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Charles William NEWNS

Main CPGW Record

Surname: NEWNS

Forename(s): Charles William

Place of Birth: Rossett, Denbighshire, Wales

Service No: 265925

Rank: Sergeant

Regiment / Corps / Service: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 2/6th Battalion

Division: 62nd (2/West Riding) Division

Age: 23

Date of Death: 1917-05-03

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: Bay 6.

CWGC Cemetery: ---

CWGC Memorial: ARRAS MEMORIAL

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial: SILSDEN, YORKSHIRE

Additional Information:

Charles William Newns was the son of Charles and Phoebe Newns, née Edwards. Charles, senior, was born at Brymbo, Wrexham, Denbighshire and Phoebe at Conwy, Caernarfonshire, Wales. Phoebe may have been married to Charles's brother, George Newns, in 1883.

1901 Silsden, Yorkshire Census: 13, Thanet Square - Willie Newns, aged 8 years, born Halton, Yorkshire [sic], son of Charles and Phoebe Newns.

1911 Silsden, Yorkshire Census: 9, Queens Street - William Newns, aged 18 years, born Rossett, Denbyshire. [William was living with his half-sister, Margaret, and brother-in-law, Edmund Summerscales.]

Charles was married to Ann Vickers in 1915.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Sgt Charles W. Newns, 265925, West Riding Regiment.

Data Source: Craven’s Part in the Great War - original CPGW book entry

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Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record:

NEWNES, Sergeant G.W., West Riding Regiment, formerly of Silsden, and latterly of Keighley, reported missing May 3, 1917, now presumed killed.

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Sergeant Charles William NEWNS

Sergeant Charles William NEWNS

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 62nd (2/West Riding) Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 62nd (2/West Riding) Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: NEWNS

Forename(s): Charles William

Born:

Residence:

Enlisted: Keighley, Yorks

Number: 265925

Rank: Sergt

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion: 2/6th Battalion

Decorations:

Died Date: 03/05/17

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War: France & Flanders

Notes:

Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: NEWNS

Forename(s): Charles William

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 265925

Rank: Serjeant

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Unit: 2nd/6th Bn.

Age: 23

Awards:

Died Date: 03/05/1917

Additional Information: Son of Charles and Phoebe Newns, of Silsden, Yorks; husband of Annie Green (formerly Newns), of 5, Broomfield Rd., Keighley, Yorks.

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THE HISTORY OF THE 62nd (WEST RIDING) DIVISION 1914-1919 Volume 1, by Everard Wyrall (John Lane the Bodley Head Limited Vigo Street, London, W.)

THE BATTLE OF BULLECOURT:
3rd – 17th May, 1917.

During the three weeks following the first attack on Bullecourt on 11th April, the 62nd Division was engaged in trench warfare, and in preparing for another attack on the Hindenburg Line which had been ordered to take place on various successive dates and subsequently postponed, until it was definitely decided that Bullecourt should again be attacked on the 3rd May…

3rd MAY

In the centre of the Divisional front, the troops of the 186th Infantry Brigade reached their allotted places by 3-30 a.m., though during the evening of the 2nd, the enemy’s artillery had caused considerable trouble – all forward telephone and telegraph wires having been cut and communication interrupted. The Signallers, however, repaired them and communication was re-established. The 2/5th Duke of Wellington’s (Lieut.-Col. F.W. Best) were on the right, the 2/6th (Lieut.-Col. S.W. Ford) on the left: the 2/7th Battalion (Lieut.-Col. F.G.C. Chamberlin) was in rear of the 2/5th and the 2/4th (Lieut.-Col. H.E. Nash) in the rear of 2/6th.

Three Companies of the 2/8th West Yorks. were formed up in rear of the 2/4th and 2/7th Battalions Duke of Wellington’s Regt., the remaining Company of the 2/8th having been detailed as a carrying party was in rear of the three Companies. The 213th Machine Gun Company supported the 186th Brigade.

On the left of the Divisional front, held by the 187th Infantry Brigade, the 2/4th Battalion York and Lancs. Regt. (Lieut.-Col. F. St. J. Blacker) was on the right, the 2/5th King’s Own Yorks. Light Infantry (Lieut.-Col. W. Watson) with two Companies of the 2/4th Battalion (Lieut.-Col. R.E. Power) of the same Regiment in rear of the two front line battalions, and the remaining two Companies of the 2/4th K.O.Y.L.I. were in rear of the 2/5th Battalion, detailed for ‘carrying’ duties. The 208th Machine Gun Company was in support.

The taping and forming up operations were carried out without serious casualties and were completed by 3-30 a.m., but Lieut.-Col. F. St. J. Balcker, D.S.O., commanding the Hallamshires, was wounded on the forming up line.

