New website for Project Bugle is unveiled

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A lasting legacy for Batley and Birstall’s WWI heroes has been created with a new website.

Project Bugle, the Heritage Lottery-funded volunteer commemoration group which exhibits information about the town’s war dead, has gone digital.

The new website will archive past and ongoing newsletters and information about local soldiers which have so far featured in the town’s libraries and this newspaper.

It was officially made available to the public during the Batley Festival, which Project Bugle volunteers attended as part of the Bleak House exhibition.

Project leaders have said one of the primary objectives of Bugle is to leave a “lasting legacy” to ensure that those who gave their lives will be remembered.

In this month’s exhibitions and newsletter, people can learn about the sacrifice of a local man who died when a dug-out collapsed.

The widow of Private Arthur Thompson, of Hilberoyd Road, Batley, received a letter from Lieut-Col Haslegrave informing her of his accidental death after fighting in the trenches.

It read: “He was instantly killed by the falling of a dug-out in which he was sleeping, and the probability is that he was killed instantly owing to the heavy nature of the construction of the dug-out.

“Please accept my heartfelt sympathy in this, your sad bereavement, which must come as a great shock to you, and it is especially more regrettable that his death should occur the same night as he had come out of the trenches for a little rest.”

Pte Thompson, 35, worked for Frank Townsend and Sons Limited before his death. He had been at the front for five months after enlisting at the outbreak of war and left two children back home in Batley.

Many other tales of courage from Batley and Birstall’s heroes can now be accessed at

In memory of those who died in October 1915:

October 2 - Pte Michael Brannan, Northumberland Fusiliers.

October 4 - Pte Thomas Hough, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

October 4 - Pte John Henry Wilcock Rhodes, Australian Infantry AIF, aged 34.

October 13 - C/Sgt Marriott Benson, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, aged 29

October 17 - Guardsman Albert Gunn,Grenadier Guards.

October 17 - Pte William Campbell Hughes, The King’s Liverpool Regiment.

October 18 - Sapper John William Howard, Royal Engineers.

October 18 - Pte Betram Harold Ellens, Kings Own Scottish Borderers.

October 23 - Driver Ernest Lawrence Briggs, Royal Field Artillery, aged 19.

October 28 -Pte. Arthur Thompson, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, aged 35.