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Irvin Veitch

Date of birth: 1884
Date of death: 1944
Area: Brotherton
Regiment: King’s Royal Rifle Corps
Family information: Son of Alexander and Aveline Veitch
Rank: Rifleman
Service number: S4/217028

War Service

Irvin joined the Army on 11/12/1915 when he was enlisted into the Army Service Corps (ASC) as a Sapper – service number S4/217028. On his attestation form there is an entry indicating he was living at 90 Blenheim Road, Barnsley but this was crossed out and his father’s address in Church Street substituted.
The following entries are taken from Irvin’s army records although some entries are much faded and often offer little help.
12/12/1915 - army reserve
25/9/1916 - mobilised and posted
22/10/1916 - embarked Southampton on SS Archangel
23/10/1916 – Le Havre - BEF
7/11/1916 - ASC depot to Line of Communication supply company ("Lines of Communication" was an army term used to describe what today we might call the army's logistics: the supply lines from port to front line, and the camps, stores, dumps, workshops of the rear areas.)
14/11/116 - to 6 L of C company
11/12/16 - posted to No. 9 Field Butchery
27/6/1917 - posted to No. 5 L of C supply company
9/10/17 - base depot
5/10/1917 - Transferred to King’s Royal Rifle Corps for posting to 7th Battalion. Entry shows he was ‘compulsorily transferred in the interests of the service to the KRRC for posting to 7th batt in the rank of rifleman to retain ASC rate of pay. No reason is given.
8/12/1917 to 22/12/1917 leave to UK.
23/11/1917 - joined the field
25/12/1918 - rejoined battalion
26/1/1918 - appointed unpaid Lance Corporal
14/8/1918 - relinquished unpaid L/Cpl
During the above period the KRRC were in the 41st brigade of the 14th (Light) Division and involved in the following action:
The Battle of St Quentin+
The Battle of the Avre+
The battles marked + are phases of the First Battles of the Somme 1918
In the above two actions the Division suffered very severe casualties, losing almost 6,000 troops. The Division was withdrawn from the line and placed on the construction of a new defensive line in the rear. On 26 April, the infantry battalions were reduced to a training cadre. Various units were temporarily attached before the Division was moved to England for re-establishment on 17 June 1918. The refreshed
Division, although still short on numbers, moved back to France and joined Second Army 2-6 July 1918
19/8/1918 – posted to 12th battalion London Regiment – service number 474720
6/9/1918 - appointed paid Lance Corporal
7/9/1918 - appointed paid L/Sgt and placed on class ‘Z’ list
During the period Irvin was with the 12th London Regiment it was part of the 175th Brigade, 2/1st London Division which participated in the following-
The Second Battle of Bapaume (31 August - 1 September) +
The battles marked + are phases of the Second Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of Epehy (18 September) ^
The battles marked ^ are phases of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line
The general final advance in Artois (2 October - 11 November)*
The battles marked * are phases of the Final Advance in Artois
The Division had crossed the River Scheldt and the forward units were south of Ath on 11 November 1918. The Division remained in the Peruwelz area after the Armistice. Here the units began to demobilise and by early March 1919 the Division was down to a small set of cadres which were moved to Leuze.

Family Life

The Veitch side Irvin’s family were relative late comers in the village compared other ancestral lines.
The earliest confirmed ancestors are his great-great-grandparents James Pennitent
(some times Penstant) and Sarah (nee Bywater). The Pennitents were certainly in the village in the late 1700’s but Bywaters can be found in the parish records as far back as 1570 - the baptism of Rylice Pennitent.
The first of the Veitch’s in the village was Alexander (1) born in 1809 and came from Scotland – probably to work on the Byram Estate like others with a Scottish background e.g. the Bailliffs and the Watmoughs On 8/11/1834 he married Susannah Pentitent in Brotherton.
Their son also called Alexander (2) was born 28/9/1834. He married maria Maskell (Maskill) in 1855. She was born in Brotherton in 1837, the daughter of Thomas and Sarah (nee Sanderson).
Four children were born into this marriage - James (1857 – 1857), Alexander (3) in 1858, Thomas (1860), and Sarah Hannah. The latter married William Watmough and their son Sidney born in 1892 was a casualty of WW1, dying in France on 30/9/1916.
In 1861 Alexander(3rd) and family were living on Methley Road, Castleford, Alexander being employed as a ‘Basket Maker’. As well as his wife and two young sons there was also a lodger by the name of Mary Davis, a ‘Dress maker’ from Brotherton.
So far I have failed to find the family in 1871 but Alexander (2) died in Castleford in 1877.
In 1881 his widow, Maria, is back in Brotherton living in the High Street by herself and classed as an ‘Annuitant’. Although this suggests she was the recipient of a pension of kinds by 1888 she died in Pontefract Workhouse.
Alexander (3rd) was found in 1871 to be living with his grandparents -Thomas and Sarah Maskell in the High Street, Brotherton. Thomas who was described as a ‘Farmer’ also had two other of his children living with him - 25 year old Joshua, a ‘Butcher’ and Mary Ann (13).
In 1881 Alexander (3rd) was still with his grandparents and, at the age of 22 was employed as a ‘Butcher’.
In 1883 Alexander (3rd) married Adeline Bayes of Knottingley and went on to have 7 children –Irvin (born in Brotherton in 1884), Amelia (1886), Eleanor (1891), Margaret (1893), and Mary Emma (1998), Richard (1899) .
By 1901, still living in the High Street, Alexander (3rd) had changed jobs and become a ‘Miner/Hewer’ and Irvin was a ‘Miners lamp Cleaner’.
Ten years later the 1911 Census tells us that Irvin was a boarder with a family called Stoker at 3 Ashton Street, West View, Castleford and employed as a ‘Meat Salesman’.
Irvin’s father, Alexander, was still in Brotherton living in Church Street with Adeline and four of their children. He was still mining.
After the War
Having had varied experiences during the war Irvin returned to a more mundane lifestyle in Barnsley where on 23/2/1925 he married spinster Eleanor Pickering in St Edward the Confessor’s Church (same name as Brotherton Church) - see copy of Banns below.
At the time he was living at 89 Blenheim Road (next door to the address on his attestation form) and his bride was living at 78 Dodworth Road. He was employed as ‘Butcher’ the same as his father Alexander.
Alexander (3rd) died later in 1925.
In 1926 Irvin’s daughter Eleanor was born - she married Frank Robinson in Barnsley in 1948.
Irvin (2nd) was born in 1928 and married June Tate in 1958.

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