Gomersal Cemetery

While wrestling with what else to include in this issue of Cameo, Morley & District Family History Group magazine, I came across a few photographs taken in Gomersal St Mary’s cemetery while on the hunt for a family headstone. In the slightly overgrown grounds, I came across the headstone of T. H. Ellis, a CWGC memorial.

Ellis CWGC headstone Gomersal Cemetery © C Sklinar 2020

The first website I must visit to find out who T. H. Ellis is is the CWGC site to input some of the information I already know. T. H. Ellis – the search gave six results. It was the first of these results that was of interest and confirmed by his burial place. And so it was that Private 68624 Thomas Henry Ellis of the KOYLI Reserve Garrison Battalion who died on the 5th of December 1918 aged 19; Thomas was the son of Mrs Sarah Thrippleton, formerly Ellis, – well, that last bit of information certainly gives one clue, but I’ll come back to that later.

Thomas Henry was born in Liversedge in the 1st Quarter of 1899. By the time of the census in 1901, Thomas Henry was two years old and living with his 13-year-old sister, Lily, his father, Micklethwaite, aged 45; his mother, Sarah, and Henry, Micklethwaite’s father, aged 73 – Some family trees on Ancestry have Henry dying in 1869, if that is the case, how is he listed in the 1901 census? In 1903 Micklethwaite died. With two children, Sarah had two choices – to marry again or muddle through. She chose the first choice, and in the December Quarter of 1903, Sarah married William Thrippleton, a woollen weaver, in the Dewsbury Registration District.

The 1911 census shows that William and Sarah had been married for eight years and had no children, but Lily and Thomas Henry were each ten years older and still living with their mother. There was one addition, though, Ivy Ellis, a three-year-old classed as granddaughter-in-law. William called Sarah’s children by the term in-law, not stepdaughter or son. The family live on Moor Lane, Gomersal, in a two-roomed house. That sounds like it was a little on the ‘cosy’ side!

Back to Thomas Henry. As we know from his headstone, he enlisted in Bradford into the KOYLI. The Service Record relating to Thomas Henry does not appear to have survived. I don’t think Thomas Henry served abroad, as he has no Medal Card either, so I’ll work with what is available.

The Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects 1901-1929 includes Thomas Henry and his mother, who was beneficiary to the £3 11s 8d owed to him by the army. The next record set, which includes some interesting information, is the Fold3 collection – a sister site to Ancestry but with an added fee to view. If you are a member of the Western Front Association, they can be viewed from their website for free, as the WFA have the care of the original cards. The faded pink card shows that Mrs Sarah Thrippleton was the Dependant but was superseded by William Thrippleton, who now says that he is the stepfather. Home for William is Burnleys Cottages, Hill Top, Gomersal nr Leeds. But most importantly included is the reason why Thomas Henry rests in a Gomersal cemetery. He died ‘at home’, meaning in the UK of pneumonia.

Sarah, whose maiden name was Brewell, died in February 1926 at Hill Top, Gomersal. William, born in 1869, was included in the 1939 Register along with Lily and Ivy – could this prove that Ivy was Lily’s child? Another question, but one I’m not going to attempt to answer.

William died in June 1945, aged 76 and was buried on the 29th of the same month in plot 644 in the extended graveyard.

Find My Past New Collections

Find My Past New Collections

Findmypast has added Lincolnshire Baptisms, with 216,638 new and unique records joining the FMP collection. These records cover 269 churches ranging in years from 1754 – 1812. The records include information about Alfred Tennyson and Sir John Franklin.

Joining Lincolnshire’s baptisms are 52,387 marriages from the Suffolk Marriage Index collection. These additions cover the years 1813 – 1837 and 500 churches.

For something new from West Yorkshire – the National School Admissions Register. So, if your family has connections to Halifax you may be in luck. Records being added to the existing collection, which includes pupils of both school-age and adults (up to the age of 45), covering the years 1867 – 1927.

There have recently been quite a few new collections and updates to many existing military records. A completely new collection is bound to be of interest to many of us. This collection is the British Army, Local Armed Forces’ Enrolment Forms Anglo-Boer War 1899 – 1902. The amount of information is mainly dependent on the type of form used but mainly contains the soldier’s usual information – name, age, nationality and trade of soldier as well as the usual regiment, regimental number and place of enlistment. A physical description can make these men come to life.

When I find a new collection, I, probably like many of us, add a family name to the surname search. Well, I had a little surprise when I added Riach to the Boer Enrolment collection – not many results, three in total, but something to get my teeth into later. I was a little disappointed with the result from Arthur Riach, who was born in 1868 and enlisted in 1900 in Port Elizabeth into Brabant’s Horse. Lucky enough for me, Arthur has two records with much more information. Arthur was 30 years old, and his mother lived at 53 Bassett Road, North Kensington, London.

David MacKinlay Potter Riach was born in 1876 and enlisted in Cape Town in July 1901. He served in the Civil Service Company Cape T Guard C. D. F. David had previously served in the W. P. M. Rifles. In his civilian life, he had been a Civil Engineer in the Civil Service. His next of kin was his father, Revd. W. .L. Riach of 3 Tipperlinn Road, Edinburgh.

I searched for another of my family’s names but found nothing. I tried a few surnames I know the group has a connection to but found nothing. One last name was included before I gave up on the collection. I tried Officer – a surname which I have in my tree from Wakefield. And there was one entry. William Officer, born in 1861, was 40 when he enlisted in August of 1901 in Durban. He served as 2813 in the Railway Pioneer Regiment, having previously served in the Wrafekaig Town Guard S. L. H. for 15 months. William was married to Ida, his next of kin, who lived in Colesberg. One other snippet of information on his record was that he was a Presbyterian.

Sadly, the transcribed records I looked at had limited information, but probably enough get an idea of the man at that time in his life.

Last collection I found very interesting – a set of 12,000 commemorative plaques – you know the ones, Blue Plaques you see up and down many towns, although some of the plaques in the collection are not necessarily ‘blue’. The information is limited, but there is a bonus of having a picture.

