The Watson Family History

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

Watson family tree

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harry Beaumont 1897 – 1996

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

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

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

Beaumont family group, 1905

Harry’s grandfather

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

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

Harry Beaumont in uniform

 

Harry and his comrades

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

Letter from Matron to harry’s mother.

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

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

M.Bassett-Popkin , Matron Commandant.

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

Harry as mayor of Holmfirth 1950 -51

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

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

 

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

 

1955 Election Pamphlet

 

Election Pamphlet 1964

Netherthong – details of soldiers who fought and survived WW1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sam Scholfield

 

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

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

J.E.Hobson who received the DCM

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harry Beaumont in uniform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

H.HebblewaiteHe was a scout in the NT 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

photograph of Charles Albert Hudson –  courtesy of Tim Parsons – August 2019

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seaman Arthur Lockwood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harold Sanderson is listed on the Methodist Church ROH.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Read more about Netherthong and the wars…

The Roebucks of Moor Lane – detailed Family Tree 1775 to date

A great deal of research and effort has been  put into the following excellent family tree of the Roebuck family from 1775 up to the present.  Because it is very specialised, I have given it a chapter of its own and it is basically word-for-word, including the researcher’s comments, as it was supplied to me by Brenda Quarmby ( nee Roebuck ).

GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT GRANDAD

ROGER ROEBUCK            married                           ?

born about 1755? , he lived at Woodnook and was listed as a Clothier. Possible children:- Hannah (christened 21.6.1778) – John  (christened 27.2.1779) – Eli (christened 25.12.1782) – Lydia b.1786 ? Christened in Honley, West Yorkshire.( I am not sure about this person ).

 GREAT, GREAT, GREAT GRANDAD

JOHN ROEBUCK Snr.                      married                MARIA ( not known )

 b. 1779. died 2.7.1835 aged 55.                            b.1778. died 14.9.35 aged 57 

 Children:-  John – William b.1809 – Benjamin – Lydia b.1786 ? – Possibly Maria b.1793 – Others not known

 Netherthong Parish Church was completed in 13 March 1829. The children were possibly christened in Honley as they all lived at Wood Nook.

Moorgate, Netherthong was an area on the edge of the moors (hence the name) which included Great Ox Close, Oxley Lane ,Middle Brown Hill, Upper Brown Hill, Lower Ox Close, Moorgate Farm and  probably Sands Farm. John Roebuck and family were shown as living at Wood Nook (near Honley) in 1813. In 1831, he built dwellings at Great Ox Close and these dwellings were tenanted. (I believe this is Ox Lane Farm & the tenants were weavers) He was, we were told, a very wealthy man. John and Maria were buried in Netherthong churchyard. (This grave has a very prominent position at the head of the Church …Large stone box type by vestry door area). William his son married Ann the daughter of Joseph Hirst… (Ann has also been named Oldham ? see belowThis could be where the name of Joseph Hirst was first originated into the Roebuck family. There could also be a connection with a George Hirst (Holmfirth area) who owned Digley Mill in the 1830’s. Bank End Mill next door was tenanted by John and William Roebuck also at this time? The Mill was badly damaged by the great flood in 1852. It is  believed that  John Roebuck handed down his assets to his son William circa 1836?

Moorgate Farm was never owned or tenanted by Roebucks. It was the property of Dyson’s and  still was in 2012

 GREAT, GREAT GRANDAD

WILLIAM ROEBUCK                          married                      ANN OLDHAM HIRST

  born 21.4.1808,                                                                born

                                            Ann was born Upperthong

 Children:- John  – Emma – Ellen Ann – Maria – Mary – Sarah – Lydia – Joseph H – William E

 William was born at Wood Nook, near. Netherthong, which was later handed down to him from his father John. The Census taken 30.3.1851 shows the family living at Woodnook, 64 acres plus houses and servants. They mainly reared sheep in addition to the usual farm animals.

In 1881, Ann was 73 years old. She was a widow, still lived at Wood Nook, Honley,  farmed  60 acres and employed 4 men.  A marriage certificate was required to ascertain if Ann was HIRST or OLDHAM and who was her father… Joseph Hirst of Wilshaw or William Hirst (b.1785).There was also a George Hirst, Mill owner of Digley Mill. Details of her mother are unknown to date.  All the children were christened at Netherthong Church and William and  Ann were buried in Netherthong churchyard together with John and Maria Roebuck.

When William died he left Woodnook to Joseph and William E and their mother Ann was to live in the cottage. There is evidence that the farm was left to the eldest son John, which was the usual thing to do in those days. He in turn later rented it out to his brothers, Joseph and William Edward (there is an original document showing a rental agreement between these three Roebucks dated  February 1st 1887)  at £69 a year with rent days being May 1st and November 1st.

 John born 21.4.1831 and died Jan 1889?   Farmer’s son born in Netherthong. John was married to Martha Ann born 2.4.1841 and died 11.7.1923 (She was baptized on September 2 1877) and  in 1871 they were shown as Grocers in Thongsbridge. In 1881 they lived at Ox Lane as farmers with children, Annie born c.1874 (Dressmaker) – Edith born c. 1874 (Dressmaker’s assistant) – William born c.1868 (Joiner) – John Herbert born 9.10.1884 (In 1911 he was listed as being a farm manager at Moor Lane, Netherthong) – Fred born 7.8.1878 and died 1.8.1880 – Mary Emma born April 1871 died 31.3.1874, aged 2 yr 11 months – John Charles died at the age of 6 ½ months. All the children were born in Netherthong and in1891 they lived at Ox Lane but by 1901 they had moved to Wood Nook. The 1861 Census shows that Martha Ann was the daughter of Grace and David Roebuck. Grace was born c.1802 and came from Almondbury. David Roebuck was a Manufacturer. Martha had a sister Mary Mellor born c.1844. John possibly died in 1901. Mary Mellor was possibly married in September 1867. As mentioned earlier,  this John, being the eldest son, inherited Wood Nook on the death of his father and on the 1st February 1887 he rented the farm out to his brothers Joseph Hirst and William Edward for £69 yearly rent.

 William Roebuck born 1868 – died 1938 (Son of John Roebuck & Martha Ann above), emigrated to New Zealand and he married Lucy Holmes born1873 – died1938. (They had no children which we know of).  William lived at Wood Nook in 1908 and married Lucy on 1.9.1908 at the United Methodist Church, Moldgreen,Huddersfield. Lucy lived at Brook Street, Moldgreen and her father,  Charles Holmes,  was a corn miller. She worked as a confectioners assistant. Lucy arrived in New Zealand 19.2.1910 and they were farmers there alongside his cousin William Ramsden Roberts.  William and Lucy died within four months of each other in 1938 and were buried  in the Old Hamilton East Cemetery.

Ellen Ann  born 12.8.1834 – died 1903    Farmer’s daughter  born in Netherthong. Possible marriage September 1865 or June 1866 . We think she was christened on 31.8.1834 and she married Richard Roberts born 1829 – died1908 of  Farnley Tyas. They had children Richard Henry,  Sarah, John Richard born 1901 – died1979,  Stanley born1905 – died 1972   and  William Ramsden born 1869 – died 1938 , who married Eleanor Lister born1871 – died1940 and  they had children Vera 1899-1967, Frank 1902-1980 and Norman 1911-1999. Frank married Winifred Hodge born 1916 – died 2006 and they had a child, John Roberts born 1943 in Tauranga New Zealand where he still lives with his wife and family.

 William Ramsden’s  family originally  moved to New Zealand in 1910 on the recommendation of their friends, the Roebucks, who were already there. They made this move after the death of their father Richard Roberts in 1908.

Their sister Sarah had already settled in the USA.( My cousin reckons they knew Roebucks in England who had members already settled in New Zealand and may have provided the incentive).

William Ramsden, Richard Henry (and his wife and 3 children) arrived in NZ on the ‘Arawa’ in June 1910.

William’s wife and their 5 children emigrated 6 months later on the ‘Tainui’ arriving in November 1910. Her daughter, two year old Gertrude, died  when the ship docked at Hobart, Tasmania. William’s wife, Eleanor, was 7 months pregnant at the time so it must have been some trip.

My cousin who lives near Hamilton, New Zealand, found many Roebuck names in her local phone book.

  Mary born 5.1.1838 – died10.9.1875 .  She was a  farmer’s daughter  born in Moorgate, Honley. She married Henry Senior 22.8.1870 in Netherthong and they had three children. Albert Edward  born 5.7.1872 – died 2.10.1923 , he was a butcher/farmer and he married Ellen Horn on 21.5.1894. Reuben born 1874 – died 6.8.1931 in Huddersfield. He was a butcher

Mary Ann  born Nov 1875 – died  ? she married Harold Thomas Raper on 4.6.1903 and her mother, Mary, most probably died at the time of her birth in 1875.

 Henry Senior re-married Betty Hampshire from Upperthong  on 20.11.1877.

 Sarah, born 6 Apr 1840 – died June 1880 , was a farmers daughter and born at Moorgate (Honley). She died in the Huddersfield area. She married Henry Stace Ward born 11.3.1832 – died .March 1908 and  he was a Draper/Manager of a Co-op store. The marriage took place on  8.1.1863 in Netherthong Parish Church and  they had three children. Agnes Ward September 1864,  William Rootsey Ward born Oct 1865- died Aug 1944 (he was an accomplished water colour artist) ,Ada Maria Ward born 1869 – died June 1881 (age 12). Lydia born 1842                      born in Honley. Possible marriage March 1865 .

 William Edward born 6th March 1847 – died 10th February 1895 at the age 49 of a heart attack. Census says he was born in Honley. After his brother Joseph (the Vet) died, he continued with Rachel taking care of the farm at Wood Nook – he had an affair with Rachel and  fathered a son called Harry in 1893 (the mother being Rachel Roebuck (nee Spencer Batty)). Harry married Emma (nee) Beaumont from Hepworth. They lived in Netherthong opposite the Clothiers Arms .William Edward was a farmer and  he did not marry but always lived with Joseph H and  Rachel. William was  buried with his brother Joseph Hirst/Rachel/Arthur in Netherthong graveyard (front of Church-left).

