The Watson Family History

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

Watson family tree

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A short history of the Wharam family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benjamin Roebuck – a Netherthong WW1 hero

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Joseph Hirst Roebuck ( 1844-1891 ), Ben’s father, sitting in the front of the carriage


In October 2019 I was contacted by Keith Bugden who is a war medal collector, specifically for soldiers who died on the Somme. He had obtained from a collector in Manchester, the Victory Medal * for Benjamin Roebuck and had carried out research into his name which led him to my history of Netherthong and this chapter. Keith also sent me the certificate below which shows that Benjamin was awarded three medals. The 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal with details and dates. I put Keith in contact with Pamela and he very kindly sent her the medal so that one could say it found its proper resting place. He also sent her additional information which will be incorporated in this chapter,

* The Victory Medal, known as the UK British Empire 1st. World War campaign medal was awarded for Campaign Service – the total issued was circa 5,725,000

This episode of the medal has had a major impact on three people – Pamela has closure and will be taking the medal this summer to Ben’s grave on the Somme so she can place it on the grave and say a few words. Keith commented that reuniting the medal with Pamela was the highlight of 2019 for him. The role of my website and this chapter in acting as the catalyst has also been a highlight for me.

I asked Keith about his collecting hobby and he said that he was a relatively new collector and had medals for some 16 men who died on the Somme. He recently acquired the medals, memorial plaque and photo of a man who died on the first day – 1st July. Tragically he was wounded and lay in no man’s land from 8am until dark when he was brought back, but died of wounds. His friend stayed with him the whole time. Very moving. The research is very satisfying but he is rarely able to trace living relatives.

Confirmation of Benjamin’s war medals. See three views of his Victory medal below.
View 1 of Victory medal
View 2 of Victory medal
View 3 of the Victory medal
Lock

Poppy

ROEBUCK, Benjamin

  • Step 1: Personal Details
Service Number:5178
Enlisted: 19 January 1916
Last Rank:Private
Last Unit:16th Infantry Battalion
Born:Honley, England, 18 November 1878
Home Town:Harvey, Harvey, Western Australia
Schooling:St. Marys C of E
Occupation:Farmer
Died:Killed in Action, France, 12 August 1916, aged 37 years
Cemetery:Villers-Bretonneux Memorial
Memorials:Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Harvey War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial – France)*

World War 1 Service

19 Jan 1916:Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 5178, 16th Infantry Battalion
31 Mar 1916:Embarked Private, SN 5178, 16th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Shropshire, Fremantle
31 Mar 1916:Involvement Private, SN 5178, 16th Infantry Battalion, Pozières

Profile pic 8e242753 dc5f 45b3 800c a158062e6dce

Make a Dedication

Thumb ben roebuck 1914
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Netherthong – details of soldiers who fought and survived WW1

One of the benefits of having put my version of the History of Netherthong on the web is that it is never static with new information  coming from various sources. In August 2019, I was contacted by Paul Sims from the Ordinary Men Regimental Heritage Project which is focussed on the men of the local Territorials, the 5th.Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment in the Great War.

  Paul has been able to add information and also correct  anomalies in the details of some of the soldiers listed in my history. He has added that numerous listings in the ROH published by the Holmfirth Express were misinterpreted – I have included both sets of information.

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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.  He was born in Oldfield in 1895 and, until he was 15, he  lived all his life in Netherthong and attended the National School ( see school attendance record for 1908 ) before he moved to Longwood.. His name appears on the Parish Church ROH as a Corporal in the 1/5 Battalion of the Duke of Wellington 49th. West Riding Regiment who enlisted on 19th.December 1914 and went to France in June 1915. During his service he was promoted to Corporal. When he was 21 he was awarded the Military Medal and ribbon for gallantly rescuing a comrade on the battlefield under fire. After the war he moved to Longwood, Linthwaite and Cowlersley/ Milnsbridge. The Golcar District Heroes’ Fund recognized his meritorious conduct by presenting him with a solid gold ten- guinea English made watch. In circa 1978 he wrote  about his experiences as a Corporal in the Duke of Wellington Regiment and these memoirs are held as Catalogue No. KX212 in Kirklees West Yorkshire Archive Service. The photographs and ephemera were supplied by Chris Earnshaw ( January 2019).

