Haith, John Robert

Walkington WW1 Memorial, Beverley, East Yorkshire
Walkington WW1 Memorial, All Hallows Church, marble plaque with 26 names
John Robert Haith

John Haith was born in Warter, in 1882 and was the son of William and Mary Haith (nee Oxtoby), 6 Butt :ane, Queensgare, Beverley. Before the war John was a regular soldier in the Coldstream Guards. He lied about his age and said he was 18 years old in 1901 when in fact he was only 16 years old. That year he was stationed in barracks at the guard’s depot, Pirbright, Surrey. He served in the South African Campaign of 1901/2. He left the army and began work at the East Riding Asylum, Walkington as a male attendant and at the outbreak of war he re-enlisted in the Coldstream Guards in Burnley. His wife Gertrude Mary (nee Brown) and young daughter Dorothy, continued to live at Butt Lane in Beverley. John was killed in action on 13th November, 1916 aged 31 years, during the battles of the Somme. He has no known grave and is remembered on The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing in France, on the East Riding Memorial in Beverley Minster and on the Beverley War Memorial in Hengate, Beverley. The 13th November was the first day of the Battle of Ancre, here many men of the East Yorkshire Regiment also perished: The Hull Daily Mail each year after on the anniversary had a special in memoriam page for the hundreds of names who had given their all. The Beverley Guardian published a photograph of John Robert on 2nd December 1916 when his death was reported. His name is recorded “In Memoriam” in the Hull Daily Mail of 13th November, 1919, from his widow Gertie and his daughter and also in the Beverley Guardian with the inscription “until the day breaks”
The Coldstream Guards are the oldest regiment in the regular army; they were formed in 1650 and should have taken precedence over other guards regiments but the Grenadiers were placed first and the Coldstreamer’s second hence their regimental motto “nulli secundus” (second to none). At the outbreak of the First World War, Coldstreamer’s were amongst the first British regiments to arrive in France. In the following Battles they suffered heavy losses, in two cases losing all their officers. At the first battle of Ypres the 1st battalion was virtually annihilated. They fought in Mons, Loos, The Somme, Ginchy and in the 3rd Battle of Ypres.

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Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France