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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 on line ”  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 born 1890 and Tom his father. Lower left is Nellie b.1899, Amy b.1903, Ethel b.1901, Harry b.1897 and Lewis b.1895

Beaumont family group, 1905

The 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.

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 mayor’s 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

This is still a work in progress – July 2018.

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 October 23 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 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.

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. ”

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.

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 ??

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 of the end of that war, I am attempting to compile a list of their names as a starting point to begin to 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  I have been able to find so far 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 in 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 ( SA ) 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 the 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 handerchiefs.  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. These variations in the number of villagers who enlisted is the first obstacle to overcome. The next  is 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 will be 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.

I have  listed the names  in alphabetical order and add information as and when I find it. As of 03/07/2018, there are 125 names.

The following  four soldiers from the village 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.

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 aged 67. He was well known in the village and , as a boy,  was in the Parish Church choir. He had served for 8 years in the Army Medical Corps and, on his discharge, he obtained an important post in Canada and moved there 4 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

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.

N.Armitage – Listed in October 23 1915 Holmfirth  Express ROH. 

Lawton Arthur – Fern Grange 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.

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.

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 D.Barrowclough :  He was born on 9/5/1896 , baptised on 6/10/1897 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 )

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).

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.

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.

N.Coldwell : He was a scout in the NT troop.

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

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.

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.

Private Lewis Dyson : He was  a Netherthong lad who was wounded in the war and sent to a base hospital in France.

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

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.

F.Eastwood – listed in 23 October 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Driver N.Haigh ;  The only reference I could find in the 1901 Census was of a N.Haigh,  a 14 year old piercer, who had been 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.

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.

H.HebblewaiteHe was a scout in the NT troop

L.Hellawell – Deanhouse. Both the ROH lists from the Express for January 9th. 1915 and October 23rd.1915 included a  L.Hellawell. But in the list for October 30th. he  was still there but the paper had added a Luther Hellawell. Luther  died in the war and was listed on the War memorial in the centre of the village. Were they one and the same ?

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.

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

Corporal Hubert Hobson.  In the 1901 Census there is a Hubert Hobson, aged 11, son of Jonas and Eliza HobsonThere is also a reference in the Holmfirth Express about him sending a letter from the front which was read out at one of the Patriotic meetings.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Corporal Harry Lawrence : He was born on 1/9/1890 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.

A.Lawton – Thongsbridge – listed in October 23 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH.

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.

A.Lockwood – Scout/ ex-scout in Netherthong Troop serving abroad.

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.

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.

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 ).

 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.

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.

Vincent Mosley : He was a scout in the NT troop. Listed in October 23 1915 Holmfirth  Express ROH.

Private T.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.

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 Preston of Deanhouse. 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 mid 1916.

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?

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.

H.Robinson – Could he be 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 ? ).

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, 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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 23 October 1915 Holmfirth  Express ROH.

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.

E.Smith, 19870, Thongsbridge – Listed in Express ‘ Additions’ for November 27th. 1915.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lieutenant K.Sykes.  There was a Lieutenant and Adjutant K.Sykes1/5 Battalion of  Regiment of the Holmfirth Company of West Riding but he appears to be from Upperthong. I shall leave his name on for a while.

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.

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.

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.

Willie Webster  :     His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. There is  a John Webster on the ROH in the Town Square who was his brother.

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.

Private T. 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.

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.

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 T.Wood.  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.





Read more about Netherthong and the wars…

Netherthong- WW1 Centenary 2018 – Link to details of local soldiers

2018 is the centenary of the end of World War 1. I have updated my original Chapter on the local lads who served in that War and all their details are in the  following Chapter :

Netherthong & its WW1 heroes. Chapter updated 2017.

The reason for having this abbreviated  new chapter is ,that when you log onto the website,  it will show up as the latest chapter and hopefully interest you to go to the linking Chapter.

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 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

How this History started, website activity, statistics and other useless information.

I first started researching the history of Netherthong in 2002 and I began to realise, that with the amount of information that was becoming available, publishing it as a book  was not going to be the answer. The  only  alternative was to set up a web site  in 2005 and the large number of people who have visited the site  and  supplied information, memories and photographs has more than justified that decision.  What is encouraging  is that in July 2017, 12 years after the start, I had a new visitor who had been born in Rob Roy, the house standing by itself on the right hand side of New Road opposite Netherfield Drive,  and had corrected the dates of several photographs and supplied a number of her own which are dotted through the various chapters. They include two good photographs of the ” big snow ” in 1947 and some great ones of the school including the school orchestra.

In 2010  Google Analytics was installed and this system records very comprehensive data each time  anyone clicks on my History.  It includes  the number of sessions, the number of users, page views, the pages read per session, the average  session duration, the Bounce Rate ( the percentage of single page sessions of which there was no interaction with the site ), the percentages  of new sessions and  returning visitors. There is a pie-chart comparing these percentages  and there is also a moving   monthly chart, updated daily, of the number of visitors per day. At its peak there were  500 a month but over the years that number has steadily dropped  to about 250 .( May 2017). As I said in the first paragraph, people are still discovering the site and   70% of the current visitors are first timers.

The Analytics also details the nationality and language groups of the visitors. The UK is obviously top with 72% followed by the U.S. with 20% and Australia, Canada and New Zealand feature as they are countries that  villagers would have emigrated to. Other countries on the list include  Brazil,  Russia, Germany and Italy.  Since it was installed  there have been over 16,000 visitors to the site,  many of whom have been returning visitors, and  this figure does not include the people who would have visited the site in the five years from its start in 2005 to 2010 during which time no statistics are available. 

I find it hard believe that after 15 years of research just how much information  I have accumulated about this delightful little village of ours. The History has  a word count of over 230,000 plus 315 photographs, maps and other ephemera and this compares with Moby Dick at 209,117 words, East of Eden at 226,741 and yours and my favourite bedtime read of War and Peace with 544,406 .

The History is split into 76 chapters ( 77 if you count this one ) and, because of the large amount of information in certain categories, I decided it would be appropriate to split  them into more easily manageable  chapters of between 5,000 to 7,000 words.   Crime and Punishment needed to be split into four with  the Wesleyan Church , All Saints Parish Church, Football, Deaths, Deanhouse Workhouse/Hospital and Interesting Odds and Bods all being split into two. One exception is A Netherthong Story which is nearly 11,000 words long, much of it written in Yorkshire dialect. ( I’m not sure if anyone has actually read it from start to finish ). 




Mothers’ Union.

The Mothers’ Union is an international Christian charity that seeks to support families

The organisation was founded by Mary Sumner in 1876 in the Church of England parish of Old Alresford near Winchester where her husband was the rector. She wanted to bring mothers of all social classes together to provide support for one another and to be trained in motherhood. The growth of the movement beyond the boundary of the Dioceses of Winchester was due to the emphasis in Victorian British society on morality. It spread rapidly first to the dioceses of Ely, Exeter, Hereford, Lichfield and Newcastle and then throughout the UK. By 1892 there were 60,000 members in 28 dioceses which grew to 169,000 by the turn of the century. In 1893, AGMs were organised and in 1896 the Mothers’ Union Central Council was formed and Mary Sumner was unanimously elected president, a post she held into her nineties. In 1897 during her Diamond Jubilee, Queen Victoria became patron of the Mothers’ Union. Branches were set up throughout the British Empire.

