Four names of fallen soldiers to be added to Leamington war memorial

MHLC-11-11-12  Leamington Remembrance Nov27 'The Annual Remembrance Sunday Day at the war memorial  Eusto Place, th November 2012 ,Leamington Spa . ENGNNL00120121211132501
MHLC-11-11-12 Leamington Remembrance Nov27 'The Annual Remembrance Sunday Day at the war memorial Eusto Place, th November 2012 ,Leamington Spa . ENGNNL00120121211132501

The names of four soldiers who died in the First World War are being added to the war memorial in Leamington.

They are Pte Harry Wright, Pte Sydney Giles Riley, L-Cpl Joseph Eyles and Ordinary Seaman Arthur Reynolds Pears.

MHLC-11-11-12  Leamington Remembrance Nov27 'The Annual Remembrance Sunday Day at the war memorial  Eusto Place, th November 2012 ,Leamington Spa . ENGNNL00120121211132904

MHLC-11-11-12 Leamington Remembrance Nov27 'The Annual Remembrance Sunday Day at the war memorial Eusto Place, th November 2012 ,Leamington Spa . ENGNNL00120121211132904

Ordinary Seaman Pears, who served on the HMS Bulwark, was lost at sea at the age of 22 on Thursday November 26.

Born in Leamington on October 20 1892, he lived at several addresses around the town mand worked as a general labourer until he enlisted into the Royal Navy in April 1914.

Military historian and Gulf War veteran David Eason said: “At 7.49 hours on November 26 1914, HMS Bulwark was moored at Kethole Reach 4 miles west of Sheerness in the estuary of the River Midway.

“At 7.50 hours Bulwark disappeared in a massive internal explosion taking with her all but 14 of her 750 crew including Arthur.

The Naval Court of Enquiry concluded that the explosions was most likely caused by the overheating of cordite charges stored alongside a boiler room bulkhead.

“Arthur is also commemorated on the Portsmouth War Memorial.”

Pte Riley was born in New Street in December 1893 and he and his family immigrated to Australia in 1905.

He enlisted into the 49th Batallion 5th Australian Infantry in 1916.

He later served on the front line at the Somme.

In early 1917 the battalion was involved in the pursuit of the German Army as it retreated back to the Hindenburg Line

Later that year the battalion moved to Flanders near Ypres where it was heavily involved during the third phases including the Battles of Messines and Polygon Wood.

It was in this area on October 12 1917 that Pte Riley was reported missing in action during the First Battle of Passchendaele.

Mr Eason said: “By the facytSydney has no known grave it can be assumed that tragically he was never found.

“He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial at the Menin Gate in Belgium.”

Pte Wright, of the Gloucestershire Regiment, 39th Brigade 13th Western Division, died of his wounds on Friday September 10 1915 aged 21.

He was born in Leamington in 1894 and lived in Comyn Street and Princess Street before he enlisted into the regiment at Warwick in August 1914.

He saw action at Gallipoli where his battalion was stationed at ANZAC Cove from where it took part in the attack on the hill of Chunuk Bair in August 1915 and later the Battle of Hill 60.

Mr Eason said: “It is unclear where Harry was wounded but it can be presumed that it would most likely have been during the attack on Hill 60 at the end of August.

“He is buried in Lala Baba Cemetery in Turkey.”

L-Cpl Eyles, of the Northumberland Fusiliers, was killed in action on Thursday August 16 1917 aged 33.

He was born in Leam Street in 1891 and later lived and worked in London as a footman.

He was stationed in Gallipoli, the Suez Canal and finally at the Somme from July 1916.

Work is also taking place to reapply missing letters to the names of Capt Harry Clarke, Boy 1st Class Gordon Farmer and Rifleman Oscar Harry Valentine Thornton which are already on the memorial in Euston Place.