John Yearsley d. 1919 Army

Private John Yearsley (1387), born Dublin, Ireland. 19th (Queen Alexandra’s Own Royal) Hussars. Entered war on 24th august 1914. Died 23rd February 1919, British Expeditionary Force. Decoration 1914 Star. Husband of Mrs. M. Yearsley, of 11, Girling St., Sudbury, Suffolk. Commonwealth War Dead. Cologne Southern Cemetery. II. F. 22. Earned Victory, British and 1914 Star medals.
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Walter Albert Yearsley d. 1915 Navy

Stoker 1st Class Walter Albert Yearsley (K 3223). Royal Navy, HM Submarine E.13. Died 19th August 1915. Order of St. George 4th Class (Russia). Son of Walter Henry and Alice Yearsley, of 23, Shamrock Rd., Itchen, Southampton. Commonwealth War Dead. Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery. H. 27. 4.

HMS 13 - Service History

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Photo: HMS E13 aground at Saltholm in the Øresund in 1915 after being attacked by German torpedo boats

HMS E13 had a relatively short career during World War I. On 14 August 1915, she was despatched from Harwich, accompanied by her sister vessel HMS E8. The two submarines had orders to sail to the Baltic Sea to interdict German shipping, particularly vessels carrying iron ore shipments from Sweden.[1] At around 01:00 on 18 August 1915, the submarine ran aground in shallow water near Saltholm island in the Øresund between Malmö and Copenhagen, because of a defective gyrocompass. At dawn she became clearly visible. At 05:00 the Royal Danish Navy torpedo boat Narhvalen appeared on the scene and hailed the E13's commander, Lt Cdr Geoffrey Layton, informing him that he had 24 hours to refloat his vessel and leave before he and his crew would be interned for violating Denmark's neutrality.

The E13's crew sought to lighten the submarine by pumping out tanks and discharging fuel, but she had grounded in only 10 feet (3.0 m) of water and would not move. Layton realised that he would not be able to refloat the E13 before the deadline passed and sent his first lieutenant ashore to arrange a tow or, if this was impracticable, to negotiate terms for internment. He was unable to contact the Admiralty for assistance, as the Germans were jamming radio frequencies.

At 10:28 the German torpedo boat G132 arrived but withdrew when the Danish torpedo boats Støren and Søulven approached. A third Danish torpedo boat, the Tumleren, arrived shortly afterwards.
Meanwhile, the commander of the G132, Oberleutnant zur See Paul Graf von Montgelas, had informed Rear Admiral Robert Mischke by radio about the E13's grounding. German naval operations against the Russian-held city of Riga were at a critical stage and Mischke felt that he could not afford to let the E13 pass into the Baltic, where it could threaten the German offensive in the Gulf of Riga. He ordered G132 and another torpedo boat to destroy the submarine. The two vessels returned to Saltholm and opened fire on the E13 with torpedoes, machine-guns and shell fire from a range of 300 yards. The submarine was hit repeatedly and set on fire. Seeing this, Lt Cdr Layton ordered the submarine to be abandoned, but the firing continued while his men were in the water. The engagement ended when the Danish torpedo boat Søulven placed herself between the submarine and the two German ships, which withdrew. Fourteen of the E13's crew were killed in the attack and one was missing, presumed killed.

The E13's fifteen surviving crew members were interned at the Copenhagen Navy Yard by the Danes for the rest of the war. Layton refused to give his parole and eventually escaped along with his first officer, returning to England to continue the war. He went on to have a distinguished career and commanded the British Eastern Fleet during the Second World War.

The Danish government fitted out the mail steamer Vidar as a temporary chapel to transport the bodies of the casualties back to Hull, accompanied by the Danish torpedo boats Springeren and Støren. Notwithstanding Denmark's neutrality, the dead British sailors were given full honours when their bodies were brought ashore, as a contemporary report described:

There was a touching funeral scene to-night in the Sound. In a brilliant sunset the Danish torpedo boat Soridderen passed slowly in with her flag at half-mast. A naval squadron formed a guard of honour around the bodies of the British dead. At all the fortifications, and on the whole of the ships, flags were immediately lowered as a mark of respect. Hundreds of spectators were gathered at Langelinie, all of whom reverently saluted. On shore a naval and military salute was given.

