Tag Archives: Regiments

Victoria Cross Trust

Victoria Cross Trust at Ashworth Barracks

After wanting to visit Ashworth Barracks for quite a while, I finally visited earlier this month armed with a small file with information about one of my two distant family members who had been awarded the Victoria Cross..

Ashworth Barracks

Set within a disused school, the museum is surrounded by houses and feels part of the community. Access is easy. I arrived via the A1, exiting at junction 36 and heading towards Doncaster where there were a few signs pointing the way.

After paying my entrance fee, I was already to go, but it was suggested that if I wait a few minutes I would be on the next guided tour……..am I glad I waited!

Paul, one of the volunteer guides arrived and as I was the only visitor at the time, I had a personal guided tour.

I had mentioned at reception that I had a distant connection to two V.C holders and as my guide and I walked across to the museum entrance, he commented to a couple of men about my connection. One of the men had heard of my recipient – I was surprised as it is hard to find any mention of him in books connected to either the Victoria Cross or Victoria Cross recipients. Could my day get any better………………yes, it could and it did.

The museum depicts the story of the Victoria Cross from its early days to modern times by the use of static displays, individual displays and representation. Paul and the other volunteer guides have a vast knowledge of the recipients, all men, and their deeds. Although women have been eligible to receive the Victoria Cross since 1921 there have been no female recipients since then.

During my visit one of the stories I heard was that  of Stanley Elton Hollis VC, who served in the Green Howards who had the distinction of receiving the only Victoria Cross awarded on D-Day. My father served in the Green Howards and like Stanley landed on Gold Beach.

One of the exhibits is a living room and backyard depicting a house during the time of WW2, with a welcoming fire, chair and outhouse with a bath hanging on the wall. Other exhibits include a mound of army desert boots under a draped Union Flag – the exhibit has no explanation, no photographs, it doesn’t need anything, the boots and the flag say all that needs to be said.

Another section of the museum houses a collection of German militaria. Some may not agree or feel comfortable that German artefacts are kept within the walls of a museum focusing on Commonwealth forces. But, and there is always a but! To have a war or conflict there has to be an enemy. Without the enemy would there be the Victoria Cross? Without the Victoria Cross would there be the Ashworth Museum? There are always two sides – and you can’t have one without the other. Artefacts included in this small section are letters, documentation and militaria.

A guided tour normally take around two hours – I think mine lasted a little longer than that. Did I mind?  No, as I was fortunate enough to hold a medal worn by one of my distant relatives. Paul, my guide was as surprised as I, when we learnt that the medal was part of the museum’s collection. I told you my day could only get better and it certainly did.

Did I have a good visit?      Yes.
Was the entrance fee of £7 worth it?      Yes.
Would I recommend the museum?     Yes.
Will I be going back?      Yes, of course I will.

 

Golf Club Professional Killed in Action

Wakefield Golf Club Professional killed in action

While doing a little research into a Wakefield soldier killed in World War One, I came across a newspaper article that mentioned he had been a member of Wakefield Golf Club, Sandal. Finding that information was the catalyst for another diversion!

Wakefield Golf Club Golf Professional, killed in the Great War

CWGC headstone logo of King’s (Liverpool) Regt., from a headstone in my collection

This morning – two lots of washing have been done, the dishwasher is going, the cats have been fed and watered and so have I! I thought a few minutes to tidy the newspaper articles, so very kindly copied from the libraries collection of Wakefield Express newspaper by a friend, and I would then start getting organised. The plan being to file each article away in the corresponding soldiers file………….did I start, well I filed one away, then I noticed one of the names of those killed in the Great War, who were members of previously mentioned golf club, had died on June 20th. I thought a small bit about him would not lead me astray too far.

George Ernest Skevington – George was one of over 100 members of the Club who served in the Great War, with 20 never coming home to their families and friends.

Who was George?  He was born in 1888 in Brough, the son of Charles W Skevington, a rural postman, born in Arlesey, Bedfordshire and his wife Annie, who was from Little Ouseburn. The family in 1891 lived at Hawthorne Cottage, Broughton Road Elloughton with Brough.

Ten years later in 1901, the family were at Hawthorne Cottage, Elloughton with Brough, the cottage now seemed to be on Welton Road.  George, was now one of nine children, the majority of which were born in Brough.

In 1911, the family were still at Hawthorne Cottage – Charles was now 57 and still a postman. His wife, Annie, was 51 and had been married 26 years, borne 11 children, with eight living to be named in the census.  George, now 23 gives his profession as ‘Pro Golf Club’ with ‘assistant professional’ written above in a different hand – it is possible that George was employed at Brough Golf Club.  Between 1911 and his enlistment in Dewsbury in the October of 1915, George  took up his position as Club Professional at the golf club in Sandal.

He served originally as 15586, in the Army Cyclist Corps., being transferred The King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, 18th Battalion and now becoming Private 57660. While George was away ‘doing his bit’, Wakefield Golf Club still continued to pay him 10s per week. George served in

Wakefield Golf Club Golf Professional, killed in the Great War

Railway Dugouts Burial Ground from Google maps

Belgium and was Killed in Action, by a shell,  on the 20th of June 1917 aged 30, and rests along with over 2,450 others who gave their lives For King and Country, in Railway Dugouts Burial

Ground, some 2kms west of Zellebeke.

The monies owing to George, from the military, were eventually paid to his father, Charles and were finalised by August 1919.  Charles would also have received George’s medals.

By 1918, a replacement had been found for George, Mr S H Lodge, from Barton-on-Sea Golf Club, Hampshire.

The Club in 2000 were able to purchase a hickory shaft putter, made by George, while he was a Professional, at Woodthorpe.

Wakefield Golf Club Golf Professional, killed in the Great War

War Memorial C Sklinar copyright 2015

Although, George rests in Belgium, he will always be remembered as his name is engraved on the Golf Club memorial and the memorial in his home town.  The memorial on Welton Lane, Brough, not only bares his name, but also, that of his younger brother 2nd Lieut. William Percy Skevington, who died on the 8th of September 1918.  He rests in Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, near Bailleul, France with over 1200 other identified casualties plus 400+ who are known only unto their God. William had enlisted into the East Yorkshire Regiment going through the ranks, as Sapper 62, 12423, then Private 10/111, later to become a 2nd Lieutenant.  William had entered the Egyptian Theatre of War on 22nd of December 1915.

William Percy, was not with his family in the 1911 census, he was in fact a lodger at Bosworth

Wakefield Golf Club Golf Professional, killed in the Great War

Trois Arbre CWGC cemetery

Avenue, Fountain Road, Hull – he worked as a Railway Porter.

In just over twelve months, Charles and Annie Skevington had, like so many other families, had seen two of their children killed in Action.

Event – Life on the Home Front

Life on the Home Front Weekend

18-19 July 2015   10am – 4pm

Cusworth Hall Museum and Park

Doncaster, DN5 7TU

An event organised by Doncaster MDC, under the ‘Doncaster 1914-1918 At Home, At War‘ umbrella and funded by the Lottery Heritage Fund.

The organising group are are pleased to announce this, the biggest event in the area of this summer, and with FREE entry, and FREE activities it looks like it could be a wonderful day out for all members of the family.

Life on the Home Front Weekend

Life on the Home Front Weekend

The front lawn at Cusworth Hall will be taken over with a huge range of activities, including:

– Visit First World War nurses and meet their patient
– Get hands-on with First World War objects and try on uniforms
– Sample and learn more about First World War cooking
– Experience a soldier’s training camp
– Find out about wartime Doncaster, rationing and thrifty fashion
– Family-friendly crafts and activities

The timings for the events at Cusworth are still being finalised so keep checking in on their website facebook page and their Twitter link – have a good time!

This event is one of a series entitled ‘The Great War on Tour’, which visits a variety of places including St Oswald’s Church, Kirk Sandall on the 20th of June ; Edlington Library on the 22 of June and ‘Doncaster at War 1914-1915’ again at Edlington Library on 29th of May through to 25th of June.

Doncaster 1914-18 on Facebook  and on Twitter 

Doncaster1914-18 on the web

Batley Lads – Roll of Honour of Batley Grammar School – Book Review

We recently published an article by Guest Blogger, Philip L Wheeler, who wrote about Drighlington ‘pub lads ‘ who gave their lives during WWI.  Well I am pleased to say that Philip, with three others has written a book about the lads from Batley Grammar School, who died in the Great War 1914 – 1918, with the support of the National Lottery, Heritage Lottery Fund.

Batley Lads cover

Batley Lads cover

The paperback book, A4 in size contains over 300 pages. Before you visit the pages of the young men, you are invited to become familiar with life in Edwardian Batley and Batley Grammar School at the time leading up to 1914 enlistment and the period when the ‘old boys’ started to enlist.

You are then introduced to the 61 fallen boys and one headmaster from the school who paid the ultimate sacrifice, by a full colour page bearing their rank and name, lifespan and regiment, with at least one image per entry. Each of these pages has a selection from a poem or prose for example:-

“Earth has waited for them, All the time of their growth Fretting for their decay: Now she has them at last! In the strength of their strength suspended—-stopped and held.” Isaac Rosenberg 1917.

The book is easy to read, and is overflowing with information about the men and their families; what was happening during their war and where they now rest.   One of the men mentioned and highlighted on the back cover is Private Horace Waller, V.C., born in 1896, he served in the KOYLI 10th Batt.  Horace died on the 10th of April 1917 aged 20 from wounds received while throwing bombs at the enemy.  It was a result of these actions and actions earlier in the day that he was awarded The Victoria Cross.  Another young man was Corporal Gilbert Pattison, who served in the Royal Flying Corps.

The Epilogue, goes on to tell how the school and other schools continued after the war and bringing the school to the future, hoping that the current pupils will visit the cemeteries of their fallen.

Finally, there are the resources and index.

If you have a connection to Batley Grammar School, or the Batley area, this is a wonderful book to ‘pop in and out’ of.  All in all, this book has been researched in depth by Philip, an ex-pupil of Batley Grammar School and his co-writers – this is a book to be proud and well worth the £10 price tag!

If you would like a copy of this very informative book please email :  info@projectbugle.org.uk

Albert Edward Shepherd

A few years ago my cousin and I were jointly researching branches of our family tree.  I was doing the internet side by looking at census, military service records and other online sources.  He was going the ‘old school’ route by visiting the archives and viewing the church records on microfilm.  Normally, on a Sunday morning we would have a long chat on the telephone, compare notes and decide what other routes to go down and people to search out………..It worked for us and we found a lot of information about our joint relatives, their spouses and children.

It was while researching a joint relative – nearer to him than me by just a little, we ventured into the Shepherd line.  There were a few ups and downs and a few hiccoughs along the way but with a joint effort we got there.

And so it was that in 2010, one sunny but cool Sunday afternoon I ventured forth with car keys, camera, spare batteries and music for my journey a few miles down the road.  But before I tell about that day, it may be good to know who Albert was.

