6 am the remainder of the battalion moved up in relief of 1/RWK and 2/KOSB, taking over the trenches these regiments had captured the previous evening. A Company were already in the advanced craters.

Poor old A Company in its advanced position suffered badly owing to the close proximity of the enemy. The latter, as already stated, had regained ground during the night prior to the Battalion taking over the hill. A Company was heavily bombed with hand grenades and early in the day had severe casualties, which included its commander, Captain RC Milbank, who was badly wounded, subsequently dying of his wounds. Things got hotter and hotter. Just before noon the Commanding Officer, together with his adjutant and a couple of orderlies, visited these advanced trenches. This was a most precarious journey, as the very shallow communication trench leading to them was almost blocked with dead and wounded. None of this small party was hit, however, either going or coming back, although at times in full view of the enemy.

On his return, about noon, Lt-Colonel Turner ordered B Company augmented by one platoon each of C and D companies, to reinforce A Company, which for many hours had grimly held its ground until nearly wiped out. It was while taking his men up to the craters that Captain Thomas Ellis was killed.

About 4.30 p.m. an order was received from Brigade Headquarters that the battalion was to attack and dislodge the Germans from that portion of the Hill that they had regained during their counter-attacks made the previous night. Lt-Colonel Taylor at once issued orders for the remainder of the Battalion to move up into the craters in readiness, whilst 2/KOYLI occupied the trenches they vacated in readiness, and joined in to support the attack as a second wave.

B Company was given the right section of the attack, C the centre and D the left section, whilst A company, which had suffered so heavily during the day, was held in reserve. Battalion Headquarters was in the centre crater.

Under supporting artillery fire, with bayonets fixed, at 6 p.m. the Battalion went over the top, B Company reached their objective without much difficulty. C Company had to charge over open ground and suffered very heavily, Captain Barton and a few men only reaching their objective. They, however, captured the trenches allotted to them, killing and capturing a number of the enemy.

D Company had some distance to charge over open ground and lost all their officers at the start, four being killed and two wounded. Ably supported by 2/KOYLI this company nevertheless captured the German trenches allotted as its objective. Not an inch of ground was lost.

Dusk was now rapidly approaching, and under cover of darkness, the trenches won were consolidated, the German communication trenches blocked and new communication trenches to our reserves dug.

It was while superintending the attack, accompanied by the adjutant, they Lt-Colonel Turner was unluckily hit first in the right leg and quarter of an hour later in the other leg, thus becoming a casualty.

Beyond some unsuccessful grenade throwing, sniping and heavy shelling, no counter-attack was made that night by the Germans on the captured trenches.

The attack and defence of Hill 60, a mere episode in the British operations, and a very minor occurrence on the whole of the front held by the Allies, will nevertheless go down in history as amongst the finest exploits performed by British troops during the war. Officers who experienced the bombardment prior to the attack of the Prussian Guard on November 11th, and also underwent that directed on Hill 60 state, indeed, that the latter was by far the worse of the two.

What our troops withstood can to some degree be realised if it be remembered that the space fought over on the four and a half days between April 17th and 21st was only 250 yards in length, about 200 yards in depth. On to that small area the enemy for hours on end hurled tons of metal and high explosive, and at times the hill top was wreathed in poisonous fumes. And yet our gallant infantry did not give way. They stood firm under a fire which swept away whole sections at a time, filled the trenches with dead bodies, and so cumbered the approaches to the front line that reinforcements could not reach it without having to climb over the prostrate bodies of their former comrades.
In these circumstances the losses have naturally been very heavy. Nevertheless, they have not depressed the men, who are all, including the wounded, extremely cheerful, for they know that the fight for Hill 60 has cost the Germans far more than it has us.

The battalion had suffered 15 officer casualties (7 dead), 406 other ranks (29 dead, 43 missing believed dead)

After the battering the battalion suffered at the time of the capture of Hill 60 it had some time to recover, included in this process was the arrival of drafts of some 350 other ranks and 15 officers by 24th April; on 1st May several more officers joined, and a draft of 230 arrived on 2nd May. In the intervening time the battalion had also been involved though usually only in support or in reserve, against the German attack to the north of Ypres.

On 4th May 2/Duke’s relieved the Devons in trenches 38, 39, 40, 42, 43 and 45, completing this operation by 3.30 a.m. on the 5th. At 8.45 a.m. the Germans released gas against part of the line held by 2/Dukes. The men were dog tired after a restless night and particularly heavy fighting over the preceding three weeks, and most were asleep in their trenches with the exception of the sentries. Only one of these saw the gas coming, and he promptly gave the alarm.

The Regimental history states :-
Before anything could be done, all those occupying the front line over which it swept were completely overcome, the majority dying at their posts, true heroes. By this foul means the Germans quickly got possession of trenches 40, 43 and 45, there being practically no one left to hold them.

Tom managed to crawl away, and died in agony later on from the effects of the gas.

