City of Leeds United in WW1

Remembering those from Leeds who gave their lives in world war one.


Leeds Did You Know

The following section details

The first man from Leeds to be Killed In Action in WW1 was Able Seaman Francis Laverack Aged 19 on the 6th August 1914 on board H.M.S. Amphion which was sunk after hitting a mine at 06.30 am just 31 Hours 30 Minutes into WW1.

The first man with a Leeds connection serving in the British Army to be Killed in Action on the first day of fighting around the city of Mons on the 23rd August 1914 was a Leeds Jew whos family were from the Leyland's district Private Jack Saunders Aged 32 of the Northumberland Fusiliers. The YEP on the 20/10/1914 reported that he was amongst the missing and his family were asking about his whereabouts he was a reservist and employed by the Hunslet Post Office before enlistment he resided with his wife on Hunslet road. This is ironic as during the first world war Leeds saw some of the worst rioting towards any Jewish community in England. It was felt wrongly, that Jews were not patriotic and that they had allegiances to their home land of Russia and the Germans. In fact those with Polish or Russian origins were not allowed to enlist until well into the war. Many did enlist and in one such case at least 500 were reported to have marched in full uniform from the Leyland's district to Leeds City Centre to show a strength of allegiance to the Country and crown.

The youngest boy from Leeds to Die in WW1 was Steward Hector Warburton Aged just 15 years on the 18th April 1918. He was serving onboard S.S Bamse which was a cargo ship and was on her way from Rouen to Swansea when she was torpedoed by Submarine UB 80, 15 Miles off Portland Bill. UB 80 was commanded by Max Viebeg in total UB 80 is credited with sinking 20 ships and damaging 5. Max Vieberg retired from the German Navy in 1920. Remembered Tower Hill Memorial London.

Whilst the first 16 year old and possibly youngest to be Killed In Action on the battlefield was Rifleman Arthur Roundell on the 19/05/1915.

The eldest man from Leeds Staff Serjeant James Pateman Died of Pneumonia in 1917 Aged 63. James had served 23 years in the army being in India and taking part in the Afghan war, and had served in the 8th Kings Irish hussars the Kings bodyguard, and the Yeoman of the guard. James was one of the four men who kept watch over King Edward VII body at Westminster Hall in 1910.
When war broke out he was in charge of the Leeds City Tramways at Headingley, and immediately went to Windsor Castle to become part of the Kings Bodyguard. Three months later James received a letter from the King giving him permission to re join the army. He was attached to the Remount Corps at Shirehampton and went to the front on Good Friday 1915, he passed away leaving a wife and three daughters, James lies at peace in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery.

The last British Soldier to be shot at dawn for desertion was on the morning of the 7th November 1918 was a Jewish soldier from Leeds Private Louis Harris Aged 23 of 41 Cooper Street Meanwood Road.  It was reported that during no fighting Louis ditched his kit and vanished. He was arrested the next day Louis did not cross examine any witness and it seems he had given up. One witness clammed Louis had a fighting value of Nil to the regiment. 
The court judgment was Private Harris’s action was deliberate.  He has previously attempted to desert unsuccessfully.  He is worthless as a soldier. During an action he deliberately abandoned his comrades.  His example is a disgraceful one.

The last British soldier believed to be Killed In Action in WW1 on the  11th November 1918 was Private George Edwin Ellison Aged 40 Residence 49 Edmund Street Bank Leeds. George lies at peace in St Symphorien Military Cemetery Mons Belgium close to the final resting place of the first British soldier believed to have been Killed in Action in WW1 Private John Parr of the Middlesex Regiment.

WINKLE Robert is remembered on St Annes Catholic Cathedral Leeds War Memorial Private 9691 1st Bn West Yorkshire Regiment being recorded on the Those Who Died official Army records as being KIA 13/10/1914 Aged 19. Robert actually Deserted. He was Born in Edinburgh 1895. Son of William Died Leeds 1948 and Eva Devine Residence 1911 48 Annerley Street Denaby Main Occupation pony Driver Denaby Main Pit. Both Roberts Sister and brother were married in St Annes Cathedral 1920 and 1925. Enlisted in Leeds 1912. Landed France 05/08/1914 part of the force that fought at Mons and the Marne. 29/01/1916 Mrs Winkle at 21 Bedford Terrace Sheepscar Street Records showed that Robert had presumed to have died on or around 13/10/1914 however on the 20/05/1935 Robert confessed to deserting the army and fraudulently enlisted into the Royal Field Artillery Service Number 104907 as Gunner Robert Winkell 05/08/1915. A trial for desertion and fraudulence took place on the 11/10/1935 a decision on the 17/10/1935 that his services were no longer required and he was discharged and the duplicate 1914 star and bronze medals and other medals were not recovered as his father held them. It transpires that Robert somehow returned to Scotland living at 92 Lody Lawson Street Edinburgh when he reenlisted to the RFA going back to France 06/11/1916 Returning 03/07/1917 being discharged as being physically unfit 05/03/1918. Robert finally made his way to Sydney Australia 28/07/1927 before returning home. In  Robert passed away in Surrey in 1962 Aged 68 retaining the surname of Winkell.

That not only did many brothers lose their lives from Leeds but also a Father and Son remembered on the Gotts Park Memorial Armley and unusually and rarely in World War One a brother and Sister the Bowketts remembered on the war memorial at St Aidens in Harehills. Son and Daughter of  Henry and Harriett Augustine Maintenant Born Paris France they Married at St Saviour Southwark London 1884

BOWKETT Florence Augustine Ruth DIED in an Explosion at Barnbow Ammunition Factory Cross Gates Leeds on the 17/03/1917 Aged 31. alongside another girl name unknown. Born 1885 Stoke Damerel Devon. Baptised 11/09/1889 Walworth Lady Margaret Church Southwark London. Married James Hodgkins Aston Birmingham 1903. 1911 Residence 175 Stonedale Terrace Snydale Road Normanton. James remarried in 1918 to Kitty Axup All Saints Normanton. When the family gave details for the Australian Roll of Honour for John Henry it mentions that his sister was killed in the explosion at Barnbow see below.

BOWKETT John Henry Private 1412 13th Company Australian Machine Gun Corps DOW 11/06/1917 Aged 21. Born Erdington Birmingham 1895. John had a Brother Thomas William and a Sister Mary Margaret Born 1897. Enlisted 16/11/1914 Foster Victoria Australia. Wounded in Action 09/06/1917 suffered a  fractured skull, passed away at the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station Bailleul. Laid to Rest by Chaplain H Vine in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension Nord France. 


Epitaph on Grave reads "Foster Victoria"Australian War Memorial Canberra Panel 177.  Roll of Honour

24th August 1914 Armley Wortley News Agnes Gwendoline Elizabeth Thornton Aged 10 Born Armley 1903 Passed away 1988.


God save our English Soldiers, Fighting in a foreign land, Give them strength to face the foe, Lead them by Thine own hand.

God save our English Sailors, Fighting on the stormy main, Give them heart for every danger, May they soon be back again.

God save our English children, And oh if it be thy will, Save the English followers, And bid the war be still.

God save all the world, yes, all the world, Make war and sorrow cease, Soon end in perfect peaceA Tank broke down on Briggate in 1919