Norman Smith School Attendance 1908

 

Norman Smith in uniform

 

Norman Smith with his medals

 

Greetings card sent by Norman to his mother

 

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.   He was attested on 12/12/15 and put on the Army Reserve.  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 and he was transferred to the RAMC.

Paul Sims has supplied the following  information that differs to that given above.  The Barden family, originally from the Kirkburton/Shelley area, had moved to The Heys, Thongsbridge, well before the war. Sam Barden was in business as a ‘glue, size and manure’ manufacturer, his son Joseph ( referred to as just Arnold on the 1911 Census and then aged 16 ) assisted in the family business, as did the eldest sister,Ethel, who kept the books. Joseph enlisted in the Terretorial Royal Field Artillery ; his regimental numbers 2706 and 785772 indicate he served with the 3rd. West Riding Brigade.

I shall keep both references.

Irvine Alsop. A joiner in civilian life, Irvin enrolled in the RNVR No.Y 1450 on March 1st. 1916 and served at the Royal naval Base at Devonport from March 29th. to July 8th. as ‘carpenters crew’, No. M/19617. An interesting letter from Irvin was published in the Express, July 1st. 1916, at which time he was in the Royal Naval Hospital. He thanked the Netherthong Patriotic Committee who had sent him a pocket knife, saying, ” the gift will come in very useful and be a happy reminder that we have not been forgotten.I have been in hospital for about nine weeks, I am doing as much as I can to help those who are in bed suffering from burns and wounds they got from the big shells of the Germans”. Irvin also mentioned he had been on kitchen duty  but was hoping to be out soon as he believed he was “all about better”.The letter closed, ” Then I shall be able to do my share, instead of half of it for King and Country”. However he then appears to have been medically discharged. On July 1917 he married Harriet Brown in Netherthong and on the 1939 Register is a self- employed ‘ master joiner’ living at Dean Brook Farm with Harriet and nine children. His name is in the Parish Church ROH but no regiment or date is give.

 

A.Alsop – his name appears on the Parish Church ROH. He was a private in the Lincs. Later information from Paul Sims gives him as Albert Sanderson Alsop from Newlands View , Thongsbridge who was the older brother of Irvine Alsop above. He served overseas with the Labour Corps No. 200725 and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in the Peace Gazette of 1919 for devoted service with the 756th. Area Employment Company. Aged 23 he had enlisted in Holmfirth under the Derby Scheme on February 22nd. 1916 and reported to Halifax in July. He was initially posted to the 11th. Reserve battalion, West Riding Regiment. Howeve,r it would appear that due to an eye condition, he was later transferred to the Labour Corps. and , although classified for ‘ Garrison Duty at Home’, he eventually proceeded overseas. In August 1918 he married Edith Emma Little, setting up home at Green Terrace, Thongbridge. He worked in the woollen mills as a scourer and fulling miller and, on the 1939 Register, he was a foreman in the mill residing at 13, Dean Brook with Edith and three childre

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. I’ve just realised that his name is on the War Memorial as one of the fallen heroes. 

George Booth – courtesy of Paul Sims

 

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.

S.Earnshaw – A Samuel. Earnshaw was listed in the Express for December 1915 as a Scout/ ex-scout in Netherthong Troop serving abroad.  He came from Dunford Road, Holmfirth, L/25473 R.F.A. and joined the Holmfirth Battery of the 168 Huddersfield RFA in April/May 1915 and was killed on November 11, 1917

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. See separate chapter for Charles Hudson.

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

 

Charles Hudson – courtesy of Holmfirth Express – supplied by paul Sims

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 ( No. 2017) ( Thongsbridge ) :  His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. Later information gives his name as Bertie from Cinder Hills.

A.Rhodes ( No. 2429)( Thongsbridge ) :   His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9 1915 serving in the Army. Later information gives his name as Albert from Thurstonland who died in the war.

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 eorge Albert.Scholfield ( Schofield) (No. 2001) ( 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. Later information gave him as living in Upperthong.

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 )( No. 2178) :   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 name 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 on 15/8/97 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.

John Arthur Sykes (No.1855 ) ( Netherthong ) :   His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9, 1915 serving in the Army. Could have been from Upperthong.

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 (No.2489 )  Wilshaw :  Listed in  23 October 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH. Later information records a Ernest Thackra from Denby Dale who died in the war.

