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Wilshaw and its World War 1 Heroes

This is still a work in progress – April 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.

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 other 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 and Wilshaw. The information in these lists was supplied by local residents and the paper was always requesting their readers to write in  and 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.T hey 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.

I have  listed the names  in alphabetical order and added information as and when I find it.

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 : He was awarded the Military Medal. 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.

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 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.

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.

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).

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.

F.A.Falles – Thongbridge – 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.

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

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 ?

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.

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.

George Kirwin – Thongsbridge – listed in October 23 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH.

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.

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 Harry McQue :  His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army.

 Private James Henry Marsden :  He was born on 19/4/1895 and baptised on 2/6/1895 and in the 1901 census is 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 NT troop. He received a promotion to Corporal during the war and marched in the Peace Celebrations in the village. Listed in October 23 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH. ( In July 1916, the Express reported that Corporal  Marsden 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.)

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.

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 , if he did enlist it might explain why he was a captain.  His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. In  October 23 1915 Express ROH he is listed as Major and from Thongbridge.

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.

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.

Arthur R. Sykes : In the 1901 Census he was 7 years old and his parents were Arthur and Martha.

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.

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

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

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

Private Brook Turner : The Express reported that Mr.Turner of Deanhouse had received a postcard to say that his 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.

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  he sent another field card saying that he was a P.O.W. in Germany. 

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 :  He served with the West Riding Regiment was wounded in the thigh and was in base hospital in France. He was formerly connected with the Netherthong WMC and the Wesleyan School. 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.’

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.


Reports of Inquests held at the Workhouse and Hospital.

It is not suprising, considering the ages and general health of the inmates/ inhabitants of the Workhouse and later on St.Mary’s Hospital, that there were a lot of deaths. Inquests were conducted by a District Coroner when it was thought that the circumstances of a death warranted a public examination. Some inquests required a jury on which occasions a foreman was elected. The procedure followed a general pattern and someone, usually a close relative, was always asked to give evidence of identification. The witnesses were normally the nurses and the Medical Officer at the hospital who had diagnosed the cause/causes of death and invariably the verdict given was in line with the medical evidence. 

In November 1882 an inquest was held at the Clothiers on the body of Edward McArdley, 62, a paper stainer, who died in the Workhouse on November 14. The coroner was Mr.Barstow. It appeared that Henry Mitchell, a mechanic, was going down Marsh Lane when he found the deceased in a very weak state. He told people who lived nearby and they attended to him until he was removed to the Workhouse by PC Battle. The deceased did not rally and died the same day in the presence of Mrs. Hinchliffe, the matron. The jury found the deceased had died of natural causes, accelerated by want of food, and exposure to the cold. 

At the end of 1910 an inquest was held into the death of Martha Hoyle, aged 67 years. She had been admitted to the Workhouse in 1893 and was classed as a harmless lunatic. She was well nourished with no signs of violence and was adjudged to have died of pneumonia.

The next record I could find was In April 1911 when the District Coroner, E.Hill, held an inquest at Deanhouse into the death of Sarah Gledhill, 80 years, who had died at the institution. She was a hawker who used to travel the district with a man known as George the Grinder. Mary Hughes, the night nurse, said Sarah had gone into the lavatory to wash and had slipped and fell forward. She was attended by Dr. Smalles who found that her right thigh was broken at the hip joint. The jury returned a verdict that her death was due to old age accelerated by the fracture.

In November 1912 an inquest had been held into the death of Mrs. Mary Broadhead, aged 93 years, at the Workhouse. She was poorly and on getting out of bed had fallen on the floor and broken her leg. The jury returned the verdict that death was due to old age accelerated by the fracture of her thigh.

An inquest was held in April 1919  into the death of J.W.Berry an aged inmate who had passed away after a seizure. He was an epileptic and was injured in a previous seizure in February.He was born in 1840 and admitted in 1898. Various members of staff and Dr. Smalles gave evidence and the verdict was given as death from natural causes.

