Captain Herbert READ, DSO MC
Remembrance - The Yorkshire Regiment, First World War
Captain Herbert READ, DSO MC

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Captain Herbert READ, DSO MC

Captain Herbert READ, DSO MC
Captain Herbert Read, DSO MC
Photo : Green Howards Museum

Captain Herbert READ, DSO MC

The following biographical details are courtesy of the Green Howards Museum, Richmond;-

Herbert Read served in the 2nd, 7th and 10th battalions of the Yorkshire Regiment from 1915 to 1918. During his time in service he was awarded the Military Cross for his actions in leading a trench raid, successfully securing a German prisoner for interrogation and a Distinguished Service Order for his role commanding the 2nd Battalion during the German Spring Offensive of March 1918. He published two volumes of war poetry during the conflict and is commemorated alongside Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.

He became a leading figure in the 20th Century, as curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Professor of Art at Edinburgh and Harvard Universities. He counted Picasso, Dali, Graham Greene, George Orwell, Peggy Guggenheim and Man Ray amongst his friends. A knighthood in 1953 (at the suggestion of Winston Churchill) came as a surprise to his circle of political associates. His headstone at St Gregory’s Minster near Helmsley reads ‘Knight, Poet, Anarchist’.

Herbert Read had a younger brother, Charles Read, who also served in the Yorkshire Regiment but who lost his life in 1918. The following notes are from the page on the memorial for the Crossley and Porter Grammar School;-

Lieutenant Charles Read. 1st/2nd Battalion attached to the 9th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. Died 5 October 1918.

Richard Roberts (<>) has found that;-
"Chrales Read was born in 1897 on a 200 acre farm at Muscoates Grange in Yorkshire, the son of Herbert Edward and Eliza Read. He had two brothers and a sister. His father was the tenant farmer and, unfortunately died when Charles was just six. The family had to move off the farm and was split up, which is why in the 1911 Census Charles is recorded as a pupil at the Crossley and Porter Orphan Home and School in Halifax."

From Wikipedia;-
"His elder brother Herbert Read was sent to a school for orphans at Halifax, West Yorkshire,following his father's dseath. His mother took a job managing a laundry in Leeds, where Herbert Read later joined her. Read's studies at the University of Leeds were interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War, during which he served with the Yorkshire Regiment in France. He was commissioned in January 1916, received the Military Cross in 1917 and the Distinguished Service Order in 1918. He reached the rank of Captain."

The following notes on Lieutenant Read are found in Robert Coulson's biographies of Yorkshire Regiment Officers killed in the war;-
"Charles Read first served in the ranks of the Royal Fusiliers before gaining his commission and joining the Yorkshire Regiment.
The 9th Battalion returned from the Italian front in September of 1918 and assembled at St Riquier near Abbeville. Towards the end of the month they moved to the area of Maricourt and Lt Read and the battalion were in action against the German positions on the Hindenburg Line.
On October 4th 1918 orders were received to attack and sieze the village of Beaurevoir and the high ground beyond it.
On October 5th at 6-00am Lt Read led “D” company into the attack on the village where bitter fighting went on all day but by evening Beaurevoir had been taken.
Lt Charles Read was killed in this action on October 5th 1918 and is buried close to where he fell in Beaurevoir British Cemetery just east of Le Catelet."

Other information on Lieutenant Read available so far is from the National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) in which Charles Read, of Brynholme Street, Roundhay, Leeds, died 5 October 1918, left £815 / 3s / 5d to a William Read, clothier.

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