Friday 11 February 1916
‘Mrs Sam Bower of 10 Maddocks Street, Saltaire, has five sons and two sons-in-law in the army. ‘The second son, Pte G Bower, enlisted in October 1915 in the 1/6 West Yorkshire Regiment and a week ago went to France. ‘Pte H Bower (third son) who is in the 2/6 West Yorkshire Regiment is
at present in training. He enlisted in October 1915. ‘Pte George Bower, who is serving with the 2/6 Duke of Wellington’s Regiment is in training at Salisbury. He enlisted in December of 1914. ‘Pte R Roebuck (son-in-law) is in France serving the Army Service Corps. He enlisted in October 1914. ‘Pte S Hardcastle (son-in-law) is in
the 1/6 West Yorkshire Regiment. He enlisted in November 1914. For several months he has been at the Front where he has had many exciting experiences. Some time ago he was wounded and on his recovery he was sent to Mansfield. ‘Mrs Bower’s other sons, Mr S Bower and Mr J Bower, have attested under Lord Derby’s scheme.’
Mrs Bower’s family goes to war
G Bower
H Bower
George Bower
R Roebuck
S Hardcastle
Eccleshill soldier volunteers to rejoin after ten months in the front line
Signaller Robert Helliwell had been at the Front for ten months and even though he had come to the end of his enlistment term, he had immediately volunteered to rejoin his regiment. He was currently on a month’s leave and shared some of his experiences with the Shipley Times & Express. ‘On one occasion four of them were wading through mud and water to get back to their billets and when they had reached dry land once more they made the discovery that the last one of the party had disappeared. ‘The three went back to see what had happened and they found him stuck in the mud at the bottom of the trench. ‘They tried to release him but it took nine of them over an hour to get him out and even then his long-legged boots and socks had to be left still sticking in the bottom of the trench. Buried ‘One of their men was buried three times by the parapet of the trench being blown in by shells but each time he was dug out with all speed and was able to resume his duties.’ One of the features of WWI was the
first use of aeroplanes in combat and Signaller Helliwell related that ‘the aeroplane duels provide them with excitement. ‘Once a British machine was being pursued by a German Taube. They darted up and down in the air like swallows and as the machines were coming nearer and nearer to the German lines it looked as if the British machine was coming to grief. ‘When the hostile aeroplane was just behind the other, the British pilot let of a stream of gas or liquid which caught the pursuing pilot full in the face and the British machine made good its escape amid the ringing cheers of the excited Tommies who had watched the contest.’ Signaller Helliwell said his most dangerous work was repairing broken telephone wires while a bombardment was in progress but he was also keen to put on record other
actions of his regiment and its members. ‘The pluck of a Bradford surgeon is worthy of note. One of the men had received terrible injury to one of his legs by the bursting of a shell and to save his life an operation was necessary immediately. Operation under fire ‘A surgeon was telephoned for and on arriving performed the operation under shell fire and was awarded the military cross for his bravery. ‘A member of the 1/6 West Yorks had the proud record of being the first in the 49th Division to earn the D.C.M. and now the battalion have the additional honour of one of its members being the first to be awarded the V.C. ‘There are at least ten men belonging to this battalion who have been decorated with the Distinguished Conduct Badge.’
The three went back to see what had happened and they found him stuck in the mud at the bottom of the trench.
Pte A Hustwit’s letter from Egypt, thanking members of Shipley Primitive Methodist Church for the parcel he had received from them, underlined how important such gestures were to serving men. He wrote: ‘It is a great pleasure to know that although so far away we are in the thoughts of friends at home. There are nine of us in our tent and I shared the parcel amongst us. The boys asked me to give you all their thanks. ‘I’m very pleased to tell you that we have our services every Sunday morning and evening and many a time we sing hymns for one or two hours. Our chaplain is one of the best. ‘There are some Indian Lancers here and they are as nice a lot of fellows as you could wish to meet.’
Parcel from home means a lot to men on the front line
Brothers in arms
G Bower
Beaumont brothers: top l-r: Scott and James below: Willie and Charlie
Mr and Mrs Beaumont of 19 Coalpit Lane, Thackley End had four sons serving in the forces. Driver Scott Beaumont, Gunner James Beaumont and Gunner Willie Beaumont were all in the Royal Field Artillery. ‘James has been at the Front for about three months and Willie is shortly to embark for the Continent. Scott has completed his training and is quite prepared to enter the fray. ‘Ordinary Seaman Charlie Beaumont is in the Royal Naval Artillery and is now training at Crystal Palace.’
Yet another set of brothers was featured in the features on serving men ‘Ordinary Seaman Clement Wright (left) is in the Royal Naval Division. He joined in November and is now training at Crystal Palace. ‘Prior to the outbreak of war he was connected with the Idle Primitive Methodist Chapel and Sunday School. A valuable member of the choir, he had made himself a good reputation as a baritone vocalist. He was also a member of the young men’s class. ‘His brother Leonard Wright (right) attested at the same time as Clement but he was told that if he was desirous of becoming efficient it would be necessary for him to undergo an operation. ‘Having a strong desire to serve his King and country he gladly followed the advice of the military authorities and in a short time is again to report himself.’
Underwent operation to join brother in fighting for his country
Sgt Thomas S Parker, youngest son of Mr J E Parker of Wellington Crescent, Shipley, completed five years’ service with Royal Army Medical Corps and was home on furlough. The 23 year old volunteered to serve abroad as soon as war broke out and had been in training camps all over the country The most recent was in Newcastle upon Tyne where the 2nd West Riding Field Ambulance Regt had been stationed for some time under the command of Lieut-Col Eames, an officer from Shipley. In civilian life Sgt Parker had been employed by Rutherston Hayburn & Co, Bradford.
Pte Vernon Barker, whose wife and child lived at Greenwell Row, Clayton, had been wounded while serving in France. Pte Barker had been in France since August 1915 and had served both as a despatch rider and signaller in the West Riding Regt. He was wounded while in a house that was hit by a shell, a piece of shrapnel embedding itself in his thigh. He was now in a base hospital and reported to be making ‘very satisfactory progress.’
Five years’ service by Shipley sergeant
Wounded in France
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