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George Yates was born in the last quarter of 1882 in Old Malton, the second son of Anthony and Mary Ann (nee Barker) Yates who married at Prestwich, Lancashire in the last quarter of 1876. Anthony and his family were resident in Town Street, Old Malton at the time of the 1891 census.
1891 Census – resident at Town Street, Old Malton
YATES, Anthony, Head, Married, M, 41, Agricultural Labourer, Old Malton, Yorkshire,
YATES, Mary A, Wife, Married, F, 36, , Norton, Yorkshire,
YATES, Emma E, Daughter, , F, 12, Scholar, Old Malton, Yorkshire,
YATES, Maria J, Daughter, , F, 10, Scholar, Old Malton, Yorkshire,
YATES, George, Son, , M, 8, Scholar, Old Malton, Yorkshire,
YATES, Maude M, Daughter, , F, 0 (7M), , Old Malton, Yorkshire,
YATES, Reuben, Father, Widower, M, 76, , Old Malton, Yorkshire,
By 1901 George was working as a horseman on a farm in Langton and living in the household of the farm bailiff.
1901 Census – resident at Grand Stand House, Langton
HOPE, James, Head, Married, M, 31, Farm Bailiff, Givendale, Yorkshire,
SUMERSGILL, Ann, Sister, Married, F, 40, Housekeeper (Domestic), Weaverthorpe, Yorkshire,
BANKS, Annie, Servant, Single, F, 13, General Servant (Domestic), Pickering, Yorkshire,
HOPE, Thomas W, Brother, Single, M, 25, Agricultural Labourer, West Lutton, Yorkshire,
BURDON, William H, Servant, Single, M, 23, Waggoner On Farm, Burythorpe, Yorkshire,
YATES, George, Servant, Single, M, 18, Horseman On Farm, Old Malton, Yorkshire,
MARSHALL, Edward, Servant, Single, M, 16, Horseman On Farm, Leavening, Yorkshire,
FOX, Thomas, Servant, Single, M, 15, Horseman On Farm, Thixendale, Yorkshire,
BANHAM, Samuel, Servant, Single, M, 19, Shepherd On Farm, Bosdale, Yorkshire,
In the third quarter of 1907 he married Mary Hilda Crosby in the Whitby area and their son George was born in the third quarter of 1909 in Thornton Dale. In 1911 we find George living at Ivy Cottages, Pickering Marishes. However Mary and their son George are staying with her parents at Rosebud Place, Sleights, where she was awaiting the birth of their second child, Margaret, born in the last quarter of 1911.
1911 Census – resident at Ivy Cottages, Marishes, Pickering
YATES, George, Head, Married 3 years, M, 26, Waggoner On Farm, Yorks Old Malton
1911 Census – resident at Rosebud Place, Sleights
CROSBY, Thomas, Head, Married, M, 49, Millwright Joiner Coach, Sneaton Yorks,
CROSBY, Mary Ann, Wife, Married25 years, F, 48, , Sleights Yorks,
YATES, Mary Hilda, Daughter, Married2 years, F, 24, , Sleights Yorks,
CROSBY, Nellie, Daughter, Single, F, 15, , Sleights Yorks,
CROSBY, Lizzie, Daughter, , F, 13, School, Sleights Yorks,
SWALES, William, Father In Law, Widower, M, 85, Old Age Pensioner, Egton Yorks,
YATES, George, Grandson, , M, 1, , Thornton Le Dale Yorks,
George presumably moved to Sleights by the outbreak of war, from where he enlisted at Saltburn in the 4th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment. They had a second daughter Mary in the third quarter of 1917.
While George started out in the Yorkshire regiment, he transferred first to King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and then to the 17th (County of London) Battalion (Poplar and Stepney Rifles). At some point he seems to have been posted to the 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade at least for a while, if the Memorial Hall inscription is to be believed.
It is difficult to know when George transferred from one Regiment to another and so to know what battles he participated in, but it seems likely that he was involved in the Battle of the Ancre in April 1918 and it may well be that he sustained the wounds which sent him to one of the Etaples Hospitals where he died of wounds on 16th May 1918 and is buried in the Military cemetery at Etaples.
The area around Etaples was the scene of immense concentrations of Commonwealth reinforcement camps and hospitals. It was remote from attack, except from aircraft, and accessible by railway from both the northern or the southern battlefields. In 1917, 100,000 troops were camped among the sand dunes and the hospitals, which included eleven general, one stationary, four Red Cross hospitals and a convalescent depot, could deal with 22,000 wounded or sick.
After the War, Mary Hilda Yates seems to have remarried, to James J. Chapman in the Whitby area in the second quarter of 1922. They seem to have had two sons, Robert born in 1925 and William in 1926. She died in the Cleveland registration district in the second quarter of 1964 aged 77.
George is commemorated on both the war memorials of Old Malton.