Private Herbert Francis Kyte

Brother of William James Kyte who also died in WW1 and is recorded on the Tilshead Memorial.

Herbert Francis Kyte (b 3rd Qtr 1877) was the 2nd son Francis (Frank) (b 1846) and Rosanna Kyte (nee Wild) (b 1848) of Tilshead, Wiltshire. He was baptised 7 Oct 1877.

His other 9 siblings were:

  • Bessie – b 1870
  • George – b 1873
  • Fanny – b 1875
  • Louisa – b 1880
  • Laura – b 1881
  • Edwin – b 1884
  • Henry – 1888
  • William – b 1893 (Also Killed in Action see detail below this history for Herbert)
  • 1 other sibling died young

He married Edith Lily Rose Cooper (b 1895) on 17 Nov 1917 whilst on convalescent leave. She married again in 1921 after Herbert’s death. 

The 1881 Census records the family living at The Island, Tilshead.  

  • Frank and Rosanna with Bessie, George, Fanny, Herbert and Louisa.

The 1891 Census shows the family still in Tilshead.

  • Francis (Frank) and Rosanna with George, Fanny, Herbert, Louisa, Edwin, Laura and Henry.

The 1901 Census records them at The Lane, Tilshead

  • Frank and Rosanna with Herbert, Laura, Elwin, Henry and William.

By 1911 the majority of Herbert’s siblings have flown the nest.

  • Frank and Rose (Rosanna) are in Tilshead with just Herbert and William. 

Herbert’s Service Record

  • 2 Dec 1915 – Enlisted/Attested – Devizes – 5079 – Posted Reserve 8th Reserve Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment (RWR) aged 38
  • 22 Mar 1916 – 21 Jul 16 – Mobilised and completed basic training.
  • 22 Jul 1916 – 1 Mar 1917 – Served with the British Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders.
  • 1 Sep 1916 – Evacuated to 1/1 5th Medical Field Ambulance with Pyrexia (or Trench Fever).

Trench fever, often classed as “pyrexia”, is a condition that was first reported from troops in Flanders in 1915, when individuals suffered from a febrile illness that relapsed in five-day cycles. At the time, the cause of the disease was unknown.

It is estimated to have affected 380,000 to 520,000 members of the British army and had a debilitating effect, leaving a large numbers of men incapacitated.

A lot of research was carried out by the British and US to identify the cause and mechanism of transmission.

Due to its similarity to Malaria, many thought that lice were the cause, but attempts to find a treatment were not successful, and efforts to prevention were mainly focused in using insecticides to delouse clothing.

  • 6 Sep 1916 – Evacuated to 4 Casualty Clearing Station and then by Train to 1st Canadian General Hospital in ETAPLES.
  • 17 Feb 1917 – Contracted Malaria Evacuated to 1/1 5th Med Fd Amb (see Medical Record below)
  • 18 Feb 1917 – Transferred to 1st Australian General Field Hospital in Rouen
  • 1 Mar 1917 – Transferred to England
  • 2 Mar 17 – 18 Jan 18 – England and Ireland for treatment and convalescence (married 17 Nov 1917)
  • 29 Nov 1917 – Taken on Strength 7th Res Bn RWR from Convalescence Depot in Ireland
  • 18 Jan 1918 – Transferred to Base Depot in France
  • 19 Jan 1918 – 24 Aug 1918 – British Expeditionary Force
  • 22 Jan 1918 – Transferred to 16th Battalion RWR
  • 24 Jan 1918 – joined unit in the field
  • 8 Jun 1918 – Evacuated to 13th Field Ambulance with Pyrexia (Unknown Origin)
  • 20 Jun 1918 – Transferred to 30th General Hospital
  • 26 Jun 1918 – Transferred to 7th Convalescent Depot
  • 8 Jul 1918 – Posted 15th Battalion RWR in the 13th Infantry Brigade of 5th Division.
  • 13 Jul 1918 – Joined Unit
  • 14 August 1918 – 5th Division was withdrawn for rest and placed in GHQ Reserve. Two weeks later it entered into what became a series of complex, endless, overlapping Allied attacks that forced the German Army into retreat.
  • 23rd August 1918 the 13th Infantry Brigade War Diary reports:

TRENCHES L 17 b 8/5 In confirmation of verbal instructions given to COs OO 213 (operation Order) was issued.  At 11 am Bde HQ moved forward to L 17 b 8/5.

