E (Cleckheaton) Company 1st V.B. West Riding Regiment roll of honour 3 weeks 23 hours ago #83011
The plaque is in Cleckheaton Town Hall. It should be noted that the company, although comprised mostly of Cleckheaton men, included Heckmondwike and Liversedge Volunteers too, also possibly Gomersal. Cleckheaton Town Hall is still in use for functions and events, but currently the staff work from home, so I was lucky to find the caretaker on site when I visited one morning last month.
HAS BEEN ERECTED BY THE INHABITANTS
OFCLECKHEATON AS A RECOGNITION OF,
AND TO COMMEMORATE THE PATRIOTISM
OF THE UNDERMENTIONED MEMBERS OF
E. (CLECKHEATON) COMPANY,
1 ST V.B. WEST RIDING REGIMENT,
WHO VOLUNTEERED FOR AND SERVED IN THE
SOUTH AFRICAN WAR 1900-1901.
LIEUT. H. S. ATKINSON.
SERGT. J. C. HOLLINGS
PRIVATE J. T. CROSSLAND
CYCLIST J. C. DAVISON
PRIVATE R. D. FIDLER
PRIVATE S. HINCHCLIFFE.
PRIVATE J. H. HOBSON
PRIVATE P. HUTCHINSON
PRIVATE J. T. LAST
PRIVATE W. R. LUNN
PRIVATE A. PARKIN
PRIVATE K. E. TURNBULL
PRIVATE W. O. WOOD
PRIVATE B. WRIGGLESWORTH
also PRIVATES J. COOPER, S. NORTH, & G. EDMONDSON
WHO SERVED LATER IN THE SAME WAR
Cleckheaton Library has all available copies of the local newspaper, but everything during the period 1899-1904 is missing, presumed lost completely.
CLECKHEATON VOLUNTEERS DO A LITTLE SCOUTING IN THE SNOW.....The members of the Cleckheaton Company of Volunteers will parade in force at Cleckheaton station this afternoon, and proceed to Halifax by the 5.5 train to give their comrades in the foreign service contingent a rousing send-off.
....During the past week the men [the active service company] have been undergoing further barrack training at Halifax, and the other day the Company was formed up tor scouting exercise. A section of men—about 16—were sent to take up a position on the Racecourse in order to surprise the main body as they came up, but the experiment did not come off as expected, the section—which consisted of Cleckheaton and Brighouse men, under Sergeant Adams—getting into the buildings of the grand stand on the course, and the "scouts" being unable to find them. Up to the knees in snow the scouts and the main body found it bitterly cold work.
Yorkshire Evening Post, Friday 16th February 1900
....News having reached Cleckheaton that Private A. Parkin, one of the Cleckheaton Volunteers, had died on active service, it is gratifying to learn that Lieutenant Atkinson, also of Cleckheaton, has notified that Private Parkin, who had been left in hospital at Capetown suffering from rheumatism, had recovered from his illness, and had been sent forward restored in health, and had joined his regiment - 1st West Riding.
The Leeds Mercury, Saturday 19th May 1900
WEST RIDING VOLUNTEERS AT THE FRONT.