The Netherthong branch of the Mothers’ Union ( MU ) was started on July 6 1912 and affiliated to the Parish Church and, at its 70th. birthday in October 1983, the special guest was Emily Sykes, aged 92. Although they met once a month their meetings were infrequently mentioned in the local paper and these were often just a few lines. In July 1921 a public tea was promoted and given by the Mothers’ Union and held in the Church School. The objective was to raise funds for the renovation of the Parish Church. The evening was spent in the grounds of Fairfield, courtesy of Mrs. Floyd, with games and competitions. In August 1922, members under the leadership of the president, Mrs.Floyd, went on an outing to Ripon and Fountains Abbey.

At the December meeting in 1924 they were entertained to a lantern lecture illustrating the work of the Mothers’ Union in different parts of the world. The next report was March 1928 when the services in connection with the Parish Church were conducted by the vicar, Rev.H.Hind. The address was titled ‘ Mothers of the Canadian Prairies.’ Three months later they had their annual outing visiting Ripon, Fountains Abbey and Knaresborough. In February 1929 they held a cake and Apron sale. That same year they held a Winter Sale which took place in the National schoolroom. There were lots of stalls , a public tea plus entertainment. Annual outings were very much a feature of the organisation and, in 1930, 30 members went on an excursion to Harrogate and Knaresborough. In 1947 they went to Rhyl and the following year in June they visited Llandudno in one of Messrs. Castles 33-seater coaches.

A service was held in April 1949  for the declaration of the new Mothers’ Union banner with the service being taken by Rev.S.Black. He said that the Netherthong branch of the Mothers’ Union was founded on July 6 1912 by the late Mrs. J.Peel Floyd. 40 members were enrolled at the first meeting and six were still living – Mrs.Hoyle, Mrs.Taylor, Mrs.Albert Wimpenny, Mrs.Arthur Wimpenny, Mrs. Knutton and Mrs. Tom Wood. The first of the four ladies were still attached to the branch. The next report was in October 1950 when their meeting took the form of a Curtain Fund. Mrs. Gledhill gave a cinema show of Whitby and the Gower as well as the recent school concert.

 At the AGM held in May 1974, Mrs. M. Capstick, the enrolling member, welcomed everybody and Mrs. E. Hincliffe, the secretary and treasurer, gave her report. A small committee were formed to be responsible for various duties and they were : Mrs. M.Capstick, enrolling member ; Mrs. Hinchliffe, treasurer and secretary ; Mrs. K. Woffenden, Mrs. D. Horncastle and Mrs. I. James , refreshment committee ; Mrs. J.Rothwell, flowers and cards ; Mrs. J. Jarvis  ; Mrs. S. Gledhill, Mothers Union representative on the Parish Council Committee. The next report wasn’t until 1976 when the AGM was held in January. Mrs. Jarvis was appointed Enrolling Member, Mrs. Hinchliffe retained the post of secretary with Mrs. Rothwell becoming the treasurer. The committee members elected were Mrs. B. Taylor, Mrs. R. McKenna and Mrs. M. Wilson. There were no reports for 1977 and 1978.

There were 30 members at the March 1979 meeting when Mr. Aubrook gave a slide show illustrating the history of toys. He was thanked by Mrs. M.Jones and the tea hostesses were Mrs. M.Taylor and Mrs. B.taylor.

Deanhouse – a hamlet that shows the changes of time

  In April 1973 the Holmfirth Express printed two articles titled ‘A brief history of Deanhouse – a hamlet that shows the changes of time.’ It  was written by Eileen Williams, who was the secretary of Holmfirth Civic Society. It is superbly researched and, as Deanhouse features throughout the history of Netherthong, it is a valuable addition to this web site. With acknowledgements to Eileen.

” Few hamlets in the West Riding can show the changes of time as clearly as Deanhouse. It now comprises two separate entities, on the one hand are the neat rows of modern dwellings, while barely a stone’s throw away, via a ginnel passing the 18th.C. Wesleyan Chapel, a cluster of 17th. and 18th. cottages still survive – one bearing a date-stone marked 1698 above the door. Deanhouse Mills standing just below give their evidence of the Industrial Revolution.

  Earliest traced record of Deanhouse is given in the Poll-Tax of 1379 in the Haneley ( Honley ) section which included a Johanne Dean whose homestead sited in the modernised section was to become Deanhouse. Little is known about him but he grew his own corn, taking it to Honley Mill to grind. 200 years later in 1569, John Beaumont, a husbandman of Deynhouse, bought land from the Stapletons of Honley and appeared to be thriving. Beaumonts remained at Deanhouse until 1675 when Abraham Beaumont sold to Joseph Armitage. From Armitage the property passed to a Woodhead, a Wilkinson and then Sir John Lister Kaye  spanning the years to 1763 when Godfrey Berry bought ‘ Deanhouse and other lands at Honley for £400.

  In the latter half of the 18th.C , Deanhouse was a very small community of farmers, clothiers and handloom weavers. They were among the first of the followers of John Wesley and Methodism and they built their own chapel in1769. In 1772, John Wesley visited the chapel but had to walk from Hagg. A Mrs. Dinah Bates accompanied him back to Hagg and she was a noted Leech-woman, held in deep respect for the curing of ailments. The panorama of the Deanhouse Valley was then unbroken by the Deanhouse Millwhich was built some years later. The brook into which three streams converged flowed unsullied through woods and pasture land. Above it the bridle path, now known as Haigh Lane, led directly to the Chapel skirting a two-storied double fronted dwelling with a substantial barn, presumably a farmhouse, now the Cricketer’s Arms.The four weavers’ cottages stood at the brow of the bridle path while below them was a drinking trough for the horses. Behind these weavers’ cottages was a fold with smaller cottages, one of which still carries the date stone of 1698 above the door.

  It is recorded that in 1798, Nathaniel Berry of Deanhouse was a Constable and a church warden of Honley. In 1838 the Deanhouse passed to Joseph, Ben and John Eastwood the family then connected with the mill. Joseph Eastwood and Sons being recorded as fulling millers. By 1838 a John Jordan had taken over the scribbling and fulling while Joseph Eastwood and his brothers were then known as woolen merchants.

  At that time there was no record of an inn in Deanhouse but an unnamed beerhouse was listed in 1853. As farmhouses in those days often brewed and sold beer as a sideline, the conversion of farmhouse to inn, first known as ‘The Blazing Rag’ seems to have been a gradual one. While officially the Cricketers today, it is still known locally as ‘The Rag’. May 1860 brought about the most significant change to the old Deanhouse community when the house and grounds carrying the name of the hamlet was conveyed from the Eastwood family to the Guardians of the Huddersfield Union as a site for a new Workhouse.’

The second article dealt with the rise and decline of the dreaded workhouse of Deanhouse. I have a chapter covering the  the Workhouse in detail so I have just pulled a few interesting items from her report.

‘ The first inmates were admitted at the beginning of September 1862. Before the end of the month a boy named Thomas Clough absconded and was found drowned near Huddersfield the same day. No regrets or mention of an inquiry was made in the minutes. The following year, in September 1863, the list of absconders over the boundary wall was proving a worry and included a Sarah Jane Hobson who had escaped taking her three children with her to Honley, one man took his workhouse clothing with him and a young female got over the wall for an immoral purpose. As a result a higher boundary wall was built at a cost of £150.’


