An Old Sea Dog

I missed the anniversary of the death in 1916 of Edmund OUTRAM on the first day of this month. He is remembered in St Oswald’s churchyard and on the Thiepval Memorial. Edmund was one of the thousands killed in the first hours of the Battle of the Somme.

His father, Edmund Henry, is buried in Filey and is the only publicly acknowledged recipient of the Distinguished Service Order in the churchyard.


The King bestowed the honour in August 1915 for service in the Royal Naval Reserve, as one of the captains of HMS Alsatian. The old sea dog’s progress around the North Atlantic can be followed in some detail here.


Alsatian was an Allen Line passenger ship, requisitioned by the Government, and at war’s end, she returned to more lucrative duties with the Canadian Pacific Line. Edmund Henry had other connections to Canada. A very brief notice in the Leeds Mercury, 11 January 1937, said he was a member of the Canadian Constitution of Freemasons. Here, he was “well known in local golf circles”. Another report claims that he was the nephew of the Reverend George Sandford OUTRAM who is represented on FamilySearchTree. The family trio of Edmund, father and son, and Agnes is, however,  proving elusive. I will continue searching – it is the main aim of the churchyard project to put everyone buried or remembered at St Oswald’s on the World Tree.

Some years ago there was a flurry of interest in Outrams on an Ancestry board and one of the contributors uploaded a photograph of the Captain. He is proudly sporting his DSO medal so I guess the photo was taken in 1915 and therefore, I trust, in the public domain.


Three Soldiers

For three young men with Filey connections, a 30th of May would be their last day.

SpionKopSAStephenson Warcup CAPPLEMAN was born in the town in 1872 and, at the age of 28, found himself in “Zululand” with the King’s Royal Rifles. I’m speculating that he was on Spion Kop and at Ladysmith in January but the inscription on the family headstone in St Oswald’s places him at Vryheid at the end of May. Like so many other British soldiers in the Boer War, he succumbed to the enteric fever. (Regimental history online.)

Stephenson is on FST but the system has given him the wrong mother. FG&C seems to be more reliable.


In loving memory of JOHN P. CAPPLEMAN, who died Feb 26th 1899, aged 57 years.

Also SUSANNA his wife, who died May 24th 1898, aged 60 years.

‘Kind thoughts shall ever linger

Round the graves where they are laid’

Also STEPHENSON W. CAPPLEMAN their son, late King’s R. Rifles, died of enteric fever at Vryheid, South Africa, May 30 1900 aged 28 years.

‘Oh how hard not a friend of his own to be near

To hear his last sigh or to watch his last tear

No parting, no farewell, no fond word of love

To cheer his last moments or point him above’

Richard Haxby PEARSON was born in Chapel Street, Filey in 1895. He has a quite extensive pedigree on FG&C but has yet to be linked to scattered forebears on FST. In the Great War, he served with the second-line 5th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment and died before he was sent to France in July 1916. I have not found his service records online and he has a civil death registration. I photographed the modest cross in a grey, damp churchyard this afternoon, with the following inscription (in part):-

In loving memory of RICHARD HAXBY PEARSON, the beloved son of FRANK AND MARY PEARSON, died May 30 1916, aged 20 years.

‘Too dearly loved to be forgotten

Died for his country’


Harry GRANT completes the trio.


“With pride we remember son of above” has to be set alongside Harry’s very sparse Index entry at CWGC, given that both parents “fell asleep” in the 1950s.


The family isn’t recorded on FG&C and initial research suggests that Harry was one of three children born to Tom TOWNEND during Hannah COULSON’s first marriage. On the 1911 Census return, he is given as Sam’s son but named as Harry TOWNEND. His birth was registered, as Henry, in Holbeck in the summer of 1899.  Samuel had two natural children in 1911, James (2) and Edna (newborn). Edna would almost make her century.

