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Private Frederick Cecil Yates


Claro Times - 8th October 1915

It is with regret that we have this week to announce several more casualties among local men, but the price of the advance last week had to be paid, and some local losses were to be expected.

Last weekend Mr F Yates, of Hookstone Road, received intimation that his son, Private Frederick Cecil Yates, 1/5th West Yorkshires (Harrogate Territorials) had been killed in the trenches by a sniper. Private Yates was 23 years old, and prior to the war was employed by the Kursaal, and was a popular member of the staff. He had worked his way from programme boy to assistant stage manager at the Kursaal, and had also assisted the orchestra on occasion. Yates was a good player of Association football and cricket, and in other branches of sport could hold his own. The letters reproduced below, from his platoon commander and two comrades, tell the sad story of his death :

British Expeditionary Force, September 29th, 1915

Dear Mr Yates, I am writing these few lines to express my deepest sympathy with you and Mrs Yates, in the death of your son, 2093 Private C Yates, who was killed in the trenches yesterday morning. He suffered no pain, being shot in the head, and was unconscious from first to last. I was present at his funeral, which took place last night. He is laid to rest in a cemetery on the canal bank, alongside others of his comrades who have fallen. All the men in my platoon mourn a cheery comrade and a good soldier.

I am, yours truly, R M Wood, Lieutenant

Commanding 4 Platoon, A Company, 1/5th West Yorkshire Regiment


British Expeditionary Force, Belgium, September 28th, 1915

Dear Mr and Mrs Yates, It is with great grief that I have to prepare you for the sudden realisation of a tremendous loss. To send such tidings by letter will no doubt come to you as a great and cruel shock, but it is better for you to know at once. Cecil was killed this morning. He was shot through the head, and lost consciousness immediately. He lingered on for a short while; we did everything possible for him, but he passed away without once regaining consciousness. I should like to express my great sympathy for you and your family in this great loss. I can hardly express myself for the deep sorrow that rests upon me at this time. Cecil, as you know, was my friend and comrade throughout, and had always proved a sterling pal in all our happy moments and in our many trials. We have had a rough time, as you will have gathered from his letter home, but he was always bright, cheerful, and resourceful throughout. His merry companionship is a loss I cannot realise, and I feel for him as for a dear brother. Well, he has nobly and well done his duty. He will be laid to rest in our little cemetery on the side of the famous Yser Canal, under an avenue of tall trees; a truly lovely spot it must have been before the war, and is so still, although battle-scarred; now a fitting resting-place for such a true-hearted follower of his honour and his duty. I have taken the privilege of collecting his personal belongings, and will have them forwarded to you through or platoon officer (Lieutenant Wood), and hope they will reach you safely. With deep sympathy to you all,

I remain, yours very truly, George Morrell Dickenson


September 28th, 1915

Dear Mrs Yates, I am extremely sorry to let you know that poor Cecil was killed this morning. I don't know how it happened, but he was hit on the top of the head with a rifle bullet. This was about seven o'clock, and he died about nine. from the time he was hit to the time that he died he never once regained consciousness, so I hope this may console you to know that he would have no pain. He will be buried tonight out of the trenches near the canal, and you can take it from me that he will be buried practically as decently as if he was at home. Afterwards a decent wooden cross will be placed in his grave and sodded. I thought I would write you this short note with being one of his chums, but someone else may write and tell you more, so I will close by expressing my deepest sympathy for you all.

Goodbye, from his old chum, Cliff



1/5th Battalion, Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)

2093 Private Francis Cecil Yates

Enlisted : York

Residence : Harrogate

Died : 28th September 1915


France and Flanders



In Memory of


Private 2093 1st/5th Bn., West Yorkshire Regt. (Prince of Wales's Own) who died on Tuesday, 28th September 1915. Age 23.


Additional Information:

Son of Frederick and Mary Anna Yates, of 25, Hookstone Rd., Harrogate.


Commemorative Information


ESSEX FARM CEMETERY, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Grave Reference/Panel Number:

I. M. 13.


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