 Joseph H. born 29.4.1844 – died 5.11.1891. He was a Veterinary Surgeon, born in Honley.  There was also another Joseph Hirst Roebuck who died at Deanhouse Workhouse (hospital) 13th October 1895 and  was buried 17th October 1895. Maria was born  July 1836 and  died aged ten months 3rd April 1837 and was buried in Netherthong graveyard. Emma born about  1832/3, died aged 15  on the 2nd April 1848.and was also  buried in the Netherthong graveyard.

GREAT GRANDAD

JOSEPH HIRST ROEBUCK                    married to               RACHEL SPENCER                                                                                                              BATTY                                  

29 April 1844 – 5th Nov 1891             18.6.1873             b.23.8.1851 – died 17th Dec 1931

Age 47                                                                                 Aged 80

Born in Honley (I think Moorgate Farm)                          Born Hunshelf/Penistone 

Children:- Hirst,  Emma, Arthur,  Benjamin , Mary Ann (Polly) ,Lily, Ada, Lydia, Alice,  Harry ( Harry was born in 1893 with Joseph’s brother, William, being the father ).

Joseph Hirst was baptized at All Saints Church, Netherthong June 18th 1844 (could be May)

The marriage certificate shows that Rachel was a Batty.(but Charlesworth memoirs show her name as Spencer ??). Rachel’s father was Benjamin Batty, a farmer, and the family were from Hunshelf near Penistone . She was born with a squint and died from a stroke . She was married to Joseph Hirst on 18th June 1873 at the Parish Church, Penistone and they lived at Wood Nook farm and  Rachel had ten children. (See note for last one Harry’s father who was William Ed.)

Joseph was a Veterinary Surgeon and lived at Woodnook. When Joseph H died of a heart attack he left Woodnook to his brother William Edward in 1891. Sometime after William Edward died,  Rachel and  her children Mary A,  Lily,  Ada, Alice ,  Harry lived at 78 Alder Street. Huddersfield .St.Andrews ? ( I estimate around 18961901. See 31.3.1901 Census.). Rachel probably moved into the Queens Head Inn around 1901 – 1905 and  then to Cliffe View her newly built house on Thong Lane, Netherthong. Charlesworth memoirs state that BOTH farms were sold (but we only know of Wood Nook) and the spoils were divided between the children. Joseph lived a very busy life as a vet and  seemed happy with the outdoor life.

 ARTHUR was born in Honley on 10th Dec 1876  and died 12th July 1895  He lived at Wood Nook and was buried with his mother and father in Netherthong church yard  at the age of 19. (Louie’s diaries show the death at six weeks old of another Arthur (cot death) -who is the other Arthur ?)

 BENJAMIN    Born 18.11.1878 , died 12.08.1916. Although Benjamin’s name is on the gravestone with his sisters Lily and  Alice in Netherthong Churchyard, he is also listed on the memorial at Villers – Bretonneux Memorial at the Somme in  France where he was allegedly buried with other soldiers.

:Another death was that of Benjamin Roebuck, who was a Private (5178), 16th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Born at Netherthong, the son of Joseph Hirst Roebuck and Rachel Roebuck, of Cliff View, Netherthong, Holmfirth, he was educated at Saint Mary’s Church School, Wilshaw. While living at Netherthong he became a teamer, driving a horse drawn wagon for Mr. John Batley; he was a member of the Working Men’s Club and attended All Saint’s Church. He emigrated to Australia around 1910, and soon acquired a farm and an orchard at Harvey, in a farming area in the South Western part of Western Australia. He volunteered at Blackboy Hill, near Harvey, on January 19th 1916, listing his mother, Rachel, as his next of kin, and sailed from Freemantle with reinforcements for the 16th Battalion on March 31st 1916, onboard HMAT A9 Shropshire, stopping at Egypt on the way to the Western Front. He was killed in action on Saturday August 12th 1916, shortly after he had arrived in France. His family received the news of his death on September 2nd; he was thirty-seven years old. There is no known  grave. The 16th Battalion spent the week before his death in attacks in the area around Circular Trench, north of Pozieres, France, also beating off a German counterattack from Mouquet Farm. On the 12th the German artillery bombarded the left of the line, and at 1:30 p.m. the Battalion was relieved, though the Germans shelled them as they moved to the rear. Benjamin Roebuck was either one of the thirty-nine men who were known to have been killed, or one of the nineteen reported missing believed killed in action with the 16th Battalion that day. Many more men were wounded. A letter written shortly before his death arrived in Holmfirth saying he was glad to get away from Egypt, which was a miserable place to live, and that he hoped to visit them at Netherthong before he returned to Australia.

 ALICE  was born on 4.8.1889 and died 18.3.1950 aged 60. She lived at Wood Nook and after an accident, whilst riding her bicycle in Netherthong, her hat pin pierced her brain leaving her brain damaged. Alice was admitted to Storthes Hall Hospital  on 8th January 1913 aged 24 where she remained there until she died aged 60. She was buried in Netherthong church yard with sister Lily and brother Benjamin.

 EMMA   Born 17.1.1875 – died 11th Nov 1945. She was born in Honley and lived at Wood Nook and she had a leg amputated when she was 60 years old.. She married Fred Charlesworth in 1895 . He was born in 1874 and died of pneumonia on 18.11.1918. They had eight children:- Walter 1896, Ben 1898  who died of diptheria in1902, – Harry (Dick) born 1900 (Harry married Nellie Stott),  Helen 1902- died 3.May 1916  of meningitis,  Alice 1906( Alice married Norman ?),  Cora 1908 (Cora married George Dickenson of Farnley Tyas), Mary born 30 Jan 1915 and she was diagnosed with Osteomyilitis at the age of nine,  Louie born 8th May 1916 – died1 December 2009 , she married Ernest Rex Watson on 29 Oct 1938). (This is the family line where the original Roebuck money/land ended up. Great Grandma Rachel being Emma’s mother.)

 HIRST   Born 8,11,1873  Born in Honley at Wood Nook.         

MARY ANN (known as Polly ).   Born in Honley 29.10.1880 – died 13th Nov . She lived at Woodnook  and married Arthur Chambers in 1907. He died fighting in France on 5.4.19 They had a daughter Elsie 23.6.1911 – 21.3.1934 who died from Diptheria. She was a Worsted and Woollen weaver.

 

LILY   Born 27th January 1883 – died 30th January 1913.  Lived at Wood Nook and she was a tailores and died of a heart attack aged 30. (The Charlesworth bible shows 1887 – 1910). She was buried in Netherthong church yard with her sister Alice and brother Benjamin.

 ADA   Born 10.7.1885. (This lady was quite well heeled ) .She owned properties in and  around Huddersfield and also owned the two front fields at Ox Lane Farm for which a yearly rent was paid. These fields were purchased by Mother and Derek after Dad’s death (JOHN Roebuck) in 1978. She had nieces Lilian and Eveline.

 LYDIA    Born  23.5.1887 and she had children:- Hilda,  Evelyn, Annie and Lilian. Their surname was Woods. She became a nurse at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

 HARRY     Born  22.10.1893. Fathered by William E ( brother of Joseph who had died in 1891.) Harry married Emma Beaumont from Hepworth and they had a son Phillip born18.1.1927 and  they lived in Netherthong. He served in the RAF in 1914 and was buried in Netherthong church yard.

 They all lived at Wood Nook Farm, Honley in 1881 and Woodnook was sold around 1896/7?  Rachel, now a widow and on her own since William died in 1895, was shown as living at 74 Alder Street, Huddersfield as at 31.3.1901. Wood Nook was now shown to be occupied by Martha Ann Roebuck (widow of John ) plus children, she being completely self-sufficient. Somewhere between 1895 – 1905,  Rachel lived in Alder Street, Huddersfield and later bought the Queens Head Pub in Netherthong. (Her life at this point seemed to revolve around her children, Mary Ann (Polly) & Emma). She later had a house built at the top of Thong Lane in Netherthong and named it “Cliffe View”. She moved there in 1905 where she lived until her death. The Queens Head Pub was closed in 1938 See chapter on pubs and inns.  Grandma Rachel was buried with her family at the front area of Netherthong churchyard.

 (19th December 1896: A Mortgage of £500 was taken out from Lloyds Bank, Holmfirth, The document was amongst Dad’s papers.  Too early for him….must have been his Dad HIRST Roebuck. I think this is the purchase of Ox Lane Farm by Hirst Roebuck. Here he worked and  raised his family. We are told that he died owing lots of money).

 GRANDAD

HIRST ROEBUCK                          married                    HANNAH ANN SENIOR

Born 8.11.1873 –  Died 15 Nov 1946       1895                     Born 1871 Died Dec 1934

Age 73 Census RG11/4369                                           Age 63 Census RG/11/4369

Born at Wood Nook/Honley                                          ANN born Deanhouse           

 Children: Herbert,  John, Arthur,  Emily,  Amy,  Joe,  Lydia , Mary Emma  and Marion

 They were married at Netherthong Parish Church on the 16th October 1895 in the presence of Joseph Hirst Roebuck (yeoman) and Ben Senior (Dyer). (No known photos.) Grandad Hirst was well known for his long red beard which later turned white and although he was a hard worker, I am told he was also a heavy drinker.  His mother, Rachel Roebuck ,owned and ran the Queens Head Pub in Netherthong where he was to be found frequently. He was always borrowing money from his mother, which was lent on IOU’s but never paid back. They lived at Wood Nook Farm and he later bought Ox Lane Farm,  Moor Lane, Netherthong, Holmfirth.and had nine children. Hirst Roebuck died in Deanhouse Hospital aged 73 and was buried December 18th 1946.  Grandma Hannah Ann was buried on  December 26th 1934 aged 63.They were buried in Netherthong Parish Church graveyard (bottom end right side No: M74, which is approximately half way down and  five rows in from the path .(Behind Mam/Dad’s plot). Hannah Ann was taken ill at the funeral of baby Jean Howells (her granddaughter, with a stroke and later died from heart related symptoms. (This appears to be the only Roebuck grave NOT marked with a headstone !!!!)