Deanhouse Workhouse 1916 to 1968

The second part of the history of the Deanhouse Workhouse covers the period from 1916 to the closure of St.Mary’s Hospital in 1968.

 In January 1916 the master presented his half yearly report to the Board of Guardians. He said that large portions of the Institution had been painted but more still needed painting and plastering and the exterior also required attention. He reported that the gas supply had failed on several occasions and  asked the committee to condemn the present lavatory basins and replace them with modern pans.

In May of the same year the Board approved that the wages of J.Settle, engineer, be increased from 31/- to 34/- a week with leave on alternate Sundays. Mr. Froggatt, the handyman, received an increase from 27/- to 30/-.

1917. In September the Board of Guardians agreed to increase the salary of Dr. Smailes, the medical doctor at Deanhouse , from £70 to £100. The half-yearly report of the Master said that he had considerable trouble evolving a dietary which is within the limits of bread, meat and sugar suggested by the Food Controller and had been forced to introduce oatmeal gruel into the breakfast dietary. But in view of the state of world events , he thought the committee would find the diet had been satisfying if not as varied as usual.

In November 1918 about a dozen blind inmates were entertained by Cllr. J.Sykes and Mr. G.Batley. A most enjoyable time was spent and, in spite of the restrictions, there was a “ good spread “.

 Dr. Smalles presented Mr. & Mrs. Rowbotham, the retiring Master and Matron, in April 1919 with a Queen Anne tea service which had been subscribed to by all the staff and friends.

 The Christmas Day celebrations were said by everyone to have been one of the best ever- Mr. Settle , the engineer, said that it was the 25th. time he had attended.

Through the energies of Mr. Lodge and Mr. Beaumont, a concert was given in February 1920 under the direction of F.Whitely. At the Board of Guardians meeting in October , the Deanhouse Committee minutes were read in which they recommended that thanks be given to Mr.Beaumont for providing 48 patients with a charabanc trip. The resignations of Mr. & Mrs. Hill, the porter-book-keeper and the porteress- laundress were received as well as the resignation of Leah the cook. After discussions the Board accepted the resignations.  In the same month the inmates were entertained by Mr. P. Sandford’s party . The concert was highly successful and, as a bonus, chocolates and sweets were supplied to all patients. At the Guardians meeting in December, the Board discussed a proposal for the erection of a nurses home at the Institution. The estimate was £12,000 and after lots of discussion and concern about the cost it was agreed to delay the matter for 12 months.

Christmas day was a very special occasion as it marked the starting of the electric lighting installations. It consisted of a Crossley 23 brake horsepowerengine to run an electric light  plant providing for 300 lights. Mr.Broadbent was asked to start the engine and switch on the lights and he christened the new engine ‘Betty’ after the name of the daughter of the master of the Institution, Mr.Beavis. The normal Christmas activities for the inmates started at 7.30 with breakfast after which the wards were visited and fruit, sweets and tobacco were issued. Dinner was at 12 and was presided over by some of the Guardians and their friends and was followed by games and entertainment. Mr.Tom Bamforth, a patient, said the day was one of the best within his recollection and the food was of first order, beautifully cooked and well served. A  concert was given at the Institution on February 2 by ‘The Middles’ a male voice concert party from Meltham.The first reported meeting of the Board of Guardians of that year was in March  and the Deanhouse  Committee’s minutes showed that the number of inmates at the start of the year was 177 compared to 163 for the same time the previous year. Considering the large number of weak-minded patients the fact that no restraint or punishment had been necessary was deemed highly satisfactory by the Board.

The inmates were entertained in April 1921 to a concert given the Huddersfield Tramwayman’s Concert Party. The reported wrote that due to the length of the programme the encores were limited.

Several months later in  August  , members of the two House committees of the Huddersfield Board of Guardians ( Crosland Moor and Deanhouse ) played bowls on the tennis court at Deanhouse for the Silver Rose Bowl trophy which had been offered by Miss Siddon several years before. Deanhouse had won the trophy for the last three years but this time Crosland were the victors by 373 points to 363.  The following month 92 members of the Institution plus 10 officials and 6 members of the Board had an enjoyable outing. They were conveyed in 5 motor coaches to Marsden and went to the Liberal Club for tea after which they were entertained by local artistes. In October it was found that the disease of smallpox was prevalent in the  Workhouse and this had caused a great deal of alarm. The Institution was chiefly used for the very aged, the imbeciles and the hospital patients with a total in residence of 180 people and staff and, after the presence of the disease was discovered, an investigation showed that 8 inmates, 7 men and 1 woman, were affected.  As soon as the disease was found all visiting was stopped and extensive vaccination and re-vaccination was carried out. Because of the number of people who had been in contact with the Institution,  they were all advised to be vaccinated immediately. No obvious cause for the outbreak was ever found.

In January 1922 the Board of Guardians Deanhouse Committee agreed to open the Institution for visitors subject to the approval of the medical officer. Later in the year in August, thanks to the kindness of Miss Seddon, 130 patients, staff and Guardians had an enjoyable day out. A total of 7 charabancs took them to Fryston Hall at Pontefract. They had a substantial meal on arrival and were given tobacco, cigarettes and pipes for the smokers and sweets for the women and non- smokers. At 4.30 they were fed again and sat down to an excellent tea. The patients who couldn’t make the trip due to sickness or infirmity were not forgotten and were supplied with chicken, beef, tongue and jelly and custard.The Deanhouse Committee met in September and agreed that payments for work involved in the extermination of rats in the Institution be left with the Master to agree with the man concerned. They met again in December to discuss the quality of the accomodation for the nurses. Some of the nurses were sleeping 6 to a room and many of those rooms were like prisons which was why, all over the country, Deanhouse was being boycotted by nurses. It was agreed that the question of accomodation would be considered further. Near the end of the month a meeting of the full Board of Guardians discussed the future of the Institute. Among the items was the movement of the whole management structure to Crosland and another idea was to build an extension such as a new wing. A special sub- committee would be formed.

To finish off the year they had a great Christmas party with lots of food and music. Mr.J.Lodge, who was chairman of the Deanhouse Committee, presided and Tom Bamforth, one of the inmates, moved a vote of thanks which was seconded by John Morley, another inmate. Mr.E.A.Beavis was the Master.

1923 started off with 2 concerts in February, the first was by the Holmfirth ” Merry Makers ” followed a few weeks later by the Crosland Moor United Hand Bell Ringers. There was a great feeling of loss when the Board of Guardians reported in June the death of Miss Siddon who had been a member of the Board for 41 years with specific responsibilty for Deanhouse and had been chairman for a long time.

The Hospital Day was celebrated on Saturday, August 18, 1923 with a Procession and a Fancy Dress Parade plus a Public Tea and  Grand Gala. The attractions included an Aunt Sally,Kicking Dolly, hoopla, coconut shies, pony rides and top of the bill was Prof.T.McMenemy a ventriloquist. It was a great day and a profit of £30 was made.

