Rothwell Courier and Times, 1916.
ALADDIN AND HIS LAMP. 1 January.
Experience has taught the people of Oulton and the surrounding villages to expect great things with regard to the annual children’s pantomime, promoted in connection with Oulton St. John’s School. This season witnessed the eleventh production of the kind – “Aladdin and his wonderful lamp,” which proved a great triumph for Mr E. Boothroyd and his staff, as well as for the youthful actors. With the children growing up and leaving the school “fresh” hands have to be sought out, and in “Aladdin” all the principal characters, with the exception of one, were impersonated by entirely new “hands.” However, those responsible for the training of the boys and girls succeeded well in their work, and everything was carried out without a hitch.
The pantomime commenced on Monday afternoon, when a successful matinee was held, and public patronage was also good on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Although the performances lasted only three nights (last year there were four) a nice sum should be handed over to the school library and the Institute funds, the objects which are to benefit this year.
The songs were again of the brightest, and one or two, notably “Sing a song of sixpence,” had a fair share of local colouring. Room was also found for a patriotic number, and the now popular “Till the boys come home” evoked great enthusiasm, which, indeed, it merited, coming from “Wishee Washee,” the mother of “Aladdin.” Another dainty song which calls for special mention was “Don’t, don’t, don’t,” which was well given by Carrie Holstead in the role of “Mauve Fairy.”
The local “hits” were again good, and showed a keen sense of humour on the part of the originator. One of the best, although it had its effect with the audience – the lighting arrangements, or rather, the no lighting, in the Oulton and Woodlesford district – was somewhat spoilt by the recent decision of the District Council. The sly rub at German Kultur, and the dictionary definition of a necromancer – “a magician, the German Chancellor,” were very good, and were quickly caught up by the audience.
The role of “Aladdin” was taken by Lawrence Maundrill, who acted the part of a rebellious youth to a nicety, and in the first scene – “A street in Tin-Can” – he sang a fitting song “The Rover bold.” His acting in the scene of the treasure cave was also admirably done. The mother (“Wishee Washee”) of this bold and adventurous youth was played by Lily Rayner, and the treatment by this young lady of “Aladdin” in the first scene was much to the liking of the young folk in the audience. In the part of the magician El Chang, whose greed for the wonderful lamp proves his undoing, appeared George Storey, who will readily be remembered as “Cassim” in last year’s pantomime “Beauty and the Beast.” Great credit is due to him, for he played his difficult part in a wonderful manner, performing with an ease and confidence which might be envied by some grown-ups.
The other “Mortals” were “Miteeman” (the impecunious Emperor of Yubet), Albert Tonks; “Princess Ni-cee” (daughter of the Emperor – afterwards Aladdin’s bride), May Abbey; “Cherry Bloom,” who sang with charm “In Japanese Butterfly Land,” and “Rosy Pearl,” Florence Raybould. The three companions of Aladdin were Ralph Paley, Eric Hurdus, and William Wrigglesworth. Amongst the “Immortals” were the Genie, slave of the lamp, Ralph Storey, and the following bright friends of all who do the right, and by whose aid the lamp is recovered – “White Fairy,” May Walker; “Yellow Fairy,” Enid Morley; “Pink Fairy,” Ethel Mitchell; “Mauve Fairy,” Carrie Holstead; and “Blue Fairy,” Hilda Wrigglesworth. The scenes, five in all, were as follows: – “A street in Tin-Can,” “Exterior of café,” “The Treasure Cave,” “Aladdin’s Palace in Japan,” and “Aladdin’s Palace in Africa,” and they were ably arranged under the direction of Mr E. Boothroyd as stage manager. Mr J.W. Morley was again conductor, and Mr Walter Poole, as in past years, discharged the duties of accompanist.
During each performance a collection in aid of the “Children of the Empire Fund” for disabled and blind soldiers and sailors was taken, and the total amount realised was £6 1s. 1d.
METHLEY MAN CRUSHED BY A TREE DURING THE GALE. 8 January.
During the gale on Saturday night a huge tree on the Calverley Estate at Oulton was blown down across the Pontefract Road opposite to Primrose Yard. The tree crashed through the wall fencing the park and fell upon a farm labourer names John Thomas Hiscock (49), living at Clump Cliffe Cottage, Methley, in the employ of Mr Scott, of Clump Cliff Farm. No one saw the accident, and it was not until the tree was about to be removed, after the woodman had been summoned, that Hiscock was discovered pinned beneath the trunk. He was then quite dead.
An inquest was held at the Three Horse Shoes by the Coroner (Mr P.P. Maitland). Mr J. Hirst was present and represented Major Calverley and Mr J. Farrar, and, after the evidence of the daughter of the deceased, he expressed sympathy with the bereaved family. They were extremely sorry, he said, that this thing had happened. It was a pure accident, and he had been informed that the deceased was a most excellent workman, having been with Mr Scott for several years. The deceased had a son in the Army, and also a son-in-law. The Coroner also expressed his sympathy.
Emily Stephenson, wife of George Stephenson, of Clump Cliff, Methley, a daughter of the deceased, identified the body. She said deceased left her home about 7.30 on Saturday night to obtain some medicine from the doctor for witness’s baby, which was ill. The distance to the doctor’s (Dr. Seville) was about a mile, and the way was along the Pontefract Road. A gale was raging at the time. Witness went down to Rothwell with a friend, and called on the way back at the Three Horse Shoes for her father, where she expected to meet him. She was then informed that he had met with an accident and was lying dead. Deceased was rather hard of hearing.
Tom Bell, Primrose Yard, Oulton, man-servant to Mr J. Farrar, said that about 8.15 p.m. on Saturday night he was looking round to see what damage had been done by the gale, when he saw a large poplar tree down across the road, it having smashed the park wall in its fall. In examining the tree he found the deceased on his back with one leg fast beneath the trunk of the tree. He was quite dead, and to all appearances he had been knocked down by the tree. There was no blood about, and the body, after being extricated, was taken to the Three Horse Shoes.
Answering the Coroner, witness said he had never known so violent a gale as that of Saturday night. The Foreman: Was the nearest lamp lighted? – Witness: No. Would it not have been better for the deceased if the lamp had been lighted? –-I don’t think so. How far away is the lamp? – About twenty yards. Then it would have shown a light had it been lit. The Coroner said that the same thing would have happened even if the tree had fallen down during the day when it was light.
Further evidence showed that the deceased’s head had been cut at the back, and there had been slight hemorrhage. The left lag was broken. In advising the jury to return a verdict of “Accidentally killed,” the Coroner said they all knew how terrible a night it was on Saturday. Even one in his own home felt uneasy on account of the gale. The jury returned the verdict as recommended.
OULTON AND WOODLESFORD MEN AT THE FRONT. 15 January.
Mr P.C. Higgins, of Woodlesford, the hon. Secretary of the Oulton and Woodlesford War Fund, which has done so much for the men who have gone from the two villages to join the Colours, has had a batch of interesting letters sent to him by grateful soldiers at the Front, who each received a parcel of comforts for Christmas. The following extracts from some of the letters have been taken by the courtesy of Mr Higgins: Gunner G.W. Steel, of the R.F.A., in thanking the committee, says his parcel was the envy of all the chaps in the billet.”
Rifleman W. Atha, C Company, 10th Platoon, 1st/7th West Yorks., in an interesting letter says: “We can get no sleep at night owing to the shells flying over us. One never knows where they are going to drop, and a shell makes a hole big enough for a horse and cart to stand in, so you can guess what damage can be done. It is grand, however, to see them burst in the air; they light up all around, but, mind you, I should not like to be hit by one. On some nights we have to go out on working parties, filling sandbags to repair trenches. We are working on top all the time, but once the Germans spot us they don’t forget to put the machine gun on us, and then it is get down as quickly as you can drop. One has to drop anywhere, and I have dropped many a time into a pool of water.” Rifleman Atha goes on to relate his experience with the ration party, whose duty it is to supply the men in the trenches with food, and says he would sooner be in the front line trenches, as then he would be clear of the shells.