Hirst was apparently the black sheep of the family. He bought Ox Lane Farm with his legacy money and  help from his mother and Uncle William. He had at one time 12 men working for him on the farm and, come Friday evening, they would all go to the pub (probably the Queens Head) for a drink and  he wouldn’t pay out their wages until going home time from the pub. This was so they took their wages home to the family and didn’t spend it on drink. Although he was a great drinker himself he always provided for his family first. There would be a gathering of the family on Saturday nights in Victoria Street, Holmfirth, where HIRST would always buy a large joint of meat from the butchers there ( we know it now as Howarths green grocers) to take home for Sunday dinner. He was also involved greatly in carting ganister from the quarry to build stables in Meltham (this is where the White Swan pub is). (Always borrowing money from his Mother as we know BUT it seems to me that he also had many good qualities and was very much a family man at heart).

Hirst and Hannah Ann used to make their own butter, a tradition which had been handed down many generations. ( I remember helping my Dad, John, to make butter and little pats were made for the children). When Hannah Ann died, her daughter Marion took over the care of the family and granddaughter Hannah would scrub the kitchen floor every Friday with a reward of 6d. (sixpence). Uncle Arthur said that Grandad Hirst spent all his money (after feeding his family) in one of the pubs in Meltham, either The Swan or the Waggon & Horses. He would buy everyone in the pub drinks until there was no money left, returning the next week to do the same thing.

 (As a child, I remember the Roebuck family used to gather at Ox Lane for Christmas Day tea, a tradition which continued well into my later childhood. All the Aunties and Uncles would sit round the large round oak table which usually needed two sittings, and we children got what was left over.)

 HIRST Roebuck bought Ox Lane Farm about1895/6 (I am not sure of this date/year ), after his father Joseph H died. He used his own money plus some from his Uncle William E and help from his Mother, Rachel. He left Ox Lane Farm and all his debts to his son JOHN Roebuck.

 HERBERT born in Wilshaw on 30.12.1900 and died 29.3.1985. He  married  Aggie Aspinall from Totties on 12.7.1924 . She was born in Scholes in1901 and died on 3.10.1979 . They had 3 children, Kenneth ,Eileen and Rita. Uncle Herbert lost an arm at his workplace and wore a  prosthesis. He worked on the Railways at Brockholes

Kenneth Roebuck, born 27 June 1925 was a Fireman at Holmfirth Fire Station.  Eileen  was born1.5.1929  at Larchouse,Scholes and died on 30.8.2006 from cancer and was cremated 6.9.2006.She had been a hairdresser and married Eric Pearson ,born 26.1.1924, in Wooldale at Holmfirth Parish Church on 4.6.1949. They had one son, Michael born 21.11.1949 ,who was married twice and  he had two daughters,  Zoe and  ? . Rita, born 11.5.1936 at Larchhouse, was  married on the 14.6.1958 to Keith Pearson born19.3.1933 at the Parish Church,Holmfirth. Keith died about May 2009 and  they had two children, Gillian born 15.6.1959 and  Richard born 8.12.1961.(Richard married Elaine born11.3.63)

Kenneth married Audrey Hill who was born on 1 July 1926 and  died July 21st 2006 (she was buried in Upperthong 28.7.06) .They lived behind the Civic Hall,Holmfirth and  had three children: Susan Gail 25.3.1950,  Ian Phillip 18.3.1953 and John Leslie 8.7.1959.

Susan Gail married Patrick Thorpe and  they had four children. Victoria Edwina born 3.10.73 married  Daniel Hargreaves on 7.7.2001 and they have a son Thomas Patrick b.11.9.2005.  Elizabeth Rowena born 6.11.74 married John Miles on 11.7.2004.  Katherine Lucy born 16.10.76 married Paul Skelton on 1.8.2003 and they have a son Finlay James born 9.12.2005.  Alexandra Mary born 11.2.79 married Paul Kennedy in Gretna Green (now divorced).

 Ian Phillip died in Lanzarote by a freak wave which took him out to sea and  drowned him on 18.1.1999. He was married to Sandra Wyke born 5.5.1955 at St.Johns, Holmfirth on the 21.6.1975. They have two children. Melanie Dawn born 10.9.1976 and Christopher James born 17.6.1982.  Melanie married Simon Wilkinson born 6.10.1976 at St.Johns, Holmfirth on the 15.7.2000 and they have two children. Dylan Luke born 5.7.2002 and  Emily Grace born 15.4.2005. Christopher married ? in September 2009.

 John Leslie  married Kathryn Ann Booth born 16.10.1957 at Holmfirth Parish Church on 20.9.1980.They had a child, Matthew James born 27.11.1995.

 ARTHUR  was born 24th June 1905 and he died on 13th April 1985  from prostate cancer. He married  Edith Rothery (aka  Eadie?), born 8th August 1904 and died 29th August 1972 . They had three children – Evelyn  born 14th August 1928 (who married an Alfred Oldham on 30th August 1952 and he died 13th January 2010 from a pancreatic tumour. A daughter born about 1938, who only lived three days and was buried in Netherthong church yard. David was born on 14th August 1942 and  he married Brenda Senior, born 1.5.1943,  on the 29th October 1966. Evelyn was a hairdresser at a shop next door to Uncle Alf’s Barbers on Mill Moor Road, Meltham. She  lived with and took care of  Auntie Lydia in Mill Moor Road, Meltham until Aunty Lydia  died aged 99.5 yrs. In 1928 the family lived at Sands Farm, Moor Lane, Netherthong, later moving to Upperthong, Arden in Bingley, Gloucester and later Hoyland Swaine. Uncle Arthur was a farm manager.

 Evelyn’s children: Melvyn Edward, born31.3.1960,  was married to ??? and lived for some time in France. Anthony Arthur born18.5.1964 (He was adopted 21.1.1969) . Christopher David born 28.3.1969 who works in the Entertainment Industry. He was married to Mandy ? (divorced) and they had a daughter Gemma.

 David’s children: Diane was born 24.11.1967 and married  Yogesh Shah, born 1960, in Nairobi. They have two children, Rianna born 1997and Kiran born 2002,  Gary born 30.3.1971 married Julie Fish,born 1974 & had children.  Vicky born 1991  married Simone Magowan, born 1978 & had three children. Alex born1978, Adam born 2005 and Glyn born 4.10.1974 who married  Rebecca Marsden, born1978. They have three children, Tyler born1997,  Charlie born1998 and Hayden born2004. David lives in the Hoyland Swaine area.

JOSEPH E  was born in Wishaw about 1898 and christened in Netherthong Parish Church. Originally a farmhand he later moved to York (possibly Spicklegate)  and  married Laura ? Two children, Mary and Louie. No further info.

 LYDIA ANN   born 28th July 1908 and died 26th July 2007. She was married in 1929 at Netherthong Parish Church to Alf Howells (barber on Mill Moor Road,  Meltham, where they also lived at No 22).Lydia died peacefully in her sleep on 26th November 2007 and her ashes are buried with her family in Meltham Parish Church. They had a daughter, Jean who died 22 December 1934 of leukaemia aged 18 months. Jean, Alf and  Lydia are buried in the churchyard of the Parish Church, Meltham.

 AMY, born 6.8.1903 and  died 20.10.1980 , married  Arthur Dawson  and had two children. Phillip, born1933 , married Nina Glover born 1934. Phillip was in the British Army from 1951-1953. Sheilla born 22.6.1927 and  died in 2010? She  married Selwyn Ibbottson of Selwyn’s Taxis in Honley but divorced him and  later married Willie Thompson. Amy re-married Arthur Jones. Auntie Amy was a Medium and was last known to live in Lockwood Huddersfield/Netherton Road in(a big corner house. Sheilla had tqo  step sons, Michael and Richard Thompson.

 Phillip’s seven children were : Janice born 1954,  Kevin born 1957,  Carol born 1958, – Andrew born 1960,  Sharon born 1962,  Mark born 1964  and Valerie born 1952. Janice married Peter Wills and they had a daughter, Rebecca, born 1989. Kevin married Jane Boyes. Carol married Roger Clegg and they had a daughter Laura Clegg, born 1983.  Carol divorced and  later married Andrew Lyman and they had a son Tomas Lyman born in 1990. Andrew married Joanne Weedon and they had two children Antony, born 1985, and  Bethany, born 1988. Mark married Margaret Carrol and they have a son Charlie born 2005. Sharon was born a spastic and  has always lived at home but does manage to work Valerie died when she was about one year old.

 EMILY was  born on 5.4.1899 in Wilshaw ( Wood Nook ) and died in 1984. She was married to William Pollard, born 1891 and died1957, and together they first lived in the middle cottage at Ox Lane Farm circa 1923 – 1940. From there they lived in and  ran Honley Labour Club and later still moved to Leamington Spa, They had two children, Hannah born 6.9.1923 (Hannah was in the British Army 1941-1945 ) and she married Frederick Watkins, (born18.5.1919  died 17.11.1985), in Huddersfield on 2.12.1946.  Hannah was last known to be living in Leamington Spa. Joan, born 29 July1921 and who died 5 September 1989,  married Robert J. Russell, (born 16 March 1922) , in Romford about 1945 and her ashes are buried in a top field at Ox Lane Farm. Emily was cremated in Leamington Spa and  William was cremated in Leeds.

Hannah’s four children were :  Jacqueline,  Edward,  Christine  and Josephine.

