Friday 18 May 1917
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French award Croix de Guerre to wounded Shipley soldier
Gunner Sydney Hardaker, Royal Garrison Artiller, of 40 Windsor Road, Hall Lane, Shipley, and formerly of Baildon Green, has been awarded the French Military Cross (Croix de Guerre). This hero is 21 years of age and joined the army in May of last year, embarking for the Continent in September. The battery with which he is connected has been operating with the French army and their heroism and efficiency have been the admiration of the French. Early this month he was wounded in action and on the following day received the award. Forwarding the news to Gunner Hardaker’s mother, Major Leeson writes:
“Enclosed please find the Certificate which accompanies the French Croix de Guerre, which has already been presented to your son by the French General on the occasion of his being wounded in action while with the French army. Coveted distinction “Please take care of the certificate until you have an opportunity of giving it to your son. “Please accept my congratulations on your son having won the coveted distinction and my best wishes for his speedy recovery.” The certificate is signed by Col Peltier of the French Army and it bears testimony to the fact that Gunner Hardaker:
Un soldat d’une tenue, brave et devout, d’une batterie qui c’est distinguee par la precision de ses tire. Blesse a son poste de combat. Appended is a translation of the above: A fine and gallant soldier, belonging to a battery which has distinguished itself by its accurate firing. Has been wounded in action. Gunner Hardaker is a promising cricketer and he has rendered excellent service with more than one club in Baildon. His brother, Gunner E C Hardaker, who is only nineteen years of age, is in training with the RFA.
The latest news of local men serving at the front line
BAILDON Cpl Willie McHugh, West Yorks Light Infantry, 66 Tong Park, Baildon, has died from wounds received in action in France. Cpl McHugh, who was 26 years of age, was formerly employed as a twister at Tong Park Mills. He is the eighth young man from the village of Tong Park to have made the supreme sacrifice. Bombardier Frank Clark, second son of Mr and Mrs D Clark of the Angel Hotel, has been killed in action. He had been serving since the outbreak of war in the West Riding RFA and was 22 years of age. The deepest sympathy will be felt for the parents in their bereavement. Amongst the Baildon soldiers who have been wounded in the recent fighting are: Pte Herbert Phelps, John St., Woodbottom; Pte Richard Best, Baildon Road, Woodbottom; Pte Fred Copley, Duke of Wellington’s Regt, Charlestown; Pte Norman Mortimer, Barnsley Buildings, Charlestown; Pte Ernest Illingworth, Duke of Wellington’s Regt, whose home is at Briar Rhydding, Charlestown; and Pte Horace Lancaster, West Yorkshires, son of r and Mrs Seth Lancaster of Manor Fold. CLAYTON The mother of Pte Willie Richardson, who resides at Lidget Terrace, has received a letter from a comrade stating that her son has been killed in action. Official notification has been received that Pte Percy Turner, only son of Mr Charles Turner of Grange Terrace, is reported missing. Pte Ernest Ward, only son of Mr Edmund Ward, has been wounded by shrapnel in the shoulder during recent fighting and is now in hospital in France. Mr James Wilkinson of Cranbrook Street has received intimation from his brother, Gunner Joseph Wilk- inson, that he has been wounded. Gunner Wilkinson, who was over military age, joined the army shortly
after war was declared being attached to the Royal Field Artillery. The Huns, he says, have put their ‘trade mark’ on him. “The incident occurred whilst I was on guard when a shell dropped within five feet of where I was standing. Its fragments caught my right arm and also lodged in my side, face and left leg. “But I suffered most from a very heavy blow in the ribs which nearly knocked the wind out of me and for three days I was gasping for breath. “But I never went sick or lost consciousness and the doctors have removed several f the pieces and I am now feeling much better.” IDLE Mrs Lupton of Woodbine Terrace, Idle, has received intimation that her eldest son, Driver Harry Lupton, RFA is in hospital in France suffering from gunshot wounds in the head. Driver Lupton, who has been in the army for two years, proceeded to France twelve months ago. His brother, Pte Fred Lupton, is also in France. Information has reached Idle that Pte Charles North, West Yorks Regt, was taken a prisoner of war at Bullecourt on May 3rd. Pte North is the youngest son of Mr Wright North, contractor, of Castle Fields, and before joining the army was associated with his father in business. SALTAIRE Pte Sam Durham, Duke of Wellington’s Own Regt, of 14 Church Street, Saltaire, was recently accidentally injured at the front. He is now in hospital at Stoke on Trent. His battalion were making preparations to go over the top and the men were being handed bombs. One of the bombs accidentally slipped and Pte Durham was injured in the thigh. He is making satisfactory progress. SHIPLEY L Cpl T Hodson of 27 Maddocks St, Shipley, of the Duke of Wellington’s Regt, who enlisted at the outbreak of war, was reported missing on July 29th, 1916 and is now reported killed. He was 23 years of age and before enlistment was employed at the Conditioning House, Bradford.
Pte John Willie Marshall of 10 Wycliffe Place, Saltaire Road, has been wounded in the arm. He is in the West Yorkshires and has three brothers in the army. Pte Robert Lofthouse, who was formerly employed at Sowden’s Loom Works and resided at 19 Rhodes Street, has been wounded. He is in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Bombardier W Grimshaw, the notable Bradford City footballer and Laisterdyke cricketer, is in the Leeds Hospital suffering from wounds in the shoulder and chin. He resided at 4 Fenton Street. Pte J Hayton, West Yorks, of Millbottom, Scotton nr Knaresborough, formerly of Shipley, has been wounded and is now in the Royal Infirmary, Derby. It has been found necessary to amputate his right foot. Father John O’Sullivan is about to leave Shipley in order to take up the duties of a chaplain with the forces and the members of the St Walburga’s Catholic Church at Shipley intend to make a presentation to him, Pte Wilson (above), who formerly resided in Alma Terrace, Valley Road, is in the RAMC. He went through the campaign in the Dardanelles and since then has been serving in German East Africa. Pte Wm Watmough, in one of his letters to the Express, said: “It was in
this camp we met a man named Wilson. He was delighted to meet some of the boys from home and stuck with us until we left camp at midnight.” UNDERCLIFFE Second-Lieutenant J L Stanley of 3 Sherwood Place is in the 1st London General Hospital, suffering from wounds in the foot. He is the youngest son of Mr and Mrs John Stanley and is in the west Yorkshire Regt which he joined in November 1914. He has previously been wounded. Two brothers are also in the army. WINDHILL Pte Charles Vevers, Seaforth Highlanders, of 5 Friendly Place, has been killed in action. Before joining the army in November 1915, Pte Vevers was a member of the Independent Chapel choir and of the Windhill Glee Union. He had been on the Continent for over a year. Some time ago he was in hospital but at the time of his death he had been back in the ranks around a month. He was engaged to Miss H Skirrow of Idle. Capt C Hamilton Harris, the deceased soldier’s officer, writes from France as follows to Mrs Vevers: “It is with profound regret I have to inform you of the death, whilst in action, of your son. “We were ordered to support a regiment that had charged the German position. This was successfully accomplished and then we came under extremely heavy enemy shell fire. Your son fell with several of his gallant comrades. “It will be some slight consolation to you to know that  he suffered no pain. Your boy was an excellent soldier, always keen and conscientious and it will be hard to replace him in the platoon. “The officers, NCOs and men of the command have asked me to send to you their deep sympathy in your great bereavement and that Almighty God will be near you and comfort you.” Pte Joseph William Clegg has been killed in action. He was in the West Riding Regt. Pte E J Mayes, son of Mr and Mrs G H Mayes of 24 Wrose Hill Terrace, has been killed in action.
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