Driver H. Stead, Transport Section, 10th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I., gives a vivid picture of the life of the unfortunate people in the towns which have been so ruthlessly shelled by the Germans practically ever since the war began. He is at Armentieres, which, he says, has been such another town at one time as Leeds. The houses and villas look like white marble, and electric cars run down the streets, but it looks like a rag-shop now, as the Germans have shelled it nearly every day. “They send shells,” he says, “but still people live in the houses, as they don’t seem to have anywhere to go, poor beggars. One day about one o’clock I was in the street, when the Germans began to send their shells. A number of children were returning to school, and as the shells exploded they broke the pavement stones and hurled them into the air. One piece of shell went through the window of a house in which a lady was seated getting her dinner. She was practically cut in two. It is not war, it is murder. Another day I saw a German aeroplane fly over the town, but the first shot from our guns tipped him right over and down he came.”
Private A. Nettleton, 1st/7th West Yorks., gives an idea of the artfulness of the Germans. “It is terribly wet in the trenches,” he says, “and in some places it is up to the waist in water. The Germans have an old trench, (a communication trench) which runs into ours, and it is slightly higher in position, and they have solved the problem of drainage by turning the trench into a canal and pumping the water into our trenches – their sewage as well.”
Gunner Walter Townend, A Batt., 72nd Brigade, R.F.A., writes a hopeful letter. He says –-“We get things pretty hot in this part, I can assure you. It is the hottest part of the line, but we have been one too good for them up to now, and I think we shall keep it up, too. I can tell you this – The Germans are not so dense as people make them out to be. They are up to every game on the board, but they would as soon face the devil himself as face our “Jocks,” who are as fine a set of fellows as you have ever come across. I think they fear nothing. Once they say go they don’t stop in a hurry.”
Gunner H. Mates, B Batt., 125th Brigade, R.F.A., says: “We are having a pretty warm time here at present. We are going to let it ‘rip’ in twenty minutes time. I am waiting for the order while I write sitting on the gun seat. We have not had much rest since Christmas, as the Germans have been very active, but we have got the upper hand of them. I wish it were all over. I have seen enough, but we have got to go a long way before we reach the end.”
A number of letters expressing thanks were received from Oulton and Woodlesford men in training in England.
CORRESPONDENCE OULTON-WITH-WOODLESFORD ROLL OF HONOUR. 15 January.
(To the Editor). Sir, While reading your paper somewhere in France, dated the 1st January, 1916, I noticed you published a list of names of patriots serving the country. Oulton and Woodlesford Roll of Honour it is called. Now, I don’t know who is responsible for submitting this list to you, but I should like to point out that this list is far from complete. You give A. Woodall. What have his two brothers, Herbert and Fred, done that they should be left out? I know they are somewhere in the Army.
Then, again, what about my two brothers, Colin and George William, not mentioning myself? If my memory does not fail me my family was the first to give one of its best in the defence of King and Empire – Colin, whose name will live in the 1s Battalion Scots Guards’ history for all time, being one of the 79 men who fought to the last cartridge and were killed to a man at Ypres on November 12th, 1914, fighting the Prussian Guards. The Press reminded the world of this gallant stand on the 12th November, 1915, the anniversary. I do not wish to dwell on this subject. I am a soldier and proud to know I had such a brother, who preferred death to surrender, but, at the same time, I should have liked to have seen him come back home again. My brother William has been somewhere in France since September, 1914, with F Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, doing his duty like a good soldier. His wife was a Miss Woodall, sister of the three soldier brothers, Herbert, Arthur and Fred.
I enlisted in November, 1915, and was in this country inside six weeks, and I might say that all of the six of us have left wives, and five of us have also left children behind to come and do our bit. If there are other two families in Woodlesford and Oulton who have played the game better I shall be pleased to hear of them.
My eldest brother sent s son into the 2nd Coldstream Guards in August, 1914. He, too, was in France inside six weeks, and is still there. I think he was born in Wooldesford – Alfred Nicholson. Now, you will see what I am driving at. Soldiers are all right when there is a war on, but it was a crime to have been a soldier before this war. I will admit that there are good and bad, but all were classed in the same boat.
This is a terrible war, and we can only hope it is near the end, but we want no patched up peace. Let every able-bodied man in the Empire get into khaki, and give the Germans a right good hiding. Let them cry for peace, but no peace until Berlin has fallen and the Kaiser and his family are aither shot or banished to Siberia, along with the Kaiser’s staff.
Every young man in England who is afraid to get into khaki should be branded with F (funk) on the forehead, so that he will be known to the world in years to come that he failed to answer the call in the great war. England’s fight for freedom! Let them try to look a soldier in the face to-day. They can’t. Will they be able to look their offspring in the face in years to come, when the child runs into the house and says “Daddy, did you fight against the Germans?” I say “No.” These men will turn from the child and give no answer. It will sting like the bite of a rattle-snake. I pen these lines after being out in a pouring rain all day, and wet to the skin, and suffering from a wound over the left eye, and only one eye to see with at present. I have often thought since I got it, a week ago, of my wee lad when I parted from him in Scotland to come out here. He turned to his mother and said “Is Daddy going to be a wounded soldier?” If the little fellow could see me now he would think I was much so. Still, I am smiling and in good spirits, and hope to be able to see the great finish. If not, it’s the fortune of war.
I will now conclude, still wondering why these names have been excluded from the Roll of Honour, or is it still a crime to have been a regular soldier in your part of the world? -Yours, etc., DICK G. NICHOLSON, Lance-Corpl., M.F.P. France, 7 January 1915.
We published the list as it was sent to us, and no doubt the omission of the names mentioned is an oversight. Ed. (See the First World War section of this website for the full list plus others who fought.)
PRAISE FOR OULTON AND WOODLESFORD WAR COMMITTEE. 22 January.
(To the Editor). Sir, Just a line to ask if you will be kind enough to put me this in your paper, as I see in your paper that in my little village they have not done badly. The Oulton and Woodlesford War Committee must have worked very hard, indeed, according to what they have made in things to send to us in France and in the Dardanelles, and those who are serving at home, and I am very pleased to think that there is somebody at home thinking about us while we are away doing our bit for King and country.
I think Oulton and Woodlesford have not done badly in answering the call to the Colours, but I think there are a good many more who could come forward if they would give their minds to it, and there is plenty of room in our lot and other regiments, too. I can “swank” a bit about them, for they have a very good name out here, and also plenty of other regiments. So I ask the young chaps to come on and do their bit instead of standing at street corners. I am in the same mind as Rifleman Walter Atha, 1st/7th West Yorks, so come on.
This is my second time out. Yours, etc., 11 January 1916. 12012 Private John Hunt. 2 Scotls Guards, B.E.F.
OULTON-WITH-WOODLESFORD ROLL OF HONOUR. 22 January.
(To the Editor). Sir, I shall esteem it a favour if you will spare me a small space in your valuable paper to answer Lance-Corporal Dick G. Nicholson’s letter, as I think so far as the families he mentions are concerned the list is complete, with the one name mentioned, A. Woodall. Surely he does not want a Roll of Honour with the name of every man who has lived in the village during any past period. I would claim relations, “dear ones, too,” who have lived in the village until the bond of matrimony made it necessary for them to remove their quarters, but don’t claim to be placed on the list of honour for the village of their birth, as they are placed on the roll of their own parish, from where their wives are drawing their separation allowances. Surely the same applies to him, as he has been stationed in Sheffield, in the mounted police, for a number of years.
His brother, George William, an old pal of mine, was under six months as a reservist when the present war broke out, prior to which he had been married to the Miss Woodall referred to, and was stationed at Manchester, also in the mounted police, so without doubt their names will be put on their own honours’ list.
I might also say his brother Colin, who was killed at Ypres on November 12th, 1914, had not lived in the village since his marriage. If he has no claim on the said list, his name is not forgotten in the Parish Church of All Saints, whenever the prayers are asked for those who have given their lives for King and country in this awful campaign. He also claims for his brother’s son, Alfred Nicholson, who was born in the village, but he must allow for their several years’ residence at South Elmsall – their present home.
