Friday 1 September 1916
Cpl Bert Lennon, son of Mr W G Lennon of Belle Vue, Town Lane, Idle, has been killed in action. Cpl Lennon joined the forces soon after the outbreak of war and had been at the front over a year. Early he was recognised as a very smart soldier but he was not anxious for promotion and it was some time before he was prevailed upon to accept his first stripe. It was as recently as June of this year that he was made a full corporal for service in the field. He devoted himself with great enthusiasm to his duties and was deservedly very popular with his comrades, who deeply regret his death.
Death of a reluctant corporal
Letter from a Howitzer gunner on the Somme
John Joy of 49 Siege Battery, British Expeditionary Force, sent a long letter, dated 8 August, about his experiences while serving his country. I left Thackley on the 24th August 1901 at the age of 18. I joined the Royal Garrison Artillery. I proceeded to Gibraltar where “Kaiser Bill” paid us a visit in 1904. I also visited Algiers, Tangiers and Malta. In March 1906 I came to England and proceeded to Isle of Wight. In November 1910 I joined the Metropolitan Police. I took my discharge from that force in December 1913. During March 1913 I again took up the uniform at Bradford City Police where I was stationed at the outbreak of the war.
I was called to the Colours on August 4th, 1914. In August 1915, I joined 49th Siege Battery and we proceeded to Lydd where we trained on Howitzer guns. Vimy Ridge I proceeded to France on March 9th and our battery came into action on March 31st in the battle of Vimy Ridge. Here the ground was very hotly contested but we drove the Germans back. We then trekked across France and took up a position on the Somme. Our battery took a very active part in the Great Advance and was complimented twice on its accuracy and the discipline of the men under shell fire. On June 23rd we commenced to
bombard the German trenches and never ceased until August (sic) 1st when our gallant lads went over the top. The trenches were smashed up and nothing was left only large holes like small quarries and the ground reeked of dead Germans. A good many of the Germans who were took prisoners were completely paralysed. Shell shock On August 1st I was unfortunately struck with a piece of shrapnel on the head and was sent home suffering from Shell Shock. I am very pleased to say I am much better and hope before long to be doing a bit more to help to win the final victory.
Private Arnold Wilkinson of Fagley Place, Fagley, has been killed at the front. He went through the first stages of the “Big Push” successfully but succumbed later. He was a Congregational scholar at the Fagley Mission School and enlisted in the 12th West Yorks. He was employed at Lingard’s Warehouse, Bradford.
Killed in “Big Push”
DCM hero killed
Sgt John Ingham of St John Street, Charlestown, and of the West Yorkshire Regt., has been killed in action. In March of this year he was given the Distinguished Conduct Medal. A letter from Rev R Whincup, chaplain to West Yorks Regt., says: “He was one to whom I frequently talked as I went about among the men and I always found him to be considerate and kind. We shall miss him very much indeed. He has nobly taken his part in the recent great fighting which has taken place.”
Second Lieutenant Francis Victor Blackwell, only son of Mr John Blackwell and the late Mrs Blackwell, of Avondale Grove, Shipley has been awarded the Military Cross “for daring reconnaissance across No Man’s Land in daylight to within ten yards of the German front line.” Second-Lieutenant Blackwell was formerly in the Halifax Commercial Bank at Bradford and subsequently at Beckett’s Bank, Doncaster.
Pte Hainsworth wrote to Shipley Times & Express columnist Bob Stubbs: August 22nd, 1916 Dear Friend – I write to you asking you to make it known that I am safe and in the best of health as it was reported to my wife that I had been killed in the advance. I don’t know who set the rumour about but I can quite realise the rumour as I was reported missing; but I came through it alright, I am glad to say, but God above knows how and I can tell you I consider myself lucky to come through without a scratch after what I went through. So if you will do this for me, I shall be much obliged. Yours respectfully, Pte S Hainsworth, 28 Ley Fleaks, Idle. Bob added the comment: I do this for Private Hainsworth with the greatest of animosity (as Idle fowk says). It isn’t reight o’ fowk to say yo’re dead when yo’re alive all t’time!
