Project Bugle Completed - use info@ProjectBUGLE.org.uk to contact the Project Legacy Team.

December 4th 2017

 The December News letter and Poppy Lists are now part of the updated Exhibitions in Batley and Birstall Libraries. Thank you to the Staff at Batley Library for getting the Exhibition back in place following their recent ‘leak’ problems.

December BUGLE Newsletter and the Poppy List have been added to the website.

 Remembrance Week ….

We were invited to give a talk to the local Beaver Group at Batley Salvation Army Centre leading up to Remembrance weekend. Jeff Gunson spoke to about twenty Beavers and explained the significance of the Poppy and the meaning of Remembrance Sunday. Each Beaver was given a Royal British Legion Poppy Pin to wear on their uniform. The evening was a great success and it is hope to have further interaction with the Group in the future.

Soldier Stories – eight short-form stories have been added about soldiers lost in December 1917

 Dec  2 2nd Lieutenant. George Stanley WHITEHEAD (s-f)

 Dec  3   Private. William HALEY (s-f)

 Dec  5  Corporal. William FOSTER (s-f)

 Dec 11 Private. Rueben HEPWORTH (s-f)

  Dec 11 Sergeant. John KILKENNY (s-f)

 Dec 28 Private. Frank Brook ROEBUCK (s-f)

 Dec 30 Private. Horace RHODES (s-f)

  Dec 30 Able Seaman Robert WILKINSON (s-f)

Wreath Ceremony

A reminder that we have our last Wreath Ceremony for the year on December 29th at Batley Cemetery. Teas and coffees from 10.30 with the service to start at 11.00 – all are welcome.

November 2017

Poppy Poem

Poppy Poem

Poppy List

1711 November Poppy List

 November 7th 2017

The November News letter and Poppy Lists are now part of the updated Exhibitions in Batley and Birstall Libraries. Thank you to the Staff at Batley Library for getting the Exhibition back in place following their recent ‘leak’ problems.

November BUGLE and the Poppy list have been added to the website.

Display POPPY List and then Links to BUGLE NEWSLETTER 


Services are to be held in Batley and Birstall on Sunday.

There has been much ‘chat’ on the Social Media sites about the significance of the Poppy in modern times.

This simple poem brings us back to the reason why we wear the poppy with such pride.


At this time in 1917 the third Battle of Ypres was coming to and end – at Passchendaele.

There were many casualties in the three months of this campaign – many from Batley and Birstall.

Kevin McQuinn has researched the local soldiers who were lost in the battle and he has provided the attached report giving the background to the battle.

This is an excellent piece of work that will be loaded to the Project BUGLE website at the end of the month.

Kevin McQuinn’s report research report link

October 4th 2017

The October BUGLE Newsletter and Poppy List have been issued and the exhibitions in both Batley and Birstall Libraries reflect the situation as it was in October 1917.

Peter Connor ….. Photographer to Project BUGLE

One of our project team members was taken ill on a recent expedition to Scotland. He managed to get back to base but was quickly moved to Field Hospitals at Pinderfields, Wakefield then on to Sheffield. There he has extensive treatment but has now been repatriated home to Dewsbury.

We understand from his personal nurse, Sylvia, that he is making good progress but needs a quite time for recovery. We hope to welcome him back to the ranks before the end of the year.

Best wishes Peter from the whole BUGLE family …..

September 6th 2017

The September BUGLE Newsletter and Poppy List have been issued and the exhibitions in both Batley and Birstall Libraries reflect the situation as it was in September 1917.

Additionally with both exhibitions is a special report, prepared by Kevin McQuinn, of the “THIRD BATTLE OF YPRES – 31 July to 6th November 1917” – detailing the local soldiers who died in that conflict.

July 2017

New Zealand Visitors1

May 25th 2017

The June edition of the Project BUGLE Newsletter and the June 1917 Poppy List are now available on the website and they are also shown under the LATEST RELEASES tab.

Additionally there are ‘short form’ Soldier Stories for the following men who were lost that month ….

Private. John JACKSON

 Gunner Clarence SMITH

 Private. Harry SUMMERS

 Private. James Greenwood STUBLEY

 Private. John Arthur PICKERING

 Private. George WRIGHT

 Private. Fred WEBSTER

 Private. Basil HINCHCLIFFE, and 

 Private. Edward Hartley.

The exhibitions in Batley and Birstall Libraries will be updated to June 1917, together with the latest Newsletter, on TUESDAY May 30th.

Reminders …….

On Saturday May 27th at 2.00 pm at Dewsbury Cemetery the New Friends of Dewsbury Cemetery will be leading a service to unveil and dedicate a new Memorial to those lost in WWI and WWII. There is an open invitation to all who wish to attend. The RAF Flyover is scheduled for soon after the start of proceedings.

and ….

On Tuesday May 30th there is a Project BUGLE Wreath Ceremony at Batley Cemetery for  Pte. Colbeck HEMINGWAY. We will meet 10.30 for 11.00 am in the Chapel as usual. (Pte Hemingway actually died on May 28th at his home in East Street, Batley. Due to the Bank Holiday weekend arrangements we have delayed the ceremony by two days to allow more to attend.)

May 6th 2017

The latest copies of the BUGLE Newsletter and the May Poppy Lists are now available in both Batley and Birstall libraries. This month was a heavy month for casualties and the Poppy List runs to four pages. Whist this takes up a lot of the space we have in the Exhibition we have refrained from reducing type size as we believe it should be clear to all that so many men were lost this month in 1917.

Additionally we have the Soldier Story for Pte. Freeman Wilson and we thank his family for the information and photograph.

We held a Wreath Ceremony yesterday and we have two more scheduled this month on the 10th and on the 28th – all are welcome.

Finally a reminder of the special event at Dewsbury Cemetery on May 27th. (it was covered in the last Latest News). Hopefully it will be a well supported event – the efforts made by The New Friends of Dewsbury Cemetery deserve special mention.

April 18th 2017


 The group has raised funds for a new War Memorial that will be unveiled and dedicated at a special ceremony at Dewsbury Cemetery on Saturday May 27th.

 They have their own FACEBOOK page and further details can be found there. The following announcement has just been posted …

 “We are absolutely thrilled to tell you all that the RAF have informed us they are giving our war heroes a final show of respect with a Lancaster Bomber escorted by a Hurricane and a Spitfire Fighter flying over the  Cemetery during our service.

All our plans are coming together. The RAF Cadets; Sea Cadets; The Royal British Legion; the Royal Engineers will be on parade.

The Lord Lieutenant of the County; The Mayor and local Councillors will be in attendance. We will have the beautiful voice of Nora Reordan; the fantastic bagpipes; Kevin Morley and his group and many more will all be present.

Please remember to put this very important date in your diary — Saturday 27th May. The service will start at 2pm.”

April 4th 2017

In the last month we have lost a great friend and valued contributor to Project BUGLE. Following a short illness, so bravely fought, Carol Pearson passed away on March 3rd. That she was seriously ill was well known but her sudden loss took everyone by complete surprise.

Carol was a tireless helper in so many different local causes and groups in Birstall and Batley that her passing will leave a great deal for other to take on. She was a corner stone for this project and we miss her drive, enthusiasm and endless energy. Our thoughts go out to Karen and David and their children; to Richard and Louise and their children; and to Carol’s twin sister Christine who devotedly looked after her during her final months. Rest in Peace Carol – we will remember you.