In October of the same year, Mr.& Mrs. Beavis, who had been Master and Matron since March 1919, left to take up a similar appointment at Crosland Moor Institute

 After many discussions the Board of Guardians gave formal approval for the enlargement of the present building occupied by the nurses but it wasn’t until July 17th. 1924 that the work was finally completed. On that date in the presence of members and officials of the Board of Guardians, the nurses’ home, which had been added to the Institution, was officially opened by Mr.J.Lodge, chairman of the Deanhouse Committee. The scheme had been carried out from plans prepared by J.Ainley, architect, and provision had been made for accomodation for 23 nurses. On the ground floor there was a large dining room and sitting room. It had been furnished throughout by Shaw’s of Holmfirth and other work was carried out by :  Mallinson & Son of Lockwood – mason’s work; carpentry and joinery by Batley & Sons, Netherthong ; plumbing, glazing and electrics by E. Rayner of Milnsbridge ; plastering by Oldfield Bros. Honley and the painting was done by W. Holroyd, Huddersfield. J.Dyson of Holmfirth was the concreter, T.Allison of Milnsbridge were the slaters and, last but not least, the heating engineers were H.Rayner & Sons. of Huddersfield.  Not suprisingly there were lots of speeches and Mr.Ainley, on behalf of the contractors and himself, presented Mr.Lodge with a gold key to open the door of the nurses home. The key was inscribed ” Presented to James Lodge Esq. on the opening of the Nurses ‘ Home, Deanhouse Institution on July 17th, 1924. After the ceremonial opening all the assembled company sat down for tea.

In December 1923, the Board of Guardians discussed the efficiency of having a single master for Crosland and Deanhouse and it was agreed to try the idea for a probationary period. Deanhouse would be treated as a secondary part of Crosland Moor.

A social evening in May 1924 was enjoyed by officials and staff when they were entertained to supper by the newly appointed Master and Matron, Mr.& Mrs. H.Johnson. After supper they had musical items, recitations and dancing.

The Christmas Day celebrations in 1924 maintained the high standards and Mr.& Mrs. H. Johnson, the Master & Matron, presided over the festivities with 240 patients in residence.

At the end of January 1925 a fire broke out at the Institution. At about 1.30a.m. an inmate discovered that a building used as a store room adjoining the main block was on fire. The Institute buzzer was sounded and the Huddersfield Corporation Fire Brigade was summoned. The staff set to work using fire-extinguishers and when the Fire Engine ” Wilfred Dawson ” reached the scene about 15 minutes later, it was found that a quantity of hay in the loft was burning.The Holmfirth Fire Brigade also attended and in a short time the fire was extinguished and the damage which was confined to the roof of the building was estimated at £100 but covered by insurance. The fire was discussed at the Holmfirth District Council meeting regarding  the response time of the Holmfirth Brigade and the capability of its engine.

At the Board of Guardians meeting in March, Mr.Wraith, the district auditor appointed by the Ministry of Health, attended to hear the views of members on his decision to charge individual members of the Board in respect of Christmas dinners eaten by them at Poor Law Institutions on Christmas Day 1923. He objected to an item of £1 7s 11d in respect to Deanhouse which provoked a great deal of discussion, with the auditor adamant that it was illegal expenditure , that he had no discretion and that he must disallow what could not be supported in law.The matter rumbled on and was discussed again at the Board’s meeting in September. The question of ” free food “for the Guardians who had helped at the Christmas festivities and which the District Auditor had taken exception to, had been referred to the Ministry to approve payment.  They said that on this occasion they would approve the amount of £5 12s 5d made by the Board in respect of meals provided to members who visited Institutions at Crosland Moor and Deanhouse on Christmas 1924. The sanction was given on the understanding that no further charges of a similar kind would appear on the accounts.

 A youth, who was employed at Deanhouse Poor Law Institution, was charged with stealing a silver watch and gold chain, valued at £5, the property of a man who had been an inmate. When the man had been admitted he was in possession of the items but when he was discharged he no longer had them and his relatives reported the loss to the Guardians and the police. The youth was seen and at first denied knowledge of the stolen property but later admitted he had stolen them. At Holmfirth Police Court he pleaded guilty and elected to be dealt with summarily. The Guardians asked that the Court to exercise clemency and put him on probation and as a result he was discharged on the undertaking that he would be on good behaviour for 12 months.

Mr. Armstrong and a party from Meltham visited the Institution in October and gave a concert of quartets, duets and solos. Also in October, T.Dyson gave one of his lantern slide lectures on the subject of Hardcastle Crags.

The Christmas festivities at the end of 1925 were to the usual high standard with 120lb. of pork, 120lb. of beef, 12 chickens and 140 plum puddings being consumed under the watchful eye of the Master and Matron, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. Music was by the Holme Silver Band.

In their first meeting of 1926, the Board of Guardians agreed to the installation of a wireless system at a cost of £92 17s.

The inmates were entertained twice in December. The first was a lantern lecture given by T.Dyson on the Yorkshire Moors and Dales using 100 lantern views lent by the L.N.E. Railway Company.  The second followed on a week later and was a musical entertainment by members and friends of Netherthong Parish Church Mothers’ Union.

The Christmas treat maintained its high standards with the Institution beautifully decorated and masses of food. The Mayor and Mayoress of Huddersfield paid a visit.

A motion at the January 1927 meeting of the Board of Guardians stated ; ”  That his Board  appoint a committee to consider a report on the advisability of disposing of the Deanhouse Institution to one or other of the Mental Hospital Boards or other similar authority as a mental hospital and thus enable the Board to concentrate the administration at Crosland Moor. ” It was discussed and approved.

The Huddersfield & District Band of Hope Union gave a lantern display and concert in March to the inmates. It was directed by J.Pitchforth with views of London plus humorous slides. Recitations and dances were given by  Miss Hilda Hawkyard and Lily May with Miss Hilda Townsend on piano. The latter part of the programme was sustained by a party of girls from Deighton United Methodist Church who were known as The Merry Coasters. A vote of thanks was proposed by one of the inmates and seconded by the master, Mr.Johnson.

At the Board of Guardians meeting in September a letter was read out informing the committee that the late Mrs. Amelia Benderlow of Dalton had given the Guardians a sum of £100 to be used for the supply of comforts for the inmates of Deanhouse Institution.

Mr.T.Dyson and party paid one of his regular visits in October and gave a lantern slide lecture entitled ” The message of the flowers ” and the show finished with a large selection of Hymns.

Lindley Liberal Club visited the Institution in December and gave a pleasing programme to the inmates. A carol party from the WMC got the Christmas celebrations off to a good start and after the breakfast, super dinner and distibution of gifts, the Merrymakers rounded off the day with a rousing concert.

Mr.Dyson and friends visited in February 1928 and gave an entertaining lantern slide show to the residents.

