1911 census occupation codes

1911 census occupation codes

Every wondered what the numbers refer to at the side of occupations when using the 1911 census?

Look no further but a full list of codes and much more can be found here

Code number – occupation(s)

000 Schoolmasters, Teachers, Professors, Lecturers – In Schools &c under Local Authorities

010 Other Domestic Indoor Servants

020 Charwomen

030 Laundry Workers

040 Washers, Ironers, Manglers &c (not in Laundries)

050 Commercial or Business Clerks

060 Coachmen (not Domestic); Cabmen

061 Horsekeepers, Grooms, Stablemen (not Domestic)

070 Carmen, Carriers, Carters, Wagoners (not Farm)

080 Dock Labourers, Wharf Labourers

090 Messengers, Porters, Watchmen (not Railway or Government)

100 Farmers, Graziers

110 Farmers, Graziers – Sons, Daughters or other relatives assisting in the work of the farm

120 Agricultural Labourers, Farm Servants – Distinguished as in charge of Cattle

130 Agricultural Labourers, Farm Servants – Distinguished as in charge of Horses

140 Agricultural Labourers, Farm Servants – Not otherwise distinguished

150 Coal and Shale Mine – Workers at the Face

160 Coal and Shale Mine – Other workers below ground

170 Coal and Shale Mine – Workers above ground

172 Coal and Shale Mine – Other Mine Service

180 Ironfounders Moulders, Core Makers

181 Ironfounders Foundry Labourers

182 Ironfounders Fettlers

183 Ironfounders Cupola, Oven – Men

184 Ironfounders others

190 Blacksmiths, Strikers

200 Erectors, Fitters, Turners

201 Erectors, Fitters, Turners – Labourers

210 Carpenters, Joiners

211 Carpenters, Joiners – Labourers

220 Bricklayers

230 Bricklayers Labourers

240 Painters, Decorators

250 Weaving Processes

260 Drapers, Linen Drapers, Mercers

270 Tailors

280 Dressmakers

290 Shirt Makers; Seamstresses

300 Boot, Shoe – Makers

310 Butchers, Meat Salesmen

320 Grocers; Tea, Coffee, Chocolate – Dealers

330 General Labourers

340 Engine – Drivers, Stokers, Firemen (not Railway, Marine, or Agricultural)

350 Retired from Business (not Army or Navy)

360 Pensioners

361 Old Age Pensioners (Occupation or former Occupation not stated)

370 Private Means

380 Students

390 Scholars

401 Post Office – Telegraphists, Telephone Operators

402 Other Post Office Officers and Clerks

403 Postmen

404 Post Office Messengers &c

405 Other Civil Service Officers and Clerks

406 Other Civil Service Messengers &c

407 Police

408 Poor Law Service

409 Municipal, Parish, and other Local or County Offices

411 Army Officers (Effective)

412 Army Officers (Retired)

413 Soldiers and Non-Commissioned Officers

414 Officers of the Navy(Effective)

415 Officers of the Navy(Retired)

416 Men of the Navy

417 Officers of the Marines (Effective)

418 Officers of the Marines (Retired)

419 Men of the Marines

421 Clergymen (Established Church)

422 Roman Catholic Priests

423 Ministers, Priests, of other Religious Bodies

424 City Missionaries, Scripture Readers, Itinerant Preachers

425 Monks, Nuns, Sisters of Charity

426 Church, Chapel, Cemetery – Officers &c

427 Barristers

428 Solicitors

429 Law Clerks

431 Physicians, Surgeons, Registered Practitioners

432 Dentists (including Assistants)

433 Veterinary Surgeons

434 Midwives

435 Sick Nurses, Invalid Attendants – in Institutions of Local Authorities

436 Sick Nurses, Invalid Attendants – in other Institutions

437 Sick Nurses, Invalid Attendants – other

438 Subordinate Medical Service

441 Schoolmasters, Teachers, Professors, Lecturers – In other Schools &c

442 Schoolmasters, Teachers, Professors, Lecturers – Private

443 Schoolmasters, Teachers, Professors, Lecturers – Undefined

444 Others connected with Education under Local Authorities

445 Others connected with Education, Schools &c

451 Authors, Editors, Journalists, Reporters

452 Persons engaged in Scientific Pursuits

453 Others Connected with Literature &c – under Local Authorities

454 Others connected with Literature &c – other

456 Civil, Mining – Engineers

457 Land, House, Ship – Surveyors

458 Professional Engineers, Professional Surveyors – Assistants

461 Painters, Sculptors, Artists

462 Architects

463 Engravers

464 Photographers

465 Musicians, Music Masters, Singers

466 Actors

467 Art, Music, Theatre – Service &c

469 Performers, Showmen; Exhibition, Games – Service

471 Domestic, Indoor Servants – Hotel, Lodging House, Eating House

475 Day Girls, Day Servants (so returned)

476 Domestic – Coachmen, Grooms

477 Domestic – Motor Car Drivers, Motor Car Attendants

478 Domestic Gardeners

479 Gamekeepers

481 College, Club – Service

482 Hospital, Institution, Benevolent Society – Service under Local Authorities (not Poor Law)

483 Hospital, Institution, Benevolent Society – Service Other

484 Park, Lodge, Gate &c – Keepers (not Government)

485 Caretakers, Office Keepers (not Government)

486 Cooks (not Domestic)

487 Bath and Wash-house Service – Under Local Authorities

488 Bath and Wash-house Service – Other

489 Others engaged in Service

491 Merchants (commodity undefined)

492 Brokers, Agents, Factors

493 Salesmen, Buyers (not otherwise described)

494 Commercial Travellers

495 Accountants

496 Auctioneers, Appraisers, Valuers, House Agents

497 Officers of Commercial Guilds, Societies &c

501 Bankers; Bank – Officials, Clerks

502 Bill – Discounters, Brokers; Finance Agents

505 Life, House, Ship &c Insurance – Officials, Clerks &c

506 Insurance Agents

510 Railway – Officials, Clerks

511 Railway Ticket – Examiners, Collectors, Checkers

512 Railway Engine – Drivers, Stokers, Cleaners

513 Railway Guards

514 Signalmen

515 Pointsmen, Level Crossing Men

516 Platelayers, Gangers, Packers

517 Railway Labourers (not Railway Contractors Labourers)

518 Railway Porters

519 Other Railway Servants

521 Livery Stable Keepers; Coach, Cab – Proprietors

522 Motor Garage – Proprietors, Workers

523 Motor Car Drivers (not Domestic); Motor Cab Drivers

524 Motor Van &c Drivers

525 Motor Van &c Guards, Boys

526 Others Connected with Carrying or Cartage

527 Omnibus Service – Horse Drivers

528 Omnibus Service – Motor Drivers

529 Omnibus Service – Conductors

530 Omnibus Service – Others

531 Local Authority Tramway Service – Drivers

532 Local Authority Tramway Service – Conductors

533 Local Authority Tramway Service – Others

534 Other Tramway Service – Drivers

535 Other Tramway Service – Conductors

536 Other Tramway Service – Others

537 Others on Roads

541 Merchant Service; Seamen – Navigating Department

542 Merchant Service; Seamen – Engineering Department

543 Merchant Service; Seamen – Cooks, Stewards, & others (Subsidiary Services)

