Friday 31 March 1916
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Emily Denby (right), a regular contributor of patriotic poems, wrote about conscientious objectors. ‘It is characteristic of our British love of liberty that at the very moment when we are at death-grips with a powerful foe and every ounce of strength is needed, we should allow our citizens, even while we call them conscripts, the right to give their conscientious reasons for objecting to take part in this mighty struggle. ‘All honour to those brave souls who believe in and uphold the doctrine of the brotherhood of humanity, who believe in the sacredness of human life and who are ready to suffer and to die in support of their convictions if necessary. Self-righteousness ‘But, oh, what a narrow outlook some of our objectors have! If only they would break through that hard shell of self-righteousness and self- satisfaction, which bids them thank God that they are a little better than the majority of their fellows, if they would only drop that supercilious pose, climb down from their self- erected pedestals, take an honest look round this sinful world and dare to indulge in a little human indignation and display a little human passion, even as Jesus himself did at times when he thrashed the materialists out of the temple courts and did not even spare those vendors of peace offerings, the dove sellers, one would be a little more inclined to have patience in listening to their arguments in favour of the far distant days of the millennium and the gospel of human brotherhood.’ After quoting a number of bible stories to support her case, she concluded: ‘How many of our lads in
the trenches today would have shrunk in horror from the bare idea of killing their fellow-creature before this sub- human monster made its appearance, but who, though they might not be able to express it in words, have felt intuitively that it was there duty thus to suppress all their personal scruples and sensitiveness for the sake of humanity and civilisation? ‘May it not be that our conscientious objectors have become so enamoured of the mere letter of the Gospel of Christ that they have missed altogether the spirit of the message, “he that saveth his life shall lose it, but he that loseth his life for My sake, the same shall find it.” Bombadier Ralph Grimshaw, who was in hospital in Leicester after being wounded serving with the Royal Field Artillery, was also scathing about conscientious objectors. He wrote: ‘Sir – Reading your paper weekly, I have lately been interested in the various local Tribunals and would like to say through your paper, I am much amused by the way these conscientious lambs take care of their skins or fleeces. ‘Personally, I would think the best
thing to do would be to ship the lot out to Flanders, place them on the bit of land known as “No Man’s Land” but to us who go there, without a conscience, “Dead Man’s Land,” there to be ticketed “We don’t want to fight for England and Home.” ‘It makes one wonder who would open fire first, the Germans or our lads. I don’t think Tommy would mind helping Fritz for once. We would not mind at Leicester.’ Lie in the gutter He claimed he wouldn’t even want to be helped by a conscientious objector if he were wounded and would ‘sooner lie in a gutter than that they should tax their conscience to such an extent ‘I do not think it is much use to point out to these things of goodness that we soldiers have a conscience. But it is of a different kind, thank God; not the kind that would stand by and see women violated, children murdered, nay butchered by devils and not men. ‘I expect these conscientious objectors who are really afraid of cold steel and lead would stand by to see perhaps their mother, sister or wives hacked to pieces by some d______ Hun. These lambs expect going to Heaven but I don’t doubt they will find a place alongside old Billy and his baby killers, whom no doubt they are indirectly helping in this most terrible war. ‘I might just add I would not mind wiping the lot out with a machine gun. So much for my conscience which will one day be weighed alongside these things called “conscientious objectors” who can never more call themselves British without a blush for shame or a casting down of the eyes.’
Contempt and scorn for conscientious objectors
News that the infant department of Rosse Street Baptist Sunday School, under the leadership of Mrs Arthur Outhwait, was expanding and seeking more help brought a favourable editorial comment: ‘So much is heard nowadays about the decline in Sunday School work that it is a pleasure to be able to report progress at Rosse Street.’
Rosse Street expansion goes against the trend
TO LET, FIELD for cricket, during the season 1916. - Apply “Forester’s Arms”, Windhill, Shipley.
