Poppy cheque handovers: Gavin Harker, Barry Thomas, Lee Smith, John Lohan and Jeremy Billett.
Front cover: The Silsden Herald paid tribute to the fallen of the First World War.
Silsden’s Poppy Day appeal proved to be a real page-turner.
The North West Counties League club raised more than £750 with £513 coming from the sale of the Silsden Herald, a 1914-style newspaper, which told the story of Silsden and its footballers in World War One.
The newspaper had articles about the club’s players who took part in an organised football competition held by the Army to keep the spirits up when the lads were away from the trenches.
The “Silsden” team, who wrote home for a set of football shirts, won the competition and were presented with a cup and individual silver medals.
Three of the Silsden players lost their lives at the front at the Battle of the Somme.
Lest we forget: The Cobbydalers paid tribute on and off the field.
The paper, researched and written by Silsden commercial manager Barry Thomas and sports club chairman John Lohan was printed and produced by Peter Hanson, who added some excellent photographs and adverts of the period.
“It has been so successful that copies have been sent around the world to Cobbydalers who have emigrated or who are working abroad” said Barry.”
“It took a lot of effort over a period of two months and a few sleepless nights but we were delighted both with the paper and the support which we have received from the Silsden public.”
The Club also held a memorial day on November 10 in a packed clubhouse where there were displays and videos of the war.
Silsden Town Band played music from the period and Skipton choir Rock Up and Sing sang songs from the trenches.
The three church ministers all spoke about the sacrifices the soldiers faced but also of the good points of humanity such as the Christmas Day truces organised by small groups of soldiers from both the Allied and German sides, exchanging gifts and playing football in No-man’s Land.
The club thanked all the volunteers who made the memorial day so special.
A collection bucket raised £160 and a collection box on the bar raised a further £85, making a grand total of £758 for the Poppy Appeal.
The cheque was presented by John and Barry to three representative of the Silsden branch of the RBL, all former members of the armed forces – Lee Smith, who spent 25 years in the RAF, Jeremy Billett, six years in the RAF, mainly in Germany, and Gavin Harker, who had served with the 4th and 6th Royal Dragoons for six years in Germany.
Jeremy thanked the club for their efforts. He said the community had all pulled together and the total sum raised this year was £4,347, a total surpassing last years total by almost a thousand pounds.
Stop press: Asked about another memorial service, Barry suggested that the club might arrange one for Armistice Day 2018. Watch this space…