Main CPGW Record
Place of Birth: Oldham, Lancashire
Service No: 3076
Regiment / Corps / Service: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)
Battalion / Unit: 'D' Coy 1/6th Battalion
Division: 49th (West Riding) Division
Date of Death: 1916-08-29
CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: IX. H. 5.
CWGC Cemetery: LONSDALE CEMETERY, AUTHUILLE
CWGC Memorial: ---
Non-CWGC Burial: ---
Local War Memorial: SILSDEN, YORKSHIRE
Frederick Taylor was the son of John Thomas and ( - ) Taylor (née -) and grandson of Joseph and Betsy Ann Taylor. Joseph was born at Manchester and Betsy Ann at Oldham, Lancashire.
1901 Silsden, Yorkshire Census: 10, Prince Street - Frederick Taylor, aged 7 years, born Oldham, Lancashire, grandson of Frederick and Betsy Ann Knowles. [Frederick Knowles was married to Betsy Ann Taylor in 1895.]
1911 Silsden, Yorkshire Census: 12, Elliott Street - Fred Taylor, aged 17 years, born Oldham, Lancashire, nephew of Maurice and Lily Sugden [née Taylor].
The British Army Service Record for Frederick Taylor exists but may be incomplete.
British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Cpl Frederick Taylor, 3076, West Riding Regiment. Theatre of War first served in: 1 - France. Date of entry therein: 14.4.15. D. of W. 29.8.16.
British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Corpl Frederick Taylor, 6/3076, 1/6 W. Rid. R. D. of W. 29.8.16.
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Cpl Frederick Taylor, 3076, 1/6th Bn W. Riding Regt. Date and Place of Death: 29.8.16. 1/1st (W.R.) Field Ambulance. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Aunt and Sole Legatee - Lily Sugden. £22 2s. 4d.
See also: ‘Guiseley Terriers: A Small Part in The Great War – A History of the 1/6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment’ by Stephen Barber (2018).
Data Source: Craven’s Part in the Great War - original CPGW book entryView Entry in CPGW Book
Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record:
TAYLOR, Corporal Fred., aged 22, West Riding Regiment, nephew of Mrs. Maurice Sugden, Elliott Street, [Silsden], killed in action Aug. 29, 1916.
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Corporal Frederick TAYLOR
Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)
Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 49th (West Riding) Division
Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records
Residence: Silsden, Yorks
Enlisted: Keighley, Yorks
Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
Battalion: 1/6th Battalion
Died Date: 29/08/16
Died How: Died of wounds
Theatre of War: France & Flanders
CWGC Data for Soldier Records
Country of Service: United Kingdom
Service Number: 6/3076
Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
Unit: 1st/6th Bn.
Died Date: 29/08/1916
Additional Information: Son of J. Taylor. (CWGC Headstone Personal Inscription: TO DIE YOUNG IS NOT GLORIOUS THOUGH LIFE'S BLOOD BE FOR FREEDOM SHED)
View Craven Herald Articles
17 September 1915
CRAVEN AND THE WAR
Silsden is paying a heavy price. On Monday morning Miss Hannah Faulkner, who resides at Bridge Street, Silsden, received information concerning the death of one of her brothers, Private Jobey Faulkner, of the 9th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment. Private Faulkner, who enlisted after the outbreak of war, was one of five brothers serving their King and Country. The Faulkners were the only family in Silsden who could claim to have five representatives in the Army.
Privates Edward and Tom Faulkner have both been wounded in France, the former having gained convalescence and gone beck to the front, but the latter is said to be still nursing his wound in one of the hospitals in this country. Private Jobey Faulkner was killed in France. In a letter to his sister, Private Dan Faulkner says:– “I am sorry to tell you that our Jobey got killed while on duty. He was hit by a piece of shrapnel and died half an hour later. He was hit on the 7th of September about half-past six at night, and was buried the same evening. You must cheer up; it has been very hard for me but we can always say that he did his duty to the last.”
