Letters from The Front

Shown in chronological order

The following letters published, in The Ilkley Gazette, give a flavour of what life was really like for our Addingham heros in The Great War. Several mention Mr C Flint who was a village grocer (his shop is now Dixons Butchers) and he organised the sending of relief parcels to our soldiers at The Front. ‘Comfort’ funds were run by individuals, but also by Royalty, as shown by this card from The Princess Mary, dated 1915.

Help and sympathy went out from many other sources, even young children, as shown by the following:- 

Ilkley Gazette – October 22nd 1915:

Childrens’ Gift FromMadagascar.

The two little daughters of the Reverend W. K. Gale, missionary in Madagascar, have each sent £2 to Ilkley Auxiliary Military Hospital for tobacco for the wounded soldiers.  Mrs. Gale is the daughter of Mr. J. E. Gaunt, Ilkley, and Mr. Gale is the son of the late George Gale and Mrs. Gale, Nessfield. The following letter accompanies their gifts:-

Anjozorobe August 26th.

Dear Wounded Soldiers I am very sorry you have been hurt. I hope you will be soon well. I have sent these pennies instead of going to Ambohimanga for a holiday and I send them with my love.

Isabel Gale (aged 7)

Anjozorobe August 26th.

Dear Wounded Soldiers I hope you will soon be well. Thank you for fighting for me I send you my money instead of having a holiday.

Carol Gale (aged 5)

The Reverend Kendall Gale was born in Addingham in 1873 and was baptized at Mount HermonChapel. At one time he was a member of the Mount HermonChapel congregation at the turn on the 19th Century, he later became a preacher at the Chapel. He left the Wesleyan Reform Union and joined the Congregational Church and eventually went to Madagascar in 1908 with his family to serve as a missionary. Midway through the 1st World War Kendall and his family returned to England and he volunteered to be an Army Chaplain.   He was then sent to work with the YMCA at the front in Belgium, towards the end of the war he returned to Madagascar. He spent over 30 years in Madagascar on missionary work and he died there in 1935.

 

Letters from The Front:

Ilkley Gazette – 9th October  1914:
 Always in the Fighting Line.
 Corporal J. McRink of 18th Hussars who before proceeding to the front married a daughter of Mr. Britton, Wellington Road, Ilkley,  in a letter to his father at Addingham says:-

 We are having it a little stiff out here.   I had 2 horses killed under me and several of my chums that came with me are killed or wounded, so I must be one of the lucky ones.   I don’t think it will last much longer as the Germans are starving with hunger.   It is rather a hard time with us.   I have only had 9 hours sleep in a week and 11 in another, so it will give you an idea.   We are always in the fighting line and on the go.

Ilkley Gazette – 30th October 1914:

Another Addingham Man Killed. 

Last week we mentioned that Private William Ogden of 1st West Yorkshire Regiment, an Addingham man had been killed in action, and this week another Addingham man is to be included amongst the fallen, namely Private Arthur Ryder of 2nd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment who is also stated to have been killed in action.   Ryder was only 19 years of age.

Ilkley Gazette March 19th 1915:

Taking a German Trench

Sergeant J. McRink of the 18th Hussars who was over in Ilkley on a brief furlough some weeks ago no sooner got back into Belgium than he had to take once more to the trenches, and since going back he has had a very rough time. In a letter to his wife in Ilkley he says:-

You will be thinking something has happened to me as by now you will have read our recent work in the trenches. We were relieved on Friday March Sth and I can assure you it was the hardest 10 days I have ever experienced since the war began. On the night of the 4th and early morning of the 5th we were ordered to take a trench which the 16th Lancers had lost and my word it was a stiff bit of work to take on. We took the trench with great loss to the Germans. We lost a good few though the Germans must have suffered much more severely as we took a good many prisoners. We have had a very hard time and were fighting continuously. The weather has been wretched, snowing and raining and we were up to our knees in thick mud and water and got no sleep only now and then. From this you can understand what it has been like. You would not have known me. I had 10 days beard OD and never had a wash all the time, while my clothes were covered with clay. We could not help but laugh at ourselves when we got back here. I am feeling first class now. I got praise for taking my troop into action and bringing them out again with only 3 wounded, and they were only slight flesh wounds. I was in the thick of it but was lucky to pull through alright. I think we have finished trench work now and are leaving the firing line shortly to prepare for spring.

