Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Fred Dawson (1897 - 1915) Gallipoli and Crookes

This headstone appears in Crookes Cemetery Sheffield and relates to the last resting place of the Dawson Family.

These photographs were taken on 27th January 2018 and what is unusual about them is that they show a replacement memorial. 

The original memorial is shown below  

My interest was in their younger son Fred

"Also of FRED the youngest son of the above named HENRY & ANNIE DAWSON who died on active service Oct 20th 1915 in his 18th year."

A check on the GWGC database gave the following information

Lance Corporal DAWSON, FRED
Service Number 17510
Died 20/10/1915
Aged 18
6th Bn - York and Lancaster Regiment


Son of Mrs. Annie Dawson, of 42, Vernon Terrace, Manchester Rd., Sheffield.

6th Bn - York and Lancaster Regiment
Aug 1914 Formed at Pontefract as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Grantham as part of the 32nd Brigade in the 11th Division and then moved to Witley by April 1915.
03.07.1915 Mobilised for war and embarked for Gallipoli from Liverpool via Mudros.
0.08.1915 Landed at Sulvla Bay and engaged in various actions against the Ottoman Empire including; The Battle of Scimitar Hill and attack on Hill 60.
Dec 1915 Evacuated to Mudros due to serve casualties from combat and disease.

And so it appears that Fred died from his wounds or disease in Greece after service with his regiment in Gallipoli

He is remembered as well on 
Sheffield Council Official Roll of Honour
Ranmoor War Memorial
St John The Evangelist Church Ranmoor Roll of Honour

The original headstone must have been erected circa 1939  - the first burial in the grave was that of Fred's father Henry. You can clearly see the effects of 80 years of Crookes weather on the stone but it is refreshing to see that they are not forgotten after all these years. Someone still cares

DAWSON, Annie (Widow, age 98).
     Died at 42 Vernon Terrace; Buried on January 19, 1953 in Consecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 313, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Plot Owner: of ~. Page No 201 

DAWSON, Henry (Retired, age 81).
     Died at 42 Vernon Terrace; Buried on December 30, 1959 in Consecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 313, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Plot Owner: of . Page No 294 

DAWSON, Henry (Retired, age 91).
     Died at 42 Vernon Terrace; Buried on January 4, 1939 in Consecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 313, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Plot Owner: of ~. Page No 327 
DAWSON, Kate (Spinster, age 92).
     Died at Lodge Moor Hospital; Buried on August 4, 1967 in Consecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 313, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Plot Owner: of . Page No 16 
HARRISON, May (~, age 91).
     Died at 3 Barncliffe Road; Buried on April 11, 1983 in Consecrated ground; cremated. 
     Grave Number 313, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Remarks: Cremated remains removed from City Rd No 312633.
     Plot Owner: of ~. Page No 122 
HARRISON, Victor (~, age 72).
     Died at 3 Barncliffe Road; Buried on January 31, 1973 in Consecrated ground; cremated. 
     Grave Number 313, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Remarks: Cremated remains removed from City Rd No.95849.
     Plot Owner: of . Page No 58 

Monday, 28 January 2019

Crookesmoor Junior School (1874 - 1994) - Crookesmoor Sheffield

I came across this cutting from the Yorkshire Post dated Wednesday 28th December 1994

I vaguely remember the occupation of the school but what I cannot understand is how and why Sheffield Education Authority permitted the school to be vandalised after it was closed in the summer of 1994. They were the legal owners of the school, as they reminded readers of the newspaper, but they had permitted "vandals" to smash toilets and windows, strip lead off the roof  and destroy the fabric of the building. And it begs the question of what the police were doing to apprehend the miscreants. Very little by all accounts

The squatters appear from the report to be doing the opposite!. Over the last few decades this type of vandalism has happened time and time again in publicly-owned properties in Sheffield, but the custodians of the properties (Sheffield City Council) are never held at least partly responsible for the destruction of their assets.