Prior to his death Private Faulkner sent a letter to his sister in which he said:– “I had a letter from George W. Barrett the other day. He said he was going on all right. He said he had had a letter from our "Teddy" when he was coming across to France. We went for a walk as far as the 6th Battalion, and there I saw Sam Bancroft but I did not see Percy Baldwin and Fred Taylor (all Silsden soldiers), as Percy had gone out in the morning with the R.E. and Fred Taylor had just gone on pass. I saw several Steeton and Sutton lads, and they looked very well, but the same as me a bit rough. When you write to Tom or ‘Teddy’ just tell them we should like a word from them.”
Silsden's list of fallen is now eight, four of whom have been recorded during the short space of a week. Four have been killed in France, three in the Dardanelles, and one is this country while on guard duty.
25 August 1916
SILSDEN – REFERENCES TO SILSDEN HEROES
Another interesting batch of letters are to hand from Silsden soldiers and sailors on active service acknowledging the receipt of more parcels. The contents of the parcels sent out included a pair of socks, a quantity of sweets, cake, Oxo tablets, cocoa tablets, tin of Swiss milk, trench body cord, tea tablets, and a card bearing the inscription ‘With the best wishes from the inhabitants of Silsden.’ Most of the socks had been knitted by the members of the Silsden Parish Church Girls’ Friendly Society, whose efforts some time ago enabled them to set aside funds for the purchase of wool. Appended are extracts from the letters which have been sent to Mrs. Charles Sugden, of Bolton Road, Silsden:–
Pte. Fred Taylor, of the 1/6th Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, writes:– “I thank the inhabitants of Silsden for sending such useful gifts. I see in the papers that a few Silsden lads have been killed recently, and we have had another Silsden soldier killed in Sergt. Rowland Hill. He was in the same battalion as I, but I did not see him killed. He was a nice lad and well liked in his company. We have had a hard time lately, but I have come through it all safe so far.”
08 September 1916
TAYLOR – Corporal Fred Taylor, of the 1/6th Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, and of Silsden, accidentally killed in France on the 29th of August, aged 22 years.
08 September 1916
SILSDEN CORPORAL ACCIDENTALLY KILLED – THE 17th SILSDEN MAN KILLED
Yet another Silsden soldier has laid down his life for King and Country in Corporal Fred Taylor, of the 1/6th Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, and nephew of Mrs. Maurice Sugden, Elliott Street, Silsden, with whom he formerly resided. Corporal Taylor is the seventeenth Silsden soldier to make the supreme sacrifice. His death, according to the information received, having been caused accidentally. In a letter to the deceased soldiers aunt, Lieut. B. Godfrey Buxton, officer commanding D Company, of which Corporal Taylor was a member, states:– “It is with the greatest grief that I have to inform you that your nephew, Corporal Fred Taylor No. 3076, was accidentally killed by a rifle bullet at 12 p.m. on the 29th of August.
“I do not think he was conscious after he was hit, and died shortly afterwards. He had just received a well-earned promotion from Lance Corporal to Corporal, and will be a very great loss to his company and regiment. He was one of our most promising N.C.O.’s, and we all expected him to get on well in all he did. He was well liked by all the men and officers, and we all send you our deepest sympathy in your loss. May the Comforter be near you in this time of sorrow.”
In his last letter to his aunt, Corporal Taylor stated:– “I received your parcel while I was in the trenches, and I thank you very much. We have just come out of the trenches for a well-earned rest, and I can scarcely describe our feelings on being able to see civilians once again. We are having some fine weather here just now, and it is all right when you can walk about without getting shot at.”
Corporal Taylor enlisted in October 1914, and in April of the following year he was drafted out to the Front where he had been ever since – roughly speaking, a period of nearly one year and five months. During that time he had had two home visits, but on the first occasion he was recalled almost as soon as he reached Silsden, and in consequence he was given another leave sometime afterwards. He had often been described as the merrymaker of the Company, for his comrades said of him that he was always in jovial spirits no matter what was going on, either in the shape of enemy bombardment or anything else. During his short career in the Army he had developed those soldierly instincts so well borne out by his father, the late Mr. J. Taylor, who saw many years’ service in the Army, including active participation in operations connected with the South African War. Prior to enlisting Corporal Taylor was employed as a weaver at the firm of Mr. J. Walton, Airedale Shed, Silsden. He was a well-known member of the Silsden Club, and was at one time a playing member of the Silsden Association Football Club. He was in his 23rd year.
