Remembrance - The Yorkshire Regiment, First World War
Captain Harry Hargreaves SIMPKIN
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Captain Harry Hargreaves SIMPKIN.
13th Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment. Son of John William and Emily Simpkin, of Norton Royd, Woodkirk, Dewsbury, Yorks. Killed 22 March 1918. Aged 22.
Commemorated on Bay 5, ARRAS MEMORIAL.
Robert Coulson has provided further biographical details of Captain Arthur Simpkin in his Memorial Roll of Officers of the Yorkshire Regiment.;-
Brothers Arthur and Harry Simpkin were both born in Midsummer Norton in Somerset.
The brothers joined the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps and first saw service with the Notts and Derbys Regiment.
They served together with the 13th Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment and crossed from Southampton to Le Havre on June 6th 1916. The brothers saw action in the Loos and Lens sectors in 1916 and in early 1917 were engaged on the Somme.
On November 23rd 1917 they were in action during the Cambrai offensive and
took part in bitter fighting at the capture of Bourlon Wood and village.
When the German spring offensive opened in March 1918 the Captains Simpkin were rushed up to Hamelincourt and from there into trenches east of St Leger. At 7-00am on March 22nd Captain Harry Simpkin led “D” company into a bombing
attack on the German line. They killed about twenty of the enemy and captured seven machine guns but within minutes some 300 Germans counter attacked and drove them off.
Captain Harry Hargreaves Simpkin was killed in this action on March 22nd
1918 aged 22 and his body lost is remembered today on the Arras Memorial.
After the loss of his brother Captain Arthur Simpkin served on with the 13th battalion and after the German offensive was stemmed next saw action during the Battle of the Lys in April of 1918.
While at St Momelin on May 3rd Arthur Simpkin learnt that the 13th battalion was to be disbanded and he joined some of the other officers at the base depot in Calais. From here Captain Simpkin was attached to the 8th battalion of the West Yorkshire
At 6-30am on September 30th the 8th West Yorks were in trenches east of Masnieres and from here attacked the village of Seranvillers. Heavy fighting ensued and by the end of the day the battalion had only one officer left.
Captain Arthur Wilson Simpkin was killed in this action on September 30th 1918 at the age of 22.
His grave can be visited today at Ruyalcourt Military Cemetery six miles east of Bapaume.
Arthur and Harry Simpkin were the sons of John William and Emily Simpkin of Norton Royd, Woodkirk in Dewsbury.
Photo : Imperial war Museum Collection
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