At the February meeting in 1928 of the Board of Guardians, the Deanhouse Committee recommended that a 1st. class man be appointed as charge- house attendant. He should hold the medico- psychological certificate, have musical ability and be able to play the piano. The motion was approved. The committee had received a report by the Medical Officer, Dr. Smailes, and the Master, Mr.F.Johnson, on the accomodation of the Institution, the nursing and accomodation of male patients in the hospital and the employment, recreation and staffing of male patients. The report stated there were 269 beds in the Institution and there was sufficient room for 231. It was now 2.5 years since the experiment of nursing male patients by male staff had been put into operation and it had proved satisfactory in spite of inexperienced attendants being appointed. The employment scheme had proved beneficial to the inmates and to the Institution. The garden, poultry, roads and paths, firewood, painting and general cleaning of the Institution kept the whole of the more-or-less able men fully employed. Cricket, football and walks provided adequate out-door recreation and concerts were a welcome diversion.  Of the nine male attendants at present employed, seven were temporary and these  latter were taken on from unemployed men who were working on the land here or from Labour Exchanges. None of them had any previous experience and this fact emphasised the need for a charge house attendant.

Cricket was on the menu again in July 1928 when the Holmfirth Group of Toc H paid a visit to the Institution to fulfill a cricket engagement against  a team selected from the inmates.The visitors batted first and scored 96. Jones and Webster opened the innings for the Institution but Jones was run out having only scored one run. Webster did much better reaching 19 but the innings closed at 71.

They had another match later in the month against a team representing the 1510 Coronation Lodge R.A.O.B. Honley. The Institute batted first and in spite of Epton top scoring with 39 could only avhieve 63. The visitors scored 77 with Richardson taking 6 wickets. Later in the year in October the same group showed their versatility by giving a well received concert.

Mr.& Mrs. Johnson, the Master and Matron, were appointed in September to the Harton Poor Law Institution under the South Shields Union.

On Christmas morning  two parties of carol singers traversed the Netherthong district. The WMC, conducted by H.Preston, stopped and sang on 29 occasions. The other group was the Male Voice Choir who had a great time and raised funds for their choir. The Holme and Hinchliffe bands also visited the area and every group paid a visit to the Institution.

1929.  In 1925 it appeared that the question of Board members having “free meals ” when helping at the Institutions had been resolved but it raised its head again four years later. At their meeting in March the Huddersfield Board of Guardians were flustered when the District Auditor asked why the Guardians had shared the Christmas festivities of the Deanhouse inmates and why they should not be surcharged for the cost of their entertainment. The Guardians are not allowed to feed at the ratepayers expense. 41 Guardians had visited Crosland Moor and others had visited Deanhouse and all had had dinner and tea. It had got rather confusing and bitter as some of the Guardians who didn’t have dinner,  had received notices of surcharge and a few who “ went the whole hog “ got no notice at all. The sums involved amounted to £6 11s. 8d. and £1 7s. 11d. The outcome was never reported !

The Board of Guardians announced in February 1929 that Mr. &.Mrs. F.Lewis, the Master and Matron at Berkhampstead Institution had been  appointed to the same roles at Deanhouse. They replaced Mr.& Mrs. Steadman who had moved to Crosland Moor. Mr.J.Settle of Miry Green who had been employed at the Institute as an engineer died the following month. He had had a honorary connection with the Sons of Temperance, was one of the trustees of the Wesleyan Chapel and had been caretaker for a period. In July members of the Honley Group of Toc H visited and played a game of cricket against a team composed of attendants and inmates.The Institute batted first and scored 92 runs but Toc H passed this total for the loss of only two wickets.

The Christmas day celebrations  involved  a visit by the Mayor & Mayoress of Huddersfield, Alderman & Mrs. Priest. They were welcomed by the Master and Matron, Mr.& Mrs. Lewis. The superb dinner was followed by lots of speeches and thanks and the evening’s entertainment was provided by the Merrymakers.

The first entertainment for the inmates in 1930 was in February when the Netherthong Operatic Society visited and gave several selections to an appreciative audience.

April 1930 was a a very important date when the Board of Guardians, which had been formed in 1834 and had always been unpopular performing a very difficult duty, ceased to exist as a local public body. A special valedictory dinner was held for its members. It was replaced by the new Public Assistance Committee.

June saw the return of cricket when a team from the R.A.O.B. Coronation Lodge Honley narrowly beat the Institution by 93 runs to 82.

The able-bodied inmates at the Institution had a very enjoyable outing in July visiting Southport accompanied by Mr. W. Stephenson, the vice-chairman of the Institute committee and the Master & Matron. The party travelled in 6 motor vehicles, 3 for the men and 3 for the women. Several months later Mr.Dyson gave a lantern slide lecture of a trip to Southport with illustrated slides which were  of particular interest as the inmates had visited many of the places shown  during their earlier outing.

The Patients Sports Day was held in August with a full programme including flat races, potato sack races, egg and spoon, tug-of-war and throwing the cricket ball . The tug-of-war was most popular with 15 nurses and female officers competing against 11 male officers which was finally won by the men. The proceedings were organised by the Master & Matron, Mr.& Mrs. C.Billington and tea was served on the sports ground. Later in the year, Mr.T.Dyson gave a lantern show titled – Views of North Wales. The patients were entertained in October with a concert by Mr.A.Taylor’s Concert Party from Meltham consisting of vocal and instrumental items. The next month St.Georges ( Brockholes ) children’s concert party  visited on Guy Fawkes Day and presented a play ” The Enchanted Forest “. There was even more entertainment during that month when the Male Voice Choir visited and, during the interval, went round the infirmary wards and sang for the bed-ridden patients who had not been able to attend the concert. At the end of the month there was a concert presented by Moldgreen Congregational Church Married Ladies Party organised by Mrs. George Brown. The show was a great success and patients were amused by the Party of Midgets and the Yorkshire dialect was very much in evidence.

The first entertainment for the inmates in December was a concert organised by the Meltham “Lyric ” Male Voice Quartette accompanied by Mr.Herbert Downes. The humorous element was provided by John Drake, the once-champion Yorkshire humorist from Meltham. The penultimate treat of the year was for the deaf, dumb and blind patients who were entertained to a tea arranged by Mr.& Mrs.Batley, through the generosity of anonymous friends. The tea was partaken in a comfortable room provided by the Master & Matron and was followed by an excellent concert for all the patients presented by the Speedsters Concert Party.

The hospital was beautifully decorated with holly and bunting on Christmas Day and  the Mayor of Huddersfield, Alderman T. Shires paid a visit. After a superb dinner, the patients received presents from the tree that had been donated by Mrs.Law Taylor. To round the year off, the entertainment on New Years Eve was provided by the Woodroyd Handbell Ringers.

The first entertainment in 1932 was a concert presented by the Thongs Bridge Church Married Ladies and during the interval, sweets, tobacco and cigarettes were distributed among the patients. A very successful Whist Drive and dance was held at the Hopital in February in aid of the Local Government Officers Benevolent and Orphans Fund. Over 130 people attended and music was provided by Monreve Dance Band. Mrs. C. Billington (Matron) and her staff served the refreshments and the Master was in charge of the dancing with the assistant manager running the Whist drive. Under the auspices of the Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party, a large group visited the Hospital. They were shown round everywhere and then walked to Holmfirth for tea at the Co-operative cafe.

The Hospital Sports Day for 1932 was arranged by the Master and Matron and they organised 21 events which included flat racing, egg and spoon, team races, potato races and tug-of-war. Upwards of 200 patients were entertained. The Holme Silver Prize Band played music during the day and also for dancing in the evening. Mrs.Law Taylor presented the prizes.

