Monthly Archives: June 2012

Wakefield voices from the Crimea

Crimera War Musings – Wakefield Voices from the Crimea.  Anthony Dawson will be at Westgate Chapel on Wednesday 27 June with a 7:30pm start.

The talk based on letters from young men give an insight into navy and army lives at the battles of Alma and Inkerman and the fall of Sebastopol.

The Crimean War was the first war to be photographed – Roger Fenton a pioneering photographer ventured far to photograph this event in world history.  His reports were widely published, as were his photographs, but many seem staged and orchestrated.

Now letters from the soldiers, that’s real!   Life as it was happening.

Entrance is FREE.

Tedbah Siddle ??

I started my family history nearly 30 years ago.  I had no grandparents and only one parent.  After my Scottish grandfathers death that side of the family seemed to drift off a little – as families do when the hub goes away.  That has, I am very pleased to say been rectified.

But, back locally, my grandmothers maiden name was Agnes Siddle and she married Ernest Wilkinson.  My aunt was born in 1907 before grannies marriage to Ernest.  I remember asking her as a child ‘why does daddy have a different name to you?’  I was told that grandma married twice – a plausible answer and as a youngster it shut me up.  Oh, aunty, if you knew what I knew now!!!!

While looking though Ancestry for any trace of my great uncles military service – 4 of my grandma’s brothers fought in the Great War, with 3 coming home again to their family, I kept coming across this young man – Tedbah Siddle.  Who is he ? And does he link into my Siddle line?  Tedbah can sometimes be found with the spelling, Tedbak and Tedbor.

Anyway, who is he?

Well, I know he has a service record, so I’ll come back to that later but starting with the census, 1911 as I know he served in WW1 and that’s the nearest census to that milestone in his life.

The 1911 census has Tedbah aged 28, being born in Heckmondwike, a worsted spinner, living with his mother and 4 siblings at Walker St, Littletown, Liversedge.  Tedban’s mother was either very formal or chose to be a rebel as she wrote in red and her entry reads:- Mrs Siddle, head, aged 50, married 29 years, 10 children with 8 surviving to the census, works at home and was born in Gildersome.  But she signed Mrs E A Siddle – a small clue there.

Tedbor Siddle, according to Freebmd was registered in Dewsbury in the September Quarter of 1881 and this was confirmed by looking at the GRO Indexes.

Back to the census – I thought Tedbor or the variations in his name would be the stumbling block in this trail.  I searched the census for all the ways his name had been found – Tedbor, Tecbak and Tedbah and still none of his family could be found.  A search for his mother would be very long and hard as all I had found in the 1911 census was her as Mrs E A Siddle.  A sibling, that would be the way to go, try and find one of Tedbor’s siblings who was a similar age and hopefully pick up the man himself.

One of Tedbor’s siblings, Amanda was born in 1892, therefore she should be in the 1901 census.  Amanda Siddle born 1892 +/- 5 years found nothing.  So in for the long haul – a search for an Amanda born around 1892 in Yorkshire that could take time.  But, not as hard as I thought just around 460 entries and I quickly started at the last page and worked back, came to the s’s and there she was Amanda Siddal and I thought Tedbor would be the stumbling block.  So 1901 who were this family and were was Tedbor.   Well, Mrs Siddal was there and her name was Emma, she was aged 40 and a cloth weaver born in Gildersome.  Tedbor was there now entered as Ted aged 18 and a woollen twister.  There was a Jane aged 16 and a worsted spinner.  Alonzo aged 13 also a worsted spinner.  Robert aged 7 ; Ada 5 ; Norah 3 and Amanda aged 9 – no idea why she is out of age order.  But where is Mr Siddal as Emma states she was married.  Back another 10 years to find out as he must have been around within the last 3 years at least – well according to the ages of the children !

What I find in the 1891 census, I did not expect.  We have Emma A Siddal, giving her status as mother, aged 30 and still a cloth weaver.  We have Clara E Haigh, daughter aged 11 a scholar born in Dewsbury. There is, what looks like, Delert Siddal (our

Carol Sklinar 2010

Carol Sklinar 2010

Tedbor) aged 8. Jane A is there aged 6, along with Alonzo C aged 3 and Olive C aged 1.  But, as the head of the household is one Joseph Crawshaw aged 40 a warp dresser born in Dewsbury.

Tedbah Siddle was in a marriage entry for the December Quarter of 1911 in North Bierley to Gertrude Wooller the exact date being 11 December 1911.

