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Second Lieutenant Robert Bickerdike


Harrogate Herald - 20th June 1917

W H Breare letter

Many of you boys, especially those who worship at St Robert's, will learn with pride that Second Lieutenant R Bickerdike (brother of father Bickerdike, of St Robert's Church, who, by the way, is chaplain of the Catholic Boys' Brigade, and, if I mistake not, the founder) has received the Military Cross. His company was the first to enter Bullecourt. For his distinguished work he was promoted lieutenant. I am continually enjoining the mothers and wives of missing soldiers not to lose faith even when indications point to a probability of their loved ones having been killed. To such I would say just listen to what I am going to tell you about Lt Bickerdike. Father Bickerdike received a telegram from the military authorities saying that his brother was wounded, missing, and believed killed. Now, had Father Bickerdike not had faith, what an

uncomfortable time he would have had. A short while after he had received the grave telegram, he had a letter from his brother, who said he had been wounded, but was on duty. Next came a letter from the War Office announcing that the brother was wounded but still on duty. Lt Bickerdike had a miraculous escape. A bullet passed through the front of his helmet, and came out at the back, leaving a huge bulge. The missile just grazed the top f his had, narrowly escaping the brain. Learn a lesson from this miraculous incident, dear boys, and do not lose faith even in those gravest moments when you think the proof is indisputable.


Harrogate Herald - 12th September 1917

Second Lieutenant (temporary Lieutenant) Robert Bickerdike, West Yorkshire Regiment, has been awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in the field. He is the brother of the Rev W Bickerdike, of St Robert's Church, Harrogate. The official note on the subject says : "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion in an attack, when he destroyed three hostile dugouts, causing many casualties, and finally, although wounded himself, took command of his company, holding his ground against superior numbers until his ammunition ran out.


Harrogate Herald - 5th December 1917

Roll of Honour

Captain Robert Bickerdike, MC, (West Yorks) of Barkston Ash, who was killed in action on November 20th, is a brother of Father Bickerdike, of Harrogate, the Chaplain of the Harrogate Catholic Boys' Brigade. Captain Bickerdike was given a commission in April, 1915, and won the Military Cross in May last, when, as a second lieutenant, he was the only officer left to "carry on" with his company, he himself being wounded. He was in his 30th year, and was the youngest son of the late Thomas Bickerdike, of Scarthingwell.


Harrogate Herald - 12th December 1917

Roll of Honour

Father Bickerdike has received the following letter from the Colonel of his brother's (Captain Robert Bickerdike, MC) regiment : "Please accept my great sympathy on your brother's death in action on the 20th. He was killed instantaneously whilst leading his company to the assault of Havrincourt. I cannot tell you how much I regret his loss. He was absolutely reliable and absolutely fearless, and was invaluable to his company both as a trainer and leader of men.



Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)

6th Battalion (Territorial)

Capt Robert Bickerdike, MC

Killed in Action - 20th November 1917