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Joe Harry MAWSON

Main CPGW Record

Surname: MAWSON

Forename(s): Joe Harry

Place of Birth: Bradley, Yorkshire

Service No: 267183

Rank: Private

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

Battalion / Unit: 'B' Coy 2/6th Battalion

Division: 62nd (2/West Riding) Division

Age: 34

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: BRADLEY, YORKSHIRE

Additional Information:

Joe Harry Mawson was the son of James and Martha Ellen Mawson, née Green. James was born at Otley and Martha at Bradley, Yorkshire. Joe was the cousin of Private Robert Henry Mawson (27647) (q.v.).

1891 Bradley, Yorkshire Census: Main Street - Joe H. Mawson, aged 8 years, born Bradley, son of James and Martha E. Mawson.

1901 Bradley, Yorkshire Census: College - Joe H. Mawson, aged 18 years, born Bradley, son of James and Martha E. Mawson.

1911 Bradley, Skipton, Yorkshire Census: 1, Chapel Terrace - Joe Harry Mawson, aged 28 years, born Bradley, son of James and Martha Ellen Mawson.

Joe is listed in the Nominal Roll of the 2/6th Battalion Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment): 'B' Coy - Pte J. H. Mawson.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte Joe H. Mawson, 267183, W. Rid. R.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte Joe Harry Mawson, 267183, 2/6 W. Rid. R. Pres dead 3.5.17.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte Joe Harry Mawson, 267183, 2/6th Bn W. Riding. Date and Place of Death: On or since 3.5.17. Death pres'd.To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Father - James. £6 18s. 2d.

Data Source: Local War Memorial

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Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record: ---

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No photo available for this Soldier
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: MAWSON

Forename(s): Joe Harry

Born: Bradley, Yorks

Residence: Bradley

Enlisted: Silsden, Yorks

Number: 267183

Rank: Private

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: MAWSON

Forename(s): Joe Harry

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 267183

Rank: Private

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

Unit: "B" Coy. 2nd/6th Bn.

Age: 34

Awards:

Died Date: 03/05/1917

Additional Information: Son of James Mawson, of 1, Chapel Terrace, Bradley, Keighley, Yorks, and the late Martha Ellen Mawson.

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England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966

1914

MAWSON Martha Ellen of Chapel-terrace Bradley Yorkshire (wife of James Mawson) died 14 November 1914 Probate London 31 December to the said James Mawson and Joe Harry Mawson weavers and Ann Shires Mawson spinster. Effects £951 19s. 6d.

1929

MAWSON Joe Harry of 1 Chapel-terrace Bradley Yorkshire died 3 May 1917 at Bullecourt France Administration London 4 July to James Mawson weaver. Effects £101 6s.11d.

1949

MAWSON James of 1 Chapel-terrace Bradley Yorkshire died 31 January 1949 Probate London 10 March to Maggie Mary Mawson and Elsie Emma Mawson spinsters. Effects £516 6s. 1d.

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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09 March 1917

A BRADLEY SOLDIER’S DEATH

Private Leonard Throup, of the West Riding Regiment, second son of Mr. and Mr. Samuel Throup, of High Fold Farm, High Bradley, has been officially reported as killed in action in France on Tuesday February 20th. On March 1st Mr. Throup received the following letter dated February 23rd:–

“Dear Mr. Throup, – It is with the deepest regret that I have to inform you that your son, Leonard, was killed in action last Tuesday evening. He was one of a relief party proceeding to the relief of a stranded section in the front line. They were heavily shelled, and one shell burst in the middle of them killing your son and wounding some others. I regret that we were unable to recover any of his belongings. If I can supply you with any further information I shall be only too pleased.

“Sincerely yours, ALEC S. NEWTON, 2nd Lt.”

The same morning Mr. Throup got the following letter from Private Ive [Joe] Harry Mawson, another Bradley lad of the same regiment:– “It is with sincere regret that I beg to extend my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family in your sad bereavement. I do most earnestly hope that God will comfort you in your darkest hour.”

Private Throup, who was 30 years of age, enlisted on March 28th 1916, and went out to France on the 5th of February 1917. Prior to enlisting, he acted as carrier between Bradley and Keighley for upwards of six years. Of a quiet and unassuming disposition, he was well respected by all.

MEMORIAL SERVICE

At the Wesleyan Chapel on Sunday evening a memorial service was held, conducted by the Rev. E. C. Harris, Supt. Minister, who said that it had not been his privilege to know Leonard Throup personally, but he had heard a very moving tribute to his memory, and on behalf of the congregation he tendered their deepest sympathy to those who mourned his loss in their sad bereavement. At the conclusion of the service, the organist, Mr. Chapman, played ‘O rest in the Lord’.