Albert Edward Shepherd was the son of Noah Shepherd and Laura Darwin born in 1897 in the small town of Royston near Barnsley.  Albert was not our main interest, it was his brother Jabez born in 1905 that was the direct relative.  But you know how it is with family history, you start of in a nice orderly fashion then off you go at a tangent.  It seemed that Albert was our tangent, but at least some of the information fitted them both.

Noah was a Shropshire man, a miner by trade and it looks like he followed the coal fields ending up in Royston where he met Laura who was from Hoyland Common.   The couple married in 1896 and went on to have 6 children born between 1897 and 1908 in and around Royston.

1901 the family were living at 2nd 5th Hallam Street, Brightside Bierlow, Sheffield.  By the time the 1911 census came around Noah was a widower bringing up his children in Royston.  Not only had he lost his wife but one of their six children had also died.  Albert was working like his father, down the mine.  Also in living in the house was Thurza, Noah’s mother;  Percy his 15 year old brother and Joseph Darwin, his father in law, also a widower.

One source says that while he was working at New Monkcton Colliery, his main sources of recreation were boxing and running.

sheherd a e picAlbert enlisted, but some say it was on the first day of the war, while others say it was  on the 4th of August 1915, but his Medal Card says he enlisited on 18th of August 1915 being drafted into one of Lord Kitchener’s service battalions, the 12th King’s Royal Rifle Corps – that regiment all are agreed upon.  Again I seem to be highlighting a member of this regiment, but this time it is not intentional.  During his service he was seriously wounded in the arm and gassed twice – thus qualifying for a Silver War Badge and an Army Pension.

He was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal on 28 August 1916 and became acting Corporal one month later on 28 September 1916. He was still a young man, but had taken part in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and the Battle of Passchendaele in late 1917.

His love of running served him in good stead as it was while a company runner that he was awarded the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces – The Victoria Cross.

Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross

Villers Plouich, France, 20th November 1917-

The citation reads:

No. R/15089 Rflmn. Albert Edward Shepherd, K.R.R.C. (Barnsley).

For most conspicuous bravery as a company runner.

When his company was held up by a machine gun at point blank range he volunteered to rush the gun, and, though ordered not to, rushed forward and threw a Mills bomb, killing two gunners and capturing the gun. The company, on continuing its advance, came under heavy enfilade machine gun fire.
When the last officer and the last non-commissioned officer had become casualties, he took command of the company, ordered the men to lie down, and himself went back some seventy yards under severe fire to obtain the help of a tank.
He then returned to his company, and finally led them to their last objective.

He showed throughout conspicuous determination and resource.

—London Gazette, 13 February 1918
DSCF1794

Rosezillah Shepherd, headstone in Royston Cemetery. Copyright C Sklinar

The Great War, the war to end all wars, came to an end for Albert on the 2nd of January 1919, when he was discharged and he returned home to Royston. He went back to the colliery as a caretaker and on 17th of February of 1919 he married Rosezillah Tillman.  Rosezillah died in September of 1925 and rests in Royston Cemetery.

On the 6th of November 1926 Albert married for the second time, this time to Gladys Maud Lees.

He later joined the Corps of Commissionaires.

croix de guerre

Croix de Guerre

In early 1920 he heard that he had been awarded the French Medaille Militaire, followed a few months later in January of 1921 he had been awarded the Croix de Guerre.

As well as the Silver War Badge, for being injured,  his tally of military and civilian medals added up to quite a few:-

mdaille militaire

Medaille Militaire

 * Victoria Cross
* 1914 – 15 Star
* British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
* Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
* King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
* Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )
* Croix de Guerre ( France )
* Medaille Militaire ( France )

In June of 1920 he attended the Buckingham Palace garden party, given by King George V for Victoria Cross Recipients.  His Majesty was accompanied by The Queen and other members of the Royal Family. The recipients assembled at Wellington Barracks and marched to the Palace via Birdcage Walk.  The King inspected the Victoria Cross Recipients who later filed past his Majesty and all had the honour of being presented to The King and Queen. Nine years later was a guest at the Prince of Wales’ House of Lords’ dinner on 9th of November 1929.  He retired in 1945 and the following year attended the Victoria Cross dinner at the Dorchester.  It was his normal practice to attend most of the Victoria Cross / George Cross functions, one of which was the Hyde Park Review in june 1956 and the review f the Corps of Commissionaires in May three years later.

The Imperial War Museum has within its vast collection invitations and souvenir programmes for the Victoria Cross Garden Party.

Albert E Shepherd VC

Albert E Shepherd VC

Albert Edward Shepherd, V.C. died at his home in Oakwood Crescent, Royston on 2rd of October 1966 aged 69.

DSCF1797

Albert Edward Shepherd V.C. copyright C Sklinar

He was given a full military funeral at St John the Baptist Church, Royston.  His cortege as it made its way to the church was given a guard of honour.  The Union Flag was draped across his coffin and his Victoria Cross and Croix de Guerre were proudly laid upon his countries flag.  The Last Post and Reveille were played at his graveside.

In 1968 his second wife, Gladys presented his Victoria Cross and his other medals to the Royal Greenjackets at Winchester.

It is said that a vicar in the 1980’s used part of the DSCF1812archway, which bares Alberts memorial, as part of a washing line – needless to say it did not go down well with the local British Legion.

And so………..back to that day when I ventured forth with keys and camera.  I eventually found the cemetery and proceeded to walk up and down scanning the headstones, but Alberts could not be found. I had found Rosezillah’s headstone, but no Albert.  There were quite a few people around mostly using the cemetery as a short cut.  I asked many of them if they knew where Albert was, after explaining why I was looking for him and why he was special to Royston.  Sadly, not one of them had heard of him or knew where he rested.  Finally, I spoke to a man who suggested I spoke to a couple who were just making there way down the path.  With a quick turn around and the couple in my site – I found him, within feet of where I stood, and therefore, did not need the couple proceeding down the path.

A few weeks ago, I spoke to Barnsley local studies, wondering if they had any information that had eluded me.  I was told that Barnsley were very proud of Albert – my previous experience led me to take that with a very big pinch of salt.  I came to the conclusion that money had been made available in the form of a grant and like a lot of other councils, schools etc., have got on the 100 year bandwagon.  But, how long with they remember after 2015 or even 2018 I ask?

Many groups, associations and individuals have been remembering for much longer and will remember long after 2018 – personal rant over!

DSCF1813

The inscription on the arch ‘This memorial was erected with monies raised by public subscription and by his regiment the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. to the memory of Albert E Shepherd, V.C., Croix de Guerre, Medaille Militaire who died 23rd October 1966.

Although the arch looks a little worse for wear these days, with the varnish crackling and the wood rotting a little, but the memorial stand proud.  If you take a walk to the back of the memorial that now stands to the rear of the War Memorial, you will see the original gate that someone covered over with what looks like plyboard.

shepherd memorial new

Memorial to A E Shepherd V.C. on Royston War Memorial copyright C Sklinar

Lord Robert William Orlando Manners, C.M.G., D.S.O.

Lord Robert William OrDSCF4425lando Manners, C.M.G., D.S.O.

Last year while in France on holiday, I put aside a day for visiting a few CWGC cemeteries to photograph headstones of local men who fell in the Great War.  While in the cemeteries, I also had a mooch around looking for men and or women who had unusual names or who had been awarded medals.

While mooching around one of the cemeteries I found such a headstone.  I noticed it from a distance as there was more wording that usual on the greyish headstone, with just a tinge of green algae slightly hiding the wording below the simple cross.

DSCF4435

Lord Robert W O Manners copyright C Sklinar 2014

The headstone marks the final resting place of Lieutenant Colonel Lord Robert W O Manners, C.M.G., D.S.O. of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, Commanding the th Northumberland Fusiliers.

Robert was the son of John James Robert Manners, 7th Duke of Rutland KG, GCB, PC and his second wife, Janetta Hughan.  In 1871, the family were at Lees, 5 Royal Terrace, Folkestone – John J R Manners, head of the household was aged 52 and gave his occupation as Privy Councillor and M.P.  Robert aged 1, was one of 4 children to Janetta.  Also in the household were nine servants including a Housekeeper.

By 1881, Robert was now aged 11 and a student at

3 Cambridge Gate, London

3 Cambridge Gate, London

Sandhurst Military Academy. while the rest of his family were recorded at 3 Cambridge Gate, London.

 In the autumn/winter of 1902 Robert married Mildred Mary Riddell (the daughter of Revd., Charles P Buckworth and the widow of Major Henry Edward Riddell, who died on 16th March 1900 on active service.  He has seen action in the Boer War and served in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps.,), in St Georges, Hanover Sq., Registration District. Robert and Mildred had a daughter, Elizabeth K J Manners,  born in 1904 who married John Norman Pulteney Lascelles in 1934 and again St Georges, Hanover Sq., Registration District and the couple appear to have had one child, Rupert John Orlando Lascelles born in February of 1935.

Back to 1911 when Robert and Mildred have been married 7 years – Lord Robert Manners aged 4, Major in the Reserve of Officers, is in the home of his sister-in-law, Violet, the Duchess of Rutland, Belvoir Castle.  Also in the census are the Ladies Diana and Marjorie Manners, daughters of the Duchess.  Lady Robert Manners has had her name struck through – was she somewhere else on the night of the census? The Revd., Fred W Knox, Private Chaplain to Due of Rutland, Established Church.  Captain H Lindsay, brother to the Duchess, was also an Officer in the army reserves.  The Marquis of Granby (John Henry) a 2nd Lieutenant in the Leicestershire Territorials.  Lord Windsor aged 22 was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Worcestershire Yeomanry.  The Hon. Wilfred Egerton was living on private means.  H Patrick Shaw-Stewart was noted as being a law student. Way down the list is Miss Betty Manners, remember her, Elizabeth K J Manners, the daughter of our Robert  and Mildred. Finally, there are three visitors who were all born in the United States of America, namely, if I can read their entry – better still I will let you decide who they are!  And if you can work it out please let me know.

1911 census names

 During the next few years Robert continued with his political career, then in 1914 war was declared.  As we know he served in the K.R.R.C. but was in command of a Northumberland Fusiliers regiment and in 1917 the regiment saw action in the battles of Messines, Menin Road, Polygon Wood and the Battles of Passchendaele but  by the 11th of September 1917 he had been killed.

DSCF4425

The Huts Cemetery, Dikkebus copyright C Sklinar 2014

Lord Robert William Orlando Manners, C.M.G., D.S.O., rests in the Huts Cemetery, Dikkebus with over 1080 other casualties.

The cemetery takes its name from huts that lined the road from Dikkebus to Brandhoek, which were used by field ambulances during the 1917 offensive.  Nearly two-thirds of the burials are of gunners as many artillery positions existed nearby.  The cemetery was closed in April 1918 when the German advance (the Battle of the Lys) brought the front line very close. The advance was finally halted on the eastern side of the village, following fierce fighting at Dickebusch Lake, on 8 May.

