Thursday 9 May 2013

James Dixon - Reloading Tools

In May 2013 a researcher into the family of William Barnsley Allen forwarded me the following e-mail relating to the company of James Dixon.

William Barnsley Allen incidentally was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1916 for his actions on the Western Front, and remains the only student from Sheffield University to have received the award

"I came across your email address on a James Dixon forum site.
By the looks of it you must have studied up on the Dixon empire, my interest is in their production of reloading tools.
I notice there are large amounts of material in regards to tea pots ,and knives and forks, but not much on tools. Did you ever come across any material on tools or patents?
I have their Sporting Catalogue of 1883 and I also own a couple of hundred reloading tools by James Dixon, but I am always on the look out to know more about this company.
My website of Dixon tools can be viewed at

I don't know much about the James Dixon forum but if it helps other collectors then please add my site to your forum page, when you go to my website then just open the James Dixon folder and enjoy."

Friday 3 May 2013

Henry Hurst - Thiepval Memorial

Henry's medals from the Great War were auctioned on EBAY last year. I wrote an article on the sale and found a few details about Henry and his family prior to his death on the "First Day of The Somme"

In April 2013 a friend of mine went to France as part of a tour. He went to the Thiepval Memorial and in the late afternoon of Saturday 27th Aprl 2013 and took a photo of Henry's inscription on the memorial


The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme is a major war memorial to 72,191 missing British and South African men who died in the Battles of the Somme of the First World War between 1915 and 1918 with no known grave

Ralph Skelton Woolass 1917 - 1942

I received this e-mail the other day about an article I first posted to my site nearly ten years ago

"Dear Chris,

I was looking at the website you have so kindly created in memory of my brother, Ralph Skelton Woolass, when I noticed that it had been extended and updated with some family details since I printed it out some years ago (and I was intrigued to note that someone else was researching my family history in 2008!).  I therefore list below some details which you were asking for:
Stanley Woolass               b 28/09/1892    d 10/12/1957
                                            Married 07/03/1916
Jessie Gertrude Wolass    b 11/10/1894    d 07/11/1983
Ralph Skelton Woolass      b 23/09/1917    d 16/04/1942
Peter Woolass                   b 10/08/1920
Stanley David Woolass      b 04/07/1930
I have also attached brief details of Ralph's RAF service history, gleaned from various sources as listed, in case some of it may be of interest.
Finally, may I thank you on behalf of my family for the trouble you have taken to set up this wonderful memorial to Ralph, which is very much appreciated. 
Should you require any further information, please let me know. With best wishes,"
I replied to Ralph's brother and thanked him for his time and trouble in supplying me with this information on Ralph's all too brief career in the RAF. Another message followed with further information on Ralph with included a photograph of Ralph in his RAF uniform.

" It occurred to me afterwards that you might be able to use a photograph of Ralph. I have therefore attached a JPEG, which I have left as originally scanned so that you can resize it as required. The photograph was taken professionally in Salisbury, presumably when he was posted to Ibsley in late 1941. By some strange coincidence, I also spent most of my time at Ibsley when I was doing my National Service with the RAF some 8 years later, much to my Mother's distress.

My brother Peter joined the Territorial Army and was mobilised just before the war. He spent some time in the desert with the 8th Army, then in Italy, before finishing up as an Officer with the BAOR in Germany.

I'm sorry that I omitted to thank you also for the excellent memorial to Percy Charles Pickard, who was Ralph's cousin as noted. These two websites alone must have involved a lot of work and time - thank you so much for all your trouble. Please also thank your friend who took the photograph of Ralph's memorial in South Anston."

There is also some additional information on Ralph at the excellent Rotherham War Memorial's site