544 Pilots; Boatmen on Seas

545 Bargemen, Lightermen, Watermen

546 Navigation Service (on Shore) – Railway Company

547 Navigation Service (on Shore) – Other

551 Harbour, Dock, Wharf, Lighthouse – Officials & Servants – Government

552 Harbour, Dock, Wharf, Lighthouse – Officials & Servants – Local Authority

553 Harbour, Dock, Wharf, Lighthouse – Officials & Servants – Railway Company

554 Harbour, Dock, Wharf, Lighthouse – Officials & Servants – Other

556 Warehousemen

557 Coalheavers; Coal – Porters, Labourers

558 Telegraph, Telephone – Service (not Government)

561 Farm – Bailiffs, Foremen

562 Shepherds

563 Woodmen

564 Nurserymen, Seedsmen, Florists

565 Market Gardeners (including Labourers)

566 Other Gardeners (not Domestic)

567 Agricultural Machine – Proprietors, Attendants

568 Others engaged in or connected with Agriculture

571 Fishermen

581 Coke Burners

582 Patent Fuel Manufacture

583 Iron – Miners, Quarriers

584 Copper Miners

585 Tin Miners

586 Lead Miners

587 Miners in other Minerals

588 Mettalliferous Mine – Owners, General Managers, Captains

589 Mettalliferous Mine – Other Mine Service

590 Stone, Slate &c Mine or Quarry Owners, Agents, Managers

591 Stone – Miners, Quarriers

592 Stone – Cutters, Dressers

593 Slate – Miners, Quarriers

594 Slate Workers

595 Limeburners

596 Clay, Sand, Gravel, Chalk – Pit &c Workers

597 Other Workers in Products of Quarries

598 Coal, Coke – Merchants, Dealers

599 Dealers in Stone, Slate &c

601 Pig Iron manufacture (Blast Furnaces)

602 Puddling Furnaces; Iron and Steel Rolling Mills

603 Tube Manufacture

604 Steel – Manufacture, Smelting, Founding

610 Galvanized Sheet Manufacture

611 Tinplate Manufacture

612 Copper Manufacture

613 Lead Manufacture

614 Zinc Manufacture

615 Brass, Bronze – Manufacture

616 Manufacture of other or unspecified Metals

620 Patternmakers

621 Millwrights

622 Brassfounders

623 Brass Finishers

624 Coppersmiths

625 Metal Machinist

626 Labourers (undefined) in Engineering Works

627 Boiler Makers

628 Other or undefined Workers In Engine and Machine Making – In Textile Machinery Fittings &c

629 Other or undefined Workers In Engine and Machine Making – Others

633 Electrical Cable Manufacture

634 Electric Lamp Manufacture

635 Other Electrical Apparatus Makers; Electrical Fitters – Government

636 Other Electrical Apparatus Makers; Electrical Fitters – Other

637 Electricians (undefined)

644 Tool Makers

645 File Makers

646 Saw Makers

647 Cutlers; Scissors Makers

648 Needle, Pin – Makers

649 Steel Pen Makers

650 Roller Engravers, Block Cutters (for Text &c Printing)

651 Type – Cutters, Founders

652 Die, Seal, Coin, Medal – Makers

653 Gunsmiths, Gun Manufacturers – Government

654 Gunsmiths, Gun Manufacturers – Other

655 Sword, Bayonet – Makers, Cutlers

661 Nail Manufacture

662 Bolt, Nut, Rivet, Screw, Staple – Makers

663 Anchor, Chain – Manufacture

664 Stove, Grate, Range, Fire Iron – Makers

665 Bedstead Makers (Iron or Brass)

666 Wire – Drawers, Makers, Workers, Weavers

667 Lock, Key – Makers

668 Gas Fittings Makers

669 Lamp, Lantern, Candlestick – Makers

671 White Metal, Plated – Ware Manufacturers; Pewterers

672 Tinplate Goods Makers

673 Copper Workers

674 Leaden Goods Makers

675 Zinc Workers

676 Brass, Bronze – Workers

677 Other Iron Goods Makers

678 Iron Workers (undefined)

679 Other Metal Workers

680 Ship Painters

681 Ship – Platers, Rivetters &c

682 Ship – Other Workers in Iron

683 Shipwrights

684 Ship – Other Workers in Wood

685 Shipyard Labourers (undefined)

686 Others in Ship and Boat Building

691 Railway – Coach, Wagon Makers – Railway Company Workers

692 Railway – Coach, Wagon Makers – Others

693 Tram Car Makers

694 Cycle Makers

695 Motor Car Chassis Makers

696 Motor Car Body Makers

697 Coach, Carriage – Makers

698 Wheelwrights

699 Others in Construction of Vehicles

701 Iron Mongers; Hardware – Dealers, Merchants

702 Other Dealers in Metals, Machines &c

711 Goldsmiths, Silversmiths, Jewellers

712 Lapidaries and other Workers

713 Watchmakers, Clockmakers

714 Scientific Instrument Makers; Opticians

715 Photographic Apparatus Makers

716 Weighing and Measuring Apparatus Makers

717 Surgical & Dental Instrument & Apparatus Makers

721 Piano, Organ – Makers

722 Other Musical Instrument Makers

723 Fishing Tackle, Toy, Game Apparatus – Makers

726 Dealers in Precious Metals, Jewellery, & Watches

727 Dealers in Instruments, Toys &c

730 Architectural, Monumental – Carvers, Sculptors

731 Builders

732 Builders Labourers

733 Masons

734 Masons Labourers

735 Slaters, Tilers

736 Plasterers

737 Plasterers Labourers

738 Paperhangers, Whitewashers

739 Monumental Masons

740 Glaziers

741 Plumbers

742 Gasfitters

743 Locksmiths, Bellhangers

744 Railway, Canal, Harbour &c – Contractors

745 Navvies; Railway &c Contractors Labourers

746 Well, Mine – Sinkers, Borers

747 Road – Contractors, Surveyors, Inspectors

748 Paviours, Road Labourers – Under Local Authorities

749 Paviours, Road Labourers – Others

751 Cabinet Makers

752 French Polishers

753 Upholsterers

754 House and Shop Fittings Makers

755 Undertakers; Funeral Furniture Makers

756 Wood Carvers; Carvers and Gilders

757 Willow, Cane, Rush – Workers; Basket Makers

758 Dealers in Works of Art

759 Furniture &c Dealers

761 Sawyers; Wood Cutting Machinists

762 Lath, Wooden Fence, Hurdle – Makers

763 Wood Turners

764 Wooden Box, Packing Case – Makers

765 Coopers; Hoop – Makers, Benders

766 Cork, Bark – Cutters, Workers

767 Other Workers in Wood

768 Timber, Wood, Cork, Bark – Merchants, Dealers

771 Brick, Plain Tile, Terra-Cotta – Makers

772 Plaster, Cement – Manufacture

773 Earthenware, China, Porcelain – Manufacture

774 Sheet, Plate – Glass Manufacture

775 Glass Bottle Manufacture

776 Other Workers in Glass Manufacture

777 Brick, Cement – Dealers

778 Earthenware, China, Glass – Dealers

780 Dye, Paint, Ink, Blacking – Manufacture

781 Gunpowder, Guncotton, Explosive Substance – Manufacture – Government

782 Gunpowder, Guncotton, Explosive Substance – Manufacture – Other

783 Cartridge, Fireworks, Explosive Article – Manufacture – Government

784 Cartridge, Fireworks, Explosive Article – Manufacture – Other

785 Lucifer Match Manufacture

786 Salt Makers

787 Manufacturing Chemists

788 Alkali Manufacture

789 Chemists, Druggists

791 Oil – Millers, Refiners; Oil Cake Makers

792 Candle, Grease – Manufacture

793 Soap – Boilers, Makers

794 Manure Manufacture

795 India Rubber, Gutta Percha – Workers

796 Waterproof Goods Makers

797 Glue, Size, Varnish &c – Makers