Jacqueline Beatrice born 30.5.1947 married David Evetts on 7.10.1967. Their  children were :Theresa ,born 8.9.1968,  married Christopher Mark Pemble on 5.8.1989 and their two  children were:  Liam Christopher David born 11.7.1992 and Callum Christopher Eric born 11.7.1995.  Ian David born 29.7.1972  and married Sheron Peta Towe on 4.8.2001 . Their  children were,  Joel Ian born 22.4.2001 and Stevie Lee Christina born 25.7.2004. Edward Alan born 12.5 1950. Christine Anne born 21.7.1953 married Peter Harrop (30.11.1985): Their  children were : Arron,  Jason (partner Patricia Sisk,child Kian Sisk Harrop),  Michelle born 4.9.1985 and Luke Edward born 25.11.1988. Josephine Mary born 22.1.1957 married Peter Burden born1957 on 7.10.1985.Two children ,Adam born 30.4.1986 and Daniel born 6.7. 1988.

 Joan and Robert James Russell’s children: Jean Priscilla born 23.7.1946, Christopher Peter born 6.8.1947 and Anthony Leonard born17.8.1948. Jean Priscilla married ? and had four children: Jonathan,  Robin,  Martin and  Stephanie. Christopher Peter married ? and had two  children Bruno and Danielle.

 MARY EMMA  was born in Netherthong about 1896 and died1919.  In 1911 she boarded with Coldwell (Butchers of Wilshaw) and worked as an errand girl at a Cotton Mill. She died of Cancer and  had a daughter named Hilda born 22.6.1920 and died 29 Sept 1995.  (Mary Emma is probably  buried in the churchyard at Wilshaw). Hilda’s father was called Bill Saunders and  she was born out of wedlock whilst he was in the Army. Although Mary Emma and  Bill were later married, Hilda was brought up as one of the Roebuck sisters and lived in the cottage at Ox Lane Farm before moving to Honley about 1947. She married Douglas Baker, born3.12.1916, from Meltham who died in Helme Nursing Home in 1999/2000 and  she died peacefully at her home in Roundhay, Honley of a heart attack. She was cremated at Huddersfield Crematorium on 29.9.1995. They had a daughter Patricia, born 5.5.1943, who married Geoff Haigh, born19.12.1939, from Holmfirth. . Pat and Jeff had a son Jonathan Haigh born 2.6.1971. (Last known address of Patricia is Scarcroft/Wetherby).

 MARION , born circa 1917 and died ??,   married  John Lumb and  they lived in the Barnsley District. They had two children Barry and Keith. Barry died at the age of 12 years of tuberculosis. Keith Lumb married a Sandra ?. He left home  after his brother died and was cared for by a Mr & Mrs Carr. They all lived in Wombwell near Barnsley. The friendship between Marion and Mam (Connie) introduced her to my dad John. She was a gentle lady always with a smile. Keith maybe lives in Harley, Rotherham or Barnsley area (2007) and  has two children.

 DAD

JOHN  ROEBUCK                      married                     CONSTANCE  DUNSTAN

29.12.1910 – Sept 1978               1940                      21.9.1917 – 13.11.2004

Age 67                                                                Age 87

 

JOHN  – Born on 29th December 1910 and married Constance Dunstan of Alma Cottage,Meltham on February 17th 1940 at Helme Parish Church in the presence of James William, Arthur Dunstan and Elsie Heywood (Mam’s best friend). Constance was born on 21.9.1917 at 105 Burnaby Street, Sheffield. Her mother was Mabel Dunstan but she was brought up by her grandparents, Arthur J.Dunstan and Helen Dunstan (nee Ward) in Meltham.

 Children: Derek,Brenda,Keith,Edward,Stephenand Michael.They all attended Netherthong Primary School.

 They all lived at Ox Lane Farm, Moor Lane, Netherthong.  John died aged 67 yrs in 1978 and was buried with his son Edward in Netherthong Parish graveyard .(Grave No 451 or H51). He inherited Ox Lane Farm from his father HIRST Roebuck and later handed it down to his sons Derek and Keith Roebuck.

Dad – John Roebuck purchased the adjacent land and  buildings known as Brownhill Farm in 1958.Keith Roebuck owns and lives there. (The Deeds for Ox Lane Farm were transferred to Dad in 1971 and should be held at the Solicitors).

All the usual traditions were carried on at Ox Lane Farm, the making of butter and Dad would also make a little pat for me ,the delivery of milk with the horse and cart where people would bring out their jugs,  the Christmas Day tea when all the Roebuck family would gather. Dad worked hard, as did Mam, but Dad, like his father before him, was quite a heavy drinker at weekends. Sometimes we didn’t see him from Friday night until Sunday night and we had to get Jim Horncastle to come to milk the cows. On the surface Dad was a very hard man, but I believe he was quite soft inside somewhere. His favourite song was “Danny Boy” and his favourite flowers were carnations.

 CONSTANCE  born 21.9. 1917 and died13.11.2004.She had a stroke in May  2003 and ended up in a Nursing Home at Helme Parish (not far from where she lived with her Grandparents until getting married to John Roebuck on February 17th 1940.) She died aged 87 years and was buried in Netherthong Parish graveyard (grave no: 451 or H51). Her mother was Mabel Dunstan but her father was never known. She had a younger sister, May, who died in 1977? of an overdose. (May had a brain tumour which she knew about because she had been a SRN). She was a very hard working lady ever true to her duty as a mother and wife and always on the side of the under dog  Her raport with animals (especially dogs) was amazing.

 DEREK was  born 27.7.1941  at Elm Wood Hospital,Holmfirth due to slight complications at birth (stuck).  Lives at Ox Lane Farm, Netherthong. He  never married and was left 50% of Ox Lane Farm/Brownhill Farm in his father’s (John) will.

 JOHN KEITH was born on 13.3.1944 at Ox Lane Farm.  He married Kathleen Gash on May 22 1970 and was later divorced. His children were : Anna Marie born 24.1.1972 at Princess Royal, Huddersfield and  Brian Keith. Brian was born 13th August 1974 at Holme Valley Memorial Hospital but he died two years later of a brain tumor  and was buried in Netherthong graveyard in Grave 451/H51. Marie married Peter Marcus Lloyd (born 27 Oct 1965) on 6th March 1999 at Huddersfield Registry Office and  they have a son Richard John born 15.11.1999 at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. They are currently living in Linthwaite Nr Huddersfield. Keith was willed 50% of Ox Lane Farm/Brownhill Farm by father (John).

 STEPHEN 5.8.49  was born at Ox Lane Farm on 5.8.49. He ran away to Gretna Green with his girlfriend, Cathy Barkham, but they were caught and  brought back home where they lived together and had three children, Stevie ( Stephen John ),  Sharon and Shaun.  Stevie born 23 March1970 married Lisa O’Brien from Ireland but later divorced. They had three children, Stephen Christopher born 6th March 1991 in Ireland,  John Michael born 14th August 1992 in UK and Gypsy Lee born 7th February 2000 in UK. In 2006 Stevie  lives in thecottage at Ox Lane Farm. Shaun Dylon born ?   is married and lives in Blackpool? There are 2 children, Conner born 12th October 1998 and a baby girl born ??. Sharon Michelle  born12th August 1971 has 2 children but is not married.  Lewis Raymond born 27th December 2003 and Katie Michelle born 26th November 2005. Stephen now lives with his partner Shirley (nee Barkham) in Rastrick Brighouse.

 JAMES EDWARD was born at Ox Lane Farm on 21.9.1945 . He was  drowned in the Old Mill dam at Moor Lane aged six years  on September 13th 1952. and was buried in Netherthong graveyard on September 17th 1952 in Grave No 451 (or H51) with Brian Roebuck (Age two years) and Mam & Dad. ( details of the accident are in the Roebuck chapter ).

 MICHAEL –   Michael was born at Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Huddersfield on 17.8.57. In 2006 he lives with Lynne Cooper, born 1966, in Marsden and  they have four  beautiful blonde daughters named: Zoe born1992,  Amy born1993,  Jodie born1995 and Chloe born1999 (Chloe was severely brain damaged at birth). Michael also has a son called Shane Cooper born 1987. Shane is married to Charlene Dixon born1989 and  they have two children, Cody born 2010 and  Casey born 2006.

 BRENDA                married                         ALAN  QUARMBY

20.1.1943             5.10.1963                           24. 9.1945

 BRENDA was born at Ox Lane Farm on 20.1.43 and married Alan Quarmby of Armitage Bridge,Huddersfield on 5th October 1963 at Wilshaw Parish Church. She was divorced on  29.12.1978 and had one son, Simon Hirst Quarmby born 27.11.1965.  She later lived with one Stephen Angell until 1994 (son of Hilda and George Angell of Rawmarsh, Rotherham) and  they were co-founders of the Entertainment Agency, Angle Entertainments in about 1977 They had one son, Shaun S.Angell born15.5.1973. Brenda lived firstly at 37, Golcar Brow Road.Meltham, followed by a short spell at RAF Finningley and then for 27 years at Rose Cottage,High Street,Braithwell,near Rotherham. She aas an Entertainment Agent and retired in 2002 and now lives at 10, Broom Close,Tickhill,Doncaster. ( She never re-married !!!).

 SIMON HIRST was born 27.11.65 in St.Lukes Hospital, Huddersfield and was the son of Brenda and  Alan Quarmby, who later divorced in 29.12.78. He is married to Claire Goodgrove with three daughters, Hayley born 16.10.92 and Mya born 15.6.99. Shannon was lost at birth on 26.11.1997.  They live in Braithwell near Rotherham. Simon and  Claire were married at Maltby Parish Church on 14th September 1991,  divorced and  later re-married each other on 15th July 2000 at Braithwell Parish Church. Simon is an Entertainment Agent/Promoter and became President of the Agents’ Association of Great Britain in 2011..

 HAYLEY DANIELLE born 16.10.1992  Academically clever and went to Maltby Academy and Wickersley College.He started at Leeds University in 2011 studying Mathematics.

 SHANNON born 26.11.1997 and died the same day.26.11.1997  He is buried in Braithwell churchyard, South Yorkshire.

 MYA PAIGE born 15.6.1999  She is a very good Gymnast ,is good at School ( Malrby Hill Top Jnr./ Maltby Academy)  and  has the makings of being a model !!!

