Military Medals and Decorations
A Great War, Battle of Cambrai, Bourlon Wood, Casualty Group to Private Harry Riley, 2/6th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)
Item Reference: LG62042
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A Great War Bourlon Wood Casualty Group in original frame awarded to Private Harry Riley, 2/6th battalion Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment); comprising British War and Victory Medals 1914-1920, (266090) Pte. H. Riley W.Rid. R.); Memorial Plaque, (Harry Riley); Memorial Scroll, (pte. Harry Riley W.Riding Regt.).
Toned very fine. (2)
Private Harry Riley was born in Skipton in 1898, the son of the late Mr Sam Riley, 6 Bennett Street, Skipton. He enlisted in his home town in the 2/6th (Territorial) Battalion of the West Riding Regiment. He was killed in action on the 27th November 1917 in the last British offensive/attack at Cambrai supported by 30 tanks.
At some point during his military career Harry had been a member of the 186th Light Trench Mortar Battery, but it is not known if he was with them on this day, his last day of action. As part of the 186 Brigade the 2/6th West Ridings attacked the German Trenches in front of the railway line beyond Bourlon Wood, which they succeeded in reaching and holding until 5pm when they were forced to retire to the wood itself due to lack of support on both sides.
A fierce shellfire was commenced on the wood by the Germans, cost the West Ridings 173 casualties. Harry's body was not found after the war and he is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial to the Missing, Louverval, Panels 6&7. He was 19 years old.
His details were forwarded to Mr John Clayton for inclusion on "Craven's Part in the Great War", his celebrated tribute to the men of Skipton who played their part in the Great War.
Sold with copy entry from Craven's Roll, Copy Battalion War Diary, Medal Index Card and a photograph of his name on the Cambrai Memorial.