While most clubs in the Bradford Cricket League were signing up well-known professionals who were seeking posts in the absence of country cricket, Thackley CC came out in opposition. ‘Thackley have always prided themselves on being champions of “pure amateurism” and “true sportsmanship” and according to the speeches at the annual meeting on Monday night they are determined to keep the flag of amateurism and “clean cricket” flying gloriously in the breeze. It wasn’t only professionals Thackley opposed: ‘Mr John Rycroft, who was re-elected president, spoke strongly against the practice of selling intoxicants on cricket grounds ‘He is glad there is no such thing at Thackley and will not allow it to be otherwise so long as he remains president.’
Thackley CC speak out for “clean cricket”
Vicar’s appeal met with generous donations
Parishioners at St Paul’s church, Shipley, responded to an appeal by the vicar for funds to clear the debt. Rev Herklots had asked the congregation to give twelve times the amount of their normal offering and so great was the response the church raised £47 17s 4d towards the debt which stood at £77. The vicar had first raised the issue in the parish magazine where he described the church’s inability to pay its way as a disgrace. ‘It is not as if we were a poor church in a slum neighbourhood where unemployment prevailed and poverty abounded,’ he wrote. ‘It is not fair to ask churchwardens to shoulder a heavy debt on commencing a year of office at Easter.’
Seventeen year old John Mann, a mill hand of 40 New Street, Idle, pleaded guilty to breaking into two houses and stealing two watches and some money. On 6 March he used a cellar grate to enter the house of Emma Smithies in New Street and stole a lady’s gold watch, a silver watch and 5d. ‘He pledged the silver watch for 2s 6d and threw the gold watch away.’ Two weeks later he entered the house of Albert Hartley at 41 Castle Terrace, using a key which was left in the outhouse, and stole a purse containing 7s 6d. By the fire ‘A gas inspector saw the key in the house door and, thinking someone was in, entered. He saw the prisoner sitting before the fire and remarked, “It is a wet day.” ‘The prisoner replied, “It is that; I’m just drying my clothes.” ‘The inspector left after examining the gas meter, thinking the boy lived in the house. The prisoner afterwards appeared to have left the house, locked the door and replaced the key in the outhouse.’ Giving evidence, Mann’s father said it was the first time he had been in court but the boy had not been in regular work in the last three months was getting into bad company. The magistrate severely admonished the prisoner and put him under the care of the Probation Officer for twelve months.
Cool teenage burglar put on probation after two break ins
Walter Jowett, the holder of an off-licence in Windsor Road, Shipley, was summoned for breaching the liquor laws by giving a customer ‘the long pull’ and selling her too much beer. Inspector Beaton told the court he saw a woman leave the shop with a pot containing beer which when measured was shown to have half a pint more than it should have had. The defending solicitor said that the woman had been to a funeral and she and her husband wanted the beer for supper. ‘When she had got the pint, she looked into the jug and remarked, “There isn’t much there for two of us but as I’ve only another half-penny with me, I shall be pleased if you’ll give us a half pennyworth.” ‘The law did not allow the selling of the half-pennyworth and to that extent the landlady who supplied the beer had erred. But in this case she had not done the customer any harm by giving a little over measure. ‘In the old days people were summoned for giving too little measure now it was an offence to supply more than was asked for.’ The chairman of the magistrates nevertheless said the law must be obeyed and fined the defendant 40s and the cost of one witness.
Off licence owner fined for ‘long pull’
Wharfedale Guardians received a letter from Mr W Middleton of Otley who had recently been appointed as porter at the workhouse with an allowance for the shaving and hair cutting. He wanted a fresh tender considered that would include among other things the help of an inmate for lathering. Grow beards? He also wanted to be sure he wouldn’t have to pay someone to fill in if he were ill or conscripted. ‘I am prepared to do the shaving and hair cutting at the following prices: shaving 1½d, haircutting 2d.’ During the discussion, one of the guardians suggested, “Could we not advise the inmates to grow beards?”
Workhouse shave and haircut for 3½d