Shortly after two o’clock in the morning the moon disappeared and the night turned to inky blackness, but fifteen minutes before Zero all was ready for the attack. At this period the enemy put down a very heavy barrage on the 185th Infantry Brigade, which gradually spread along the whole front.

At Zero the creeping barrage opened on the enemy’s position and the assaulting troops began to move forward immediately. But now an unexpected difficulty presented itself: the warm weather had baked the ground hard and as the shells fell, churning it up, clouds of dust filled the air, and with smoke from the guns, and the smoke bombs, the objectives were hidden from the advancing troops, and there was much loss of direction.

The 2/5th West Yorks. on the left of the 185th Brigade front speedily captured the enemy’s first line trench, the wire entanglements having been well cut. The 2/6th Battalion, however, was not as fortunate: Colonel Hastings’ Battalion had been met by very heavy machine-gun fire which caused many casualties, and in the smoke and confusion sheared off towards the left, overlapping the right of the 2/5th Battalion. Meanwhile the latter had pushed on towards the centre of the village and had established two posts, one at U.27.b.6.8. and the other at U.21.d.5.0. At this point touch was lost with the 2/6th Battalion, though it was eventually established about the church. A pigeon message timed 5-15 a.m. from an officer of the left Company of the third and fourth waves of the 2/5th Battalion which reached Divisional Headquarters stated that the writer was in the communication trench at U.21.d.5.5. with about forty of his men.

On the left of the 185th Infantry Brigade, the 186th had accomplished only part of its task. The 2/5th Duke of Wellington’s found the wire cut and no difficulty was experienced in reaching the second German trench of the first objective. Here touch was obtained with the left of the 185th Brigade, and maintained for several hours until broken by enfilade machine-gun fire from both flanks. But the 2/6th Duke of Wellington’s found the wire uncut and their attack was held up. Hostile shell-fire and the rear waves closing in on the leading waves, added to the confusion and all that could be done was to occupy some shell holes in front of the enemy’s wire. An attempt was then made to cut the second belt of wire, but again machine-gun fire from the north, and the enemy’s activity with bombs frustrated this endeavour and finally the shell-holes were established as posts.

The 2/5th Duke’s had by this time established themselves in the enemy’s front line trench from U.21.d.1.0. to U.20.d.2.4. and had been reinforced by the 2/8th West Yorks.

Similarly on the left of the 186th Brigade, the 187th had met with success – and failure. The 2/5th York and Lancs. Regt. reached its first objective without difficulty, but the 2/4th Battalion was hung up by the thick wire entanglements which were insufficiently cut. In seeking to find a way through the Battalion moved off to its left and became intermingled with the 2/5th Battalion, whose right flank was ‘in the air.’ At about 4-20 a.m. Lieut.-Col. W. Watson, commanding the 2/5th K.O.Y.L.I. was killed as he was gallantly rallying his men and leading them forward.

For a while no reports from the right flank of the attack were received at Divisional Headquarters, and nothing could be ascertained as to what was taking place in the village of Bullecourt. At 6-50 a.m. the situation was so obscure that the protective barrage was ordered to remain on the second objective until a further advance could be organized. A little later (at 7 a.m.) the situation of the 185th Brigade appears to be as follows: Posts had been established at U.21.d.5.5. with a certain number of men further east along the Support line at U.21.d.5.9., U.27.b.6.8. and at the church (U.28.a.0.9.): the whole of the German front line trench as far east as U.27.b. had been occupied. Touch was maintained with the 2/5th Duke of Wellington’s Regt., on the western side of the village and in the trench running south from the Crucifix. But of the 2/6th West Yorks. little was known, and all attempts to communicate with or reach the probable position of the Battalion, failed. Large numbers of men of the Battalion – dead and wounded – were found in front of the German wire. A Company of the 2/7th West Yorks. was sent forward to try to reach their comrades of the 2/6th, but the men were met by a murderous machine-gun fire which swept the line of the advance and after having suffered heavy casualties the Company withdrew to the Railway Embankment.

Repeated attempts by the 186th and 187th Brigades to penetrate the enemy’s positions were frustrated, and at noon the little party of the 2/5th Duke’s and 2/8th West Yorks., were bombed out of their portion of the trench and were forced to take shelter in shell holes south and south-west of Bullecourt. The advance by the 2/5th K.O.Y.L.I., under Major O.C. Watson, at first progressed, but was eventually checked by heavy machine-gun fire and a continuous H.E. barrage.

