Two Yorkshiremen of the Great War W H STEVENS G W CRABTREE "Harry" "George"
   Two Yorkshiremen of the Great War   W H STEVENS      G W CRABTREE"Harry"               "George" 

Welcome to this website about two Yorkshiremen who fought for their country in World War One.  From Howden and Huddersfield, a farm worker and a mill-hand, they both volunteered in 1915, aged 18.

William Henry Stevens DCM

Sjt W H Stevens, 82457

173rd Brigade, D Battery, Royal Field Artillery, (RFA).  Photograph taken in 1917, age probably 21.

George William Crabtree MM

Private George William Crabtree 102969, 15th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, (RAMC).  Photograph taken in 1915, age 19.

If you are related, (and there's a great number of us), you will certainly feel that little bit prouder of your ancestry after digesting some of this!  These guys certainly weren't worrying about paying back student loans when they left home at 18. 

 

If you were acquainted with them, had your railway ticket stamped or milk delivered by them, it is unlikely that that you could ever imagine for a second that they went through years of the atrocity and the horror of war.

In 2014 my father asked me to look after Grandad Stevens' medals and some old documents which have been in storage since his death in 1982 and as a result I became more interested in the experiences of both grandfathers in WW1 and their earlier lives.  Hence this website which will probably stay a work in progress for some time as I uncover more and more. 

 

I was fortunate enough to have spent a lot of time in the company of both men as I grew up but learnt almost nothing of their war experiences from either of them.

 

Both Grandfathers volunteered for active service in 1915, aged 18 and remained in the army until demobbed in 1919 after it was all over. They were not very forthcoming regarding their war experiences but a number of documents fortunately still exist, which both men retained and they make fascinating reading.

 

Further research is difficult as more than half of the service records, including those of both men, were destroyed in September 1940, when a German bombing raid struck the War Office repository in Arnside Street, London. 

 

           Royal Field Artillery

 

 

     Royal Army Medical Corps

 

 

How Much Pressure Was There To Enlist?
Recruitment In World War 1.docx
Microsoft Word document [310.5 KB]
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This site went online 22-04-2015. Many thanks to those who have provided me with photos and information and apologies if I've inadvertently used any unauthorised material.

Harry Stevens, born 17-07-1896, from Blacktoft, Howden, enlisted on January 13th 1915, at just under the age of 18 years 6 months and was de-mobbed April 13th 1919 in France.  He was in the Royal Field Artillery and was awarded the DCM.   More 

George Crabtree, from Huddersfield, born 30th November 1896, enlisted on October 2nd 1915, at just over the age of 18 years 10 months and was de-mobbed April 1919 at Ripon.  He was in the Royal Army Madical Corps and awarded the MMMore.  See his 1917/18 diary entries 

Listen to Harry in 1982, a few soundbites from a recording sent to granddaughter Anne in India
WHS soundbites.mp3
MP3 audio file [2.7 MB]

This remains a work in progress. There are still many photos, some audio and much information to add. 

 

Should anyone have any useful/extra information, such as images/photos, memories or anecdotes which would benefit this site, then please get in touch and I'll include them. If I've made any errors please let me know.

 

Thanks

Graham Stevens

Harry, far left and George, far right, at the wedding of my parents Harry and Kathleen in August 1954