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William Henry COLES

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Surname: COLES

Forename(s): William Henry

Place of Birth: Bootle, Lancashire

Service No: ---

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment / Corps / Service: Alexandra, Princess of Wales Own (Yorkshire Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 1/5th Battalion

Division: 50th (Northumbrian) Division

Age: 28

Date of Death: 1917-12-27

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: I. F. 2.

CWGC Cemetery: ---

CWGC Memorial: TYNE COT MEMORIAL

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial: SKIPTON, YORKSHIRE

Additional Information:

William Henry Coles was the son of William and Elizabeth Ann Coles (née - ) and brother of Corporal Robert John Coles (236065) (q.v.) and half-brother of Sapper Arthur Chivers Coles (386248) (q.v.). William's father was born at Clandown, Somerset and mother at Long Preston, Yorkshire.

1891 Walton on the Hill, Lancashire Census: 40, Muriel Street - William H. Coles, aged 2 years, born Bootle, Lancashire, son of William and Elizabeth A. Coles.

1901 Keighley, Yorkshire Census: Bridge House, Lawkholme - William H. Coles, aged 12 years, born Bootle, Lancashire, son of William and Elizabeth A. Coles.

1911 Skipton, Yorkshire Census: 19 Broughton Road - William Henry Coles, aged 22 years, born Liverpool, Lancashire, son of William and Elizabeth Ann Coles.

William was married to Muriel Ella Baker in 1916.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: S.Q.M.S. William Henry Coles, 2068, Yorkshire Hussars & Lieut 5th Yorkshire Regiment (T.F.). Commissioned: 25 October 1916. Theatre of War first served in: France. Date of entry therein: ( - ).

Data Source: Cravens Part in the Great War - original CPGW book entry

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Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record:

COLES, Second-Lieut. W.H., aged 28, West Yorkshire Regiment, son of Mr. W. Coles, stationmaster, Skipton, killed Dec. 28, 1917.

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Lieutenant William Henry COLES

Lieutenant William Henry COLES

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Alexandra, Princess of Wales Own (Yorkshire Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Alexandra, Princess of Wales Own (Yorkshire Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 50th (Northumbrian) Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 50th (Northumbrian) Division

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

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: COLES

Forename(s): William Henry

Born:

Residence:

Enlisted:

Number:

Rank: Lt

Regiment: Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment)

Battalion: 5th Battalion (Territorial)

Decorations:

Died Date: 27/12/17

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War:

Notes:

Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: COLES

Forename(s): W H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Service Number:

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment: Yorkshire Regiment (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own)

Unit: 5th Battalion

Age:

Awards:

Died Date: 1917-12-27

Additional Information:

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

1966

COLES Muriel Ella otherwise Margaret Ella of Stonefield House South Leigh Oxfordshire died 29 November 1965 at Stonefield Cottage South Leigh Probate Oxford 24 January to Frederick William Davidson salesman and Helen May Davidson married woman. £10818.

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Lieutenant William Henry Coles

Lieutenant William Henry Coles

Lieutenant William Henry Coles with his wife, Muriel Ella Coles, née Baker

Courtesy of Felicity Sanderson

'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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24 November 1916

COMMISSION FOR A SKIPTON SOLDIER

Quarter-Master-Sergeant W.H. Coles, of the Yorkshire Hussars, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Coles, the Skipton stationmaster, has been promoted to the rank of Second-Lieut. and is at present attached to the Yorkshire Regiment. 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 regiment 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, and was brought home wounded some time ago, and spent seven weeks in hospital at Lincoln. He is at present in a convalescent camp in the South of England.

27 April 1917

SEC.-LIEUTENANT W.H. COLES WOUNDED

Information has been received by Mr. Coles, the Skipton Stationmaster, that his son, Second-Lieut. W.H. Coles, of the Yorkshire Regiment, was wounded in the left elbow at Easter. He is now in the Leicester General Hospital. Prior to the War, he was attached to the West Riding Territorials, and was afterwards transferred to the Yorkshire Hussars, with which he was associated as Quartermaster Sergeant up to being awarded a commission in November of last year. He is 27 years of age, and was formerly in the employ of Messrs. Bradley and Jacques chartered accountants, Keighley.

Mr. Coles has two other sons in the Army – Sapper Arthur Coles, with the Royal Engineers and Corporal Jack Coles, with the Yorkshire Hussars.

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

COLES – December 28th, 1917, killed in action on the Western Front, Second-Lieutenant William H. Coles, of the Yorkshire Regiment, son of Mr. Wm. Coles, stationmaster, Skipton, aged 28 years.

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.

04 July 1919

PEACE SUPPLEMENT TO THE 'CRAVEN HERALD' – CRAVEN'S FALLEN OFFICERS

SECOND-LIEUTENANT W. H. COLES

Yorkshire Regiment, son of Mr. Wm. Coles, Stationmaster, Skipton. Killed in action December 8th, 1917, aged 28 years.