Even if you have only a short-term memory, the date of Harry’s death may remind you of George DOUGLAS. The 1st Lincolnshires took part in the Third Battle of the Aisne and  Harry GRANT is remembered on the Soissons Memorial. I wonder if Harry met George and swapped Filey reminiscences.

Monchy-le-Preux, 1917

The 8th (Service) Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment was formed in Beverley on 22 September 1914. On 16 November 1916, it was transferred to 8th Brigade,3rd Division and at the end of April 1917 was part of Allenby’s Third Army, preparing to throw itself into the Third Battle of the Scarpe.

I don’t know when George COLLING joined the East Yorks or how much fighting he’d experienced on his journey to Monchy-le-Preux. When I wrote yesterday’s post I didn’t know where his life had ended but this morning mentioned his anniversary to Graham, my next door neighbour. When I returned from my walk there was a note in my letterbox giving the following information (the source may be Everard Wyrall’s The East Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War 1914-1918) –

The Third Battle of the Scarpe, 1917, is of special interest to all East Yorkshiremen, for the third Victoria Cross won for the Regiment was gained by a young officer in the terrible struggle for Oppy Wood.

2nd Lieut. John Harrison MC, VC, 11th (S) Bn East Yorkshire Regiment, Oppy, France, 3rd May 1917.

The 8th East Yorkshire Regiment relieved the 1st Royal Scots in the front line on the night of 30th April/ 1st May, 1917. The line taken over was on a north and south line immediately east of Monchy-le-Preux, thence round the south–eastern exits of the village. It was a noisy part of the line and Monchy was heavily shelled intermittently throughout the 1st May.

Continuing the line from south to north, the main objectives of the Third Army were Cherisy, St Rohart Factory, Bois du Vert, Bois du Sart, Plouvain Station, Square Wood.

The Bois du Vert and Bois du Sart, to be attacked by the 8th Brigade, lay east of Monchy. The 2nd Royal Scots (right) and the first Royal Scots Fusiliers (left) were the attacking troops of the Brigade, the 7th King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (right) and 8th East Yorkshire (left) being in support.

The attack began at 3.45 am on 3rd May, the enemy quickly replying with his barrage.

The 8th East Yorkshires were forced up behind the Royal Scots Fusiliers; the 7th KSLI were on the right of the East Yorkshiremen.

From the 4th May the 8th East Yorkshires were in the Brown Line near Monchy taking no active part in the Battle, and at the close of May were billeted in Izel-les-Hameau.


George was killed on the first day of the battle, the 3rd, and his body not recovered. He is remembered on the Arras Memorial with over 34,000 other casualties. His parents had died before the war began.


The stone has not worn well and is very difficult to read, let alone photograph successfully.


In affectionate remembrance of JOHN COLLING, the beloved husband of MARGARET COLLING, who died Dec 24th 1910, aged 59 years.

‘His weary hours and days of pain

His troubled sleepless nights are past

The ever patient worn out frame

Has got eternal rest at last.’

‘With Christ which is far better.’

Also MARGARET COLLING, wife of the above, who died Feb 12th 1913, aged 59 years.

‘Rest on dear mother, your work is o’er,

Your willing hands will toil no more.

A loving mother true and kind

No one on earth like you we find.’

Also of GEORGE COLLING, son of the above, who was killed in action in France, May 3rd 1917, aged 26 years.

‘Though death divides, still memory clings.’

John was a fisherman, as the fine carving of a herring coble in sail on the headstone indicates.


Find this branch of the COLLINGs on Filey Genealogy & Connections and FamilySearchTree.

Syrian Airstrike

I mentioned yesterday that some reports suggested that UK regime missiles were fired into Syria (from Jordan) a few days ago, causing the 2.6 magnitude “earthquake” explosion. It seems to be accepted now that Israeli F15s delivered the missiles. Why were they not shot down by Syrian or Russian air defense systems? Russia has an agreement with the United States – not to fire upon US planes in Syrian airspace. It appears that the American regime gave Israel transponder codes that fooled Syrian defense that the planes were American F15 “Eagles”. This duplicity puts Ol’ Cryin’ Wolf Netanyahu’s already notorious IRAN LIED Powerpoint presentation in a new light. It also gives Syrian and Russian air defense the green light to shoot down any American planes their systems lock onto in future. Not good. Rusian and Iranian restraint can only stretch so far.

