Welcome to Men of the 6th Durham Light Infantry – the aim of this site us not to look at the battalion as a whole but at the men who made up the battalion.

Please remember to visit our companion sites for the war diary of the 6th DLI and the war diary of the 7th DLI.

53 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Greetings, I found your web page as a result of the great war forum. I have a 14-15 trio in my collection to a Frederick Robinson 3081 DLI. His mic has France 30/10/15 which is all the information I can find on him. His discharge certificate states Ripon as his enlistment and discharge.
    Not sure if this helps. Cheers Ed

  2. Thanks

    Fred wasn’t a member of the 6th DLI (at least not when the number 3081 was allocated) – this suggests him as having (originally at least) been a 5th,8th or 9th DLI man. In all of the battalions the number 3081 was allocated around Oct/Nov 1914.

    It’s odd that his medal card doesn’t show anything other than a 4 digit number, this suggests that by 1917 he was either discharged, on home service only, or he had transferred and his card wasn’t updated.


    • Hi Craig,

      Looks like a great start to your project.

      I’ve just discovered my Grandad’s cousin 91684 Percy Grindley served with 1/6th DLI. His Service Record is online and remarkably shows his arrival in France on 12th April 1918 and then taken prisoner on 27th/31st May. He contracted TB as a captive and returned home to Cheshire in Feb 1919.

      Percy had originally enlisted underage in Army Cyclist Corps before a brief stay with the Welsh Regmnt.

      I’ll have a look through your site, but if you have any tips on where Percy was captured and held, any info. would be great.


      • Hi

        As yet I haven’t transcribed the diary for 1918 but I do have a copy of it.

        They were heavily bombarded and then attacked at about 4 a.m. The diary notes most of the oficers and men were missing but on withdrawing to the Aisne they managed to collect together some of the missing men and gather at Convereux.

        Continued fighting and the ‘few survivors’ were attached to 25th DIvision.

        Men were formed in a composite battalion.

        Continued fighting as a composite battalion

        Diary notes 30 officers and 499 O.R. killed, wounded or missing.

  3. I have found my grandad on this site, I think it’s a heart warming thought that these brave men are not forgotten and they are remembered on the Internet for fighting for their Country under such harsh conditions.

  4. Hi,
    Thanks for the great site!

    I am researching Pte Edward Hutchinson who joined the 6th in Bishop Auckland on or around 1st September 1916. He was unfortunately killed in a tram accident back in blighty on 5th Feb 1916, right next to a school I am working with on a WW1 project. I was wondering if there was any more information available on Pte Hutchinson – birth date and place, papers, where he served, what conditions he would have been in, why he was back home at that time, and why (if we can find out!) he was standing on a dark, frosty corner in Gateshead when the accident happened… I hope you can give me a few pointers!
    Much obliged,

    • Hi

      I’m not far from Bensham Bank and know the area well.

      I have an article on him here – http://www.durhamlightinfantry.net/?cat=9

      He was with the 23rd DLI when he was killed (later re-numbered as the 26th DLI) – this would indicate he had been sent home through either illness or injury as being unfit for front-line duties with the 6th DLI. The Newcastle Journal of 01 June 1915 reports him as having being wounded and in 2nd Northern General Hospital, Leeds on 29 May 1915 so he was likely back in Newcastle whilst he was recuperating.

      It is most likely that he was wounded at the 2nd battle of Ypres or shortly afterwards. A link from the main page of this site will give you the 6th DLI diary for the period in question.

      He was enlisted at Bishop Auckland although this does not tell us much as all enlistment at that particular period was being run through the battalion’s main depot.

      I’ll have a look through a few more records I have and I’ll send you anything else I find.

      As an aside , the tram was re-built and is now at Beamish museum – http://beamishtransportonline.co.uk/2013/12/gateshead-trams-at-beamish-museum-an-introduction-to-no-52-and-a-bit-of-re-writing-the-history-books/


  5. Re: Robert J Bell 1753 & 250068
    Robert Joseph Bell was my maternal grandfather. He joined the DLI Territorials 6th Battalion in 1912 and embarked for France with the expeditionary force on the 19/20 April 1914. He remained with the battalion right through until the end of May 1918 when he was reported missing. He was found to be a POW in early 1919 and was disembodied and demobbed in March 1919. By June 1920 he had re-enlisted in the Territorials and was finally discharged in June 1921. During his service he received several field promotions through L/Cpl, L/Sgt, Sgt and WO11 to A/CSM by the time the battalion were embroiled in the devastating battles for the Lys and Aisne. He was awarded the Military Medal for actions during these battles but, other than a mention in the book of Capt. R.B. Ainsworth, I have not been able to find out any more. If you have any information in the war diary I would be interested to hear more details of the April-May 1918 battles.

