Category Archives: News

Wakefield Express – 2nd Sept 1944

Wakefield Express 2 Sept 1944

Dead on the Beach – ~An open verdict was returned at an inquest held this week in Berwick, on the body of Trooper Joseph Gamble, whose home was at Chapel House, Crofton. The deceased disappeared from his unit early in the last month, after visiting the medical officer. The body was found on the beach by a holiday-maker. Deceased was called up in August, 1939, and left England the following year. After serving in Palestine he went through the Syrian campaign, and was with the Eight Army throughout the North African fighting. He was wounded whilst in Tripoli and subsequently he was regraded and sent home to England. The funeral took place at Berwick Cemetery last Monday.

Brothers met in India – Mrs Dickinson, 3 Hambleton Street, Wakefield, has received a letter from her husban Corporal Stanley Dickinson, stating that he has met his younger brother, Signalman Jack Dickinson, in India, and spent a short leave together. Corporal Dicki inson, before the war was employed at the Reaicut Wool Co., and he served two and a half years in the N.F.S. at Horbury. His brother was employed on the railway, and is an old scholar of Thornes House School.

Wounded in France – Mr and Mrs Sherwood, 23, Esther Avenue, Lupset, have received news that their son, Driver R Sherwood, has been wounded in France, and is now in hospital somewhere in England. Prior to joining the Forces he was employed at Messrs, G Brook and Sons brick-works. He was educated at St Austin’s School.

Progressing Favourably – Private R Wormald, K.O.Y.L.I., who was wounded in Normandy on July 27th is reporte to be progressing favourably in a hospital in Birmingham. He is the son of Mr and Mrs L Wormald, 113 Aberford Road, Stanley. He has also served in Norway and Iceland, and before the war he was employed by Sydney Raines Ltd., Wakefeld. His wife is in the W.L.A.

Killed in Action – News has been received by Mr and Mrs F Dobson, 2, Saville Street, Emley, that their son Pte., R E Dobson, has been killed in the Burma fighting. He joined the Forces in September. 1939, and went overseas in December of the same year. He was previously employed at Armitage’s, Shelly.

Additional information :-  

Trooper Joseph Gamble – Joseph Herbert Gamble, was the son of George and Sophia Gamble.  Joseph served in the KOYLI, as Private 410047.  He died aged 30 years on the 24th of August 1944 and rests in Section C A Grave 1349 in Berwick-upon-Tweed Cemetery along 56 other casualties of war.

R E Dobson, was Robet Ebinor Dobson who served as Pte., 4748477 in the York and Lancaster Regiment.  The son of Frederick Ebinor Dobson and his wife Lily.  He was married to Vera and lived in Shelley.  He was killed in action n the 5th of August 1944, aged 26 and rests in Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar (Burma).  The cemetery is approximately 6o minutes drive from the centre of Rangoon. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission :-

Taukkyan War Cemetery via CWGC

“TAUKKYAN WAR CEMETERY is the largest of the three war cemeteries in Burma (now Myanmar). It was begun in 1951 for the reception of graves from four battlefield cemeteries at Akyab, Mandalay, Meiktila and Sahmaw which were difficult to access and could not be maintained. The last was an original ‘Chindit’ cemetery containing many of those who died in the battle for Myitkyina. The graves have been grouped together at Taukkyan to preserve the individuality of these battlefield cemeteries

The cemetery now contains 6,374 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 867 of them unidentified.
In the 1950s, the graves of 52 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War were brought into the cemetery from the following cemeteries where permanent maintenance was not possible: Henzada (1); Meiktila Cantonment (8); Thayetmyo New (5); Thamakan (4); Mandalay Military (12) and Maymyo Cantonment (22).

