Passchendaele 4

Back to page 3 of the Passchendaele series.

Sergeant Charlie Binns, of Sun Street, Haworth, has been wounded in the arm and shoulder and is now in St Luke's Hospital, Bradford. Sergeant Binns was an old Haworth Territorial, and went to France with the West Riding Regiment. After being wounded he returned to England, but went back to France twelve months ago. This is, therefore, the second time Sergeant Binns has been wounded. Before the war he was a well-known Association football player. He played in goal for Haworth Athletic for two seasons, and afterwards with Oakworth.

Rifleman Harry Birch, King's Royal Rifles, son of Mr and Mrs Ben Birch, of 4, Ermystead Street Skipton, has been reported "missing." Mr and Mrs Birch have four sons in the Army, in addition to one who has received his discharge, and a son-in-law, Mr Foster Pickles, of 7, Thomas Street, Haworth.


Corporal Joe Chaplin

Corporal Joe Chaplin, West Riding Regiment, of 10, West Lane, Haworth, has been wounded for the second time, and is in hospital at Epsom. Corporal Chaplin joined the forces shortly after the commencement of the war, and was wounded last July. He returned to France in the following November. he was formerly employed on the Keighley Corporation Waterworks in Sladen Valley.

Private William Chaplin

Private William Chaplin, of the Welsh Regiment, and of 104, West Lane, Haworth, has been wounded, and is in Croydon General Hospital. He went out to France in December. Along with his brother, Corporal Joe Chaplin, he was formerly employed on the Keighley Corporation Waterworks in Sladen Valley.


Corporal James Arthur Pennington

Official information has been received that Corporal James Arthur Pennington, of the West Riding Regiment, has been severely wounded in the head and is now in the 83rd General Hospital, Boulogne. Aged 22, he is the only son of Mr and Mrs George Pennington, of The Hills, Oakworth, and was employed prior to enlistment by Messrs. Haggas and Sons. Oakworth Mills. He has previously been wounded.

Private Tom Binns, West Riding Regiment, and of Commercial Street, Oakworth, has been gassed.

Sergeant Harry Hutchinson

Corporal Harry Hutchinson, West Riding Regiment, and of New Laithe, Oakworth, has been gassed.
[Harry enlisted on August 2, 1915 and was made acting Sergeant for a while. He was invalided out of the Army on October 25, 1918 due to wounds and issued with the silver war badge for his service to his country]


Mrs Brierley, of Hill House, Oxenhope, has been notified by the War Office that her husband, Gunner David Brierley, was admitted to the general Hospital, Calais, suffering from a gunshot wound to the right thigh. He was subsequently removed to a convalescent camp at Boulogne, where he is making satisfactory progress, Before joining the Army he was employed as a weaving overlooker at Messrs. Merralls' Oxenhope Mills. Gunner Brierley's brother, Private G. Barwick, was recently killed in action.


Rifleman Fred Fortune
Rifleman Fred Fortune, King's Royal Rifles, only son of Mrs and Mrs David Fortune, 12, Barrett Street, Silsden, has been wounded in the right leg by shrapnel and is at present in a hospital at Liverpool. In a letter to his parents he says: "Our brigade had been in the trenches near Ypres for about four days, and had only been out about a day when the other two brigades in our division made an attack and we were called up to reinforce. Fritz spotted us and put a barrage on to us, and just as we were getting into a wood I was hit. A shell burst near by, wounding two of us and killing the next man to me, at least, I think he was killed." Twenty-two years of age, Rifleman Fortune enlisted in March of last year, and went out to France the following August. On September 15 he was wounded in the face, and after recovering in this country he again went to the front in December. Before joining the forces he was employed by Messrs. Berry and Fletcher, manufacturers, Silsden.

