Friday 18 January 1918
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Gunner Harry Spencer, R.F.A., Derby Terrace, Apperley Bridge; Sapper J B Excell, 21 Thomson Street, Shipley, suffering from trench fever; Pte Willie Spencer, Manchester Regt., 6 Walter Street, Idle, killed in action; Edgar Moyes, 2 Bridge Street, Shipley, awarded Military Medal; Frank Poppleton, Seaforth Highlander, Croft Street, Idle; Fred H Whitaker, a reader of the Express who is on the Montreal Star; Pte James E Midgley, 7 Mar Hill, Valley Road, Shipley.
Capt Percival Hartley, M.C., son of the late Mr W T Hartley of Calverley, who has had trying experiences in France, is now engaged in bacteriological work in a hospital near Rouen. He describes the country round the hospital as being very beautiful. There are large pine trees in the vicinity and as the field of his labours is outside the war zone, he is better able to appreciate his surroundings. Infectious All the cases with which he has to deal are of an infectious nature. Capt Hartley had specialised for many years upon his present kind of work and is therefore well qualified for the position he fills. It is inevitable that in the course of his duties he should see some sad sights but he has the consolation of knowing that he is doing something to alleviate the suffering of those under his care.
Caring for the sick in Rouen
An unnamed local soldier wrote about his experiences at the Front on New Year’s Eve. Twas washing day yesterday and as the charwoman hadn’t turned up we had, perforce, to take the shirts by the sleeves and get busy. Now I ask you, can you wash clothes without water? And of course you will reply certainly not. No! Neither can we as a matter of fact but in this instance we had to first make our water before going on with the job. Quids in If the taps at home get frozen up this winter, keep to the following instructions and you’ll be ‘quids in.’
First, procure some tins (old ones) and fill up with snow. The latter, when subjected to the heat of a fire, according to scientists, will melt. Eau de snow We found this to be correct, only a can full of snow doesn’t produce sufficient ‘eau de snow’ to wash a camisole ribbon. Consequently one must continually fill up with snow before the desired quantity of water is obtained.
Here’s a poser for you – can you tell us why it is that beautiful white snow renders down into horribly dirty water? Stay a minute though – perhaps the can was dirty to start with and that would explain matters, wouldn’t it? Anyhow, we haven’t a Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Book, so had to use our own judgement as to how long boiling is necessary to exterminate those less mentionable insects but we thought half an hour would be enough. Ye gods! Aren’t these washing days the limit, particularly when accompanied by a double-barrelled frost? Amateur washerwoman Have you ever seen a pair of underpants stand up unaided on their own two legs? Well, that’s what happened to ours from the frost immediately after we’d wrung them out. It is rather discouraging to an amateur washerwoman to find that he can’t bend a shirt two ticks after he has squeezed the mud out of it. The only remedy, therefore, was to carry the aforementioned underwear down into the dug-out and build up a good fire. I almost died to see one of my comrades enter with the underpants, one leg stiff and tucked under his arm, the other leg sticking over his shoulder, like a set of bagpipes. Kippered Well the fire trick would have done the deed all right at home but unfortunately here the wind was the wrong way and the clothes were smoked to a turn or otherwise ‘kippered’ The net result, therefore, of our labour was that the clothes finished up blacker than when we started and the only consolation being that whereas the garments literally walked by themselves into the pan, the active agents, after a good boiling, didn’t evidently feel equal to walking anywhere.
How did we celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Front? We tried to wash our clothes
“I almost died to see one of my comrades enter with the underpants, one leg stiff and tucked under his arm, the other leg sticking over his shoulder, like a set of bagpipes.”
Rifleman Arnold Fletcher of Idle, who had been in the army almost a year, died in a hospital in Herefordshire on Thursday last. After having been in France for a few months, he was sent to this country suffering from trench fever and septic poisoning from which he never recovered. Wife and daughter Before joining up he was a devoted worker for the Wesleyan Band of Hope. He was 33 years of age, was married and is survived by his wife and daughter. The funeral took place on Monday at the Wesleyan Cemetery. The officiating minister was the Rev W H Shaw. Four soldier friends who were home on leave, acted as bearers. These were: Shepherd Hainsworth, Arthur Turner, John William Hall and John Pickard. There were many floral tokens.