Ilkley Gazette – April 9th  1915:

Addingham Man Killed in Action.

News has been received from the War Office of the death of Lance Corporal Walter Emmott of Addingham who was killed in action on March 20th.   Emmott was a married man with one child and a prominent Addingham Association Footballer.   He was in the West Riding Regiment and attached to 2nd Battalion the same as the three Ilkley men Private James Clarkson, Sydney Kellett and the late Norman Dobson.   Lance Corporal Emmott was the first to send word to Ilkley of the death of his chum Norman Dobson.   Out of the four local men of the regiment who went to the front at the beginning of the war two have now been killed while Kellett and Clarkson were wounded at the fighting at Ypres and Kellett also taken prisoner.

A medical evacuation

Ilkley Gazette – 25th May  1915:

Addingham Man Killed Instantly. 

News has been received of the death of Private Fawcett of the East Lancashire Regiment.   Fawcett was a native of Addingham and well know in the Addingham district although his parents now reside in Nelson.   In a letter his officer says – he was killed instantaneously, and that his presence was missed by all the company.   Fawcett has a brother in the Royal Engineers.

Ilkley Gazette – 4th June 1915:
Yorkshire Hussars in Action.
Trooper Ellis one of the slain, Major Lane-Fox slightly wounded  

Quite a number of Ilkley men are attached to the Yorkshire Hussars and during the Whitsuntide holidays while people in Ilkley were getting as much enjoyment out of life as possible, the Hussars were having a particularly unpleasant taste of shell fire at the hands of the Germans and several Hussars were either killed or wounded. One of those killed was Trooper Charlie Ellis, Crag House Farm, Addingham Moorside. Trooper Ellis was 29 years of age and joined the Yorkshire Hussars in September last. His regiment had only been at the front a few weeks, and this was there first experience of work in the trenches. Trooper Ellis before joining the Hussars worked for Mr. W. Wood, Butcher, Church Street, I1kley and was particularly well known in Ilkley and district, indeed he was one of those steady, good natured straight going young fellows who makes friends everywhere. The Rev. Joseph Dawson referred to the death of Trooper Ellis before commencing his sermon at the I1kley Wesleyan Church on Sunday morning and reference was also made to the sad event in the evening by the Rev. H. C. J. Sidnell. Mr. and Mrs. Ellis were first notified of their sons death in a letter received from Major G. R. Lane-Fox on Friday morning dated May 25th . Major Lane-Fox is in command of A Squadron to which Trooper Ellis was attached. The letter was to the following effect. I am sorry to have to send you the very sad news and I wish I knew how I could convey it to you less abruptly than by a letter but this I feel impossible. Your son C. ElIis was doing so well and earning the high opinion of all who saw his work with this squadron, was, I am sorry to say, killed in the trenches near ——–­yesterday (Whit Monday). He was killed instantly, shot through the head by a piece of shrapnel from a high percussion shell. We were under very heavy bombardment until the evening. I am sorry to lose so good a young soldier from my squadron and I can realise what a loss his death will mean to you, but he died for his country and what better death can one wish for those one is fond of.

 Trooper Charlie Ellis

 Ilkley Gazette – 11th June 1915:

Nessfield Soldier’s Timely Hint.

Private Harold Redshaw of the Yorkshire Hussars in France writing to an Addingham friend of May 27th says:-

“Our squadron was in the trenches from Saturday till Tuesday and it was very hot. You will see that there has been a very big battle. We had five men killed and four and the Major wounded. Poor Charlie ElIis was one of the killed. It happened on Whit Monday. We all miss him very much, he was a fine chap. Lots of our chaps are laid up with gas, it is awful stuff and not fair play. It is about time that some of the chaps at home stirred themselves up, it is not fair for those out here”.

Ilkley Gazette – 11th June 1915:

Sgt. McRink (see Roll of Honour)

Farrier Sgt. McRink of the Royal Field Artillary, in a letter to his father at Addingham, says:

“It is getting cold and wet out here, but we can still stand it as well as the Germans. We are losing a lot of men every day. My battery was in a village the other day and a shell came over and killed 5 of our drivers and wounded 7 of our gunners. The next day we caught them napping and mowed them down and captured a lot of their guns and men. We are beating the Germans in every battle and they are giving themselves up every day. Some are very old and some are quite young.

Ilkley Gazette – August 20th 1915:

Addingham man hit in arm and chest.

