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.

Friday 1 August 2014

Bradford Lads in 10th (Service) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment

Comments containing the names of Bradford men who served with the 10th (Service) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment were kindly posted on this blog by Dave Stowe some time ago. I have edited the text and now made it available via the main website with permission from Dave.

If you have any Bradford connections in other regiments please let me know I would be happy to provide a link to the names or host the list with a link back to your site

Tuesday 29 July 2014

NEW Website

The BradfordWW1 website has been updated and improved. 

One of the major improvements is to the Name Index which now includes the name and address of the individuals if provided in the records. This should help confirm whether it is your ancestor or not, please contact me if you want further information about the name index.

The list of links has also been updated and the Timelineshould also be working more effectively now.

If you have stories about your ancestors in WW1 I recommend that you add the information to the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of WW1 website which aims to piece together the Life Stories of more than 8 million men and women who made a contribution during the First World War.

Thursday 3 July 2014

Children in WW1

This week I have been busy providing interactive sessions with 60 children from 2 schools each day at Bradford City Library as part of their Children’s Book Week Programme (pictures to follow hopefully). The sessions on life for 'Children in WW1' have gone down well with the teachers and the children who get involved in an argument over a ruler and learn how the war broke out. They also had the chance to see the film strip made by a 9 year old boy, Charles Harold Wood, during the war and that really captured their imaginations. If you would like me to visit your school to talk about children or any other aspect of WW1 please email me.

The West Riding Ruggers have also been at the Library helping the children to make a reading rug for the library with a poppy design that was produced in association with the children. 

Watch out for next weeks post when Bradford was overrun by  bikes in 1915 just as it will be this weekend for le Tour de France.

Friday 27 June 2014

100 years on

The 28 June 2014 is the 100 year anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the start of events that led to the outbreak of the first work war. However it was 3 weeks before Austria Hungary issued their ultimatum to Serbia giving them just 2 days to respond before they declared war on Serbia on the 28 July 1914.

Over the next few weeks and months you should see some changes to the BradfordWW1 website. I will be updating and reorganising the pages and adding more information. One of the first changes is the timeline of headlines from the Bradford Weekly Telegraph. The headlines will be updated each week during the course of the centenary the first starting the week ending the 28 June.

Bradford is holding it’s ArmedForces Day in City Park on the 28 June and I will be there floating between the Peace Museum’s stall and Bradford YMCA’s Tea Hut handing out leaflets and chatting to people about my book "Great War Britain: Bradford" now available to pre-order on Amazon. Let’s hope the weather holds off as I need to recover from my lingering cold for next week. As part of Children’s Book Week I will be giving interactive talks at Bradford City Library to 60 school children each day on ‘Children in WW1’.