Several friends, resident in the Hospital, arranged an outdoor concert one afternoon in September. Music was by the Marsden Senior School Brass Band . After an interval for tea at the Wesleyan School, the inmates returned to the field for dancing. T.Dyson visited in October and gave his lantern entertainment with slides of a miscellaneous nature. Harold Atkinson of New Mill also entertained with stories and songs.

The deaf, dumb and blind patients were given an enjoyable and appetising tea in November  by Lt. Col. Sir Emmanuel Hoyle and Lady Hoyle. All the patients were presented with buns, sweets and fruits and the males received cigarettes. T.Dyson gave another of his lantern lectures in December on Christmas Hymns and their writers. He was assisted by C.Bray and T.Dufton.

Two of the early entertainments in 1933 were a concert party in February organised by Mr. F. Merritt followed in March by a T.Dyson lantern lecture on ‘Messages of Flowers’. A most unusual item was headlined ” Killing the Pigs ” by the Express.  The Huddersfield Town Council had commented at one of their meetings on the fact that pigs were being killed by the old-fashioned method at St. Mary’s Hospital. Councillor W.Scott pointed out that the Corporation abattoir at Great Northern St. was equipped with modern electrical killing instruments and he suggested that the pigs should be sent from Deanhouse to be slaughtered there. Mr.J.Barlour pointed out that the killing of pigs was not governed by the regulations of the Huddersfield area and that no action should be taken.

The Annual Sports and Field day for the patients at St.Mary’s was held in August 1933 in ideal weather and 150 patients took part. There was a full programme of 18 events and the proceedings were enhanced by the Holme Silver prize band. The outstanding events were the tug-of-war contests and the potato race. Cllr. Barlow made some pleasant remarks and his wife presented the prizes.

In October Mr.T Dyson presented one of his lantern slide shows of holiday pictures and local beauty spots.

At the end of the month the Express printed a very interesting letter .  It was entitled ” Jolly Times at St.Mary’s ” and was a message from Deanhouse Institution by someone who signed themselves C.G.

Some of my friends who possess considerable knowledge of this delightful valley of ours have not the slightest idea of where St. Mary’s really is. Now if you come up to Netherthong you cannot miss it.  It is a most lovely spot in summer or winter. One lady said she thought she might have mistaken her way and must be in Cawthorne and St.Mary’s was Cannon Hall but she had seen no swans and thus could not make out where it was. However we were able to guide her and put her right for that ancient little village of Holmfirth. There is not much chance of getting lost and you are in one of the beauty spots of the North of England. The object of these famous places is to have a home for every poor cripple, persons who have lost their sight or who have lost control over their mental powers or the use of every organ of their bodies.

St.Mary’s is governed on Communistic lines. Do not let anyone be frightened. We are much in advance of the “Red Flag “of 20 years ago. It is more like a New Haven with gardens, poultry farms, piggeries,heating appliances, cookeries and electrical machinery.All work under the principle of every man and everything working for others as well as for themselves. Also everty trade and profession are represented here at some time or another, We have tinkers, tailors and skilled gardeners. In our gardens besides the ordinary things of life such as potatoes, onions, cabbages, turnips etc we go in for salads of all kinds, herbs, tomato culture and flowering plants. We have a little mission church or chapel in which some of the ablest preachers in the district visit. We have some delightful times in the wireless and occasionally friends from Deanhouse and other parts of the district will come to entertain us.”

In November the inmates were treated to a Firework Display  on the Saturday and on the following Monday received a visit from the Berry Brow Wesleyan Choir. The final entertainment of the month was a lantern slide show by T.Dyson entitled Christmas hymns. The Christmas festivities were up to their normal high standard and the Mayor and Mayoress of Huddersfield, Alderman and Mrs. A. Hirst, paid a visit.

The first show of 1934 was in February  by F.L.Merritt and his concert party who entertained both staff and patients. This was followed in March by a concert by Mr.A.Taylor and party from Meltham. In the same month they were treated to a lantern slide show on Bonnie Scotland but not this time by T.Dyson. Miss Jessop was the lecturer and her address was interspersed by songs by G.Earnshaw accompanied by Miss R. Dufton on pianoforte.

August saw the Annual St. Mary’s Field Day with flat races, egg and spoon races and the ever popular tug of war. The Master and Matron, Mr. & Mrs. C. Billington presided over the events.

T.Dyson made a welcome return to St. Mary’s in October to give a lanter slide lecture titled ” A tour of Ireland “. They were entertained in November  by the Gay Girls Concert Party of Heckmonwike. The firework display had to be held on November 6 due to the very bad weather the previous day and Mr. Edwin Greenhalgh sent them a parcel of fireworks.


The Master, matron and a guard at St.Mary’s Hospital. Date ??

The first entertainment in 1936 was in March when Mr.Dyson gave a varied lantern slide show  on Yorkshire scenery, Blackpool in Winter, the Netherthong Jubilee and the School’s festival. Later the same month Mr. Nelson of Huddersfield gave a concert that was very well received. Nothing else was reported for the year but at Christmas all the patients were treated to the normal special festival feast.

A letter from Ivy Guest says that in 1937 her parents were the Master and Matron. Her father, Stanley, ran 3 local hospitals and left Deanhouse in the 1950s. He had a Jaguar car and also liked a pint so he would drive his car to the Cricketer’s Inn.

The only recorded entertainment that year was a concert by the Zion Methodist Sunday School in March.

The Christmas festivities were up to their normal standard and 226 inmates were entertained by the Male Voice Choir.

Numerous rumours in October 1938 caused a great deal of concern among the 200 inmates and their relatives because the West Riding County Council were proposing to transfer all the inmates to other Institutions. Many were going to be sent to Pontefract, Penistone, Todmorden, Clayton and others. Huddersfield Corporation owned Deanhouse Institution and for the last three years had leased it to the West Riding County Council. When the lease expired there was a dispute between the Corporation and the County Council as to the terms under which the County Council should continue to occupy the buildings ending in the County Council’s decision to evacuate the Institute. There were no further reports until December when the Holmfirth UDC reported that the patients were likely to go back to Deanhouse as negotiations between West Riding Public Assistance Committees and Huddersfield Corporation on the future of the Institution had  reached a successful conclusion.  The Institution would be repaired and when completed the patients would be taken back. It would then become a County Institution.

 The repairs must have been completely very quickly as all the residents enjoyed their normal Christmas treats.

1939. In January the West Riding County Council approved a proposal by the West Riding Assistance Committee that Deanhouse Institution should be purchased from the Huddersfield Corporation for £15,000. There had been a public outcry in 1938 because the majority of patients from Deanhouse were transferred to other institutions in different parts of the West Riding, miles away from their relatives. Previously the County Council had rented the Institution from the Corporation at a rent of £848. The Public Assistance Committee in their report said the institution was an old one, structurally in good repair but about £5,000 was needed to provide adequate heating arrangements. They were satisfied that an Institution in that part of the County was essential and recommended the purchase of the building and land at the price named.

 In September a member of the Board of Guardians stated “ It would appear that the inmates were evacuated from Deanhouse sometime in August due to a Home Office order. Friends and relatives had experienced hardship, inconvenience and expense to visit the patients at various other institutions throughout the area “ – his report concluded “ it will be the Committee’s earnest endeavour to have all the patients returned to Deanhouse as soon as the present crisis has been brought to a definite and victorious conclusion.” The above reports were taken from the Holmfirth Express but there does appear to be some confusion between the events in 1938 and 1939.

