Deaths of local inhabitants- 1930 to 1944 incl.

The first reported death in 1930 was of Benjamin Dyson, 79 years, who passed away at his residence, Moorgate Farm. Although he was a native of Meltham Mills, he had resided at Moorgate Farm for 70 years and for 60 of those years he had run a milk business supplying to Netherthong and district. He was also a trustee of the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. The Express later reported that he had left an estate of £13,065.

March saw the death of the oldest resident, Mr. Fred Hobson, aged 85 years. He was born on November 5th. 1844 at Moor Lane and lived there for 20 years, afterwards residing at Oldfield and Deanbrook. He became a hand loom weaver and his last place of employment was Vickermans at Thongs Bridge. At one time he was one of the best swimmers in the district. With his death he was  succeeded by Benjamin Eastwood as the oldest resident.

Later that month, Henry Wilkinson of Deanhouse, who 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.

The early death of Edna Smith, aged 19 years, occured in June after she had suffered with a serious illness for several months. She was the daughter of Mr. & Mrs.John Smith of Chapel House and had been employed at Messrs. T. & J. Tinker, Bottoms Mill, Holmfirth. She had been a scholar at the Wesleyan Sunday School and a member of the Deanhouse ladies cricket team.

Mrs. Charles Hobson of Wood Street was one of the oldest ladies in the village when she died in March 1931 aged 86 years. She was a native of Netherthong and had lived there practically all her life being closely involved with the United Methodist cause.

In the same month, Mr.Frederick Lewis, who had been the Master of the Deanhouse Institute  for some time, passed away at the Institute. He was 42 years old and had been ill for a fortnight.

One of the characters of the village, Ben Eastwood, died in his residence, Westfield House, in July at the age of 86 years. He was known far and wide for his physical appearance and happy genial temperament. By trade he was a brush maker and, up to a few months before his death, he was one of the oldest commercial travellers on the road. He was a staunch churchman at the Parish Church and had an active role in most village events such as Peace Rejoicing, the Coronation Festivities, Old Folk’s Treat and the Netherthong Sing.

Edwin Broadbent of Honley, but formerly of Deanhouse, died in February 1932 aged 79 years. For many years he had been employed at Messrs. Thomas Dyson and Sons, Deanhouse Mills and was a director of the Netherthong Gas Light Company.

There were no recorded deaths in 1933 but in February 1934, Mrs. J.P.Floyd died at her residence, Rose Leigh, on the anniversary of her birthday, aged 83 years. Her husband had been  a leading member on the local scene and she was active in many local activities. She was leader of the Netherthong branch of the Mothers’ Union, Vice- president of the local branch of the Women’s Unionist Association and a regular worshipper at the Parish Church. During the war she was president of the Holmfirth Military Hospital . ” Fairfield” New Road , which belonged to the family, was often placed at the disposal of the public.

Mr. C.A.Hoyle died in March at his residence in Giles Street, aged 62 years. He was one of the oldest employees of Messrs. Dyson & Sons, Deanhouse Mills having worked there for 52 years since the age of 11. He was a cricketing enthusiast, played for Netherthong Cricket Club and later became an umpire. Like so many in the village he was involved in the Gardeners’ Friendly Society.

The same month, Miss Elsie Chambers, 22 years, of Cliffe View died after a short illness. She was involved in the many of the village activities namely Church Sunday School, Parish Church Choir, Girl Guides, Lawn Tennis Club and the Junior Imperial League.

1934 was proving to be a bad year because in May, Miss Emma Beaumont, 38, of Lidget House, died. She was well known as a contralto vocalist and, besides being a member of both the Parish Church and Holmfirth Church choirs, she was a leading member of local operatic societies.

The next month Harry Horncastle, 46 years, died at his home , Beech House and his death came as a big suprise to everyone. He worked as a joiner for Ed.Holdroyd & Sons of Honley, having learnt his trade at J.Batley & Sons in Netherthong. He was a committee member on both the Co- Operative Society and the Gardeners’ Friendly Society and an active worker for the Old Folk’s annual treat and the Holme Valley Memorial Hospital.