At mid-day the situation was as follows: about fifty men per battalion of the 186th Infantry Brigade had found shelter on the Railway Line U.26.c. and d., the remainder of the Brigade was in the Sunken Road in U.27.a.5.8. and U.20.d.9.4.: of the 187th Brigade elements were in the Sunken Road in U.20.b. and in shell holes in U.20.c. and d.: the Company of 2/5th West Yorks. (185th Brigade) which had been driven out of the western side of Bullecourt, had also reached the Railway Line, the 2/7th West Yorks. were also at U.27.c. and d., on the Railway Line: but there was still no news of the 2/6th West Yorks.

Just after 5 o’clock in the evening orders from Divisional Headquarters to the three Infantry Brigades contained instructions to the Brigadiers to make every effort to reorganize their battalions on the line of their original fronts, in their own sectors: the 7th Division was to take over the front held by the 185th Infantry Brigade as soon as possible. The same orders stated that the VIIth Corps had taken Chérisy and the 2nd Australian Division (on the right of the 62nd Division) was in occupation of the Hindenburg Line from U.23.c.8.1. to U.22.d.6.3.

The failure of the 62nd Division to capture Bullecourt was due largely to a fault which certainly cannot be charged to the gallant troops who stormed the village and the Hindenburg Line in the vicinity. Neither could the Divisional Staff, which had laboured to make all arrangements as complete as possible, be blamed. It was due principally to an error in tactics which had so often failed in the earlier years of the war – notably at Festubert in 1915. The Australian Division on the right of the 62nd Division did not launch its attack side by side with the 2/6th West Yorks., the flanking battalion of the West Riding Division. There was a gap – a fatal gap – in the line of attack between the Colonials and the Yorkshiremen, the former having decided to attack the first objective frontally, only as far to the left as U.23.d.6.3., and then bomb down the Hindenburg Line westwards to the left boundary where touch was to be gained with the 185th Infantry Brigade. Thus some hundreds of yards of the enemy’s positions (unfortunately that portion which was very strongly defended by machine-guns) was left free to enfilade the 2/6th West Yorks. as that Battalion advanced: which indeed happened. In all justice to the Australian troops it must be noted that they reached their objective, but before they got there the West Yorkshiremen had been cut up and of those brave fellows who had penetrated the village the greater number had either been killed, wounded, or taken prisoner, only a hundred survivors getting back to their own trenches.

The inky blackness of the night, which caused much confusion during the forming-up operations, also contributed to the failure of the assault, many of the troops losing themselves and being entirely ignorant of the direction of the enemy’s trenches.

The enemy was in considerable strength, the 49th Reserve Division and the 27th Division was holding the Hindenburg Line between Fontaine and Riencourt (inclusive). The latter had with it the 1st Musketeen (Automatic Rifle) Battalion.

Many deeds of gallantry were witnessed during that attack, and the Division emerged from its first set battle sorely tried and tested and badly mauled, but with many proofs of its fighting qualities… The casualties of the 62nd (W.R.) Division on the 3rd May were: 116 officers and 2,860 other ranks, killed, wounded and missing…

The 62nd had been ‘Blooded’!

At dusk on the 3rd, the 185th Infantry Brigade was relieved by the 22nd Infantry Brigade (7th Division), only the 2/7th West Yorks. remaining in the line under the command of the General Officer Commanding 7th Division.

4th MAY

The remnants of the 2/5th, 2/6th and 2/8th West Yorks. were withdrawn to caves in Ecoust, to reorganize: on the following day they marched to Ervillers. The 186th and 187th Brigades remained in the line, the 62nd Divisional front now extending from the Mory – Ecoust – Bullecourt Road (inclusive) to the left of the Vth Corps boundary, Judas Farm – Sensee River, to along the road at T.24.a.9.4. – U.14.c.2.9…

12th MAY

The final attack on Bullecourt began on the 12th May when the 185th Infantry Brigade assisted the 7th (British) and 5th (Australian) Divisions, by attacking the enemy’s strong point at the Crucifix.

The 2/7th Battalion West Yorks. was detailed for this operation, the 185th Trench Mortar Battery and one Section of the 212th Machine-Gun Company co-operating. Two Companies of the Battalion – B and C – attacked the Crucifix at Zero (3-40 a.m.) pus 26 minutes, but for a while no information of the situation of the attacking troops was obtainable. The 91st Brigade (7th Division) had reached the centre of the village, capturing a few Germans, but here very heavy machine-gun fire held up any further advance. About 6-30 a.m., however, an aeroplane report was received at 62nd Divisional Headquarters which stated that men of the 2/7th could be seen well dug in at the Crucifix. But from this period onwards, throughout the day, nothing could be ascertained, it being impossible to gain touch with the gallant West Yorkshiremen holding the post at the Crucifix. Possibly one of those isolated fights to a finish which were not uncommon in the War, but of which no authentic records are in existence, took place. For at 8 p.m. another aeroplane reported that the Germans once more held the Crucifix. At 10 o’clock that night patrols which attempted to reach the post were driven back, thus confirming the aeroplane report. Subsequently a few odd men returned through the lines of the 1st South Staffords (7th Division), having lost their way, but of the two officers and thirty-one other ranks who were known to be holding the Crucifix none returned nor was any further information gained concerning their fate. Five killed, thirty-one missing and thirty-two wounded were the casualties suffered by the 2/7th West Yorks. in this affair…