Private Tom Langman by Jon Blythe

TOM LANGMAN

Died 5th May 1915 of gas poisoning.
Buried at Reninghelst Churchyard Overflow Cemetry, grave 31.

Tom was one of the first to sign up as a soldier on 22nd August 1914, his father was a Guard on the Midland Railway based at Skipton in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He lived at 72 Broughton Road. He’s my Great Uncle.

2/Dukes were a regular regiment, but by April 1915 it was seriously below strength and the first of Kitchener’s army of volunteers were drafted in. Some, like Tom did not last very long at the front (arrived in France on 1st May, dead on the 5th, only spending some 5 hours in the front line).

Extracts from press cuttings:-
West Yorkshire Pioneer 28 May 1915
Private Langman enlisted in Kitchener's Army on August 22nd last. He was sent for training to Grantham in the 8th Battalion West Riding Regiment, and after a course of training there, and owing to his skill as a marksman, he was drafted into the 3rd Battalion, and sent to Newcastle, where he was trained for the work of a sniper. He was then drafted into the 2nd Battalion, and sent across to France, where he arrived on May 1st. His mother received from him a letter dated May 2nd, stating that he had arrived safely, and was quite well and happy. He was writing his letter in the tent of the Y.M.C.A., and his comrades were singing around him. They received a post-card later from the base stating that he was still all right. No further news was received until Sunday morning last, when they received the sad news given above from the Record Office at York. The sympathy of the public will be extended to the family in their sad bereavement.

Craven Herald 28 May 1915
Prior to the war, Pte. Langman, who was 23 years of age and single, was employed by Mr. A. Green, timber merchant. He joined Kitchener's Army in August, and since that time had been in training, principally at Newcastle. He had only been at the front three weeks. Pte. Langman was a well-known and very popular young fellow, and news of his untimely end will be received with general regret.

