1915, 24 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.

Also be aware in this piece I have also used the phraseology of the time, as per the newspaper. I have agonised over whether or not to do this. What was acceptable terminology back in this period is rightly no longer the case today. However I felt on balance that I should not change the voices of those men from 1915.

First of all there was news of St Mary’s man Walter Waite, serving with the Indian Expeditionary Force. He wrote as follows:

Carlinghow Man With the Indians.

Gunner Walter Waite, R.F.A., who is attached to the Indian Exepeditonary Force, writes to his parents in Beck Lane, Carlinghow:—

It is lively here – sleeping in an old barn We are resting now. About the blacks – they are fine men and splendid drivers. They all sleep by themselves, and we get on all right. I have just got a pair of socks, and inside them was a paper with the name of the little girl who knitted them. She was from Castleford, but I am sorry I have lost the paper.

I cannot give you my opinion about the war yet. All our men are in the best of health and spirits, and we get the best of food, so we can put up with the sleeping conditions. We have some splendid officers and N.C.O.’s. It is a treat to be under them. We are within sound of the guns here.


In another letter, Gunner Waite says: “I am still with the Indians, not far from the firing line. We have not been in action yet. We are not allowed to tell you where we are, but we are up to the knees in mud. Still, I am in the best of health, and that is everything. I saw our men firing at an aeroplane the other day – a fine sight, and most thrilling.”

On another card Gunner Waite writes, “It is going to be warm out here. There is not much sickness among the troops. There is a sergeant here who was at Nieuport – in luck’s way yet! I have seen some sights so far.”

There was one parish-related death notice in this week’s paper, as follows:

LEONARD. —On the 16th inst., aged 77 years, Ann Leonard, 99, New Street.

There was also news of an adjourned inquest:

TWO ADJOURNED INQUESTS. — Coroner P. P. Mainland opened an inquest at Batley Town Hall on Tuesday, into the death of a 20-days old child of Rose Annie and Michael McManus, 52, Cobden Street, Batley; and after stating that there appeared to be some neglect he adjourned the inquiry until May 4th, when another inquest (reported elsewhere) will also be resumed.1

St Mary’s R.C. Church made a 15th donation to the Belgian Fund, this time amounting to £3 6s 2d.

And the 1st/4th K.O.Y.L.I.’s were now posted overseas, with several letters from them published in this week’s paper – though none from any of the St Mary’s men.

1. The second inquest referred to was not linked to St Mary’s.