On Wednesday morning, Mrs. Sugden received a letter from Chaplain R. Whincup in reference to the death of her nephew, which stated:– “No doubt you will have heard already of the death of your nephew, who was killed in action on August 29th. I was asked to take the burial service over 10 graves, the place of which will be registered. He is buried in a British Military Cemetery near the trenches. I have no doubt the battalion will erect a cross in due course. I am very sorry for you in your great sorrow. I am not often chaplain for your nephew’s regiment, but I am glad to have done this last little service on behalf of him.”
Second-Lieutenant A. P. Smith also writes as follows:– “I want to say how very much I sympathise with you in the loss of your nephew. I was in command of No. 14 Platoon, and had a very high opinion of him. He was one of our most trusted N.C.O.’s, and it was on two days previously that he was promoted to the rank of corporal. He was always game, and a very great favourite with everyone in the Company. He was also very efficient, and set a high example to the men by being always cheerful and willing. Corporal Taylor is buried amongst comrades in the little British Cemetery nearby, and a cross marks his grave. I feel that it will be some little consolation to you to know that he did his duty nobly, and died serving his country.”
Corporal Taylor was also a well-known player in the Silsden Brass Band.
15 September 1916
SILSDEN – COMRADES’ SPLENDID TRIBUTE
Writing to Mrs. Maurice Sugden, of Elliott Street, Silsden, in reference to the death of her nephew, Corporal Fred Taylor, Pte. W. Marks states:– “I am writing, on behalf of the section, a few lines expressing our deepest sympathy with you in your sad bereavement. It is not too much to say that not only his platoon but the whole company felt the loss of your nephew as they would that of a brother. He was always cheerful and immensely popular with the men, and was always ready to do his share of any work that was required to be done. Only a short while ago he accomplished some very good work in digging out some men who had been buried. The day before we moved up to the trenches he was promoted to full Corporal, and no one deserved it more than he. I thought you would like his cap badge as a token of remembrance because he treasured it so, and I am sending it on in this letter. It will be a slight comfort and consolation to you in your hour of sorrow to know that he died doing his duty for his King and Country’s sake. Allow me once more to say that words cannot do justice to our feelings of sorrow and sense of your great loss.
“May I add the names of three more of his personal friends – Pte. J. W. Tatton, Pte. F. Gee, and Pte. J. Smith.”
22 September 1916
SILSDEN – BAND’S TRIBUTE TO FALLEN MEMBER
A service was held at the Silsden Wesleyan Church on Sunday morning in memory of the late Corporal Fred Taylor, of Silsden, who was killed in action on the Western Front on the 29th of August. The service was conducted by the Rev. Thomas Dargue, of Crosshills, who, in making reference to the deceased soldier, said facts has been published in the local Press regarding his death and were no doubt well known by all of them. Silsden, he said, was certainly suffering its quota in the sacrifice of brave lads and men in connection with the war. That place of worship had lost Private Rhodes Spence about a year ago, and now again Corpl. Fred Taylor. Both deceased soldiers had had associations with the Silsden Wesleyan Sunday School, and the presence of that large gathering expressed sympathy with the friends and relatives who were left behind. He commended them with very heartfelt grief to the comfort and help of God.
The Silsden Brass Band, of which Corpl. Taylor was a former member for several years and a trombone player, played the hymn ‘Holy, holy, holy’ from the Band Room, in Skipton Road, to the Wesleyan Church, and during the service they played ‘A few more years shall roll’ to the tune composed by the late Mr. Edward Newton, a former Silsden bandmaster and well known musical composer. The hymns sung during the service also included ‘O God our help in ages past’, ‘The son of God goes forth to war, a kingly crown to gain’, and ‘Jerusalem the golden’. The band struck a solemn and impressive note in the service during the playing of that well known hymn, and their tribute to one whose happy associations they still cherish was worthy of the band’s best traditions.
After the service they played the hymn ‘Hark the angelic hosts above’ from the Wesleyan Church to their rooms. The bandmaster was Mr. George Laycock.