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. Later information gives a Turner Thorpe from Hinchliffe Mill, who died in the war.

N.Thorpe ( 2583 ) Wilshaw :   Listed in  23 October 1915 Holmfirth Express ROH. Later information gives a Ned Thorpe from Underbank  who died in the war.

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. Later information gives his name as Harry from Cinder Hills.

It is very interesting that four soldiers, Ned Thorpe, Turner Thorpe, Ernest Thacken  and Harry Turton were  listed  in  the Holmfirth Express ROH as all being from Wilshaw, which is now contradicted by this later information.

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 (No.2427) ( Thongsbridge ) :   His name appears in the list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express ROH issued January 9, 1915 serving in the Army. Later information gives an Arthur Walton from Thurstonland.

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…

1901 Census for Netherthong Part 2

 I had  taken the information from the 1901 census for Netherthong and, it wasn’t until I had uploaded it into my web site, that I had a feeling it wasn’t complete. I looked back through the whole census data for the area and found that the Ecclesiastical Parish for All Saints was listed under the Civil Parish for Honley. I have included this information under Part 2 and the places include Holmroyd Nook, Miry Lane, Deanhouse, Deanbrook, Hagg and Upper and Lower Oldfield.

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1901 National Census for Netherthong : Part 1

The  1901 National Census  is the last one that was transcribed to micro-film and retained  in the Archives Section of Kirklees Public Library in Huddersfield. Under the 100 year rule, the information for the 1911 Census  is available on the Ancestry web-site.

This Census followed the standard pattern with the individual household information  being transcribed,  in cursive handwriting , onto the master forms. This meant that some of the capital letters were difficult to work out and I have had to resort to using ?? . The enumerator was also very liberal in his use of a black crayon which also on occasions obliterated key information. I have copied faithfully Christian names even though they didn’t seem right to me.

In previous censuses, the word ‘scholar ‘ was used to describe those children at school but it has not been used in this census.

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1851 National Census for Netherthong

The National Census for 1851 followed the same format as per the very first census of 1841. The head of the household completed the census for his/her property giving his marital status, age, occupation and place of birth. He then listed all the other occupants and detailed their relationship to him, their marital status, age, occupation and place of birth.  

All this information was transcribed for each district onto a standard form by a clerk in his best copperplate handwriting using beautifully flourished capitals. Unfortunately that gave me  considerable problems as, in many instances, I was unable to decipher some of his letters and had to admit defeat and use ??. Also, for some reason best known to himself, he resorted to putting thick black lines through key items of data, especially ages, and once again I had to use ??.  My apologies for the lost information but I really did try.

The Township of Netherthong encompassed many outlying areas and I have included these in the census details. Examples are Greave, Wolfstones, Crodingley, Thongs bridge, Fearnought and Sands.

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The National census for Netherthong for 1861.

The census for 1861 complied to the standard national format. The details were compiled for each house/residence by the head of the household whose name appeared first. His/her name was followed by the rest of the inhabitants in the property at the time.  The marital status ( married, unmarried, widow/widower), age , occupation (if any ) and place of birth was recorded for each person. The location of the property was also given.

These  details as supplied to the Census Office were transcribed by hand in copperplate writing onto  pre-printed forms. If any of you have seen examples of this style of  writing you will be aware that it is very ornate with lots of flourishes particularly on  capital letters as well as most of the  letters with ascenders and decenders such as h, l, k, b, f, g, j and y. On occasions this made it very difficult for me to establish names accurately and you will find I have resorted to using ?? marks.

Some of the place names make interesting reading as a number of them are no longer thought of as part of modern-day Netherthong.  Among these are   Sand bed, Hole Bottom, Lower Hagg, Thongs Bridge – North Side  and Thongs Bridge – South Side, Crodingley, Bastile, Upper Greave, Lower Greave, Wolfstone, Bridge Mill, Upper Fearnought and Lower Fearnought.

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Deanhouse Workhouse National Census 1871

The first inmates  to the Workhouse were admitted in September 1862 so the 1871 National Census was the first opportunity to formally record their details.. As per any census, those details included status ( M = married, s= single or w= widow ), age, occupation, if any, and place of birth. It reported any disabilities, Idiot, Lunatic or Blind. Apart from the first three names heading the list, the Master, Matron and Nurse, all the rest of the inmates were registered as paupers. What I’ve yet to find out on this census and subsequent ones I have listed in my History is where all the rest of the staff, nurses, helpers, cooks etc were when the census was taken.

