New leaflet helps remember soldiers buried at Bradford church

One of our churches in the Bradford area is making it easier for people to remember and find out more about those who served the country during wartime, thanks to a new leaflet and poster offering new details and insights into the church’s Commonwealth war graves.
The graves, at St Andrew’s Kildwick, had been hard to find for years because of the limited information about them, so church member Chris Wright hunted them down and, armed with fresh photos and the enthusiastic help of the Farnhill and Kildwick Local History Group, has created new leaflet and poster.
The leaflet tells the poignant stories of the people buried in each grave, including Harry Walmsley, the only First World War soldier from the village to be buried at home, whose well-attended funeral acted as a place for families to grieve by proxy those who did not return.
Also buried at the church is Norman Slingsby, a private during World War II, who, with more than a hint of a Dad’s Army story, fell on his head out of a lorry in nearby Glusburn when it braked to avoid a dog.
All the other three died after being demobbed; tragically, two of them within a few days of returning to civilian life.  
James Pollard and John Smith were buried, close together, within a few months of each other.
Captain Charles Petty was wounded by a bullet that ricocheted off a spade and sent home in 1915.  
He was thought to be safe and well again, but the wound had complications which caused his death six years later.
About the stories Chris said: “These five snapshots paint a poignant picture of not only the sadness of death, but also of its ordinariness.  
“A young man, possibly (reading between the lines) skylarking on the back of a wagon, falls to a pointless death.  
“Two young soldiers, clearly ill, were demobilised to die at home.  
“And just one from a list of local casualties survived long enough to be repatriated and buried at home.”

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