  6. Hi I’m looking for information about my great Uncle George Henry Wardle who served in the 6th.
    He enlisted in Barnard Castle (love to know when?)
    His service number: 1981
    He was killed in action 2nd Oct 1916.

    Was there a battle around this time?

    Any background info would be very much appreciated.


    • Hi just recently found out that George Henry Wardle is my great great uncle he was my great grandads brother a lot of family still live in Barnard castle he was killed in action during the battle of the Somme there is no known grave for him

  7. I think that my great grandfather was seconded to the DLI but am comming up against brick walls? Have 2 medal index numbers both appear to be for the same man, campaign medals give 277028 pte S V Belson DLI. The other number appears to relate to ox&bucks li but seems abit long, 19006441? Any suggestions would be appreciated thanks

  8. Thank you so much for transcribing in great detail the war diary for the 6th battalion DLI
    I still have lots more to read.
    Im hoping you can help
    I am currently researching John George Woods who died in the Ypres Salient on the 26th April 1915, he was a private with the 1/6th battalion of the DLI. Soldier number: 2982.
    Would you have any information about him?

  9. I am looking for information about my maternal grandfather, Clifford Hodgkinson, who served in the 6th DLI although he was from Staffordshire and I have no information about when or where he joined up. I do know that he was in Cottbus POW camp and did not come home until January 1919, returning to Hull on HMS Plassy, a hospital ship. From there he went to Ripon and to “camp”. His service number was 80866 and he was a Serjeant. His date of birth was 17 Feb 1893.

    I would love to have more details if you know any. Thank you.

  10. Hi, just found this site today and find it amazing. I have 3 relations in the 6th DLI, one James Moreland born 1873 Bishop Auckland No2330 went to france with the regiment April 1915. I notice on the Men of the 6th DLI section it states wonderd, Newcastle Journal 4 oc 1915? can anyone explain what this means.

    • I’m glad you’ve found my site helpful – I add new information reasonably regularly (although it may or may not be for any men you have a specific interest in)

      The Newcastle Journal occasionally listed men of the 6th DLI who were wounded – this information was taken from official War Office casualty reports.

  11. Thanks for your help, is there anyway of finding out which coy a man served, I assume for example that the men from Bishop Auckland will have been in say X and Y coy and those from Crook in Z? am I correct in this thought process.

    • Pre war, there’s a reasonable chance as they were allocated roughly based on where a man lived & enlisted. During the war, not unless your lucky with a record mentioning his company. Men could and would be moved between companies as required.

    • There isn’t the facility for user upload but if pictures are forwarded on to me I can arrange for them to be uploaded as appropriate.

      Please note that this site is currently being archived as part of the British Library WW1 Project so any pictures will be part of this archive.

  12. I am trying to find out information about my late Grandmothers Brother, Abraham (sometimes just Abram) Hunter Service Number 3011, who was killed on the 26th April 1915 , aged 16 at, I think North of Leper. He was in the 1/6th DLI who embarked for Belgium via France round about the 20th April 1915. I have to admit his route to Leper is just an assumption from bits I have read. I am planning a trip next year to pay my respects 100 years after his death, so any help would be appreciated.

    • Hello John,
      My Grandfather James Broadley 1798 6th DLI may have fought with Abraham. Leper? do you mean Ypres? Read the war record written April 15 for 1/6th. It given route.

  13. Hi

    I’ve been researching my grandfather Pte 200226 William Hallett of 2386 Durham Light Infantry. I have his medal card which states he entered France on 18th April 1915. He survived the war but I never knew him and what role he and his pals in the DLI did. I would love to know any information you have for me please. I’ll keep up the research this end too. Many thanks.

  14. Hi I deal with a Scottish veterans association and a chap asked if I could find out something about an English lad JW Ellwood listed under
    The chap said Elwood served with 1/6 DLI and is remembered on the Menin gate memorial at Ypres – this normally happens if the soldier’s body was never recovered but it was known he was killed ie a witness – but on the thread listed above it says –
    The body was buried and identified by the Somerset Light Infantry on 30 April 1915. So I am asking if his body was identified and buried by the Somerset LI through your Ncl Journal notes of 29 June 1915 where was the grave located – is it possible to tell me how to find these journal notes?
    Elwood apparently came from the same village that the chap asking came from and he was over at the Menin Gate and saw the name and was asking if he was identified and buried should his grave not been recorded – I know a solution may be that he was identified and buried by the Somerset LI and later the grave destroyed – possibly by artillery fire and the body never found again – that could be a reason why he is posted on the wall of the missing – Don’t know if you could assist me in this request?