Note :- The Wakefield Express includes images of each of the soldiers included

Miss Louisa Fennell

Miss Louisa Fennell

Wakefield Art Gallery source unknown

Extracted from the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer 18th April 1936:-

Pictures at Wakefield – Acquisitions of the Art Gallery. Among interesting events at the Wakefield City Art Gallery this year is to be an exhibition of the work of Miss Louisa Fennell, the members of whose family have presented to the gallery nine of the original water colours of Wakefield from which the well-known series of repodictions of views of Wakefield were taken.
Miss Fennell faithfully recorded interestinf views of Wakefield and the fact that the subjects of the scenes have now altered in most caes almost beyond recognition has made the paintings even more valuable from an historic point of view.  With the paintings have also been presented a copy of the artist’s book – “The live of St. Paul in Rome” – and the original sketches for the illustrations.  In addition the family have given three fan designs which are water colours on silk, two executed by Miss Emily E Fennell, and the other one by Miss Louisa Fennell.  The exhibition of Miss Louisa Fennell’s work is to be held in the Gallery in September.
Rece191nt acquisitions by the Gallery are two oil paintings, “Seascape”, by George Chambers, and “Cottage Interior”, by an unknown artist, both presented by Mr A A Haley, and a portrait by a talnted West Riding artist, John A Spancer, purchased by the Corporation from a recent exhibition at the Leeds Art Gallery.  Mr T Burgess of Rotherham, has loaned to the Gallery a painting by Pieter Wouverman, a 1th century Dutch artist, and a younger brother of the famous Philip Wouverman, who was born in Aarlem in 1614.

The article concludes with the following final paragraph:- 
The Wakefeld Art Gallery has come prominently to the fore rcently as a result of the special exhibition of pictures suitable for schools, arranged by the West Riding Education Committee, held there.  it was th first exhibition of its kind to be held in the North of England.  nearly 5,000 people visited the Gallery during the exhibition and inquiries concerning it have been received from all parts of the country, and one from South Africa.

Who was Louisa Fennell.  Louisa had been born in Wakefield in 1847 to William and Mary Fennell.  William worked as a Wine Merchant.  The family of 12, in 1881, lived in Westgate, Wakefield.  By 1901, William is an 83 year old widow, still working as a Wine merchant is  living with four of his spinster daughters at 31-33 Westgate, with two servants. Ten years later in 1911 Louisa was now the head of the household of 33 Westgate, where she lived with two of her sisters and one servant.  Home, 33 Westgate is quite a large house consising of 12 rooms.

Louisa was best known as a painter of landscapes and townscapes in the West Riding of Yorkshire, especially, Wakefield.  She also painted a series of townscapes of the City of York. She exhibited widely in the North of England – in 1884 her paintings were exhibited at the Spring Exhibition in Derby.

Sometime before 1930 Louisa moved to 21 St John’s Square, Wakefield (according to the 1911 census 21 St John’s Square was a 7 roomed dwelling), and it was there in 1939 that her sister, Bertha, was found living with one servant, Ivy Morgan (later to be Armitage) in 1939. Other residents were, a Company Director, Transport Engineer, Teacher, Headmistress, Inspector of Nurses and Midwives, HM Inspector of Schools.  The beautiful three sided square, with St John’s Church at its centre is quite unlike the square today.

Hepworth Gallery ©C Sklinar

Louisa died on the 13th of March 1930 and rests within the small burial ground surrounding St John’s Church. Probate was registered in London the following month and granted to Emily Esther Fennell and Bertha Fennell spinsters and Charles William Fennell engineers.  Effects £1808 10s  6d.

Wakefield City Art Gallery, now having moved to a purpose built building by the River Calder and re-named The Hepworth Gallery (taking its name from another Wakefield artist) has within its collection 17 Wakefield scenes and other works by Louisa.

Wakefield Express – Butel Brothers

Wakefield Express – Butel Brothers

Extracted from the Wakefield Express June 1944.

BROTHERS WOUNDED – Cpl. B butel and Pte. J. Butel, Dorsetshire Regiment, sons of Mr P.A. Butel, of la Moye, Jersey, Channel Islands, now living at 16, St John’s North, Wakefield, have been wounded in Normandy.