27 April 1917

A BRADLEY HERO

Mr. and Mrs. Walker Blades, of Prospect Terrace, Bradley, have received the following letter, dated April 15th:– “ It is with deepest regret and sympathy that I beg to inform you of your son’s death. He was killed by shrapnel yesterday, the 14th, and was buried last night. He was a good workmate and soldier, and I sincerely regret his 1oss.

“Yours sincerely, LANCE-CORPORAL J. LITTLEWOOD, Shoemaker’s Shop, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. “

“P.S. He was buried in an English grave and had a proper funeral service.”

Private Albert Blades, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, who was 22 years of age, was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Blades, and enlisted on March 28th, 1916. He went to France in the following January. He was of a quiet and retiring disposition, but all his letters breathed a love of home and of his parents, for whom the deepest sympathy is felt. He was formerly employed as shoemaker by Mrs. Walker, of Skipton.

A memorial service was held in the Wesleyan Chapel, Bradley, on Sunday morning, conducted by Mr. Herbert Thornton, who said that it was their painful experience to have to record the passing away of another of their lads on the field of battle. Never surely in the history of mankind was there so much anguish and heartbreak on account of loved ones who had been prematurely cut off. Well might they cry out “How long, O Lord, how long?” When would the toll for human misunderstanding, avarice and inordinate ambition be expiated? They little thought a week ago, when paying a tribute to Sydney Mattock, that even then Albert had found a last resting place upon a foreign shore. Yet so it was, and his death made the sixth of their lads who had laid down their lives in their country’s cause, viz., Willie Brayshay, while in training on Salisbury Plain; Robert Henry Mawson, Leonard Troup, John Sydney Mattock, James Henry Peel, and lastly, they hoped, and so far as they knew, Albert Blades. Albert was of a quiet disposition; he didn’t wear his heart upon his sleeve, his innermost thoughts and aspirations were rarely, if ever, expressed. He was diligent and plodding, kind and considerate, strongly attached to all at home, purposely avoiding in his letters anything calculated to give uneasiness or anxiety; consequently, it was not known definitely whether he was killed in action or hit with shrapnel behind the line. He was one of their own lads, having passed through the Sunday School and previous to enlisting was connected with Mr. Bray’s Young Men’s Class. He was also a frequent attender at public worship and in their name and his own he extended to the bereaved relatives their sincere sympathy. It was some consolation to know that his death brought no remorse; that his end had not been hastened by fast and profligate living, but that he had died fighting the country’s cause. Might some comfort come to all those who were bitterly mourning the loss of loved ones at this time from the thought that their lives were given up in the most momentous struggle in history, and that they sacrifice their all in order that right and freedom should triumph and the world be made a brighter and a happier place in which to live.

At the close of the service ‘O rest in the Lord’ was played by the organist, Mr. Chapman.

The following letter was received by his parents yesterday morning from Private Joe Harry Mawson, another Bradley lad:–

April 19th 1917

“Dear Mr. Blades, - I beg to extend to you and your family my deepest sympathy in your sad bereavement, and I most sincerely pray that God will comfort and sustain you until that day dawns when you will be re-united in the better land. The news came as a great shock to me this morning. I made enquiries about him and learnt that he was wounded in the back and died in hospital. I have seen the place where he is buried, and let me assure you that he has been buried respectably. At present there is nothing but a bottle with his name and number and date of burial as follows: ‘Private A. Blades. No. 4,604, 14/4/17’ but in the course of a few days there will probably be a small wood cross put up to mark the place. I have been talking to his sergeant, and he told me he was a good soldier. There is only one consolation for you, that is that he has done his duty and paid the highest sacrifice for the sake of humanity.”

22 June 1917

BRADLEY – ANOTHER VILLAGER MAKES THE SACRIFICE

News was received on Thursday, the 14th inst., that Pte. William Linford, of the York and Lancaster Regt., had died from gunshot wounds received in action. On Monday the 11th his wife got a telegram stating that he was in the General Hospital at Boulogne dangerously ill suffering from wounds. He joined up on November 13th last and went to France on February 9th. Before enlisting he worked as farmer’s man for Mr. Thompson. He was 31 years of age and leaves a widow and one child.