Private Frank Spencer eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Spencer, of Bolton Road, Addingham has been wounded in France. A bullet hit his right arm, breaking it and then passed through his chest. Spencer joined the New Army soon after the war broke out and was attached to the 2nd Duke of Wellingtons West Riding Regiment. He had been in France between two and three months. The information came in a letter from a chum, who was with him at the time. They were both standing on the parapet of the trench when suddenly Spencer exclaimed “I am hit” and dropped. On being examined it was found a bullet had hit his right arm and passed through his chest.

Ilkley Gazette – August 27th 1915:

Addingham Man Dies From His Wounds.

 Private Frank Spencer eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Spencer, Addingham who we reported last week having been wounded in the arm and chest has since died from his wounds.

Ilkley Gazette – September 24th  1915:

Addingham Men at the Front.

Mr. C. Flint, grocer, Addingham is sending parcels out to Addingham men at the front with money either received or collected, and as a result he has received many letters of thanks.   This week grateful acknowledgements have come from Private W. Dove 6th Duke of Wellingtons West Riding Regiment and Driver T. Rushworth 2nd West Riding Brigade R.F.A. who are somewhere in France or Belgium.   Private Dove in his letter says:-

 It is nice to know that one is not entirely forgotten by the people at home.   I often think about them all.   It would be quite a treat to be amongst you all again.

 Driver Rushworth writes:-

I am still in the pink.   The weather has been grand in these last few days, and may keep up a bit longer.   We are preparing for the winter putting up sheds for the horses and making our own quarters stronger and warmer by the use of sandbags.   It is a pity about Frank Spencer being killed so soon.   Addingham have had a good many men who have lost their lives through this terrible war.   I hope the end is not far distant.   Many thanks to you and all the Addingham people for their splendid gifts.

Ilkley Gazette – October 8th 1915:

 Addingham Man’s Letter from the Trenches.

 Private John H. Baul an Addingham man writing from the trenches.   In a letter dated September 23rd says:-

 “My brother and I are keeping fit.   Neither of us has been hit by any of the Kaiser’s ammunition though our comrades have fallen around us week by week.   When in the Ypres area I lost my first chum and a few days later his successor in my affections departed wounded to a probable destination in England.   However amidst all the shot and shell and uncertainty of life day by day the knowledge that our dear ones in the old country are safe and our hearths and homes not devastated gives us good heart to keep us cheerful.   If you are proud of the boys who do things, we are proud to fight for our women and children and all those who have perforce to remain in Albion keeping the flag flying there, our commerce going and turning out common fodder for us and our allies in arms.   I doubt whether many people at home realise the enormous expenditure of shell and small arms ammunitions in this world war.   Although there is a great deal of deliberate shooting by machine guns (as with rifles) yet at a moments notice, these deadly weapons will spit fire to the tune of 500 to 700 rounds per minute.   This is a manly game, yet such is war in all its nakedness that one cannot help but feel the horror and degradation of the whole thing.   However we have a saying ‘stick it if it kills you’.”

Private John H. Baul is likely to be the brother of Corporal L. Baul 5th Yorkshire Regiment machine gun section who won the Military Medal. 

Ilkley Gazette – October 15th 1915:

Addingham Man Writes Poetry in Trenches. 

Bombadier Ben Harrison of Addingham in a letter to Mr. C. Flint, who has been instrumental in promoting a fund for comforts to Addingham men at the front says:-

Before you could count how many cigs there were, there was enough smoke around us to take a dozen wasps nests.   Better still was the happy and contented look which settled upon the faces of our Wharfedale lads.

This letter closes with some verses by the writer in praise of Wharfedale and its beauties.

I’ve wondered in this lovely vale

Full many miles I’ve trod

And wondered in my quiet thoughts

“Is this the house of God?”

In Bolton Woods close by my home

The primrose golden flower

Springs to new life as years go by

In its appointed hour.

The foxglove and the bluebells bloom

Along the hedgerows bright

Calling to men in our bright deep gloom

“Look up and see the light.”

Ilkley Gazette – October 15th 1915:

Addingham Man and the Germans. 

Writing to Mr. C. Flint of Addimgham Lance Corporal H. Horsman, an Addingham man serving in France says:-

Just a line to say I am in the pink.   By all accounts we are doing a lot of good all along the line.   The French got 12,000 on Sunday last, and we nearly got 2,000.   We have more good news today.   The Germans seem to be fed up with it.   They wont fight fair, they run out of it, but let them get a chance of fighting when you don’t see them – they are jolly good, and good shots at that.   They do not like the bayonet at all.    I hope it will be all over before long and we all get safe back home again. Remember me to all enquiring friends.

