Between August 1914 and December 1921 we located, scanned and transcribed 4,842 Craven Herald entries relating to 1,718 servicemen and women. 414 of these have only one article/entry each, whereas the remainder have from 2 to 13 articles/entries each, ranging from a brief notice of death or an ‘in memoriam,’ to a series of letters or a lengthy article on the circumstances of their death. Of these 1,718 servicemen and women 298 were names not recorded in Craven’s Part… Conversely 845 of our total number of servicemen and women have never been mentioned in the Craven Herald.
In addition to the Craven Herald we have, to date, been able to locate, scan and transcribe 1,018 West Yorkshire Pioneer entries from August 1914 to December 1916. We hope to complete our survey of the West Yorkshire Pioneer (January 1917 to December 1918) in the next few months, and when we have finished this task we will provide statistics as we have done with the Craven Herald articles.
Another part of our research was the job of linking the servicemen and women we had found in Craven’s Part…, the Craven Herald and the West Yorkshire Pioneer to local war memorials. Once we started looking at local memorials we soon discovered we were finding more names that had not appeared elsewhere. Many of the names found in Craven’s Part…, the Craven Herald and the West Yorkshire Pioneer were of lads from Wensleydale, from over the border in Lancashire and from the Keighley/Bradford area and were therefore commemorated on war memorials outside our ‘Craven’ area. Because we found that many of our local lads also appeared on Wensleydale memorials and, sometimes, vice versa, we decided to include all the Wensleydale memorials in our survey. In all the war memorials from 125 towns and villages in the ‘Craven’ and Wensleydale areas has yielded a further 471 names of servicemen who had lost their lives in the war. As with all other entries in the database every effort was made to flesh out their details with information from Soldiers Died and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, along with confirmatory evidence from the National Archive Medal Cards and – in a great many cases – from both the 1881 and 1901 Census records.
A further 19 additional names were found on headstones or gravestones in local cemeteries, 2 were found by chance in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database whilst searching for other soldiers, and 3 more came from miscellaneous sources.
In an attempt to try and be really thorough about finding war fatalities in our area we decided to make use of the facility in Soldiers Died to search on places of birth and places of residence as a way of carrying out a final sweep of the available records. This has given us another 241 names. In cases of uncertainty the names were checked in Census records to determine whether there were definite links to the area.
During our researches we have been fortunate enough to come across two additional sources of information. The first was the West Yorkshire Pioneer’s equivalent to Craven’s Part…, a 52-page, paper cover publication entitled the West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record (WYPIWR). Like Craven’s Part… it consists of a listing of all the servicemen and women (a total of 1, 368 names) from the area who gave their lives in the War, along with 271 photographs that appeared in the pages of the Pioneer. Clearly the Pioneer’s attempt to ‘keep up’ with the Craven Herald’s commemorative publication the WYPIWR contains many more serious errors than Craven’s Part…, many of which must have been rather embarrassing and regretful at the time. As was the case with Craven’s Part…, we have simply transcribed the entry and added it to the database as it stands (with a few judicious editorial corrections of the more serious errors.)
Our second extra source of information was the extremely handsomely produced Skipton and District Liberal and Conservative Clubs Roll of Honour. It was created by Shuttleworth (the man responsible for several of the more ornate and attractive local memorials) and consists of a beautiful hand-written roll of honour of all Members and their relatives (sons, nephews, grandsons, etc) who served in the war decorated by highly elaborate border work based on regimental insignia. It must, originally, have all been in colour, but the copy we had access to is reduced to greyscale with only the title page in colour (enough to give a taste of just how sumptuous it must once have been). From this we extracted 45 names (including one new entry) and all the relevant entries can be seen in the Additional Information section for individual soldiers.
Both publications have been copied in their entirety and will soon be available on the site as browseable features like the original Craven’s Part… publication.
|Soldiers not on a Local Memorial
|- in ‘Craven’s Part in the Great War’||106|
|- in Soldiers Died||235|
|- in a Craven Herald entry||127|
|- in a Pioneer entry||3|
|- on a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone||8|
Throughout the process of linking servicemen and women to local war memorials we were constantly asking the question of what had been the criteria for including names on a local war memorial. Was it due to place of birth, place of residence or employment (or even, occasionally, enlistment), or merely an association like having attended a church or chapel, or being somebody’s relative? We have found numerous examples of all these criteria.
We have now visited a grand total of 125 locations in the ‘Craven’ area and have photographed every extant war memorial and roll of honour we can find – so we think we have now found the names every serviceman and woman that there are to find.
However, apart from the 471 ‘new’ names that we found, one of the most surprising things to come out of all this is the fact that we have found no fewer than 479 servicemen who are not commemorated on any of the local war memorials. Doubtless there will be many instances of men who were born in the ‘Craven’ area but who either moved away at an early age, or subsequently, are probably commemorated on a war memorial outside of our area. Needless to say, we would be delighted to hear from anybody who can tell us where these men are remembered. But we are still left with a significant number of men who were both born and resident in the ‘Craven’ area who do not appear on any local memorial. For example, we have 68 men who were born in Skipton but do not appear on any of the 19 memorials in Skipton. Many of these men turn out to have been resident outside of the area; but 6 of them were both born and resident in Skipton. Why are they not on local memorials?
