Captain A Noel Wills
Noel Wills was born in Loughborough, one of the four children of Henry and Katherine Wills. His father was employed as a printer.
He was for some time in practice as a solicitor in Doncaster before joining the army. He was the secretary of the Doncaster Volunteer Training Corps in its early days and put in a great deal of work in connection with the linking of the Corps with the Central Association and its eventual establishment as a recognised unit of the Home defence forces.
He was fond of sport and was a member of Doncaster Rugby Union Football Club.
Obtaining a commission in the Territorials early in 1915 he went out to France in 1915 and was slightly wounded.
He was promoted to the rank of Captain.
On 5th March 1918 he was badly wounded at Ypres. He was taken to a Canadian casualty clearing station suffering from a compound fracture of his left thigh, haemorrhage and exposure. The onset of blood poisoning meant that his leg had to be amputated but the shock of the operation proved to be too much and he died on 7th March.
The chaplain who was with him said that he remained optimistic and showed great courage right up to the end.
He was 30 years old.
Captain Alf Tucker
Alf Tucker was a member of a Harrogate family and one of four brothers.
He served his articles with a Harrogate and Leeds firm of solicitors.
He came to Doncaster at a time when the town was on the crest of the coal boom. His firm opened a branch office and he became the resident partner. He lived at 37, Thorne Road.
He took a great interest in public life. He was a Conservative and gave valuable service at the 1910 elections. He became secretary of Doncaster Conservative and Unionist Party and worked for the Young Conservatives and The Primrose League.
He was fond of sport and played tennis, golf and football, and was a member of Doncaster Rugby Union Football Club.
He was a regular member of the congregation and a devout communicant at Doncaster Parish Church.
When he joined 5th KOYLI most other interests gave way to soldiering. He was a favourite with the men and took part in their sport and recreation.
He received his Captaincy in early 1915 and went to France with his men.
On 8th August he was with his battalion in a fierce bombardment and he was hit by a shell. His injuries were so severe that he died two hours later.
He was the first Doncaster officer to be lost.
He was 30 years old.
A memorial service was held at Doncaster Parish Church.
Second Lieutenant Henry Guy Hanning Thorp
Henry Guy Hanning Thorp was born in Goole in 1895 and lived in the town before attending public school. His father, Henry Bell Hanning Thorp, was the Director of the Local Board and a prominent architect. His mother, Georgina, was born in Canada. By 1911 Henry Bell had moved to Doncaster but was still working in Goole.
In the months leading up to the First World War Henry Guy was touring Canada, visiting his mother’s relations but returned to England when war was declared. He joined 3rd Battalion KOYLI and was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in August 1914 serving in France from the beginning of March 1915.
His service was short as he was killed in action on 13th March 1915 at the age of 19. He was buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery, Nord.
Private Thomas Heptonstall Wheater
Thomas Wheater had been a resident in Doncaster for about twenty years and lived with his sister, Mrs Hodgson, at 66, Dockin Hill Road.
He was employed at Messrs Sheard Binnington and Co.
He enlisted with the 2nd/5th Battalion KOYLI in March 1916. He had been at the front for only eight weeks when he was killed in action on 14th March 1917.
The news of his death was brought to Mrs Hodgson by one of his comrades.
He was 42 years old.
His brother Edwin died as a result of poison gas in June 1918.
Lieutenant Arthur William Sheard
Arthur Sheard was the only son of the late Mr George Sheard and Mrs Sheard of Auckland Road, Doncaster. George Sheard was one of the founders of Sheard Binnington and Company.
Arthur was born in High Street and was educated at Mr Jackson’s school in Hallgate.
After serving an apprenticeship with Messrs Mawer and Collingham in Lincoln he spent time gaining experience in commercial life in London, Leicester and Edinburgh. He returned to Doncaster on the death of his father and brought enthusiasm and youth to the reconstructed firm.
When he enlisted in 1914 with the 18th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Public Schools battalion) he was a partner in the firm. After some months service at the front as a corporal he returned to England and went to Cambridge where he trained for a commission.
