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Covering the villages of Wilsden and Harecroft

This Week in 1918

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21st April – The day after shooting down his eightieth Allied plane, the German fighter ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, was shot down by an Australian anti-aircraft machine-gun crew, whilst dogfighting with Canadian pilots in the air above the Somme. Von Richthofen managed to land his plane, but when nearby Australian troops reached it, he had died of his wounds. Von Richthofen was the most successful fighter pilot of the war, with eighty confirmed victories – the most successful Allied pilots were the Frenchman René Fonck, with seventy-five confirmed victories, and Canadian Billy Bishop, with seventy-two.


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Image of Manfred Von Richthofen taken in c.1917, from Wikimedia Commons


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Sources

Gilbert, M First World War

Keighley News Archive (accessed via Bradford Libraries website)

 

This Week in 1918

9th April - The British House of Commons extended conscription to Ireland, introducing the Irish Conscription Bill. This measure had previously been rejected due to the opposition of Irish Nationalists. However, it was not just the Nationalists who objected, across Ireland people were united in opposition to the bill. The Lord Mayor of Dublin, representatives of Sinn Fein, the Irish Parliamentary Party, the Labour Party, and Independents assembled at the Mansion House on 18th April and adopted the following resolution:

“Denying the right of the British Government to enforce compulsory service in this country, we pledge ourselves solemnly to one another to resist conscription by the most effective means at our disposal … The Irish people have a right to resist by every means that are consonant with the law of God”

Irish Trade Unions began to prepare for an all-Ireland General Strike, whilst across the country, groups of volunteers began to prepare to resist martial law, if it was imposed.

Bingley Petty Sessions

A WILSDEN BOY’S TEMPTATION

A 16 year-old Wilsden apprentice named Stephen Craven was charged with stealing £3 from the dwelling house of Mrs. Sarah Pullan, 15, Garden View, Wilsden. Superintendent Slack stated that Mrs. Pullan lived next door to the prisoner, who resided with his grandmother. About 7 p.m. on March 26 Mrs. Pullan went into the prisoner’s grandmother’s house, and as she walked in the prisoner went out. On her return she did not notice that anything had been disturbed, but when the following night she had occasion to go upstairs she found that a box in bedroom had been opened and £3 stolen. Suspicion fell upon on the lad, and eventually his uncle brought him to the Harden Police Station. When charged, he replied “I did take it and spent nearly £2 in different shops and picture houses in Bradford” – Sarah Pullan gave evidence bearing out that statement. The lad’s uncle spoke as to the boy’s conduct, and stated that this was not the first time that he had misbehaved. The Rev. F. C. Rollin said he had known the lad for three and a-half years, and he had done good work in connection with the church. The prisoner was fined £3 and costs.

- Keighley News, 13th April 1918

Sources

Gilbert, M First World War

Keighley News Archive (accessed via Bradford Libraries website)

 

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The Lady Challenger

That the war question must take precedence over all others in the election is recognised even by the lady challenger, who has come down from London to test the right of women to stand for Parliament. She puts the vigorous prosecution of the war first and foremost in her programme. The special claims of women are accorded a second place. Under the circumstances it is not easy to see what useful purpose can be served springing on the public such a novelty as a female candidature. On the contrary, it would be apt to give rise to misapprehension. One thing certain is that German commentators, if they give any attention to the matter at all, would interpret it as an evidence of social unsettlement and sex antagonism in this country. They would be quite incapable of grasping those fine points of constitutional law which Miss Boyle is so desirous of settling. As for the people at home, they would be likely to look upon such a candidature as rather in the nature of an untimely curiosity. It would not be regarded with the seriousness and concentrated attention which might be looked for were the “test” delayed until more normal conditions prevail.

The Law and Lady Candidatures

As to whether or not, if Miss Boyle persists in offering herself for nomination, her nomination will be accepted, that is a question which is still exciting a good deal of speculation. All that can be said is that the legal rulings so far are all against the recognition of women as Parliamentary candidates. In what is perhaps the best-known work on election law it is clearly laid down that “by the custom of England, and by reason of their sex, women are not eligible to serve in Parliament”, and it is further stated that “if a woman were to be nominated as candidate the votes for her would be thrown away. The fact of her disqualification would be notorious, and every man would be presumed to know the law. At the General Election of 1885 Miss Helen Taylor tendered her nomination to the returning officer for Camberwell, and he rejected it, and his rejection was not questioned in a court of law”.
 Keighley News, 6th April 1918

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Sources

Keighley News Archive (accessed via Bradford Libraries website)