29 December 1916
SILSDEN’S FOUR FALLEN HEROES – VICAR’S INSPIRING SERMON
On Sunday morning a service was held at the Silsden Parish Church in memory of four Silsden soldiers who have made the supreme sacrifice for King and Country:–
Sergeant Rowland Hill, of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment;
Corporal Fred Taylor, of the same regiment;
Gunner Wm. Hartley Sutcliffe, of the Royal Field Artillery; and
Pte. Dan Faulkner, of the Royal Irish Rifles.
There was a large congregation, including a number of the deceased soldiers’ relatives, and a number of local soldiers home on leave. The officiating clergyman was the Rev. E. E. Peters, M.A. (vicar).
In the course of his sermon Mr. Peters said that we as a nation, by reason of our great prosperity, and by reason of the sea surrounding us, had had for a long time very little sacrifices to make. So little had the sacrifices been that we were losing sight of the great principles of true religion. But in August, 1914, we had to make a great decision; we had to decide whether we should accept the way of the Cross, which was the way of sacrifices; whether we should show ourselves willing to be disciples of Jesus Christ, lovers of truth, righteousness and justice; or whether we should deny ourselves to be unworthy of the great place which God had given us in the world. By the grace of God we chose the way of the Cross, and because we chose that way, not in blindness, and not without a thorough realisation on the part of all thinking people at least of the terrible sacrifices entailed, because of that we had suffered many great sacrifices. We had had to make the most awful sacrifices which we as a country had ever made, and we were learning more and more the lesson that as Christ suffered so also must we suffer. They, as a community in the village of Silsden, had shared the sufferings of their kin. They had met before in that place of worship to hold services of a similar character to that they were holding that morning, and once more they were met together to the honour and glory of God and to the blessed memory of four gallant men who had accepted the law of Christ, and who had made the supreme sacrifice in giving their lives for the sake of their country.
HEAVY BLOW TO THE CHURCH
The death of Sergeant Rowland Hill had been a particularly heavy blow to the Church in Silsden. As they all knew he was the son of one of the most devoted Churchmen, and one of the most public-spirited men who lived amongst them. Sergt. Hill showed every promise of walking in the footsteps of his respected father. There were present that morning a company of Boy Scouts, and they knew well what Sergt. Hill was as one of their Scoutmasters. The Scouts remembered, and never would forget, because they had told him (Mr. Peters) so often, how during his vacation as a student at the Bradford Technical College, he formed one of a party at the beginning of the war to guard the waterworks in that neighbourhood. That they would always remember, and he hoped by the will of God they would be influenced by his example, they could well understand that a boy such as he would feel it was his duty to enlist in the armed forces of His Majesty to defend his country, and to do his part in the great battle for righteousness, truth and justice. They all knew in what love he was held by his family. He was an only son in whom great hopes were centred, and yet when he asked his father for permission to enlist the latter put no difficulty whatsoever in his way. He spoke to him as so many hundreds and thousands of fathers had done, and pointed out to him what he knew the war would be, but gave him his permission at once, although under age, to become a soldier. They knew him well in Silsden; his manners were gentle and kindly yet, like so very many more of our race, he had no natural disposition for warfare, although he made a splendid soldier. They had heard much of him from his officers and from his comrades, and they were all in agreement in saying that he was brave, without any fear, that he was capable and reliable, that he was considerate to those under him, and that above all he was ever cheerful. He soon rose to the rank of a non-commissioned officer, and they had been told over and over again that he was one of the best sergeants in the Battalion, and very soon he would have received the honour of a commission. However, that bright most promising and lovely life that he had shown was cut short so far as this world was concerned by a German shell. The information concerning his death came as a great shock to them at Silsden, and the deepest sympathy was felt by all for the bereaved family.
A PATRIOTIC FAMILY
Another young man whose memory they celebrated that morning, a young man of promise and character, was Corporal Fred Taylor of the same Battalion. He had heard much good of him too, but as they all knew a memorial service had been held for him in one of the other places of worship in that town, and he could not add anything to what had already been said at that service, except to express their deep sympathy with his friends and relatives.
The other two men, Gunner Wm. Hartley Sutcliffe and Pte. Dan Faulkner, were, like Rowland Hill, two men who as boys had been brought up in their Sunday School. They were fine young fellows who had early answered the country’s call. They all knew that Private Faulkner was the brother of Private Jobey Faulkner, in whose memory a service was held a short time ago. He had given his life also for his Country. He was a member of a very patriotic family who had two more brothers still serving at the Front. They owed their deepest gratitude to those men for what they had done for them, and their most heartfelt sympathy went out to the sorrowing families.