    Raymond Bell

  15. My great Uncle Thomas william Brown is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial. My son will be visiting the war cemeteries soon and I’m trying to locate where my Great Uncle is commemorated. I’ve tried searching The war graves site but to no avail.

    Thomas william Brown details.
    Service number 203841 death 23/03/18 Lance Corporal 1/5th Brigade Durham Light Infantry.
    Any help would be very much appreciated.

    • He listed on the memorial as he doesn’t have a known grave. His original grave may have been destroyed in later fighting or his body was never knowingly recovered.

  16. Hi there,

    I stumbled on your website by accident, I’ve been looking into the histories of a number of family members.

    Stephenson Redshaw, I know he was in the Imperial Yeomanry, missing the Boer War entirely, other than age was there any other reason why he didn’t serve overseas?

    George Ward (6-2981), you have him as discharged in May 1918, do,you have any information why?

    Anyway, I’ll leave that for now, although apparently George Ward’s brother William also served, sadly we don’t know his service number.



  17. I am seeking confirmation my grandfather Sidney Mitchell served with the 6th DLI. His regimental number was 252272 & later, 631581. Using the rest. number, I followed the first number to the 6th & the second to a London regt. Can anyone confirm, or supply additional information, his records were in the ‘burnt section’, so all I have at this time is the Medal Card?

  18. Please advise if you have publications for sale as I am researching my father sidney mitchell who served with the 6th DLI reg no 252272 during www1 the national archives have advised his records were destroyed during WW11, & his medal card is lacking on information eg theatre he served in is blank etc. I have both of his medals & would like to know more of his service records he was severely wounded, gas, punctured lung,broken legs, schrapnel wounds so there would be hospital records

  19. My great uncle, Pvt John Brown, joined the 6th Battalion on (I think) 3rd February 1911, service number 1337.
    I have found out that he received a gun shot wound to the head, probably in the Second Battle of Ypres around 28 April (the date he was admitted to the hospital ship, Asturias). I know that he survived the war.
    The information I have has come from Ancestry and forces-war-records. It is only recently I have found out about him and his brother, Sgt Matthew Brown who was killed on 7 October 1916 on The Somme, in one of the first tank battles. Matthew was in the 12th DLI.
    I’d like to find out as much as I can about my grandmother’s brothers, my great uncles John and Matthew. How do I get the rest of their service records? Any hints or directions very welcome. I visit Durham regularly (although I would consider employing someone who actually knows what they are doing!).

    • If you look on Find My Past then surviving service records for John are available – it’s most likely he was wounded on 26 April 1915 in the initial action at Ypres (The advance from Potijze to Zonnebeke & Hill 37).

      Matthew has no surviving service records – you can piece together some bits on him from the medal rolls and soldiers effects records but you would need to check Ancestry for them.


  20. Looking for information about Thomas Marshall Iley, number 250104, previously 1849. I have comprehensive details of 6th Battalion movements during his service, he was killed on 6/10/18 and I have visited most of the sites associated with these movements in France/Belgium. I am trying to establish his exact movements, when he was on leave etc but am coming up with blanks. I have tried national archives but think his records were distroyed inWW2. Can you suggest any other source?

    • You’re correct in that his service records do no appear to have survived.

      After the service records there’s not much left that could show any further details regarding leave etc (even this has been stripped from most surviving records). I have a copy of the surviving fields returns and he’s not mentioned (not that too many survive though).


  21. In the absence of his Service Records, there will not be much documentation left showing his precise movements, you could look at the War Diary, and if you know the Company he was in, that could give some clues, but only if it mentions him by name, trawl through local newspapers, if there is anything about being on leave, where was he from,? Unfortunately its nigh on impossible to be precise with his movements. The diaries are not that precise. And was it worthy of an article. As far as I am aware, there are no other detailed information about him, did he write letters home, has the relatives or family have any correspondence from him.