798 Oil and Colourmen

799 Other Dealers of Order 15

801 Furriers, Skinners

802 Tanners

803 Curriers

804 Leather Goods, Portmanteau, Bag, Strap &c Makers

805 Saddlers; Harness, Whip – Makers

807 Brush, Broom – Makers; Hair, Bristle – Workers

808 Quill, Feather – Dressers

809 Dealers in Skins, Leather, Hair, and Feathers

810 Paper Manufacture – Rag &c – Cutting, Dusting, Sorting

811 Paper Manufacture – Other processes

812 Paper Stainers

813 Stationery Manufacture

814 Envelope Makers

815 Paper Bag Makers

816 Cardboard Box Makers

817 Other workers in Paper &c

818 Stationers, Law Stationers

819 Other Dealers in Paper

820 Printers – Hand Compositors

821 Printers – Machine Compositors

822 Printers – Printing Machine Minders

823 Printers – Stereotypers, Electrotypers

824 Printers – Others in Printing

825 Lithographers; Copper & Steel Plate Printers

826 Bookbinders

827 Book, Print – Publishers, Sellers

828 Newspaper Publishers

829 Newspaper Agents, News Room Keepers

830 Cotton – Card and Blowing Room Processes – Strippers and Grinders

831 Cotton – Card and Blowing Room Processes – Others

832 Cotton – Spinning Processes

833 Cotton – Winding, Warping &c Processes

834 Cotton – Workers in other Processes

835 Cotton – Workers undefined

836 Cotton – Fustian Cutting

841 Wool – Sorting Processes

842 Wool – Carding and Combing Processes

843 Wool and Worsted – Spinning Processes

844 Wool and Worsted – Weaving Processes

845 Wool and Worsted – Workers in other processes

846 Wool and Worsted – Workers undefined

851 Silk – Spinning Processes

852 Silk – Weaving Processes

853 Silk – Workers in other processes

854 Silk – Workers undefined

861 Flax, Linen – Manufacture

862 Hemp Manufacture

863 Jute Manufacture

864 Cocoa Fibre Manufacture

865 Rope, Twine, Cord – Makers

866 Mat Makers

867 Canvas, Sailcloth, Sacking, Net &c – Manufacture

870 Thread Manufacture

871 Hosiery Manufacture

872 Lace Manufacture

873 Elastic Web Manufacture

874 Carpet, Rug, Felt – Manufacture

875 Smallware Manufacture

876 Fancy Goods (Textile) &c Manufacture

877 Weavers of Sundry Fabrics and undefined

878 Others Workers in Sundry Fabrics and undefined

879 Factory Hand (Textile) Undefined

881 Textile Bleachers

882 Textile Printers

883 Textile Dyers

884 Textile – Calenderers, Finishers &c

886 Other Dealers in Textile Fabrics

890 Straw Plait Manufacture

891 Straw Hat, Straw Bonnet – Manufacture

892 Felt Hat Manufacture

893 Makers of Cloth Hats and Caps

894 Makers of other Hats and Caps

895 Milliners

896 Hat, Bonnet, Straw Plait &c – Dealers

897 Clothiers, Outfitters – Dealers

898 Stay, Corset – Makers

899 Button Makers

900 Glove Makers

901 Hosiers, Haberdashers

902 Slipper Makers

903 Patten, Clog – Makers

904 Boot, Shoe, Patten, Clog – Dealers

905 Artificial Flower Makers

906 Wig Makers; Hairdressers

907 Umbrella, Parasol, Stick – Makers

908 Other Workers in Dress

909 Other Dealers in Dress

915 Creamery Workers

916 Milksellers, Dairymen

917 Provision Curers

918 Cheesemongers, Buttermen, Provision Dealers

919 Slaughterers

921 Fish Curers

922 Fishmongers, Poulterers, Game Dealers

923 Millers; Cereal Food Manufacture

924 Corn, Flour, Seed – Merchants, Dealers

925 Bread, Biscuit, Cake &c – Makers

926 Bakers, Confectioners (Dealers)

927 Sugar Refiners

928 Jam, Preserve, Sweet – Makers

929 Chocolate, Cocoa – Makers

931 Greengrocers, Fruiterers

932 Ginger Beer, Mineral Water – Manufacture

933 Mustard, Vinegar, Spice, Pickle &c – Makers

934 Other Dealers in Food

935 Tobacco Manufacture

936 Tobacconists

937 Maltsters

938 Brewers

939 Distillers; Spirit Manufacture

941 Coffee House, Eating House – Keepers

942 Lodging House, Boarding House – Keepers

943 Inn, Hotel – Keepers; Publicans, Beersellers, Cider Dealers

944 Beer Bottlers

945 Cellarmen

946 Barmen

947 Waiters (not Domestic)

948 Others in Inn, Hotel, Eating House – Service

949 Wine and Spirit – Merchants, Agents

950 Local Authority Gas Works Service – Gas Makers

951 Local Authority Gas Works Service – Others

952 Other Gas Works Service – Gas Makers

953 Other Gas Works Service – Others

954 Local Authority Waterworks Service

955 Other Waterworks Service

956 Local Authority Electricity Supply – Generation and Distribution

957 Local Authority Electricity Supply – Others

958 Other Electricity Supply – Generation and Distribution

959 Other Electricity Supply – Others

961 Local Authority Drainage and Sanitary Service

962 Other Drainage and Sanitary Service

963 Local Authority Scavenging and Disposal of Refuse

964 Other Scavenging and Disposal of Refuse

970 Circular, Envelope – Addressers &c

971 Advertising, Bill Posting – Agents

972 Bill Posters

973 Sandwichmen, Bill Distributors

974 Cattle, Sheep, Pig – Dealers, Salesmen

975 Drovers, Lairmen

976 Dog, Bird, Animal – Keepers, Dealers

977 Knackers; Catsmeat Dealers

980 Celluloid – Makers, Workers

981 Tobacco Pipe, Snuff-box &c – Makers

982 Bone, Horn, Ivory, Tortoiseshell – Workers

983 Floor Cloth, Oil Cloth – Manufacture

984 Japanners

985 Chimney Sweeps

986 Rag – Gatherers, Dealers

987 Other Workers in Sundry Industries

988 Other Dealers in Sundry Industries

989 Receiving Shop, Receiving Office – Keeper, Assistant (Laundry: Dyers and Cleaners)

990 Multiple Shop, Multiple Store – Proprietor, Worker (general or undefined)

991 General or Unclassified Shopkeepers, General Dealers

992 Pawnbrokers

993 Costermongers, Hawkers, Street Sellers

994 Contractors, Manufacturers, Managers, Superintendants (undefined)

995 News – Boy, Vendor (street or undefined)

996 Artizans, Mechanics, Apprentices (undefined)

997 Factory – Hands, Labourers (undefined)

998 Machinists, Machine Workers (undefined)

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

A Walk around Sugar Lane – J W P Gill

A Walk around Sugar Lane – J W P Gill

Aerial view of Sugar Lane cemetery

Aerial view of Sugar Lane cemetery

While walking around Sugar Lane cemetery’s various sections I came across a small and simple headstone. It was not the low headstone in a cemetery that has quite a large number of large ornate headstones that caught my attention. I could quite easily have walked passed and homed in on a stone that looked more interesting and inviting. What was it that made me stop? Well, that is easy to answer. The name on the headstone. Two first names that are quite prolific. A surname that is not unusual. But in amongst the normal names was a name fitting in before the surname. Was it a family name? Was it this person’s mother’s name? Time to see if I can solve this one?

