A Brief K.O.Y.L.I. Timeline, 1914-15


August Soldiers start to be billeted across Doncaster town, including on the racecourse

August Recruitment to D Company of the 6th battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in Doncaster

16 August 1914
2nd K.O.Y.LI. arrive in France to fight as part of the British Expeditionary Force

23 August 1914
The Battle of Mons. The opening British and German engagement of the War. 2nd K.O.Y.L.I suffer heavy losses during this action. Following a day of fighting, the British Expeditionary Force begin to retreat. Death of Second Lieutenant John Pepys – The first K.O.Y.L.I. soldier to be killed in action abroad

26 August 1914
Battle of Le Cateau’ – 2nd K.O.Y.L.I. sustained heavy losses and many are taken prisoner of war

September 1914
12th K.O.Y.L.I. is raised in Halifax from volunteers by the West Riding Coal Owners association

October 1914
3rd K.O.Y.L.I. are transferred from Pontefract to Hull to defend the East Coast. They spend the war at home



16 January 1915
1st K.O.Y.L.I. land at Havre, France

19 February 1915
1/4 K.O.Y.L.I. (territorials) training accident in Gainsborough. 7 men are killed in a raft building accident

12/13 April 1915
1/4 and 1/5 K.O.Y.L.I. arrive in France

17 April 1915
2nd K.O.Y.L.I. fight in ‘The Battle for Hill 60 in the Ypres Salient. The battle tried to remove the Germans from a high point where they could see the British lines

22 April  – 25 May 1915
The Second Battle of Ypres. The first successful use of poison gas by the German forces. Key involvement of the 2 K.O.Y.L.I.

21 May 1915
6th K.O.Y.L.I., one of the battalions raised by Kitchener’s recruitment drive, arrive in France as part of the first hundred thousand of Kitchener’s men

31 May 1915
First use of German flamethrowers against British forces during engagements at Hooge, Belgium. 6 K.O.Y.LI are involved in this fight

July-September 1915
7th, 8th, 9th, 10th K.O.Y.L.I ‘Kitchener’ volunteers arrive in France

July 1915
The National Registration Act is introduced in Britain, obliging all eligible men to register for military service. This is seen as a step towards conscription

25 September 1915
Battle of Loos. First battle for the 9th and 10th K.O.Y.LI. First British use of poison gas

21st October 1915
1st K.O.Y.L.I leave the Western Front to move to Salonika, Greece

December 1915
12 K.O.Y.L.I (Miners) are sent to Egypt