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Issac Levy MM & Bar "Fred"

September 1898

Basic Information

Unique reference:


Date of birth:
September 1898
Place of birth:


Died in combat?:



Family home:
78 Newport road Middlesborough (17 September 1914)
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Personal Journey map
Issac Levy MM & Bar

A month after war with Germany had been declared in August 1914 Isaac enlisted as a Private in the 4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment by lying about his age saying he was 18 years and 11 months old which was three years older than he really was. As the minimum age for enlistment was at that time 19 years Isaac had become one of Britain’s 250,000 underage boy soldiers. Isaac was described on his application form as being 5 feet 4 ½ inches tall, stout, strong and wearing glasses.

Two weeks before his Regiment was posted to France on 10 October 1915 Herman wrote to his son’s Commanding Officer saying that Isaac had made a false declaration as to his age and asked for his immediate discharge. He also enclosed a copy of Isaac’s birth certificate.
Herman received two replies, the first on 9 October 1915 saying that his age on enlistment was 18 years 11 months which was his official age for military purposes and had been passed fit by the medical authorities for overseas.

The second letter dated 14 October 1915 said that the Regiment “could take no further steps in discharging your son 2535 Private I Levy as he gave his age as 18 years 11 months. He was attested on September 17th 1914 and his official age is now 20 years. War office Authority states that “when the age according to attestation is 19 he will be held to serve.””

Herman then wrote a second letter on the 18 October in which he referred to section (vi) of paragraph 292 of the Kings regulations which refers to a soldier having made a mis-statement as to age on enlistment and applies only to a soldier serving in the United Kingdom, who, on enlistment, stated his age as 18 years, or upwards, and for whose free discharge application is made by his parents, on the ground that he is less than 18 years of age.

Herman again for Isaac’s discharge and his return to England or to be assigned to home defence duties until he attained the age of nineteen. The Army refused his request saying that “according to War Office instruction, men who are over the age of 17, and who according to the age given on enlistment are now 19 are to be held fit to serve.” The letter continued” If your son is unfit for service abroad in the opinion of the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, he will no doubt be sent home”.

Researched for 'We were there Too' by Dr Ronnie Fraser



Harry Levy (male)
Annie Levy (female)
Jessie Levy (female)
Wilfred Levy (male)
Bernard Levy (male)
Gertie Levy (female)


Father: Herman Levy (male)
Mother: Leah Levy (female)

Military Record

Military service:
4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment and the Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment
Military record no.:
2535 and 235629
Date enlisted/conscripted:
17 September 1914
Date discharged/death:
23 April 1919
Rank at discharge/death:
Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment
Isaac served in the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment which saw service in 1916 on the Somme, the Flanders coast and the third battle of Ypres in 1917 and in 1918 the battle of Bapaume and the first battle of Arras. The Regiment entered Germany in December 1918 and took over the area around Schleiden.

In September 1918 Isaac was promoted to Corporal and the following year he was awarded the Military Medal (MM) for bravery in battle. He was then promoted to acting Sergeant and awarded a Bar to his MM. He was demobilised from the Army in April 1919.


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London Jews in the First World War - We Were There Too

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