Ancestry has recently added the following to its ever-growing collection.

The county of Berkshire has done well with this recent update with the Berkshire WW2 Evacuation Records 1939 – 1945; Home Guard 1943 – 1958; Civil Defence 1939 – 1945 and WW2 Related Miscellaneous Records 1939 – 1971.

Another new addition is Scotland, Burial Monument Inscriptions 1507 – 2019.

This link is not new but may be of interest to some of you. The Public Record Office Victoria (Australia) has uploaded information, links and images of Convict Registers. The images of the Register of Convicts include – name, ship, arrival date, sentence, ticket of leave (date and number) and occupation and remarks.

I hope that this information has given you something to get your teeth into on a rainy day.

Anotgher Walk Around Sugar Lane – Wales

Another Walk around Sugar Lane

In 1922 A E Wales erected a memorial to his wife. The words were carved into a large stone which had a flat surface at the front to show his words to anyone who passed by, it was topped with a cross carved to resemble branches of a tree. Neatly carved stone forms a boundary for the memorial. A E Wales’ words ‘This cross is erected by A E Wales in sweet memory of his wife Belle who died 3rd May 1922.’

The unusual memorial tells the passer-by who rests beneath, but like many memorials, it brings to the fore many questions. Who was A E Wales? Where did the couple live? Was Belle a nickname? Let me see if I can answer some of those questions, and I hope no more arise during the hunt!

Mr and Mrs Wales certainly led me on a journey with very little information on the headstone. My first port of call was Ancestry with a very vague search of A E Wales with a wife of Belle. Nothing seemed to jump out as the right family, but after a few search variations, there was an Arthur Edley Wales from Sheffield. I had a starting point. When I’d viewed a few of the links Arthur Edley didn’t seem to have a wife with any name that could be adapted to Belle. The next port of call was FreeBMD, again using a vague search and still with Arthur Edley in mind – nothing. I even viewed the 1921 census for any hints it might give, and again no results. It was time to change tactics. Could A E Wales have used a familiar name for his wife but her burial record may, just may have her ‘Sunday’ name – Wakefield.gov.uk here I come and she was there in full Sunday glory – Isabel Annie. This wonderful resource also told me she was 50 years of age and had lived at Probate House, King Street, Wakefield. I also now knew that she had been laid to rest three days after her demise and that F Stoke was the officiating minister. I had gained quite a bit of information so it was time to go back to my original sources and look for a marriage to a Wales. There they were. Arthur Edley was a false lead, but I now had. Isabel Annie Danson married to Albert Edward Wales.

Isabel was born in 1867 to Edmund Dawson and his wife Mary. Edmund was employed as a Colliery Manager. Edmund and all of his children seemed to have been born around Ingleton. Following the census through the years, Isabel, before her marriage, worked as a certificated schoolmistress. And in 1901, she was a lodger in a house on Bright Street, Swinton, near Wath. Two years later in 1903, Isabel and A E Wales married in the Settle Registration District. It makes me wonder how the couple met, he was in Wakefield, and Isabel was in Wath. But they did!

Was life good for the couple? The 1911 census can give an insight into that question. Well, it seems there is a little question mark over the age of Isabel, who by now had been married seven years. The union at that time had not blessed them with children. So, home for them was Glen(?) Marsh, Bradford Road, Wakefield, which they shared with two visitors -.Frances and Selina Hague were both head teachers from Swinton. Albert Edward was a Government employee; he was the District Probate Registry Clerk.

A quick look at the 1921 census has an Isabel Annie Wales born in Ingleton in Scarborough but it seems no Albert Edward – could Isabel have been there for health reasons or to visit friends or family? But as we know, she had died by early May of the following year. Now to Probate. She has a Probate entry, but I was wondering if Albert would have processed the probate for his wife. If he did or not, it seemed to progress quite quickly as on the 19th of May, her monies, the sum of £1314 5s 1d, was to go to A E.

Another question now arose. Is Albert Edward resting with his Belle? It is a very simple answer – No.

In the summer of July 1923, A E married Isabel Hartley sum ten years his junior, in Belper, Derbyshire. Following the couple in the 1939 Register (which confirms I had the correct couple) they are living at Woodencroft(?), Alfreton, where A E said he was a Chief Clerk, Probate, Retired. A E again had a childless marriage.

Albert Edward Wales of Wodencroft (correct name from Probate Registry), Derby Road, Swanwick, died on the 20th of July 1946 at Kings College Hospital, Lambeth, London. Probate Nottingham 31 August to Isabel Wales widow. Effects £844 5s 4d. Isabel Wales of 126 Derby Road, Swanwick, died 30 May 1971. Probate London 28 June 1971. Effects £3117.

How convenient that both wives were called Isabel, it must have saved some upsetting moments.

Another Walk around Sugar Lane – Grace

A Walk around Sugar Lane – William John Grace

   William John Grace had been born on the 10th of January 1856 and nine months later he was taken by his parents, William and Jane to St Mary’s Church, Wakefield to be bapt.ised. The family more than likely walked from their home in Thornes Lane for the happy occasion.

   In 1861 the four year old John was living with his parents and two younger brothers on Holliday Row; His father, William was employed as an engineer in one of the local worsted mills. By the time of the next census, 1871, William’s father had died and Jane, now a shopkeeper was the head of the family. The 1881 census came and went and Jane now had no occupation listed but John William was a mechanic. His brother Henry was a postman, while his youngest brother James was a telegraph clerk working for the Great Northern Railway.

   In 1887 life changed for John William, as aged 30 while living in Sandal, he married Mary Ann Firth (31) in St Michael’s Church. Mary Ann was 31 years old and lived in the Westgate Common area. Both John and Mary signed their name on the church register while a witness, William Firth had to ‘make his mark’. The church register gives the impression that John’s father is still alive as there is no ‘deceased’ written below his name. The newlyweds lived at Belle Vue, moving a couple of times but still in the same vicinity.

Grace family headstone © C Sklinar 2014

 John and Mary went on to have four children, three girls and one boy, all born between 1891 and 18994.