April Update  

The April Edition of the Project BUGLE Newsletter and the Monthly Poppy List are now available in both Batley and Birstall Libraries. They have also been loaded onto the project website and can be found under the tab ‘LATEST RELEASES’.

Since the end of the first SOMME campaign last November the monthly casualty figures have dropped to around a dozen each month, but on April 9th the Battle of Arras began as the British Army sought to pin German troops to Artois and thereby prevent a movement of German reserves south to put additional pressure on the French.

The impact in casualties was devastating and in April in Batley and Birstall we lost 48 men. (In May a further 33 men were lost). The POPPY List runs to five pages this month. Another terrible month for the soldiers and those left at home.

For those with particular interest in this time the following information is provided by Ken Fedzin ….

Trying to understand why so many local men died in April (48) and May (33) 1917 and particularly on 3 May when 13 were lost… see the two links below which contain maps, photos and fuller info. At the bottom of the page on the second link is visiting/memorials/cemeteries/museums/books info. The brief info below (although Australian bias) taken from the links helps. The 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division was used from 3-17 May.



Wreath Ceremonies

The next Wreath ceremonies will be held in May. All are at Batley Cemetery and we will follow our usual practice of meeting around 10.30 for an 11.00am service. Our friends at the Chapel will be providing tea and coffee both before and after each ceremony.

May 5th     Pte. Herbert HALL, Royal Scots

May 10th   Pte. Willie BENSON, Training Reserve

May 30th   Pte. Colbeck HEMINGWAY, KOYLI


February 27th 2017

Due to holiday commitments we are publishing the Newsletter earlier this month.

The March edition of the BUGLE Newsletter and the March Poppy List are now available o

Additionally this month the LATEST RELEASES contains …..

A Soldier Story for Private. Ernest Carter Holmes prepared for Project BUGLE by Gill Dowson from Gomersal. Private. Holmes was her great uncle.

There are also ‘short-form’ Soldier Stories for …

       Private. Harold BERRY

            Private. John William DEAN  ( also see Wreath Ceremony on March 6th )

            Trooper Gilbert THACKRAY, and

            Private. Joseph WARD

The updates to the Exhibitions in Batley and Birstall library have been arranged for Thursday March 2nd.

Wreath Ceremonies

 The arrangements for March 6th and the Ceremonies for Private James William Dean and Leiutenent/Sergeant Irvin Leach are as previously advised.

The Project BUGLE Hon. Poet Stuart BAILEY has penned the following poem which will be delivered during the Ceremonies …


It was on the Saturday 10th March 1917

Two of our sons who had done their best

There at the cemetery in Batley, Yorkshire

Those two proud young men were laid to rest

There was John William Dean aged just 38

With the ‘Prince of Wales Own’ did he serve

Was the loving son of Amy and Joseph Dean

Such an early death John you did not deserve

Irvin Leach aged 24 was also laid to rest that day

He had been William and Dorothy’s loving son

Had served in the ‘West Yorkshire Regiment’

Much in his short life for us Irvin, he had done

Now in death do they both lay close together

For their families life could never be the same

Both families they in peace knew each other

For both lived there in Batley on Purlwell Lane

Now in that cemetery a Hundred years later

It is all thanks to ‘Project Bugle’ on this day

A wreath laying ceremony it will take place

As a group will gather their respects to pay

John and Irvin you are both not forgotten

There are just a few people it is no crowd

By your graves then they will stand and pray

Your names once more they are spoken aloud

Sleep in peace now both you young heroes

Your untimely deaths they were not in vain

Our future generation they will know you

We will remember each your proud name

Once again our special thanks to Stuart.


BATLEY CEMETERY – Burial Records

Bleak House Family History Group, one of Project BUGLE’s joint sponsors, has completed a project that will be of great interest to anyone researching the names and dates of those who were buried in Batley Cemetery.

Over the last few years a team, lead by Ken Wailes, has transcribed the burial records and added the information to a database that can now be interrogated. Enquiries can be made by surname or for a specific individual. The results will give date of death; plot number and also, details of others buried in that plot.

So for example, an enquiry was made about Joshua Mann – the Howden Clough MANN responsible for building the row of houses known as ‘Mann’s Buildings’.

A full list of all the MANNs buried in the Cemetery was printed.

This gave the information that he was buried on 13.3.1892 in Section ‘D’ plot 254.

A further enquiry on the plot revealed that his wife ANN MANN, aged 67, was buried in the same plot on 28.10.1884

(This is quite a simple example but if the plot was used for numerous burials all those buried would be listed.)

The output from an enquiry gives a map of the Cemetery; a map of the section containing the plot; full details regarding the plot; and, a information sheet detailing the history of the Cemetery.

Bleak House Family History Group is a self funding research centre. They make no direct charge for any enquiries about the burial records BUT ….. they are pleased to accept donations once the enquiry has been received by the originator.

To make and enquiry send clear specific details to ….


February 2nd 2017

The February copy of the Project BUGLE Newsletter and the February 1917 Poppy List is now available on the website. Additionally the exhibitions in Batley and Birstall Libraries have been updated to reflect the happenings of February 1917.

Wreath Ceremonies

On Monday March 6th we have two ceremonies at Batley Cemetery.

At 11.00am we will remember Private John William DEAN of the Prince of Wales Own Regiment,


At 12.00 noon we will remember Lance Sergant Irvin LEACH of the West Yorkshire Regiment

We will meet in the Cemetery Chapel at 10.30 am and teas and coffees will be available.

Soldier Stories

I am delighted that this month we have had two Soldier Stories donated to the project that have been written by a relative of the soldier.

Private Thomas Hirst was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. We were contacted by Stephen Walker, from Birstall, asking if we knew why Thomas hadn’t been named on the Batley Grammar Scholl Roll even though it was known that he attended the school. Sadly with the loss of Peter Wheeler we were not able to address the issue. But the project provided information to Stephen and he agreed to write up the story of Thomas – and his brother Arthur who returned safely.  It is a great piece of research and we are pleased to add it to our collection. A copy can be found on the website under LATEST RELEASES.

On December 22nd we held a joint Wreath Ceremony at St Paul’s Church, Birkenshaw for the brothers Joseph Foggitt Hare and William Hare. Both were raise in Birkenshaw, Joseph stayed local, enlisted but died of illness soon after. William, or Willie as he was known, emigrated to Australia and worked on a Sheep Farm. He enlisted with the Royal Australian Navy and served on HMAS Australia patrolling the seas around the UK. He died and he was  brought back home and the brothers were buried in the same grave. In researching Joseph we found his grandson living in Clitheroe in Lancashire. He, Richard Foster, attended the Wreath Ceremony with his wife Brenda, and he told his grandfather’s and Willie’s story at the grave side.  Since then he has written up the story and we are pleased to add it to our collection. Again it can be found in this month’s LATEST Releases.

Soldier Stories (S-f)   ie short form

We’ve noticed in more recent months that more and more of the stories in the newspaper have given quite an extensive description of the soldier’s life – many of these have been used in the material in the library exhibitions.

We’ve decided therefore to lift such stories to our project website SOLDIER’S STORIES tab. Whilst the format and information isn’t always as complete as some of our other stories it does allow us tell more stories each month. Such stories will be tagged as (s-f) to indicate their source. By this approach we are able to include twelve such pieces this month. Again you will find them in LATEST RELEASES.

