WW1



WW1

When war was declared 4 August 1914, Noel was in England, nearing the end of his first Home Leave. After 5 years in the services, Home Leave of one year was granted.  When Noel was due to return to his base in India and The East Yorkshire Regiment , he would face a Court Martial for his misdemenours in 1913 - over-staying his leave, and entering a forbidden country, which is when he had reached to within 40 miles of Mount Everest.  So, although slightly apprehensive about the reception he would receive on his return to his regiment, he had formulated plans for an organised and authorised return to Everest on a reconnaisance expedition, as soon as this could be arranged, which he assumed would be in about 1915.                                                               
However, that was not to be;  he was recalled to Army duties and seconded to the 2nd Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, (K.O.Y.L.I) then stationed in Ireland, as part of the Dublin Defence Scheme.  He arrived 14 August 1914, and, within hours, was on board  S.S. Buteshire, sailing to continental Europe. The destination, Le Havre, was only disclosed on arrival off the French coast on the evening of 16 August.                                                                     

By 23 August, 2/K.O.Y.L.I. had been involved in heavy fighting to hold the Mons Canal, swiftly followed by the battle of Le Cateau, with prolonged shelling and massive casulty numbers.  There was another officer named Noel in the regiment, and one of them was injured.  Army records indicate that my father suffered severe shell injuries and was sent back to England for treatment, but he was certainly back in action at the beginning of 1915, probably with his own regiment, the East Yorkshires.  He was captured, escaped, and was wounded again;  he saw action in Ypres and the Somme, and witnessed horrifying and brutal warfare.
Thus had began another adventure - the disastrous war, which changed the course of European history, and caused the death of so many young men and women.  When peace was restored, and the Mount Everest Committee was formed to mount an expedition, Noel, luckily, was fit and able to go, and thus embarked on another momentous challenge , to prepare an assault on the highest mountain in the world.                                                                                                        





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