Corporal Robert John (Jack) Coles

Corporal Robert John (Jack) Coles, Prince of Wales' Own West Yorkshire Regiment, was born in Bootle, Lancashire. His parents were William and Elizabeth Coles. By the time he was ten they had moved from Lancaster to Keighley and were living at Bridge House, Lawkholme Lane in 1901 and his father was the station master at Keighley. Later they moved to 19, Broughton Road, Skipton as his father took up the same position at Skipton Railway Station. At the age of twenty in 1911, Robert was a railway clerk and he joined the The Yorkshire Hussars, in this year. At the outbreak of war he reported for duty at Knaresborough. His time expired in November 1916, but he immediately rejoined and stayed at the front. On October 8 1917, he was killed in action when he was shot by a German sniper whilst one of a party of volunteers from the Regiment who had been asked by the Commanding Officer to undertake an attack upon a German post. Robert and his brother William Henry Coles were old boys of Keighley Trade and Grammar School. William was killed in December 1917, and their brother Arthur was also killed, in June 1918.
[Robert and William are named in Keighley's Great War roll of honour in Keighley Library, on the Victoria Park Wesleyan Methodist Chapel war memorial, held by Cliffe Castle Museum, and named in 'The Keighlian' Magazine's roll of honour.]


Private Erwin Brooks
Mr and Mrs Thos. Brooks, of Asheld, Cross Hills, have received letters from their son, Private Erwin Brooks, of the Lancashire Fusiliers, informing them that he had been wounded in the recent heavy fighting in France, and was in the Military Hospital at Devonport. The first intimation was a field card, which was followed by a letter from Sergeant J. Walmsley, his platoon officer, who said that Private Brooks had not been very seriously wounded. The wound was in his right arm. Private Brooks joined up in August, 1916, at Rochdale, where he was at that time engaged in one of the iron foundries, and had been out in France for over eight months. He is 31 years of age and unmarried. His younger brother, Gunner Maurice Brooks, of the Canadian Field Artillery, is out in France. He joined up over a year ago, and came over with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in October, 1916. The two brothers were on their last leave at Christmas at the same time, but did not manage to see each other. It is six years since Maurice went out to Canada.

Poelcappelle October 9th - banner

War diary extract for 1st 8th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment early October 1917

[Rifleman William Herbert Priestley of the 1st/8th Battalion Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment, was born in Bradford in 1883 to parents Joseph and Hannah Priestley.
He lived most of his early life in Bradford, in the Wakefield Road area. By the 1911 census, he was 27 years old and working in the pattern room for a Safe merchant, and living with wife Lily Priestley (née Davy) at 277, New Hey Road, off Wakefield Road, Bradford.
He enlisted late in the war, probably through conscription, and in 1917 he was killed in action on October 9, 1917. (see war diary above). He was reportedly shot in the neck by a German sniper. He was 34 years of age and left a wife and two children.
He has no known grave and is remembered on the Tyne Cot memorial. He is also remembered locally on the Oakworth War Memorial in Holden Park, on the Oakworth Wesleyan Methodist Chapel Roll of Honour, and on the family grave in Oakworth Cemetery. The inscription reads:
Also of Wm. Herbert, beloved husband of Lily Priestley, (daughter of Smith Davy).
Who was killed in action Oct 9th 1917. Aged 34 years. "Love is Eternal"
His wife Lily died February 21, 1966, aged 81 years. From the inscription she does not appear to have remarried.]

War diary entry of 8th Battalion West Riding Regiment for early October 1917

Private Clifton Preece Emmott

Private Clifton Preece Emmott, 8th Battalion, West Riding Regiment, was born in Keighley in 1897. Parents Thomas and Elizabeth Emmott (neé Slack). He was baptised on April 4, at Holy Trinity Church, Lawkholme. At the time the family were living at 6, Thrush Street, and his father was a plate layer. At some point they moved to Hill Top, Grassington and were there in 1911 for the census. Clifton was fourteen years old with a younger brother George aged just one.. Living at Hill Top, Grassington, with parents and one brother George aged 1. Their father was still a railway plate layer, for the Midland Railway Company and Clifton was a postal messenger for H. M. Government. Clifton enlisted at Skipton on November 4, 1915 and after being called up later for training, eventually disembarked at Etaples, France, with the 8th battalion West Riding Regiment on September 26, 1916. He was killed in action on October 9, aged 20 years and has no known grave. He is remembered on Tyne Cot memorial and on the Roll Call of the Skipton Division Liberal and Conservative Associations, August 4th 1914 - August 4th 1916. Also named on the Grassington Devonshire Institute Roll of Honour, the Linton-in Craven war memorial and in the Church of Saint Michael & All Angels Book of Remembrance.
A letter signed Teddy and Vic was received by the deceased soldier’s parents, which states:– “It is with sincere regret that we write these few lines to tell you of poor Clifton’s death. He was killed in action on October 9th, whilst we were making an attack at Poelcapple, which is between Roulers and Ypres. It was about an hour after we went over. His death was instantaneous, and he suffered no pain. I was with him all the day before we went over, and he seemed bright and cheerful. He was not only a fine soldier of our earthly King, but to the King of Kings. He was reading his Bible and singing hymns before we went up. We often noticed him reading his Bible. He said his father asked him to read a little every day, and I am sure he did so. We miss him very much, as he was more like a brother than a friend. We used to often remark “What’s ours is yours, and what’s yours is ours.” When it was a parcel or anything else it was always share and share alike. All the boys in his platoon are very sorry to lose, him as he was respected and liked by all. Please accept our deepest sympathy in your sad bereavement. TEDDY & VIC”

