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1796: Maj Herbert Humphries Weller (photograph)

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posted on 2024-01-16, 13:47 authored by Lest We Forget Project Team

Herbert was the Grandpa of Sara Hargreaves, a Menston resident. He was born in 1897 and known as Bert to his friends. Herbert joined the Army in 1914 and lied about his age! He was aged 17 at the time and had a Manchester terrier who followed him everywhere! The family home was in East Grinstead, Sussex.

He joined the Royal Flying Corps (Sussex Regiment) where he learned to fly Bristol fighter aeroplanes and became a Captain. After crashing three times, he decided to go back into the army and he was posted to Istanbul. He became a spy and his mission was to find out if the White Russians were on the German side or the British side. He had a forged passport and learned to speak Russian. During his time behind enemy lines, his regiment experienced a severe winter and they were forced to kill and eat their horses. Amazingly, he managed to keep his terrier.

Unfortunately, their mission was compromised so they had to make a hasty escape on a train back to safety. This was the last time Captain Weller saw his dog. He was distressed to see his dog running alongside the train as it was leaving. After his experiences in Russia, he became a Major.

Major Weller survived the First World War and was awarded several medals. During the Second World War, he ran the Leek Home Guards. He died in 1972 and was cremated. There is a memorial stone at Cheddleton Church, Leek.


Name of contributor(s)


Subject of the story/individual the object(s) relate to

Maj Herbert Humphries Weller

Date(s) the event(s) in the story took place

1914 - 1918

Location(s) where the event(s) in the story took place

Istanbul, Russia


Photograph of Major Weller

Community Collection Day

St. John's Parish Room, Menston, Ilkley (03/11/18)

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