FREDERICK Harold Pilsbury was too old for war service in January 1915 but that didn’t stop him volunteering.

The 41-year-old Riddlesden man signed up for the West Riding Volunteers a few months after the First World War began.

Father-of-two Frederick, who had moved from his birth town of Stoke-on-Trent within the previous four years to work with Lloyds Bank, trained at the Stone Gappe camp in Lothersdale.

In 1916, as a newly-minted second lieutenant, he led his men to gain a proficiency shield for best-drilled platoon in the battalion.

The Keighley News reported that Frederick’s men treated the platoon commander to dinner at the Victoria Hotel with a “capital programme” of songs performed by three privates and a sergeant major.

The meal featured boiled cod with parsley sauce, and songs included The Nipper’s Lullaby and An Awful Little Scrub.

The news report stated: “The toasts included ‘6th West Riding Volunteers’, proposed by Private R Calverley, which was received with acclamation, and responded to by Mr Pilsbury, who said he felt proud at having such a lot of men under his command.”

Frederick saw out the war without injury, and died in 1954 at the age of 80 at the Charlton Nursing Home in Plymouth.