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Covering the villages of Wilsden and Harecroft
The Battle of Amiens

“We cannot win this war any more, but we must not lose it”

  • General Erich Ludendorff, German Quartermaster-General

 On the 8th August, Allied troops on the Western Front began a massive assault around the area of the Somme, counter-attacking the German forces that had made huge territorial gains in Spring 1918. Due to the secrecy leading up to the attack, and the Allies beginning the assault without a preliminary artillery barrage, the German forces only began to return fire five minutes after the attack began, and then at the positions the Allied forces had assembled at the start of the battle. Many German staff officers were captured still eating their breakfasts. In five hours, Allied troops had advanced on average over 8 miles into the German lines, punching a hole 15 miles wide along the front. Support from aircraft and tanks kept the retreating Germans from rallying. General Ludendorff, along with the comment above, also described the battle as the ‘Black Day of the German army’, not because of the losses inflicted, but because the morale of the German forces had collapsed completely, with more and more soldiers surrendering. German officers who attempted to rally their troops were accused of wanting to prolong the war. The Battle of Amiens, though not known at the time, marked the end of the static trench warfare on the Western Front, and began the final phase of the war. However, the British, French and German governments were still thinking of renewed offensives, re-entrenchment, and the coming war of 1919 – David Lloyd-George, the British Prime Minister, was setting out plans to postpone the next major offensive on the Western Front until 1920.

 Cyril Holroyd

Gunner Holroyd, Cyril   77621   Royal Garrison Artillery  146th Siege Battery


Cyril was born in 1893 in Halifax, the only child of Emily Ann and John Holroyd, an insurance salesman. In later childhood Cyril was brought up in Allerton, then found employment as a woolsorter. He married Emily Greenwood in April 1916 when he was on leave, having enlisted in December 1915, and she set up their home at Wilsden Hill.

 Bradford Weekly Telegraph  30 Aug 1918; -   “Gunner Cyril Holroyd, of 39, Wilsden Hill of the RGA and son of Mr John Holroyd 430, Allerton Rd, was killed in action on August 6th. He was previously employed as a woolsorter by Messrs B Parkinson & Co, Sunbridge Rd, Bradford.”

 The Siege Batteries had the largest guns and howitzers, mounted on railways or on massive fixed concrete emplacements and were consequently rather immobile. A heavy battery had four of these guns. They had a range of 10,000 yards and could drop shells well into land behind the enemy’s lines. Being placed about a mile and a half behind the front line, heavy artillery had the least vulnerability and the greatest capability of all the weapon groups for it was vulnerable only to the fire of hostile heavy guns and could attack infantry and field guns without direct retaliation.

Information from ‘Trench Warfare’ by Tony Ashworth

 Cyril was killed in action on 6 August 1918, aged 25, the result of a bombing raid and was initially buried near the place of his death, but in October 1919 his remains were brought for reburial to

Ribemont Communal Cemetery extension, 8 km south-west of Albert, Somme, France.     

Grave No. II. G. 3

He is also listed on the Allerton War Memorial in Lady Hill Park and on the memorial in Thornton Methodist Church which was formerly in the Egypt Methodist Chapel









A Modified Programme

The ninth annual charity carnival was held at Wilsden on Saturday last in the cricket field near the Parish Church, and the event was favoured again with suitable weather. The scale of the event was, however, much more modest than in previous years, and it was shorn of many of those features which in former years have contributed to make the gala so successful as it has been and one of the special occasions of the year in the district. This time the procession through the village street consisted only of the Daisy Hill Brass Band at the head, with a few troops of Boy Scouts and members of the St. John Ambulance Association from Bradford, the public representatives, competitors in the horse and vehicle classes and tableaux competitions all being missing on this occasion. The Boy Scouts, although about the same as last year, were a much smaller constituent of the procession than usual. The procession was marshalled at the Bingley end of the main street by the Rev. F.C. Rollin, Mr. J Bateman (Bradford), and Police-Constable Dunnett, and from Wilsden went forward to Harecroft, returning to the cricket field.

The programme carried out in the field was varied and attractive. First there was a fancy cricket match between ladies and gentlemen of the village, the ladies being captained by Miss M. Dolphin and the gentlemen by Mr. H. Atkinson. The match was won by the ladies, who scored 40 runs to their opponents’ 10. A team of lady gymnasts from Bradford, holders of the county championship, gave displays both afternoon and evening which were much appreciated by the onlookers, a special item being Indian club swinging by one of the members of the team. The were also two entertainments by a party styled “Dots and Dashes”, under the direction of Mr. J. Myers. In addition there were demonstrations of ambulance work by the members of the association from Bradford, and music was played by the Daisy Hill Band.

Although there were only two competitors on this occasion for the possession of the Lord Lascelles Challenge Shield for Boy Scouts – a great contrast to other years – a good deal of interest was taken in the work of the two troops competing – Windhill and Denholme. Windhill, who had thirteen members present, were under the command of Patrol-leader E. Dable, their former officer, Scoutmaster Anderson, having gone to the front. Denholme, with twenty-two members, were in the charge of scoutmaster L. Foster. The tests were the resuscitation of a person from drowning, signalling, and inspection, and the points gained by the competitors were: … Windhill a total of 92, Denholme a total of 88 points. The shield was therefore captured by the Windhill troop, and the Denholme troop took the second prize. … It may be noted that of the members of Windhill Scouts, 53 have joined the army since the commencement of the war.

The attendance of the public did not come up to the figures of previous years, though it is expected that the results financially will be satisfactory, the subscriptions being in excess of last year. The committee found it possible to provide light refreshments, and a feature of this provision was a thousand “currant” buns which disappeared exceedingly soon.                                                                                                               - Keighley News, 3rd August 1918



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- Keighley News, 27th June 1918