Remembrance - The Yorkshire Regiment, First World War

Private William SHORT, VC

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Private William Short, VC
For most conspicuous bravery at Munster Alley on the 6th August 1916.   He was foremost in the attack, bombing the enemy with great gallantry, when he was severely wounded in the foot.   He was urged to go back, but refused and continued to throw bombs.   Later his leg was shattered by a shell and he was unable to stand, so that he lay in the trench adjusting detonators and straightening the pins of bombs for his comrades.
He died before he could be carried out of the trench.   For the last eleven months he had always volunteered for dangerous enterprises, and had always set a magnificent example of bravery and devotion to duty.
(Right) With his leg shattered from shrapnel, Private William Short continues to prime the Mills bombs and straighten the pins for the soldiers in 'B' Company, who had just captured Munster Alley near Pozieres on the Somme, - 6th August 1916.
Private William Short, VC

William Henry Short was born to James Short and Annie Stephenson - they did not marry until 1888 - of 11, William Street, Eston, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire on 4th February 1885.   There were five sons and four daughters.   The family moved to 35 Vaughan Street Grangetown near Middlesbrough in 1900.   Known by his family as Will, he was a popular local footballer playing for Grangetown Albion and Saltburn and Lazenby United Football Clubs.   He was sometimes called 'Twig' or 'Twiggie' by his friends, since he always seen walking around with a twig in his mouth.
At the age of 16 years, William Short worked as a craneman at Bolckow, Vaughan & Co Steelworks in Eston until the start of the Great War. He enlisted on 2nd September 1914 into the Green Howards, and travelled to France on 26th August 1915 with 'C' Company, 8th Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment.   He fought in the early stages of the battle of the Somme around Contalmaison on 5th and 10th July.
12067 Private William Short won his VC at Munster Alley near Pozieres on the 6th August 1916. He died of wounds the next day and his body was eventually buried in Contalmaison Chateaux Cemetery Plot II, Row B Grave 16, some four miles to the north east of Albert.   His name is recorded on the Grangetown war memorial and the obelisk in Eston Cemetery.
William Short's medals were sold to the Regiment by his youngest and only surviving brother in April 1979.   The VC and medals are held by the Green Howards Regimental Museum in Richmond.

Information on the medal holders on this page, and other pages relating to the regiment's WW1 VC holders, is taken from "Beyond Their Duty" by Roger Chapman.   This book was specialy written to commemorate the only occasion on which all 18 Victoria Crosses won by members of the Green Howards regiment were together (April to October 2001, in the Green Howards Museum).   The book may be purchased from the Green Howards Museum Shop.

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