New Research Guide: Yorkshire Battles

This week we hear from Josh Flint, from the Local and Family History department of the Central Library, who introduces his recent research into books exploring the rich history of battles and other conflicts in Yorkshire… Yorkshire has been the battleground for some of the bloodiest, treacherous and most vicious battles ever fought in Britain. This…

Remembering the Barnbow Tragedy: 100 Years Ago Today

by Louise Birch, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library Leeds Central Library’s recent exhibition The Barnbow Story in Pictures used photographs taken from the munitions factory to give insight into the lives of the women who worked there. A selection of the exhibition photographs have been included below but, if you would like to…

Fragments of War: Quieter Voices

 By Stuart Hennigan, Communities Librarian, and Ross Horsley, Local and Family History Library World War 1 is famous for its poetry. More than that of any other war in history, the poetry of World War 1 has determined our perception of the war itself. Most people have read, or at least heard of, such luminary war poets as…

Ethelwynne in the Spotlight

Last Friday, we published a sombre but moving post entitled A Leeds Schoolgirl Reflects on WW1. Now, blogger Maureen Jessop has sent a more lighthearted little update our way. Take a look at the photo below (which, like last week’s poem, comes from the Leeds Girls’ High School magazine) and see if you can work out which of the…

A Leeds Schoolgirl Reflects on WW1

As part of Dying Matters awareness week, The Secret Library investigates the story behind a powerful poem on the subject of death and loss. Our Heritage Volunteer Maureen Jessop discovered the piece while reading and indexing the magazine of Leeds Girls’ High, the school that stood in Headingley from 1876 until its merger with Leeds Grammar School in…

Christmas and New Year in the Territorial Hospitals, 1917

by Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library Within three months of the outbreak of the First World War, Leeds had already seen its first influx of injured soldiers. These made their way to Beckett’s Park to what would become the city’s largest military care centre, the 2nd Northern General Hospital. At its…

The Rugby-Playing War Poet

We’re currently in the process of putting together the upcoming Rugby Union exhibition at Leeds Central Library, which opens on 4 September, and it’s giving us a great opportunity to look through some related resources from our library collection. One of these is the Yorkshire Rugby Football Union Commemoration Book 1914-1919, which profiles dozens of…

Trials of a Leeds Soldier

Many Leeds citizens fought valiantly in the First World War, but few could tell a tale as fascinating as William (sometimes ‘Willie’) Lonsdale. This week, the Secret Library brings you an abridged version of his story, researched and written by one of our team of volunteers, using the resources available in our Local and Family History…