13251 Pte John Thomas Riley West Yorkshire Regt

Pte John Riley served first in the West Yorkshire Regt. and then in the Labour Corps.

WW1 needed a vast logistic effort to keep the front line supplied. By 1915 there were 237,000 Chinese, Egyptian, Indian and South African labourers employed by the army in France. The Labour Corps (LC) was formed in Jan 1917 and absorbed a number of Infantry Bns, along with 28 Labour Coys. of the A.S.C. By the end of the war the strength of the LC numbered just under 390,000 men, more than 10% of the army. Many Bns. were formed of injured infantrymen no longer fit for the trenches. Was John Riley one of these? His service record is not at the National Archive so was probably destroyed in a luftwaffe raid in 1940. He is not listed among those that died so almost certainly survived the war. Do you know anything about him?

John Riley’s British War Medal

His medal card shows that he qualified for all three service medals, with the 1914-15 star, which means he entered a theatre of war between 23rd Nov 1914 and 31st Dec 1915 (His records show that he arrived in France on 10th Sept 1915). I have his British War Medal, the wherabouts of the other two are unknown.

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