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
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
Royal Garrison Artillery
127350 Gunner John Thackray Byers
Born : Harrogate
Enlisted : Harrogate
Died : 10th November 1917
Died of wounds
France and Flanders
In Memory of
JOHN THACKRAY BYERS
Gunner 127350 157th Siege Bty., Royal Garrison
Artillery who died on Saturday, 10th November 1917. Age 19.
Son of George W. Byers, of Harrogate, Yorks.
LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY, Poperinge,
Grave Reference/Panel Number:
XXII. EE. 22.