The movements of 2nd Dukes in 1914-1915 were as follows:-
(Source – Duke’s Regimental History, various books and articles)
August 1914 Malta
14th September 1914 to England on SS 'Galicia'
25th September 1914 arrive Southampton and to Hursley Park, Winchester to join 23rd Brigade, 8th Division.
4th November 1914 to France
5th November 1914 arrive Le Havre
11th November 1914 to Neuve Eglise
13th November 1914 Messines Ridge
14th November 1914 3 wounded
18th November 1914 Neuve Eglise, 3 days in trenches, 3 days billets
December 1914 Neuve Chapelle, Red Barn billets, Estares-La Bassee
18th December 1914 Attack Moated Grange
19th December 1914 German counter attack, Major Cooper-King, Lt. Shaw and 2 other officers killed. 120 other ranks killed / wounded.
25th December 1914 return to front line at La Flinque. No shots fired.
29th December 1914 first bath at La Gorgue
1915 In the Hooge area
2/Dukes then were involved in the bitter fighting around Hill 60.
17th April 1915 Took part in attack on Hill 60, which was taken after 3 mines were exploded beneath the German trenches at 7pm on the 17th.
The following is taken from a report by Lt. CWG Ince, the adjutant at the time, which was first printed in the Times as Eye-Witness at Headquarters in France in April 1915:-
At the time the mines were fired, the 2nd Battalion was in its billets in the town. Some of us were enjoying a well-earned and excellent dinner cooked by our soldier staff. It was not long before we received orders to move up in support of the units of the 13th and 15th Brigades on Hill 60.
At 3 am on April 18th A Company was ordered up into the line and at 6 am the remainder of the battalion moved up in relief of 1/RWK and 2/KOSB, taking over the trenches these regiments had captured the previous evening. A Company were already in the advanced craters.
Poor old A Company in its advanced position suffered badly owing to the close proximity of the enemy. The latter, as already stated, had regained ground during the night prior to the Battalion taking over the hill. A Company was heavily bombed with hand grenades and early in the day had severe casualties, which included its commander, Captain RC Milbank, who was badly wounded, subsequently dying of his wounds. Things got hotter and hotter. Just before noon the Commanding Officer, together with his adjutant and a couple of orderlies, visited these advanced trenches. This was a most precarious journey, as the very shallow communication trench leading to them was almost blocked with dead and wounded. None of this small party was hit, however, either going or coming back, although at times in full view of the enemy.
On his return, about noon, Lt-Colonel Turner ordered B Company augmented by one platoon each of C and D companies, to reinforce A Company, which for many hours had grimly held its ground until nearly wiped out. It was while taking his men up to the craters that Captain Thomas Ellis was killed.
About 4.30 p.m. an order was received from Brigade Headquarters that the battalion was to attack and dislodge the Germans from that portion of the Hill that they had regained during their counter-attacks made the previous night. Lt-Colonel Taylor at once issued orders for the remainder of the Battalion to move up into the craters in readiness, whilst 2/KOYLI occupied the trenches they vacated in readiness, and joined in to support the attack as a second wave.
B Company was given the right section of the attack, C the centre and D the left section, whilst A company, which had suffered so heavily during the day, was held in reserve. Battalion Headquarters was in the centre crater.
Under supporting artillery fire, with bayonets fixed, at 6 p.m. the Battalion went over the top, B Company reached their objective without much difficulty. C Company had to charge over open ground and suffered very heavily, Captain Barton and a few men only reaching their objective. They, however, captured the trenches allotted to them, killing and capturing a number of the enemy.
D Company had some distance to charge over open ground and lost all their officers at the start, four being killed and two wounded. Ably supported by 2/KOYLI this company nevertheless captured the German trenches allotted as its objective. Not an inch of ground was lost.
Dusk was now rapidly approaching, and under cover of darkness, the trenches won were consolidated, the German communication trenches blocked and new communication trenches to our reserves dug.
It was while superintending the attack, accompanied by the adjutant, they Lt-Colonel Turner was unluckily hit first in the right leg and quarter of an hour later in the other leg, thus becoming a casualty.
Beyond some unsuccessful grenade throwing, sniping and heavy shelling, no counter-attack was made that night by the Germans on the captured trenches.
The attack and defence of Hill 60, a mere episode in the British operations, and a very minor occurrence on the whole of the front held by the Allies, will nevertheless go down in history as amongst the finest exploits performed by British troops during the war. Officers who experienced the bombardment prior to the attack of the Prussian Guard on November 11th, and also underwent that directed on Hill 60 state, indeed, that the latter was by far the worse of the two.
What our troops withstood can to some degree be realised if it be remembered that the space fought over on the four and a half days between April 17th and 21st was only 250 yards in length, about 200 yards in depth. On to that small area the enemy for hours on end hurled tons of metal and high explosive, and at times the hill top was wreathed in poisonous fumes. And yet our gallant infantry did not give way. They stood firm under a fire which swept away whole sections at a time, filled the trenches with dead bodies, and so cumbered the approaches to the front line that reinforcements could not reach it without having to climb over the prostrate bodies of their former comrades.
In these circumstances the losses have naturally been very heavy. Nevertheless, they have not depressed the men, who are all, including the wounded, extremely cheerful, for they know that the fight for Hill 60 has cost the Germans far more than it has us.
The battalion had suffered 15 officer casualties (7 dead), 406 other ranks (29 dead, 43 missing believed dead)
After the battering the battalion suffered at the time of the capture of Hill 60 it had some time to recover, included in this process was the arrival of drafts of some 350 other ranks and 15 officers by 24th April; on 1st May several more officers joined, and a draft of 230 arrived on 2nd May, Tom being part of this draft. In the intervening time the battalion had also been involved though usually only in support or in reserve, against the German attack to the north of Ypres.
On 4th May 2/Dukes relieved the Devons in trenches 38, 39, 40, 42, 43 and 45, completing this operation by 3.30 a.m. on the 5th. At 8.45 a.m. the Germans released gas against part of the line held by 2/Dukes. The men were dog tired after a restless night and particularly heavy fighting over the preceding three weeks, and most were asleep in their trenches with the exception of the sentries. Only one of these saw the gas coming, and he promptly gave the alarm.
The Regimental history states :-
Before anything could be done, all those occupying the front line over which it swept were completely overcome, the majority dying at their posts, true heroes. By this foul means the Germans quickly got possession of trenches 40, 43 and 45, there being practically no one left to hold them.

Hill 60 is now a stopping off point for battlefield tours, with some new paths made for easier access. There is a cafe nearby, which is more or less where the trenches were situated in which Tom and many others met their end. I visited Hill 60 at 08:45 on 5th May 2015 to pay my respects.

Tom was one of the first to sign up as a soldier on 22nd August 1914, his father was a Guard on the Midland Railway based at Skipton in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He lived at 72 Broughton Road. He’s my Great Uncle.

2/Dukes were a regular regiment, but by April 1915 it was seriously below strength and the first of Kitchener’s army of volunteers were drafted in. Some, like Tom did not last very long at the front (arrived in France on 1st May, dead on the 5th, only spending some 5 hours in the front line).

Extracts from press cuttings:-
West Yorkshire Pioneer 28 May 1915
Private Langman enlisted in Kitchener's Army on August 22nd last. He was sent for training to Grantham in the 8th Battalion West Riding Regiment, and after a course of training there, and owing to his skill as a marksman, he was drafted into the 3rd Battalion, and sent to Newcastle, where he was trained for the work of a sniper. He was then drafted into the 2nd Battalion, and sent across to France, where he arrived on May 1st. His mother received from him a letter dated May 2nd, stating that he had arrived safely, and was quite well and happy. He was writing his letter in the tent of the Y.M.C.A., and his comrades were singing around him. They received a post-card later from the base stating that he was still all right. No further news was received until Sunday morning last, when they received the sad news given above from the Record Office at York. The sympathy of the public will be extended to the family in their sad bereavement.

