The story of a forgotten soldier from Shipley is being pieced together, thanks to old copies of the Telegraph & Argus.

Peter Yates has been in touch with details of his research into circumstances surrounding the death of George Motley in Ireland in 1921.

“In January 1927, the Shipley Telegraph and the Telegraph & Argus both reported on an impressive military funeral that had recently taken place in Shipley,” says Peter.

“Private George Motley, 20, the son of Mr Thomas and Mrs Elizabeth Motley, of Hargreaves Street, Shipley, was laid to rest at Nab Wood Cemetery with full military honours.

“But unlike other soldiers of the period, George Motley is not commemorated, nor his grave recorded on the Commonwealth War Graves Site.”

Peter says that 3379056 Private George Motley of the East Lancashire Regiment had gone missing in Ireland on April 10, 1921, during the period referred to as the Anglo-Irish War, or Irish War of Independence.

George, who was stationed in Ireland, was taken out of a pub in Hedford, County Kerry, and shot.

“What this young soldier was doing – as far as we know alone, in one of the most dangerous parts of Ireland for Crown Forces at the time – remains a mystery,” says Peter. “What we do know is that his body was dumped in a local bog and not recovered until early 1927, when it was returned to Yorkshire for burial.

“As Motley was sadly killed prior to the Order in Council of August 31, 1921, that declared the end of the Great War, for bureaucratic purposes he should be recorded on the Roll of Honour for this period.”

Peter is now in the process of collecting information together to present to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in order to have Private Motley commemorated appropriately.

He is seeking further details relating to the life and death of the young soldier, and wonders if Remember When? readers can help.

“So far, the information we have comes from the newspaper articles (mentioned above) and details recorded when he enlisted at Fulwood Barracks in Preston on December 8, 1919,” says Peter.

“We assume his father had died before he enlisted as his next of kin is given as Sarah Elizabeth Holt, of Padiham, his mother.

“The same lady is recorded as Mrs Mulcahey when she attended the funeral of her son in 1927.

“Prior to his enlistment, Motley is recorded as having been a labourer, but the newspaper indicates he had seen previous military service in the Great War. Alas, that is not confirmed on the enlistment document of 1919.”

Peter adds: “George Motley was not the only soldier to have died in such circumstances, but he is one of the few not commemorated. I would therefore be most grateful for any information that might help change this.”