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Saturday 21 February 2015

Issue 2

Recruitment for the British Army

During WW1, there were three distinct British Armies:

The ‘first’ army was the small volunteer force of 400,000 soldiers, over half of which were posted overseas to garrison the British Empire. This total included the Regular Army and reservists in the Territorial Force. Together, they formed the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), which was formed for service in France and became known as the Old Contemptibles.

The ‘second’ army was Kitchener's Army, formed from the volunteers in 1914–1915 who were destined to go into action at the Battle of the Somme.

The 'third' was formed after the introduction of conscription in January, 1916. Conscription was introduced as there were not enough men volunteering. By the end of 1918 the army had reached its maximum strength of 4,000,000 men.

The Derby Scheme was a voluntary recruitment policy created in 1915 by Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby. The concept behind the Derby Scheme was that men who voluntarily registered their name would be called upon for service only when necessary. Married men had an added incentive in that they were advised they would be called up only once the supply of single men was exhausted. The scheme was also referred to as the "Group System" as men were classified in groups according to their year of birth and marital status and were to be called up with their group when it was required. 215,000 men enlisted while the scheme was operational, and another 2,185,000 attested for later enlistment.

Despite using the execution of Nurse Edith Cavell by the Germans on October 12th, 1915 in recruitment rallies by Lord Derby, the scheme failed. 38% of single men and 54% of married men who were not in 'starred' occupations failed to come forward. The scheme was abandoned in December, 1915 and was superseded by the Military Service Act 1916 which introduced conscription.

The Military Service Act was introduced to Parliament on January 5th. However, as men would not be called-up under this scheme until March 1916, and direct enlistment was proving insufficient, it became necessary to resurrect the Group Scheme in January, 1916.

Although there is a memorial in the grounds of the United Reform Church (pictured), the names thereon are of church members only, most of whom did not live in Saltaire.

Sadly, there is no memorial in Saltaire for the 125 soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in World War 1.   

In focus’ is intended to shine the spotlight on individual studies, individual one-placers or aspects of one-place studies you may wish to explore further.

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After relocating to Saltaire in 2011, Colin soon became interested in the fascinating history of the village and its people. Following a meeting of the Saltaire History Club, he was inspired and motivated to research the village during World War One.

Using information from local Rolls of Honour, online resources such as Ancestry and CWGC, and newspaper cuttings from the Shipley Times, Colin has built up a substantial database to help understand what it was like to live in Saltaire during the Great War.

You can keep up to date with the Saltaire WW1 story on twitter or by visiting the Saltaire Village website.


Saltaire historian, Colin Coates

Stories from World War One by Colin Coates

Shipley Royal Army Medical Corps

Following the Declaration of War against Germany on Tuesday 4th August 1914, the Shipley Detachment of the 2nd West Riding Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps were mobilised.

The detachment, formed in 1909, had their headquarters at Albert Road School, where they assembled 94 officers and men. They included the following men from Saltaire;-

Sergeant Frank Giles, a mechanics labourer, living at 30 Albert Road; Private James Excell, plumber, 22 Albert Road; Private Fred Metcalfe, mechanic, 14 Shirley Street; Private George William Bone, presser, 25 Constance Street; Private Albert Webb, apprentice machine maker, 9 Jane Street.

The men were billeted at Victoria Hall from Wednesday August 5th. Those living within one mile of the hall were allowed to sleep at home. After the men had passed the medical tests they were allocated to the various regiments with which they would have to serve.

Their duties would include;-

Maintaining a supply of pure water for the troops, rendering First Aid and supervising the general sanitary arrangements for the troops.

On Saturday, August 8th the men marched to Shipley Railway Station where they caught the 10.32am train to Leeds. From there they were dispersed by train to join their allocated regiment.


Published in the Saltaire Sentinel, August 2014


Stories from World War One by Colin Coates

The First of Many Fatalities

September 22nd 1914 saw Saltaire suffer its first known fatality of the Great War. The brave soldier was Sam Spencer, a 32 year old married mill worker with a loving wife, Edith (nee Bennett), and a young daughter, Grace (born 1908) who lived at 10 Fanny Street in Saltaire.

Sam served as a Private with the 1st Battalion Royal Scot Fusiliers. They formed part of the 9th Brigade who were one of the first Brigades to see action in France. Sam died as his battalion fought in the First Battle of Aisne.

As reported in the Shipley Times, a memorial service was held for Sam on Saturday, October 17th, 1914 at Saltaire Congregationalist Church (now URC). Here is an extract from the report;-

“The pastor, the Rev. P. Drummond Pringle conducted the service. A peal of muffled bells was rung by the church ringers under the leadership of Mr. A. Riley. The choir were in attendance and Mr. W. Sutcliffe officiated at the organ. The church was filled with worshippers who had gathered to express their sympathy with the widow and the other relatives of the deceased. Following a short address by the pastor the organist played the Dead March from Handel’s “Saul”. The impressive service was brought to a close with the singing of the National Anthem.

Sam is remembered on the memorial at La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre, a small village 66km east of Paris. He is also remembered on the Rolls of Honour at Nab Wood, St. Pauls, St. Peters & Saltaire URC. Sam had an elder brother, Holdsworth, who also sadly lost his life serving his country.

