Featured Articles - War Records of Local Towns: Leyland
THE PRESTON GUARDIAN. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1919.
The war has dominated affairs in the Leyland district for the last 4½ years, every branch of social and municipal activity being directed to the national emergency. Great sacrifices have been made by all sections of the community. When hostilities commenced a good number of Territorials were under canvas, and were at once mobilised, and these were quickly followed by many others eager to defend their country. Although the town has not produced a winner of the coveted V.C., a full share of military honours has been gained, including the Russian Order of St. George, D.S.O., D.C.M., M.C., and M.M. – a tribute to the bravery of Leyland men.
From the outset those who were left behind entered zealously into the work of providing comforts for the forces. Every religious denomination has had willing bands of workers. At each mill and workshop associations were formed and collections taken weekly, which resulted in large sums being available for distribution of cigarettes, wearing apparel & c. The most prominent association was the Seven Stars Cigarette and Comforts Fund, of which Mr. Fred Higham was a most energetic secretary, and to whose activity the success which it achieved may in a large measure be attributed. Mr T. Hodson officiated as chairman, and Mr. R. Haydock hon. treasurer. From September, 1916, up to the end of 1918 the association raised a sum of £613.
The splendid work of Mr A. J. Lomax, vice-chairman of the Council, stands out prominently. He gave freely of his time and labour to anything that tended to promote the welfare and happiness of the sailors and soldiers and their dependents. In addition to being chairman of the local War Relief Fund, he officiated in a similar capacity to the Pensions Committee, War Savings Association, Food Control, and Light and Fuel Control.
The local War Relief Fund was started with a sum of £250, given by the trustees of the South African War Fund, this being augmented by public subscription to £700, and from time to time other sums have been received from different sources. The Pensions Committee of which Mr. M. H. Wilkinson is an efficient secretary, meet weekly, the committee consisting of representatives from the various wards, along with two from the Discharged Sailors and Soldiers’ Association.
Prominent among individual workers have been Mr. Ernest Gazely, who, in addition to officiating as secretary of the Leyland Motors Sailors and Soldiers’ Association, organised and assisted in carrying out dances and socials for war funds and charitable objects; and Mrs. W. Cross, an invalid lady, who knitted by hand no fewer than 335 articles of clothing for the use of sailors, soldiers, and minesweepers. The articles included socks, helmets, sweaters, surgical stockings, and body belts.
Leyland responded loyally to the national call to grow more foodstuffs. The council set to work, Mr. M. H. Wilkinson carrying out the secretarial duties, and 200 plots were taken up.
The work of launching the War Savings Association did not meet with a ready response, but by means of hard work on the part of the officials good progress was made. The local committee was elected on September 28th, 1916, and some 50 associations were formed and affiliated with the National War Savings Committee. Up to September 28th, 1918, 26,785 certificates had been sold, an average per head of population of £2 11s, 4d., the percentage of population who are members being 20 per cent. In the month of March, 1918, Leyland had the credit of having more members in proportion to its population than any other district in Lancashire. Mr. John Heywood has proved himself a capable secretary, carrying out his work in a systematic manner. The treasurer is Mr. J. Shutt, with Mr. A. J. Lomax chairman.
In the Preston Tank Week a sum of £33,000 was invested, and on the occasion of the Leyland Aeroplane Week £75,174 was paid in, which works out at £9 10s. per head of the population – a most satisfactory result.
When the Belgian people were forced to flee the country owing to the Hun invasion, a small colony migrated to Leyland, where, thanks to the kindness of the Rev. F. E. Hutchinson, they were comfortably housed in the Old Vicarage. Here they were clothed and fed by public subscription until they were able to find work and provide for themselves.
Nothing has been done so far with reference to a permanent war memorial. One suggestion has been put forward that the Council’s ground in Church road (with the addition of surrounding land) should be converted into a public park and recreation ground, with a main entrance from Towngate, near the South Post Office.
With varied manufactures, trade, with the exception of cotton, which has not been up to pre-war conditions, has been excellent. The Motors and the large rubber firms were Government controlled, and up to the signing of the armistice had been working double shifts in order to cope with the contracts. With the exception of a new steel works on the Northgate Estate, and extensions to other works, the building trade has been slack, not a single house being erected in 1918, against eight in 1917, 16 in 1916, 28 in 1915, 76 in 1914, and 74 in 1913.
During the winter of 1917-18 a “Music in War Time Committee” was formed for the purpose of providing free concerts and entertainments during the winter evenings for the wives and children of the fighting men, the secretarial duties being satisfactorily discharged by Mr. Alfred Jackson.
The Food Control Committee consisted of eight members of the Urban Council, four Labour representatives, one from the Co-Operative Society, and two lady members – Mrs. Marsden and Mrs. Dawber. The committee were fortunate in obtaining the services of Mr. J. H. Burns as executive officer. The committee, who meet weekly, have carried on their work in a businesslike manner, Leyland being one of the few places which has never been seriously affected during the whole time restrictions have been in force.
