The Ilkley in Wartime website is the result of several years research, into war records, taken solely from the Ilkley Gazette archives. All the information has been collated into separate databases for the First and Second World Wars and any interesting accounts from letters to loved ones, have been added to try and give a picture of what it was like for those, during this period. Also, any social information, such as what societies or local clubs the people may have belonged to, awards for acts of gallantry, where they lived, family details and many more attributes have been recorded.
You can browse the databases from a selection of pre-compiled reports or search for specific people. We would like to stress all the war records were taken from the Ilkley Gazette archives, as it was reported, and we would like to apologise for any inaccuracies or omissions. You may drill down on specific people to find out all the information that has been recorded on them. It is not intended to be an accurate historical reference, but may give you information you may not get elsewhere. It is important to note that all this research was concentrated in the Ilkley and Ben Rhydding areas.
The Ilkley Gazette published many articles which may otherwise have been censored, if they had appeared in a less rural region. Many of the towns folk carried out extraordinary acts of bravery, which were duly reported. In addition local poets had their work published in the paper, which serves as a reminder of what these times meant to the local populous. A selection of this work is currently being published, in this convenient booklet, which makes moving reading. Advertisements encouraging people to enlist also shows what pressure people were put under.
As part of the research, we plotted much of the information, which contained an address of the service people, on a series of maps for different categories such as awards received, their rank, those that were wounded, prisoners of war and many more. Although there may be the odd inaccuracy many of the maps make interesting viewing and we will continue to update them.
As many people may be aware the local Gazette offices, on Wells Road, have recently closed and access to these archives is no longer available, so we hope to add as much information as we can, to share with others. If you wish to find out information that may not be included on this website please contact us using the contact form available. I wish to thank various editors and all the staff in the Gazette office over the three years of undertaking archival research from the original papers. I also wish to thank Tim Howson from Ben Rhydding, who has in a very effective and painstaking way collated all the information which we can present on this website. I hope it will be of interest.