The first month of 1935 saw the death of Mr. Thomas Turner who passed away at his residence, South View, at the age of 71 years. He devoted his attention to shooting and fishing and was a familiar sight walking through the district with his fishing tackle over his arm and dogs at his heels. He was a former churchwarden at the Parish Church and President of their Operatic Society, a vice-president of the Tennis Club and vice- president of the Male Voice Choir.. For many years he was the secretary of the Batley Angling Club.

Mrs. Joseph Woodhead of Croft House,  a native of Netherthong, died at 84 years  in April. She married Joseph Woodhead who had been a grocer and provisions merchant in the village and lived in Green Cottage. When her husband died in 1925 she moved to Croft House.

Although not a resident of the village, Mrs. Mary Anne Jagger of Honley died  in October aged 86 years. She was the most widely known resident of Honley and famous for her writings , particularly her ” History of Honley ” published in 1914. I readily admit to using some of her details of the recorded life of people in the early 1800s in Honley which would have applied  equally  to life in Netherthong.

The last death of the year was of Miss Hilda Woodhead at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary following on from an operation. She was 44 years old  and employed at Albert MIlls. Her leisure time was occupied in sick nursing and she was a V.A.D. nurse at Meltham.

Mr.Tom Sykes of Giles Street died in May 1936 at the age of 48 years. In his youth he attended the Church School and was a member of the Gardeners Society. He had been a soldier in WW1 and was a member of the British Legion. For many years he worked in the scribbling department at Deanhouse Mills. In the same month the death occured of Joseph Hobson, aged 80 years, who at the time was the oldest resident. He was born at Mossley and moved to Netherthong 45 years ago where he farmed.

In  1937 there was a report on the death of Mr. J.Goddard under tragically  sudden circumstances on July 28th. He was a leading Holme Valley musician and lived at Holly Bank. He had been a guest at the residence of Mr. Albert Robinson of Honley along with 30 other guests among whom were members of the Holme Valley Male Choir. Dinner had been served in the marquee and Mr.Goddard had stood up to make a speech but, just after he had started, he collapsed and fell. A doctor was summoned but by the time he arrived, Goddard was dead. He had not been very well for about 18 months. He was an accomplished organist and one of the founders of the Holme Valley Male Voice Choir. He was a freemason and had married Hilda Whipp, a well known vocalist.

The first death in 1938 was of Miss Sarah Renshaw in February at the age of 80 years. For many years she had been a Sunday School teacher at the Wesley Chapel as well as a member of the choir, class leader and missionary secretary.  She  was a dressmaker of her own account and afterwards became the lead dressmaker for Hinchliffe, Whiteley & Knott of Holmfirth.

The next month saw the death of Fred Whitfield, who was a well known and respected figure in the district, at the age of 79 years. He was by trade a Tailor and initially carried out his business in Netherthong but later on moved to Holmfirth. He was a member of the WMC and active in the Holme Valley Beagles.

The same month and very much in contrast to Woodhead’s death, a young lad, Albert Edward Farmer, at the tender age of 1 year 9 months died at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary whilst undergoing an operation. He was the son of Mr.& Mrs. Brook Turner of Dock Hill.  At the inquest, conducted by Mr. E.Norris the coroner, Dr. Copeland, who carried out the post-mortem, said death was due to heart failure from the anaesthetic with status lymphaticus a contributory cause. The Coroner recorded a verdicy in accordance with the medical evidence.

Two more deaths occured in March. The first was of one of the oldest ladies in the district, Miss Emma Dytch of Deanhouse who died  at the age of 87. She had always been involved with the Zion Methodist cause. The next death was of Arthur Fielding Sykes of Towngate aged 76. Up to his retirement 12 years earlier he had been employed as a designer by Messrs. Dyson & Sons, Deanhouse Mills. He had been a member of the Zion Methodist Choir, served on the committee of the Co-operative Society and was  an overseer of the poor for the township.

The next month, April, saw the death of Sampson Horner of St. Anne’s Square aged 80 years. He was a native of Clayton West and when he was 50 years old had moved to Hinchliffe and became the landlord of the Miller’s Arms. He next moved to Holmfirth before finishing up in Netherthong.  Until the age of 72 he was a  familiar sight on his bicycle cycling from the village to Holmfirth and back and he was involved with the Old Folk’s treat  and a member of the Wesleyan Chapel.