By noon Battalions were in position for attack carried out by 95th and 15th Inf Bdes.  The 13th Inf Bde was to pass through the two Bdes and exploit success. The 15th and 95th Inf Bdes were to have captured IRLES and ridge running NE of IRLES.  Orders were issued and preparations were made for the attack at 5.30 pm and Bdes commenced move forward to assembly positions.  Shortly after issue of orders and movement of Battalions information was received that IRLES had not been captured.  Orders eventually received for the 13th Inf Bde to attack with objectives GREVILLERS, LOUPART WOOD and IRLES.  The attack was launched under great difficulties at 7.30 pm.  The attack was completely successful and by nightfall 14 RWR and 15 RWR were established on high ground NW of LOUPART WOOD and RWR had captured IRLES and established themselves on eastern side of village.  (see report appx X). Over 700 prisoners, several guns and a considerable number of Machine Guns and Trench Mortars were captured during these operations.

  • 23 August 1918 – 15th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment War Diary Reports:

Operation Order No 213 received.  5th Division will attack in conjunction with 37th Division on left and New Zealand Division on the right.

Objective Red dotted Line.

11.00 am 15 RWR with one section of A Coy 5th Machine Gun Battalion attached moved from assembly area L11 a L10b and L10a.  Bn HQ at L10 a 8/1.

2.30 pm 15 RWR with MG Section move to assembly area east of ACHIET LE PETIT.

4.00 pm Bn HQ in position and established at G 14 c 33

7.05 pm Verbal orders 13th Inf Bde will carry out an immediate attack with 1st R West Kent Regt on the right 14 RWR Centre and 15 RWR on left

15 RWR will attack and capture high ground commanding GREVILLERS

Assy Area G21 a and b

Zero Hour 7.30 pm

B Coy Right C Coy Left carry out the attack with D Coy in Support. A Coy in Reserve.  Coys move forthwith to assembly area in time to close with barrage. 

8.45 pm Objective gained and consolidation begun.

Prisoners and Captives included about 6 Officers and 220 ORs.

Actually counted and collected:    

4 x 4.2’’ Howitzers, 4 x 77mm Field Guns, 35 x Rifles, 1 x 3’’ Trench Mortar, 8 x Hvy MG with stands complete, 9 x Light Machine Guns, 84 Boxes MG Belts

Besides other Ordnance, munitions and stores which could not be counted or collected.

Offrs 1 x wounded, 1 x wounded at duty

ORs 3 wounded

  • 24 August 1918 – 13th Infantry Brigade War Diary Reports:

RAVINE G 19 d 9/2 at 4.15 am The New Zealand Div passed through the Brigade with objectives BAPAUME and the Brigade form a defensive flank on a line South of IRLES.  (L 3 a 9/0 to G 36 a 5/0)  15 R War R on right 14 R war R centre KOSB left. 15 R War R in position about G 28 c and d.  The day being spent consolidating this line.  Bde HQ moved to G 19 d 9/2

  • 24 August 1918 – 15th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment War Diary Reports:


1.30am 15 R War R in touch with 14 R War R on the right. Patrols sent out but no British Troops found on the left.  Defensive flanks formed with D Coy.  Line (approximately) runs in G 29a and c.

Battn HQ G28 central.

Casualties – Offr 1 x Wounded ORs 7 x Killed 28 Wounded 14 Missing

Register of Soldiers Effects entry

Medical Record entry 17 Feb 1917

306744 Private Herbert Francis Kyte was probably killed in action in the early hours of 24th August 1918 during the final stages of the 15th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment assault on the high ground overlooking GREVILLERS.


War Medal 
Victory Medal

George Clegg

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