Extracted from the local paper :-

MELTON AND THE WAR” – LORD ROBERT MANNERS KILLED IN ACTION. The Duke of Rutland received information on Saturday that his half brother, Lieutenant Colonel Lord Robert Manners, D.S.O., Northumberland Fusiliers, was killed in action in France the previous Tuesday. On Wednesday week, Sir Douglas Haig reported that Northumberland troops had extended their gains north-west of St. Quentin, and on the previous Sunday they had taken 600 yards of trench. Lord Robert Manners, who was born in 1870, was formerly in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps., and served in South Africa, being mentioned in despatches and gaining the D.S.O. He was the youngest son of the late Duke of Rutland (who was so well known as Lord John Manners) by his second wife. He married in 1902 Mrs Buchanan-Riddell, widow of Major Henry Buchanan-Riddell, and leaves one daughter aged 14. Deceased lived at Red House, Knipton and was well known throughout Leicestershire, particularly in the Vale of Belvoir. For several seasons he officiated as Field Master of the Duke of Rutland’s hounds, and when Sir Gilbert Greenall resigned in 1912 he accepted the joint Mastership with Major T. Bouch, retiring in 1915 owing to his military duties. Deceased took a keen interest in hunting, and was very popular with the farmers. His loss will be very widely mourned, and the deepest sympathy will be extended to the bereaved widow and daughter. Lord Robert Manners was awarded the C.M.G. in the New Year honours for the Navy and Army, and he was reported wounded on July 23rd last. On Friday October 5th 1917 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “MELTON AND THE WAR” – THE LATE LORD R. MANNERS. The Duke and Duchess of Rutland and other ladies of the family, Lord Cecil Manners, the Marquis of Granby, the Belvoir huntsmen and whips (in their scarlet coats). Mr C. J. Phillips, one of the deputy masters, and many others attended a service in the private chapel at Belvoir Castle on Saturday in memory of Lieut. Colonel Lord Robert Manners, M.F.H. (Northumberland Fusiliers), who was killed in action on September 11th. On Friday October 12th 1917 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “LATE LORD ROBERT MANNERS” – MEMORIAL SERVICE. A service was held yesterday week at St. Peter’s Church, Eaton Square, London, in memory of the late Lieut. Col. Lord Robert Manners, major of the King’s Royal Rifles, commanding a battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers, who was recently killed in action. The vicar officiated, with the assistance of the Rev. F. W. Knox, chaplain to the Duke of Rutland, and other clergy. The hymns were “For all the Saints,” “O love that wilt not let me go,” and “Fight the good fight.” The service concluded with the National Anthem, the “Last Post” sounded by buglers of the 60th Rifles, and the Dead March in “Saul.” Among those who attended the service were the widow and brother of the late officer (Lady Robert Manners and the Duke of Rutland), Viscount Sandhurst (Lord Chamberlain to the King), Major Reginald Seymour (Equerry to his Majesty), the Hon. Sir Arthur Walsh (the King’s Master of Ceremonies), Lord and Lady Manners, Lady Clementine Walsh, a deputation of non commissioned officers and riflemen from the King’s Royal Rifles and the 60th Rifles (this deputation came specially from their depot), a deputation of officers from Lord Robert’s old regiment, the 3rd Leicester’s, Colonel Viscount Hardinge, the Dowager Lady Jersey, Lady Jekyll, The Dowager Marchioness of Bristol, Lady Mary Hervey, Lady Augustus Hervey, Lord Cecil Manners, Colonel Gretton, Lord Leopold Mountbatten, Captain Liddel (representing Prince and Princess Christian), Captain Atkinson Clark (representing Major General the Earl of Scarborough), Lord Fairfax, Sir Philip Burne-Jones, Miss Viola Tree, Lady Tree, the Marquis of Granby, Miss Cicely Manners, Brigadier General Page Croft M.P., and many other members of the family, military officers, and personal friends of the Late Lord Roberts. He is commemorated on a private brass engraved memorial plaque inside the Parish Church.

59 Montagu Square

59 Montagu Square

On the 23rd of May 1918 Probate was granted.  MANNERS Robert William Orlando commonly called Lord Robert Manners of 59 Montague Square, Middlesex died 11 September 1917 in France  Probate London to George Henry Drummond banker.  Effects £18202 8s 10d.

The Red House, Knipton

The Red House, Knipton

In 1934 Mildred died and her Probate reads – Manners Lady Mildred Mary otherwise Lady Robert of The Red House, Knipton near Grantham, Lincolnshire widow died 19 January 1934 at 9 West Eaton Place Westminster Middlesex.

9 West Eaton Place

9 West Eaton Place

Probate London 7 April to Royal Exchange Assurance.  Effects £6886 13s 3d  Resworn £6474 18s 5d.  Resworn £6483 11s 10d.

Lord Manners is remembered on the war memorial in the chapel at Belvoir Castle, also on the Houses of Parliament memorial.

In the Chapel of Belvoir Castle are the following memorials to Robert

TO THE MEMORY OF LT COL LORD ROBERT MANNERS CMG DSO MAJOR, KINGS ROYAL RIFLES COMMANDING 10TH BATTALION NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION IN FRANCE ON 11TH SEPTEMBER, 1917 THIS TABLET IS HERE PLACED

BY HIS SORROWING BROTHER RUTLAND IN REMEMBRANCE OF A VERY GALLANT SOLDIER AND A GREAT GENTLEMAN

TO LIEUT COLONEL LORD ROBERT MANNERS CMG DSO
KINGS ROYAL RIFLES COMMANDING 10TH NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS.
KILLED IN ACTION SEPTEMBER 11 1917.
ERECTED IN PROUD & LOVING MEMORY BY HIS BROTHER OFFICERS OF THE 10TH NORTH FUSILIERS

Sources – Ancestry, CWGC, The Gazette, Forces War Records,

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Who Do You Think You Are – a Wakefieldfhs Road Trip!

Thursday morning bright and early – well, early, but not necessarily bright, my two friends and I set off for the NEC at Birmingham.  The 7am start set us in good stead as the roads were not all that bad, even though we were travelling in the commuter hours – luckily the traffic queues were all heading north.

20150416_095805We arrived slightly after 9:30am, parked the car and after my friend said goodbye to her ‘hubby’, who had been out driver, we caught the shuttle bus to arena 2.  So, after a committee meeting to decide whether to have a coffee of not.  It was a very short meeting with a unanimous decision – yes, a cuppa was in order.

I was very surprised that there was no queue of people waiting to show their tickets and enter the arena.  Once inside we decided we would go our own ways, but meet at 12:30 for lunch and fresh air.

20150416_10520720150416_105215As we entered the stand that was prominent was Ancestry, well they had a couple of stands – one with people using the free access to find their long lost family, another had a bank of three laptops for membership questions, discounts and offers.  A membership discount was available but the laptops seemed to be having problems and we had to go back again – infact we went back a few times, but the problems seemed to be all day.  Behind the laptops was a nice man who was the the technical side of the company and offered help on searching techniques.  There was also the Ancestry DNA stand.  After the Ancestry section I decided on a  system so as not to miss anything.  Row by row, I progressed down the area one side and up the other – it worked.

The night before our visit I had made a very rough list, and I mean rough list, of people I had wanted to ask questions about, that was if there was any stand that fitted my needs. The list consisted of :-

John Kaye, a Home Child, who later became a regular soldier.  A divorcee, who married my aunt.   John Younie, who died while in a court in India in the war. How could I get a copy of a death certificate and where would he be buried?  Relatives from Germany.  Members of the Grace family, carvers, gilders and one an artist (a friend of Whistler) who lived in Wakefield and Chiswick.  PLUS two distant relatives who had been awarded the Victoria Cross.

Aswell as the professional associations i.e. AGRA, ASGRA etc., there were a plethora  of Family History Societies and Groups, quite a few companies wanting you to have your DNA tested, a few software companies, research supply companies and other companies that had no connection to our subject at all but seemed to need ‘footfall’.

I was surprised at a few well known companies i.e. online research and software companies that had staff manning their expensive stands, and whose staff on Thursday stood around talking to each other, while customers, prospective customers, waited for help. The staff at one particular stand not only had staff stood in a huddle, but they either did not care about the product they were trying to get you to purchase or had not been trained.    Saying that there were a couple of other stands, non-family history stands, whose pressure selling would have been welcomed by the  aforementioned companies.  Apart from this negative bit, the rest of my day was a pleasure.

Some of the stands I will tell you about individually, while others will be mentioned here.

Who did I talk to and why was I impressed enough to tell you about them!

20150416_105743………with my leaflets and brochures sorted and besides me, lets work through them. Firstly, I met a very nice lady from Rootsbid, an online company where you place a request for help, a photograph etc., and people place their bid for the request.  You simply then chose the person you wish to do the job, pay and upon completion the monies are passed over.  Seems a good idea but I would have liked the option of having more than one area where you are willing to help.  But other than that, take a look – could be an idea for out of area or out of country photographs and archive work.

I had a nice chat with a man from the Guild of One Name Studies, who nearly persuaded me to join and register  one or two unusual names – that may have to wait as too much on at the moment…………but maybe one day!  But after a look at their website and searched a few of my family names, it seems I may have to register a lot of names, sometime,  as no one at the moment seems to be specialising in them.

20150416_161715FIBIS – Families in British India Society, seemed like a stop to ask about John Younie.  The stand was well presented and manned with lots of friendly and willing people.  One of the ladies showed me their website and we looked for him.  A few with the same surname were there but not him.  I was however, given a few hints and tips and suggestions of where to look next.  I was given a few hints and tips on where to go and what to ask for.

We, as family  historians research and record information about people who have gone before, but sometimes we forget that there are living relatives.  These family members may be older in years but hold such a vast amount of information.  There were two companies at the exhibition who specialised in recording memories.  Both companies were manned by nice people who knew their product. One was Speaking Lives and the other was Love Your Stories.

cardsThe previous companies were for the recording of history, but there was a stand, promoting Family Legacy Cards. Wonderfully designed cards with a suitable sentiment, covering a variety of occasions.  Set up by two friends, whose children both suffered with Autism and Learning Difficulties.  The cards, each with a thought provoking cover,  can either be sent to an older relative for them to write their memories or stories,  or they can be filled in by parents, grandparents or other relatives to children and kept until an appropriate time to be read.

My attention was caught by a banner advertising Surrey in the Great War – the county are looking to record how the Great War affected those within the area and are asking for volunteers – they say unlike 1914 enlistment, they have no age, height or medical restrictions, all are welcome.  They are also wanting school, college and community group involvement, including family and local history societies.

The Belgian Tourist Board had a small but impressive stand.  They had available wonderful brochures which gave wonderful information about places with WW1 connections.  Their Trade Manager, was a very nice man and promised to post a brochure for around the Ypres area.

In a small corner of one stand were a few people representing F G Marshall Ltd., The skill shown on the stand was amazing and the patience these artists must have, could put us all to shame.

A number of stands were promoting education i.e. courses on family history, heraldry, military subjects.  Some of the courses were complete in a matter of weeks, while others, could take a year or two. Some of the courses were organised by –  University of Oxford Dept., for Continuing Education; University of Dundee, Centre for Archive and Information Studies; Strathclyde University, genealogical studies.  Finally, Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd., 

20150416_155732If you had Caribbean roots, there was a stand that catered for your needs – the Caribbean Family History Group.  The leaflet I collected proved very informative about what is available in the UK, the link take you to Solihull Council website, which give more pointers.