   John died in 1907. The 1911 census gives more insight into the couples lives. Having been married for 7 years (which should not have been included on the form and was struck through by the enumerator) Mary had had four children and by 1911 only three were alive. Mary was working as a charwoman. Her children were employed as a stitching machinist, an apprentice stitching machinist and an apprentice fitter at a steam economist works, probably Green’s Economisers and the youngest child aged 11 was still at school. The family lived at 7 Wright Street, Belle Vue, consisting of a cellar, house, bedroom and attic, just above the address where the head of the household signs is the name John Wm Eason, who gave the reason for being there as witness. Mary Jane Grace just ‘made her mark’. Strange, as she did sign her marriage entry in the church register, albeit in a very poor hand.

   When it was time for the 1921 census to be handed in, it was a Mr Grace that signed the double-sided sheet – this could have been her only son who had now left home. The three daughters were now all working – the eldest two were boot machinists for James Ledgard and Sons, Alms House Lane, while the youngest girl was a stocking leg knitter for Isaac Briggs and Sons, Gradient Mills, Barnsley Road.

   The 1939 Register includes Mary and two of her daughters, still living at 7 Wright Street. The two daughters are now working for the GPO (General Post Office) as office cleaners, but there is a new entry. The new addition is for Harry Grace born in 1924 who works as a messenger boy again for the GPO. Now a question arises. Is Harry the son of one of the daughters? Is he Mary’s grandson from her only son? Is he a nephew? With curiosity rising and the knowledge the answer was only a website away I took a closer look. Harry was the son of James Grace and Gertrude Wootton – so Harry was her grandchild from the only son, James and his wife Gertrude nee Wootton.

   Well, that was another short insight into the life of someone named on a headstone. With two names, dates of death and ages enough information was given to start a family tree. And quite quickly three get    nerations were found. There were only two sources that took a little time and that was the 1939 Register and the 1921 Census I had to look a few of the images before finding the correct family. In fact it has taken me longer to write this than do the research. Anyway, the research is always much more fun!

   ‘In faithful remembrance of John William the beloved husband of Mary Ann Grace who died 7th July 1907 aged 50 years also the above Mary Ann Grace who died 5th Sept 1946 aged 80 years. ‘Perfect Peace’.’

WW1 Envelopes and a Hand-crafted Belt

WW1 Envelopes and a Hand-crafted Belt

A cardboard box full of WW1 ephemera was given to me recently and packed full of beautiful bits and bobs. What is inside the container? A trench periscope, envelopes, a 1918 New Year card, a snuff box in the style of Dutch clog, a tapestry belt, and much more. One of the utmost special items was an original newspaper from the 11th of November 1918.

A set of four letters sent from a soldier on Active Service ©

A set of four letters sent from a soldier on Active Service ©

Firstly, I would like to tell you about the envelopes. All of them had been addressed to Miss M J Ansell, Ben More, 62 Bristol Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Who is or was Miss M J Ansell?

You must know a little of me now to see that I am a sucker for a name, a serial number or any clue that may lead me to someone no longer walking among us and able to tell their tale.

So many questions arose from the envelopes – when was she born, who were her parents, did she have an occupation, did she marry and have a family? To my great sadness, the letters were no longer in their original packaging. So many bits were needed to complete my jigsaw. As a result, with no letters, this was a one-sided chase!

The letters were dated the 23rd of April and 23rd of May 1916 and the 19th of August and 29th of September 1917. Each discoloured envelope was postmarked from a Field Post Office and passed Field Censorship. Should I rightly or wrongly assume the writer had been a soldier, not a VAD or a nurse who had been in one theatre of war and then moved as the censor office numbers changed from 937 to 799?

Let’s get started by using ANSELL in Edgbaston on the online website. The results came back; one stood out in the 1911 census. Mabel Jessie Ansell a 29-year-old Secondary School Teacher. Mabel was the daughter of William, a 62-year-old manufacturer of iron and brass ship fittings and Jessie Ewen Smith, aged 63 at the time living at 78 Bristol Road, Edgbaston.

By 1921 Mabel’s father and Jessie’s husband had died (1919), and the family home was now a little down the road at 62 Bristol Road. Jessie, on the completed census form, says she is the mistress of the house. Mabel was now a science teacher at King Edward Grammar School, Camps Hill. The census form also included 16-year-old Millicent Stackhouse, the family servant.

Going back to William, he had died in Bushwood Nursing Homes, St Jame’s Road, Edgbaston, just a 15 minutes walk away from the family home. Did William leave any money? Yes, he did! He left £29,664 5s 5d to his widow, Jessie and his children, Mabel and Frank and Oliver Richard White, Chartered Accountant, was left to deal with his accounts.

Jessie died in 1935. According to Probate Register, she left just over £7,000 – where had the money gone? The money was left to Mabel, Frank Ewen Ansell, and Herbert William Lyde.

Mabel’s brother Frank (d 1956) had married Ethel Lomax in the Kings North Registration District in 1910. The couple had Ewan P Ansell, born in 1913, followed by Peter Benson Ansell, born in 1916. Ewen married Elizabeth Woodward in 1943. Ewan died in 1973, but in his career as a pulley manufacturer, he took out a Patent in 1959 based on improvements of a pulley design and mounting.

Peter Benson Ansell went to the same school where his aunt taught – did he get preferential treatment? At school, Peter was a star on the rugby and cricket fields. His rugby position was centre three-quarter. He also played for the Edwardians. When at Birmingham University, studying Medicine, he was also part of their Rugby team. On three occasions, he played for the North Midlands Union. He was also a keen supporter of Midland Rugby Club. Sport was undoubtedly in the family, as his grandfather, William, was for many years the honorary secretary of Warwickshire Cricket Club. When the 1939 Register was taken, Peter was a medical student at the General Hospital along with many other students, doctors, surgeons, nurses, and of course, patients.