(A note for the future readers – at the end of each month the contents of LATEST RELEASES are cleared. However all the information will be found under the relevant TABS on the website – nothing will be deleted or lost)

January 5th 2017

The latest copy of the Newsletter, Poppy list and Library Exhibitions are now available.

A New Year

 It is customary at this time of year to wish those we meet ‘A Happy New Year’ and generally ask if they have enjoyed a happy Christmas. One wonders what exchanges were made at this time at the start of 1917.

For many this will have been the saddest possible Christmas with so many sons, husbands and fathers lost in the previous two years and particularly during the brutal time of  the Battle of the Somme. Not much to be happy about. And, whilst we now know that the war would be over in less than two years the news of January 1917 gave no indication that any changes were likely. A terrible time for all at home and also those facing the long winter in the trenches. We are so lucky today.

Project BUGLE

 The project has now been running for over two and a half years. The latest Newsletter is the 30th we have in similar fashion now produced 30 different exhibitions in Batley and Birstall Library. In December we held our 23rd Wreath Ceremony.

I know that there isn’t a  WWI project anywhere in the UK that matches out regular monthly contributions to the story of the war. We can now see the finishing line and I’m sure that, come what may, we will finish the job we  set out to achieve.

Wreath Ceremonies

 The two ceremonies in December where both in their own ways quite memorable.

We had four branches of the Kitchingman family at the first one and we were able to introduce many from the family who had never met.

At the Joseph Hare Ceremony we had the soldier’s grandson with us and he gave the talk about his grandfather and his Uncle who also died in the conflict whilst serving with the Australian Navy. We were delighted that the Standard Bearer and Escorts, and five other members, from the Spenborough British Legion joined us for the event.

Our next Wreath Ceremony is in March and further details will be given in due course.

Website Development

 As we are updating the website on a regular basis we have added a new tab showing our

Latest Releases

Each month anything new will be placed under this tab so that a simple way of keeping up to date with developments can be followed.

The Newsletter and Poppy List will be housed there and any other material we add during the particular month – Soldier’s Stories and Wreath Ceremony Reports. (Such items will also be lodged in the specific tabs from the point of release so no information will be lost). When we release a new Newsletter that LATEST RELEASEs tab will be wipe clean.

Hope this all makes sense – look and see and you should be able to follow our intention.

December 19th 2016

We had previously announced details for the Wreath Ceremony being held for Rifleman Joseph Foggitt Hare at St Paul’s Church in Birkenshaw on Thursday December 22 at 10.45 for 11.00am start.

At the time of the original announcement we had almost no information about the soldier. We knew he was on the Birstall Memorial and we knew his brother William had died in 1915 whilst serving with the Australian Navy.

With some intensive Ancestry Family Tree research and support from ‘Google’ we have unearthed the whole story of each of the two soldiers – including finding Joseph’s grandson living near Clitheroe.

We have decided to make this a joint Wreath Service  – only the second one we have held – and I am delighted to say that Joseph’s grandson is bringing his son and grandchildren with him. He will also be telling the soldier’s stories at the graveside.

Two men – brought up locally – one emigrated to Australian but came back to serve – the other stayed locally and served – they died within 18 months of each other – and were laid to rest in the same grave with their parents.

Quite a story — I hope a number of you will be able to come and join us for the Ceremony.

December 1st 2016

We have two Wreath Ceremonies this month – – –

On December 5th at Batley Cemetery we will remember Private RANDALL KITCHINGMAN.

During the research into the soldier’s life we have found three branches of the family tree who live locally. Not all the families knew one another so we had a get together last week so they could introduce themselves. We should have  good family presence for our remembrance for Randall.

Meet as usual at the Twin Chapel from 10.15am for an 11.00am service. The Rev. Val Keating will be with us once again.


On December 22nd we plan to hold a Wreath Ceremony for Rifleman JOSEPH FOGGITT HARE who  came from Birstall and is remembered on the Birstall Memorial.

NOTE – this Ceremony will be at St. Paul’s Church, Birkenshaw.

(The church is situated on Bradford Road, Birkenshaw  – on the right about quarter of a mile further on than the roundabout and the Fire Station Headquarters).

We plan to meet at the Church at 10.40am

A poem submitted by Stuart Bailey


November 7th 2016

The November versions of the BUGLE Newsletter and the November Poppy list are now available and part of the updated Exhibitions in Batley and Birstall Libraries.


From the beginning of the project back in August 2014 the Batley News prepared a Poppy List showing the names of the casualties from that month but 100 years earlier. This became a valued contribution to the documentation of the history of the war. Sadly due to financial considerations  the newspaper group stopped producing the list in March this year.

We were very pleased with the use that was made of the special Poppy List that was produced in the special SOMME edition of the Newsletter in July – at over 65 locations the Poppy List was displayed – shops, schools, churches and individual people’s home windows.

With that interest and success we have back tracked and formatted Poppy Lists for each month since March and loaded the sheets on to the project website. Additionally, November and December are already loaded and January, February and March for 2017 will be loaded in the next few days.

We hope that the monthly lists will be printed and displayed as an ongoing reminder of the men who gave their lives in the First World War.


It was sad to read that Stuart had passed away recently. Stuart collaborated with Philip Wheeler in the research and production of the “BATLEY LADS” book remembering the soldiers who died in the First World War who had been educated at Batley Boys Grammar School. That book remains one of the best of its category and requests for copies are still received even through all had been sold over a year ago. The stories they told will remain available through their inclusion on the Project BUGLE website.

Stuart was a good friend to our project and acted as a reference point in the successful application that was made for the Lottery Grant. He will be missed.

Stuart’s funeral is to be held at St Saviour’s Church, Brownhill on Thursday November 10th at 12.30pm.


Please note that there have had to be changes to times previously advised

Private. ALFRED LOBLEY MM – November 10th —- TIME CHANGE

We have been advised that The New Friends of Dewsbury Cemetery plan to have their annual schools Remembrance Service on the morning of November 10th. It would not be appropriate for Project BUGLE to hold a Wreath Ceremony at the same time.

The Wreath Ceremony will now take place at 1.00pm at Dewsbury Cemetery.

We will meet at 12.45pm at the top entrance to the Cemetery on Burgh Mill Lane. (from Batley proceed down the B6117 Heckmondwike Road and pass by Dewsbury Crematorium – Burgh Mill Lane is the next right turn. It is a long street with plenty of parking space on the left hand side)

We are pleased  that the Rev. Elizabeth Lee, from Dewsbury Minster, will join us.

Pte Lobley won the Military Medal just weeks before he was killed. Details of the citation were published in the September BUGLE Newsletter.

Private GEORGE MORTIMER — DATE CHANGE – Batley Cemetery

The 100th anniversary of Pte Mortimer’s death is November 13th – which this year is Remembrance Sunday.

Therefore – The Wreath Ceremony will now take place on November 15th at 11.00am at Batley Cemetery.

The usual arrangements will apply and we will meet in the Twin Chapel at 10.30am for an 11.00 Ceremony. Once again, Rev Val Keating, from Batley Parish Church, will join us for the service.

Private. CHARLIE SPINK  — November 15th — TIME CHANGE – Dewsbury Cemetery

After the Ceremony for Pte Mortimer we will travel to Dewsbury Cemetery for Wreath Ceremony at 1.00pm

We will meet at 12.45pm at the top entrance to the Cemetery on Burgh Mill Lane. (from Batley proceed down the B6117 Heckmondwike Road and pass by Dewsbury Crematorium – Burgh Mill Lane is the next right turn. It is a long street with plenty of parking space on the left hand side)

We are pleased  that the Rev. Elizabeth Lee, from Dewsbury Minster, will join us.

