Private Smith Parker was born in Denholme in 1888, to parents Pickles (a worsted weaver) and Hannah Parker. He lived in Denholme all his life, working mostly in the textile industry as a mill hand or labourer. He married Annice Bairstow in 1910 and they had a daughter, Alice in early 1911. Smith enlisted at Keighley early in 1917, apparently for the Durham Light Infantry. He transferred to 364 Labour Company, then to the 2nd/5th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and served as an infantryman. He took part in the Passchendaele attack on October 26, but was posted missing and this was reported in the Keighley News in December, 1917.
[Eventually he was posted missing presumed killed and his name was later recorded on the Tyne Cot Memorial and locally on the Denholme War Memorial in Foster Park, Denholme. He was 28 years old when he died]
Gunner J. Howker, Royal Field Artillery, of 1, Laburnum Street, Keighley, has been admitted to hospital suffering from the effects of poison gas. He has been in France two years, and before enlisting in September, 1915, was employed by Messrs George Hattersley & Sons, Ltd, Keighley.
Drummer J. Dunn, West Yorkshire Regiment, has been wounded and gassed, and is in a Kent hospital. He has been wounded twice previously - the first time in 1914 and again in 1916. Drummer Dunn was in the Regular Army, and went to the front at the opening of hostilities.
Private B. Crabtree, Durham Light Infantry, whose wife resides at 142, Park Lane, Keighley, has been severely wounded in the left thigh and leg. Before enlisting in June, 1916, he was a butcher.
Private Arthur Greenwood, Notts and Derbyshire Regiment, of 3, Ruby Street, Keighley, who was formerly employed by Messrs Jonas Wells Ltd., brass and ironfounders, Keighley, has been wounded in the chest and is also suffering from illness. he enlisted in May, 1916, and has been at the front about eight months.
Observer Thomas B. Anderson, of the Royal Naval Service, whose parents reside at 93, Beeches Terrace, Keighley, has been injured in a flying accident in France, and is now in hospital at Deal. Before enlistment he was employed as an apprentice by Messrs Dickinson Bros, machine tool makers.
Private Edmund Love, West Riding Regiment, of 6, Croft Street, Keighley, has been admitted to hospital suffering from severe wounds in the left arm. He has been wounded twice and twice gassed, and has had three brothers killed. Before enlisting he was employed by Messrs Summerscales, Ltd, Keighley.
Private B. Hutchinson, West Riding Regiment, 104, Grassington Terrace, Keighley, has been wounded. Private Hutchinson enlisted in August, 1916, and was formerly employed as a carter.
The following casualties have been officially announced during the past week: Private W. Holmes (24043), West Riding Regiment (killed); Gunner A. Bancroft (75137), Royal Garrison Artillery (wounded), and Private J. Moran (31491), Labour Corps (wounded).
LEES AND CROSS ROADS. - LANCE-CORPORAL C. F. WANE KILLED.
Lance-Corporal George Charles Frederick Wane, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, younger son of Mr George Wane, 97, Hebden Road, Lees, Keighley, has been officially reported killed in action on September 22 in France. Lance-Corporal Wane joined the Army in June, 1915, and after training went to France in December, 1915. He was wounded in the chest and arm on July 1, 1916, and spent some months in hospital in Cardiff, returning to the front in March of this year. Shortly afterwards he was recommended for the Military Medal and promoted Lance-Corporal for despatch-carrying under heavy shell fire. His commanding officer (Captain G. G. Kinder), in reporting his death, says: "He was a very promising non-commissioned officer and one of the best men that I have had the honour to command." Lance-Corporal Wane, who was 22 years of age, was an old scholar of Lees Council School, where he held a fine record for industry, painstaking, and thoroughness. He also had a most successful career in the Lees Institute Evening School. His brother, Private Tom Wane, is also in France. Before enlisting Lance-Corporal Wane was employed in the woolcombing department of Messrs Merralls, Lees Mill. [Son of George Wane, of 97, Hebden Road Brow, Haworth, Keighley. He is buried in grave 36, row F, plot I of Favreuil British cemetery and remembered on the Lees, Cross Roads and Bocking war memorial. He was 22.]