Exactly the same applies to the Woodalls, with the exception of Arthur, as before stated, as the majority of young fellows who have nobly responded to the call of their King don’t know of such a man as Herbert Woodall only by the family name, as he is, or was, before the war stationed in India, with a wife and family, and is now getting quite a veteran as far as military years go.
No doubt there are plenty in the village who share this idea – “to be a soldier before the war recorded a crime,” as I can answer for one family, whose son fought through the whole campaign in Africa in 1900 and 1901, and whose homecoming after the war was totally forgotten, but perhaps the one who is hurt will remember his return after a short term with the Yeomanry. Washe forgotten? “No,” twas ever so. Hoping I have not taken too much of your valuable space, Yours, etc. One Interested.
MILITARY FUNERAL AT OULTON. THE LATE SERGEANT-MAJOR MOSS. 22 January.
The many friend of Sergeant-Major Moss, of the Queen’s Own Yorkshire Dragoons, will learn with regret of the old warrior’s death, which occurred from pneumonia at Harrogate. His remains were interned with military honours at Oulton Church on Monday afternoon.
Sergeant-Major Moss had a most interesting military career. He joined the 1st Life Guards over 46 years ago and remained in the regular forces for 27 years. He served in the Nile Expedition in 1884-5 for the relief of General Gordon, and in 1887 he had the exceptional honour of carrying the Royal Standard behind Queen Victoria in the Jubilee procession. In 1890 he was appointed instructor to the “A” Squadron of the Yorkshire Dragoons, a position which he held until April, 1901, when he retired. In his day SergeantMajor Moss was a crack shot in the Life Guards, and held the cross swords and cross guns. He also won the Sheffield Gun Club’s Cup three years in succession.
When the War Office issued its invitation to yeomen and civilians to form the Imperial Yeomanry Volunteers, the sergeant-major, who for some years had been drill instructor to the Sheffield Yeomanry, was made recruiting sergeant for Sheffield. Despite being in his 63rd year, he had been engaged at Harrogate in the training of recruits. He leaves a widow and a daughter three years of age. Practically all the inhabitants of Oulton and Woodlesford turned out to pay a last tribute to the deceased warrior. The cortege, which left the house in Airedale Terrace, headed by the band of the Yorkshire Dragoons, which played Chopin’s “March Funebre” and the “Dead March” in Saul en route to the Churchyard, was an impressive sight. The coffin was carried in a hearse. A short service, conducted by the Rev. H.T. Pattinson (curate) was held in the church, Mr Morley, organist, playing.
OULTON AND WOODLESFORD AFFAIRS. DISSATISFACTION WITH THE LIGHTING. DIRTY BECK. PEOPLE MADE ILL BY SMELLS. 29 January.
A meeting of the Oulton and Woodlesford Parish Council was held in the Oulton Institute on Tuesday night – Mr Walter Smith (Chairman) presiding. The other members present were Mr T.H. Myton (vice-chairman), Mr B. Wood Higgins, Mr G.M. Abbey, Mr H. Parkin, Mr T. Hurdas, Mr W. Holt, and Mr J.E. Robinson, with the Clerk (Mr T.A. Coope). A precept was issued on the overseers for £10.
The housing scheme, which was discussed at the last meeting of the Parish Council and placed on the agenda of the present meeting, was adjourned sin die, on the motion of Mr B. Wood Higgins, seconded by Mr H. Parkin.
LIGHTING OF THE VILLAGES. Mr J.E. Robinson asked who was responsible for the lighting of the lamps in Oulton and Woodlesford. At Woodlesford, as he had pointed out to the Chairman a short while ago, there was only one lamp lighted in the main street. He had, he said, spoken to the lamplighter about it, and he said the lamps had been crossed off his list of lamps to be lighted. The Chairman: I understand that the orders came from the District Council. Personally, I think all the lams want lighting or none at all. Mr Myton: This Council has power to draw the attention of the District Council to the matter. Mr Robinson: I move that we do that. Mr Myton: There is the question as to under whose instructions the District Council are acting. Are they acting under military instructions. If they are any resolution from this Council would have no weight. The Chairman: At the early period of the war the District Council were recommended to reduce the lighting.
Mr Myton: The absurdity of it all strikes everyone. At the early part of the war railway bridges were guarded, and now they are fully lighted up. The lamplighter is instructed to light one lamp in every four, and he lights them that wys no matter whereabouts they are. If anyone walks down the streets they will find that lamps are lighted where there is no need, and where a light would be of advantage there is no light. Would it be possible for us to get the District Council to meet us upon this matter, so that we can give our views and show them how wrongly the place is lighted up.
Mr Higgins: We might suggest that representatives of the Parish Council meet representatives of the District Council and go round the two villages some night. There has certainly been some peculiar arrangements about lighting. Rothwell has been lighted up to full strength, but now they come under the munition area.
Mr Robinson: I move that the District Council be approached, with a view to seeing if some better lighting arrangements cannot be come to, especially in the case of the lamp opposite the post office in Woodlesford. Mr H. Parkin seconded, and the resolution, supplemented as follows with the consent of the mover and seconder of the resolution – “That in the interests of the district the District Council should appoint representatives to meet representatives of the Parish Council to go round the district some night, with a view to the better lighting of the district” – was carried.
POST OFFICE FACILITIES. Mr Robinson said he noticed an order in the Woodlesford Post Office that the last despatch of letters would be at 6.30 p.m. each day. When the Post Office wanted some alteration, he said, they brought the matter before the Parish Council. Why was it the Parish Council had not been consulted in this matter. The Clerk: The order has been issued by the Government. It si only for the period of the war.
THE BECK. The Chairman moved the following resolution that “the Clerk be and is hereby instructed to write the Clerk of the District Council pointing out that the small arising from the offensive matter in the beck passing through Oulton still continues, and recommends that further action, if possible, be taken by the District Council to abate the nuisance.” Those who lived within easy distance of the beck, said the Chairman, had full benefit, and the smell was most offensive. It was like rotten turnips. That was the only way he could describe it. He was not exaggerating when he said that several people had been made ill owing to the smell. The other morning the surface of the beck was simply covered with an oily coloured matter. The resolution was seconded by Mr T. Hurdas and carried.
ALLOTMENTS BUSINESS. On the recommendation of the Allotments Committee it was decided to give an allotment holder who is in arrears with his rent a seven days’ notice to pay the amount owing, failing which proceedings will be taken to recover the same. The Allotments Committee are to meet on the allotments on March 4th, at 3.30 p.m.
A COLLIERY FATALITY AT WOODLESFORD. HOW A WORKMAN LOST HIS LIFE. THE INQUEST AND VERDICT. 12 February.
An inquest was held at the Oulton Institute on Wednesday afternoon by Mr P.P. Maitland (Coroner) on Lister Normington, colliery surface labourer, of 9, Prince Street, New Wortley, Leeds, who was knocked down and killed by a mineral train in the yard of the Water Haigh Colliery on Monday morning. Mr D.W. Hargreaves, manager, was present, along with Mr Mellors, H,M. Inspector of Mines.
Prior to opening the inquiry, the Coroner said he wanted to congratulate the Government Inspector on his being present that day, and they had to be very thankful, as some weeks ago he met with a serious accident, and he might easily have lost his life. He had been laid up for a considerable time, and it was a very great pleasure to him (the Coroner) to meet him there that day, at the first inquest he had attended since the accident. He was sure all would join with him in congratulating him upon his escape. They could not afford to lose such valuable men. The foreman of the jury, on behalf of his colleagues, said he wished to associate himself and the jury with what the Coroner had said.
Elizabeth Normington, wife of the deceased, said her husband was 52 years of age. He had worked at the Water Haigh Colliery about nine or ten months, having worked previously at the Middleton Colliery brickworks. He had no trouble and enjoyed good health. He was quite satisfied with his work. She last saw him alive, when he seemed in his usual good health and spirits, about 5.20 on Monday morning. About mid-day on Monday she was acquainted with the accident.