Perhaps responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of such buildings should be transferred to organisations that can fulfil that role.     

Sunday, 27 January 2019

The Funeral of John Firth - Ecclesall Church Sheffield May 1869

I was going to post an article to the site based on this report  that appeared in the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent newspaper on 8th May 1869. A classic Victorian funeral

John Firth (c 1824-1869) Merchant and steel manufacturer

c.1824 Born son of Thomas Firth, Senior in Sheffield

1841 Living in Sheffield: Thomas Firth (age c52), steel refiner, with Mary (age c48), Mark (age c220 a clerk, Thomas (age c190 a steel refiner, John (age c17) a clerk, Edward (age c11), Mary (age c9), Elizabeth (age c6), and Charles (age c4)[1]

1850 Thomas Firth Snr died. John joined his brothers in their business, Thomas Firth and Sons.

1856 Married Charlotte Harding

1861 A steel and iron manufacturer, living in Chesterfield with Charlotte 31, Charles H Firth 4, Lewis John Firth 2, Mary Alice Firth 10 months[2]

1869 Died at sea[3], whilst on holiday with his wife in the Mediterranean[4]  

Holt House also appears on my website - I spent a couple of years there as a pupil!

As a footnote the arrangements for the funeral was made by Mr Skelton Cole, one of the Cole Brothers

Monday, 31 December 2018

View From A Hill - 31st December 2018

This blog is the 31st I've posted in 2018 which is the lowest annual total since the blog started in 2010. I have also managed to post a few articles to the website but not as many as I would have liked. 

There are reasons for this tardiness on my part but it has meant that I have a rather larger backlog of material than is normal. I hope to get around to posting some new content in the next few months. 

And so all that remains is to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year

This photograph was taken on 2nd December 2018 and shows a rainbow over the Hill - quite a rare occurrence.

The Springfield Tavern Broomspring Lane Sheffield October 2006

This cutting is from the Sheffield Telegraph dated 6th October 2006 and refers to the The Springfield Tavern in Broomspring Lane Sheffield. As the report says it was the first of its kind in Sheffield

The locals who challenged and opposed the granting of a licence to the public house did not have long to wait for a final solution though. The public house was permanently closed in 2010 and is now private rented accommodation.   

Christmas in the Workhouse - Sheffield December 1883

The following is a report that appeared in the Sheffield Independent dated 26th December 1883

"The inmates of the above Workhouse were yesterday provided with their Christmas treat. It consisted, as usual, of the substantial dinner of roast beef and plum pudding. A pint of beer was allowed for everyone except the imbeciles and children. They has coffee, as also did everyone who preferred it. The total number of inmates in the house this Christmas is 1334... after dinner they were briefly and suitably addressed by the Chairman (Ald. Hunter) ....The inmates were then dismissed to their various wards to pass the afternoon in recreation, various friends having kindly sent a quantity of illustrated papers and books for their use. `the old people were supplied with tobacco and snuff and the children with oranges. An excellent tea was given them, and to-day (Wed) there will be a magic lantern entertainment kindly supplied by Mr Rodgers. The Sheffield Pillow Mission sent their usual Christmas present of a letter and illustrated card to each inmate."

As with the previous blog I was going to post a fuller article but found this article about Christmas in the Workhouse which even includes a recipe for a workhouse plum pudding!

But the sentence that shows just how tough life was in the 1880's is this "The total number of inmates in the house this Christmas is 1334" - a staggering total

Marjorie Stewart and Harry Fallows - Castleton Derbyshire January 1927

This cutting is from The Scotsman dated 12th January 1927. I was going to post an article to the site about their tragic deaths but found that there was this article that covered the event. (and others).

