The events of December 1915
With the second Christmas of the war came the reminder that it had been expected that it would have all ended in triumph twelve months before and yet there was still not sign of it coming to an end. Casualties were an everyday occurrence and some of the letters home with descriptions of the trenches in winter, reminded those at home just how tough it was for the troops. And yet there was little call for peace. Indeed, when Ramsay MacDonald, one of the leading advocates of seeking a peaceful outcome, was invited to speak at Rosse Street Brotherhood, there was such an outcry that the meeting was cancelled. There was plenty of encouragement for yet more men to attest for service under Lord Derby’s scheme to ensure there would be plenty of men to carry on the fight. However, one or two voices were raised to remind government that as important as recruits were, it would be a mistake to conscript so many that the industry that provided the cash to fund the war were so depleted they became ineffective. There were plenty of reports of women and young girls ‘doing their bit’ by fund raising and providing Christmas gifts for the troops, but the newer role for women, that of filling the jobs left by serving men, was becoming increasingly important and a local college started courses to train the women for their new jobs. Despite the usual special treats for workhouse inmates, the general view was that Christmas 1915 was more sombre than usual. The links below will take you to a digest of stories from the Shipley Times & Express, exactly 100 years after they first appeared. The headlines only represent a few of the stories covered.
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3 December 1915
PAGE 1 PAGE 1
- Windhill vicar writes from the Front Line - Letters home from “Eccleshill Road” - Serving men condemn striking miners
- Five shilling pension not enough - Saltaire girls do their bit - Horrific death of teenage dye worker
- Killed after just two days in the trenches - Civilian distress shames ‘shirkers’ at home - POWs give the view from the other side
 - Shipley opposes peace advocate’s visit  - College gears up to prepare women for work  - Ladies impose austerity on MP
PAGE 2 PAGE 2
- Killed after just two days in the trenches - Civilian distress shames ‘shirkers’ at home - POWs give the view from the other side
PAGE 3 PAGE 3
- Veteran sets a good example - Trench warfare is wet and exhausting - Resilience of civilians at the front
10 December 1915
PAGE 1 PAGE 1
- Windhill vicar writes from the Front Line - Letters home from “Eccleshill Road” - Serving men condemn striking miners
- Pressure on single men to sign up - Praise for example set by women - No candle in pony and  trap light
- Killed after just two days in the trenches - Civilian distress shames ‘shirkers’ at home - POWs give the view from the other side
  - Companies condemned for relief snub   - History will judge those who do not fight   - Khaki wedding
PAGE 2 PAGE 2
- Killed after just two days in the trenches - Civilian distress shames ‘shirkers’ at home - POWs give the view from the other side
PAGE 3 PAGE 3
- Windhill Co-op trio sign up - Local heroes rewarded - Humour and heartache for Volunteer Force
17 December 1915
PAGE 1 PAGE 1
- Windhill vicar writes from the Front Line - Letters home from “Eccleshill Road” - Serving men condemn striking miners
- Row over cinema plans at Victoria Hall - Bishop wrong to want to ban ‘fragrant weed’ - Brave porter halts runaway car
- Killed after just two days in the trenches - Civilian distress shames ‘shirkers’ at home - POWs give the view from the other side
  - Comforts in a different kind of war   - T’Yorkshireman i’ London   - MacDonald visits Shipley despite ban
PAGE 2 PAGE 2
- Killed after just two days in the trenches - Civilian distress shames ‘shirkers’ at home - POWs give the view from the other side
PAGE 3 PAGE 3
- Father’s dash to be at his son’s side - Feeling pity for the enemy - Experience of being bombed from the air
24 December 1915
PAGE 1 PAGE 1
- Windhill vicar writes from the Front Line - Letters home from “Eccleshill Road” - Serving men condemn striking miners
- Matron served for 18 years - Steam taking over from horse power - Rats scupper moment of glory
- Killed after just two days in the trenches - Civilian distress shames ‘shirkers’ at home - POWs give the view from the other side
  - Christmas shopping, wives and frying pans   - Shipley should have child welfare centre   - Sweet stall plan stalled
PAGE 2 PAGE 2
- Killed after just two days in the trenches - Civilian distress shames ‘shirkers’ at home - POWs give the view from the other side
PAGE 3 PAGE 3
- Ambulance men step up to serve - Saltaire family at war - New life put on hold to fight for England
31 December 1915
PAGE 1 PAGE 1
- Windhill vicar writes from the Front Line - Letters home from “Eccleshill Road” - Serving men condemn striking miners
- Sombre mood pervades festive time - Good food and cheer at the workhouse - Treats for hospital in-patients
- Killed after just two days in the trenches - Civilian distress shames ‘shirkers’ at home - POWs give the view from the other side
  - Women suited for domestic ideal   - Shipley MP warns not to neglect exports   - Jam jars boost distress fund
PAGE 2 PAGE 2
- Killed after just two days in the trenches - Civilian distress shames ‘shirkers’ at home - POWs give the view from the other side
PAGE 3 PAGE 3
- Soldiers complain about missing fighting - It’s a bit like Shipley Glen here - Volunteer Force had a successful year