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Home » Memories » Pre-1939 » Aireborough Boys, 1914 – 1918 (03)

Aireborough Boys, 1914 – 1918 (03)

WWI 1914-1918

SL038 – Yeadon, 1914 – 1918.

Title Aireborough Boys
Date 1914 – 1918
Location Aireborough/Europe
Written By Carlo Harrison
Comment A story of those times sent to us by Ken Roberts with assistance from Trish Restorick in unravelling this mystery.
Cottrell Brothers 1914-1918

1418 – The Cottrell Brothers.

The Cottrell Brothers

The 3 brothers intrigued me for some years. I could find Albert & Henry in the CWGC Register, but no trace of William even though his name is on the Guiseley Memorials & he is commemorated, along with his brothers, in Guiseley Town Cemetery.
I would like to thank my friend Trish Restorick for finally unlocking the puzzle.

The Cottrell’s were not a Guiseley family.
Their father, Henry, had been a professional Soldier born in Hounslow, Middlesex, & upon leaving the army he took a post at High Royds Asylum.
That is how the family came to live in Guiseley during the Great War.

All the 3 boys were golfing professionals.
The first breakthrough in my mystery was found in:-
Foreign notes.
By Our British Correspondent,
London, December 10, 1915.

Two Professionals, brothers, have made the saddest and most glorious sacrifice in the war.
Harry and Albert Cottrell were professionals respectively at Ulverston in Cumberland and at Le Touquet in France, and when the war began they met and decided that they should both join the Sherwood Foresters, to which regiment their Father had belonged.
So they did, and in due course they went out to the war together. They went to the Dardanelles.
Harry became a sergeant and Albert a corporal, and they kept together.
In action Harry was wounded and his brother went to his assistance and began dressing the wound.
While he was doing so he was shot in the head and died soon afterwards, and Harry, while attending to him, was shot a second time, and this time fatally.
This surely is one of the strangest, saddest tragedies that have been enacted out by those dreadful Dardanelles, and the professional golfers may well claim it for honour of their kind. Shortly before he left England brave Harry Cottrell said to a friend, “If I have to go under, I hope I shall die game, for the sake of the profession!”
And very game did this hero die.

Upon seeing that Albert had been Professional in France, Trish & I extended our search Worldwide & found that William left Liverpool in January 1914 on board the White Star lines ship “Baltic”.
He was aged 22 & a golf professional.
He entered the United States on 10th January, 1914.
He lived in New Jersey.
William enlisted on 18th March, 1918, crossed to England on May 11th & the regiment was fully assembled in Calais on June 9th. The 58th were assigned to French regiments of their 164th Infantry Division for the Aisne – Marne counter offensive in July 1918.
The regiment also fought in St. Mihiel in September 1918 & then the Meuse – Argonne Offensive during October 1918 which is when William died on the 6th of that month..
The War ended 1 month later.
Ken Roberts has sent me the following.


The men of Guiseley who gave their lives for their Country in the Great War.

There are 150 men named on the 2 Memorial Plaques situated by the stocks in Town Gate, & also within the Lych-gate at St. Oswald’s Parish Church.

Within the Church grave yard are 6 Commonwealth War Graves Commission head stones commemorating:-

Private Leonard Hardwick.
Sergeant Henry Edmund Leyland.
Private A. Shaw.
Private M. Waite.
Private Herbert Brown Watkinson.
Private Willie Watson.

Lance Corporal Cyril Steel is interred in his family grave.
He has an entry in the GWGC Register but no CWGC headstone.

Also commemorated on family headstones are:-
Lieutenant Alan Humphries Cheetham.
Private Percy Armitage.
2nd Lieutenant David Ive.
Private Cecil Peate.
Private Thomas Marmaduke Craven Rennard.
2nd Lieutenant James Phillip Padgett.
Gunner Samuel Busfield.
Private James Enos Rhodes Waddington
Private Benjamin Firth Hardwick.
Lance Corporal Enos Pawson & his brother, Corporal Percy Pawson.
Corporal George Edward THackray.
Private William Darnborough.
Sergeant David Long & his brother, Private John Long.
Sergeant Laurence Victor Watson.
Private Albert Victor Waite MM
Sergeant Baldwin Francis.

Memorial, the east window in the north aisle within the church to:-
Major William Whitaker Thompson (Third son of Sir Matthew William Thompson, 1st Baronet of Park Gate, Guiseley.)
And his nephew & Godson, Captain Gilbert Thompson,
And Captain Phillip Thompson, RFC, his only son.

The following men fell on the same day, May 3rd, 1917 around Arras & are commemorated on the Arras Memorial.
Alfred Exley.
David Long.
Herbert Roo.
Albert Carrington Smith.
William Winterburn.
Horace Yeadon.
Hugh Yeadon.

The following men fell on the same day, August 9th, 1915 at Gallipoli & are commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey.
Albert Cottrell & his brother Henry Cottrell. They enlisted together & died together.
Francis Howard Knipe.

Albert Cottrell.
Henry Cottrell.
William Cottrell.
More about these 3 brothers later.

