WWI centenary: Heroes we will never forget

REMEMBRANCE EVENT Vicar Ann Pollard and historian Bill Thompson. (d513j445)
REMEMBRANCE EVENT Vicar Ann Pollard and historian Bill Thompson. (d513j445)

A church project will give people the opportunity to connect the dots to the past and remember the men who died in World War One.

Trinity Church in Batley Carr is holding a remembrance event during which visitors will be able to look through old issues of War Illustrated magazine, view projected photographs and see the church’s memorials to the men who went to fight and those who did not return.

The church’s three memorials include around 150 etched names of Batley Carr’s sons who to war and another with around 100 names of those who did not return.

The church also has a separate memorial to Private Horace Waller, who received the Victoria Cross for his gallant actions holding off an enemy attack.

Team vicar the Rev Ann Pollard said: “When you think of a small village like Batley Carr losing that many men – it would have touched every single family.”

She hopes the event will help to connect people to their history.

“We are inviting people from the area and from outside to come and trace their ancestry,” she said.

There will be a commemorative book on display in which visitors will be able to write their own accounts of relatives, grandparents or great-grandparents who may have been involved in the war or passed stories down through generations of their families.

The project is intended to be a four-year look at the Great War in remembrance of the fallen.

Trinity centre chairman Bill Thompson, who has pieced together a lot of the history for the project, said: “There must be a lot of people in the Dewsbury area whose granddads fought in or survived the war and we are looking to reach out to them. We are hoping it will be a big success.”

He said that during his research of old copies of the Reporter what began as reports of one or two local war deaths in 1914 quickly became scores.

“Families were devastated by the conflict – children were left without parents, wives were left without husbands,” he said.

“Even among those who did come back many had life-changing injuries. Some families lost two or three sons. It was just devastating.”

The church in Upper Road will be open tomorrow (Saturday), 10am-3pm.