Friday 18 August 1916
L Cpl Watmough
Allan Firth
Dr E Firth
Br H Firth
Pte T Firth
The accompanying portrait shows four brothers, sons of Mr and Mrs Peter Firth, of 6 Moorside Place, Eccleshill – and their cousin, elder son of Mrs Watmough of 17 Railway Place, Idle. Pte Tom Firth, KOYLI, was reported missing after the retreat from Mons. It was thought that he had made the supreme sacrifice and his parents and friends attended a memorial service. Subsequently, however, a letter was received from him saying that he was a prisoner of war in Germany. He was taken prisoner at the same time as Sgt Major Wm Booth of Idle. When war broke out, he had been a soldier for three years. His brother, Bombardier Harry Firth is in the Garrison Artillery and he too is a regular. He has been wounded and is not yet quite better. He has been in France ever since the outbreak of hostilities. Driver Ernest Firth RFA joined the forces since the war began and is still in training. Allan Firth, the youngest brother, is in the Royal Navy and is a member of the crew of HMS Powerful. He is 17 years of age and joined the colours a year ago. L Cpl Tom Watmough of Idle joined the army when only 15 years of age and although only 16 now, he is a clever drill instructor. He was formerly connected with the Idle Parish Church Boys’ Brigade of which Mr John Garnett of Cavendish Road, Idle, is the captain.
Mr Isaac Lindow, clerk to Shipley District Council, and Mrs Lindow, who reside at Merlewood, Nab Wood, Shipley, received a telegram from the War Office on Monday stating that their only son, Sec- Lieut Edwin Lindow (right) had died of wounds on August 11th. Sec-Lieut Lindow enlisted as a private in the 1st Bradford ‘Pals’ Battalion soon after the outbreak of the war and was promoted to non- commissioned rank. In July of last year he obtained his commission and joined the Oxford University Officers’ Training Corps, passing his examinations with credit. He was gazetted to a Dorset regiment and was stationed at Weymouth until February of this year when he went out to France. Wounded During the present British offensive he had been in several severe engagements. A few weeks ago he was wounded on the hand by a piece
of shell but made light of the injury and did not go off duty. On another occasion he and a number of his men were isolated in a wood for eleven hours and when they regained the lines Lieut Lindow found that the had been posted as missing. No details are yet to hand of the wounds which have proved fatal. Lieut Lindow, who was 23 years of age, was educated at the Salt Schools, Shipley and held an appointment at the Labour Exchange before the war. He was highly esteemed by a large circle of friends and his personality was such that there is little wonder that he was one of the most popular of officers. Many letters of sympathy have been received by Mr and Mrs Lindow on their great loss. At a meeting at Somerset House, Shipley, on Tuesday night, Coun. Thos. Hill (chairman of the Shipley District Council) made sympathetic reference to the loss sustained by Mr and Mrs Lindow. Lieutenant Lindow, he said, was one of the first of the Shipley young men to answer the call of
duty. By a silent vote it was agreed that a letter should be sent expressing deep sympathy with Mr and Mrs Lindow. Merry meals Sec-Lieut Schofield, of Shipley, who was slightly wounded some time ago, has written a letter to Mr and Mrs Lindow in which he says – “I was deeply grieved to hear of the death of your son and offer you my sincerest sympathy. “As an old ‘Pal’ and a Dorset officer, I knew Ted intimately and had a great affection for him. There were about half a dozen North Country men in the Dorsets and the merry meals we had together night after night in mess will always be one of my happiest memories. “Ted was the life and soul of the party and I was proud to be his friend and had looked forward to keeping alive our friendship after the war. On parade he was a very smart and capable officer and off parade his genial nature made him beloved by everyone. “He died as he had lived, a very gallant gentleman. His fine character will ever be a tender and beautiful memory.”
