Names of 20 soldiers set to be added to war memorial in Batley

The names of 20 men who lost their lives during the Second World War are set to be added to the public memorial in Batley.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 4:30 pm
Val Mitchell and Martin James from Batley History Group, at Batley War Memorial.

During recent commemorations to mark the various anniversary milestones of both world wars, a small team from Batley History Group has undertaken a project researching all those named on both memorials who died in the 1914-18 and the 1939-45 conflicts.

In the course of their work, the volunteers identified several more names from the First and Second World War omitted from the main Batley and Birstall memorials.

Kirklees officials have granted permission for the 20 new names to be added, with the support of the local branch of the Royal British Legion.

It is hoped their names will be included in time for the Armistice commemorations on November 11.

Details of the 20 men whose names have been put forward to be added to the memorials are:

Acting Petty Officer James Clarke: Served with The Royal Navy and was lost at sea in S.S. Empire Whale. Sunk by U-662 on March 29, 1943.

Pte Joseph William Clough: West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own). He was killed in action during the France and Belgium Campaign on May 21, 1940.

Aircraftman (2nd Class) John RM Critchley: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was killed in action during his service in Rhodesia on March 15, 1944.

Sergeant (Navigator) Sydney Dickinson: Royal Air Force 149 (East India) Squadron. Killed on air operations on June 1, 1944 while mine laying over the French or Dutch coast. Previously reported missing.

Private Ronald England: Kings Own Scottish Borderers 5th Bn (Army Catering Corps), killed on March 3, 1945 when his Bren gun carrier exploded a mine.

Private Michael Flatley: Served with the York and Lancaster Regiment. Died on May 26, 1944 when shot by accident in Burma.

Gunner Gomer H Glancey: Served with the Royal Artillery, 25th Field Regiment. Killed in action on July 16, 1944 in North West Europe.

Pte Roland Greenwood: Served with The Army Catering Corps and died at home on March 13, 1945, 14 days after his army discharge.

Captain John M McVean Gubbins: Served with the No 1 Special Force SOE. His parent unit was The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders. He was killed in action on February 6, 1944 at Cassino, Italy.

Guardsman Clifford Holmes: Killed in action on March 29, 1945, with the Coldstream Guards during the advance towards Germany.

Corporal Jack Hopkinson: Served with The Royal Engineers, 3rd Cheshire Field Squadron. Killed in action in the Middle East on February 15, 1943.

Corporal Stanley Lawrence: Served with The Reconnaissance Corps, Royal Armoured Corps and was killed in action on April 16, 1945 while fighting in Germany.

Robert Martin: Served with The Royal Air Force. Died at home of ill health on December 9, 1942 after about nine months’ service (asphyxiated while in an epileptic fit).

Private Martin Miskell: Served with The Highland Light Infantry, City of Glasgow Regiment. He died on December 29, 1939 from illness at Bradford Royal Hospital.

Trooper Walter H Pollard: Served with The Royal Armoured Corps, 145 (8th Battalion, The Duke of Wellington’s) Regiment. He died of wounds in Italy on November 11, 1944.

Lance Corporal Robert W Rosser: He served with The Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment) and was killed in action on February 26, 1944. He was initially reported missing.

Lance Corporal Reginald Shaw: Born in Batley but emigrated to Canada in 1930. He then served with The Loyal Edmonton Regiment, R.C.I.C. on outbreak of war. He was killed in action on May 24, 1944 in Italy.

Private Harold Stones: Served with the 2/5th Battalion of The Leicestershire Regiment. He was reported missing/killed in action on October 16, 1943 in Italy.

Trooper John G Swift: Served in the Royal Armoured Corps with The Staffordshire Yeomanry. He was killed in action on October 27, 1942 in Egypt.

Trooper Thomas Trotter: Served in the Royal Armoured Corps with ‘C’ Sqn. 3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters). He was killed in action on October 20, 1944 in Belgium.

Batley History Group would like to trace relatives of those it has identified. If any are incorrectly spelled, or if anyone would like a name removed from the list, the group can be contacted by email at [email protected] by the end of August.

Extensive details of all those who fell, including those not on the memorials, can be found at