He was sure that when they thought of them they thought of two more families in Silsden who were in critical anxiety and suspense yearning for news of the whereabouts of their sons, which was perhaps in some ways worse than knowing their fate: the families of Pte. Garnett Longbottom and Pte. Bernard Locker, both of whom had been reported as missing. They only hoped and prayed that those families might have good news before very long.
They owed a debt of gratitude to those men, and how should they show that gratitude? Could they show it to the men themselves? They were in a very slight way showing some appreciation of what those men had done by gathering there that morning. But they hoped when the war was over to erect a permanent memorial to be handed on to their successors, to be an inspiration to them, of all those who had fallen in the war. But they could show their sympathy to the families of those men as they had done and were doing by consideration to them in every way that was possible. Another way, and perhaps the most important way of all to show their gratitude and honour for those men, was that all the forces available to us should be used to prosecute this war to a successful issue. We had heard of rumours of peace during the past week or so, and we knew perfectly well that if we made a peace which was not a real peace but just a truce to enable our enemies to strengthen their resources, it would be an act of the most cruel treachery and a betrayal of those gallant men who had died in order that our ancient liberties might be observed. There was one thought suggested to them, and probably he had suggested it before. Whenever they though of those bright, happy and splendid fellows who had gone from their midst the question came to them, “Am I worth that sacrifice?” It was a terrible and solemn question. It might be that there were some present who had asked themselves that question and had felt that they were not worthy of it. He hoped they all felt that. They all ought to feel their unworthiness, and it was very questionable whether they were individually worth it or not. It was their duty and their privilege to do as far as possible what they could to make themselves worthy of the great sacrifices that had been made for them.
How could they make themselves worthy? By being good citizens, and showing that in every way we could we would carry the burden of responsibility of membership of a great Empire to which we belonged. To most of them the burden was a very light one compared with the burden that those men carried unto death. How could we best bear that burden and do our share in the great task set before us? There was only one way and that by being followers not only in name, but also in deed and in truth, of Him who died for us and for our salvation – Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour whose birthday would be celebrated the following day. May God give them grace to learn the lessons he would have them learn amid all the sorrow and anguish of this terrible war.
Special prayers were offered, and during the service the hymns ‘O God of love, O King of peace’, ‘On the resurrection morn’, and ‘O God our help in ages past’ were sung. Appropriate music was also played by the organist (Mr. Herbert Cooper, A.R.C.M.).
31 August 1917
TAYLOR – In loving memory of our dear nephew, Corporal Fred Taylor, 1/6th Duke of Wellington’s, who was killed in France, August 29th 1916.
The world seems quite another place
Without the smile of his dear face.
Aunt, Uncle and Cousin, 12, Elliott Street, Silsden.
30 August 1918
TAYLOR – In loving memory of Corporal Fred Taylor, of the 1/6th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, killed August 29th, 1916, in his 23rd year.
‘Tis hard to take the burden up
When these have laid it down;
They brightened all the joy of life,
They softened every frown.
But oh! ‘tis good to think of them
When we are troubled sore;
Thanks be to God that such have been,
Although they are no more.
From Aunt and Cousin, 12 Elliott Street, Silsden, and Uncle Maurice (in France).
29 August 1919
TAYLOR – In loving memory of Corporal Fred Taylor, of the 1/6th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, killed in France August 29th, 1916.
We missed amongst the cheering crowd
The face of our dear one.
From Aunt, Uncle and Cousin.
View West Yorkshire Pioneer Articles
25 August 1916
LETTERS FROM SILSDEN SOLDIERS
A further batch of letters have been received by Mrs. C. Sugden, of Bolton Road, Silsden, from local soldiers and sailors thanking the inhabitants of Silsden for the parcels which have been recently sent out to them. The following are extracts from some of the letters:–
Lance Corporal F. Taylor, of the 1st 6th Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, writes:– “The things that you send me are very useful, and I thank the inhabitants of Silsden for sending such useful gifts. I see in the papers that a few Silsden lads have been killed, and we have had another Silsden soldier killed – Sergt. Rowland Hill. He was in the same battalion as myself, but I did not see him killed. He was a nice lad and well liked in his company. We have had a hard time lately, but I have come through it all safe and sound so far. I am still in the best of health.”