Back to the service record, where I initially found Tedbah – There are four entries for Tedbah with the first being dated 1905 when he is Attesting for the Militia or Reserve Div.,   He  joined the 3rd West Riding Regt., no. 14948.  He was single and aged 22 years 6 months and a millhand – all this we know from census and birth entries.  He said that he had served/ was a currently serving with the Volunteers 1st Bn W R Regt., and that he had purchased his discharge.  Further paperwork goes on to bring him more to life – he was 5′ 3″ tall, weighing 113lbs, with a fresh complexion, brown eyes and hair and worshipped within the Church of England and had no distinguishing marks. The Army Recruiting Office wrote to the local police to enquire about Tedbah, the reply came back that they knew him to be of good character.  A reference from Joseph Armitage, Manager stated that he had know Tedbah for over 12 years and last saw him 3-4 days ago (from date of signing Jan 13 1905) – Joseph commented that Tedbah was sober, honest and respectable.  Tedbah attending various training sessions.

In 1913 he re-enlisted after notice, by now he was a married man, his writing had become a more confident hand.  He was part of the B.E.F and rose through the ranks becoming a  Company Sgt., Major.  He ceased to be a CSM when he was transferred to the Heavy Branch – M.G.C and now his army number changes to  7870644.  He was wounded  and a letter from Mrs G Siddle of 4 New Brighton, Oakenshaw, Bradford dated July 14th 1921 asks  if she could be supplied with the following information.

“Is 14948/7807

644 Sgt T Siddle MGC yet demobilised or is he yet serving in the H M Forces.  He has been in India for the last two years (or there abouts) and is at present in this district, and is reported to be on six months leave prior to been transferred to South Africa.  I was given to understand that in July 1919 he had re-enlsited for a period of four years.  I am his lawful wife and am curious to get correct information on the matter and herby appeal to you for such. Thanking you in antisipation for an early reply.  I am Sirs, yours truly, Mrs G Siddle”

A reference in his army records gives the answer to Mrs Siddles question.  A margin note for Tedbak said that he was placed on the married establishment list, in view of the fact that he is separated from his wife by mutual consent.  There was a type written reference to this by his Commanding Officer, basically saying that as he had entered a status of married on the Attestation that had stood as there had been no update to this saying he was now separated.  The regarding his marital status would be altered and that ‘the soldier’ would proceed to Deolali enroute to the UK.

Note – Deolali – a town in India where the Deolali transit camp was based.  It was known for being an unpleasant environment and boredom and many soldiers with psychological problems pass through its portals – hence the terms ‘gone doolally’ and ‘doolally tap’ – terms for someone who  has ‘lost their mind’ possibly due to the stresses of war.  In Urdu the word tap meals a malarial fever.

One part of his service records was an award for the D.C.M. and he should be presented with such in accordance with the Northern Command Authority.  His citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry and resource at Ypres on the 20.3.1915 when he held on to a position with his section, although the trench was destroyed by the enemy;s shell fire, throughout the day until relief arrived.  During the defence of his post he managed to take back a report to his company, from whic

h he was cut off, under heavy shell fire, and then returned to his section. He was wounded during the day. “ This report answers an earlier entry in his records.

Further information gives information that Mrs Siddle was requesting that her husband acknowledge that he is the father of at least one child, a child that will come into the world very soon. He acknowledge two children, Gladys Irene born 15 April 1912 and Mabel born 12 October 1916 (Mabel is the unborn child referred to)

I’ve done a potted history of Tedbor and his siblings, found out his mother’s name and eventually his father’s.  But I still don’t know where his name comes from – is it a family name ? A search of Freebmd only lists one Tedbor and the Army Records, as we already know, shows up Tedbah, while the GRO gives a zero result.  I am no nearer to know where nor why he was given that name………………May be someone reading this knows !

Addendum – Cleckheaton Advertiser and Spen Valley Times Page 2 July 1st 1915 has an interview with Tedbah about his exploits – he was in line for a V.C. but received the D.C.M. instead.

Towns as names

Been thinking what to do a blog about – you know something interesting and informative hopefully.  So clicked on to Ancestry 1901 census and thought who can I find that has an unusual tale to tell.  Not watching where I was typing I entered Wakefield and then enter.  What a surprise, I had entered Wakefield in the first name, or as I know it, Christian name and 47 entries greeted me – some were only a middle name, derived from a relatives surname perhaps, but there were about 10 who had been given  it as a first name – why? Did they have a link to the town or to someone whose surname was Wakefield?

Who shall I pick on to open up all their secrets ?  Wakefield Arthur sounds interesting and he was also first in the list.  He was born in 1862 in Plymouth – old enough to have a couple of census to delve through and also young enough so that his parents can be traced. But I am afraid my enthusiasm regarding Arthur was soon drenched like a good summer.  The 1901 census entry for Wakefield was clicked on and the entry for him and his family was about half way down – my eyes fell on Wakefield Arthur aged 39, the entry for his wife told the whole sad story – she was Blanche Wakefield – the enumerator had taken down the name incorrectly or Arthur had given his surname first, as you sometimes do on documents.  I’ll try another Wakefield.