Peter died on the 17th of October 1940 while still a medical student because of an accident. With Peter’s death being during WW2 and his age making him eligible for war service, the CWGC website was searched next, and here I got a surprise. Peter’s death was not military but civilian.

Peter is remembered on the Birmingham University Roll of Honour, his local church in Streetley, Birmingham but sadly is NOT on his school memorial. He may not have fought, but he died due to enemy action. German fighter bombers were attacking London, Liverpool and Birmingham on the night of his death. The visibility was terrible that night, making detecting enemy action very difficult. Even so, Birmingham was not left in peace, and over 2,000 souls lost their lives during WW2. I remember I read that he was injured while driving and then taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he sadly died. I seem to have misplaced this source, though.

Mabel, I’m still working on her! In 1939, she lived at 113 West Street, Warwick and still worked in her chosen profession, teaching.

Mabel died on the 22nd of July 1963 in Birmingham and left £4,988 19s for Lloyds Bank to distribute according to her will.

Mabel remained a spinster all her life, and this raises more questions. Why is it with family history, be it your own, for someone else or just a name that sounds interesting there, is always another question? Mabel never married. Could the four envelopes contain letters written by her beau? Is it even more possible that she remained single because he never came home? Only Mabel knows. Or does she? Can someone else answer my question?

WW1 belt made by Bert Alcock ©

WW1 belt made by Bert Alcock ©

Secondly, I’d like to tell you about the tapestry belt. That is the only way I can describe it. Hand stitched on a repurposed leather back and leather straps. Worked into the belt are A Alcock and the year 1916. Who was A Alcock?

Using the CWGC as a base source, there were quite a few soldiers who could have been the owner of the belt. Saying that I am presuming, a thing you should not always do, that he died during the war. He could have survived. The previous belt owner had done a little research and thought he was Albert Harry Alcock. Whether right or wrong, this is all about Albert and the few bits of information I was given and a great deal more found by myself.

Albert Harry was one of three sons (Fred and John William) of John and Wilhelmena nee Willisford, who had married in St Mary’s Uttoxeter in 1887. All three of their sons went to war, a war that was later to be known as The Great War.

Back at the time of the 1911 census, only Fred and Albert, known as Harry, lived in the family home. The three brothers all enlisted into the army sometime after hostilities began. Fred joined the 1/6th North Staffordshire Regiment and became Private 2635. William became Private 18553 in the York and Lancaster Regiment. Albert Harry became a Private in the 1/6th North Staffordshire Regiment, the same regiment as his brother.

All three brothers paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Fred died on the 2nd of July 1915 and rests in Blauwepoort Farm Cemetery, Belgium. He was only 19 years old.

The military Pension Records belong to the Western Front Association and can be accessed via the WFA website (members) or Fold3. These records tell that William John had been classed as missing after the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916. He was later classified as dying on that day. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. He was 25 years old. William’s Pension Card, like many others, includes the names and ages of his siblings – and sometimes their regiments. The brothers’ father was next of kin, and a change of address had been included.

Using Pension Cards, Albert Harry was also classified as missing on the 1st of July 1916, like his brother is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.

In just twelve months, John and Wilhelmina had lost three children, two on the same day, and received less than £28 from the Government in return.

Wilhelmena died in Cheadle in 1942. John lived a few more years and died in 1953.

If only A Alcock could confirm he was the soldier?

Another Walk Around Sugar Lane – James Whitham

Another Walk Around Sugar Lane – James Whitham

Many headstones hold secrets. When and where a person was born? Who were their parents and siblings? Who was their wife or husband? Or did they remain single? Did they or their family decide to tell the passer-by just enough information on the headstone? But that ‘just enough information’ sets the future relative or researcher on a journey of curiosity – Who were you?

James was a Solicitor and Town Clerk of the Borough of Wakefield who died on the 22nd of April 1867, according to his headstone. The headstone is three rather solid squares of stone set on a solid base with a splendid four-cornered spire. It looks quite impressive as most of the headstones around are of a more standard size and shape.

The other name on the memorial is that of James’ wife Maria, who he married in St John’s Church, Wakefield in 1837. Maria nee Kelshaw was born in the Thornes area of Wakefield in 1810 and died in 1877. Sadly, the year information on the headstone has been damaged, but other documents confirm the 1877 date.

Going back to James, according to his census entries, he was born in Bangalore, India. The Ancestry website has a collection of transcripts entitled ‘India select births and baptisms 1786-1947’ in which James is recorded as having a father named Richard and a mother Lucy. The transcript continues with a date of birth, 30 November 1812 and baptism on 3 February 1813 in Mount, Madras, India – could this be James? Don’t you get a good feeling of satisfaction when a little bit of extra ‘digging’ pays off? FindMyPast has on microfilm the baptism of James – it reads, ‘This is to certify that James son of Robert Whitham, Sergeant Major H.M. 84(?) Regt and of Lucy his wife. Born 30th Novr 1812, was baptised according to the form of *** his baptism outlined in the service of the Church of England this 3rd day of February 1813 by me, W Thomas, Chaplain. Sponsors George Boothroyd, Winsor Hazny (sic), Ann Reid. The two male sponsors were both from the 84th Regiment.

In 1851 James and Maria were living on King Street with a servant named Elizabeth Hall, who had been born in Stanley 36 years earlier. Ten years later, Cliff Parade was the home to the Whithams. Elizabeth Waterworth, a married sister aged 53 and two servants were also in the house. Now another question. Was Elizabeth James’ sister or his wife?

The Leeds Mercury 2 May 1867 – …. Mr Mander then moved a resolution to the effect that the Council testifies its sympathy and condolence with the widow of the late Mr James Whitham,
town Clerk, on the recent bereavement she has sustained by his death; and its regret at being deprived of the services of a gentleman, who since the incorporation of the borough, had filled with such marked ability and efficiency the important office of Town Clerk. The motion was seconded by Mr Lamb, supported by Ald Wainwright, and carried unanimously. The gentleman who spoke, and also the Mayor in putting the motion, gave their testimony as to the value of the services performed for the borough by the late Town Clerk’.