08 September 1916
SILSDEN SOLDIER KILLED
News has been received of the death of Corporal Fred Taylor, of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, nephew of Mrs. Maurice Sugden, of Elliott Street, Silsden. In a letter to his aunt, Lieut. B. Godfrey Buxton, officer commanding D Company, says:– “It is with the greatest grief that I have to inform you that your nephew, Corporal Fred Taylor, was instantly killed by a rifle bullet at 12 p.m. on August 29th. I don’t think he was conscious after he was hit, and he died shortly afterwards. He had just received a well-earned promotion from Lance Corporal to Corporal, and will be a very great loss to his company and regiment. He was one of our most promising N.C.O.s, and we all expected him to get on well in all he did. He was well liked by all the men and officers, and we all send you our deepest sympathy in your loss. May the Comforter be near you in this time of sorrow.”
Corporal Taylor, in his last letter home to his aunt, stated:– “I received your parcel while I was in the trenches, and I thank you for it. We have just come out of the trenches for a well-earned rest, and I cannot describe our feelings on being able to see civilians again. We are having some fine weather here just now, and it is all right when you can walk about without getting shot at.”
Corporal Taylor enlisted on the 4th of October 1914, and was drafted out to the Front in April of the following year. During his lengthy stay at the Front, he had had two home visits, although on the first occasion he was recalled almost immediately he reached Silsden. He was 22 years of age, and prior to enlisting was employed as a weaver by the firm of Messrs. J. Walton, Airedale Shed, Silsden. He was a member of the Silsden Conservative Club, and was at one time a playing member of the Silsden Association Football Club.
Rev. R. Whincup, Chaplain to the Forces, writing to Corpl. Taylor’s aunt, says:– “No doubt you will have heard already of the death of your nephew, Corpl. Fred Taylor, who was killed in action on August 29th. I was asked to take the burial service over your nephew’s grave. The place and grave will be registered. Your nephew is buried in a British Military Cemetery near the trenches, and no doubt the battalion will erect a cross in due course. I am so very sorry for you in your great sorrow. I am not often chaplain for your nephew’s regiment, but I am glad to have done this last little service on behalf of your nephew.”
Second-Lieutenant A. P. Smith writes:– “I want to say how very much I sympathise with you in the loss of your nephew, Corpl. Fred Taylor. I was in command of No. 14 Platoon, and had a very high opinion of him. He was one of our most trusted N.C.O.s, and it was only two days previously that he was promoted to the rank of corporal. He was always ‘game’, and a very great favourite with everyone in the Company. He was very efficient, and set a high example to the men, he being always cheerful and willing. Corpl. Taylor is buried amongst comrades in the little British Cemetery nearby, and a cross marks his grave. I feel that it will be some little consolation to you to know that he did his duty nobly, and died serving his country. Again expressing my deepest sympathy.”
15 September 1916
TRIBUTE TO SILSDEN SOLDIER
Writing to Mrs. Maurice Sugden, of Elliott Street, Silsden, in reference to the death of her nephew, Corporal Fred Taylor, Pte. W. Markes states:– “I am writing on behalf of the section a few lines expressing our deepest sympathy with you in your sad bereavement. It is not too much to say that not only his platoon, but the whole company felt the loss of your nephew, as they would that of a brother. He was always cheerful and immensely popular with the men, and was always ready to do his share of any work that was required to be done. Only a short while ago he accomplished some very good work in digging out some men who had been buried. The day before we moved up to the trenches he was promoted to full Corporal, and no one deserved it more than he. I thought you would like his cap badge as a token of remembrance, because he treasured it so, and I am sending it on in this letter. It will be a slight comfort and consolation to you in your hour of sorrow to know that he died doing his duty for his King and Country’s sake. Allow me once more to say that words cannot do justice to our feelings of sorrow and sense of your great loss. May I add the names of three more of his personal friends -Pte. J. W. Tatton, Pte. F. Gee, and Pte. J. Smith.”
