Friday 30 December 2016

View From A Hill - 31st December 2016

This blog is the 60th I've posted in 2016 which is a lot better than a year earlier. I have also managed to post a few more articles to the site which is never a bad thing. And thanks to the many readers who have contacted me in the last year, I have been able to update a few of the earlier articles with new information.  

And so to sign off for 2016, a couple of images are published. The first two were taken in July when I was filming a piece for ITV Calendar at Hillsborough

Never thought that I would end up smiling at Hillsborough!

And the next image is a card a friend sent me offering advice for my advancing years!

 And on that note may I wish all my readers a Very Happy and Healthy New Year! 

Saturday 24 December 2016

The Wedding of Mr Arnold Robert Hardy and Miss Fanny Fletcher - Whit_Tuesday 1919 Sheffield

Another piece of memorabila that has surfaced from the files!

An invitation to the wedding of Mr Arnold Robert Hardy and Miss Fanny Fletcher that was sent by the brides father Mr G. H. Fletcher to Mr and Mrs Ludgate. The wedding took place at Cherry-Tree Chapel, Union Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield on 10th June 1919. (The year was omitted on the invitation). The reception was to be held at the Devonshire Hall, Devonshire Street

The invitation looks as though it was handwritten in painstaking fashion and the RSVP at the bottom corner seems as though it was an afterthought. 41 Gloucester Place was the home address of Mr George Henry Fletcher. the brides father. His wife Mary Jane Fletcher (nee Shaw) had died the previous year at the age of 62. She never saw her daughter get married.

Arnold and Fanny are buried together in Sheffield's Norton Cemetery. They both died in 1968, a year short of their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

HARDY, Arnold Robert (Retired, age 73).
Died at Royal Hospital; Buried on February 21, 1968 in Consecrated ground; 
Grave Number 68, Section EA of Norton Cemetery, Sheffield.
Remarks: Removed from Sheffield.      Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No 31 
HARDY, Fanny (Widow, age 74).
Died at 5 Fairview Rd, Broadstone,Bournmouth; Buried on June 18, 1968 in Consecrated ground; 
Grave Number 68, Section EA of Norton Cemetery, Sheffield.
Remarks: Removed from Broadstones, Bournmouth.      Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No 32 
RICE, Mary Elizabeth (Wife of ~, age 41).      Died at 4/4 Little London Place; Buried on March 18, 1911 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 68, Section EA of Norton Cemetery, Sheffield.
Remarks: Removed from Heeley parish. - Plot Owner: of . Page No 234 
Surname  First name(s)  Spouse  District  Vol  Page 
Marriages Jun 1919
Fletcher  Fanny   Hardy  Ecclesall B. 9c 1116   
Hardy  Arnold R   Fletcher  Ecclesall B. 9c 1116
Births Jun 1894  - Hardy  Arnold Robert    Ecclesall B.  9c 349 
Births Jun 1894  - Fletcher  Fanny    Ecclesall B.  9c 409
Deaths Mar 1968 - HARDY  ARNOLD R  73  SHEFFIELD  2D 99

Thursday 22 December 2016

George Carr of Crookes - one of the oldest chemists in Sheffield

I came across this obituary in the Sheffield Daily Independent dated 13th January 1926 whilst researching another article.

Apart from being one of the oldest chemists in Sheffield, George was also connected all his life with the United Methodist Church in Scotland Street Sheffield. In fact the family's connection with methodism stretches over 100 years.

I was also pleased to find out that the church in Scotland Street still exists and is now a listed building

From Wikipedia

The Carr family as mentioned in the obituary are buried in Crookes Cemetery. These are their burial records

CARR, Catherine (~, age ~).
     Died at On Walkley Tramcar; Buried on February 19, 1955 in Unconsecrated ground; cremated. 
     Grave Number 4161, Section A of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Parent or Next of Kin if Available: ~. Remarks: Cremated remains.

CARR, Charles Henry (Retired, age 73).
     Died at Wyngrove Nursing Home; Buried on July 4, 1956 in Unconsecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 4161, Section A of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
CARR, George (Retired, age 77).
     Died at 250 Western Road; Buried on January 15, 1926 in Unconsecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 4161, Section A of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
CARR, Mary (Wife of George, age 71).
     Died at 250 Western Road; Buried on August 30, 1922 in Unconsecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 4161, Section A of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.