[On October 10, 1917, the day after the Battle of Poelcappelle, Private Jonas Snowden MM of the 9th Battalion West Riding Regiment, Private Harold Ratcliffe of the 9th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment and Private Duke Hollingsworth of the 2nd Battalion west Riding Regiment were all killed in action. Their names were not reported in the local newspapers.
Private Jonas Snowden M.M., is remembered on Tyne Cot memorial, Haworth's main war memorial, the memorial board at St Michael and All Angels Church and on the memorial board at West Lane Baptist Chapel. He was 23 years of age when he died. Private Harold Ratcliffe is remembered on Tyne Cot memorial, Haworth's main Great War memorial, the memorial board at St Michael and All Angels Church and on his family gravestone in Haworth (St. Michael) Churchyard which reads: Pte Harold Ratcliffe, son of Richard and Elizabeth Ratcliffe, Killed in action at Poelcappelle, S.E. of Ypres, Oct 9th 1917, Aged 30 years. Private Duke Hollingsworth is remembered on Tyne Cot memorial, Ingrow War memorial, and on Ingrow Council School memorial. He was 22 years old when he died.]

KEIGHLEY NEWS Sept. 15, 1917, Page 3:



Second Lieutenant James Thomas Ickringill
Second-Lieutenant James T. Ickringill, West Riding Regiment, son of Mr. Jeremiah Ickringill, Oakworth Road House, Keighley, has been 'gassed'. The officer, who was gazetted a few months ago, is an old boy of the Keighley Trade and Grammar School and Elmsfield College, York.


Sergeant Bob Lowis
Mr and Mrs Tom Lowis, 16, Craven Road, Keighley, have been informed that their son, Sergeant Bob Lowis, Royal Field Artillery, who was formerly employed by Alfred Herbert's, Ltd., Coventry, has been severely wounded. His commanding officer, in a letter to the wounded soldier's parents, says "I called yesterday afternoon, September 1, at the dressing station, and the doctor told me he thought your son would possibly pull through. It would be unkind not to let you know that his life is in danger. I am afraid this will be a terrible blow to you, but we all hope and pray that it may not be as serious as was first thought. Sergeant Lowis is a fine fellow, and I have watched his career with great interest ever since he joined the battery. He was held in great regard by all officers and beloved by all other ranks. I am sure you will all be proud to know that it was only the other day that his name was sent in for gallantry in the field. I sincerely trust that his life may be saved with health restored, and that soon we may have a good report of his progress." Previous to going to Coventry Sergeant Lowis served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Dean Smith and Grace Machine Tool Works, Keighley. He joined the colours in August, 1914, and has been at the front two years, and eight months.


Private John Spencer

Private John Spencer, Highland Light Infantry, has been killed in action. The youngest son of the late Mr and Mrs H. Spencer, of Bailey Street, Ingrow, the deceased soldier was before the war in business on his own account as a hairdresser at Gullane, Scotland. While at Keighley he was a member of St. ________ Sunday School, and he served his apprenticeship with Mr E. Midgley, hairdresser, Skipton Road, Keighley. He left the district when 21, and had made good progress in his profession. He was 31 and single. In a letter to Mrs Kelk, Tennyson Road, Leyburn, the Rev W. L. M. Law, C.F., says that Private Spencer was killed in action on August 19, when his battalion made a successful attack upon the enemy's position, gaining and holding their objectives. He and his comrades fought magnificently and their work had been highly praised by the General of the division. The chaplain adds: "I buried your brother beside seven of his comrades in the cemetery, where his grave will be carefully tended and preserved. Your brother's officers and comrades in the regiment send you their heartfelt sympathy in your sad bereavement."
[John was killed on August 19 and buried in grave 15, row H, plot II of Templeux-Le-Guerard British Cemetery in France. He was 31 years of age]