In a Great War trench

Ilkley Gazette – 19th November 1915:

Shelled Out of Bed.

Private W. Dove an Addingham man writing to Mr. Flint, a grocer in the village acknowledging a parcel he had sent says:-

About a week ago I had the pleasure of meeting my two brothers and about half a dozen Addingham lads, and it was a treat to talk about old times.   I am glad to say they all looked fit and well after their 4 months on the continent.   The other night the Germans played a dirty trick shelling us out of bed about midnight.   At the time we were billeted in tents about three miles behind the front line, and as canvas makes very poor cover for shell fire we had to make a bee line for some trenches that had been dug for that purpose. It was rather amusing to see some of the lads doing record time with nothing but their great coats on.

Ilkley Gazette – November 19th  1915: 

Addingham Highlanders. 

Six Addingham men on Monday joined the Cameron Highlanders at Leeds and left home on Tuesday morning to join their regiment at Inverness.   They were a merry party, and a number of friends went to the railway station to see them off, there names are:-   Tom Foster;  Harry Hudson; Lawrence Whitaker;  Harry Town;  Fred Stapleton and Arthur Taylor. 

Ilkley Gazette – November 26th 1915:

Wounded Addingham Man.
Private W. Waggitt an Addingham man in the 9th West Riding Regiment who was recently wounded in France has had one of his fingers amputated.   He is in hospital in Surrey and going on well expecting to get home very shortly.

Ilkley Gazette – December 17th  1915: 

Addingham Soldiers “Frightful Work”. 

Miss Lucy Wade of Addingham has received a letter from the trenches from an Addingham  soldier A. Watts thanking her for the work she is doing on behalf of the soldiers from the village.   He goes on to give a description of moving the wounded at night “It is frightful work in this weather” he says,  “the nights are black as ink, and we have to take the poor lads through mud feet deep, sometimes having to take them all out so as to get the car out of the shell holes at other times we have to wait behind what was once a lovely dwelling house until the shells stop for a few minutes.”   After describing what was once a beautiful town but is now a ruin he says “It makes you think what would be the result if the Germans got the chance to get to England but I am thankful to say they never will.   I don’t know if you have got any slackers at home or not, but if you have tell them from me to put their shoulder to the wheel and come and do their bit one way or the other.”

Ilkley Gazette – March 19th  1915:

Taking a German trench.

Sergeant J. McRink of the 18th Hussars who was over in Ilkley on a brief furlough some weeks ago no sooner got back into Belgium than he had to take once more to the trenches, and since going back he has had a very rough time.   In a letter to his wife in Ilkley he says:-
You will be thinking something has happened to me as by now you will have read our recent work in the trenches. We were relieved on Friday March 5th and I can assure you it was the hardest 10 days I have ever experienced since the war began. On the night of the 4th and early morning of the 5th we were ordered to take a trench which the 16th Lancers had lost and my word it was a stiff bit of work to take on. We took the trench with great loss to the Germans. We lost a good few though the Germans must have suffered much more severely as we took a good many prisoners.   We have had a very hard time and were fighting continuously.   The weather has been wretched, snowing and raining and we were up to our knees in thick mud and water and got no sleep only now and then. From this you can understand what it has been like.  You would not have known me. I had 10 days beard on and never had a wash all the time, while my clothes were covered with clay.   We could not help but laugh at ourselves when we got back here. I am feeling first class now. I got praise for taking my troop into action and bringing them out again with only 3 wounded, and they were only slight flesh wounds.   I was in the thick of it but was lucky to pull through alright. I think we have finished trench work now and are leaving the firing line shortly to prepare for spring.

Ilkley Gazette – May 25th 1915:

Addingham man killed instantly

News has been received of the death of Private Fawcett of the East Lancashire Regiment. Fawcett was a native of Addingham and well know in the Addingham district although his parents now reside in Nelson. In a letter his officer says – he was killed instantaneously, and that his presence was missed by all the company. Fawcett has a brother in the Royal Engineers.

Ilkley Gazette – June 11th 1915:

Sergeant McRink. 