The honour of being the first Greengates lad to obtain a decoration in the present gigantic conflict has fallen to the lot of Pte A T Marshall of the West Yorkshire Regt whose home is at 8 Leeds Road. He has been awarded the D.C.M. for bravery on the field of battle. The great honour is largely shared by the firm of Messrs G Garnett and Sons, Valley Mills, Apperley Bridge where the heroic young villager was formerly employed as a woollen spinner. Rheumatism He is most popular in the village and the signal honour conferred upon him has delighted his many friends and admirers. Originally he was a member of the old Guiseley volunteers. He rejoined the army about two years ago and has been in France since last June. After about 15 months’ service he had to be treated in hospital for rheumatism. Last year he came home from the front on a week’s leave of absence and on that occasion he received a very warm welcome. He is at present in the trenches and is proudly wearing his decoration. On coming home again he may well expect a right royal reception.
Military Cross for daring reconnaissance mission
Rumours of my death…
Village delighted at first Greengates honour
WOODHOUSE GROVE SCHOOL APPERLEY BRIDGE The Governors offer two Free Day Scholarships to boys attending public elementary schools in the neighbourhood. For particulars of date of examination etc., apply to the Headmaster by letter.
Capt T D Pratt, West Riding Regt., the fifth son of Mr Thomas Pratt of Messrs Christopher Pratt & Sons, Highcliffe House, Eccleshill, received flesh wounds in the face early in August. In a letter, Capt Pratt states that he is progressing favourably and that his eyesight has not been affected by the injuries to his face. Last January Capt Pratt was mentioned in Sir John French’s despatches. He was a member of the Officer’s Training Corps attached to Leeds University where he was a student in medicine when the war began. Septic His brother, Lieut L W Pratt of the same regiment, is in hospital in London. He was wounded in the right leg though not seriously, on July 15th and would probably not have returned to England had not he wound become septic. He is also suffering from deafness caused by shell shock. Lieut L W Pratt is a director of Messrs Christopher Pratt & sons. Mr Thomas Pratt also has two other sons in the forces – Lieut G C Pratt, who is at the front with the West Yorkshire Regt., and Able-bodied Seaman H W Pratt who is in the Hope (Public Schools) Battalion of the Royal Naval Division.
Pratt brothers at war
Letters of gratitude from local soldiers who have received parcels from the officials of the Baildon Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Comforts Fund are constantly being received. Amongst the latest is one from Pte Tom Unwin who, writing from a General Hospital in France, says: “Just a line or two to thank you very much for cigarettes which I received last night, Tuesday. “You will be thinking I am a long time in answering I am sure but I only got the parcel last night as the mails have been delayed for a few days. “I don’t know how to thank you and the residents of Baildon enough for your kindness in remembering us who are away but I must say for myself that such gifts as these are always appreciated and I am sure if God spares us to get back home, our one thought will be of how the people in Baildon did all they could to help us whilst we were away.” Did my bit Pte Alfred Goleby, writing from a Swansea hospital whence he was removed suffering from wounds received in the “Big Push,” says: “Just a few lines to say that I have received your parcel and I thank you very much for the contents and also for you thinking about a poor wounded Tommy. “You know I did not do much, nor did I win any medals but I can honestly say that I did my bit for King and Country and you know that good old saying ‘Every little helps.’ “I think you will know particulars regarding my wounds from my mother and I am now looking forward to the future when I shall be able to come and see you all once again.” Pte S F Dodson said that he had shared the contents of his parcel with his mates, adding: “I was thinking of the grand little village of Baildon, situated high on the hill with beautiful scenery round about. “The many Baildon men now with H.M. Forces must surely appreciate the splendid and highly commendable way in which the residents raise the funds for the sending of such fine parcels.” Pte J Cordingley was especially delighted to receive a parcel because “we are out in the country and cannot buy anything at all just at present. Even if we were in a town, we could not get anything like the things you have sent and the thought of them coming from old England is worth a great deal.” Like Baildon Moor It was a view echoed by Pte I Pickard who wrote: “The contents could not have been better as everything that it contained cannot be bought within 20 miles from where we are, if we had the money. “This district reminds me of Baildon Moor. There have been some houses but I am sorry to say only the bare walls remain. There are some woods here and they are simply full of German dead – men and horses. The stench from them is awful. “I shall be glad when this war is over, I can tell you. How the Huns are sticking it I cannot tell. They must have lost many thousands since the Big Push began on July 1st.”
Letters of thanks for parcels reveal ‘Tommies’ thoughts and wishes
THANKS The widow of L Cpl A Hustwit thanks all relations and friends for their expressions of sympathy in her sad bereavement. 23 Courthouse St., Otley
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