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.

23 February 1923

ODDFELLOWS’ WAR MEMORIAL

UNVEILING CEREMONY AT A SKIPTON LODGE

OVER 200 WHO SERVED

There was a large attendance of local members of the Independent Order of Oddfellows at the Friendly Societies’ Hall, Skipton, on Saturday afternoon, on the occasion of the unveiling of a war memorial to the members of the Loyal Traveller’s Friend Lodge, I.O.O.F, M.U., who fell in the war.

The Memorial takes the form of a beautifully designed scroll within an oak frame with a glass front, the work of Mr. H. Spencer, junr., and it bears the inscription:–

LOYAL/TRAVELLER’S FRIEND LODGE,/SKIPTON DISTRICT ./I.O.O.F. ROLL OF HONOUR M.U./OF/THOSE MEMBERS OF THIS LODGE WHO FOUGHT FOR THEIR KING AND COUNTRY TO UPHOLD THE SACRED CAUSES OF BROTHERHOOD AND HUMANITY IN THE GREAT WAR, 1914–1918.

Below the inscription are the names of 173 members who served in the war, and of the 40 members who were killed. The names of the fallen occupy a central position on the scroll, and above them are the following words:–

IN MEMORIAM
OF THOSE WHO MADE THE
SUPREME SACRIFICE.
THEIR HEARTS ARE LIFTED UP
THEIR HEARTS
THAT HAVE FOREKNOWN
THE UTTER PRICE,
THEIR HEARTS BURN
UPWARD AS A FLAME
OF SPLENDOUR AND OF
SACRIFICE

The names of the fallen are as follows:– H. Armstrong, J.J. Brown, J. Barrett, Robt. Brown, W.W. Bell, A. Clayton, W.H. Coles, T.C. Chew, Tom Downes, T.M. Drummond, Jos. Emmott, Thos. Edmondson, J. Easterby, F. Gallagher, J.W. Garwood, G.E. Godwin, S.J. Hargreaves, M. Hargreaves, A. Hebden, J. Hebden, A. Hawkswell, T.E. Inman, M. Lund, R.C. [R.G.] Metcalfe, Hbt. Maudsley, Hy. Maudsley, A.J. Pimnock [Pinnock], H.Y. [Harry] Riley, T.W. Storey, J.H. Stewart, R. Spencer, J.W. Shuttleworth, Wm. Tempest, Hbt. Thompson, Fred Thornton, J.W. Varley, John Ward, J.A. Whittaker, J.W. Whittaker, and R.D. Whittaker.

The Unveiling Ceremony

The unveiling ceremony was presided over by Bro. Thos. Bellamy, and was performed by Bro. Amos Culpan, Prov. C.S., and a simple service included the singing of the hymns, ‘O God our help’ and Kipling’s Recessional, ‘God of our fathers,’ and the reading of a portion of Scripture, and the offering of a prayer by Bro. James Greenwood, of Bradford, and formerly of Skipton.

Bro. Bellamy observed that those members of the Lodge whom they were met to honour went into battle, suffered untold privations, and, in many cases, made the supreme sacrifice. They gave their lives in defence of their homes and their country. Further than that, they gave their lives for justice and freedom, and in order that we might live. It was the duty of Oddfellows, equally as much as other sections of the community, to do everything within their power to make the country better for that sacrifice. “In the time of our prosperity,” concluded Bro. Bellamy, “never let us forget those who served us in the time of our adversity.”

A Lesson of the War

Prior to unveiling the memorial, Bro. Culpan described the ceremony he had been asked to perform as one not unattended by sorrow. It was an occasion upon which one felt a desire to make their Order better for the sacrifice of its members, and to extend the true spirit of brotherhood. In nearly 4,000 of their Lodges they would find a roll of honour. Over 22,000 of their members made the supreme sacrifice, and thousands of others were ruined and shattered in health and without prospects for the future. Each and all of them ought to perform some daily service that would make the sacrifice of those men worth while. One result of the terrible ordeal of 1914 to 1918 was the creation of a better feeling between men, and a desire to break down the class barriers that formerly existed. That was one of the great lessons of the war.

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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.

27 April 1917

SECOND LIEUTENANT W.H. COLES WOUNDED

Information has been received that Second-Lieutenant W.H. Coles, of the Yorkshire Regiment, son of Mr. Wm. Coles, stationmaster at Skipton, was wounded in the left elbow on Wednesday morning of Easter week, and is now in the First Northern General Hospital, Leicester. 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. He is 27 years of age, and was formerly in the employed by Messrs. Bradley and Jacques, chartered accountants, Keighley. Mr. Coles has two other sons in serving, Sapper Arthur Coles, who is attached to the Royal Engineers, and Corporal Jack Coles, of the Yorkshire Hussars.

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

COLES – Killed in action, Dec. 28th, Second Lieut. W.H. Coles, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, son of Mr. Wm. Coles, station-master at Skipton, aged 28.

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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