Friday 7 September 1917
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After having served for two years at the front as chaplain, the Rev Richard Whincup, vicar of Windhill, has this week returned to resume work in the parish. The rev gentleman’s intention was to remain with our heroes in France until the battalion with which he has been working came back, and he would have done so if it had not been for the difficulty of carrying on his parochial work at Windhill. That difficulty has been made still greater by the recent departure of his colleague, the Rev H A Moreton, who has been anxious ever since the war broke out, to take up a chaplaincy. Mr Whincup says that there was no doubt the Bradford Territorials had done their duty and had worthily upheld the high traditions of the city and the country to which they belonged. The Yorkshire characteristics of grit and determination, he said, came very much to the top in a big game like the present war and these characteristics were most admirably expressed in the successful manner in which the Bradford lads had carried out their trench warfare. They had performed many acts of gallantry but he did not think it would be fair to single out any special instance. Hundreds of letters With regard to the Bradford battalion, Mr Whincup said he had seen many changes in the regiment and very many of the old faces familiar to him in the early days of the campaign were now removed. It has been his painful duty to write hundreds of letters informing parents of the loss of those dear to them and he can recall many pathetic incidents of which he has been eye witness.
Mr Whincup pointed out that the sensation of being wounded had a sort of bewildering effect on the men and for a time they desired to have a period of  quietude. Asked by our representative for his impressions of the men at the front, Mr Whincup replied: “The men as a rule are more religious than they appear to be. They have grasped certain essential truths, especially the truth of sacrifice, which is the supreme truth. “Like all Englishmen, of course, they avoid wearing their hearts on their sleeves; indeed, many of them take pains to disguise their inward feelings. That is commonly to be observed at the front. Sectarian “They are extremely grateful for anything done on their behalf. They do not always show their gratitude to the chaplain by coming to service; but they make it none the less plain. “They are, indeed, a little shy of the chaplain until they know him. They judge by personality and the chaplain must preach largely through personality if he is to succeed. “If he passes their tests they take to him and show themselves responsive. The chaplain out there must sink all the sectarian differences that divide us at home. That is what I have tried to do and I have never found any difficulty in my work on account of sectarian feeling among the men. “The men are now filled with a great longing for the end of the war and for home. Events in Russia have
increased their anxieties but there is an unshakable confidence in final victory, an unwavering determination to see the war through. “I believe that when the war is over, we shall see a great change in social outlook. Men of all classes have been living together on terms of comradeship and I think the better understanding which this has brought about will break down some of the pre-war class prejudices. If that should be the result it would be a fine achievement.” Mr Whincup’s work has not only been confined to ministering to the Bradford boys but also to the York Territorials, the 1st West Riding Field Ambulance and other smaller units, each of which gave him a most affectionate farewell. A letter received by him from the Colonel of the York Battalion says: “I know as a fact that you have won the affection of all ranks in a remarkable way, partly by your dealings with them in the peaceful times behind the line and partly by your disregard of danger when visiting the men in the trenches and in the sadder times of frequent burials on the Somme. Brotherly kindness “You would be gratified if you heard the numerous expressions of regret and kindly feeling that I hear on all sides now that it is known you are leaving us. “Although you originally belonged to the Bradford Battalion, I am sure they will never begrudge the fact that we shall always remember you as our padre with feelings of genuine affection.” In an editorial comment piece, the newspaper added: During his two years in France he has, in his own words, learnt to love the men. “I was their chaplain,” he observed to our reporter, “and if I have served and helped them at all in my special way, they have on the other hand taught me a great deal by their cheerfulness, their endurance of great hardship, their steadiness and devotion to duty in the face of danger, and their brotherly kindness to one another in times of trial and difficulty. “They have been very kind to me and I have much to thank them for.”
“I believe that when the war is over, we shall see a great change in social outlook. Men of all classes have been living together on terms of comradeship and I think the better understanding which this has brought about will break down some of the pre-war class prejudices. If that should be the result it would be a fine achievement.”
