Gunner William Young

William Young was born in Scampston, Yorkshire on 9 April 1879. He married Mary Wragg on 5 October 1907, in Wortley in the West Riding of Yorkshire and their daughter Amy was born on 5 February 1908 in Ripon.  In 1911, they are living at The Grove, Barnby Dun, near Doncaster, and William (31) is listed as a gardener.

He attested on 7 December 1915, at the age of 36 years and 8 months into the Royal Garrison Artillery and was mobilised on 30 June 1916.  He was posted to No 4 Depot of the Royal Garrison Artillery at Great Yarmouth on 4 July 1916, and was probably on his way there when he passed through Peterborough East Station on 3 July 1916.  He served in France from 31 March 1917 until 23 October 1917, when he was injured by a gunshot wound and repatriated to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, near Southampton and was later transferred to the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield.  On 17 July 1918, he was pronounced “no longer physically fit for war service” and sent home to await discharge on 7 August 1918. He was given a £1 advance, a suit of plain clothes, an overcoat and was awarded a weekly pension of 27/6 per week from 8 August 1918.  His Service Record states that he was a steady, intelligent man of good character.  He was awarded the Silver War Badge and British War and Victory Medals.

In the 1939 Register, William and Mary are living at 57 Council Estate, Doncaster and is listed as a working men’s club steward.

Peterborough Archives Service is embarking on an exciting three year project to bring to life two visitors’ books from the tea stall run by the Women’s United Total Abstinence Council on Peterborough East Railway Station during 1916 and 1917.  Servicemen travelling through Peterborough on their way to and from the front wrote messages, poems or drew pictures to express their gratitude to the ladies serving them tea and cake.  These slim volumes provide a unique insight into the servicemen who were passing through Peterborough during two years of the Great War. The men came from across the country and the books highlight the city’s importance as a railway hub during this period.

William Young’s entry on 3rd July 1916

Reproduced with kind permission of the Peterborough and the Great War project.  If you have any more information about the individual in this story please comment below or e-mail [email protected].

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