The incident caused outrage in Britain and Denmark, since it was clearly a serious breach of international law. The Danish newspaper National Tidende published an indignant leading article protesting at the Germans' violation of Danish neutrality. Politiken reported that the Danish government had protested to Germany, pointing out that the E13 had not been destroyed in any kind of pursuit but while she was lying damaged on neutral territory. The London Times fulminated in a leading article that "the unjustifiable slaughter of the men of the E13 is one more notch in the long score we have to settle with the homicidal brood of Prussia." The German government subsequently apologised to Denmark, stating that "instructions previously given to commanders of German vessels to respect neutrality have once more been impressed upon them."

Although the E13 was refloated by the Danes and towed to Copenhagen, she was so badly damaged by the German attack that her repair was not viable. On 6 February 1919, she was sold by the British government to a Danish company for 150,000 Danish kroner (about £8,330 at 1919 prices). On 14 December 1921, she was resold for scrap.
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John Yearsley d. 1918 Navy

Ordinary Seaman John Yearsley (J/782454). HMS Anchusa. Died 16th July 1918, aged 19. Son of Mary Jane Grundy, of 295, Whit Lane, Pendleton, Manchester. Born at Peel Green, Patricroft, Manchester. Commonwealth War Grave. Plymouth Naval Memorial. 27.

HMS Anchusa

HMS Anchusa was launched in 1917, an Anchusa Class Convoy Sloop, also known as a Fleet Sweeping Sloop, Flower Class. The Royal Navy Flower Class consisted of 39 vessels, deliberately built to designs which gave them the look of merchant ships, so that as well as mine-sweeping, they could serve as Q ships at need.

HMS Anchusa was 1290 tons, with a main armament of two 4" guns, two 12 pounder guns and depth charge throwers. A four cylinder triple-expansion steam engine, served by two cylindrical boilers gave a service speed of 16 knots. HMS Anchusa was torpedoed by a German submarine U-54 off the North coast of Ireland on 16th July, 1918. The majority of the eighty officers, men & boys were lost.
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Augustus Yearsley d. 1916 Army

Private Augustus Yearsley (10931). B Coy, 1st Battalion, Cameronians, Scottish Rifles. Died 22nd August 1916. Son of Augustus and Martha Ann Yearsley, of Manchester, England. Commonwealth War Dead. Dantzig Allied British Cemetery, Mametz. VI. S. 9. Earned the Victory, British and 1914 Star medals.
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Sidney John Henry Yarsley d. 1915 Army

Private Sidney John Henry Yarsley (20637), born Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England. Worcestershire Regiment, 4th Battalion. Entered Balkans Theatre on 8th June 1915. Died of wounds 22 August 1915, Alexandria, Egypt (Egyptian Theatre). Enlisted Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England. Earned Victory, British and 1915 Star medals.
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Hubert Abram Yearsley d. 1918 Army

2/Lieutenant Hubert Abram Yearsley b abt 1884, Liverpool, Lancashire, England. Corps of Royal Engineers, 79 Fld C. Killed in action 9 April 1918. Commonwealth War Dead. 15. Gentelles Communal Cemetery. Earned Victory and British medals. Father is Jesse Yearsley of Westfield Road, Runcorne.
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Thomas Yearsley d. 1917 Army

L/Corporal Thomas Yearsley (15227), born Winsford, Cheshire, England. Cheshire Regiment, 11th Battalion. Entered war theater on 25th September 1915 (France). Killed in action 4th August 1917, France & Flanders (Western European Theatre). Enlisted Chester, England. on of William and Catherine Yearsley, of 361, High St., Winsford, Cheshire. Commonwealth War Dead. Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. Panel 19 - 22. Earned Victory, British and 1915 Star medals.
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Frank Yearsley d. 1917 Army

Gunner Frank Yearsley (96437), born Newchapel, Staffordshire, England. 196th Siege Bty., Royal Garrison Artillery. Killed in action 5 April 1917, France & Flanders (Western European Theater). Enlisted Tunstall, England. Commonwealth War Dead. Anzin St Aubin British Cemetery. I. A. 5. Earned Victory and British medals.
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Alfred Yearsley d. 1917 Army

Gunner Alfred Yearsley (805343) born Chesterton, Staffordshire, England. "D" Bty. 231st Bde. Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery, Territorial Force. Entered theatre of war 26th February 1915 (France). Died of wounds 25th August 1917, France & Flanders (Western European Theatre). Enlisted Shelton, Staffordshire, England. Commonwealth War Grave, Fosse, No.10 Communal Cemetery Extension, Sains-en-Gohelle. II. C. 39. Earned the Victory, British and 1915 Star medals.
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William Yearsley d. 1916 Army

