SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY

1917

Cpl Harry Leeks.


11th January -
3313 Cpl HARRY LEEKS, 4th Bn Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action, aged 21.
The son of William and Emma Leeks of 57 Wharton St, N Skelton, N Yorkshire.
Family and War Service page.
12th January - SKELTON AND BROTTON MILITARY TRIBUNAL.
Mr Hoggett represented the licensee of a public house at North Skelton, who appealed on the ground of personal hardship.
He was a married man with 5 children and had been offered work at Skinningrove Ironworks. Referred to the substition officer.
Mr Tommy Varty. J.P. manager of the Skelton Park Mine, applied on behalf of a boiler minder, a married man of 22 years.
"He is a handy man about the place." he declared. Mr Varty added that he did not want to lose such a serviceable employee and the Chairman supplemented this statement by saying that the mine could not be carried on if any more to the men were taken away.
3 months allowed.
The Surveyor, Mr A R Cranmer, to the Skelton and Brotton Council secured 2 months exemption each for 3 of his
workmen, whilst a linesman employed by the local Electric Company was given a further 3 months.
The Skelton Co-operative Society put in a claim for further exemption of a coal leader and a milk vendor, both of whom were married men and a cartman, a single man. The latter also put in a personal appeal on domestic grounds. 2 months each allowed without leave to appeal again.

Cpl Herbert Cook M.M.
[Grandfather of website owner]


15th January -
1828 Cpl HERBERT COOK M.M. 4th Bn Yorkshire Regiment, died of wounds, aged 37. Husband of Elizabeth Cook of 51 Park St, Skelton in Cleveland, N Yorkshire.
Family and War Service page.
25th January - NIGHT SOIL.
Mr Stephen Emmerson of Holly Bush Farm, Skelton writes:-
I notice that at a meeting of the Skelton and Brotton Council, held at North Skelton on Friday, January 3rd, 1917, Mr A R Cranmer reported that he had interviewed certain farmers in the Skelton district for the removal of night soil from Park Street, Skelton and Mr K Ross was prepared to do the same for 36 for one year.
The price paid last year was 24. The Chairman remarked that he objected to the tender, as it was othing less than extortion and he thought the farmers had an idea that they had the Council in their power.
I, as a Skelton farmer, strongly object to this report.
Mr K Ross informs me that he never tendered for the scavenging and did not intend to do any on account of shortage of labour and danger to his horses, including mares in foal.
I may say Park Street includes other five streets, two of them making it impossible for horses to remove night soil - these streets are paved with slag bricks.
Seeing that the Co-operative farm has taken over Boosbeck district for 50 [pre war tender being 25] I think that it is a gross injustice to us farmers to be singled out as extortioners.
Also please note that there are several Co-operative Committee men on the Urban Council and there was no comment on the 100 percent rise on pre-War price to the Co-operative farmers.
31st January - OLD MINER DROPS DEAD EXHAUSTED.
An old Cleveland miner, named James Smith, known locally as "Old Salts" died suddenly in Brotton streets yesterday afternoon.
He was tramping through the district, having no fixed place of abode and when near to the junction of Saltburn and Skelton main roads fell down apparently from exhaustion and died before medical aid could be procured.

1st February - GERMANY RESUMES UNRESTRICTED SUBMARINE WARFARE.
With the intention of blockading Britain into starvation, this turned out to be bad policy, as some of the ships they targeted belonged to the USA and eventually brought that nation into the War.

2nd February - CHEAPER AT THE THE CO-OP.
Mr Matthew Ransom, chairman of the Skelton Co-operative Society writes:-
Your readers will have noted that Mr Emmerson did not attempt to refute any correction I made, but he says "he is a member of the Co-op".
I don't dispute it, but there are members - and members.
Yes, Mr Emmerson, who was supplying us with milk when we commenced farming, acted neighbourly and we thanked him.
Certainly, I don't see anything woring in that procedure.
The scene, however, was changed when we could not accept the local farmers' tenders for milk, including Mr Emmerson's.
We set about producing 600 gallons per week and accomplished it. Today our retail price is 1s 4d per gallon; that of the Skelton farmers who send their milk to Middlesbrough, is 1s 8d per gallon.
Now 4d per gallon on 500 gallons per week, per annum, is a saving of 520 to the people of Skelton and district, and this in war-time too.
So you see, what the farmers did not get on that "swing", the Skelton people more than doubly saved on the "roundabout".


3rd February - NIGHT SOIL.
Mr K Ross, Green Farm, Skelton, writes:-
Respecting the letters which have appeared in your valuable paper with regard to the removing of night soil from Park Street, Skelton, my name has been referred to in connection with the tenders.
Therefore, I wish the general public to know, in fairness to myself, that I never tendered for 1917, and if the tender form can be produced, I will pay over to the Red Cross, 50.