Craven Herald 28 May 1915
Prior to the war, Pte. Langman, who was 23 years of age and single, was employed by Mr. A. Green, timber merchant. He joined Kitchener's Army in August, and since that time had been in training, principally at Newcastle. He had only been at the front three weeks. Pte. Langman was a well-known and very popular young fellow, and news of his untimely end will be received with general regret.

The movements of 2nd Dukes in 1914-1915 were as follows:-
(Source – Duke’s Regimental History, various books and articles)
August 1914 Malta
14th September 1914 to England on SS 'Galicia'
25th September 1914 arrive Southampton and to Hursley Park, Winchester to join 23rd Brigade, 8th Division.
4th November 1914 to France
5th November 1914 arrive Le Havre
11th November 1914 to Neuve Eglise
13th November 1914 Messines Ridge
14th November 1914 3 wounded
18th November 1914 Neuve Eglise, 3 days in trenches, 3 days billets
December 1914 Neuve Chapelle, Red Barn billets, Estares-La Bassee
18th December 1914 Attack Moated Grange
19th December 1914 German counter attack, Major Cooper-King, Lt. Shaw and 2 other officers killed. 120 other ranks killed / wounded.
25th December 1914 return to front line at La Flinque. No shots fired.
29th December 1914 first bath at La Gorgue
1915 In the Hooge area
2/Dukes then were involved in the bitter fighting around Hill 60.
17th April 1915 Took part in attack on Hill 60, which was taken after 3 mines were exploded beneath the German trenches at 7pm on the 17th.
The following is taken from a report by Lt. CWG Ince, the adjutant at the time, which was first printed in the Times as Eye-Witness at Headquarters in France in April 1915:-
At the time the mines were fired, the 2nd Battalion was in its billets in the town. Some of us were enjoying a well-earned and excellent dinner cooked by our soldier staff. It was not long before we received orders to move up in support of the units of the 13th and 15th Brigades on Hill 60.
At 3 am on April 18th A Company was ordered up into the line and at 6 am the remainder of the battalion moved up in relief of 1/RWK and 2/KOSB, taking over the trenches these regiments had captured the previous evening. A Company were already in the advanced craters.
Poor old A Company in its advanced position suffered badly owing to the close proximity of the enemy. The latter, as already stated, had regained ground during the night prior to the Battalion taking over the hill. A Company was heavily bombed with hand grenades and early in the day had severe casualties, which included its commander, Captain RC Milbank, who was badly wounded, subsequently dying of his wounds. Things got hotter and hotter. Just before noon the Commanding Officer, together with his adjutant and a couple of orderlies, visited these advanced trenches. This was a most precarious journey, as the very shallow communication trench leading to them was almost blocked with dead and wounded. None of this small party was hit, however, either going or coming back, although at times in full view of the enemy.
On his return, about noon, Lt-Colonel Turner ordered B Company augmented by one platoon each of C and D companies, to reinforce A Company, which for many hours had grimly held its ground until nearly wiped out. It was while taking his men up to the craters that Captain Thomas Ellis was killed.
About 4.30 p.m. an order was received from Brigade Headquarters that the battalion was to attack and dislodge the Germans from that portion of the Hill that they had regained during their counter-attacks made the previous night. Lt-Colonel Taylor at once issued orders for the remainder of the Battalion to move up into the craters in readiness, whilst 2/KOYLI occupied the trenches they vacated in readiness, and joined in to support the attack as a second wave.
B Company was given the right section of the attack, C the centre and D the left section, whilst A company, which had suffered so heavily during the day, was held in reserve. Battalion Headquarters was in the centre crater.
Under supporting artillery fire, with bayonets fixed, at 6 p.m. the Battalion went over the top, B Company reached their objective without much difficulty. C Company had to charge over open ground and suffered very heavily, Captain Barton and a few men only reaching their objective. They, however, captured the trenches allotted to them, killing and capturing a number of the enemy.
D Company had some distance to charge over open ground and lost all their officers at the start, four being killed and two wounded. Ably supported by 2/KOYLI this company nevertheless captured the German trenches allotted as its objective. Not an inch of ground was lost.
Dusk was now rapidly approaching, and under cover of darkness, the trenches won were consolidated, the German communication trenches blocked and new communication trenches to our reserves dug.
It was while superintending the attack, accompanied by the adjutant, they Lt-Colonel Turner was unluckily hit first in the right leg and quarter of an hour later in the other leg, thus becoming a casualty.
Beyond some unsuccessful grenade throwing, sniping and heavy shelling, no counter-attack was made that night by the Germans on the captured trenches.
The attack and defence of Hill 60, a mere episode in the British operations, and a very minor occurrence on the whole of the front held by the Allies, will nevertheless go down in history as amongst the finest exploits performed by British troops during the war. Officers who experienced the bombardment prior to the attack of the Prussian Guard on November 11th, and also underwent that directed on Hill 60 state, indeed, that the latter was by far the worse of the two.
What our troops withstood can to some degree be realised if it be remembered that the space fought over on the four and a half days between April 17th and 21st was only 250 yards in length, about 200 yards in depth. On to that small area the enemy for hours on end hurled tons of metal and high explosive, and at times the hill top was wreathed in poisonous fumes. And yet our gallant infantry did not give way. They stood firm under a fire which swept away whole sections at a time, filled the trenches with dead bodies, and so cumbered the approaches to the front line that reinforcements could not reach it without having to climb over the prostrate bodies of their former comrades.
In these circumstances the losses have naturally been very heavy. Nevertheless, they have not depressed the men, who are all, including the wounded, extremely cheerful, for they know that the fight for Hill 60 has cost the Germans far more than it has us.
The battalion had suffered 15 officer casualties (7 dead), 406 other ranks (29 dead, 43 missing believed dead)
After the battering the battalion suffered at the time of the capture of Hill 60 it had some time to recover, included in this process was the arrival of drafts of some 350 other ranks and 15 officers by 24th April; on 1st May several more officers joined, and a draft of 230 arrived on 2nd May, Tom being part of this draft. In the intervening time the battalion had also been involved though usually only in support or in reserve, against the German attack to the north of Ypres.
On 4th May 2/Dukes relieved the Devons in trenches 38, 39, 40, 42, 43 and 45, completing this operation by 3.30 a.m. on the 5th. At 8.45 a.m. the Germans released gas against part of the line held by 2/Dukes. The men were dog tired after a restless night and particularly heavy fighting over the preceding three weeks, and most were asleep in their trenches with the exception of the sentries. Only one of these saw the gas coming, and he promptly gave the alarm.
The Regimental history states :-
Before anything could be done, all those occupying the front line over which it swept were completely overcome, the majority dying at their posts, true heroes. By this foul means the Germans quickly got possession of trenches 40, 43 and 45, there being practically no one left to hold them.