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08 June 1917

SILSDEN'S HEROES IN THE FIGHT – THREE SOLDIERS MISSING

Sergt. Charles W. Newns, of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regt., husband of Mrs. Newns, 3, Clock View Street, Beechcliffe, Keighley, and son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Newns, 19, Rostletop Road, Earby, has been officially reported missing from May 3rd. Mrs. Newns received such information from the York Record Office (Territorial headquarters) on Saturday last. She has also received a letter from Lieut. G.C. Kilner, in which he states:– “It is with much regret that I have to inform you that your husband, Sergt. Newns, is missing. His battalion made an attack the first week in May, and he was last seen by Company-Sergt.-Major Garside at the German wire. Every search has been made, but your husband has not been found. It is impossible for me to tell you how sorry I and all the company are for you, but let us still hope for the best.”

Sergt. Newnes enlisted in September 1914, and went out to France on the 5th of February last. Prior to joining the Colours he resided at Silsden, and was employed as a weaving overlooker by the firm of Messrs. James I. Stocks, Becks Mill, Silsden. He was a former member of the Silsden Fire Brigade, and was also closely associated with the Silsden Parish Church. Mrs. Newns is anxious concerning her husband, and would gladly welcome any information as to his whereabouts.

15 June 1917

IN MEMORY OF SEVEN SILSDEN FALLEN HEROES

There was a large congregation at the Parish Church on Sunday morning last, when a service was held in memory of seven young men from Silsden who have recently paid the great sacrifice for King and Country.

The service was conducted by the Vicar (Rev. E. E. Peters, M.A.,) who said they were met that morning, when all nature seemed to speak of joy and gladness, under very solemn and sad circumstances to pay their tribute of respect and affection to the memory of seven gallant men who had given their lives for their country. They were:– Private Fred Hardy, Private Edgar Raw, Private Harry Wade, Private William Burton, Private Willie Saddington, Private John William Baldwin, and Private Charles Henry Gill.

By their presence and by taking part in that service, they gave some expression of the heartfelt sympathy which they felt with the sorrowing relatives.

Private Fred Hardy had not been resident a great many years in Silsden, but he had gained many friends by reason of his cheerful disposition and his pleasant and amiable manners. When the call came he left his wife and his happy and comfortable home to go forth in order to do his duty. They knew how he was wounded, brought to a Casualty Clearing Station, and how for some days there was terrible anxiety as to how the balance would turn. During that time he either wrote himself, or dictated to the good and sympathetic chaplain, most brave and cheerful letters in which he thought of his wife, not at all of himself. He derived great comfort from the consolation of religion, and the chaplain was able to write to his wife and assure her how he died in the faith and fear of Jesus Christ.

Private Edgar Raw was one who gave an early answer when the call first came. He had not the pleasure of knowing him personally, but everyone spoke in the very highest terms of him. He was a most excellent young man, active in religious work, and left behind him a fragrant memory.

He then came to one whose loss had been a peculiarly intimate one to him as well as a personal sorrow, for he knew him well, and like everyone else who knew him, he had a great regard for him. He referred to Private Harry Wade, a young man of great promise and blameless character, a true simple-hearted Christian and loyal Churchman, and a regular communicant to whom he had had the great privilege of administering on more than one occasion since he joined the Army the Holy Sacrament. He was a young man, home loving and home keeping; yet, one who felt it his duty to volunteer to defend his country. Although he had no taste for military life, he nevertheless made a thoroughly good soldier, and one of whom his officer spoke in the very highest terms. His officer said he showed great capability, was always reliable and trustworthy, and one whom he could chose to do important work and knew it would be carried out well. Now he had gone to the home above and left them a very heavy loss indeed.

Private William Burton, who was probably not known to a great many of them, was held in high esteem by those who knew him. He was the gardener at Moorfield, and a man who was thoroughly efficient in his work and took a great delight in it. He, too, was very comfortable in his home with his wife and two children, and had gained the confidence and esteem of his employer. He and three other men were killed going to the trenches by a German shell.