A SAILOR'S DEATH.
Stoker Frank Waterhouse, of Haworth Road, Lees, Keighley, died in the Royal Naval Hospital, Chatham, on October 1, aged 28 years. he was at home on leave three weeks ago. He was son-in-law of Mrs Greenbank, Lees, and he leaves a wife and child. He was a native of Cullingworth, being the son of Mr Waddington Waterhouse, Victoria Street, Cullingworth. He joined the Navy in February last, having been fireman at Vale Mills, Oakworth. On his last leave he was suffering from a cold, from which the serious illness developed which caused his death. The funeral, which took place on Friday week, was attended by about a hundred officers and men from the Naval Barracks, and the coffin, covered with the Union Jack, was borne on a gun-carriage. The deceased man's widow and mother were also present at the funeral.
[Served on HMS Crescent, an Edgar class cruiser. He is buried in Naval Reservation, section 25, grave 1303 of Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery in Kent, Also remembered on the Lees, Cross Roads and Bocking memorial. He was 28.]
Private A. R. Robinson, North Staffordshire Regiment, has been wounded a second time, the previous occasion being in May, 1917. He is at present in a London hospital. He was formerly employed as a mason by Messrs J. Flesher & Sons, Wilsden. His wife resides at 10, Oakworth View, Cross Roads.
Sergeant A. W. Spencer Maggs, Australian Imperial Force, son of Dr Maggs, of Haworth, has been wounded in the hands and feet. He enlisted in 1915 at Adelaide, Australia, where he had been about four years.
Mrs Robinson, of Rock Lea, Oxenhope, has received news of the death in hospital of her son, Private A. Robinson, of the West Riding Regiment. He was formerly employed as a painter. He was a Territorial, and was mobilised at the outbreak of war.
Mr and Mrs Hardcastle, of Swartha, Silsden, have received official information that their son, Private Ernest Hardcastle, of the West Riding Regiment, was killed in action on September 21. Company Quartermaster-Sergeant M. H. Denham, in a letter to the deceased soldier's parents, states: "It is with deepest regret and sympathy that I write to inform you of your son's death. He was killed in an attack on the previous day, and was killed whilst engaged holding the line he had helped to wrest from the enemy. He died a victorious soldier's death, and his country need be proud of him. He was a lad of great promise, and a favourite with all. His many friends also desire me to express sympathy with you on their behalf." Private Hardcastle was 19 years of age, joined the colours in December last, and went out to France in June. He was formerly employed as a warp twister by Messrs Driver Bros., North Street Mills, Silsden. Mr and Mrs Hardcastle have two more sons serving - Signaller Cyril Hardcastle and Private Willie Hardcastle, of the RA.M.C., who has been in Mesopotamia almost since the campaign in that quarter was commenced.
[Son of John Henry and Alice Hardcastle, of Moorfield Cottage, Swartha, Silsden. He is remembered on Tyne Cot memorial and Silsden memorial. He was 19 years old.]
Private Walter Whitaker, of Brunthwaite, Silsden, has been wounded in the ankle by shrapnel. Private Whitaker joined up in February, 1916, and was attached to the Leicester Regiment.
Private Robert Coates Walker, of the Northumberland Fusiliers, youngest son of Mr and Mrs Charles Walker, Beech Mount, Cononley, has been reported killed in action on September 14. Nineteen years of age, he was for about a year prior to joining the Army in February last a zealous member of the Volunteers (Cross Hills Company). He served for some time as shop assistant in the Cononley Co-operative Stores, leaving there to take up a similar position at the Carleton (Skipton) Co-operative Stores. He was a popular young fellow. Mr and Mrs Walker have two other sons in the Army - Percy and Walter, the former being still in training, and the latter in France. No definite news respecting the manner of Private Robert Walker's death has yet come to hand, and any information from his comrades will be gratefully received.