Huddersfield Chronicle 27 April 1867 – On Monday, Mr James Whitham, solicitor, Wakefield and Town Clerk of that borough, died at his residence at St. John’s, Wakefield. The deceased gentleman, who was highly respected, was 54 years of age. He had been in practice as a solicitor for 34 years, and as Town Clerk of Wakefield since its incorporation in 1848. For some time past his health had been giving way, and, the Town Council had granted him six months’ leave of absence, he had been in the South of England for about three months. Mr Whitham was a gentleman of acknowledged ability and was well known and much esteemed in the profession.

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, Tuesday 1 October 1867 –Lot 1 All that Detached Messuage of Dwelling House, situate at Cliffe Parade, in Wakefield aforesaid, containing on the ground floor, entrance hall, dining-room, drawing-room, breakfast-room, store-room, and large kitchen. On the first floor, five bedrooms, a water closet, and a housemaid’s closet, and the basement, large kitchen, laundry, larder, and beer, wine and coal cellars, and possessing a well-yielding abundant and invariable supply of pure water. Together with the plantation garden, shrubbery, yard and outbuildings thereto belonging and containing an area (including the road at the north-east end thereof), of 2256 square yards or thereabouts, formerly in the possession of the late James Whitham, Esq., and now Mrs Whitham.

A portion of the purchase money of this lot may remain on a mortgage if required.
Lot 2 – All that Seat or Pew numbered 1, containing eight sittings, situated in the centre aisle of St John’s Church, Wakefield, aforesaid.
To view Lot 1, apply on the premises between the hours of Two and Six o’clock in the Afternoon, and for further particulars and information, apply to the Auctioneer, at his office, in Southgate, Wakefield, or at the offices of W H B Tomlinson, Esq., Solicitor, Wakefield or of Messrs Wright and Waterworth, Solicitors, Keighley. 14 Sept 1867.

Another Waterworth connection, and yet another when James’ Probate entry shows he left less than £5000, and John James Waterworth gets a mention as a solicitor in Keighley and also James’ nephew. This information still does not answer whose sibling John James’ mother was.
After the sale of the property at St John’s, Maria moved to Thornhill Terrace, where she lived as an Annuant with one servant

Wakefield Free Press Saturday 26th of May 1877 – Deaths – Whitham. On the 23rd inst, aged 67 years, Maria, widow of James Whitham and Town Clerk of this Borough (No Cards). Maria’s Probe is quite disappointing as she left under £450. This raises an age-old question ‘Where did the money go’?

Note: There is an entry in the Uk, Regimental Registers of Service, 1756-1900 for Robert Whitham aged 14 Attested on 23rd of June 1794.  If this is the correct Robert he had been born in Whaley, Lancaster.  Robert was 5′ 2½.  He had a fair complexion, brown hair and grey eyes.

An entry slightly higher up the page if for a young man named David Willis,  David was 17 years old and slightly taller than Robert, at 5′ 6¾”.  He had a light complexion, light hair and grey eyes – what is the connection, I hear you ask?  David was born in Wakefield.  Does he belong in anyone’s family tree?

A Walk around Sugar Lane Cemetery – Thomas C Greenwood

A Walk around Sugar Lane Cemetery – Thomas C Greenwood

In the 1861 census for Liverpool, there is an entry for a five-year-old boy named Thomas C Greenwood. He is living at the Forge public house, Lime Street, Liverpool with his parents, Joshua T and Catherine, his father is the publican. Thomas was not their only child, he had two younger siblings. All the children had been born in Liverpool, while Joshua was from Lincoln and Catherine was from Wales.

By 1871 Joshua is now a General Agent and Collector and he and his wife had another addition to the family. If you are looking for Thomas C in the census you might find that a bit of a task if using Ancestry as his surname has been transcribed as Greenwald.

In the following years, Joshua and Catherine went on to have over six children. Catherine died in 1874 and the following year the children had a stepmother, Rebecca Bannister later Sewell.

While living in Liverpool, Thomas Collingwood Greenwood met a young lady named Margaret Ann Fairclough and on the 25th of December 1875, the couple tied the knot in a ceremony in St Silas Church, Liverpool. Thomas told the minister that he worked as an ‘Agent’, the same as his father. The minister, John Harrison, earned his wage on the 25th of December as there were five weddings that day, well five weddings in that register. The wedding of Thomas Collingwood and Margaret was the second entry in the new Register.

In the following years Thomas Collingwood returned to education and in 1879 was Ordained at Chester Cathedral after studying at St Aidan’s College, Birkenhead and licenced to St Columba’s, Liverpool. His entry in the Clergy List for 1897 confirms him being curate of All Saints’ Rainford, 1879-1881, followed by two years in Blackpool. In 1883, he crosses the border and is at Sowerby Bridge. He then moves to All Souls, Halifax from 1887 to 1891. All Saints Salterhebble is his next parish and during his time there Thomas Collingwood and his family live at 12 Ventnor Terrace, The Heath, Halifax.

While at Rainford he was mentioned in The Ormskirk Advertiser for 22nd September 1881. ‘Presentation to the Rev T C Greenwood, of Rainford. On Thursday evening last the Rev T C Greenwood was presented with an elegantly bound musical album by the Young Men’s Bible Class connected with All Saints’ Church, Rainford, and with a purse of gold containing £22, which had been subscribed for by the parishioners, in consequence of his giving up the curacy of Rainford. The members of the Bible class were entertained by the rev. gentleman and his wife at his house, and Mr G Robinson, in a few well chosen words, presented the album. He said that it had always been a great pleasure for them to meet Mr Greenwood, and he felt sure none would miss him more that the Bible class’. They hoped, however, that his future life would be happy and prosperous. They could assure him that they felt greatly indebted to him for his past services, and they trusted that when he left it would be a kind remembrance of his connection with the Young Men’s Bible Class.

The first page of the album contained the following inscription:- ‘Presented to the Rev. Thomas Collingwood Greenwood by the members of the Young Men’s Bible Class, September 15, 1881, in token of their appreciation of his services to the class as a teacher, and also as a testimony of their good wishes for his future prosperity, together with their prayers that he may long be spared to carry on the good work so ably begun in this parish.’