An inquest was held in October 1923 into the death at the Institute of Elizabeth Sykes ( 50 years ) who had died suddenly. Mr.Beavis stated that the deceased, from the Lockwood district,  was a single woman who had been very ill when she  was admitted in June. Dr.Smailes said the woman had been bed- ridden and at his post mortem he had found a tumour on the brain which had brought about her death, A verdict of death by natural causes was returned, Another death occured in July 1924 when Martha Armitage, an unmarried woman, was admitted to the Institution on July 15th. and died a few days later apparently due to senile decay. The death was reported to the District Coroner who deemed that an inquest was unnecessary.

In October 1926 an inquest was conducted by the District Coroner, Mr.E.Norris into the death of an inmate, Harry Grange ( 30 years ), who died suddenly in the grounds. His mother, Mrs. Ellen Grange of Slaithwaite, said that he had been subject to fits since he was 6 years old. Charles Newell, head attendant, and F.Earnshaw, attendant, both gave evidence. Dr. W. Smailes, the Medical Officer of the Institution, said the deceased was an epilectic and that, on post-mortem, he found the epilepsy was the cause of death. The Coroner recorded a verdict that death was due to epilectic convulsions.

Mr. Norris, the District Coroner, conducted an inquest  in July 1927 on the body of Joe Morgan, aged 54 years, of Cross Road, Huddersfield who had died at the Institution. A few weeks previously he had jumped out of a window on a visit home but was not injured and was released from Huddersfield Infirmary after a day. He returned to the Institution and the male attendant said that death took place at 5.15 pm on the Sunday. The doctor said he had seen the deceased and said he was suffereing from valvular disease of the heart. The jury decided that death was due to valvular disease of the heart and was accelerated by the fall.They also agreed that the fall was his own act.

Two months later there was another inquest held at the Workhouse relating to the death of Ben Haigh, an aged inmate of the Instution. Mr. E.Norris was the Coroner and Mr.Settle was chosen as foreman of the jury. Prior to entering the Institution, Ben had been a casual porter and had been in the Workhouse for 3 years. Fred Taylor, his grand-nephew, said he had visited his grand-uncle the previous week and he had looked ill. He said he had been told he had broken his arm some time ago. Herbert Sykes, a male attendant, said the deceased had broken his arm about six months previously. On this occasion  he apparently had been standing by a table, the floor was slippery and he fell although  he was wearing boots. Sykes was in the dormitory and was called immediately and picked Ben Haigh up. He added thar he had seen the deceased numerous times on the Tuesday morning and he was obviously very ill. He died in the presence of witnesses. Dr. Smailes said the deceased was admitted to the Institution in 1924 and that after his admission he was certified, he stated that the broken arm had healed but was somewhat deformed and that he also had a club foot. He said that death was due to a softened brain and in his opinion the fall had nothing to do with his death. The verdict was death due to natural causes.

An inquest was held in January 1928 into the apparent suicide of Hildred Shaw , 18 years old. He was a patient at the Institution  and his body was recovered from the service reservoir adjoining the main block. The coroner was Mr.E.Norris and there was a jury. The boy’s father said that five years ago his son began to be afflicted with sleepy sickness and in November 1927 was taken to Crosland Moor Institution and brought to Deanhouse in November 1928. Various witnesses including Stanley Stoke, an attendant, and Willie Castle, a gardener’s labourer, were questioned. Dr. Smailes said that the sickness made any patient almost an imbecile and affected him mentally and physically. The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased had drowned himself while of unsound mind and while suffering from sleepy sickness.

Mr.E.Norris conducted an inquest in November 1931 sitting with a jury with Mr.J.R.Ellis as foreman. Emma Lingard ( 73 ) a married woman and inmate fell down in the ward cutting her head and dying a few days later. Giving evidence, Mrs.Mary Sykes said the deceased was her mother and had been feeble for some time and had had falls on many occasions. Dr. Smailes said that Mrs. Lindgard had sustained a scalp wound as a result of the fall but he considered the death was due to softening of the brain. A verdict of death due to natural causes was returned.

