We exhibited a series of banners in Keighley Library in 2017, featuring local men who fought in this series of battles in 1917.
The Third Battle of Ypres and later, Passchendaele, were fought in 1917 and ran from July 31 to November 10.
This was the third time this area had been fought over during the war. It would be fought over on two more occasions before the war ended.
The main battles of THIRD YPRES:
PILCKEM RIDGE - July 31 to August 2
WESTHOUEK - August 10
LANGEMARCK - August 16 to August 18
MENIN ROAD - September 20 to September 25
POLYGON WOOD - September 26 to October 3
BROODSEINDE - October 4
POELCAPELLE - October 9
PASSCHENDAELE - October 12 to November 10
In this exhibition we will show columns from the Keighley News of the day about local men serving in these battles and what was happening to them, interspersed with War Diary transcripts (in the coloured boxes) and images of the men, the battle conditions and other material we have found during our research.
Note: The newspaper dates shown lag behind war diary events by up to a few weeks. There may be occasional gaps in the text, these are because some newspaper images were illegible in places.
Please take the time to read and try to understand for yourselves what these men went through, and please use the comments book provided to record your thoughts about our exhibition. We hope you find it useful. Thank you for looking.
Keighley News, Aug 4, 1917:
Private Alfred Hargreaves, Machine Gun Corps, son of Mr C. Hargreaves, 15, West View, Silsden, has been wounded in action, and is at present in hospital. he is 25 years of age, and prior to enlisting in February of last year, was employed by Messrs John Knox, manufacturers, Silsden.
[Alfred survived the war and married Elizabeth Brown in April 1922]
Private Clifford Partridge, of the Border Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs William Partridge, 3, Hothfield Street North, Silsden, has been wounded in the head by shrapnel and is at present in hospital in France. He was in the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry, and was transferred into an infantry regiment after going out to France in October last. Formerly he was a well known Silsden cricketer. He is one of three brothers serving in France.
[Clifford survived the war and married Maud race in 1922. He died aged 64 in December 1950]
Keighley News August 11, 1917:
Mr and Mrs T. Lowis, of 16, Craven Road, Keighley, have this week received information that their son, Private Tom Lowis, has been admitted to hospital at Colchester, having been wounded, gassed and temporarily deprived of his eyesight. He enlisted in March, 1916, in the Westmoreland and Cumberland Yeomanry, but was later transferred to the Border Regiment, and went to the front in December last. In civil life he was employed as a hairdresser by Mr Fieldhouse, Station Buildings, Keighley. Two brothers, Sergeant Bob Lowis, and Gunner W. Lowis, are at present at the front with the Royal Field Artillery, and another brother, Mr C. H. Lowis, now in Canada, has also been passed for general service.
[Tom survived the war, married Judith Carter in 1920 and died in 1965]
Private Harold M. Flint, Cheshire Regiment, and the son of Mr and Mrs J. Flint, of Albert Street, Keighley, has been gassed, and is now in Hampstead Hospital, London. Private Flint is 19 years of age, and prior to enlistment was a member of the reporting staff of the "Bradford Daily Telegraph" at Keighley. He went through his training with the West Yorkshire Regiment, but on arrival in France he was transferred to the Cheshires.
[Harold enlisted on May 10, 1916 and was discharged in February 1918 with 'Disorderly action of the heart'] Pictured below are two French banknotes and an envelope addressed to him, in a scrapbook in BK424/2/4, the 'Herbert A. France' archive at Keighley library.
Private Jack Linton, West Riding Regiment, formerly of Keighley, who up to the time of enlistment worked for Messrs. Dean, Smith & Grace, toolmakers, Keighley, has been gassed and admitted to hospital in France. Private Linton is one of three brothers serving in the Army.
LEES AND CROSS ROADS.
