The Watson Family History

I have recently( 2019 ) been talking to Anne and Pamela Watson about their memories of their early life in Netherthong, their mother Louie, and other members of their family tree. On their mother’s side they are connected to both the Charlesworth and Roebuck names, which feature prominently throughout the history of the village. Anne was born in Dalton on 23 May 1939, and lived in a new house her parents bought there. On September 3 1939, the Second World War was declared and her father, Ernest Watson ( Rex) was called up . He was worried about his wife and first daughter, as they lived near the ICI works in Huddersfield which might become a target for the German bombers. So, when he joined the Royal Engineers as a driver, Louie took baby Anne and moved back home to live with her mother Emma and her Auntie Polly at Cliffe View, 90 Thong Lane,a semi-detached stone house in Netherthong, until his return. Pamela Fay was born in the house on 1st. January 1943 and baptised in the Parish Church. Another sister, Netta was born in 1944 and twins, Peter and Janet, were born in 1948. Their grandmother was Rachel Roebuck b. 23.8.1851, died 17.12.1931.

Watson family tree

Both Anne and Pamela attended the National School and can be seen in several of the photographs of school events ( see chapter on schooling). Anne’s school report, both sides, for 1948 is shown below. They also attended Sunday School at the Parish Church and Pamela can remember singing in the choir. Talking to the sisters helped to bring up some interesting memories, Anne said that there was a small stone house on the left hand side of Miry Lane, just past the Vicarage but before the lane to Holmroyd, and a ” character” called Mary lived there with lots of cats. At Christmas she would come out wearing a long white dress and walked to the Clothiers where she used to sing. Anne remembers that her mother played the viola and was part of a music ensemble that played classical music in the school once a week – the leader was a Sally Brook, who lived in St.Annes Square. In my chapter on Music , there are some references to a Netherthong Evening Institute and in, April 1947, it had 76 students and Miss Sally Brook taught instrumental music. This is obviously the group that Louie belonged to.

In the Town Square was Mallinson’s shop, which you can see facing you in the photograph below. When you opened the door a little bell rang to notify the Mallinsons, who lived at the back of the shop. There was only a small space to stand with a high counter on the right hand side. A chocolate dispenser was on the wall and the shop sold many varieties of cheap sweets directed at the children – maybe that’s why the counter was high !!. Among the sweets to tempt would have been sherbert fountains, sweet cigarettes, black jacks, dolly mixture, fizzers, liquorice wood, aniseed balls, gobstoppers, parma violets, love hearts etc- if you are of a certain age , these names will surely bring back memories and you would have had your own favourites. In addition the shop also sold comics and newspapers. One unusual memory from Anne concerned the Earth Toilets of Outlane !. They belonged to the Mallinsons and were in a stone building ,which was on the right hand corner of St.Annes Square as you turned into Outlane.. They consisted of a whitewood chest ( always kept in pristine condition ) with two holes and newpaper pieces hung on a hook on the door. There was no flush and Anne could only assume that the Council would have needed to come round regularly to empty. As Anne was good friends with Barbara the Mallinsons daughter, she was allowed to use it if the situation arose.

Their mother, Louie, who can be seen in many of the photographs in this chapter, compiled a very special gift for her family. It combined notes from the Family Bible and long-ago memories and vivid recollections from a childhood spent listening to tales around the fire.When Louie and Rex, living in New Mill, celebrated their golden wedding, Louie , now a great-grandmother, wanted to present her children with something of their history which they could keep and treasure. Each of her five children received a copy and she said this was due to the help of her daughter,Anne, who had them all compiled and copied.
The book brought to life all the women in her family, from the time of her own great-grandmother in the early 1800s to the present day .It was divided into four parts. Book One – William and Ann 1808-1871. Book Two – Rachel 1870-1905. Book Three – Emma 1895-1935 and Book Four – Louie 1916 . In the January 13, 1989, edition of the Huddersfield District Newspaper, a full page was devoted to snippets from the various books, along with a family tree and a photograph of Louie and her husband Rex. I’ve taken interesting abstracts from the various books and listed them below..

Book One – William and Ann. 1808 – 1871. . William married Ann, Louie’s great – grandmother and they had three sons and six daughters , all baptised at Netherthong Parish Church. One of his sons was Joseph.

Book Two Rachel 1870-1905.. Joseph became a vet and in 1872 he married Rachel Spenser( Battye) and their first son was born in 1873. Rachel went on to have eight more children, one of them, Arthur, died at six months old. The rest all attended Wilshaw school. Three of them contracted scarlet fever and were admitted to Moorview Hospital, Meltham. Emma suffered the worst and the doctor had to put leeches in a small glass on her neck to draw the poison out. As she was so brave she was given the glass to keep, and this leech glass remains in the family . When Rachel’s husband, Joseph, died in November, 1891 of a massive heart attack at the age of 47, she was advised to sell their farm and move closer to the village. This she did and took over an inn – The Queens Arms in Netherthong,

Book Three- Emma 1895-1935. Emma married Fred Charlesworth who was a master painter and decorator by trade and had started his own business, They lived in the pub with Rachel but when Rachel sold the inn and moved to Cliffe View, Emma and Fred found a cottage near by,They had four children but tragedy struck. Emma’s sister, Lily, died at the age of 27 from a heart attack. Life continued and Emma’s other sister, Alice, developed an interest in bicycles. She was cycling along one day and had an accident, crashing into a wall not far from home. Two workmen on a job nearby saw it happen and ran to help her. They carried her home, as they knew who she was and Rachel sent for the doctor. Alice was unconscious but there was no sign of blood on her anywhere. The doctor came and examined her and tried to remove her hat and found that the hat pin had stuck in her head. He removed it gently but when Alice came round her eyes were absolutely vacant.She didn’t recognise anyone. The doctor said the pin had pierced into her brain. Alice had surgical tests and examinations, but Rachel was forced to have her admitted to Storthes Hall Hospital, Kirkburton, on January 8, 1913. She remained there until her death on 18 March, 1950 – see copy of her Notice of Death. In 1916 her 14-year -old daughter, Helen, was sent home from work at Deanhouse Mills, where she had only worked for one month, suffering from a high temperature, extreme pains in her head and violent vomiting fits, The doctor diagnosed meningitis – the pain the child suffered was terrible and within a few days went quite mad and it was a great relief when she died on May 3, 1916. Five days later Emma gave birth to her eighth child and christened the baby Louie.

Book Four – Louie, 1915 – 2009, Her mother had been widowed at 44, lost a son of four and a daughter of 14 and was left with five children to bring up. She began working at Deanhouse Hospital and the children were looked after by a neighbour. Louie left school at 14,eager to help her mother. Her first job was at Bottoms Mill, at the end of New Road, and she would start work at 7am until 5.30 pm. She hated working at the mill and looked forward to attending the local dances and going to the pictures. It was at the Conservative Blue Ball in Holmfirth that she met her husband, Rex Watson. Rex lived with his sister at the Duke of Leeds Hotel, New Mill and he was a keen sportsman and played golf,tennis,football and bowls. They married on October 29, 1938. She said that she still treasures the heirlooms passed down to her – each of her five children have one each of the five decanters and she has the leech glass which belonged to her mother.

Anne married Albert Tinker in 1960 and bought a little cottage in Scholes. She had two sons, Neil and Ian. Pamela was married in 1962 to Randall Hinchliffe but had no children. Netta who died in 2014, was married twice. The first time was in 1961 to Trevor Moore with whom she had three children, Sharon, Sean and Susan. In 1975 she married John Wright and had a son Patrick. Janet was married twice but had no children. It was left to Peter to continue the Watson name, He had two children, Adele and Daniel. Daniel, who married Marie, had two sons , Alfie and Stanley.

Rex was born in Stairfoot, Barnsley and was very keen on football and, as a schoolboy, received an international cap playing for England. He retained his enthusiasm for the sport as can be seen in the a photo of him in full kit for his team, the 101 Convalescent Depot , Bedford, 1943. He is in the back, second from the right. (It is interesting to note that the player seated at the right in the front row was Kinnear, a Glasgow Rangers Scottish International) .He and Louie were married at All Saints Parish Church in the village – see photos of their wedding certificate and the happy couple outside the Church.After the war was over he lived with his family in Cliffe View – see the family photograph taken in the back garden of their house in Coronation Year 1953. In 1957 they moved to the Duke of Leeds public house in New Mill to run it. They stayed there until 1963 when they moved again to take over the stewardship of Scholes Working Mens Club. Their next move was to buy a house in Cinderhills( Holmfirth ) when Rex went back to wagon driving. Their final move was to retire to Lydgate, near New Mill. There are two great photos showing Rex and Louie celebrating their Golden Anniversary in 1988 – just the two of them together and the with all their children. Rex died on 10 June, 1993 and Louie died, 16 years later, on December 1st. 2009 at the grand age of 93 years.

School Report for Anne Watson, Junior M, for February 1948
Side two of Anne Watson’s School Report.
Baptism/ Confirmation Certificate from All Saints for Anne Watson.
Girl Guides at Scarborough – Louie is 2nd. left in front row.
Old photograph of Girl Guides at Scarborough with Louie on the far right.
Notice of Death from Storthes Hall Hospital for Alice Roebuck.
Charabanc mid 1930s. Lady in the front section with the curly hair was Louie and her brother was next to her.
Charabanc. Mid 1920s. Louie and her sister Mary are at the back of the bus with their mother, Emma.
Emma Charlesworth 1875 -1945, who was our grandmother.
Mary Ann – 1880-1954, who was our great aunt Polly
Cliffe View, 90, Thong Lane . It was built in 1905 by Rachel Roebuck, Pamela standing outside in 2016.
Rex and Louie outside the Parish Church after their marriage.
Marriage Certificate for Ernest and Louie-1938
Army football team – Rex is in the back row 2nd. from the righr.
Family group 1953 in their back garden
Rex and Louie in 1988 celebrating their Golden Anniversary
The whole family celebrating the Golden Anniversary in 1988
A great studio portrait taken in 1916 of Rex and his mother Priscilla,
The flyleaf in a Holy Bible presented to Louie Charlesworth on 19 January 1930 by HN Hind, the vicar

A short history of the Wharam family

I have recently ( February 2019 ) been contacted by Glenn , who has supplied me with the following interesting information about the Wharam family ( frequently misspelled as Wareham). From his research efforts he has proven that his family lived in and around Netherthong at least by 1782, and knows that they departed Netherthong in 1849, bound for America. His line of Wharam seems to have been the only family with that surname in Netherthong and ,like most of those living in and around the village, they were engaged in weaving woolen cloth. The majority of persons with the surname Wharam seem to be in Clayton West and High Hoyland, with smaller numbers around Cumberworth and New Mill. Distant cousins live today in Skelmanthorpe. Glenn’s theory is that his great-great-great grandfather, Charles Wharam, must have migrated to Netherthong from the east. He married Ann Hudson in Netherthong, but she was baptized in Holmfirth.

Based on census and baptism records, the family moved around a bit, residing in Moor Lane Farm, Moor Gate Farm, and the Burnlee section of Upperthong. Cousins lived at Holmroyd Nook. One of the residents of Holmroyd Nook showed Glenn a leasehold document signed by Jonas Hinchliffe, the brother of his great-great-great grandmother, Lydia Hinchliffe Oldham. His great-great grandfather was baptised in All Saints Parish Church in 1837( the baptismal index records show a James Oldham Wareham, born 07/08/1837 and baptised on 27/09/1837 : father John and mother Sally Hinchliffe, both of Moor Lane), although this seemed to have been an exception as almost all the other baptisms and marriages were conducted at the Wesleyan Chapel.

