Friday 20 October 1916
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Mr J H Potter of Shipley, who has been promoted to Warrant Officer, Class 1, Regular Forces. He has been an ambulance man for over 20 years and on the outbreak of war went to the Continent in charge of E Bearer Company.
Shipley ambulance man promoted
Greengates mourns the death of Semon Van Calster, one of the Belgian visitors who had been staying along with her people at Greengates during the last year. On ‘flag days’ she was a prominent figure at the Greengates tram terminus where she collected large sums of money. She was only 23 years of age. The funeral took place on Thursday afternoon at the Scholemoor Cemetery.
23-year-old Belgian  woman dies in exile
Pte William Watmough of Thackley sent back long letters describing his experiences with the Frontiersmen’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers in Africa. This excerpt describes a brief visit to Cape Town. In the early hours of August 5th, while the men were in their hammocks, the Suffolk entered Table Bay. It was daylight before she passed into the harbour of Cape Town. All on board were up early in order to see the coast of Africa at sunrise. The lights of the shore were visible and the lighthouse blinked us welcome. As dawn broke with its Eastern suddenness and gorgeousness, Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and the surrounding hills became sharply outlined against the sky. The light improving and the boat drawing nearer to the beach, we stood on deck simply awed by the beauty of Cape Town and its harbour nestling beneath the mountains. The sun was shining full upon the town which stretches along the coast from Lions Head towards the West, Table Mountain rearing precipitously behind. Wonders of the world Table Mountain, bare rock at its summit, its base flat topped, and standing, I believe, over 4,500 feet above sea level, is one of the wonders of the world! It certainly makes the approach to the capital of Cape Colony picturesque to a degree and far superior to anything I have ever seen in England. As the Suffolk headed for the harbour, a steamer passed us on its way to Japan and aquatic birds innumerable flew and screamed around the vessel. These were common gulls, black- backed gulls, albatross, petrels, divers, Cape pigeons etc.
Summer clothing The harbour was alive with shipping. Directly alongside us was an immense Australian being coaled by natives – huge fellows compared with the blacks we saw a Dakar. Although it is winter in Africa, the weather at Cape Town was superior of that of our own summer and the people were wearing what we in England should describe as summer clothing. Immediately we landed, copies of the Cape Times, cigarettes and matches were brought on board and distributed free. At noon we marched ashore. Passing through the docks gave me an impression of dirtiness and untidiness. Things did not seem up to the standard of the great English ports. But as I only saw a section of the docks, it is possible that my opinion is an unjust one. The remainder of the city was exceedingly clean and attractive. From the docks we marched into Adderley Street, the principal shopping thoroughfare. The crowds cheered and waved to us as we went along – as they did all along the route in fact. Our reception made one thrill with the pride of being in khaki and a British soldier. The girls, of which Cape Town can boast, were particularly
demonstrative. They rushed to the windows and on to the verandahs, throwing cigarettes and notes of good cheer. Black boys ran at the side of the line of troops, selling oranges, crayfish, chocolates, cigarettes, silver leaves, post cards etc. From the busy parts of the city we proceeded to the Gardens at the foot of Table Mountain and marched up Government Avenue. In the Gardens, amongst other superb buildings, were the residence of the Governor and the Union Houses of Parliament, both of classic architecture. Following a halt in the Gardens, we passed into the residential quarter where there are many magnificent residences – the homes of wealthy South Africans – and so back to the ship from which we had been absent about two hours. Bungalows Cape Town appears to be a delightful place in which to live. Its houses and other buildings – that is in the modern parts of the city – are somewhat similar to those of England, though each, even the shops, possesses a stoop. Bungalows are popular. The business and shopping streets are attractive. In many cases they are bordered with trees. Hottentots and other natives, in European dress, are to be seen everywhere. The hansom cab is still in vogue and motor cars, mainly American, are not numerous. The horses reminded me of the Yankee trotter. Mules were more plentiful than horses and I saw several teams of four drawing heavy drays. Their drivers were natives, wearing smocks and Cape hats (slouch). We sailed at 5 p.m.
