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Cyril Vause

Date of birth: 1915
Date of death: 30.4.1943
Area: Brotherton
Regiment: Irish Guards
Family information: Son of Jesse and Florrie Vause
Rank: Guardsman
Service number: 2720935

War Service

Cyril Vause was enlisted as a ‘Guardsman’ in the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards, service number 2720935.
On the 10th April 1940 the 1st Battalion, which formed part of the 24th Guards Brigade, left London for service in Norway, putting an end to the questions about where they might be sent first.
It was here the Battalion fought against German troops for the first time since 1918. The ship carrying the Battalion into action (HMT Chobry) was bombed by a force of Heinkel bombers resulting in a dreadful loss of life, including the Commanding Officer Lt. Col. W.D. Faulkner, the Second-in-Command Major C.L.J. Bowen, the Adjutant Capt the Hon B.A. O'Neill and three of the five Company Commanders. However, the Battalion successfully went into action and was subsequently withdrawn in the evacuation on the 4th June 1940 from Narvik. The Battle Honour 'Norway' was awarded.
In North Africa with the Eighth Army no longer short of supplies as in earlier battles, the Axis (German and Italian) forces were driven westwards during the Allied breakout from Egypt following the Second Battle of El Alamein in November 1942.
Tunisia was the next battle zone and being within a few hours sailing from Axis Bases in Sardinia was seen as an urgent case for allied reinforcements. The 1st Battalion, Irish Guards were amongst these reinforcements. Algiers was accordingly chosen for the most easterly landings. This would ensure the success of the initial landings in spite of uncertainty as to how the incumbent French forces would react as they were controlled by the Vichy government that collaborated with the Nazis in France.
On the 1st March 1943 the 1st Battalion embarked for North Africa and formed part of the 1st Army. The race to secure Tunis, which the Germans initially won, led to a hard fought and bitter campaign that lasted until 13 May 1943.
Between the 21 March and 30 March, it took part in the battle of Tebaga Gap. Then, on the 6 and 7 April, it participated in the battle of Wadi Akarit. On the 15th April 1943 it transferred to IX Corps in 1 Army and then took part in the battle for El Kourzia between the 22 and 26 April. In the final push for Tunis Cyril Vause was killed on the 30th April 1943. He is buried at the Massicault War Cemetery.
On May 7 the city of Tunis fell to the leading British armoured forces.

Family Life

Although Vauses had lived in Brotherton since the 1700’s Cyril’s links with the village can only be traced as far back as 1874, although the two families may have been related.
In 1880 Richard Vause (b. 1844), probably in Burton Salmon, married Hannah Davies (b. 1852) who was previously married in 1874, Pontefract (and widowed) to John Davies. It would appear that Hannah had two children from her first marriage for in 1881 there was Joseph Davies aged 6 and Sarah Davies (4) with Hannah and Richard who were living on the High Street.
Hannah had been born in Leeds but there was also a Chadwick family in Brotherton and could have been related. Coincidentally, a John Richard Vause of Brotherton married an Emily Chadwick of Brotherton and one of their children was Young Vause who served and survived in WW1.
Richard the third, as he could be labelled, was preceded by his father (1817 – 1891), and grandfather (b. 1783) who both bore the same Christian name and came from Monk Fryston.
After marrying Hannah they went on to have at least 4 children - Mary Hannah (1882), Jessie (1886), Albert (1889) and George W (1893).
Richard appears to have worked as an ‘Agricultural labourer’ most of his life and whilst in Brotherton lived on the High Street and by 1891 was in Furniss Yard. Living with him and his family were also the two older Davies children. Hannah died in 1897 and Richard left the village by 1901 to live in Woodland View Cottage at Newthorpe near Sherburn. Four of his children were living with him including Jesse who was also an ‘Agricultural Labourer’.
Richard Vause (3) died in 1907 and was buried at Brotherton.
In 1911 Jesse was back in the High Street lodging with his sister Sarah Jane who had married Matthew Wadsworth.
The following year, 1912, Jesse Vause went on to marry Florrie Pickering (b. 1890), from another long standing Brotherton family.
Jesse and Florrie had a large family and several of their children fell victim to infant mortality. Amongst the survivors were Charles R (1914-57), Cyril (1915 – 1943) and George A (1919-76).
Cyril Vause appears to have remained a bachelor.

Massicault War Cemetery with a large number of gravestones in rows  running up a hill towards a large cross Massicault War Cemetery

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