World War One Pateley Bridge soldier laid to rest

More than a century after their deaths in the Great War, nine missing soldiers including a Pateley Bridge man have finally been laid to rest.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 12:15 pm

Their bodies - discovered in De Reutel in Belgium during civil engineering works - have been buried alongside those of the comrades they once served beside after extensive research identified them.

They included a young soldier from Pateley Bridge, a sergeant from Eston in North Yorkshire, and a private who had lived in Burton Leonard, who all fell during heavy fighting around the town of Ypres.

The families and descendents last week attended a full military honours ceremony at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium.

For members of AONB World War One Project for Nidderdale, it was a fitting tribute to Stanley Blakeborough of Pateley Bridge.

And it follows work by Colin Chadwick, a member of the group who has researched World War One soldiers extensively for Pateley Bridge.

Fellow member Jackie Drake said: “Our group was originally Lottery funded for three years but the research is still ongoing, and more than 2,500 men and women have been and are still being researched.”

The Herald is publishing the research by Colin on page 14 of this week’s paper.

Jackie added: “We hope that local people can read about Stanley Blakeborough and recognise his sacrifice.

“Colin has put a lot of work into researching Stanley’s time in the Northumberland Fusiliers, as unfortunately his Service Records haven’t survived, as along with 60 per cent of other Service Records from WW1, they were destroyed by bombing in WW2.”

Lance Corporal Stanley Blakeborough, born in Pateley Bridge, died aged 21, while his brother Donald was killed less than three months later.

Fellow spokesman for the Nidderdale group Jane Simpson said it was satisfying to learn of the burial.

“Stanley was killed in very tragic circumstances, along with his comrades. Their bodies have laid undetected for over 104 years, although he wasn’t forgotten by the people of Pateley Bridge, as his name is read out annually on Armistice Day.”