[Son of Charles and Mary Elizabeth Walker, of Beech Mount, Cononley, Keighley, Yorks. He is buried in grave 11, row H, plot III of Coxyde Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. He was 19 years old. Remembered on the Cononley war memorial]
Saturday, October 20, 1917 page 3:
LOCAL WAR CASUALTIES - A HEAVY LIST.
LIEUTENANT G. F. WOOLLARD.
Lieutenant G. F. Woollard, West Riding Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs J. A. Woollard, of Utley, is in hospital in Cambridge suffering from trench feet.
Corporal E. Wakeling, West Riding Regiment, of 55, Catherine Street, Keighley, was killed in action on October 10. Corporal Wakeling, who was married and had three children, was in the Territorials at the outbreak of war, and his time expired in August, but he returned to his old battalion. In civilian life Corporal Wakeling was a mechanic employed by Messrs Parkinsons, of Shipley, and his two brothers and four brothers-in-law are serving. He married a sister of the Brothers Rhodes, of Ingrow, three of whom have been awarded medals for gallantry on the field. He went to the front in April, 1915.
[The son of Mr. and Mrs. Wakeling, of 19, Cork Rd., Keighley and husband of Mabel Wakeling, of 31, Hainworth Rd., Keighley. He is remembered on Tyne Cot memorial, in Keighley's roll of honour book, Ingrow war memorial and Temple Street memorial, on display at Cliffe Castle museum. He was 33]
Lieutenant Harold Firth, Yorkshire Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs Luther Firth, Ashleigh Street, Keighley, is reported missing. Lieutenant Firth was for three years a Draper Scholarship student at Leeds University.
[Keighley Boys Grammar School obituary:
Harold Firth was a pupil in the Day School from 1906 to 1907. After leaving the Day School he went to learn the Cotton Weaving business at Nelson with his grandfather, and attended the Evening Technical Classes at Nelson. In 1910 he entered the services of Messrs. J. H. Binns & Co., Keighley, and was given every encouragement by the firm to prosecute his studies at the Keighley Technical Institute.
In 1912 he won one of the very few Drapers’ Scholarships which are awarded annually by the Worshipful Company of Drapers, London, to students from all parts of the United Kingdom. The value of this Scholarship was £85 per annum and by its means he was enabled to proceed to Leeds University and was so successful that the Scholarship was extended for a third year. Whilst at the University he was awarded the Silver Medal for the Examination in Mill Management given by the City and Guilds of London Institutes.
He had just left the University and was working with Mr. Barwick at the Testing House, Manchester, and was also teaching in our Evening Technical School when the War broke out, and he was at once recommended for a Commission in virtue of the experience he had gained as a member of the O.T.C. of Leeds University.
He received his training at Harrow, Cramlington, Newcastle and Rugeley and was then placed in charge of a Coast Defence Station on the Holderness Coast. In January, 1917, he went to France and joined the 6th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment. He was made a Full Lieutenant in August, 1917; and eventually became Acting Captain and had held that position for some weeks when he was reported “missing” on October 9th, 1917. Nothing has been heard of the manner of his death but according to the reports of officers who were near him there is no possibility of his being alive, and as we still hold the ground on which the fighting took place it seems certain that he was instantaneously killed on that date.
Harold Firth was esteemed and respected by all who knew him. The above brief account of his career will show the great promise that he gave of a useful and successful career. He had a frank and manly character and his daily life fully bore out the testimony which one of his brother officers gives of him when he says : “He was always thinking of other people’s safety before his own.” His Colonel has also put on record the following fine tribute to his worth : “It may help you to know that he was one of my best officers and was liked by all his officers and men, and the Battalion deeply feels his loss.”
