Friday 28 March 2014

Harry Poole 1894 - 1916

Just posted Harry's will to the site.

It is one of the saddest documents I have placed on this site knowing what waitedin store for Harry the following year

Rab Howell 1869 - 1937

I've just updated the article on Rab. A fellow researcher kindly sent me some newspaper reports about the match against Sunderland that Rab was supposed to have thrown by scoring two own goals. But in the light of these reports and Rab's "activities" off the field this view should now be questioned

"You ask on your website if anyone has any information on Rab. I have done quiet a bit of research and written a novel about him. Official launch on 22nd Feb at the Copthorne, Sheffield. I've put more stuff on my website 
He didn't marry the second time: to Ada. They just lived together. She was Ada McGrail: family ran a fruit and veg shop on Bridge Street. One of Rab and Ada's great grandsons still lives in Preston.

I don't believe he was sacked due to match fixing. There is no evidence for it. Match reports do not give a reading to anything other than bad luck at the Sunderland game. Also I do not believe that Needham would have even mentioned him in his book if there had been such corruption at the heart of it. I believe the match fixing rumour was made up to fit known facts at the time. The bigger scandal, that required the club (founded on good Methodist principles) to cover it up, was him going off with another woman whilst still married."
It is a perfectly feasible explanation and one that would be churlish to ignore. Rab had always been a thorn in the side of the United directors, and it is possible in the light of the Sunderland game that they "played up" Rab's performance and inferred that he thrown the game. It is also true that Sheffield football at the time was dominated by men who had strong Christian and Temperance beliefs and they would have been aghast at the way Rab was conducting his life off the field.

Furnace Park Shalesmoor Sheffield - 22nd March 2014

I did my first ever open-air talk last Saturday afternoon at Furnace Park Shalesmoor Sheffield

Furnace Park occupies the site where an appalling tragedy took place on Wednesday 25th August 1886 when a wall collapsed on a group of children playing killing 8 of them. I placed the article on my site many years ago and was asked by the organisers to speak about the tragedy and its aftermath.

I really enjoyed the event and met some of the descendents of those poor children who were killed that day. And I also learned something - always put you notes on a clipboard. With the microphone in one hand and my notes in the other, the gusty wind kept blowing the notes apart which did not help my delivery.

Still I think those present found the talk interesting and informative, I certainly did


Thursday 20 March 2014

Sheffield's First Air Raid Victim - Frederick Stratford September 1916

Many years ago I posted an article to the site on Sheffield's First Air Raid on 26th September 1916. And here is a photo of the grave of the first victim 49 year old Frederick Stratford who was struck by shrapnel whilst in bed

The grave is in Sheffield's Burngreave Cemetery not far from where the first bomb to be dropped on Sheffield landed - it demolished a boundary wall. The grave record is as follows

STRATFORD, Frederick (Boiler Fireman, age 49).
     Died at 11-1 Danville Street; Buried on September 30, 1916 in General ground;
     Grave Number 47, Section O2 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Killed in Zeppelin raid: Officiating Minister G G Swann, Removed from Pitsmoor Parish.
STRATFORD, Harriet (Widow, age 82).
     Died at 109 Southey Green Rd; Buried on February 23, 1942 in General ground;
     Grave Number 47, Section O2 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Officiating Minister: R W Fitton: Removed from Sheffield Parish.

It is a sobering thought that Frederick was the first of nearly 700 Sheffielders to lose their lives in German air attacks on Sheffield during the twentieth century

Book Acknowledgements

My website has been on the go for over 15 years and over that time many people have contacted me over the articles that I have posted to it. I have always tried to help people out with their research and answer their questions as best I can.

A few have used the material I have supplied and kindly taken the time and trouble to include an acknowledgement in the books they have published.

I have finally compiled a list of the books that feature an acknowledgement - there may be more but these are the ones that I know about. I can of course recommend them all and would like to thank them for the enjoyment they have given me in assisting them.