So, to conclude, after over 2 years of (sometimes) extremely hard and tedious work we have now reached the stage where we have completed the greater part of what we initially set out to do. Our work on the Pioneer articles continues, and we are also continuing to track down all relevant information from Divisional, Regimental and Battalion histories and diaries on the actions in which our men met their deaths. All the Craven Herald articles are being carefully checked (something we simply did not have the time to do prior to the launch of the site) to make sure that they are accurately linked to the correct servicemen and women. Many corrections have already been made and much new information – which initially was not noticed – has come to light which clarifies many previous uncertainties: but it is a slow and exacting job, so please bear with us…
Most importantly though, we are still wanting to hear from members of the public who might be able to supply us with additional information on any of their relatives that they find on our web-site. We have already received a great deal of fascinating extra detail and much of this has now been incorporated into the site: but we need so much more to help us flesh out the lives of the local lads and lasses who made the ultimate sacrifice in that dreadful conflict, and whose names must never be allowed to fade from memory.
(Trevor Croucher, keeper of the Database, November 6th 2007)
Wednesday 28 March 2007
Craven Community Projects Group is looking forward to welcoming the Khaki Chums to our Living History Day on Saturday 31 March 2007 at Grassington Town Hall.
The chums will be representing the East Yorkshire Regiment and The Leeds Pals
The founders of the Khaki Chums, Taff Gillingham and Kev Smith, are both collectors of Uniforms and Equipment and, in keeping with many others of the 'anorak' variety, would often bemoan the lack of accurate military detail in film, television or theatre productions.
Rather than keep complaining they have decided to use their knowledge to offer a service to those Directors, Producers, Costume Designers, Art Directors and other interested parties who want to get the details right.
It rarely costs any more to make a piece historically accurate than it does to make it painfully inaccurate! They offer a full service of Historical Advice, Training, Uniforms, Equipment, Specialist Extras and Locations - including probably the finest purpose-built Great War Trench System in the UK.
Their knowledge and expertise is often in demand and Taff has been interviewed on many programmes such as World War One in Colour, The Christmas Truce, Blue Peter, Richard and Judy, Channel 5's Gallipoli, Time Flyers and was flown to Washington DC for an interview about the Christmas Truce for the History Channel in the USA. He is also often a guest on Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Suffolk and BBC Radio Wales.
For further information visit www.khakidevil.co.uk
Wednesday 07 March 2007
CRAVEN COMMUNITY PROJECTS GROUP is holding a Community Information Day at Grassington Town Hall on Saturday 31st March from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Following on from the successful launch of our website www.cpgw.org.uk on 11th November 2006, the feedback we received from visitors indicated that the community would welcome a day-long event to help disseminate information about what our research has achieved so far and what progress is being made on the website.
There will be exhibitions and stands representing community and local history organisations, musical entertainment and live interpretations from the Leeds Royal Armouries in the afternoon. Visitors, particularly existing relatives, will be given the chance to talk to local historians and researchers about Craven's Part in the Great War and other projects related to the Great War.
Admission is FREE and anyone wishing to bring a stand to promote their group or organisation should contact email@example.com or telephone 01756 753609.
The local Yorkshire Lass Cafe will be selling snacks and refreshments throughout the day, and judging from the number of enquiries we have already received, it looks as though this event is going to be well attended with many different activities for all the family to enjoy.
We do hope you will be able to join us on the day.
Wednesday 07 March 2007
On Saturday 31st March 2007, Craven Community Projects Group has invited professional actors from the Leeds Royal Armouries Museum to present three dramatic interpretations and different views of The Great War in the Octagon Theatre at Grassington Town Hall. These performances are part of the Community Information Day being held in the Town Hall that day from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. to commemorate Craven's Part in the Great War and to share information with the general public and existing relatives about the progress of our website www.cpgw.org.uk
The audience will be able to listen to real life accounts and the actual words of the men who were in the trenches and the women on the home front.
2 p.m.- 2.15 p.m.
The remarkable events of Christmas Day 1914
A soldier talks about the remarkable events during the first Christmas Day of The Great War, when all across the frontline, an incredible thing happened. Soldiers on both sides put down their weapons and spontaneously celebrated Christmas in ‘no-man's land’ and German and Allied soldiers in opposing trenches called a temporary peace on the Western Front.
2.15 p.m. - 2.30 p.m.
The Shell Girl: 1914-1918
A worker at the Barnbow Munitions Factory in Leeds talks about the great danger faced, providing ammunition for the war effort. Nearly a quarter of the British Artillery shells used in the First World War were made in Leeds, many of those by women at the Barnbow Munitions Factory. The rush of male volunteers for the front had left a gap in the workforce, which was filled, for the first time, by women.
Many believe this wartime work added greatly to women’s campaign for equal rights, not least because of the self-confidence it gave to millions of women.
2.30 p.m. - 2.45 p.m.
When The Guns Stop Firing: 1918
A soldier who has survived the horrors on the battlefields of Northern Europe reflects on his experiences on the Western Front, November 11th, the day the guns stopped firing. By the end of the Great War more than eight million soldiers from over twenty countries had lost their lives. Those who survived were expected to return to their previous lives and carry on as before. However, with the emotional scars they carried and little public perception or understanding of post-traumatic stress, many of these men found it impossible to step back into civilian life.
The interpretations will be repeated again at the following times:-
3.15 p.m. Christmas Truce
3.30 p.m. The Shell Girl
3.45 p.m. When The Guns Stop Firing
Thanks to funding from the Local Heritage Initiative and the Heritage Lottery Fund, entrance to these performances will be FREE, however the theatre has a limited number of seats, so tickets will be allocated on the day on a 'first come, first served' basis. By offering two separate back-to-back performances we hope to accommodate as many people as possible.
For further details please keep an eye on the local press or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01756 753609