The article by Kay Harrison is very interesting to say the least and well worth a read. The couple lived at Hinde Street Moston which is a district in Manchester

Thursday, 13 December 2018

The Beatles first appearance in Sheffield - Tuesday 2nd April 1963

This is a copy of a poster that has been circulating for years and has been shown to be a fake

The Beatles did not appear there on that date but did appear on Tuesday 2nd April 1963

There is an excellent blog that explains all about what happened and why But when I was in the Local Studies Library the other day, I found this advertisement in The Sheffield Star dated Tuesday 2nd April 1963,

The show did take place but I could find no report of the event in the following nights newspaper. Of course the typos are quite amusing "Tickets at the Noor" and Mark Stone I believe is "Mark Jones"
But the fascinating act has got to be the "Screaming Howling Horror of Fitzalan Sqaure - Count Linsey 111 and The Skeletons,." I wonder what happened to them? 

Alma Street Brightside Sheffield - August 1867

I came across this report in The Brecon Reporter and South Wales General Advertiser dated 
3rd August 1867. (The National Library of Wales have placed their newspaper archive on-line and is well worth visiting)

The report appeared under the title SHEFFIELD SENTIMENT.

 The other night a commercial clerk, living in Alma- street, Brightside, Sheffield, beat his litttle boy, 11 years of age, with shocking severity. The child had caused his father a deal of trouble by his propensity to lying. On the other hand, the child has been much repressed at home, and very frequently beaten. His mother is dead, and his father has married again. In consequence of the cruel conduct of the father the neighbours communicated with the police, and the chief-constable sent the child to Dr Young to be examined.

The doctor found his shoulders, back, and loins covered with bruises and bleeding wounds, so that a finger could not be laid on a sound place. In consequence of the doctor's report the father has been brought before the magistrates, but the doctor not being present the case was remanded.

"I suppose, said one of the magistrates to the father, "that we must send the boy back with you, and I hope you can be trusted not to beat him again before tomorrow. I'll never touch him again," said the father, bursting into tears. Upon this the little boy looked up and began to cry too, and said, taking his father's hand,"Don't cry, father I'd sooner go to prison than you should go."

 Thus weeping, the father and child left the court together." 

These are the only details I have at the moment but it would be interesting to know what happened to the family

John Womersley's house on Bents Drive, Sheffield - April 1963

Just over  a year ago I posted a blog on John Lewis Womersley. John was City Architect for Sheffield from 1953 - 1963 and led the team that planned and designed the mixed high-density housing developments, Park Hill (1957-1961) and the Gleadless Valley estate (1955-1962). He was also involved in the building of the recently demolished Castle Market.  

I came across this cutting whilst I was researching something totally different. It is from The Sheffield Star and is dated April 1963

 Unfortunately the article does not stipulate the number of the house on Bents Drive but the fact that it is a three-bedroomed house with a large secluded garden does seem to indicate that John was not all that taken with the designs and visions of Le Corbusier. 

If anyone could supply me with either the number of the house or a photograph, please contact me. 

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Aircraftman 2nd Class George William Rhodes (1916-1940) - Commonside Sheffield

Photograph taken 25th April 2012
Sec. J.J. grave 5603, Sheffield (Crookes) Cemetery.]

The memorial inscription reads

RHODES. Sacred to the affectionate and happy memories of George William Rhodes, 996999, AC2, RAF, only son of William and Amelia Rhodes, killed on active service August 1st 1940, age 24.
"He shall never grow old."
Also the above William, who died June 24th 1963, aged 73 years.
George William Rhodes appears identical to Aircraftman 2nd Class 996999, Royal Air Force Volunteer reserve, died Thursday 1st August 1940, age 24. Son of William & Amelia Rhodes, Commonside, Sheffield. 