The history continues when the Wharam family of Moor Lane (father John, mother Sally, great-great grandfather James Oldham Wharam, and his two sisters Lydia and Elizabeth) left Netherthong. They sailed via the Port of Liverpool to Canada and then on to join a family member who had already established a farm at Gaines Township in Genesee County, Michigan. The Hinchliffe cousins, who once lived at Holmroyd Nook, left a bit later and came to New Jersey. Incredibly, the Hinchliffes then traveled from New Jersey to Michigan and lived for a while with their Wharam cousins. So, two families who had lived on adjacent farms west of Netherthong were reunited and lived together in Michigan.

But Michigan did not appeal to the Hinchliffes because it was too cold . They left, and great-great grandfather, James Oldham Wharam, went with them (his mother had died, and his father had remarried). This group of cousins eventually made their way to Buckingham County, Virginia. It is helpful that the Hinchliffes had a child born in New Jersey, Michigan, and Virginia, as confirmed by the 1860 US census, which helped trace their movements. The Hinchliffes bought land in Buckingham and started farming.

In 1861 war broke out. James Oldham Wharam volunteered and became a soldier in Company C of the Virginia 44th Regiment of Infantry of the Confederate States of America. The Hinchliffe farm had no slaves, and James fought because his adopted homeland of Virginia was being invaded by the North.

James Oldham Wharam was a participant in the American Civil War for the duration, 1861 to 1865. He marched hundreds of miles and was shot twice, the second time through both lungs. He was left for dead on the battlefield but survived. He was captured by Union troops and taken to hospitals and then to a prisoner of war camp at Fort McHenry, Maryland . When the war ended, he was released and walked back to Buckingham County, which was devastated. There were no cows to milk, no pigs to slaughter, no stores of grain, and no seed to plant. The Hinchliffes had lost everything and after military actions had ceased, they moved to Philadelphia. James married a local girl and started farming, after surviving the winter of 1865-1866, living mostly on the game he killed – mostly squirrels. He fathered 14 children. Almost all of the persons today with the Wharam surname, stretching from Georgia to Maryland, are descendants of James Oldham Wharam of Netherthong. Today, there are more Wharams in the US than in the UK. Glenn is obviously very proud of his family roots and ended his information with the following question.

What do you call a fellow whose family of clothiers were put out of business by the Industrial Revolution, who survived the cramped conditions of a ship sailing to America, who survived the Michigan winters in a log cabin, who trekked from Michigan to Virginia, who marched hundreds of miles while a soldier in the Confederate Army, who was wounded twice and left for dead, who survived the horrible conditions of a prisoner of war camp, who walked back home, barefoot and with no food after the war, only to find his home place totally devastated, who started a farm from scratch while avoiding starvation, and who fathered 14 children? Answer: a Yorkshireman – one from Netherthong.

Benjamin Roebuck – a Netherthong WW1 hero

In 2018, which was the centenary of the end of World War 1, I carried out detailed research into those men and boys from the village who gave their lives for their country, and I included photographs and as much information as I could find in my chapter titled Netherthong and its WW1 heroes . Benjamin was obviously included. However, in February 2019, I was given some excellent additional information, photographs and ephemera about Benjamin, which had been collated by Pamela Watson. This was an opportunity to give him his own chapter, as the Roebuck name features throughout many of the chapters in the history of the village, and his story is typical of what life must have been for other lads in the village, who would have known Benjamin and who also fought and, in many cases, gave their lives. I have used virtually all the information that Pamela sent and included her own comments in italics.

Benjamin Roebuck fought with honour in World War 1 and died a hero in France. He is remembered and commemorated on the War Memorial in Town Square and on Plaque 5 on the War Memorial at the Holme Valley Hospital. He was also listed on the Working Men’s Club memorial ( which has been lost ), as well as being named on the chart on the right hand wall inside All Saints’ Parish Church. His name features on the Villers- Bretonneux Memorial to the Missing and he is also commemorated on a family headstone in the churchyard of the Parish Church.

Ben was born on the 18th.November 1878 at Wood Nook,Honley and was the son of Rachel and Joseph Hirst Roebuck,a farmer. He was baptised on the 5th. January 1879 at St.Mary’s Church, Wilshaw ( see copy of certificate ). ( His elder sister,Emma,was my Grandmother and his younger sister, Mary Ann, was better known to me as my beloved Aunty Polly). He was educated at St.Mary’s Church of England School , attended Netherthong Parish Church and was a member of Netherthong Working Men’s Club. At that time his father,Joseph, had died and his mother, Rachel, had sold the farm at Wood Nook and moved into the Queen’s Head in the village until she had a stone house built,in about 1905, at Cliffe View, 90 Thong Lane. Ben worked for Batley’s Joiners as a teamer, driving a horse drawn wagon for Mr.Joseph Batley, and was described as a quiet , unobtrusive man with a loveable nature.

In 1910, Ben left ” Cliffe View” ( the house where I was actually born ) and emigrated to Australia on the ship ORMUZ, sailing to Freemantle ( see passenger list ). He worked as a farmhand, moving about and living in a tent ( see photo dated 1912), it upset his mother to know that he was living that way – but he found a permanent position, where he lived in the farmhouse. (Pamela could find no record that he owned his own farm and orchard). He enlisted in the 16th. Battalion , Australian Imperial Force and became Private, no. 5178 and volunteered at Blackhay Hill, near Harvey, on 19 January 1916, listing his mother, Rachel, as his next of kin. He sailed from Freemantle with reinforcements for the 16th. Battalion on 31st.March 1916, on board HMAT A9 SHROPSHIRE, stopping at Egypt on the way to the Western Front

He was killed in action at Moquet Farm during the battle of the Somme on Saturday, 12th. August, 1916 aged 37 years. He had no known grave and is commemorated on the Villers- Bretonneux Memorial to the missing ( I have laid wreaths near to his name and had The Last Post played for him by Bugler Pete.) Ben was either one of the 39 men known to have been killed , or one of the 19 reported missing believed killed in action with the 16th. Battalion on that day, serving under L.General John Mannash.

A letter, written by Ben shortly before his death, arrived in the village saying he was glad to get away from Egypt, which was a miserable place to live, and that he hoped to visit them at Netherthong before he returned to Australia. His mother received the news of his death on 2nd. September 1916, and his death was reported in the Holmfirth Express the following week. A memorial service was held in the Parish Church conducted by the Rev.H.H.Hind.

The photographs and ephemera are listed below, some of them are photocopies of the originals, many have been notated by Pamela.

Benjamin Roebuck in Australia
  • Baptism from Wilshaw Church register.
  •  Rachel, Benjamin’s mother( 1851-1931) outside Cliffe View
  • Joseph Hirst Roebuck, Benjamin’s father ( 1844-1891) in the front carriage.
  • Immigration Restriction Acts- Passenger List
  • Ben in his tent in Australia – circa 1912.
  • Village War memorial with B.Roebuck
  • Plaque 5 memorial with Benjamin Roebuck
  • War Graves Memorial – Villers-Bretonneux – long view
  • War Graves Memorial – Villers- Bretonneux – detail with B.Roebuck
  • Remembrance Cross
  • Photographs of Ben , which are also in my chapter of WW1 heroes
Village War memorial with detail for B.Roebuck.
Benjamin Roebuck on Plaque 5 at the Holmfirth War Memorial.
Wreath for Benjamin
Baptismal Certificate for Benjamin dated January 5, 1878
Commonwealth War Graves Certificate
Villers Bretonneux War Memorial with detail for Ben Roebuck
Commemorative Cross
J.Batley Workshop with B.Roebuck & A. Charlesworth
Rachel Roebuck ( 1851-1931 ), owner and landlady of the Queens Arms, outside Cliffe View
Private B.Roebuck
Ben Roebuck in army uniform 1914
Joseph Hirst Roebuck ( 1844-1891 ), Ben’s father, sitting in the front of the carriage.

Details of local places from 1892 map – then and now

Dave Pattern is involved in an ongoing project to index historical maps of the Huddersfield area. One relevant to Netherthong and District ( Thongsbridge, Deanhouse and Oldfield ) is titled Hudds. Exposed 1892 Honley, and is centered  on grid ref. SE 4145 4105. The accompanying chart features places from that map and details ( 2018) their current situation after 126 years.

Dave has very kindly agreed that I can use this information in  my website.

name & location area type exists
Albert Hotel, Miry Lane. Now a private residence known as "Old Albert" Thongsbridge public house yes but new use
Inn, School Street Netherthong inn yes but new use
Star of the Day, Oldfield Road Oldfield public house yes but new use
Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, St. Mary's Road Netherthong chapel yes but new use
All Saints Church, Town Gate Netherthong church yes
All Saints' Church Graveyard Netherthong burial ground yes
Bastile, Moor Lane Netherthong property yes
Brown Hill, off Moor Lane Netherthong property yes
Calf Hill Wood Netherthong wood yes
Crodingley, off Thong Lane Thongsbridge property yes
Cross Lane End, corner of Oldfield Road & Cross Lane Oldfield property yes
Deanhouse Workhouse, off St. Mary's Road Deanhouse hospital, etc yes
Dock Hill Netherthong area yes
Forest Cottage, Spinner Gate (now Bradshaw Road). Also known Wood Cottage Oldfield property yes
Free United Methodist Chapel, Giles Street. Now Church House Netherthong chapel yes
Green Cottage, Holt Lane (now Broomy Lee Lane) Netherthong property yes
Har Royd, off Dean Brook Road Netherthong property yes
Holmroyd Nook, off Knoll Lane Oldfield farm yes
Manor House, Church Street Netherthong property yes
Mission Church, Miry Lane. Also known as the Parish Church of St. Andrew Thongsbridge church yes
Moor Croft, Spinner Gate (now Bradshaw Road) Oldfield property yes
Moor Lane Farm, Moor Lane Netherthong farm yes
Moorfield House, off Springwood Road Thongsbridge private house yes
Mountain Cottage, corner of Spinner Gate (now Bradshaw Road) & Wood Nook Lane Oldfield property yes
New Hagg, off Oldfield Road Oldfield property yes
Newland Wood Thongsbridge wood yes
Newlands, Huddersfield Road Thongsbridge property yes
Oldfield House, Oldfield Road Oldfield property yes
Railway Cottages, Springwood Road Thongsbridge property yes
Sands, off Moor Lane Netherthong property yes
School, off School Street. Now Netherthong Primary School Netherthong school yes
Spring Grove, Huddersfield Road. Also known as Spring Bottom (1854 map) Netherthong property yes
Spring Lodge, Calf Hill Road. Previously known as Spring Cottage (1854 map) Thongsbridge property yes
Spring Wood Netherthong wood yes
The Hey, off Heys Road Thongsbridge terraced row yes
Thongsbridge, Miry Lane. Road bridge over the River Holme Thongsbridge misc feature yes
Upper Fear Nought, off Huddersfield Road Netherthong property yes
Vicarage, Miry Lane Netherthong vicarage yes
View Terrace, Miry Lane. Row of 4 back-to-back properties Thongsbridge terraced row yes
Well Green, Holt Lane Netherthong property yes
Well House, off Huddersfield Road Netherthong private house yes
Woodlands. Property originally set in Longlands Wood and approached via a footpath Thongsbridge private house yes
Woodville, off Calf Hill Road Thongsbridge private house yes
Albion Mill, off Miry Lane. Woollen mill Thongsbridge mill partially
Quarry Netherthong quarry partially
Alma Mills, off Thong Lane. Woollen mill Thongsbridge mill no
Deanhouse Mills, off Dean Brook Road. Woollen mill Deanhouse mill no
Elmwood, off Huddersfield Road Netherthong private house no
Gas Works Deanhouse works no
Inn, Huddersfield Road Thongsbridge inn no
Lower Fear Nought, off Huddersfield Road Netherthong terraced row no
Mill dam for Thongsbridge Mills Thongsbridge mill pond no
Moorfield House, off Spinner Gate (now Bradshaw Road) Oldfield property no
Oaklands, off Huddersfield Road Netherthong private house no
Prospect House, off Heys Road Thongsbridge property no
Quarry, off Calf Hill Road Netherthong quarry no
Robin Royd, off Huddersfield Road Netherthong property no
Thongs Birdge Station. Railway station on the Holmfirth Branch Thongsbridge railway feature no
Thongsbridge Mills, off Miry Lane. Woollen mill Thongsbridge mill no
Folly Dam. Mill pond for Deanhouse Mills Deanhouse mill pond maybe
Size and Bone Works, off Miry Lane Thongsbridge works maybe

Netherthongs WW1 heroes and the location of their various Rolls of Honour

There are  eight War Memorials and Rolls of Honour ( ROH ) commemorating the young men of the district who fought in World War 1. Six of them list the names of those who gave their lives and two include the names of those who fought and survived. Details are given in the chart below. ( For details of the individual soldiers please see the appropriate chapters on World War 1 ).