The Imperial War Museum, had a large stand promoting their20150416_145524 website Lives of the First World War.  The site aims to add life events to the men and women who played a part in the Great War.  You can simply remember a person or add facts, pop along and see who is there.

20150416_155527The Jersey Archives had a stand and I met a lovely young lady, who was pleased and surprised when I told her of a connection between Wakefield and the Channel Islands.  The General Register Office were also there armed with facts, information and leaflets to aid research.20150416_115114

I was drawn to a very large dome, 20150416_114048enclosing a statue of a soldier standing at ease, with his rifle barrel down.  On regular invervals hundreds of poppies were blown around.  The Royal British Legion were promoting their site Every Man Remembered at Who Do You think You Are this year.  Met a couple of nice men, one of them gave me a quick tour of the site – he made it look easier than it actually is, but I got there in the end and remembered my Great Uncle Herbert Siddle.

20150416_163456I picked up a few leaflets from the Jewish Genealogical Society of GB – one for a friend who has researched a cabin trunk owned by a lady who managed to get out of Germany a short while before war was declared, I thought they may be of interest to her.   I also picked up a leaflet or two from the Ministry of Defence20150416_142920 stand.  The leaflets were guides to WW2 Casualty Packs, Medal Office Guide, Personnel and Record Guides – all very interesting and useful.  They also had on display a collection of medals, including the V.C., which a couple of my family members were awarded.  I was also told to take the A3 prints they had of all the medals, nice things to keep for reference.

If you do family history you will know of the next stand that caught my attention, the stand of the Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, namely Family Search, who have been the forerunners in family history research for decades. I don’t need to say anymore about this site, just to to the website and lose an afternoon or a weekend looking for your family.

Another site I stopped at was manned by Chris Patton for Unlock the Past Guidebooks.  Chris has written quite a number of books but all with the family history link. All of the publications can either be purchased in book form or available as an e-book as a PDF document, well worth a look as some of the titles look very interesting.

Another large stand, this time belonging to Find My Past – not only did they have laptops available for look-ups, very helpful staff, they also had a series of free talks during the show.  They were also promoting the 1939 Register.  All making a very busy stand.

The National Army Museum had another good stand packed with very useful information leaflets giving information on events, the study and research centre etc., and again, manned by very nice and helpful staff.

20150416_120926As one of the groups I am a member of is within a non-conformist area, so it seemed natural that I should pay a visit to the Methodist Heritage stand.  Leaflets packed with the history of Methodism plus places to visit that have a Methodist connection.

Just taking a final look through my collection of leaflets and I have very nearly forgotten to mention Forces War Rec20150416_152149ords.  It is a site that I have found when googling the name of many soldiers who were KIA or DofW during the Great War.  While I was chatting to a couple of the people on the stall I mentioned my two V.C. awardees. So, they set too to find them, and show me what the site could do.  Well initially, they could not be found, but eventually we found one and I sneakily took down the edition of The Gazette – tell me you haven’t done the same!  While we were looking for the other elusive VC recipient, other staff members came and started chatting, laughing and joking.  I said that if you can find them, I would join  but would want a discount to do so – I was given a discount code. A few Tweets went back and forth and one told me the elusive man had been found.  A Tweet said, looks like I should join……………I did and used the discount code.    Thank you very much.

20150416_145105I also paid a quick visit to the Western Front Association while wandering around, such a nice set of people and very knowledgeable on their subject.

Lastly, but my no means least, was the stand of The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Again a wonderful stand packed with information and resource material.  Over the years I have acquired a few of their booklets and pamphlets, now it was time to add some more to the collection.  Some of the booklets would be wonderful as information fillers in a book that I am researching for.  One of the staff was very helpful when I mentioned an error on a headstone – so to gather the evidence and forward to them.

Morayshire man to get memorial 100 years after his death

 After seeing a link to an online version of the Press and Journal, a Scottish newspaper, I was very interested, as the young man concerned was from the same village as my grandad – Dallas, Morayshire.

Anderson, William V.C.

Anderson, William V.C.

William Anderson was born in 1885 in Dallas, but by 1891, the family consisting of Alexander and Bella, the parents, plus children, James, Maggie, William and Alexander, living at 79 North Road. Alexander snr., worked as a labourer to keep a roof over his family’s head.

He went to Glasgow and was employed as a car conductor with the Corporation Tramways for several years before moving  to Newcastle upon Tyne where an elder brother of the family was serving with the Yorkshire Regiment (Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own) and enlisted in the same battalion in 1905, serving in it for a period of seven years in Egypt and India. After his service expired William returned to Glasgow and was employed in the Elder Hospital in Govan. He had been there only for a year before deciding to emigrate to South Africa. However, before he could leave war broke out and he was called up as a reservist and went to the front in France with the British Expeditionary Force.

Our soldier, William Anderson, served in the 2nd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment.  He served as Corporal, 8191.

An extract from “The London Gazette”, dated 21st May, 1915, records the following: “For most conspicuous bravery at Neuve-Chapelle on 12th March, 1915, when he led three men with bombs against a large party of the enemy who had entered our trenches, and by his prompt and determined action saved, what might otherwise have become, a serious situation. Cpl. Anderson first threw his own bombs, then those in possession of his three men (who had been wounded) amongst the Germans, after which he opened rapid rifle fire upon them with great effect, notwithstanding that he was at the time quite alone”.

William’s commanding officer wrote him up for his Victoria Cross – he had died within less than 24 hours, his Soldier’s Effects record states ‘on or since 13.3.15’.  The document also mentions his sister, Mrs Margaret Ingram and his brother Alexander, who would receive monies owed to William.  Various payments had been made to his siblings covering the period 10 May 1916 to 2 December 1919.

Anderson, William V.C., Corporal 8191, has no known grave and is therefore, remembered on the Le Touret Memorial, along with over 13400 other men whose final resting place is known only unto their God.

The Memorial commemorates, as I have said, over 13,400 British soldiers who were killed in this sector of the Western Front from the beginning of October 1914 to the eve of the Battle of Loos in late September the following year – 1915.

Extracted from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission “Almost all of the men commemorated on the Memorial served with regular or territorial regiments from across the United Kingdom and were killed in actions that took place along a section of the front line that stretched from Estaires in the north to Grenay in the south. This part of the Western Front was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting of the first year of the war, including the battles of La Bassée (10 October – 2 November 1914), Neuve Chapelle (10 – 12 March 1915), Aubers Ridge (9 – 10 May 1915), and Festubert (15 – 25 May 1915). Soldiers serving with Indian and Canadian units who were killed in this sector in 1914 and ’15 whose remains were never identified are commemorated on the Neuve Chapelle and Vimy memorials, while those who fell during the northern pincer attack at the Battle of Aubers Ridge are commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial”.

Commonwealth War Graves certificate

Commonwealth War Graves certificate

To read the continuing story of William and his V.C. visit the Press and Journal’s website 

For information on other men from the Yorkshire Regiment you might find this of interest.

Drighlington ‘pub lads’ of the First World War by Guest Blogger, Philip L Wheeler

‘Drig Lads’ who lived in the pubs of Drighlington who gave their lives in the First World War

Drighlington Pubs.

Over the years many pubs have come and gone in the small Yorkshire village of Drighlington, which is situated between Bradford and Wakefield on one road and Halifax and Leeds on another. It once thrived with several industries such as an iron works, coal mines, sweet making and mineral water making. Other industries such as woollen mills and horse hair production were also prominent before and for some time after the First World War. Farnells was a good example of an industry that changed with changing times. Situated just off the moor it produced wagon wheels in their thousands, but had to change with motorised transport coming along in the first decade of the twentieth century. The factory went on to make tennis racquets and cricket bats before finally going out of business in the 1920’s.

With good employment prospects the village pubs thrived it seems and the fact that there were still about twenty in the village at the time of the First World War showed that they could make a reasonable living and be an integral part of village life.

cockersdale

A map of the Cockersdale area of Drighlington in 1908 showing some of the industries that would have supported one pub, the Valley Inn.

The area around the Valley Inn in in about 1908 supported coal mines, a brass foundry, at least two mills nearby with others a little further afield and a boiler works. All no doubt with thirsty employees who would frequent the ‘Valley’ and the Cockersdale Arms, which later became the ‘Gas House Tavern’.

The two villages of Adwalton and Drighlington which make up what is now regarded as simply Drighlington also had industries scattered about their sides of the village with their own pubs. Sadly most are now gone. The Waggon and Horses, in whose outhouses I used to play with the licensee’s son as a child is now a children’s nursery the Victoria, a thriving pub in my school days with an exciting football team is now an Indian restaurant and the Painters Arms along the road has gone too.

The New Inn, closed for some time has reopened recently with a view to making it a music venue and good luck to the landlord in that venture. Communities need pubs and hopefully the remaining ones, the Railway, The Malt, the Bull, and the New Inn and Spotted Cow and the Valley, will continue to thrive, even though these days it seems to do so they have to offer food as an incentive in order to do so.

Map of Adwalton in 1908, showing at least five different pubs in the Three Road ends, King Street Area. Only the Black Bull survives, with the White Hart Hotel, the White Horse, The Waggon and Horses and the Unicorn now gone.

Map of Adwalton in 1908, showing at least five different pubs in the Three Road ends, King Street Area. Only the Black Bull survives, with the White Hart Hotel, the White Horse, The Waggon and Horses and the Unicorn now gone.

The area around the Crossroads supported at least three pubs, the Victoria and the Spotted Cow, along with the Painters Arms, along with the ‘Steam Plough Inn’ along Station Road. The Tempest Constitutional Club, which opened in 1911, made the Crossroads a good area for having plenty of pubs to choose from on an evening out. Perhaps the location of the Police Station when it was open, just along Bradford Road, was picked for its closeness to several pubs. The Gas House Tavern existed in Whitehall Road and the nicely named Steam Plough Inn was close to Brooks Buildings in Station Road next to the Drighlington Cricket Ground. Of course the Spotted Cow, infamous for its ‘talking corgi’ publicity stunt of the 1960’s is the only survivor. Perhaps the notoriety gained by the visit of the then very famous DJ and TV presenter David Jacobs gave the pub a boost to the present day!!

A map of Drighlington Cross Roads in 1908 showing the Victoria right on the Cross Roads and the Spotted Cow in Whitehall Road, opposite the old school.

A map of Drighlington Cross Roads in 1908 showing the Victoria right on the Cross Roads and the Spotted Cow in Whitehall Road, opposite the old school.

So, like many villages at the time of the First World War, pubs and clubs like Liberal and Conservative clubs formed a vital part of the community. Who knows what discussions and decisions took place in the bars of those pubs as men met to discuss the war and whether they would decide to join the colours! Certainly the landlord of the Malt Shovel had such discussions, because Harry Liley, himself the licensee joined the army on August 31st 1916. He became Private 203158 Harry Liley of the 1st/4th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment. Harry died on June 17th 1918. He was in the Military Hospital in Endell Street in central London at the time. It seems strange as well that so many licensed premises seemed to thrive in a village which also boasted several well attended Methodist chapels like the Wesleyans, the Zion Methodists, Moorside Methodists and others.