If you read my chapter on the start of the Workhouse in Deanhouse you will see a paragraph about  the concern of the local inhabitants. One can understand why, when out of the 202 inmates in the first census, only two were from Netherthong, Hannah Booth and Benjamin Gill, whilst eight were from Ireland. To save you counting  22 are registered as Idiots, two as Lunatics and two as blind.There are also 45 children aged from a few months to 18 years and when they were over five years old they were classed as scholars.

If you want to read more about the early Workhouses then I can recommend, Workhouse – The People – The Places – The Life Behind Doors by Simon Fowler. Published 2007. ISBN 978 1 905615 03 2.  Quite disturbing in parts – actually lots of parts.  

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Deanhouse Mill history from ‘Wool & Worsit’

Michael Day has written and published a book titled Wool & Worsit which is a History of Textiles in the Holme Valley. It took him many years of diligent research to create a fantastic historical and essential book of what was the life- blood for all the inhabitants in the Valley. It includes maps and photographs and is full of interesting anecdotes about some of the people who worked in the mills. The titles of the chapters give you an idea of the scope of his book.

They are in numerical order. 1. From Home Production to Mills. 2. The Coming of Machinery. 3. Revolutions, Riots and Reform. 4. Employment of Children. 5. Trade Unions.  6. Clothiers to Manufacturers. 7. Floods.  8. Holme to Hinchliffe Mill. 9. Bottoms Mill to Holmfirth. 10. Holme Styes to Holmfirth.  11. Holmfirth to Mytholmbridge.  12. Upper House to New Mill. 13. Wooldale to Mytholmbridge. 14. Mytholmbridge to Honley.  15.  Honley and Mag Valley.

It was published by Laverock Publishing , Huddersfield and its ISBN number is 978-0-9576806-0-4

 Michael has very kindly allowed me to use information from his book and, although I have numerous references to Deanhouse Mills throughout my history, I’ve decided to create this new chapter using his information. The sketch below indicates the location of some of the mills.

Sketch map of the local mills
Sketch map of the local mills

Deanhouse Mill was the major employer for the villagers but some of them would also have been employed at Albert Mill, Bridge Mills and the various mills at Thongs Bridge.

Deanhouse Mill stood alongside Dean Brook mainly on the Honley side of the stream and was already in existence in 1791 when it was owned and occupied by Nathaniel and Godfrey Berry.  In 1800 the premises were conveyed to John Waterhouse and offered for sale again in 1803 by which time a steam engine had been fitted. In 1837 ownership passed to Joseph Firth of Shepley and Walter Walker of Thurstonland.

The mill was visited by the Plug Rioters in August 1842 when they withdrew the boiler plug to stop the mill from working and it is also probable that they drained the dam. Hiram and Abraham Littlewood were using the mill in 1848 but adverse financial circumstances forced them to assign the estate to Abraham Hirst, wool merchant, Edmund Eastwood, dyer, and John Armitage, wool merchant, all from Huddersfield.

In 1852 the mill was occupied by William Haigh but by 1859 he only occupied a part with Thomas Dyson occupying another part. William Haigh was the trustee for the creditors of James and Benjamin Estwood who were also using part of the mill. Haigh went to the mill on 19 May 1859 to find out why the mill was stopped and , on entering the yard, he was met by James Eastwood who abused him and followed him wherever he went. When Haigh entered the mill both Eastwood brothers followed him in and further abused him , swearing that they would knock his soul out and , when they all went back into the yard, they attempted to push him into a pig sty. Haigh reported that he believed his life to be in danger and that he dare not go back to the mill to look after the creditors’ interests. The Eastwoods were bound over in the amount of £20 each to keep the peace for 6 months.