Sydney Evans, Common Row, Whitwood, colliery joiner, said the deceased had been assisting him in his work for about a fortnight. They were erecting a covering over an elevator in the colliery yard, which extended over some waggon rails. On Monday evening between seven and half-past he saw the deceased as he (witness) was going up the steps to the washer, which led to the part on which they were working. The deceased was standing at the bottom of the elevator waiting for his orders, and he (witness) went to see another man on business. He was only away about five minutes, and on going down the steps he saw deceased lying in the four foot way. His head was on the metals and his body was clear. As he was going up the steps to the washer he (witness) heard the whistle of an engine, and about nine feet away from the spot where Normington was lying a train, composed of an engine and six full trucks, was standing. Apparently the whole train had passed over the deceased. Answering the inspector, witness said Normington had been working with him about sixteen days, and he could not fail to notice that trains passed over that spot frequently.
Arthur Caine, Clement Street, Oulton, said he witnessed the accident, which occurred about 7.20 a.m. At the time he was standing about fifteen yards away. Witness heard the approach of the train, the whistle of which was being continuously blown. There was nothing to prevent deceased seeing the train coming along. Deceased made as if to cross the metals, and when almost at the other side, turned and walked back again. Witness said he shouted to the deceased, warning him of the oncoming train. After the train had passed, he shouted to the driver, who at once pulled up. The train was travelling slowly.
William Walker Wiseman, 27, Church Street, Woodlesford, colliery locomotive driver, said that he was driving an engine which was pushing six waggons from the weigh office. There was a slight bend leading from the weigh office, but it gradually opened out into the straight. He opened out his whistle, it being the custom to whistle until they passed the screens. He was looking out of the engine on the left side, but saw nothing of the deceased. The shunter, who was looking out the opposite side, did not see anyone. Owing to someone shouting he pulled up against the washer. The whole of the train must have passed over him. The screens did not make much noise, and the engine whistle would sound above the noise made by them.
The Coroner said the only thing that could account for the accident was that the deceased must have been pre-occupied, although it seemed peculiar that he did not see the train approaching. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.
TRIBUNAL FOR HUNSLET RURAL AREA. TEMPLENEWSAM, MIDDLETON, AND OULTON CASES. NEWSAM GREEN FARMER AND TADCASTER AREA CASES COLTON MAN AND DANISH LABOUR. AMUSING DIALOGUE. 1 April.
The Tribunal appointed for the Hunslet Rural area, and consisting of Mr T. Thomas (Chairman), Mr P.S. Marsden, Mr S.H.Young, Mr C.H. Merrivale, and Mr J.E. Davenport, sat on Friday to hear appeals, chiefly those of farmers of the district, and numbering eight. Mr F. Wood of Harrogate, was present as the Military Adviser.
The Chairman, before commencing the business, said he was pleased to announce that there were very few appeals to be dealt with. Evidently people were getting wiser and more loyal to the country. The Military Adviser said he objected to all the cases on the grounds that it was no longer necessary to retain the men in civil employment.
The Clerk to the Tribunal (Mr W.B. Pindar) announced that he had had that morning received a circular letter from the Board of Agriculture stating that arrangements would be made with young Danish farm hands about 25 years of age to bring them over to England in order to assist farmers. Farmers requiring such men had to give an undertaking to find the fares for the men from Denmark to England, the amount to be refunded to the farmer out of the man’s wages. The term of employment would be no less that one year, and the current rate of wages would be paid.
A member: How are English farmers to talk to these men? Another member: By signs. (Laughter).What puzzles me is. How are the Danish boys to talk to the English horses. (Laughter).Another member remarked that the Danish workers would be just as good as Irish men, except for the difficulty of the language. Then they would be more apt to do as they were told.
The first case dealt with was the application of a Middleton rhubarb grower for the exemption of his son and a man in his employ as a ploughman. Both men were married, the son being the younger of the two. Applicant said he had forty-three acres of land and sowed oats, peas, potatoes, and all sorts of green stuff. The generally planted about five acres of savoys.
The Chairman: Is it necessary to have your son? Can’t you get part women labour? You have one moman? Applicant: Yes.
The Chairman: Can’t you take part women labour? Applicant: No.
The Chairman: You have one woman? Applicant: I have two women, but they won’t work on the land. They only tie up rhubarb.
The Chairman: Can’t you get an older man? Applicant: No, I can’t get anyone.
The Military Adviser (to applicant): Can your son plough? Applicant: He can, but he is not an experienced man.
The Military Adviser: We had better take your son and leave the ploughman. Applicant: No, I would sooner have my son here: he would take more interest in the garden.
The letter of the Board of Agriculture was explained to the applicant by the Clerk. The Military Adviser pointed out that the applicant could spare his son, the younger
man of the two, better than his ploughman. The Tribunal ordered the applicant to release his son to join his group, and granted the other man conditional exemption to June 30th.
The second case was that of a Newsam Green farmer, who asked for the total exemption of his son, who is employed as a horseman, on the ground that he was the only man on the farm to go with the machinery and horses. Applicant said that besides himself there were only two sons and a boy, who was kept for the work about the house, for a farm of 300 acres, 130 of which were arable. He had also forty cows.
The Military Adviser (to applicant): Have you lost any men? Applicant: Yes, two last year, but I have not been able to replace them. I have advertised but they won’t have Sunday work when they can get plenty of money for working four or five days. They all go to the munitions works.
The Military Adviser: I want to know why you kept your two sons, and did not appeal for the other two men? The Chairman: The other two men, I understand, enlisted direct and not under the Derby Scheme? Applicant: That is so.
A member: What women have you? Applicant: I engaged two to help me with last year’s harvest, but they have not come yet. (Laughter). I went to Woodlesford for them, but I expect their husbands are getting good money and they won’t come.
The Military Adviser: What are you asking for? Applicant: For absolute exemption. Farmers on the other side of me are getting it for their sons.
The Chairman: That is not here. Applicant: No, it’s Tadcaster.
When the applicant had retired, the Military Adviser said he did not favour absolute exemption, as they lost sight of the men. He would agree, however, to a conditional exemption, as the men had, under heavy penalties, to report themselves at the expiration of the time. Conditional exemption was granted the man as long as he remains in his present employ.
The Clerk informed the applicant as to the contents of the Board of Agriculture’s circular, and applicant said he would be most pleased to have one or two Danish men.
An appeal was made by a Halton farmer for the exemption of his son, a young man of 25 years of age, who had at a previous sitting of the Tribunal been put back ten groups. It was stated that the applicant had recently broken his ankle and was confined to the house, the claim being supported by the young man’s mother, who appeared before the Tribunal. The young man in question is the only one, besides his father, on the farm, which comprises some 117 acres. There are eight cows and milk is retailed.
The Clerk (to the mother): You can’t manage 117 acres with only one son. The Chairman: How much ploughed land have you? Applicant: Not much.
Continuing the applicant said they had had another man, but he had left them to go to a munitions factory. The Military Adviser: Did he go to escape enlistment? Applicant: No, he was a much older man. A temporary exemption was granted until the end of June.
A Colton farmer appealed for the absolute exemption of a man of 26 years of age, who was employed as a cowman. The farm is one of 94 acres, and there are twenty-six cows and thirty pigs. Applicant said he engaged the man, who was married, In December last, his last man having enlisted at Martinmas. The man was the only one to look after the cows beyond himself. Each milked thirteen cows, morning and evening. He was not appealing for the man, he said, so that he could be a gentleman.
The Chairman: We want every man we can get. Applicant: I am well aware of that, but the Government are appealing to farmers to grow as much foodstuffs as possible, and how can we do it if they take our men? If I could do without the man I should say “Go.” The Military Adviser (to applicant): How would you like a high class Danish dairyman? Applicant: What kind of high class dairyman? The Military Adviser: The Danes are experienced dairymen. Applicant: Perhaps he might be as long in putting on his overalls as it would take to milk a cow. (Laughter).