On Sunday morning a memorial service was held in the Wesleyan Chapel, conducted by Mr. Herbert Thornton, Supt. Sunday School, who, at the outset of his address, tendered to the widow, the fatherless child and relatives the sincere sympathy of the congregation. The deceased was of a quiet and unassuming disposition and loved to come to God’s house and join in worship, and it was fitting that they should pay tribute to his memory. It was only the 22nd of last month that he wrote to Mr. Green saying that he was in the best of health and spirits and that they were having some lively times, but he was among a number of jolly young Christian fellows who had chapels to go to in which the services were helpful, but still they were not like the dear little country place at home. The hand that was so recently made the medium for conveying these kindly feelings is now still in death upon a foreign shore. Their hearts ached to think that our brave young fellows should be prematurely cut off, leaving desolate homes and hearts torn by the sad and sudden bereavement. Their sympathies also went out to Mrs. Hobson who had unofficial news to the loss of her son. Their friend, Joe Harry Mawson, had been missing since May 3rd, but they all cherished the fond hope that he is a prisoner in Germany and that before long they would hear news of his well being. They all begun to realise how terrible is the conflict to which they were engaged. Well might they cry out ‘Why this awful carnage, why this pouring out of the life blood of the young manhood of the nation?’ Was something dearer than life at stake? They thanked God for the noble men who in days gone by had laid down their lives to procure us the liberties, which today was their common heritage. Today, we as a nation, are called upon to take a similar stand and shed our hearts’ blood, believing that the unbroken power of Germany involved a constant menace to every form of peaceful life. May some consolation come to those whose loved ones laid down their lives in the belief that the cause for which they fought was righteous, that they yielded up their breath so the world might move towards the dawn of a brighter and holier day, and surely they would say in the words of Burton:–

For us they died, nor did they die in vain,
As to Thy heaven they found the nearer way;
For through the smoke and through the fiery rain
We see the dawning of a better day.

At the close of the service Mr. Chapman, the organist, played ‘O rest in the Lord’.

17 May 1918

MAWSON – In affectionate and ever loving memory of a dear son and brother, Private Joe Harry Mawson, who was presumed killed on May 3rd, 1917.

The fairest of flowers are first to fall,
A brother so true and brave;
One of the kindest and best of all
Has found a hero’s grave.
If those who made this awful war
Were the only ones to fight,
A brighter world t’would surely be
For aching hearts tonight.

From his Father and Sisters, 1 Chapel Terrace, Bradley.

17 May 1918

BRADLEY – Memorial Service

At the Wesleyan Chapel on Sunday evening a memorial service was held to the memory of Private Joe Harry Mawson, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, who joined the Army in March, 1916, and went to France in February, 1917. He was reported as missing in May, 1917, and the family were hoping that he had been taken prisoner, but news since received from his captain leaves no room for doubt that he was killed on May 3rd, 1917. In his letter to the lad’s father he says, “Your son was a real good man and one who had an excellent influence in the Co. and will be much missed.” Another letter from a chum to his sister contains the following: – “He was such a cheerful fellow and always ready to help anybody. I think if there ever was a Christian your brother was one.” Mr. Bray, who conducted the service, is teacher of the young men’s class connected with the Sunday School at which Private Mawson attended. He read letters he had received from him breathing true Christian principles. Mr. Bray paid a high tribute to the lad’s sterling qualities. Messrs. John Gill and Herbert Thornton also spoke, and both testified to his high moral character, the village being poorer by his death, which he sacrificed in helping others. – At the close Mr. Chapman, the organist, played the Dead March.

02 May 1919

MAWSON – A tribute of love and remembrance to a dear son and brother, Private Joe Harry Mawson, presumed killed on May 3rd, 1917.

Gone is the face we loved so dear,
Silent the voice we loved to hear;
Too far away for sight or speech,
But not too far for thoughts to reach.
We loved him, yes, no tongue can tell,
How deep, how dearly and how well;
Christ loved him too and thought it best
To take him home with Him to rest.

From Father and Sisters, 1 Chapel Terrace, Bradley.

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09 March 1917

BRADLEY SOLDIER’S DEATH

Private Leonard Throup, of the West Riding Regiment, second son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Throup, of High Fold Farm, High Bradley, has been officially reported as killed in action in France on Tuesday February 20th. On March 1st Mr. Throup received the following letter dated February 23rd:–

“Dear Mr. Throup, – It is with the deepest regret that I have to inform you that your son Leonard, was killed in action last Tuesday evening. He was one of a relief party proceeding to the relief of a stranded section in the front line. They were heavily shelled, and one shell burst in the middle of them killing your son and wounding some others. I regret that we were unable to recover any of his belongings. If I can supply you with any further information I shall be only too pleased. – Sincerely yours, Alec S. Newton, 2nd Lt.”

The same morning Mr. Throup received the following letter from Private Ive [Joe] Harry Mawson, another Bradley lad of the same regiment:–

“It is with sincere regret that I beg to extend my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family in your sad bereavement. I do most earnestly hope that God will comfort you in your darkest hour.”