10th February - LOCAL TERRITORIALS IN FRENCH TRENCHES.
The local 4th Yorks Battalion were moved to the extreme right of the British line and took over trenches from the French at Foucaucourt.

16th March. - SKELTON AND BROTTON TRIBUNAL.
Mr D W Dixon, JP. Brotton, presided at a meeting of the Skelton and Brotton Military Tribunal yesterday.
The Tribunal reviewed the cases of two managers for the Skelton Co-operative Society and the exemptions previously granted were withdrawn.
The Tribunal was composed of members of the Skelton and Brotton Urban Council and when 3 of the Urban Council's employees were appealed for, a member pointed out they were adjudicating upon their own appeals and people outside talked about that kind of thing.
Mr Dixon replied that where outside people made mistakes in cases of that kind, they did not credit the members of the tribunal with impartiality which was perhaps absent in themselves.

British burial party at Arras.

It was pointed out that 50 percent of the Council's workmen of military age had joined the Colours. Conditional exemption was allowed.
Appealing for a chemist and druggist, Mr Reuben Nixon, solicitor, said his client rendered valuable assistance to the local doctor and rendered first aid in the doctor's absence,
Also he was an officer in the ambulance brigade, which in special circumstances, would be called upon for service. Conditional exemption was granted.

6th April. USA DECLARES WAR ON GERMANY.

9th April - BRITISH ARRAS OFFENSIVE.
The British launched a large scale attack at Arras in support of a larger plan by the French.
It was against the formidable Hindenberg line to which the Germans had made a strategic withdrawal.
The struggle continued on until May in several phases, opening with the Battle of Vimy and then the three Battles of the Scarpe (a river in that region).
The final Battle of Bullecourt brought this "push" to an end and like all the others, it started well only to become bogged down in a stalemate with terrible loss of life. On average more men were killed per day than on the Somme in 1916.
General Douglas Haig, later wrote that the offensive at Arras was to divert the Germans, while the French attacked further South on the Chemin des Dames. His main objective was to advance at Ypres in the offensive that he would launch in July.
The "poor bloody Infantry" lads who died were sacrificial pawns in strategies conceived in the chateaux far behind the action by old Cavalrymen.

1st to 12th April - LOCAL TERRITORIALS TO ARRAS.
The local 4th Yorks Bn, as part of the 50th Division marched by arduous daily slogs some 80 miles from Foucaucourt to Arras.


12th April -
24468 Pte GEORGE WILLIAM BATTERBEE, 10/11th Battalion Highland Light Infantry, died of wounds near Arras, age 23.
Son of Thomas and Mary Ann Batterbee, of 37, Wharton St, North Skelton, Skelton-in-Cleveland, Yorks.
He is buried in the Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, about 9 kilometres West of Arras.
Family and War Service page.
18th April - LORD FRENCH VISITS SKELTON HOSPITAL.
The visit of Lord French to the Cleveland district last week-end was of a quiet and unostentatious character, but his inspection of the troops has undoubtedly stimulated the military ardour of the men, and those in charge of the Skelton Red Cross Hospital which was also visited by the Commander in Chief of the Home Forces derived much encouragement from his

inspection of the institution and his eulogy of the arrangements made for the comfort of the wounded and invalid soldiers.
Lord French, who was accompanied by General Sir John Maxwell, General Lowther and Capt, the Hon John Dawnay, arrived at Skelton Castle on Friday evening, where the party were the guests of Mr and Mrs Wharton.
The same evening his lordship paid a visit to the Red Cross Hospital and after a careful survey of the institution, during the course of which he had a brief chat with every one of the men and also with nurses, he expressed himself delighted with the institution and the manner in which the comfort of the soldiers had been provided for.
The inspection of the troops followed next day and Lord French afterwards proceeded to Hull.


19th April -
38176 Pte PARKER WALKER, 9th Bn Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action, age 31, near Ypres.
Son of John and Eliza Walker, of 3 East Terrace, Skelton-in-Cleveland, N Yorks.
Family and War Service page.
23rd April - LOCAL TERRITORIALS ORDERED TO ATTACK.
The 4th Yorks Battalion were in trenches at Wancourt on the River Cojeul to the East of Arras.
They were ordered to attack at dawn. At least 109 men were killed on this day alone and a great many wounded.
The following Skelton lads were among them. They have no known grave and are commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

