Pte John W Killen 15/550 and Pte Horace Hugh Killen 15/449

Pte John W Killen 15/550

Born Leeds 1889.

Killed in action France 1/7/1916

Pte Horace Hugh Killen 15/449

Born Leeds 1893

Died of Wounds France 30/8/1916

John and Horace Killen were two of six Children, 4 boys 2 girls born to John and Beatrice killen of 35 St Anne’s Avenue, burley, Leeds.
At the time of their enlistment on the 4th of September 1914, Horace was working as a Piano maker, his brother was teaching at a local Council school, they both served with 5 Platoon B Company, Horace as a Company Cook , John as a shoemaker.

They served together in Colsterdale Egypt and France.

John was the first brother to die, killed in action on the first day of the battle of the Somme.
His body was never recovered so having no known grave he is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial, France.

A few weeks later on the 20th of August 1916 whilst the Pals still were manning the front line, the Germans began laying down a very heavy box barrage, as it lifted they attempted to over run the trenches, they reached the parapet of the Pals trenches and were only prevented from entering them by the skill full use of a single Lewis gun operated by a Corporal and is assistant. The Pals lost one officer killed and two wounded with 6 other ranks killed and a further 17 wounded, one of the wounded was Horace Killen, he was taken to one of the military general hospitals in Calais but died of his wounds before he could be evacuated to England.

He lies in Calais Southern Cemetery, France.

A third bother Thomas who at the start of the war was a master at Leeds grammar school, served with the labour corps, he was demobbed in 1919.

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