The Netherthong War Memorial, R.O.H. , which has the names of 41 heroes from Netherthong and Thongsbridge,  is located in the centre of the village opposite the Parish Church.  

Thirty names, including two not on the village ROH, are on  Plaque 5 on the large Memorial in the grounds of Holmfirth Hospital. 

Seventeen names were on a plaque in the Working Men’s clubhouse, which was located in St. Annes Square at the top of Outlane. Unfortunately the whereabouts of this plaque is currently unknown.( January 2019)

Six names appeared on the plaque in St.Andrew’s Church in Thongsbridge and  when the church was closed  the plaque was saved and found a new home in Holmfirth Parish Church.

Five names appear on a ROH on a metal plate on  the wall of what was the premises of R.L.Brook in Thongsbridge.

Six names  appear on the ROH in Huddersfield Drill Hall. They were soldiers who served in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.

There are 27 names on the United Methodist Church ROH, which has been located on the left hand wall in the Parish Church since the Chapel closed in 1984-85 and became a private residence. This ROH contains the names of seven soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice with the remainder being soldiers who fought and survived. 

Name Village ROH WMC Plaque 5 Saint Andrews Huddersfield Drill Hall Methodist Parish Church Thongsbridge
Irvin Barrowclough Yes Yes
Lewis Beaumont Yes Yes Yes
George H. Booth Yes
Clarence Brackenburg Yes
Harold Brackenburg Yes Yes Yes
George Bradley Yes Yes Yes Yes
George Bray Yes Yes Yes
Walter Bray Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Leonard Buckley Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Harry Charlesworth Yes Yes
George Child Yes
George Durrant Yes
Norman Fisher Yes Yes Yes
Cecil P. Floyd Yes
Robert Froggatt Yes Yes
Stanley Gill Yes Yes Yes
George Gledhill Yes Yes Yes
Andrew Greenwood Yes
William Haigh Yes Yes Yes Yes
Luther Hellawell Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fred Hill Yes Yes Yes
Hubert ( Herbert ) Hobson Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
John Hoyle Yes Yes Yes Yes
George Kaye Yes Yes
Matthew Lockwood Yes
Arthur Quarmby Yes Yes
Norman Ricketts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ben Roebuck Yes Yes Yes Yes
Brook Sanderson Yes Yes
Abel Scholfield Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ben Senior Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Clemence Shaw Yes Yes Yes
Fred Shaw Yes Yes
Edward Smith Yes Yes Yes
Frank Swallow Yes Yes Yes Yes
Edgar Taylor Yes Yes Yes Yes
John Webster Yes Yes Yes Yes
Arthur Whitely Yes
David Wilkinson Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
C.( Charlie ) Woodhead Yes Yes Yes Yes
J.( Joseph ) Worsley Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Arthur Heeley Yes Yes Yes
Harold Heeley Yes Yes Yes Yes
Thomas Roger Booth Yes
Fred Hirst Yes

 

Methodist Church ROH

 

Methodist Church ROH
Heading

There are 114 names on a framed ROH in the Parish Church  and it gives the rank, regiment and date joined for each of the soldiers.  23 of these names are on the main War Memorial, the remainder being soldiers who fought and survived. Unfortunately it was both difficult to photograph as well as being too large to get into one picture.

Parish Church ROH

 

Parish Church ROH
detail

 

Parish Church ROH
detail

 

Parish Church ROH
detail

 

Harry Beaumont 1897 – 1996

Harry Beaumont was born in 1897 in Upper Hagg and died in 1996. At that time Upper Hagg was part of the Parish of Netherthong ( see chapter of Maps )  and he lived there until his wedding in 1928 before spending the rest of his life in Brockholes, His father died in 1912 and his mother brought the family up on her own. The rest of the family moved to Brockholes in 1919/30. He  and his family could claim to have connections to the whole of the Holme Valley.  His older brother, Lewis, fought and died in WW1 and is commemorated on the memorial in the centre of Netherthong.  Harry also fought in the war and survived.

I have been fortunate to receive  photographs and letters about Harry from his niece  and have included details of his war record in my chapter on the WW1 survivors. I have decided that the rest of the information about this man and his life justifies  giving him a chapter of his own as he was such a well-known person in the area.

Harry was born in Upper Hagg and his parents were Annie and Tom Battye Beaumont. The family photograph, taken circa 1905 at Upper Hagg, shows Annie his mother, eldest daughter Emma b. 1890 and Tom his father. Lower left is Nellie b.1899, Amy b.1903, Ethel b.1901, Harry b.1897 and Lewis b.1The next photograph is of Adam Sykes Beaumont b.1833 to John and ? of Helm. He married Emma Battye, the daughter of Thomas and Betty of Nab Close, Cartworth  He was the father of Tom Battye Beaumont which meant he was Harry’s Grandfather. He died in 1882.

Beaumont family group, 1905

Harry’s grandfather

Harry attended Brockholes School and was a member of St.George’s Church choir in the village. He started work at the age of 13 as a reacher-in  at Rock Mills, Thongsbridge, for half-a-crown a week and, until he enlisted in 1916 at the age of 19, he had a wide range of interests. These included repairing clocks and watches, cycling, gardening and billiards and yet he still found time to be a member of Brockholes Bowling Club.

He joined the Yorks. and Lancs. Regiment as Private No.82910 and trained as a Machine Gunner. In the photograph below of him in uniform he looks so young and innocent and much younger than his 19 years. The second photograph, posing with some of his comrades, shows him , front row 2nd. from the right, still retaining that early youth.

Harry Beaumont in uniform

 

Harry and his comrades

Whilst serving in France, because he had experience with farm horses, he was selected to deliver ammunition by horse and cart to the front lines at night. Unfortunately he became ill with rheumatic fever and returned to England, where he was placed at Holly Park Auxiliary Hospital, Hornsey, North London. ( the hospital was demolished in the 1950s and later became a housing estate ).His mother must have written to the Matron thanking her for the care shown to her son, because the Matron replied on October 3, 1918.

Letter from Matron to harry’s mother.

As you might have trouble reading the handwriting, I’ve copied the details below.

“Thank you for your very kind letter. I’m so glad your son was happy at my little hospital. He was a very good patient. I was only too pleased to be able to help him in any way as I am to help any of the splendid men that are doing so much for us. I should like to hear how your son gets on , we all wish him the best of luck. It will be a happy day when I know that I am getting my boys better to go home ( underlined ) not back to France.” 

M.Bassett-Popkin , Matron Commandant.

After the war, Harry worked in the textile industry for 45 years. He moved from  weaver to pattern weaver and was in charge of  a textile warehouse when he retired. In 1928 he married Mena Nicholson and they settled in Brockholes living at 32, Rock Terrace in the centre of the village. He gave much of his spare time to supporting village organisations and was elected to Holmfirth Council in 1941 and served for many years, acting as Chairman in 1950-51.  The photograph shows him wearing the mayoral chain of office.He had been chairman of all the committees on the Council and a governor of both the old and new C of E Schools.

Harry as mayor of Holmfirth 1950 -51

An article in the Huddersfield Examiner of Friday 16 May, 1977 was titled ” The village historian.” The first sentence started- ask anyone in Brockholes for the name of the local historian and they will be likely to refer you to Harry Beaumont.  His earliest recollection is of attending Brockholes Church School at the age of three ( more likely to have been four ). I have queried with his niece  why he would have attended school in Brockholes rather than in Netherthong or Thongsbridge. The most likely reason is that his mother was brought up in Smithy Place , Brockholes and attended the village school there and his father worked at Rock Mills which meant he could take his son to school and collect him later in the day.

In winter – and they were real winters then- we used to go to school on sledges, from the top of the hill down on to the main road. Of course there was no danger then because it was all horse traffic. One of his  anecdotes was about a visit by the Duke of Kent to Rock Mills many years ago. The Duke asked about the processes, and, to demonstrate this, he was given a suit length which had been made specially for him from fleece to finished object within four days.  When asked about the main changes in the village during his lifetime, he spoke of the change from horse traffic to motor vehicles, housing development on the hills where people once went skiing, the closing of mills and the transfer of labour from textiles to the engineering industry. The final photograph shows Harry and Mena in May 1993 on the occasion of their 65th. Wedding Anniversary when Harry was 96. The two items of ephemera are his election pamphlets for May 1955 and April 1964.

 

65th. Wedding Anniversary
of Harry and Mena, May 1993

 

1955 Election Pamphlet

 

Election Pamphlet 1964

Wilshaw and its World War 1 Heroes

 

Wilshaw is a small hamlet located mid-way between Meltham and Netherthong/Holmfirth with its postcode being HD9. In the first Ordnance Survey map, issued in  1854, both Upper and Lower Greave were in the Parish of Netherthong and Wilshaw was a moor-fringed sweep of pasture but, by the time the next map came out in 1888, Joseph Hirst had put Wilshaw firmly on the map and   built the Church of St.Mary the Virgin in 1863. The History of Wilshaw , issued 1961, was written by Alfred Taylor as a prelude to the commemoration of the centenary of the Parish Church, 1863-1963.

This year, 2018, is the centenary of the end of World War 1 and  a National Project, called Lives of the First World War, has been set up by the Imperial War Museum to record the life histories of those servicemen and women who served in that war. It works by setting up Communities which are formed by collating servicemen into groups defined by a common connection – eg. regiment, workplace, location etc. A community has been set up locally, on behalf of the Project , to cover all the Holme Valley Servicemen. My contribution, via my History of Netherthong website, has been to supply information relating to Netherthong and District of its soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice as well as those who fought and survived. Wilshaw does not fall under the Holme Valley area but, because it always had close connections to Netherthong,  I have decided to give it a chapter of its own and add it to my website so that its heroes can be more fully recognised and remembered.