Bombardier Bertie Colledge, son of Mr and Mrs Henry Colledge, Nile Street, Lees, was wounded in the foot by shrapnel on July 31, and is in hospital in France. Bombardier Colledge is the youngest of four brothers serving with the forces. He joined the Royal Field Artillery in June, 1915, going to France six months later. In civil life he was a printer.
[In the Haworth district Bertie was acknowledged a most promising cricketer and billiard player. Well built, athletic, and of high character, he was a general favourite at Cross Roads. He was employed by Messrs. T. Harrison & Sons, printers, Bingley, and was killed in action in 1918 when a shell exploded right next to his battery]
Information was received on Saturday last from the Infantry Record Office, Preston, that Private Silas Tempest, Border Regiment, and of 38, Keighley Road, Silsden, had been severely "gassed," and was in hospital in France. On arrival in hospital the first person he saw was his uncle, Sergeant Alfred Shuttleworth, of Silsden, who had been stationed there since the early part of the war. Twenty three years of age, Private Tempest enlisted in April of last year, and was formerly employed in the grocers department of the Silsden Co-operative Society. He went out to France in December last.
[Silas survived the war, dying in December 1954]
Keighley News August 18, 1917:
LOCAL WAR CASUALTIES
Second-Lieutenant F. B. Whalley, son of Mr and Mrs T. Whalley of 39 Clarendon Street, Keighley, and attached to the Royal Field Artillery, has been wounded in the back and both arms. This is the second time he was been wounded, the first time being nine months ago. Second Lieutenant Whalley _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Keighley. He was educated at the Keighley Trade and Grammar School, and before joining the Army took his B.Sc. at Leeds University. Two brothers are serving with the Army.
[Frederick Bradley Whalley survived the war, but died on March 24, 1925 aged 32 years, and is buried in Utley Cemetery]
News has been received this week that Second Lieutenant J. P. Sugden, son of Mr. Jonas Sugden, Chairman of the Oakworth District Council, has been missing since August 8. Lieutenant Sugden was _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ , and only about a month ago joined his regiment in France. Beyond the receipt of the letter announcing the fact that he was missing, nothing as yet been heard of his whereabouts.
[His father Jonas and brother William both applied to the Red Cross for prisoner of war information but nothing was found. His name is recorded on the Menin Gate at Ypres, and on the Oakworth War Memorial. Prior to the war John worked for Liverpool and Martin's Bank at Skipton]
Gunner Noble Robinson (20), of Rook Street, Keighley, who has seen fourteen months active service with the Royal Field Artillery, has been killed at his post as a signaller. Gunner Robinson was employed up to the time of his enlistment by Messrs. _ _ _ _ & W_ _ _ and was connected with All Saints Church, Keighley, at which place a memorial service will be held on Sunday. Letters of sympathy have been received by his parents from Major Ke_ _ _ _ _ _ , his commanding officer, the chaplain of the brigade, the battery sergeant-major - who wrote on behalf of the staff sergeants, sergeants, and non-commissioned officers - and the battery signallers. Major Dur_an says Gunner Robinson and _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ were killed instantaneously and _ _ _ _ _ _ others were wounded. "In an artillery battery _ _ _ _ and officers are daily and hourly _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ the officer, "and they get to know each other very thoroughly. I realise, therefore, what a splendid and loyal fellow your son was, and I am very sincere tonight as I write to tell you how proud I am to have had so loyal and brave a man in my battery.
Battery Sergeant-Major Cotton, writing to Mr and Mrs Robinson, says if it had been possible for members of his family to have stood around the soldier's grave and heard the prayers said by the chaplain they would have been comforted. "At the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ " says Sergeant-Major Cotton, we sang the hymn of 'Jesu, lover of my soul.' _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ for in that God's acre where so _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ our brave British soldiers are sleeping their last sleep. It is very hard to lose our comrades. He was such a good willing, hard working soldier," _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Sergeant-Major Cotton.