After the Board of Agriculture’s circular had been read to him, applicant said no one could say what kind of a man they were getting. He had had qualified men, and when they got them they sat down on the wrong side of the cow. (Laughter). The Military Adviser (to applicant): Are you prepared to write to the Board of Agriculture for a man? Applicant: I don’t think I could get a better man than I have. The Military Adviser: They are all good men from Denmark. Applicant: If that is so I should say they will be wanted in their own country. Temporary exemption until June 30th was granted. Two cowmen were appealed for by a Middleton farmer, one of the men having been put back by the Tribunal from group 4 to group 12.
The Chairman, as the applicant came into the room, remarked “Now, Mr —-, you are getting a regular attender,” to which the applicant replied, “Yes, sadly too mich.” (Laughter). Applicant said that if they took his men he would be obliged to close up his place. A member (to applicant): We are getting very short of milk at Middleton, and it is up to such gentlemen as you to do their best for the country. Applicant: Well, I am very glad to hear you say so. It is as well you are.
When asked to retire while the Tribunal discussed the case, applicant said “Yes, I am ready to retire. I am done.” The Chairman: You are only a young man yet.
Applicant: When you get to be seventy, and I am seventy next month, you will not be so young. (Laughter).
The application for one of the men was refused, and the other man was given until
April 30th. A young man of 24 years of age, who stated in his appeal that he was working in the erection of the British Dyeworks at Huddersfield, was given a month.
Applicant was said to be the part support of his father, aged 68, and his mother, aged 66. He also had two brothers fighting, and was the only one left at home.
A WOODLESFORD MATRIMONIAL CASE. YOUNG PEOPLE CANNOT GET HOUSES. 6 May.
On Tuesday at Leeds West Riding Petty Sessions Harold Tomlinson, miner, of Woodlesford, was summoned by his wife, Doris Tomlinson, for persistent cruelty.
Mr Davies, who appeared for applicant, said that the parties were married on August last year, and they had never got on happily together. He had never provided her with a home of her own, and up to six weeks ago they had resided with applicant’s mother, and then they went to live with defendant’s mother. Defendant had struck her, and he had made her nose bleed and marked her face and arms.
Applicant said that she had had one child, which was eight weeks old. He struck her on the night before she was confined, and on Boxing Day he hit her on the face and caused her nose to bleed. He had struck her many times. She was afraid to go back and live with him. A girl (13), applicant’s sister, said she had seen defendant hit applicant. Defendant said that they went to live at applicant’s house and there had not been peace since. The Chairman: Why did you not get a house of your own? Defendant: I could not find one. In answer to questions, defendant alleged that he got provocation.
The Chairman: You seem a decent couple. Why should you not live together? Defendant: When you marry a girl you don’t marry the family. The Chairman: You should have got your cage before you got your bird. Applicant, on being asked if she would go back to defendant, said she would not. Defendant said his wages were £2 10s. a week. The magistrates made an order for 15s. a week, to be suspended for a fortnight.
BOY SCOUTS. THE DIVISIONAL PARADES AT GARFORTH. 27 May.
A divisional parade was held on Saturday, when a visit was paid to the Garforth troop. The South-East Division Scouts paraded in strength 187, including 11 officers, the following troops being represented, viz., 1st (Bourne) 20, 2nd (St. Peter’s) 16, 3rd (Rothwell Homes) 19, 4th (St Silas) 34, 6th (St. Saviour’s) 23, 7th (Garforth) 25, 9th (Rothwell) 25, and 14th (St. Hilda’s) 25. The 1st, 4h, 6th, and 14th assembled at Leeds and met the 2nd at Whitkirk round tower. Steady marching brought them to the field near Garforth, where tea was to be taken, a little before five o’clock; and here the 9th and 7th joined the rest of the Division. Tea was made by the Garforth Scouts, and at six o’clock a conference was held. The assembly was brought about by a “circular rally,” and then Scoutmaster Williamson opened the discussion by suggesting several points that might be considered. Some really good remarks were made by the leaders, though the scouts seemed rather shy of “speechmaking”; and from some of the points brought forward it was clear that the older boys had learnt their lessons from experience. At the end, three cheers were given for the Garforth Troop, who gallantly replied with a similar welcome to their visitors. The spirit of brotherhood was very marked all through, and the pilot of the bi-plane that came over must have thought the South-East a very happy family. Many thanks are due to the Garforth Troop, not only for their invitation, but for the way they made the afternoon a success.
RUSSIAN SCOUTS. 27 May.
The news of the co-operation of our Russian Allies in France brings to mind that the Scouts exist in Russia. In fact, they exist in every country; wherever a Scout may go he can find a “brother” keeping the same law as himself, except perhaps in Germany, where no doubt the Kaiser has re-written the Scout Law to suit himself, as for example, No.8, “A scout steals and pilfers under all circumstances during foreign invasion.” A short time ago some Russian journalists visited the London headquarters, and spoke very highly of the Scout training, especially of the discipline “which does not try to make a machine of men.” The Russian names sound strange to English ears, and one day one of the “Lion” patrols may receive a visit from Scouts of the “Preobvejensky” Patrol, but Scouts can overcome even linguistic difficulties. A Divisional game will be played on Saturday, June 17th. Scoutmasters are asked particularly to keep the date open. The Rothwell Homes Troop is the “Third” South-East. The Leeds Association sports for Scouts have been abandoned for this year.
ROTHWELL HOMES TROOP. 27 May.
The Troop of B.P. Scouts at the Rothwell Homes is now sufficiently established to be registered with the Division, and the number given it is the “third.” On the last few divisional parades the troop has been well represented, and the fact that the Scoutmaster is willing to join in divisional work will not only assist the troop, but will generally strengthen the division. Mr Ward is enthusiastic over the value of the movement, and it is excellent that the Division should thus have as an enthusiastic supported a man who has given his life to training boys. Rothwell has now two excellent troops, and it is hoped that the inhabitants will do their best to help the work in every way by their ready sympathy.
SUMMER OUTDOOR DISPLAY 27 May.
Owing to many difficulties that had to be faced, the committee appointed to organise the summer display has had to adapt considerably the original scheme brought before the last general meeting. The idea of a carnival has been abandoned, and the display will be on the lines of an inspection to which friends of the movement will be invited. Every troop is to be asked to contribute some item of Scout interest, which, in order to prevent over-lapping, will be decided upon by the District Scoutmaster. It is hoped that all Scouts will “back up” the Divisional officers for all they are worth, so that Hunslet and the district can see what Scouts are capable of, and the rest of the Association can be shown what the South-East can do. There must be no “failures.” The date is fixed for Saturday, July 22nd.
9TH SOUTH-EAST (ROTHWELL) TROOP. 27 May.
Mr Porritt, D.S.M., paid a visit to the 9th South-East Leeds (Rothwell) Troop on May 12th for the purpose of presenting Mr H. Varley with his Scoutmaster’s warrant. In an encouraging talk to the boys, Mr Porritt laid stress upon the value of the 1st class badge, and strongly advised the boys to aim for that in preference to the ordinary proficiency badges. During the evening Mr Porritt presented Scout Frank Smith with a small badge awarded by his patrol leader for efficiency regularity in attendance, smartness, etc. Recitations and choruses, heartily entered into by the boys, gave a delightful end to a most enjoyable evening.
A SWILLINGTON GAME TRESPASS CASE. WOODLESFORD MINER FINED. 27 May.
At the Leeds West Riding Petty Sessions on Tuesday John Blair, miner, of Woodlesford, was summoned for having been found trespassing in pursuit of game at Swillington on land owned by Sir Charles Lowther, on May 14th. Mr Alf. Masser, solicitor, prosecuted. Thomas Richard Scar, head gamekeeper for Sir Charles Lowther, stated that early on Sunday morning, May 14th, he was on duty in Swillington Park, where there had been a lot of trouble lately with trespassers. He saw the defendant walking along the coach road toward Astley accompanied by a black lurcher bitch. Suddenly the defendant stopped beside the hedge bordering the Park and looked intently at some hares or rabbits in the Park. He sent the dog into the Park and it hunted for about ten minutes, chasing several rabbits. Witness then came out of his place of concealment, upon which the defendant walked away. Catching him up, witness said to him, “You are in good time,” and defendant replied, “Yes, I am going for a walk.” Witness then drew defendant’s attention to the dog, which had by that time come up to him, and was standing beside him. Defendant said it did not belong to him but to a man named Crossley, at whose house he had been to a Christening party, and he had set out early for a walk, taking the dog with him. A fine of 10s. was imposed, along with the costs of the witnesses.