Who is J W P Gill? When I reveal the name, you will see why I was drawn to this little stone.

James William Phealstead Gill – now you know why he caught my attention! By just looking at four sets of records……………what will there be to find?

Born on the 29th of January, 1865, and christened on the 19th of October 1873, John William Phealstead Gill was the son of William Gill and his wife Jane. The Gill family at this time lived in Pincheon Street, just off Kirkgate, Wakefield. William was employed as a tinner. William and his wife, Jane nee Finney, had married in the Wakefield area in the winter of 1862.

James Wiliam Pelsead Gill (note change of spelling) of Pincheon Street, Wakefield, aged 25 years old stoker on the railway married Lucy Sandall in St Andrew’s Church, Peterson Road, Wakefield on the 13th of September 1890. The ceremony was performed by A G Whaley, Vicar and witnessed by John Gill and Mary Ann Sanndall (another change of spelling). Both JWP and Lucy’s father by this time had died.

In 1901 the couple were living on Newland Street and were the parents to Wilfred aged 9 and Harvey aged 7.

1911 section via Ancestry

1911 section via Ancestry

Ten years later in 1911, the family are at 12 Newland Street, Sandal, Wakefield, a three-roomed brick terrace house with a small backyard. James and Lucy were now in their 40’s. JWP had now risen through the ranks and was working as a railway engine driver. Wilfred was 19, employed as a railway clerk and Harvey 17 was an engine cleaner. This census also tells that the couple had been married for 20 years and had three children, yes, there was an addition to the family Edith Mary who was now 8 years old. The census form appears to have been written in a different hand to the one who signed the form – could it have been Wilfred, the clerk? If it was, he spelt his father’s name correctly.

Life carried on for the Gill family with Wilfred marrying Mary Ann Hall in the Hemsworth Registration District in 1914. The couple is found on the 1939 Register living at 1 Montague Street with a daughter Wilmar Mary who had been born on the 27th of March 1927 – Wilmar later went on to marry Alwyn W Clark in the spring of 1951. Wilfred’s occupation at this time is that of a Railway Telegraph Clerk (unemployed). Harvey in the 1939 Register is working as a Railway Engine Driver living at 170 Agbrigg Road with his wife and family. He had married Hilda R Goldthorpe in the summer of 1918. The family in Register seems to consist of two children, sadly only one is available to view – Nancy, born at the beginning of 1926. Nancy’s entry has had her surname struck through and Jowsey Landess written above. Is this her married surname? The 1939 Register was still being updated with information such as married names for decades. As it happens, Nancy married Arthur Jowsey in the last quarter of 1945 in the Scarborough area according to FreeBMD. That answers the Jowsey question now for the Landess! A Nancy Jowsey married David Landess in the spring of 1956, again in the Scarborough area via FreeBMD. As previously mentioned the 1939 Register was updated with relevant information and in the address column for Nancy are the dates of both her marriages. Firstly the 17th of December 1943 and secondly 18th of May 1956, both these dates fit in with the information from FreeBMD. Did Arthur die? A quick search does not reveal a suitable death for him, did the couple divorce?

What happened to JWPG’s youngest child, Edith Mary, well she went on to marry Walter Proctor. The 1939 Register gives the full date of birth information – Edith was born on the 7th of March 1903 and Walter being born on the 25th of January 1905. Home at this time was 239 Dewsbury Road. Walter was a ‘Trained Certificate Assistant Schoolmaster’. A note at the side of his name tells that he was A.R.P. Warden No. 609 – well that is all the number that is visible.

Gill family headstone © Carol Sklinar 2016

Gill family headstone © Carol Sklinar 2016

By the time James William Phealstead Gill died on the 15th of May 1932 he had seen seen his children marry and seen some grandchildren. Lucy in the 1939 Register is living in Greenwood Road with other members of the Gill family and died in 1943 aged 75 years of age.

Have I answered the question raised at the beginning of my research………No.  Where the Phealstead in JWP’s name has its origins……..No idea, but if any readers know, don’t forget to tell me.

John William Shaw

John William Shaw

While visiting the West Yorkshire History Center on the 11th of February – their pre-opening Open Day, I came across a display unit containing information about a WW1 soldier, and you know that I am not satisfied with just a name, regiment and service number. I like to put ‘meat on bones’, by finding family information, occupations and if applicable a place of burial / remembrance. Not every name I follow up in this way ends in a death and it is a good feeling when the information I add to this blog ends up with a veteran coming home to his family.

Why did the pre-printed form from the Army grab my attention? The sheet, not only did it have a rank, service number, name of next of kin and information as to his health – the document also had a newspaper cutting that appeared to have been ‘stuck’ to the document nearly 100 years ago. The newspaper cutting was a roughly cut out picture of John William Shaw. The small printed details told his address but no town – well the people who bought their local paper would know the area and probably know John William.

Who was John William Shaw?

Military clues:-
Name, Service Number, rank, the branch of service, details of hospitalisation.

General clues:-
Name of Next of Kin, address included on newspaper photograph (but no town mentioned).

Firstly to search the easy bit, the Military records using his service number – some records are online but I’ll return to those later. In the meantime, a google search using the address on the picture – 22 Ramsey Street, Manchester Road, confirmed that John William lived in Bradford. The family home was a stone built terrace with a small front garden leading to the front door. In recent times the street has had all the stonework cleaned and looks as it would have done many years ago when the houses were first built – well apart from the cars lining the street and the Sky dishes decorating the frontage.

Mrs J M Shaw, was she JW’s mother, sister-in-law or his wife?

The 1911 census has a few entries for a John William Shaw or J W Shaw, but one stands out more than the others while looking for a JW with a J M….Bingo! Clicking on the link to open the image all is confirmed and more information is now known. The house on 22 Ramsey Street, Bradford is the home to JW and his wife of under one year, Julia May. John William is 25 years old, a Brewer’s Clerk from Bradford and Julia is five years his junior, aged 20, giving her place of birth as Norton, Staffordshire. John William had married Julia May Frost in the summer of 1910 according to FreeBMD.

JW, born in 1886, was the son of John William Shaw and his wife Annie, who in 1901 lived in Swinton Place, Bradford.

Back to John William and Julia May – did they have any children? FreeBMD, when using the elements of Shaw and Frost to search a birth, brings up a couple of possibilities. But I have a record that will confirm this, and will share later.

John William Shaw from WYAS

John William Shaw from WYAS

Now it is military service time.  A look on Ancestry brings up a Medal Card which tells that JW served in the 6th Batt. York & Lancs Regiment after enlisting on the 24th of January 1917, there is also a discharge date and medal entitlement. But unusually, FindMyPast comes up trumps this time, with a set of Service Records!

On the 24th of January John William Shaw aged 30 years and 7 days Attested in Halifax into the 86 Training RFS, York & Lancaster Regiment, becoming Private 32832.  His address, as I know, was 22 Ramsay Street, Bradford. His occupation, I already know, from looking at the 1911 census. He served at ‘Home’ (the UK), from the 24th of January 1917 to the 3rd of May that year.  On the 4th of May, he was sent to France, returning to the UK on the 5th of September of the same year, 1917, until his discharge of 31st of October 1918 – a total of one year and 281 days.

