1915, 20 February – 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.

In non-military news there were several items linked to St Mary’s.

St Mary’s R.C. Church made their 11th donation to the Belgian Fund, this time amounting to £2 17s 9d.

Also there was the report of an important church announcement for parishioners, about the relaxation of rules regarding days of fast and abstinence, as follows:

Catholics in the Heavy Woollen District and other parts of the West Riding come within the scope of a dispensation announced by the Bishop of Leeds, viz., that in consequence of the high price of commodities, especially fish, the meat-abstinence rule on Fridays and other abstinence days (excepting Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) need not be observed.

In items more specific to individual parishioners, there was one death in the family notices column, as follows:

HOPKINS. —On the 12th inst., aged 61 years, Bridget Hopkins, 3, Yard 1, Leeds Road.

HENRY. —On the 13th inst., aged 72 years, James Henry, East Street

Several St Mary’s parents had cases before Batley Police Court, as follows:

“Far away the worst case we have had in Batley,” was the description given by Mr. Danby (Director of Education) of a case of non-attendance at school of the 13 years’ old daughter of Martin Rush, Balk Street, Batley. Defendant, he said, defied the Committee. – A fine of 20s., including costs was imposed.

For failing to send children regularly to school, Thomas Cresswell, New Street, Batley, was fined 10s. ; George Westburn, [sic] miner, Balk Street, Batley, 5s. ; and Mary Ann Spink, Providence Street, 5s.

Note George Westburn should read George Westbury. The others in this report definitely linked to the parish are Martin Rush and Thomas Cresswell.

Turning to the military stories, Michael Cunningham appeared before the magistrates at Batley too.

Charged with Highway Robbery at Staincliffe

An allegation of highway robbery was made to-day in Batley Court against two privates in the 5th Batt. Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment – James Edward Mallody, Blenheim Place, Dewsbury, and Michael Cunningham, King Street, Batley Carr – who were said to be home on sick leave. They were charged with stealing a silver watch and chain, value £2, from James Brown, Brighton Street, Heckmondwike. Mr. Samuel Brearley defended.

Inspector Ripley said prisoners and complainant got into conversation while walking from Dewsbury to Heckmondwike the other night. All walked on together, and when near the Butcher’s Arms Hotel, Staincliffe, the soldiers suddenly ran away. Brown was surprised and found that his watch and chain had been removed. He gave chase, but failed to find the soldiers and gave information to the police. On Wednesday, a man at the request of the soldiers, tried to pawn the watch at Greenwood’s, Dewsbury, but the police were called and, on the man’s information, prisoners were arrested. When charged Mallody said he took the watch out of Brown’s pocket, but Cunningham denied he was with Mallody at the time.

Both prisoners pleaded guilty, and said they were under the influence of drink when the theft was committed. –

The final item is news from the local Territorials of the 4th King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, stationed at Gainsborough. It appears St Mary’s man Thomas Donlan was amongst the cross-country prize winners.

To be Sportsmen and Soldiers.
Leave for 48 Hours.

Private E. Whiteley Mann, the K.O.Y.L.I. entertainer, called at the “News” Office on Monday whilst enjoying two days’ respite, and left the following news and notes for the benefit of relatives and friends of his comrades-in-arms: —

Forty-eight hours form a short period in which to pay a visit to all one’s friends and relations – it seems all rush, and then back to duties again. But, anyway, it is grand to be able to pay a short visit home. I have had quite a happy time here, but it is embarrassing – everyone who knows you asks you to pay a visit before you return.

We have just finished six months’ training, and it is easier now – or it feels easier! The next few weeks at Gainsborough have happy things in store for us, for we have formed a Battalion Sports Club, and there are prizes and trophies to be won for football, swimming polo, cross-country running and other things, the sole idea being, as our commanding officer said, to make jolly good sportsmen of us as well as soldiers.

The Company, comprising Batley and Morley boys were easily first in the cross-country race on Shrove Tuesday, and also won the swimming competition.

Points for cross-country: — D Co. 142 points, A 86, C 75, B 52.

Details. —1, Private Hilcock, D Co., 5s. ; 2, Private Hatton, A, 4s. ; 3, Sergt. Finnigay, D, 3s. 6d. ; 4, Private Holborry, C, 3s. 6d. ; 5, Private J. Smith, B, 3s. ; 6, Private H. Haigh, C, 3s. ; 7, Corporal Broadhead, A, 2s. ; 8, Private H. Hough, D, 2s, 6d. ; 9 to 22 (in the order given), Privates M. Speight, Wildman, J. Smith, Purdon, Agar, Luxton, Parkes, Lance-Corpl. Smailes, Privates Parry, Mills, Bellwood, T. Donlan, aind [sic] T. Aaron. Capt. Hirst, D, was 18th, but did not take the prize.

This good news from Gainsborough preceded a tragedy, to be covered in next week’s edition of the paper. A tragedy which would hit home at St Mary’s.