Friday 21 April 1916
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The death of still another Shipley soldier on active service is announced in the person of Pte Sam Scholefield whose home is at 11 Wycliffe Place. First and foremost the deceased soldier was a loyalist and for the past 200 years members of his family have taken the field in the great wars this country has taken part in. A splendid patriotism is well demonstrated by the fact that, although his services were not ultimately needed in the Boer War, yet at the call for men at that period, he readily responded and for nine months served with the colours in England. On the outbreak of the present war he again volunteered and after some time in a training camp, proceeded to France in July of last year. In December of the same year he came home on short leave and returned shortly afterwards to the firing line. A butcher by trade his knowledge in that direction has been utilised whilst in France. Quite recently he was taken ill and was confined to a French Military Hospital. After a number of operations, skilfully performed by the best surgeons in the army, his condition gradually became worse and a fortnight ago his wife and mother were sent for. They immediately went to the French Hospital and after a week at the bedside of the patient returned home highly satisfied with the attention and treatment the sick soldier was receiving. He died on Thursday of last week at the age of 36 years and leaves a wife and two children
Top surgeons couldn’t save Sam
Despite suffering from shell shock, Cpl Tillet (right) agreed to recount some of his experiences serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps at the front. Cpl Tillet, who lived at 320 Leeds Road, Fagley, was an army veteran. ‘Previous to the present war he had served four years with the artillery then transferred to the RAMC remaining with this arm of the service for eight years. ‘In 1900 he went with the expeditionary force to China at the time of the Boxer Rebellion and entered Peking on August 1st of the same year.’ Gas attack Although he had already served his country for 12 years, Cpl Tillet signed up again in September 1914 and the following February was sent to France. After five weeks at Rouen, he
was sent to the combat area. ‘His first distressing experience was the witnessing of fields full of our brave lads who had been gassed on the first German gas attack. ‘In several instances he had to deal with wounded Germans who were chained to the guns they had been serving. ‘On one occasion he entered a captured German trench and he found a German sat down, evidently enjoying himself for his pipe was in his hand and in a niche close by was his tobacco. But he was dead. ‘Cpl Tillet was with a convoy one night, removing wounded men and as they came to an exposed part of the road they were spotted by means of a German star shell. A shell quickly followed with deadly accuracy. It killed two of the horses and four of
the men and wounded nine others and the wonder was that any of them escaped.’ He was attached the Black Watch at the battle of Loos where they lost many men and on one occasion ‘Cpl Tillet was standing by a large marquee which had been erected for the RAMC men who had come off duty. 30 yards ‘He saw a shell drop near an ambulance man whom he knew and his pal was blown 30 yards away without receiving any other injury than a shock; but seven others were killed and nine wounded and all that was left of the marquee consisted of a few props. ‘While he was attached to the Middlesex Regt he had a narrow escape of a different kind. He was in a trench with a soldier named Turner when they were surprised by a German who had scaled the parapet unseen. After an exciting fight the intruder was disposed of.’
Veteran tells of sights that caused shell shock
This photo was published under the headline Patriotic Pals but with no explanation in the caption: ‘Back Row: Pte John Raistrick, RAMC (of Thackley) and Pte Arthur Dawson RAMC (of Thackley) both of whom are at Rouen in France. Front Row: John Hill of Thackley (who after having been in training for some time was discharged), Sgt Sam Turner, Australian Ex force, now in France, son of Mr Jerb Turner, Idle, and Trooper Clifford L Heeling, Dorsetshire Yeomanry, of Idle.’
Writing from France to his Sunday School teacher, Pte Frank Illingworth says: ‘As you are aware we are the reserve for the 1st Bradford Pals. ‘We mean to make a name for ourselves in the history of our country. Our chance has come at last and we are going to take it. ‘Close to the shore here a few of our noble heroes have been buried, all with faces toward the land from which they came. ‘This evening I made a visit to a hut which had been built from the collections of boy scouts in England and is run as a kind of YMCA. ‘Having been connected with this movement for some time before joining the army I was accorded a hearty welcome. This they give to all the scouts. ‘When I meet my fellow scouts later there will be some smiles exchanged and some tales to tell. ‘I hope the friends we have left behind are keeping bright and cheerful. That is what we are trying to do who have come out here to keep the old flag flying.’
Scout-funded hut helps to keep spirits up
Plenty of action here
Pte Harry Dixon who was with the Bradford Pals in France, wrote: ‘It’s far better being here than in Egypt. There is always something on the go. It is surprising to see the number of motor transports and Red Cross waggons whizzing along the roads. ‘It creates a bit of interest to see the signs that are painted on them. There are many “thumbs up” and others with shamrocks painted on. ‘It is fascinating watching our aeroplanes hovering over the German lines and to see the Bosches wasting large quantities of shells in a vain endeavour to bring them down. It is as good as being at the pictures. ‘Our artillery is splendid and it is really marvellous how quickly they can get the range. We are being well looked after as regards rations whilst cigarettes are served out every week.’
‘Sapper William Marshall (right), whose home is at Town Well Fold, High Street, Idle, was killed in action in France on March 31st. ‘He was in the Royal Engineers, popularly referred to as the “Glorious Seventh.” ‘Sapper Marshall, who in civil life was employed by Mr Jeptha Thornton, contractor, Thackley, was a hardened campaigner. ‘During the South African War he was on active service in India. ‘Before the outbreak of the present war he had served 5½ years on the reserve. On the mobilisation of the reserve in August of 1914, he was called to the colours and was in at the first series of battles at Ypres. ‘His regiment at that time was highly commended for their bravery. ‘His long term of service in France has not been without incident. Sixteen months ago he was reported missing but it was fortunately found out that it was another man who was referred to. ‘After that he was actually cut off from his regiment but only for two days and two nights. That was at Christmas 1915 and often in speaking of his exciting experiences at that time he said he
would never forget that Christmas, the longest day he lived. ‘He was one of the little band of Britishers who went to relive Antwerp. Before the relieving party could give succour to the besieged Belgians, the great fortress had fallen into the hands of the Huns and the party at once returned to the Ypres base. ‘During the defence of Antwerp an officer got buried by earth and Sapper Marshall partly dug him out with his finger nails. ‘The deceased soldier was a friend of the well-known Eccleshill soldier, the late Pte Charlie Styles, and was actually in conversation with him on the morning the latter was killed. ‘He leaves a wife and three children.’
Veteran engineer killed after several narrow escapes
Baildon’s Leslie F Paget was among the young men who passed the Army Entrance Exams for cadets to the Royal Military College Sandhurst and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. The eldest son of Mr A R Paget, Bank Crest, Baildon, Leslie was eighth highest candidate out of 418 successful applicants. He was educated at the Central Council School and Bradford Grammar School and subsequently went to the Dockyard School in Portsmouth as an apprentice. Another Central School “Old Boy”, L Cpl Edgar Wilkinson of 1/6 West Yorkshire Regiment has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery on the field of battle in November last.
Success for two former pupils of Baildon Central Council School
The paper ran pictures of (top l-r) Windhill brothers Fred and Horace Raistrick. Fred was with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in Egypt while Horace with the RFA. Also featured were (below l-r) L Cpl Charles Long, whose death had been reported the week before, and Bombardier Fred Burnett from Eccleshill.