Enos Pawson.
Percy Pawson.

David Long.
John Long.

Gilbert Thompson
Phillip Thompson.

Father & Son.
Albert Stevens
Harry Stephens.

The following men are commemorated in Guiseley Town Cemetery.
Alfred Exley.
HMT Warton.
The three Cottrell Brothers.
Herbert French.
James Hewitt.
Clarence Ascough.

Sergeant F B Downs DCM 1914-1918

1418 – F B Downs DCM.

Sergeant F B Downs DCM

Rachel Glynn sent me this piece about her Great Grandad Sergeant F B Downs DCM.

The following extract is from a response to a letter to his granddaughter asking for further information about why he was awarded the… DCM.

“According to all our sources your grandfather is listed as 21266 Sergeant FB Downs DCM of the 2nd Battalion Yorks and Lancaster Regiment.
The 2nd Battalion were a Regular Army unit who landed in France on 9th September 1914.
Your grandfather would have been sent out as part of a draft of men to replace losses in the Battalion; either in late 1915 or early 1916.
The action at Gricourt for which he received the DCM was part of the Battle of Cambrai which broke the German Hindenburg Line. The Battalion moved to assembly position in Champagne Trench at midnight ton the 23rd September 1918.
This trench was recently captured from the Germans and was near Gricourt, north of St. Quentin off the A26/E17 road.
At 5 am the Battalions attack began near a creeping artillery barrage with three tanks in support.
C and D companies led the attack with A and B companies in the second wave.
The front companies captured the first objective, which was the Ridge Trench.
The second wave companies then passed through them and captured the final objectives of Peronne Trench and Argonne Trench.
At 5.30pm B Company carried out a bombing attack and captured the Bosquet Alley.
The action was a great success, in no small part because of your grandfather.
The Battalion captured 309 men, 22 machine guns, 1 mortar and two artillery pieces.
Unfortunately they also lost 145 of their own men killed, wounded or missing.”

Thank God my Great Grandad was not one of the 145 and he returned home to Yeadon safely.

Private Harry Denison 1914-1918

1418 – H Denison.

Private Harry Denison

John Denison has shared this piece about his Father:

Born on 8th June 1899, he was called up for service in the West Yorkshire Regt in 1917.
At the age of just eighteen he was home on leave in late March 1918, when he was recalled by telegram.
The last German push had happened that same month and he found himself, now in the East Yorkshire Regt, in early April 1918
pushed up to the front to stem the advance.
I believe his regiment suffered 50% casualties and he himself was wounded in the thigh and hand.
Fortunately he made a good recovery.

At the age of thirteen he had been apprenticed to a tinsmith in Henshaw but later gave this up to work at Naylor Jennings, Dyers, of Green Lane Mills.
He was with them right up to retirement as a Dyers Operative apart from the war years.
During that period he worked at Arrow Aircraft on maintenance. At the same time he was Senior Warden at an ARP Post near Harper Rock.

For many years he was a member of Yeadon Amateur Operatic Society, later being the Floor Manager.

He died in 1999, just three month before his hundredth birthday.

Private Harry Denison 1914-1918

1418A – H Denison.

Private Harry Denison

As above.

Previous Comments:

Re Cottrell Brothers
Verena Womersley
Hi, I am the great granddaughter of Lizzie Cottrell – I have a copy of a written account of my Great grandfather Harry Womersley who married Lizzie and went on to have 4 children in Guiseley.
I am gradually retyping the ‘memoirs’ as written and have come across another Cottrell son – Horace.
Horace apparently was quite musical and got a set of drums and a Jowett car – and had aspirations to start a band.
He must have worked in a garage in which there was an explosion, from which he got terribly burnt according to the notes.
22 December 2020.

Hi Verena. My name is Ysabel Hammond-Hunt and I’m a cousin of yours. My Nana was Gladys Emily Cottrell who married George Herbert Benton. They had two children; my mother, Christine, and my uncle Douglas, both of whom, sadly, are no longer with us. I would love to know about my family and have come across some interesting history going back to the 1600s (not done by me, I hasten to add). Is there anyway we could touch base to give our family a voice? Kind regards … Ysabel
27 June 2022.

Hi Ysabel, for your information re the above post from Verena 22 Dec 2020. As you will note neither the AHS or yourself are able to get in touch with her unless she re visits this page at some future time and leave a mode of contact, again you would also need to check this page on a regular basis to see if this occurred. However, may I suggest that you place a search message on Aireborough Historical Society Facebook and also on Old Yeadon Memories Facebook, for Verena to make contact.
In the meantime, I will forward your request to our archivists. May I request you forward your contact details to the following email address in order that any further information found can be forwarded to you in due course.
Kind regards,
Jack Brayshaw.
28 June 2022.

A message for TallulahK – Please contact me at as I now have a contact address for Verena Womersley.
26 August 2023.

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Consolidated by Jack Brayshaw. 07 August 2022.
Last updated: 26 August 2023 – Previous Comments. 31 January 2023 – All images updated.

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