Friday 31 August 1917
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Killed by shell splinter
Signaller John Willie Holdsworth, eldest son of Mr Asa Holdsworth of Station Road, Clayton, has died from wounds. Signaller Holdsworth enlisted on September 14th, 1914 and was attached to the Royal Field Artillery. He first went to France in June of 1915 and was wounded in April of the following year. After being in hospital for some time, he returned to France in December of last year. The deceased soldier was a young man of cheery disposition and that he enjoyed the confidence and respect of his comrades is vouchsafed in the following letter which Mr Holdsworth has received from his son’s officer: “It is with deep sympathy that I write these lines, informing you that your son was mortally wounded yesterday and died later in the day. I am hit “He was with me going up to the O.P. and a shell dropped in the road about twenty yards away and a small splinter struck him in the chest. “He was very brave and only said ‘I am hit, sir.’  We bandaged him up and got him to the dressing station and on my return I found he had passed away. “He was a good signaller and was liked immensely by both officers and men. We all feel we have lost a real friend and they are very hard to find sometimes. Please accept the sympathy of the whole battery.” Signaller Holdsworth’s sergeant writes that he was “always willing to do anything he was set to. He will be missed by all as he always appeared the same and had a cheery word for all. However much I put in this letter will not express my feelings.” Signaller Holdsworth was connected with the Wesleyan Sunday School and a member of the young men’s class. His younger brother, Clifford, is serving in the Royal Marines.’
LOCAL MEN WHO ANSWERED HE CALL OF KING AND COUNTRY
L-R: Petty Officer J Denby, 18 Charnwood Rd, Eccleshill, mentioned in despatches; Gunner W W Scott, R.G.A. 24 Kitson Street, Windhill, wounded; Pte Maurice Hollings, Eccleshill, training at Brockton; Pte Tom Hollings, Eccleshill, Duke of Wellington’s; Pte Fred Hollings, Eccleshill, Army Ordnance Corps, twice wounded; Rifleman William Hollings, King’s Royal Rifles, twice wounded; Pte J B Dibb, Calverley, gassed; Pte Harry Wilkinson, 2 Mount Avenue Eccleshill, awarded the Military Medal; Pte J Andrews, Rhodes Terrace, Bolton, wounded.
Pte Herbert Thornton, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, of 20 Westfield Lane, Idle, has been wounded and is in a hospital in London. Pte Thornton joined the forces after the outbreak of the war and he has served in France for about two years, only once coming home on leave. Although he would have been the last man to join the army unless the country was in danger, he liked the life of a soldier once he had got into it and he gave himself to his duties with surprising enthusiasm. He is wounded in both legs but in the best of spirits and his letters home are always of the most cheerful character. His brother, Pte Arthur Thornton, is also with the colours and he has been out in France with the Duke of Wellington’s Own since Christmas. He too has been slightly wounded.
Surpisingly enthusiastic soldier hurt
Best NCO in the battery killed at his post
Mrs Stevenson of 79 Institute Rd, Eccleshill, has been notified that her husband has been killed in action. Letters have been received from both captain and chaplain, each bearing high testimony to the departed hero’s soldierly qualities. Chaplain Clement Houchen writes: “You will have heard the sad news from the army official source but I know how much you will value any details you can hear in any way. “Cpl Stevenson was killed in action after much firing. While he was on his seat of the gun, a splinter from an enemy shell hit him in the chest and he died almost instantly.
“He was a brave soldier, beloved by his fellows and in the words of the men, he was the best NCO in the battery! “We wish you to know how sorry we are for you and the children but at the same time, we are proud to think that your husband was one of the heroes of this time who gave up his life for his friends following the example of our dear Lord and Master.”
Captain L H Drabble says: “Your husband had served all his time under me and both officers and men miss him badly. He was a fine soldier and a splendid example to others. “He died as I am sure he would have wished, in action, serving well his God, King and Country. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy in your great loss.” Cpl Stevenson entered the army two years ago last Whitsuntide and went to France in January of the present year. The deceased soldier was 30 years of age and leaves a widow and two children.
“While he was on his seat of the gun, a splinter from an enemy shell hit him in the chest and he died almost instantly.”
