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Crampton Youngs

Private Crampton Youngs, 22777, Grenadier Guards, 3rd Battalion

Crampton Youngs was born in Gawthorpe Ossett in 1894, the younger of two sons born to of John William Youngs and his wife Mary Jane (nee Gomersal) who married in September 1896.

In 1891, shortly before Crampton’s birth, the family were living at Ryecroft Street, Ossett. In 1901, Crampton and his mother were living with her parents, George and Salina Gomersall at Providence Street, Earlsheaton. The record shows Mary Jane as married, but neither her husband John William or her other son, Walter Harry, are in the household. In 1911 Crampton and his mother remain living with her parents, both in their seventies, on Commercial Street, Earlsheaton, Dewsbury. There is still no record of Crampton’s father or his brother. Mother and son are working in the rag trade.

In 1911, Crampton’s elder brother, Walter Harry Youngs, born in Ossett, was a visitor to a farm in Wansford, Northamptonshire. He was by then a student teacher in training. In 1901, he he had been staying with his paternal grandparents at Wisbeach, Lincolnshire. In the same year, there is a record of a John William Youngs, a married man and master of a fishing vessel near Cleethorpes.

Crampton Youngs' army service record has not survived, but it is known that he enlisted in Dewsbury and joined the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards with regimental service number 22777. Grenadier Crampton Youngs embarked for France on the 9th December 1915 and was killed in action on the 27th April 1918. He was posthumously awarded the 1914/15 Star for his service overseas before 31st December 1915 and also the British and Victory campaign medals.

The 3rd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards was formed in August 1914 at Wellington Barracks, London District. The Battalion moved overseas on the 27 July 1915, landing at Le Havre on the 19 August 1915 and came under command of 2nd Guards Brigade, Guards Division.

On the 27th April 1918, the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards were located at Ransart and their "War Diary" 1 has this entry for the 27th April 1918:

"Front posts of No 1 Company were severely shelled between 12-2.0 pm. 2/Lt. C.L.F. Boughey was wounded. The Battalion was relieved by 1st Battalion Scots Guards on the night of 27th/28th inst. Relief was quiet and over by 11.50 pm. Casualties during tour six killed, five wounded."

Crampton Youngs is not remembered on any Ossett Memorial or Roll of Honour, perhaps because even though he was born in Ossett he and his mother moved to live in nearby Earlsheaton by 1901. He is remembered in this 2014 biography and Roll of Honour because the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and/or the U.K. Soldiers who Died in the Great War 1914-1918 listing records him as born or residing in Ossett.

3rd Battalion, Greandier Guards in 1914

Above: Men from the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards on Wimbledon Common, London in 1914.

Private Crampton Youngs, aged 24 years, son of Mrs. Mary Jane Youngs, of 35, Commercial St., Earlsheaton, Dewsbury, Yorkshire died on the 27th April 1918 and is buried at grave reference I. A. 17 at the Douchy-Les-Ayette British Cemetery, 1 Pas de Calais, France. Ayette is a village some 13 kilometres south of Arras on the road to Amiens, and Douchy-les-Ayette is a village 1 kilometre west of Ayette. The British Cemetery is opposite the Communal Cemetery on the north side of the road, halfway between the two villages next to a barn.

Douchy-les-Ayette was in German occupation from October, 1914 to the 21st March, 1917. In March, 1918, the enemy advanced as far as the Communal Cemetery, and held it for a few days. The village was never completely evacuated by the inhabitants. It contained a German Cemetery of 380 graves, now removed.

The British Cemetery was begun in August and September, 1918, by the 3rd Division Burial Officer; and the 81 graves then made are scattered among eight Rows in what are now Plots II and IV. It was enlarged after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from the battlefields of Arras and the Ancre and from other burial grounds, including:-

Brasserie Military Cemetery, Le Fermont, Riviere, on the Bretencourt-Wailly Road, begun by French troops, which contained the graves of ten soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in April, 1916, and one who fell in January, 1918.

Favreuil German Cemetery, at the North-East corner of the village, contained the graves of 389 German soldiers and of four from the United Kingdom and one from Canada, buried by the enemy in 1916.

Fremicourt Communal Cemetery, in which 20 German soldiers and two R.F.C. officers (who died in 1916 in a German hospital in the Church) were buried.

Gastineau Farm French Military Cemetery, Ransart, on the Bellacourt-Berles road, in which one soldier from the United Kingdom was buried in February, 1916.

Gomiecourt German Cemetery, a little West of the village, in which 126 German soldiers and 27 from the United Kingdom were buried in 1916-18.

Grosville Churchyard, Riviere, in which two men of the Liverpool Scottish were buried by their comrades in February, 1916.

L'Alouette French Military Cemetery, Ransart, on the Bellacourt-Berles road, in which ten soldiers from the United Kingdom were buried by their comrades in 1916.

Morchies Communal Cemetery German Extension, containing the graves of 400 German soldiers, five Australian and one from the United Kingdom, who fell in 1916-17.

Moyenneville German Cemetery (one of several in the Commune), in the South-West part of the village, in which eleven soldiers from the United Kingdom (including six R.F.C.) were buried by the enemy in 1916-17.

Ransart Churchyard, in which one soldier from the United Kingdom was buried in March, 1917.

Ransart M.D.S. Cemetery, in the village, where 12 soldiers from the United Kingdom were buried at the end of August, 1918.

Sapignies German Cemetery, in the South-West corner of the village, contained the graves of 28 soldiers from the United Kingdom (including two R.N.D.), who fell in 1916-18, and 840 German soldiers.

Wailly Military Cemetery, at the North-East end of the village, contained 30 French graves and those of 23 men of the 55th Division who fell in 1916.

Willow Road Cemetery, Boiry-Ste. Rictrude, in which 25 soldiers from the United Kingdom (largely of the Guards Division) were buried in 1918.

There are now over 700, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, nearly one-third are unidentified and a special memorial is erected to an officer of the Lincolns believed to be buried among them. Certain graves in Plot I, Row A and B, identified collectively but not individually, are marked by headstones bearing the additional words: "Buried near this spot...".

The Cemetery covers an area of 2,418 square metres and is enclosed by a rubble wall.

References:

1. "War Diary", 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards

2. Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site