23rd April -
200897 Pte ROBERT ARCHER, 4th Bn Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action at Arras, aged 21,
Son of George and Mary Archer of 22 Boosbeck Rd, Skelton Green, N Yorkshire.
Family and War Service page.
200914 Pte HARRY DALE, 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action at Arras.
Home at 24 Wharton St, North Skelton, N Yorkshire.
Family and War Service page.
200770 Pte HERBERT ARTHUR DOWEY, 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action at Arras.
Home at 44 Park St, Skelton.
Family and War Service page.
3177/200841 Pte WILLIAM DOWEY 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action at Arras, aged 20.
Son of Mrs. Mary Lena Dowey, of 13, Prospect Place, Skelton-in-Cleveland, Yorks.
Family and War Service page.
3rd May -
27089 Pte JAMES HARDING, 18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, was killed in action near Arras, age 31.
Son of Frank and Mary Harding of 25 Dixon St, Skelton, N Yorkshire.
Born at Skelton in Cleveland and enlisted at Richmond, N Yorks.
Family and War Service page.
3rd May -
31318 Pte GEORGE R PULFORD, 8th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action near Arras, age 21.
Formerly 24511 in the Yorkshire Regiment. Enlisted at Skelton.
He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.
Son of Robert J and Jane A Pulford, of 23, Park St, Skelton-in-Cleveland, N Yorks.
Family and War Service page.
5th May - COUNCIL - HOME FOOD PRODUCTION.
At the Council meeting Dr Stainthorpe said that during the past 4 weeks there were notified one case of Scarlet Fever and Diphtheria and two of measles.
It was the first time the death rate had exceeded the birth rate with 23 and 20 respectively.
Mr W Richardson, the Clerk, announced that he had procured 6 tons of seed potatoes for sale at 2s 6d per stone.
It was decided that Squire Wharton be asked to let the Council have 3 acres of land to sublet to the Skelton Allotment Holders Association for gardens.


18th May -
33670 Driver WALTER SWAINSTON, 2nd Sect, 9th Division, Ammunition Col, Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action near Arras, age 31.
He is buried at Anzin-St Aubin British Cemetery, Arras.
Son of George and Mary Swainston of 21 Richard St, N Skelton, N Yorkshire.
Family and War Service page.
19th May - CARLIN HOW MUSICAL PARTY AT SKELTON HOSPITAL.
A return visit was paid to the Skelton Red Cross Hospital by the Carlin How Musical Party last
evening for the purpose of entertaining the wounded soldiers at the institution. Cigarettes for the soldiers were provided by the entertainers, who were heartily thanked.
8th June -
34775 Cpl BERNARD SAMUEL SCUFFHAM 10th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died, aged 20 near Arras.
He is buried at the Henin Communal Cemetery Extension, 8k South of Arras.
Son of Samuel and Eliza Scuffham of 49 Harker St, Skelton-in-Cleveland, N Yorks.
Family and War Service page.

13 June - .
21544 Pte ROBERT ERNEST GARBUTT, 9th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, died, aged 27, near Ypres.
Husband of Sarah Garbutt of 9 Vaughan St, North Skelton, N Yorks.
Family and War Service page.


2nd July - LABOUR ON THE MARCH.
The members of the newly formed executive of the Cleveland Labour Representation Conference at the Central Hall Saltburn met on Saturday.
Mr Dack, prospective Labour candidate, was in the chair, and representatives were present from various parts of the district on behalf of organised workers.
Councillor William Frankland, New Skelton, secretary to the movement, reported on the progress made since the previous meeting and the meeting agreed that with a view to the furtherance of Mr Dack's candidature branches of the L.R.C. be established in the various mining and other centres of workers.

4th July -
Steward FRANK HANSON, Mercantile Marine, died when his ship, the SS Goathland [Whitby], was sunk by a German U-boat 30 miles off St Nazaire.
The ship was on a voyage to the Gulf of Mexico.
Son of Sarah Elizabeth Hanson and the late John W Hanson of 11 Vaughan St, North Skelton, N Yorkshire.
Husband of Emily Hanson of Darlington Tce, Staithes, North Yorkshire.
He is commemorated on the Merchant Navy Memorial, Tower Hill, London.
Family and War Service page.

Shell holes and mud at Ypres.

16th July - START OF THE THIRD BATTLE OF YPRES OR "PASSCHENDAELE".
The British launched an offensive in Flanders, the Third Battle of Ypres or Passchendaele.
The battle began as usual with a huge barrage of Allied artillery.
This bombardment warned the Germans of the coming attack, but it also turned the battlefield into a mass of craters.
Heavy rains in August then transformed the area into a sea of mud.
The offensive continued regardless until November with drastic loss of life.

