1916, 25 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, Batley’s Paxton Society held their annual supper at the White Hart Hotel. Landlord Robert O’Hara, his wife Mary Ann, and aunt (Miss O’Hara) were thanked for their excellent catering, and a special word of good wishes for the last-named was expressed.


Three parish deaths featured in the family notices. One was the baby son of deceased soldier Martin Carney:

CARNEY. —On the 18th inst., aged 6 months, Martin Carney, 78, New Street.

GRACE. —On the 20th inst., aged 35 years Mary Grace, 6 Back Richmond Street.

HOPKINS. —On the 20th inst., aged 18 years, Martin Hopkins, 63, Peel Street.


John Leach’s parents were involved in a dispute which came before the Batley magistrates:

Batley Court – Monday.

WIFE TO HAVE £1 A WEEK.—Michael Leach, labourer, of Ive’s Lodging House, Batley, was summoned by his wife, Bridget Leach, for desertion. Married 19 years, they had seven children, the oldest 18 years and the youngest 16 months. Complainant said her husband earned 30s. a week, apart from overtime, but had not given her a sovereign for four weeks, so the household had to depend on the earnings of the two eldest children. On March 3rd he gave her 16s., of which she put 12s. on a shelf and spent 4s. in food. They quarrelled at night, and next morning he took the money, with the remark, “I’m off; I can keep myself.” He returned on the Thursday after, on the Saturday he entered the house drunk, and on the Sunday went away for good.—A son, John (18), said he was “leathered” by defendant because he interfered when the father tried to strike the mother.—Defendant alleged his wife several times told him she did not want him at home, and finally turned him away. “I don’t think I deserved to be turned out of my own house,” he observed.—The Bench, who ordered defendant to pay his wife 20s. per week, thought there was no reason for the couple to be apart. “And when you come together again,” his Worship added, “when one’s talking, t’other be quiet.”


News of Jimmy Lyons reached Batley:

All Well With “Jimmy” Lyons

Mr. C. Wilkinson, hairdresser, Wellington Street, Batley, has received an interesting letter from “Jimmy” Lyons, the popular Batley full-back, who is at the Front with the West Yorkshires. After a reference to his good health he proceeds:—

I am out of the trenches for a rest, and I am in the same place as Percy Teale (the well-known Soothill athlete), but I have not had the pleasure of meeting him yet. By the time you get this letter we shall have gone back to the firing line again to do our bit towards ending the great war. Thank you very much for the cigarettes and for shaving soap, which is very useful. Things out here are very dear. We are having bad weather – rain, snow and cold; but we do our best and put up with it.


The Delaney family had news of their nephew…and the feline Gunner Billy:

“Gunner Billy.”

Sergt.-Major Patrick Delaney, R.H.A., nephew of Mr. and Mrs. John Delaney, and a cousin of Mrs. Wm. Jackson, all of Taylor Street, sends an interesting photo card portraying a cat, known as “Gunner Billy,” which when six months old went with the Artillery to the Front. The N.C.O. writes:—

Gunner Billy has been through all the hardships it is possible to go through, and is still smiling—the same as his comrades in the R.H.A. He was at the evacuation of Suvla and Cape Helles, and has been under heavy shell fire. He is now having a rest before gaining fresh laurels in another field!