Then he came to one who was well known to all of them – Private Willie Saddington – a young man who was brought up in their Sunday School. He had the distinction, as was generally known, of being one of the five soldiers in Silsden who, at mobilisation, was called up to the Colours at the very beginning of the war. He believed his father was also one of the original five. He had honourable military traditions in his family, and since the war broke out – he was a Territorial, as they knew – he at once volunteered for active service. He was kept back in England for some time on account of being a member of a military band, and at last he went out and had not been long at the Front before he fell doing his duty honourably and gallantly.

Private John Wm. Baldwin was a man much older than those of whom he had spoken. He was a soldier of that grand Army – the old original regular Army. He had served his country in South Africa, served his time in the reserves; a man time expired when the war broke out, and well above age, but still he volunteered to join the Colours again. He was one of those who during the first terrible months of the war maintained our cause against desperate odds. He was wounded at Hill 60 of bloody memory, the scene last week of our great and glorious victory. He never recovered entirely from his wounds, his health having been grievously affected, and he died at the military hospital at Derby, where he had gained the affection of the staff. He was laid to rest in that Parish Churchyard with military honours in the presence of a large and sympathetic congregation.

It was only the previous week that they heard of the death of Private Charles Henry Gill, one whom the stern necessity of cruel war had made into a soldier. He was a young man of retiring disposition, reserved in his manners to the general public, but one full of family affection, and devoted to his home. He had fallen a victim to the monster, called into being by the Prussian lust of conquest.

He wished to speak of three more of their young men who were in a somewhat different category to those he had already mentioned. He hoped they would not have to mourn them as gone, and prayed that good news might come concerning them. They had all been reported missing:– Sergeant Charles W. Newns, Private Norman Phillip, and Private Jack Riley.

They were all intimately connected with that place of worship, having been taught in their Sunday School. Sergeant Newns was one of the most promising young men they had. He was a splendid young man, a good Sunday School teacher, and a gymnast and athlete. He naturally made a very fine soldier and gained the highest testimony from his officers and also from the men he commanded. The last they had heard of him was that he was seen risking his life for a wounded man. They prayed that it might be the will of Almighty God to restore those men to them, as they could ill afford to lose them. He wished on his own behalf, and on behalf of all of those present, to express deep sympathy with those in great sorrow and affliction. It was hard to express in anything like adequate terms what they felt. They all realised that the inequality of sacrifice was one of the sad things of their life – that some had to sacrifice so much while others, whether they were willing or unwilling, were not called upon to make sacrifices of like character. But he assured them that they appreciated in the most complete manner the offerings of their sons and the husbands and of those so near and dear to them, which had been made in the cause of righteousness and truth.

During the service the hymns, ‘The saints on earth and those above’, ‘On the resurrection morning’, and ‘O God our help in ages past’, were sung.

There was a company of Girl Guides present at the service, in charge of the vicar’s wife.

The bells were also muffled as a token of respect to the fallen.

08 March 1918

NEWNES – Missing, now presumed dead, Sergt. Charles W. Newnes, Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, formerly of Silsden, and husband of Mrs. Newnes, Clock View Street, Keighley.

08 March 1918

SILSDEN SOLDIER PRESUMED DEAD

Mrs. C. W. Newnes, of 3 Clock View Street, Keighley, has received information from the Infantry Record Office, York, that her husband, Sergeant Charles W. Newnes, West Riding Regiment, missing since May 3rd 1917, is now presumed killed on the above date. Sergeant Newnes enlisted soon after the outbreak of war. He was a resident of Silsden, and formerly employed by Messrs. J. I. Stocks, Becks Mill, Silsden. He was a former member of the Silsden Fire Brigade, and also closely associated with the Silsden Parish Church. Sergt. Newnes is the son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Newnes, of Bolton Road, Silsden.

03 May 1918

NEWNS – In loving memory of my dear husband, Sergeant C. W. Newns, 2/6th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, who was posted as missing May 3rd, 1917, now presumed to have died on that date.

Not now, but in the coming years,
It may be in that better land,
We’ll read the meaning of our tears;
Not now, “Sometime we’ll understand.”

From his loving Wife, 3 Clock View, Beechcliffe, Keighley.

NEWNS – In loving remembrance of our dear son and brother, Sergeant Charles W. Newns, who was posted missing on 3rd May, 1917, now presumed to have died on that date.

We do not forget him, nor do we intend,
We think of him daily and will to the end;
We mourn him in sorrow and silence unseen,
And dwell on the memories of times that have been.

From Father, Mother, Sisters and Brothers, 57, Bolton Road, Silsden.