Apart from the details about his service, family information is also given and it here I come back to a point mentioned earlier – did John and Julia have any children?  Yes, they did. But before I go into that part of their life, the record also tells that the couple married on the 14th of May 1910 (I knew it was the summer), in Dirkhill Primitive Methodist Chapel, Bradford. The children named in the document are John Leonard born 13th of July 1912 and Reginald born 27th of June 1914.

John William received a GSW (gunshot wound) to his left leg on the 20th of August 1917. His Service Record notes that he was ‘seriously ill’. Nine days later he was no longer classed as seriously ill. Could this be to the fact that he had his left amputated? A form from the 2/1st Southern General Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham gave authorisation for JW to be discharged from the hospital on the 12th of March 1918 in ‘indefinite furlough, pending admission to Roehampton. The 2/1st Southern General Hospital in Birmingham was a Territorial Force hospital, later becoming City Hospital.

There are a few documents included in JW’s military records, one, in particular is his service will, which tells of the ‘final disposal and to whom sent’, the words ‘To Man 2-11-1918’ tell that he took his belonging home with him.

Silver War Badge

Silver War Badge © C Sklinar

As JW was injured during the war and became unfit to serve, he became eligible for The Silver War Badge.  The badge was to be worn on the right breast or on the right lapel of the jacket but not on a Naval or Military uniform, according to the the form accompanying each man’s badge. I must say that the wrighting of the clerk who wrote the information relating to JW on the form had a wonderful hand, with the each of the capital letters being flourished and the letters going below the lines having a neat loop as embellishment.

John William and Julia May are both found in the 1939 Register, still living on Ramsey Street, having moved across the road to number 25. John William is still employed as a clerk.

FreeBMD has a death entry for a John William Shaw in 1953 – the age at death, 67, matches up with the birth year of 1886.  I don’t know if JW had a happy life and marriage, but even with having one of his legs amputated he survived for 35 years.  35 years more than many of his brothers in arms.

Section of original document WYAS

Section of original document WYAS

One thing I did forget to tell is that in the top left-hand corner of the document that started all this is written in a different hand to the rest of the document, the

Army form to Mrs J M Shaw WYAS

Army form to Mrs J M Shaw WYAS

words ‘Wounded Battle of Pashendale where 400,000 were lost’. Who wrote this? Would it have been John William or his wife, Julia May?

I don’t think that is a bad afternoon’s work and all from a slightly discoloured and curled at the edges piece of paper.

If I can find out this much from one sheet of paper from nearly 100 years ago, just think what you, the family or local history researcher will be able to find.

Happy hunting!

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
Wednesday, Sunday
Open 2nd Saturday a month
Bank holidays

A Walk around Sugar Lane – Myers Peterkoswky

A Walk around Sugar Lane – Myers Peterkoswky

Continuing my walk around Sugar Lane cemetery I came across a headstone now darkened by years of industrial grime but yet not badly worn and still very readable. The medium sized stone has a pointed arched top, inset with small carved flowers and the works ‘Thy will be done’.

Myers and family headstone © C Sklinar 2015

Myers and family headstone © C Sklinar 2015

The family name on the headstone gives a hint that the family may not be of British origin, well that is the man named on the headstone may be European – the women named, however, could be British.

Myers Peterkowsky is found in the 1851 census living as a lodger in the home of Mary Brown. Home for the Brown family was Woods Yard, Providence Street, Wakefield. Myers, aged 34, told that he was a General Dealer and his place of birth was Poland – other sources have his place of birth as Prussia.

Ten years later in 1861, Myers is living in a house on New Street, Wakefield and still working as a general dealer. He is married to Elizabeth who is aged 40. Also in the house is Christiana Crawshaw aged 16, classed as daughter and servant, along with William Crawshaw aged 13 – the enumerator has very kindly written sideways, the words ‘step children’. So, along with two stepchildren, Meyers has three children to Elizabeth – Paulina Meyers aged 9, Louisa age 7, Caroline aged 5 and Joseph M aged 1. The ‘M’ included as a second name appears to be ‘Meyers’.

Going back to Christiana, there is a transcribed Christening entry for a Christiana Crawshaw baptised on the 31st of January 1847 in Ardsley by Barnsley whose parents were Thomas Crawshaw and Elizabeth, while an entry for Williams Christening in 1849 in – Royston could this be Christiana, William and Elizabeth in a former family? But, what was Elizabeth’s maiden name? There are quite a few family trees on Ancestry that include Elizabeth – only having her as a Crawshaw or blank surname. One of those trees has census and other documents linked to people that have died before the document event took place, Wonderful! With a little back and side tracking, there is a marriage for Thomas to either Elizabeth Ward or Elizabeth Watson in the March Quarter of 1843 in the Ecclesfield area, this area includes Barnsley, Ardsley, Monk Bretton and Royston, all areas relating to the Crawshaw family.

In 1865 Christiana married Patrick Sherry, a Serjeant in the 13th Regiment in the Parish Church (now Wakefield Cathedral). Thomas Crawshaw is included in the register but is not marked as deceased.

Myers and Elizabeth in 1871, are living on Queen Street, Wakefield and this entry gives more information about their places of birth. Myers informs the enumerator that he is from Kempen, Prussia, while Elizabeth says she is born in Hemsworth – her children all being born in Wakefield.

During the next ten years Elizabeth Crawshaw dies (possibly in early 1879) and by 1881, Meyers can be found still living in Queen Street, but with a new wife, Ann Bartrop, whom he married in Doncaster in the late summer of 1879. This census tells that Meyers was now a British Subject (as of January 1881). Also living in the house are Ann, his wife aged 62, his unmarried daughter, Sarah aged 19, Frances Ward, sister in law, aged 39 who acts as his housekeeper (it looks like Elizabeth was definitely a WARD!), along with Gertrude Stephenson a 7-year-old grandaughter.

While Myers is classed as a General Dealer, there are Trade Directories that have him listed under the heading of ‘Watchmaker, Jeweller and Silversmith’. An article in the Leeds Mercury of 22nd of August 1872 tells: ‘STEALING A RING BELONGING TO A WEST RIDING MAGISTRATE. At Pontefract Court-house, yesterday, before Mr. A. Jessop, John Thomas Roberts, painter, was charged with stealing a gold ring, the property of Mr. W. F. Tempest, Ackworth Grange. The prisoner had been employed as a painter upon the premises on the 10th of August, and shortly afterwards the ring was missed from a cupboard where it was kept. The ring was identified by Mr. Tempest, who said the stone was missing. The stone bore the crest and arms of the owner, and a gryphon’s head with the motto, ‘Loywf as thow fynde.’ (sic). The prisoner went to the shop of Mr. Watson, jeweller, Wakefield, and asked the value of the ring; and subsequently sold it to Mr. Meyers Peterkowsky, jeweller, Wakefield, for 10s, being its value as old metal. The stone had then been taken from the ring. – Prisoner pleaded guilty to taking the ring but said he intended to take it back. – Committed for trial at the West Riding sessions at Wakefield.’

A few years later, in 1883, Ann dies. By the following year, 1884, various family trees have Myers marrying a lady called Hannah or Anna Schofield – there is no FreeBMD entry for this union. There is, however, a transcription from Owston Church telling that Myers aged 66 married Hannah Schofield on 26th September 1883 – giving his father as Lionel Peterkowsky. Hannah is transcribed as being 55 years old and the daughter of George Kaye. With a little more patience a marriage is found for him and Hannah. FreeBMD also has him indexed as KOWSKY Myers Peter – don’t you love some transcribers?