Published in the Saltaire Sentinel, September 2014


Stories from World War One by Colin Coates

Mary Isabel Salt:

“Pacifist and Proud Of It”

Not everyone was in favour of the war, many were pacifists and a few were not afraid to air their views. A granddaughter of Titus Salt was as she declared publicly “A Pacifist and Proud of it.”

Mary Isabel Salt, born on September 6th 1876, was the youngest of four children, and the only daughter of Titus Salt Junior and Catherine Crossley.

Following her fathers’ death in 1887 she lived with her widowed mother firstly at Milner Field, then at Denton Park in Ben Rhydding. Throughout the war years they were living in Harrogate.

Brought up as a Liberal, Isabel was a popular public speaker throughout the war years, sometimes speaking twice on the same day. She was a suffragette, and spoke on numerous occasions at Victoria Hall, Saltaire. Isabel became disillusioned with the Liberals and she joined the emerging Labour Party.

In one speech she is quoted as saying: “The great hope for the future lay with the Labour Party.”

In the run up to the 1918 General Election she spoke at election meetings in support of Tom Snowden, the Labour Party candidate for Shipley.

Isabel never married and she died on May 21st, 1968 in Chichester, aged ninety-one.


Published in the Saltaire Sentinel, October 2014


Stories from World War One by Colin Coates

Remembrance

Sunday November 9th, 2014 will witness us commemorating the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.

Here in Saltaire, with thanks to Shipley College, there will be a modest artwork on the railings outside the Salt Building in Victoria Road to commemorate the one hundred and twenty-one men from Saltaire who lost their lives in World War One. The artwork will be installed on Sunday 2nd and remain in place throughout November.

Below is a table showing when the brave men from Saltaire lost their lives.












Published in the Saltaire Sentinel, November 2014



Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Total

1914








0

1

1

1

0

3

1915

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

1

0

1

1

0

6

1916

0

0

1

1

2

2

7

1

7

6

1

1

29

1917

2

1

2

7

5

5

3

5

5

4

4

1

44

1918

0

1

6

4

5

2

4

5

6

0

2

0

35

Total













117

Four died in 1919/1920 as a result of the war.

Stories from World War One by Colin Coates

Sorrow to Joy - Albert Doyle

Having already lost one son, Thomas Henry, at Ypres in 1915, Councillor Thomas Doyle of 30 George Street, Saltaire was further saddened with news that another son, Albert, was killed in action on September 30th, 1918. He received the following letter from his commanding officer:-

“It is with deep regret that I have to inform you of the death of your son. We had reached our objectives and Doyle had done splendidly. Afterwards your son and I were sent out on patrol to get in touch with a platoon that had been isolated on our left. When close to a German machine gun post we were heavily fired on, and to my great regret I found your son was shot. He was buried two days later at the same spot where he was killed.”

The families sorrow over Albert’s death remarkably turned to joy when on Tuesday, November 5th they received a postcard from Albert. It stated that he had been wounded and he was a prisoner of war in Germany. He added that he was doing well and was being very well cared for.

There was no mistake as to Albert being alive as the postcard was in his handwriting. Albert did indeed survive the war!


Published in the Saltaire Sentinel, January 2015


The Group scheme came to an end for single men at midnight on March 1st, 1916. At midnight the provisions of the Military Service Act took effect and all single men between the ages of 18 and 41, not otherwise exempt, were "deemed to have enlisted".

A system of appeals tribunals was established, to hear cases of men who believed they were disqualified on the grounds of ill-health, occupation or conscientious objection. Some trades were deemed to be vital to the war economy: they were called starred occupations.

The first meeting of the Shipley Tribunal (which covered Saltaire) took place on Thursday, January 6th, 1916. Sixty-seven men had given notice of appeal. The Tribunal consisted of Councillors T Hill (chairman), T F Doyle (Saltaire), C E Learoyd, F F Rhodes and Mr Ernest Illingworth. A former councillor, Mr J A Burton, represented the military authorities.

Published in the Saltaire Sentinel, December 2014

Copyright © 2015, Colin Coates

All rights reserved.


The Saltaire Roll of Honour  

There are, in total, the names of 565 soldiers;

440 men survived; 125 men died.

Click here for more information


Note from Pamela Reynolds, the Editor of the Saltaire Village website

“It has been a privilege to publish this information and, on behalf of the Saltaire Website team, I offer sincere thanks to Colin for sharing his work. Colin's WW1 diary, the snippet and the (additional) biography pages will continue to be developed.”




Remembrance was commemorated in Saltaire with an installation of Saltaire soldiers' names tied to to the railings outside Salt Building in Victoria Road. It remained there until 30th November, 2014. Thanks to Colin and Maree Coates, Eddie Lawler and Shipley College.


In this issue, we take a trip to Saltaire Village in Yorkshire, not far from Bradford, which is named after Sir Titus Salt who built Salts Mill, which opened in 1853. One-Placer and historian Colin Coates has been researching all the soldiers of Saltaire who fought in The Great War, not just those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Colin publishes a column in the monthly Saltaire Sentinel and we share below just some of the research Colin has published over the last few months.


Right:

Some of the advertisements which appeared in the local paper, The Shipley Times, during The Great War:

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