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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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

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

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

Photos courtesy of the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum.

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).

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