Here is a Scarf & Down With the Germans

Margaret Brayshaw was one of many children who helped send knitted scarves to the Troops

Margaret Brayshaw was living with her parents George and Amy and sister Isabel at Fern Bank, Greetland in 1911 but they obviously had moved to Stainland by 1914. There is a marriage record for Margaret Brayshaw and Frederick Wolfenden in 1936 which is probably her. I can find no record of her death but she presumably had a long and happy life.

Unfortunately this was not the case for Sergeant Bottomley. In 1911 he was living at Bankfield Mills, Stainland with his wife Mary Ellen, who he had married in 1906, and his 2 children Arthur and Elsie. Before this he had enlisted in the Duke of Wellingtons (West Riding) Regiment in 1898 and had served in the Boer War in South Africa 1899 – 1902 and then went to India before leaving the army in 1910.

As a reservist he was called back to the colours in August 1914 at the age of 37 and was sent to France to serve with the 2nd Duke of Wellingtons in November 1914. He was probably one of a draft of 200 men who joined the Battalion at Ypres on 3rd December. By 13th December they were in trenches that were extremely wet and muddy and in some places were only 25 yards from the German trenches, so close that as well as constantly sniping they also resorted to throwing mud at at each other.

On 17th April 1915 a successful attack was made to capture the tactically important position of Hill 60 west of Ypres. The Dukes did not take part in the initial action but the next day were sent forward to relieve the attacking troops. They themselves came under constant attack throughout the day and in the evening mounted an advance of their own to recover trenches that had been lost to the German counter attacks. In this they were successful and early in the morning of the 19th April they were relieved and moved into reserve.

Unfortunately Sergeant Joseph Bottomley was not with them, he was one of the 79 men who were killed during the action. His body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial to those who have no known grave as well as on the Barkisland War Memorial.