Date of Death:
Childe Derrick Francis
1st / 5th Bn. York and Lancaster Regiment
19 december 1915
Third son of H. S. and Kate Childe, of Potterton Hall, Barwick-in-Elmet, Leeds.
Educated at Harrow
Bard Cottage Cemetery
Plot I , Row I , Stone 12
26 march 1915
19 december 1915
Derrick Childe was commissioned from the Harrow School Officer Training Corps , and in his very short period of service with his battalion he developed a reputation as being ‘keen and intelligent’.
Proceeded with his Battalion to France
He was one of three officers of the battalion killed when the Germans launched the first Phosgene Gas attack on the positions held by 49th (West Riding) Division, of which 1/5th York and Lancaster Regiment was a part.
A memorial service was held in the Parish Church at Barwick in Elmet in early January 1916 in memory of 2nd Lieutenant Childe which was attended by some of the notable local personalities as well as strong representation from Wakefield, including the Mayor and Mayoress.
The Commanding Officer of the 49th Royal West Riding Division wrote to his father :
' Your son who was killed on the 19th is reported to me as having shown fine spirit while in action.
Although he was killed during the first turn in the trenches, he had proved himself to be a very promising young Officer, and his death is deeply regretted.'
A brother officer wrote :
'Derrick, although eleven years my junior, had grown very dear to me and just as strong in friendship had he been my own age.
We were in the same Company at Clipston.
He followed me out here ,and, though so short a time here , had proved himself worthy.
I saw him the night before the attack still cheerful, which means so much in the trenches.'