Service Number 12627
Battalion 22 Labour Company
Regiment Labour Corps
Buried Lawnswood Cemetery, Leeds
Commemorated at: Lawnswood Cemetery War Memorial
|Private||33921||16 Battalion Yorkshire Regiment|
|Corporal||33921||16 Battalion Yorkshire Regiment|
Edward Stokoe was born on the 9th June 1884, the son of Thomas Stokoe, a master plumber, and his wife Louisa. Edward had one elder sister, Lena, and six younger brothers, Stephen, Stanley, George, Donald, Crawford and Gordon. In 1890, Thomas and his family (including Edward) were living in Headingley, and in 1901 they were at 66 Otley Road in Headingley. Thomas obviously had a good business in the plumbing trade as he was the employer of a number of workers. In 1910, on the 23rd May, Edward married Ethel Gertrude Wraith at All Souls Church in Leeds. Edward was a 25 year old bachelor working as a clerk, and his bride was a 26 year old spinster who gave her address as Belle Vue Hotel, Blackpool.
One year later, on census day in 1911, Edward and Ethel are registered as living at Lyndale, Collingham. Edward gave his occupation as a Law Clerk. They had one servant, the 25 year old Rose Ann Suggitt living with them, and a son, Rupert Hampshire Stokoe who is recorded as being less than one month old. A later record gives Rupert's date of birth as 12th March 1911, and his place of birth as Collingham.
However it appears that Edward and family's stay in Collingham was brief as he does not appear on the electoral rolls for Collingham in the 1910s.
On the 9th June 1916, Edward Stokoe, now of 6 Newport View Headingley, enlisted for Army service. Edward became Private 33921 of the Yorkshire Regiment. He served in the UK from the 9th June until the 10th July 1916, when he went to France. Edward's service record has survived, but there are still some complications in interpreting it. On enlistment Edward was first posted to a depot for processing and then, by the 11th July 1916 when he went to France he was with the 16th (Labour) Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. This battalion had formed in June 1916 at Brocklesby Camp in Lincolnshire and moved to France on the 12th July 1916 so it is likely that Edward was an early recruit to the battalion and went overseas with them. Edward gained a number of promotions through Lance Corporal, Corporal and eventually to Sergeant. The battalion was was employed at Cinder Camp, Le Havre, on Lines of Communication work.
An entry from the Battalion's War Diary for the 31st September 1916 (during the time Edward was serving with them) illustrates the typical work that this battalion was doing:
In May 1917, a general army reorganisation took Labour Battalions from a number of regiments to form the Labour Corps. The 16th Yorkshire Regiment became the 22nd and 23rd Labour Companies of the Labour Corps and Edward was transferred to 22 Labour Company. He was renumbered at that time, becoming Sergeant 12627 of the Labour Corps. On the 15th June 1917, Edward was appointed to a further role and was posted to 29 Labour Group HQ. However within a very short period of time Edward became unwell. On the 20th July 1917 he relinquished his role and on the 28th October 1917 travelled back to the UK and was taken to hospital. Edward underwent a number of medical boards to establish what was wrong and whether his illness was due to war service. The boards identified that a heart condition he had had from birth had been exacerbated by his service and on the 14th December 1917 Edward was discharged from the army under King's Regulations as no longer physically fit for service.
On discharge from the Army, Edward seems to have returned to live at 6 Newport View, Leeds. There, on the 5th November 1919, Edward Stokoe died. He was buried on the 10th November 1919 at Lawnswood Cemetery in Leeds and he is commemorated both on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records and on the Lawnswood Cemetery Memorial Panel 15.
A confusion about Edward's service comes from his entries on the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. These records list his service as being with 16 Labour Company of the West Yorkshire Regiment but we cannot find mention of this unit within his records.
Biography last updated 29 September 2021 22:59:21.
1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 25962
First World War Medal Index Cards. The National Archives (WO372).
First World War Medal Index Rolls. The National Archives (WO329).
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery and Burial Reports
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