And this is how George died. He was based at RAF Upper Heyford with the  16 OTU (Operational Training Unit). There were satellite airfields at RAF Barford St Michael, RAF Croughton and RAF Hinton in the Hedges

On 1 August 1940   a Hereford L6067  Training plane crashed near Souldern which is 7 miles north west of Bicester in Oxfordshire

On board the aircraft were the following personnel - all four died in the crash

Sergeant (Pilot) Oswald George DAY   RAFVR No. 742004
Age 24 and the son of Harold Johnson Day and Gertrude Day of Leicester. He is buried in Sec V Grave 126 Gilroes Cemetery, Leicester

Flying Officer (Pilot) George Holland THEVENARD  RAFVR No. 70668
Age 33, the son of Ernest Frank and Margaret Montgomery Thevenard and the  husband of Jeannie Thevenard of Hull. He is buried in Plot 1 Row B Grave 14 in the churchyard of All Saints Church, Middleton Stoney

Sergeant (Wireless Operator) Sydney Nevil BAKER  RAF No. 645894
Age 21 and the son of S G and Annie Baker of Dordon.  He was the foster son and nephew of Mr H E Thorpe of Dordon. He is buried near the south boundary of the churchyard of St Leonard’s Church, Dordon, Warwickshire

Aircraftman 2nd Class George William RHODES  RAFVR No. 996999 Age 24 and the son of William and Amelia Rhodes of Commonside, Sheffield. He is buried in Sec JJ Grave 5603, Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield

One source states that George was a passenger on the aircraft.

Head Office of D North Homes Ltd 63 - 73 Commonside Sheffield.

In the previous blog I posted a photograph of Commonside, Sheffield dated October 2012

In the centre of the photograph is the Head Office of D North Homes Ltd 63 - 73 Commonside Sheffield.

But whilst the building was there, the company had ceased to exist. I am unsure as to why the firm packed up but pack up it did.
But by July 2015 even the building had gone. It was demolished and replaced by a private residential development that are all the rage in Sheffield at the moment.

Photograph taken July 2015

Photograph of a Sheffield Family Commonside Sheffield

I came across this photograph last week that shows a family at the door of a house in Commonside, Sheffield. Unfortunately there are no details on the postcard but given the decorations on the house it must have been for some celebration. Date-wise I would guess circa 1930.

I believe that the house was demolished many years ago. It is difficult to place where the house actually was on Commonside apart from it being on the flatter part. There were some houses demolished at the bottom of Hands Road where it joins Commonside. There is a photograph of the derelict land on Picture Sheffield and that is dated 11th November 1971. And so possibly the demolition took place earlier in the 1960's

If anyone can help please let me know.  

Photo taken October 2012

231 Crookes Sheffield - Paranormal Activity June 2018

Many years ago I posted an article on the Crookes Laundry Murder that took place in 1922 and was to quote the Sheffield Independent

"one of the most sensational crimes Sheffield police have ever investigated"  

Photo taken 2004

In June this year I received this e-mail. It is something I did not expect

"what a fascinating website! I stumbled across it because of a strange occurrence yesterday. I went up Crookes with my friend Sue to browse the charity shops. We started down at the Age Concern shop and made our way up to St.Lukes. When we arrived at the Barnardo.s shop I found a couple of tops I like so decided to try them on. There was a blue vest top and a light chiffon top both on separate hanger so I carried them both into the changing room and hooked them on the inside of the changing room. I tried them both on together, one over the top of the other, then opened the door to show my friend. We both decided it wasn’t me so I proceeded to take them off. I got the hanger and put the chiffon top back on it then picked up the vest top and looked for the hanger but found it had completely vanished I looked all over the 4 ft square changing room but it was just not there. I went to the rail where I had got it from and there were no empty hangers. I told my friend and she agreed how very odd. 

This morning I started thinking about it again and then seemed to remember a story about a murder on Crookes so I googled it and came across your site. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it was that shop. I text a friend of mine who volunteers in several of the charity shops in Crookes and asked him if he’d heard of anything and this was his reply

“Hi, yep the shop is haunted. Think its something to do with the cellar. The manager is called Kim, i used to help out at weekends on till when she was short of volunteers. She mentioned odd goings off in shop. I've seen items fall off rails still on hangers, thats impossible. Weird spooky stuff. I'll pop in after work & get some stories from her. Wouldn't it b eerie if that hanger turned up in ur wardrobe!! “

Have you heard anything about strange goings on?"