Ethel Christie and the Sheffield connection to the 10 Rillington Place murders.

I've just posted this article to the site - Ethel Christie and the Sheffield connection to the 10 Rillington Place murders. It took a bit of sorting out and as ever there are a number of unanswered questions. The Sheffield connection proved to be quite a strong one - her sister Lily and brother Henry lived here for many years and it was whilst Ethel was visiting them Christie committed his first murders.

Ethel as a young woman 
Ethel also lived in the city for five years between 1928 - 1933 She had a job at a steelworks on Saville Street as a shorthand typist. She also had a long-term relationship with a shop-owner in the city despite being still married to Christie. When this relationship ended, she re-established contact with her husband and moved down to London, eventually living in Rillington Place. This decision costed Ethel her life.

As an aside I also found this photograph from a 1958 book Murder With A Difference by Molly Lefebure.

It was taken in Rillington Place in June 1953 at the time of Queen Elizabeth's coronation. It was only a few months after the six bodies were discovered at No 10. I would not have fancied the Queens chances if she had lived at 10 Rillington Pace!


Tuesday 13 December 2016

The descendents of James Welch VC - Stratfield Saye and Sheffield

Last week I received this e-mail from the Parish Clerk of Stratfield Saye Parish Council. Stratfield Saye is the home village of Lance Corporal James Welch VC who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 29 April 1917 near Oppy, France. James was not from Sheffield but spent most of his working life in the city

Dear Chris
I have just looked at your web page & found a lot of information about Mr Welch.

I am the Parish Clerk of Stratfield Saye and next year we are receiving the commemorative paving stone to place in the Parish.

I am well into arranging the commemorative service with much help from the Rifles at Salisbury as it is something that need s to be done appropriately to honour his award.

While I have a nephew still living here unfortunately it was a large family that got split up somewhat when a mother dies so he has no knowledge of his cousins – the children of James & Daisy – living in Sheffield area.  I believe they are now also dead but there must be direct descendants – grandchildren – and I am desperately trying to find to invite them if possible to the service in the Parish for the unveiling of the commemorative stone & am not at all sure how to go about it – one married name I have been given is Salt & I have already got it wrong as I was told Ilkeston NOT Ecclesall!!!

I am not sure if you can help at all perhaps give me the contact for the offices holding registers which I could contact. From your page I am not sure what it means after the children’s names B 9c 933, 895, 780 739 & 687.

Any help you can provide would be gratefully received.

Thank you
 Penny Mayo
Parish Clerk - Stratfield Saye Parish Council   01189332379 ( mobiles are useless here!!)

I replied to Penny and gave her a few avenues that may prove fruitful. But if anyone reading this article knows of any descendents of James and his wife Daisy please let me know. The event is planned for 29th April 2017.

Arthur Proctor VC and Sergeant Major William Clarke MC - 5th Battalion of the Kings Liverpool

One of the articles on the site relates to the life of the Rev. Arthur Procter who served his country in the Great War and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his brave actions on 4th June 2016. Arthur has the distinction of being the first British soldier to be decorated with the Victoria Cross on the battlefield.

I have just received this e-mail from a researcher who kindly sent me a copy of  the 1/5th Battalion, the King's (Liverpool) Regiment; Territorial Forces. War Dairy that details the actions that led to the award

I came across the original description of Arthur Proctor’s deeds of June 1916 when I was researching my grandfather’s war service in the 5th Battalion of the Kings Liverpool. William Clarke was Sergeant Major & was awarded the Military Cross, gazetted in January 1917. I haven’t yet found a description of the action that led to his award.

If anyone has any further information on Sergeant Major William Clarke MC - 5th Battalion of the Kings Liverpool please contact me and I will forward it to his grandson

Monday 12 December 2016

Sidney Whitlam's medals - Sheffield 1914-1918

I've just posted an article on Sidney Whitlam's medals.

