- Private John William Harwood
- Private William Anderson
- Private Frederick Ireland
- Private Henry Ireland
- Private Henry Newby
- Private Ernest William Newby
- Bandsman Allan Parkinson
- Private Arthur Ward
- Private Alfred Ernest Watson
With the village of Flers in British hands, the next objective had been the capture of the neibouring village of Gueudecourt, to the northeast. However before the village could be taken, two heavily defended positions, Gird Trench, and Gird Support first had to be seized. An objective of the sorely depleted 41ST Division, the job had eventually been given to the 64TH Brigade [9TH and 10TH Battalions of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 1ST East Yorkshire Regiment, and 15TH Durham Light Infantry] of the 21ST Division, who were to be attached to the former unit for the operation.
The men who were to undertake the attack on the two positions had begun to move up to their assembly point in pouring rain in the early hours of the sixteenth reaching Flers Trench just as it was getting light, a little before 6am. Apparently an ill prepared affair, the officers who were to lead the attack, planned to begin at 9-20am, had not been able to make a preliminary reconnaissance of the terrain they were being told to, cross nor of the objectives themselves.
Another problem was that in order to take advantage of the timed artillery barrage that was to support the advance it would be necessary to get the men forward to a position near enough to the barrage to get cover from it as they made their advance across No Mans Land’. To achieve this the infantry would have to advance twenty or so minutes before ‘Zero Hour’, across open country, in broad daylight and under fire to be up behind the barrage when it started, in short, commit suicide.
The rain that had drenched the soldiers during the night had by ‘Zero Hour’ disappeared, to make way to a fine and sunny day. At the allotted time, sixty fourth Brigade, with 9TH KOYLI and 15TH DLI in front, and the two other Battalions in support had begun to make their one thousand five hundred yards advance towards their first objective, Gird Trench. The History of the Battalion, blandly records what had happened next;
‘This was done under fire, and the 9/KOYLI, advanced well and in fair formation to approximately fifty yards from the objective, where it occupied the shell craters that were everywhere existing. The losses had been very heavy [from machine gun fire and shrapnel] and the attack that followed was not made in sufficient strength to prevail. The position in the craters was held throughout the day, but under the cover of darkness the troops were withdrawn to the road running from Flers village towards Lesboeufs’. 
The casualties incurred during this appalling waste of life, were four officers killed, six wounded, and three missing. ‘The other ranks’ had forty-three killed, a hundred and eighty wounded, and a further hundred and fifty three were missing;
Amongst the missing; 34915 Private John William Harwood. Born at Scarborough in 1897, John was the only son of Ruth, and John Edward Harwood, [Parents John Edward Harwood, and Ruth Hutchinson had been married at St Mary’s Parish Church on December 24TH 1890] who may have been a fisherman at one time, however at the time of their sons death the couple had been the caretakers of the Central Infant and Junior School in Trafalgar Street West [now Genevieve Court], living across the road from the School, at No 4 Melrose Street.
Another former scholar of St Martins Grammar School in Ramshill Road [1906- 1909], John had subsequently found employment with local photographer William Ricketts, whose studio had been in Eastborough, where he had been working when Britain had declared in August 1914. John Harwood had eventually enlisted into the Yorkshire Regiment at Scarborough at the age of seventeen years in October, and had been allotted the Regimental number 2576. I believe that instead of going to the Territorial Force 1ST/5TH Battalion who were at that period in Newcastle, John had been posted to the 2ND/5TH Battalion, [a reserve Battalion which was formed at Scarborough in September 1914] from which reinforcements would be sent as required to the former Battalion.
John had served with 2/5 Battalion at Benton, near Newcastle in the 189TH Brigade of the 63RD Division from early 1915 until July, when the unit had moved to Cramlington in Northumberland, the unit had remained there until November 1915, when Harwood and the remainder of his battalion had moved to Gainsborough in Lincolnshire. Transferred to the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry whilst there, in a huge draft of reinforcements which had been required by the Regiment following terrible losses sustained during the Battle of Loos in September 1915, John Harwood had joined the 9TH K.O.Y.L.I. in France at Armentieres, where the Battalion had been withdrawn for training, and to await the arrival of reinforcements following the Loos fiasco.
Formed at Pontefract in September 1914, the 9TH Battalion had landed in France exactly a year later, whereupon their Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel C.W.D. Lynch had made himself extremely unpopular by ordering the whole of the Battalion to shave their heads, following a report that there had been a number of head wounds which had become fatal, due to infection in the victims hair. This was only the start. A fortnight later the poorly prepared Battalion had been committed to their ‘baptism of fire’ in the ill fated battle of Loos, during which the Battalion had, in their C.O.’s opinion performed miserably, he was never to let his men forget this in the ensuing months, where the smallest infringement of military discipline and conduct usually resulted in severe retribution from above.
