1915, 13 November – Batley News

This is a round-up of pieces from the Batley News this week 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. And, as ever, the spelling and punctuation matches that of the newspaper.

Unfortunately, from this week the Government instructed newspapers that until further notice the number of enlistments were not to be published. It means details of parishioners joining up are not now available, so it becomes even harder to identify those who served and survived.

The Death Notices contained two announcements relevant to the parish:

FOLEY. —On the 6th inst., aged 36 years, at Pendleton, James Foley, Providence Street.

TINKER. —On the 10th inst., aged 18 months, Charles, son of Sadner [sic] Tinker, 3, Spa Street.1

The funeral of Private James Foley was covered in more detail.

Private Foley Honoured in Death by 84 K.O.Y.L.I. Men.

There were impressive scenes in Batley Cemetery on Monday afternoon, when the remains of the late Private James Foley, of Providence Street, Batley, were interred with military honours. Private Foley, as reported in last week’s “News,” passed away in hospital in Manchester. He suffered extensive wounds at the Front a month ago, and had one leg amputated from the knee.

A party of 84 K.O.Y.L.I. men attended the funeral, in charge of Lieut. Winkworth, with the band under the command of Bandmaster F. Moss. A firing party of 14 was in charge of Sergt. Higgins.

The soldiers were received at the Town Hall by the Mayor (Councillor Ben Turner, J.P.) and the Town Clerk (Mr. J. H. Craik), and after the last rites the Mayor addressed a few worlds of good-will to them. Lieut. Winkworth acknowledged the kindly words.

The coffin, which was draped with he Union Jack, was borne shoulder high to the hearse by six soldiers, and en route to the Cemetery the band played the “Dead March” in “Saul” and Chopin’s “Funeral March.” A round was fired by the soldiers, and the Last Post was sounded amidst impressive silence.

The wife of Michael Rourke (Groark on the War Memorial) sought Royal help in her endeavours to find out her husband’s fate:

Husband Lost after Being Wounded at Hooge.
Diligent Efforts to Trace Him

There is still no news of Private Michael Rourke, of North Street, Cross Bank, Batley, who has been missing since June 16th, when he was in an action near Hooge. The Allies captured four lines of trenches, but by a counter-attack the Germans regained two.

Another soldier has informed Mrs. Rourke that her husband was wounded in the third line of trenches, and it was impossible to carry him away when the Germans recaptured that line.

Mrs. Rourke has written to several authorities, asking if they had any news of her husband; and a letter to the King of Spain – as head of a neutral Power and as a monarch who is doing his utmost for the benefit of prisoners of war – has elicited the following reply:—

Palacio Real de Madrid,
October 30th, 1915
Madam, —I am ordered by His Majesty the King, my august Sovereign, to answer your letter petitioning His Majesty to cause enquiries to be made in Berlin with regard to Mr. Michael Rourke, your husband. Although His Majesty’s Embassy in Berlin is charged only with the interests of France and Russia, His Majesty, being desirous nevertheless of demonstrating his interest in British subjects, has graciously acceded to your request, and has commanded the Spanish Ambassador in Berlin to communicate with Great Britain’s representative there – the United States Ambassador – in order that in conjunction with the latter the necessary investigations may be made. His Majesty earnestly hopes that these enquiries may be the means of procuring satisfactory information for you.
E. de Swire.

The final piece this week is a particularly difficult (but common) case which came before the Courts.

Brutal Treatment of a Mother of Twins.
Serious Allegations Against a Batley Miner

A shocking case of wife-beating was heard at Batley Court this morning, Thomas Kilroy, miner, Borough Road, Batley, being summoned by his wife (Margaret), of 3, Ambler Street, Batley, who sought a separation on the ground of persistent cruelty.

Mr. Henry Whitfield (for complainant) said the case was a serious one. The parties were married in March, 1901, and there were 10 children (seven living), the eldest being 12 years old and the youngest (twins) eight months. Complainant’s married life had been one long stretch of unhappiness, and she would rather go to the workhouse than live with her husband again. He had often kicked her about and cursed her.

Defendant: Don’t make it any worse than it is.

Mr. Whitfield: I don’t think I can.

Mrs. Kilroy said that last Friday she returned home from work about 6.30 p.m. having spent her wages on groceries. She asked her husband for money, but he declined to give her any. Later, whilst he was asleep on the chair, under the influence of drink, she took out of his pocket a purse containing a £1 note and 3s. 6d. silver. He afterwards locked the door and told her to put out the money. He kicked her several times on the legs and struck her in the face, making her nose and mouth bleed, and blackening her right eye. She threw the money on the table. He picked up the silver and left the note on the table, but she told him she wanted all the money, as she had had to borrow during the week and wanted to pay back. He again kicked and struck her. When he saw her bleeding he called out, “Get out of the house and don’t come in any more.” He pushed her out, and when she returned for the twins he said, “Get out, or I’ll kick you to death.”

Witness complained of defendant’s rough usage generally during their married life. She said he so frequently swore at her that their child of two years had begun to call her the same names. In 1902 and 1907 she obtained orders against him for desertion, but returned to him on a promise to behave better. She proceeded against him last year for persistent cruelty, but returned to him. He had thrown pots of tea at her; threatened to take her life with knives; and once blackened both her eyes when she refused to drink some rum he brought home. Last Easter he threw a teapot at her because she had bought a perambulator, and kicked the carriage about the house.

Complainant’s sister described defendant as a brute.

The Bench made a separation order, with 15s. a week alimony.

Defendant: I shan’t pay it.

1. The father’s name should read Sadler Tinker, but was misprinted in the newspaper;