Farrier Sergeant McRink of the Royal Field Artillery in a letter to his father at Addingham says:-
“It is getting cold and wet out here, but we can still stand it as well as the Germans.   We are losing a lot of men every day.   My battery was in a village the other day and a shell came over and killed 5 of our drivers and wounded 7 of our gunners.   The next day we caught them napping and mowed them down and captured a lot of their guns and men.   We are beating the Germans in every battle and they are giving themselves up every day.   Some are very old and some are quite young.

Ilkley Gazette – June 11th 1915:

How Addingham Man Met His Death.

Private F. R. Spencer 2nd Duke of Wellingtons Regiment in France writing to his father and mother Mr. and Mrs. J. Spencer, Bolton Road, Addingham, says:-

‘I don’t think the war will last so long, at least they all seem to think so out here.   It will be better for everybody the sooner it is over. We must beat them, and we shall.’

In a letter to an Addingham friend Spencer says:-
“I have been talking with a friend who was with Pont, meaning (Lance Corporal  W. Emmott) and who saw him killed.   He had been asleep in the trench and was just stretching his arms out, when he was hit by a sniper and killed. It was near Ypres”. Spencer was a playing member of the Addingham football team, there are about 12 of the team now serving.

Ilkley Gazette – August 20th 1915: 

Addingham Man Hit in Arm and Chest.

Private Frank Spencer eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Spencer, of Bolton Road, Addingham has been wounded in France.   A bullet hit his right arm, breaking it and then passed through his chest.   Spencer joined the New Army soon after the war broke out and was attached to the 2nd Duke of Wellingtons West Riding Regiment.   He had been in France between two and three months.   The information came in a letter from a chum, who was with him at the time.   They were both standing on the parapet of the trench when suddenly Spencer exclaimed “I am hit” and dropped.   On being examined it was found a bullet had hit his right arm and passed through his chest.

Ilkley Gazette – August 27th 1915: 

Addingham Man Dies From His Wounds.

Private Frank Spencer eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Spencer, Addingham who we reported last week having been wounded in the arm and chest has since died from his wounds.

Ilkley Gazette – October 8th 1915:

Addingham Man’s Letter from the Trenches. 

Private John H. Baul an Addingham man writing from the trenches.   In a letter dated September 23rd says:-
“My brother and I are keeping fit.   Neither of us has been hit by any of the Kaiser’s ammunition though our comrades have fallen around us week by week.   When in the Ypres area I lost my first chum and a few days later his successor in my affections departed wounded to a probable destination in England.   However amidst all the shot and shell and uncertainty of life day by day the knowledge that our dear ones in the old country are safe and our hearths and homes not devastated gives us good heart to keep us cheerful.   If you are proud of the boys who do things, we are proud to fight for our women and children and all those who have perforce to remain in Albion keeping the flag flying there, our commerce going and turning out common fodder for us and our allies in arms.   I doubt whether many people at home realise the enormous expenditure of shell and small arms ammunitions in this world war.   Although there is a great deal of deliberate shooting by machine guns (as with rifles) yet at a moments notice, these deadly weapons will spit fire to the tune of 500 to 700 rounds per minute.   This is a manly game, yet such is war in all its nakedness that one cannot help but feel the horror and degradation of the whole thing.   However we have a saying ‘stick it if it kills you’.”
Private John H. Baul is likely to be the brother of Corporal L. Baul 5th Yorkshire Regiment machine gun section who won the Military Medal.

Ilkley Gazette – 19th November 1915: 

Shelled Out of Bed.

Private W. Dove an Addingham man writing to Mr. Flint, a grocer in the village acknowledging a parcel he had sent says:-
About a week ago I had the pleasure of meeting my two brothers and about half a dozen Addingham lads, and it was a treat to talk about old times.   I am glad to say they all looked fit and well after their 4 months on the continent.   The other night the Germans played a dirty trick shelling us out of bed about midnight.   At the time we were billeted in tents about three miles behind the front line, and as canvas makes very poor cover for shell fire we had to make a bee line for some trenches that had been dug for that purpose.    It was rather amusing to see some of the lads doing record time with nothing but their great coats on.

Ilkley Gazette – November 26th 1915: 

Wounded Addingham Man.

Private W. Waggitt an Addingham man in the 9th West Riding Regiment who was recently wounded in France has had one of his fingers amputated.  He is in hospital in Surrey and going on well expecting to get home very shortly.

Ilkley Gazette – May 12th  1916:

Died From Wounds.