The Beautiful Game - David Conn Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Yellow Jersey; New Ed edition (4 Aug 2005) ISBN-10: 0224064363 ISBN-13: 978-0224064361

Herbert Chapman: The First Great Manager - Simon Page     Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Heroes Publishing (18 Oct 2006)     ISBN-10: 0954388453     ISBN-13: 978-0954388454

A Fine Day For A Hanging - Carol Ann Lee Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (6 Sep 2012) ISBN-10: 1780575262 ISBN-13: 978-1780575261

George Lawrence - The Forgotten Philanthropist - Paperback: 76 pages
Publisher: Hucklow Publishing (9 July 2011) ISBN-10: 0956347339 ISBN-13: 978-0956347336

Ghosts & Gallows True Stories of Crime and the Paranormal - Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: The History Press (1 July 2012) ISBN-10: 075246339X ISBN-13: 978-0752463391

Forging History: The Story of George Barnsley and Sons Toolmakers and the Family Members Who Helped Forge Local and National History Paperback: 152 pages
Publisher: Arc Publishing and Print; 1st edition (27 Aug 2010)
ISBN-10: 1906722161 ISBN-13: 978-1906722166

Swifter Than the Arrow: Wilfred Bartrop, Football and War [Paperback]
Peter Holland (Author)
Paperback: 121 pages
Publisher: Matador (10 Dec 2008)
ISBN-10: 184876068X ISBN-13: 978-1848760684

The Sheffield Workhouse - Margaret Drinkall
Paperback: 160 pages Publisher: The History Press (1 July 2010)
ISBN-10: 0752459635 ISBN-13: 978-0752459639

Ring the Bell in the Gaols of Brecon: "Canwch Y Gloch!" Centuries of Barbarism, Rape, Murder and Incarceration in the County of Brecon
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Gwasg Carreg Gwalch (15 Feb 2006)
ISBN-10: 1845270274 ISBN-13: 978-1845270278

Sheffield's Shocking Past: Forgotten Tales of Murder, Mishap & Gruesome Misdemeanour [Paperback]
Chris Hobbs (Author), Matthew Bell (Author)
Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: ACM Retro (13 April 2012)
ISBN-10: 1908431083 ISBN-13: 978-1908431080

Sheffield's Shocking Past: Forgotten Tales of Murder, Mishap & Gruesome Misdemeanour [Paperback]
Chris Hobbs (Author), Matthew Bell (Author)
Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: ACM Retro (16 Nov 2012)
ISBN-10: 1908431199 ISBN-13: 978-1908431196


My First Outdoor Talk - Furnace Park 22nd March 2014

Our publisher contacted me with regard to the following

"I had meeting with a colleague from Sheffield University today - I think I might have mentioned her before. She's called Amanda and she has been busy getting funding for 'Furnace Park' - an arts/ leisure space on the site of the Matthew Street accident.
Anyway, a lot has gone on since I last spoke to her!
On Saturday, March 22, at 2pm she's planning an event to mark the tragedy/plant a tree etc.
She has a performance artist doing an event based around the accident. I'm saying a few words as a descendent of Clifford Anderson and we wondered if you'd be willing to speak about the event/promote the book?
I think we could get a lot of interest.
There's now a website about Furnace Park 

The accident took place in 1886

Long Shadows Over Sheffield - Forgotten Voices of the Great War

Our third book is now going to be published on 21st March 2014 but unlike the first two this is focused on the First World War 

"The Great War had a devastating effect on Sheffield. Hundreds of the city’s young men were slaughtered on the first day of the disastrous Somme offensive. A shocking German Zeppelin raid dropped death from the skies above Sheffield in September 1916. Church Rolls of Honour and War Memorials still bear their names but their stories are largely forgotten, until now.

Long Shadows over Sheffield unearths some of the most jaw-dropping tales of the men who willingly gave up their civilian jobs to make the ultimate sacrifice for King and Country.
From the 67-year-old Sheffield resident who became one of the oldest men to die in the war, to the 15-year-old from Nether Edge whose fascination with the sea led to his death in battle.
The suffering didn’t end with the cessation of hostilities. Survivors – including three of the city’s holders of the Victoria Cross – relived the unspeakable carnage for the rest of their lives, whilst the grief of wives and parents is laid bare in previously unpublished correspondence.

Graphic newspaper reports are mixed with rare photographs and a Sheffield soldier’s personal war diary to provide a memorable tapestry of hardship, heartbreak and horror that was the result of the Great War which began a century ago."