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Robert Pickard (1885-1917)

Yorkshire silk dresser served with 18th DLI killed at the Battle of Arras

Robert Pickard was born in Yorkshire in 1885, the son of Robert and Emma Pickard.

His Father died in 1903 and his Mother later married her second husband, Charles Woodhead on 11 Dec 1906 at St John the Baptist Parish Church Halifax.

When war broke out Robert enlisted at Brighouse, Yorkshire. He attested 11 December 1915 and remained on home service until 20 October 1916 when he was posted to France.

On the day of his death, 10 May 1917, his battalion was fighting in Gavrelle Trenches during the Battle of Arras. An extract taken from Wartime Memories Project reports the following information from that day:

“Quiet day except for our own artillery up to 8.15pm when barrage opened about 1 mile to south and as usual spread quickly. Artillery remained alive until morning. Relief of battalion by 16th WYR [West Yorkshire Regiment] commenced about 9.30pm under difficult circumstances”.

Website of Wartime Memories Project:

Birth date: 1885

Death date: 10-May-1917

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 2 Victoria Street, Rastrick, Yorkshire (1911 census)
8 Manley St Place, Brighouse, Yorkshire (Attestation papers, 11 December 1915)

Employment: Silk Dresser

Family: Parents: Robert Pickard (b.1859), Emma Pickard (b.1858)
Siblings: Elizabeth (b.1884), Annie (b.1884), Alfred (b.1887), Hugh (b.1891)

Military service:

Service No. 37549
18th Durham Light Infantry
Attested 11 December-1915
Home duty 11 December 1915 until 20 October 1916
Sailed to France 21 October 1916

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): Bay 8 Arras Memorial
Book of Remembrance 1914-18 Durham Light Infantry Cathedral

Gender: Male

Contributed by Brenda McMahon, Gateshead

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