 SHAUN STVAN   born 15.5.73 Son of Brenda Quarmby and  Stephen Angell. He married Victoria Butcher, born 10.4.1972, in the Dominican Republic on 21 September .1998 and they have a son, Samuel, born 16th April 2002 in Rotherham District Hospital. They live in Maltby, near.Rotherham. Shaun is a brilliant golfer and wins many national competitions. He was in the British Army (Sphinx Troop 59 (Asten) Bty 1st Royal Artillery 1993 – 1997). He now works as an Entertainment Agent for Angle Entertainments (an Agency set up by his Mother Brenda & Father Stephen  c.1977)

 SAMUEL born16.4.2002   He is a good scholar, practising golfer and footballer and is   to his X-Box. Also a practising footballer. He moved to Maltby Academy 2012 from Maltby Hilltop Junior School.

Schooling in Netherthong.

The history of schooling in Netherthong wouldn’t be meaningful without giving a brief history of the origins and growth of schooling and schools in England.

 When Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, the only schools available for poor children were charity and church schools or dame “ schools set up by unqualified teachers in their own homes.

Children were expected to work from an early age, either in the factories, mills and mines or, in the case of villages like Netherthong, working in the fields or in the home helping with the weaving.  At the beginning of the 19th. century , children were not required to go to school but, as the century progressed, many laws and Acts were introduced to improve the working conditions for children.

The 1819 Factory Act limited the working day for children in the cotton mills to 12 hours. Children under nine were not meant to be employed but the Local Magistrates were inclined not to enforce it. The 1833 Factory Act sought to improve the conditions further by limiting how long children could work and it was set at 9 hours for children aged between 9 and 13 years and for those between 13 and 18 years the hours were limited to 12.

The laws were amended again in the 1844 Factory Act,  when the hours for children under 13 were reduced to 6.5 hours but for  women and children, between 13 to 18 years, the hours remained at 12 a day.  However three years later the 1847 Factory Act limited them to no more than 10 hours a day with  a maximum of a 58 hour week.

The 1850 Factory Act established a standard working day but it wasn’t until 1878 that the Factory & Workshops Act came into force. Besides banning all children under 10 from working it also addressed the very serious problems of workplace safety. Only 3 years earlier in 1875, a law had been  passed banning the practice of sending small boys up chimneys to clean them and the minimum age now had to be 21. Progress was still slow and it wasn’t until the 1891 Factory Act that the minimum age for a child to work was raised from 10 to 11.

Attempts were being made to introduce some form of education for the children and Ragged Schools were introduced in the 1840s. There were eventually 200 Ragged Schools in England educating 300,000 children who, as Charles Dickens noted, were “ too ragged, wretched, filthy and forlorn to enter any place “ The Elementary Education Act was introduced in 1893 and was followed 6 years later by the School Attendance Act.

 The very first recorded school in Netherthong was a “ Dame School “ and was referred to as the Town school and  located in Miry Lane. It was established in 1777 and became a National school in 1834. A report in the Huddersfield & Holmfirth Examiner for July 1852 stated that ‘Scholars took tea in the school room after which, before a very numerous and respectable audience, they recited a number of appropriate pieces. Mr. Woodhead was praised for his training of the children’.  The school was later used and run mainly by the Wesleyan Methodists and finally closed in the early 1870s. The building was let for use as a joiner’s shop after 1877 and was sold in 1888 for £154 to J. Batley and split into two cottages. The row of cottages still exists today.( see the two photographs in the Chapter of photographs ).

A National School was built in 1865 in Thong Lane and was called the Netherthong Church of England School from 1900 onwards but around 1942 it ceased to be a Church school and was re-named Netherthong County Primary school.

All three of the churches in the village, All Saints, Wesleyan Methodist and Zion Methodist, ran well organised and well attended Sunday School classes in their schoolrooms.

A superb book titled Peasants and Clothiers which gave a history of the Holme Valley and Meltham  was produced by staff and pupils at Holmfirth Secondary School and I have referred to it elsewhere in my history.  One chapter was Schools for All  and I have included some excerpts from it. “In 1780, Robert Raikes of Gloucester started the Sunday School movement that became the first real break-through in elementary education. Out of this movement grew two great societies that vastly increased the educational opportunities throughout the country. In 1808 Joseph Lancaster formed what was to become known as the British and Foreign Schools Society. In 1811, the Church of England, under the leadership of Andrew Bell, started the National Society and many schools in the district were built with financial aid from this society. In all these schools the discipline was extremely strict and the teacher was a stern , unbending figure of fear. There was one comment specifically about Netherthong ….. in 1856 an inquest was held upon the body of Ann Hobson, a pupil of the Town School, Netherthong, who died ‘ through fear of a whipping by the schoolmistress’. In 2015 I spoke to Oliver Wilson, who lived in the village from 1981 to 2003, and  he said he can remember playing with his friends in the Wesleyan graveyard and seeing a tombstone for a girl who was allegedly caned to death in the school and was buried in the graveyard and somebody ?? had chiselled out some of the details on the headstone. It’s fair to assume that this girl was Ann Hobson mentioned in the last sentence. One last piece of information refers to  the monitorial system of teaching. The older and brighter pupils received special lessons from the teacher and  they then instructed a small group of younger pupils. These older pupils or monitors might only be eleven years old, and they received a small wage for doing this. In the second half of the nineteenth century these monitors became known as pupil teachers and they started to take examinations and eventually went to college.

 Oldfield National School in Oldfield Lane was built in 1838 for use as a day and Sunday school  and was restored in 1874.  Oldfield was in the township of Honley  but in 1874 it became part of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Netherthong. The restored school was renamed the Mission Room and Sunday services were held there, supplied by the vicar of Netherthong . Eventually these were discontinued and the building was used by the Working Men’s Club. In 1908 the school was restored to its original use and in the 1970s was converted into a domestic dwelling.

A public tea party and concert took place in the National School in February 1873 , the proceeds of which were devoted to the fund for defraying the cost of extensive alterations in the school to meet the measurements of the Government Education Act upon which the sum of £400 had been expended. This was the first public gathering since the completion of the alterations and a very large company assembled. A substantial tea was provided – the trays being given by Mrs.J.Turner, Mrs. C.Mellor, Mrs. Stephenson, Mrs. Dickinson and Miss Dyson. About 130 partook of the tea after which a grand concert was given by the choir of St.Paul’s Church Huddersfield.

In December 1876, the 2nd. Juvenile Concert was given in the National School to a large audience of parents and friends of the children attending the school. The scholars under the guidance of J.T.Jackson, the master, presented a programme of an anthem, songs and glees accomapanied by Miss Dickenson, the organist at All Saints. At the end of the concert the children were regaled witth coffee and buns.

One of the most successful concerts , given in the village for a long time, was given in the National School in November 1878 to a large and respectable audience. The objective of the promoters of the concert, Messrs. J & B Eastwood, was the clearing – off of the debt upon the Oldfield Mission Room which had been incurred by placing in the mission room the organ out of the Parish Church, All Saints, . This involved taking up the stone floors and replacing by a wooden one plus the re- arrangement of the choir stall and pulpit. The cost was over £27 of which £18 was raised by subscriptions etc. The following artistes ( all of whom gave their services free ) took part in the concert. Trebles : Mrs. T. Farrar, Miss Russell and Miss Ansell.  Altos : Mrs.Shaw, Mrs. J.Mellor and Mr.J.Eastwood.  Tenors : Mr.B.Beardsell and Mr.G.Mellor.  Basses : Mr.B.Eastwood and Mr.B.Boothroyd. The programme included songs, duets and part songs. Miss Dickenson and Miss Russell accompanied some of the songs.

The Inspector’s report was given in June 1879. The key points were – ” … the teachers have worked hard and with very satisfactory results. Reading continues to improve and arithmetic on the 4th. and 5th. standards need attention. Slate work, sewing and discipline deserve special praise.  The infants write fairly but do not speak up enough. 88% of the scholars passed the examination and the following obtained honour certificates – Joe Marsden, James E.Eastwood, Martin Sykes, Harry Woodhead, Mary Mellor and Emma Mallinson. The amount of the grant would be £113 12s being £28 more than the previous year.  The Annual Tea Party for 1880 was held in February and 150 people sat down to eat and were then entertained by a concert given by members of the Parish Church Choir  which included glees, songs, duets and tries.  Miss Dickenson accompanied the songs. There was an even bigger attendance  the following year when 180 persons sat down to tea trays given by the ladies of the congregation. The Parish Church Choir once again gave an excellent concert with members Misses Ansell, M.Beaumont, P.Beaumont, Chappell and Mallinson and Messrs. B. Eastwood, R.Beaumont, J.W.Dyson, I.Eastwood, J.Y.Jackson, Walker and W.E. Chappell. Many of the pieces were sponsored to help raise funds.  The Annual Party for 1882  followed a similar pattern with a sandwich tea provided for 157 people. In December of that year the school held its 6th. Annual children’s concert which was given by the teachers and scholars to a packed audience – no further details were given. There was no report for the 1883 Annual tea party but the Annual Tea party in aid of funds for the National School  in January 1884 was reported and over 200 sat down to an excellent meal. After tea the entertainment  which consisted of glees, songs and readings was given by the choir of the Parish Church and friends. A collection of views of the scenery of North Wales and the Holme Valley, taken by James Bamforth of Holmfirth, was exhibited by a powerful lime- light lantern by Mr.J.Bramall.

In June 1888 special services were held morning and evening in the Parish Church in aid of the Church’s Sunday and day schools. A procession was formed  headed by the school banner and Wooldale Brass band and proceded to Deanhouse Workhouse, Sands, Thongsbridge, Crodingley and back to Netherthong . At Sands, Mr. & Mrs. Stephenson , both teachers, supplied refreshments and, before going home ,the children were presented with two pennies, an orange and a large school cake. The proceeds totaled £30.

 Also in June Mr. James Jackson, schoolmaster, passed the Local Examination of the Royal Academy of Music.

