Pte. F. Tyerman


UNIT: 4th Yorkshire Regiment

NUMBER: 1813

STATUS: Killed in Action

DATE OF DEATH: 27th February 1916

CEMETERY OR MEMORIAL: Maple Copse Cemetery , Zillebeke, Belgium

AGE: 18

Pte. W.G. Tyerman

FIRST NAMES: William George

UNIT: 4th Yorkshire Regiment

NUMBER: 1812

STATUS: Killed in Action

DATE OF DEATH: 2nd March 1916

CEMETERY OR MEMORIAL: Maple Copse Cemetery , Zillebeke, Belgium

AGE: 23

Fred and William were inseperable both in life and in death and it seems only fitting to keep them together on the same page on this site. Their regimental numbers were consecutive and you can almost picture them standing together, waiting to enlist at the Drill Hall in Northallerton. They both enlisted as territorials in the 4th Yorkshire Regiment before the outbreak of War and served in the same Company of the Battalion ("Z" Company). They were killed within days of each other and were buried side by side in Maple Copse Cemetery . The Cemetery was later destroyed by shellfire as the War washed back and forth over the area for the next two and a half years. Their graves were lost but they are now commemorated in the cemetery by two special memorials, erected side by side, which state that the two brothers are known to have been buried there.

Photo of Headstone Photo of Headstone
Fred Tyerman's Memorial William Tyerman's Memorial

Their parents were called Benjamin and Elizabeth, though their father, who worked as a weaver, died before the outbreak of War, in 1912, leaving Elizabeth to raise at least three sons and one daughter alone. They lived on Church View in Brompton. Both men were keen and talented footballers. Fred played for Brompton Albion and William played as a forward for Brompton F.C. with whom he won four medals in the Allertonshire League.

At the end of February 1916 the 4th Yorkshires were occupying the front line trenches to the North of Hill 60 in the Southern Sector of the Ypres Salient. Their positions were on the edge of planned British local attacks which were a constant feature of the fighting in this part of the Salient. The Battalion was ordered to make mock demonstrations to make it look like they were about to attack, to divert the Germans' attentions away from the real attack. This resulted in the Battalion having to endure heavy German artillery and machine gun fire.

At about 10.30 am. on 27th February 1916, Fred Tyerman was working as batman for his new officer, Capt. Sproxton after his previous charge, Lt. Welsh, had been wounded and died of his wounds in hospital at Boulougne. He was in the officer's dugout busy preparing breakfast when a shell scored a direct hit, mortally wounding Pte. Tyerman who died a few minutes later.

William met his fate a few days later, on 2nd March 1916, when he was shot through the lung in the early hours of the morning. Nothing is known about the circumstances in which he received his wound, but he was taken to a nearby Dressing Station, where died shortly afterwards.

The family has kept a number of letters from the brothers and from their officers during the period in which they lost their lives. These letters provide a moving testament to the bravery and determination of the troops living in the most inhospitable conditions imaginable. They also serve to illustrate the devastating effect which the loss of these young men must have had on their families and the weight of grief which is hidden behind the names carved on the memorials.

You can follow this link to view transcripts of the letters.