HALTON, OULTON, WOODLESFORD, AND MIDDLETON MEN. CASES BEFORE HUNSLET TRIBUNAL. MILITARY REPRESENTATIVE AND A HALTON HAIRDRESSER. 10 June.
A meeting of the Hunslet Tribunal was held at the offices of the rural District Council, Leek Street, Hunslet, on Friday afternoon. Mr T.Thomas, J.P. (Chairman), presiding. Mr F. Wood was present as a military adviser, along with Mr C.J. Howarth, who is the military representative, along with Major Watson, for the Wakefield area – the Woodlesford cases belonging to the Wakefield district. The Clerk to the Tribunal (Mr W.B. Pindar) read a letter from the secretary of the Rothwell Volunteer Training Corps asking that influence should be used with regard to applicants who are granted temporary exemption to get them to get them to join a local Volunteer Training Corps. The letter added that already twenty “Derby” men had passed through the Corps, and about that number had joined the Colours.
The Clerk pointed out that a man who is given temporary exemption and told to join a Volunteer Corps must join a local unit within three days of the Tribunal’s decision. A record of all drills is kept and forwarded to the military authorities.
The first case was that of a Woodlesford milk retailer, who applied for absolute exemption on the ground that he was the contractor at the Rothwell, Hunslet, and Methley Joint Hospital, besides having a large round of customers. A letter was read by the Clerk to the Tribunal from the Chairman of the Hospital Committee in support of the claim, and stating that if the man had to go it would be difficult to find another man. The Chairman of the Tribunal said the work was such that a woman could do as the man did not produce the milk but only retail it. Asked if his wife could not do the work, applicant said his wife was not able to go, as her health was not good. He also helped to keep his mother. Time was allowed until July 10th, in order that applicant could find someone to do the work for him.
A Halton farmer of 38 years of age, who said he had two farms in partnership with his father, and had 32 milk cows, was granted conditional exemption. A Halton hairdresser, who appealed for absolute exemption on account of serious hardship and that he was the only hairdresser in the district within a radius of two miles, was given until June 30th. Applicant stated that his mother was a widow, and he had had a brother killed in the Dublin rebellion. Asked by the military representative why he should not go at once to the Army applicant said he had lost his only brother and if he went his shop would be lost. The Military Representative: You will be quite a hero when you come back and everyone will come to your shop to be shaved. Why should anyone go and make sacrifices for you and your wife? Applicant: I don’t want anyone to make sacrifices for me.
Conditional exemption was granted a Middleton farmer for his foreman. The farm it was stated consisted of 130 acres (100 arable) and 23 milk cows. In summer time four men were usually employed and six in winter. Since last October he had only had three and a casual labourer. Two month’s exemption was granted a book-keeper, of Halton, on the ground of domestic circumstances, a condition of the exemption being that applicant joined the local Volunteer Training Corps and drilled at least twice a week.
The head gardener employed by Lady Dorothy Wood of Templenewsam, was granted absolute exemption. The applicant was a married man of 34 years of age, and suffers from tubercular weakness. He had been employed by Lady Dorothy for over four years. At the present time applicant had only one man and a boy to assist him, while previously he had had six men and a boy. Chiefly vegetables were grown in the gardens.
A Middleton farmer appealed for two men, one being the head cowman and the other a horseman. Applicant had some two months ago appealed for two other of his men, one being sent straight away to join his group and the other has now gone. It was stated that applicant generally employed six men, but this number was now reduced to two. The Military Adviser (to applicant): Why, you are worth two men yourself? Applicant: You’re what? I am only worth half o’ one. (Laughter). The Tribunal decided to grant conditional exemption in the case of one of the men, and to give temporary exemption to the other until October 1st.
An appeal was made for a Halton hay cutter, the employer of whom is a contractor to the Army. The man for whom the appeal was made appeared before the Tribunal owing to the fact that his employer had to meet a representative of the War Office. He told the Tribunal that he had been offered a job I a munition factory, but he would leave it with the Tribunal to decide whether he kept to hay cutting or went to work on munitions. It was stated that good hay cutters are few and far between, the work being to cut trusses out of stacks. Conditional exemption was granted provided the man remains at the work ay hay-cutting.
The case of a Halton butcher was adjourned until the next meeting in July, on the ground of a one-man business, so that the Tribunal could decide after the new Act comes into force. The head wage’ clerk employed by the Middleton Colliery Company was granted exemption. An appeal was made by the Woodlesford Brewery for five men. Mr Howarth said he had been over to the brewery, and, with the exemption of one man, he would not oppose the claims. Conditional exemption was granted four of the men, and the fifth, whose work was to deal with casks, was given until June 30th.
An Oulton shoeing smith, who said he made 100 pairs of horse shoes a week for the Army, was granted exemption so long as he retains his badge and certificate. A contracting builder, of Oulton, who is engaged on work at the Yorkshire Copper Works, had his case adjourned until the July meeting of the Tribunal.
A young married man, of Oulton, who is at present employed by the Woodlesford Brewery, applied for absolute exemption on the ground that if his appeal was successful he was to be appointed as a collector of the new industrial income taxes. Applicant had passed for general service. The appeal was refused. An Oulton milk dealer who asked to be exempted because he had no one to look after the business was given until July 10th.
A dispenser employed by an Oulton doctor was told that he must appear before the Medical Board at Pontefract, and in the event of his not being passed for general service he could remain in his present employ. Applicant, who had been appealed for and given some later time, said he had three brothers at the Front.
A STOURTON STOKER’S DREAM. WENT DOWN WITH THE “HAMPSHIRE.” FORMERLY EMPLOYED AT WOODLESFORD COLLIERY. 17 June.
When home on leave recently for the first and, as events have proved, the last time, a Stourton stoker had a dream in which he saw his ship – the ill-fated Hampshire – blown up and sunk. He has now gone down with his ship under circumstances curiously similar to those he related at his home at the time.
As a result of the dream he was much upset, and when he was about to return to the Hampshire said he would rather be going to any British ship than his own. In the light of events, his premonition as to the vessel being blown up and his reluctance to rejoin it were remarkable. A Leeds “Evening News” reporter obtained confirmation of the story from his mother – Mrs Hayes, of 20, Ida Grove, Stourton – who said her son (Stoker Harold Hayes) had only joined the Hampshire during the war.
Hearing nothing from him after the Jutland action and the Hampshire disaster, she had grave fears of his fate. On Thursday morning she received a letter from him and hoped to find that he was safe, but, unfortunately, his message only intimated that he had figured in the North Sea fight without hurt. Hayes expressed the opinion that the British had won, despite reports, and that the Germans had lost more ships than they had admitted.
His mother continued to hope for news of him until Monday morning, when she got an official intimation that he must be counted lost in the Kitchener disaster. In the meantime she had recalled her son’s dream. “It is remarkable that when last on leave,” she said, “he came down one morning quite depressed, and said: ‘Mother, I don’t feel like going back on the Hampshire.” “I asked him why,” said Mrs Hayes, “and he said: ‘I have had a dream in which I saw the Hampshire blown up.’ Later he said he would rather be on any other vessel.”
Stoker Hayes had been in the Navy 18 months, having previously served on a destroyer. Before the war he was employed at Woodlesford Colliery. He was well-known in football circles Stourton way, and had taken part in naval matches.
GARDEN FETE AT OULTON. OPENING BY LIEUTENANT COLONEL LITTLEWOOD. 5 August.