05 January 1917
INTERCESSION AND MEMORIAL SERVICE AT SILSDEN – Impressive Sermon by Rev. W. Dickinson
An intercession and memorial service for the fallen heroes in the war was held at the Silsden Primitive Methodist Church on Sunday evening last. There was a large congregation, and the officiating minister was Rev. Wm. Dickinson (pastor). During the service the hymns 'O God our help in ages past,’ ‘Lord God of hosts, Whose Almighty hand,’ ‘God the all terrible! King Who ordainest,’ and ‘When wilt Thou save the people’ were sung. Miss Clara Fortune also ably sang the solo ‘O rest in the Lord,’ and at the close of the service the organist (Mr. Bernard Longbottom) played the ‘Dead march’ in ‘Saul,’ and the National Anthem was sung.
WAR A HARMFUL THING
Preaching from the text Psalm 46, 9th verse, ‘He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth,’ Mr. Dickinson said it seemed almost superfluous to say in this sad day in which we lived that war was a serious and harmful thing. It was, however, a great outstanding fact. When they looked at the expense even in times of peace, when nations made preparations for war, it was even then a great expense, but in days of actual warfare as to-day, when the nation was spending at least £5,000,000 a day, then it was that they were reminded that war was a serious thing from a financial point of view. They tried to have dreams or visions as to what would have been done with that money for philanthropic purposes and for the social amelioration of the people of this country, but the country had put those dreams or visions in the back ground. Then we had the cruelty of it, and the passions that it excited. It marched to hunger and thirst and wounds and death. Then we had the bereavements. Children were made orphans, women were made widows, and parents mourned over children and many were left childless. Then we also had the deplorable feelings produced by war, feeling of revenge, feelings that produced quarrelsomeness, a desire for power and an unholy lust of ambition. That was seen by the works of the great Napoleon, and also by the Kaiser and the Prussian War Lords. The question that now forced itself to the front was ‘Is all war morally wrong?’ We had a very high ideal, and we believed that war was all wrong. They read in the Old Book that David was not allowed to build the temple of the Lord because his hands had been stained by blood, and he was spoken of as a man of war. But, in these days we had to look at actual facts. What was the actual state today? When one side would prepare for war and was determined to declare war, what then could we do? That great poet in Russia called Tolstoy preached the doctrine of being passive, but when we came to think of it, could we be passive? If our homes were to be destroyed and our wives and children to be taken from us, could we be passive? Did it not arouse within us that spirit of manhood that we must assert ourselves and that we must fight? If we were not prepared to do that, all he could think was that we were cowards. They ought to bury their heads and be ashamed of themselves. In days of peace with one breath they would denounce all war, and yet in the very next breath they would ask the question why the Congo atrocities were not stopped even if force were necessary. To-day they looked upon a devastated Serbia, Montenegro, Belgium, and alas Roumania, and they came to the conclusion that there were worse things than war – Armenia and the Congo, and the slavery of the South Americans; and what would have been the slavery of Europe had it not been for the call to arms in a cause that was just and righteous?
