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.
There was one parish linked court case – Thomas Skelly/Scally (whose name is Scelly in the report):
Thomas Scelly, [sic] metal broker, Taylor Street, Batley, was fined 5s. for allowing a horse to stray on the highway. He declared that it was “the sensiblest pony in Batley and wouldn’t hurt anybody.”
Bridget Hughes, mother of Walter Hughes, had two letters this week – one from her brother and another came from one of her nephews:
GERMAN DEAD NOT TO POISON THE LAND
French Resident’s Letter to Carlinghow
Writing to Mrs. Hughes, Coalpit Lane, Carlinghow from Senlis, Aisne, Mr. Jas. Karney (her brother) says:—
This war has made me worse in health. We can still hear the cannon, night and day. Our French soldiers seem to be giving the Germans a very hard time of it. I hope they will soon wipe them all off the earth, as we can do without them. They are a lot of brutes. They left our town (Senlis) in a nice state – 110 houses burnt down and 36 people shot. The enemy got into my place, but did no harm. I was one of the lucky ones. They took soon silver spoons, sheets, and yarn, but that’s nothing to what they took from others. There were 30 people burnt and buried in the fields like dogs, and there are a good many Germans buried in the fields about my house. We will have them all up after the war, as we don’t intend to leave one in France to poison our land.
Writing to his aunt, Mrs. Hughes, Coalpit Lane, Carlinghow, Driver C. Westmorland, R.F.A., says: – I cannot let you know what part of France we are in, as they will not let us mention names of towns. Our letters are all read before they leave the base. We have been fighting hard, and moving about 30 miles – all done in the night.
With the opening of the Munitions’ Volunteers register, 57 Batley men’s names were recorded in the first week.