LETTER FROM LIEUTENANT ATKINSON, OF CLECKHEATON.....Colour-Sergeant Siddall, of the Cleckheaton Volunteers, has just received a letter from Lieutenant Atkinson (of Cleckheaton), who has charge of the active-service section furnished by the 1st V.B. West Riding Regiment (Halifax), dated Bloemfontein Camp, 27th May. Special mention is made of Sergeant Hollings, of E Company, whom the gallant officer describes as "a very good man" and one who has been complimented by the Adjutant on his smartness. Sergeant Sellers, of Skipton, is also highly spoken of as being most useful and efficient; and Private Hobson (Cleckheaton Company), who is Lieutenant Atkinson's servant, is similarly extolled. Writing further, Lieutenant Atkinson states:
....I dare say that you will have formed some idea of our march to Bloenmfontein. It was a big undertaking, 122 miles in ten days, and now, I am afraid, we shall look at our annual route of four miles with scorn. If you take the Spen Valley, and clear away all the houses, &c., trees, cultivated fields, and hedges, and in their places put sandy ground with scrub growing over it, and cover the hills with huge stones and a few bushes, you will have a fair description of this country; but the hills round would have to be a little more detached, and the valleys between them about five miles wide and as many miles long. A more desolate and uninteresting country you could not wish to march through. We got awfully sick of sleeping out in the open without tents, and with the poor food, just 1lb. of tinned bully beef with four hard biscuits per day, and if we were fortunate to get a bread ration it was without butter, and tea without milk. Luckily, it kept fine all the time till we got here, and then we had a week's heavy rain, which nearly washed our men away, because the battalion could not get their tents up from the base. We have had a fairly good insight of what active service means, although we have not seen the worst of it. The work we have to do here is very arduous for the rank and file, what with outposts, guards, and fatigue work, they have not much liberty. Bloemfontein is a curious place, nothing like an English town, and a most untidy place to say that it was the capital. Government House is a small building, neatly built, but the grounds are badly kept, and the front windows on one side overlook a dirty farm-yard, and at the other end a barren piece of waste ground. You are out on the bare veldt as soon as you leave the town. There are a few decent houses, which, of course, are owned by Englishmen; these look very pretty, and are kept very tidy. Our camp is about three miles from the town, across the plain, on the slope of the hills, and we find the outposts' line about two miles farther out; so you will see that whether we go for work or pleasure we have a good march to either place. The men "grouse" mostly about the fatigue work. The supply depot is on the railway, about four miles from camp, and the men have to march down and work for four hours unloading trucks, &c. The last time I was down the trucks were all full of flour, and you never saw such a sight as the men were at the finish. We get outpost work three times a week, and have to parade at 4.30 a.m., so as to get to the various posts by daylight; some of them are three or four miles away, so this is no joke. We stay on duty twenty-four hours, and have a lot of patrolling to do at nights, which is dangerous work, because when it is pitch dark you nearly break your neck over the boulders on the kopje tops. I have been thinking it would do the Volunteers at home a lot of good to send them out from camp for a 12-mile route march, let them take up a position, bivouac on it for the night, and then let the other half-brigade march out next day and attack them ; they would then got a fair idea of what active service is. I have just heard that we have to move from here to-morrow and go out westward for a twelve-days' march through a district which has not yet been traversed, and we have to work round in a circle and finish up at Winburg. We have to take no tents, so it will be another case of tinned bully beef and biscuits, and sleeping in the open.
....In concluding, Lieutenant Atkinson, who declared himself in good health, asked to be remembered to all the members of his old "company" and friends, and expressed an earnest desire to be made acquainted with their Aldershot Camp experiences and episodes.
The Leeds Mercury, Friday 29th June 1900
CLECKHEATON ACTIVE.....Lieutenant Atkinson, of Cleckheaton, who went out to South Africa on the 23rd January last in charge of the active service section furnished by the 1st V.B. West Riding Regiment, having cabled to his brother, Captain Atkinson, who is in command of the Cleckheaton Volunteer Company, stating that preparations are being made for the return of the Volunteers, the honours and festivities on their reception are being eagerly discussed at Cleckheaton, and a welcome is to be accorded on a generous and extensive scale. It has been suggested that Liversedge and Gomersal districts should be included in the scheme. Heckmondwike is likewise named, inasmuch as those places furnish several members to the Cleckheaton Volunteer Company. Last night the entire members of the Cleckheaton Company were invited to a smoking concert at the Drill Hall by Captain Atkinson, when the subject was freely referred to, and a determination expressed to accord a loyal reception to their comrades. The contingent furnished by the 1st V.B. West Riding Regiment, which left Halifax last January, comprised one officer, two sergeants, and 33 men, and Cleckheaton's portion of these were Lieutenant Atkinson (in command), Corporal Hollings (since promoted to sergeant whilst on service), Privates A. Parkin. B. Wrigglesworth, W. 0. Wood, Cleckheaton; Privates J. H. Hobson and R. Fiddler, Heckmondwike; and Privates T. S. Last and C. E. Turnbull, of Liversedge. Privates Last and Turnbull were invalided home some weeks ago.