And finally ….

December 5th marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Private. Randal Kitchingman who was buried at Batley Cemetery. In researching the soldier’s story we have come into contact with three branches of his family – who all live quite local. Some know one another – one family had no knowledge of the others at all.

We have arranged for the families to meet up and get to know one another in preparation for the Wreath Ceremony that will be held at Batley Cemetery on December 5th. The coming together of the soldier’s family will be another BUGLE ‘moment’. A dairy date — December 5th.

 October  5th 2016

The October Newsletter is now on the website and available also in Batley and Birstall Libraries along with the newly updated Project BUGLE Exhibitions.

Wreath Ceremonies

 We were pleased to see so many attending the ceremony for Pte Lawrence Carney at Batley Cemetery and special thanks go to Father David Bulmer of St Patrick’s Church, Birstall for his prayers at the soldier’s grave.

It was also nice to see Project BUGLE and Batley folk at the Ceremony on October 3rd at Morley Cemetery. The Morley Branch of The Royal British Legion together with the Morley Community Archives hold their own Wreath Ceremonies and we were invited to attend as Pte. Moss is also named on the Batley Memorial following his wife’s request as she eventually settled in Batley.

Dr. Clive McManus of Morley Community Archives prepared and read a tribute to Pte. Moss at his graveside. We have taken Clive’s words and used them as the basis for the Soldier’s Story and this has now been added to the Project BUGLE website.

On October 12th we have a Wreath Ceremony at Batley Cemetery for Pte. George Laybourne SCHOLEFIELD – usual arrangements for the event. And in this month’s BUGLE Newsletter there is a full report on Pte. Scholefield’s death.


At the end of The First World War a special Roll of Honour was created at the Trinity Church for those associated with the church who had been lost in the war. The Roll of Honour took the form of a photograph album with original photographs of over seventy soldiers.

The album has been kept safe over almost one hundred years and has been brought out on very special occasions. With time and use the album is now quite fragile and not best suited to be regularly handled.

It was suggested that Project BUGLE would have the album digitally copied so allowing more people to see the content using a computer version of the album whilst the original could be kept safe.

Peter Connor lead the project and in addition to photographing all the pages and reformatting the material he and his team researched and added pen portraits to each of the photographs.

The work has been completed but on-going changes will be made as necessary – for example there were a few photographs that didn’t include any name or reference – perhaps in time we might learn more about those men.

The church now has the digital version and the album has now been added to the Project BUGLE website – look for the ‘Books of Remembrance’ tab and Batley Carr Trinity Church is listed.

And coincidently one of the soldier’s shown in the Album ins featured in the month’s Project BUGLE Newsletter  — Pioneer Norman Josiah Padget (20), Royal Engineers who was killed in action on October 5th 1916.

September 18th 2016

The September issue of BUGLE is on the website and the Library Exhibitions were all updated at the beginning of the month.


This was a great success and something we must plan in again for next year. It was good to have a significant number of people attending who were keen to hear about the research and they asked many many questions. Their enthusiasm for the project gave our team much encouragement.


Special thanks this month to Gill Dowson from Gomersal who has prepared two stories for the project about relatives of hers who were lost in the First World War. The stories have been added to the website :

Private Stanley GOODALL, KOYLI  lost 16th September 1916, and

Private Ernest Carter HOLMES, Prince of Wales Own, West Yorkshire Regiment (Wool Textile Pioneers)  lost 30th March 1917


We have three ceremonies taking place in the coming weeks :

28th September 2016 at BATLEY Cemetery Private Lawrence CARNEY, KOYLI – at Batley Cemetery – 10.30 for 11.00 meeting in the Chapel. He was husband to Annie (nee Gavan) and father to John, Annie and Nelly.

3rd October 2016 at MORLEY Cemetery Private. Harold MOSS, Northumberland Fusiliers – at Morley Cemetery – 10.45 for 11.00 at the main gate.

Son of Sam and Ellen Moss of Morley; Husband of Lavinia (nee Bennett and of Howden Clough) and father of   Stanley of Bankfield Street, Batley

12th October 2016 at BATLEY Cemetery Private George Laybourne SCHOLEFIELD, West Yorkshire Regiment –  10.30 for 11.00 meeting in the Chapel      Son of Walter and Ann Scholefield of Rock Terrace, Soothill

August 2nd 2016

The project BUGLE Newsletter for August is now available and can be found on the Bugle Newsletter tab above.

The exhibitions in both Batley and Birstall have been updated and now reflect the situation in August 1916.

Wreath Ceremonies

We were pleased to see so many people gather with us yesterday for the Wreath Ceremony for Pte. Thomas ‘Willie’ Hick. Special thanks to Revd. Val Keating for leading the prayers.

The next Wreath Ceremony is for Pte. Lawrence CARNEY, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. This will be held at Batley Cemetery on 28th September. Pte. Carney was associated with St Mary of the Angles Roman Catholic Church, Batley.

Library Coffee Morning

 On August 30th the Project BUGLE team will attend the Coffee Morning at 10.30 am in Birstall Library. The team will be happy to discuss any aspect of the project or any matters relating to local involvement with WWI affairs.

Developing Stories

On 19th July we held a Wreath Ceremony for William Bromley who came from Limehills, on the southern coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Photographs and details of the event were sent to the Library in Winton which is the nearest library to Limehills.

The local school has responded and they are to undertake a history project about William Bromley and about how he came to be buried in Batley.

Additionally the local paper – the Advocate South Community Newspaper – are to run a story on William Bromley and to include a section on Project BUGLE.


We were contacted by Carole Smithies who is a local historian with special interest in the ‘Barnbow Lasses’. She had found the story of Private Edward Leonard on the BUGLE website from the ‘Batley Lads’ series written by Philip Wheeler.

The Leonard family suffered a double tragedy in July 1916 when Edward was killed on July 2nd on the Somme and their daughter Annie died on July 21st from chemical poisoning contracted from her work at the factory at Barnbow near Garforth. Carole Smithies main interest has been in the explosion that happened on 5th December 1916 killing 35 women instantly and injuring and maiming dozens more.She had seen an article in the Huddersfield Examiner recently about Annie Leonard and her research took her to the BUGLE website. Interestingly the Examiner article had been initiated by Jane Roberts, one of our Batley History Group members.  It is an interesting and well researched article that can be found on Jane’s blog-site


 Through Kevin McQuinn it is hoped that Carole might have the opportunity to talk about the ‘Barnbow Lasses’ at a future Batley History Group meeting.


Back in February we held a joint Wreath Ceremony for father and son, Lister and Fred Idle. We had over 40 members of the family – across five generations – at the service.

Whilst son, Fred, had died later in the war and was included in the CWGC Register, his father Lister, was not added to the official list of war casualties. This was apparently due to the fact that his death came five days after he was formally discharged from the Army. The fact that he was a career soldier with 15 years service seemed to have made little difference.

After a quick review of the evidence, and having acquired a copy of the Death Certificate, we advised the family we would ask for his case to be reviewed by the CWGC. A submission was made in late February.

On July 19th  we received the following advice from the CWGC …

“We have recently been instructed by the relevant    Service Authority that Pioneer Lister Idle qualifies for commemoration as a Commonwealth War Casualty”.