Salts Old Boy makes the supreme sacrifice
Pte John William Pickard, Duke of Wellington’s Own, 16 Hampton Place, Idle, who is seen in the above picture with his friend, has been badly wounded in the arm but he still declares that he is not down-hearted. He thinks a great deal of the Anzacs and he did his best to do them honour by wearing their headgear when caught by the camera lens. ‘I might as well look a “knut”,’ he said, as he donned the hat worn by our sons across the sea. His wife says she wishes she could have a go at the Bosches; she would help to give them what they truly deserve – a sound thrashing
Honorary Knut wounded
Pte Edgar Wilson (right), Central School House, Shipley, and of Machine Gun Company, was killed on August 7th. He was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs T Wilson and had for some time been a prominent worker at the Saltaire Road Primitive Methodist Church, Shipley, being one of the secretaries of the Sunday School. With a bright and cheerful disposition, he was greatly esteemed by a large circle of friends who will be deeply grieved to hear of his death. His officer has written to the parents expressing high appreciation of the deceased soldier’s excellent qualities. ‘It is my painful duty to have to inform you of the death of your son, who was killed on August 7th. It may be some consolation to you to know that his death, which occurred at 4 o’clock in the morning was
instantaneous owing to a shell alighting on the gun and killing your son and three of his comrades and wounding several others. ‘As commandant of the section in which your son was in I can only say that I always found him a very clever fellow and a great favourite with his comrades. I hope you will accept my sincerest sympathy in your sad bereavement.’ Mention of the sad event was made in the Primitive Methodist Sunday School on Sunday. It is hoped to hold a memorial service on the 27th of this month for the deceased soldier, together with L Cpl Hustwit, whose death is also announced. A sister of Pte Wilson, Miss Annie Wilson, is also serving as a nurse and at present is stationed at the Morton Bank Military Hospital, near Bingley.
Sunday School secretary KIA
Pte Fred Priestley, on of the local ambulance men who had volunteered for service overseas, wrote from Malta to a friend in Eccleshill, expressing his pride and sorrow at the news coming back from the Somme. “We know how painful their wounds must be and our only wish is that they will soon be restored to good health. We out here have watched their work and we are all delighted that they have proved themselves second to none. Good luck to all the boys. They are made of the right stuff.” Cricket He concludes the letter with remarks on his own position. “None of us regrets coming out as we had one wish and that was to be of service to the lads of Bradford. “We are in good health and faces which were pale 14 months ago are now flushed as the result of the heat of the Mediterranean sun. I have been having a few games at cricket and have made scores of 18, 57, 55, 24, 64, 63 so you will see I am in good form.”
The view from Malta
Pte Willie Watmough wrote to a friend in Eccleshill describing life on board a troopship heading for Africa. “The troop train brought us directly alongside our transport, berthed at one of the England’s great naval bases. The ship was packed with soldiers and sailors east-ward bound and of all branches of the service. “We did not sail that night but at 6 a.m. next morning our transport left her moorings. Clad only in shirts and trousers, we rushed on deck to secure a last glimpse of old England. “At the same time, out of their docks on either side of the harbour there quietly glided the two destroyers which were to form our escort. With those iron greyhounds leading us, our ship headed for the open sea. Never-to-be-forgotten “There was not a man on board our boat who was not thrilled to his innermost being as the shores of the homeland gradually became submerged in the soft early morning mist which mantled the break on that to us never-to-be-forgotten dawn.” He reported that the sea had been calm with only a few men suffering from sea-sickness but some had trouble with the sleeping arrangements. “A hammock, by the way, makes a comfortable rest when you get into it but it takes a darned lot of getting into! On our first night it was a pantomime. Some chaps fell out as quickly as they got in and a few never did get settled but slept on the floor. “The sea is of a deep and transparent blue. The weather is becoming hotter and hotter. We are not allowed to go on deck unless we wear some head covering and we are all gradually casting our underclothing. Already we have little clothing left. Porpoises Of twilight there is none. Darkness comes on so rapidly as though a giant curtain were instantly drawn across the Heavens. Yesterday a parraquet flew on to the boat and porpoises and flying fish are a common sight.” He described the daily routine: “One day is almost exactly similar to another. We arise about 5 a.m. – the best hour of the day, when the air is like cream and the sun rising over the horizon is a sight for the gods. Before breakfast we roll up our hammocks, bathe, wash, dress and shave. “Breakfast at 7 consists of porridge, bread, jam, coffee and occasionally meat. At 11 there is Grand Round when the captain of the ship – who is in supreme command on board – and the military officers inspect the mess tables and the men. “Dinner at 12 is the best meal of the day, the usual menu being soup, roast meat, potatoes and green vegetables and now and again pudding. Swedish drill “At 3 there is usually, not always, another parade for inspection of rifles or something similar and sometime during the day each platoon does Swedish drill for half an hour Tea at 5 comprises tea, bread and butter, jam and fruit. We have to go to our hammocks at 9 p.m.” There were some duties to perform but “generally we have a lazy, peaceful time and the relaxation is welcome indeed after the months of hard training we underwent at Hounslow.” And he echoed what must have been the feelings of many men in the war: “I have not a single complaint to make and mine is not an isolated opinion; it is the general one. The life is tough and hard but as you know, I have always fancied it. I have long wanted travel of this sort but I never expected to do it as a soldier.”
Tackling hammocks is the hardest part of Willie’s trip to Africa
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