Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1915, Private George Wilfred Robertshaw, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment), was killed in action on the Western Front.
By the age of eleven, Private Robertshaw was working as a blanket whipper before becoming an apprentice moulder for the ironfounders firm of Thomas Pickles & Sons. He belonged to his local branch of the Church Lads’ Brigade, and was remembered as a bright and intelligent boy. In June of 1914, while underage, he enlisted with the 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.
Private Robertshaw arrived in France shortly before his battalion saw action during the Battle of La Bassee and then the First Battle of Ypres. On the 11th of November the Germans launched a brutal attack on Ypres; the 2nd Battalion suffered the loss of four hundred officers and men, but they almost eliminated the enemy’s 2nd(Prussian) Guard Grenadier Battalion, which lost fifteen officers and five hundred men. Private Robertshaw was wounded and sent home to recuperate, returning to action on the 21st of January in 1915.
He has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing at Ypres. He is also remembered on the St. Michael’s Church memorial in Mytholmroyd, the Church Lads’ Brigade memorial, and his family’s gravestone in St. Michael’s churchyard.
George, from Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire, was 16 years old.