Rank:


Private

Service No(s):


7253; 25009; 225839

Regiment:


Northamptonshire

Unit:

62nd Provisional Battalion; 5th Battalion

Returned:

Yes

Place of birth:

St Pancras

Occupation:

Marine insurance broker

Date of death:

Cause of death:

Grave or panel reference:

Name of father:

Frederick Youens Palmer

Name of siblings:

Percy Frederic; Mabel Violet; Irene Lilian

Name(s) of children:

Died:

No

Date of birth:

24/10/1895

Place of enlistment:

Event:

Home; France

Age at death:

Cemetery or memorial:

Other memorial:

Name of mother:

Harriet Palmer (née Steadman)

Name of spouse:

Dorothy Nairn (née Elliott)

Address:

35, Oxford Road, Finsbury Park

Biography:

Cyril Youens Palmer was born on 24 October 1895 in St Pancras, London. He was the third of four children of Frederick Youens Palmer, a letterpress printer, and Harriett Palmer (née Steadman). Either side of Cyril’s birth, his older brother and sister both died young – Percy Frederic at the age of six months and Mabel Violet when she was five. A younger sister, Irene Lilian, was born in 1900. 

He attended Manchester Street School, now Argyle Primary School, close to where the family lived at 120 Judd Street, but by 1911 they had moved to Oxford Road, Finsbury Park. Cyril’s uncle Ernest was living with them and Cyril, now 15, was working as a clerk for a marine insurance company.

Cyril enlisted in October 1916 as a Private in the Northamptonshire Regiment and was assigned to the 62nd Provisional Battalion, a home service battalion whose duties included guarding the East Coast. The 62nd was formed of members of the 4th Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment and the 1st Cambridgeshire Regiment. They were based in Sheringham, Norfolk, and in October 1916 moved along the coast to Cley and Blakeney. Cyril was still there in June 1917 as his record indicates that he was confined to barracks in Cley for three days for having a dirty rifle on parade!

At some point he was transferred to the 5th Battalion of the Northamptonshires, part of the 12th Division of the British Expeditionary Force, and was sent to France. The Division saw much action and Cyril presumably took part but his record does not survive. We know only that in December 1918, after the Armistice, he was attached to Headquarters ‘A’ of the Division in the area east of Douai, south of Lille, where the battalion was engaged in battlefield salvage and sport until demobilisation, and was granted home leave over Christmas.

On 30 December 1918, the Eagle Star Insurance Company wrote to the Army indicating that Cyril had been in their employ prior to 4 August 1914 and that they were prepared to re-employ him as a claims clerk immediately on his return to ‘civil’ (civilian) life; indeed, they were in urgent need of his service in the marine department. The application for his release was granted by the Local Advisory Committee, part of the Wood Green Employment Exchange in north London. Cyril was demobilised and transferred to the Reserve Class Z, like many other fit men, while on leave in January 1919.

In 1929 Cyril married Dorothy Nairn Elliott at Holy Trinity Church in East Finchley. They moved to Rokesly Avenue in Hornsey and Cyril was promoted to departmental manager at Lloyds (Marine) Insurance Brokers. Dorothy’s mother came to live with them for the last years of her life and Cyril died on 19 September 1974, aged 78.