1916, 11 March – Batley News

Here is this week’s 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. And, as ever, the spelling and punctuation matches that of the newspaper.

In Home Front news, a parishioner faced justice …. for buying rum. The case was reported in detail:

Rum Taken from an Hotel After Stipulated Hours.

Margaret Rowan, 31, Fox’s Place, Ambler Street, Batley, was summoned for a breach of the Defence of the Realm (Liquor Control) Order, 1916. Mr. Henry Whitfield appeared for defendant, and entered a plea of guilty.

Inspector Ripley explained that on February 3rd Rowan took a noggin of rum from the Fleece Hotel, kept by Herbert Saville, later than 8.30 p.m. Constable Walton and Thornton saw her leave at 9.15 p.m., and suspected she had some liquor under her shawl. They found she carried a small jug, with a noggin of rum, for which she said she paid 5½d. to Mrs. Saville. Mr. and Mrs. Saville were interviewed, and the latter said she served defendant with the rum in a glass. Instead of consuming it on the premises, which would have been quite lawful, Inspector Ripley said, she took it away in a jug and thereby rendered herself liable to a penalty of £100.

Constable Walton reported that when he asked defendant what she had under her shawl she replied “Nothing,” but he saw the jug with the rum. He took her back to the hotel, where Mrs. Saville said she served defendant, but he was not aware the latter took it outside. Defendant said, “I wanted a drop of rum, but I wanted it at home.”

Mr. Whitfield: Didn’t she (defendant) complain about being ill?

Witness: She said she felt upset.

Mr. Whitfield said that Miss Rowan knew she took the rum away clandestinely and wrongfully, but the circumstances were the redeeming feature of the case. She needed the rum in connection with female troubles, and, had she obtained a doctor’s certificate, she would have been quite right to obtain it. It was unfortunate that the case cast a stigma on Mr. and Mrs. Saville, and defendant was very sorry for it. The advocate asked the Bench not to make a conviction, but to ask Miss Rowan to pay the costs.

The Bench privately considered their verdict, and inflicted a fine of £1, which they said was mild under the circumstances.

The death notices contained one where the Batley cemetery funeral service was conducted by a priest from the parish:

GALLAGHER.—On the 6th inst., aged 31 years, George Gallagher, Staincliffe Institution.

The previous week’s paper briefly referred to the “jam-jar” craze sweeping schools in Batley. Thousands of jars in varying sizes were pouring into schools in response to the teachers’ call to scholars to help local war funds. The jars were to be sold to a Morley firm, and the proceeds devoted to Batley war funds. This week’s paper reported the impressive results, including the contribution from St Mary’s:

Between £30 and £40 has been realised by a Batley movement which was received at its inception with some amusement, but was taken up seriously by the Education Committee, and the teachers and scholars. A Morley firm offered to buy jam jars if the children were allowed to collect them, the money to go to war funds. The result was that pots of all sorts, shapes and sizes, from pound jars to seven-pounders, rolled in, at first by hundreds, then by thousands, till the figures reached the following surprising dimensions: —Purlwell School 3,199, Carlinghow 3,115, Park Road 2,298, Gregory Street 1,084, Warwick Road 1,033, Batley C.E. 777, Mill Lane 738, St Mary’s R.C. 503, Healey 448, Field Lane 385, Staincliffe 357, Hanging Heaton 270, Brownhill 167. Total 14,374.

Two items featured relating to those serving in the military.

Though living in Birstall Thomas Graily was baptised and, in 1918, married at St Mary’s. Up until 1905, Birstall did fall within St Mary’s parish, but from this year it came under the newly formed parish of St Patrick’s. According to information from his descendants, Thomas remained associated with St Mary’s. This piece, though primarily about his brother, does reference Thomas.

Incidents at Sea Put Into Rhyme.

Below are some verses written by Lance-Corporal Michael Graily, younger son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Graily, Leeds Road, Birstall. He is at present in the East with one of the numerous K.O.Y.L.I. battalions. His brother, Private Thomas Graily, a well-known Birstall cricketer, and one of the best exponents of billiards at the Trades Hall and Working Men’s Club, is in training in the Midlands. The father of the two soldiers is an old employee of Birstall Council. Lance-Corporal Graily is a member of the Birstall Branch of the United Irish League. He heads his verses:—

The K.O.Y.L.I. men left England
For Egypt o’er the seas,
On the good ship Empress something,
Our strength two companies.

We saw what our gallant Navy
Were doing upon the foam,
We knew that these good sturdy lads
Would guard our island home.

We had all retired to sleep,
When in the dead of night
There came an awful crash,
Which gave us all a fright.

We all jumped in a second.
“What’s happened?” was the cry.
“We have struck another vessel
As she was passing by.”

Then a rush and tumble started;
We scrambled ‘midst the roar;
In another half a second
I was tipped on to the floor!

Then an officer loud shouted,
“Stand fast, my lads,” he said.
“There is no cause for danger;
“You can all get back to bed!”

All day the good ship voyaged;
Naught was there we could alter;
The only think we men said was,
“I wish we were in Malta.”

We left that port quite safe and sound,
For ——— ——— o’re the main,
And all aboard that ship were glad
To be on land again.

The blanked out words were clearly a result of the censor’s work.

In the second military piece parishioner Jimmy Lyons was now at the front:

Batley Footballer Hopes to Don Green-and-White Again

Pte. Jimmy Lyons, the popular Batley full-back, now with the Leeds Bantams at the Front, writes to a friend, Mr. C. Wilkinson, Wellington Street: “I have now been in France three weeks, and I am in the best of health at present. I hope to get back to don the old green-and-white again, to help my old team to win the Northern Union Cup or the Yorkshire Cup. I hear the guns every day, and we are going up to the trenches in a few days’ time, so I shall do my best for King and country. I am just getting ready to move again up to the firing line. Can you send me some shaving soap? Just ask the Football Committee to write to me.”