Cpl John Youdale of the Border Regiment, 2nd Battalion
 Cpl John Youdale



3027/201612 Cpl John Youdale : Border Regiment, 2nd Battalion


John was born in November, 1888 in Keswick. His parents were John (a house painter) and Sarah. He was the oldest child, John had a younger brother Gawen, born in 1893, and a younger sister, Lilian, born in 1897.


On leaving school, when he turned 14, John joined The Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway; by 1911 he was a Railway Clerk.


John enlisted on 12 April 1915, joining what was then the 4th (Rerserve) Battalion, Border Regiment. His medical history tells us that he was a little over 5ft 8 inches tall and weighed 140 lbs (10 stone / 63kg) and his chest measurement was 36 1/2 inches. His 'phyiscal development' is described as 'good'. 


On 13 April, in Kendal, John signed an 'Agreement' and joined the Territorial and Reserve Forces. While with this reserve battalion serving in Britain, he was promoted on 1 May 1915 and made an 'Acting' Sergeant on 27 May 1916, though this reverts to Corporal on 27 July 1917 on joining the British Expeditionary Force and the 2nd Battalion Border Regiment.  He had embarked from Folkestone for Boulogne on the 26th July. 

According to the handwritten War Diary for the 2nd Battalion, Border Regiment, on 26 October 1916, the Battalion were ordered to attack along a line towards Gheluvelt Village. Other battalions were attacking on the left and right respectively. The attack was carried out under a creeping barrage timed to start at 5.40am and to reach the objective at 6.36am. The Battalion advanced in 'normal formation', forming up on two parallel tapes at 60 yards distance. 


On that day, 5 officers were killed, 2 wounded and 1 missing. Amongst other ranks 6 were killed, 174 wounded  and 126 missing.


John had been serving for just over 2 1/2 years. 


Cpl John Youdale is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Ypres and named on The Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway memorial tablet at Keswick station.


26 October 1917 Killed in action.


John's younger brother, Gawen, also joined up. The records don't give any detail at all, other than recording that he enlisted as a private in a Yorshire Regiment, and was a 2nd Lieutenant in the West Yorkshire (Reserves) at the end of the war. He died in 1954. 


 Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway Company Memorial to those who served and died during WW1


John Youdale is remember on the Cockermouth, Keswick and Pentrith Railway Company Memorial to the Dead


Those with an interest in the Railwaymen of Cumbria who servied in the First World War will be intersted in the carefully researched book 'Railwaymen of Cumbria Remembered' which includes men from the railways from the 1914-1918 counties of Cumberland, Westermoreland and part of North Lancashire and the District of Sedbergh which were brought together in the new county of Cumbria in 19174. 





Railwaymen of Cumbria Remembered. (2008, p11) by Peter Robinson and Michael Peascod of The Cumbrian Railways Association 

British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920.

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919.

British Census Returns 1911.  


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