The situation must have been resolved because in November Thomas Dyson gave one of his lantern slide shows titled Shakespeare’s County – Warwick to the patients. Mr.C.Bray was the lanternist and many songs were sung including Holmfirth’s anthem. 

In December 1939 the patients of St.Mary’s Hospital spent a most enjoyable Christmas. Members of the Netherthong Male Voice Choir visited and sang carols and hymns. As usual there was a special dinner with gifts and in the evening there was a concert. On Boxing Day, the staff held their own celebrations and enjoyed various presents sent by local firms and individuals.


Male patients at a Netherthong field day 1940


The same picture as the one above but this time 8 nurses have miraculously appeared.

In October 1940 the patients at the hospital were treated to a meat tea, supper and a concert. The artistes were Mrs. J.Dixon ( soprano ), Mrs. Merritt ( elocutionist ), F.Dickinson ( bass ), E.Mortimer ( baritone ), A. Sanderson ( tenor ) and the Male Voice Quartette. Tobacco, cigarettes and sweets were handed round to about 60 guests.

In spite of the restrictions  due to the war the patients at the hospital enjoyed the Christmas festivities. There was no pork or poultry available but they still had a good meal. In place of a concert they were entertained by gramophone records and the wireless. The nurses had their dinner on Boxing Day.

The following photograph  shows many of the nurses at the hospital – it is undated but I suspect it must be circa 1940s.

Nursing staff - date unknown
Nursing staff – date unknown

In July 1941, 60 old women from a bombed-out convalescent home on the coast were sent to the Institution. Among them was 97 years old Mrs.Mary Giese with curly white hair, rosy cheeks, twinkling eyes and a keen sense of humour. She had been bombed-out twice but very quickly won the hearts of everyone at Deanhouse.

The old folk at the Hospital were treated in June 1942 to a concert by the  “ Oh Kay Gang “. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the show and among those present were Mr. and Mrs. S.Pugh , the Master and Matron.

 In the same month Mary Wimpenny aged 82 years passed away peacefully at the hospital.

In February the patients were entertained by the Four H’s Trombone Quartet directed by Mr.W.Kay.

The “Balt Cygnet ” Scheme was the first labour scheme which marked the influx of DPs ( displaced persons ) into Britain, mainly from various eastern European countries.The main purpose of this plan was to relieve the acute shortage of nursing and domestic staff in hospitals and sanitoria. Initially recruitment was limited to single women , between 20-40 years old, coming from the Baltic States  under the condition that they could not change employment without the permission of the Ministry of Labour. The first recruits arrived in mid- October and Huddersfield was among the first places to receive its share. In 1947 many more came to the area and 15 went to St.Mary’s Hospital and the Holme Valley Hospital.  The term “Cygnet ” symbolised ” a spotless white femininity ” and to ensure good assimilation and acceptance, a desirable and social background were key factors. They used every opportunity to present themselves well and six Estonian war orderlies were involved in a staff pantomime called ” Babes in the Wood ” which was presented to the immobile elderly patients at St. Mary’s at Christmas 1947. A special feature was the dancing of the Estonian workers who appeared in their national costume. An excerpt from the St.Mary’s Hospital staff records shows the names of the Estonian persons and the dates they started and left their jobs. e.g. Lia Astrid Sormus started in 5/2/47 and left in 8/4/49. The 1948 Christmas festivities followed the normal pattern with plenty of meat, plum pudding , cake and mince pies. On the  Wednesday prior to Christmas the choirs of the Meltham Nonconformist Churches visited and sang carols to the patients. In the new year the staff held their annual dance.

An ” Estonian ” wedding was held in the village in March 1949. It was attended by 30 Estonian guests some of whom were colleagues from St.Mary’s and Holme Valley hospitals plus workers from Washpit Mills with  the reception being  held in its canteen.

This information is taken from a superb document written by Frank Grombar titled ” Brief Encounters : Baltic Hospital Workers in and around Huddersfield 1946-1951″. It can be found on the net.

May 1949 was a very special occasion for Mr.C.Hobson, a patient in No.8 Ward, as it was the first time in two years that he had been out into the open air. He and five other patients were taken by taxi on a half-day trip round New Mill, Penistone and Hade Edge. All the six patients were able to afford the 10/- which was the cost of the trip and thought it was money well spent after such a long time in the hospital. Most of the other patients did not have enough money to afford such trips. Mr.J. Whittaker, the male nurse in charge of Wards 8 & 9, was trying to get help from some philanthropic organisation. Holmfirth British Legion offered to meet the expenses of ex-Servicemen.

In September  the Hospital Clerk , Mrs.Robertson, was fined by Holmfirth Magistrate’s  Court for fraudulent conversion. Old Age Pensions money had not been paid over to bed-ridden patients. There were 6 summonses totalling £12 5s and after the Chairman ( Major Brian Tinker ) had announced that the Magistrates had found the case proved, Mrs.Roberstson asked for a further 8 cases totalling £9 10s to be taken into consideration. A fine of £5 was imposed on each of the six cases with witness costs of £1 1s 2d and she was also ordered to make restitution of the amount of £12 5s. The Express devoted 3 columns with a detailed report of the case. In May 1950, members of the Holmfirth Inner Wheel Club entertained 19 patients to a bus outing to Wharfedale and also thanked the two nurses who accompanied them.

 In 1951 the death occurred at the  Hospital of Miss Mary Mallinson, daughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. John Mallinson. She was 90 years old and the oldest lady in the village and had been closely connected with the Parish Church. Because of the prevalence of influenza among the staff in February, a ban was imposed on visitors for three days. At that time the number of staff suffering had risen from15 % to 20%. It was also discovered that there were six fresh cases in one of the wards. In January of that year , following on from complaints made by visitors  regarding the difficulties of obtaining transport to the hospital, the Huddersfield & District Hospital Management Committee discussed the matter. They decided to support an application to the Traffic Commissioners for the institution of an additional bus service.

In December 1953 the patients were entertained over Christmas by several local choirs. The Moorland Singers turned up on Christmas Day and sang carols as dinner was served by members of the house committee. In the evening there was a film show of the Coronation and the Queen’s visit to Edinburgh.

The festivities for the patients of the hospital in December 1955 were spread over a long period . They were entertained by the Huddersfield Co-op choir, Holme Silver band, Meltham Baptist Choir, Netherthong Church Choir, Linthwaite Church Choir and Slaithwaite Church Choir. On Christmas morning they were visited by Father Xmas and entertained by the Moorland Singers. Relatives and visitors were welcomed by Miss Smith, Matron, and Mr.A.Stangroom, secretary.

The Chairmen of Holmfirth, Meltham and Colne Valley District Councils paid a visit to the hospital on Christmas Day 1966. They were received by the Matron, Miss M.A.Smith and the Assistant Matron, Miss E.Nesbitt. Turkeys on each of the wards were carved by the visitors and all the patients received a gift. The entertainment was by the Moorland Singers. 

