Servicemen A-B

Abberton, John – born 1865, son of Michael and Ellen Abberton. Married Annie Donlan in 1890 and had two sons, John Edward and William, who both served in WW1 (see below). Annie died in 1897. John was a worsted warp twister by trade. John enlisted in July 1915 and served in L Company, West Yorkshire Special Reserve at Dringhouses Camp, York. He died in 1939.

Abberton, John Edward – born 1891 at Halifax, son of John  and Annie Abberton. John Edward probably enlisted at the same time as his brother, William, as they had consecutive service numbers, served in the same regiment and saw action, in Africa, on the same dayj-e-abberton-13-2-18. Served as Private GS/15141 in 25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, later promoted to Sergeant in 5th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. Initial action was in Africa on 4th May 1915. Awarded 1915 Star, Victory Medal and British War Medal. John Edward was a weaving overlooker by trade. He married in 1933 to Sara Ann Smith and they had one son, Michael J. Lived at 34 Hollings Street, Cottingley from 1918 to 1934. Died 10th April 1961 at Keighley.

Abberton, Joseph – born 1879, son of Michael and Ellen Abberton. Joseph was a mill mechanic by trade and married Sarah Ann Hill in 1911. They had two sons, James and John. John served in the RAF in WW2 and was killed in action in August 1942. Joseph served as Private 18127 in the R. A. M. C. and was awarded the 1915 Star, Victory Medal and British War Medal. He first saw action in France on 31st December 1914. Joseph lived at 9 New Brighton Road, Shipley from 1918 to 1951, then at 4 Butterfield Homes, Cottingley Moor Road until 1955. He died at Menston Hospital on 6th September 1956.

Abberton, William – born 1893 at Halifax, son of John and Annie Abberton. William, who, at one time, was a worsted warp twister by trade, attested at Bradford on 5th April 1915 and joined the 25th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers as Private 15142 (see also John Edward Abberton, above). At that time he declared his occupation to be a millwright and clerk. William served in East Africa from 4th May 1915 until 26th January 1916, shortly after which he was admitted to Bradford War Hospital. This was followed by periods in the Royal Herbert Hospital at Woolwich and the Red Cross Military Hospital at Maghull before being dismissed on 9th January 1917 as no longer physically fit for war service. William was awarded the 1915 Star, Victory Medal, British War Medal and Silver War Badge. During his time in East Africa, William wrote letters home, several of which were published in the Keighley News. William married Florence Adeline Sugden in 1924 and they had a daughter Cecilia. William and Florence lived at Sandal, Parkside, Bingley for many years until William’s death at Otley General Hospital on 31st March 1957.

Akeroyd, Harry Craven – born 15th October 1897, son of John Henry Akeroyd and his wife, Ada (nee Rawnsley). In 1911 Harry was a farm labourer. On 30th April 1918 Harry joined the Royal Air Force as Air Mechanic No. 162777 and spent some time at 42 Training Development Squadron, Hounslow, Middlesex. On 8th February 1919 Harry married Kathleen Kelly at St. Mary’s, Spring Grove, Middlesex. It appears that on 14th April 1919 Harry deserted from the R. A. F. Harry and Kathleen lived at various addresses in Cottingley and had three children, William, John and Eileen. Harry had another son, Ralph, before his marriage to Kathleen. On 21st March 1925 the Akeroyd family emigrated to Canada where Harry died on 10th March 1949 at Vancouver.

Akeroyd, John Henry – born 10th April 1876 at Girlington, son of Craven and Alice Akeroyd. On 2nd June 1897 he married Ada Rawnsley and they subsequently had 5 children, Harry Craven (see above), Alice, Fred, Ralph and Edith. In 1911 John Henry was an electric car cleaner, residing at 50 Main Street, Cottingley at the time. No record of John Henry’s akeroyd-j-hmilitary service has been found, however Harry’s marriage certificate (dated 8th February 1919) showed his father’s profession to be “soldier” and the 1918 Electoral Register showed John Henry as an absentee and his ability to vote being through Naval or Military qualification.  From 1912 onwards John Henry lived at various addresses in Cottingley including 3 Butterfield Homes from 1945 until 1962. He died in 1967.