Hill 60 is now a stopping off point for battlefield tours, with some new paths made for easier access. There is a cafe nearby, which is more or less where the trenches were situated in which Tom and many others met their end. I visited Hill 60 at 08:45 on 5th May 2015 to pay my respects.

Tom was one of the first to sign up as a soldier on 22nd August 1914, his father was a Guard on the Midland Railway based at Skipton in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He lived at 72 Broughton Road. He’s my Great Uncle.

2/Dukes were a regular regiment, but by April 1915 it was seriously below strength and the first of Kitchener’s army of volunteers were drafted in. Some, like Tom did not last very long at the front (arrived in France on 1st May, dead on the 5th, only spending some 5 hours in the front line).

Extracts from press cuttings:-
West Yorkshire Pioneer 28 May 1915
Private Langman enlisted in Kitchener's Army on August 22nd last. He was sent for training to Grantham in the 8th Battalion West Riding Regiment, and after a course of training there, and owing to his skill as a marksman, he was drafted into the 3rd Battalion, and sent to Newcastle, where he was trained for the work of a sniper. He was then drafted into the 2nd Battalion, and sent across to France, where he arrived on May 1st. His mother received from him a letter dated May 2nd, stating that he had arrived safely, and was quite well and happy. He was writing his letter in the tent of the Y.M.C.A., and his comrades were singing around him. They received a post-card later from the base stating that he was still all right. No further news was received until Sunday morning last, when they received the sad news given above from the Record Office at York. The sympathy of the public will be extended to the family in their sad bereavement.

Craven Herald 28 May 1915
Prior to the war, Pte. Langman, who was 23 years of age and single, was employed by Mr. A. Green, timber merchant. He joined Kitchener's Army in August, and since that time had been in training, principally at Newcastle. He had only been at the front three weeks. Pte. Langman was a well-known and very popular young fellow, and news of his untimely end will be received with general regret.