NEWNS – In loving remembrance of our dear brother, Sergeant Charles W. Newnes, who was posted missing on 3rd May, 1917, now presumed to have died on that date.

You’re not forgotten, brother dear,
Or will you ever be
As long as life and memory last
We will remember thee.

From his loving sisters, Maggie, Kate and Georgina.

07 June 1918

SILSDEN – In Memoriam

A service in memory of the Silsden young men who have recently given their lives for their country was held at the Silsden Parish Church on Sunday morning, conducted by the vicar, Rev. E. E. Peters. The hymns ‘The Saints on earth’, ‘O God our help in ages past’, and ‘God the all-terrible King who ordainest’ were sung. Mr. Herbert Cooper presided at the organ. Mr. Peters said in the service in which they had just taken part they had commemorated 69 men who has been killed in action, or died from wounds or from some other cause. He wished to say a few words especially about those young men who had fallen, and were connected with their Church and Sunday Schools.

The first was Sergeant W. Newns, who had been missing for over a year, but whom the authorities had recently announced as killed. He was one of the best young men in every sense of the word. He was a communicant, a Sunday School teacher and a young man who took a great interest in the physical side of life. He was one of the leaders of the training class for physical development. When he joined the Army in the early days of the war, he found that his time had been well spent as he was made an instructor in physical drill and a full Sergeant.

A few weeks ago the Church had lost another of its young men – Signaller Harry Barrett, who, before he joined up, was treasurer of the Church of England’s Young Men’s Society, and a very devoted member of the branch. Private Ernest Hardcastle was killed in September, after having proved himself a good soldier. He and Sergeant R. Hill were connected with the Sunday School and they did not forget their religion when they went into the Army. Mention was made of Second Lieutenant T.D. Stocks and his connection with the Boy Scout movement; Sergeant Rowland Hill; Private Ormond Clarkson, who was accidentally drowned a few weeks ago in the Persian Gulf; Air Mechanic Albert Bradley, who died in hospital alter being away from home only a few weeks; Sergeant Joe Bancroft who won the Military Medal by his extraordinary gallantry; Private Sydney [P]Lumb who was killed in September, and who had four other brothers serving.

On behalf of the church people of Silsden, the Vicar offered to the relatives and friends of those men their deepest sympathy and their most sincere and heartfelt gratitude for what they had done for them. He expressed the wish that as long as the Church remained, and if at any time a new Church should be built, it would be the custom at least once a year to commemorate all the men who had fallen in the war. He was impressed and touched beyond expression by the courage which the women of the parish had shown in these awful times, and it was an inspiration to the men, for they had shown themselves to be worthy mothers and wives of heroes who had given their all.

“Shall we betray their trust and take their deaths in vain?”

02 May 1919

NEWNS – In affectionate remembrance of my dear husband, Sergeant C. W. Newns, 2/6th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, who was posted as missing at Bullecourt, May 3rd, 1917, afterwards presumed dead.

Not gone from memory,
Not gone from love;
But gone to our Father’s home above.

From his loving wife, Beechcliffe, Keighley.

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08 June 1917

SILSDEN SOLDIERS MISSING

Mrs. A. Newnes, of 3, Clock View Street, Beechcliffe, Keighley, received official intimation from the York Record Office on Saturday last, that her husband, Sergt. Charles W. Newnes, of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, has been reported missing from May 3rd. Mrs. Newnes also received a letter from Lieut. G. O. Kilner, in which he states:– “It is with much regret that I write to tell you that your husband, Sergt. Newnes is missing. His battalion made an attack the first week in May, and he was last seen by Company-Sergeant-Major Garside at the German wire. Every search has been made, but he had not been found. It is impossible for me to tell you how sorry I and all the company are for you, but let us still hope for the best.” Sergt. Newnes enlisted in September 1914, and went out to France in February of this year. He formerly resided at Silsden, and was employed as a weaving overlooker at the firm of Messrs. James Stocks, Becks Mill, Silsden. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Newnes, of 19, Rostle Top, Earby. He was a former worker at the Silsden Parish Church, and also a member of the Silsden Fire Brigade.

15 June 1917

SILSDEN’S GALLANT HEROES – Memorial Service at the Parish Church

A service in memory of Pte. Fred Hardy, Pte. Edgar Raw, Pte. Harry Wade, Pte. Wm. Burton, Pte. W. Saddington, Pte. John Wm. Baldwin, and Pte. Charles Henry Gill, seven of Silsden’s gallant heroes who have recently paid the great sacrifice for their King and country, was held at the Parish Church on Sunday morning last. There was a large congregation, and the service was conducted by Rev. E. E. Peters (vicar). As the congregation assembled the organist (Mr. Herbert Cooper) played ‘O rest in the Lord,’ and during the service the hymns 'The saints on earth, and those above,' 'On the Resurrection morning,’ and ‘O God our help in ages past’ were sung.

