Remembrance - The Yorkshire Regiment, First World War
Corporal Thomas RIORDAN. 8496
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Photos of Corporal Thomas Riordan are shown below.
Corporal Thomas RIORDAN. 8496.
Thomas Riordan was one of the original soldiers of the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment which landed n Zeebrugge on 6 October 1914. 30 Officers and 1064 Warrant Officers, NCOs and men are shown in the Roll of Honour as having been in this landing.
The 2nd Battalion went on to fight in the First Battle of Ypres, with the first casualties being taken on 21 October 1914. On 22 October 1914, 2 Officers, 1 Sergeant and 26 Private soldiers were killed. However, as the fighting intensified the casualties increased enormously. By 5 November 1914 when the 2nd Battalion was withdrawn, 10 Officers had been killed and 18 wounded and 655 Other Ranks had been killed or wounded.
The number of men taken prisoner is not recorded, but amongst those taken prisoner on 30 October 1914 was Corporal Thomas Riordan.
As an example of the huge number of casualties in the 2nd Battalion, Thomas Riordan stated that of the 250 Officers and men from his Company, only 15 men surived the war; all of his Company Officers had been killed before the end of 1914.
(Ref. "Tom Riodan's War", The Green Howard, Issue 3 September 2007.)
There is a photograph that hangs in the Green Howards Museum which shows 19 men of the 2nd Battalion photographed in 1919. Although one or two of these men were in drafts to the 2nd Battalion in November 1914, it is said that these 19 men were the only survivors, still serving in 1919, of those men of the 2nd Battalion who took part in the First Battle of Ypres.
Men of the 2nd Battalion photographed in 1919.
Corporal Tom Riordan (seated second from left)
Private Tom Everitt (fourth from left, back row).
Sergeant (later Major) Frank Allen (seated second from right)
Sergeant George Richard Hill (standing third from right)
Battalion the Green Howards Holding the Petit Kruiseek Crossroads on the Menin-Ypres
Road, October 1914.
The painting by Fotunino Matania.
This famous painting depicts an incident in the late afternoon of 22nd October 1914.
The highlighted figure is that of Corporal Thomas Riordan.
Thomas Riordan, by now Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant, was married in November 1919.
Thomas Riordan was a member of the Riordan family, several of whom served with distinction in the Green Howards.
1. Thomas Mortimer Riordan, born 15 November 1861,
was educated at the Royal Hibernian School in Dublin and then enlisted in
the 19th Foot (later the Green Howards) stationed in Sheffield. He served
in many overseas posts before being appointed Sergeant Major in 1892, and
Garrison Sergeant Major in 1897. He served in the War Office in the First
World War and was appointed an MBE in 1918.
All of Thomas Mortimer Riordan's sons served the Crown.
2. Thomas Riordan, the second son of Thomas Mortimer Riordan, was also educated at the Royal Hibernian School in Dublin. In 1908 he joined his father's old regiment, now called the Yorkshire Regiment (aka the Green Howards), in 1908. He served in South Africa before sailing with the 2nd Battalion to Belgium in 1914, - by now a Corporal. After the First World War he saw service at the Depot in Richmond, then India, Khartoum, Strensall, Shanghai, and Aldershot. In 1931 he was promoted to Regimental Sergeant Major at the Richmond Depot and was discharged to pension in 1934. He continued to work with the North Riding Territorial and Airforce Association until 1958, when he was appointed MBE.
3. Jack Riordan, the third son of Thomas Riordan, was
born in 1930 whilst the Second Battalion was in Aldershot. He enlisted with
the Green Howards as a bandboy on 14 January 1945, and in 1948 joined the
2nd Battalion the Green Howards in Khartoum. He subsequently served with the
2nd Battalion in Malaya, Egypt and Cyprus. He served with the 1st Battalion
in Hong Kong, Germany and Libya.
In 1966 he was promoted to Warrant Oficer Class 1 and appointed as Regimental Sergeant Major to the Yorkshire Brigade in Strensall. In 1967 he was commissioned, In 1974 he was promoted to Captain Quartermaster and appointed MBE in 1975. He finally retired in 1993.
(The above notes are extracted from an article in "The
Friends of the Green Howards Regimental Museum Newsletter", Issue 13,
April 2002, pp20-21.)
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