At the beginning of 1935 an inquest was held at St.Mary’s Hospital on the death of an inmate, Sophia Hallas aged 84 years from falling  down a flight of stone steps. Formal identification was given by her son, Arthur Hallas of Newsome, who said he was very satisfied by the treatment his mother had received at the hospital. When his mother was at home she had frequent falls.Dora Marsh, a nurse, said Sophia had fallen about 4.50 just after she had had tea in the day room. She heard a cry and rushed to the bottom of the steps where she found her laying on her right side and unconscious. The flight consisted of 10 steps. With the assistance of another nurse she carried the woman into a ward and went for the sister. Dr.T. Samailes said he saw the deceased and she was unconscious and suffering from concussion. There were no signs of fracture and she recovered consciousness two days later but as she was suffering from senile degeneration she was never sensible afterwards and died after a further two days. The jury returned a verdict of death due to heart failure and concussion following a fall.

In January 1937 Mr.T.Norris, the District Coroner, opened an inquest at St.Mary’s Hospital into the death in the hospital of Cornelius Kennedy, aged 64 years, a journeyman and stonemason of Linthwaite. Evidence was given by his son who said his father had been ill on and off for 4-5 years and he added that his father had been examined on three occasions by the Silicosis Medical Board. The inquest was adjourned. When it resumed Dr. Denton Guest a pathologist at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary who made the post-mortem examination, said that death was due to tubercolosis but it was likely silicosis was a contributory cause. The verdict was returned that death was due to tubercolosis and silicosis accidently contracted at his work.

4 Inquests were held in 1947 at Deanhouse Hospital  into deaths of patients. The first was in January and concerned Miss Eva Daniels, 77 years, who had been left in a hot bath prior to treatment for a skin disease and had been found dead by a nurse. Mr.E.W.Norris was the District Coroner. Her brother, Alfred Daniels of Saddleworth, gave evidence of identification. Eva had lived with him but had been admitted to the hospital. Nurse C.Bray said she had put the deceased into a hot bath at about 12.45 and had left her to “soak ” for about 15 minutes prior to treatment for a skin disease which necessitated the soaking. At 1pm she said she was fetched by another nurse, Mary Lucas, who had found the patient dead. The Coroner called on Nurse Lucas to give evidence. Speaking in a quiet voice she answered the question but the Coroner was unable to hear her.After he had asked further questions he was still unable to hear her and dismissed her in favour of  Sister Edith Broadbent. She said that when she arrived Miss Daniels had been lifted out of the bath and Nurse Bray was applying artificial respiration. After calling for the doctor and the Home Sister she gave the deceased an injection of one sixtieth of strychnine but there was no response. Dr. John Lubran, Medical officer for the hospital, made a post-mortem and in his opinion death was due to myocardial degeneration and atheroma of the mitral valve. He stated that there was no evidence of drowning although he had looked specifically for any such evidence. The recorded verdict was that death was due to natural causes.

The next inquest was in April with the District Coroner, Mr.E.Norris, investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Miss Ada Hanson, a patient at the hospital. Evidence of identification was given by Miss Clara Pearson, her niece. Ada was 77 years old and had lived in Marsden and was formerly a burler and mender. She had been a patient at various local hospitals. She had fallen from her chair at home and witnesses had lifted her onto a sofa. Dr.Wallace was called and he ordered her removal to the Infirmary straightaway as  she had had a seizure and a number of falls. Mrs. Eleanor Ivy Pugh said Miss Hansen had died in her presence. Medical evidence was given by Dr. John Lublan of Honley who stated that the deceased had been admitted to the hospital on March 20 suffering from a fractureof her femur. Her heart was very bad and he was mentally confused and in his opinion death was caused by myocardial degeneration accelerated by the injury. A verdict that death was due to the above causes was recorded.