A Real BUGLE Moment !!

We are further advised that arrangements are in hand to place an official War Grave headstone on his grave. Matters are in hand with the Kirklees Cemeteries and Parks office and the stone will be erected in the near future with all costs absorbed by the CWGC.

Without doubt there will be a special Wreath Ceremony arranged for that event.

July 28th 2016


We will meet at Batley Cemetery Chapel on Monday August 1st to remember

Private Thomas William (Willie) HICK

who died on that date one hundred years ago.  The Chapel will be open from 10.15am and teas and coffees will be available. We will progress to Thomas’ grave side just before 11.00am where a short service will take place.

Whilst all our soldier stories are sad this one is particularly so.  Willie was the son of John and Frances Hick who ran a Nursery and Florist business in Wheatcroft, Batley. Whilst he helped his father  in the business he was also a very talented musician and performed as assistant organist at St Andrew’s Church, Purlwell.

He was injured in September 1915 and spent  almost eleven month in hospital before a relapse which resulted in his death. His parents were at his bedside – he was just 20 years old.

We hope some of you will be able to join us for this ceremony.

July 3rd 2016

The July copy of the Project NEWSLETTER is now available on the website.

This month in addition to the regular monthly exhibitions in Batley and Birstall Libraries there is a special exhibition giving details of the early days in the Battle of the Somme which started on July 1st 1916.

Last Friday evening a special vigil was held at St Peter’s Parish Church, Birstall by ‘Birstall Churches  Together’ in partnership with project BUGLE to remember the thirty six men from Batley and Birstall who were lost on the first day of SOMME campaign.

Special thanks go to the Rev. Paul Knight and also Kevin Morley who attended in WWI uniform.

The project team have produced a number of special features to mark this important time in the war and a special section has been created on the website under the tab ‘Exhibitions’ – second entry SOMME.

Here you will find a copy of the presentation of the photographs of the thirty six men who died. (for technical reasons this is a word document format for the presentation. If you would like a power-point version with the music included please contact us via the email info@projectbugle.org.uk).

You will also find a special July 1916 Poppy List detailing the eighty soldiers who lost their lives that month. (Copies of this list have been displayed in over 50 shops, churches, schools and meeting places in Batley and Birstall over this last weekend.)

There is a special analysis of the deployment of our local regiments on July 1st. Using the map and the lists it is possible to pinpoint where the soldier was placed and roughly where he fell.  There is also a link showing where the thirty six local casualties were listed.

And you will find a copy of the SOMME poem that Stuart Bailey penned quite recently.

And finally you will find the script and content of the special vigil held at St Peter’s Church on Friday night July 1st.

If any further information is required about these  thirty six men please contact the project team by email.


There are two further Wreath ceremonies this month. Both are at Batley Cemetery and will follow the established arrangements of meeting 10.30 for 11.00 am at the Twin Chapel.

July 19th – Pte. William BROMLEY, Otogo Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Forces

July 22nd – Pte. David HAIGH, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

June 20th 2016

The tragic and untimely loss of Jo Cox has had a terrible impact on those who knew her or had been in her company. She was a good friend and supporter of Project BUGLE and regularly included the project in her twitter messages.

Many words have been spoken and written about her. We will remember her as one who was making a difference – she will be remembered.

Two local poets have put words together that help us remember.

The first is by Jane Griffin

There’s a last time

A last time you see someone

A last time you smile and they smile back

A last time you hug

A last time you kiss

A last time you speak

You never know its the last time

Until there isn’t another time

Then you wish for the last time again

The second is by Stuart Bailey


It was there in a sleepy little Yorkshire village

Was Birstall such a quite peaceful market town

Where the proud statue of its son Joseph Priestley

Now on his village he sadly today looks down

It was about lunchtime there in the village

For local people this was their market day

Three gunshots they rang out in the square

A young wife and mother on the street did lay

Just 41 this young woman who has sadly fallen

She was our MP the community she did serve

Standing there proudly for the rights of others

So sad, this brutal end surely she did not deserve

It is Jo Cox the Yorkshire lass who has fallen

In politics they all say that she was a rising star

A beautiful young lady who was raised in this area

One so very young she could have gone so far

Her loving husband he now sadly grieves for her

Her beautiful young children will her see no more

For Jo she now sleeps in the house of our father

She waits now to welcome us all home at his door

So sleep in peace now Jo you will be remembered

Young lady this should not have been your fate

Jo you tried so very to hard to help the needy

You showed such love, your killer showed only hate.

We appreciate their agreement to publish them on the Project BUGLE website

June 13th 2016

Please note that the service at St Peter’s Church, Birstall on July 1st

 has been brought forward to 7.00pm.

 Would those taking part in the vigil please be at the church by 6.40.

We are advised that a SOMME exhibition will be held at Cleckheaton Library on July 4th.

Following the last release of the news on the website Stuart Bailey has forwarded a poem he has written. We are pleased to show it here and it will be added to the website, with the other SOMME material, during the last week of this month.

Thank you Stuart for you permission to print your work.


In action twenty thousand Tommy’s died that day

Another thirty five thousand of them wounded fell

Was in 1916 when the battle of the Somme started

Each Tommy’s name the whole world we must tell

One hundred and forty one days the battle raged

By the river Somme in picturesque country side

There amongst the trees, fields and hills of France

Those fields then of mud Tommy fought and Died

It was the largest battle that the world had ever seen

Brutal killing by technology to the battle field had come

Barbed wire, machine guns, shells and gas were used

Both sides they perfected ways of killing a mother’s son

As both sides they relentlessly continued to do battle

Battalions, companies, squads, men went to the line

They bravely fought, fell and many of them died there

To be hastily buried amongst the beach, oak and pine

When on the Somme the fighting it was finally over

On all sides a million men dead and wounded fell

The enemy they were held stopped from advancing

All the soldiers names the world how can we tell

Now many years later there are grave stones standing

Were our fallen lie in peace beneath that green sod

Not all of the graves hold a man who’s name we know

Some Say ‘A Soldier of the Great War’, ‘Known unto God’

We may not know the names of all those who lie there

We know the names of all those who bravely for us fell

Our country is a better place for their unselfish actions

All of our future generations about them we must tell.


Regards …. Project BUGLE

June 6th 2016

The June Edition of the BUGLE Newsletter is now on the website and the Exhibitions in the libraries at Batley and Birstall reflect the latest information.

Interestingly the news from the front makes no mention of the preparation taking place in France and the public at home would have no idea of what was coming from the big push on July 1st. Given what happened on that date the shock must have been all that greater. The June newsletter seems to report just another month of the stalemate but with eight casualties.

One of those who died in June was Cpl. Thomas William Gear, who lived in Howden Clough, and was buried in Batley Cemetery. We will be holding a Wreath Ceremony for Cpl. Gear on Monday June 27th at 11.00 am at Batley Cemetery. We will meet from 10.15am in the right hand Twin Chapel and Roger Jenkinson and his team will be providing teas and coffees both before and after the event. All are welcome.

THE SOMME  – July 1st

The BUGLE team have developed a special material to help us remember the impact of the start of this campaign …..

A special issue of the Newsletter will list the 80 soldiers who died in July

Special analyses have been produced showing the action areas on July 1st with the names of the soldiers highlighted with their Battalions indicating where they fell.

A sixteen minute slide presentation giving pictures and profiles of the 36 soldiers who died on the first day of the battle.

