Here is an interesting article to coincide with Remembrance Day later this month, describing an act of great bravery by Fred Bancroft of Silsden during WW1.
Fred was a Dyer's Labourer at the Silden Dyeworks, and at the outbreak of war enlisted in January 1916 in the West Riding Regiment, no doubt encouraged to join up by the Government's recruitment campaign lead, by Lord Kitchener, and he went out to France in March of that year. He won the Military Medal, and the background to this was reported in the Keighley News in September 1917, telling the following story:
The Keighley News commented on him again in the following year, with a photograph, saying he had been wounded at the Battle of the Somme. As is well known, the Battle of the Somme was one of the most infamous episodes in the whole of WW1, where more than 1 million men were injured or lost ;there lives. The newspaper report stated:
'During the battle of the Somme he was engaged on work near the front line for a considerable time and was later wounded. By October 1918 he was still convalescing in Ripon Convalescent Hospital.'
After his convalescence, Fred went back home to Silsden, and married Mary Ann Dean at Silsden Parish Church on 25th November 1919.
Fred was one of five brothers who took part in WW1. The tragic story of the whole family can be read by clicking here.
Fred died in St John's Hospital, Keighley on 19th May 1961.
The Military Medal was first established on 25th March 1916 and was awarded to personnel of the British Army, and other forces, for bravery in battle on land. The inscription on the reverse of the medal says "FOR BRAVERY IN THE FIELD". It was only discontinued relatively recently in 1993. Anyone awarded this, was allowed to use the letters 'MM' after their name.
Also shown above is a hat badge from the West Riding Regiment in which Fred Bancroft served, and which can be seen on the photograph of him at the top of the page.