In early 1888 Myer’s son, Joseph died aged 27, the following spring Myers also died aged 71. There is an entry in the Coroner’s Diary for recording Myers last few hours with a report from Hannah Peterkowsky of 5 Queen Street, widow……..further confirmation that Myers did marry again.

Hannah told the Coroner that she had known Myers for 10 years and been married to him for the last five years. She told that a Dr Wright had attended her husband for the last two years for occasional spasms of the chest. He had recently been to Leeds to and brought back a bottle of medicine. Hannah went on to say that last Friday he had been out all day last Friday. Hannah had gone to bed, leaving her husband reading the paper, who followed her shortly afterwards. About 1 am Myers gasped and Hannah went to fetch a drink for him. Later, placing his hands across his chest, he requested some ginger and water. After complaining of the cold, hot water bottles were placed at his feet. Hannah said that Myer had said he would get up to the commode. He became worse and a servant was called who brought warm earthenware places to apply to his chest. The servant just before 3 am was sent to get Dr Wright. The spasms became worse while trying to get to the commode so was helped back to his bed. He told his wife ‘I am poorly, Hannah’. With that neither speaking or moving he died very quickly at 4.20.

A further witness, John Todd, told the Coroner that he had known Myers for over 50 years and had attended many furniture sales with him and was a frequent visit to the Peterkowsky house. Todd had been at the house from about 8.30 the night before Meyers death and found him in good spirits with his wife, granddaughter and servant.

A notice in the Sheffield Independent for 11 March 1889: Death of a Well-Known Dealer in Vertu – On Saturday Mr Myers Peterkowsky, residing in Queen Street, Wakefield, and who has been in business in that town for 52 years as a furniture dealer and plate broker, died suddenly from heart disease, aged 72.  The deceased has left a remarkable stock of curios, worth, it is said, several thousands pounds, which may now come to the hammer‘.

Probate for Myers estate was granted on the 2nd of May 1890 – ‘The Will of Myers Peterkowsky late of Queen Street Wakefied in the County of York General Dealer who died 9 March 1889 at Queen Street was proved at Wakefield by John Thomas Hall of Wood Street Wakefield Bank Manager and Charles Henry Marshall of New Scarborough nr Wakefield Commercial Clerk the Executors‘.

Finally, going back a few decades there is an Alien Arrival on Ancestry on 30th of May 1837 for a Nobel Myer Pieterkowsky, a dealer, native of Prussia. The arrival paperwork tells that Myer has a passport from the Prussian Government, the sheet being duly signed by the Port Officer ***** Fabian and by Nobel Myers Pieterkowsky……….could this be Myers entering the country to have a long career in Wakefield.

This now brings to the fore another question, what made Myers make Wakefield his home?

Dallas War Memorial, Morayshire

dallas war mem 1Although I have Garrow, Petrie, Grigor, Gow, Innes and Denoon links to the Dallas and wider Moray region the name Andrew Izatt stood out, when I looked at my images of Dallas, Moray war memorial. The above-mentioned names were included on the memorial and as there were no Riach’s listed I decided to tell you a little about Andrew Izatt.

Andrew was born in the latter part of 1890 in Dallas, Elginshire. He was the son of Andrew and Annie Milne Izatt nee Shand. Andrew senior, son of Andrew Izatt and Rachel Gain, was born around 1861 in Whitburn, Linlithgowshire and was employed as a school teacher. Annie, on the other hand, was born around 1865 in Ordiquihill, Banffshire. As well as Andrew junior, Alexina Shand born in 1876 was also included in the 1891 census entry – Alexina being Andrew snr’s sister in law.

By 1901, Andrew jnr. had two siblings – Meta aged 8 and Ella, just three months old. The transcription for Andrew has him as 18, but he is more likely to be around 11-year-old mark, working on his birth being late 1890. Also included in the census is Maggie Agilvie, probably Ogilvie, of Dallas, who is the families servant. Andrew snr. is now the Head Master of Dallas School – who could have possibly still been the head of the school when my grandfather John Riach was of school age.

Sometime before February 1915, Andrew set off for Canada. There is a St. Albans, Vermont entry for an Andrew Izatt aged 23 born in Dallas, Scotland who arrived on SS Grampian (?) in July of 1910 – this gives a couple of years leaway on age. There is also  striking difference, in a another document, which I will go into detail later – information to Andrew’s description. Andrew declared 1$ and told he had never been arrested or deported from or excluded from any admission to the USA. He gave Moose Jaw as his last addressed, telling that he had no relatives in America and he had paid the price of the crossing by himself and gave his occupation as labourer.

Andrew Attested in Calgary on 9th March 1915 before Geo. Morfett (?) Approving Officer and Justice. Andrew declared he was from Dallas, Morayshire, giving his date of birth as 1st Nov. 1890. He gave his father as his next of kin and gave his trade as a dairyman. He also stated he had done 3 years with the 6th Gordons and duly signed his name. ~The second page of the Attestation a description of Andrew – he was 5′ 6″ tall with a fully expanded chest of 36 ½”. He had a light complexion, grey eyes and dark hair with a birthmark on his left thigh. He was a Presbyterian by faith. Now the height, hair and eye colourings differ on this document from the border crossing where he is described as 5′ 2″, fair complexion, brown hair and hazel eyes – not too much difference apart from he has lost four inches in height!

Andrew served as Private 434940 in the 50th Bn. Canadian Infantry.
He died on the 9th of November 1916 aged 26 and is remembered on the Vimy Memorial along with over 11,160 others who fought in the Canadian forces, with many of them in the fight for Vimy Ridge . The Memorial designed by W S Allward was unveiled by King Edward VII in July 1936 has a commanding view over the French countryside.

The area leading up to the Vimy Memorial is set in a wooded area of which some is still cordened off to the public. The actual memorial stands proud on the hightest part of the ridge, overlooking the Douai Plain. In the lower areas of the memorial park are the underground tunnels and trenches once running busy with the acts of war.  During a visit to the underground tunnels one of the Canadian guides said that the woodland area was planted with one tree for each Canadian soldier during the battle who lost his life. The guides at Vimy are Canadian students who spen time in France telling the history of the battle and the people.

RBL Somme 100 Lapel Pin – Pte. 22851 G F Ward

RBL Somme 100 Lapel Pin – Pte. 22851 G F Ward

box-coverEarlier this year I toyed with the idea of buying a Somme 100 lapel pin – you know the one. Anyway, for those of you who have not seen the promotions on various web and media sites, each pin, according to the RBL shop  is ‘made from British shell fuses fired during the Battle of the Somme and collected from the historic front line. The stunning red enamel in the centre of each poppy is made from a small amount of finely ground earth that was collected from Gommecourt, Hebuterne, Serre, Beaumont Hamel, Thiepval, Ovillers, La Boisselle, Fricourt and Mametz, and red enamel mixed together to create the iconic red colour.’


© Carol Sklinar Dec 2016

Not only is each pin made from shell fuses fired 100 years ago, each pin remembers a soldier who lost his life during this battle.

When I stopped thinking about getting one for me and another for my friends birthday pressie there were none left.  Disapointed not only for myself but saddened that I could not get one for my friends birthday gift – alternate plan soon sorted the gift out.

In mid-December more promotional information started filtering through about the lapel pins. This time not to be outdone, I went online and bought two pins – my next problem was would they be here in time.  Two days later a large box arrived at work and they were worth the wait.

