Albert Edward Yeadon


Private 22484, 12th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers

Died 11th July 1916 aged 33

No Known Grave Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Son of Arthur and Mary Yeadon

Lived 86, Cemetery Road, Heckmondwike

Albert was born in Rawdon on 31st March 1884, the son of Arthur Preston Yeadon, a Woollen Weaver , who had married Mary Swaine of Rawdon in 1883. In 1891 they were living at South Parade, Yeadon with their three children, Albert, Nellie (1886-) and Joe (1891-1962). A fourth child, Fred, had died in infancy in 1889. Their father was a well known cricketer in his home town of Yeadon.

By 1901 the family had moved to 113, Cemetery Road , Heckmondwike where Arthur was employed as a Woollen Weaver and Albert found work as a Boot Riveter at Goliath Footwear the Cooperative Wholesale Society (CWS) factory at Brunswick Mill in Heckmondwike. Aproximately four hundred staff were in employment there producing six to eight thousand pairs of boots a week.

Arthur Yeadon continued to be involved in the game of cricket. A report in the Wharfedale and Airedale Observer newspaper in March 1906 stated that “he had been engaged by the Yeadon Cricket Club as professional and groundsman for the forthcoming season” and shortly afterwards “that he was soon getting the ground and players into condition.” In July of the same year he scored eighty five runs in an innings when he played for the Yeadon side.

The 1911 census recorded that Arthur was employed as a Caretaker at the working men’s club in Heckmondwike. Both his sons Albert and Joe were Boot and Shoe Operatives and his daughter Nellie was a self employed Dressmaker. In 1913 Nellie married Robert Sheard and they moved to Leeds.

On June 1st 1915 Albert enlisted at Cleckheaton into the Northumberland Fusiliers as Private 22484 alongside his fellow work mate Private 22483 John Bradfield Winn. The Northumberland Fusiliers had been formed at Newcastle at the outbreak of the war in September 1914 as part of Kitchener's Third New Army. Albert trained with the signaller’s section, 3rd Reserve Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, at East Boldon Camp near Sunderland. He was deployed to France on March 31st 1916 as part of the 12th (Service) Battalion. He was involved in the first battle of the Somme.

Albert knew that his friend John Bradfield Winn had been killed on 3rd July 1916 and personally wrote to inform John’s parents. A few days later, on 10th July 1916, Albert’s battalion was moved to Mametz Wood. The 12th Northumberland Fusiliers was one of the battalions who were to relieve the 38th Welsh Division, they were heavily shelled whilst trying to dig-in to an area between Fricourt and Mametz Wood, resulting in many casualties, including Albert. The wood was taken by the 38th Welsh Division on 12th July 1916.

Albert’s family were given the news of his death in a letter from the front line written by another Heckmondwike soldier, Pte 28615 Allen Whitehead of 28, Victoria Street. He wrote saying that Albert had been killed by a shell which burst in the midst of a company of men and that he had been buried on the 17th.

The soldier’s effects payment of £5-0s-4d was received by Albert’s father in November 1916 followed in 1919 by the War Gratuity payment of £4. Albert’s mother Mary of 86, Cemetery Road was identified in January 1919 as his dependant and awarded a pension of five shillings a week.

Albert had been a non playing member of the Heckmondwike Cricket Club and also a member of the Brighton Street Working Mens Club. He is remembered on the Heckmondwike War Memorial in Green Park and also on the large wooden memorial originally in St Saviour’s Church Heckmondwike but now held in St James’ Parish Church. He was posthumously awarded the Victory and British Medals.

Albert’s younger brother, Private Joe Yeadon, survived the war. He had joined the 16th Battalion Prince of Wales Own West Yorkshire Regiment (A Company) at Bradford on 1st August 1915 and trained at Clipstone Camp in Nottinghamshire before serving in France from April 1916. He returned home to his parents at 86, Cemetery Road in March 1919. By August 1927 he had moved to Roberttown and was once again working as a Boot and Shoe Operative when he married Ida Earnshaw of Westgate, Cleckheaton at St Luke’s Church. Joe also received the Victory and British medals and is remembered with all those Heckmondwike men who took part in WW1 on the Heckmondwike Velum roll.

Details of his employment are available at the National CWS archive at Manchester and are possibly available to view by arrangement. To view the scope of the records available follow this link and in the SEARCH option type Goliath Footwear. {PL/KH-150}

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