14th August -
248005 Pte WILLIAM POWELL LINES, 1/5th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, was killed in action, age 32, near Arras.
Enlisted at South Bank, N Yorks.
He is buried at Wancourt British Cemetery, 8k South East of Arras.
Son of William and Annie Lines, of 41 Park St, Skelton-in-Cleveland, N Yorks.
Family and War Service page.
16th August -.
R/39505 Rifleman WILLIAM HARDING, 12th Battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps, was killed in action, aged 23, near Ypres.
Born in Skelton in Cleveland and enlisted at Saltburn by Sea.
Son of Frank and Mary Harding of 25 Dixon St, Skelton, N Yorkshire.
He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
Family and War Service page.
23rd August - HUTS FOR WOMEN WORKERS IN FRANCE.
Letter to local newspaper:-
Thank you for assisting through your columns in making last Saturday the success it was.
With Colonel Wharton's subscription, I am able to send to YWCA [for huts for the women workers in France] the sum of 200.
The Allotment Holders' Association in Skelton and New Skelton were most generous in their gifts to Mrs Drake and Mrs Bury's vegetable stall.
Mrs Burgoyne-Johnson and Miss Wharton did very well at their white elephant and basket stalls, whilst Mrs Barry was most successful with her excellent tea arrangements: and Mrs Dobinson with her helpers raised a good sum by their side shows.
I owe my thanks to the Band of the East Lancs Regiment, who by kind permission of Colonel Lloyd Carson gave their services, which added very much to the pleasure of the afternoon and also to the Skelton Old Band, who played for the dancing in the evening.
Mr T S Petch greatly assisted by the indefatigable and amusing way in which he conducted the auction.
I wish also to thank all the many helpers who so kindly assisted throughout the afternoon.
Huts for canteens and rest houses are much needed by the women, who have gone to France for theirs are not easy lives.
Bessie Wharton, Skelton Castle.

10th September -
39264 L/Cpl PETER E GOSLING, 9th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action, aged 24, near Ypres.
Born at West Hartlepool. Enlisted at Saltburn by Sea.
Son of Edward and Mary Gosling of 13 Wharton St, North Skelton, N Yorkshire
He has no know grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke.
Family and War Service page.
9th October -
33400 Pte JOHN ROBERT LECKENBY, 1/4th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment, was killed in action, near Ypres.
Formerly 45596 Yorkshire Regiment.
He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke.
Born and enlisted at Skelton in Cleveland, N Yorks.
Home at 22 Trouthall Lane, Skelton Green, N Yorkshire.
Family and War Service page.
15 October -
39255 Pte CHARLES H MOTT, 9th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, died of wounds, aged 20, near Ypres.
Buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinghe, Belgium.
Born at North Skelton. Enlisted at Brotton, N Yorks.
Son of John and Ada Mott, of 30 William St, North Skelton, Skelton-in-Cleveland, N Yorks.
Family and War Service page.
6th to 25th October - LOCAL TERRITORIALS ORDERED TO YPRES.
The local 4th Yorks Battalion moved from Arras to Ypres, where they fought until the following March.

16th October - BANKRUPTCY.
London Gazette records Sidney William Carver of 42 Boosbeck Rd, Skelton Green, Confectioner petitioned for bankruptcy at the Court of Stockton on Tees.

26th October -
17295 A/Cpl ROBERT HENRY BELL, 10th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action, aged 30, near Ypres.
Born at Skelton in Cleveland. Enlisted Richmond, N Yorks.
He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Zonnebeke, West Vlanderen, Belgium.
Son of Robert M and Eliza M Bell of 24 Bolckow St, N Skelton N Yorkshire.
Family and War Service page.
1st November -
201878 Pte WILLIAM ELSWORTH, 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, died of wounds, aged 38.
Buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Westvleteren, Belgium.
Born at Wakefield. Enlisted at Northallerton, N Yorks.
Son of George Elsworth, of 32 Green Rd, Skelton-in-Cleveland, N Yorks.
Family and War Service page.

30th December -
R/1773 Able Seaman WILLIAM E MILLS, Hood Battalion, Royal Naval Division, was killed in action, aged 23, in the Somme area.
The Royal Naval Division fought as Infantry.
He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Son of Peter and Mary Mills, of 7, North Terrace, Skelton-in-Cleveland, Yorks. Husband of Ethel Beatrice Symons (formerly Mills).
Family and War Service page.
RAISING IRONSTONE AT LONGACRE MINE CEASED.
But men still went down the shaft there [313 feet] and the output was brought up at North Skelton, being sent down a mile long, underground incline.

17th December - FATAL ACCIDENT ON SKELTON BANK.
The danger of motoring on steep banks during wintry weather was illustrated by an accident at Skelton yesterday morning, which unfortunately had fatal results.
38 men were being driven from Boosbeck to Marske in a motor rolley and on proceeding down the Skelton Mill Bank, owing to the frost, the vehicle skidded and overturned. One of the occupants, named George Wm Rimmington, was killed instantly.
9 other men were hurt, but happily the injuries were not very serious and after being treated at the local Red Cross Hospital they were able to return to their quarters.
Deceased was a Liverpool man, aged 42, and was a mechanic.

Next Page - 1918.
Previous Page - 1916.
Contents Page.