27762 Private Hubert Dennison Acomb,
9th (Service) Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers
WR176983 Sapper Arthur Acomb,
Railway Operating Department, Royal Engineers
47089 Private George Dobson Acomb,
25th (Service) Battalion (2nd Tyneside Irish), Northumberland Fusiliers
412368 Private Robert Clarence Acomb,
1 Reserve MT Depot, Royal Army Service Corps
All four of the Acomb sons served in the Army during the Great War.
George was with the Northumberland Fusiliers at the time of his death, but had previously served with the West Yorkshire Regiment; Arthur saw service with the West Yorkshire Regiment, the Leicestershire Regiment and the Royal Engineers; Hubert was killed with the Lancashire Fusiliers and Robert served with the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and the Royal Army Service Corps, but he had indicated a preference for the Royal Field Artillery on his Attestation Papers.
They were the sons of Dennison Acomb and his wife, Hannah (nee Dobson), and as well as the four boys, there was a daughter to the marriage, Violette.
Dennison Acomb was an Agricultural Labourer who married Hannah Dobson in Malton 1883. The following year, their eldest child, George, was born in Pocklington, and second son Arthur born in Full Sutton which illustrates a quite unsettled period in the lives of the members of the family, however Violette, Hubert, and Robert were all born in Topcliffe, where it appears the family settled for a period before moving to Mirfield prior to coming to Barwick in Elmet.
Robert Acomb was the youngest of the four sons and was also the last of them to join the colours.
He was conscripted in June 1918 and sent to the 53rd (Young Soldiers) Bn., Training Reserve, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. KOYLI had not raised 53 battalions, rather, all Young Soldiers battalions were designated the 53rd. From there, as was usual, he moved to the Graduated battalion, and as before, all graduated battalions were designated the 51st Bn., no matter which regiment they belonged to.
When the war ended, Robert was still with the Graduated battalion, and having lost two brothers to the war before he joined the Army, it will have come as a huge relief to him and his parents that he would not have to fight. Despite the war being over, the army was still enormous, numbering in the millions. The War Office was faced with the gargantuan task of returning volunteer and conscript soldiers back to their civilian lives, and because Robert Acomb was a young man who entered the military machine very late in the war, he would find himself well down the list of those to be demobilised and discharged.
When his time in the Graduated battalion came to an end, he was transferred to the KOYLI’s 3rd (Reserve) Battalion before being transferred to the Royal Army Service Corps for reasons of ‘Exigencies of the Service’, in other words, he was of more use to the Army as a Mechanised Transport Driver engaged in the movement of personnel, stores and equipment than he was as an infantryman with no fighting to be done. He remained with the Royal Army Service Corps until 3rd December 1919.