It was whilst researching the war memorial in Whitehall Road, Drighlington, that I became aware of the fact that several of the pubs in the villages of Adwalton, Drighlington and Cockersdale had actually sent their young men to fight with the army in the battlefields of Northern France and Belgium. Of the 62 names on the memorial, 4 had actually lived in pubs that were thriving at the time the war started. Two more, Helliwell and Longley, are not even named on the memorial, but they made the number of men who left the pubs they lived in, never to return, to be six.

Another young man from the village also left the Steam Plough Inn, in Station Road, where his father was the landlord. Percival Millington Brooke was the son of another Percival Brooke, who had lived next door to the Steam Plough Inn in 1901, but by 1905 he had become the landlord of the very same pub! Percy Brooke survived the war but we know little of his regiment or his service. Finding his name as a soldier on his marriage certificate at Tong Church in 1916 showed that his father was an inn keeper and brought to seven the number of young men who left pubs in Drighlington to fight for King and Country. In his case he was lucky as he was to return home from the war.

The marriage certificate for Percival Brooke in 1916

The marriage certificate for Percival Brooke in 1916

Along with Liley from the Malt Shovel, Harold Hainsworth left the Spotted Cow and Ernest Helliwell was resident at the Victoria with his wife according to the Commonwealth War Grave Commission records, when he died in October 1917. His last resting place being at Etaples in France. Allen Longley was the son of the licensee of the White Hart Hotel a large many roomed hotel and public house that fronted Wakefield Road in front of the feast ground, or t’ gang as my old grandfather Joseph Wheeler used to call it. The pub was always bolstered by the horse fairs that were regularly held around the pub from the time of the granting of a fairs licence in the middle ages. Queen Elizabeth the First is reputed to have visited there on her travels, but it is highly unlikely and an urban legend only.

The pub’s main claim to fame in modern times was when it was scheduled for demolition in the 1960’s and the then owner, though not licensee as it had long since ceased trading held a Mexican shotgun standoff with police sent to evict him for some three days before finally giving up! Bernard Brennan, a native of Ireland had come to the village some years earlier and actually married my great aunt, Frances Blakey, one of four sisters of the Blakey family, my Grandma Elizabeth being one of them and Mary Anne being another, the mother of Marion Grayshon a long standing resident of the village and supporter of Moorside Methodist Church who sadly died before getting to her hundredth birthday.

Brennan, whose antics attracted coverage from the fledgling Calendar evening news show, causing a buzz in the village, is buried just around the back of the church, with my great auntie. An obelisk marks the grave.

In 1916 John George Johnson was living at the Waggon and Horses public house with his uncle, the licensee. His father had been so before that and his grandma, Mercy Johnson had also held the licence. Knowledge of John living at the pub only came to light when looking at the probate register for his death, which lists his address as that very same pub. He was to join the 1/5th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment in 1916. John Johnson was to die of ‘accidental injuries’ in France on February 17th 1917. What the accidental injuries were is not actually known.

The highest honour that France gives to a soldier is the Croix de Guerre and it was this honour that was conveyed upon one Harry Benton, who was the foster son of the Tankards, the so aptly named hosts of the Railway Tavern in Whitehall Road Drighlington. When I first researched the names on the memorial it was the Railway In that I attributed Harry Benton to, but looking again at the list of pubs and the 1911 census it has become clear that the Tankards lived at the ‘Tavern’ and not the Railway Hotel, which is still open and doing good pub food despite the closure of the railway station itself in the 1960’s.

Harry Benton joined the Royal Naval Division in April of 1915 and was killed in action on a battery gun emplacement in Dunkirk in April 1917. His two colleagues on the battery were also killed and all three were afforded a funeral of honour by the French government. All three were buried together in Croxyde Military Cemetery, West Flanders. Their headstones form a group of three on their own, standing out with the badge of the Royal Naval Division on the top section.

Visiting their grave in 2014 was a poignant one for me, as was the visit to other graves of Drig lads, such as John Reynolds, an Adwalton lad like myself. John is buried in the lovely churchyard of Brevern-Uzer in Belgium, a village churchyard which made room for a handful of British casualties only, all buried not in a row but in a circle facing each other, overlooked by a marvellous village church. How funny to think that an Adwalton lad is resting there!! But then most of the men whose names are on the memorial do still reside in graves in the countries of northern Europe, excepting of course Herbert Page, who died in India almost a year after the war had ended in September 1919.

The marriage certificate for Percival Brooke in 1916

The marriage certificate for Percival Brooke in 1916

The last of the seven men to leave the pubs of Drighlington and go to war was Harold Hainsworth. He was the son of the licensee of the Spotted Cow at the time of the war, one Arthur Hainsworth. Harold left the comfortable surroundings of the pub and his wife to join the army on March 19th 1917, joining the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment. His time before the colours was short lived and by April the following year he was killed in action, being buried in Gonneheim Cemetery Northern France.

So, those are the seven men who no doubt knew from their lives in the pubs, many of the men who had gone before them to fight for their country. Indeed , any or all of them may have been inspired to go and fight by one or more of the men whose names now sadly adorn the village memorial. However, we must never forget that as well as those whose deaths we remember on memorials, many men also seved and came back to the village to live their lives to the full.

No doubt many of these who were lucky enough to get leave to home spent evenings in the pubs of Drighlington, but one wonders if they ever tried to persuade people to join up, knowing what they did about the horrors of war and being glad to be out of it for a short period of leave. One such survivor was my own grandfather, Joseph Wheeler, originally a Birstall lad, but who came to Drighlington after the war and married one of the four Blakey sisters, daughters of the local wheelwright and undertaker. Joseph survived the horrors of the Somme faced by the Bradford Pals and came home to live in Moorside frequenting the Railway hotel two doors awy from his house on many an occasion.

Certainly it is easy to imagine that villain turned hero, Horace Osborne would have spent many hours in the Valley pub, near where he was brought up in Cockersdale, or the Cockersdale Arms. His story is a fascinating one of courage and medals, after a pre war stint with the Guards which saw him serve time in a London prison! John Willie Horsfall, another name on the memorial,who lived in Brooks buildings at the crossroads would have had his pick of the ‘Vic’, the Spotted or the Steam Plough and the Painters Arms, all within just two minutes walk of his front door.

There may well be villages in other parts of the country where pubs sent several men to fight for their country, who knows. Without detailed research into our war memorials it would be hard to tell. Certainly the pubs as community centres must have played their parts in recruiting men, as no doubt many a decision to join was made in one of the pubs as discussion of the war was made over pints of beer. However, it is the known contribution of these seven pubs in one small village that makes for a unique story and now the story of the bravery of these men can be revealed for posterity, which for the residents of Drighlington, past, present and future will hopefully be an inspiration.

A list of the known pubs of Drighlington and their licencees (1830-1917)

A list of the known pubs of Drighlington and their licencees (1830-1917)

Private John George Johnson (1888-1917).

1st/5th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment.

The headstone for John George Johnson in Le Fermont Cemetery.

The headstone for John George Johnson in Le Fermont Cemetery.

John Johnson was born in Drighlington on February 6th 1888. He was actually baptised at Drighlington Parish Church some three years later in February 1891. In that year the census showed that John’s father, George Johnson was living in Mason’s Yard, Adwalton, with his wife and John George, his 3 year old son. There were also two daughters in the family at the time. Nelley who was a babe in arms and Ellen who was 5 years old. George, who had been born in Leeds, was a cloth miller by trade. By the time of the 1901 census the family had grown to 5 children, though it is believed that Nellie had died by then. John George was working at the time as a ‘Band’ Maker, or rope maker. The Johnson family were living in Adwalton Lane by 1901.

The census of 1911 included much more detail about families than ever before. From this census we can tell that George and his wife Elizabeth actually had ten children. Eight of the children survived by 1911 and seven of them were living with their parents in Thornton’s Buildings. This was a four roomed dwelling and for five working adult people and four children to share it must have been very cramped. John George was shown as a 23 year old cloth miller at this time, like his father George.

By the time of his death in 1917 John George Johnson was actually living at the Waggon and Horses Public House in Adwalton. At the turn of the 20th century there were more than a dozen public houses in Drighlington. There were also working men’s and political clubs such as the Liberal club. Many of these establishments are long forgotten. The Steam Plough Inn, delightfully named but now gone forever from Station Road. The Unicorn no longer exists in Moorside Road, or the ‘Beesom’, though the latter still exists as a building.

Luckily there are still some pubs remaining in the village of Drighlington. Three of the seven pubs which sent men who lived in them away to war still exist in 2014. However, one other, the Waggon and Horses is now no longer a pub, though the building remains and is now a nursery.

The original Waggon and Horses, with George and Elizabeth and their two daughters, probably Nelley and Ellen. The photograph is probably of about 1900.

The original Waggon and Horses, with George and Elizabeth and their two daughters, probably Nelley and Ellen. The photograph is probably of about 1900.

John Johnson enlisted in the army in Bradford on September 26th 1916. He became Private 263023 Johnson of the 1/5th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment. Other than this little else is known of his war service.

The entry for John Johnson in the Book of Remembrance.

The entry for John Johnson in the Book of Remembrance.

John George Johnson was one of seven men to leave public houses in Drighlington six of whom did not return. His family had been landlords of the pub in the 1890’s when Mercy Johnson, John George’s grandma was the incumbent. The pub then passed to Charles Johnson and thence to his brother George. The actual link to John George and the ‘Waggon’ as it was always known, would be little known were it not for the probate registry entry for John George Johnson. It reads:

Johnson, John George, of the Waggon and Horses inn Drighlington, Bradford a private in the West Yorkshire Regiment died February 17th 1917 in France administration (with will) Wakefield 21st June to Elizabeth Johnson, wife of George Johnson. Effects £159.17s.6d”.

The note on the probate register is at odds with the date of John’s death as posted on his headstone, but only by one day. The commonwealth war graves register shows that he actually died of accidental injuries whilst in France. No trace of what the accident was can be found as yet.

John Johnson was buried at Le Fermont Military Cemetery, Riviere in France.

Le Fermont Military Cemetery, Riviere, France.

Le Fermont Military Cemetery, Riviere, France.

Able Seaman Harry Benton (1893-1917)

Royal Naval Division.

The gravestone of Harry Benton in Croxyde Cemetery, West Flanders.

The gravestone of Harry Benton in Croxyde Cemetery, West Flanders.

Harry Benton was another of our soldiers who left pubs in Drighlington during the First World War to fight for King and Country. He, was not a ‘Drig’ lad but actually came to the village after he was fostered to the family who ran the Railway Tavern which was situated just off West Street near Hodgson Lane. This is not to be confused with the Railway Inn which stood and still stands opposite the old railway station in Moorside Road. The Railway Inn must have been quite a busy public house in the many years before Dr. Beeching’s cuts put paid to the railway station across the road in the mid 1960’s.