Rifleman John Walsh, King's Liverpool Regiment, has been wounded in the thigh in the fighting near Ypres. He was admitted to the Warrington Hospital last week. He has written a hopeful letter to his wife and family who reside at 14, Nelson Street, Keighley. For the last ten weeks he has been in the thick of the fighting in France and Belgium. Before joining the colours he was employed by Messrs. Smith & Paget, Parker Street, and he was also well known as the curator of the United Irish League, Market Street.
Mr and Mrs T. Lowis, of 16, Craven Road, Keighley, have received information that their son, Gunner W. Lowis of the Royal Field Artillery, has been gassed and is in hospital abroad. He joined the Army in June, 1915. and had been at the front _ _ _ months. He was formerly employed by Messrs. Hall & Stell, machine makers, Keighley.
[Walter Allen Lowis survived this gas attack but was killed in action in October 1917 and buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery]
Pioneer L. Townend, of the Royal Engineers, son of Mr and Mrs Townend, of 2, Manneville Road, Keighley, is in a Sheffield hospital, suffering from the effects of poison gas. He enlisted in June, 1916(?), and had only been at the front about a month. He was formerly employed as an electrical engineer by Mr Holmes, Strawberry Street.
Fitter F. H. Wright, of the Royal Field Artillery, whose home is at 26, Kensington Street, Keighley, has been wounded in the left leg, and is at present in Whitstable Hospital. He has been at the front two years and in civil life was employed by George Hattersley & Son, Limited, North Brook Works, Keighley.
Private Herbert Parker, (20), East Lancashire Regiment, of 9, Drill Street, Keighley, has been wounded in the neck and chest, and is in a Birmingham hospital. He enlisted in October, 1915, and went to the front in March, 1916. Formerly he was employed by Messrs. Crabtree, Dalton Mills, Keighley.
News has been received by Mrs Emsley, Market Place, Keighley, that her son, Private I. Emsley, of the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, is in a Warrington hospital suffering from wounds. This is the second time he has been wounded, the previous occasion being in September. He enlisted in March, 1916(?) and has been out since August.
[Irving Emsley survived the war and married Charlotte in 1921. He died in 1935]
It has been officially announced during the past week that the following soldiers have been wounded: Royal Field Artillery, Gunner G. H. Beedle (35666) and Gunner N. Tillotson (201658); King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, Private W. Warboys (242698).
HAWORTH AND OAKWORTH.
Private Albert Howker, of Haworth, is in hospital suffering from a gunshot wound in the face. This is the second time he has been wounded. Prior to joining the Northumberland Fusiliers in July, 1916, he was employed as a driller by Dean, Smith and Grace, Ltd., Keighley.
Private Joseph Heaton, of the King's Liverpool Regiment, who formerly resided at Dockroyd, Oakworth, has been wounded.
On Saturday morning Mr and Mrs Isaac Denby, Lee Mount, Oxenhope, received intelligence that their eldest son, Private Jonas Denby, had been killed in action. Private Denby joined the West Riding Regiment about twelve months ago, and had been in France since the beginning of this year. His death will be a great shock to his numerous friends, and great sympathy will be felt for his family, who have two other sons in France. He was 34 years of age, and before joining the colours worked with his brothers, Messrs. Denby Brothers, worsted spinners, Keighley.
[Jonas died on August 5 and is buried in grave 28, row D, plot II of Coxyde Military Cemetery]
Private S. Ingham, of the Cheshire Regiment, has been admitted to St. Luke's Hospital, Bradford, suffering from injuries to his arm. He has been at the front about twenty-two months. His wife and son reside at 22, Ash Street, Highfield, Keighley.