A JUST AND RIGHTEOUS CAUSE
If it were not for that conviction that the cause for which they were at war was just and righteous, many of them would have failed to preach, to pray, or to look to God. But, it was that which gave them strength that they looked to him Who was the present help and refuge in their trouble. In their fight against war whom should they attack? Often in the past the attack was made upon the soldier. They could not do that to-day as far as this country war concerned. They had a great civilian army, and they were fighting for freedom, for righteousness, and for justice. They never wanted to be soldiers, they never wanted to fight, but the call had come and they could do no other. Who made war, and why should there be war? Not the soldier. In the days that were gone, it was more the civilian than the soldier, the civilian because he was represented by his Parliament and that Parliament as the representative of the civilian often made war, because the lust for power and the lust for gold had got hold of them. Then in the commercial world, amongst what was known as the ruling classes, there was generally speaking a disposition to make war because there was the old saying that trade followed the flag. The soldier fought because he was ordered to do. It was neither Roberts, Kitchener, nor Buller who made the Boer War. If anybody made it, it was Kruger, Milner, and Chamberlain, and it was made because they had greed for power, and an unholy ambition and wish for gold. If they went back through the pages of history, they would find that that was the source of war as far as this country was concerned. He had come to the conclusion that the man who shouted for war had an axe to grind. The man who shouted for war ought to be made to go and face the music and not to send others. What did soldiery stand for? Generally speaking it stood for the aggressive, the quarrelsome, the brute force. They could not say that of the civilian army that had been raised by this country. They were not aggressive, they were not quarrelsome, and neither could they say that they were asserting brute force. He was sorry to have to say it of the Central Powers where conscription had been reigning for so many years. It was the brute force and the aggressive power that they would have to abolish. But when they had said that, they were bound to come to the conclusion that
SOLDIERY HAS ITS GOOD POINTS
The soldier side by side with the doctor stood to give his life for his country and that was a great deal. He would advise anyone to pause before he sneered at a soldier. He stood between them and the enemy, and if it had not been for the brave men who had stood thus, where would they have been to-day? They had no words too high in their commendation and admiration and love for the civilians of this Empire, who had stood between them and the enemy in this time of crisis. The question came to each one of them what was their position and what were they doing in the national crisis that was before them, and still after all they came to the conclusion that the soldier's life as they saw it to-day was a regrettable necessity, that all those brave men should have to shoulder the musket and defend our shores and fight for the freedom, righteousness, and justice of a cause that none of them disputed. They regretted in this the 20th century that such a thing should have happened. It ought not to have come to pass, and it never would have come to pass if the great Central Powers of Europe had taken heed of the sayings of Christ, and had seen His crucified hands instead of the mailed fist, and if they had listened to His beatitudes instead of the philosophy of the German teachers. How were they to lessen those evils? They must attack the root, that lust for power, that quarrelsome spirit, and that unholy ambition that had dominated the great Central Powers. How were they to attack the root? By educating the people for peace at the proper time, and that perhaps was not just yet. It was an easy matter to give descriptions of the horrors of war, to speak of its abominations, and even to denounce statesmen and people who sanctioned war, but how few people there were who searched for methods by means of which war could be put down and destroyed. When the history of the war and the part which the British Empire had taken in it came to be written – he was not a prophet or the son of a prophet – he ventured to say that the writer would pay a fine testimony to the ex-Foreign Minister of this country (Sir Edward Grey) who night and day at the beginning or before the declaration of war strove with all the brain power he had, and with every ounce of strength, he could put in, to avert this great catastrophe. If to-day he was in the back ground, he would looked upon as one of the finest statesmen this country ever had. On what lines were they to educate people for peace? There was a form of Government not only to arrest this demon war, but to bind him in chains. What was it? A cosmopolitan administration or a great Federal Government of the world. They might be dreamers, but certainly there would come a day either in London, Paris, or New York, when there would be a great Federal Government, and that Government would help them to the day when wars would cease.
THE CHURCH'S ROLL OF HONOUR
Proceeding, Mr. Dickinson said he was sure he was voicing the feelings of all present when he said they sympathised very deeply with the families of Pte. Percy Kellett and Lance-Corpl. T.C. Green, both of whom were in hospital suffering from wounds. They prayed for their speedy recovery, and also that their parents and relatives might he comforted. Then they had Ptes. Bernard Locker and Gannett Longbottom, who were reported as missing, and it was hoped that before long good news would be heard of them. They had to add two other names – Pte. Dan Faulkner and Gunner W.H. Sutcliffe, both of whom had been killed in action – to their list of fallen who had been intimately associated with their church and Sunday-school. Mr. Dickinson then read a list of Silsden soldiers who had died serving their King and Country. They were as follows:– Pte. Harold Snoddin [Snowden], Pte. B. Hodgson, Pte. I. Wade, Pte. R. Spence, Pte. E. Hustwick, Gunner E. Lund, Pte. W. Gill, Pte. J. Faulkner, Pte. N. Holmes, Pte. R. Read, Pte. J. Gill, Pte. S. Wrigglesworth, Sergt. J. Baldwin, Sergt. R. Hill, Pte. Wm. Richmond, Pte. W.H. Teale, Corpl. F. Taylor, Pte. H. Harper, Pte. D. Faulkner, and Gunner W.H.Sutcliffe.
Mr. Dickinson also read the church's roll of honour, which comprised 110 names.
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