WWI soldiers' relatives sought by Army

The relatives of five World War I soldiers whose remains were found in northern France are being sought.

Pte John William Taylor, L/Sgt George Edwardes, Pte David Wilson Williams, Pte Henry William Parker and Pte Ross Jeff died in battle in October 1914 near Beaucamps-Ligny.

Their remains were found in 2009 while construction work was being carried out in the area.

The Army wants to involve relatives in their burial and memorial services.

All five men served in 2nd Battalion the York and Lancaster Regiment.

Pte Taylor, 22, was born in January 1892 in Morley, near Leeds. He and his two older brothers, Ralph and Joseph, were raised by their widowed mother. His father died in a mining accident in 1900.

The Army believes two of his nephews, Raymond and Eric, born in 1920 and 1926, both settled in Morley.

Pte Williams, 23, was born in April 1891 in Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, and was the eldest of eight children.

His father, who was originally from Ebbw Vale moved to Pontefract in 1906 for work, before serving in India and being posted to France.

'Give families closure'

L/Sgt Edwardes, 26, was born in January 1888 in Middlesbrough and lived with his mother, and brother Thomas, at 9 Fleetham Street. He worked as a clerk canvasser in Barnsley before enlisting in the Army in 1910.

Pte Parker, 26, was born in March 1888 in Boston, Lincolnshire, and was one of five children. His parents George and Frances lived in Hackenthorpe.

His brother George also joined the Army and returned to Sheffield after the war.

The Army believes Pte Parker also served in India.

Pte Jeff, 20, was born in April 1894 in Moss, Doncaster, and worked as a railway porter before enlisting for service in 1914. It is thought he may have a great-nephew living in the UK.

A spokeswoman for the Army said: "It is always difficult to trace surviving relatives of those who were killed in action so long ago, but we believe it is important to give those families closure wherever possible."

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