A report in the new look Holmfirth Express stated that, on Tuesday 16th. 1968 ,  Deanhouse Hospital, St. Marys, would close and the 53 patients  transferred to other hospitals in the surrounding areas. It added that the future of the premises would be decided by the Regional Hospital Board. Alfred Stangroom, who lived in the Lodge at the hospital and had been the hospital secretary for 16 years, died aged 55. He had also been the treasurer of the Parish Church and one time chairman of the Holme Valley Scouts.

In March 11 members of the staff of the now closed hospital received awards for long service as hospital employees. All had completed 25 years service of which a minimum of 10 years had been worked in the Huddersfield Group of Hospitals. The awardees were Miss M.A.Smith ( Matron ), Misses N.Smith, C.Bray and E.Beever ( State Enrolled Nurses ), Miss A.Winter( Enrolled Nurse ), Mrs.M.Leach ( dressmaker ), Mrs.A.Brooke ( housemaid ), the late Mr.A.Stangroom ( Hospital Secretary ), Mr.W.Rhodes ( deputy Hospital Secretary ), Mr.D.North ( barber ) and Mr.H.Taylor ( porter).T he Express reported in August – ‘ the former patients of the late Dr. Brian de la Harpe Meyer will be pleased to know that the teal seat which was presented to the hospital in his memory has now been handed over to the Holmfirth UDC and placed in a new position at the junction of Victoria Street and Huddersfield Road in Holmfirth.’

On November 1st. 1968, the Secretary of State for Social Services sold the buildings and the land to B.Dunford of Flockton  for £8500. He started work straightaway  demolishing all the buildings except for the Lodge and the first people to move in said that by 1970, 2 new houses had been built and all the  demolishment was  completed the same year with  the estate finished by  1974. The Lodge, which had been  semi-detached with one half the accomodation for the Master and Matron and the other half for the Engineer, was converted into one residence and remains so to this day.

  This brought to an end over 100 years of an Institution that had been a key factor in the life and times of Deanhouse and Netherthong residents.

Arthur Sanderson- Mr.Music

Arthur Sanderson  achieved fame in the village as the founder of the Male Voice Choir and was its conductor throughout its existence as well as being the conductor of the choir at All Saint’s Church. He also composed music and  deserves the title of Mr. Music.

He was born on April 28 1904 at Lower Hagg Farm ( now a private residence ) and was the youngest of 12 children. His father was also called  Arthur and he was born on March 13 1856.  After moving from Hagg ( date uncertain ), the family lived in a house opposite the Zion Chapel and they were definately there in 1907. Arthur went  to  school in Netherthong but there is no record of when he left. He was employed , like so many others in the village, at Deanhouse Mills and at one period worked in the dyeing department. He married Rachel Porter on September 6 1939 at Netherthong either at the Chapel or the Parish Church. He died on July 7 1987 and was buried at the Parish Church.

I have been very fortunate to have given a lot of information and photographs from his son John Sanderson.

As I mentioned above he was the youngest of 12 children – his father was Arthur and his mother was called Jane.  His brothers and sisters were, in order of birth, Herbert born September 14 1878  : Sarah Eliza born December 10 1879  : Brook born September 1881 : Harriet Hannah born June 19 1884 : Clara Jane born April 6 1886 : Harold born October 21 1887 : Emily Ann born September 29 1889 : Herman born October 2 1892  : Edith Annie born November 30 1894 : Ethel Marion born February 15 1896 : Florence Gertrude born December 23 1897.  Apparently it was the custom in those days that daughters were given two christian names at birth whereas the sons were only given one. Arthur Sanderson is seen standing in his garden in the early 1900s.

Arthur Sanderson, born 1856, in his garden in 1900s.
Arthur Sanderson, born 1856, in his garden in 1900s.

The photograph below shows a number of the Sanderson family outside their house which was opposite the Zion Church.They are from l to r  – Herbert, Florence Gertrude, Edith Annie, Arthur ( father ), Emily Ann, Ethel Manon and ? .In the front is a very young ( 3years old ) Arthur.

A family photograph of the Sandersons in 1907 in their house opposite the Zion Church with a very young Arthur in the front.
A family photograph of the Sandersons in 1907 in their house opposite the Zion Church with a very young Arthur in the front.


 Like many of his friends he joined the local scout group and the photograph below was taken in 1916 aged 12.

Arthur in his scout's uniform 1916.
Arthur in his scout’s uniform 1916.

He was also a keen sportsman and played football for the Netherthong A.F.C. He started with the Argyles, a youth team, but later progressed to the senior village team. In the first photograph he is seated first left on the bottom row.

Argyle Football Club.
Argyle Football Club.

In the next photograph, note the change of shirt colour, he is seated in the front row , second from the left.

Netherthong A.F.C. in striped shirts
Netherthong A.F.C. in striped shirts

The following photograph of 4 young men on a mission makes one wander exactly what they are up to. The one on the left  has the shears but unfortunately the bottom of the photograph was cropped so  one can only guess that the other three had rakes. They are from l to r : Harold Wimpenny, Arthur Sanderson, George Charlesworth and Arthur Buckley.

4 men on a mission.
4 men on a mission.


He formed the Netherthong Male Voice Choir  in 1926 when he was still only 21 but I have given the history of the Choir and all it successes a separate chapter.

In 1927 he appeared in the Netherthong production of H.M.S. Pinafore. The photograph is titled Nether Thong P.C.S.S. H.M.S.Pinafore Easter 1927 and Arthuris the sailor sitting right in the middle of the front row between two ladies.

H.M.S. PinaforeEaster 1927
H.M.S. Pinafore
Easter 1927

He was appointed choirmaster of All Saints Parish Church and took up his duties on Sunday, March 3 1929. At that time he was also a member of the Holmfirth Parish Church Choir, conductor of Netherthong Male Voice Choir, a member of Holme Valley Male Voice Choir and a principal in the Church Operatic Society.

The next photograph is of 10 very smart men all in a row for whatever reason. Difficult to date but would fall between late 1920s/early 1930s. Seven of them have been identified so from the left : Morley Mallinson, George Charlesworth, Bill Buckley, Arthur Sanderson, Gilbert Bailey, ? , Leonard Hilson, ? , ?, Harold Wimpenny.

Line of 10 men - 1920s/1930s
Line of 10 men – 1920s/1930s

His wife to be , Rachel Porter, was a member of the Holmfirth & District Amateur Operatic Society and she starred in their presentation of Our Miss Gibbs which ran from Nov 29 to Dec 3 1927. In the first photograph she is in the front row 3rd. from the left. In the second photograph she is seen in full costume and is the 2nd. from the left of the five girls.

Holmfirth & District Amateur Operatic Society - " Our Miss Gibbs " Dec 1927
Holmfirth & District Amateur Operatic Society – ” Our Miss Gibbs ” Dec 1927
" Our Miss Gibbs " Dec 1927
” Our Miss Gibbs ” Dec 1927

The photograph of Arthur shows him sitting on the steps of the War Memorial in Townsgate with one of the many cups he won with the Male Voice Choir.

Arthur sitting at the village War memorial
Arthur sitting at the village War memorial

I mentioned in the very first paragraph of this chapter that Arthur wrote music and this hymn composed by him  below is titled ” May “.


May. A hymn with words and music by Arthur Sanderson.
May. A hymn with words and music by Arthur Sanderson.