1915, 6 November – 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.

Father Julian Kestelyn, who was to become a priest at St Mary’s, featured this week:

Vivid Impressions of Ireland.

“My Impressions of Ireland” was the title of an interesting lecture at Birstall United Irish League rooms on Sunday afternoon by Father Julian Kestelyn, a Belgian priest who has won the esteem of the townspeople during the few months he has been ministering to his compatriots in the district. In great need of a rest after his zealous labours, Father Kestelyn spent a short holiday in Ireland, and his lecture proved him a keen observer of Irish life and character. Especially interesting were his comparisons between Ireland and Belgium, and his narrative was illuminated by some witty stories and poetic allusions which were much enjoyed. Mr. P. Melvin presided over a crowded audience, and Father Kestelyn was cordially thanked, on the motion of Councillor A. J. Flynn, seconded by Mr. P. Adams.

A vote of thanks to the Chairman, who declared that Irishmen the world over sympathised with Belgian in her sufferings and prayed for her speedy release, concluded the meeting.

There was one Catholic Batley cemetery burial noted in the deaths column, as follows:

DEWHIRST. —On the 29th inst., aged 7 months, Sarah, daughter of Allen Dewhirst, 24, New Street

The death of Private James Foley was reported this week.

The Widow Left with Three Young Children
(Special to the “News.”)

News is to hand of the death of Private James Foley, Providence Street, Batley, who had his leg amputated in a Manchester hospital following wounds to the right knee (as reported on Page 7).

A telegram received on Tuesday assured Mrs. Foley that there was a slight improvement, but a message received yesterday reported his death. Mrs. Foley is left with three young children.


Ex-Soothill Colliery Employees’ Serious Wound.

Wounded in the right knee whilst with the 10th K.O.Y.L.I., early in October, Private James Foley (10, Providence Street, Batley) has been sent to a Manchester hospital, where amputation of the limb from the knee has been found necessary owing to blood-poisoning setting in. He formerly worked at Soothill Wood Colliery.

Private Bernard Gallagher’s letter to Mrs Bridget Hughes was published:

Territorial Who Sees Nothing to be Downhearted About
(Exclusive to the “News.”)

Private Bernard Gallagher, Cobden Street, Batley, who is at the Front with the 1st/4th K.O.Y.L.I. (Batley Territorials), writes to Mrs. B. Hughes, of Coalpit Lane, Carlinghow:—

I received your buns and cigarettes in the trenches, and they couldn’t have come at a better time. We have been back in the trenches for two weeks, and this last four or five days it has been terrible. Every man has had to stand to at night and get as much sleep in the daytime as he could. It is the most trying experience I have had. What sort of weather are you having? Out here it has been splendid this last two weeks. The Germans are rather quieter just now.

Later. —I was pleased to get your letter. Of course, we don’t get our letters till night when we are in the trenches, and then they are two or three hours later. When your letter reached me rain was pouring down. I happened to be on sentry duty at the time, and talk about brightening me up – not half! Although I was wet to the skin I read it, and it made me think about Carlinghow and wish I was there. But there are times for leisure and for work, and this is a time when we are are not to think of much play. Still, in my opinion, there is nothing to be downhearted about. As long as the weather keeps fine, I don’t care, but it is terrible when it is wet. I wish you could send me a box or two of “trench cookers.” They are useful for the trenches, because they don’t smoke. If the Germans see the least bit of smoke where we are in now, they send a shell or two over. Another thing, if it happens to be wet we can cook our meals in the dug-outs without much trouble.

The magistrates were busy once more with absentees this week.


James Owen, an absentee from the 3rd/4th K.O.Y.L.I., was ordered by Batley Bench on Tuesday to await an escort…

Patrick Holohan, Peel Street, Batley, an absentee from the 56th Remount Squadron, Army Service Corps, was remanded for an escort.

In Northern Union (rugby league) News, Jimmy Lyons was back.

Jimmy Lyons and Joe Hammill to Assist Batley

Batley team to oppose Brighouse at Mount Pleasant will include “Jimmy” Lyons, who is home on a week’s leave previous to leaving for the Front, and Joe Hamill, the ex-Dewsbury and present Hull forward. Hammill is working in this district, and as Hull have not match this week-end, he has been given permission to play for Batley….