The next inquest was the following month with E.Norris the District Coroner. It concerned Miss Elizabeth Barker, 78, formerly of Todmorden who died at the hospital. Evidence of identification was given by Miss Mary Smith of Todmorden who said that, about three weeks before the deceased was taken to hospital on March 28, she had been in the habit of sitting in a chair in front of a gas fire. Nurse E. Lenderyew said Miss Barker died in her presence on April 30. Dr.John Lublan said that when the deceased was admitted to hospital her heart and circulation were in poor condition and she had scalds on the front of both shins. The Coroner recorded death by natural causes.

The final inquest of the year was in July and concerned the death of Mrs. Alice Hobson of Lepton who died at the hospital. Mr.E.Norris was the District Coroner. Evidence of identification was given by James Hobson, a male nurse, who said his mother was 82 and had been blind for about 2 years. She was hard of hearing but not deaf. On May 23rd. she had had a fall on the stairs coming from her bathroom and she was attended by Dr. Paterson. About 5 weeks later she was taken to hospital and was pleased to go. Nurse Margaret Ball said that Mrs. Hobson died in her presence on August 12. Dr. John Lublan of Honley said the deceased was admitted to hospital on June 20 and she  was suffering from blindness, deafness, myocardial degeneration, a fractured left wrist,vancrose eczema and a rodent ulna near the left eye. In the doctor’s opinion, death was due to myocardial degeneration due to old age and the coroner gave this as the recorded verdict.

The first inquest of 1948 was in January and, as the District Coroner Mr.E.W.Norris had died earlier in the month, it was conducted by Mr.A.C.Ackroyd, the Deputy Coroner. Miss Ada Jobson, 76, a retired power-loom weaver of Skelmanthorpe had died in the hospital.  A nephew said that until recently his aunt had been in good health but in December she had been climbing onto a buffet and holding on to a chair when the chair slipped and she fell hurting her arm and leg. After being seen by a doctor she was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for an X-ray which showed she had a fractured arm. After having her arm bound she was taken home but removed to Deanhouse Hospital in January where she died. Dr. John Lublan, the medical officer, said in his opinion death was due to cerebral thrombosis from arteriosclerosis accelerated by the fracture of her arm. The Deputy Coroner recorded a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

The next inquest was in April . A verdict that death was due to carcinoma of the liver accelerated by carcinoma of the bladder was returned  by the jury on Jack Woodhead of Linthwaite who died in the hospital on March 25. The enquiry was conducted by the acting Coroner, Mr. A.C.Ackroyd and W.E.Batley was elected foreman of the jury. Also present at the inquest were Miss Forest, H.M. Inspectorate of Factories, Miss Atkinson representing the relatives and J.D. Eaton Smith who represented ICI Ltd. Huddersfield.

The Acting District Coroner, Mr. A.C.Akeroyd,  conducted an inquest in May on Mrs. Emma Barker who died in the hospital. Evidence of identification was given by Mrs. Annie Barker her daughter-in-law who said Emma was 82 and in fairly good health but only had one leg. On March 18 the deceased told the witness that she had fallen off the bottom step of the stairs. Dr.Hubbard was sent for and the deceased was kept in bed until removal to Deanhouse suffering from cerebral thrombosis.She did not make any progress and died 10 days later. The recorded verdict was that the deceased died from hypostatic pneumonia due to confinement  owing to injuries sustained by an accidental fall.

The new District Coroner , Mr. M.G. Billington, conducted his first inquest at the hospital in June. It concerned Mrs.Ann Roberts of Dobcross who died at the hospital. Evidence of identification was given by Eber Longley, the brother in law of the deceased, who said Mrs. Roberts was 84 and lived with him in Dobcross. He said he found her lying on the floor in her bed-sitting room complaining about her leg hurting. The doctor came  and Mrs. Roberts was admitted to the Institution on May 13. The patient was deaf and could not give her history as she was mentally confused and restless. An X-ray revealed a fracture of the right femur and she also suffered from arteriosclerosis and a weak heart. She progressed quite favourably until June 14 when she had a cerebral  thrombosis . The doctor said in his opinion the cause of death was due to arteriosclerosis accelerated by the fracture of the femur. A verdict of accidental death in accordance with medical evidence was returned.

