I've recently found the story of Rifleman John Thomas Hardcastle, 21st Battalion KRRC - one of the original yeomen of the Yeoman Rifles. He died soon after being taken POW in the Battle of the Dunes on 10 July 1917 (Nieuport Bains) - he'd been posted to the 2nd battalion KRRC six months after being wounded at Flers with his original battalion, which he had joined in November 1915 when it was founded as part of the New Army. He's not actually a relative, but I had always heard of him - without until recently knowing his name or any details - as the man my great-aunt Annie Chester should have married, but lost in the Great War. His family were married into both sides of my mother's family and they were all farmers from near Ripon in Yorkshire.
I've had a lot of help already from Mark Brockway of this forum who sent me a fascinating extract from the KRRC Chronicle for 1916 about how the Earl of Feversham (later killed at Flers) raised the battalion at his family home, Duncombe Park, Helmsley,Yorkshire. Mark also referred me to the other forum threads on this battalion, including the one on the Crossley twins who died together on 30 June 1916 - I think Hardcastle must have been in A company with them as they were all from the North Riding (EDIT - wrong, see below). Anthony Eden also as a very young officer recruited men from his family's home area in Durham as part of this battalion - I think that would be C company. (Please correct any errors for me!)
After 7th October on the Somme according to the KRRC Chronicle 'the Yeoman battalion ceased to exist. Of its original officers and men few were left, and it was completed by drafts composed principally of Londoners.' Hardcastle missed that day because he was still recovering from wounds received at Flers on 15th September.
I would very much like to hear about any other men from that original recruitment exercise in November 1915. Most of them must have been killed on the Somme, while a few perhaps transferred to other battalions, like Hardcastle, after being wounded. Who might he have known during that year (not even a year, but it must have been a very intense period in their lives) with the Yeoman Rifles?
PS EDIT Ripon was in the WEST Riding, though it's north Yorkshire.
As you would expect therefore, Hardcastle was in B Company. When I went back after looking at hundreds of records I saw 'B Coy' on his medical history sheet, faded but fairly clear.
Edited by Liz in Eastbourne, 18 December 2013 - 07:14 pm.