Alderson, Vernon – born 1896, son of Thomas Naylor Alderson and his wife Alice. In 1911 Vernon was a pawnbroker’s apprentice with Cromacks of Shipley and Bingley. Vernon served as Private 325991 in the Royal Scots Regiment and as acting Corporal in the 2nd Battalion Royal Scots Regiment. At one time it was reported that Vernon had been gassed alderson-vin France and was seriously ill. He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals. Vernon married Ruth Cockshott at Cottingley on 20th September 1920. They had two children, Kathleen and Kenneth. Vernon lived in Main Street and Smith Street, Cottingley for several years after the war then at 28 Woodcot Avenue, Baildon from 1935 until his death on 19th February 1963.

Askew, John Christopher – born 10th July 1893, son of Anthony Askew and his wife, Minnie (nee Rumney). In 1911 John was a butcher living at Beckfoot, Bingley with his parents, brothers and sisters. He enlisted on 18th July 1916, serving as Private 7506 in the 1/5th Battalion of the West Riding Regiment. He subsequently served as Private 8/6329 and 301948 with the 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, from which he was discharged on 25th January 1918. John served overseas and was awarded the Victory Medal, British War Medal and Silver War Badge. On 1st October 1921 John married May Ormondroyd at Mornington Road Wesleyan Chapel, Bingley. They had three children, Jack, Pamela and Thomas. John died in 1969.

Askew, Thomas Henry born 1891, son of Anthony Askew and his wife, Minnie (nee Rumney). In 1911 Thomas was working on his father’s farm at Beckfoot, Bingley. Thomas served as Gunner 165691 in “B” Battery of the 95th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery and was awarded the Victory and British War medals. Thomas was killed in action on 4th November 1918 and is commemorated at the Vendegies-Au-Bois British Cemetery.

Baker, George Frederick – born 1899, son of George and Marian Baker of Bainton. Enlisted in Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on 29th August 1916 with the rank of Ordinary Seaman No. J57699 RN, rising to the rank of Able Seaman. Served on board HMS Britannia from 7th October 1916 to 9th November 1918 when it was sunk by UB50 off Cape Trafalgar. George was severely burned in this action. After demobilisation on 7th February 1919 George became a gardener. At the time of his marriage to Evelyn Riley on 20th January 1925 George was resident at Bankfield Lodge. George and Evelyn had 3 children, George, Fred and Joe

Bartle, Bernard – born 1884, son of Edwin and Hannah Amelia Bartle. Bernard married Annie Holroyd on 23rd September 1908 at Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield. In 1911 they were residing at 2 New Brighton and Bernard was an estate and insurance agent. Bernard and Annie had one son, James. Bernard served as Private 204277 in the 9th Battalion, 2/7th Battalion and 1/7th Battalion of the West Riding Regiment and was discharged on 25th September 1919. He was awarded the Victory and British War medals. From 1915 Bernard lived at Hill Top, Cottingley until his death, in Bingley Hospital, on 26th June 1955. Bernard had been secretary of Airedale Agricultural Society for 44 years up to 1947. He had also been secretary of Bingley Livestock Auction Mart Co. Ltd. since 1914 and secretary and one of the founders of Bradford Bantam Show.

Batchelor, Ernest – born 17th November 1890, son of Charles Hudson Batchelor, a coachman, and his wife Elizabeth. Ernest was a groom and gardener (employed by Thomas Hill) of Skirrow Street, Cottingley when he joined the 6th Battalion West Riding Regiment batchelor-erneston 20th July 1908.  In 1911 Ernest was a driver at the Royal Engineers Training Depot at Aldershot, although he was registered there as Edward Batchelor. On 29th July 1913 Ernest married Gertrude Lillian Willett at Allerton Parish Church. For service as Driver 21323 in the Royal Engineers, Ernest was awarded the 1914 Star and clasp, Victory Medal, British War Medal and Silver War Badge. He had enlisted in the Royal Engineers on 21st March 1911, first served overseas on 18th August 1914 and was discharged on 18th December 1914 through sickness. Ernest and Gertrude had two children, Muriel and Audrey.

Batchelor, John William – born 14th February 1888 and brother of Ernest (see above). No record of his military service has been found but in 1911 he was a Private in the West Riding Regimenbatchelor-williamt serving in India. Newspaper reports indicated that he was wounded in August 1914 at Mons and later taken prisoner by the Germans. He was awarded the 1914 Star, clasp and roses, the Victory medal and the British War medal and discharged on 27th April 1919. In 1914 he had been appointed postman at Menston where he lived from 1922 to 1926. On 7th January 1922 John William married Edith Jeffray at Menston with Woodhead Parish Church and on 25th March 1927 the couple, with their son Charles, emigrated to Canada where John William was joining his brother and intended to be a salesman.

