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 first piece concerned the Batley Ambulance men and letters from one of the Kelly brothers.
ROUSED BY “ZEP. BOMB.
BATLEY AMBULANCE MAN’S EXPERIENCES.
DEATH-DEALER MISSED THE SHIP, BUT SHOOK IT BADLY.
A Batley corporal writes the following letters (passed by the censor) from a hospital ship to one of his old comrades in Batley ambulance work:-
I need hardly tell you how pleased I was to hear from you. It is always a pleasure to answer letters from any old friend, especially under such circumstances as I am placed in. It is rather different being myself compared with when I was in barracks, as I heard that of what was happening at home; but now I hear nothing unless someone writes.
Yesterday a hospital train came into —— to take our patients, but I could not get ashore, although there were actually some of our Batley boys on the train! However, some of my friends from the boat remembered me to them. The P.M.O.1 and two sisters from our ship had a look round the train, and they bestowed much praise on the way in which it was fitted, the cleanliness, and manner in which our boys treated the patients. I must write to old comrades to tell them what the nurses said. It was a lovely day – up to the knees in snow, In fact, there has been nothing but snow for a few days… We have just had leave. It is a nice change to get ashore now and again – not that there is anything interesting to see; in fact, there is not a decent shop in the place. Socks will be very acceptable to me.
In another letter, Corporal Kelly writes: – We rejoined our ship safe and sound… We have had one journey across since we got back from leave, and a rare one it was – every man Jack of us being sick, patients included. We did not stay long in England, arriving on Friday and departing on Saturday. The night before we loaded up we had a visit from a Zeppelin. One bomb dropped in the water quite close to the ship, shaking it from end to end, but doing no further damage than waking us. I am sorry to say I was too lazy to turn out. In —— they did serious damage to buildings, killed seven people, and wounded about 20. We went to see the damage, and some of the holes were 29 yards in circumference and 10ft. deep, so you can imagine what damage the bombs do when they come in contact with a building.
The second news item was from Prisoner of War Seaman Michael Manning.
Carlinghow Seaman-Prisoner Wants Food
Seaman M. W. Manning (Carlinghow), Royal Naval Division, also a prisoner or fear in Doeberitz camp, writes to his parents:—
“I am in good health. Please send me some tinned and other foods in a hamper, and some papers. I have enough underclothing, etc., and want only some English ‘tasty bits.’ I feel like the pocket of a new suit (empty!). I could do with some books and papers, and Heppleston’s shop” (a Carlinghow confectioner’s).
Finally for this week, the following parish deaths featured in the family notices section.
HALLORAN. —On the 29th ult., aged 45 years, Michael Halloran, Staincliffe Institution.
LYONS. —On the 31st ult., aged 43 years, John Lyons, 1 Court, Parker Street, Woodwell.
1. Principal Medical Officer;