Friday 19 May 1916
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The Shipley Times & Express published two very different letters on the subject of Conscientious Objectors The first was from Radnor Hodgson of Baildon. The conscientious objector is a very unpopular character at present and in the eyes of many people scarcely any treatment, I believe, could be too bad for him. Nevertheless I appeal to you for a little space on behalf of this poor dog, for if the present methods of dealing with him are continued and developed they will possibly cause serious trouble in the near future, besides revolting all truly conscientious men and women among us and bring a foul stain on our country’s reputation.
Almost all who condemn the conscientious objector utterly fail to understand his position. They cannot get away from the idea – which is utterly false – that he is a shirker or a coward. His position, briefly stated, is that he puts what God requires him to do before what men and temporary powers require him to do; and if a government orders him to do something which he believes God forbids him to do then he must refuse to obey. Obstinacy Such obstinacy may be very vexatious to men and governments but this man is taking the highest stand and if need be he can serenely endure and wait till his persecutors,
like all other earthly things, pass away. There are certain ways in which conscientious objectors can render valuable service to the nation; they have, in fact, mostly been rendering such service. Is it not foolish, therefore, to take them from service of this kind and also waste the time and energy of those others who are required to watch and “correct” them? The treatment of conscientious objectors up to the present has been bad enough but many are apprehen- sive that worse may soon follow. I would like to give the most solemn warning to all who are in any degree responsible that they are in this matter following in Germany’s steps. Infamy If even one conscientious objector be shot or otherwise seriously hurt I shall regard it – and I believe that people of impartial mind throughout the world will so regard it – as an infamy as bad as the worst recorded against Germany. And I shall regard those who have taken charge of those young men as being responsible for whatever may happen to them. If this matter should be carried to the point of tragedy it would be another version of the drama of Calvary; the putting to death of the best by those who are yet on too low a level of consciousness to understand them. Are not the agony and the losses of the war great enough without adding to them needlessly?
The second was a letter written by Pte Luther Hardaker of Shipley from the front line: Since I wrote last we have been through stirring times. We have experienced all the “panoply” of war in its most vivid forms and have come through as well as was expected of us. I think that all the Bradford units have been under fire and that all have come through with credit to the city that bred them. Bradford has sent close to 10,000 or 12,000 men to the war and when we come back we shall have some very plain, blunt questions to ask of the men who “conscientiously object” to doing their bit in a world-wide conflict of this description. Whimpering curs I have conscientious objections to war as being morally wrong and politically unjust but I prefer to do the fighting for my life and liberty and the defence of my home and my wife to skulking behind and being murdered in cold blood as we should have been if we had all taken the same stand as these whimpering curs who call themselves conscientious objectors. Shakespeare says “Conscience doth make cowards of us all” but it is not at all true, for to put it bluntly these people have no “conscience” at all. I feel compelled to word my protest strongly for if these contemptible fellows saw the sights we daily see out here, they would be shamed into activity. The people of England have got to learn that after this war, class distinction is at an end and that men will be valued at what they are and not what they are worth.  In fact there are several other things they have to learn as well. There is a great deal for us to unlearn after this war. Will it be as big an education as learning the lesson was and a lot more painful to the pupil? But if, after all, the lesson is properly learned, the sacrifice now being daily made will not have been made in vain.
Men of conscience or skulking shirkers?
Mr Harry Greenfield of 79 Manor Lane, Shipley was newly appointed as a Justice of the Peace. ‘Mr Greenfield took the leading part in 1886 in the formation of the Shipley Branch of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants and was elected as its first chairman.’ He helped establish the Shipley and District Trades and Labour Council and served on several local bodies, including the Education Committee, and was a governor of Salts’ High Schools.
Railway man becomes J.P.
