Books and art handed to library

Tony Dunlop handing over art to Mohammed Salloo and the Batley library. (D522A445)
Tony Dunlop handing over art to Mohammed Salloo and the Batley library. (D522A445)

A book compiling the history of Batley and Birstall’s 1914 war dead has been handed over to library staff.

Susan White, of local WWI commemoration group Project Bugle, donated the Book of Soldier Stories to Batley Library’s Mohammed Salloo at a coffee morning.

Project leader Tony Dunlop thought it would stop the families of soldiers whose stories which have already appeared in their monthly exhibitions and newsletters from missing out.

Tony said: “If somebody’s only just heard and wants to catch up, it’s an opportunity to read those stories.”

Fourteen soldiers from Batley and Birstall died in the Great War’s first five months.

Tony himself also gave the library, on permanent loan, an original line drawing of the Batley War Memorial by local artist DC Norris.

This was the wish of its last owner, Margaret Berry, who died this April.

Alongside husband Bill, she was instrumental is re-tracing the names of soldiers missing from the memorial in 1998.

Tony, who is a family friend, handed it over on behalf of the couple’s children Ann Blakeley and John Berry, who do not live locally.

During the coffee morning, Tony also chatted with Phyllis Tolson.

The Batley News recently published a story about her parents meeting during the war, and Project Bugle are now producing a one-off file about her father Sam Bateman. The group usually only dedicate their efforts to those who lost their lives.