Harry Benton was actually born in Cleckheaton on June 2nd 1893. In the 1901 census Harry was shown as a 7 year old, living with his family in Gildersome. His father was Willie Benton and his mother Annie. He had a younger sister and a baby brother at the time. Willie was a hairdresser by profession.

In 1901 Harry’s mother Annie died and by 1911 the family found themselves in circumstances where Harry had to be fostered out. In 1911 Harry was to be found on the census of that year living at the Railway Hotel in Drighlington. There he became the foster son of the adequately named Walter Tankard and his wife Charlotte, who were both from Drighlington and Westgate Hill themselves. Harry was 17 years old at the time and was shown to be working as a cloth finisher.

Harry Benton joined the services on April 15th 1915. His entry in the book of remembrance wrongly states that he was ‘Killed in Action off the Belgian Coast on April 26th 1917’. However, the entry is wrong in that Harry’s unit was not a sea going unit at all. Colleagues back in Drighlington writing the memorial book in the 1920’s probably saw Royal Naval Division and assumed that he died on a ship, as they wrote ‘off the coast of Belgium’. It seems that the concept of the Royal Naval Division as a land fighting force had not filtered through to the people at home even by the 1920’s. Harry was certainly on dry land when he was killed at Dunkirk in 1917.

The entry for Harry Benton in the Book of Remembrance.

The entry for Harry Benton in the Book of Remembrance.

Most Drighlington men were to join local regiments such as the Leeds or Bradford Pals or the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, but Harold Benton found himself joining the Royal Naval Division. This was a collection of battalions of largely naval personnel who were surplus to navy requirements and were kitted out as a land fighting force during the First World War. Harry though was to be posted to a naval gun unit and was sent to guard Dunkirk in case of a German rush to the coast.

He was on duty at the ‘Carnac’ battery in Dunkirk on April 26th 1917 when a German 6” naval shell burst near his gun emplacement, killing outright Sub Lieutenant Donovan and Able Seaman Harry Benton, another Able Seaman was injured and died later.

Harry Benton’s funeral was held in Belgium on April 28th 1917 and he was buried in the cemetery at Croxyde, West Flanders, Belgium. It seems that a large contingent of French, Belgian and British officers were present at the funeral and they formed a guard of honour as the cortege passed them. Prince Alexander of Teck was also noted to have attended the funeral.

This was obviously a great honour for the three British ‘sailors’ to be treated in this way. The two seaman were transported in one vehicle and the officer in another and a four mile walk was taken by the mourners to the cemetery on the nearby hillside just over the border in Belgium. The transports pulling the carriages were pulled by four horses with French soldiers riding them. A diary written at the time noted that ‘four of our machines hovered overhead’.

All in all this must have been an extraordinary way for the deaths of three servicemen to be treated, as many of their colleagues were unceremoniously buried in hastily dug graves, only to be retrieved later and placed in properly dug cemeteries.

The French must have taken the sacrifice of the three men of the Royal Naval Division to heart and they awarded them the Croix de Guerre. Able Seaman Harry Benton, late of the Railway Tavern Drighlington, went to his grave with the Croix de Guerre Second Class pinned to his uniform on top of his coffin.

A Croix de Guerre Medal like the one awarded to Drig Lad Harry Benton.

A Croix de Guerre Medal like the one awarded to Drig Lad Harry Benton.

Nothing is known of how the news was to reach his foster parents in Drighlington, though one suspects that it was conveyed to them by the dreaded telegram delivered by the local telegram boy, bearing the news from the War Office and expressing deepest sympathy. By the time of his death the Tankards themselves had moved from the Railway to another pub, the Queen’s Head in Drighlington, the latter no longer exists. Thus yet another pub can be said to have mourned for one of its lost sons.

The war memorial at Drighlington with the name of Harry Benton on it.

The war memorial at Drighlington with the name of Harry Benton on it.

 

                                     

    Gunner Ernest Helliwell (1893-1917).

38th Brigade Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery

The grave marker for Ernest Helliwell in Etaples Military Cemetery, France.

The grave marker for Ernest Helliwell in Etaples Military Cemetery, France.

Ernest Helliwell was born in Bradford in about 1893. He was the son of Edward and Sarah Helliwell who had three other children by the time of the 1901 census recording the family’s life in East Bierley. Edward Helliwell was shown to be a railway engine driver in the census forms for that year.

By 1911 the census for that year tells us that the Helliwell family were living in Low Moor, Bradford. Edward was still working as a railway engine driver but Ernest was now in work after leaving school and had become a clerk in an office, working for a yarn merchant.

It is not known when Ernest Helliwell joined the colours, but join he did and he was posted eventually to an ammunition column working to supply the guns of the Royal Field Artillery. He was Gunner 165101. He was to die on October 30th 1917 and he was buried in Etaples Military Cemetery in France.

Little else is known about Ernest and where he lived prior to the war. However, the Commonwealth War Grave Registration documents for Ernest’s grave tell us that he was the husband of S.E. Helliwell, and that they lived, at the time of his registration with the commission, at the Victoria Hotel, which of course stood at Drighlington Crossroads for many years. The building still stands but is now an Asian restaurant.

The Victoria, where Ernest Helliwell was living with his wife prior to joining up.

The Victoria, where Ernest Helliwell was living with his wife prior to joining up.

Research into who ‘S.E’ Helliwell was has failed to find any record of the marriage of the Helliwells and it may well be that the couple were at the Victoria Hotel as guests for a short time and not actually living there. We cannot know the answer to that. It seems that the Helliwells reverted to their Bradford roots after the war at least. The CWGC records show that after choosing the epitaph for her husband’s grave ‘Ever Remembered’, she was recorded as living at 673 Manchester Road, Bradford.

The Probate register for Ernest Helliwell, showing his address as the Victoria Public House.

The Probate register for Ernest Helliwell, showing his address as the Victoria Public House.

War diaries for ammunition columns are hard to trace and even when they exist it is difficult to pin down a particular death to days when mainly logistical information regarding shell numbers are recorded in the diaries.

There is somewhat of a mystery as to why Ernest was shown to be living at the Victoria Public House before he went off to war, but his albeit short stay there helps to complete an intriguing picture of no less than seven pubs which gave up their men to send them off to fight in the First World War.

Etaples Military Cemetery, France, where Ernest Helliwell is buried.

Etaples Military Cemetery, France, where Ernest Helliwell is buried.

Private Allen Longley (1895-1918).

9th Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

Allen Longley’s name is carved on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.

Allen Longley’s name is carved on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.

Allen Longley was not a Drig Lad as such. He was born in Rothwell on May 5th 1895. His parents were Richard Allen Longley and Gertrude Maude Longley. In 1891 the census shows the Longley family at Rothwell, where Richard’s occupation was shown as a coal miner. By 1901 his occupation had changed to that of gardener.

Richard Longley obviously worked hard to grow his gardening business and by 1911 his son Allen was shown as ‘assisting in the business’ run by his father. He was 16 years old and his 17 year old sister Emily was also employed in the family business.

At some stage around the start of the First World War the Longleys took over the licence for the White Hart Hotel, the old sprawling building which once occupied a frontage along what was Adwalton Lane but was to become Wakefield Road.

The front of the old White Hart Hotel in the 1960’s.

The front of the old White Hart Hotel in the 1960’s.

It was from this address that Allen Longley left to go to war. Sadly, we know little of when this was as his service records do not exist. However, we do know that Allen Longley joined the 9th Battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He was to die on April 23rd 1918, at the age of 22.

The war diary for the 9th KOYLI’s makes interesting reading around that date, and a sad story emerges of how Allen Longley probably became a victim of what is now called ‘friendly fire’. On April 20th 1918 the battalion moved to trenches at Grand Bois, near the Belgian village of Millekruis.

The war diary entry for the date of April 20th shows that even from the very beginning, the battalion, or part of it, was in trouble, but not from the enemy! It reads:

At dark, C Company took over Forth House with two platoons from the 2nd South African Battalion. Our own artillery commenced to shell B Coy trench ( left coy) at 2pm and when the SOS was put up at 9pm bursts falling short from our own 18 pounders killed 4 and wounded 4 men”.

It seems that the battalion were unable to get the rogue battery to stop firing at them and the very next day similar entries are made in the war diary.

In spite of remonstrations one of our gins continued to shell B coys. Trench during the early hours of the 21st, inflicting the following casualties.

One Officer Killed. 2nd Lieutenant Cundall

One officer wounded 2nd Lieutenant Woods.

12 Other ranks Killed

11 Other ranks Wounded.

The strongest protest was made against this discreditable performance and it is to be hoped that the officer of the artillery concerned will be tried by Court Martial for this carelessness.

The war diary shows that on April 23rd 1918 the 9th KOYLI’s were relieved in the trenches by the East Yorkshire regiment. The 9th went in to barracks for two days at Jasper Camp, Millekruis. There is no mention of any casualties on the day of April 23rd 1918, and it seems likely that Allen Longley was one of the ‘other ranks’ who died as a result of a carelessly aimed artillery barrage from men on his own side, dying some days later.

Allen’s body was never found, again supporting the idea that he was actually killed by shelling, albeit from his own side! His name is carved on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.

The cross at the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.

The cross at the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.

Private Henry (Harry) Liley (1878-1918)

1/4th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment

The headstone for Harry Liley (snr) buried in Drighlington Churchyard.

The headstone for Harry Liley (snr) buried in Drighlington Churchyard.

There are two H. Liley’s on the Drighlington War Memorial, one notes snr and the other jnr. This may mistakenly indicate that they may have been father and son but they were not. However, it could be that the words senior and junior were added to delineate that one was 39 or 40 years of age when he died and the other was a mere 19 years of age.

There were several ‘Lileys’ in Drighlington at the turn of the 20th century, many living in the Whitehall Road area of Drighlington. In fact another member of the Liley clan who went by the name of ‘Willie’ Liley was born in Drighlington and was killed in the Great War. However, probably by virtue of the fact that he had moved to Morley by the time of his death he does not figure on the war memorial for Drighlington. His name is to be found on the Morley War Memorial.

Although the ‘H’ Liley’s on the memorial were not father and son they may well have been relatives in some way, but research would be needed to establish that. Coincidentally Harry Liley also had a son who was named ‘Willie’ but he was too young to have fought in the Great War. His full name was William Barraclough Liley, but he is entered on the 1911 census by his shortened name.

In 1911 Harry Liley was the landlord of the Malt Shovel public house in Whitehall Road, Drighlington, which is actually the nearest pub to the war memorial which now bears his name. Another pub coincidence is that when Harry married his wife Emily Bradley in1907, Emily’s address was shown as being the ‘Railway Hotel Drighlington’. However, it is unlikely that she was a landlady or related to the landlord, but possibly worked as a barmaid there. Her father was described as a stone mason on the wedding certificate. Harold Middleton Liley was 27 years old at the time and Emily was 25. Harry was a painter at the time, living in Melbourne House Drighlington. However, they were actually married at Birstall Parish Church on March 27th 1906.

Their first and only child, William, came along on December 2nd 1907, at a time when the family were living in Fieldhead Lane Birstall.