The Leeds Mercury, Saturday 10th November 1900
PRESENTATIONS TO CLECKHEATON VOLUNTEERS.....Amid much enthusiasm, a tablet which has been placed in the vestibule of the Town Hall at Cleckheaton bearing the names of those Volunteers who have returned from South Africa and the five others who are still serving at the front was unveiled last night. Afterwards Lieutenant Atkinson was presented with a handsome timepiece, and each of the men received a silver watch.
....Mr. J. W. Wadsworth, who presided, said he believed the erection of the tablet had the approval and sympathy of almost everyone who had the interest and welfare of Cleckheaton at heart.
....Lieutenant Atkinson acknowledged the presentation to himself and his comrades.
Yorkshire Evening Post, Tuesday 9th July 1901
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E (Cleckheaton) Company 1st V.B. West Riding Regiment roll of honour 3 weeks 1 hour ago #83026
Silver watches were presented to the sixteen Cleckheaton Volunteers at two ceremonies, on 8th July 1901 and 22nd December 1902.
Lieutenant ATKINSON received a clock.
(Liversedge gave gold tribute medals to their five Reservists)
Bradford Observer, 9th July 1901 (8th July Presentation)
PRESENTATION TO CLECKHEATON VOLUNTEERS.
Last night the townspeople of Cleckheaton did honour to the local Volunteers who have done active service in South Africa. The function was one which aroused considerable enthusiasm, and drew a large assembly of townspeople to the Town Hall. The proceedings consisted of the unveiling of a memorial tablet placed in the vestibule of the hall bearing the names of those Volunteers who have returned, and the five others who are still out in South Africa, and afterwards the presentation of a handsome timepiece to Lieutenant ATKINSON, and a valuable silver watch to each of the men by Mr J.W. Wadsworth, chairman of the committee.
1st Volunteer Active Service Company, West Yorkshire Regiment ["E" Company, 1st V.B.W.R.R.] –
6075 Lance-Corporal [Sergeant] John Charles HOLLINGS
6107 Private Reuben Daniel FIDLER [Fiddler]
6099 Private John Henry HOBSON
6096 Private John Thomas LAST
6094 Private Arthur PARKIN
6088 Private Carl Edward TURNBULL [K.E. Turnbull]
6086 Private William Oldfield WOOD
6085 Private Bentley WRIGGLESWORTH
Leeds Mercury, 23rd December 1902 (22nd December Presentation)
CLECKHEATON VOLUNTEERS HONOURED.
At Cleckheaton last night watches were presented by the Chairman of the District Council (Mr F.W. Birkett) to Privates CROSLAND [sic], DAVISON, HINCHLIFFE, HUTCHINSON, LUNN, COOPER, and NORTH, of the Cleckheaton Volunteer Company, who had served in South Africa.
2nd Volunteer Active Service Companies, West Yorkshire Regiment ["E" Company, 1st V.B.W.R.R.] –
7047 Private John Thomas CROSSLAND
7098 Private Sam HINCHLIFFE
7046 Private Percy HUTCHINSON
7042 Private Wilfred Richard LUNN
3rd Volunteer Active Service Companies, West Yorkshire Regiment ["E" Company, 1st V.B.W.R.R.] –
7138 Private John COOPER
7141 Private George EDMONDSON (absent)
7150 Private Stephen NORTH
Composite Cyclist Corps –
7130 Private Joseph Cowburn DAVISON
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