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Arthur Westmoreland

Date of birth: 1883
Date of death: 24.10.1917
Area: Outwood, Wakefield
Regiment: King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Son of George and Elizabeth Westmoreland
Rank: Private
Service number: 205353

War Service

In the absence of his service record it is not known when Arthur Westmoreland joined the army. However he was posted to the 10th (Service) Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, which was formed in September 1914. The 10th Battalion, designated part of 64th Infantry Brigade, 21st Division, sailed for France on 11th September 1915.
The Battle of Loos began on the 25th September and immediately on arrival in the battle area the 10th Battalion, in Brigade, was moving forward in support of the 63rd Brigade, in the direction of Hill 70. As the enemy pushed the assault troops back from Hill 70, the 64th Brigade became involved in the fighting. A counter-attack during the afternoon saw the 10th KOYLI sustain 151 casualties, when they were caught by machine gun fire from the flanks.
On 1st July 1916 the 21st Division was in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The 10th KOYLI was engaged at Fricourt, where the battalion incurred 462 casualties. In September 1916, after some re-organisation, the 21st Division returned to the Somme battlefield. The 10th KOYLI was in action during operations at Gueudecourt, on both the 16th and 25th September when further casualties were incurred.
On 9th April 1917, the 10th KOYLI was in support of a Brigade attack on the Hindenburg Line, near the Henin-Heninel Road. The attack was made through deep snow and was stopped at the first trench line. The 10th Battalion provided carrying parties for the assault troops and dug communication trenches, incurring over 100 casualties during the attack.
The third Battle of Ypres had been in progress some weeks when the 21st Division was deployed to the battlefront. On 4th October 1917 the 10th KOYLI was in support of an attack towards Reutel, here they were to pass through the 9th KOYLI and occupy the village. The battalion advanced at 06.00 hrs and was soon mingling with men from other battalions, who had been slowed down skirting the swampy ground. Many casualties were incurred but the first objective was taken. Because of dwindling numbers, the 10th KOYLI decided to form a defensive line about 150 yards in front of the first objective. The battalion remained in these positions and repulsed a number of counter-attacks, until relieved on the night of 6th October, when they returned to Zillebeke, having incurred over 300 casualties.
On 8th October the 10th KOYLI entrained for the Ebblinghem area, from where they were deployed to working parties at Ridge Wood. During these work details they came under heavy enemy shell fire and incurred a number of casualties.
On 21st October 10th KOYLI relieved 13th Durham Light Infantry in the front line around Reutel. The Battalion made their way up to the front line under a heavy German barrage. One shell fell onto “B” Company causing about 20 casualties. During the morning of 22nd October, their positions were heavily shelled and “C” Company, in the support line, suffered several casualties. The Battalion was relieved during the evening of 23rd October and returned to Transport Farm.
One of the 10th Battalion casualties at this time was Private Arthur Westmoreland, who died from his wounds on 24th October 1917 at the Casualty Clearing Station at Lijssenthoek. He was buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, which is 12 km west of Ypres, on the main road to Poperinge. The cemetery now contains 9,901 Commonwealth burials and 883 other nationalities from the First World War.

Family Life

Arthur Westmoreland, sometimes Westmorland, was born in 1883, the son of George and Elizabeth Westmoreland, formerly Reynolds, of Wrenthorpe near Wakefield. For a time the family lived at Trough Lane, Wrenthorpe, before moving to Princess Avenue, Outwood. His father, George Westmoreland, was employed at the local coal mine, working as a banksman for a number of years, before becoming a coal-hewer. When he left school, Arthur Westmoreland also found employment at one of the local collieries. In 1905 his mother died and three years later, in 1908, his father died. On the 1911 census Arthur Westmoreland was shown as a boarder at the home of Tom and Eliza Harrison, his married sister, at Garden Terrace, Outwood and employed as a screener.

Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery

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