Butel brothers via Wakefield Express June 1944

Butel brothers via Wakefield Express June 1944

Although not a very good photocopy of the Butel brothers – the image was very dark. You can get an impression of the young men.

What were the Butel brothers doing in Wakefield.

Quite a few people from the Channel Islands came to Wakefield during WW2, leaving their home as the islands had been taken over by the German Army.  Were the brothers part of this migration to safety? Or, had they already left to join the British Army? Does anyone know?

Photographs – Who are You?

Photographs – Who are You?

A while ago I was donating somethings to charity – my chosen charity shop was closed, and as the items I wished to donate were in my car I stopped off at another charities shop to pass on the items. While in the shop one of the staff, I think it was the deputy manager, started talking when he spotted my interest in a framed photograph. It was old, in a wooden frame and was of a couple and looked to be from the first 20 years of the 1900’s. I love old photographs but I wish people would write on the back – passing on the information of who is who. My mum was an example of non-writing on photographs, well, why should she, she knew who the people were.

DSCF6080Anyway, moving on. I walked out of the shop armed with an envelope containing a handful of WW2 photographs and one of a lady who looked to have been captured in time a little earlier. I also had a simple wooden frame securing a grey board, upon the board was a printed military crest. Below the crest was the name, service number and regiment of a man written in what looked like a pencil, with the passing of time had faded and only the faint indentations of the writing implement were visible…………..that is another story!

I was told in the charity shop that they came from a house clearance in the Castleford/Normanton area.

Now is the time to try and link names to a lady and a few soldiers.

Starting with the lady, as you should in polite circles. Her dress looks to be from around the second decade of the 1900’s. Her hair is in a simple off the face style and she has a wistful look that could be tinged with sadness. Her dress or top is buttoned through and finished off with a brooch which looks to be in the form of a bow and a long securing pin. The photograph was taken by Muller Portrait Co., 4 Silver Street, Halifax.

DSCF6092 lady cropped 20170417_102406

The photographs of the soldiers seem to be taken in various places including Talbot Studios (T H Louden) 61 Talbot Road, Blackpool; Swift Studios in either Plymouth of Exeter; Modern Studios, 11 Boar Lane, Leeds; Pictorial Studios, The Esplanade, Redcar; T  E Cox, Ripon and a couple in Bombay that look like pictures taken by fellow soldiers.

A few of the photographs have names on the back, as if sent with a letter, while others are blank.

Who to start off with?  The man at the top.  A soldier with his cap at a jaunty angle and no signes of a regiment apart from a cap badge.  On the reverse are the words ‘Plows Histon 170 Street (?)’.

Eric on the left and Mr Plows on right

Eric on the left and Mr Plows on right

Next is a man who writes on the reverse of his image ‘To Forrie and Harold with love from Eric’. At least we know this young mans name!

Following on is a man serving in the RAF and written on the reverse is ‘Mr Plows’ – could he  be a relative of the soldier at Histon?

Florrie and Harold must have been well known and liked in the area as the photographs from Bombay are for them and they received two photographs within a month.  ‘To Florrie and

Raymond, Bombay 1945

Raymond, Bombay 1945

Raymond, Bombay 1945.

Raymond, Bombay 1945.

Harold from Raymond xxxxxx, Bombay Aug 45′ and then ‘ To Florrie and Harold from Raymond xxxxx Bombay 15th Sept 45’.  What connection had Florrie and Harold to Raymond and our first young man? On close inspection of the coloured photograph, it looks like it is hand coloured as his cap badge on the left clearly shows it should not be red and the pink/red colouring runs in two places onto the white border.

The following pictures have no names or clues except the group image was taken by a photographer from Ripon. Do you know who these men are, if you do, let me know!

