Project Bugle: Three brave men who died a century ago

Noah Lorriman
Noah Lorriman

The only son of a Batley couple lost his life 100 years ago fighting in WWI.

Private Herbert John Anthony Wood passed away on April 24, serving with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

James Rush

James Rush

The 23-year-old was the only son of Mr Herbert Wood and his wife, who lived in Bradford Road, Batley.

Pte Wood, described at the time as being “of a pleasant and manly disposition”, was the first soldier from the town connected with the Zion United Methodist Chapel to give his life during the conflict.

Before enlisting in the army in August 2014, Pte Wood worked in the rag trade for Arthur Armitage, of Peel Street, Dewsbury.

He died 12 months after being sent to the Front, but had been back home in Batley on leave shortly before his death.

Another Batley man, Private James Rush, also died a century ago in action in the Persian Gulf.

His parents, of Cobden Street, were informed by the War Office of their 21-year-old son’s death. Before enlisting he had worked as a hurrier at Howley Park Colliery.

Pte Rush initially joined KOYLI, but was later transferred to the Leicestershire Regiment and set sail for the Persian Gulf on January 16, 1916. He died in action on April 6 of that year.

In a letter sent home not long before his death, he wrote: “You will think I have forgotten you all, but I have not: it is too hard. It is difficult to get paper over here; in fact, we cannot get any at all, so the next time you write kindly send me some. I have been in action and I am all right, so don’t trouble about me.”

Batley solider Private Noah Lorriman Wilson died on the same day as Pte Rush in 1916.

These stories have come courtesy of Project Bugle, a group commemorating men from Batley and Birstall who died during WWI.