In April 1916 he was married to Miss Mabel Mary Booth at St Mary’s Church.
He received his commission in August 1916 and returned to the front in September with the 5th/6th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment. He was killed in action on 17th January 1917.
He was 30 years old.
Lieutenant George Donald Gray
George Gray was the elder son of the late James Gray, solicitor, and the late Elizabeth Gray of Barnsley.
He was educated at Wakefield Grammar School and was a solicitor by profession with a practice in Doncaster where he was well known.
He was a pillar of the Boy Scout movement and the organisation in Doncaster owed much to his energy and enthusiasm. He formed the second Doncaster troop known locally as Gray’s Darlings. He was also associated with the YMCA and for some time before joining the army he managed the Mirfield hut for soldiers in Waterdale.
He was commissioned as Second Lieutenant with the KOYLI in October 1914 and later promoted to Lieutenant.
He transferred to 2nd/4th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment in January 1916 and served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from February 1917.
His mother died only a fortnight prior to his death and he was given leave to attend her funeral but arrived a day too late.
He was killed in action at Ervillers on May 5th 1917.
He was 34 years old.
Just prior to his death he had been recommended for promotion to Captain.
His brother continued with the practice in Doncaster.
Gunner Edwin Wheater
Edwin and Mary Wheater lived at 94, Dockin Hill Road, Doncaster with their three small daughters.
He came to Doncaster in about 1908 and was employed by Messrs Hodgson and Hepworth as a van man until May 1916 when he joined the army.
He enlisted with the Royal Engineers and went to France in September 1916.
He suffered slightly from the effects of gas following an attack only two months later. He recovered and returned to action.
On 6 June 1918 a shell burst near his gun and he was again gassed, this time fatally. He died on the way to hospital.
He was 34 years old.
His brother, who worked for Messrs Sheard Binnington and Co for twenty years, was killed in action in 1917.
Lieutenant Cyril “Dick” Carr
Cyril “Dick” Carr was the eldest son of Alderman and Mrs. Carr who lived in Victorian Crescent, Doncaster. Before the war Cyril assisted in his father’s building business.
Cyril enlisted in the first month of the war attached to the Yorkshire Dragoons and on the 13th June 1915 he was commissioned as the first officer of “Doncaster’s Own” company of the Royal Engineers.
Cyril went to the front in the spring of 1916.
Cyril married Mary Humphrey, the eldest daughter of John Humphrey of Station Farm in Rossington, whilst home on leave on 11th April 1917.
Cyril was awarded the Military Cross in June 1917 as recognition of an act of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy.
He was killed by a shell on the day of his first wedding anniversary and was given a Christian burial.
Cyril was 24 years of age. He was buried at Outtersteene Community Cemetery Extension, Bailleul.
His father Abner Carr held the office of Mayor of Doncaster in 1918.
Private Harold Cranidge
Harold Cranidge lived at Bentley. He was a bell ringer at the Parish Church and before the war he was employed by a local firm of pawnbrokers.
He enlisted with 9th (Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion, Highland Light infantry. He served in France where he was wounded in action. He was evacuated to a hospital in Leeds where he died of his wounds on 19th June 1917.
He was buried with full military honours in the cemetery at Arksey. A muffled peal was rung at the Parish Church in his honour.
Private Robert Massingberd Rogers
Robert was the eldest son of Robert Massingberd Rogers and Minnie Jemima Charlotte Rogers and was born in Doncaster.
Both his grandfather, Jeremiah Rogers, and his father were organists at Doncaster Parish Church. They are commemorated on a plaque in the church.
Robert was educated at Doncaster Grammar School.
He enlisted in the 24th Battalion Royal Fusiliers in November 1915 and was attached to a machine gun section. On 31st July 1916, during heavy fighting, Robert Rogers gallantly went out to a shell hole to rescue another man and was killed. Most of the other men of the section were taken prisoner.
He was 23 years old.