Robin W Yearsley d.1945

Kindly shared by Robert (Bob) Baldwin (descendent)

Robin W. Yearsley - b.abt 1906 - d.1945

Robin was a Canadian national born in Manila, Philippines abt 1906. His parents were Robert John Yearsley and Pearl Irene Hatt, both of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Robert John and Pearl eloped in 1904, went to the west coast of Canada, took the "slow boat to China" in 1904-05 and ended up in Manila in 1905`.

Robin worked for his father (movie theaters and appliance stores) and was fairly prominent in the local business community.

In 1930, he married Helen Ellison, an American and they had two daughters; my mother, Mary Louise (1931-1974), and (living).

In December, 1941, after the Japanese attack on the Philippines, Robin, although a Canadian national, volunteered to serve with General MacArthur's American/Philippine forces in the Battle for the Philippines. Due to his local prominence, he was commissioned an officer in the US Army (1st Lt.) and fought in the Battle of Bataan with General Wainwright's Army group.

He was captured either after the fall of Bataan (April, 1942) or Corregidor (May, 1942)...We believe it was Bataan, and that he was a participant in the infamous "death march". Either way, he ended up first at the transitional prisoner of war holding prison Bilibid and then on to Cabanatuan (the famous POW prison camp depicted in the film "Great Raid").

On December 13. 1944, he, along with many others, was moved to the Japanese ship Oryoku Maru for transfer to the slave labor camps in Japan. The OM was one of Japan's infamous "hell ships", due to the treatment of POWs on board. The American invasion of the northern Philippines was imminent (Jan., 1945). And he missed being freed by American forces by less than a month.

The Oryoku Maru was held over in Formosa on the way to Japan due to American air and submarine activity. We believe he was then transferred to the Brazil Maru which proceeded to Japan. His death was listed as 1/26/1945 and his name is not included on the lists of POWs in Japanese camps, so we believe he died at sea.

His name was mentioned during the Tokyo war crimes trials as a victim of inhumane treatment by the Japanese on the hell ships of 1944-45.

He was survived by his wife Helen (who later remarried), his parents Robert J. and Pearl and his two daughters.

He has eight surviving grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

I hope this information is helpful...I also hope he is remembered for the courageous man he was.



Horace Ernest Yearsley d. 1944 Civilian

Horace Ernest Yearsley b 1893 in Greenwich, Kent, England; died on the 18th June 1944. He was living at 29 Croft Street, Poplar, London. He was married to Daisy Alise Yearsley (nee Martin) in 1914.

Irene Dorothy Yearsley d. 1941 Civilian

Irene Dorothy Yearsley b 1922, West Ham, Essex, Suffolk; died on the 20th April 1941 aged 18. Her address was 259 Bow Road, Poplar, London, England. She died alongside her father Thomas Edward Yearsley b abt 1896 Greenwich/Deptford, Kent, England. Her mother Louie Yearsley (Irons) was not listed amongst the dead.

Irene Dorothy Yearsley’s earliest known ancestor was James Yearsley b abt 1756, Ruardean, Gloucestershire, England; married to Ann Burgham b abt 1753.

Thomas Edward Yearsley d. 1941 Civilian

Thomas Edward Yearsley b abt 1896, Greenwich/Deptford, Kent, England; died on the 20th April 1941 aged 45. His address was 259 Bow Road, Poplar, London, England. He died alongside his daughter Irene Dorothy Yearsley b 1922, aged 18. Thomas Edward was married to Louie Yearsley (nee Irons), mother to Irene Dorothy.

Gordon Ameson Yearsley d. 1941

Leading Aircraftman Gordon Ameson Yearsley (R/78680). Royal Canadian Air Force. He enlisted in London in April 1940 and was completing his flight training as a Pilot at No. 1 Service Flying Training School, Camp Bordon, Ontario, when the Harvard aircraft he was flying in crashed. Died 19 October 1941. Son of Gordon and Alma E. Yearsley, of 528 St James Street, London. Commonwealth War Dead. London Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Lot 99. Sec. V.

