Soldier’s cause of death revealed in new book

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A Batley-raised soldier is thought to have died of pneumonia before he got the chance to serve during WWI, a new book reveals.

In Batley Lads, author and Project Bugle supporter Philip Wheeler writes about the fates of soldiers from the town.

Corporal Gilbert Pattison, who was born in Morley but raised in Batley, was the first soldier who had studied at Batley Grammar School to pass away during WWI.

The 21-year-old, a former apprentice electrical engineer served with the 8th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment and later the Royal Flying Corps.

He died in a Grantham military hospital on January 16, 1915, and was buried in Batley Cemetery.

Gilbert Pattison’s records did not survive the bombing of London during WWII so it is not known whether he served in France in late 1914 after he enlisted in Halifax.

Meanwhile, the latest edition of The Bugle newsletter has been published.

Each month the newsletter and exhibitions produced by Project Bugle volunteers are charting the fate of soldiers from Batley and Birstall who served during WWI.

Nobody from Batley died on active service during January 1915.

But this month’s newsletter shares a letter sent to Water Hughes, of Coalpit Lane, Carlinghow, which told of the war’s fresh horrors.

His uncle James Karney, writing from Aisne in France, said: “Wounded come through here in cart-loads – poor fellows, they look terrible.

“Still, when they are well they will go back with a good heart to fight.”

The latest Project Bugle exhibitions will be on display at Batley and Birstall’s libraries from Monday, where you can also pick up a newsletter.

l Email to order a copy Mr Wheeler’s book, priced £10.