The Wolds Waggoners

The man responsible for creating the Wolds Wagoners was Sir Mark Sykes born on the 6th March 1879, son of the 5th Baronet, Sir Tatton Sykes and his wife Jessica Cavendish-Bentinck. The Family home was situated in the Village of Sledmere near Malton in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The Family seat went by the name of Sledmere House and even today it is a Grand House.

Sir Mark Sykes (Our Colourised Version)

So who and what were the Wolds Wagoners…?

Sir Mark had seen Active Service with the British Army during the Boer War and after coming home he threw himself into working with the Territorial Army. His main concern returning from South Africa had been how to move an entire Army to the Battlefront once it had been mobilised.

The Army estimated that it took 6 months to train a Soldier to handle a Pole Wagon, but Sir Mark knew that in East Yorkshire the Pole Wagons were used daily by the skilled Drivers who lived and worked in the area.

If he could somehow make a pool of ready skilled Drivers for mobilization it would allow the British Army to take to the field much more quickly.

It took Sir Mark 6 years and only after he had become an MP did he manage to overcome red tape and bureaucracy and finally get the Secretary of War to finally agree to allow the Wolds Wagoners to become part of the Territorial Army which they then became the Special Reserve.

The men who joined up were appointed to three different ranks, Wagoners, Foreman and Roadmaster, each holding an equivalent rank of Private, Corporal and Sergeant. Every man received a bounty of One Pound on enrolment and a further Pound for every year he re-applied. Foreman received Two Pounds and Roadmasters received Four Pounds.

To join the Special Reserve you had to be under 45, used to working with Horses and Pole Wagons, willing to serve abroad and to take the Oath of Allegiance.  It is interesting to note that no military training was given and the Wagoners were not armed until much later.

By August 1914 there were 1,127 men on the Wagoners Roll, the men of the Special Reserve then went to war in the Great War of 1914-1918 were they conducted themselves with great spirit and bravery and many were given Official Recognition of acts of bravery.

As in all forms of Warfare there are Casualties and the Wolds Wagoners were not spared in the Casualty Figures. There are 34 which we know about, men who had been happily working the Lanes and Farm Yards of East Yorkshire and had been thrust into the hell that was known has WW1, never to return to their family again.


Always Remembered, Never Forgotten.

Frederick Arthur Atkinson

26312 2/5th Battalion, Duke of Wellingtons Regiment (Formerly CHT/465 A.S.C.) Died of Wounds 23/7/1918 buried Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimle, France

Tom Atkinson

25535 2nd Battalion, Duke of Wellingtons Regiment (Formerly CHT/940 A.S.C.) Reported Missing 15/4/1918. No known Grave. Commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Comines Warneton, Belgium.

Tom Baker

CHT/772 A.S.C. 1st Pontoon Park. Died 26th December 1917 buried Bruay Communal Cemetery Extension, France

Francis Barnes

29633 1st Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment (Formerly CHT/817 A.S.C.) Killed in Action 22/3/1918 Buried Epehy Wood Farm Cemetery, Epehy, France

Fred Baron

39630 12/13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (Formerly CHT/451 A.S.C.) Reported Missing 4/10/1917 No Known Grave. Commemorated on the Tyne Cott Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

George Bate

CHT/201 A.S.C. 1st Horse Transport Company Died 20/3/1916 Buried Fulford Cemetery Yorkshire.

George Brown

CHT/456 A.S.C. Meerut Reserve Park, Died 12/1/1915 Buried Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery France.

Thomas Brown

CHT/749 A.S.C Died 23/2/1916 Buried Hunmanby Church Cemetery Yorkshire.

Thompson Chadwick

T4/143121 (Formerly CHT/611 A.S.C.) Attached 7th Field Ambulance Died 16/3/1919 Buried Cologne Southern Cemetery Germany

James W Davison

CHT/367 A.S.C. 9th Reserve Park Died of Wounds 31/7/1917 Buried Calais Southern Cemetery France

Fred Dunn

CHT/735 A.S.C. H Company, Auxiliary Transport Depot. Died 12/7/1917 Buried Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery Iraq

George William Henry Errington

48159 1/4th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment attached Royal Engineers (Formerly CHT/1093 A.S.C.) Killed in Action 28/11/1918 Buried Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Alexandria Egypt.

