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Gunner Jack Thackray Byers

 
 

Harrogate Herald - 9th May 1917

W H Breare letterI have had the Byers lads in. I wrote of one of them a short time ago. He is a petty officer, or perhaps I should say an apprentice, on a naval transport. This is W H Byers, son of our Librarian, who, I am sorry to say, has not got quite well as we all could have wished. Well, W H Byers went to sea in September on the steamer Kildale. She was torpedoed on April 12th. She had two torpedoes in her. He was also at that place on the White Sea, near Archangel, where the terrible explosion took place. It was six miles away from Archangel, yet people were killed in that town. Byers told me that Oxley, whose mother lives at 49 Dragon Avenue, was second cook on his ship; but he was wounded in the face, and is not with him now.

The older brother, Gunner Jack Byers, is in a siege battery. He was in training in Ripon for a couple of weeks, and then went south. He has not gone out yet.

 

Harrogate Herald 25th July 1917

Gunner J T Byers, son of Mr G W Byers, Borough Librarian, is in hospital in France, having been "gassed". He joined up on attaining the age of 18 in November, and went to France in March.

 

Harrogate Herald - 21st November 1917

Roll of Honour

Gunner J T Byers received shell wounds in the legs, thighs, and left arm, and was admitted on the 10th inst. to No 17 CCS, France, where he died at 11.40am the same day. He was buried in a cemetery near. He is the son of Mr G W Byers, Harrogate Borough Librarian.

W H Breare letter

You Harrogate boys will know very well Mr George W Byers, librarian of our Public Library. He is at the present time doing good work as Secretary of the Wounded Soldiers' Entertainment Committee. You will be deeply sorry to hear that his son, Gunner J T Byers, was admitted to hospital on the 10th instant suffering from shell wounds in the legs, side and left arm, and that he died the same day. Mr Byers received this sad news on Friday morning. Only the Friday before the father had been busy at the Spa Rooms seeing through a whist drive which his committee had arranged for the wounded soldiers. Mrs Byers, perhaps you will remember, died some little time ago, so that she is spared the great trouble which has come upon the husband and family. Amongst the pain of it all there is one beautiful thought and that is : the boy is now with his mother. Our concern is for the bereaved father and the gallant son who is in the Navy. I hope that both will find comfort in the knowledge that we all share their grief.

Further on in the same letter..................

I have further particulars of Gunner J T Byers. He was 19 years of age, and first tried to join when but 17, but was sent home on account of age. He then joined the VTC, finally entering the Army November 2nd, 1916. went to France May 3rd, 1917, three weeks before he was 19. he was gassed on July 10th, and in hospital in France for three weeks, but did not get home to England. He was educated at the Harrogate Secondary School, served his time with Messrs Shaw and Co., Harrogate, and was with Messrs Anderson and Mortimer, wholesale drapery warehouse, Leeds, when he joined the Army.

 

SDGW

Royal Garrison Artillery

127350 Gunner John Thackray Byers

Born : Harrogate

Enlisted : Harrogate

Died : 10th November 1917

Died of wounds

France and Flanders

 

CWGC

In Memory of

JOHN THACKRAY BYERS

Gunner 127350 157th Siege Bty., Royal Garrison Artillery who died on Saturday, 10th November 1917. Age 19.

Additional Information:

Son of George W. Byers, of Harrogate, Yorks.

Commemorative Information

Cemetery:

LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Grave Reference/Panel Number:

XXII. EE. 22.