By 1914 the Ilkley Gazette had been in print for over 60 years – commencing in May 1861, although archival records only date from January 1868. The paper in peacetime not only covered local news but aspects of national and international news.
During the First World War a few more photographs began to appear and there were accounts of the achievements of the living and dead on the battlefields of Europe, and the Middle East; at sea globally; and increasingly the activities of Ilkley personnel in the Royal Flying Corps (later the RAF).
Adverts were rather sparse, but there were regular messages from government sources. Sport and items of interest to women and children were included along with increasing acknowledgement of women’s role in the War. The stories of refugees from war-torn Belgium in Ilkley were covered regularly.
Ilkley even in Wartime was seen as a place to holiday, convalesce, walk the Moors, to take the waters and breathe in unpolluted air. People in the pre-radio era relied on the local papers for a great deal of varied information; and the picture houses also played their part.
This booklet is a collection of townsfolk from Ilkley and Ben Rhydding who were wounded, in the First World War, published by the Ilkley Gazette. The contents page has lists all the people by surname and details such as their age, rank, regiment, awards for gallantry, pre-war occupations, cemetery, cause of death, theatre of war and any accounts which were taken from letters from loved ones or other sources given. An account from Corporal Barnes is used as an example below:
Royal Hussars (Queen Mary’s Own) – 18
Flanders / France
18th Hussars. Wounded in fighting between Mons and the Aisne, but not seriously. Now at Alexandra Hosptial, Coxham in Hampshire. Wounded on 1/11/14, prior to this was in hospital in Le Harvre.
Promoted to Sgt.
Gassed: Lying 3 days in open – rescued by Royal Engineers & following treatment in France sent to one of Manchester hospitals & then to Colwyn Bay Convalescent home. Had previously been in hospital 1/11/1914 the same day as his brother Sgt Edward Barnes was killed in action.