There was nothing wanting to make the garden fete promoted by the Oulton and Woodlesford War Fund Committee, which was held in the attractive grounds of the Woodlands, Oulton (the residence of Mr John Farrar, J.P.) on Wednesday, a success. Ideal weather prevailed, and, owing to it being the weekly half-holiday, the grounds, entrance to which was free, were thronged the whole of the afternoon and evening with a gay company. The object of the fete was to benefit the funds of the Red Cross Society, and it was fittingly declared open by Lieut.-Col. Littlewood, R.A.M.C. (T.), administrator of the 2nd Northern General Hospital, Leeds.
Mr J.E. Davenport presided, and, in introducing Lieut.-Col. Littlewood, he gave a brief review of what the Oulton and Woodlesford War Fund Committee had done since its formation soon after the outbreak of the war. Those who read the “Skyrack Courier” and the “Rothwell Courier and Times,” he said, would, last week, would get some idea as to how the money subscribed to the fund had been expended. That day they wanted to make as much as they could, and those present would have ample opportunity of getting rid of their money. He had no doubt that a great many of them were not fond of the Kaiser, and for a small sum they could “ring” his neck. (Laughter). The committee had been fortunate in securing Lieut.- Col. Littlewood to open the fete, and he hoped they would give him an Oulton and Woodlesford reception.
Lieut.-Col. Littlewood, who was well received, gave a very interesting and able address. He said he was glad to see that the ladies greatly predominated over the gentlemen. When he looked round he could see very few able-bodied men. The men present were there because they could not serve. He could see in the background a number of men who had been in the Becketts Park Hospital, and who were now at Swillington, under the care of Miss Garforth. It was very nice for them and for him to see them thee to receive their hospitality. They did not perhaps realise that soldiers were not supposed to have any money in their pockets. That was one of the rules of the War Office. (Laughter).
In speaking to Mr Farrar at lunch that day, he was told that quite early in the war, in 1914, the people of Oulton and Woodlesford saw that money was wanted, a very far-seeing way of looking at things – that it might be wanted for something that might turn up. He wished that the whole of the country had realised it in that very way. Many of them that day realised that although they could not do what the soldiers were doing in France, or what they had done in other theatres of war – Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, and other parts – they could do something by helping with their pockets. The fete that day was for the Red Cross Fund, which had, indeed, met with people’s splendid benevolence.
The Red Cross was more or less something of a modern institution, and in this country it was associated with a much older institution, The St. John Ambulance Association and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and when they subscribed to the Red Cross they were subscribing to the older order – the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. The money which had been subscribed for the Red Cross had been used in a very admirable manner fro the treatment and the care of wounded soldiers. (Applause). At first large sums were given, almost incredible sums. No doubt the feeling of Englishmen was that nothing was too good for the soldiers, and he was inclined to think also that with that feeling a little bit of personal extravagance had been used, and if care had been put on they would have had more to spend in other directions. In the treatment of soldiers the Army had certain regulations, and they were only allowed to give and do certain things for them. Diet, games, and other things were restricted, because the accounts were overlooked, and they had to show that they were economical, and it was only by outside help that they could give to the soldiers what they were giving. The money, most of it, went to a great central organisation, and sometimes people who were subscribing forgot that in a centre like Leeds there was a place like the 2nd Northern General Hospital, which was one of the best of its kind in the country. The hospital was started eight or ten years before people thought the war was likely to take place, and began under the able administration of General Dobson, and there had been off-shoots at Huddersfield, Bradford, Halifax, Keighley, and a great number of towns in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Many of them were able to work by themselves, having organised in that very way. At Leeds they started with five hundred beds, and he had now five thousand beds under his control – (applause) – and what he was going to ask them at Oulton that afternoon was to earmark at least a certain sum – he suggested fifty per cent. – to be handed over to the 2nd Northern General Hospital, so that he could use it to find things which he found difficult to find except for the generous public. (Applause).
A vote of thanks to Lieut.-Col. Littlewood was proposed by Mr J. Farrar, who said he was a splendid man, doing a splendid work, and they were grateful for what he had done and for what he was still likely to do. Mr A. Sharpe (hon. Treasurer of the Oulton and Woodlesford War Fund), seconded the vote of thanks, and said they all knew what Lieut.-Col. Littlewood had done to relieve suffering, and as they were out to make money for that particular object they welcomed him as the right man in the right place. A vote of thanks to Mr Farrar for his generosity in lending the grounds for the fete was moved by Mr E. Williams and seconded by Mr J. Parks. Throughout the afternoon and evening the stalls, which included houp-la, darts, cocoanut shies, etc., did a good business, the wounded soldiers from Swillington especially enjoying themselves. Tea was served on the lawn, and the attractive rose gardens, though not at their best, were well patronised. In the evening the Oulton Brass Band were in attendance, and rendered a selection of music.
WOODLESFORD. STONE THROWING. 5 August.
In the Children’s Court at the Leeds West Riding Petty Sessions on Tuesday three Woodlesford school-children – Mary Wilkinson (13), Edith Wilkinson (11), and Julian Horton (11) – were summoned for having thrown stones at a railway train on June 13th. Mr Aloysius McDermott prosecuted. Driver T. Wilde said he was driving a train from Leeds to Doncaster on June 13th, and near to Woodlesford he saw three children on the wall of a bridge with their hands up as if to throw something. He dodged down and later, on looking round saw two windows of the brake-van behind the engine, broken. He reported the matter at Woodlesford, and the children were stopped. A boy named Sam Norton said he saw the children on the bridge on the Applegarth footpath, and as he approached one of them got off the wall and picked up some stones. The children were put under the care of the probation officer for three months.
HALTON, WHITKIRK, OULTON, WOODLESFORD CASES. CLAIMS BEFORE THE HUNSLET TRIBUNAL. 30 September.
On Wednesday afternoon the Hunslet Rural District Tribunal dealt with some twenty cases. Mr T.Thomas, J.P. (Chairman) presided, and the other members present were Mr P.S. Marsden, Mr J.E. Davenport, Mr S.H. Young, and Mr C.H. Merrivale, with the Clerk (Mr W.B. Pindar), and the military representatives (Mr F. Wood and Mr J.C. Howarth).
An Oulton bricklayer, the only one in the district, who had previously been given conditional exemption provided he did Government work three days a week, applied for the conditions of his certificate to be modified. Applicant said the Tribunal had given him the option of doing this kind of work or drilling twice a week with the Volunteers, and he would now prefer to drill. The Tribunal acceded to the request.
The appeal of an Oulton farmer for a cowman and a general labourer, who is married and thirty five years of age, and who had been previously exempted till August 31st, was refused, but the man will not be called upon before October 14th.
A married horseman employed by a Woodlesford farmer, who had been given exemption until August 31st, was appealed for, absolute exemption being asked. The man is 33 years of age. The appeal was dismissed, but the man will not be called up before November 14th.
A single man, of Woodlesford, aged 36, who is employed as a colliery platelayer at one of Messrs Charlesworth’s pits, asked for exemption on the grounds of domestic hardship. Applicant said he had no brothers or sisters; his father was dead, and he had to keep his mother, who was sixty years of age. Answering questions, applicant said his employers were not appealing for him before the Colliery Board. He had been there two years. Mr Merrivale said the man’s wage showed that he was employed only as an ordinary labourer. The appeal was refused.
Temporary exemption till November 1st was granted a Whitkirk applicant, who is a fire insurance surveyor and whose appeal has been pending some time owing to ill health. A Whitkirk innkeeper applied for exemption, but his case was dismissed, and he will be called up on November 1st. Answering the military representative, applicant said he did the carving and waiting on. Mr Wood: Your wife could do that? Applicant: My wife can’t be in the kitchen and behind the bar at the same time. Mr Wood: If you got someone to cook your wife could manage.