In November the Trustees of the Town School Charity met at the National School to distribute the first prizes under the new scheme of the Charity Commissioners. 23 scholars received prizes ranging from 10/- to 2/6, which  seem to me  to be rather a lot of money for those days. They were reminded that the former Town School would henceforth be known as the Netherthong Town School . The Charity School premises were now no longer suitable for the purpose that they had been  built for nearly 100 years ago and had been sold and the proceeds of the sale , after investment, would give an interest of about £5 a year which would be distributed in prizes to the children of Netherthong .

In August 1890, prizes were given under the scheme of the Charity Commissioners and two of the trustees were present, G.Woodhead and the Rev.Prowde ( see his photo in the chapter on All Saints’ Church ).  Mary Edith Wilson won an extra prize for the best scholar in Std VII which was a beautiful walnut writing desk.

The Express gave a two column report on the school’s Sale of Work. The Rev.J.Prowde presided over the opening procedures and Mr.Wm. Brooke J.P. opened the sale and said he thought the last sale of work was in 1888. As usual in those days there were lots of speeches before the sale was officially opened.There were lots of well laden stalls including a china stall, refreshment stall, plant and flower,fancy work,plain work,tea room, bran tub, Aunt Sally, Advertisement stall and smoke room. The total receipts were £140. The sale re-opened two days later and a further £100 were raised.

Mr.James Marsden, who had been a pupil at the school from 1898 to 1907 sent two very old photographs to the school in 1981. Both were circa 1900s and the first showed the upper school with the headmaster Mr.James Tunstall Jackson and  Mr.Marsden third from the left on the back row. The second photo was of the Infants department – Mr.Marsden was on the left of the back row and the teacher in charge was Miss Minnie Hall of Wilshaw who was on the left.

Infants department circa 1900s
Infants department circa 1900s

Upper school early 1900s
Upper school early 1900s

In November 1905 in order to meet the debt on the school incurred by the Managers and the cost of the alterations, required by the Education Committee of the County Council , which had been carried out during the summer holidays, it was decided to hold a series of sewing meetings and teas.

The photo below of the School feast is dated 1906 and I think the schoolchildren must be outside the Deanhouse Institution.

School feast 1906
School feast 1906

 In September 1908 a letter was sent to the Holmfirth Education Sub- committee by the vicar of Netherthong saying that that the average attendance was 60-62 scholars and it was impossible for a single teacher to manage that number of pupils properly. The committee agreed to appoint an additional uncertified teacher. This sub-committee had full authority over all the schools in the District.

The 22nd. annual distribution of prizes offered by the School Charity was held in August 1909 in the National School. They were presented by Miss Dorothy Woodhead of Newlands and she handed out 14 first prizes earned by scholars with a perfect attendance of 439 out of 439. The lowest attendance number was 431.

In October of the same year Mr.James T.Jackson resigned his position as headmaster after 35 years of service. Master Irving Alsop, one of the senior scholars, presented him with a smoker’s oak cabinet from the teachers and scholars.

The 23rd. distribution of prizes took place in July 1910  and 28 were given for good attendance,good conduct and proficiency, as required by the scheme of the Charity Commissioners. To earn a first prize a scholar could not miss a day absent out of 417 attendances.

In August 1912, the Annual prize distributions for good attendance, conduct and proficiency were held for the Netherthong Town School Charity. Also that month the Holmfirth & District Education Sub- committee reported on the monthly attendances for the local schools. For Netherthong the figures were :

Average number on register  201  Average attendance   178  ( 89.89% )

At the May 1913 meeting of the Holmfirth Education Committee the clerk reported that the headmaster of Netherthong school had been doing some gardening and was anxious to provide some tools for the children. The Committee approved the purchase.

The Rev.Hind presided over the Annual Prize Distribution in connection with the Town School Charity in September 1917. After songs had been sung by the various classes , the prizes were presented by Mrs.Willie Batley of Miry Green Terrace and she handed out 20 prizes to the value of £1 10s. At the 1919 event, the prizes had been chosen by the Rev.Hind and Mr.Wagstaffe, two of the trustees, and included books on history, nature study, house management, dictionaries, fountain pens etc. rising in value from 4/- for the first prize in Std. 1 to 10/6 in Std. V11.They were distributed by Mrs.Hobson, wife of one of the trustees. The pupils sang songs and put on a display of Swedish dances.

The Annual prize distribution in connection with the Day School charity was held in September 1923 with the Rev. Hind presiding. The successful scholars were : Infants : Winifred Wagstaff ( 422 marks ), Carrie Buckley ( 418 ) and Irwin Barowclough ( 417 ).  Standard 2 : Lucy Russell ( 424 ) 1st.grade. Eric Russell ( 423 ) 2nd, grade.   Standard 3 : Emily Russell (424 ) 1st. grade .  Standard 4 : Phyllis Wagstaff ( 424 ) and Rene Lockwood ( 424 ) both 1st.grade. Thomas Birkhead ( 423 ) 2nd. grade.   Standard 5 : Herbert Taylor (424 ), Elsie Chambers ( 424 ) and Mabel Sanderson ( 424 ) all 1st.grade. Flora Marsden ( 422 ) 2nd, grade.   Standard 6 : Elsie Hart ( 424 ) 1st.grade, Norman Knutton ( 423 ) 2nd.grade.  Florence Whitehead and Gwendoline Hirstle won County Minor Scholarships. The prize giving in 1928 followed the normal pattern. The prizes included dictionaries, books on travel , discovery and nature study etc. ranging  in value from 3/6 for the first prize in infants to 7/6 for Standard VII. The prizes were presented by W.Batley.

The 8th. Annual outing, in connection with the school in June 1933, was to Morecambe & Heysham when 41 passengers travelled in one of W.Haigh’s luxurious coaches.

There are two interesting and possibly contradictory reports on the retirement of Mr.S.D.Butterworth and I actually went back to the particular issues of the Express in case I had originally written the details down wrongly.  The first report was  on July 23rd. 1938.  ” Mr.S.D.Butterworth, who had been head master at the Church School for 18 years, retired in July 1938. He was a native of Milnsbridge and became a pupil teacher at Lockwood Church School when he was 15 years old. After various other postings he was appointed headmaster in 1910 and took a leading part in the public life of the district and for 7 years was a member of the Holmfirth Urban District Council.” The next report was on July 8 1939  when it said ” Mr.& Mrs. S.D.Butterworth entertained teachers of Netherthong Parish Church Sunday School – it was a farewell gathering for them as they have left the district to live in Cleveleys and he was presented with a set of pipes, a tobacco jar, a pouch and a quantity of tobacco For 26 years he was headmaster of Netherthong National School and had held various positions in the Church and Sunday School as well as being a former member of the Huddersfield UDC.”.  The only conclusion that I can make is that he served as headmaster in two capacities.

In October 1938 the school held its annual presentation of books to scholars awarded for good attendance, proficiency and good conduct during the year. Mr. Lockwood, manager of the School , presented prizes to 32 scholars.

The local paper, on an irregular frequency , gave details of the attendance at the various schools in the District. For the Council school in February 1942, there were 83 children on the register with an average attendance of 71. For the period December 1943 to January 1944, there were 91 on the register but average attendance was lower at 67.

13 applicants had been received for the vacant position of headmaster and in April 1944, Mr.W.Hinchliffe of Field End near Rotherham was selected.He was 30 years old , married with two children and a keen cricketer. In addition to being an amateur actor he had been involved in scouting and holiday camps for boys. He was due to take up his position on June 1.

Margaret Lax has let me have her memories of the school in the 1950s… I was born in 1945 and attended the village school from 1949 till 1955. It was in its current position, behind the Clothier’s Arms, at the bottom of a sloping playground with a high retaining wall on the pub side.In the centre there was a long glazed corridor, which had pots of  geraniums in the summer, and a door at each end. The Duftons kept it clean and warm for us throughout the year.

The main door was on the right and led to, on the right, an open kitchen, then a staff room at the end looking out towards Thurstonland. Facing Oldfield there was the reception and infant’s class. There were three classes altogether so that meant two age groups in each room with one teacher. These first classes were taught by Miss Rawcliffe, who married and became Mrs. King. She was succeeded by Mrs.Lax, who had just spent a year teaching at Cliffe House ( also known as Mrs. Brain’s since the head was the wife of Mr.Brain the headmaster at Holme Valley Grammar school ), a private school in Thongsbridge.

 Moving westwards and still facing Oldfield, there was the main hall where dinner was eaten and PE and dancing took place. Next there was a partition and the next classroom was  Miss Taylor’s for standards 1 and 2 and there was a stage at the end so that when the partition was open this made a useful concert hall. This hall was also used for village events including a show called the Netherthongsters, vehicled largely by Winston and Alice Wood from down New Road and with stories in dialect by Alice Fallas who lived opposite the school. Finally at the far end was Mr.Webb’s class – standards 3 and 4 , and to the front of the building there was a cloakroom jutting out, where I have memories of being fed cod liver oil by the spoon. In this classroom there seemed to be very high windows. In the angle this formed Mr.Webb used to park his little 1936 burgundy Austin which had a spare wheel at the back and its registration number was YG and 4 figures.

The cloakroom was just simply a room with wash basins. The toilets for the boys ( who had to ask for toilet paper printed with the message “ Now wash your hands please “ if they anticipated needing it ) were in the corner of the playground and for the girls they were round the back of the school in two sizes. Also round the back was the school boiler and a coal store underneath the building.Further behind the back were the remains of a garden with redundant rabbit hutches – plenty of scope to play.

On the curriculum, along with scripture, reading, writing and arithmetic were history, geography, English Country Dancing and lots of singing, sewing and handicrafts. In the summer months we sometimes went on a nature walk to spot plants and animals, bringing back specimens for the nature table.

Mr.Webb, who  wore a three – piece suit in ginger Harris Tweed often with a tomato-coloured shirt, gave us invaluable skills in measuring, drawing lines, cutting and finally making artifacts out of potato-printed paper so we could cover books and also made such quaint things as spill holders and pipe cleaner holders for the bring- and – buy sale and for Christmas presents. He was interested in the Classics and introduced us to Greek Mythology. On Friday afternoons Mr.Webb, being the head, stayed in the staff room and did administration so the other teachers took over some his classes for things like singing. In the afternoons the reception class had a nap on camp beds, covered in red blankets hemmed in blanket stitch with an embossed animal in each corner.