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10 WW1 things to do in Northern France and Belgium

10 WW1 things to do in Northern France and Belgium

1 Toc H and the Shot at Dawn Post – Poperinghe

2 Lijssenthoek CWGC Cemetery and Visitor Center

3 The Blochaus de Eperleques

4 Tyne Cot CWGC and Visitor Center

5 Langermark German Cemetery

6 In Flanders Field Museum

7 Vimy Ridge and Visitor Center

8 Le Carriere eWellington

9 Passchendale Museum

10 Victoria Cross: The Heroes’ Trail

Before you visit – check for opening times, entrance charges, facilities and access.

If you are going to look for a specific soldier or place, do a little bit of research before you go, it will be worth the pre-planning.

Family History Diary

Family History Diary

Recently I collected another print run of my Family History Diary and I was delighted with the new section I asked them to included.

What is a Family History Diary?

Family History Diary

Family History Diary

An A4 40-page booklet printed on quality 120gsm paper offering a simple and easy way to organise your research. It is a handy and easily transportable way to keep your information at hand when visiting archives, libraries, relatives or family history fairs and events.

No longer is there the need to be laden down with files and lose papers while researching.

The centrally held family tree forms the core of your work with each ‘couple’ having a unique page number – a simple and quick way to find who you need without flicking through the pages.

The page for each couple has sections for their names, places of birth, death and burials with ‘tick boxes’ so you can see at a glance if you have a birth, marriage and death certificate for the couple.The marriage information also has a section.  Plus spaces to include up to 12 children and their relevant details.

The census is the next important fact to be included from 1841 up to the current 1911 census – space is also available for the address and the census reference, which is also a boon when wanting to follow up or print the information at a later date.

As well as a notes section at the front of the booklet the back has pages for monumental inscriptions, including such information: where the headstone is, a brief description and most importantly, the wording.

The booklets are in a choice of colours – if using more than one booklet for different sides of the family you can have a specific colour to a family.

Now it’s even easier to transfer the newly found information to your main way of storing your family history, be it a computer, database or card system.

All in all a good tool for the beginner or more experienced researcher and now includes an extra page for a new family history source.

Don’t forget to use a pencil – if you find an error you can simply erase !

Click here to get yours 
Note: there is a variation in the colour choice in this print run but the cost including postage and packing is still only £5.25.

Available in: Yellow, Cream, Turquoise, Pale Blue, Orange

West Yorkshire History Center

West Yorkshire History Center

Yesterday afternoon I met my friend for lunch. I have known her nearly 60 years and we seem to have, over the years gone through good times, very good times and the not so good – we have dealt with things in our own way but always been there for each other. We may not be in each other’s pockets on a day to day basis but if anyone asks who my best friend is, I do not hesitate and say her name.

Anyway, soppy stuff over.

West Yorkshire Family History Centre

West Yorkshire Family History Centre

Before lunch, it was suggested that we pay a visit to the Open Day of the West Yorkshire History Center, which opens on Monday. The purpose built building sits on a plot of land in Kirkgate and it a very modern building, the very opposite of its predecessor on Margaret Street, Wakefield.

The weather outside was cold, wet and windy so it was pleasant to be in the warm new building. The entrance is an open space, which includes a reception desk and a few tables to sit and have a drink from the installed vending

West Yorkshire Archives, Margaret Street

The previous home of the West Yorkshire Archives on Margaret Street, Wakefield

machines. As you walk up the corridor to the research area you are greeted with a few display cases, which at the moment are focusing on WW1 items.

The research area is large, bright and airy with plenty of tables and computer terminals, also having a reception desk area for ordering archive material. This room was quite busy but we were greeted as we entered by a member of staff, who we chatted to and my friend, Judy Gorbutt nee Alexander, explained that she had been brought up within yards of the centre, as her grandfather and father owned Alexander’s, which at one time had been a pet shop and seed merchants then became well known in the area as the place to go for fishing tackle. The member of staff suggested that Judy look in the Register of Deeds to see if she could find any information about the purchase of the Kirkgate shop. Guess what we did next?