The newspaper column continues with Thomas Collingwood finding great difficulty in finding the words to convey his thanks and gratitude for the presentation. Mr Robinson then went on to present the gold bag containing £22 on behalf of parishioners and again thanks were prolific from both parties and that they would always have fond memories of times in Rainford.

In 1900 the Greenwood family, Thomas Collingwood, Margaret and six children move a little farther away than they have done since their move from Rainford, this time they move to Wakefield where Thomas Collingwood become the vicar of St Mary’s Church, Primrose Hill. The next census, 1911, gives more information than the previous with the inclusion of length of marriage and number of children. Thomas Collingwood and Margaret had been married 36 years and had eight children in total thankfully all were alive at the time but not all were living at home.

I’d seen examples of Thomas Collingwood’s signature on his marriage entry but with maturity and possibly his position within the community his hand had developed a flourish. A kind signature, one devoid of arrogance. Even his everyday writing seems to be of a man that cares – it is clear, easy to read and thoughtful in its manner.

The signature of Thomas Collingwood Greenwood as seen in the 1911 census

Thomas Collingwood could still be found at St Mary’s in 1921. The following year life would take a turn for the worst as on the 18th December 1922, just days before her wedding anniversary, Margaret died.

Thomas Collingwood continued his service to the parish of St Mary’s until his death in the vicarage on January 25th 1927 and he rests with his Margaret in Sugar Lane Cemetery.

The monument remembering Thomas Collingwood Greenwood and his wife

According to the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer dated the 2nd of July 1930 The Bishop of Wakefield, Dr J B Seaton dedicated two memorials in St Mary’s Church. The first was erected to the memory of Thomas Collingwood Greenwood who had been the vicar of the parish for 27 years – he must have enjoyed the area and felt at home there. The second was to Margaret Greenwood. The Greenwood family gave an oak Communion table in remembrance of their parents while parishioners and friends gave a ‘fine’ oak pulpit. As I lived as a child in Hardy Croft, and attended St Andrew’s Sunday School and church, on occasions we went to St Mary’s so I must have seen the Communion table and pulpit. Little did I know that one day I would be telling you all about the vicar who was held in great stead by his family, parishioners and friends.

This year has been a landmark in British history with the Jubilee celebrations but before we say goodbye to Thomas Collingwood and Margaret I would like to tell you about his early years in Wakefield.

Wakefield and West Riding Herald 13 Aug 1904. ‘Monday, the 29th of this month will bring about the jubilee of the consecration of St Mary’s Church, Wakefield and the vicar and Churchwardens are making the necessary arrangements for the celebrating of the jubilee in a manner worthy of the occasion.’ Special services were held and the 110-foot spire was to be examined. Which resulted in it being practically rebuilt. A Mr Thicket, who was regarded as a spire specialist as he had worked on the City Cemetery Chapel previously, was put forward for the task of repairing the 50-year-old spire, which upon examination had tons of dust from the crumbled into the belfry, with some places being no more than a skeleton. The school also needed an amount of work to be done. So an appeal was put in place and fundraisers were organised. All in all the church spire was rebuilt, and the body of the church was repointed. The pews, some of which were uncovered were now furnished throughout with the addition of kneelers. The brass eagle lectern which was tarnished was now lacquered. A new Communion table, coverings and carpets were installed. It was thought that this would mark the 50 years in a suitable fashion. Little did the communion know that in just over two decades there would be a new lectern!

Back to the article ‘The Rev. Thomas Collingwood Greenwood, the present Vicar, who was appointed soon after Mr Parrish’s death, has proved himself an energetic and hard-working clergyman. In fact, he has to be, for having to work the parish single-handed, as he has done for the past twelve months, including Sunday afternoon services at the Chantry-on-the-Bridge, attended to the Workhouse, and the Parochial Mission Room, it is doubtful if a busier clergyman can be found in the city, His loyally supported by his churchwardens and parishioners…The coming jubilee celebration will, we doubt not, mark a new era in the church, educational and social life of St Mary’s.

I wonder what happened to the Greenwood Communion table, the lectern and the two memorials? Lost in the demolition no doubt! Unless someone knows otherwise.

Two Soldiers of Bleue Maison

Two Soldiers of Bleue Maison

Bleue Maison CWGC © C Sklinar 2022

While on a long-awaited visit to my beloved ‘bolt hole’ in France I took another walk – a ten-minute walk down the road to the CWGC Bleue Maison near the Commune of Eperlecque. I’d been there many times and at one time had photographed all the headstones and later blogged about some of the young men who rest there.

This time though, I’d left the hard drive with all my photographs at home but the short walk down the road on a nice day was very pleasant.

In the cemetery are quite a few Royal Engineers and Cameron Highlanders with the odd other regiments and Canadians thrown in for good measure.

The cemetery covers the period 1918-1919 and sits between the main road through one of the centre villages and the back road to the main village. 

On this visit, I only photographed a few of the headstones – one with an unusual name or something that I thought would make research easy. A Canadian headstone would certainly do that but there was one British grave that stood out not only by the surname but by the regiment. One soldier, a captain by the name of Ronald Newton Caws of the Gloucester Regiment had been awarded the Military Cross but due to his rank I knew his service record would be only accessible via the National Archives, I gave him a miss and settled on E E Setchfield, Private SE/7275 in the Royal Army Vet. Corps., who died on the 19th of September 1917. The date I noticed was before the date carved into the boundary wall of the cemetery.

E E Sketchfield’s CWGC headstone © C Sklinar 2022

Anyway, back to E E Setchfield. I like to add meat to bones and find out who these men were before they served their King and Country. The Forces-war-records website has three entries, each providing a little more information as to E E’s full name. It is the latter of these that not only give a full name – Edward Ernest Setchfield but also additional information that could help find him in the census and other records.

Edward, according to the record, was born around 1980 in Emneth, Norfolk and served in the No. 2 Mobile Vet Section. 