    • Hi Jim,
      I have managed to get a photo of him but no other details. His immediate family members (two sisters) passed away some years ago and we have no known correspondence from him, his medals have been lost during family moves. His oldest surviving nephew (at 91) remmembers stories of him being home on leave and being washed down in his farthers workshop due to the filth and lice on his uniform and him not wanting his mother to see him and worry. He was originally in E company 6th DLI, not sure after the renaming of company’s where he ended up. He was a corporal and I would like to know more detail about his movements and his responsibilitys during service. He ended up with the 15th battalion after the decimation of the 6th during early 1918. Again the family story is that he should have been home on leave at the time of his death on 6th October 1918. I have managed to find his original burial site via map coordinates and his war gratuities payment details. I have extensive details of the 6th and 15th movements but lack details of Thomas’s movements. These would start and bring the whole thing together. I will keep looking but not sure where else to look.

  22. Thanks for the quick response. I will keep searching as little pockets of information keep popping up every now and then.

  23. Dear Paul
    I have had a quick look at the North East Newspapers for an Iley, there is an Iley Sergeant wounded, but not your man.

    However, not all the newspapers are online, so have to keep checking back. If I come across anything about him, of course will let you know, there are many newspapers, local which will need consulting as well, but its a mind numbing exercise.

    Just need to keep looking. Any idea where he worked, or Church he went to?..

    By the way, Where is he from?


  24. Hi just a quick look at his information.
    Private George Henry Wardle was in the 1/6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, service number 1981. Went to France on the 27th June 1915, he was killed on Monday 2nd October, at the Battle of Ancre Heights. III Corps, 50th Division, The 1/6th and 1/9th Durham’s had taken Flers Support trench before Dawn, barricading their right flank because of 47th Division’s lack of success. [This was part of the Battle of the Somme, the latter stages]. He is remembered at Thiepval, as his body was not found. However, he is remembered on two War Memorials in Barnard Castle see the following links, http://www.newmp.org.uk/detail.php?contentId=6342 and on page 10 ROH served http://www.newmp.org.uk/detail.php?contentId=6390.
    He was awarded three medals Victory Medal, War Medal and 14/15 star. Did he have a brother called J A Wardle? is there anything you know about him, we at NEWMP have a section called Every Name a Story, if you willing we will research him further and put his details on our web site, http://www.newmp.org.uk.
    Do you have a photograph.?

  25. My father was also in the DLI 6th Battalion, his name was Sidney Mitchell DLI 252272 & ASLC 631581 apart from his medal card all his records were lost during the www11 London bombings. There is a small book available which gives some day to day events it is:- The story of the 6th battalion France April 1915 to November 1918 by Ralph B Ainsworth it was published in London by The St Catherine Press Stamford St S.E. 1919 My copy is a recent reproduction which was edited by Capt R.B.AinsworthM.C. My copy is a recent print so it must be still available, good hunting.

    • I’ve got a partially re-worked re-draft of the book that I’m working on and expanding quite significantly – at moment though for just the Apr 15-16.

  26. My Grandfather Harry William Pallant lived in Ipswich Suffolk but during WW1 he served in the Durham Light. I don’t know which division but I have two service numbers 7029 and 203295. I am trying to find out a bit more about his service.

    • Was Harry William Pallent father called Thomas Pallent? who died in 1955, Age 87 at Debenham Suffolk. Harry was a Corporal. There is a Medal Index card available, but it does not show much, he did receive at least 2 Medals. Think he was in the 1/5th DLI Battalion then based around he Stockton-On-Tees area. The 1/5th DLI were allocated the number block 200001 to 250000, around 1917, Harry’s number was 203295, the previous 4 digit number may indicate that he may have been in the Volunteer or Territorial force before the War.

  27. Hello,

    I’m looking for information on my grandfather who served with the D.L.I. in WW1. His regimental number was 9/7022, 325564. His discharge papers (he served from 1903-1919) indicate that he served aboard ships throughout his service. Was this unusual?
    I’d also like to know exactly what his regimental numbers indicate with regard to his service.
    Many thanks.

  28. Hi all,

    I am French, and passionnate by the british army during ww2.
    I am looking for more information about Private G W Weakley, 5679779 , 6 DLI.
    Wounded in normandy at the 12 August 1944.

    Any information are welcome,
    what kind of wound did he receiv ? does he still fight after that.
    Is it possible to find picture of him ?
    Best regards


  29. My great grandfather Ralph Wheatley Coulson died Jan 1917 in France. We visited the grave a few years ago. Would love some history on this time of the battalion.

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