NEXT MEETING @ BATLEY RAFA CLUB, Cambridge Street -
Dave Weldrake -
ADMISSION: FREE for members and non-
Refreshments will be available on the night
Please check local press for full details….
LATEST BLUE PLAQUE UNVEILED: The latest blue plaque, bearing the History Group name, was unveiled at the Town Hall prior to the commencement of September’s meeting. The unveiling was undertaken by our chair, Wendy Storey, who is pictured centre with Malcolm Haigh and Peter Connor. It is hoped the next one will be at Batley Library in the very near future…
We are delighted to inform all our members and non-
However, please note that due to the Town Hall currently being used for COVID testing purposes that we shall be reconvening this once at the RAFA CLUB on Cambridge Street. Parking will still be available in the market place. Details of our speaker are below. It will be great to see you all….
We are giving FREE membership this year as many of you paid for the full year 2019/2020, but we had to finish in February 2020. We are NOT charging an entrance fee either. This will free up the entrance so you can safely find a seat and not congregate. We might have to reassess in January but that will only be for the entrance fee. Membership will still be free for 2021/2022
Hand sanitizer will be around the room. The wearing of facemasks is optional.
In 2012, a lovely young lady contacted our very own Malcolm Haigh as part of research she was doing into the history of Shoddy.
We are all rightly proud of the pioneering efforts of Benjamin Law that paved the way for this new method of recycling textiles into this new cloth.
Now, the lady in question Hanna Rose Shell has had her book published. The book delves not only to the history of shoddy but the effect it had, and continues to have in the modern age.
Hanna hails from Colorado in the USA and this coming Thursday (24th September), she will be partaking in an online interview to discuss her book in greater detail.
A link has been added for you to see this discussion in full:
We wish Hanna all the greatest of success with her book and will eagerly await reading it ourselves….
Batley History Group’s Honorary President, Malcolm Haigh, was delighted to receive a copy of Hanna Rose Shell’s book, which she consulted with him personally whilst researching the history of shoddy.
Malcolm was also bowled over somewhat by the lovely letter he received from Hanna thanking him for all of his help.
The book is performing well and we already know that it has stirred a lot of interest from the good people of Batley in the process.
The latest project being worked on by members of the BHG committee is a booklet commemorating each of Batley’s former Mayors.
Just about each Mayor has their portrait on display in the Town Hall and now, it is hoped to put biographies together alongside their portraits for members to enjoy. There are quite a few names to go at and the full list will be put up on the Facebook page of those that the researchers require information upon but, if YOU have any memories yourselves or know the history of these proud servants of our town then please contact us via email or the Facebook page…
The names of 20 men who lost their lives during the Second World War are to be added to the public memorial in Batley.
During recent commemorations to mark the various anniversary milestones of both World Wars, a small team from Batley History Group have undertaken a project researching all those named on both memorials who died in the 1914-
In the course of their work, the volunteers identified several more names from the First and Second World War omitted from the main Batley and Birstall memorials.
Extensive details of all those who fell, including those not on the memorials, can be found at www.batleysrollofhonour.com.
Kirklees officials have granted permission for the 20 new names to be added, with the support of the local branch of the Royal British Legion.
It is hoped their names will be included in time for the Armistice commemorations on November 11.
Batley History Group would like to trace relatives of those they have identified.
If any are incorrectly spelled, or if anyone would like a name removed from the list, the group can be contacted by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of August.
Details of the 20 men whose names have been put forward to be added to the memorials are:
Acting Petty Officer James Clarke
Served with The Royal Navy and was lost at sea in S.S. Empire Whale. Sunk by U-
Pte Joseph William Clough
West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own). He was killed in Action during the France and Belgium Campaign on the 21st May 1940.
Aircraftman (2nd Class) John RM Critchley
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was Killed in Action during his service in Rhodesia on 15th March 1944.
Sergeant (Navigator) Sydney Dickinson
Royal Air Force 149 (East India) Squadron. Killed on air operations on 1st June 1944 whilst mine laying over the French or Dutch coast. Previously reported Missing.
Private Ronald England
Kings Own Scottish Borderers 5th Bn. (Army Catering Corps), Killed on the 3rd March 1945 when his Bren gun carrier exploded a mine.
Private Michael Flatley
Served with the York and Lancaster Regiment. Died on the 26th May 1944 when shot by accident in Burma.
Gunner Gomer H Glancey
Served with the Royal Artillery, 25th Field Regiment. Killed in Action on the 16th July 1944 in North West Europe.
Pte Roland Greenwood
Served with The Army Catering Corps and died at home on the 13th March 1945. 14 days of his army discharge.
Captain John M McVean Gubbins
Served with the No 1 Special Force SOE. His parent unit was The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. He was Killed in Action on the 6th February 1944 at Cassino, Italy.
Guardsman Clifford Holmes
Killed in action on March 29, 1945, with the Coldstream Guards during the advance towards Germany.
Corporal Jack Hopkinson
Served with The Royal Engineers, 3rd Cheshire Field Squadron. Killed in Action in the Middle East on the 15th February 1943.
Corporal Stanley Lawrence
Served with The Reconnaissance Corps, Royal Armoured Corps and was Killed in Action on the 16th April 1945 whilst fighting in Germany.
Served with The Royal Air Force. Died at home of ill health on 9th December 1942 and after about 9 months service (asphyxiated while in an epileptic fit).
Private Martin Miskell
Served with The Highland Light Infantry, City of Glasgow Regiment. He died on the 29th December 1939 from illness at Bradford Royal Hospital.
Trooper Walter H Pollard
Served with The Royal Armoured Corps, 145 (8th Battalion, The Duke of Wellington's) Regiment. He died of wounds in Italy on the 11th November 1944.
Lance Corporal Robert W Rosser
He served with The Princess Charlotte of Wales's (Royal Berkshire Regiment) and was Killed in Action on the 26th February 1944. He was initially reported missing.
Lance Corporal Reginald Shaw
Born in Batley but emigrated to Canada in 1930. He then served with The Loyal Edmonton Regiment, R.C.I.C. on outbreak of war. He was Killed in Action on the 24th May 1944 in Italy.
Private Harold Stones
Served with the 2/5th Battalion of The Leicestershire Regiment. He was reported Missing / Killed in Action on the 16th October 1943 in Italy.
Trooper John G Swift
Served in the Royal Armoured Corps with The Staffordshire Yeomanry. He was Killed in Action on the 27th October 1942 in Egypt.
Trooper Thomas Trotter
Served in the Royal Armoured Corps with 'C' Sqn. 3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters). He was Killed in Action on the 20th October 1944 in Belgium.
This research has been carried out by Martin James and further examples of his outstanding work can be found on the Batley’s Roll of Honour page. There is a link at the top of this item or alternatively, the site can be accessed via the links page.
A little bit about our first guest speaker Dave Weldrake:
Dave Weldrake is an archaeologist and educator. In his early years he worked on several archaeological excavations including those at Kirkstall Abbey and Pontefract Castle. However, much of his working life has been devoted to increasing public understanding of heritage and archaeology – first as Education and Outreach Co-