‘This is a photograph of the last batch of parcels sent on behalf of the Shipley Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Comforts Fund to the local men serving abroad. They were packed by Mr W V Ambler (hon sec of the Fund) and his staff. Mr Ambler is seen on the left of the picture.Seven hundred parcels were despatched on Empire Day and already 600 replies have been received. Each parcel contained a tin 50 gold flake cigarettes, a tin boracic ointment, a tin 6 Oxo cubes, a tin sardines, a tin mixed fruit tablets, a tube sauce, a tablet soap, a packet biscuits and 2 handkerchiefs.The names of a number of Shipley soldiers serving abroad have not yet been received. Relatives and friends are asked to forward particulars of these men as soon as possible in order that parcels might be sent to them.
700 parcels for men at the front
A mother of nine children may have unwittingly contributed to the death of one of her daughters because she did not want to “put upon” a doctor.An inquest into the death of eight-year-old Annie Carrington of 16 Piccadilly, Shipley, heard that even though Dr Selkirk had visited the house to examine another of the children, Mrs Carrington didn’t think to ask him to look at Annie who was suffering from sickness and diarrhoea.Trouble the doctor“I thought I could manage the job as well as he. I did not think it was serious,” the mother, whose husband was away at war, told the Coroner.A witness described Mrs Carrington as “an exceedingly nice woman who did not wish to trouble the doctor more than was necessary.”Annie, who had often suffered from bouts of sickness, seemed fine on Thursday. She ate a ‘good dinner of liver potatoes and suet dumplings’, the same meal eaten by her siblings.
And at tea-time she had eaten half a banana with bread and butter and ‘went to bed at night in her usual spirits.’Asked if the liver had been fresh, Mrs Carrington responded: “It ought to be at 10d a pound.”It was the following morning that Annie developed sickness and diarrhoea which lasted until she died on Saturday morning. Giving evidence, Dr Selkirk said he thought it was extraordinary that he had not been asked to look at the child when he was in the house around midday on the Friday.“I do not say anything against the woman except that it was thoughtless of her.”As the other children had shared the same meal as Annie without ill-effect, Dr Selkirk thought the food poisoning had probably been caused by something she had eaten outside the house.“I have seen children pick up orange peel and other things in the street and
eat them and it is possible the child might have done something similar,” he said.Dr Selkirk went on to protest against the ‘filthy habits of small children in the public streets and urged that the Shipley District Council should pass a bye law to prevent the nuisance to which he alluded, which was both disgusting and insanitary.’A lot for a half-pennyRecalled to the witness box, Mrs Carrington said her daughter was always “on the chew” but she didn’t know what Annie might have eaten outside. “The children run errands for neighbours and are given half-pennies for doing so. I do not always see what they buy with the money. They buy a chewing gum, mixed gums and anything they can get a lot of for a half-penny.”The jury returned a verdict that death was due to acute gastro enteritis cause by something the child had eaten but that the food taken in her home appeared to be free of suspicion.
Mother’s deference may have cost Annie her life
Saltaire butcher Harry Herbert Bentley was summoned at Halifax ‘for obtaining food and lodgings by false pretences.’Mr Walter Bentley, no relation, the proprietor of Bentley’s Temperance Hotel in Halifax, gave evidence that the defendant had come to the hotel at 11 o’clock at night and asked for a bed.‘Although he had no luggage, he was trusted because of his good appearance. ‘In the morning, after a breakfast of ham and eggs, a bill of 4s 6d was presented and the defendant told him to “put it down to the Crown.” ‘The defendant, who was found to have only 4d on him when searched, was committed to the Quarter Sessions.
Saltaire butcher in the dock after night in hotel
Farmers seek help from wounded soldiers
Mr J E Jennings of Baildon came up with a plan to use recuperating wounded soldiers to provide farmers with extra labour during that year’s hay and corn harvests.‘Plenty of these men are fairly fit and they are close at hand,’ he said.After some discussion the committee agreed to write to the military authorities at York, ‘pointing out that in the Wharfedale area they could absorb 50 men who had been accustomed to agricultural work.‘It was also decided to allude to the extreme urgency of the case to suggest that the men should be billeted at the farm houses.’
The balance of opinion as reflected in the pages of the Shipley Times & Express was clearly against conscientious objectors.The paper devoted a long report to a speech given by Rev J Matthewman to Windhill Wesleyan Brotherhood, which included ‘many local conscientious objectors.’ He opposed conscription but still found it hard to accept the claims of those who would not fight for their country on grounds of conscience.“Throughout their history Nonconformists have set great store on conscience,” he said. “At the same time, we must remember that conscience is very often mistaken. Misguided“There is also a fear in some minds that some people have suddenly developed consciences and there is a shrewd suspicion that men are sheltering behind their consciences to save themselves from pain and danger. “Conscience is tender and sacred and it is not easy to discover whether it was genuine or not…Again some men are misguided by conscience. No one would submit that every man’s conscience is equally educated. No one would say that the conscience of a savage is quite the same as the
conscience of a civilised man or a saint. “Later he added: “Nobody can say that his conscience is always absolutely correct and an infallible guide. Conscience changes, develops and grows and men do in the name of conscience one day, the very opposite to what the same man will do the next day. Consciences, in fact, have been the instigation of some of the most terrible persecutions in the history of the world.” He said he admired the Quakers who, while they were not willing to take life, place themselves at the disposal of the State to work in non-combatant service.
“I can hardly understand the attitude of a conscientious objector who refuses to aid a wounded British soldier because it might secure his return to the front line. If I were a wounded British soldier, I would rather be shot dead by a German than neglected by a conscientious objector and left to suffer and die a worse death. “The man who would leave a British soldier to die is as culpable and as guilty as the man who would go forth and shoot another man.”He concluded: “It is up to us all to do our bit towards bringing a lasting peace in Europe which can only be brought about by the defeat of the Prussian militarism.”
Conscience is not an infallible guide
Columnist “Mr Idle” was unhappy that traditional Whit Monday events had been cancelled for the war effort:I spent an half-hour on Whit Monday in the realm of retrospection. I saw myself a wee little boy, with a fat face, red cheeks, a soft round hat (my older brother wore a “neb” cap), a nice little brown new suit, with a deep linen collar on my neck – saw myself running to Sunday School on a long-dead Whit Monday with a little mug in my hand – we called them “pots” – and I felt again the same old full feeling of absolute happiness, overpowering joy, inexpressible delight because it was “Wissenda Munda” and we were going to walk and have a bun and tea, and afterwards play in the field.O, my friends, Are we ever so happy again as when we were young?
Memories of Whitsun
Disappointment at Tribunal’s inaction
Shipley Military Tribunal refused to follow in the footsteps of others in the country who had ordered that men whose conscription was postponed by a few months, should join the Volunteer Force where they would start to learn the basics of army life.Their decision was not welcomed by Shipley Volunteers as the writer of their weekly column made clear.‘To the man in the street,’ he wrote, ‘this would seem to be a very natural and proper provision, seeing that by the time the applicant is called up, he would have already had preliminary training and the interval would not, from a military point of view, have been wasted. Incidentally it would give a welcome fillip to the movement.‘The apparent reason is that the tribunal consider they have no power to impose a condition. We are unable to appreciate why in this instance, the greater should not welcome the less and why this Tribunal should hesitate to assume a power which the Bradford and many other Tribunals have felt no difficulty in exercising and that with the warm approval of high military authorities.’