West Yorkshire Regiment Badge
West Yorkshire Regiment Badge

Private George Houseman [WIA]
2293 West Yorkshire Regiment
263268 Yorkshire Light Infantry
200631 1st/5th Battalion
West Yorkshire Regiment

Yorkshire Light Infantry Badge
Yorkshire Light Infantry Badge

All information in this record is from C. Garry Houseman's web site at https://www.houseman.info/index.html

This file last updated 8 August, 2023 12:26

Private George Houseman


George Houseman 9 Apr 1894 - 21 Jun 1984 is the son of George Houseman and Emma, née Chambers.

He is the second youngest of their children and his siblings are Walter, Leonard, Rosa who emigrates to Australia in 1919 and marries Stephen Downes, Alice Annie and Edith Emma who dies at five months old - as often happened in those times.

Wounded in action in 1916, he survives the 1st World War and on 4 Dec 1920 marries Doris Ivison. They have three children, Dorothy 26 Dec 1920 - 31 Mar 1997, George William 23 Jul 1926 - 22 Mar 2010, and Jessie 27 Oct 1931 - 4 Sep 1946.

George's eldest brother Walter Houseman also served in WW1 and was killed in action (KIA).

This record prepared by Clive Mitchell-Taylor grand-nephew of George Houseman, based upon records obtained by C. Gary Houseman and on his site. The layout has been altered from the original to accord with the records on this site.

War Service

George's  Service Record is unavailable  - a substantial number of British World War 1 records were destroyed as a result of German bombing in WW2.     However we know from his Medal Card which survived, that he served first in the West Yorkshire Regiment with Service Number 2293, then the Yorkshire Light Infantry with Service Number 263268 and finally the West Yorkshire Regiment again, with Service Number 200631.

A photograph in the 20 Nov 1918 edition of the Pately Bridge & Nidderdale Herald newspaper that he was in the 1st/5th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment.

On 15 Apr 1915 George arrives in France as part of the 146th (1st  West Riding) Brigade of the 49th West Riding Division.

The West Riding Division was a formation of the Territorial Force. It was formed as a result of the reforms of the army carried out in 1908 under Secretary of State for War, Richard Burndon Haldane and was one of 14 Divisions of the peacetime TF.

1914     The units of the Division had just departed for annual summer camp when emergency orders recalled them to their home base. All units were mobilised for full time war service on 5 August 1914 and moved to concentrate in the South Yorkshire /  Lincolnshire area by mid-August 1914.

1915     On 31 March the Division was warned that it would go on overseas service and entrainment began on 12 April. Divisional infantry went via Folkestone-Boulougne while all other units went from Southampton to Le Havre. By 19 April the Division had concentrated in the afrea of Estaires - Merville - Neuf Berquin.

George Houseman served in France and Flanders, with the 49th Division, most probably taking part in:

  • 1915

    • 2nd Battle of Ypres (Battle of AUbers Ridge, 9-10 May)

    • Defence against the first Phosgene attack (19 Dec)

  • 1916

    • The Battle of the Somme

      • Battle of Albert (1-13 Jul);

      • Battle of Bazentin Ridge 14-17 Jul;

      • Battle of Pozieres Ridge (23 Jul - 3 Sep); and

      • Battle of Flers Courcelette (15-22 Sep)

  • 1917

    • Operations on the Flanders Coast (Hush)

    • Third Battle of Ypres

      • Battle of Poelcapelle (9 Oct)

  • 1918

    • Fourth Battle of Ypres (Battle of the Lys)

      • Battle of Estaires (9-11 Apr)

      • Battle of Messines (10-11 Apr)

      • Battle of Bailleul, including:

        • Defence of Neuve Eglysse (13-15 Apr)

        • First Battle of Kemmel Ridge (17-19 Apr)

        • Second Battle of Kemmel Ridge (25-26 Apr)

        • Battle of Scherpenberg (29 Apr)

    • Pursuit to the Selle

    • Final Advance in to Picardy

      • Battle of the Selle (17-25 Oct)

      • Battle of Valenciennes (1-2 Nov)

1919     The Division had been relieved and was resting at Douai on 11 Nov 1918. The demobilisation of the Division came to an end on 30 March when the final cadres left for England. The Division reformed as a part of the Territorial Army in April 1920.

Awards and Decorations

Private George Houseman is entitled to wear the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal

1914-15 Star

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
1914-15 Star

The decoration consists of a four-pointed star in bright bronze as shown, with the date 1914-15 on the central scroll. The reverse is plain, and is stamped with the name and unit of the recipient. The ribbon is red, white and blue, shaded and watered, worn with the red nearest the centre of the breast. It is atached to the medal through a ring.

It is similar in shape and description to the 1914 Star, to which few, if any, Australians were entitled.

The decoration, sanctioned in 1918, was issued "to all officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the British, Dominion, Colonial and Indian Forces, including civilian medical practitioners, nursing sisters, nurses and others eployed with military hospitals, who actually served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war as defined in Appendix 'A'. Individuals in possession of the 1914 Star will not be eligible for the award of this decoration."

Appendix 'A' included the Western, Eastern, Egyptian, African, Asiatic and Australasian Theatres of war, with commencement dates individual to countries and campaigns.

British War Medal 1914-20

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
British War Medal

This medal was approved by King George V in 1919 to record the bringing of the war to a successful conclusion and the arduous services rendered by His Majesty's Forces.

The medal, which is supended from its ribbon by means of a straight clasp, without swivel, bears on the obverse the effigy of His Majesty - exactly similar to that on a half-crown - with the legend 'Georgivus V : Omn : Rex et Ind : Imp'.

The reverse bears a design which represents St George on horseback, trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the central powers and a skull and crossbones, the emblems of death. Overhead is the risen sun of victory. The male figure, rather than a symbolical female one, was chosen because man had borne the brunt of the fighting. The figure was mounted on horseback as symbolical of man's mind controlling force (represented by the horse) of far greater strength than his own. The design is thus also symbolical of the mechanical and scientific appliances which helped so largely to win the war.

The ribbon has a orange watered centre with stripes of white and black at each side and with borders of royal blue. It is stated that the colours have no particular signification.

Victory Medal

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]

This medal, of bronze, bears on the obverse a winged figure of Victory, full length in the middle of the medal and full face; the borders and the backgound plain, without either incription or date. On the reverse is an inscription. "The Great War for Civilization." and either the names of the different Allied and Associated Powers, or their coats of arms.

The rim is plain, and the medal hangs from a ring. The ribbon is red in the centre, with green and violet on either side shaded to form the colours of two rainbows.

It has also been approved that any officer or man who has been "mentioned in despatches" shall wear a small bronze oak leaf on the ribbon of this medal. Only one oak leaf is so worn, no matter how many "mentions" the wearer may have received.

The medal is designed to obviate the exchange of Allied Commemorative war medals, and is issued only to those who actually served on the establishment of a unit or ship in a theatre of war. [This is an important distinction, as those Australians who served only in Australia, or only in Australia and England, were not entitled to the award.]