All this information will be provided free to anyone who sends a request to info@projectbugle.org.uk

There will be a number of special services held over the weekend of July 1st to 3rd.

Where we are provided with the information it will be added to this website – please encourage your church of other groups/ organisation to email the information so it can be included.

This list will be move to the head of this bulletin board soon — at the moment we are aware of ..

Friday July 1st at 7.30am at CLECKHEATON WAR MEMORIAL — a “Three Blast Whistle Ceremony” remembering the moment when our soldiers went over the top.

Friday July 1st at 2.00pm at the TOLSON MEMORIAL MUSEUM — Remembering the SOMME Memorial Service

Friday July 1st at 7.30pm at the TOLSON MEMORIAL MUSEUM — Screening UNESCO film “The Battle of the SOMME”

Friday July 1st at 7.30pm at ST PETER’s CHURCH, Birstall – Birstall ‘Churches Together’ with Project BUGLE remembering the 36 Batley and Birstall men who died on that day.

Sunday July 3rd at 3.00pm at MORLEY WAR MEMORIAL – Service to remember the Morley men who fell.

Please help by getting information into the project team ….. thank you

May 1st 2016

 The latest version of BUGLE, for May 1916, is now available on the website. The Exhibitions in Batley and Birstall Libraries will be updated on Tuesday – after the bank Holiday weekend.

These were particularly interesting times in the First World War.  For many months the two opposing armies had been at stalemate on most of the western fronts with neither able to make any progress – the utterly boring life of day after day in the trenches. But both sides were preparing for their own major offensive.

The front page of this month’s BUGLE gives an indication of the scale of the forces on the British front. King George sends his thanks to the 5,041,000 men who had joined the Army as volunteers – a staggering number. But the Government introduced the ‘Military Service Bill’ -aimed at those who were capable and able but who had not volunteered. The plan was clear …. “Married men who shirked their duty by failing to attest under Lord Derby’s scheme are to be ‘fetched’ like the slackers amongst the single men” It was aimed at all men between the ages of 18 and 41, married or single – conscription had arrived.

“BATLEY LADS” by Philip Wheeler

It is pleasing to report that the last two copies of Philip’s book have been purchased. It is particularly pleasing that Kirklees Local Studies Library purchased the books for placement in Batley and Birstall Libraries. So Philip’s work can be seen by everyone. It should be remembered that Philip’s books for both Batley Grammar School and Driglington village First World War casualties has been added to the Project BUGLE website under the ‘Books of Remembrance’ tab.

April 5th 2016

The latest BUGLE Newsletter is available on the website and also in both Batley and Birstall Libraries.

The Exhibitions in both Libraries have been updated to tell the stories from April 1916. Despite this being the TWENTY SECOND monthly change, there are still a few members of the public who have not realised that the exhibition changes every month. Pass on the word – this aspect of Project BUGLE is one of the main reasons that makes our project unique. No other WWI commemorative project changes its material every month.

Wreath Ceremony – Corporal Thomas William Gear.

The anniversary of Thomas Gear’s death is June 26th. However this is a Sunday and many of those who attend the Wreath Ceremonies, which includes of course the Ministers and Priests, will be at their own services on that day. We have therefore delayed our ceremony until the day after – Monday 27th – 10.30 for 11.00 at Batley Cemetery.

Many of you will have heard Alan Walker read the ‘Stretcher Bearers Poem’ at the recent Batley History Group Meeting. Thomas  Gear was a stretcher bearer and we are delighted that Alan has agreed to read the poem at the soldier’s graveside.

WWI Art Exhibition

March 25 – September 4 2016

The largest exhibition of British First World War Art for almost 100 years will be on show at York Art Gallery in 2016.

The major retrospective comprises of more than 60 artworks from IWM (Imperial War Museums) and will feature some of the most iconic images to emerge from the First World War, including paintings by Paul Nash, Percy Wyndham Lewis, CRW Nevinson, Stanley Spencer and William Orpen, as well as lesser known, yet significant works, by artists such as Anna Airy and George Clausen.

Entitled Truth and Memory, many of the paintings were shown last year at IWM London to mark the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. York Art Gallery is the only other venue to be hosting the exhibition, which will include a new thematic display as well as works from the York Art Gallery’s permanent collection.

SCHOOL PROJECT – St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Batley Carr

Peter Claydon was approached about possible interest in WWI from a local school late last year. Both he and Carol Pearson visited the school and agreed to provide material and financial support to a school project.

The project was a great success and we are pleased to now have permission to include details and photographs of the work on the project website – follow the “EXHIBITIONS” tab

THE SOMME – July 1916

July 1st 1916 was the first day of the series of battles grouped together as “The Somme”. During July alone over 80 men from Batley and Birstall were killed. Many others were injured and never recovered.

We are collecting as much detailed information as possible about those lost that month.

There will be many national and regional events held to remember those days.

We would like to hear of any local plans from churches and schools who would like material or information that would enhance their own event. We have produced a special edition of the Project BUGLE Newsletter with the centre two pages showing two gravestones listing the names of all those lost in the month.

We plan to produce enlargement posters of these two pages and we hope that many of the shops and other outlets in Batley and Birstall will display them over the weekend of Friday July 1st. If you are interested please contact Kevin McQuinn for Birstall or Mark Griffin for Batley

March 1st 2016

 The March Edition of the Project BUGLE Newsletter is now on the website, and also added is “Soldiers’ Stories” – Sapper William McManus (1884-1916).

The Batley and Birstall Library Exhibitions have been updated today.

When Ken Fedzin began compiling the March Newsletter he found that only one soldier was lost in March 1916 and there was virtually no information about the soldier in the usual starting places. Ken was intrigued to note that Sapper William McManus was part of the ‘Tunnelling Company’ of the Royal Engineers. He decided to find out more. The result is a brilliant piece of research. Helped by Kevin McQuinn, the full story of William McManus was unearthed. The research took in contacts with the Wetherby Memorial team, The Western Front Association and visits to Darfield. The story is a very good read and it tells of someone who was killed in action, not in a trench or during an attack at the front line, but in a roll as dangerous as any other.

Since the story has taken shape there have been three further developments;

  • The Western Front Association have picked up the story and added it to their website under their ‘Brothers’ in Arms’ Section – with full recognition for Project BUGLE.
  • The team at Darfield who helped with the research have continued their own research into their Memorial and have found that one of their soldiers – James William Debney – played rugby for Batley and now Kevin McQuinn is helping them using his research work on our local rugby players.
  • And last week the Project received an Email from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland. Local Historian Mervyn Hall has researched, and now gives talks on, the exploits of his Grandfather, Louis Haslett. Haslett was awarded the DCM for rescuing the tunnellers on the night that William McManus was killed. He spent a week in hospital but made a full recovery and lived to be 92 years old. Ken Fedzin has been able to add considerable detail to Mervyn’s knowledge including the names of the soldiers who were killed alongside William Mcmanus.

A great piece of work – congratulations all round.

February 24th 2016

Last Friday we held a Wreath Ceremony for Sapper Lister IDLE and his son, Pte. Fred IDLE. We were joined by over twenty of the soldier’s family and some had travelled from the south of England. We were also joined by Rev. Val Keating from Batley Parish Church and also Kevin Morley in full WWI uniform.

Since the event we have received the following message from Mr. Jeffrey Ison ….