Beales, Ernest – born 1893, son of John and Louisa Jane Beales. In 1911 Ernest was a monumental mason’s apprentice living at 2 Mitton Street, Cottingley. No conclusive evidence has been found of Ernest’s military service although a possible soldier was Private No. 266333 in the 2/6th Battalion of the West Riding Regiment. On 24th May 1919 Ernest married Emma Elizabeth Verney at Cottingley. They had two children, Doris Florence and Kathleen.

Bloomfield, Horace William – One of the forgotten soldiers whose name does not appear on the Town Hall plaque. Horace was born in 1893, the son of David and Annie Bloomfield. In 1911 he was an apprentice weaving overlooker. At the time of his marriage to Alice Revill, at St. Michael & All Angels’ Church, Cottingley on 20th August 1917, Horace’s occupation was a soldier. The 1918 Electoral Register records Horace as absent and qualifying for a vote through naval or military service. At that time he was resident at 10 Strand, Cottingley.

Bode, Otto Burchard Francis (Frank) – born in 1881 at Prestwich, Manchester, the son of Charles Henry Christian Adolphe Bode and his wife, Sarah Elizabeth (nee Williamson). Frank’s father was a German who attained British naturalisation in 1876. Frank married Ethel Maude Greenwood at Scarborough in 1909 and was resident there in 1911 when he was a confectioner and tobacconist. Frank served as Private DM2/ 117781 in the Army Service Corps first seeing action in France on 26th November 1915. He was awarded the 1915 Star, Victory Medal and British War Medal and was discharged on 20th April 1919. Frank and Ethel had a son, Gerald. They lived at 2 Cottingley Cliffe Road for a few years then in Shipley until Frank’s death in 1945.


Brigg, Charles Herbert Lawrence – born 6th May 1891, the son of William and Sarah Ann Brigg (nee Hartley). In 1911 Charles was a mechanic who resided at Wood View, Cottingley. In 1916 he married Elsa M Tillotson and they subsequently had three children, Lawrence, Kenneth and Kedrie. Charles served as Gunner 786526 in the Royal Field Artillery and was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He continued to live at Wood View until 1922, then at Baildon until his death in 1957.

Brigg, William Llewellyn – older brother of Charles (see above), William was born on 6th May 1887. Ibrigg-w-ln 1911 William was also a mechanic (employed by his father) and living at Wood View, Cottingley. William appears to have been married three times – first to Edith Willan in 1907, then to Mary Ellen Eastwood in 1912 and finally to Annie Margery Hampson in 1945. William served in the Queen’s Own Yorkshire Dragoons eventually attaining the rank of Lieutenant. He served in France from 20th July 1915 and was awarded the 1915 Star, Victory and British War medals. William also served in  India after the war. William died on 20th May 1961.

Briggs, Arthur Edward – born 29th June 1889, son of Arthur Harry and Emma Briggs (nee SutclA E Briggs.jpgiffe). Arthur was a motor driver No. 225773 in the Royal Naval Air Service which he joined on 19th February 1917. On 1st April 1918 he was transferred to the Royal Air Force and was discharged on 30th April 1920. In 1915 Arthur married Gladys M Boothroyd and they had three children, Eric Edward, Joan Boothroyd and Margaret Stephanie. They lived at Cottingley Hall until Arthur’s untimely death on 15th March 1928.

Butterfield, Percy Leonard – born 16th November 1897, son of Lot and Hannah Butterfield. In 1911, at the age of 13 years, Percy was a worsted spool doffer living at 60 Hollings Street, Cottingley. Percy enlisted in the R.A.F. on 15th May 1918 and served as a fitter (No. 167953). He was transferred to the reserve on 19th November 1919. Percy married Minnie Sunderland in 1922 and they subsequently had two children, Jack and Peter. Percy married again in 1939, to Emily Varley. Percy lived at various addresses in Cottingley, Bingley and Wilsden before settling at 21 Manor Road, Cottingley in 1934. Percy died in 1981.