There are two plaques, ROH ( Roll of Honour ) inside the Church. The first one , on timber/board, lists 15 names of soldiers , associated with Wilshaw, who fought and survived. They are : Edward Phipps ; Harold Beaumont ; Fisher Spencer ; Charles Helliwell ; George Sharples ; Lawrence Taylor ; John W. Dowell ; Herbert Lockwood ; Harry Stead : Harry Taylor ; Alfred Senior ; Vincent F.Kaye ; Harold Pearson : John Crampton : John Addy. However the Holmfirth Express edition on 23 October  1915 listed the following names from Wilshaw who had enlisted – they were Arthur Elliot, H.Turton, T. Thorpe, N.Thorpe and Edward Phipps. Of those names only Phipps appears on the list of survivors on the plaque. I have recently been informed that this ROH was only ” discovered ” 10-15 years ago when it was found up in the church tower. Very intriguing and it is unlikely that we will ever find out when, how and why it was put there.

War memorial 1

The second one made of stone/marble has five names and is inscribed : ” In Honoured Memory of the Boys of the Parish who made the Supreme Sacrifice in the Great War, 1914-1918. Edwin Spencer ; Edgar H.Beaumont ; Rufus Crompton ; Leonard Manchester : Harold Schofield . Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. “

War Memorial 2

 

J.Margaret Stansfield was the inspiration behind the book ” Huddersfield Roll of Honour  1914-1922 ” but unfortunately died before she could publish it. It was edited by the Rev. Paul Wilcock BEM and published by the Unniversity of Huddersfield Press in 2014 – ISBN 978-1-86218-126-7. Her book meticulously detailed the details of 3,439 soldiers from the Huddersfield area who had fought and died in the Great War.  The  five Wilshaw heroes on the plaque are listed in the book and I give their details below. 

Edwin Spencer. Private 13445, Y Co., 8th. Battalion, Duke of Wellington Regiment. Born in Leeds, son of Thomas Fisher Spencer and Sarah Agnes of Wilshaw. Employed at Meltham Mills. Enlisted at the  end of August 1914 and went to the Dardenelles as part of 32nd. Brigade, 11th. Division, Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. He died of wounds at sea, sustained in the Dardenelles fighting, on August 23, 1915 aged 22 years. There was no known grave and he was Commemorated at the Helles Memorial to the Missing. ROH ; Wilshaw Church ; St. Bartholemews, Meltham.

The following report was taken from a newspaper cutting around 1915. ” On Monday, Mrs. Thomas Fisher Spenser, of Wilshaw,received the sad news that her youngest son, Private Edwin Spencer, aged 22, had died on August 23rd. from wounds sustained in the Dardanelles fighting.  Prior to the war, Edwin had worked at the bobbin mill at Messrs. Jonas Brook and Bros., Meltham Mills. At the latter end of August, he enlisted in the 8th. Battalion, West Riding Regiment and was in Y Company, the regiment being in the 32nd. Brigade of the 11th. Division in the Mediterranean Force. Edwin was the youngest of three sons in the army. His eldest brother is Private John Spencer of the 1/5th. who is in a London hospital, suffering from wounds sustained in Belgium. Private Thos. Fisher Spencer, the second son, is in France with the 2/5th. Edwin was unmarried and lived in St.Mary’s Court, Wilshaw, and was his mother’s only means of support. Her daughter is the wife of driver Spencer Allen Ward of the R.F.A. in France.

Rufus CramptonPrivate 38589, 8th. Battalion, Yorkshire Lancaster Regiment. Born in Meltham and lived at 28 Mitre Street, Marsh. Killed in action on June 7, 1917. There was no known grave . Commemorated at the Menin Gate, Memorial to the Missing, ROH : Wilshaw Church : Marsh War Memorial : St. Bartholemews, Meltham.

Leonard Manchester. Private 32158, 2/5 Battalion, Duke of Wellington Regiment. Born in Meltham, son of James and Hannah and husband of Hilda. Employed for five years at Wallace’s grocery store in Slaithwaite. Enlisted 1917 and embarked to France early 1918. Killed in action on 23 March 1918, aged 28 years. No known grave and he was Commemorated at the Arras Memorial to the Missing. ROH ; Wilshaw Church ; St. Bartholemews, Meltham. Huddersfield Drill Hall.

Harold Schofield. Private301954. 2nd. Battalion, Royal Scots ( Lothian Regiment ). Born in Meltham, son of Firth and Martha Scholfield. He was killed in action at Polygon Wood on September 26,1917 aged 20 years.There was no known grave and he was Commemorated at Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing. ROH : Wilshaw Church ; St.Bartholemews Church, Meltham.

 Edgar H.Beaumont. An Edgar Hamby Beaumont is listed as Private 235241 of the 2nd. battalion of the Duke of Wellington regiment. He was the son of Mr. & Mrs. Joe Beaumont of Wilshaw and was employed by Messrs. Josiah France Ltd. of Honley.  He enlisted on October 1915 and was killed in action on March 28 1918 aged 22 years. There was no known grave and he was commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the Missing.  ROH ;Wilshaw Church : St.Bartholemews Church, Meltham.

 Harry Beaumont’s  name appears on the timber plaque as a survivor. In the January 16th. 1915 edition of the Holmfirth Express, there is a report of the Annual tea and entertainment given by the church choir and the organist, Mr.H.Pearson.   The Rev.T. Lawthwaite congratulated the young men of the village who had joined up and, out of a population of under 150, five were under training. The Vicar proposed a vote of thanks which was seconded by Private H.Beaumont.  However  there is a Harry Beaumont in the Huddersfield ROH . He was Private 21726 in the 2/5 Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment and was born in Meltham and enlisted in Huddersfield. He was killed in action on July 20 1918 near Rheims. There was no known grave and he was commemorated on Soissons Memorial to the Missing. ROH. St Bartholemews Church. Same person ??

I have recently received a copy of a superb photograph of  schoolchildren,along with two teachers, posing in their very best outside their  school in Wilshaw. The date surely must be early 1900s and I wonder if any of the boys in the picture are in one of the ROHs in the Church.

Wilshaw School
early 1900s.

Netherthong – details of soldiers who fought and survived WW1

One of the major chapters in this history is titled ‘Netherthong  and its WW1 heroes’ and it gives details of those soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice. There were also many villagers who  enlisted and served valiantly in the war and survived its horrors. In this centenary year (2018) of the end of that war, I am attempting to compile a list of their names  and find out details about their lives before the war and  their army service. ( Some of the information is also included in other chapters about WW1.)

The main source  for compiling the initial list  is the Holmfirth Express. In their issue of January 9th. 1915, they printed a R.O.H. ( Roll of Honour ) for the people from all the villages in the area serving in the Army , Territorials and Navy and there were 42 on that list from Netherthong, Deanhouse, Thongsbridge ( see note later  on ) and Wilshaw. The information in these lists was supplied by local residents and the paper was always requesting their readers to write in to update the names. They printed another list in October 23rd. 1915 , which included  some names not on the earlier list. They printed the list again the following week with some names omitted and a few new ones added. They also started on October 23 rd. to publish another column titled ‘This Weeks Additions ‘ and that week it  had two names from Thongsbridge, John Booth and Joseph A. Barden plus three from Netherthong – E.Taylor, J.Webster and Arnold Wimpenny.  ( Taylor and Webster did not survive the war and are on the ROH on the village memorial). The ‘Additions’ for November 6th.  were  H.Dufton, S.A.Wood and W.H.Eastwood ( S.A. ) all from the village. The Express also reported that there were 562 volunteers to date for the whole of the Holme Valley. There were two more ‘Additions’ lists for November and they included Richard Bottomley from the village, Arnold T.Lee and E.Smith, 19870, both from Thongsbridge and E.H.Beaumont from Wilshaw. They stopped publishing any more ‘Additions ‘ lists in 1916.

There are inconsistencies in exactly how many of the village lads enlisted, as reports differ in their numbers.   At the meeting of the Patriotic Committee in January 1915, it was reported that 30 of the men, at present and formerly associated with the village, were serving their  country and had received gifts of a camp knife and three khaki pocket handkerchiefs.  But … the 3rd. annual report of the Netherthong Patriotic Society  in 1917 said that, based on Netherthong and Oldfield, 140 villagers had enlisted, 19 were discharged, three were listed as POWs, 17 were killed leaving 101 still on active duty. But….. at the unveiling of the Working Men’s Club Memorial, Captain Floyd said that about 130 men had enlisted, 21 were killed, at least seven had been wounded and a further four had been wounded and taken prisoner. The variations in the numbers of villagers who enlisted was apparently a fairly common problem. The next exercise was to find their personal details such as date and place of birth, where they lived, went to school and worked etc. The third and by far the biggest difficulty has been  to find details of their service record, as I have  found out from the Forces War Records web site  that 70% of the service records of soldiers from WW1 were destroyed from a direct hit on the Arnside ( London ) repository on the second day of the Blitz in WW2, and the damage was compounded during the extinguishing  of the raging fires. The book of the Huddersfield ROH gives details of the 3,439 soldiers who died,  1,304 (38%)  of whom served in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.  The figure I have for Netherthong for the same Regiment  is 36%, so it’s a reasonable assumption that the same percentage would apply to those from the village who enlisted and survived. But .. the archives for the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment in Halifax do not have records of the soldiers who served in the Regiment. 

 Thongsbridge was included in the Parish of Netherthong and the names  of their lads who made the supreme sacrifice are listed   on the War Memorial in the Village and Plaque 5  at Holmfirth Hospital, which is titled Netherthong and Thongsbridge.  However I’m not sure how far  Netherthong’s responsibility in  the Thongsbridge area extended during that period as the Express always listed soldiers from Muslin Hall as being part of Thongsbridge. Those who died from Muslin Hall are listed on other R.O.H.s.  An example is Lieut. Arnold Lee, RGA, son of Mr.Job Lee of Muslin Hall, who was killed in action and his name is on the Wooldale R.O.H. I shall not include any that died but will add to my list below any who served and survived.  Better to duplicate than omit.

In the Parish Church there is a framed coloured, pre-printed certificate that is titled- “For King, Country & Humanity, Roll of Honour for the Brave Men who have gone forth at the call of duty from …. ”  it then left a space to write in the name of the organisation and underneath there were three columns for the Names, Service and any remarks.  This one was for the United Methodist Church and contains 27 names of whom seven made the ultimate sacrifice. In my research into the Methodist Chapel ( see chapter for its history ) , I never came across any reference to this certificate. I can only assume that when the Chapel closed in 1984-85 and became a private residence, the certificate was moved to the Parish Church. I have spoken to the Rev.John Capstick, who was the vicar at that time, and, although he could not remember any specific details, he said that the relationship between the two churches was always very cordial and there would have been no problems of transferring the certificate when the Chapel closed.

Also in the Parish Church is another framed certificate/scroll simply titled ” Netherthong Roll of Honour “. It lists 114 names of soldiers from the Parish who served in the WW1 and gives their rank, regiment and date of enlistment. 23 of the names are listed in the main War Memorial in Town Square. I have referred to it as the Parish Church ROH. in this chapter. Where I have been able to find a date of birth from the pamphlet ” All Saints’ Church Netherthong – Index of baptisms 1830-1983 “. I have added it in  the format ‘b. date’.

I have  listed below in alphabetical order the names of all those soldiers who survived  and am adding  information as and when I have been to find any. As of 01/01/2019, I have found 162 names which I think is probably about it.

The first four names below are of  soldiers from the village who were decorated for their bravery .

Signaller  Charles Albert  Hudson was decorated with the Military Medal which he won in August 1916 for carrying dispatches under heavy fire in Delville Wood. He was delivering messages continuously  for three days and of the 16 runners only 4 survived. He had enrolled on October 17 1914 with the first batch of young fellows from the district and went to France on July 15 1915. In the 1901 Census he was eleven years old, his parents were William and Ellen Hobson and they lived in Outlane. He had been associated with Netherthong since birth , was involved with the Parish Church and Sunday School as well as being  a member of the choir. He was one of the scouts who had the privilege of taking part in the Scouts Rally at the Coronation Festivities in London. He was employed at Deanhouse Mills. He had been on active service since he went to France and came through the war without a scratch.