I along with a number of family members attended the commemoration to my Great uncle Lister and his son last Friday morning. We would like to thank you all for the sterling work done by the team in finding out the history of  someone unknown to us until now. The short service at the graveside was very moving made all the more special by the wreath laying being done by two of the youngest family members. The soldier in WW1 dress at the grave side made it all so memorable for us all.  It was very interesting to find how you get your information about the Batley lads of WW1 and the way you explained   it all to us was very interesting. Batley should be proud of you for what you do to keep alive what its sons have done. I would advise anyone who is interested in local history or lost a family member during WW1 to attend one of your  commemorations, these brave men deserve remembering. Once again, thank you and I will be looking at the website to read more about Batley’s brave lads.

Another Project BUGLE memorable moment.

February 18th 2016


The February 1916 Casualty List was published in today’s Batley News and can be found under the ‘Poppy List’ tab on the website.

Mr. Peter GATER

We are sad to report that Mr. Peter Gater has passed away. Peter had been associated with the Batley branch of The Royal British Legion for over 60 years and during that time had held most of the positions in the organisation.

He was one of a small number of people who were included in the discussions prior to the formation of Project BUGLE. He was a keen supporter of the project and he attended most of the project events and all bar one of the Wreath Ceremonies. He will be greatly missed.

Peter’s funeral will take place at Batley Parish Church at 12.15 on Friday February 26th. The funeral will be followed by a private family cremation. Friends are invited to gather at Batley Parochial Hall after the service.

MORTON GYMES DISASTER – 19 February 1915

Many will remember that at this time last year we remembered Pte. Edmund Battye and six other local K.O.Y.L.I. soldiers who were lost in a training exercise in Morton in Lincolnshire. Many attended the special service held to dedicated the plaque in Morton Church.

Peter Bradshaw, who came to the seven individual Wreath Ceremonies we held, has written an article about the disaster and the soldiers and the article has been published in this months Journal of the Western Front Association.

A copy of the article has been added to the BUGLE website under a new tab – “Related Articles”

February 15th 2016

I would remind you of the Wreath Ceremony scheduled for Friday 19th – this week.

At that ceremony we will remember both Sapper Lister IDLE and his son Pte Fred IDLE who died as a result of service to their country.

From recent communication we are expecting 15-20 members of the family to join us at the service. (10.45 for 11.00 am at Batley Cemetery Chapel.)

At our gathering we will take a few moment to reflect on our recent losses.

Author Philip Wheeler died earlier in the month. Project BUGLE was represented at Philip’s funeral and we sent a Poppy Wreath. At the request of Philip’s family the Wreath will hang in the Batley Cemetery Chapel as a long term reminder to us of Philip’s contribution to the remembering the local men who died in the First World War.

We will also sadly take time to reflect on the life of Peter Gater  who passed away yesterday. Peter was a long time worker and supporter of the Royal British Legion in Batley. He was amongst those who gave advice when Project BUGLE was being devised and he attended just about every event and Wreath Ceremony we have held. A good man who will be greatly missed.

February 4th 2016

Today’s Batley News publishes the announcement of the death of Philip Wheeler ….

160204 PW - Batley News


Philip had endured serious illness for many years but he rarely talked about his conditionand he always displayed great determination to finish the work he had started. It is testimony to him that he finished his second work ‘DRIG LADS’ in time for the Driglington Festival last Autumn.

It is only just over a year ago that he was the speaker at the Batley History Group meeting presenting his book ‘BATLEY LADS’ detailing the stories of those who attended Batley Grammar school and who were later lost in the First World War. The book was one of the best of its type produced for the WWI commemorations and all the proceeds from the sale of the book went to the School. (There are about five copies still available)

Philip was a good friend and supporter of Project BUGLE. We talked about work he might undertake for the project once he had got ‘himself sorted again’. Sadly it wasn’t to be.  He offered, and we gratefully accepted, digital copies of his two books to add to the Project  BUGLE website. I am personally indebted to Ian Clegg, from Bleak House team, for the time he spent re-formatting and adding the books to the website in time for Philip to know that his work will be valued by many people for years to come.

Project BUGLE will be represented at the funeral service and we plan to send a Project BUGLE Wreath with our message of sympathy for Mary and their three children

He will be remembered ……

16th January 2016

The January Poppy List has been added to the Website.

Sapper Lister IDLE and Pte. Fred Idle

On Friday  February 19th a Project BUGLE Wreath Ceremony will take place at Batley Cemetery. Meet at the Twin Chapels 10.30 for an 11.00 service.

In the last few days we have been in contact with the Idle family and we believe we will have a good representation of the extended family at the Ceremony.

Website – Books of Remembrance

We have now completed the uploading of both Philip Wheeler’s Books to the website.

The BATLEY LADS book of the  61 former pupils lost in the war includes 16 who are remembered on the Batley War Memorial

  •                    Robert BARBER
  •                   John BLACKBURN
  •                    Arnold BRADLEY
  •                   John HANSTOCK
  •                   James JUBB
  •                   Edward LEONARD
  •                   George LODGE
  •                   Orlando MORRISON
  •                   Lawrence RYAN
  •                   Arthur SHEARD
  •                   William SHEARD
  •                   Robert SKELSEY
  •                   Clifford SPEIGHT
  •                   Horace STEDEFORD
  •                   William VERO
  •                   Horace WALLER VC
  •                   Eric WHARTON

 Also included are two Birstall Soldiers

  •                    (James JUBB also appears on the Birstall Memorial)
  •                    John H W RHODES
  •                    Percy Alexander MARGETTS

The ‘DRIG LADS’ Book contains one soldier from Batley

  •                     Charles MYATT.

(It is pleasing to report that since Charles Myatt’s  story has been added we have been contacted by his great niece whole lives in Australia, and also by Graham Colbeck, a military Historian from York, who has a collection of Charles Myatt’s WWI medals and        effects. Graham has offered to bring his collection to future ( Project BUGLE events.)

1st January 2016

Private Albert Arthur SMITHSON

On Thursday January 7th a Project BUGLE Wreath Ceremony will take place at Batley Cemetery. Meet at the Twin Chapels 10.30 for an 11.00 service. The service will be conducted by Rev. Deborah Wainwright of the Central Methodist Church.

Albert Arthur, aged 23, lived with his widowed mother at 189, Upper Taylor Street, Batley, when he enlisted in Batley and then Leeds in November 1915. He was billeted at South Camp, Ripon and attached to the Cameron Highlanders. About two months after enlisting he was the victim of a motor accident in Ripon and died the following day.

On Monday 10th January, more than 400 soldiers escorted the coffin to the station in Ripon on its way to Batley cemetery and a band played ‘Scots Wha Ha’e’. A Sergeant and six Private’s came as escorts to Batley Cemetery. It was the seventh funeral of the war at the Cemetery.

He was well known in Batley, and respected by a large number of friends. He was a salesman for Messrs. George Jessop and Sons, clothiers, Batley and associated with Zion Methodist Church and Sunday School. He was also a member of the Batley Branch of the Shop Assistants Union.

