Catholic Life

Parish reflects on its past

The history group of Our Lady and St Paulinus, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire

Just days after the nation recalled the 71st anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, members of the history group of Our Lady and St Paulinus Church, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, launched the second edition of biographies of the men of the parish who lost their lives in the world wars.

Five years ago, the group published The Men of Our Lady and St Paulinus on Remembrance Sunday.

Speaking about the second publication, Fr Nicholas Hird, parish priest, said: “In 2005, we were very much working against the clock in order to meet a production deadline. During the last five years we have been able to build on the original work, which was always intended to be a working document.

“Thanks to local interest we have been able to access the archives of the local press. And constantly the internet is throwing new light on to the lives of so many of the men and women who served in the forces during these wars.

“The work also highlights the high price paid by parishes such as our own during the war years. No less than 147 men from our community paid the ultimate price during these wars.” The work of the history group has enabled the church’s two war memorials to be updated.

The original First World War memorial was unveiled in 1919, which was very early in the development of such memorials. As a result some families still held out the hope that loved ones would return to them. Sadly, this was not to be the case.

Conversely, the church’s Second World War memorial was not dedicated until the late-1950s, by which time families had moved away from the area. For copies of The Men of Our Lady and St Paulinus, email [email protected]