When the Government was planning the First World War centenary commemorations they selected six key dates during 2014-2018:
• 4 August 2014 – to mark the centenary of entry of the British Empire in to the War
• 25 April 2015 – to mark the Gallipoli campaign
• 31 May/1 June 2016 – to mark the Battle of Jutland commemorating the war at sea
• 1 July 2016 – to mark the Battle of the Somme at Thiepval Memorial, France
• 31 July 2017 – to mark the start of the 3rd Battle Ypres (Passchendaele) at Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium
• 11 November 2018 – to mark Armistice Day
However, for those who had family who lost their lives in the Great War, the key dates are more personal. Of those listed on Market Weighton War Memorial, Sapper Richard Langrick was the first to die: the son of Richard and Annie Langrick, and husband of Laura Langrick, of High Street, Market Weighton, his centenary has passed, he died on 20 November 1914.
Petty officer Robert Henry Davison was the husband of Louisa Mary Agnes Davison, of 5 Perseverance Parade, Holme Road, Market Weighton. At aged 45, he is the oldest person named on the memorial and was the next to die after Sapper Langrick.
He was killed on 3 February 1915, when HMS Clan McNaughton sank in a storm, north of Ireland, whereas Richard Langrick is buried in Droitwich, St Mary’s Churchyard, Robert Davison has no known grave and is commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial.
The centenaries of the other 57 men have still to come but we are soon to commemorate Market Weighton’s costliest day. The end of the First Battle of Ypres in November 1914 saw the creation of the so-called Ypres Salient and the start of static trench warfare.
On 22 April 1915, the Germans launched another attack on the Salient, more infamous for their first use of Chlorine Gas, it became known as the Second Battle of Ypres and finished on 25 May. In that battle Private Fred Carpenter was killed on 24 April 1915, Private Joseph Thomas Elliott and Major Harold Carey Matthews on 25 April 1915, Company Serjeant Major James Clifford Gillingham on 1 May 2015, Private John McCabe on 5 May 2015 and Privates Thomas Robert Penrose and Joseph William Brown on 8 May 2015.
25 April is the second of the official centenaries, chosen not to commemorate events in Flanders but those hundreds of miles away in Gallipoli. 25 April is also ANZAC day, a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for their countrymen who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.
It was chosen in recognition of the part they played in the Gallipoli landings and campaign but we should not forget those from Britain and France who also played a significant part, many of whom who lost their lives, as well as their Turkish opponents.
You may recall from one of my earlier articles that one of those killed in Gallipoli on 25 April was Father William Finn, Roman Catholic Army Chaplain and parish priest from Market Weighton. After the war his brother paid for the building of Sacred Heart Church in Southcoates Lane, Hull, in his memory, probably the largest war memorial in East Yorkshire, it is the setting for a memorial service to be held at 12noon this Saturday (25 April), for Father Finn and all those killed in Gallipoli.
I am always pleased to hear your stories about people on the Market Weighton War Memorial and can be contacted either via the Pocklington Post or directly at The Mortgage Advice Centre (Yorkshire Building Society agency) in Market Weighton. So far I have had some interesting feedback about some of the men who emigrated to Canada as well as a gentle reminder about the stained glass window in All Saints’ Church, dedicated to Second Lieutenant Robert Ian Alexander Hickes (RAF).
I have also heard from the In From The Cold team. On 6 March 2015, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission accepted that Frank Keogh had died in or as the result of his military service and have added him to their records. He is now listed in the United Kingdom Book of Remembrance whilst a formal Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone can be erected at the cemetery in Beverley where he is buried.
We will remember them.