Corporal Sam Schofield :  Mrs.John Scholfield was notified in May 1918 that her son, Sam, had been awarded the Military Medal. Later that year in October, the Express reported that he had been wounded and was in hospital making a satisfactory recovery.  In the 1901 Census he was 11 years old and his parents were John and Jane Scholfield of Outlane .His older brother, Abel, was killed whilst on active service in Gallipoli in 1915.  As his brother enlisted with the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment it is more than likely that Sam would have followed suit.

Sam Scholfield

 

Corporal Norman Smith, 21 years old, was awarded the Military Medal and ribbon for gallantly rescuing a comrade on the battlefield under shell fire.  Until he was 15, he had lived all his life in Netherthong before he moved to Longwood.. He joined the West Riding Regiment In December 1914 and went to France in June 1915.  The Golcar District Heroes’ Fund recognized his meritorious conduct by presenting him with a solid gold ten- guinea English made watch.

Lance-Corporal Joseph Edward HobsonHe  was the oldest son of Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Hobson of Netherthong and died in Ottowa in 1945 aged 67. He was well known in the village and , as a boy,  was in the Parish Church choir. He enlisted on September 1, 1914. He had served for eight years in the Army Medical Corps and, on his discharge, he obtained an important post in Canada and moved there four years later , married a Canadian lady and had two sons. At the outbreak of war, he re-enlisted in the Canadian Force, came over and was attached to A Section 22nd.Field Ambulance 7th. Division of the British Expeditionary Force and served in France.  He  was awarded the DCM for gallantry and devotion on the field by carrying in the wounded under fire. On the expiry of his service he returned to Canada and his wife and family. The photograph below is printed courtesy of the Holmfirth Express of February 6 1915. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH .. During the 1914-18 war he served in the RAMC being recalled before his reserve time had expired. He was awarded the DCM for gallantry in carrying in wounded under fire. On expiry of his service, he returned to Canada where he had left his wife and family. He re-enlisted in the Canadian Force and came over to Europe and served in France. He died in Ottowa in `946.

J.E.Hobson who received the DCM

 

Joseph A.Barden- Thongsbridge. Express October 30 1915- ‘Additions’ list. I have been able to assemble the following information that seems to fit ‘Joe’ Barden. He was born in 1887 in New Laithe Bank, Holm.  He was attested on 12/12/15 and put on the Army Reserve the following day. He was put on Short Service on 12/9/16 and mobilised the same day as Private No.136188 in the Yorks. and Lancs. Regiment. He was married. He received the British War Medal and Victory Medal. In 5/4/17  he had his thumb amputated which classified him as 20% disabled. He was transferred to the RAMC.

Irvine Alsop. The Express in July 1916 reported that Irvine was serving at the Royal Naval Hospital and had written to the Patriotic Society thanking them for the gift of a camp knife and adding that it was being very useful and showed that he and the rest of the lads had not been forgotten. His name is in the Parish Church ROH  but no regiment or date is given.

A.Alsop – his name appears in the Parish Church ROH. He was a private in the Lincs. 

N.Armitage – Listed in October 23 1915 Holmfirth  Express ROH. His name appears in the Parish Church ROH as a Private in the 2/5 Battalion Duke of Wellington regiment. He enlisted in May 1915.

Arnold Bailey – his name appears in the Parish Church ROH as a Private in the Northumberland Fusiliers and enlisted on April 24, 1916

E.Battye – listed as a Scout/ex- Scout – of the Netherthong Troop- serving in the front.

H.Battye ( Deanhouse ):  His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. A Herbert Battye  appears on the Parish Church ROH as a Private in the Royal Defence Corps. who enlisted on November 19, 1916.

J.Battye – the name Battye features in many chapters throughout the history of Netherthong but is not shown in the 1901 Census. He was a member of the NT Scout troop.,  Joseph  was the older brother of Alec Battye who survived .There was a report in the Holmfirth Express that a Joseph Battye, a private with the 2/5 Battalion of the Duke of Wellinton’s regiment went over the top at Bullecourt in May 1917, just 10 miles from where his brother was serving,  and was never seen again.

Private Harpin Battye. In May 1918 the Express reported that relations of Pr. Harpin Battye, Machine Gun Corps, of Deanhouse, had received an intelligence card from him saying he was in enemy hands. He was taken prisoner at Bullencourt on March 21 and the card was dated March 27. He stated that he was quite well. His last letter from the front was dated the same day he had been taken prisoner.

Private Dennis.Barrowclough :  He was born on 9/5/1896 , baptised on 6/10/1897 as Denis and  was listed as four years old in the 1901 Census. His  parents were John William and Christiana from Lower Hagg ( in Census ) but Oldfield on baptismal certificate.. One of his brothers, Irvin, is listed in the ROH in the village centre. He is listed in the Parish Church ROH as a Private in the 6th.Durham Lt. Infantry who enlisted on August 5,1914

Private William Barrowclough:  He was born on 16/12/1891 and baptised on 9/2/1992 and listed as 9 years old in the 1901 Census  and was the eldest of the three brothers who enlisted. The Patriotic Committee received a letter from Willie thanking them for the gifts. He was in the 6th. Company, 3rd. Battalion, West Riding Regiment.He is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the 2nd. Battalion Duke of Wellington regiment who enlisted on December 3,1914.  There is a contradiction in which Regiment he served.

Arthur Beaumont – he is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a Private in the 63rd.R.N.Distribution Supply Co. 

H.Beaumont – Wilshaw. Listed in the ROH in the January 4, 1915 issue of the Holmfirth Express. The list of ‘Additions ‘ in the November 27th. edition of the Express  included the name E.H.Beaumont.

Private Harry Beaumont – No.82910. His brother was Lewis Beaumont  whose name appears on the village ROH. He was  born in Upper Hagg in 1897 and his parents were Annie and Tom Battye Beaumont. He attended Brockholes School and was a member of St.Georges choir and started work at the age of 13 at Rock Mills, Brockholes. He enlisted in the Yorks and Lancs Regiment in 1916 and trained as a Machine Gunner. Whilst serving in France, because he had experience with farm horses, he was selected to deliver ammunition by horse and cart to the front line at night and during that tour of duty he became ill with rheumatic fever and was returned to England and was placed in Holly Park Auxiliary Hospital, Hornsey, North London. I have been fortunate to have received a lot of information about Harry’s activities and I have included them in a  chapter titled Harry Beaumont.

Harry Beaumont in uniform

John Booth Thongsbridge – Express October 30 1915- ‘Additions’ list.

Richard Bottomley – Express November 20 1915 – ‘Additions’ list.

J.Bowman – Miry Lane Thongsbridge : In June 1915, the Express listed his name in  a ROH for local lads from around the Holme Valley who had recently enlisted in the Huddersfield Battery.

John Bray : His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. He is listed in the Parish Church ROH as a Private in the 2/7 Royal Scots who enlisted on October 29, 1914

Arthur Bray is listed in the Methodist Church ROH. He served with the R.Labour Co.

Private Tom Bretton :  In the 1901 Census he was 12 years old , was born in Thongsbridge  and lived in Miry Lane Bottom. His parents were Reuben and Alice. A  report in the local paper  said that he lived in Giles Street and had been wounded. There is a John Bretton listed in the Methodist Church ROH. His name also appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the Duke of Wellington Regiment who enlisted on October 9,1916

Fitter Hubert Brook. Muslin Hall, Thongsbridge. His father, Mr.S.Brook, received a field card from France in August stating that his son, Hubert, was  in a base hospital and wounded. The following month he was  transferred to a hospital in Warrington where he had been visited by his parents. The Express added that his brother, Irvin, had died in hospital in England after having been interned in Germany for several months.

J.Brook : In the 1901 Census, he was born in the village and lived in Lower Hagg. He was 25 years old, married and working as a grocers assistant.

T.L.M. Buchanan ( Netherthong )His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. ( but not in Oct.23 list ). In the Parish Church ROH the compiler listed the name Buchanan twice with no christian names or any other additional information. I’m assuming T.L.M. could very well have been one of them.

J.R.M. Buchanan ( Netherthong ) :  His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. ( but not in Oct.23 list). In the Parish Church ROH the compiler listed the name Buchanan twice  with no christian names or any additional information. I’m assuming JRM could very well have been one of them.

Arthur Buckley – on Methodist Church ROH. He served with the North Staffs. regiment.

Pr. Arthur Cartwright. Mr. & Mrs. Cartwright of Fearnought Gardens, Thongsbridge, received a letter from their son in July 1918. He had been reported missing on May 28. In his letter, dated May 3 but which was not delivered until July 24, he said that he had been wounded and was in hospital and being treated very well. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a Private with the 5th. South Staffs.

Corporal Sam Charlesworth :   He had been in the army for 11 years and came to the front with the Indian Expeditionary force and transferred  to  the 1st. Battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Regiment . He was shot in the left thigh and hand and , after recovering , was made a prisoner in No. F Block at Doeberity and spent more than two and a half years as a prisoner of war in Germany. The Express in January 1916 reported that Sam had written to Mr.W.Dyson to acknowledge the receipt of a Christmas parcel sent to him on behalf of the Netherthong people. In May the Express added that Sam had been ‘adopted’ by the Misses Rosetti, two ladies of Regent Street,London, and they sent him a parcel every fortnight. He is listed in the Parish Church ROH with his enlistment date being August 5,1914

Arthur Charlesworth is listed in the Methodist Church ROH. He served with the Kings Own Yorkshire L.I.

Tom Charlesworth. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH and he was a Private in the Kings Own Yorkshire L.I. and enlisted in September 1916.

N.Coldwell : He was a scout in the NT troop. There is a Woodhouse Coldwell in the Parish Church ROH. He was a Private in the 2/7 Royal Scots and enlisted on October 3,1916

E.Crookes : He was a scout in the NT troop. and was listed in 23 October 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH.

Alfred Day is listed in the Methodist Church ROH. No additional information.

Frank Dickenson : He was born in Netherthong  on 29/4/1882 , baptised on 04/06/1882 and his parents were William and Mary Ann. Although he moved away, he always retained fond memories of the village. He was a well known basso profundo and in July 1919 he visited his birthplace after he was demobilised from D.L.I. He had been in the army for three and a half years, seven months of which was spent in the Ypres section before being drafted into a concert party which visited many camps in France and Belgium. He is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a Lance Corporal in the Northern Fusiliers with an enlistment date of March 4,1916. He died at his home, Manor House , in January 1958 aged 75. He was a leading bass singer  and was, at one time, in great demand throughout the country and had also appeared in music halls. He was formerly a grocers assistant at Netherthong Co-op and later a traveller for Harrogate Co-op. He then moved to Deanhouse Mills and was well known in the district as an antique dealer. He was a vice-president of the Male Voice Choir and a member of Holmfirth British Legion and Holmfirth Conservative Club. 

Wilfred Downs is listed in the Parish Church ROH as a Private in Motor Transport.

Private H.Dufton. There was a H.Dufton in the 1901 Census aged 21 years employed as a fuller. His parents were William and Ruth Dufton. If it is the same person he would have been about 36 years old when he enlisted.  He was listed in the Express ‘Additions’ for November 7 1915. Harry Dufton is listed on the Parish Church ROH. He was a private in the 1/5 Battalion of the Duke of Wellington Regiment and joined up on August 5,1914.