[Samuel Ingham's right elbow was smashed by a gunshot wound on August 3 and this resulted in operations to his arm at the hospital in Boulogne, and Bradford War Hospital.He was discharged unfit from the Army in December 1917 and awarded the Silver War Badge to show he had served his country]
DIED A HERO'S DEATH:
Corporal Stephen Tatham, 8th Battalion, West Riding Regiment, late of 43, Church Street, Keighley, has been killed in action. In a letter of sympathy to the widow, a Captain with His Majesty's Forces says: "I am Captain of this regiment and wish to express my deep sympathy with you on the death in action of your dear husband. He was struck by a shell, and death, I believe, was instantaneous. It was impossible to bury him before the battalion came out of the line, but the Burial Officer will see that he gets a reverent burial, and that the grave is marked. Your grief must be great, but remember that your gallant husband died a hero's death in the forefront of the battle. He died gloriously for his country and in the cause of freedom. A sacrifice greater that no man can make. Your own consolation lies in the thought that death is not the end of life. Your dear husband now lives a richer and fuller life than he ever did this side of the end. Try and think of him as still living and interested in your doings still." Corporal Tatham, who had been at the front for two and a half years, was formerly employed by Messrs. Thorpe, Johnson and Co., Keighley. He leaves a widow and one child.
Private Willie Dixon, Northampton Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Dixon, Browfield Terrace, Silsden, has been wounded during the recent heavy fighting on the western front, and is at present receiving attention in a military hospital at York. In a letter to his parents, Private Dixon says: "I know you will be uneasy wanting to know how I am, I cannot say I am first class when in hospital, but I am going on all right, as I do not think my wound is a very serious one. I have been wounded in the left buttock by a piece of shrapnel, which went in at the side and came out the back. I have no stamps, so please send me some, also a little money, as I have nothing, owing to having lost my kit in France. I do not care about that, as I am thankful to be here with nothing. I was wounded in a wood near Ypres during the recent big attack in Belgium. We went over the top on August 10 (Friday) and took a large number of prisoners, although there were more killed than what we took prisoners. We got to our objective and held it, and that was where I got my nice "Blighty." I thank God for having got through so luckily." Prior to joining the colours, Private Dixon was employed as a tailor by his father, who carries on in business in Kirkgate, Silsden.
Private Jonas Hanson, of the Army Service Corps, whose home is at 1, Strawberry Street, Silsden, has been admitted to hospital at Nottingham suffering from gas, wounds, and shell shock. He went to the front four months ago, and in civil life was employed as a chauffeur by Mr F. Wild, of Ilkley. Private Hanson has a brother serving.
News was received on Thursday of the death in action of Gunner Wilfred Rushworth, Royal Field Artillery, only son of Mr and Mrs Samuel Rushworth, Station Road, Steeton. Deceased was behind the firing line when a shell burst, killing him and nearly killing a comrade. Twenty-four years of age, Gunner Rushworth was formerly actively connected with the St. Stephen's Church and Sunday School, being organist at the former. Prior to joining the colours he was employed as a spinning overlooker.
Mrs. Ralph Whiteoak, of Sutton Mill, received a letter on Saturday last from her husband Corporal Ralph Whiteoak (West Riding Regiment) from the War Hospital at Canterbury stating that he had been gassed. In the letter Corporal Whiteoak said he had had a slight touch of gas, but was going on fine, and hoped to be able to get out into Canterbury on the following day. The gas had affected his eyes, but the pain from his eyes had now gone, and he hoped to be all right in a week or two. In describing how he came to be gassed, Corporal Whiteoak said it was raining very hard, and the had about a five mile tramp. They got to the edge of the town, and then had to rest at a farmhouse about four hours owning to the bad weather. Next morning they set off into the cellars inside the town, and he never saw such a sight before. There were sticks, stones, tiles, timber, and lampposts all over the place, and they had to move pretty quickly sometimes. Fritz went on with his guns for about three hours as hard as he could. He could not miss very well as it was a large place with very narrow streets, and the middle of the street was tunnelled, and that was where they got stuck. Gas settles down, and they were landed with their gas helmets on for about two and a half hours. Then they made a dash for it and got up the line, but had to give up. Corporal Whiteoak was wounded in the right shoulder during the "push" last year, but he did not come to England, receiving treatment at a rest hospital in France. About a month ago he was at home on leave from the front.
