1915, 10 April – Batley News

This is a round-up of pieces from the Batley News relating to the parishioners of St Mary’s. As usual I have put in bold the names of those connected to the parish who served with the military. Spellings and punctuation are identical to those in the newspaper.

The following death notices relevant to the parish appeared in this week’s family column:

CUNNINGHAM. —On the 3rd inst., aged 61, Richard Cunningham, 33, Ambler St.

GANNON. —On the 7th inst., aged 55 years, Bridget, wife of James Gannon, 1, Yard 1, New Street.

St Mary’s RC Church made a 14th donation to the Belgium Fund, this one amounting to £2 4s 5d.

In rugby league news a couple of items of St Mary’s interest featured. These concerned Robert Randerson and Jimmy Lyons.

In Notes by the Way the following appeared:

Honour to whom honour is due. “H. H.,” of Batley, writes to an evening paper to correct a paragraph which appeared in the latter, stating that Beattie, the Wakefield Trinity forward, was the first Yorkshire professional (N.U.) footballer to receive a commission. “H.H.” points out that “Bob” Randerson, the Batley wing three-quarter, received a commission in Kitchener’s Army last September. Although Randerson first played with Batley as an amateur, he signed and played as a professional the season before the war broke out.1

Jimmy Lyons turned out for Batley in their Easter Tuesday victory over Halifax:

…Batley’s soldier boys – Jack Tindall and Jimmy Lyons – did all the scoring for the winners, Tindall crediting his side with a magnificent try and Lyons kicking two remarkably fine goals. The losers’ goal was a beauty by Metcalfe, their full-back, from the touch-line.

In the Court columns several St Mary’s parishioners appeared – including several absentee soldiers and one, James Trainor (note spelling difference between the Memorial and the newspaper), who would later die. The reports were as follows:

Batley Court – Monday
AN ABSENTEE WHO HAD BEEN TWICE WOUNDED. —James Trainer, of 17, Spa Street, Batley, who has been twice invalided from the Front, was charged with being an absentee from the 2nd K.O.Y.L.I. at Pontefract since April 2nd. —He explained that he was first wounded last October, and after a period at home he was sent back to the Front in February, and returned to this country five weeks ago. He added that he had been treated like a dog, and was refused permission to leave barracks, but came home for a change of clothing. —“If they can’t do anything for us now God help us when the war is over,” defendant exclaimed. —Mr. W. J. Ineson said defendant’s case appeared to be an unfortunate one, but the Bench had no alternative but to order him to await an escort and promise that the substance of his defence should be reported to the military authorities at Pontefract.

“BANTAMS” WHO TOOK “FRENCH LEAVE.’ —Three Batley men with the 17th Service Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment (the Leeds “Bantams”) were charged with being absentees from Ilkley, and each was ordered to await an escort. Their names and Batley addresses were John Thomas Tulley, 44, Victoria Street, Carlinghow; Michael Hodgins, 17, Villiers Street;2 and William Henry Gavaghan, 8, Fleming Street.

SUNDAY NIGHT “SCENE” IN COMMERCIAL STREET. —Edward Gavaghan, miner, 12, Jacob Street, Woodwell, admitted being drunk and disorderly at Commercial Street, Batley, on Sunday night. He was also charged with assaulting Constable Walton. —The officer said he arrested the defendant for fighting with another man outside the Crown Hotel in the presence of a big crowd. Defendant then became more violent, and struck witness on the face, —The defendant declared that he did not remember the incident. He was fined 10s. for being drunk and 15s. for assault. Mr. W. J. Ineson observing that the sentence was lenient.

Batley Court – Wednesday.
For being drunk and incapable in Carlinghow Lane, Batley, on March 27th, James Lyons, miner, White Lee, was fined 8s.


Charles Henry Brier, miner, Victoria Street, Carlinghow, keeping a dog without a licence, fined 7s. 6d.

1. More information about William Lindsay Beattie and Robert Randerson, along with other Rugby League (or as it was known in the period) players who died in World War One can be found in my book Greatest Sacrifice: Fallen Heroes of the Northern Union.
2. Michael Hodgins was actually an underage soldier who was discharged from the Army shortly afterwards as a result of giving false information about his age;