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 help as a Prisoner of War, in the Second 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 Private Addy is used as an example below:
Baker with Fox’s Pork butchers.
IG 12/3/43; 21/9/45; 19/10/45.
Joined RAMC Oct 1940 and went overseas in Oct 1941 and reported missing January 1942 in Malaya.
Arrived in Singapore 5/2/1942 on Express Asia. Ship hit by 3 oil bombs and jumped overboard, picked up by small craft from Singapore harbour 5 miles away. 15 months at Changi hospital, met Pte Harper (malaria) and Pte Cunningham (med orderly).
With medical party, 230 including 200 other ranks to camps on Bangkok to Moulmein railway. 15 died and later at Kanchanabari joined by medical party. From August 1944 to March 1945 built camps and made tunnels in the hills for fuel and ammunition. Moved 1,500 miles and camp 18 miles North East of Bangkok, lost weight but fairly fit. He was in Bangkok at the time Japanese surrender. First Ilkley man back as a POW from Japan.
Died in Ilkley in 1984.