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 as per the original paper.
Another Batley rugby player joined the Colours – their popular full-back James (Jimmy) Edward Lyons.
Jimmy Lyons Joins the Army
The latest member of the team to join the Army is Jimmy Lyons. He enlisted in the Bantams’ Battalion on Monday, but it is not certain that his valuable services will be entirely lost to the Club. It is believed that arrangements can be made whereby Lyons may obtain leave on Saturday afternoons. The “Bantams” have a route march through Leeds to-morrow, and will shortly go into camp at Ilkley. Lyons, who was a member of the National Reserve, has had previous training with the York and Lancaster Regiment.
As reported this week, two St Mary’s men were up in Batley Court. One of them was Michael Brannan (Brennan in the article) who months later would be killed in the Battle of Loos.
LOCAL POLICE NEWS.
Batley Court – Monday.
Thomas Lynch, miner, Hume Street, Batley, drunk and disorderly in Deighton Road,1 on the 8th inst., 2s. 5d. and costs.
Michael Brennan, miner, Ambler Street, Batley, remanded to await an escort, for being absent from Durham Light Infantry.
Michael Phillips featured, home from the Front recuperating.
Messages from Land and Sea.
Gunner Phillips of Dark Lane, Batley, has arrived home from the Front on sick leave.
Another man home was Cecil Manning. But rather than sickness, his visit was leave.
Seaman C. T. Manning, of H.M.S. Berwick, visited his home in Providence Terrace, Batley, last week-end, on two days’ leave. Whilst in Atlantic waters he saw some fighting, but told a “News” visitor he was forbidden to relate anything about his ship’s exploits.
The final piece is more news from the 4th King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. From my research I strongly suspect the name is a misprint and this is Willie Barber.
THE K.O.Y.L.I.’s “HOTEL.”
Men Glad to Return to Old Billets.
Private W. Barlow, with the local Territorials who now form part of the K.O.Y.L.I.’s in Lincolnshire, writes:—-
We have got back to our old home again at Gainsboro’, after a hard and tedious task on the East Coast. We have had a hard time while there, especially on Christmas Day, when we were in the trenches from 5.30 a.m. until 4.15 p.m.
Boxing Day was not so trying, but as expected, we were up at 6 a.m., manned the trenches at half-past, stayed there till day-break at half-past seven, and returned for breakfast, after which we did a little bit of Company drill, to straighten our legs out. At night we had a concert, which we mostly enjoyed. We had to find our own artistes, but we had some very good singers with us. The villagers came up to see it, and they mostly enjoyed it, too.
While we were stationed at Somercotes we had rough sleeping accommodation, First of all we were in a barn, which we soon found a name for (Hotel-de-Cowshed). We removed into another – to which we had to climb, and it was anything but easy after dark, especially for the guards.
After that we had the best billet of all – the National Schools – where we had a piano; and we made good use of it, too. We stayed there about two weeks, and then got news that we had to entrain for Gainsboro’. We shall soon be fit for anything – if it happens to come our turn.
1. Possibly should be Deighton Lane?