Harold Ward Fletcher

Service no CHT/991 and arrived in France on 18 August 1914. He subsequently transferred to the Royal Engineers (1st Pontoon Park, !st Bridging Train) as Driver 362272. Having survived the war, he came home to marry Annie Ward at Seamer on 3 December 1918 and then returned to France where he died from influenza on 27 February 1919. He is buried in the Douai British Cemetery at Cuincy.

Tom Foster

CHT/1062 A.S.C. Killed in Action 12/9/1917 Buried Canada Farm Cemetery Elverdinghe Belgium

Sunley Grice

42073 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment (Formerly CHT/27 A.S.C.) Reported Missing 17/4/1918 No Known Grave. Commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Comines-Warneton, Belgium

Richard Harker

CHT/412 A.S.C. 5th Army Auxiliary Horse Transport Company, Died 24/10/1918 Buried Beverley Queensgate Cemetery, East Yorkshire.

James Harrison

38464 2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry (Formerly CHT/712 A.S.C.) Reported Missing 24/3/1918. No Known Grave. Commemorated on the Arras Memorial France.

Herbert Henley

CHT/787 A.S.C.    S.P. Cavalry Corps Troops Reserve Park. Died 30/7/1918. Buried Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension France.

Ernest William Holtby

51468 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade (Formerly CHT/281 A.S.C.) Reported Missing 17/11/1917. No Known Grave Commemorated on the Tyne Cott Memorial, Zillebeke, Belgium.

Thomas Johnson

G/47165 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. (Formerly CHT/1098 A.S.C.) Reported Missing 3/5/1917 No Known Grave Commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France

Harry Kirby

CHT/362 2nd Auxiliary Park Train Died 2//12/1918 Buried Montecchio Precalcino Communal Cemetery Italy

Charles Marshall Johnson

CHT/103 A.S.C. Died 26/3/1916 Buried Norton Cemetery Yorkshire

Johnson Leighton

CHT/1007 A.S.C. 7th Divisional Train Died 9/11/1914 Buried Bailleul Communal Cemetery France

Mark Lyon

69285 2/2nd Battalion London Regiment. (Formerly CHT/636 A.S.C.) Died of Wounds 18/8/1918 Buried Terlincthun British Cemetery Wimille France

George Nellist

103852 61st Battalion Machine Gun Corps (Formerly CHT/453 A.S.C.) Died 8/8/1918 Buried Thiennes British Cemetery France

John Redhead

35035 2/7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment (Formerly CHT/1089 A.S.C.) Killed in Action 24/3/1918 Buried Ham British Cemetery, Muille-Vilette France

William Russell

CHT/663 A.S.C. Died 27/2/1919 Buried Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery France

Cyril Scholes

362307 Royal Engineers (Formerly CHT/218 A.S.C.) 1st Pontoon Park Died 18/2/1919 Buried Fimber Church Yard Yorkshire

Andrew Smith

CHT/803 A.S.C. 3rd Reserve Park Died 28/8/1915 Buried Terlincthun British Cemetery Wimille France

Louis Snowball

CHT/1052 Base Horse Transport Depot Salonika. Died at Sea 2/6/1917 Commemorated on the Chatby Memorial, Chatby War Memorial Cemetery Alexandria Egypt

Edgar Spanton

G/69299 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Formerly CHT/458) Died of his wounds 9/11/1918. Buried Amotherby Churchyard Yorkshire.

Harry Stead

CHT/615 A.S.C. 4th Reserve Park Died 23/8/1915 Buried Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery France

Alfred Wilson

70778 1/9th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (Formerly CHT/163) Killed in Action 22/7/1918 Buried Courmas British War Cemetery France

George Woodmancy

28533 2/4th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. (Formerly CHT/1093 A.S.C.) Reported Missing 26/10/1917. No known grave. Commemorated on the Tyne Cott Memorial Zillebeke Belgium

Alfred Arthur Woods

CHT/122 A.S.C. 2nd Auxiliary Park Train Died 21/10/1918 Buried Montecchio Precalcino Communal Cemetery Extension Italy.

Please contact us if you know of a Waggoner who should be on this list