Monthly Archives: December 2018

Ernest W. Litherland, RFC, The Grange, Monckton.

Ernest W. Litherland, The Grange, Monckton.

John Edward Litherland, born in Darton, was married to Edith Mary nee Braithwaite who he had married in the summer of 1889.

Their first child Ernest William Litherland was registered in the same quarter the following year and baptised in the Parish Church of Darton on the 13th of July. By the time the census was taken in 1901 the family had grown a little – John was by now 37 years of age, his wife was 30.  Their children ranged from Ernest aged 10 to George just two years old – with Muriel aged nine and Cyril aged seven, filling the gaps in between.

In the following ten years, the family seems to have grown somewhat and developed a little mystery!   I love a mystery, a problem, can I sort this one out?

Google map showing the proximity of Felkirk to The Grange, Monckton.

In the census taken in 1901, there were four children in the family, but 1911 census as well as being the accepted children that follow George, there seems to be one that fits in between Cyril and George – where was that child in the previous census?  Was she living with grandparents or staying with friends?  Before I go off and look for her I’ll tell you who was in the house in at Monckton in 1911 – Jno Edward Litherland was still head of the house, followed by his wife, Edith.  She was followed by Ernest, 20; Muriel, 19; Cyril, 17; Francis Jane, 16 (our new inclusion); George Thomas, 12 and followed by Richard Douglas aged 6.  There was also a visitor and his wife, George Edwin Hoey and Ann.  George was an Accountant. The family were looked after by one servant, 23-year-old Susannah Moore from Royston.  Life must have been good for the family as their home in Monckton, was called The Grange – a rather nice Gentleman’s residence consisting of two big receptions rooms, four bedrooms, attic rooms, approx. three acres of land and various outbuildings.

Where are you, Frances?  As Frances was born in c1895 it seems obvious to look for her in the 1901 census.  After a few minutes of looking through the transcriptions, there she was!  Frances was living in the house of widow, Thomas Braithwaite, aged 52 from Darton but living in Selby and employed as a Surveyor Highways.  Remember the surname Braithwaite, well it looks like Frances was living with her uncle and three cousins – that problem is solved, but why was she there?  That one I don’t know the answer to!

Ernest is the main focus of this blog, so let me tell you what happened next. Ernest, along with his younger brother Cyril, was employed as Clerk’s at a local colliery, probably, the same one his father was Commercial Manager at.

The war, The Great War as it became known, the war to end all wars, well, they did say that at the time, but we all know it didn’t.  Ernest joined the army in 1916 – the 3rd of August 1916, he became part of the Royal Flying Corps., with the service number 42446 and rank of a driver in the 27 KBS (Kite Balloon Section). On the 1st of April, Ernest became part of the RAF (Royal Air Force), after its formation that same year.  A promotion followed two months later when he was given the rank of Air Mechanic 2nd Class.

Ernest was 5 ft 5¾ in tall with a chest of 32 inches.  His hair or eye colouring is not noted on his Airman’s Record, neither is the colour of his complexion – would you or I recognise him walking down the street, possibly not but sometimes even the smallest bit of information tells so much.

Ernest Litherland memorial in Felkirk church © C Sklinar 2018

With Ernest being part of the Kite Balloon Section, was he serving in Belgium, France or a little farther afield?   Yes, he served in Salonika. Anyway, the good news is that Ernest survived his service for the Duration of the War’, but, sadly, while on demobilisation furlough he died from malaria fever on the 22nd of February 1919.  How devastating for his family, to have him be home, ready to be demobbed and then he died,  How many other families

Ernest’s headstone in Felkirk Church via Find a Grave

would have gone through similar torment?

Ernest was laid to rest on the 26th of February, in the churchyard in the small hamlet of Felkirk, beneath a family headstone, bearing the inscription ‘In Affectionate Memory of Ernest William, beloved and eldest son of John Edward and Edith Mary Litherland of Monckton Grange, who passed away February 22nd 1919 after service in Salonica with the Royal Air Force. Aged 29 years.  Thy Will Be Done, O Lord’,  only a short way away from his home, The Grange.

Probate for Ernest was granted in London and the sum of £579 5s 11d granted to his brother Cyril, who was now working as a Colliery Salesman.

Money from the military, £22 4s 7d, including a War Gratuity of £14 10s, was paid by draft to his brother Cyril in March 1920.

Ernest’s family were eligible for his medals, the British and Victory Medals – only those two as he enlisted after 1915, which were dispatched to the family in September of 1921.

Further sadness was to come to the family in 1926 when John Edward Litherland died aged 61, followed by Edith Mary in 1932, aged 62.

Earlier there was a mention of members of the Hoey family living with the Litherland’s in 1911.  Who were they?  Well, it appears the Hoey’s were related as John Edwards mother was a Hoey, another question answered.

 There is another memorial plaque in Felkirk church, but that will have to wait for another time.

John Fraser Hoyland

John Fraser Hoyland

Memorial to John Fraser Hoyland © C Sklinar 2018

It is known that if you are remembered on a plaque inside a church, you are more than likely dead. Some who are remembered on those plaques have lived a long and fulfilling life, while others, their future was cut short. Their dreams not fulfilled or their potential never achieved.

John Fraser Hoyland was one of those whose life was cut short. The memorial remembering John is secured to the stone wall inside the beautiful church at Felkirk and reads

‘In ever honoured memory of John Fraser Hoyland. Captain 4th Batt Lancashire Fusiliers. Only child of Clement Edward and Louisa Eddie Hoyland of Stock Park, Finsthwaite, Co. Lancs., & only grandchild of John and Mary Anne Hoyland of Brierley.
He fell in action at Mouquet Farm, Thiepval, France on Sept 26 1916. Aged 21 years.’