In the course of his sermon, the vicar said they were met on that beautiful June morning when all seemed to speak of joy and gladness, in very solemn and very sad circumstances to the honour and glory of God, and to pay their tribute and respect and affection to the memory of seven gallant men who had given their lives for their country – Fred Hardy, Edgar Raw, Harry Wade, Wm. Burton, Willie Saddington, John Wm. Baldwin, and Charles Henry Gill. They were also by their presence, and by their taking part in that service, giving some expression to the heartfelt sympathy which they felt with their sorrowing relations. Fred Hardy had not been resident a great many years in Silsden, but he had many friends by reason of his cheerful disposition and his pleasant, amiable manners. When the call came he left his wife, and his happy and comfortable home, to go forth to do his duty. They all knew how he was wounded, brought to a casualty clearing station, and how for some days there was terrible anxiety as to how the balance would turn. During that time he either wrote himself, or dictated to the good and sympathetic Chaplain, most brave and cheerful letters in which he thought of his wife and not of himself. He derived great comfort from the consolation of religion, and the chaplain was able to write to his wife an assure her of how he died in the faith and fear of Jesus Christ.

Edgar Raw was one who gave an early answer when the call first came. He had not the pleasure of knowing him personally, but everyone spoke in the very highest terms of him, that he was a most excellent young man, active in religious work, and he left behind him a fragrant memory.

Now they came to one whose loss had been a peculiarly intimate one, to him a personal sorrow, for he knew him very well, and like everyone else who knew him, he had a great regard for him. He referred to Harry Wade, a young man of promise and of blameless character, a true simple-hearted Christian, a loyal churchman, a regular communicant, to whom he had the great privilege of administering on more than one occasion since he joined the army, that Holy Sacrament. He was a young man, home loving, and home keeping, yet one who felt it his duty to volunteer to defend his country. Although he had no tastes for the military life yet he made a thoroughly good soldier, one of whom his officer was able to speak in the very highest terms, one he said who showed his capability. He was always reliable, always trustworthy, and one whom he could choose to do important work, knowing that he would carry it out well. They knew how he had gone to the home above; he had left them, a very heavy loss indeed.

Then there was Wm. Burton who was not known probably to many of them, but those who did know him, had a very high esteem of him. He was a gardener, a man who was thoroughly efficient in his work, and took a very great delight in it. He was very comfortable in his home and happy with his wife and two children. He had gained the confidence and esteem of his employer. He and other three men were killed going to the trenches by a German shell.

Then they came to Willie Saddington, one of their own young men brought up in their Sunday School, and whom they all knew very well. He had the distinction of being one of the five soldiers, who at mobilisation at Silsden, was called up to the colours at the very beginning. He also believed that Pte. Saddington’s father was another of that original five. He had honourable military traditions in his family. He was a Territorial, and as soon as war broke out, he at once volunteered for active service, but he was kept back in England for some time, being a member of the band. At last he went out, and he had not been long at the front when he fell doing his duty honourably and gallantly.

Then they came to John Wm. Baldwin, a man much older than those of whom he had spoken, a soldier of that old original regular army, a man who had served his country in South Africa, who had served his time on the reserve, a man time-expired when war broke out, and well over age, yet he at once volunteered to join the colours again. He was one of those who during those terrible months of the war maintained our cause against desperate odds. He was wounded at Hill 60 of bloody memory, and the scene last week of our great and glorious victory. He never recovered entirely from his wounds, his health was grievously affected, and he died at the hospital at Derby, where he had gained the affection of the staff, and was laid to rest in the Silsden Parish Churchyard with military honours in the presence of a large and sympathetic congregation.

It was only last week that they heard of the death of Charles Henry Gill, one whom the stern necessity of cruel war had made into a soldier. He was a young man of retiring disposition, reserved in his manners to the general public, but one filled with family affection and devoted to his home. He was not robust in health, but he had fallen a victim to the monster called into being by the Prussian lust of conquest.