Photo: Canadian Air Force Harvard Aircraft

James Raymond Yearsley Jnr Navy

Ensign James R Yearsley Jnr (403418). US Naval Reserve. Killed in action 21 Mar 1945 or 22nd March 1946. Missing in action or buried at sea. Son of Mr & Mrs James Raymond Yearsley Senior, Pennsylvania. Tablets of The Missing At Honolulu Memorial.

Richard Wilfred Yearsley d. 1945 Army

Corporal Richard Wilfred Yearsley (7888364). 4th Royal Tank Regiment RAC. Died 7th August 1945. Son of Wilfred Halford Yearsley and Edith Evelyn Yearsley, of Cerne Abbas. Commonwealth War Dead. Cerne Abbas Burial Ground. Grave 637.

James Yearsley d. 1939 Navy

Able Seaman James Yearsley (D/J 38440). Royal Navy, HMS Courageous. Died 17th September 1939. Son of James and Emma Yearsley; husband of Eliza Yearsley, of Miles Green, Bignall End, Stoke-on-Trent. Commonwealth War Dead. Plymouth Naval Memorial. Panel 33, Column 3.

HMS Courageous

Photo: HMS Courageous

HMS Courageous was a warship of the Royal Navy. She was built at the Armstrong Whitworth shipyard as a "large light cruiser". Courageous, her sister ship Glorious, and half-sister Furious, were the brainchildren of Admiral Jackie Fisher, and were designed to be "light cruiser destroyers". They were originally intended to be heavy support for shallow water operations in the Baltic, which ultimately never came to pass. Courageous saw action in the First World War, and then was converted into an aircraft carrier.

HMS Courageous served with the Home Fleet in the Channel Force at the start of the Second World War. On 17 September 1939, under the command of Captain W. T. Mackaig-Jones, she was on an anti-submarine patrol off the coast of Ireland. Two of her four escorting destroyers had been sent to help a merchant ship under attack. During this time, Courageous was stalked for over two hours by U-29, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Schuhart. Then Courageous turned into the wind to launch her aircraft. This manoeuvre put the ship right across the bow of U-29, which then fired three torpedoes. Two of the torpedoes struck the ship on her port side, and she capsized and sank in 15 minutes with the loss of 518 of her crew, including her captain. She was the first British warship to be lost in the war; the civilian passenger liner SS Athenia had been sunk two weeks earlier. An earlier unsuccessful attack on Ark Royal by U-39 on 14 September — and the sinking of Courageous three days later — caused the Royal Navy to withdraw its fleet carriers from anti-submarine patrol.

Photo: HMS Courageous sinking after being torpedoed by U-29

Edwin John Yearsley d. 1942

Able Seaman Edwin John Yearsley (P/JX 268143). HMS President III, Royal Navy. Died 11th July 1942, aged 32. Son of Harry and Flora Yearsley, of Southampton; husband of Rose Doris Yearsley, of Southampton. Commonwealth War Dead. Commonwealth War Dead. Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 65, Column 2.

HMS President III

HMS President is a stone frigate, or shore establishment of the Royal Naval Reserve. A third accounting base, this time alternately based at Bristol, Windsor and London. It covered the accounts of the active services of the Royal Fleet Reserve, the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and the Royal Naval Reserve from 1916 onwards, also extending to covering demobilisation accounts from December 191 onwards. The Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship accounts were transferred to HMS Vivid on 1 October 1919. In August 1935, President III also took over the accounts of the Mobile Naval Defence Base Organisation.
It was re-established on 28 August 1939 in Bristol to train those allocated for service on the Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships. It was later transferred to locations across Windsor and London. By 31 May 1944 the command held over 30,500 accounts. The ledgers were closed after
the war on 1 July 1946, and the accounts covered by President III and Pembroke III were merged into President I.