Soldiers carry their pal to his grave
L Cpl John Taylor, of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regt., and of Back Stone Hall, Eccleshill, has been severely wounded in the head. His left eye is destroyed. Johnnie, as he is familiarly known among his many friends, took a keen interest in the Eccleshill Congregational Swimming Club prior to joining the colours. He was a capable exponent of swimming and held the Club championship in 1911 and 1912. He also for a number of years held the position of the treasurer of the Club. He is at present in Toxteth Park Military Hospital, Liverpool.
Wounded soldier loses an eye
Bolton memorial service
Pte Fred Kilshaw, West Yorks Regt., of Idle, and Pte Arnold Thornton, son of Mr Harry Thornton of Thackley, took part in the ringing at Idle Parish Church on Sunday morning. Before donning khaki both were ringers and they were deeply interested in campanology. Pte Kilshaw, who was formerly a partner in a tailoring business on The Green, has been at the front over a year. He returned to his military duties on Tuesday night.
One of the soldier sons of Mr and Mrs Lancaster of Moorland Avenue, Baildon, is at present an inmate of the Morton Banks Hospital suffering from wounds. Joining up in January 1916, Pte Sam Lancaster entered the ranks of the Manchester Pals and was transferred to the Shropshire Light Infantry. After training at Rugeley in Staffordshire, Pte Lancaster went to France in the following August and was again transferred, this time entering the 22nd Manchester Regt. He was wounded in October. He is 23 years of age.
Baildon son wounded
Khaki campanologists
Wounded and missing
Pte E L Holmes, Norfolk Yeomanry, of Baildon, died on Saturday in a military hospital in Egypt from pneumonia. The deceased soldier was the youngest son of Cllr J Ward Holmes. He joined the Army Pay Corp soon after the outbreak of war and later transferred to the Norfolks. He had been in Egypt for about a year. He was nearly 24 years of age.
Soldier dies in Egypt
A memorial service was held on Sunday evening at Bolton Welseyan Church in memory of the first two scholars associated with the Sunday School to fall during the war. Mr W A Wilman, society steward, read out the Roll of Honour and made touching reference to the loss the school and church had sustained. Gunner Ingham Crossley of the R.F.A. and of 353 Idle Road, Bolton, was killed in action on 22nd December. He had served in France 12 months and was 31 years of age. Choir He was a member of the choir and previously to enlisting had been on the Bradford City Tramways for five years. Cpl Haydn Dorling, of the R.F.A. and formerly of Airedale Street, Leeds Road, was 23 years of age and was killed in France after two years’ service. He was also in the Bolton Wesleyan choir and a respected member of the Young Men’s classes. He was previously employed by John Priestman & Co, Ashfield Mills, Bradford.
Signaller Bernard Smith, son of Mr Henry Smith of Morningside, Idle, is reported wounded and missing. He joined up in August 1916 and last year he was in hospital suffering from appendicitis. He had only been in France about three weeks when he was missing from his regiment. Formerly he was employed by Dean Bros of Shipley. His brother, Pte F H Smith has been with the forces on the Continent for 18 months and was recently home on leave.
Following father’s path
Sec-Lieut J Wilson, elder son of P.C. Wilson and Mrs Wilson, who resides at 29 Robert Street, Cragg Road, Windhill, in addition to having been mentioned in despatches, has since been twice commended for gallantry. He is serving with the York and Lancasters. Gazetted His brother, Lieut J R Wilson, of the Yorkshire Regt (attached to the Machine Gun Copes), has been recently gazetted as captain. The father, who has served nearly a quarter of a century in the West Riding Constabulary, was formerly a sergeant in the Scots Guards and when war broke out, he was one of the ex-non-commissioned officers who trained recruits for Kitchener’s Army.
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