He was the son of our respected townsman, Mr. Luther Firth, Headmaster, Eastwood School, and to him and to his sorrowing mother, we all tender our respectful sympathy. He was the husband of Dorothy Firth of Walsall. He is buried in grave 16, row E, plot XLIV, of Poelcapelle British Cemetery, and remembered locally in Keighley's WW1 Roll of Honour book in Keighley Library, on the Albert Street Baptist Church war memorial, and also named in the Keighley Trade and Grammar School roll of honour, published in 'The Keighlian' Magazine]
Bombardier William Midgley, of 11, Birch Grove, Ingrow, who was formerly employed as a mechanic by Messrs John Clough, Limited, Grove Mills, Ingrow, has been wounded in the shoulder, and is in hospital at Dundee. He joined the Royal Field Artillery in September, 1916, and has been in France since March of this year. His brother, Private J. E. Midgley, of the West Riding Regiment, has also been in France since July, and prior to enlisting was employed by Messrs Slingsby, iron founders.
Private John Harrison, West Riding Regiment, son of Mr Bryan Harrison, of 9, George Street, Keighley, has been severely wounded in the neck in the recent fighting near Ypres and is in Winchester Hospital. Called to the colours in March, 1916, he has been at the front since last January, and he has taken part in some of the big battles of the present year. Before joining the colours he was employed as a grocer's assistant. His brother, Private Austin Harrison, has also been wounded recently and is still in hospital.
Private Joseph Layton, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, of 35, Lustre Street, Keighley, has been wounded in the left arm. He enlisted in the Army Veterinary Corps in January, 1916, from which he was transferred to the Royal Field Artillery. Later he was invalided home with bad eyesight, and on returning to the front was transferred to his present regiment. He was formerly employed by the Greenhill Dairy Company, Bingley.
Private William Denby, West Riding Regiment, of 93, Turkey Street, Keighley, has been killed. He had been wounded twice previously. He was single, and before enlistment was employed in the bolt works of Messrs Prince Smith & Son. [See earlier banner in this display for his story and photograph]
Sergeant W. H. Casson, R.G.A., of 37, Carlton Road, Keighley, is suffering from trench fever. Joining the Army in May, 1916, he went to France in February last. Prior to enlistment Sergeant Casson was an apprentice overlooker employed by Mr R. Green, worsted spinner, Fleece Mills, Keighley.
Private H. S. Kershaw, New Zealand Forces, youngest son of Mr and Mrs A. N. Kershaw, the Old Rectory, Keighley, is lying dangerously ill and wounded in hospital at Boulogne.
Corporal Edwin Lightfoot, West Riding Regiment, of 11, Marlborough Street, Keighley, has been wounded. Before enlistment in September, 1914, he was employed as a butcher by the Keighley Co-operative Society. His father has also been in the Army nearly three years.
Private John Tattersall, of 17, Nashville Terrace, Keighley, has been wounded in the right leg and is in hospital at Canterbury. Enlisting three years ago, he went to France on April 14, 1915. He was formerly employed by the Keighley Corporation Gas Department.
Private A. J. Newman, only son of Mr and Mrs Joseph Newman, of 5, Nightingale Street, Keighley, was killed on September 20. He was 20 years of age, and enlisted in February last. Formerly he was employed as a porter by the Midland Railway Company.
Sergeant James Horner, West Riding Regiment, has been admitted to hospital suffering from wounds in the leg. His home is at 13, Brook Street, Keighley. He has been at the front about two and a half years, being mobilised with the Territorials.
It has been officially announced during the past week that the following Keighley soldiers have been wounded: West Riding Regiment. Private J, Harrison, 267283. Private J. Riley, 266618. Private J. R. Slapp, 24222. Private A. Sunderland, 29000, and Lance-Corporal N. Wright, 29639. Northumberland Fusiliers, Private S. Metcalfe, 45873.
Private Harold Place, West Riding Regiment, has been admitted to hospital suffering from illness. His home is at Cross Roads, but before enlistment he was employed as a plumber at Burnley.
A letter has been received from the officer commanding the company in which Private Powell, son of Mr J. Powell, Station Road, Haworth, served up to his death some weeks ago. Private Powell, with another comrade, was killed by a shell falling into the trench where the men were awaiting the order to attack. Captain Baines, writing to the Rev. J. W. Raper, says: " Will you please express for me my deepest sympathy with his people, and tell them that I lost a good and cheerful soldier in Powell."