St Paul’s Churchyard, Hanging Heaton

St Paul’s Churchyard, Hanging Heaton

St Paul’s church and burial ground lie at one corner of a housing estate just off the A653. Built as one of the ‘million churches’, to celebrate the Duke of Wellington’s victory at the Battle of Waterloo. Parliament gave a grant of ONE MILLION pounds so that a grateful nation could build churches as a way of saying thank you to God for safe deliverance. Built-in the Gothic style of stone taken from local quarries. Mr Thomas Taylor of Leeds designed the grand building which could seat around 600 worshippers.

The first burial to take place in the reasonably sized churchyard was that of Benjamin Whitaker, whose headstone is still visible today. Also resting in the churchyard are members of the Asquith family, namely Elizabeth Ann, William, May, and Edith. One other member of the family, although not buried with the rest of his family does have a mention on their headstone, Harry.

Montay-Neuvilly Road Cemetery, Montay via Google Maps

Harry, died on the 12th of October 1918 aged 38. Probably, his date of death may give you a clue as to why he is not resting with the rest of his family. The Commonwealth War Grave Commission Montay-Neuvilly Road Cemetery, Montay, bordered by a main road and countryside is where he rests. The cemetery is some 15 miles from Cambrai which was the site of many conflicts. The cemetery was made by the 23rd Brigade RGA (Royal Garrison Artillery, on the 26th and 27th of October 1918, containing at the time 111 graves – one of which would have been Harry’s. The Armistice, following month, saw many more burials taking places as those with a temporary burial were brought to more central cemeteries.

Back to Harry. He was the son of William and Elizabeth Ann. Born in Dewsbury Harry was 21 years old when the 1901 census was taken. The family lived at Wood End Terrace, Hanging Eaton. William was employed as a Bankers Clerk, the only other source of income was from Harry, an outfitters assistant (clothing). Elizabeth Ann and three daughters aged between 26 and 30 did not have any occupations. The other families living along the terrace were like the Asquith’s, not manual workers, except a farmer.

Elizabeth Ann died in 1905 aged 59 years of age; May, a daughter followed in 1919 aged 43; William died in 1920 aged 74 and Edith, another daughter died in 1951 aged 79.

In the summer of 1907, Harry married Emma Alice Unwin. In 1908 their only child, Arthur was born. 1911 the census for Harry and his family shows that Harry was still working in a clothing shop. Home for the family was 29 Bellbrooke Place, (Harehills) Leeds.

Harry enlisted into the army in Pontefract, more than likely after 1915 as his medal card shows he was only eligible for the Victory and British medals. So he becomes Private 241993 in the 9th HLI (Highland Light Infantry). The 9th Btn. was a territorial division raised in Glasgow in August 1914. By November they were mobilised and had arrived in France. During the following years, the battalion saw conflict on the Western Front. And from 1916 – Albert, Bazentin, High Wood, Polygon Wood, along with action on the Flanders coast and the Hindenburg Line. In 1918 The battles of Hazebrouck, Kemmel, St Quentin Canal, Cambrai and Selle. It was probably around the Selle area of France, only some five miles from Montay that Harry’s life ended.

Back home Emma would have received The Telegram that all families dreaded being delivered by the local postie. Emma would later receive The British and Victory Medals and the sum of £18 5s 3d from the War Office which included £9 War Gratuity. She was also eligible for a small pension that would cease in 1924 when Arthur was 16 years old.

Emma never re-married and in 1939 can be found at 70 Pontefract Road, Hemsworth with her son Arthur and his wife Phyllis. Emma was the local sub-postmistress and had been since the early war years. While Arthur worked as a rant and rate collector Hence, Harry enlisting in Pontefract. On the 24th of November 1957, Emma died. Her probate confirms the address of 70 Pontefract Road with the addition of a house name – ‘Justholme’. The sum of £1461 19s 9d was left to Austin now classed as a local government officer. Austin died in the early 1980s. Austin had been living at number 70 up to his death. His probate effects were not exceeding £25,000, as were quite a few other people on that page.