The Maltonian Web

World War 1

On the centenary of Britain's entry into the Great War (4 August 1914), I have extracted a few details from pages already on the website.

The History of Malton Grammar School by David Lloyd (1965), has some notes on the school during the war, and those who lost their lives.

A Roll of Honour for the First and Second World Wars was published in issues of The Maltonians.

Penny Bassey, granddaughter of Mr T A Williams, headmaster at the school 1937-51, sent me some biograhical notes about Mr Williams and his contribution during The War through both The Navy and The Army.

The Great War and Malton School

Extracts from The History of Malton Grammar School (David Lloyd 1965):
Malton School had re-opened at its new home on Middlecave Road in 1911, and was only just establishing itself when war broke out in 1914.
Fifty five boys served in the ranks and seven of these gave their lives: Cecil Barr (1912-14), Jack Binnie (1913-14), Sidney Bowes (1914-15), Walter Cattle (1911-14), Rex Fowles (1914-15), Wallace Piercy (1913-17), and Wilfred Sowersby (1914-17).
With the outbreak of war in 1914, Mr. Curzon and Mr. Williams enlisted almost at once, and Miss Milne followed in 1915 for war-work in London that was eventually to win her the M.B.E.

Thomas Arthur Williams

Notes on Thomas Arthur Williams, from his granddaughter Penny Bassey.

Thomas Arthur Williams was to become the headmaster of Malton School from 1938 to 1951.  He had joined the school as a young member of staff in 1913, just a year before the outbreak of World War I.

He joined the Royal Naval Division at the beginning of the war, and, taking part in the disastrous landings at Gallipoli, was wounded, taken to Malta where he developed jaundice, and then to Alexandria. Later he joined the Yorkshire Regiment – the 5th battalion of the Green Howards – and was commissioned.  The regiment’s historical records give detailed accounts of the front-line fighting in which he was involved and in which so many officers and men were killed and wounded.  He was gassed on 5 September 1917 and in April, after the Battle of the Lys, was reported missing – he had in fact been taken prisoner at Lahr near Baden Baden.  His Colonel wrote to his father to say he was missing believed killed, but later the Red Cross informed the family of his capture.  By the end of June 1918 the 5th Green Howards consisted of no more than 7 officers and 151 other ranks and a few days before the end of the war, the 5th Battalion was demobilized – due to 'heavy losses incurred'.  In all probability Tom only survived because he was out of the fighting as a POW.

He returned to Malton Grammar School as senior master in 1919.  The next year he married Isabella Mackie and their daughter Eleanor (Peggy) was born in 1921.

*Notice the wording on the hats in the navy photos. Tom was actually in the Royal Naval Division - a fighting division rather than sailing. In the second photo you can make out the word 'HAWKE' - this was the name of his battalion, which was one of four in the 1st brigade, named after famous sea commanders - Benbow, Collingwood, Drake and Hawke. The poster on the right here shows some details. More is available on the 1914-18 website