The death-toll has been a heavy one, men having fallen in all the theatres of war. Rolls of honour:-
Captain Ralph de Albini Morrell, Sec.-Lieut. Claude Middleton, Sec.-Lieut. W. Leslie Wood.
Sergts. Tom Bannister, G. Hankin, Wm. Fidler, Syd. Bretherton; Corpls. R. Aspinall, B. Miller; Lance-Corpls. Tom Spiby, Edwin Crook, Jas. Catterall, Harry W. Dawber, Robert Gray, Albert Marsh, Wm. Marsden.
Privates Tom Pickup, Jno. Hilton, Jno. Bennett, Harry Cardwell, John T. King, Clarence Woodhouse, Fred Bannister, William Dawber, Harold Wilson, Roland Valentine, Frank G. Butcher, Gilbert Whatley, Jas. Marsden, Fred Marsden, Robert Wrennalls, Fred Wrennalls, Jas. France, Harry Porter, Harry Pickup, George Towers, Harry Wallbank, Thomas Almond, George Glover, Harry Morris, Richard Lazenby, Clement Waring, John B. Gray, Richard Towers, Harry Bowman Jackson, William Jackson, Robert Nelson, Jas. T. Berry, Chas. Walmsley, Rd. Hornby, Tom Croft, Benjamin Brown, Bert Miller, J. McCall, Fred. Ernest Pearce, Charlie Blackhurst, Thomas Pemberton, Jas. Waring, Jas. Watson, Harry Bannister, Trevor Miller Parker, William Berry, James Sharples.
Motor Mechanic H. Wane; Seaman Tom Barnes.
Lieut. H. H. Anson; Sergts. Syd. Bretherton, George Thornley, Arthur Parker; Lance-Corpls. Edw. Hill, John Hill, William Tattersall, Thomas Carr.
Privates John Trafford, John Stringfellow, Jas. Ashton, Arthur Bowling, Robert Barron, William Holmes, Robert Holding, Robert Tinsley, Robert Wrennall, Richard Hornby, Victor Blundell, William Woodhall, Matthew Taylor.
Driver Jas. Wareing; Seaman Thomas Norris.
Capt. J. A. Fallows; Sergt. H. Heyes; Corpl. C. Gillett.
Privates H. Gillett, J. Swailes, R. Beardsworth, H. Beardsworth, T. Potter, J. Lancaster, R. Heywood, A. Southworth, J. Wildman, C. Woodhouse, E. Oxendale, W. Carlton, S. Yates, E.Pye, S. Clitheroe, F. Bolton, R. Beesley, W. Eaves, H. Higham, T. Morris, R. Turner, F. Fairclough, R. Braithwaite, G. Ball, J. Finch, H. Woods, W. Cook.
Sergt. Edward Cross. Privates Edward Burke, Thos. G. Baldwin, Albert Brindle, Chas. Bibby, Geo. Brown, Jos. Campbell, James Edw. Concannon, Rd. Ditchfield, Harold Fletcher, M.M., Jno. Kelly, Hugh McDade, Jos. Emmett Moore, Geo. Bellamy Pendreigh, Thomas Waring, John Knight.
Posted missing for over 12 months: Privates Jos. Knight and Samuel Norris.
Corpls. Frank Hampson, Claud Harrison, Thomas Wilson, Lance-Corpls. W. Tattersall, Frank Bowling, John Fazackerley, Jackson Chapman, Chas. Hawkins. Privates Charles Cook, James Higham, Matthew Miller, Harry Smalley, Robert Wilson.
Sec.-Lieut. Oswald Berry. Privates Robt. Cameron, Harry Smalley, Richard Woods, James Woods, James Higham, Samuel Marston, Charlie Marston, Tom Laudley, Tom Kenyon, Jas. Wildman, Eli Moss.
LEYLAND-LANE PRIMITIVE METHODISTS
Sergt. Sam Thornley. Lance-Corpls. John Hill, Edward Hill, William Tattersall, Frank Bowling. Privates J. Carr, Wm. Holmes, L. Stephenson, Robt. Tinsley, F. Woodacre, Victor Blundell, A. Tyrer.
BALSHAW’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL
Capt. Harold Jackman, M.C.; Lieuts. Wm. Rigby, Frank Waring, Leslie Wood; Cadet Stanley Iddon. Corpl. Eric Pearce; Company Sergt.-Major Arthur Parker; Lance-Corpls. William Hampson, William Marsden. Privates Harold Southworth, Harold Greave, Matthew Whittaker, Harry Bannister, Percy Wignall, Sydney Mills, William Southworth, Charles Leigh Rose, Edgar Robinson. Gunners Albert Clayton, Cuthbert Cank.