Tragedy of three brothers who all lost their lives in First World War

Tragedy of three brothers who all lost their lives in First World War


Tragedy of three brothers who all lost their lives in First World War

First published in Local news Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

The tragic story of three Aireborough brothers who all died in the First World War was recounted in an American publication in 1919.

The deaths of Albert and Henry Cottrell as they tried to save each other during the slaughter at Gallipoli in 1915 were described in The American Golfer as the " saddest and most glorious sacrifice in the war."

Their brother William who had moved to America, enlisted in March 1918, and returned to fight in Europe. He was killed in the Meuse-Argonne offensive just one month before the war ended.

All three brother were professional golfers, who had moved to Guiseley from Middlesex when their father took up a post at High Royds Asylum.

Their tragic story is told on the Aireborough Historical Society website after research by Ken Roberts and Trish Restorick.

Albert and Henry had enlisted together and they died together on the battlefield.

The American Golfer reported: "Two Professionals, brothers, have made the saddest and most glorious sacrifice in the war.

Harry and Albert Cottrell were professionals respectively at Ulverston in Cumberland and at Le Touquet in France, and when the war began they met and decided that they should both join the Sherwood Foresters, to which regiment their Father had belonged.

"So they did, and in due course they went out to the war together. They went to the Dardanelles. Harry became a sergeant and Albert a corporal, and they kept together.

"In action Harry was wounded and his brother went to his assistance and began dressing the wound. While he was doing so he was shot in the head and died soon afterwards, and Harry, while attending to him, was shot a second time, and this time fatally.

"This surely is one of the strangest, saddest tragedies that have been enacted out by those dreadful Dardanelles, and the professional golfers may well claim it for honour of their kind. Shortly before he left England brave Harry Cottrell said to a friend, 'If I have to go under, I hope I shall die game, for the sake of the profession!'

"And very game did this hero die."

William had left Liverpool for America in1914 and lived in New Jersey. But he enlisted in March 1918 and returned to Europe to fight. He died on October 6 in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, which has been described as the greatest American battle of the First World War.

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