Pte Percy Cordingley of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, son of Mr Holmes Cordingley, Royal Oak Hotel, Crag Road, Windhill, has been killed in action. He joined last November and went to France in February. Previous to joining the colours, he was manager of the Saltaire branch of the Windhill Co-op Society, meat department. The deceased was a good bass vocalist and was well- known in the district. He leaves a wife and two children who reside at Holdsworth Street.
Co-op manager and singer KIA
Death of soldier who wouldn’t take no for an answer
Mr and Mrs Alfred Cariss of No 22 Airedale View, Leeds Road, Eccleshill have been notified that their son, Pte Horace Cariss, of the West Riding Regt., has been killed at the front. This sad news was conveyed in a letter from Sgt H Armstrong, who says: “It was a great blow to us all when your son was killed for it felt as if the whole company had lost a brother. I always found him a good worker and always willing to do whatever I asked him to do. “It may be some consolation that he suffered no pain as he was killed instantly with a shell along with other comrades.” When Pte Cariss first presented himself for enlistment he
was rejected but he was not disheartened and kept on trying until at last he was accepted. He had been 15 months in France and passed through some severe engagements. He was wounded in the knee at Neuve Chapelle on July 29th, 1916 and after recovering and returning to duty, was struck down with trench fever. He also took part in the operations at Vimy Ridge. Eleven operations Pte Cariss was only 21 years of age and was previously employed by Messrs Laycock, stuff merchants, Peel Sq, Bradford, having been with the firm five years. His brother, Harry, was in the Bradford Pals but has been discharged after undergoing eleven operations in consequence of an accident while in Egypt.
IN MEMORIAM FARNISH - In loving memory of Pte Leonard Farnish, West Yorkshire Regt, killed in action September 3rd 1916. From Father, Mother and Sister, 132 Brunswick Rd, Greengates FARNISH - In loving memory of Pte J D Farnish, KOYLI, who died in hospital in France from gas shell wounds July 26th 1917. From Father,
Mother and Sister, 132 Burnswick Rd, Greengates. CLOW - In loving memory of Pte Benjamin Clow, beloved son of Joseph and Elizabeth Clow, killed in action August 21st, 1915, whilst serving in the Dardanelles with the BEF. From the Family. LENNON - In loving memory of Cpl
Albert Edward (Bert) Lennon, West Yorkshire Regt, killed in action August 26th 1916. From Nellie. HOLMES - In loving memory of George Douglas Holmes killed in action August 31st, 1916. From his Wife, Daughter, Mother, Aunt, Sisters and four Brothers (two in France), Remembered by all at home 19 Thompson St, Shipley and Bradford
Pte Ernest Ellis, youngest son of Mr and Mrs T Ellis of East Parade is officially reported killed in action. Gunner George Myers of Springcliffe St, Green Lane, has been wounded in the knee and is in hospital in France. He has been previously wounded but continues to send cheerful letters to his parents and is reported to be progressing favourably. Driver J A B Fielding of the RFA is officially reported wounded whilst relatives of Pte Ernest Hodgson of the South Wales Borderers, who resides in Barnsley Buildings, Charlestown, were informed by telegram on Friday that he was seriously ill and suffering from malarial fever. Pte Hodgson was serving in Macedonia and it is now conjectured that he is an inmate of a hospital at Salonica. He was a printer in Bradford previous to his enlistment.
Latest Baildon casualties
Pte Ernest Nicholls, aged 20, late of Baildon but now of 54 Kingston Road, Idle, while serving in France has been gassed. He is now in hospital but has recovered so well that he expects to be back in the trenches very shortly. Mrs Tankard’s Before the war he was employed at Mrs Tankard’s, Baildon. He has been at the front for two years last April. He was married last January when home on short leave.
Heading back to trenches
Mill worker killed
Pte Bertie North of 7 George Street, Woodbottom, Baildon, and of the Duke of Wellington’s Regt, has been killed in France. Previous to the war he was employed at the Saltaire Mills, joining up ten months ago and going out to France four months later. In a letter expressing deep sympathy with the bereaved widow, the officer commanding the deceased’s company remarks upon the good work Pte North had done at the front as a Lewis gunner and says that he will be much missed by his friends and companions.
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