- Private William Earl Jarvis
- Second Lieutenant William Andrew Turnbull
- Private Robert Harland
In the summer of 1916 the Territorial 5th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment who were in positions in Zouave Wood near Locre, a sector of the dreaded Ypres salient, at this period of the war considered [euphemistically] a ‘quiet area’:
‘It must be pointed out that although the line is described as quiet, shellfire was almost always going on. The Germans with their big howitzers were able to pour [and did pour] an almost continuous fire upon the doomed city. Their great howitzer shells crashed into the place, piling destruction upon destruction with the idea not only of reducing Ypres into ruins but in order to cause casualties amongst troops moving up to or from the front line, and transport units who carried up chiefly at night. Shelling, mortaring, machinegun fire and sniping occurred at all times day and night. No part of the line was ever free from one or the other. Casualties were sometimes heavy, and at other times extremely light’ 
Ypres had once been the jewel in the crown of a flourishing Flemish lace industry; by May of 1916 the city was a haunted skeleton of a former glory:
‘Ypres presented an awe-inspiring sight. One long street we passed through going towards the Cloth Hall was on fire on both sides of the road. The middle of the road was strewn and piled with debris from falling walls, whilst the darkness of the city was changed to vivid illumination from flames of burning buildings’ 
During this ‘quiet period’ the Fifth Yorks had lost five men killed and thirty one wounded. Fatally wounded on Friday, June 23rd 1916: 2001 Private William Earl Jarvis had been born in Scarborough at No.20 St Sepulchre Street in 1894 [Baptised at St Mary’s Parish Church on October 11th] and was the eldest of three sons of Emma and John Henry [parents John Henry Jarvis and Emma Earl were married at St Mary’s on June 10th 1889], the proprietors of a grocery shop at the above address. A former pupil of the nearby Friarage School, William had enlisted into the Territorial 1ST/5TH Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment before the war, at their headquarters in North Street, and had been, prior to his mobilisation in August 1914 employed in the family grocery business.
The Battalion had landed in France [at Boulogne] with 50th [Northumbrian] Division on the fifteenth of April 1915, barely a week later, totally untried in battle and poorly equipped they were thrown into action in Flanders during the second battle of Ypres in a desperate attempt at stopping the German tide that was threatening to engulf the city, later referred to as the battle of St Julien, on St Georges Day, April 23rd 1915. Nonetheless the 5th Yorks acquitted themselves admirably in the fighting and earned themselves the nickname of ‘The Yorkshire Gurkhas’. William Jarvis was one of the few who came out of the battle unscathed [50th Division suffered over 5000 casualties during the battle].
On Friday June 30th 1916 the following appeared in that day’s ‘The Scarborough Mercury’:
‘Scarborough 5th Yorks killed - The sad news has reached his home, St. Sepulchre Street, in a letter from a friend Private [Albert] Megginson of the death in action of Private W.E. Jarvis, 5th Yorks. From a subsequent letter from his commanding officer, it appears that the young soldier, who went out with the 1st line 5th Yorks and was on leave in February, was killed by machine gun fire on Friday. A younger brother, Ernest Studley Jarvis is in the Navy’…
[Born in Scarborough on the 26TH of June 1900, William’s youngest brother J 51403 Able Seaman Ernest Studley Jarvis, had served in the Royal Navy until the Armistice, when he had been demobilised to return to his home in Scarborough]
Aged twenty one years at the time of his death, William Earl Jarvis is commemorated on a headstone in Dean Road Cemetery, [Plot C, Row 37 Grave 30] with the name of his mother who had died in May 1913, aged 47 years. His father, Norfolk born John Henry Jarvis remained in his shop in St Sepulchre Street until the early 1930s [living with him was son Harold Arthur and wife Maud]. He died in January 1945 aged 80 years and was subsequently buried with his wife in Dean Road Cemetery.
Between the 16th and 21st of July 1916 the Fifth Yorks positions were subjected to an intense German artillery bombardment which had killed five officers and wounding two. Amongst those killed on Monday the seventeenth: Second Lieutenant William Andrew Turnbull.
Born in Scarborough on November 1st 1878 [Baptised at St Mary’s on December 6th] William was the youngest of six children of Fanny and solicitor, the late [died in 1915] Henry Turnbull of No13 Grosvenor Road. A practising solicitor in the family firm, H.Turnbull & Sons of No 33 St Thomas Street before the war, William had, nonetheless, enlisted into the 5th Yorks as a Private [Regimental Number 14153], at the beginning of hostilities however by the time the Battalion had embark for the front in April 1915 he had been promoted to Second Lieutenant. Wounded during the Battle of St Julien in April 1915 Turnbull had again wounded in the back and shoulder at Sanctuary Wood three months later. These wounds were serious enough to warrant his evacuation to England [the soldiers called these ‘Blighty Wounds’] for treatment and convalescence and had not returned to the Battalion until early in 1916.
On Friday July 28th the following had appeared in the Scarborough Mercury:
‘Scarborough Officer killed in action - Shell causes mortal wound to Lieutenant Turnbull - We regret to announce that Second Lieutenant W.A.Turnbull has been killed. Official news reached his relatives from the Territorial Records Office, York in the following form by wire today [Saturday July 21st]:
Regret to inform you that Second Lieut. W. A. Turnbull was killed in action on July 17th. Mr. Lloyd George expresses his sympathy.