The movements of 2nd Dukes in 1914-1915 were as follows:-
(Source – Duke’s Regimental History, various books and articles)
August 1914 Malta
14th September 1914 to England on SS 'Galicia'
25th September 1914 arrive Southampton and to Hursley Park, Winchester to join 23rd Brigade, 8th Division.
4th November 1914 to France
5th November 1914 arrive Le Havre
11th November 1914 to Neuve Eglise
13th November 1914 Messines Ridge
14th November 1914 3 wounded
18th November 1914 Neuve Eglise, 3 days in trenches, 3 days billets
December 1914 Neuve Chapelle, Red Barn billets, Estares-La Bassee
18th December 1914 Attack Moated Grange
19th December 1914 German counter attack, Major Cooper-King, Lt. Shaw and 2 other officers killed. 120 other ranks killed / wounded.
25th December 1914 return to front line at La Flinque. No shots fired.
29th December 1914 first bath at La Gorgue
1915 In the Hooge area
2/Dukes then were involved in the bitter fighting around Hill 60.
17th April 1915 Took part in attack on Hill 60, which was taken after 3 mines were exploded beneath the German trenches at 7pm on the 17th.
The following is taken from a report by Lt. CWG Ince, the adjutant at the time, which was first printed in the Times as Eye-Witness at Headquarters in France in April 1915:-
At the time the mines were fired, the 2nd Battalion was in its billets in the town. Some of us were enjoying a well-earned and excellent dinner cooked by our soldier staff. It was not long before we received orders to move up in support of the units of the 13th and 15th Brigades on Hill 60.
At 3 am on April 18th A Company was ordered up into the line and at 6 am the remainder of the battalion moved up in relief of 1/RWK and 2/KOSB, taking over the trenches these regiments had captured the previous evening. A Company were already in the advanced craters.
Poor old A Company in its advanced position suffered badly owing to the close proximity of the enemy. The latter, as already stated, had regained ground during the night prior to the Battalion taking over the hill. A Company was heavily bombed with hand grenades and early in the day had severe casualties, which included its commander, Captain RC Milbank, who was badly wounded, subsequently dying of his wounds. Things got hotter and hotter. Just before noon the Commanding Officer, together with his adjutant and a couple of orderlies, visited these advanced trenches. This was a most precarious journey, as the very shallow communication trench leading to them was almost blocked with dead and wounded. None of this small party was hit, however, either going or coming back, although at times in full view of the enemy.
On his return, about noon, Lt-Colonel Turner ordered B Company augmented by one platoon each of C and D companies, to reinforce A Company, which for many hours had grimly held its ground until nearly wiped out. It was while taking his men up to the craters that Captain Thomas Ellis was killed.
About 4.30 p.m. an order was received from Brigade Headquarters that the battalion was to attack and dislodge the Germans from that portion of the Hill that they had regained during their counter-attacks made the previous night. Lt-Colonel Taylor at once issued orders for the remainder of the Battalion to move up into the craters in readiness, whilst 2/KOYLI occupied the trenches they vacated in readiness, and joined in to support the attack as a second wave.
B Company was given the right section of the attack, C the centre and D the left section, whilst A company, which had suffered so heavily during the day, was held in reserve. Battalion Headquarters was in the centre crater.
Under supporting artillery fire, with bayonets fixed, at 6 p.m. the Battalion went over the top, B Company reached their objective without much difficulty. C Company had to charge over open ground and suffered very heavily, Captain Barton and a few men only reaching their objective. They, however, captured the trenches allotted to them, killing and capturing a number of the enemy.
D Company had some distance to charge over open ground and lost all their officers at the start, four being killed and two wounded. Ably supported by 2/KOYLI this company nevertheless captured the German trenches allotted as its objective. Not an inch of ground was lost.
Dusk was now rapidly approaching, and under cover of darkness, the trenches won were consolidated, the German communication trenches blocked and new communication trenches to our reserves dug.
It was while superintending the attack, accompanied by the adjutant, they Lt-Colonel Turner was unluckily hit first in the right leg and quarter of an hour later in the other leg, thus becoming a casualty.
Beyond some unsuccessful grenade throwing, sniping and heavy shelling, no counter-attack was made that night by the Germans on the captured trenches.
The attack and defence of Hill 60, a mere episode in the British operations, and a very minor occurrence on the whole of the front held by the Allies, will nevertheless go down in history as amongst the finest exploits performed by British troops during the war. Officers who experienced the bombardment prior to the attack of the Prussian Guard on November 11th, and also underwent that directed on Hill 60 state, indeed, that the latter was by far the worse of the two.
What our troops withstood can to some degree be realised if it be remembered that the space fought over on the four and a half days between April 17th and 21st was only 250 yards in length, about 200 yards in depth. On to that small area the enemy for hours on end hurled tons of metal and high explosive, and at times the hill top was wreathed in poisonous fumes. And yet our gallant infantry did not give way. They stood firm under a fire which swept away whole sections at a time, filled the trenches with dead bodies, and so cumbered the approaches to the front line that reinforcements could not reach it without having to climb over the prostrate bodies of their former comrades.
In these circumstances the losses have naturally been very heavy. Nevertheless, they have not depressed the men, who are all, including the wounded, extremely cheerful, for they know that the fight for Hill 60 has cost the Germans far more than it has us.
The battalion had suffered 15 officer casualties (7 dead), 406 other ranks (29 dead, 43 missing believed dead)
After the battering the battalion suffered at the time of the capture of Hill 60 it had some time to recover, included in this process was the arrival of drafts of some 350 other ranks and 15 officers by 24th April; on 1st May several more officers joined, and a draft of 230 arrived on 2nd May, Tom being part of this draft. In the intervening time the battalion had also been involved though usually only in support or in reserve, against the German attack to the north of Ypres.
On 4th May 2/Dukes relieved the Devons in trenches 38, 39, 40, 42, 43 and 45, completing this operation by 3.30 a.m. on the 5th. At 8.45 a.m. the Germans released gas against part of the line held by 2/Dukes. The men were dog tired after a restless night and particularly heavy fighting over the preceding three weeks, and most were asleep in their trenches with the exception of the sentries. Only one of these saw the gas coming, and he promptly gave the alarm.
The Regimental history states :-
Before anything could be done, all those occupying the front line over which it swept were completely overcome, the majority dying at their posts, true heroes. By this foul means the Germans quickly got possession of trenches 40, 43 and 45, there being practically no one left to hold them.

