Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Truce - A Bradford Soldiers Story

 The account of life in the trenches at Christmas by Corporal Clifford Thompson is just one of the stories from the people of Bradford that can be found in my NEW book “Great War Britain: Bradford” due to be released on 6 Jan 2015 and available to pre-order.

Great War Britain Bradford: Remembering 1914-18

“We hardly know it is Christmas here, but we made it as happy as we could amongst us. There was not so much firing going on, only a shot here and there at time just to let them know we were still at war. We had a football match between the Buffs and our own lot, and we beat them 2-1. That was the only sport we had. There were no spectators, everybody was playing, about 25 a side and with the ground being frozen we were all on top of one another. It was a good job it was misty or the Germans would have given us football."

(Bradford Weekly Telegraph, 1 January 1915)

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Bradford Pals Clothing Contracts - part 2

Following on from last weeks blog further clothing contracts for the Bradford Pals Battalion were announced the following week.

"The whole of the serge for the jackets and trousers is Bradford made and the lustre lining and the other linings such as greatcoats linings etc are from Bradford houses. The puttees are made in Bradford. The Buttons - a very great source of difficulty, have been specially made to Government pattern by a Bradford firm. The Battalion has been specially measured, and an interesting feature is that on  a 5ft 6in standard only about 120 would be under height, the average height of the Battalion being 5ft 3 1/2in. It is expected to completely clothe the battalion in 10 to 14 days."
  • Greatcoats - Messrs Wright, Burrows and Co Huddersfield
  • Jackets and Trousers - 
    • Mr David Murie, Bradford
    • Mr R Mettrick , Guiseley
    • Messrs Miller, Raynor and Hayson Ltd, London
    • Messrs George Brown and Son, Bradford
  • Puttees - Messrs Fox and Todd, Bradford
  • Regulation Army caps - Messrs Brown, Muff and Co Ltd, Bradford

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Bradford Pals Clothing Contracts - part 1

In October 1914 clothing and equipment contracts were placed by the Citizens' Army League for the Bradford Pals as follows:-

  • Boots - Messrs B Bonner and Sons, Bradford
  • Shirts - Bradford Manufacturing Co. Ltd, Messrs G Brown and Son, Bradford and Messrs R Whitehead and Co, Bradford
  • Socks - Davidson's Stores, Bradford, Messrs A Gregson and Co, Bradford and Messrs Millar Raynor and Hayson Ltd, London
  • Jerseys - Messes Lingards Ltd, Bradford
  • Towels - Messrs Parkinson, Clark and Co Ltd, Bradford
  • Kit Bags - Messrs Brown, Muff and Co Ltd, Bradford
  • Braces - Sports and Pastimes Ltd, Bradford
  • Hold-alls - Messrs Lingards Ltd, Bradford
  • Hair brushes - Messrs Lingards Ltd, Bradford
  • Shaving brushes - Messrs R Chadwick and Co, Bradford
  • Toothbrushes - Messrs Brown, Muff and Co Ltd, Bradford
  • Knives, forks and spoons - Messrs Rushworth Ltd, Bradford
  • Combination knives - Messrs T Underwood and Co, Bradford
Mr J Dobson, Charles Street, Bradford to provide a comb to each member of the battalion free of charge
Regulation equipment for infantry has been applied for from the Government stores at Woolwich.

More contracts were issued the following week.

Birch Lane Heroes

To find out more about Bradford Northern Rugby Players who died in the First World War visit the Bradford Bulls Foundation website where updates will be posted regularly.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

New Role – Bradford Bulls


Today I visited my new place of work. In September I will working for Bradford Bulls Foundation as their Heritage Officer delivering their HLF funded WW1 project ‘Birch Lane Heroes’ which focuses on the contribution made during the war by players and others connected to Bradford Northern – the Bulls’ predecessors. 

The project has 3 aims, to conduct research to identify those connected with the club during World War One, endeavouring to trace and engage their descendants in exploring their ancestor’s involvement and engaging young people in the history by developing information plaques and an interactive learning zone.

I am looking forward to this new and exciting role which encompasses my passion for Bradford in WW1, genealogy research and working with schools and community groups.

If you know of anyone who had a connection to Bradford Northern during WW1 please get in touch.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Naval Reservists first to be mobilised

The Naval Reservists were the first to be called to mobilise before Britain had actually declared war. On the 3 August 1914 eight men from Bradford were the first to be called. Find out who they were.