In 1901, Edward was 20 years old and living with his parents, George and Mary and a younger sister, Maud. There is quite a gap between Edward’s and Mary’s age, so there may have been other children in between. Edward was working as a bricklayer at this time. Later this year Edward married a young lady called Rose Adamson in the Wisbech Registration District, but probably in Walsoken, Norfolk – where he is living in the census.

Ten years later Edward and Rose are living at 40 Elizabeth Terrace, Wolsoken. Rose and their two children, Hilda and Mabel, were all born in Wolsoken but Edward seems to change his place of birth on each document. Now he either didn’t understand the question or maybe it was ‘where are you from?’ This could mean the last place he lived or where he was born depending on how the question was understood. If the question had been ‘where were you born?’ this could have been the actual place. But all the documents seem to have listed his previous village as a place of birth. A tad confusing for those new to research.

Edward enlisted in the county town of Norfolk, Norwich and by May 1915 was in France. With only doing a quick search I can’t seem to find much about the No. 2 Mobile Section but at some time they must have been around the St. Omer region of France. The area has vast tracks of canals that were dug out many, many years ago and are known as the Marais. A wonderful place to visit and enjoy a guided tour on an electric boat – a slow tour as there is a strict limit on boat speeds. In the clear water, there is plenty of fish. and the air is countless dragonflies and birds. Ernest, as we know died on the 19th of September 1917 – he was not KIA as his entry simply states DIED. How did he die? His pension card indicates he drowned by accident while on AS. I can be a little more specific in this as the Roll of Honour website tells that Edward drowned whilst fishing. Could he have been fishing in the wide canal at Watten or one of the sections that are more like a maze where you could easily get lost? 

It took a week for the notification of his death to be received by the authorities and even longer for Rose to get the money from the Army. Rose also was to receive money for two children – Hilda Mary born 31 July 1902 and Herbert Edward born 8th of February 1913. There is no mention of Mabel who was a month old in 1911.

Rose never remarried and died in 1964 aged 86.

F S Stewart CWGC headstone. © C Sklinar 2022

In total contrast to Edward, the second soldier to be named in my ramblings is F S Stewart of the Canadian Army Service Corps, 2nd Canadian Aux. HT Coy. According to the CWGC F S Stewart is Fred Sidney Stewart served as Driver 2114941 and died on the 9th of September, 1918 aged 22 years of age.

Fred was the son of Adela and Donald Stewart of 38 Toronto Road, Buckland, Portsmouth. He enlisted in Calgary. Canada on the 4th of January 1917. And unlike many of the British WW1 Service Records the ones for Australia and in this case, Canada have survived. There is so much information to be learnt from such records including wills, soldiers’ movements and something I find most fascinating – a description. So the 38 pages can tell a great deal.

At the time of his enlistment, Fred was born on the 31st of March 1896, giving his address as Gen. Den. Calgary. His family were living in Portsmouth, Hampshire and from passenger records, Fred, a teamster, could have travelled to Canada around 1915-1916.

At 5’7½” in height, Fred was reasonably tall for the time. He had a fair complexion, hazel eyes, and black hair and weighed in at 138lbs.

On the 26th of March 1917, Fred left Canada and disembarked in Liverpool on the 7th of April from SS Metagama and was taken on strength at Shorncliffe. On the 9th of August, he left the UK and arrived in Le Havre the following day as a reinforcement. The following months are detailed as to his whereabouts including 14 days’ leave on the 2nd of March 1918. Rejoining at Caestre (between Hazebrouck and Steenvoorde). At midnight on the 27-28th May 1918, his status was changed to No2 Canadian Army Aux. (Horse) Coy. 

On the 9th of September 1918, Fred was admitted to 36 CCS and died the same day of Phthisis due to active service conditions. Currently, Edward and 58 others rest in Bleue Maison CWGC in the Commune of Eperlecque. 

The base of Fred’s headstone says ‘Until we Meet’.

Bleue Maison entrance gate © C Sklinar

A Headstone in St Ninian’s, Enzie, Banffshire

A Headstone in St Ninian’s, Enzie, Banffshire

During the night the 1911 was taken, 14-year-old William Spence Kerr lived at 2 Old Town, Keith. Also in the house was his father, Alexander, the caretaker of the local cemetery; his mother, Jessie who worked as a baker. William, who worked in the local grocers had three siblings – Charles, Winifred and George, the youngest aged just two.

Alexander had been born in Keith. Jessie (nee Spence) came from Boharm. William had been born in Enzie, while his siblings came from Huntly and Keith. They moved about a bit, didn’t they?

In 1915 William was serving in the Gordon Highlanders after enlisting in Keith. His Medal Card has information about William being awarded the 1915 Star. He entered the regiment with the rank of private and service number 1661/6, which was amended to 266003 later during his service.

William Spence Kerr.
Newspaper source unknown but acknowledged

William served in the 1/6th (Banff and Donside) Battalion Territorial Force. In early August 1914, the regiment was stationed at Keith, then moved south to Bedford. After transferring to the 7th Division, the mostly young soldiers took part in various actions on the Western Front, including in December the Christmas Truce.

In 1915 the Gordon Highlanders took part in the battles of Neuve Capelle, Aubers, the Second action of Givenchy, Loos before being moved to defend the communication lines. In 1916 they saw more action on the Western Front after being transferred to the 51st Division, including High Wood and Ancre. The division was becoming a force to be reckoned with and was handed more difficult assignments, including assaults on Arras throughout the year and in November the assault on Cambrai. By 1918 the division was well below strength due to their huge losses in 1917. The 51st, low in numbers managed to hold back the enemy as the front moved back and forth.

William, however, never had the chance to see the end of the war as he died of wounds on the 17th of February 1917 around Arras. He rests in Maroeul British Cemetery, about 6km northwest of Arras, between Houdain and Aubigny. The cemetery begun by the 51st (Highland) Division, was in Arras from March 1916. Almost half of the graves are those of the Highlanders. The London Territorials also have a number of soldiers buried there. Over 25 officers and men of the Royal Engineers who died in a mine explosion. All in all the cemetery contains 563 Commonwealth graves from the First World War and 11 German soldiers who also lost their lives during this time.