The Register of Deeds indices are housed in sliding units, well, we were like kids in a sweet shop. We had only a vague idea of the date of the purchase of the Kirkgate shop, therefore, a process of elimination took place. We did find him owning property on Haddingley Hill, Milnthorpe Lane and a few other places – the Kirkgate shop seemed to be as elusive as the man himself, as he had been hard to find in many records, his life still remains a mystery in many decades.

Armed with this information, Judy and I continued our visit looking at the conservation area -many items looking familiar to those in my art teacher’s room at school.

Extracted from Wakefield.gov –

The archival collections held by are an unparalleled record of the history of the West Riding of Yorkshire and its communities from 1194 to the present day.

The West Yorkshire Archive Service in Wakefield is the third largest local authority archive in Great Britain comprising over 10 million documents. The service exists to make this history accessible to the public and to look after the region’s heritage for future generations.

Many collections have national significance, among them the unique records of the pioneering Stanley Royd Mental Health Hospital, recently awarded international status as part of the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register.

Other major collections that will be cared for at the centre are the unparalleled West Riding Registry of Deeds made up of 12,763 volumes containing 7 million extracts of property transactions from 1704 to 1970, as well as the massive National Coal Board collection of over 2000 boxes relating to collieries and coal miners in Wakefield and the south Leeds area.

The History Centre cares for the late John Goodchild’s collection which represents an unrivalled and rich source of information for local history research and contains manuscripts, books, maps, illustrations, indexes and research files covering a vast range of subjects and stories associated with local individuals and organisations.

Our visit over it was time to venture out back into a cold, wet and dismal Wakefield to decide where to go for lunch and a chat. But with so many records available to researchers it looks like another visit is on the cards.

The centre is open on the following times:-
From Monday 13th February 2017
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
09:30-17:00
Wednesday, Sunday
Closed
Open 2nd Saturday a month
09:30-17:00
Bank holidays
Closed

Morley & District Family History Open Day

Morley & District Family History Open Day

poster-snipped-versionMorley & District Family History Group are celebrating their 30th Anniversary with an Open Day on Saturday 17th of September 2016 from 10am – 3pm at St Mary’s in the Wood, (opposite Morley Library), Commercial Street, Morley, Leeds, LS27 8HY.

With Free Admission, why not pop in and see who is going to be there.

30 years ago a small group of people attended an evening class for those interested in family history. The classes ended after six weeks, and it was then that Morley & District Family History Group began and is still here today.

Morley & District FHG may not be the biggest family history society/group but they are a friendly lot, so if you have family from the local area or are thinking about beginning your family history, why not drop in on Saturday and have a chat.

Morley & District FHG will have their collection of transcriptions available for sale.

Who else is going to be there?

leaflets-1There will also be a small information desk with leaflets and information from The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Find My Past and The Western Front Association.

On the day there will be a HELP DESK which will have access to major family history online resources.  A collection of family history magazines plus a good selection of family history society magazines from various areas will be FREE for you to take away  – you may find something of interest to help with your family history research.

Bring along your family and local history questions.

But don’t forget to bring some of your research with you or make notes of the questions you wish to find an answers to!

See you on Saturday for a chat, a cuppa and a Yorkshire Welcome.

Why can’t I find them in the census?

Why can’t I find them in the census?

When transcribing a document for online research should you transcribe the document as it is written or transcribe the document, making it suitable for online searching?

A transcription by definition is ‘copied’ word for word, error for error.  But are there times when common sense should prevail?   There are other forms of transcriptions, but that can be for a later date.

Many online documents are transcribed abroad, where names and places are transcribed by those who have no knowledge of the country that the documents relate to.

Example : Latham family of 17 Cambridge Avenue, Crosby.

Example : Latham family of 17 Cambridge Avenue, Crosby.