Hill 60 is now a stopping off point for battlefield tours, with some new paths made for easier access. There is a café nearby, which is more or less where the trenches were situated in which Tom and many others met their end. I visited Hill 60 at 08:45 on 5th May 2015 to pay my respects.

Jon Blythe

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Thomas Langman

Reninghelst Churchyard Extension

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Courtesy of the family of Thomas Langman

Hill 60 - where Private Thomas Langman died on 5th May 1915

Hill 60 - where Private Thomas Langman died on 5th May 1915

Courtesy of the family of Thomas Langman

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28 May 1915

LANGMAN – Died in France, as a result of German gas-poisoning, Private T. Langman, Broughton Road, Skipton, of the 3rd Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment, aged 23 years.

28 May 1915

SKIPTON SOLDIER GAS POISONED – Pte. T. LANGMAN

Another name must be added to Skipton’s roll of honour-that of Private T. Langman, of the 3rd Battalion Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment. Last week-end the parents of Pte. Langman, who reside in Broughton Road, Skipton, were officially informed that their son had died in France as the result of gas-poisoning.

Prior to the war, Pte. Langman, who was 23 years of age and single, was employed by Mr. A. Green, timber merchant. He joined Kitchener's Army in August, and since that time had been in training, principally at Newcastle. He had only been at the front three weeks. Pte. Langman was a well-known and very popular young fellow, and news of his untimely end will be received with general regret.

05 May 1916

LANGMAN – In loving memory of our dear son, Pte. Tom Langman, 2nd Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, who died of gas poisoning at Hill 60, May 5th 1915. From Father and Mother.

26 October 1917

IN MEMORIAM – BROUGHAM STREET SCHOOL HEROES

At the Congregational Church, Skipton, on Tuesday evening, an impressive musical service was held in memory of the teachers and old scholars of the Brougham Street Council School who have fallen in the first three years of the war. Particulars of the deaths of these brave lads have appeared in our columns from time to time, and their names are as follows:– Willie Barraclough, C.D. Bennett (teacher), Arthur Bruce, Sam Cairns, Cyril Calvert, Ennie Clarke, Tom Clarke, Harry Ingham, Tom Langman, Reggie Pollard, Lewis Sedgwick, Joe Stewart, Harry Tindall (teacher), and J.W. Varley.

There was a large and sympathetic congregation, including relatives of those in whose honour the service was held. Conducted jointly by the Rev. L.H. Gaunt and Mr. A. Townsend (headmaster of the school), the service, in addition to special prayers, hymns, collects, &c., comprised anthems by the Brougham Street School Old Scholars’ Choir (under the direction of Mr. Townsend), solos by Miss D. Wear and Mr. Clifford Townsend, and an address by Mr. Gaunt.

In a few introductory remarks Mr. Townsend explained the object of the service, which he said was one of praise rather than of sorrow for the splendour of the lives that had been laid down. – The anthems were ‘O God, protect with Thy strong hand’ (Greig), ‘Rest for the Weary’ (Gounod), ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ (Smart), and ‘Peace to the Souls of the Heroes’ (Callcott), and in all these and in Nicholson’s setting of the ‘Magnificat’ the girls’ voices blended with pleasing effect, the singing being marked by a very fine tone and clear enunciation, showing evidence of careful training. Miss D. Wear sang most acceptably the exacting solo ‘I know that my Redeemer’ (Handel) and Mr. Clifford Townsend gave a meritorious interpretation of ‘The trumpet shall sound’ (Handel). In addition to playing the organ accompaniments with the customary taste and efficiency, Mr. W.H. Green contributed as a solo the ‘Hallelujah Chorus.’

In his address the Rev. L.H. Gaunt expressed his pleasure that the Congregational Church should have been used for a service of that kind and said he would rejoice if it could be used more frequently for public gatherings in which not only comparatively small circle of their own congregation might join, but in which the whole town might feel that it had some part. He also expressed his agreement with what Mr. Townsend had said as to the view they ought to take of the death of their boys, and said he felt that the Bishop of London – despite the fact that he had been taken to task for his expression of opinion – was right when he said that they ought not to think of the death of their boys as sheer calamity and overwhelming sorrow. They ought to think of them as having made a sacrifice bravely and heroically at the call of their country and for humanity, and those who were left behind to cherish their memory would honour them best by thinking of that sacrifice as a victory and not as a disaster; and their remembrance of them should come as a call to follow their example, to live so that they would be worthy of the sacrifice of their loved ones, and to bring to their lives into harmony with the great high note that they had struck in their sacrifice. They thanked God for what their boys had done and suffered, and most of all for what they had been and were now, and to ask His grace to follow in their train.