No names stand out in the 1901 so switched to 1911 instead and found a gentleman aged 52 and born in Yorkshire.  Who is he ?  Wakefield Duncan Crigan is his name.  He was born in 1859 in Sleights, near Whitby and was living on Private Means with his  family and servants at Dainton, 9 Upper Park Road, Bromley, Kent.  The family consisted of Wakefield, his brothers Hugh Alexander Crigon aged 49 and Charles Clandin Crigan aged 42 and their sisters Julia Smelt Crigan aged 55 and Caroline Ann Crigan aged 45 all were born in Sleights and all, like Wakefield, were living on Private Means.  The entry for Wakefield also states he was married, had been for 18 years and had had one child – the enumerator had struck through this as it was normally the woman who entered the information regarding children, but good old Wakefield for letting us know – but who and were is his wife.

The 1901 census draws a blank on a quick search for Wakefield, but the 1891 finds him with his parents, Charles Crigan aged 63 a retired military officer born in Marston and Jane aged 62 born in Whitby – all the children previously mentioned are there plus others :- Julie, Wakefield entered as Duncan, John, Hugh and Caroline all aged between 23 – 32 and all single.

The 1881 census with a quick search also reveals nothing but the 1871 tells that aged 44 Charles had retired from his military service and was living at Carr View House in Eskdale with his wife Jane and the following children :- Mary Dora 20, Elizabeth 18, Julia 14, W Duncan 12, John 10, Alexander 9. Hamilton 8, Caroline 5, Charlotte 3 and Charles 2.  The places of birth for the eldest two children is Newingden ?  and Whitby, while the younger children are all Sleights.

Back a further 10 years to 1861 and Charles with his family are still in Eskdale and aged 34 Charles is a Retired Military Officer – how long was he in the army ? A search of Army Officers books tells that there have been Crigan high ranking officers serving the country since the late 1700’s and does our Charles belong to this family?  But back to 1861 and the family is now consisting of :- Elizabeth 9, Shell ? 8, Jane 7, Julia 4, Janetta C 3, Wakefield D 2 and Joshua 1 + plus servants including a nursery governess, nursery maid, housemaid and cook.

1851 can’t find an entry for Charles or Jane with a few variations used in the search.

Charles Alexander Robert Crigan married Jane Chapman in the June Qtr of 1850 in the Whitby Registration District.

Back to Wakefield and who was his wife ?  There is an entry in Freebmd for a Wakefield Duncan Crigan marrying in the September Qtr of 1893 (which ties up with him saying he had been married 18 years) in the Kensington Registration District but there is a choice of ladies to match him to – Mary Henrietta G Kell or Emily Tappin ?

Jumping into 1900, Charles Alexander Robert Crigan or Dainton, Upper Park Road, Bromley, Kent a retired captain in HM Madras Native-infantry died on 2 Ocdrtober 1900, Administrations London 27 October to Wakefield Duncan Crigan accountant, effects £553 2s 1d.

Jumping into the next decade Wakefield Duncan Crigan of Trefusis, Summerdown Road, Eastbourne died 5 May 1912.  Probate London 23 May to Mary Henrietta Gertrude Crigan, widow and Edgar Armstrong Everington, solicitor.  Effects £12740 7s 10d.  Question, one being answered this time, which makes a change, he married Mary Henrietta G Kell, but where was she in the 1911 census and was the child with her?  Found her !!  M H Gertrude Crigan aged 43 and born in Bradford was living with her 16 year old daughter Catherine E and two servants at Trefusis, Summerdown Road, Eastbourne living on private means.  Mary completes her form stating she has been married 17 years.  But why is Wakefield, head of household living with his siblings?

Mary Henrietta Gertrude Crigan of 50 Sandford Road, Bromley, Kent died in Stoneleigh Cottage, Garpole, nr Leominster  on 28 January 1942 aged 74.  Probate Llandudno 3 April to Basil Stuart Hudson, M.C. Captain H M Army and Catherine Elizabeth Hudson (wife of the said Basil Stuart Hudson M.C.). Effects £2239 16s 11d.  Mary’s daughter Catherine had married Basil in the March Quarter of 1926 in Bromley.

Basil Stuart Hudson M.C. served as an Officer in WW1, his medal card tells that he was a 2nd Lieutenant in the R.F.A. and in addition to the M.C. he was awarded the Victory and British Medals.  He served in France  and applied for his medals in 1923, being sent to James Hudson, Esq., ‘Terracina’ 8 Garden Road, Bromley, Kent.

I don’t seem to have answered by initial question – Why was Wakefield called Wakefield, but I do seem to have found a family with what could turn out to be an interesting story – let me know if you are related.