On the opening day of the Somme Offensive John Harwood had been in the ranks of 9TH KOYLI when over seven hundred men of the Battalion [and the remainder of 64TH Brigade] had made a futile attack on a position known as ‘Crucifix Trench’, during the battle for the village of Fricourt. In the assault the Battalion had been decimated by machine gun fire and everything else the Germans could throw at them. It had later been found that twenty three Officers [including Colonel Lynch and Captain Haswell] of the Battalion had either been killed, wounded, or were missing as a result of the action, in addition were the four hundred and thirty two casualties sustained by the ‘Other Ranks’.
Officially listed as killed in action on Saturday the 16TH of September 1916, Private John William Harwood had been listed in ‘The Scarborough Mercury’ of Friday October 27th 1916 as ‘Missing’. Almost a year later, on Friday July 29th 1917 the following had appeared;
‘Missing-- now reported killed - Mr. And Mrs. John E. Harwood, New Road Inn, Vernon Place -- Formally caretakers of the Central School-- have now received news that their son, Private John Wm. Harwood, who has been missing since September 16TH last, must be considered to have been killed on that date’
Almost on the anniversary of their son’s death John and Ruth had placed an epitaph for John in the Birth’s Marriages and Deaths column of the Newspaper of Friday September 14th 1917, the words echoing the sentiments of the thousands of parents who had lost their son’s to the Somme;
‘Harwood. —In loving memory of our dear son, Private J.W. Harwood, K.O.Y.L.I., presumed killed September 15th 1916, aged 19 years. —‘Only those who have lost can understand’. From his loving Father and Mother, New Road Inn, Vernon Place’
John William Harwood’s body was never recovered from the Somme battlefield and has ‘No Known Grave’. Like the multitude of men killed during the fighting who also have ‘no known grave’ he is commemorated on Pier and Face 11C and 12A of the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, which are dedicated to the missing of the K.O.Y.L.I..
John is also commemorated in his hometown, at St Martins Church in Scarborough’s South Cliff, on the base of the cross that stands outside the Church, and at St Mary’s Parish Church in Castle Road, where his name can be found on the ‘Roll of Honour’, located on the interior north wall. He is also remembered on a black marble headstone, [which looks to be in danger of falling at any moment] in Dean Road Cemetery [Section C / Border/Grave 37] that also contains the name of his Mother who had died many years after her son in May 1931at the age of sixty-three years. [John Edward Harwood is buried with his wife in Dean Road Cemetery, he is not however commemorated on the stone. He had subsequently died in July 1947 at the age of 82 years]
Also amongst the missing; 34843 Private William Anderson. Born in Scarborough during 1882, ‘Bill’ had been the son of Mary and Edwin Anderson, who had lived for many years in the ‘bottom end’ of the town at No.13 Batty Place, and had reportedly once been a hairdresser in the town. Like John Harwood no identifiable remains of Bill Anderson had ever been found on the battlefields of the Somme, and like Private Harwood, Bill’s name had also been included on Pier and Face 11C & 12A of the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.
The 64TH Brigade had again attacked the Gird Trenches on the 25TH of September. Again the Brigade had been involved in very bitter fighting. At this time the two enemy positions had been pounded so much by British artillery that they had ceased to resemble trenches at all and were by then merely a collection of shell holes. Fighting had gone on throughout the night of the 25TH and it was not until the next day, and the arrival of a tank, which had assisted the Brigade in clearing the enemy out of the positions that they had finally been secured. Both Battalions of the K.O.Y.L.I. had eventually been relieved during the night of the 26TH of September and withdrawn to bivouac between Trones and Bernafey Wood’s and took no further part in the Somme Offensive of 1916. For the period 21st to 27TH of September 9TH K.O.Y.L.I. had another Officer killed and eight more wounded. The ‘other ranks’ had six killed, sixty-five wounded, and a further twenty-nine missing. Amongst the wounded; 34921 Private Frederick [Jock] Ireland.
Born at the ‘Sun Inn’, St Thomas Street, Scarborough in 1896 [Baptised at St Mary’s Parish Church on October 11TH], Fred had been the son of Minnie and ‘Barman’, Henry [Harry] Ireland, who’s Mother, Annie had been the ‘Keeper’ of the Sun Inn at the time. However by 1902 Annie Ireland had moved around the corner to No 11 Elders Street where she had opened a shop, which had made and sold women’s hats. For some inexplicable reason Fred had lived with his grandmother in Elders Street for the majority of his life [she is listed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as his next of kin], and it was from this address that he had enlisted into the army late in 1915. Like John Harwood, Fred had also initially enlisted into the Yorkshire Regiment [No 2361] the pair probably serving together in the 2ND/5TH Battalion before being transferred to the K.O.Y.L.I.
