267013 Private Richard Dove Whittaker
1st/6th Battalion
Duke of Wellington's(West Riding)Regiment
28th February 1918

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pw79a Private Richard Dove Whittaker.jpg

Born in Skipton, Yorkshire in 1885. His parents were Edward Whittaker(born in 1846) and Ann Dove(1851-1925). They were married in 1879.

Richard had 2 brothers, James Willie(1886-03/05/1918) and Edgar(01/03/1888-10/03/1964). He also had a sister, Selina Ann E.(1880-1912).

In the 1891 census, the family were recorded as living at 35 Rowlands Street, Skipton, Yorkshire. Edward was employed as an overlooker in a cotton mill( An overlooker job was to ensure that everything in the factory ran smoothly).

The 1901 census showed that the family were still living at the same address, but Edward was now employed as a cotton weaver. Richard had also started work in the cotton mill, as a cotton splitter(split the cotton by hand).

In the 1911 census, it recorded that the family were now living at 28 Devonshire Street Skipton. Edward was still a weaver, while Richard was now a warp dresser (Operated a machine to wind yarn from packages onto reel and from reel onto loom beams to prepare multiple coloured warps for weaving)*

* World through the lens

Richard enlisted into the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment in Skipton. No date is available for his enlistment, but he was involved in the Battle of the Somme as this newspaper cutting shows;

Craven Herald - 15 September 1916 

BURIED IN A DUG-OUT

 Private Richard Dove Whittaker of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, and son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Whittaker, of

28, Devonshire Street, Skipton, was buried in a dug-out on September 5th through the bursting of an enemy shell and received injuries to his back. He was safely got out and removed to a hospital at Boulogne, where he is now progressing satisfactorily.*

* The Durham Web 

Craven Herald - 08 March 1918

SKIPTON SOLDIER FATALLY WOUNDED

 Private Richard Dove Whitaker, West Riding Regiment, one of the three soldier sons of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Whitaker,

28 Devonshire Street, Skipton, has died from wounds in the head caused by a shell bursting in a dugout. In a letter to his parents, Private James Whitaker says that his brother and his mate were cooking at the time the shell burst. The other man was killed instantly, and his brother died directly he arrived at the dressing station. Private Whitaker, who was 32 years of age, had been at the front

21 months. He was formerly a warp dresser at Messrs. Firth and Moorhouse’s mill.*

The Durham Web

Richard was awarded the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.

His brother James had also enlisted in the Duke of Wellington's(West Riding ) Regiment

as Private 2798 (later becoming Private 265760). He went to France on 29/06/1915

and was killed in action on 03/05/1918. He is buried in La Clytte Military Cemetery, De Klitjte

neat Ypres, Ref. V.D.1. His body had been found at map reference S28.N1.B7.5

pw79c Private James Willie Whittaker.jpg

Craven Herald - 17 May 1918

 Pte. J.W. Whitaker Killed

 Pte. James W. Whitaker, of the West Riding Regiment, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Whitaker, of 28, Devonshire Street, Skipton, was killed in action on the night of May 3rd. A pal, Pte. A. Foster, late of 10, Dorset Street, Skipton, in a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Whitaker states: – “Your son was killed in action on May 3rd, and at the time the Germans were shelling us very badly. I must say it has been a great blow to us all that was with him, and to the friends that knew him. I can honestly say that he was liked by all the boys of the company.” Pte Whitaker, who was 31 years of age, enlisted in October 1914, and had been out in France three years. He was formerly employed as a loomer and twister by Messrs. Dixon, Park Shed, Skipton. He was a member of the Church Institute, and also of the Conservative Club. About two months ago another brother, Pte. Richard Dove Whitaker, of the West Riding Regiment, was killed in action. Mr. and Mrs. Whitaker have also another son, Pte. Edgar Whitaker, serving in the R.F.A.*

The Durham Web

James was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals

Both men have "Until the Day Dawns" inscribed on their headstones.