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St. HELEN'S CHURCH, SANDAL MAGNA - PAGE 5
MILITARY HEADSTONES

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Cpl HV Lambert KOYLI. 201116 Corporal Harry Victor Lambert, 2/4th Bn and 4th Reserve Bn, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 27 on 11 May 1918. Son of Henry and Annie Lambert, husband of Lily Lambert, of 77 Duke of York Avenue, Manygates Lane, Sandal. Buried at St Helen's Churchyard, Sandal, Grave ref: 4. 13. 1077.

Wakefield Express 18 May 1918:

DISCHARGED FROM HOSPITAL
INQUIRY INTO A WAKEFIELD SOLDIER'S DEATH
SHIVERING IN A HUT

Mr P. P, Maitland [Coroner] opened an inquest at the City Police Station on Tuesday on the body of Harry Vincent Lambert [27] Spring Bank Cottages, Sandal, who joined the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in November 1914 and who died at his home on Saturday night.

There was a suggestion that the man had been prematurely discharged from the Dewsbury War Hospital. There were present at the inquest the Rev W. Mahon, Chairman of the Wakefield board of Guardians, and the Rev A. A. Parry, Vicar of Sandal.

Evidence was given by the widow, who stated that her husband, formerly a miner at Nostell Colliery, joined the Army in November 1914. In May last year she received intimation that he was in hospital at Rouen suffering from trench fever and gas poisoning. Afterwards he was removed to Glasgow, where he remained in hospital until last September, when he came home for ten days .

He complained of pains in the body and head and was sent to the Park Lane Military Hospital Wakefield but on November 24th he was transferred to the Dewsbury War Hospital for further treatment. He underwent two operations at the hospital but was very weak afterwards, and did not seem much better. A fortnight ago her husband wrote to her stating that he was sleeping in a hut, and that when he woke at nights he was shivering and full of cold.

On Saturday week she received a letter from him stating that he was getting discharged from the Army and that he was being sent home in the course of a week. He was eventually discharged from the hospital, but whether it was at his own request or not she could not say. She took his clothes to Dewsbury on Wednesday week and when she saw him he was shivering and complained of cold. When he got home he was very ill, and Dr Downie, who was sent for, said he was suffering from Bronchitis and Double Pneumonia. He became delirious and remained so until he died.

The Coroner said they would have to adjourn the inquiry for the attendance of Dr Russell, the Medical Officer at the Dewsbury War Hospital, and Dr Downie. He was very anxious to know why the poor fellow was discharged from the Dewsbury Hospital. They must not prejudge the case but it was evident from the widow's evidence that he was very ill and it looked as if he had been sent home prematurely.

It was an exceptional case, and there were two points which they wanted to clear . This man had served his King and Country in France for some time, was injured in the process of active service, and ultimately died. The first point was whether he had died as a consequence of doing his duty in the Army and secondly was it justifiable to have sent him home to die so shortly after. One point was important and the other serious. The inquest was adjourned until Thursday next.

Note: A further account of this inquest can be found in the Wakefield Express dated 25 May 1918, Page 3.

Pte J. Sayles KOYLI.29991 Private Jabez Sayles, not listed on St Helen's memorial but buried in the churchyard. He was serving with 3rd Bn King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) when he died, aged 28, on 23 February 1919. Husband of Alice Sayles, of 5 Poplar Terrace, Agbrigg Road, Sandal Cross Lane.

Wilkinson headstoneHeadstone for George Martin Wilkinson
and his wife Maria Wilkinson
and their son Percy Wilkinson.


PERCY WILKINSON
, listed on the Walton War Memorial.

12007 Gunner Percy Wilkinson, 168th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, died aged 27 on 31 January 1917. He was the son of Mr George Martin. Wilkinson and Mrs Maria Wikinson of Woodyard Cottages, Walton. Gnr. Wilkinson is buried at Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps, Somme.

Wakefield Express, 17 February 1917:
WALTON SOLDIER KILLED IN ACTION
A MAN WHO DID NOT KNOW WHAT FEAR WAS
ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR MEN IN THE BATTERY
Information has been received of the death in action of Gunner P. Wilkinson, of the Royal Field Artillery, who lived with his parents at Woodyard Cottages, Walton. He was 27 [headstone has '29'] years of age. He enlisted in April 1915 and had been at the front thirteen months. Prior to enlistment he worked at Walton Colliery [formerly Sharlston West].

Deceased's mother has received several sympathetic letters from Officers and others connected with the Battery. The Chaplin (Reverend R. E. Grice-Hutchinson) writing on February 2nd says:- 'I am so grieved to have to write and tell you that I was called upon to carry out the burial of your son on Thursday. I have seldom heard of a man whose death was spoken of with greater regret both by his Officers and fellow soldiers in the Battery. Lieutenant James, who commands the sub section to which he belonged, told me what a capital fellow he was, and his Sergeant (who was present at the funeral) said that he was the cheeriest and brightest man in the Battery, and did not know what fear was. He was killed in action in the Battery. Mr James told me his fellow soldiers were making a cross for his grave as a mark of their respect for him. I am afraid it must be a terrible blow to you, but I am sure you will be glad to know how popular your boy was and that he died in a moment while doing his duty. He could not have suffered at all.

Lieutenant Harold L. James in the course of his letter says:- 'It is with the deepest regret that I have to inform you of the death of your son Percy he was hit today January 31st with shrapnel and died almost Instantaneously. His last remarks were "I am hit". I can assure you he was of a fearless nature and always willing to do his duty at all times, and he won the admiration of all who knew him. His social disposition made him one of the most popular men in the Battery, and as you undoubtedly know he was always ready to give anyone a helping hand. His death will be deeply felt by us all, and kindly accept the sincere sympathy of the Officers, N.C.O. of the Battery who share with you in this painful loss. In closing please accept my deepest sympathy. I was his section Officer for ten months, and I shall miss him very much.

Sergeant A. Ward also sends a sympathetic letter, in the course of which he says:- 'Your son was always a good and willing young man, ever ready to give one a helping hand. He was of a brave and fearless nature, and was liked very much in the Battery by Officers, N.C.O. and men. We shall miss him very much, I can assure you. Little did I think when I came on leave and told you how he was getting on, that I should have to write a letter of this description three months later.'


NOTE
"Much of the research has been carried out by David Burnage, of Kettlethorpe, who has been researching Wakefield's First World War memorials for the past ten years, pursuing his interest in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He has generously shared the extensive fruits of that research, to which Sandal Community Association has added information about those who fell in the Second World War."
(Sandal Community Association)

■ For more information visit the Sandal Community Association's website. (Site accessed 8th November 2018.)

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