The name of Private Fred Ireland [incorrectly stating his unit as the Yorkshire Regiment] had appeared in the ‘Scarboro Casualties’ listing of the Mercury of Friday October 6TH 1916 as ‘wounded’, and again in the edition of Friday October 27TH where he was listed as ‘Killed’.
[Born in Scarborough on the 9TH of July 1873,at the time of his son’s demise; 700461 Private Henry Ireland had been serving in Canada with the 101ST Canadian Infantry Battalion. ‘Harry’ had served with this unit until his demise due to the effects of ‘Spanish Flu’ at the age of thirty-nine, on the 30TH of November 1918. His remains are interred in Winnipeg [Brookside] Cemetery Grave No. Mil. 211].
Following his wounding Fred had been evacuated from the Somme in one of the many hospital trains which had ran day and night on a system which had been especially built in anticipation of the predicted heavy casualties directly to the town of Etaples, twenty seven miles south of Boulogne, in the Department of Pas De Calais, and finally to one of the fifteen Hospitals which had been set up there where he had in due course passed away on Thursday, 19TH October 1916, he was aged just 20 years. Jock’s remains being subsequently buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, where a C.W.G.C. headstone commemorating his name can be found in Plot 12, Row A, Grave 11A. 
‘Jock’ Ireland is also commemorated in Dean Road Cemetery [Plot C, Row 19, Grave 23?] on one of three strips of weathered sandstone bearing his name and that of his Father, Harry, who had died in Canada on November 31ST 1917 at the age of forty-two years whilst serving with the Canadian Army. Directly behind the pieces of stone is a headstone which commemorates the name of his grandfather, Christopher Ireland, who for many years until his death on February 15TH 1888 at the age of 47 years had been the ‘Victualler’ of the Sun Inn, and uncles Fred who had died on May 12TH 1893 aged 23 years, George Alfred January 6TH 1899 aged 27years, and Frank who had passed away in infancy. Also included on the monument is the name of his Grandmother, Annie Ireland, born at Thornton-Le-Dale in 1837, who had lived at No 11 Elders Street with her two daughters Florry and Ada until her death on April 14TH 1926 at the age of eighty nine years.
 The History of the K.O.Y.L.I. during the Great War 1914—1918; Wylly& Bond. A copy of which can be found in the Scarborough Room of Scarborough Central Library, Vernon Road.
 There are now nearly 11,000 1914-18 war casualties buried in this Cemetery, amongst them are; 2133 Private Henry Newby; Born in Scarborough during 1893, ‘Harry had died from the effects of wounds received in action at the age of twenty three whilst serving with the 1ST/5TH Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, on the 21ST of September 1916. One of three sons of George and Sarah Jane Newby, of No 66 St Johns Road Scarborough, that had served in the war, Private George Newby [born Scarborough 1889], also a soldier in the 5TH Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment had survived unlike; 19369 Private Ernest William Newby; Born in Scarborough during 1892, Ernest had been killed in action on the first day of the Somme Offensive [1ST of July 1916] whilst serving with the 10TH Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment. Aged twenty-five years at the time of his death no identifiable remains of Ernest Newby had ever been recovered. His name is featured amongst Pier and Face 2A, 2C & 2D, of the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing
68 Bandsman Allan Parkinson; Born in Scarborough during 1885, Allan had died at the age of 37 years from the effects of wounds received in action whilst acting as a stretcher bearer with the1ST/5TH Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment, on the 28TH of April 1916. Married in Scarborough during 1905 Allan had been the husband of Edith Mary [formally Anderson] Parkinson of No. 32, St Mary’s Walk, Scarborough, Allan had been one of three brothers that had served in the band of the Fifth Yorkshire before the war. Unlike their unfortunate brother, Charlie [born 1887] and Simpson Parkinson  had survived the war, albeit with Charlie suffering for the rest of his life from the effects of ‘Trench Foot’, and Simpson having lost a leg during the latter stages of the war [Photographs of the three Parkinson brothers are featured in Mark Marsay’s ‘Baptism of Fire’].
18367 Private Arthur Ward; 1ST Battalion, the Prince of Wales’s Own [West Yorkshire Regiment]. Died of wounds 14TH March 1916, aged 28 years. The husband of Annie Ward, of 12 Bar Street, Scarborough.
26430 Private Alfred Ernest Watson. Born in Scarborough during 1890 Alfred had been the son of Henry and Elizabeth Ann Watson of 5 Trafalgar Road, Scarborough and had died from the effects of wounds received in action whilst serving with the2ND Battalion of The Royal Scots on the 5TH January 1917 at the age of 26 years.