Two Woodlesford brothers, in partnership as wheelwrights, applied for exemption. Both are single, the eldest being 33 years of age and the other 31. Asked what kind of work they did, applicants said they worked for the farmers round about. The Chairman: Did you both come here expecting to get exemption when the country is at war? Applicants: Yes, we thought we were of more use to the country where we are. Mr Howarth (military representative): Have you both been examined? Applicant: No. Mr Howarth: What would happen to your business if one of you went into the Army? Applicant: We should have to sell it. It is hard enough as it is for two. The Chairman: Don’t the people in the district tell you that it is a shame one of you is not in the Army? Applicant: No, they tell us it is a shame we should have to go. Mr Howarth suggested that the case should be adjourned in order for the men to be examined by the medical board, and for them to be warned that one of them must be prepared to go. To this the Tribunal agreed.
(The two brothers were Fred and George Hirst who had been trained as wheelwrights by their father, Uriah Hirst, on their smallholding at Needless Inn. Uriah had died in 1914. Fred joined the army in November 1916 and served in France with the Royal Field Artillery from March 1917. It’s not known if George Hirst joined up but in 1939 both of them and their elder brother, John, along with two younger sisters and their mother were still living at the Needless Inn property.)
The Woodlesford Brewery Co. applied for three of their men, on engaged on important work shunting waggons, one an engine man, and the third a plumber. Mr Howarth said the Brewery Company had done very well for the Army before the military authorities tackled them. He suggested that conditional exemption be given the last two named men, and the shunter be given temporary exemption until the end of the year. The Tribunal acquiesced.
A Woodlesford butcher, who had been passed for home service only, was given conditional exemption provided he enrols in the Volunteer Training Corps. The managing director and secretary of a local laundry appealed on behalf of himself and also a foreman. Conditional exemption was granted the manager, and the appeal of the foreman was refused, but the man is not to be called up before December 1st. Applicant when told of the decision of the Tribunal said he would appeal against the decision with regard to the foreman at the Appeal Tribunal. The military representative (Mr Wood): I may appeal against you, if you do.
The son of a tenant farmer, of Halton, who had been previously exempted, said they had still to get in some of the harvest. His father was unable to do anything on the farm. Answering Mr Wood, the young man said he would go if there was anyone to take his place. Mr Wood: Will you go if I send a suitable man? Applicant: Well, I have to do the buying, etc. –The case was dismissed, not to be called up before November 1st. Two Halton youths of eighteen years of age had their appeals refused. One is on a farm.
HAREWOOD AND SWILLINGTON HOSPITALS. WOUNDED SOLDIERS IN COUNTRY HOUSES. 16 December.
In a special article the “Yorkshire Post” tells us of the splendid work the V.A.D. Hospitals in the district are doing. It states: At an early stage of the war, the Earl of Harewood, Lord-Lieutenant of the West Riding, offered to set aside part of his house at Harewood for the reception of wounded soldiers. It was in January, 1915, that an auxiliary hospital was opened here. At first there was provision for thirty; since then the accommodation has been extended, and there are now forty-nine beds. As the length of the stay of the patients varies from about two weeks to four months, it will be realised that some hundreds of sick and wounded men hae enjoyed the benefit of residence and treatment at the Yorkshire home of the Lascelles family, combined with life in the open air amid some of the most picturesque scenery of the North of England.
These men who have been stricken while fighting for their King and country are proud to know that they are dwelling under the roof that has sheltered the King himself. In fact, during its existence of about 160 years, one of the stateliest of the stately homes of England, has entertained Royalty on many occasions. Queen Victoria as a seventeen-year- old Princess, was here with her mother, the Duchess of Kent; King Edward and Queen Alexandra, on their memorable visit to Leeds in 1908, were the guests of the Earl and Countess of Harewood, and four years earlier King George and Queen Mary, as Prince and Princess of Wales, stayed here for two days. And it is interesting to recall that it is exactly a hundred years ago this month that Czar Nicholas I. of Russia (then Grand Duke) stayed at Harewood House, and planted some young oaks that are now among the majestic trees that dot the extensive park.
Among the meadows, groves, and glades of the charming park the soldiers are allowed to wander at will. At any time of the year there is something in these far-stretching grounds and beautiful gardens to afford pleasure to the patients, especially to those who love country life. Those with a taste for angling try their luck with rod and line in the beautiful lake; the gambols of frisky squirrels among the branches of the trees afford entertaining diversion, and now and again a venturesome fox spins across the park, occasionally with hounds in full cry. Football is always a popular pastime, and a recent match between teams of residents and soldiers afforded much excitement. The roaming of the patients are by no means restricted to the park. There is the pretty village, the pleasant walk through the meadows overlooking the winding Wharfe, and the famous Harewood Avenue.
Winter outdoor recreations and wanderings are necessarily limited, and at this time of the year the men have to rely largely upon indoor resources. There is an ample supply of books and other literature, a small billiard table in the temporary wooden structure adjoining the house, and cards and other games to while away the hours. At least once a week – sometimes twice – a concert party comes from Leeds, and every Saturday the patients who are well enough are taken to the city in motor cars for a specially-arranged entertainment.
The dining-room and the music-room now form the two principal wards, together containing 28 beds, while smaller wards complete the total provision for half a hundred patients. Usually there are only a small proportion of bed cases; the majority of the patients are able to get out and about. In addition to the Matron, Mrs Mattram – during whose absence through illness her duties have been discharged wit unremitting care by Mrs Birkmyre, of Ingmanthorpe Hall – the staff consists of two trained sisters and six V.A.D. nurses. The Harewood doctor, Captain Matthews, R.A.M.C., who has served in France but has been invalided home, has medical charge of the hospital, being attached to the Beckett’s Park Hospital and paying frequent visits to Harewood. Both the Earl and the Countess – her ladyship being Commandant – take a sympathetic interest in the work of the hospital generally and in the individual cases of the patients. The Vicar of Harewood, the Rev. Maurice Lascelles, is a constant visitor and makes friends of the wounded soldiers. The Sunday morning services at Harewood Church are all the more impressive because of the presence of men who have fought and suffered in their country’s cause.
In placing Swillington House, the home of the Yorkshire Lowthers since the 17th century, at the disposal of the nation as an auxiliary hospital, Sir Charles Lowther, the present baronet, has not merely provided a very convenient and delightful house of cure, but has been the means of bringing modern soldiers to a spot associated with some of the earliest warfare in this country of which we have any record. According to the Venerable Bede, it was in 655 that Penda, the fierce champion of the old pagan race which inhabited the North of England, advanced into the Leeds district to meet the Christian King Oswy of Northumbria. It was in this district that Oswy gained that decisive victory which secured the complete triumph of the Christian religion in England during Anglo-Saxon times. Thoresby asserts that the fugitives of the pagan army were swallowed up and drowned in an attempt to cross the River Aire at Swillington. After their victory the Anglians planted their first clan station north of the Aire at Swillington. Now, after the lapse of nearly thirteen fruitful centuries, British soldiers wounded in the wars against a barbarism equally as detestable as that of Penda are brought to Swillington to be nursed back to health.
The house forms a compact hospital of 44 beds in three wards – the dining-room, the drawing-room, and the library. Other apartments on the ground floor brought into use are the servants’ hall, now used as the men’s dining room; the housekeeper’s room, which is turned into the staff dining-room, and other rooms used as surgery, store rooms, etc. From an administrative point of view it is a great advantage that all these rooms are on the level. The well-wooded park and the gardens are never-failing sources of delight to the men in fine weather.
It was in July, 1915, that the Pontefract and Castleford Voluntary Aid Detachments took possession. The personnel was already organised and trained, for the Pontefract V.A.D. had been in existence since 1910, and in spite of mild ridicule, had taken their self- imposed task very seriously, with the result that all the members were well qualified to go into action, so to speak, when the call came. Under the inspiring lead of Miss F. Garforth, as commandant, and of her sister, Miss C. Garforth, as quartermaster, the Detachment had prepared itself well I peace time, and in pursuance of a rota system, is now doing the work under these two ladies, who, by-the-way, are daughters of Sir William Garforth, the well-known mining engineer. The duties of medical officer are shared by Dr. Orford, of Pontefract, and Dr. Crispin, of Castleford.