(A full Soldier’s Story has been added to the website for Pte. Smithson)

Batley and Dewsbury Rugby League Players

Kevin McQuinn has now released the second print of his booklet that tells the story of those men who played for the the two clubs but who later joined the Ranks and were lost in the war. The booklet covers all those men whom Kevin has been able to positively identify as players. Because of the circumstances of the war they come from many areas around. For those who were remembered on the Batley Memorial their story will be added into the BUGLE files in due course. Following the research undertaken by Kevin, the BLEAK HOUSE FAMILY HISTORY GROUP manged the production of the booklet to its final form. Copies are available from Kevin or through contact with Bleak House.

info@bleahousefamilyhistory.co.uk or by Telephone on 01924 950229

We are delighted that Kevin has passed copies of all the players stories to Project BUGLE and they can be found on the website – under the TAB ‘Books of Remembrance’ – next to Philip Wheeler’s Stories of Batley Grammar School pupils who were lost in the war.


In researching the soldiers who were lost in February 1916 it was found that there was another soldier buried in Batley Cemetery. Lister IDLE was a career soldier who died on 19th February 1916 at home having been discharged from the Army just three days earlier on medical grounds.

His name appears on the Batley Memorial but he is not listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Register.

  • Having looked further into the matter we have decided …To hold a Wreath Ceremony at his graveside,
  • To seek to get his name added to the official register (Many others who died  at home of injuries sustained whilst in uniform are officially recognised. It is worth noting that at the inquest into his death the Coroner recorded “A Verdict in according with Medical evidence, and that hi death has been hastened by fighting for his King and Country”.

We will keep you updated on developments

28th Noveember 2015

Wreath Ceremony – Corporal Albert Preston PARKIN, Royal Field Artillery.

A wreath laying ceremony will be held on SATURDAY NOVEMBER 28th at the GOMERSAL (Grove) CONGREGATIONAL Chapel.

We will meet at the Chapel at 10.30am for an 11.00am service. Teas and coffees will be available.

The Chapel is on Oxford Road, Gomersal BD19 4JR. Parking on the main street but there is a public car park next to Redbrick House.

The service will be conducted by the Revd. Mark Robinson. The Spenborough British Legion will be in attendance with their Standard.

Coporal Parkin lived on Church Lane Birstall. He is remembered on the Birstall Memorial as well as on the Roll of Honour in Howden Clough Methodist Chapel.

Also remembered in the service will be two soldiers who were from the 1/4 West Riding Regiment.

Corporal John Hubert ASQUITH and Private George DOWSON – both died in November 1915 and both are remembered on the Cleckheaton Providence Place Chapel Roll of Honour that now hangs in the Gomersal (Grove) Chapel.

12th November 2015

Wreath Ceremony – Private James Foley

This was a special event as Pte. Foley was the first soldier to be buried in Batley who had been to the front and had returned badly injured and subsequently died. The previous seven burials had been for serving soldiers who had died in training, or by accident or through illness.

We held The Project Bugle Ceremony on November 3rd. TWENTY SEVEN members of Pte Foley’s family came to the service – family from FIVE generations.

The article in the Batley News had been noticed and the family decided to attend the ceremony – over half had travelled from Bridlington.

The oldest grand-daughter Cathleen – who is now 85 years old – was joined by the soldier’s great, great, great, great grandson and grand-daughter.

It was quite a moment. A full set of photographs (with thanks to Peter Connor) will be places in the Gallery Tab of the project website.

Project BUGLE website   —- found at     www.projectbugle.org.uk

The website has now been extended to cover further aspects of the project. In particular the stories from Philip Wheeler’s book BATLEY LADS have all been loaded and can be found under the TAB “Books of Remembrance”.

We are very grateful to Philip for giving these stories to the project. In the new year a further set of his soldier stories will also be added.

Tony Dunlop for Project Bugle

November 2015

The November Edition of the Project Bugle Newsletter is now available     2015 - November

Private James Foley

On Tuesday November 3rd a Project BUGLE Wreath Ceremony will take place at Batley Cemetery. Meet at at the Twin Chapels 10.30 for an 11.00 service. The service will be conducted by Fr. Eamonn Heggarty of St Mary’s RC Church.

On November 3rd 1915, Private James FOLEY, of the 10th Battalion, King’s Own West Yorkshire Light Infantry died in a Manchester Hospital aged 36. He had suffered extensive wounds at the Front during October and he had been repatriated to a Manchester Hospital. He had his right leg amputated but died whilst in care.

Private Foley and his wife lived at Providence Street, Batley and they had three children. Before the war he worked at Soothill Colliery.

A party of 84 K.O.Y.L.I men attended his funeral with a firing party of 14 under the command of Lieutenant Winkworth with a Military band under the command of Bandmaster Moss. The soldiers were received at the Town Hall by the Mayor (Councillor Ben Turner, J.P.). The coffin, which was draped with the Union Jack, was borne shoulder high to the hearse by six soldiers, and enroute to the Cemetery, the band played the “Dead March” and Chopin’s “Funeral March”. At the grave a round was fired and the Last Post was sounded.

Project BUGLE Status Report

  • A presentation of the status of Project BUGLE was given to the Batley History Group on 26 October.     Download

October 2015

  • The October version of the Project BUGLE Newsletter is available.                                   2015 - October

Here is the list of Soldiers lost in October 1915 ……

BATLEY and BIRSTALL – First World War

Soldier Deaths – October 1915

  • 2 Oct     Pte. Michael BRANNAN Northumberland Fusiliers
  •  4 Oct     Pte. Thomas HOUGH Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
  • 4 Oct     Pte. John Henry Wilcock RHODES Australian Infantry A.I.F – aged 34                (From Birstall)
  • 13 Oct     C/Sgt. Marriott BENSON Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry – aged 29
  • 17 Oct   Guardsman Albert GUNN Grenadier Guards
  • 17 Oct   Pte. William Campbell HUGHES The King’s Liverpool Regiment
  • 18 Oct   Sapper John William HOWARD Royal Engineers
  • 18 Oct   Pte. Betram Harold ELLENS Kings Own Scottish Borderers
  • 23 Oct     Driver Ernest Lawrence BRIGGS Royal Field Artillery – aged 19                                        (From Birstall)
  • 28 Oct     Pte. Arthur THOMPSON Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry – aged 35
  • There are no Project BUGLE initiated activities this month

Fellow member of Batley History Group – Jane Roberts (who produced the Book of Remembrance for St Mary’s Church, Batley) – has created a blog to present her research and work.

(A blog is a personal website that is available for others to read – free of charge. Easy to access and simple to follow).

Jane has established an excellent site with many different stories, not just about WWI and Batley, and it is well worth a look.


This TAB on the website shows events in the coming months relating to Project BUGLE and other WWI activity.

In November there will be two Wreath Ceremeonies

Nov 3 Private James FOLEY – from Batley

Nov 28 Corporal Albert P. PARKIN– from Birstall


The project team is taking an exhibition of the project to the FIRST WORLD WAR ROADSHOW Event at Leeds City Museum on Wednesday September 9th. This follows an invitation received from Prof. Alison Fell, of Leeds University, who has been a good friend and adviser to the project.

On Thursday evening, September 24th, Tony Dunlop will be giving a talk about the project at the East and West Ardsley Branch of The Royal British Legion. (8pm at the East Ardsley Conservative Club). This invitation resulted from the Wreath Ceremony for Pte. Fred Cooke who was one of the seven soldiers from the KOYLI who died in the training accident at Gainsborough in February 1915.

The project team will be in attendance as guests of the Bleak House Family History Group at Batley Festival on September 26th. The Bleak House team are currently re-developing the Project BUGLE website. The revised website will be available for demonstration and instructions on accessing the site will be given out. The Festival is open from 1100am until 5.00pm and the Bleak House stand will be in the main room in the Town Hall.