Walter Yearsley (Bradbury) abt 1898-1916 Army

Private Walter Yearsley Bradbury (20104). 1st Battalion Royal Lancaster Regiment. Died of wounds 10th March 1916, aged 18. Son of William Yearsley Bradbury of 78 Oxhill Road, Handsworth, Birmingham and the late Mary Bradbury.

Richard W Yearsley d 1945 Army

Corporal Richard W Yearsley (7888364), born Birmingham, England. Royal Tank Regiment RAC, Royal Armoured Corps. Died 7th August 1945, UK.

Thomas Ronald Yearsley d 1944 Army

Private Thomas Ronald Yearsley (14573502), born Cheshire, England. Infantry, 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders. Died 20th November 1944, aged 20. Western European Campaign. Son of William Gibson Yearsley and Ada Yearsley, of Mobberley, Cheshire. Commonwealth War Dead. Venray War Cemetery. V. A. 12.

Roy Yearsley d 1944 Army

Private Roy Yearsley (5445482), born Bristol, Gloucestershire, England. 5th Battalion, Infantry, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Died 18th August 1944, aged 20. Western Europe Campaign. Son of Samuel and Hilda L. Yearsley, of Hotwells, Bristol. Commonwealth War Dead. Banneville-La-Campagne War Cemetery. II. D. 28.

Lester John Yearsley d 1943 Army

Private Lester John Yearsley (1651886), born Monmouthshire, Wales. Pioneer Corps. Died 12 April 1943, UK. Aged 33. Son of John Walter and Emily Jane Yearsley, of Monmouth. Commonwealth War Dead. Monmouth Church Cemetery. Row J. Grave 15.

Kenneth Yearsley d 1943 Army

Lance Corporal Kenneth Yearsley (3718651), born Cheshire, England. Infantry, 8th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. Died 5th August 1943, Sicily, aged 24. Son of Joseph and Emily Yearsley, of Winsford, Cheshire. Commonwealth War Dead. Catania War Cemetery, Sicily. III. C. 35.

William Yearsley d 1940 Army

Private William Yearsley (4975196), Born Stoke on Trent, England. Infantry, 2nd Battalion, Sherwood Foresters, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment. Died June 1940, aged 25. France & Belgium Campaign. Son of Edward John and Florence Yearsley, of Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. Commonwealth War Dead. De Panne Communal Cemetery. Plot 2. Row C. Grave 2.

John Hubert Yearsley 1910-1945 RAF

John Hubert Yearsley Burial Plot
Photo: Joint grave of John Hubert Yearsley

Date of enlistment: 11 Aug 1943. Qualified Air Gunner 30 March 1944. Posted to 51 Squadron on 22 October 1944. Reported missing, presumed KIA on 5 January 1945, aged 34.
Sergeant 2221696, Air Gunner, 51 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died age 35. Halifax III bomber no. MX 918 MH-U. Take off approx. 16:36 from Snaith. Crashed circa 19:30 roughly 3kms west of Kaltenweide, a village 12km north from the centre of Hannover. Mission was to attack a target in Hannover. Five of seven crew were killed, 2 taken POW. Buried Hannover Rummer British Military Cemetery. According to research, that night out of 340 Halifaxes sent on this operation, 23 were lost. Commonwealth War Dead. Buried Hanover War Cemetery, Germany. Joint grave 2. F. 2-3.

189431 Flight Sgt E G Stevens (x) Pilot.
3031571 Sgt a R Pritchard (x) Flight Engineer.
1607371 Flight Sgt W S Spratt (x) Navigator.
1430889 Flight Sgt J R Whitmore (x) Bomb Aimer.
1864682 Flight Sgt R A Gibbs (pow) Wireless Operator/Air Gunner.
1894281 Sgt E Timms (pow) Air Gunner.

John Hubert Yearsley’s earliest known ancestor is James Yearsley b abt 1756, Ruardean, Gloucestershire, England (confirmed). Son of Thomas and Helen Maud Yearsley; husband of Enid Bertha Yearsley, of Northfield, Birmingham.

Photo: Halifax Bomber