There were three others he would speak of that morning, who were in a different category, and they hoped they would not have to mourn them as gone from them. They prayed that news might come of them. Three of their men were posted as missing – Sergt. W, Newnes, Pte. N. Phillip, and Pte. Jack Riley – all three intimately connected with that church and brought up in their Sunday School. W. Newnes was one of the most promising young men they had. He was a splendid young man, a choice young man, a Sunday School teacher, gymnastic, and athlete. He naturally made a very fine soldier, and gained the highest testimony from his officers and the men he commanded. The last that was heard of him was that he was seen risking his life for a wounded soldier. They prayed that it might be the will of the Almighty God to restore them back to their families again. They could ill afford to lose them. He wished on his own behalf, and on behalf of all present, to express their deepest sympathy with those there that day in great sorrow and affliction. It was hard to express in anything like adequate terms what they felt, but they all realised the inequality of the sacrifices was one of the sad things all through life, that some had to sacrifice so much, and others whether they were willing or unwilling, were not called upon to make sacrifices of a like character. He assured them that they appreciated in the most complete manner the offerings of their sons, of their husbands, and of those so near and dear to them, which they had made to the common cause of righteousness and truth.

08 March 1918

NEWNES – Reported missing May 3rd, 1917, now presumed killed, Sergt. C.W. Newnes, West Riding Regiment, formerly of Silsden, husband of Mrs. Newnes, of 3, Clock View Street, Keighley.

08 March 1918

SILSDEN

Sergt. C.W. Newnes Presumed Killed

Mrs. C.W. Newnes, of 3, Clock View Street, Keighley, has received au official intimation from the Infantry Record Office, York, that her husband, Sergt. C.W. Newnes, Went Riding Regiment, who has been missing since May 3rd, 1917, is now presumed killed. Sergt. Newnes enlisted soon after the outbreak of war. He was a resident of Silsden, and was formerly employed by Messrs. J.I. Stocks, Becks Mill, Silsden. He was a former member of the Silsden Fire Brigade, and also closely associated with the Silsden Parish Church. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Newnes, Bolton Road, Silsden.

07 June 1918

SILSDEN’S FALLEN HEROES – Impressive Memorial Service

A service in memory of the gallant Silsden young men, who have recently given their lives for our country, was held at the Parish Church on Sunday morning last. There was a large congregation, and the service was conducted by Rev. E.E. Peters (vicar). Mr. Herbert Cooper presided at the organ, and the hymns sung were ‘The saints on earth and those above,’ ‘O God our help in ages past,’ and ‘God the all terrible King, who ordainest.’

The Vicar said they met that most perfect Sabbath morning amidst peaceful surroundings to worship God, and also to pay their tribute of love and respect to the memory of the brave men from that parish who had laid down their lives for them and their country. In the service they had just taken part in they had commemorated 69 men who had been killed in action or died of wounds, and he wished to refer to those young men who had recently fallen, and were closely connected with their church and Sunday school. The first was Sergt. W. Newnes, who had been missing for over a year, and who had now been presumed killed by the authorities. He was one of their best young men in every possible sense of the word. He was a communicant, Sunday-school teacher, and one who took a great interest in the physical side of life, being one of the leaders of their Physical Culture Class. He found that very useful, and when he joined the army in the early days of the war he was made an instructor in physical drill and became a sergeant. Pte. Ernest Hardcastle was killed last September, and they had heard from those who knew him that he was a good soldier. He was connected with the Sunday School, and like Sergt. Richard [Rowland] Hill did not forget his religion when he went in the army. Only a few weeks ago they lost another of their young men – Signaller Harry Barrett. He was treasurer of their Church of England Men’s Society, and a very keen member of their branch. When he joined the army he did so cheerfully, and was ready and anxious to do his duty. He became a good and efficient soldier. They all knew the charm of his manner and what a delightful fellow he was. Reference was also made to Second Lieut. T.D. Stocks and his connection with the Boy Scouts, Sergt. Rowland Hill, Pte. Orman Clarkson, who was accidentally drowned in the Persian Gulf, Air-Mechanic Albert Bradley and Sergt. Joe Bancroft, one of a large family of brothers serving, a young man of extraordinary gallantry who recently won the Military Medal a man who showed that he had in him the qualities which made the very last type of a soldier and who possessed those characteristics which were born with a man and could not be put into him. Pte. Sydney Plumb, who was killed last September, and one of five brothers serving. On behalf of the churchpeople of Silsden he (the Vicar) offered to the relatives of those men their deepest sympathy and their moat sincere and heartfelt gratitude for what they had done for them. He hoped that as long as that church remained and even if at any time a new church should be built, it would be the custom at least once a year to commemorate all the men who had fallen in the war. These gallant men had not gone into utter darkness, they had not been annihilated, but they lived more perfectly and more beautiful than ever before. Whether there men died in action or at home in England, they all did their duty, and they had all left behind them honoured memories. He was impressed and touched beyond all expression by the splendid courage which the women of that pariah had shown in these awful times. It was an inspiration to the men, for they had shown themselves to be worthy mothers and wives of heroes. In conclusion the Vicar said these men had given all. Shall we betray their trust make their deaths in vain. God forbid we shall not.

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