Private Albert Stoddart, Northumberland Fusiliers, and of 9, Ingram Street, Ingrow, has been killed in action. Prior to enlisting he was employed by Messrs. M and S Summerscales' Sons, machine makers, Keighley. By the death of Private Stoddart the West Bradford Cricket League and the Riddlesden Cricket Club in particular have lost one of their most popular cricketers. For five or six years he was one of the mainstays of the Riddlesden Club in the batting department, assisting in carrying off the championship on four occasions. Of a quiet and an unassuming nature, his sterling qualities had endeared him to all those with whom he came in contact, and he will be missed by a large circle of friends. He answered his country's call eighteen months ago, and had been in France about twelve months.

Corporal Stephen Tatham. [see the first banner in this display]

Private J E Proctor

Private John E. Proctor, of the Connaught Rangers, has written to his wife, who resides at 27, Nelson Street, Keighley, stating that he has been wounded and is in hospital in France. He enlisted in November, 1915, and took part with the Irish division in the great battles of Bullecourt, Givenchy, and Messines, and wrote interesting letters on these historic engagements. Though in the thick of the fray for a year and nine months, he has only been a short time previously in hospital suffering from shell shock. Before joining the Army he was vice president of the United Irish League, Market Street, Keighley, and was well known in Irish circles in the town.

Private J W Willoughby

Mr and Mrs Willoughby, of 11, Rowley Street, Dalton Lane, Keighley, have received official notification that their son Lance-Corporal J. W. Willoughby, West Yorkshire Regiment, has been severely wounded in the left leg and is in hospital in France. A year ago he returned to England suffering from septic poisoning and went back in February last. Before enlisting he was employed as a cabinetmaker by Messrs. J. Green, Hanover Street, Keighley.

News has been received by Mr W. White, of Paget Street, Keighley, that his son, Private J. White, of the West Riding Regiment, is lying dangerously ill in a casualty clearing station suffering from gunshot wounds in the head. Private White served full time in the Keighley Volunteers and he joined the West Yorkshire Regiment in the early days of the war and had been in France about two and a half years. He had been employed by Messrs. Hall and Stells at Keighley and at the time of enlistment was in the employ of Mr Clayton, Thornton Road, Bradford.

Private Michael Henry

Private Michael Henry, West Riding Regiment, has written to his sister, who resides at 62, Mornington Street, Keighley, stating that he was wounded on August 29. The official report described his injuries as gunshot wound in the left hand, and he is now in Canterbury Hospital. He was also wounded in September, 1916, in the Somme battle, and returned four months ago, taking part in several engagements before being wounded. Enlisting in August, 1914 he saw active service first in France, then in Gallipoli and Egypt, and finally again in France.

Gunner J. Smales

Gunner J. Smales, Royal Field Artillery, whose home is at 162, Hermit Hole, Ingrow, has been wounded in the back by shrapnel and is in hospital in France. He has been at the front about twelve months and has previously been wounded. Aged 21, he was employed by Messrs. Robert Clough, Grove Mills, previous to enlistment.

Private Alfred Lewis Slater

Private Alfred Lewis Slater (20), King's Own Scottish Borderers, formerly of Keighley, was killed on August 14. He was the son of Mrs Smith Slater, of Sutton in Ashfield, and was apprenticed to lithograph printing at Nottingham.
[Alfred was born in Keighley in 1897, the son of Smith and Annie Slater. They moved to Sutton in Ashfield shortly afterwards and lived at Chatsworth Street, then at 'The Haven' on Bath Wood Drive, Sutton In Ashfield. Alfred was fourteen years old in the 1911 census and working as a draper's errand boy. He enlisted there in the South Staffordshire Regiment but was transferred at some point to the King's Own Scottish Borderers. Alfred was killed in action on August 14 and has no known grave. He is remembered on the Menin Gate, and in Keighley's Great War roll of honour book in Keighley Library.]
Lance-Corporal T. Green, of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, has been killed in action. Joining the Army in the early days of the war, he was wounded in July, 1916, going back into action last October. His home is at 88, Park Lane, and in civil life he was employed as a moulder by Messrs. Clegg and Howgate.]

