Capt. J.F. Myers
FIRST NAMES: John Fletcher
UNIT: 6th Yorkshire Regiment
STATUS: Killed in Action
DATE OF DEATH: 9th October 1917
CEMETERY OR MEMORIAL: The Tyne Cot Memorial
Captain Myers was born on 27th March 1876 at Guycroft, near Otley and his father was called Thomas.
Had previously served in the Army for over 18 years, of which 10 were spent in India and 3 in South Africa. He first joined the Yorkshire Regiment on 5th December 1894. He became a sergeant in the 2nd Battalion and served in India and in the Boer War in South Africa, gaining both Long Service and Good Conduct Medals. When he retired on 14th May 1913 he became a Warder at a Borstall in Feltham, London before moving to a similar position at Northallerton Jail. In June 1914 he married his wife Lily and they had one daughter, Betty. They lived at 6 Dudley Terrace, Northallerton. He is described as being 5ft 11ins tall with dark brown hair and brown eyes.
When War broke out he enlisted as a private in the 4th Yorkshire Regiment, at the age of 37, and proceeded to Belgium with them in April 1915. Due to his previous experience, he progressed rapidly, to the rank of Company Sergeant Major on 21st January 1915, and then Regimental Sergeant Major on 29th September 1915 and was subsequently given a commission.
He was mentioned in Viscount French's despatches and on 1st January 1916 he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for assuming command of a group of men, whose officers had all been killed, and leading them in the capture of an enemy trench. His citation read as follows:
" ... for conspicuous gallantry and resource in holding, under heavy fire with a small party of men, until relieved, a trench which had been nearly obliterated by shellfire. He also displayed great bravery in leading forward men into a trench occupied by the enemy."
He was also decorated with the Croix de Guerre by the French General Foch on 24th February 1916.
He gained a commission on 30th April 1916 and joined the 2nd Battalion on 17th May 1916, serving with B Company as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was wounded on first day of the Battle of the Somme (1/7/16) in the right forearm and left knee at a German strongpoint called the Glatz Redoubt, which was just to the South of Montauban.
His wounds were serious enough to warrant his being sent back to England and whilst at home he was presented with a commemorative clock by the North Riding Prisoners Aid Society.
After recovering from his wounds he was stationed in Hartlepool for a time before returning to France and joining the 6th Battalion of the Regiment in October 1916. He was made Acting Captain in April 1917 and the appointment was confirmed in July 1917.
He was killed, aged 40, whilst taking part in the capture of Poelcapelle, a village at the bottom of the ridge which led up to the infamous village of Passchendaele which gave its name to the whole battle. His body was not identified and he is commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing at Tyne Cot Cemetery, near Passchendaele. He left a will which he had made in the field and in which he left £255-6s-1d to his wife.