I have not heard of anything re paranormal activity at the shop and it does not appear in Valerie Salim's "Ghost Hunters Guide to Sheffield" which is really the standard work on the subject. And so if anyone can throw any light on the matter I would be grateful 


Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Cookridge Haven Home Sheffield September 1922

The attached is from The Manchester Guardian dated 7th September 1922

Superficially it is a case of "nothing ever changes," Nearly one hundred years later, people are still being neglected and abused in adult and children's care homes despite the strict regulatory regimes they operate under, and the governments rigorous inspection schedules(mmm!)

But in this case it appears that four or five old people were accommodated as well as about ten children in this one home in just six bedrooms. The report gives the impression that they did not know how many people were in the home at the time of the Home Office inspection. But what is astounding is that all the children were infested and suffering from malnutrition and the health inspector inferred that "there had never been any permanent improvement."

In other words neglect was the norm. And Eliza King who was matron of Cookridge Haven Home was fined £5 (about £200 in today's money) for running this hovel in a cruel and malicious way. It is almost as if the authorities condoned this state of affairs

To date I have been unable to find anything about the Cookridge Haven Home


Gunner James Samuel King R.A. Died Beighton Sheffield 12th February 1942

Many years ago I published an article on the Beighton Rail Disaster 1942 and its aftermath, and since then I have updated it as and when information has become available 

KING James Samuel. Nationality: United Kingdom. Rank: Gunner. Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery. Age: 32. Date of Death: 12/02/1942. Service No: 11264438. Additional information: Son of Samuel and Bertha Grace King, of Westcliff-on-Sea. Plot R. Grave 12050.

James is buried in Sutton Road Cemetery Southend on Sea. He is buried in buried in Plot R, outside the hedged perimeter of the War Memorial.

In March 2013 I received this e-mail from James' nephew

"Thank you for the information on your web site about the Beighton Train Disaster. I have always wondered about what precisely happened.
My uncle James King was killed in the crash. From the information on the web sites linked to yours it appears he died on the day after the crash so he must have been one of those taken to Sheffield Royal Infirmary. Jim was a 32 year old single man. He had trained to become a draughtsman. But probably due to the difficulty in finding such work in the depression had joined with his brother Stanley to start in about 1938 a sweet making firm in Southend on Sea. The firm continued into the 1960s still trading as J & S King. My two brothers and I were born after the tragedy but we all knew the outline of the story, that a metal girder/plate had sliced into a troop train from a goods train on the other line and killed my uncle and other soldiers.
You ask whether the facts were kept from the families at the time. I suspect not. My grandfather had copies of the Times report of the Crash and also a copy of the coroners report and a report from the Southend Standard amongst his papers when he died. My brothers and I were regularly taken to his grave when I was younger. I remember being shocked once when my grandfather commented that some of the soldiers on the train had been beheaded."

In October 2018 James' nephew contacted me again and kindly supplied me with a copy of his obituary from the local newspaper The Southend Standard

and also a family photograph that shows Jim's parents Sam and Bertha Grace King standing next to his grave at Sutton Road Cemetery Southend on Sea.

"The photograph was taken probably in the mid 1950s on one of the regular visits of me and my family to his grave. Jim’s parents paid for a private grave plot just outside the official Commonwealth war graves plot of Southend war dead. You can see the official war graves and memorial in the background. Their other son Stanley, my father, survived four and a half years in the army and the fighting in Normandy and across Europe into Germany".

The family are attempting to find photographs of the accident. There were photographs taken at the time of the accident but sadly the ones we have been able to obtain are of poor quality. And so if anyone knows of any good quality photos let me know and I will pass the inforamtion on