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World War One newspapers

Halifax Courier

To mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, Calderdale Libraries have digitised the pages of the Halifax (Weekly) Courier from the beginning of 1914 to the end of 1918.

At the time of the First World War, newspapers had an importance out of proportion to that of their descendants today. People turned to local newspapers for national, regional and local news.

Some aspects of local life were the same during the War as they had been before and adverts, news of properties for sale, notifications of church services and reports of local accidents are all there, often indistinguishable from those in peace-time.

The newspapers from the war years, however, also tell us about recruitment and conscription, about changes in local industry, war hospitals, fundraising and other support offered to the troops. They tell us about rationing, changes in the role of women, trade union disputes, conscientious objectors and, of course, about the casualties of war.

Calderdale War Dead

These are listings of local soldiers who died in World Wars 1 and 2. They give a lot of valuable information including date and page references, indicating when deaths were covered in the local papers. HCour means Halifax Courier and will help you find individuals in the digitised pages here.

Births, marriages and deaths 1914-1918

The birth, marriage and death columns and listings of local service personnel who died have been indexed. The PDF files contain the date and page references for the Halifax Courier which you can then use in your search of the digitised papers.

Note that aggregate listings of deaths in the armed forces appear in the Courier on August 7th 1915 and August 5th 1916.

We are grateful to Calderdale Libraries' local history volunteers for the hard work they have put into creating this index.

Searching the Halifax Courier

The newspapers are available in pdf format, on the basis of one pdf per issue, for example Saturday November 4th 1914.

Please note that we had no hard copies from which to digitise 6th February and 27th March 1915 or 5th February and 29th July 1916, so these dates are missing.

The newspapers can be used in two ways - they can be browsed by date or searched by keyword.

When using the keyword search, returns will consist of thumbnails, each of which will take you to one issue of the newspaper. You will then need to use the internal search within the pdf, using your original search term and where the term appears (which may be more than once in the issue), it will be highlighted in blue.

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) has been used to digitise the printed text so that it can be searched electronically. Due particularly to the age and condition of the original newspapers, it should be noted that not all instances of a term or phrase appearing in the newspaper will necessarily be picked up. It is still worth browsing issues of the newspaper for dates relevant to your search.

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