Adderley Street, Cape Town c1900
Thackley lad’s impression of Cape Town
John Wright, an 18-year-old Shipley warehouseman was charged with stealing from his employers, Wilson & Tattersall Zilla Simpson, 21, of 14 Briggate, who had lived in Shipley for 14 months, was charged with receiving the stolen goods. Both prisoners pleaded not guilty Inspector Burgin told the court that Wright had been working for the firm for three months and that for the past six weeks he had stolen eight pounds of black and white wool, some cleaning cloths, one box of carbon paper, a piece of leather and a certain amount of stationery. The whole was valued at about £4. P.C. Quinn later visited Wright’s home and found a part of the stolen goods, the remainder being recovered from Simpson’s home. Giving evidence Mr Tattersall, one of
the employers, said that suspicion had fallen on Wright and when he questioned him, the prisoner had admitted taking the goods and said he would return them. Been out for walks Questioned by the court, Simpson said that she had got to know the prisoner Wright by standing at street corners. She had been out for walks with him a few times. He first brought the wool to her as a present and she afterwards got suspicious and advised him not to bring any more. Wright was sent to prison for three months with hard labour and Simpson was put under probation for 12 months. The chairman of the magistrates added that the woman had been given the chance of a lifetime and advised her to be careful and get into decent company in future.
Jailed for stealing ‘gifts’ for girl
At a meeting on Wednesday of the North Bierley Board of Guardians it was agreed to adopt recommendations by a special sub-committee and by the Finance Committee, providing that the extra outdoor relief at present allowed be increased from 6d to 1s per week for each adult and from 3d to 5d for each child, and also that an extra allowance of 1s per week to householders for coal be continued until April 30th next year. Unless very exceptional new circumstances arise, the first named extra allowance is to continue for the duration of the war. During the half year the increase will absorb £400 which is not provided for in the estimates. It was resolved that in future no proposal involving expenditure out of revenue exceeding £100 shall be brought forward except in the months of February and August.
Increase in relief paid to the poor
Shipley Golf Club were doing their ‘bit’ for the war effort. The club invited wounded soldiers at Saltaire Hospital to ‘make use of the Moorhead links at any time when the weather is favourable’ and the secretary, Mr T Salter, put out a request for the address of ‘any old caddie now in the army or navy. It is particularly desired to have a complete list of names of members and caddies for the Christmas Box parcels.’
Search for old caddies
Edward Packard, a soldier, was charged at Bradford West Riding Police Court, with begging and assaulting P.C. Wilson at Shipley, and also with being an absentee. He had a bad record and was sent to prison for three months. Arising out of the same case, Lavinia Packard, a married woman, of Shipley, was summoned for obstructing the police. She was ordered to pay costs.
Absentee soldier jailed
Co-ordination needed to ensure all serving men receive ‘comforts’
An effort is being made to secure concerted action in the provision of parcels to soldiers and sailors who have enlisted from the Shipley district. The general public, we think, will agree that such a scheme should, if at all possible, be adopted. At present there are probably no fewer than a score of different organisations forwarding from time to time parcels to their friends who are serving with the colours and, in addition, there is a Central Committee with a large list of men whom they consider are entitled to special treatment. Lucky With all these organisations at work with one object in mind, it follows that a considerable number of men on active service are receiving many parcels whilst others think themselves lucky if they receive one. It is only by concerted action and the formation of an organisation dealing with the whole of the district that anything like uniformity can be obtained. If the insular feeling on the part of religious and a few other bodies could be put on one side, it would be to the good of those who are fighting our battles. The adoption of such a scheme would mean that in due time there would be an accurate record of every soldier and sailor from the township and it would then be the duty of the Central Committee to keep in constant touch with them and to see that no reasonable want was overlooked. Let us hope that all organisations will fall in with the scheme and help to bring about that desirable state of affairs I which nobody will be left out in the cold.
Although only started four weeks ago, the Social and Pleasant Evenings movement at the Parish Church has made remarkable progress. Up to date no fewer than 68 members have been obtained. It is hoped to continue the work throughout the winter, the object being to keep the girls usefully employed on dark nights.
Keeping girls usefully employed on dark nights
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