World War1and Shipley
How the ‘war to end all wars’ affected the people in the West Yorkshire town of Shipley and its surrounding areas
“Why did men continue to fight if the thing was so obviously merely cruel, callous and futile? But continue to fight they did and their families continued to support them and to suffer the separation, the anxiety, the rationing and the rest of the privations of wartime. They endured to victory. “To understand how this was possible we need to get beyond the trite observation that the deaths of Uncle Charlie and his comrades were more than a tragic waste. What aggravates our ignorance is the false assumption that we do understand the First World War. “We need to cast ourselves back into the minds of these men and their families, and of their leaders, to try to inhabit the assumptions of their society rather than replace them with our own.” Jeremy Paxman, whose great uncle Charlie, from Shipley, was killed in WW1. Taken from his book Great Britain’s Great War
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This site is dedicated with thanks to the memory of ALAN PETFORD, a brilliant historian and an enthusiastic and encouraging teacher
The story of one community in time of war This site was launched in June 2014 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the shooting of Franz Ferdinand of Austria and its aim is to tell as much of the story of how the war affected Shipley and district as possible. The research centres on reports published each week in the Shipley Times & Express and while there will obviously a great deal of attention focused on the men who answered the call and in many cases made the ultimate sacrifice, we plan to give equal attention to those left behind We hope to tell the stories of the women suddenly filling jobs of departed men as well as running their home; of businesses trying to thrive in difficult conditions; of conscientious objectors who would rather face jail than fight; of refugees seeking help after fleeing the conflict in their homeland. To reflect how people in Shipley would have experienced the war, we publish each week a digest of the stories that appeared in the newspaper exactly 100 years before.
But we need your help Many families have photographs, letters, diaries or other items that help tell the story of WW1 and we would be grateful if you would share those with us so the stories can be told online and also preserved for future generations of researchers. We’ve already been given access to some wonderful material, like the few official documents that tell how Pte William Love (above right) was reported as missing, believed killed. But what the papers don’t tell us, but William’s great nephew Martin did, was that William’s widow went on several occasions searching the cemeteries and asylums of Europe in the hope of finding him. “And when she died we found that she had simply banked her meagre war widows’ pension in  case he came back and she had to repay it.” Cecil Procter was far from his home in 2 Mount Place, Shipley when he died, one of the casualties when HMS Good Hope was sunk off the coast of Chile. The 30 year old First Class Stoker left a widow and three small daughters (left) and his granddaughter Sheila Morrell told us: “Life was very hard for my grandmother and she took in washing and sewing and cleaned to keep her family. she died in in 1934 in her forties.” Paul Kampen of Baildon shared a different kind of story with us. His ancestors were the van Overloop family driven out of their home in Belgium and found refuge at Laurel Mount in Baildon, just one of many Belgian families forced to flee for their lives. We already have online details of more than 250 men who fought and many more in the database waiting for more details but there are many more that we need to track down, so if you have any information at all, please get in touch. You can email richard.coomber@virginmedia.com or telephone 01274 584295 or tweet @shipleyww1
Recruitment, Conscription and Conscientious Objectors Shipley men at the Somme A tribute