THE NATION celebrated as the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War - but there were those for whom the Armistice came just a few weeks too late.

There are many poignant cases of men who survived through major battles but lost their lives as peace came tantalisingly close.

Stories of local men who were killed in the last few weeks of the war are among those which can be found on the Ilkley Remembers facebook page. The page was set up by Edward Wild to pay tribute to Ilkley men who died as a result of the war. Among the people who have contributed to the site is military history enthusiast James Cooper.

Lieutenant Amos Clarkson was the last of the Ilkley ‘Pals’ to die during the war. He had enlisted along with 127 men from the town on August 31, 1914.

He succumbed to wounds more than four years later, at the age of 23, during one of the final attacks.

Amos, whose mother Hannah ran the Midland Hotel, was a former Ilkley Grammar School pupil.

He was awarded the Military Cross for outstanding leadership during the Battle of Messines in June 1917. On around October 19 in the following year

he was wounded as he led a patrol out into No Man’s Land to gather information about enemy positions. He was dragged back to the British lines and was evacuated to a casualty clearing station where he died on October 24.

Today Lieutenant Amos Clarkson lies in the British Military Cemetery at Delseaux Farm.

Lieutenant Godfrey Michael (Micky) Smith, of the 256th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, died of wounds, on October 28, 1918. He was 22.

Two weeks earlier his brigade had been in the front lines near to the Noyelles east of Lens when it came under persistent German counter battery fire.

The website says: “As the battery’s guns were put out of action and casualties began to mount, without a care for his own safety Micky returned to a damaged gun replaced the breech and began to return fire on the enemy. As the fighting began to subside he began to lead the gun teams away from danger but as a he did so a shell landed nearby wounding him. For his astonishing bravery he was awarded the Military Cross.”

His body lies in Ilkley Cemetery.

Captain Brian Dacre, 9th Battalion West Riding Regiment (Ilkley Pals Company) was killed in action on October 12, 1918, aged 28 years. He had volunteered during the first month of the war, and was killed a month before its end.

Brian, the son of auctioneer John William Dacre, saw action in all the major battles of 1916, 1917 and 1918. His younger brother Maurice had died whilst serving with The British West Indies Regiment. Today Captain Brian Dacre lies in the British Military Cemetery at Montay-Neuvilly Road.

Gunner William Lambert Kendall, of the 155th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery was killed in action on October 3, 1918, aged 24.

He died when his battery came under fire to the south east of Ypres. Gunner Alfred Kenway, who served in the same gun team as Bill, described the scene.

“God! What a sight met our eyes! A shell had landed right amongst the boys. It was a slaughter house – just mangled flesh and blood.”

Today Gunner William Lambert Kendall lies next to his comrades in the British Military Cemetery of Wulverghem-Lindenhoek.

Captain Norman Muller, 8th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (Leeds Rifles) was killed in action on July 28, 1918 aged 32.

Norman, whose grandfather had emigrated from Germany in the 1840’s, grew up on Margerison Road and later Denton Road in Ben Rhydding. He was killed as he led his company into action across No Man’s Land. His body lies in Chambrecy Military Cemetery.