Fresh insight into the lives of Batley men and women who died in the two world wars will be revealed at a special event this weekend.
Historian Tony Dunlop will host the War Graves Walk as part of Batley Cemetery Support Group’s (BCSG) Open Day on Sunday.
Tony, of Churwell, has prepared a booklet revealing new information about those who lost their lives.
The historian began extra research on the people featured in the war graves walk devised by the late Bill Berry BEM in the 1990s after the BCSG asked him to lead the tour following Bill’s path.
His endeavours have produced a further booklet, to accompany Bill Berry’s original, that tells ‘The Soldier’s Story’.
The walk, which takes just over an hour, features many different stories, featuring 20 of the 60 war graves in the cemetery.
He said: “There’s the stories of the brave and decorated – there are two Military Medals – to the stories of the just unlucky, like those killed on the cliffs of the south coast by an aimless missile fired from France, and those who were sent home but died later from wounds received in battle.”
He features the story of William Bromley, who came over from the South Island of New Zealand with the Anzac Forces in 1915.
Bromley was badly injured in France and later died in a London hospital.
His body was brought to Batley by his uncle, so he could lie in the town that had been his parents’ ancestors’ home.
Another soldier, young Robert Barber, 18, joined the war effort in 1918 but died of pneumonia during his training and never saw front line action.
The former Batley Grammar School pupil had left a promising career as the projectionist at the Victoria Picture Hall.
Tony added: “I also included the story of Joan Robinson, the only female war casualty in Batley Cemetery, and included the stories of the four other female casualties whose names appear on Batley Memorial.”
The walk will start at 1pm and the new booklet will be avalable for the first time, will all proceeds going to the BCSG.
Sunday’s open day will also feature the official opening of the new Stairway to Infinity by Malcolm Haigh BEM at 12.30pm.
The event, which begins at noon, will offer various stalls by local businesses and community groups, the Tuppence Trail to Infinity and refreshments will be served all day in the Twin Chapels Tearoom.
Tony will also be the guest speaker at Batley Library’s Coffee Plus event on Wednesday at 10.30am.
He will be speaking about war memorials in Batley and Birstall and guided walks around Batley Cemetery at the free coffee morning.