The mill was advertised for sale in December 1859 when the only tenant was Thomas Dyson with parts untenanted. The building was described as having two mills, engine and boiler houses, dyehouse and dam, willey room and buildings, various cottages, gardens and outbuildings, three dwellings, a joiners’ shop, a steam engine and two boilers. The mills contained machinery for processing raw wool into yarn. A Gasworks was being built in Deanhouse in 1861 which would supply all the premises in Netherthong and Deanhouse including the mill and the new Workhouse. In September 1866 a new chimney was being built at the mill. Four years later on 23 July 1870 a fire was discovered in the stove. Neighbours tried to extinguish the blaze with buckets of water and were eventually joined by the fire engine from Josh Mellor & Sons, Thongs Bridge. The damage was estimated at £50. In December 1881 , Dysons were charged with three accounts of using unjust weight. Some of the weights used in the mill to weigh quantities of wool or yarm were found by the Inspectors to be incorrect. The 7lb. weights were between 1/4 oz. and 1/2 oz. light and the 14lb. weight was 2 1/2 oz. light. The defence counsel pointed out that the weavers were paid by yardage of pieces and not by weight. The Bench gave a nominal fine of 1s for each offence. In February 1883 about 170 members of Deanhouse Mills were treated at the house of Mr.Fenton Walker, Royal Oak Inn Thongsbridge. After tea the remainder of the evening was spent in games, dancing and singing.

A large number of alterations and extensions took place at the mills over a period of years and the number of workers also increased from 170 in 1883 to 200 in 1898. In April 1905, George Henry Senior, the foreman scourer at the mill, gave one week’s notice and was asked to leave the key to the Milling Room and the Boiler House when he went home that evening. He failed to do so and when he arrived at work the following day he was told he would not be paid as he had broken his contract. He sued Dyson’s for £1 16s unpaid wages but the Bench dismissed the case. The Yorkshire Textile Directory of 1910 listed Dyson’s as manufacturers of fancy cloths with 5,500 spindles and 50 looms. 

Mr. Edward Dyson, a scribbling engineer, retired in October 1932 after 57 years. Apart from six months absence due to illness, the whole of the time had been in the service of Messrs. Thomas Dyson & Sons and, as a token of respect, he was awarded a long service award and presented with a gold watch and chain. He was the third employee in the last three years to retire with over 50 years service, the others being Alfred Battye ( 55 years ) and Edwin Broadbent ( 51 years ).

A fire broke out in a 2-storey building at the mill, containing the wool warehouse and the finishing department, on 19 July 1946, which was enveloped in a mass of flames and the building was reduced to a shell. Fortunately the fire did not effect the main part of the mill on the opposite side of the road but did cause damages estimated at £ 20,000. Both the Holmfirth & Huddersfield units of the NFC were called. The fire had started in the warehouse on the ground floor probably by spontaneous combustion in a bale of wool. Mr.John Bentoft, who was employed at the mill, raced to a telephone about 1/4 of a mile away. The call was received at 6.24 and the local brigade turned out in three minutes. Mr.C.S.Floyd, the managing director, said that, in consequence of the fire, six or seven men in the finishing department would be thrown out of work.

Two years later thieves stole 14 pieces of cloth valued at £700 during the Whitsuntide weekend. Near to the end of the 1940s Dyson’s were taken over by Edwin Walker & Co of Field Mills, Huddersfield and production at Deanhouse appeared to have ceased in 1953/54. Yorkshire Textile Directory records that W.Fien & Sons , who were processors, blenders and carders of Rabbit Hair, Angora, Hares Fur, Cashmere and Camel fibres, were using parts of the mill in 1955. Heywod Yarns Ltd. also moved into part of the mill in 1955 and continued to use it into the 1970s. Fein’s moved production to Lower Mill around 1970 but continued to use Deanhouse mill as a warehouse. A company named Century Steel were using part of the premises in June 1983. A fire broke out which was subsequently attributed to arson and the damage was estimated at £70,000. Much of the mill was demolished in 1855 with only one building left in use. The final building was demolished in 1988 and houses were built on the site.

There is a short reference in Michael’s book about Deanhouse Dyehouse. The date of construction and its precise location are not known. The only reference is in a file in Kirklees Archives , dated 5 November 1819, which records the transfer of prpoerty from James Kenworthy, dyer of Netherthong, to Joshua Eastwood, clothier of Meltham, for £250. The dyehouse was equipped with four vats with lids and grates, three pans with grates, one cradle for grinding indigo, one cistern for washing wool, three troughs to carry the water to the utensils, various barrows and scrays for wool, woad rakes, one indigo tub, two barrels, three kits and one pigin dish.

