Signaller Harry Yearsley


Harry Yearsley was born on 23 May 1897 at Castle, Northwich, Cheshire, the first of six children of barge hand John Yearsley and his wife Mary Ellen (née Holland). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 26 Chapel Street, Northwich, with his parents, siblings and a grandfather, and working as a greengrocer's assistant.

Yearsley was attested for military service at Northwich on 25 February 1916. Mobilised on 13 May, he was initially posted to the 2/6th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment before being transferred to the 2/5th Battalion East Surrey Regiment at the end of the year. On 23 January 1917 he was transferred to the 2/1 Derbyshire Yeomanry, a cyclist unit based in the Canterbury area, where he trained as a signaller.

On 12 September 1918 Yearsley was one of 56 men from various English yeomanry regiments who were compulsorily transferred to the Corps of Hussars – he was issued regimental number 81249. They embarked at Folkestone for Boulogne on the same day. There they were posted to the 1st North Irish Horse (V Corps Cyclist) Regiment. They joined the regiment in the field soon after, joining in the fighting during the Advance to Victory offensive in the final weeks of the war.

On 7 June the following year, with around twenty other North Irish Horsemen, Yearsley was transferred to the Army Cyclist Corps (No.23918) and was posted to IV Corps Cyclist Regiment, part of the Army of Occupation based in Rolsdorf, Germany. He was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 10 November 1919.

After the war Yearsley returned to Northwich, marrying Gertrude Flavell in 1920. At the time of the 1939 Register he was living at 23 Solway Road, Winnington, Northwich, with his wife and two children, and working as a shunter in a chemical works.


Yearsley's British War Medal, image sourced from an online auction site