Mr.Edward Dyson of West End, aged 75 years, died in July. Up to his retirement a few years previously, he had been employed as a scribbling engineer for Messrs. Dyson & Sons Ltd. of Deanhouse Mills, his uncle being founder of the firm. He was a member of the WMC, the Gardeners’ Society and Holme Valley Beagles. As a young man he was a cricketer and footballer and a member of Netherthong Rugby Club.

November saw the death of Mrs. Benjamin Gill, aged 63 years. The family had emigrated to the Antipodes several years previously and her husband , Benjamin, had been a local  builder and just before he emigrated he was engaged in the erection of new premises in New Road.

The final death of the year was of John Hobson of Outlane aged 84 years who had been blind and deaf for several years. His parents had been living  in Thongs Bridge when the Holmfirth Flood occured and damaged their home which caused them to move to Netherthong. At the early age of 8 years he began working in the mill as a half-timer and at the age of 25 years he joined the staff of Prudential Assurance Co. as a district agent. He had a lifelong connection with  Zion Methodism and was involved even before the church was built. For 24 years he was the honorary choirmaster and retired on January 17, 1904. He had moved to Meltham in 1888 and in all sorts of weather could be seen wending his way from Meltham to the Zion Church. He was the honorary secretary of the Victoria Jubilee Celebrations. A few years before his death he moved back to Netherthong

A death with strong cricketing connections occured in January 1939. Mr. William Lancaster, a former well known cricketer, died at the age of 65 years after a long illness. He was a native of Thongs Bridge and began playing cricket there before League cricket came into being. His ability improved and he played 10 innings for Yorkshire. The Rev. S. Black conducted the service at All Saints. Three former England and Yorkshire cricketers, Wilfred Rhodes, Percy Holmes and George Hirst were among the pall bearers.

As a break from recording deaths, June saw the Golden Anniversary of Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Mallinson. They were both born 74 years ago in the village, they attended the village school together and were in the same class. They were both employed at Deanhouse Mills and were married in All Saint’s Church. Alfred retired at the age of 71 years after having completed 57 years service. They had a married son and two daughters.

The end of the year saw the death of Mr. Charles Ricketts of West End at the age of 69 years. He was an old volunteer and served both in the South African War and WW1. He was a member of the Holmfirth branch of the British Legion and of the South African Veteran’s Association in Huddersfield.

The first death in 1940 was of Mr.Tom Booth, aged 75 years. He was a native of New Mill but became a well known resident in Deanhouse where he carried out a greengrocery business. He had a long association with the Wesleyan church and was a trustee of the Chapel. Although he moved to Brighouse 15 years previously, his funeral was held at the Netherthong Wesleyan Chapel.

Mr. John Donkersley of School Street died at the age of 83 years in April. He had been a very keen follower of the Holme Valley Beagles Hunt for 60 years. A cortege was led from his house to the church by Mr.Barnes, the Beagles present Huntsman, in his red coat, and a whipper-in, Thomas Dutton, who wore green hunting dress. They each had charge of a pair of beagles.

The final death of the year was of Miss Ellen Elizabeth Mitchell who died on November 12 aged 74 years. She was the daughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. Richard Mitchell, residents of Netherthong. For 29 years she was in business as a confectioner, which in layman’s terms meant she ran the sweetshop in Towngate and she retired in 1926.

No deaths were reported for 1941 and 1942 but in December 1943 Mr. John Mallinson whose family had been in the butchering trade in the village for several generations died aged 76 years.

February 1944 saw another Silver Wedding celebrated. 60 guests attended a social function held in the Zion Church Sunday School to honour the silver wedding of Mr. & Mrs. H.Hobson both of whom were devoted workers for the Methodist cause.

In the same month Mr. N.Smith the headmaster of the Netherthong Council School died. There was no further information. His death was followed in March by that of Mrs.Sarah Wilson Jackson aged 92 at her home, Manor House. She had been the voluntary organist at All Saint’s Church for 75 years and was reputed to be the oldest official church organist in England. When she was in her eighties she became so deaf that she couldn’t hear what she was playing but insisted on continuing in office saying she knew the psalms backwards. She was the widow of Mr. J.Jackson who for many years had been headmaster at the Church School.

Dr.Hugh Steinberg, the Resident Medical Officer of Health at Deanhouse Hospital died of natural causes. He came to England from Vienna and a few months before his death he married Sister Edna Bentley, a member of staff at the hospital.

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