Mr. and Mrs. David Fisher of 20 Bolton Road, Addingham have received official information of the death from the effect of wounds of their son Private Fred Fisher who was 21 years of age.   He joined Kitchener’s army in 1914 and two of his brothers, one of whom is a Sergeant, are now in France.   A younger brother has just gone into training.   He was a well known Rugby Football player having played with the Ilkley team.

Ilkley Gazette – June 16th 1916: 

Addingham News – Letters from Soldiers 1. 

Wilfred Holmes, in a letter to Mr. C. Flint, from France acknowledging a parcel says – We are having lovely weather out here and it makes a lot of difference.   It is bad enough being in the trenches when it is fine.   I spent all my Easter above the knees in mud and water, quite a change from Egypt.   I called to see Jack England on my way to the trenches and back.   He has not been in yet, but he has had a few shells burst near where he works the other day and he and Wilkinson were very lucky to escape.   We have a fairly easy time when not in the trenches, we have a band concert every night and it just keeps us alive but we cannot help feeling a bit fed up sometimes. I wish it would come to an end before many more lives are lost.

 

Ilkley Gazette – June 16th 1916:

Addingham News – Letters from Soldiers 2.

C. S. Moulding, in a letter to Mr. C. Flint, from France acknowledging a parcel says

– We are out of the trenches now and back in the country.   We had a good four days march to get here, not very pleasant, the weather being scorching hot.   Eventually we arrived safe and sound and found ourselves practically in the same district we were in last January.   We do not spend the whole day doing nothing out here we get a lot of maneuvering and such like but we are now out of danger and able to have a good nights sleep which is a big consideration.   I was sorry to hear about Fred Fisher, I saw him when he came down to the dressing station and a very nasty knock it was.  He was very plucky and even walked down to the doctor, but I thought it would be touch and go whether he got over it or not.   I have had ten days in hospital with German measles but feel alright again.   J. Lister went home on pass this morning so I expect he will be giving you all the latest news.   When my turn is coming I don’t know.

Over the top

Ilkley Gazette – July 14th 1916:

Private Wilfred Holmes whose wife and child live at 4 Railway View, Addingham is believed to be missing, he was orderly to Captain Alien Clough who has been reported missing.. Holmes who is 20 years of age was before the war employed by Messrs. D. IIIingworth and Son of Bradford

Ilkley Gazette – July 21st 1916:

Mr. Joe Hustwick formerly of Addingham has written to his brother there stating that Private Percy Hustwick youngest son of the former was killed in action on July1st.  Before the war Hustwick was a wool-sorter employed by Messrs. D. Illingworth and Son, Bradford.

Ilkley Gazette – July 21st 1916:

Mr. Willie Richardson, Townhead, Addingham has received information that his brother Private Hedley Richardson has been killed in action.   He was 24 years of age and joined the West Riding Regiment in February of this year.   Before enlisting he was in the employment of Shepherds Dairy,Bradford.

Ilkley Gazette – August 11th  1916:

Private Harry Town ASC mounted transport is wounded and is in hospital at Havre.

Ilkley Gazette – August 11th  1916:

Death of Addingham Soldier.

An Addingham family have received a letter from their son in Francein which he says – I am sorry to say Wilfred Blackburn has got knocked out.   I saw him lying dead quite close to where we halted after an advance.      Sergeant Blackburn who was 28 years of age and joined the West Riding Regiment in September 1914 lost his parents when he was 11 years old and then went to live with his uncle the late Mr. T Blackburn, West Hall Farm, Addingham.

Ilkley Gazette – September 22nd  1916:

Addingham Railway Booking Clerk Killed.

Private Carl S. Moulding West Riding Regiment who before enlisting was a railway booking clerk at Addingham has been killed in action.

Ilkley Gazette – October 6th 1916:

Addingham Men ‘Missing’. 

Private Charlie Hood, 23 son of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Hood, Victoria Terrace, Addingham and Private F. W. Bell, Chapel Lane, Addingham were posted missing on September 3rd.

Ilkley Gazette – October 13th 1916:

German Chained to a Machine Gun.

Private Wilfred Holmes of Addingham before going to the Western Front served with one of the West Riding Battalions at Suvla Bay, in a letter to his sister at Addingham he mentions that he had taken part in a good deal of fighting on the Somme and had experienced a terrible time. “When we got over the top of the parapet” he says “it seemed impossible to live in such a fire but the few of us that did get through routed the Bosches out of their dug-outs. They were glad to be taken prisoner. I saw a couple of them get killed. They were chained to a machine gun”.

