The events of July 1916
“Men sprang to the parapet and were at once in the zone where machine gun bullets swept like rain. Here and there a man dropped back into the trench. Others fell in swathes on the parapet. A few struggled further. I think the furthest would hardly make more than a few dozen paces.” J E Yates 1/6 West Yorkshire Regt The bloodiest battle in the history of Britain started on 1 July 1916 on the Somme. Although news of the casualties hardly reached the Shipley Times & Express by 7 July, from then on the paper was dominated by stories of local men who had been killed or wounded or were missing. We have tried to replicate that coverage to give a glimpse of the kind of impact it must have had on the community. Of course at home normal life continued but it is hard to imagine that the events in France were ever long out of people’s minds. The links here will take you to pages containing stories published exactly 100 years before. The headlines shown are only a taste of the stories that appear on that page.
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7 July 1916
- Windhill vicar writes from the Front Line - Letters home from “Eccleshill Road” - Serving men condemn striking miners
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- Sunday School treat ended by storm - Belgian pupils praised - Court is lenient with respectable lad
- Killed after just two days in the trenches - Civilian distress shames ‘shirkers’ at home - POWs give the view from the other side
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  - Time to clamp down on boys’ smoking   - Puzzle over national anthem origins   - Big hitting by Saltaire batsman Schofe
- Killed after just two days in the trenches - Civilian distress shames ‘shirkers’ at home - POWs give the view from the other side
- Emotional send off to the Somme - Idle hears of first Somme casualties - Naturalised butcher fights conscription
Among the first casualties of the ‘Big Push’
14 July 1916
- Churches combine to honour troops - It’s worse when you know the lads who died - Roll of Honour R-W
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A gallery of casualties - the faces of 59 local men killed, wounded or missing after the Battle of the  Somme
- Killed after just two days in the trenches - Civilian distress shames ‘shirkers’ at home - POWs give the view from the other side
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  - I’m glad I’m among the first ‘over the top’   - Saved by my bible and looking glass   - Roll of Honour A-E
- Tribunal hears conscience appeals - Insight in working of local newsagent - Council to go it alone on town planning
- Men did extraordinary things, the testimony of a West Yorkshire soldier - Roll of Honour F-P
Hardly anyone in the Shipley area would not have known at least one of the men who featured in the Shipley Times & Express’s Roll of Honour. In almost two years of war there had been nothing to match to toll of casualties that followed the fateful attack of 1 July
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21 July 1916
- Isabel Salt on the lessons of the war - Idle men urged to join Volunteer Force - Committee formed to encourage saving
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For the second week in a row the Shipley Times & Express carried a gallery of photos of casualties of the Somme
The newspaper also featured some of the stories of the men who had been killed, wounded or were missing.
- Thackley mill fire causes extensive damage - Idle women take on counselling role - Windhill Liberals celebrate coming of age
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28 July 1916
- Conscientious Objector challenged - Origins of the names Wrose and Idle - Windhill’s ‘only clogger’ seeks exemption
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A smaller gallery of Somme casualties this week and only brief details Rev Burdett on the price paid by women
- Two soldiers die, toiling in the sun - From the trenches to the cricket pitch - Sympathy but no cash for teacher’s family
- Many Rhodes lead to boost in funds - Absent scholars hit council revenues - Concerts lift spirits in France
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