‘The news had previously been unofficially circulated, and when we made enquiries which elicited that the family had no information, we were hopeful that the report of Lieut Turnbull’s death was untrue, there is now, unfortunately, no doubt, for Captain Brown, D.S.O. [who himself has been wounded] was with him when he died as a result of a shell, which burst near the farm in which his company of the Fifth Yorks were stationed. Lieutenant Turnbull, who was the son of the late Mr H. Turnbull, Solicitor, a greatly esteemed resident of Scarborough, had previously been wounded, following which he had spent some time in Scarborough. Like his Father, and Brother, Mr Sidney Turnbull, J.P. he entered the legal profession and was associated with the well known firm in St Thomas Street when war broke out. He joined the 5th Yorks as a Private and was afterwards granted a commission.
The late officer took a great interest in the scout movement and had organised numerous camps, some at Langdale end and others further afield. He was formally honorary secretary to the R.S.P.C.A. Lieutenant Turnbull was an evangelical churchman [a member of the congregation of Holy Trinity Church, in Trinity Road] of a most earnest type and fine Christian character [he was also a member of the Y.M.C.A. in Brunswick Terrace]. Many will feel his death as a personal loss. He was aged thirty-eight years and unmarried. Lieutenant Turnbull was most solicitous for the men under him and there will be great regret amongst them at his death’
William Turnbull is commemorated in a family plot in Manor Road Cemetery [Plot J Row 1 Graves 5 & 6] which contains three barely decipherable headstones, one commemorates the fallen Lieutenant, and the other commemorates his elder sisters Fanny Clarke [Daisy] Turnbull the second daughter of Henry and Fanny, born on October 1st 1872, died April 7th 1912, and their eldest daughter Mabel Elizabeth, born June 28th 1867, died August 7th 1930. The remaining stone commemorates his parents, Henry born in 1840 at Hackness, died in December 1915, and York born Fanny Turnbull who had been buried on the second of June 1923 aged 81 years.
The bombardment had also killed and wounded forty six other ranks, amongst them:
1642 Private Robert Harland. Born in Scarborough at No 29 Hope Street in 1896 [Baptised at St Mary’s Parish Church on the 14th of May, where he is also commemorated on a ’Roll of Honour’ situated on the north interior wall of the Church]. Robert had been the eldest of two sons [younger brother Alfred was born in 1899] and four girls [sisters Lillian born in 1884, Annie 1886, Hellen and Martha both born in 1893] of Jane, and ‘Scavenger/ Labourer’ Robert Harland. [Parents Robert Harland, a Widower, and Jane Craven were married at St Mary’s on July 8th 1882]. Like his two comrades in arms Robert Harland had enlisted into the Territorial 5TH Yorks before the war at their drill hall in North Street, and had also been a veteran of the Battle of St Julien [April 24th 1915].
On Friday July 26th 1916 ‘The Scarborough Mercury’ had contained the following:
‘Killed by explosive bomb - Scarborough 5th Yorks falls - Capt Robinson of the 5th yorks writing to mrs Jane Harland 4 Durham Cottages say’s:
It is my painful duty to tell you of the death of your son Private R. Harland as a result of an explosive bomb which burst close to him. He was hit in several places and death was instantaneous. He will be buried in a Military cemetery and afterwards a cross erected. I want to express to you the very sincere sympathy of his officers and comrades in your great loss I hope you will take consolation from the fact that he was killed in the course of duty to his country. As you know he has gone through many trials and lived under dangerous conditions, the nature of which perhaps people at home do not sometimes realise. You have every reason to be proud of your son’s service to his country. Private Harland, who was unmarried, formerly was a corporation chair attendant. His mother is a widow’ 
[Robert Harland senior had died on December 9th 1915 in the Workhouse Infirmary at the age of 74 years].
According to the records of the Commonwealth War Graves commission Jane Harland lived at no 18 Dean Road post war. I have subsequently learnt that this was the address of the Workhouse [Poor Law Institution]. It would therefore be not unreasonable to state that Jane Harland probably died in the Institution, on Friday May 15th 1925, at the age of 64 years. Was that a fitting reward for the loss of a son who had fought and died for his country? I think not.
Robert and Jane Harland are commemorated on a Gravestone in Dean Road Cemetery Section A. Row 28. which also contains the name of their daughter Annie Harland, who had died on October 28th 1917 at the age of 28 years.
The three ‘Yorkshire Gurkhas’ were buried in La Laiterie [The Dairyfarm] Military Cemetery, which is situated near the village of Heuveland, seven kilometres south of Ypres on the road to the village of Kemmel in Western Flanders, which today commemorates over 750 men who were killed or died of wounds in the area from November 1914 to October 1918, [a quarter of whom are unidentified] Their graves can be found in Section 7. Row D. Graves 24, 16, and 15 respectively.
Once a Howard twice a citizen: Colonel W.J.Tovey, Major A.J.Podmore.
 I have been unable to find any information regarding a Captain named Robinson who served with the 5th Yorks during this period. However there was a Captain Frederick William Robson, who had gone on to be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and be awarded the Distinguished Service Order. He was unfortunately himself killed in action in March 1918 at the age of thirty years.