10705 Lance Corporal ALLAN HORATIO ROOKS.

6th Bn, Yorkshire Regiment.

Killed in action, aged 23, on the 14th September 1916.

Son of William and Mary Ann Rooks, of 8, Thomas St, New Skelton-in-Cleveland, N Yorks.

Lonsdale Cemetery, Authuille.
5k North of Albert, France.

Allan H Rooks.

The Rooks brothers in 1899. Thomas, James right and Allan in front.

1901. Allan aged 8, was living at 8 Thomas St and had been born in Skelton.
His father, William, aged 60, was a Sandstone quarryman, and had been born in Danby, N Yorks.
His mother, Mary, aged 50, had been born in Gt Ayton, N Yorks. By 1911 she had had 9 children and 8 were still living.
He had 4 older sisters - Mary A Gott, aged 26, who was married and lived at 18 South Tce, Skelton;
Hannah Jane, aged 24, who was a domestic servant in the Huddersfield area;
Isabella, aged 22, who was a nurse domestic at 11 Nevern Sq, S Kensington, London;
and Ada, aged 20, still living at home.
His four older brothers were - Edward 18, an elementary school teacher;
William 16, a farm labourer;
Thomas 13, a newsboy; and James aged 11.
Thomas fought in the War with the 17th Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers and survived.
James was in the 4/5th Battalion, Grenadier Guards and after being invalided out with tuberculosis, took his own life on the 24th April 1919.

1911. The family are still at 8 Thomas St. Allan, now 18, is working as an apprentice grocer and James as an apprentice house painter. The other children have left home, but Edith Emily Gott, grand-daughter is living with them.
The 6th Bn were formed at Richmond on the 25th August 1914.
They were attached to 32nd Brigade, part of the 11th (Northern) Division.
In 1915 the Division fought in Gallipoli.
Allan's Medal Card shows that he was awarded the 1914/15 Star and first entered a theatre of War, [the card gives "Balkans"] on the 21st November 1915.
In December 1915 the 6th Yorks Bn was withdrawn to Egypt.
On July 1916 it landed at Marseilles and spent the remainder of the War on the Western Front, where it first took part in the Battle of the Somme.
The massive bombardment at the end of June 1916 and the July advance continued with a series of offensives into the winter of that year.
The advance stalled for some weeks at the line shown on the map for 15th September.
Allan Rooks lost his life in the next offensive, the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, which commenced on the 14th September and lasted until it was called off on the 22nd of that month.
His Battalion were ordered to charge the German trenches and many were killed and wounded.
The Battle was notable for the introduction of tanks, 49 in all, by the British.
Only 15 made it to No Mans Land, but they were considered to have had a devastating effect on German morale.
The British forces made initial gains of some 2 kilometres within the first three days, something of an achievement at the time, and particularly during the Battle of the Somme.
Led by tanks the villages of Martinpuich, Flers and Courcelette fell to the Allies, as did the much sought-after High Wood.

Lonsdale Cemetery is in the French village of Authuille, 5 kilometres to the North of Albert. Over 1,500 Commonwealth soldiers lie there.

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