Private Lewis Dyson : He was  a Netherthong lad who was wounded in the war and sent to a base hospital in France. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a Private in the 5th.West Yorkshire Regiment who enlisted on November 22, 1916.

William Dyson,b.25/4/1890. is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a driver in the Motor Regiment who joined up on February 28,1916.

Joe Dytch is listed in the Methodist Church ROH. In the 1901 Census he was 14 years old and employed as a piercer.

B.Earnshaw – A S. Earnshaw was listed in the Express for December 1915 as a Scout/ ex-scout in Netherthong Troop serving abroad.

Charles William Eastwood,b.23/11/1881, is listed in the Parish Church ROH as a Squadron Leader in the 2nd.S.A.Rifles.

J.E.Eastwood. In the 1901 Census Ben and Ellen Eastwood ( Brush manufacturer from Netherthong ) are recorded as having two sons, James aged 12 years and John aged 17 years. However in the baptismal records for the Parish Church the youngest son, born on 23/4/1888 and baptised 27/5/1888, was christened James Edmund. His older brother was christened John Broadhurst. He was listed in 9 January 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH. James Edmund appears on the Parish Church ROH as a Corporal in the 1/5 Duke if Wellington Regiment. He enlisted on August 5,1914.

F.Eastwood , b.12/9/1877, – listed in 23 October 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH. There is a Frank Eastwood in the Parish Church ROH. He is shown as a Quarter master Sergeant in the Queens Westminster Regiment who joined up on February 21,1915.

Arthur Elliot – Wilshaw – listed in 23 October 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH.

Frank Addy Falles – Thongbridge -. The Express in November 1914, reported that Corporal Fallas, a native of Thongsbridge, was fighting with his Regiment, the Kings Own , Yorkshire Light Infantry, at Le Cateau. He wrote to his mother -” I was wounded at Le Cateau and am in hospital there. I was shot through the leg but am now a bit better. I was taken prisoner by the Germans on the day I was wounded. You are allowed to write  back and I have written the address on the other side – do not mention the war or I shall not receive your letter. If you could send me a little tobacco, I shall be very grateful.” He was also  listed in October 23 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH.

John Fawcett is listed on the Methodist Church ROH. As John Richard his name  appears on the Parish Church ROH. He served as a Gunner in the R.F.A. and  joined up on September 22,1916.

Joe Fawcett is listed on the Methodist Church ROH. He was in the Military Police.

Thomas. W. Fieldsend –  Albert Place Thongbridge .In June 1915, the Express listed his name in a ROH for local lads from around the Holme Valley who had recently enlisted in the Huddersfield Battery. He was also listed in the October 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH

2nd. Lieutenant C.S.Floyd : Charles Sykes Floyd  was born on 9/9/1885 and baptised on 17/10/1886. His parents were John Peel Floyd Esq. J.P. and Ellen Gaskell of Roseleigh . He was in the 1/5 West Riding Regiment and was wounded for the second time on August 4  by a shell splinter above the knee. Although the wound was not serious he was at No.24 Casualty Clearing Station. In November 1915 the Express  reported that he had attended the 15th. Red Cross Tea  that month. The Parish Church ROH records that he was a 2nd. Lieut. in the Duke of Wellington Regiment who enlisted on October 12,1914.

Eric Gaskell Floyd : He was born on 13/9/86 and baptised on 17/10/86.  He was the younger brother of Charles Sykes Floyd. The Express reported in December 1917 that Quarter Master and Hon. Lieut. E.G.Floyd had been promoted to the rank of Hon. Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a Lieut. in the P.M. R.A.M.C. 2/3 Welsh Field Ambulance and that he enlisted on November 3, 1914.

T.Foster ( Thongsbridge ) : His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army.

Charles William Gill, b.11/1/76 ,is listed on the Parish Church ROH. as a private in the 2/5 Battalion of the Duke of Wellington regiment. He joined up on March 31,1916

Private L.Green. MGC. He was the son of Mr.& Mrs. A.Green, Muslin Hall, Thongsbridge. He was wounded in Mesopotamia. Prior to enlisting two years earlier, he had been the organist at Wooldale Wesleyan Chapel.

George William Haigh, b.16/9/1886,  is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a Gunner in the R.G.A.  who joined up on November 15,1914.

Herbert Haigh appears on the Parish Church ROH . He is recorded as being a Seaman on HMS to PAY.

Driver N. Haigh ;  The only reference I could find in the 1901 Census was of a N. Haigh,  a 14 year old piercer, who was born in Wooldale and was the grandson of Mary Seddon from Cawthorne. A Norman Haigh ( Netherthong ) appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. He is listed in the Parish Church ROH as Norman a Driver for the Royal Field Artillery. He joined on September 10,1914.

William Haigh : Played football for the village team. There are 75 Haighs in the All Saint’s Index of Baptisms and just  one Willie, born 09/11/1883, baptised 06/07/1884 whose parents were Walter and Laura from Honley Moor

 Charles Thomas Joshua Hart is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a Private in the Suffolk Regiment who joined up on  August 1914. On the Baptism Records he is shown as the father of Thomas Charles Hart born on 4/10/1920,

H.HebblewaiteHe was a scout in the NT 

Charles  Hellawell is listed on the Parish Church ROH. He was a Private in the New Zealand Mounted rifles and enlisted on September 21,1914.

Gunner Robert Hinchliffe R.F.A.  He was the son of Councillor W.Hinchliffe, Wells Green Netherthong, and the Express reported in October 1917 that he had been wounded in the legs and arm. His name appears on the Parish Church ROD.

Albert Hirst ( Thongsbridge )His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army.

Norman Hirst appears on the Parish Church ROH and is shown as a Gunner in the 168th. Royal Field artillery.

Private Charles Albert Hobson : In the 1901 Census he was 11 years old and the son of William and Ellen Hobson from Outlane.  He was a scout in the NT troop and involved in the United Methodist Church.. As a  Private he joined the 2/5 Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment in March 31, 1916, and in July the Express reported that he was training in the South of England and  had sent a letter to the Patriotic Society thanking them for the gift of a camp knife which reminded him of the village and all the friends he had left behind. He went to France in 1917 and was reported missing on May 3 1917 but later wrote that he was a POW and was in hospital suffering from slight wounds in his head and back. He was in hospital for four months and left to work in an iron foundry in Hamelin before he was released. He had to walk 100 miles to Holland.  He was one of the leaders of the Peace Celebrations march through the village. He returned home in January 1919 and said that the date of May 3 1917 would live long in his memory for it was a day that the 2/5 West Riding Regiment lost many of its soldiers. He added that he  had been badly wounded and removed to a dug-out , which was shelled later on . He thought his pack had saved his life because , as it was full of tins , the shrapnel did not play havoc with him.  He suffered a severe wound to his back and lost consciousness  and when he awoke he was in German hands. He is listed on the Methodist Church ROH. He also appears on the Parish Church ROH.

J.Hobson : In the 1901 Census there is a J.Hobson, aged 20 years employed as a finisher, born in Honley and the son of William and Sarah from the village. In the same Census there is another J.Hobson, a 15 year old wool feeder born in Holmfirth but living in Outlane. Parents were William and Ellen Hobson. A J.E.Hobson  appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army.

A.Hollingsworth ( Thongsbridge ) :  His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. An Allen Hollingworth appears on the Parish Church ROH but without any other details.

Lewis Hollingworth is listed in the Parish Church ROH as a Sergeant in the R.G.A.

Harry Horncastle. The Express reported in July 1916 that the Patriotic Society had received a letter from Harry thanking them for the gift of a camp knife.There was a Harry born on 16 April 1888 and baptised in the Parish Church on 3 June 1888. His parents were James Henry and Ann from the village  and his father was a joiner. The Parish Church ROH  simply lists the name Horncastle with no other information.

Private Charles Albert  Hudson : He was born on 10/11/1894  and was baptised  on 06/01/1895 and his parents were John Henry and Ann  who lived in the village .He was a scout in the NT troop.  His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. In the Parish Church ROH he is listed as a Private in the 9th. Battalion of the Duke of Wellington regiment who enlisted on October 17,1914.

Signaller Charles Albert Hudson : It is highly possible that Albert , also called Charles,  is the same person as Private  Charles Albert Hobson above . The   difference in  army ranks could be due to a promotion.

H.Horner : He was a scout in the NT troop. The Express for December 1915 referred to him as R.Horner.

Booth Hoyle is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the 9th. Battalion of the Duke of Wellington Regiment who enlisted on December 21,1914

G.Hoyle – Scout/ ex-scout in Netherthong Troop serving abroad.

Ronald Hoyle is listed on the Methodist Church ROH but there are no further details.

Herbert Kenyon, b.12/7/85,  is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the 2/5 Battalion of the Duke of Wellington Regiment. He joined up on March 31,1916.

Private George Kirwin – Thongsbridge. The Express reported in November 1914 that  George , the wounded Thongsbridge postman, continues to improve and expects to go to a convalescent home. He was also listed in the October 23 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry who enlisted on August 4,1914.

Corporal Harry Lawrence : He was born on 1/9/1895 and baptised on 13/10/1895. His parents were Richard and Hannah Elizabeth who lived at Bridge Mill and his father was a Coach-Man. Harry was a scout in the NT troop, attended Holmfirth Technical School and was employed at Huddersfield GPO. He enlisted in November 1915, was the first of the British Troops to go to Italy and spent most of his military life there. In July 1918 he was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the course of heavy bombardment of British lines. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH and it adds that he was a Bombadier with the R.G.A.

A.Lawton – Fern GrangeThongsbridge –  In June 1915, the Express listed his name in  a ROH for local lads from around the Holme Valley who had recently enlisted in the Huddersfield Battery. He was also listed in October 28 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH. He is listed in the Parish Church ROH as a Gunner with the 149th.R.F.A.

Ernest Leach –   his name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private who enlisted on January 30,1917 but it does not give his Regiment.

R.Lee. Scout/ ex-scout in Netherthong Troop serving abroad.

Arnold T.Lee – Thongsbridge – His name appeared in the Express ‘Additions’ list in November 20th. 1915.

Dennis Littlewood is listed on the Methodist Church ROH. The 1901 Census gives his age as one year.

William Littlewood is listed on the Methodist Church ROH. The 1901 Census gives his age as six years. His name also appears on the Parish Church ROH but with his christian name written as Wilfred. He was a private in the M.T.A.S.C. who enlisted on February 28,1916

A.Lockwood – Scout/ ex-scout in Netherthong Troop serving abroad. There is a photograph of a Seaman Arthur Lockwood in the Holmfirth Express of March 3 1917 and I have included it below.

Seaman Arthur Lockwood

Harry McHugh ( Thongsbridge )His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. There is an article in the Express for May 22 1915 that reported he was back home on a short leave and had described to the paper some of his experiences after being wounded. He had enlisted in the 2nd. West Ridings Regiment on August 6, 1914, and, after four months training, he was fit for the front. He was wounded in his left thigh and although his wound was much better the bullet/shrapnel was still embedded. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a Corporal in the 8th.Battalion of the Duke of Wellington Regiment who enlisted on October 17,1914.

Wm.Hy.McHugh ( Thongsbridge )His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. Possibly brother to Harry. The Parish Church ROH lists him as William Henry. He was a private in the West Riding Regiment.