Pte. Throup, who was 30 years of age, enlisted on March 28th 1916, and went out to France on the 5th of February. Prior to enlisting, he acted as carrier between Bradley and Keighley for upwards of six years. Of a quiet and unassuming disposition, he was well respected by all.

At the Wesleyan Chapel on Sunday evening a memorial service was held, conducted by the Rev. E.C. Harris, superintendent minister, who said that it had not been his privilege to know Leonard Throup personally, but he had heard a very loving tribute to his memory, and on behalf of the congregation he tendered their deepest sympathy to those who mourned his loss in their sad bereavement.– At the conclusion of the service, the organist (Mr. Chapman) played ‘O rest in the Lord’.

17 May 1918

In affectionate and ever loving memory of a dear son and brother, Pte. Joe Harry Mawson, who was presumed killed on May 3rd, 1917.

The fairest of flowers are the first to fall,
A brother so true and brave;
One of the kindest and best of all,
Has found a soldier’s grave.
If those who made this awful war
Were the only ones to fight,
A brighter world ‘twould surely be
For aching hearts tonight.

– From his Father and Sisters. 1, Chapel Terrace, Bradley.

17 May 1918

BRADLEY

MEMORIAL SERVICE – At the Wesleyan Chapel on Sunday evening a memorial service was held to the memory of Pte. Joe Harry Mawson, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, who joined the army in March, 1916, and went to France in February, 1917. He was reported as missing in May, 1917, and the family were hoping that he had been taken prisoner, but news since received from his captain leaves no room for doubt that he was killed on May 3rd. In his letter to the lad’s father he says:– “Your son was a real good man and one who had an excellent influence in the company, and will be much missed.” Another letter from a chum to his sister contains the following:– “He was such a cheerful fellow and always ready to help anybody. I think if there ever was a Christian your brother was one.” Mr. Bray, who conducted the service, is teacher of the Young Men’s Class connected with the Sunday-school at which Pte. Mawson attended. He read letters he had received from him breathing true Christian principles. Mr. Bray paid a high tribute to the lad’s sterling qualities, who, he said, was a thorough Christian in every sense of the word. Messrs. John Gill and Herbert Thornton also spoke, and both testified to his high moral character, the village being poorer by his death, which he sacrificed in helping others. At the close Mr. Chapman (organist) played the ‘Dead march.’

22 June 1917

BRADLEY SOLDIER DIES FROM WOUNDS

News was received on Thursday last that Pte. Wm. Linford, of the York and Lancaster Regiment, had died from gunshot wounds received in action. On Monday 11th, his wife got a telegram that he was in the General Hospital at Boulogne dangerously ill, suffering from wounds. He joined up on Nov. 13th last and went to France on Feb. 9th. Before enlisting he worked as farmer’s man for Mr. Thompson. He was 31 years of age. He leaves a widow and one child.

On Sunday morning a memorial service was held in the Wesleyan Chapel, conducted by Mr. Herbert Thornton, superintendent of the Sunday School, who at the outset of his address tendered to the widow, the fatherless child, and relatives the sincere sympathy of the congregation. Willie, he said, was of a quiet and unassuming disposition, and loved to come to God’s house and join in public worship, and it was fitting that they should pay tribute to his memory. It was only 22nd of last month that he wrote to Mr. Green saying that he was in the best of health and spirits and that they were having some lively times, but he was among a number of jolly young Christian fellows and that they had chapels to go to, in which the services were helpful, but still they were not like the dear little country place at home. The hand that so recently made the medium for conveying these kindly feelings is now stiff in death upon a foreign shore. Their hearts ached to think that our brave young fellows should be prematurely cut off, leaving desolate homes and hearts torn by the sad and sudden bereavement. Their sympathies also went out to Mrs. Hobson, who had had unofficial news of the loss of her son. Their friend, Pte. Harry Mawson had been missing since May 3rd, but they all cherished the fond hope that he is a prisoner in Germany, and that before long they would hear news of his well being. They all began to realise how terrible is the conflict in which they were engaged. Well they might cry out – why this awful carnage, why this pouring out of the life blood of the young manhood of the nation? Was something dearer than life at stake? They thanked God for the noble lives who in days gone by had laid down their lives to procure us the liberties which to-day was their common heritage. To-day we as a nation are called upon to take a similar stand and shed the heart’s blood, believing that the unbroken power of Germany involved a constant menace to every form of peaceful life. May some consolation come to those whose loved ones had laid down their lives in the belief that the cause for which they fought was righteous, that they yielded up their breath that the world might move towards the dawn of a brighter and holier day.

At the close of the service Mr. Chapman, the organist, played ‘O rest in the Lord.’

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