A collection was taken on behalf of the proposed new memorial of the Brougham Street School, which will probably take the form of a scholarship fund.

07 May 1920

LANGMAN – In loving memory of my dear brother, Pte. Tom Langman, who died from gas poisoning at Hill 60, May 5th, 1915.

Time does not change our thoughts of him,
Love and dear memories linger still.

From Annie and Will, Margate.

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28 May 1915

A SKIPTON SOLDIER “GASSED” – Private Tom Langman

Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Langman, of 72, Broughton Road, Skipton, have received a letter from the Record Office at York stating that their son, Private Tom Langman, had died on May 5th, from gas poisoning, at “some place unknown.”

Private Langman enlisted in Kitchener’s Army on August 22nd last. He was sent for training to Grantham in the 8th Battalion West Riding Regiment, and after a course of training there, and owing to his skill as a marksman, he was drafted into the 3rd Battalion, and sent to Newcastle, where he was trained for the work of a sniper. He was then drafted into the 2nd Battalion, and sent across to France, where he arrived on May 1st. His mother received from him a letter dated May 2nd, stating that he had arrived safely, and was quite well and happy. He was writing his letter in the tent of the Y.M.C.A., and his comrades were singing around him. They received a post-card later from the base stating that he was still all right. No further news was received until Sunday morning last, when they received the sad news given above from the Record Office at York. The sympathy of the public will be extended to the family in their sad bereavement.

24 December 1915

CRAVEN’S ROLL OF HONOUR – SKIPTON

Pte. Thomas Langman, 2nd Battalion West Riding Regiment, ‘gassed’ in France and died on May 5th. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Langman of 72 Broughton Road, Skipton.

07 January 1916

MILITARY WEDDING

A quiet wedding took place at St. Stephen’s Church, Skipton, on Monday, the contracting parties being Sergeant-Major Regan 3/6th Duke of Wellington’s, eldest son of Mr. Alfred Regan, of Margate, Kent, and Annie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Langman, Broughton Road, Skipton. After the ceremony the happy couple left for the South of England. Sergeant-Major Regan was until recently assistant master at St Stephen’s School.

26 October 1917

SKIPTON

IN MEMORIAM SERVICE FOR THE FALLEN

An in memoriam musical service was held at the Congregational Church, Skipton, on Tuesday evening last in memory of the teachers and old scholars of the Brougham Street Council School, who have made the supreme sacrifice in the first three years of the war. Their names are as follows:– Willie Barraclough, C. D. Bennett (teacher), Arthur Bruce, Sam Cairns, Cyril Calvert, Ennie Clarke, Tom Clarke, Harry Ingham, Tom Langman, Reggie Pollard, Lewis Sedgwick, Joe Stewart, Harry Tindall (teacher), and J.W. Varley. Mr. A. Townsend, in explaining the objects of the service, said he hoped it would not be of a sorrowful character, but that they were gathered together to honour all the men that had laid down their lives.

Rev. L. F. Gaunt, in the course of a brief address, said that he fully concurred with the statement made at the opening of the service that their predominant thought should be one of trust and thanksgiving for those who had made the supreme sacrifice. They were not to think of those young lives as having been thrown away and lost. No true life would ever be lost, for it was a gift of God, and anything that came from Him could never really die. Standing one day this summer he had watched the field of daisies rippling in the wind, and had rejoined in their beauty, but even as he stood there a mowing machine had come and cut down all the flowers. It seemed a waste of life and beauty, but he remembered that the roots were still there and that the flowers would grow all the fairer and the stronger next year. So it was with those whom we described as having been cut down in their youth. The roots of life had not perished, but would bear flowers and fruit again. Our loved ones, who had passed away, could still be helped by our love and by our prayers. It was for those who remained to prove themselves worthy of the sacrifices that had been made so that at the end they might meet again without shame.

During the evening the following programme was gone through by the members of the Brougham Street Old Scholars’ Choir: Anthem, ‘O God protect with Thy strong hand’ (Grier); sentences and collects; anthem, ‘Rest for the weary’ (Gounod); hymn, ‘For all the Saints’; lesson; magnificat (S. Nicholson); hymn, ‘God of our fathers’; solo, ‘The trumpet shall sound’ (Handel), Clifford Townsend; ‘Hallelujah chorus,’ organ; solo, ‘I know that my Redeemer’ (Handel), D. Wear; anthem, ‘The Lord is my shepherd’ (Smart); hymn, ‘Was there ever kindest shepherd’; anthem, ‘Peace to the souls of the heroes’ (Callcott); hymn, ‘The day Thou gavest.’ During the evening a collection was taken, the proceeds of which are to be devoted to the proposed school memorial.

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