John being killed in action must have been such a devastating loss for the family – an only child and only grandchild – a families future, gone forever.

To go back to happier times for the family.

Clement Edward Hoyland had been brought up at Brierley Lodge. He attended Uppingham School, followed by Trinity College, Cambridge and gained employment as a mining engineer. He married Louisa Eddy Fraser in St John’s Episcopal Church, Forres, Morayshire, Scotland and brought her south.

In 1901 Clement and Louisa were living at Shatton Lodge, Embleton, Cumberland. He gave his occupation as ‘living on his own means’. John Fraser was not with his parents. Where was he? He was a boarder at the High School, Keswick.

Inside Felkirk church © C Sklinar 2018

John Fraser Hoyland was baptised on the 1st of July 1895 in the church at Felkirk, while his parents were living at Ravenfield Cottage, Rotherham.

When the census of 1911 was taken Clement and Louisa were staying at Grange Hotel, Grange over Sands, while their son was a boarder at Malvern College. While at the College he became a House Prefect and was part of the Shooting 8 1913-1914. A sound reliable boy, the College classed him as an excellent leader and a good shot. On leaving the College he secured a commission in the Lancashire Fusiliers.

John’s rank was 2nd Lieutenant when he entered France, which must have been before 1916 as he was eligible for the Star, the British and Victory Medals. His service records confirm this, by telling that he went straight into the army from school and had seen service in Surla, Imbros and in Egypt.

Thiepval Memorial

John was reported missing in October 1916 and presumed killed in action – according to his College. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has his death date as 26th September 1916. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing near Picardie, France. Probate for John’s estate was left to his father, Clement Edward Hoyland, gentleman – the sum of £285 12s 10d. His father on the other hand when he died in 1951 left £44623 15s 3d to The Midland Bank Executor and Trustee Company Ltd., Arthur Herbert Moss and Charles Edward Copley. Chartered Accountants.

By the time of his death, John Fraser Hoyland had been promoted to the rank of Captain. His entry in the Register of Soldiers’ Effects informs that he died ’28. 9. 16 on or since’ and that the sum of £148 9s 11d was due to be paid.

After his son’s death Clement, in November 1920, applied for the medals relevant to his sons service, which was sent in January 1921 to Finsthwaite House, Ulveston.

The family seems to have been well connected with a variety of houses connected to the family including, Stock Park, Ulverston; Brinkworth Hall, Elvington; Finsthwaite House, Ulveston; Brierley Hall, Yorkshire; Shatton Lodge, Embleton and Felkirk Vicarage.

Nigel Stewart Riach in Lijssenthoek

Nigel Stewart Riach in Lijssenthoek

Riach was my mothers maiden surname, so it seems appropriate to include another Riach in my rambles.

Born in Oxfordshire in 1899, Nigel was the son of Lt. Colonel Malcolm Stewart Riach and his wife Marion Alexandra Gertrude Hall.

Bandrum House via Visit Dunkeld

Shortly after Nigel’s birth, the family had moved to Bandrum House, Saline in the County of Fife and it is here you will find them in the 1901 census.  Malcolm aged 40 gives his occupation as Major in the Cameron Highlanders.  Marion, his wife is aged 36.  Malcolm A S Riach is aged 9, while Ronald is 7 and Nigel is 1.  Bandrum House is quite a large property and now, heavily extended, is a nursing home, but back at the turn of the century 7 servants  ran the house – including a 22-year-old Governess named Rosa Shelton; 47-year-old Cook, Harriet Bridges other domestic servants including a Domestic Nurse and finally a young man, aged 22, with the lovely name of William Heavens was the Coachman.  The family could possibly have taken some of their staff with them as a few of their staff were born in England.

Ten years later, in 1911, Nigel is an 11-year-old student of Wellington College.  The College founded in memory of Arthur, Duke of Wellington has always had strong military connections.  Many Old Wellingtonians were already serving in the military but during the outbreak of what became known as The Great War, many more were to join their ranks – over 400m signing up within the first months of the war, with hundreds more signing up on completing their education.  The College has a website to remember their former pupils who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Nigel Riach via Peerage website

Nigel, like old Wellingtonians, before him enlisted in the services. It is his medal card that gives a clue to when his enlistment took place.  There are two medals attributed to Nigel – the British and Victory Medals, this means that he enlisted after 1915 in Taunton, Somerset, which ties in nicely with him being aged 11 in 1911.  The card also informs that he served in the  A & S H ((Princess Louise’s) Argyl and Sutherland Highlanders) regiment with the rank of Private and service number S/23725.   He had initially served with the 14th Bn. A & S H but later became part of the 42nd Brigade.

Nigel and his fellow soldiers took part in the Battle of St Quentin Canal in 1918 and it is during this time on the 28th of September that he was wounded.  He was taken to a CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) and it was here that he died of wounds on the 30th of the month aged 19.

Nigel’s memorial via Steeple Barton church

St Mary’s Church, Steeple Barton has within the fabric of the building a memorial placed by his parents and reads “In ever loving memory of Nigel Stewart Riach, 14th Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders youngest and dearest son of Colonel and Mrs Stewart Riach of The Grange, Charlcombe who died 30 September 1918 of wounds received in action at St Eloi near Ypres.  His body rests in the cemetery of St Bartholomew at Poperinghe in Belgium”

Marion, his mother was, in 1919, to receive just over £10 from the Army, which included a £4 10s War Gratuity.

Nigel’s elder brother, Malcolm served in The Grear War as an officer in the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, while Ronald served as a Lieutenant in the Motor Transport section of the Royal Army Service Corps after entering France in February 1916.