Sources :- Ancestry, Freebmd,

Two societies celebrate the Diamond Jubilee

Wakefield & District Family History Society and Outwood CommunityVideo are combining forces to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II – well what better excuse for various groups in the community to join together!

When ? - The 19th of June from 7pm – 9pm. Officially opened by David Dinmore, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.

Where ? - Outwood Memorial Hall, off Leeds Road, Wakefield

Who ? - As well, as the two organising groups you can also see Wakefield Movie Makers ; The Paxton Society ; Classic Records & Music Society ; Outwood Wives and Denby Dale Collectors + local schools to name a few.

What will they be doing ? – Exhibitions of Coronation and Royal memorabilia, films, slide shows of local Royal events ; flower displays with local schools displaying their artwork with a Royal theme.

Entry to the hall is FREE and you can get a cuppa and a slice of cake or a bun while you sit and have a chat and share some Royal memories.

Andrew Moynihan, Wakefield’s V.C.

If you mention the name Andrew Moynihan to anyone, do you think they will know of him?  Was he a criminal? Was he a business man?  What is his connection to Wakefield? Well, who was he?

As Ancestry have included a database of Victoria Cross Recipients on their vast website – wonderful I thought as it could help me with additional information when transcribing war memorials for my website.  So, to see who is there – a search with no criteria completed except the place, Wakefield.  To my surprise only one entry, Andrew Moynihan - lets go looking for him.  From his Ancestry entry I know he was born in Wakefield, in Saw Yard to be exact, in January of 1830 but could not find a baptism for him,  He could possibly have been a Catholic so would more than likely still be held by the church, not to worry. A search of FamilySearch soon came up with the goods – 14 March 1830 in St Austins Catholic Church, Wakefield with parents Malechy Monaghen and Ann. So on to the census of 1851 with his name, year of birth +/- 5 and his town of birth, Wakefield – again no joy.  Various search information was included and excluded, ending up with Andrew and Wakefield but still no entry for him.

One not to be beaten I googled him and came up with a site for Manchester people which did shed a little bit of light on him – the family moved to Dunkinfield when Andrew was a young child.  My search now went to the other side of the Pennines.  His early life seems to be a little mysterious but some sources say he worked in a couple of local mills and worshipped at a local Methodist Church.

At 17 years old he enlisted in the 90th Regiment of Perthshire Volunteers, who at the time were stationed in Ashton.  Aged 23, on the 31 December 1853, and with his name now being spelt Moyniham,  he married Ellen Parkin in Ashton Parish Church. With the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854, Andrew and many others were sent to fight the Russians.  The following year he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

His citation in the London Gazette for 24th February 1857 states : Ensign Andrew Moynihan (note change of spelling), 8th Regiment, late of the 90th Regiment.  When Serjeant, 90th Light Infantry, at the assault of the Redan, 8th September 1855, he personally encountered and killed five Russians.  Rescued from near the Redan a wounded officer, under heavy fire.

The initial attack on the Redan Fortress at Sebastapol failed but Andrew’s actions made further attacks possible. Despite heavy Russian fire and being driven back numerous times Andrew re-entered a building to  rescue an officer but was wounded and taken prisoner.  The British were repeatedly pushed back to their trenches but further attacks enabled him to escape and save a wounded soldier despite his own injuries – Various reports say that he had 12 wounds by the end of the day.

A hero’s welcome greeted him on his return home to Dunkinfield and various presentations were made to him but in 1857 he received from Queen Victoria his Victoria Cross.

Andrew later served in Ireland, the Indian Mutiny, Gibraltar and Malta and it was in Malta in 1867 that he died of Typhoid Fever at his home in Floriana, and rests in La Braxia Cemetery (Section S, Grave 182).  He is also mentioned in memorium on the headstone of his daughter, Ada, in Lawnswood Cemetery, Leeds.

Although, Andrew did not stay in Wakefield for very long at least we can say he was born within our city boundary.

Footnote – Wikipedia has an entry for Berkeley George Andrew Moynihan, who is listed as the son of Andrew.  He moved with his mother to Leeds, where he was educated and later educated at the Blue Coat School,  London and later at the Royal Naval School.  He returned to Leeds to study medicine and joined the Leeds General Infirmary as a house surgeon, reaching the height of consulting surgeon in 1927.  During WW1 he was on the Army Advisory Board and by the end of the war held the rank of major general.  He also served as President of the Royal College of Surgeons.  He was knighted in 1912 and created Baronet of Carr Manor in 1922.  In 1929 he wa raised to the peerage as Baron Moynihan of Leeds.

Sources :-

Ancestry

Civilian and Military heroes of Manchester

FamilySearch

Wikipedia

La Braxia Cemetery

Blue Plaque tribute to Andrew Moynihan