Major C.A.L. Yate VC

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Madeley's VC - Major C.A.L. Yate

    Amongst the many names of the dead of the First World War on Madeley's War Memorial, including five who were awarded the Military Medal, you can find the almost forgotten name of Major Yate, who was killed at the very beginning of the war and posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

    Most of the information on this page comes from an old Shropshire Star article by Toby Neal, and a letter to the Star by Chris Moore of Madeley.

    Major C.A.L. Yate V.C., who heads the local Royal British Legion's roll of honour

    Major Charles Allix Lavington Yate, known as "Cal" was born on 14 March 1872 the son of Prebendary George Edward Yate (Vicar of Madeley from 1859 to 1908).
    The Major belonged to a Berkshire family, a branch of which settled at Madeley Hall around the middle of the 18th century. He was educated at Weymouth College. He passed out of Sandhurst ninth out of 1,100 cadets and joined the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, seeing active service in the Tirah expedition of 1897 to 1898. He was seriously wounded in the Boer War. On returning to Madeley for a spell of convalescence, local miners met the train at Madeley Market station, took the place of the horses drawing his carriage and pulled him through the streets back to his home in celebration of his many acts of bravery.
    He married Florence Helena Brigg from Greenhead Hall, Yorkshire in St Georges Church, Hanover Square in 1903 – there were no children.
    He became a major in 1912 and won his VC on 26 August 1914 at the Battle of Le Cateau, where Major General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien fought his famous delaying action to check the German pursuit after Mons.
    Major Yate’s citation in the London Gazette of November 25, 1915 read: "Major Charles Allix Lavington Yate (deceased), 2nd Battalion The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, commanded one of the two companies that remained to the end in the trenches at Le Cateau on August 26, and when all other officers were killed or wounded and ammunition exhausted, led his 19 survivors against the enemy in a charge in which he was severely wounded. He was picked up by the enemy and he subsequently died as a prisoner of war". ( It has been said that he actually died trying to escape from captivity - has anyone got any further information? ) He died on September 20 1914 and is buried at the British Military Cemetery at Stahnsdorf, South West Berlin. His Victoria Cross is kept in the Yorkshire Light Infantry Regimental Mueum at Pontefract.
    Four other VCs were won at Le Cateau that day, including one by Lance Corporal Frederick William Holmes of the same regiment.

    He wrote a few months later: "Major Yate was a thorough gentleman and a great favourite with us all. He had had a lot of experience in the Far East and at home, and I am sure that if he had lived he would have become a general. He was always in front, and his constant cry was 'Follow me!'".

    Major Yate was fond of riding, hunted with the Albrighton hounds, and played polo and football, and enjoyed skiing. He contributed unsigned articles to Blackwood's Magazine, and was a top class interpreter for French, German and Japanese. He could also speak Hindustani and Persian.

    Major Yate's cousin was Sir Charles Yate of Madeley Hall, who was created a Baronet in 1921 and died in 1940.

    Major Yate’s father, the Reverend Prebendary G.E. Yate, 1825 - 1908 who was Vicar of St. Michael’s Church, Madeley from 1859 to 1908

    Attached Files:

  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    YATE, George Allix Lavington. (reg No. 1339).
    Major. 2nd Battalion. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
    London Gazetted on 25th November 1914.
    VC Medal's Custodian is King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Museum, Doncaster.
    Born on 14th March 1872 at Madeley, Shropshire.
    Died on 20th September 1914 , from his wounds whilst in a Prisoner-of-War Camp at Targau, Germany. *
    Memorial on grave at Berlin South-Western Cemetery, Stahsdorf, Germany.
    Digest of Citation reads:
    Major Yate was commanding a company, one of two, that had remained to the end in the trenches on the 26th August, 1914, at Le Cateau in France. When all the officers were killed or wounded, and their ammunition finished, he led the remaining 19 survivors in a charge against the enemy. He was severely wounded in this charge and was eventually captured by the Germans and taken eventually to a prison camp. It was here, at Targau, POW Camp that he died on the 20th September 1914.

    Additional information:. Major Yate was the son of the Prebendary George Edward Yate. He was educated at Weymouth College and in 1890 entered the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, where out of 1100 candidates, he passed out in ninth place. On 13th August 1892, he joined the 2nd Battalion the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in Bombay. He gained the medal and clasp of the Tirah Expedition (1897-98), during which he saw his first action. In 1899 he was promoted to Captain. At the outbreak of the Boer War he was with his regiment in Mauritius. From here they were picked up by HMS Powerful who had been ordered take the KOYLI to South Africa. Major Yate was so seriously wounded at the Battle of Graspan that he wasn't considered fit enough to return to active service until the war was almost over. He was in the party that went under a white flag to see General Botha regarding the negotiations for peace. His Queen's Medal and four Clasps were awarded for service in the Boer War.
    On 17th September 1903 he married Florence Helena Brigg. They had no children. He hunted with the hounds at Albrighton, played polo, enjoyed skiing. He enjoyed writing and wrote several articles for Blackwood's Magazine.
    * It is said, by some, that he was wounded trying to escape from Targau. It is true that he was severely wounded in the charge on 26th August 1914, and it is more likely that he died of these wounds.

    In Memory of
    V C
    2nd Bn., King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
    who died age 42
    on 20 September 1914
    Son of the Rev. George Edward Yate, Vicar of Madeley, Shropshire and Prebendary of Hereford; husband of Florence Helena. Served in the South African War.

    Remembered with honour

Share This Page