Lance Corporal William Yearsley (19386), born Manchester, England. Kings Own (Royal Lancashire Regiment), 11th Battalion. Died of wounds 14 September 1916, France & Flanders (Western European Theatre). Enlisted Manchester, England. Son of Mr. J. Yearsley, of 13, Primrose Hill. Hulme, Manchester. Commonwealth War Dead. Noeux-Les-Mines Communal Cemetery. I. O. 22. Earned Victory and British medals.
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James Yearsley abt 1898-1916 Army

Private James Yearsley (1035), born Denton, Lancashire, England. Welsh Guards, 2nd Company, 1st Battalion (formerly Grenadier Guards (23216). Died of wounds, 11 September 1916, aged 18, France & Flanders (Western European Theater). Enlisted in Hyde, Cheshire, England. Son of Alfred William and Elizabeth Yearsley (5 Lyndhurst Avenue, Denton, Manchester. Commonwealth War Grave, Corbie Communal Cemetery Extension, France. Plot 2, Row C. Grave 114. Earned Victory, British and 1915 Star medals.
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Harry Yearsley d. 1916 Army

Private Harry Yearsley (2441), born Silverdale, Staffordshire, England. Prince of Wales’s Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment) 2nd Battalion. Entered Theatre of War on the 4th February 1915 (France). Killed in action 3 July 1916, France & Flanders (Western European Theatre). Enlisted Manchester, England. Commonwealth War Dead. Lonsdale Cemetery, Authuile. V. Q. 6. Next of Kin: Mr A Yearsley, 182 Market Street, Droylsden, Manchester. Earned Victory, British and 1915 Star medals.
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George Yearsley d. 1915 Army

Private George Yearsley (2006), born St George’s, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England. Gloucestershire Regiment, 1st Battalion. Entered Theatre of War on the 3rd December 1914 (France). Died of wounds 18th April 1915, France & Flanders (Western European Theatre). Enlisted Bristol, Gloucestershire, England. Son of George and Maria Yearsley, of 11, Henry St., Barton Hill, Bristol. Commonwealth War Dead. Bethune Town Cemetery. IV. B. 43. Earned the Victory, British and 1915 Star medals.
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Albert Yearsley d 1915 Army

Corporal Albert Yearsley (1434). Born in Beswick, Manchester, England. Entered Theatre of War on the 6th May 1915 (Balkans). Killed in action 4 June 1915 in Gallipoli (Balkan Theatre). Manchester Regiment, 1/7th Battalion. Enlisted Manchester, England. Brother of Mrs. Alice Hebb, of 145, Craig Rd., Mount Rd., Gorton, Manchester, England. Helles Memorial Panel 158 to 170. Earned the Victory, British and 1915 Star medals.
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George Sidney Yearsley abt 1892-1916 Army

Private George Sidney Yearsley (9355). Gloucestershire Regiment, 1st Battalion. Entered Theatre of War on the 19th December 1914 (France). Killed in action 19th April 1916, aged 24. France or Flanders. . Younger brother to Henry James Yearsley, also perished during WWII. Commonwealth War Dead. Abbeville Communal Cemetery. III. G. 5. Earned Victory, British and 1915 Star medals.

George Sidney Yearsley’s earliest known ancestor is Stephen Yearsley b abt 1596, Ruardean, Gloucestershire, England (unconfirmed).

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Photo: British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal. Awarded to Private George Sidney Yearsley. 1st Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment.


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Photo: Identity disc belonging to Private George Sidney Yearsley. 1st Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment.

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Photo: Christmas 1914 gift box. Property of Private George Sidney Yearsley. 1st Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment.


Photos courtesy of the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum.
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Henry James Yearsley abt 1890-1917 Army

Driver Henry James Yearsley (49662), born St Marks, Gloucester, England. Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery , 5th Bde HQ RHA. Died of wounds 27 Aug 1917, aged 27. France & Flanders (Western European Theatre). Enlisted Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England. Older brother to George Sidney Yearsley, also perished during WWI. Son of Henry and Helen Margaret Esther Yearsley, of Gloucester; husband of Annie Yearsley, of 21, Alton Place, Hunslet, Leeds. Commonwealth War Dead. Dozinghem Military Cemetery. IV. E. 7. Earned Victory, British and 1914 Star medals.

Henry James Yearsley’s earliest known ancestor is Stephen Yearsley b abt 1596, Ruardean, Gloucestershire, England (unconfirmed).
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