News, events and discoveries of the Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars history project.
Here is a short biography of Tom Metcalfe, a Walkley resident who enlisted in the army on the outbreak of the First World War and came out the other end alive. It is written by his grandson, Alan Metcalfe.
Year of birth: 1893
Residence: 1/2 Rivelin Street, Walkley, Sheffield, 6
Enlisted: On outbreak of war in August 1914 then posted to Pontefract
Status of Enlistment: Single
Regiment: King’s own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Battalion: Joined 10th KOYLI, 21st Division on its establishment as part of the Third army (K3 New Army) on 13th September 1914
That battalion disbanded on 6th February 1918 when 12 officers and 250 men transferred to 9th KOYLI
Regimental number: 41096
Disembarked in France: Le Havre on 11th September 1915
Transferred to Reserve: 20th February 1919
Was he wounded?
We know that Tom was admitted to a base hospital in early June 1917 and remained there until at least August 1917. Was that for illness or because of wounds?
Although it has not yet been possible to verify the situation, it is possible that Tom was wounded attacking the Hindenburg Line in the Third battle of the Scarpe on 3rd May 1917. His battalion suffered heavy casualties that day.
If that was the case, Tom would have been moved from the battlefield, through the medical evacuation chain to a field hospital in the rear of the battle area for treatment before being sent back to the base hospital for recovery.
Photographs of Tom at the base hospital show him in “hospital blues” relaxing outside with other patients and standing; confirming that he was not seriously injured at that stage. It is very likely that Tom returned to his battalion ready for its part in the Third Battle of Ypres in October 1917.