The Batley News contained three pieces 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.
A section about “Our Soldiers” featured Jimmy Lyons, and brothers Joe, Willie and Peter Gavaghan:
News of “Jimmy” Lyons.
Writing, from “somewhere in France,” to Mr. Arthur Kershaw, a member of Batley C., A. and F. Committee, Private “Jimmy” Lyons says he is in the best of health and that he is going on fine. “By the time you get this letter,” he adds, “we shall be back in the trenches. I have been in the same trench as Jack Tindall, and I have even seen his grave.1 I was in the next traverse to where he got killed —poor old pal.” Before joining the Army, “Jimmy” was a non-smoker, but now he looks forward to and enjoys a cigarette.
Three Soldier-Sons, and Three More Attested.
Mr. Thomas Gavaghan, of 12, Jacob Street, Woodwell, has three sons at the Front and three others attested.2 Those at the Front are Sergt. Joe Gavaghan and Pte. Willie Gavaghan, both in the West Yorkshires, and Pte. Peter Gavaghan, of the local Territorials. So far none of the three has been wounded, although the last-named suffered slightly in the December gas attack. The three sons at home are all colliers, so the family can be fairly said to be “doing its bit.”
The daughter of Private Michael McHale (or McKale as reported in the piece) was involved in an accident:
Soldier’s Child and Refugee Each Have a Finger Amputated
Two accident cases which reached Batley Hospital on Wednesday were coincidental. First was Kitty, the 12-year-old daughter of Private McKale, of Taylor Street. By means unknown some iron fell on one of her hands, which was so injured that the little finger had to be amputated and part of the next.
The second case was that of Mme. Jorissen, who with her husband and daughter were amongst the earliest Belgian arrivals in Batley after war started. Some time ago she began to work at Messrs. J. Newsome and Sons’ woollen manufactury, Batley Carr, and on Wednesday her left hand was caught in the machinery. The little finger was almost torn off, whilst others were cut and bruised. She was promptly attended to, and later accompanied to Batley Hospital by Mme. Beauvais, her sister-in-law (also employed at Messrs. Newsome’s). Amputation of the little finger was necessary, and owing to Mme. Jorissen’s general condition she was detained as an in-patient. She is progressing nicely. M. and Mme. Jorissen, along with M. and Mme. Beauvais, formerly lived at Woodhall, and now reside in Warwick Road.
1. Both Jimmy Lyons and Jack Tindall were Batley rugby league players.
2. In the same edition is a Batley court case about an unnamed man, a miner, charged with drunkenness and riotous conduct, who had three sons at the Front and three attested under the Lord Derby scheme. Was this Thomas Gavaghan? To check I will need to visit the archives.