1895/6 - 12th July 1915 (age 19)
5th Bn. Yorkshire Regiment
In St.Oswald's churchyard there stands a headstone with the following inscription:
Loving Memory of
John Garbutt beloved husband of Annie Garbutt
of Islebeck Grange
died February 1st 1919 aged 63 years,
also of Wesley Shaw
dearly loved son of the above
who fell in action near Ypres
July 12th 1915 aged 19 years
and rests in the Military Cemetery
at Balleol (sic), France
until the day dawns,
also of the above
died April 8th 1937
aged 82 years
The Garbutt family headstone at Sowerby
In 1911, John and Annie Garbutt were farming at Islebeck Grange, Sowerby, having previously lived at Strangeways Farm, Youlton, Easingwold. Their fourth son, Wesley was born at Youlton and he worked for two years in Barclays Bank at Scarborough. Like Thomas Banks, he appears to have been in the Territorials, joining the forces in September 1914 and going overseas also on 18th April 1915 with another territorial battalion, the 5th Yorkshires. He found himself in the action at St.Julien where Thomas Edward Banks was killed, but Wesley came out of that and other engagements uninjured.
On the night of 11th July 1915 he was on sentry duty in the British front line only 35 yards from the German trenches when a rifle grenade exploded wounding him. He was injured in the head and body being rendered unconscious, and died the following day. A rifle grenade was like a rocket in appearance, or a grenade on a stick. The stick was inserted into the barrel of a rifle on a light tripod, which would be mounted on a trench parapet. Firing of the rifle would discharge the grenade into the opponent's trench where it would explode with often devastating consequences.
Lieut Ed. L. Thomson of the 5th Yorkshires wrote to Wesley's parents saying:
I very much regret to inform you, that your son W.S. Garbutt was wounded yesterday, 11th July. He was an excellent soldier and one who earned the high esteem of his officers and comrades. He was always cheerful and willing to do anything.
Wesley's grave can be found at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension plot 1.D.100. Bailleul is located in Northern France and close to the Belgian border. There are war graves in both the Communal Cemetery and the extension with over 5,000 men being commemorated.
Wesley Garbutt's headstone at Bailleul bears the same words as the headstone at Sowerby - "until the day dawns"
The information on this page was compiled by Steve Billings.
Information about Wesley Shaw Garbutt on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Information about Wesley Shaw Garbutt (Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension) on the War Graves Photographic Project website
Information about Wesley Shaw Garbutt (St Oswald's Churchyard) on the War Graves Photographic Project website
Part of the St Oswald's Church website