Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Terrington, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom

General information

Winchman - Merchant Navy

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment place:
Hartlepool, Durham, England, United Kingdom
 —  Durham Light Infantry, 20th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Graves Copse, Zillebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Distinctions and medals 3

1914-15 Star
Medal — 17/10/1917
British War Medal
Medal — 23/04/1920
Victory Medal
Medal — 23/04/1920

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Private Tom Young served in the Durham Light Infantry, 20th Battalion, part of the 123rd Brigade, of the 41st Division. On the 31st of July 1917 the 41st Division was involved in the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, the opening stage of the Third Battle of Ypres. It operated on the right flank of the main attack astride the Ypres-Comines Canal and was to capture the village of Hollebeke.

The 41st Division attacked with 122nd and 123rd Brigades. The 123rd advanced North of the Canal in the direction of Hollebeke Château, with the 23rd Middlesex, 11th Queen’s, 10th Royal West Kents and the 20th Durham Light Infantry in support. Despite heavy resistance the first wave of the Brigade managed to capture the German’s frontline at Imperfect Trench. The 23rd Middlesex consolidated the trench and the attack was continued by the second wave. The going was tough. Swaths of flooded terrain made progress slow and the barrage got ahead of the troops. As the Brigade advanced it encountered more determined resistance. The second objective at Graves Copse was captured by the West Kents and the Queen’s.

Now the 20th Battalion Durham Light Infantry advanced to the Third and last objective, near Lock No. 6. However as soon as the Battalion crossed the second objective, at Graves Copse, it faced heavy German machine gun fire coming from concealed pill-boxes, which the barrage had failed to take out. The Battalion suffered heavy casualties, also by frequent shellfire. Persistent and well-aimed machine gun- and sniper fire of the 6th Bavarian Division demanded its toll and the 20th Durham Light Infantry was forced to dig in in front of their objective. During the rest of the day several German counterattacks were repelled by rifle- and artillery fire.

34-year-old private Tom Young was killed in action at the Ypres-Comines Canal, during the Battle of Pilckem Ridge. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Files 1

Sources 5

"Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Uniform, 2018, pg. 22-23.
Sources used
Further reference
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
Sources used
War Diary Durham Light Infantry 20th Bn.
Further reference