Memorial names spark family members appeal

The Batley and Birstall War Memorials include the names of those from the area who died in the First and Second World Wars and subsequent conflicts.

Saturday, 20th October 2018, 4:21 pm
New additions: More names could be placed on the Batley War Memorial in time for the Armistice Centenary.
New additions: More names could be placed on the Batley War Memorial in time for the Armistice Centenary.

During the First World War centenary commemorations Martin James of Batley History Group has undertaken a project researching all those on both war memorials who died in World War One.

During this work Martin and his group has identified and evidenced several more names from the First World War omitted from the main Batley and Birstall Memorials.

Kirklees has to date granted permission for 11 of these names to be added and the local branch of the Royal British Legion has confirmed its support.

Kirklees Council has granted permission for these names to be added. It is hoped their names will be included in time for the Armistice Centenary.

If possible Batley History Group would like to trace any of the relatives of those identified. We also would ask that If any are incorrectly spelt or if you would like a name removed from the list please contact Batley History Group on [email protected] Friday 26 October.

The proposed ten men and one woman are (Batley):

Sergeant Louis Joseph Fox. Born in Staincliffe, Batley, his parents were George and Mary Fox. He married Sarah Hirst in 1903 and at one time lived at Dryfield House, Healey. A former Batley Town Councillor he died of pneumonia on 18 August 1918 while serving with the Royal Garrison Artillery.

Pte James Edward Goldthorpe was born in Batley in 1890, the son of Herbert and Sarah Lydia Goldthorpe. He moved with his family to the United States in 1909.

He died in France on 25 January 1918 while serving with the US Army.

Ann Leonard was born in 1891, the daughter of William and Emma Leonard.

Ann was a munitions worker at the Barnbow Factory, Leeds. Her work involved filling the shells with explosive powder. This job was dangerous, not only due to the risk of explosions, but because of the toxicity of the materials used. Ann died on 21 July 1916 at the family home on North Bank Road from of poisoning, a result of her work at Barnbow.

Pte Arthur Redgwick, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He died in 1917 at his Batley Carr home. He is buried at St Paul’s Hanging Heaton under a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone.

Pte Lewis Llewellyn Sheppard was born in Ashford, Kent, in 1887. He subsequently moved to Batley after his marriage to Charlotte Reynolds. He was serving with the London Regiment when killed in action on 19 December 1917.

Driver Percy Thewlis of the Royal Field Artillery was born in Liversedge in 1888, the son of George Willie and Annie Thewlis. The family subsequently moved to Hanging Heaton and Percy married Elizabeth Lodge in 1915, before moving to Scarborough. He enlisted in 1917 and died in India of pneumonia on 7 November 1918 while awaiting demobilisation.

Sapper John Thomas Connelly of the Royal Engineers was in born Batley in 1887, the son of John and Mary Connelly. His parents died and he emigrated to New York in 1909 with his cousin. He enlisted in Chicago in 1917. John was sent to Mesopotamia and was officially reported drowned on 5 November 1918. He appears on the Basra Memorial.


Pte John Richard Barker, 46th Battalion, Canadian Infantry was killed in action on 25 October 1917. Born in Birstall in circa 1882, he was the son of Tom and Martha Ann Barker. Studying to be a Methodist Minister in Canada, he cut short his training to enlist in 1916.

Pte Edward Holmes, West Yorkshire Regiment. Born in Birstall in 1885, the son of James and Mary Holmes, he was killed in action on 26 March 1918.

Pte Herbert Holmes was with the Labour Corps after previously serving with the East Yorkshire Regiment. Born in Birstall in around 1888, he was the son of David and Emily Holmes. He died on 15 February 1919 and is buried in Haidar Pasha Cemetery, Turkey.

Pte Charles Sheard, Northumberland Fusiliers. Born in Birstall in 1891, his parents were Joseph and Harriett Sheard. He was killed in action on 22 March 1918, again during the German Spring Offensive.