Imagine you are looking for your maternal grandmother. You know her married name, eventually find her maiden name but her parents and siblings are unknown. A search of the census does not give any information that is helpful.  Could it be that the enumerator has tried to save his time and effort by being scrimpy with the details by using ‘Ditto’ or ‘Do’. And there seems to be a large number of people with ‘Ditto’ or ‘Do’ as their surname.

For example in the Great Grimsby census for 1911 Mr Myers of 10 Bull Ring, Grimsby completed his form telling he was a grocer.  His wife Rose was completed using her full name, Rose Myers, while the children, two of them were entered as Hilda Do and Harold Do. Percy Cahill, a window cleaner living at 125 Walnut Street, Hr Broughton, completed his form by entering his name in full, then completing the form by adding his wife and children’s names followed by ‘Do’.

Another example from the 1911 census is for Joseph Preedy who lived at 10 Acacia Avenue, St John’s, Wembley.  Mr Preedy, a Head Glazier, who had been married to Alice for 16 years completed her name in full, then proceeded to name his children, each one’s name followed by ‘Ditto’.

That’s all well and good but there are also a number of people with ‘Ditto’ or ‘Do’ as a first name…….

Thomas Barns of Gaul Road, March, Cambridge, seems to have been a bit unsure on how to complete his census form – there are quite a few crossings out and a good old ink blot! Thomas enters his name, his wife’s details then complete his children’s information.  Now, did he intend to put his eldest child Dorothy first, or enter his son first?  There is a ‘Do’ before Ernest’s name, which may be due to Thomas being unsure of how to complete the form, but Ernest is now on the index as Do Ernest Barnes.

Henry Charles Wills of Sackville Gardens, Hove, is an Engineer and Tea Planter living with his wife and two children plus  two servants – Mary Ann Tidball and Agnes du Cruyard, Agnes is found on the index as Agnes do Cruyard.

1911 census via Ancestry.com

1911 census via Ancestry.com

One young man in the 1911 is destined never to be found as he is entered by his father on the census as Ditto  ”  “.  But the transcriber has shown a bit of thoughtfulness when placing him in the index.  Michael Mcdonough, a widower, living with his family on Railway Street, Liversedge, Yorkshire, had named his second son after himself and therefore entered Ditto  ”  ”  on the line below his name.  Michael junior is followed by his elder brother Thomas, then John and a sister, Annie, whose surnames are all completed in full.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary the meaning of ‘Ditto’ is ‘a symbol that means ‘the same’ and is used in a list to avoid writing again the word written immediately above it‘.  The ‘Do’ is a shorter form of ‘Ditto’ and can save even more time when writing repetitive words.

It might be worth while looking for a ‘Ditto’ or a ‘Do’ in a first and/or last name if you have lost a relative in the census

Wakefield Express – Official Wounded List

Wakefield Express 2nd September 1916

Wounded King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantrymen

As mentioned in an snippet earlier today, the Wakefield Express published a list of men from the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry who had been placed on the official list of wounded.

One of your family members may be on this list:

Blankley G and Breakwell W (Normanton);
Cadman M (Ossett); Callighan R (Wakefield);
Carter, Corpl. P C (Horbury);
Chappel C (Wakefield); Clarke A E and Commons H (Wakefield);
Dobson J (Wakefield); Freeman H (Wakefield);
Garett R (Normanton); Hampson H (Normanton);
Hetherington J W (Streethouse); Jinks A (Normanton;
James A (Featherstone); Kilner S O and Lodge Lce Crpl. J (Wakefield);
McGowan H (Wakefield); Parker F (Ossett);
Poole S (Normanton); Sykes Sergt., G (Wakefield);
Thompson A (Wakefield); Waltham G (Wakefield);
Whitworth J W (Wakefield); Wicking S (Crofton);
Haigh W (Wakefield); Milthorpe H (Thornes).