In July the Deputy Coroner, Mr.H.Whitely, held an inquest  into the circumstances surrounding the death of James Dawson of Netherton. He was 83 and formerly a woolen fettler. About 6pm on July 13th. he was standing in front of his house taking a newspaper from a boy. He turned round to go back into the house and slipped. Witnesses saw him fall but he was not unconscious. His daughter got him into the house and Dr. Smailes of Honley was called for. Two days later he was removed to Deanhouse Hospital. His daughter was present when he died on July 22. Dr. John Lublan, the medical officer at the hospital, said the deceased had been suffering from a fractured femur and arteriosclerosis due to senility and in his opinion this was the cause of his death. A verdict of natural causes was recorded.

There was another inquest in September on Annie Halstead , 59 years, by the District Coroner, Mr.G.Billington. Dr.John Lublan said Annie had been admitted to the hospital suffering from a scald on her right foot, severe arthritis in both hips and degeneration of the heart muscle. Her wound healed completely but her general condition became worse and she also failed mentally. In his opinion death was due to myocardial degeneration. The Coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The next inquest was in held in October saw yet another inquest into the death of Gertrude Leigh ,75, a spinster of Leeds. The Coroner was Mr. G.Billington. Evidence of identification was given by her sister who said the deceased had been a patient at the hospital for 4 or 5 years. Assistant Nurse Elsie Parker said the deceased had been suffering from senility and blindness ever since she had been admitted but she was allowed to get out of bed to go to the toilet. On September 6th. she heard a commotion and found Miss Leigh laying on the floor with her head on two steps at the entrance to the toilet. Dr.John Lublan had attended the deceased since her admission to the hospital and stated that after her  fall she was bruised and complained of a pain in her left hip. She developed bronchitis a week later and when that cleared up her heart began to fail and continued to fail. She died from miocardial degeneration caused by senility. A verdict of accidental death was recorded. The Coroner asked if the floor had been polished and the doctor said it was not polished where the woman fell.

The last inquest for the year was in November. It was held  by the District Coroner, Mr.G.Billington, into the death of Miss Harriet Moseley, 77, of Honley who died in the hospital. Her sister, Clara Moseley, said she had been bed-ridden for 12 years at home and in August had fallen out of bed and complained that her arm was hurting and Dr.Smailes was sent for. After a fortnight she was removed to the hospital. The witness added that her sister had never had bed sores in the 12 years she had spent in bed. Dr. John Lublan said the deceased was admitted to hospital on 26th. August and had extensive bruising down her left arm. He diagnosed a fracture of the neck of the humerus and found she had signs of cerebral softening. Her general conditioned deteriorated , her heart became weaker and she died from miocardial degeneration due to general arteriosclerosis. The verdict was Death by Misadventure.

Death occured in the hospital on December 24 1955 of Mr.John Shaw of Denby Dale who had been suffering from the effects of gunshot wounds received in the 1914-18 war and had been in and out of hospitals ever since. At an inquest held in Halifax and a verdict of ” Death from Natural Causes ” was recorded.

Mrs. Ann Mallinson of 17 Outlane died in Huddersfield Infirmary and an inquest was held in May 1956 under the Borough Coroner, Mr.S.Lister.He was told that Mrs.Mallinson who was 83 fell whilst hanging clothes out in April.She was taken to Holme Valley Hospital and later to huddersfiedl Royal Infirmary. Dr.Abdul Hafiz said she received a fractured thigh in the fall. Death was due to hypostatic pneumonia due to recumbency om account of the fractured thigh. A verdict in accordance with the medical evidence was recorded.