On Monday Mr and Mrs Cain Ellison, of Sutton House, received a telegram from the Records Office, York, informing them that their son, Private Hubert Ellison, of the West Riding Regiment, had been seriously wounded. On Wednesday last they received a letter from a chaplain at one of the clearing stations in France giving particulars about their son, and stating that the wound was not serious, but that he was suffering very much from shock. His wound was in the arm, and by the time they got the letter he expected their son would be far away from the clearing station on his way to hospital. Mr and Mrs Ellison have three sons serving, and one of them, Private Lister Tom Ellison, also in the West Ridings, was wounded in the heavy fighting last September, and had been in hospital at Leicester for nearly a year. He is also on home on leave at present. Private R. Ellison was a most enthusiastic member of Sutton Boy Scouts troop.
Sergeant Edgar Green, D.C.M., and of the West Yorkshire Regiment, was admitted to Netley Hospital on August 10 suffering from the effects of poison gas. He is a native of Sutton, and it had been just three years on the day he landed in "Blighty" since he joined up. Previous to the war he was a gear cutter employed by Mr. Sam Sunderland, Fleece Mills, and during his leave he was treated very well by the firm and manager (Mr Midgley), being presented with a watch by them on the occasion of his winning the D.C.M. He was also presented with a purse of money by the inhabitants at Sutton. He won the money for digging out four men who had been buried, working all the time under heavy shell fire. He has been slightly wounded twice. He was a well-known footballer, having played for both Sutton and Keighley Celtic under Association rules. [Edgar was killed in action by a shell on April 16, 1918, during the Battle of the Lys]
Mrs E. Hall, of Ellars Road, Sutton, received a postcard from her son, Private Willie Hall, of the West Riding Regiment, stating that he has been gassed, but is not very serious. He was at home on leave at Whitsuntide from the front, and is one of the band who joined up in the early days of the war. He is in the War Hospital at Bristol. On Wed., Mrs W. Ratcliffe received a letter from her brother, Private Willie Hall, in which he said he was not able to write before he landed in England as his eyes were bandaged and he could not see. He was a long way off being well yet, but considered himself lucky. He had gone through more trying experiences in the recent fighting than during the fighting on the Somme last year. He expected he would be transferred to a war hospital in Yorkshire before another weekend, as he was trying hard to get there.
Mrs Alfred Hartley, of Green End Road, Morton, whose husband was killed on August 9, has received the following letter from Chaplain Henry Knowles: "You will probably have heard the sad news from the War Office that your husband was killed yesterday by a shell from the enemy's lines. His death would be practically instantaneous and he would be spared suffering pain. I buried him this morning in a little military cemetery behind the lines, some of his comrades being at the graveside for the service, when we remembered you in our prayers, as we gave thanks for his life and his fidelity to duty - even unto death. A cross will be put upon his grave. The Director of Graves can tell you the location of the grave if you wish it. Your husband was respected by his officers and comrades and was a good soldier. May you find some alleviation for your grief in the thought that he gave - not lost - his life in the service of right and liberty. Alas, that evil can only be overthrown by these sacrifices. May you have the consolation of the Gospel and the trust in our Heavenly Father and His eternal home and may He sustain you in all your need in this hour of darkness and sorrow and give you Christian Peace and hope. Signaller Alfred Hartley was very well known and highly respected in the village and neighbourhood. He was senior partner in the firm of Messrs. A. and J. F. Hartley, joiners, cabinet makers and undertakers, Morton. He was prominently connected with the Primitive Methodist Church and Sunday School, Morton, and up to the time of joining the Army was organist and choir master, having held these positions for many years. He was 31 years of age and leaves a widow and one daughter. He joined the Army in September last and went on to France in May of this year.