Harry was born as ‘Henry’ Middleton Liley in the summer of 1878. His father Middleton was at that time a rag merchant as well as a grocer and the family lived in a house near to the station named Melbourne House. ‘Harry’ had three sisters and two brothers in 1881. His mother had been Grace Barraclough before marrying Harry’s father. She died in 1881 so Henry was left with just his father and siblings from a young age.

In the 1901 census Henry or ‘Harry’ is to be found working away from home in Nottingham as a painter. However, by 1911 he and his wife were shown to be living at the Malt Shovel Inn, in Whitehall Road Drighlington. Harry was shown to be the publican and his wife Emily was assisting in the business. They had one servant living in the pub, the aptly named Thomas Tetley.

The entry for Henry Middleton Liley (Harry) in the Book of Remembrance.

The entry for Henry Middleton Liley (Harry) in the Book of Remembrance.

According to the book of remembrance Harry Liley joined the army on August 31st 1916. He became Private 203158 Harry Liley of the 1st/4th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment.

Harry died on June 17th 1918. He was in the Military Hospital in Endell Street in central London at the time. He had therefore been brought home from France suffering from wounds received in action. He was taken home to his family in Yorkshire and buried in Drighlington churchyard on June 21st 1918. He left the sum of £393-14s-11d to his widow Emily.

It is impossible to know how Henry Middleton Liley, otherwise known as Harry was wounded unless a member of the family comes forward in the future with family legend of it. The book of remembrance shows that he was wounded in action at the Battle of Kemmel Hill on April 26th 1918.

It is very clear that Harry felt the need to fight for his country and despite having a young child and a wife to support he left to join the colours as many Drighlington men did. One wonders how many regular attenders at his old pub the Malt Shovel actually know that a previous landlord went off to war to fight for them to be able to drink there.

malt shovel people

Corporal Harold Hainsworth (1895-1918).

Second Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment.

Gonnehem British Cemetery.

Gonnehem British Cemetery.

Harold Hainsworth was another man living in licenced premises in Drighlington who was to lose his life in the Great War. Harold was living at the Spotted Cow Inn, opposite Drighlington Junior School, as it once was.The pub is just about one hundred yards or so from the parish church of St Paul. It is still a lively Drighlington pub today, despite the demise of many others which served the village in that era.

Harold’s father, Arthur Crowther Hainsworth was the landlord of the pub, living there with his wife, Harold’s mother, Mary Hainsworth. By the time that Harold was killed he had married Mary Ellen Tew, who had lived at number 10 Bankhouse, Pudsey. She had taken up residence at the Spotted Cow with her husband’s family. The couple married at Tong Church on July 3rd 1915.

The Hainsworth’s were not actually a Drighlington family originally. Arthur Hainsworth was born in Farnley, nearby, in 1865. He married Mary Schofield, also of Farnley, on May 8th 1886. In 1887 their first son, Albert Vincent, was born but sadly he died at the age of four in 1891. Their second son, Harold, was born in 1895. Both Arthur and Mary lived until the 1940’s, losing both of their sons before their own deaths. However, Harold’s attestation papers for the army show that he had a sister, one Annie Peat. On a form asking the his wife to declare any full blood relative she cites Annie as such. However, Annie Schofield as she was before marrying was not a full blood relative, but was Mary’s daughter from a previous relationship. She is shown as living with Arthur Crowther Hainsworth and Mary in the census of 1901.

Arthur seems to have had differing jobs in his youth before finally becoming a publican. In 1891 he was working as a blast furnace stoker and by 1901 he was working on the roads a labourer, breaking stones.

By the time of the 1911 census he was shown to be a publican, living in Bankhouse Lane, Pudsey. It is likely that he ran a pub there and the Bankhouse Inn, still in use today, may well have been his first public house.

By the time of Harold Hainsworth’s death in 1918 however, the Hainsworth family had moved to Drighlington and Arthur had become the licensee of the Spotted Cow in Drighlington.

The Spotted Cow Inn.

The Spotted Cow Inn.

In 1911 Harold Hainsworth was working as a garden labourer, whilst his father ran the pub in Bankhouse Lane. He was sixteen years old at the time but by 1915 at the age of twenty he was to marry Mary Ellen Tew, who had lived at 10 Bank House Pudsey, no doubt not far from the public house his family owned. By this time Harold had become a fettler in the local mills.

War broke out on August 4th 1914, but it was not until 1915 that Harold Hainsworth enlisted in the army. Surprisingly it was to be another two years before he was called to the colours. Luckily his attestation papers survived the blitz of the Second World War and from these papers we can see his postings and obtain some knowledge of his life in the army. Unfortunately the papers of many soldiers from the First World War were destroyed by Luftwaffe raids on London in the Second World conflict.

On December 8th 1915 Harold Hainsworth travelled to Halifax and signed his enlistment forms to join the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment. It may be that the enthusiasm shown in the area for joining regiments such as the Leeds Pals and the Bradford Pals inspired him to eventually join the colours himself. It was to be more than a year before Harold was actually mobilised on March 19th 1917. The attrition rate amongst young soldiers in 1916 obviously brought about the need to mobilize those who had already been recruited but not yet called up.

Harold and Mary were to have one child, Iris, who was born on July 14th 1916. Whether the recruiting officer at the time spared Harold from joining his regiment because his wife was pregnant is doubtful, but certainly a possibility which explains the long time between December 1915 and March 1917. Certainly, other men were being called up in their thousands and Harold was not in a reserved occupation, showing on his forms that he was now a ‘Fettler and Grinder’ at a mill making gun cloth.

The service record for Harold Hainsworth.

The service record for Harold Hainsworth.

From his medical notes in his attestation forms we know that Harold Hainsworth was 5’6” tall. Not a very tall man but bearing in mind many of the recruits of the time were much smaller than modern day young men of the same age he was probably of average height for the time. The existence of ‘Bantam’ regiments where recruits had to be less than 5’3” tall to join bears testament to the fact that many men were of small stature, especially in the mining areas of the industrial north. His medical notes show that his teeth were ‘decayed’ and that his joining up was subject to medical treatment, so this may well have been the reason for the delay in him actually being mobilised.

Harold was medically examined for joining up in March of 1917. His weight was shown as 131 pounds. He was then 22 years old. We even know that his chest measurement was 34 ½ inches and that his general physique was ‘good’.

It is not known where Harold received his training in full, although we can tell from his records that by August of 1917 he was at Chirton Camp in South Shields. On August 15th 1917 he was shown as ‘Absent Without Leave’ from the evening of August 15th until 6-30 am the next day. His punishment for this was admonishment and the forfeit of one day’s pay.

Only a few days later Harold embarked from Folkestone for Boulogne on August 23rd 1917. He was posted to the 10th Battalion of the ‘Dukes’ at that time but on August 31st he was posted to the 2nd Battalion, with whom he was to remain for the rest of his service.

There is one incident of note on Harold’s file from this time, this being an injury to his scalp on October 21st 1917. Such were the sensibilities about soldiers injuring themselves intentionally in order to be invalided home (colloquially known as getting a ‘Blighty One’ when wounded), that all injuries had to be investigated and witnesses sought. On October 27th 1917 Harold Hainsowrth was involved in an injury that needed such an investigation. He was an acting Lance Corporal by this time, but unpaid it seems as the status of being paid for the rank was not afforded him until Novembr 7th 1917. On the same day he was appointed Acting Corporal, no doubt to cover for losses in that rank in the regiment.

Harold sustained a injury to his scalp on October 27th 1917 which necessitated him being hospitalised.

Statement of witness as to the circumstances under which L/Cpl No. 31247 H. Hainsworth recived an injury to his head”.

1st Witness. J.C. Marshall 2ndBattalion Duke of Wellington’s Regt. States.

On 27th Oct. 1917 I was in charge of No 3 Platoon, No 1 Coy. The platoon was doing physical training and L/Cpl. H. Hainsworth was present. The order was given for the men to double around a wagon which was standing near and in doubling round this L/Cpl Hainsworth struck his head against an iron pipe which was projecting from the wagon”.

2nd. Lt. J. C. Marshall.

Lieutenant Marshall’s statement was one of three taken to ensure that Harold had not actually inflicted the wound upon himself in order to avoid duties at the front. It was an unfortunate and unlucky incident, and came only one day after Harold was reprimanded because he had a dirty mess tin upon being inspected by his officers on October 26th 1917.

Though the accident happened on October 27th 1917 it seems that Harold did not receive hospital treatment for it until November 6th, when his file shows that he was taken to hospital. It may be that the scalp wound had become infected, as a further entry for November 11th 1917 shows that he was then taken to a casualty clearing station. He was to stay there for some days and finlly rejoined his unit on November 22nd 1917. The infection, if that is what it was, may well have caused the next admission to hospital for Harold in January of 1918. The initials P.U.O. appear in his file, diagnosed by the 10th Field Ambulance Unit on January 26th 1918.

The initials PUO stood for ‘Pyrexia of Unknown Origin’, which was a medical term usually applied to a diagnosis of Trench Fever. He returned to the 2nd Battalion on February 7th 1918, whereupon he was immediately sent to ‘Bomb School’. Corporal Hainsworth remained at the bomb school for about a month, returning to his unit on March 18th 1918.

He was to be with them for just one more month or so, as on April 23rd 1918 he was killed in action. He is buried in Gonneheim Cemetery in Northern France, a village which the Germans were advancing on in April 1918, reaching to within 3 miles of the village. It was an action in what was known as the Battle of Bethune. Harold’s medal record simply states K.A.

When the army records office asked Mary Ellen Hainsworth to fill in a form regarding the nearest relatives to Harold in 1919 the family were still living at the Spotted Cow Inn, but it is not known what happened to them after this time. The form was to sort out who would receive the plaque and scroll given to relatives of fallen soldiers. Mary Ellen, his wife, was already receiving a separation allowance of a paltry 19/6d and this would have been included in the eventual pension calculation she received. It took until 1921 for the family to receive Harold’s Victory medal and the plaque and scroll.

Luckily Harold had filled in the ‘Will Page’ which was included in the paybook of all soldiers at the front at the time. This meant that there were no legal difficulties in Mary Ellen getting what money he did leave. This totalled £96-1s-2d.

On August 28th 1918 the Army Records Office at York wrote to Mary Ellen at the Spotted Cow, asking her to send a receipt in exchange for receiving the effects of her late husband. All that Harold Hainsworth’s wife received from the front were a note book, a photo, and some cards.

The probate record for Harold Hainwsorth.

The probate record for Harold Hainwsorth.

The name of H. Hainsworth, namely Corporal 31247 Harold Hainsworth is featured on the recently refurbished Drighlington War Memorial, in Whitehall Road, Drighlington.

The Commonwealth War Grave Commission Certififcate for Harold Hainsworth.

The Commonwealth War Grave Commission Certififcate for Harold Hainsworth.

Percival Millington Brook

The Steam Plough Inn.

The marriage certificate of Percy Brook, son of the landlord of the Steam Plough Inn.

The marriage certificate of Percy Brook, son of the landlord of the Steam Plough Inn.

Without the discovery of the marriage certificate for Percy Brook and Hilda Stead little would be known about Percy Millington Brook. However, the fact thathis occupation is listed as a soldierupon the certificatetells us that here was another Drig Lad who went to war from his home in a pub in the village.