As I have said, and you probably know, each pin remembers a soldier, my soldier is Pte. 22851, George Frederick Ward of the Suffolk Regiment.

George Frederick was the son of Robert Ward and his wife Ellen.  Robert was aged 27 in the 1891 census, born in Layham, working as a labourer and living in Hadleigh with Ellen and their two children at Parker’s Cottage. George was one year old at this time.

Robert Ward (1833-1912) &Emily Hynard (1838-1910) via J Ward

Robert Ward (1833-1912) & Emily Hynard (1838-1910) via Jeffrey Ward

There have been Ward’s in the Layham area for a very long time, with the manorial rolls including their names as early as the 1400’s and are regularly mentioned for the next 200 years.  In the 16th century the family were yeoman farmer according to some wills of the time.  In later years the family seem to have come down in the world a little.

George’s father, Robert, was the son of Robert (1833-1912) and Emily nee Hynard (1838-1910). The couple had 12 children. Robert snr., during the 1840’s worked in the Silk Mill at Hadleigh – Robert jnr., (1862-1927) also worked there.

Back to George, his parents and siblings, who are still at Parker’s Cottage in 1901. The family has now grown to include four more siblings for George.  Robert now works

Robert Ward (1833-1912) via Jeffrey Ward

Robert Ward (1833-1912) via Jeffrey Ward

as a horseman on a local farm, his eldest son Robert, yes another, aged 13 also works on a farm – probably the same farm.

Another 10 years in the life of the Ward family and 1911 has arrived.  What will that year bring to the country?  In January the Siege of Sydney Street takes place. March sees 11,000 workers at the Singer sewing machine factory go on strike.  RMS Titanic is launched in Belfast and across the water, RMS Olympic sails for Liverpool.  At the height of the hottest British summer on record, George V and Queen Mary are crowned. Later on in the year the Official Secrets Act 1911 came in to effect and Suffragettes storm the Houses of Parliament.  On April 2nd the census was again taken, differing from previous years census forms, more information is now requested – the number of years married and details of how many children to that marriage.

Back to George and his family in 1911. The information in the census now tells that Robert and Ellen Mary had been married for 24 years, Ellen giving birth to seven children (all still being alive in 1911), six of the children had been recorded as living with Robert and Ellen – Margaret who would now be around 18 was not with the family. The eldest four children were employed as farm labourers, jobbing gardener at a local market garden, a carpenters help and an errand boy at a local farm house. Home for the family was Hill Cottage, Layham. Robert while completing the form entered the number of years married and children details in the wrong row. He also went into detail about the rooms in the cottage.  Robert entered ‘two bedrooms one downstairs room’, the enumerator struck through that information and wrote ‘four’. By that added extra bit of information it is now known the size of property the Ward family of eight existed in.

1914 came around too quickly, men enlisted, men went away but not as many came home.

George served as 22851 in the 7th Btn. Suffolk Regiment, which has been raised in 1914 aspart of Kitchener’s First New Army, after enlisting in Ipswich and had been with his regiment on the northern edge of the Somme battlefields during July of 1916.  After being injured he was taken to 76th FA (Field Amblance) where Albert Victor Moth was taken and died on the same day as George.

Robert, George’s father, would have received his Victory and British Medals, along with monies owning to George from the Army. As the service records for George have not survived, the information, including a description of George, his postings etc., which would be fascinating, is sadly missed.

George Frederick Ward

George Frederick Ward via Jeffrey Ward

George Frederic Ward rests in Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension along with over 1,330 other identified casualties from the Commonwealth and France including Albert Moth. The CWGC website tells ‘The first Commonwealth burial took place in the communal cemetery in October 1915 and the last on 1 July 1916. By that date, field ambulances had come to the village in readiness for the attack on the German front line eight kilometres away, and the cemetery extension was begun on the eastern side of the cemetery.

Although George rests peacefully in France he is

Layham War Memorial 2014 via Jeffrey Ward

Layham War Memorial 2014 via Jeffrey Ward

remembered on the Layham War Memorial, Suffolk, a few message boards, mailing lists and websites including Suffolk Roll of Honour.

The Ward family had been featured in the Suffolk Chronicle and Mercury on 29th of March 1918 – all five of the male family eligible for military service had been or were on active duty.  Only George was killed in action. George’s brothers, Robert William, Henry Walter, Frank Bernard Jubilee Ward and brother-in-law, F Orvis saw service in France, Italy, Egypt and the Dardinelles. F Orvis was Francis G S Orvis who married Margaret Ward in the winter of 1914.


© Carol Sklinar Dec 2016

‘Only the dead have seen the end of war’

West Riding Police War Memorial

West Riding Police War Memorial

During the Great War West Riding Police Force went along with their daily working lives – patrolling the streets on foot, being a presence on the streets and dealing with the unsavoury side of life that arose. During this time they had the added an extra burden of vast numbers of soldiers, either stationed in the West Riding, on leave in the area, passing through on their way to postings or returning to the war. One task that became an everyday occurrence was being on the look out for soldiers overstaying leave, absconding – being AOL (Absent without leave).

The everyday lot of the local ‘Bobby’ was about to change for them and their families.

The police were exempt from enlisting for the early part of the war. This all changed in December 1915, when all members of the police force under 41 years of age (including Walter Siddle) attested and were placed n the reserve list under Lord Darley’s Scheme (World War 1). By March 1917, the goal posts were moved and all under 41 years of age were to be examined by the Army Medical Board.

West Riding Constabulary War Memorial

West Riding Constabulary War Memorial

John Pinion Sleaford, West Riding Constabulary War Memorial

John Pinion Sleaford, West Riding Constabulary War Memorial © Carol Sklinar 2016

The memorial to the men of the West Riding Constabulary situated at Laburnum Road, Wakefield carries the names of over 60 men from WW1 and 26 names from WW2.

Of the 60+ names from the WW1 memorial one name stands out amongst the rest due to the unusual middle name – John Pinion Sleaford, now doesn’t that roll off the tongue?

John’s early years were spent in Lincolnshire. He was born in or around Walcot, Lincolnshire on the 24th May 1890 and baptised on the 26th of February 1899. The entry for John in the registers of St Michael’s Billinghay and St Oswald, Walcot show that his parents, Charles and Hephzibah Sleaford had four of their other children baptised on the same day. The entry also shows where John, his sister Sarah and brother Arthur came by their unusual middle name ‘Pinion’, Hephzibah’s maiden name was Pinion. Charles on this day gave his occupation as a cottager.

The 1901 census gives the details of Charles, his wife and nine children living at Fen Road, Walcot – Charles now classes himself as a farmer. Ten years later in 1911 census more information is given and it appears that John was one of 10 children, nine of which survived to be included in the census. Home for John, a 20 year old farm worker, and the rest of the family was Walcott Fen, Billinghay. Later working for James Franklin a local farmer.

John aged 21 left his native Lincolnshire and signed, on the 5th of January 1912, the Declaration to become a constable in the West Riding Police. Aged 21 years and 7 months, John was 5′ 9 ¼” tall, with a fresh complexion. He had dark brown hair and grey eyes, having no particular marks and stating that he was a single man. John also had to give a specimen of his handwriting.

John's handwriting from Police Records

John’s handwriting from Police Records

John Pinion Sleaford, warrant number 7785, was from November 1912 stationed in Staincross and by January of 1913 had advanced from third to a second-grade constable.