Back to William. In March 1917 his death is recorded in a local newspaper, followed by his obituary in August. By 1920 his mother had been awarded all monies due from the Army.

The Kerr family headstone in St Ninian’s Catholic Cemetery© C Sklinar 2021

In the small Catholic cemetery of St Ninian’s, Braes of Enzie stands the Kerr family headstone.

‘In loving memory of Jessie Spence beloved wife of Alexander Kerr. Died at Keith 24th May 1933 aged 63. And their family. William Fell in Action 17th Feb. 1917. Aged 20. Interred in British Cemetery, Maroeuil France. Allan, Mary and James died in infancy. Also their grandchild Magaret Kerr Grant daughter of Andrew and Winifred Grant. Died at Rothes 13th Dec. 1948 aged 8 years. And Alexander Kerr beloved husband of the said Jessie Spence. Died at Rothes 26th Sept. 1953 aged 83. R.I.P.’

A Walk Around Sugar Lane – Traub family

A Walk Around Sugar Lane – Traub family

If you come from Wakefield you may not be familiar with the surname Traub. In Wakefield you would be aware of the surnames, Hoffman and Zeigler – these families were known as pork butchers with a German background.

Mr Gottleib William Traub was a pork butcher born in Germany and running his business in Batley. William as he came to be known was born in Weinsberg on the 14th of October 1863.

When William came to England I don’t know. But I do know that on the 30th of April 1892 he married Mary Elizabeth Hartley in St Peter’s Church, Morley. William at the time used his full name of Gottleib William and he told the Curate in Charge, Mr James, that he was 28 years old, a butcher, living on Queen Street, Morley. He also informed the Curate that his father was named Christopher and he was a farmer.

Mary Elizabeth was 29 years of age when she walked down the aisle to meet William. Like William, she also lived on Queen Street. Her father was John Richard Hartley and like Williams, father Christopher, he was also a farmer. There were two witnesses on that memorable day, William Kynder Smith and Marion Smith Beck.

The marriage of William and Mary Elizabeth took a little finding as the transcriber wrongly interpreted the name as FRANK.

The young couple settled into married life and a year later Henry Ralph Kinder Traub was born (1893), he sadly died in February 1900. A daughter Sybil followed and by 1901 she was five years old. The family by now were living at 62 Town Street, Batley and William was now working for his-self and he was now a British Subject.

In the Valuation list for Batley in 1910 William is listed with a house and shop at 62 Town Street, Batley. One very interesting thing for the time is that William had owned an electric motor, 2 h.p.

Another ten years passed by and the family are still at 62 Town Street, Batley. Both William and Mary Elizabeth are 47 years of age, Sybil Elizabeth B is 15 and she has a younger sister, Muriel Pauline aged nine. The couple had been married 18 years and had lost two out of their four children. We know about Henry but not yet about Alix Mary Angela who was born in January 1899 and died on the 2nd of September the same year.

The First World War came and went. Life carried on year by year until 1939 when William and Elizabeth are living at 52 Brunswick Street, Dewsbury. Sybil has taken over the role of the head of the house. She works as a Secretary to Woollen Rag Company. Her mother Mary Elizabeth is classed as Incapacitated. William is a retired pork butcher and young Muriel is an elementary school teacher.

Following on from the 1939 Register in October of that year William, even though he had become a British Citizen was still included on the ‘Enemy Alien – Exemption from Internment – Non-Refugee’ list. He must have had to attend a Tribunal as the result was ‘Exempt from internment until further order’. His Identity Book number is also included – 200516.

Sadly, although Mary Elizabeth nee Hartley, was a British Citizen by birth and parentage, at the time of her marriage she took her husband’s country of birth. So she also has an ‘Enemy Alien Card’. In the 1939 Register, her occupation is ‘incapacitated, by October on her card she is now a housewife. Mary’s Identity Book number follows on -, 200517

In the early autumn of 1942, Mary Elizabeth died, she was 79 years old.

Traub headstone in Sugar Lane Cemetery © C Sklinar 2016

The following year Sybil Elizabeth Bohn Traub died o the 16th of January (1943) at Dewsbury & District General Hospital. Her Probate was also granted in Llandudno and again Muriel was to receive money to the value of £2305 4s 4d.

William died on the 28th of January 1944. Probate was granted in Llandudno on the 27th of March to Muriel Pauline Traub, a spinster with effects to the value of £5208 14s 3d. You may ask why was Probate in Llandudno? Due to the was much of the probate staff transferred to Llandudno for the duration. If you look on the index pages for the period 1939-1945 there are a great number of Llandudno registrations.

Muriel Pauline went on to have a long life. She died in Stockport in the first quarter of 1997. Later the 0same year Muriel’s Probate is granted. As she died in 1997 she is just outside the criteria for searching via Ancestry or FindMyPast. I said earlier that Muriel had been a teacher. FMP has her Teachers Registration. She registered on the 1st of January 1933. Registration no. 90506. After training at the Mather Training College, Manchester, Muriel attained a Board of Education Certificate. Later teaching at Whingate Road Council School, Leeds.

Traub headstone in Sugar Lane Cemetery © C Sklinar 2016

So, we now know a bit about the Traub family. But it is only the two children who died in infancy that are remembered on the Hartley family headstone which reads: In Memoriam. John Richard Hartley of Wakefield was born on March 28th 1836. Died February 16th 1874. Also Elizabeth Ann Beck of Morley. Born April 28th 1838. Died February 15th 1904. Also Frederick Leonard Beck son of the above. Born January 1st 1880. Died March 24th 1924. At Rest. Also, Henry Ralph Kinder, the beloved son of William and Mary Elizabeth Traub of Batley Carr, was born July 9th 1893. Died February 2nd 1900 and Alix Mary Angela, daughter of the above. Born January 28th 1899. Died September 2nd 1899.