Percival Millington Brook was the son of Percival and Mary Ann Brook. In 1901 the two were living in Brooks Buildings, a substantial row of houses which stood until late into the 20th century at the beginning of Station Road, on the left before the cricket ground. At that time the Brooks lived right next door to the Steam Plough Inn, in Station Road. The landlord of the pub at that time was Sam Theaker. By 1905, however, Percival Brook senior had taken over the licence of the pub. The 1911 census shows that Percival Brook was now a ‘Beer House Keeper’. This was a change from his job as a weaving overlooker as he was in 1901. Percival (snr) was a Drighlington born man but his wife Mary Ann was from Cleckheaton. In 1911 the Brooks had six children living with them, sadly, one of their children had died by then. Percival Millington Brook was 16 years old in 1911 and was a warehouse boy.

Unfortunately at this juncture it has been impossible to trace which regiment Percy Millington Brook joined when he went to war. It is clear that he was serving as a soldier by July 1916 and he also survived the war to return no doubt to his native Drighlington. Perhaps family historians of the future will be able to fill in the gaps of our knowledge about the men such as Percy Brook who went away but actually came back from the war.

As it is is, the story of Percival Millington Brook, sparse in detail as it is, completes an interesting tale for the village of Drighlington. A small village sent seven of its men from pubs around the village to fight in the Great War. Only one of them came back!

Brooks Buildings in Station Road Drighlington, pictured in the 1960’s.

Brooks Buildings in Station Road Drighlington, pictured in the 1960’s.

Epilogue.

The story of these seven men and their pubs will be sent to all of the existing pubs in Drighlington, as well as the local library. One would hope that the present landlords and customers will enjoy reading of men who lived and worked in their pubs one hundred years ago. Who knows, their stories may inspire the landlords to drink a glass of beer to the men on the date of their deaths, in a special evening to remember them. That would be nice. Sadly there are only two of the pubs here mentioned still trading, the Spotted and the Malt, otherwise a good pub crawl between the pubs might have been a good idea.

However, there are still enough pubs in the village for people to visit and think that they are standing drinking in a bar that was undoubtedly visited by many of our soldiers whilst waiting to go or at home on leave. Again, a glass or two might be raised to them, whether in the Bull or the Valley or the Malt or the Spotted.

One hopes that the present landlords might get together with their regulars and find a way to honour these men for one night a year, at least for the next four years or so whilst the country commemorates the losses of the First World War. That would be a nice thing.

Perhaps someone will organise a Battlefield Tour to visit some of the graves of our village fallen. It’s a long way to travel even to get to the channel ports, but I can assure you that any visit made will be poignant and and facsinating to do. I hope that some people reading this might feel inspired to go and visit the places mentioned for themselves.

Villages and communities need pubs. They provide a community spirit and a place to go for people to meet. No doubt that sense of needing somewhere was much more acute in the years between 1914 and 1918. So, if you are not reading this in one of the pubs then make a point of visiting one of the Drighlington pubs in the near future and raise a glass to these men, but not only these, to the 62 men on the village memorial and to the few who are not, but still gave their lives, and also to those who served but came home wounded or damaged by the horrors they had seen. Like many of you reading this they will always be Drig lads through and through, like myself!

Guest Blogger………Philip L. Wheeler

Thank you to Brian Furniss for helping with background information and photographs of the pubs from his great archive of Drighlington photographs.

Additioal information by Donald Briggs :-
In the above guest blog by Philip L. Wheeler I believe some of the information regarding Ernest Helliwell is incorrect. My research has revealed the following: –   Ernest Helliwell – Gunner 165101 Born 1884 in Bradford. Son of William Helliwell and Jane (nee Davenport) who had four other children. William was a Joiner (Journeyman).Ernest married Sarah Elizabeth Ibbitson on 25th September 1911 at Bradford Register Office. At the time of their marriage Ernest was living at 18 Herbert Street, Bradford working as a Telephone Operator and Sarah was a Cloth Weaver living at 673 Manchester Road, Bradford. Their daughter Mary was born in 1912.

Guy Victor Baring

It must be nearly 30 years since I started my family tree and it is nearly 15 years since I started my websites, and about 10 years since I started transcribing war memorials, but only 4 years since I started blogging.

During those years of transcribing war memorials I have travelled the country and seem to have gathered thousands.  I have not just photographed the more traditional memorial, but have also gathered into my folder of photographs,  memorials of a more individual nature, you know those to one man or woman, who is remembered not only on a village or town memorial, or a workplace or scholastic memorial but also by either their family or individually by their community.

Winchester Cathedral interior from Wikipedia

Winchester Cathedral interior from Wikipedia

While on a visit to Basingstoke a few years ago to see my daughter and her boyfriend (now fiance) we ventured into Winchester Cathedral (read blog) and while photographing the memorials on the ancient walls, I came across a familiar name – Guy Victor Baring.  A name that is on my extended family tree.

I am not one of those people that say ‘I’ve done my tree’, I am one of those who like the chase, like to see who is connected to who and what kind of life they lead – how did they fair during their years on this earth.  I like to solve a mystery or you could just say I am nosey!

The link to Guy is via my great aunts husband family – it goes back and then comes forward, ending up with Guy Victor Baring.

Some of you may think that the surname is familiar, I did, and then I found out why.  The Baring family are synonymous with banking and commerce, and have been for over two hundred year. But, back to Guy.

The Grange

The Grange

Guy was born on 26th of February 1873 in Piccadilly, London to Leonora Caroline (nee Digby (1844 – 1930)) the wife of Alexander Baring (1835 – 1889).  Alexander Hugh Baring, 4th Baron Ashburton, was a landowner and Conservative politician.  Guy was one of seven children in the household born between 1866 and 1885 and brought up at The Grange.  Guy was educated at Eton College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, being commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1893.

in 1899, Guy was sent with his unit to fight in the South African War, and was there during the battle of Belmont, Graspan, Modder River, Magersfontein, including the occupation of magersfonteinBloemfontein. During his time in South Africa he was mentioned in despatches, and received the Queen’s South Africa Medal with three clasps.

A detachment of Coldstream Guards was sent to Australia in 1900 when the Earl of Hopetoun was inaugurated as Governor General of Australia.  The year of 1901 saw him being promoted to Captain and it was during this time that he wa attached to the King’s African Rifles as a special service officer with the CaptureJubaland Expedition against the Ogaden Somalis  for this he was awarded a medal with clasp.

It was after his return, that in the late summer of 1903 that Guy married Olive Alethea Smith, in  London.

His political career started in 1906 when he was elected as Member of Parliament for Winchester in the general election and  was re-elected in the 1910 elections and officially left the regiment in 1913.

6 Hobart Place

6 Hobart Place

Back a few years to 1911 when the census was taken, and you would find the family at 6 Hobart Place, S.W. Guy was recorded as a Member of Parliament and on Staff Pay from the army.  He stated he was born at 82 Piccadilly, London.  Olive, 33, told she had been married to Guy for seven years and bore him four children, but one of them had died. Living at home with their parents was Simon Alexander Vivian aged 5 and Amyas Evelyn Giles aged 1.  Looking after the family in their fourteen room house were seven servants.  Hugh Alexander Vivian born in 1904 had died in Winchester in 1908 aged 3.

Guy and Olive went on to have six children.  One of their children, Amyas Evelyn Giles Baring (1910-1986) known as Giles went on to become a 1st class English cricketer between 1930 – 1946. Aubrey G A Baring, another child, fought in WW2, gaining the rank of Squadren Leader.  He was decorated with the DFC. Later in life he became the Chairman of Twickenham Film Studios. One of their other boys, Esmond Charles Baring, educated at Eton, like his brothers, went on to Trinity College.  He also fought in WW2 and gained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Armoured Corps. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre, the Legion of Honour and invested as an Officer, Order of the British Empire.

82 Piccadilly, Bath House - interior

82 Piccadilly, Bath House – interior

As we know Guy was born at 82 Piccadilly, known as Bath House, which stood on the western corner of Bolton Street, facing Piccadilly.  This fine building was ranked with the like of Devonshire House, Burlington House, Northumberland House and Lansdowne House, full to bursting with fine artwork, fine furniture and large numbers of staff.   The building had seen seen a few disasters including  a fire in 1873.  A letter from Charlotte Polidori, quoted in another letter to Dante Gabriel Rossetti told about  the damage: “All the pictures except three

8s Piccadilly, Bath House interior

8s Piccadilly, Bath House interior

(Leonardo, Titian, and Rubens) in the Bath House drawing room are destroyed.”  The three paintings referred to were subsequently identified as Christ and the Baptist as children (likely by Bernardino Luini, now lost), Wolf and fox-hunt (Rubens, now in the Metropolitan Museum, from the collection of Lord Ashburton), and A woman with a dish of roasted apples (Pieter de Hooch, in fact destroyed in the fire). Rossetti’s correspondence regarding the losses described two pictures attributed to Giorgione, two attributed to Titian or Paris Bordone, and a Velazquez. Bath house was demolished in the 1960’s.

Coldstream_Guards_WWI_posterAt the outbreak of WW1, Guy rejoined the military and was posted to Windsor where he was in command of a training company until 1915 when he was posted to France.  During this time he was second in command of the 4th (Pioneer) Battalion.  After the Battle of Loos he commanded the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards.

On the 1st of July 1916 the Battle of the Somme started and by November, when winter approached the battle was abandoned there had been  some 420,000 Commonwealth casualties, 200,000 French and 500,000  German – the reward for this had been a movement of 6 mile into German territory – some might ask, was it worth it?

lesboeuf map source coldstream guards bookLess than three months into the Battle of the Somme, Guy’s Battalion, with two other battalions,  were advancing along the Ginchy to Lesboeufs road to attack a German position. This had been the first time that three Coldstream Guard battalions had attacked together, but advancing ‘as steadily as though they were walking down the Mall’  the action took a heavy toll. There were 17 officers and 690 other ranks walked down the road but only 3 officers (one injured) and 221m other ranks lived to walk back.

The Hon. Guy Victor Baring

The Hon. Guy Victor Baring

Lieutenant Colonel, The Hon. Guy Victor Baring was one of the 14 officers who were killed in action that day and he rests in The Citadel New Military Cemetery, nr Fricourt, with 362 other identified casualties and 16 young men whose name is known only unto their God.  Guy was one of 22 Members of Parliament who were Killed in Action during the Great War.

The entry for Guy in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission holdings tell that Olive was now living at Biddesden House.   At the time leading up to WW2 Olive was living, as seen in the 1939 Register, at Empshott Grange, Petersfield. Also in the house were numerous indoor and outdoor staff.  Olive at the time was part of the WVS (note not the WRVS until 1966)

Olive died in 1964 in the Petersfield area.

Biddesden House

Biddesden House

Sources:-

The Baring Archive – is here

Winchester Cathedral – click here 

Military map can be found – here 

Eton Memorials are here 

Lost Heritage – click here

Ancestry, Find My Past, Freebmd, Wikipedia