 There was a bottle of milk, about a third of a pint, for each pupil every morning. School meals were cooked in Wooldale in communal kitchens and the food was brought in a van in large shallow vats ready to be served by Mrs. Brierly and Mrs. Dawson, who then washed up and left a plate with an example of each of the foods served out in the kitchen, probably for forensic purposes! Of course there were lots of mashed potato and milk and steamed puddings, including sago. Before going in to dinner we had to line up in the corridor and show newly- washed front and back of hands before being allowed in. Grace was always said before and after meals and the mornings were started with hymn singing with the whole school present. There was a similar service at the end of term when Mr.Webb once advised us to “ act the fool sensibly “ during the holidays.

There were school concerts including a section from ‘ A Midsummer’s Night Dream’  and ‘ The Pied Piper of Hamlyn ‘. The school had pupils with parents from many walks of life,  mainly from the textile industry but some  worked in Meltham at David Brown’s factory plus others who were tradesmen.  Some mothers in the village “ mended “ large pieces of cloth in their homes, this meant that they had a big frame near the window onto which they slowly unrolled a piece of cloth and with scissors, tweezers etc. did whatever was necessary to free the piece of small flaws – a very exacting job. In addition to residents of the village, parents came from Sands, Oldfield and Thongsbridge. The 11-plus marked the end of primary school and some pupils carried on to Holme Valley Grammar School and others to the Secondary Modern School in Holmfirth which pre-dated the new school in Wooldale.”

Margaret has more recently added the following information : “When in Mr Webb’s class, we had to write a diary intermittently on Mondays, and I still have one of mine. There is an entry of 27 June, 1955: “Yesterday at the Daisy Day service, Pamela’s (Pamela Watson’s) voice went hoarse, and Susan (Hinchliffe) was sick. Netta (Watson) recited “The daffodils” and missed two lines out. I sat next to Mr Middlemist” (the lay reader) . Daisy Day, of course was the “school feast” but in fact it seemed to be centred on the church. It was always a struggle to find enough daisies in the countryside around to do the decorations.” The picture below is a drawing from her bible.

A drawing from Margaret's diary
A drawing from Margaret’s diary

 

 In June 1945 the Council school, for the first time in its history, had a School Queen.  Beryl Hinchliffe  was elected by popular ballot and was crowned by Miss H. Floyd on July 6th. Her train was borne by Barbara Mallinson and Margaret Brierley and her eight maids of honour  were Marlene Beaumont, Shirley Preston, Joan Hoyle,Coral Haigh, Beth Dufton, Judith Stephenson, Barbara Paigh and Audrey Wood. The ceremony was followed by a Childrens’ concert and the proceeds were given to the Home Coming Fund for the Forces. Below you will find two photographs of the Queen and her ” subjects “

The school Queen with her long train. 1945

School Queen 1945
School Queen 1945

 

School queen and subjects No. 2 1945
School queen and subjects No. 2 1945

 

Margaret Lax , who appears in the above group photo, has been sending me some great information. She has managed  not only to identify the majority of the children in the  photo but also to list where many of them lived.

The class teacher on the left was Miss Taylor and she lived in Thongs Bridge by the church.

Back Row from the left : Rodney Swallow ( lived in the large house at the top of New Road ); Michael Young ( start of Moor Lane ) ; Ian Ellis : Stuart Hobson : Jimmy Scott ( Dock Hill ) : Laurence Jackson : Jeremy Tunnicliffe ( Thongs Bridge ) ; Keith Roebuck ( farm up Ox Lane ) ; Peter Shaw ( Sands ).

Middle Row from the left : Joyce Bailey ( almost opposite the school ) ; Margaret Lax ( New Road ) ; Susan Jones ( Outlane ) ;Dorothy Shaw ( next door to Joyce Bailey ) ;Pat Kelly ( in cottage attached to the big house at the top of the hill ) : Betty Power ( Deanhouse ) ;Pat Cottle ( on Hudds. Road near the Tech ).

Bottom Row from the left ;  ANON ; Cynthia Kaye ( Oldfield ) ; Steven ( or Edward ) Roebuck ; Susan Hinchliffe ( West End ) ; Tony Rose ( Oldfield ) ; Netta Watson ( top of Thong Lane ) ; ANON.

Mrs. Lax who was deputy head in the 1960s when Mr. Jackson was headmaster.

The crowning of the 2nd. School Queen in 1946 took place in front of a large crowd. Singing and dancing preceded the arrival of the retiring Queen, Beryl Hinchliffe. The new Queen, Yvonne Fieldsend and her attendants passed down the centre of the hall to the stage. Her train was held by two tiny bearers, Cynthia Lewis and Pauline Roberts and her attendants were June Marshall, Josephine Robson, Sheila Crane, Mary Buckley, Marie Singleton, Nancy Haigh and Maureen Ellis. John Stuart Sanderson was her page and is seen with her in the accompanying photograph. The crowning ceremony was performed by Mrs. J.Matthews.

1946 School Queen , Yvonne Fielsend and page, John Sanderson.
1946 School Queen , Yvonne Fielsend and page, John Sanderson.

In July 1947 the 3rd. Queen of the Council School, Joan Hoyle, was crowned by Miss Martin, Matron of ” Oaklands “.  The retiring queen, Yvonne Fieldsend, gave her farewell speech. Joan’s train was carried by Pat Preston and Margaret Bray. The eight maids of honour were Barbara Singleton, Margaret Jones, Anne Watson, Margaret Crane, Jean Hinchliffe, Margaret Dyson, Jean Beaumont and Yvonne Hinchliffe. An audience of over 300 enjoyed all the entertainment by the performers. J.Wilde was the stage manager and F. Knight took care of all the electrics.

In July 1948, it was the turn of Miss Audrey Wood to be crowned School Queen at the annual School concert. The retiring queen, Joan Hoyle, gave a neat little speech. Her ten attendants, attired in dresses of pastel shades of blue, green, yellow and pink, were Barbara Pugh,Shirley Scholfield, Margot Mossoud, Helen Wibberley, Elaine Mallinson, Margaret Hanwell, Veronica Butterworth, Mildred Horner, Ellen Jones and Marion Platt. The crown bearer for the Queen was Stuart Cartwright. The crowning ceremony was performed by Mrs. Edward Butterworth of Holme House and the concert was repeated for those unable to attend the first evening when  the crowning was performed by Mrs. W. Gledhill of Ty Bryn.

The photograph below is from the School Concert 1948 – could have been called The Spick & Spam Stone ? Ann Watson plays the fairy with the wand.

School Concert 1948

The next photograph , also from C.1948-49 is of the school children, many of them in fancy dress.

School children , many in fancy dress.
c. 1948

The next photograph is also from c. 1949  and shows Ann Watson in front with the crown, her sister Pamela is 2nd. row up, 5th. from the left and directly below her is their youngest sister, Netta.

Large school photo
1949?

The School Queen in 1949 was Barbara Pugh , who was the youngest daughter of the master and matron of Deanhouse Workhouse/Hospital. In the following set of three photographs from her family album, the first shows Barbara with her crown and gown next to her older sister, Dilys and the lower photograph shows her leading a procession of her attendants. 

Crowning of School Queen
1949

 

In 1950 the crowning of the School Queen was held on April 3rd. and 4th. much earlier than usual because of the impending departure of the headmaster, Mr.W.Hinchliffe, to South Yorkshire.  Anne Watson was elected Queen and her crown – bearer was Stuart Hobson with Margot Dyson, Pauline Roberts, Pat Bailee, Pat Preston, Dorothy Gill, Marion Joynson, Valerie Bamford, Beth Mackensie, Susan Jones and Carol Pell as her maids-of-honour. Because of it continuing popularity, the crowning event had to be held on two successive evenings.

In recognition of Mr.Hinchliffe’s service to the school, a number of presentations were made. At the school concert he received a despatch case from past and present scholars and friends of the school, whilst the past School Queens presented him with a fountain pen and pencil. The staff of the Evening Institute gave him a reading lamp. Until the new headmaster, Mr.H.Webb, took up his duties, Mr.Clayton of the County Supply Staff was in charge. 

 There was no report in 1951 about any crowning and the editions for 1952 for the Express are not available.

The photograph below  is dated 1953 and shows Mr.Webb , the headmaster, with a group of schoolchildren. Brenda Roebuck, who supplied the photo, is at the far right of the bottom row.

School 1953
School 1953

1953 was also Coronation Year and the school once again did not elect a School Queen but instead, in July, the scholars of the Junior School presented two 3- hour performances of a programme of songs, dances and plays. The children had been trained by the school staff, Mr.H.Webb ( headmaster ), Mrs.W.Lax ( infants’ teacher ) and Miss E. Taylor. The names of the scholars who took part in ” Greensleeves ” were Jaqueline Moulson, Pauline Littlewood, Edward Charlesworth, Beth Mackensie, Gordon Halla, Valerie Bamford, Philip Sykes, Brian Heywood, Dorothy Gill and Margaret Woodcock

Members of the school play 1954.
Members of the school play 1954.

Margaret Lax has identified many of the participants in the above photo and has also added some of their addresses.

Tall hats – left to right. Laurence Jackson  ? ? ?

Middle row – l to r.  Pat Cottle ( Hudds. Road near Tech ) : Christine Merry ( Sands ) : Margaret Mellor ( Netherfields ) : Christine Cockerell ( Sands )  : Michael Young ( start of Moor Lane ) : Joyce Bailey : Robert Bamford ( New Road, emigrated to Australia in 1956 ) : ?  : Cynthia Kaye ( Oldfield ) : Margaret Lax ( New Road ) : Netta Watson ( Thong Lane ) ; Dorothy Shaw ( School Street ) : Susan Hinchliffe ( West End ).