Albion Mill, Thongs Bridge – precise date not known but it was in existence before 1848.

Another mill in Thongs Bridge was owned by Godfrey Mellor and Sons in the 1850s and Mr. Tom Mellor was a member of the Netherthong Local Board. In June 1852, John Bates ,the Factory Inspector, summoned D.Sykes ,a mule spinner of Netherthong ,working at Mellor’s, for working his own 12 year old son, John Sykes, after 1pm. when he had also worked in the morning and for not allowing his son to attend school. He pleaded guilty to both charges and the Bench imposed a fine of 5s plus costs on each charge. 

Alma Mill  was a woolen mill alongside the Huddersfield to Woodhead Turnpike road between the road and what is now the bowling club. The buildings known as Alma Mill were erected in 1854 built  and in 1855, J.Mellor submitted a plan to the Netherthong Local Board to enlarge the weaving shed and it was passed. It employed 300 workers. The Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner for November 1851 reported that the inauguration of the opening of the Mill, property of Messrs. Joseph Mellor & Sons, took place on November 3rd. The whole of the workforce, male and female totalling 300, were treated by their employers to a supper of roast beef and plum pudding, There were lots of toasts and speeches and a party of glee singers were in attendance to entertain.

Bridge Mills formerly stood either side of the Huddersfield to Woodhead Turnpike road at the junction with New Road. There was a small dam on the corner of the two  that was no longer required in the 1980s so it was decided that it should be dismantled, filled in and made into a car park. Whilst workmen were excavating the dam they found two bones that were probably human, shoes, a thimble, buttons from a Lancashire & Yorkshire railway uniform and a ring inscribed ” Annie ” on the inside. A report in 1985 said the artefacts came from a woman, one bone was from an arm and the other from a leg. They were probably betwen 50-200 years old and might have come from the 1852 flood. The remains of this unknown woman were buried in the Garden of Remembrance in Cemetary Road, Holmfirth.

The two photographs below are of Deanhouse Mills. The top photograph is thought to be possibly  the original weaving shed. The lower photo is of the mill and chimney.

Two photographs of Deanhouse Mill.
Two photographs of Deanhouse Mill.

Later addition.

There was an article headed ‘Serious Riot at the Mill’ in the issue of the Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner for July 3 1852 and it continued by saying ‘ a scene was enacted at the Deanhouse Mill such as is not of every day occurrence and one which will not soon be forgotten by those who witnessed it.’ Messrs.John Heap & Sons occupied the top floor of the Mill in which they had some spinning mules which  they wanted to re-site at Smithy-place Mill. They wanted to take them out the same way they were brought in but Messrs. Haigh Brothers refused to agree and ordered their mill hands to resist any attempt to move them. Mr.Haigh remained inflexible to Mr.Heap’s repeated requests and ordered his men to strike down the first man who attempted to get to the top floor. He armed them with sticks and pieces of iron. Mr.Heap led his men to the charge but was wounded in the head. The mill party seemed to have victory in their grasp and Mr.Tom Dyson tippled Mark Heap into the dam. However on getting out Mark Heap noticed a quantity of broken bricks and he called out ” Brick ’em lads – Brick ’em ” The mill party were now in a perilous position and they had to come down from the roof and several got a good ducking, in addition to being severly wounded by the missiles.The Heaps achieved a complete victory and took their machinery away without further annoyance. Doctors were speedily in requisition. Thus ended this awkward affair.

Diana Fish sent me the following email on 02/01/2019 which is a useful addition to the previous paragraph.

The list of church burials is not complete, one example is Mark Heap and his first wife Sarah Hannah nee Haigh. Mark was pushed into the dam under ‘Serious riots at mill’ taken from Wool & Worsit. He is quoted as saying ‘Brick’em lads, brick , em’ (although Wool & Worit by Michael Day says Edward Heap shouted this). Sarah died Sept 1851 aged 20 years and a verse from a poem by D M Moir, an Edinburgh doctor, is inscribed on their tomb. Mark died Nov 1859 aged 33 years.
Mark was the nephew of my 4 x great grandparents,Joseph and Nancy Heap nee Armitage, who are buried close by and also not included on the burial list. I suspect none of the ‘old’ burial ground is included.