Much admired chaplain changed by time at war
The Rev W T Forster, vicar of Idle, preached a sermon on A Definition of Religion and said: “Someone might ask ‘Is not war a denial of brotherhood?’ “Well, no-one can exaggerate the horrors, the crimes, the sufferings of war. While it is true to say that most wars have been prompted by ambition and avarice, lust of dominion and power, yet is only a blind reading of history to say that all wars have been of this kind. “Though most wars have been unjustifiable, we have to remember there have been other wars, necessary wars, justifiable wars, wars against tyranny and oppression, wars in defence of righteousness and truth, wars for the future well-being of mankind. Sermon on the Mount “Such, most people in the world today believe, is the war in which we are engaged. “Some people, I know, are asking for a literal interpretation of our Saviour’s words in the Sermon on the Mount. Such an interpretation lands them sooner or later in a dilemma, for if you interpret one saying literally, you must interpret all in the same way. “If the doctrine of non-resistance is carried to a logical conclusion, what does it mean? It means the wicked would be left free to revel in the helplessness of the good. Virtue would be delivered up into the hands of triumphant wrong.
“All that has been won for us in the past would be trampled on. It would mean the abolition of legislation and discipline in every department of life – and wrong-doing would go free and unpunished. What a world to live in! Christian soldiers “The other day someone asked in the columns of a newspaper: Is it consistent for Christians to become soldiers? I only know that some soldiers have been amongst the best Christians in the world. General Gordon was a soldier. So too were Hedley Vicars, Lord Roberts and many others. “In the Bible teaching itself we have examples of Christians who were soldiers and nowhere is the profession of a soldier condemned. The fact is that on this side of Heaven, soldiers are necessary to defend the right and that is what our brave lads are doing today. “They are fighting against those things which make brotherhood an impossibility, which trample on it. They are fighting for those principles which will help it to come. “So in the midst of this awful war we can repeat the words of our Teacher with a new emphasis and pray of this conflict to end in a righteous and abiding peace – a peace which will make possible the coming of the Saviour’s kingdom and the brotherhood of man.”
Vicar’s sermon tackles issue of church and war
A verdict of ‘accidentally drowned’ was returned at an inquest held on Tuesday at Calverley on the body of Joan Husbands, aged 2, daughter of B P Husbands, Sandhurst Street, Calverley, who was drowned in the canal on Sunday. The child, along with her little brother and sister, went for a walk and Joan fell into the water. Her sister, May, aged 6, jumped in after her and was with difficulty rescued by Mr William Mitchell Copley, Underwood Cottage, Calverley, who was complimented by the Coroner on his conduct.
Two year old drowned in canal
Mr John Dracup of Shipley Glen last week lifted a root of Eclipse potatoes which gave a yield of 4½ lbs – seven good potatoes in all. This is the more remarkable in that the land was virgin last March.
Bumper potato yield
Invitation accepted
Mrs Robinson, wife of Alderman G H Robinson, has accepted an invitation to perform the opening ceremony at a sale of work to be held at Bethel Baptist Church, Shipley on October 3rd. Both the Alderman and Mrs Robinson are earnest supporters of the Baptist cause.
The total receipts of the sacred concert held on behalf of the Serbian Red Cross Fund at the Princess Hall, Shipley, on August 19th were £31 9s 11d. This included two subscriptions of 10s each from Mr E Clifford Fry and Mrs J R Butland. A cheque for this amount has been sent to the treasurer of the fund.
Serbian fund boosted
Mr W Oddy has agreed to pay £60, the estimated cost of laying a new 6in main from Dockfield Road into Junction Mill for the supply to the sprinkler installation and the District Council have authorised the new main to be laid.
New main for Mill
Sunday school food treats to be curtailed
Mr J W Blackwell, Supt of St Paul’s Sunday school, Shipley, received a letter from the Ministry of Food which he shared with readers of the newspaper. Dear Sir – I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 31st ult and in reply I am to say that although your Sunday school tea would not come within the provisions of the Public Meals Order, the Food Controller deprecates the holding of all entertainments which involve an unusual consumption of food. Lord Rhondda desires further that at any public function which is held, the food served should be strictly limited to the scale of rations laid down in the Public Meals Order and that the meal partaken of should in every case only be served when it is in substitution of the meal that would, under any circumstances, have been partaken of by the person attending. Yours faithfully, G E Towle Mr Blackwell added: It is quite clear from the above that it is the duty of Sunday school officials to keep undue consumption down and in every way to keep within the provisions of the Order.
The sum of £5 0s 8d has this week been credited the Shipley Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Comforts Fund, this being the sum received from John Smith, Shipley, Ltd, fruit preservers, in payment for a number of jam jars which have been collected by Shipley schoolchildren in aid of this fund.
Jam jar fund raising
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