V. McNish : A F.McNish ( Netherthong )  appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. Maybe same person !! The Express, in February 1915, published a letter from Private McNish. ( no christian name ). The Parish Church ROH gives his christian names as Thomas Vincent but I’m assuming it is the same person. He was a lance Corporal in the 2nd. Home Services Garrison Battery and he enlisted on September 9,1914.

 Corporal A. Harry McQue :  His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. He was born in 1886 and was 25 years old in the 1911 Census. He enlisted in 29/9/15 as Private 14238  in the Duke of Wellingtons Regiment and ended up as acting-sergeant. He first served in the Balkans.

 Private James Henry Marsden :  He was born on 19/4/1895 and baptised on 2/6/1895 and in the 1901 census was listed  as 5 years old, the son of George Henry and Rhoda Mary  Marsden living in the village ( in the Census )  but Oldfield on the baptismal certificate. His father was a cloth finisher. He was a scout in the Netherthong troop.  For five years he  attended Holmfirth Secondary School before proceeding to Sheffield  University in 1912. On the outbreak of war, he enlisted in the Sheffield University Battalion of the York & Lancashire Regiment  and saw service in Egypt and France and  received a promotion to Corporal during the war. He was listed in October 23 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH.  In July 1916, the Express reported that he  had been wounded in the recent offensive and had been admitted to hospital in Birmingham suffering from a bullet wound in his right arm and shrapnel wounds in his left leg. In September they added that he was making steady progress and had been transferred from Birmingham to Royds Hall and had been able to visit Netherthong to see his friends. He was discharged from the army at the end of July 1917 and returned to University and obtained his B.A. with Honours in Modern Languages.  He marched in the Peace Celebrations in the village. The Parish Church lists him as a Corporal in the 12th. Yorks & Lancs regiment  who enlisted on September 14,1914.

Lieut. Harold Matthews was born in Holmfirth but joined the Netherthong Scout Troop in March 1910. He was the first scout in the Huddersfield area to obtain a commission and the first to make the supreme sacrifice. There was a report in the April 3 1915 edition of the Holmfirth Express that the Netherthong Scouts had congratulated their old brother scout, Harold, on being the first scout in the Huddersfield area to obtain a commission. 

Rifleman Ben Moorhouse :   He was baptised on 30/5/1892 to John and Mary from Oldfield ( Dean Brook ) and his father was a weaver.  Ben was in the King’s Royal Rifles and was wounded twice. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH and gives his date of enlistment as November 21,1915.

Fred Moorhouse,b.6/3/88, his name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the M.T.A.S.C. who joined up on May 13,1916.

Vincent Mosley : He was a scout in the NT troop. Listed in October 23 1915 Holmfirth  Express ROH. A James Vincent Morley  is listed on the Parish Church ROH and is probably the same person. He was a private in the 2/8 battalion of the Duke of Wellington Regiment  and enlisted on September 19,1914.

John Mosley – his name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the North Staffs. who joined up on May 30,1916.

Private Tom Newall :  He was on the staff at the Deanhouse Institute and, after he had enlisted, he sent a letter to the Patriotic Society to say that he was on the headquarters staff at the 4th. Cavalry Brigade. The Minutes of the Deanhouse Institution Committee for February 1916 showed that Newell ( sp?) would be returning to his duties at the Institution as his term of service in the Army was about to expire. The Parish Church ROH lists him as a private in the 3rd. Dragoon Guards who joined up on August 5,1914

Sergeant Herbert Noble, RFA :  He was the son of Mr. Noble the Thongs Bridge station master.The Express for August 1915 reported  that Gunner Noble had been promoted to NCO and had recently been the victim of German gas, although only slightly. In April 1917 his parents received a letter in which was enclosed a certificate of merit which read : To Sergeant Fitter H.Noble, 246th.W & R Brigade, RFA. Your Commanding Officer and Brigade Commander have informed me that you distinguished yourself in the field on the 14th. April 1917. I have read their report with much pleasure. It was signed Major General R.M. Percival.

Corporal Norman North. In the December 15 1916 issue of the Express there was a  report that a long list of awards to officers, NCOs and men for service had been published in the London Gazette. One of the names was Corporal Norman North ( 21 years ), the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur North, Longwood, and formerly of Netherthong.

E.Phipps – Wilshaw – listed in October 23 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH. His name is also on the 1914-1919 Timber Board ROH in the Church of St.Mary the Virgin in Wilshaw.

Private Arthur Preston of Deanhouse., b.28/12/1870. The Express reported in June 1918 that Pt. Preston was in a hospital in Lancashire suffering from severe wounds.  He went to the colours in March 10,1916. He is listed on the Methodist Church ROH. as well as the Patriotic Church ROH , which lists him as a private in the 2/5 Battalion Duke of Wellington Regiment

B.Radcliffe ( Thongsbridge ) :  His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army.

A.Rhodes ( Thongsbridge ) :   His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army.

Corporal Charlie Ricketts : In In the Index of baptisms for All Saints’Church, a Charlie Ricketts was baptised on 25/12/1870 and his parents, Godfrey and Jane, were from Deanhouse with his father being a Clothier. However in the 1901 census, there was a Charlie Ricketts,   listed as 25 years old and married,   who lit the bonfire at Wolfstone Heights at the end of the Peace Celebrations. An anomaly somewhere? His name is on the Methodist Church ROH. His name also appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private with the West Yorks. who enlisted on August 18,1914. The Express reported that  Charles Ricketts, who served in the South African War and WW1, died in 1939 aged 69 years.

Harry Robert. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH  as a 1st.Air Mechanic  in the Royal Flying Corps who enlisted on May 1,1916.

Albert Roberts. The Holmfirth Express in its May 1915 reported on the very sad death of Albert Roberts of Norridge Bottom. He had been found hanging in the police cells where he had been taken on the charge of being absent from his regiment. After a lengthy inquest, the jury returned a verdict that the deceased had committed suicide by hanging and it was agreed that there was no blame attached to the police. He had been a private in 2/5 (Territorial ) Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment. He was 37 years old and had enlisted in 1914. Prior to that he had been a mason’s labourer and a good worker. He was married with four children.

Herbert Roberts, b.15/10/1884. – his name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the West.Yorks.  who joined up on April 8,1916.

H.Robinson – Could he be the H. Rollinson below ??

Harry Rollinson – Thongsbridge – Listed in 23 October 1915 Express ROH.

Joe A Rollinson : Thongsbridge.  in the 1901 Census, he was four years old and the son of George and Lucy Rollinson from Mount Pleasant. In June 1915, the Express listed his name in  a ROH for local lads from around the Holme Valley who had enlisted in the Huddersfield Battery.  He was also listed in the October 23  1915 Express ROH. ( in this list there is a J.A.Rolinson and a J.A.Rollinson – typo error ? ). He is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a Gunner in the R.F.A.

Captain J. Rogers : The only reference I could find was for a J.Rogers  who was born in 1866 at Torphichen. He was married to Isabella for 20 years , was residing in Netherthong in 1911 and was the manager of a woolen spinning company. Although he would have been in his late forties when war started ,  it might explain why he was a captain. The first time his name appears is in the Express in November 7 1914 when it gave a list of the persons from the Netherthong Parish who were serving. His name appears again in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. In  the October 23 1915 Express ROH, he is listed as Major and from Thongbridge. His name did not appear again until April 1919 when the Express reported that there was a contest for a single seat in the District Council Elections. Major Roberts ( spelling? ), who had been heavily engaged with the army whilst he was a member of the Council, was the retiring representative and seeking re-election. ( His opponent was Mr.Ogden who was described as a Co-operative candidate and who won the seat with 111 votes). The Parish Church  lists a Major J.Rodgers from the West Riding regiment.

Private Lewis Russell. The Express in August 1916 reported that Lewis, a motor driver in the Army Service Corps, had sent an interesting letter to the Patriotic Society all about his journeys. In October the Working Men’s Club reported that they had appointed Mr.J.T.Jackson as their representative on the Patriotic Society in place of  Lewis Russell  who was serving abroad.His name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the M.T.A.S.C. who enlisted on July 20,1916.

Joe Russell. He is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a driver with the Royal Engineers who enlisted on April 15,1916.

Ben Russell. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the M.T.A.S.C. who joined up on November 14,1916.

Private Herman Sanderson. He was 8 years old in the 1901 census  and his parents were Arthur and Jane who lived at Lower Hagg. He was wounded in the war and sent to a base hospital in France. He had three older brothers, Herbert 22, Brook 19, who died in the war and is on the village ROH, and Harold 13. His name is on the Methodist Church ROH. He also appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the 2/5 Battalion of the Duke of Wellington regiment who enlisted on march 14,1916

Harold Sanderson is listed on the Methodist Church ROH.

G.Scholfield ( Thongsbridge ) :   His name appears in the list of   soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. His parents were George and Jane from Deanhouse.

Sam Schofield , b.12/10/1889. His name appears in the Parish Church ROH as a private in the 4th. Battalion Duke of Wellington Regiment and he enlisted on November 16,1916

Harold.Seddon , b.7/1/1889. His name appears in the Parish Church ROH  as a Seaman in the Royal Naval Barracks.

H.Senior ( Thongsbridge ) :   His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. There is a Harry Lindley Senior in the baptismal records of the Parish Church who was born on 4/5/1889 and baptised on 7/7/1889.  His parents were George and Jane from Deanhouse and his father was a Dyer.

Gunner Senior. The Express reported in July 1916 that a Gunner Senior of 135th. Siege battery had written to the Patriotic Society thanking them for the gift of a camp knife , saying that it was doing its duty and had opened lots of tins. I am not sure how he relates to the names above.

Private Arthur Sewell  : He was a former Deanhouse resident and was reported wounded and missing. He was the son of Mrs. A. Sewell, formerly of the Cricketer’s Arms Public House in Deanhouse.

Private Wm.Sewell of the West Riding Regiment was the brother of Arthur Sewell .  The Express reported in August 1917 that he had   been wounded twice and, after treatment, had again gone back to France.

J.Shaw. In the 1901 Census there was a Joe Shaw, aged 15, working as a piercer. He was born in Meltham to John and Lydia Shaw who lived in Netherthong.

Arthur James Shaw is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a Lance Corporal in the 3rd.Battalion of the Duke of Wellington Regiment. He joined on October 17,1914.

George E.Shaw is listed on the Methodist Church ROH. In the 1901 Census he was six years old.

Private John Shore .  The Express in April 1918 started a new column titled ” Echoes of the Battlefield ” . In April 20 it reported that a Private John Shore from the village had been wounded and was in a hospital abroad. It added that he had only been at the front for a few weeks.

W.Shore ( Thongsbridge ) :   His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH, issued January 9 1915, serving in the Army. Also in the 23 October 1915 Holmfirth  Express ROH. His name appears in the Parish Church ROH as a private in the 2nd.Battalion MGC.

Wm. Shore – Thongsbridge- Listed in  23 October 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH.

Private Norman Smith : Another one of the soldiers who sent a letter from the front to the village. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a Corporal in the 1/5 Battalion of the Duke of Wellington Regiment who enlisted on December 19,1914. It also records that he was a military medallist.

E.Spenser ( Wilshaw ) :   His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. There is an Edwin Spenser on the stone/marble 1914-1918 ROH in the church of St.Mary the Virgin in Wilshaw.

Private Walter Stacey.  A letter was received in August 1918 from Walter, son of Mr.Walter Stacey of Muslin Hall, who had been reported missing between May 27-30. He said that he was a P.O.W. and was quite well.

Harry Stott appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the 1/7 Battalion of the Duke of Wellington Regiment who enlisted on August 3,1916.

