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Born: 1889, Idle
Died: 9 May 1915, Dardanelles
Address: 35 Woodbine Terrace, Idle
Parents: Arthur & Clara
Siblings: Geroge, Eva, Sarah
Occupation: Engine greaser, woollen mill
Rank: Pte
Rolls of Honour: Holy Trinity, Idle; Lone Pine Memorial
Regiment: Australian Infantry
Ernest Brook Holdsworth
Ernest Brook Holdsworth was born in Idle in 1889, the oldest of the four children of Arthur and Clara Holdsworth who lived at 35 Woodbine Terrace, Idle. In the 1911 census, Ernest is described as an engine greaser at a woollen mill but around the start of 1914 he set off to Australia where he ‘worked at various occupations.’ Ernest’s dream of a new life ended with the declaration of war. He felt he had to fight for his homeland and joined the Australian Expeditionary Force. ‘After a few months’ training he went with the second Australian contingent in Egypt and subsequently went to take part in the operations at the Gallipoli Peninsula. ‘While in Egypt he was taken ill and was for a brief period in hospital. He was not enamoured of that part of the world and was pleased when they left to go elsewhere. ‘He was in the thick of the fray immediately after the landing of
the Allies at the Dardanelles.’ And that was where he was killed on 9 May 1915. The Shipley Times & Express carried the news on 11 June, which related that ‘Both at the Idle Parish Church and at St John’s Mission Church, a reference was made on Sunday to the death of Pte Holdsworth. ‘The vicar, Rev W T Forster, who preached an eloquent discourse on the war, said that as would be seen from the Roll of Honour which was to be found in the church porch, over 230 young men from Idle had already answered the nation’s call to duty. Two had been wounded and three had made the greatest sacrifice of all. ‘During the last week one who bore a name well-known in the district – Pte Holdsworth – had laid down his life in the fight for freedom, justice and honour, and
the heartfelt sympathy of al would go out to those nearest and dearest to him in their hour of trial. ‘The Rev F J T Stock, curate in charge of St John’s, said that we were all proud to be Englishmen because that meant to be lovers of freedom. We were fighting for civilisation and the progress attained through the struggle of the centuries. ‘The call to arms would meet with a warm response so long as men loved freedom and reverenced the right. ‘Pte Holdsworth, like tens of thousands of other patriotic young men, had responded to the call and he had sacrificed his life in the sacred cause of liberty. ‘All present sympathised with Mr and Mrs Holdsworth in the great loss they had sustained.’ It would seem that several young men in Idle had been persuaded that they could have a better future
‘Down Under’ and three weeks after the report of Ernest’s death, the newspaper carried details of a letter by another of them, Bert Watson. ‘He concluded his letter by saying that he often wondered how matters are going with Pte Ernest Holdsworth and Pte Harry Stansfield, two Idle youths who went to the same place with the Australian Forces. ‘As our readers are aware, Pte Holdsworth was killed about the same at as Pte Watson’s letter was written.’ Based on reports in the Shipley Times & Express
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