Wednesday 27 April 2011

George Roe 1894 - 1915

Rather pleased that I have been able to add some further detail to the article
George was the first soldier from Sheffield to be executed by the British Army in the First World War, but it has been difficult to aquire further details of his life. Thankfully access to the 1911 Census and then the 1901 Census has meant that I have been able to trace his family. The fuller story can be found by following the link.
George was definitely born in 1894 and not 1896 as stated by the CWGC

But just after I posted this blog I discovered yet another soldier from Sheffield that had been executed by the British Army. His details are as follows

Private Harry Poole, 8534. 7th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. Son of Mr. A. Poole, of 9, Bernard St., Park, Sheffield. Killed 9 December 1916.

Name:     POOLE, HARRY
Nationality:           United Kingdom
Rank:                   Rifleman
Regiment/Service:Yorkshire Regiment
Unit Text:             7th Bn.
Date of Death:     09/12/1916
Service No:         8534
Additional information:     Son of Mr. A. Poole, of 9, Bernard St., Park, Sheffield.
Grave/Memorial Reference:     Near North-West corner.Cemetery:     CAVILLON COMMUNAL CEMETERY.

This discovery now brings the total executed who came from Sheffield to eight. 

Tuesday 19 April 2011

George Ainley (1898 - 1918)

For a number of years I have had articles on my website that concern the execution of people from Sheffield by the British army. It has been a matter of adding bits of information and content to the articles as and when it becomes available. It is the one great advantage the web has over traditional printed matter. If you need to update a book you have to reprint it in its entirity.

The access to the 1911 census mentioned in my previous blog has made a harrowing article even more tragic if that is possible. The article in question is

It takes some believing - it is like "Saving Private Ryan" in reverse. "I know you have lost three sons Mrs Ainley, and that George is your only son that has survived childhood, but he is going to be executed because his military character is not good". It could only happen in Britain!  

The Tyler Family

After a lot of prevaracation on my part, I have eventually decided to subscribe for access to the 1911 Census. I have strong feelings about public-governement bodies charging for information and material that was provided freely by our ancestors. They never received any payment for the information, and neither have their descendents, and so why should the state profit!. They will of course point to the various costs involved but these costs have been more that recouped by the value of the information they have received.

Anyway I digress. When you are researching any census you are struck by the stories that lay behind the document. Take for instance the Tyler family. They are living for want of a better term in a two room back to back hovel in the heavily industrialised east end of Sheffield. The details are as follows
Enumerator Information
Address 2 Court 5 H Lovell St Sheffield
Parish Sheffield
Town Sheffield
Type of Building Private House
Number of Rooms 2 Rooms
Inhabited Y
Reference RG14PN27971 RG78PN1599 RD510 SD6 ED12 SN85
Administrative County Yorkshire (West Riding)
Registration District Sheffield
Registration Sub District East Brightside
Enumeration District 12

The census was taken on 2nd April 1911 but if anyone had told them that before the next five and a half years are up, they would be all killed by a bomb dropped by a German Zeppelin, they would have just looked at you with sheer incredulity. And yet that is exactly what happened. On 25th September 1916 the Tyler family now living in nearby Corby Street were wiped out by a bomb dropped by a Zeppelin

"In Corby Street (now Fred Mulley Road) a high explosive bomb demolished No 142 killing Selina (41) and Joseph Tyler (45) and their five children Joseph Henry (14),Ernest (11), Albert (8), Amelia (5) and John (2). The same bomb also killed 11 year old Richard Brewington of 134 Corby Street and fatally injured Martha Shakespeare of 143 Corby Street, who died later in the day in the Royal Infirmary, Infirmary Road".

It makes you reflect that no-one knows what life has got in store for them - never in a million years would the Tylers have thought in 1911 that they would all die together in an explosion the likes of which Sheffield had never seen before.

As a sad postscript the Tyler family were buried together on Saturday 30th September 1915 in Burngreave Cemetery Sheffield - the grave reference is E3 093 (Gen)

Thursday 14 April 2011

"The Times They Are a-Changin'"

I am now getting seriously worried. When people write, and then publish articles,books, pamphlets etc there is an expectation by the reader that the material in the narrative will at least bear some approximation to the truth. Unless of course there is a disclaimer at the end of the article which states that you, the reader, have just read a load of old baloney and you should not believe a word you have just read. Personally I would not be very happy at all about being "taken for a ride" and would in all probability let the writer know what I think of their lies, deceit and misrepresentation.

An example of what I mean can be seen in the following posters that were delivered to the Hill in April 2010

I was fervently hoping that "(liberal democrat) politicians would work for the people" and bringabout "change that works for you" but I am once again astounded by the duplicity and dishonesty of the politicians. But I suppose I could of misread the poster. When they said "We need a change" they were in one respect correct - we now have two parties in government and not just one. 

Wednesday 6 April 2011

"It was the worst day that I had ever witnessed"

To put a bit of perspective on our current plight, I have just posted an article on my website that recounts Walter Hutchinson's life in June-July 1916. The term "unimaginable" comes to mind.

Who Do You Know?

I am getting rather worried now. My previous "musings" have mentioned Deputy Prime Minister Clegg on more than one occassion, the most recent being his "hawkish" stance in the NATO bombing of Libya. I would like to move onto different topics and areas of concern, but everytime I contemplate this, DPM Clegg delivers some more of his thoughts about the country and it's plight.

Yesterday it was his views on social mobility. This is the gist of what he said

"Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says he wants to stop people getting on in life purely because of "who they know". As he launches the government's social mobility strategy, Mr Clegg said no-one should get an unfair advantage because their parents have "met somebody at the tennis club or the golf club".
He told the BBC: "Sadly, we still live in a country where, invariably, if you're born poor, you die poor. Just as if you go to a low-achieving school, you tend to end up in a low-achieving job."

Of course what DPM does not recognise is that his Conservative coalition partners have no interest whatsoever in improving social mobility, and never have had. A succession of Tory initiatives since 1979 have focused on ensuring that the "old order" is restored and then maintained. Even in the last few months the Coalition government have gleefully announced draconian increases in tuition fees and and scrapping the Education Maintenance Allowance. These measures have in effect  erected major financial barriers for those people from low and average-income backgrounds who would aspire to "improve" their station in life. They act as a brake on social mobility rather than enhancing it.

Of course the people of Crookes (Sheffield) have no chance as the Crookes Golf Club and the Crookes Tennis Centre have still to make an appearance. And so we are stumped according to DPM Clegg's analysis. 

In my belief, one of the bedrocks of British society is class. It permeates every strata and section of society and is deeply etched in the nation's psyche. The Tory party is above all a party built on class and the "natural order" and believe me it has no intentions of initiating radical and far reaching measures to improve social mobility. If fact it will do its damnest to ensure that this country will remain "a land fit for toffs to live in"

As the noted French political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville once said t
The surface of society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colors breaking through."

Given the scale and the vehemence of this coalition's attack on the "ordinary people" of this country, I feel the "paint "will become thinner and more worn within a matter of months rather than years.    

  Photo taken in London May 2015

Note It is a fact that although just 7% of people attend private/independent schools, they account for 70% of High Court Judges and 54% of CEOs of FTSE 100 companies. Perhaps DPM Clegg would like to analyse how this situation has arisen, and what is he going to do about it. Anyone for Tennis!!