Front row – l to r. Pat Kelly ( cottage next to Holmleigh ) : Jeremy Tunnicliffe ( Thongsbridge ) : Peter Shaw ( Sands ) : Steven Roebuck ( farm up Ox lane ) : Alan Ellis ( maybe ) : Jimmy Stott ( Dockhill).

In July 1955, Miss H.Floyd of Roseleigh, on behalf of the trustees of the Netherthong Town School Charity, presented awards to five scholars who had been awarded Grammar School places. They were Patricia Kelly, Carol Pell, Dorothy Shaw, Margaret Lax and Margaret Mellor. The Trustees of the Charity were Rev.S.Black, W.Batley, F.Lockwood, H.Turner, W.Wood, A.Buckley and W.Hoyle.

At the July 1960 meeting of the West Riding Education Committee, plans for the rehabilitation of the Netherthong County Primary School at a cost of £20,000 were forwarded to the Ministry for approval. The scheme was for the provision of four classrooms, a school’s meal kitchen and improved sanitary and storage accomodation. In addition repairs to the roofing, heating installation and redecoration were to be carried out at a cost of £3,000.It was also stated by the Committee that in future all county primary schools were to be provided with a telephone.

In May 1962, parents of children who attended the school along with former scholars went to a presentation given to Mr.H.Webb, the headmaster, on his retirement after almost 12 years service..They were welcomed by Mrs.W.Lax a member of staff. A short service was conducted by Mr.Webb and it included two hymns, prayers and bible readings by David Marsh and Anne Ellis. The speakers were the Divisional Educational Officer, Mr. Beardsell, and Mr.F.Berry the chairman of the Primary School Managers, who said the splendid attendance was sufficient proof of the success and popularity of the headmaster. Mrs.Lax thanked the parents who had made the occasion possible and Mrs.F.Millican spoke on behalf of the Parent Teacher Association. A bouquet was presented to Mrs.Webb by Leslie Hollingworth and Max Taylor and Kevin Spears unveiled the bookcase  for Mr.Webb. Not suprisingly, he gave a short speech.

 

School Mrs. Lax class

Miss Frances Warren, a teacher at the school, was one of 51 teachers who went on a year’s exchange in June 1966 to Canada and she was replaced by  Mrs. Margaret Chivas of Vancouver. In the same month. 31 children accompanied by four members of staff spent four days in London and they visited London Airport, Whitehall, Westminster Abbey, the Changing of the Guard, St.Paul’s Cathedral, museums plus a boat trip down the Thames. On the return journey they enjoyed a day at Whipsnade Zoo.

The Express reported in March 1972 that the school had welcomed four new arrivals. You might think there was nothing very newsworthy about that, except the arrivals were Mongolian Desert Rats and the offspring of Victoria and Albert. Every class in the school had a pair of these desert rats which I presume they cared for and fed. As the rats usually had a litter about every five weeks , to avoid the school being over-run the children were allowed to buy the young rodents. I wonder how long this went on for and, as it was only 45 years ago, there must be some of you who are reading this who have good memories . Please feel free to write. 

In March 1976, 35 children left the school all dressed up in 17th. century costumes as they were going to visit Clarke Hall, Ponderfields. A feature of this museum was they were allowed to handle museum pieces and during the day took part in activities that would have been typical of early life in the 17th. century. They made butter, broth and oatcakes and took part in weaving and spinning. The Junior and Infants Summer fair held in June 1979 was a great success and raised £300. The fine weather attracted a crowd of 400-500 and the events included a fancy dress parade, netball matches and welly-throwing  and was opened by Mrs.P.Hinchliffe. The fancy dress winners were Tom Irvin, Judith Lawrence, Jason Mather, Kate Lockwood, Andrew Mellor, Claire Mather, Richard Bywater, Elizabeth Shaw and Nicola Tyas. The winners of the best bike were Susan and Sally Blackburn and Claire Hirst took the best parm prize.

Members of the Holmfirth Round Table helped to provide a special library at the Junior and infants School. The headmaster, John Jackson, received a cheque from the Round Table chairman, Melvyn Briggs.The library, which will also be open to the school playgroup, consists mainly of picture books selected to stimulate conversation among the children.

Mr.John Jackson, the school headmaster, retired in July 1981 after nearly 20 years at the school. He was appointed head early in 1962. During the Second World War he served with the Ordnance Survey Section of the Royal Engineers in Iceland, the Western Desert, Iran, Egypt and Italy and after four and a half years service abroad he finished his service in Belgium and Germany. He had been closely connected with the scouting movement, having been chairman of Netherthong Scouts for 12 years and a member of the Holme Valley District Scout Executive. He was a member of Honley Male Voice Choir and since 1966 was secretary of the Holme Valley Primary Schools’ Music Festival. A presentation was made to him on July 16.

One of the first dinner ladies at the Junior and Infant School retired in February 1984. Mrs.Marjorie Robinson had started at the school when the kitchens were first installed in 1965 and she was presented with gifts from the children, parents, staff and former teachers at a special retirement ceremony. Mr.John Jackson , the head teacher for 20 years, who had retired two years before presented her with a silver plated tray and wine glasses. Mrs. Ida Schofield also presented her with a cut glass letter rack on behalf of the kitchen staff. The ceremony was attended by the current head teacher, Mr.George Swierczynski.

Mrs.Marjorie Robinson'sretirement ceremony.
Mrs.Marjorie Robinson’s
retirement ceremony.

The Express from the 1960s onwards rarely included any information about the village so it was pleasing to come across an article and photo ( which I do not have ) of the regular outings made by the Junior School during 1971. These included the Holmfirth Fire Station, Bretton Park, and they were always accompanied by Mrs.S.Charlesworth and the headmaster, J.Jackson.

In March 1977 seven children from the Primary School were among 100 children taking place in the final of the BBC Look North Dinosaur competition. The children were selected by drawing names from a hat and they would be representing their Class II mates all of whom were awarded a consolation prize. Also in 1977 the Express published a full page about days past in Netherthong. One of the items was … “According to the Charity Commissioners the schoolroom at Netherthong and the adjoining property was erected on the waste land in the village before its enclosure under the term of the Netherthong Enclosure Award in 1837. The Charity Commissioners say it was probably erected in 1777 but 100 years later it was being used as a joiners shop.”

In December the pupils presented two performances of a cantata and mime. The producer of the mime – Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo was Mrs.O.Davidson. The conductor was the headmaster, Mr.J.Jackson, and the accompanist was Mrs.O.Davidson. All the costumes were made by members of staff.

In June 1986 the Junior and Infnt school children took part in sponsored races to raise money towards a special powered wheel chair for eight year old Amanda Czerwick  who suffered from spina bufida. The Sports Day was organised by the headmaster, George Swierczynski, and staff. Naomi Hicks, Laura Walton and Jane Linden are shown taking part in the obstacle race, watched by other pupils.

School children competing in the obstacle race. June 1986

List of Head Teachers. 

This list is not complete but I will add to it as information becomes available.

The first name I have is Mr. James Tunstall Jackson  who resigned in 1909 after 35 years which would put his start date in 1874.  He was succeeded by Mr.S.D.Butterworth who retired in 1938 after 28 years.  There seems to be a gap as the next head teacher I have was  Mr.W.Hinchliffe, who was in the post from 1944 to 1950. Mr.Webb took over from him until his departure in 1962.  Another Jackson , this time Mr.John Jackson , became the head and retired in 1981. Next there is a George Swierczynski as the head master in 1984 and he probably stayed to 1988 before equality finally reached the village and the school had its first female head teacher , a Mrs.Jackie Mills, who was in charge for 15 years until 2003. Mrs.Kate Prior took over until 2009 before she was replaced in 2010 by Mrs.Catherine Jubbs.  In December 2016  Miss R.C.Kelly is recorded as the Head.

The School has a very impressive and comprehensive  website, www.netherthongprimary.co.uk,  as well as issuing a fortnightly newsletter titled, not surprisingly, Netherthong News. The school has 220 mixed pupils with  ages from 4-11, comprising a Reception and six Classes and enjoys a very high reputation in education circles and a large part of this is due to efforts of their Board of Governors. The website gives details of the Governors ( for 2016 ),  their length of  tenure and their specific responsibilities. I am not going to duplicate all that information but I think it appropriate that this chapter of my history should list their names. They are Mr.A.Holmes ( Chair ) ; Mrs.A.Clifton ( Vice chair ) ; Mrs. K.Flynn ; Mr. A.Hogley ; Mr. G.Keighley ; Mrs. W. Edwards ; Mrs. J. Palmer : Mrs. A. Lindley ; Miss R.C.Kelly ( Head ) ; Mrs. E.Barker ( Staff ). One highlight I noticed from the website was  a Ukulele Orchestra run by Miss Hemingway, Mrs. Greenwell and Mrs. Barker – were my school days anywhere near this good? I was very kindly given a copy of the News for 7th. December 2016 and among the items were ;  The choir made their first public performance at the Christmas fair and were also due to perform at the White Rose Care Home in Holmfirth.  Martha of Class 3 was runner up in the Huddersfield Choral Society’s 2016 Christmas Art Competition and her picture will form the back cover of their Christmas Concert programme. The PTA raised £1,737 at the Winter Fair as well as £540.99 at the Movie night. The school raised a grand total of £245.93 from the sale of Poppies.

The teaching staff for the start of 2018 are listed below :

Miss Rooney Kelly – head teacher.

Mrs.Emma Barker – D.H. teacher & Y5.

Mrs. Emma Oddy – Receptionist teacher.

Mr.Greg Hobson – Y1. 

Miss Naomi Hemingway – Y2.

Mrs. Elaine Matthews – Y3 . 

Mr.Liam Kershaw – Y4 .

Mr. Martin Clayton – Y6,

Miss Zoe Watkins – P/T KS1 . 

Mrs.Sarah Kendal – P/T KS2.

In addition there are nine support staff, eight lunchtime supervisors.

There are 218 pupils from 4 to 11 years mixed.