Two young boys were involved in painful road accidents. When cycling down Thorpe Garth in Idle, 14-year-old Frank Stead Brayshaw of Springfield Road, lost control of his bike and ran into a wall at the rear of the Alexandra hotel. He suffered injuries to his face and right hand was making satisfactory progress after being treated by Dr Hirst. The other lad was only identified as the son of Mr W Craven of Beck House, Baildon. ‘It would appear that the youth was having a ride on Mr L Erwin’s motor waggon and having gone as far as he wished to do, jumped off while the vehicle was still travelling at a good speed. ‘In doing so he unfortunately fell under the waggon, the wheels passing over him.’ The boy was taken to Saltaire hospital where it was discovered that he had been very fortunate and suffered only severe bruising and shock.
Lads hurt in waggon and cycle accidents
Lily Slater, a weaver of no fixed address, was sent to jail for two months for stealing a costume and pair of shoes from a woman with whom she had previously lodged at 11 Albion Street, Shipley. Probation Officer, Miss Barker, ‘gave the prisoner a very bad character.’ James Cunningham, a 36-year-old labourer from Windhill, was jailed for one month with hard labour for loitering with intent to commit a felony.
Two sent to jail
A woman died after falling off a flat roof while trying to adjust her washing line. After hearing the circumstances, a coroner’s inquest returned an ‘accidental death’ verdict on Mrs Midgley of 24 Barrett Street, Shipley. She had climbed on to the roof of an outbuilding which was four feet off the ground and below which were five or six stone steps, in order to tighten the clothes line. It appeared that a peg came out of the post, causing her to lose her balance and she was found at the foot of the steps in a position that one witness said suggested she had turned a somersault. Her husband, who was ill in bed, heard the thud and his wife call out for help. Neighbours helped take her into the house and Dr Thornton was summoned. He found she had a deep wound at the back of her head and he also judged she had injured her spinal cord She was still conscious and in great pain and she died the following morning.
Woman dies in washday fall
Cllr E Cowgill, chairman of Shipley Council’s Libraries Committee reported that they had set up a sub-committee to look into improving both the inside and outside of Saltaire’s Victoria Hall, including the stone lions which were weathering badly. It was recognised that something must be done to arrest the decay of the lions which were originally designed by sculptor Thomas Milnes for the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square. In the end that contract had gone to Sir Edwin Landseer so Sir Titus Salt bought the lions, representing Vigilance, Determination, Peace and War, and installed them in Saltaire.
Library Committee plan to restore Saltaire lions to former glory
Mill workers’ outing
The overlookers, twisters etc of Messrs J Clough and Son, had their annual outing on Saturday. After proceeding by train to Otley, they journeyed on foot to Askwith where through the generosity of the masters, a substantial ham and egg tea was provided at the Black Horse. After tea they went via Denton Park to Ben Rhydding and thence by train to Baildon, thus bringing a most enjoyable and pleasant outing to a close.
On Saturday morning whilst erecting a lightning conductor at Laurel Bank, Baildon, the residence of Ald Dickinson, John Lorimer (22) of Marshfields Place, Bradford, fell from a ladder and sustained a severe scalp wound and injuries to the wrist First Aid was rendered by Mrs Dickinson. Preferred tramcar He was afterwards taken to the police station by P C Wilkinson and after a rest was able to proceed home. Ald Dickinson provided a taxi-cab but Lorimer preferred to travel by tramcar.
Painful fall
A Local Government Board general order under the Public Health Tuberculosis Regulations, published in Tuesday night’s London Gazette, requires every medical officer of health to forward to the Army Council a list containing the names and other particulars of all male persons entered in his register in accordance with the Tuberculosis Regulations, who were between the ages of 18 and 46 years old on 1 January last. Subsequent additions to the register must be notified to the Army Council within a week. Confidential A circular letter to local authorities states that the object of the order is to assist the Army Council in securing that men suffering from tuberculosis are not enlisted into the army. The operation of the order is limited to the duration of the present war and all information received is to be regarded as confidential.
T.B. sufferers to be registered