It has been officially announced during the past week that the following soldiers from Keighley and district have been wounded: West Riding Regiment: Pte. E. Birkett, 242121; Pte. H. Brayshaw, 268491; Pte. A. J. Carter, 265866; Sgt. A. Davies, 265069; Pte. G. L. Green, 266649; Pte. A. Sutcliffe, 265228; Pte. D. Wagstaffe, 325007; Pte. B. Crane, 207703; Pte. W. Lawson, 267339; Pte. J. Scott, 265483; Pte. L. H. Garrod, 242855; Cpl. H. Hutchinson, 17373; Pte. G. A. Dodson, 242142; Pte. J. W. Johnson, 242167; and Pte. S. Mathews, 242628 (Haworth). Northumberland Fusiliers: Pte. W. Beaver, 40499; and Pte. A. Hawker, 32685. West Yorkshire Regiment: Pte. A. C. Boothman, 690. Army Service Corps: Pte. J. Hanson, M/284655.


Private Fred Coates

Private Fred Coates, West Riding Regiment, only son of Mr Robert Coates, of Law House Lodge, Lees, Haworth, has died of wounds in France. He was admitted to hospital on the 3rd and died on the September 5. He was wounded in April last and returned to France five weeks ago. Private Coates, before joining the colours in July, 1916, was head gardener to Mr E. G. Arnold, the Lord Mayor of Leeds, for some years. When he went to France in October of last year he was connected with a Lewis gun section, originally having joined the Green Howards. At Lees, where Private Coates spent his boyhood and early manhood, general sympathy is felt for the family. He leaves a widow and two young children, who reside at Moorfield Lodge, Moortown, Leeds.

Private J. A. Weller
Private J. A. Weller, Sherwood Foresters, eldest son of Mr and Mrs George Weller, of 40, River Street, Haworth, was reported wounded on July 31. No intimation has been received as to the hospital he may have been sent to. Mr and Mrs Weller would, therefore, welcome any information concerning him. Private Weller has been out in France since February last, and he was formerly employed by Messrs. Hattersley & Sons, Keighley.
[John Arthur Weller is named on the Menin Gate memorial, Haworth's Great War memorial, Haworth Parish Church memorial board, and at West Lane Methodist Church.]

Sergeant Alfred Pollard

Sergeant Alfred Pollard, of the West Riding Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs Frank Pollard, Lynn Wood, Skipton Road, Silsden, has been admitted to hospital in London suffering from trench fever. He is said to be progressing favourably. Sergeant Pollard, who is 23 years of age, enlisted in October, 1914, and went out to France in January last. He joined as a private, and quickly rose to his present rank. Mr and Mrs Pollard have another son serving his King and country, Private Willie Pollard, who is attached to the Royal Garrison Artillery, and is at present stationed in England.
[Alfred transferred to the Army Veterinary Corps in 1918 and survived the war]

Private Fred Tomlinson

Mr and Mrs John Tomlinson, of 21, Green End Road, Morton, have been notified that their son Private Fred Tomlinson, of the Canadian Royal Engineers, has been admitted to the 2nd Birmingham War Hospital, Northfield, suffering from trench fever. At the outbreak of hostilites he was in Canada and joined the Royal Engineers in July, 1915. He had been in France since January, 1916.

Lance Corporal T. Green

Writing with reference to the death of Lance-Corporal T. Green, West Riding Regiment, and of 88, Park Lane, Keighley, a report of which appeared in with last week's issue, Lieutenant J. H. Sharp says: "Grieved I am that I should have to write informing you that your husband, Lance-Corporal Green was killed on the afternoon of August 27. He was the last man with me as we were advancing towards a position, when a bullet struck him and he died immediately. I am awfully sorry to have lost him, as he was wonderful in training, helpful in billets, ___ ___ ___ ___ __ battle. I could trust him anywhere ___ ___ any time, and he was a good all-round man ___ ___ with(?) Just before going into action I was taking to him about home and he showed me a photograph of yourself and family. Please accept for yourself and your children the heartfelt sympathy of all the Company, especially his old platoon No 4, and of it's officer."

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