In the early summer of 1915, John returned to Lincolnshire to marry Ellen Blundy. Using both John’s and Ellen’s surnames in a search it seems that there were two children born – Leonard in Grantham, 1915 and Edith in Penistone, 1916.

John joined the Navy, becoming Stoker 2nd class, K 39557, serving on HMS Victory II from 10th January 1917 to February 7th of the same year (this could have been a shore base). From 7th February John was in the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar, Gosport, Hampshire, which had been a naval hospital since the mid 1700’s and was the last to lose its military status in 2007.

Royal Naval Hospital Haslar, Gosport, Hampshire via Wikipedia

Royal Naval Hospital Haslar, Gosport, Hampshire via Wikipedia

John died on the same day of his admittance to HMH Haslar, the 7th of February, from pneumonia and heart failure and rests in the churchyard of his native village of Walcott near Billinghay. By this time Ellen was living at Hill Top, Clayton West.

Did Ellen remarry to give her two young children a father? Did Ellen move back home to Lincolnshire? Well, the 1939 Register answers both those questions. Still living at Hill Top, Ellen

CWGC headstone for John Pinion Sleaford © Lorna

CWGC headstone for John Pinion Sleaford © Lorna

can be found doing ‘unpaid domestic duties’, while Leonard works as a clayware labourer and Edith is a worsted spinner.

Leonard married Madge B Carter in the Hendon area. Edith, however, there are a couple of entries for a marriage that could be her, one in Bradford and the other in Sleaford……….so I will leave that one for others to sort out.

Ellen died in 1960 and it seems she did not tie the knot again.

James Riach of Fochabers and Yorkshire

During Heritage Weekend I attended a performance of History Wardrobe’s White Wedding – another fantastic event, but more of that later apart from the event was held in Wakefield Cathedral. Wakefield Cathedral being the link to my post.

I arrived early, so I thought I would ‘kill one bird with two stones’ as they say and off I went looking for a memorial to a WW1 soldier, that a relative of his had lead me to believe was there. I hasten to add the last time I visited with the aim of searching for this memorial it was the previous year’s Heritage Weekend, and the building was partially closed for renovation work. Well, with time to kill I set off on my mooch around but sadly the memorial could not be found – I walked up and down but no, it was not there. Had the relative mistaken the church, was it in another within the vicinity – note to self, send her an email!

As I have said, I walked up and down the Cathedral looking for this memorial but on one aisle there was a short row of chairs – why were they there?

Well, with a History Wardrobe event and my new find I was well made up for the day.
It seems that my find was part of a five-year touring installation commemorating the casualties of WW1 – What a find as I had not seen this advertised or promoted anywhere.
The installation comprised of five chairs from Passcendaele’s St Audomarus Church – each chair represents a casualty as shown by the small numbers on each chair, Accompanying the chairs is a book – each left-hand page bears the name of all the casualties from the British Isles who died in Belgium, some 173,000 names, with each name being followed by the regiment and date of death.

The opposite page of this huge book is for personal stories, and there are some wonderful ones told by relatives and researchers. Some of which I will tell at a later date, but in the meantime, I will tell of someone from the left-hand page, whose family name has a connection to me.
RIACH – J Riach of the West Riding Regiment – did he have a connection to my Scottish Riach family? I did know that some of the family moved to the Brighouse area of Yorkshire and others went to the London area. Did J Riach belong to the Yorkshire, London or Scottish side?

James' Medal Card via Ancestry

James’ Medal Card via Ancestry

The medal card for J Riach confirms his service number, always a good start and gives his first name, James (the CWGC only gives his initial). Did James have a surviving service record? Yes, he did and this told me that he was born in Fochabers, but at the time of his enlistment was living at 35 Birkby St, Wilson Road, the town being unreadable! Having previously resigned twice from the services. James was working as a mechanic for J G (?) Sharp after serving a five year apprenticeship at E Fairburn’s in Brighouse.

James, aged 34 was 5′ 5½” tall and considered to be in good health. He appears to have been a stocky man as his chest was 41″, his medical report was signed off in Halifax and enlisting in Brighouse – proving which line of the family he comes from. And so James Riach signed his name and became Private Pioneer James Riach of the West Riding Regiment, serving as , witnessed by Harry S Atkinson Commanding Officer. Further reading of the service records tells that the enlistment at Brighouse was on the 24th of July 1912. James had attended annual training in Flamborough and Aberystwyth, sadly the dates have been erased by water damage but appears to have been discharged in 1902 after serving two years, of which some time was in South Africa, due to being under height.

James embarked as part of the BEF from Folkstone on SS Invicta on the 14th of April 1915 for France and Belgium, after serving ‘At Home’ from the 5th of August 1914 – 12th of April 1915. In July of that year, he was appointed in the field, unpaid Lance Corporal. Just over a month later he was killed in action.

As of yet, the name of James’ wife is unknown, but a receipt for one of his medals is signed for by A L Riach – could A L be Ada Louisa Macaulay who married James in St Mary’s church, Elland on the 26th of March 1894. James was the son of John, a police constable, while Ada was the daughter of Frederick, a dentist.

J Riach via Findagrave

J Riach via Findagrave

It looks like it is as another paper has the full name of his wife and the full address – Mrs Ada Louisa Riach, 25 Birkby Street, Wilson Road, Wyke, Bradford. Don’t you feel a sense of satisfaction when firstly, the service record you want has survived and secondly when the page containing the relatives is intact and readable – pure joy and worth a celebration. This page was completed by Ada after James’ death and lists his children, his father and a full list of all his siblings and their addresses. By the time this form was completed on the 20th of July 1919, Ada was now living at 11 Norwood Street, Bankfoot, Bradford. Most of his siblings had stayed around the Brighouse and Rastrick area but the odd one had moved just up the road to Clifton and one to Gomersall, but still quite close to the family hub.

Ada was given a pension of 21/- a week for herself and two children – strange as the list of children on the previous sheet clearly, states that there were three children to the union of James and Ada – what happened to the third?

One other piece of information I found about James was in the Leeds Mercury dated 20th of August 1915 and reads ‘FRIENDS KILLED TOGETHER. News is to hand from Belgium that Corpl. Norman Hirst (Clifton), Lance-Corpl James Riach, and Private Charles Lee (Wyke), of the 1st-4th West Ridings, were killed by a German shell on Saturday last, while working on a dug-out.

Two other men were wounded by the same shell, and it was while assisting the stretcher-bearers to get these away that Capt. Andrews (headmaster of the Hipperholme Grammar School) was fatally shot by a sniper‘.

Riach was instrumental in getting Lee to enlist, both men being employed at the same works and living in the same street, and it is a notable circumstance that they should have been killed by the same shell.

James is now no longer a name in a book or a name on a headstone, he is a son, a husband, father, neighbour and workmate.

Did Ada re-marry?  No, she died in 1958 aged 86 in Bradford and was still known as Ada Riach. She is listed in the Probate Calendar with the following entry ‘ RIACH Ada Louisa of 4 Hillam Street Little Horton Bradford widow died 31 May 1958 at Thornton View Hospital Bradford Probate Wakefield 19 August to James Riach gentlemens outfitter and Geoffrey Gostick solicitors managing clerk.  Effects £1107 9s.  Note : there is no punctuation or very little in the Probate Calendars.

James, my distant cousin, is remembered on the war memorial at St Mary’s Wyke along with Charles Lee who served as Private 4/1679.

I had previously written about the Riach family of Brighouse but since then I have managed to find out a bit more about one member of that family, with other bits of information being amended due to better-scanned images now being available online.