An Occupational Hazard?

Frederick Andrew CULLEY and Annie LANGFORD married in 1881 and brought nine children into the world. The first three births were registered in Somerset, the others in Scarborough. I think only the last two, Walter Edgar and Sydney Horace, were born in Filey. The family headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard is a sad one. Both parents died at 86 – having mourned the deaths of at least five of their children. One boy died at 14 months, the Great War took two young men, “middle age” two more (though we would say 37 and 43 are “young”). The first name on the headstone is  Sydney Horace who “died as a result of an accident”, a few months before his 19th birthday.

I couldn’t find a newspaper report of the fatal accident but towards the end of 1916, The Driffield Times offered a snippet of Filey news –

Sydney H. CULLEY, son of Mrs. Culley, Vernon House, aged fourteen, has been successful in passing a railway clerkship examination.

Earlier that year Annie had received letters informing her of the two who died “on active service”, so perhaps seeing her youngest making good progress raised her spirits. Did you wonder about the absence of Mr. Culley? Annie and Frederick were still married at the 1911 Census but, it seems, living apart. Annie was a “Clothier” at 1, Union Street, aged 50. Ten years later she was given the honour of opening the Memorial to the Fallen in Murray Street.

But back to Sydney. His death was registered in Selby, a small town of no great distinction. My only memories of it are of the Trans-Pennine train rumbling slowly over the old bridge spanning the River Ouse, and the sight of the Abbey – rare beauty on this rather grim northern journey. Of course, I’m jumping to a conclusion thinking Sydney died on the railway. Perhaps somebody reading this may know what happened to him.

There were three Culley girls. Rhoda Susan died aged 74 in 1969. She did not marry. I haven’t researched Edith Madeline or Dorothy Winifred yet.

There are only three Culleys on Filey Genealogy and Connections and they are not “joined up”. I have added a few sources to the FamilySearch Tree. The casualties of war have had LaF Wiki pages for a while but I haven’t had a chance to update them.


Reginald Vernon CULLEY 1882- 1916

Thomas Joseph CULLEY 1888-1916

On the First Day

The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge (Third Ypres) began a hundred years ago today. The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial lists the names of over a thousand men who lost their lives during those 24 hours. Amongst those whose bodies were not recovered was John James TOMBLIN, a Huntingdonshire man who came with that county’s Cyclists to Filey – and found a wife. He married Elizabeth CAMMISH on the 19th April 1916, taking a respectable place in several of the other Old Filey families – Cappleman, Cowling, Haxby, Jenkinson, and Skelton. A son, Jack Crane TOMBLIN, was born on 29th April 1917 and made fatherless five months later.

There is a short but powerful video on YouTube that gives some context to the loss of life from all corners of Empire – there were many Australian and South African casualties – and the last letter written by Captain Reginald Henry GILL of the 28th Battalion AIF is a poignant reminder, if one is needed,  that cannon fodder had loved ones back home.

Many more died in this battle, on this day, but they rest elsewhere in Flanders. G/17480 Private JENNINGS, Wilfred Walter but recorded as Fred, is about five kilometers away at Hooge Crater Cemetery and his story can be found here. A similar distance further east at Tyne Cot there are 2,000 more men remembered for whom this was their last day.

With the help of Kath’s Filey Genealogy and Connections database and some further research, I have added a little to the TOMBLIN pedigree on FamilySearch Tree. If you haven’t done so already, check out John James and Elizabeth’s wedding photo on the Hunts Cyclists website.

TOMBLINjjJ J is remembered on the Filey War Memorial but not on the ‘Honours Board’ in St Oswald’s Church. Peterborough brought him home.