Wright Stott is listed on the Parish Church ROH  as a private in the 2/4 Royal Scottish Fusiliers who joined up in May 1915.

Pt. Harry Swallow. No.77684,C Co., 10th.Platoon,1/7 Durham Light Infantry. In June 1918, Mr. & Mrs. Hugh Swallow of Deanhouse received an official message that their son,Harry aged 19, had been reported missing on May 27. The last letter from him that they had received was at the beginning of May. His brother, Frank, was killed in action on August 14, 1917 and his name is on the village ROH. He returned home in January 1919.

Arthur Ronald Sykes : In the 1901 Census he was 7 years old and his parents were Arthur and Martha of Netherthong. The Express reported in October 1918 that he had been wounded and was in hospital in England. He appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the 11th.Kings Liverpool Regiment who enlisted on October 23,1914. He is listed on the Methodist Church ROH with the same Regiment.

Private Ronald Sykes. There is a Ronald Sykes who was born on 27/6/96 and baptised on15/8/97 at All Saints and his parents are listed as William Isaac and Ada Ann from Lindley, with his father being a Book-keeper. He sent a letter from ‘somewhere’ in Belgium  to the village about his experiences. His age differs from the Arthur Ronald above.??

Bernal Sykes. The Parish Church ROH lists him as a Captain in the K.O.Y. Light Infantry who joined in 1912.

Gunner Eddie T. Sykes Gunner Eddie Sykes from Deanhouse was gassed and lost his eyesight in August 1917 although the Express did add that it might be temporary. He was a scout in the NT troop and an apprentice with Lawton & Hogley, painters and decorators, Holmfirth . He joined the 168th. Holme Valley Battery and was later transferred to the 175th. Battery. A Edward Timothy Sykes appears on the Parish Church ROH as a Signaller in the R.F.A. who joined in May 1915.

Herbert Oswald Sykes is listed on the Methodist Church ROH. In the 1901 Census his age is given as 22 years. He is listed in the Parish Church ROH as a private in the Northumberland Fusiliers who joined up on June 14,1916. His name also appears on the Methodist Church ROH. 

Lieutenant Keith Sykes.  There was a Lieutenant and Adjutant K.Sykes 1/5 Battalion of  the Duke of Wellington Regiment of the Holmfirth Company of West Riding . The Parish Church ROH lists him as a Captain with the M.C. who signed up in 1912.

J.Sykes (1855 ) ( Netherthong ) :   His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army.

Lewis Sykes. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the 2/5 King’s Own Scottish Borderers who enlisted in March 4,1916.

Tom Sykes, b.10/5/1887.. His name is listed in the Parish Church ROH as a private in the Lincolnshire Regiment who joined on July 17,1916.The Express reported his death on May 1936

Private Harry Swallow.  In August 1918, Mr. & Mrs. Hugh Swallow of Deanhouse received a message from their son Harry of the DLI that he was a POW. He started his letter – I am just dropping a line or two to let you know I am alive  and well but am still in bed ( an indication that he had been wounded ).

E.Thacken (2489 )  Wilshaw :  Listed in  23 October 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH.

Private Chas. Rockley Tinsdeall. The Express printed the following report  in January 1919 about Private Rockley.  ” He was the son of Mrs. Alfred Tinsdeall of Deanhouse, and had been reported missing from the ranks of the West Yorkshire Regiment during the latter part of April 1918. He returned home from Germany on January 18, 1919, aged 20. Before he joined up he was one of the youths serving behind the counter at Messr. Wallace’s shop in Victoria Street. Apparently he was wounded at the time of his capture but appeared to have fared better than his relatives expected, although it was evident that he had suffered through lack of food.

T.Thorpe ( 1086 ) – Wilshaw –   Listed in  23 October 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH

N.Thorpe ( 2583 ) Wilshaw :   Listed in  23 October 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH.

Pt. Chas Buckley Tinsdall. The Express reported in June 1918 that Mrs. Alfred Tinsdall of Deanhouse had received a communication card from her son saying that her son had been wounded and was a P.O.W. He was first reported missing on April 25.

Private Brook Turner : The Express reported that Mr. & Mrs. A.E.Turner of Deanhouse had received a postcard through the Red Cross Society that their son Brook, of the D.L.I., who had been reported missing on May 27, was now well and a P.O.W. in Germany. In his last letter home he related that he had just had a narrow escape from drowning whilst bathing and being ” fished out ” when going down for the third time. He returned home in January 1919.

H.Turton – Wilshaw – Listed in 23 October 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH

J.Wadworth – He was a scout in the NT troop.

Private Harry  Walker (27878) ,: He was the son of the late Mr.& Mrs. Young Walker and, before joining up he was a teamer for Joseph Woodhead & Co., grocers of Giles Street. He enlisted in August 1916 at the age of 20 and was attached to the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment  and had come over to France in January 1917.He had been reported ‘ missing’ since May 3 1917, but had written  a field card  to his sister on April 30 saying he was alright. His friend Signaller C.A.Hudson said he had seen him in the trenches shortly before coming home on leave. On May 19  1917 he sent another field card saying that he was a P.O.W. in Germany. He returned home in January 1919. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH  as a private in the 3rd. Battalion of the Duke of Wellington Regiment with his enlistment date being August 14,1916.

A.Walton ( Thongsbridge ) :   His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army.

Driver E.A.Ward : He wrote a letter from the front which was read out at a patriotic Society meeting. Spenser Allen ward is listed in the Parish Church ROH as a driver with the R.F.A. who joined up on January 2,1915

Willie Webster  : His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. He is listed in the Parish Church ROH as William, a private in the 9th. Battalion of the Duke of Wellington Regiment who joined up on October 17,1914. (There is  a John Webster on the War Memorial in the Town Square who was his brother.)

Joseph Whitehead appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the Prince of Wales Own who enlistedon July 15, 1916

Gunner Harry Wilkinson. The Express in August 1916 reported that the Patriotic  Society had received a letter from him thanking them for the gift of a camp knife. His brother, David, was fatally wounded at Gallipoli 12 months earlier. He is listed on the Methodist Church ROH. His name also appears on the Parish Church ROH as a Gunner in the R.F.A. who enlisted on July 14,1916

In March 1930 the Express reported on the death of Henry Wilkinson of Deanhouse – will the confusion over Christian names of soldiers during the war, I’m assuming that Henry was the Harry Wilkinson above. He was out walking on the outskirts of Honley with a young woman, became ill and died before medical assistance could be secured. His sister, Miss Lily Morley, said that about 10 years ago her brother had had an accident at work when he fell off a ladder. He had served in the war and had not had any serious illnesses. On the Tuesday he worked to 5.30 pm and, after having tea, went out. Miss Evelyn Hoyle of Deanhouse said they went out for a walk about seven o’clock in the evening. As they walked along he complained about feeling unwell and, as they were going up Bradshaw Road, he suddenly fell forward to the ground. She could get no response so she went for assistance. Dr. Smailes said he saw the departed and, in his opinion, death was due to atheroma. The Coroner recorded a verdict that death was due to natural causes viz. atheroma. Harry had worked at T.Dyson & Sons  Deanhouse Mills and was very well known in the area as a football player and sportsman and was involved with the WMC and the Gardeners’ Society.

Private Tom Wilkinson :  Haigh Lane, Deanhouse.  Before enlisting he was employed at Deanhouse Mills and was associated with the Wesleyan Chapel and the WMC, He served with the  Duke of Wellington Regiment  was wounded in the thigh and was in base hospital in France.  The Express reported in July 1916,  that he had sent a letter to the Patriotic Society saying the the gift of a camp knife ‘was just the thing he needed.’ The Express reported in September 1918 that he had been wounded again, this time in the back and foot. and was in Dewsbury Hospital. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the 1/5 Battalion of the Duke of Wellington Regiment who joined up on March 28,1915

Arnold Wimpenny – Express October 30 1915- Addition list. He was born on July 27 1992 and  baptised in the Parish Church on  August 28 1992. His parents were Albert and Ann from Upper Bridge. He is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a Bombadier in the R.F.A. who joined up on June 4,1915.

Evelyn Wood. He is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a private in the R.A.M.C. He enlisted on October 14,1916. He was not baptised in the Parish Church but is shown as the father to Stanley Wood, b.27/11/1927, and twins Nancy and Tony on 24/12/1931.

Private J.B.Wood –  He was the son of Mr.J.W.Wood, Vickermans Buildings ThongsBridge and, before enlisting, had worked at Rock Mills, Brockholes. The Express in June 1917 reported that he was listed as missing  and the following month added that his family had received a letter from him saying that he was a prisoner of war but was in the best of health and unwounded.

Corporal Tom Wood, b.24/3/1875.  In the 1901 Census he was  listed as 26 years old, working as a wool drier. The Holmfirth Express reported in April 1915 that Sergeant Tom Wood, after a brief spell at home, had returned to military duty. In a letter to J.T.Jackson he said that he was helping to guard the railways and had caught a German spyAt the Peace Celebrations the Holme Valley Band  was conducted by Corporal Wood.He is listed on the Parish Church ROH as a Corporal in the Royal Def.Corps.

 

 

 

 

Read more about Netherthong and the wars…

Netherthong Baptisms & Burials- reference only

The following details of baptisms and funerals for the three churches that formed the religious life of the inhabitants of Netherthong for so many years are available In the Archive Section of Huddersfield Library . The entries are in alphabetical order and were compiled by the Huddersfield & District Family History Society.

Wesleyan Chapel : Baptisms  – 1784 – 1956. 

Wesleyan Chapel : Index of Burials : 1862 – 1940.

Zion Chapel : Baptisms – 1875 – 1981.

All Saints’ Parish Church : Index of Burials – 1830-1939

All Saints’ Church   : Index of Baptisms – 1830-1983 

Netherthong and the Holmfirth Floods

The history of the various floods that occurred in the Holme Valley and Holmfirth is well documented and it is not the purpose of this chapter to re-visit that information. However those floods must have impacted in numerous ways on  the inhabitants of Netherthong. Some may have had friends or relatives in the stricken areas, many  helped to raise funds for flood relief , others would have traveled down New Road to see if they could be of any assistance and others would have gone simply just to ‘look’. 

The involvement would have more likely to have been on the days following the Great Flood of 29 May 1944, which was at its worst between 6.30pm and 7.00pm. It occurred  just over 73 years ago, so if there are any eye witnesses living today they would have been children or teenagers at the time.  However many years ago, when I first started researching and writing the history of the village, I interviewed a lovely lady who lived in one of the cottages in Outlane. Her name was  Nancy Millican and, among the items of local history she shared with me,  she said that she remembered having gone to the theatre in Holmfirth on that Whit-Monday with her mother and returning home along the Huddersfield Road and seeing the waters flooding down the roads . They were near enough to New Road not to be in any real danger.

It would have made great copy if she had said that the floodwaters chased them, lapping at their heels all the way and that they just managed to get to New Road and scramble up the hill to safety with the waters trying to suck them back down….. 

A recent visitor to the website, Margaret H, supplied me with some super photographs of the village and the school and also eight photographs of Holmfirth, two taken before the flood and six afterwards.  I make no apologies for including them in this chapter as they may stir the memories of any remaining Netherthongians in the 80-year bracket. The villagers set a target of raising £200 for the Flood Relief Fund by organising various events.

 

Victoria Park before the flood.

 

Victoria Square before the flood

 

Hollowgate showing flood damage

 

Hollowgate showing flood damage

 

Flood damage to Lower Mills

 

Market Walk flood damage

 

Victoria Square and Towngate flood damage

 

Victoria Bridge flood damage