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Who is Private Riley?

Who is Private Riley?

When I visited the Amersfoort catholic cemetery, this war grave from the first world war was an unexpected find. Private J. Riley, from the East Lancashire Regiment, died in 1919 – after the war – and was buried in Amersfoort.

There are many war graves from the second world war (1939/40-1945) in The Netherlands, but very few from the first world war (1914-1918). The Netherlands were officially neutral, and there have been no battles on Dutch soil. Many English soldiers who were involved in the defense of Antwerp fled to Holland after Antwerp fell, though. They were disarmed and placed in internment camps until the end of the war. One of those camps was in Amersfoort. Maybe Private Riley was one of them, though I am unable to find any proof on the web that the East Lancashire Regiment was involved in the defense of Antwerp.

Death certificate of Joseph Riley, Amersfoort

Death certificate of Joseph Riley, Amersfoort

Riley’s death certificate is available on the Digital Family Tree of Amersfoort and the Eemland region. It states that Joseph Riley, 27, born in Rochdale, England, resident of Burnley, England, son of Walter and Margaret Riley, died on 14 January 1919 at 10 p.m.

A Google search for joseph riley 4429 leads to Andrew Gill’s website Burnley in the Great War, where I find a list of Burnley residents that served in the great war, including “Joseph Riley, 4429, Pte, 1 E Lan R 11 Bde 4 Div, 1 Pheasant Court”. No further information about Joseph Riley, but an e-mail is on its way to Andrew Gill.

If anyone has any information about Private Riley, or tips on how to research his military career, please leave a comment below or get in touch.

UPDATE: I have received additional information on Private Joseph Riley – read my follow-up post.

Grave of Joseph Riley, RC Cemetery "Onze Lieve Vrouwe", Amersfoort

Grave of Private Joseph Riley

Grave of Joseph Riley, RC Cemetery "Onze Lieve Vrouwe", Amersfoort

Inscription

RC Cemetery "Onze Lieve Vrouwe", Amersfoort

Sign at the cemetery entrance

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  1. Who is Private Riley? – part two | A glimpse of the world through the eyes of Henk van Kampen. - […] post is a follow-up to last week’s post Who is Private Riley?. You may want to read last week’s…

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