Ilkley Gazette – October 20th 1916:

Letter from Private H. Town.

Private H. Town A.S.C.  Motor Transport in a letter to Mr. Flint says we have been very near the front line for about a week, they sent us a few shells over every night, but of course this is nothing to what the infantry have to go through.   The town was practically deserted of civilian population and all the houses were more or less damaged by shell fire, the church having suffered the worst as usual.   Sorry to see there have been so many casualties amongst the Addingham boys.   I have seen great numbers of West Ridings but never have the luck to see any of the boys from home.

 Ilkley Gazette – October 27th 1916:

Addingham Man Prisoner of War.

Private J. E. Tiffany an Addingham man in the West Yorkshires who was recorded missing is reported a prisoner of war.

 Ilkley Gazette – March 23rd 1917:

Mr & Mrs E Town of Low Mills, Addingham have received official news that their youngest son Harry Town, aged 23 of the A.S.C. (M.T.) has died in hospital from pneumonia.

Ilkley Gazette – April 5th 1918:

Addingham Man Promoted  from the Ranks. 

Sgt.Maj. John McRink 18th Hussars of Addingham who married the eldest daughter of Mr. Britton, Wellington road, Ilkley, has been granted a commission in the Royal Flying Corps.   Sgt.Maj. McRink was in the regular army a the outbreak of war, and went out with the 1st British Expeditionary Force.   He took part in the fighting at Mons, and has been at the front ever since, several times earning promotion.

Ilkley Gazette – April 19th 1918:

Old Addingham Footballer Killed by a Shell. 

Sapper Patrick McShee of the Royal Engineers who belonged to Addingham, and in his younger days was a prominent local footballer, has been killed by a shell in France.

Ilkley Gazette – April 19th 1918: 

Interment of Addingham Lieutenant. 

Second Lieutenant R.J.C. Kidd Royal Air Force died on Wednesday week of injuries received in an aeroplane accident.   He was 21 years of age and the only son of Mr. W. Kidd, headmaster of the National School, Addingham.   His remains were interred in the Addingham church yard on Monday.

Ilkley Gazette – April 19th 1918:

Topham – In loving memory of Driver W. Topham who was killed in France April 23rd 1917.

Often we think of our dear son

And our hearts are filled with pain

All this earth would be a heaven

Could but we hear his dear voice again.

From his sorrowing mother and father

and sister and brother

West Yorkshire Pioneer (inc. East Lancashire News) – September 13th. 1918

Addingham Soldier killed in action

News of the death of Pte. W. Smith, of the York and Lancaster Regiment, was conveyed to his parents Mr. and Mrs. F. Smith, Church Street, in a letter from his commanding officer. who wrote:- “It is with deep regret that I have to inform you of the death of your son, who was killed in action on 2nd Sept. Pte W. Smith was a good soldier and was respected well by the officers and men of his company. He has made the great sacrifice and given his life for the benefit of those who come after. I hope that fact will be a little comfort to you in your sad bereavement. With deepest sympathy, yours very sincerely, J. Eckersley, O.C. ‘B’ Coy. 2/4 York and Lancaster Regiment.” Pte. Smith, who would have been 19 years of age on the 14th of this month, joined up on December 17th, 1917, and went out to France on July 23rd. He was drummer in the Volunteer Training Corps for about three years. and was held in great respect. Previous to joining up he was employed as gardener at Mr. Cook’s, Summerfield, llkley. He is one of six brothers who have served their country in this tremendous struggle for liberty of nations, one of whom, Pte. R. Smith, having already laid down his life, and another, Pte. Tom Smith, is prisoner of war in Germany. The sympathy of all who know them will go out to Mr. and Mrs. Smith in their great loss.


Ilkley Gazette – October 18th 1918:

Addingham Man Killed in Action.

News has been received of the death in action of Staff Sergeant Willie Gale of Addingham who married the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cousins of The Swan Hotel, and leaves a wife and 1 child – daughter.   Sergeant Gale was 31 years of age and joined the army in July 1915, after being rejected three times he underwent an operation to get into the army and went to France in January 1917.   His wife received her last letter from him by the same post which brought the news of his death.   Sergeant Gale was well known as a football player and was Vice Captain of the Addingham club.

Now see a diary from the trenches by Cpl. Brumfitt Atkinson HERE

 

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