VOLUNTEER FORCE NOTESA brisk march to Cottingley Bridge where we joined up with the Bingley Section and a variety of movements in Myrtle Park, from the inevitable slow march and Chelsea Drill, to physical Drill with tunics off and braces tied round the waist (except in the case of some of our robust members, who were unable to make ends meet), made up a vigorous and interesting Sunday morning.The controversy as to the utility of the Chelsea Drill still goes on. There are those who say that we shall never learn to do it smartly, but we look upon this as a slander.It may take some time yet, and the balance step cannot help being of some use as physical training, but there is so much to learn that one cannot help thinking the time devoted to it might be better spent.In the meantime, we hear that the 21st Battalion are devoting themselves mainly to bayonet practice and instructions in bombing.Albert RoadIt is gratifying to realise that we at Shipley are not being left behind in this latter, most important item of military training which the developments of modern trench warfare have rendered so necessary.The able and lucid lectures given by Capt Holmes on Thursday evenings at Albert Road have aroused the greatest interest amongst Volunteers and (Tribunal) ‘exempted’ alike and it is hoped that the Wednesday
evening classes which have been arranged to follow up this branch of instruction will be equally successful.The examination which is to be held at the conclusion will give every student an opportunity of distinguishing himself.The week-night drills, mostly conducted in semi-darkness, are not satisfactory but the light evenings will soon be here and these, coupled with the stimulus – given by the drill instructors of the 67th Reserve Battalion – should soon make a great difference in the drill which we now realise has become somewhat slack.Would it not be a great help to have the men graded, as they do at the Coliseum, according to proficiency and experience? The attendance of the Volunteers has fallen off by a most lamentable extent but allowance must be made for the fact that they have to fall in haphazard along with exempted men, some being novices and many showing little enthusiasm.If one evening could be set apart for Volunteers pure and simple, it would bring many absentees back into the fold.RJS
Thought needed to entice back stay-away Volunteers
In one of the quietest weeks for news from the front since the war began, this was the only direct military story:Very few youths of 18 have the varied record of important national work to their credit that is possessed by Pte Horace Booth of Regent Street, Greengates, who ‘joined up’ a week ago.Although just within military age, he has been doing his ‘bit’ in one way or another since the outbreak of war, first working on the manufacture of khaki and later getting employment on munitionsHe was an enthusiastic football player and enjoyed games of all kinds.An elder brother is serving with the colours.
Eager volunteer enlists
Speaking to the Rosse Street Brotherhood, Cllr Thomas Blythe said the world was apparently so chaotic that to him it almost seemed strange to attend a brotherhood meeting.“We are living in stirring times. On Friday a young man, Jim Cook, who used to live at Shipley, related to me a remarkable experience through which he recently passed.“As a result of this experience, the young man is completely unnerved and he is not likely to forget what he has gone through.“On Wednesday the seventh he was on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean, 300 miles from the nearest port when, without warning, the ship was shelled and afterwards it was torpedoed.“As the men, 39 in number, were taking to the boats, they were shelled again and one man was killed and four severely wounded. Mop up blood“The boat which my friend happened to board contained 21 persons, including the four who had been wounded, and they had to mop up blood from the bottom of the boat.
“In this condition they were for 70 hours at sea, living on nothing but biscuits and water.“We are told that the Victory War Loan has been a huge success. But it is cheap patriotism when investors get five per cent per annum on their investments“I am not against the Government getting money. It is necessary to enable our soldiers and sailors to win the war“But when life is being sacrificed at the front while people at home are being given five per cent for the loan of money, the sacrifice is by no means equal.“If it is right to conscript life it is surely right to conscript gold, which is of far less value.“The dimensions of some of the loans are staggering. One insurance company has invested so large a sum that the British taxpayers will have to pay them £3,000 a day until the time
arrives for it to be repaid in full. It is no such thing as sacrifice. When we were fighting for old-age pensions, it was said that we could not afford to pay them. People asked where the money was to come from.“The response to the War Loan has revealed the fact that there are plenty of golden piles. If the amount which we have spent on destruction – perhaps justifiably – had been spent on construction and constructive reform, we should now be enjoying an heaven on earth.Seccond advent“Someone has said that we are closely on the second advent of Jesus, with all its accompaniment of brotherhood and love. If this war does herald such a time, then it can at least be said that the blood has not been spilt in vain“The good time coming is worth striving for and in order that it might come, everybody should be prepared to make sacrifices.“Let all do their part in this hour of trial, in this dark day of our country’s history, hoping that the sun will soon shine again and that brotherhood will then reign supreme.”
“If it is right to conscript life it is surely right to conscript gold, which is of far less value.”
Submarine attack underlines inequality of sacrifice
A field situated in The Bank, Eccleshill, with an area of between three and four acres has been generously placed at our disposal with a view to increasing the national food supply.Full particulars of he conditions under which the land will be let will appear in our next issue.The owner of the land is Mrs T J Hayes, Nab Lane, Shipley.
Generous land offer
At Bradford West Riding Police Court on Monday morning, Charles Richard Carter, architect’s assistant of Hope View, Slenningford Grove, Shipley, was charged with being an absentee under the Military Service Act.Police constable Farnell said that at 8.30 on Sunday morning he visited the prisoner’s home. When asked why he had not joined the army Carter said he had had ‘a good run’ for he had been waiting for nine months for the police to fetch him.A non-commissioned officer, who represented Captain Burton, the military representative on Shipley Tribunal, said that the prisoner was 23 years of age. He ought to have joined the forces on the 15th February.He had made three appeals for exemption, two at Shipley and one before the West Riding Appeals Tribunal, and all three of them had been dismissed.Provision for Conscientious ObjectorsCarter, on being asked by presiding magistrate, Sir James Roberts, if had any explanation to make why he had not joined up, said the Military Service Act provided for exemption for conscientious objectors.Sir James said: “I suppose you have previously said all this before the tribunals.”Prisoner: “Yes, and if you do not grant the exemption for which the act provides I would sooner occupy a place in the dock here than on the magisterial bench.”A fine of £2 was imposed and the prisoner was ordered to await a military escort.
Absentee: I’ve ‘had a good run’
At Bradford West Riding Police Court yesterday, Clara Thompson, widow of 1 Mar Hill, Valley Road, Shipley was summoned with disobeying a school attendance order which was made on the 30th November in respect to her daughter, aged 13 years.Mr Fred Booth, the attendance officer, who appeared on behalf of the Shipley Education Committee, said in answer to questions by Sir James Roberts, that there was no reason why the girl should not attend school.The defendant had another child, four years of age, but she was on the school register.A fine of six shillings was imposed.Florence Joyce, married, of 6 Montrose Street, Valley Road, Shipley was also summoned for neglecting to send two children to school but the case was adjourned owing to the sickness in the family of the defendant.
No excuse for absence
Gardening Brigade to be formed in Saltaire
A meeting to organise a Gardening Brigade will be held in the Saltaire Wesleyan Schoolroom this Friday evening at 7.45.Will all the men of the old Wesleyan Brotherhood desirous of rendering a bit of National Service in their spare time, please attend, and any other men or women who wold like to join the Saltaire Wesleyan Gardening Brigade.