One hundred years after the glorious dead of Farnley Tyas died in the Great War those who gave the ultimate sacrifice are to get their own memorial.
The idea is the brainchild of Farnley historian John Sykes in conjunction with Trevor Smith of Farnley Tyas Community Group and Farnley School.
John, who is also a director of Farnley Estates, said: “Farnley School is designing a memorial stone that we can erect before August 4 with the names of the soldiers who were associated with Farnley and who died during the course of WW1.
“We are probably going to put in the square near to the Golden Cock pub. There’s no memorial in Farnley. There’s one in Thurstonland and one in Almondbury. Some people’s names don’t appear so they are not commemorated so we think that this year of all years that it is right to erect a memorial so they can be remembered by future generations.
“The children will design the inscription and one of the local parents has a quarry and is going to get me a quote for a memorial.”
Trevor Smith from Farnley Tyas Community Group said so far their researches had shown four “definites” and three “possibles”.
The definites are Pte George Shaw, 5159, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment) who died on October 23, 1918, aged 26. He is buried in Farnley Tyas (St Lucius) Churchyard.
He was the son of Frances and William Shaw, of Thistle Hill, Wakefield Road, Lepton.
Also on the list is sub-conductor Arthur William Rothery, 05350, 21st Coy, Army Ordnance Corps, who died on January 7, 1916, aged 44. His grave is at Calais Southern Cemetery.
He was son of Edwin and Sophia Rothery, of Farnley Tyas and served in the South African Campaign.
Appearing too is Gunner E Price, 152210, “D” Bty. 187th Bde., Royal Field Artillery who died on April 25, 1917. His resting place is in the Dickebusch New Military Cemetery in Belgium.
And finally Pte Walter Johnsey, 14341, 9th Bn., Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment) who died on September 14, 1916. His named on the Thiepval Memorial for those with no known graves.
Trevor said: “Farnley Tyas has always been lumped in with Thurstonland so it’s time that these men had their recognition.
“The research has been a little bit difficult because a lot of the military records were burned in World War Two.
“John and I will be going in at some point to talk to the children and show them some of the medals we have borrowed from people in the village including Death Pennies (issued to the next of kin of servicemen/women who had fallen in the Great War between 1914 and 1918).”
The three possibles are Pte William Lodge, 240233, 2nd/5th Bn., Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment) who died on May 3, 1917 aged 20.
He was the son of Fred M Lodge of 11, Northgate, Almondbury, and is remembered on the Arras Memorial; Lance Corporal J Gibson, 10793, 2nd Bn., Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment) who died on February 18, 1919, aged 19.
He was the son of John Alexander and Margaret Gibson, Hunters Nab, Farnley Tyas and a native of Pitlochry and is remembered on the Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey.
And lastly Pte Frank Thompson, 13079, 5th Bn., Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment) who died on April 9, 1917, aged 19. He was the son of James Richard Thompson of Farnley Tyas and is remembered at the Level Crossing Cemetery, Fampoux in France.
Last year John explained that he had discovered the names of three soldiers, born in Farnley, who died during the War.
Two of the men, Pte W Lodge, and Gunner Ernest Price are mentioned on the Thurstonland memorial, but he found there was no mention of Pte G Shaw, who apparently died at home two weeks before the end of WWI.
At the time he said: “These are men who died for their country and we feel it’s only right that they should be remembered in the village where they were born.
“There may be more young men from Farnley who also fought and died in the war, whom we don’t yet know about.
“There’s also a mystery over Pte Shaw. Did he die from his injuries, illness or some other cause?”
One of Huddersfield’s biggest rural landowners whose ancestors stretch back several centuries has revealed a secret cache of letters and pictures dating back to the First World War.
John Sykes, a former Conservative MP for Scarborough who runs Farnley Estates with his brother Paul, is a keen local historian and takes an avid interest in Farnley Tyas.
The two black autograph books belonged to his grandmother Doris Sykes (nee Shackleton) and his wife Vivien’s grandmother Ida Dalrymple and performed the same function, says John, as Facebook would for today’s generation.
They contain light-hearted, saucy comments such as: “Never make love in a cornfield. Remember corns have ears.”
There are more serious reflections on the war which the Marxist cultural critic, Prof Terry Eagleton, famously described as a “largely meaningless massacre” and which claimed the flower of Britain’s manhood.
There are well-sketched cartoons as well as amusing pictures of a gilded young woman complete with black cat.
John said: “What’s interesting is that this is the way in which teenagers communicated with one another much as they do on Facebook and Twitter today.
“They would make a picture or write a caption or a rhyme. Mainly they consist of little stories and little drawings.
“There’s a lot of stories and propaganda. There’s a much more personal story from a William Lonsdale on April 5, 1919.
“He was a POW very early on and that probably saved his life though from his comments he doesn’t appear to appreciate the fact.”
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