It took a bit of sorting out but I did establish that Sidney was born Sidney Lawson Burkinshaw but changed his name to Sidney Whitlam between 1911-1914. Whitlam was the nameof his stepfather George Whitlam.

There is also a section on Sidney's half-brother Claude Whitlam was lost his life when the RMS Leinster was torpedoed on 10th October 1918. The strange point to note is that Claude lost his life in October 1918 but was not buried until December 1920. He was interred in Sheffield's Burngreave Cemetery

But despite my efforts I have been unable to obtain a photo of Sidney. And so if anyone can help please let me know.  

The Regal Cinema (Theatre Royal) Staniforth Road Darnall Sheffield

I came across this print  - I bought it quite a few years back and then "misplaced" it.

It shows the Regal Cinema on Staniforth Road Darnall Sheffield. There is a brief history of the cinema on the Cinema Treaures site. But its history goes back a bit further to the late nineteenth century.

This is from the ABC of Sheffield Cinemas booklet that is now out of print

Theatre Royal Staniforth Road 
Opened: as the People's Theatre, Attercliffe on the 26-12-1896,being renamed the Theatre Royal, Attercliffe on the 13-12-1897. The Theatre Royal Attercliffe mainly operated as a cinema from the 9-2-1907. 
Architect: Flockton Gibbs and Flockton 
Capacity: 1100 (1904); 950 (1923) 
Proprietors: 1904 North of England Theatre Corporation, a Frank MacNaghten s company 
1908 it was reconstructed as the North of England Theatres Ltd; 
1923 MacNaghten's Vaudeville Circuit Ltd., but leased to the manager Wilfrid Bryan. 
Closed: 17-6-33 
Subsequent use. The theatre was reconstructed as a cinema (see under Regal) 
NOTES Wilfrid Bryan recollected in 1926 that pictures were first shown in 1904 and, while quite possible in the summer months confirmation is lacking in contemporary reports; films were certainly shown from 25-6-06 and throughout the summer month of 1906. In the autumn film weeks were interspersed with drama, vaudeville and musical plays, but from February 1907 the hall mainly operated as a cinema. 

"The Regal Cinema stood on Staniforth Road in the Attercliffe district of Sheffield on the eastern edge of the city. It was a rebuild of the former Theatre Royal and occupied the same site, with some of the original external walls retained in the new build. The architect was Harold J. Shepherd and building contractors were George Longden and Son Ltd. The Regal Cinema was opened on Monday 14th October 1935 with the film “The Dictator” starring Clive Brooke and Madeleine Carroll.
REGAL. Staniforth Road, Attercliffe Opened: 14-10-35 (Built on the site of the Theatre Royal) Architect: Harold J Shepherd Capacity: 918 
Proprietors: Regal Attercliffe Ltd. ; from January 1936 leased to J F Emery Circuit.; from March 1955 Star Cinemas Closed: 27-5-61 
Subsequent use: Bingo and then demolished and site redeveloped for shopping 
The new cinema retained some of the external walls of the Theatre Royal but the reconstruction involved considerable rebuilding. The Regal was damaged on the second night of the Sheffield 'blitz' and did not reopen until the 10-3-1941 

Tuesday 6 December 2016

The Case of Doreen Baird South Yorkshire November 1958

Whilst I was researching the case of Annie Drinkall, I came across a similar case three years later in which a baby was killed.

The case papers are held in the National Archives and are closed until 2059. This is the description

BAIRD, Doreen (aged 14): Murder of June CROFTS (aged 16 months)
This record is closed
Closed For 100 years
Opening date: 01 January 2059

Submit FOI request

More information about the Freedom of Information review process
Reference: DPP 2/2873
BAIRD, Doreen (aged 14): Murder of June CROFTS (aged 16 months)
Note: The naming of a defendant within this catalogue does not imply guilt.
Date: 1958
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department 4230
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Closure status: Closed Or Retained Document, Open Description
Access conditions: Closed For 100 years
FOI decision date: 2009
Exemption 1: Health and Safety
Exemption 2: Personal information where the applicant is a 3rd party
Record opening date: 01 January 2059

The case is also refered to in Murderpedia and the Black Kalendar.

The problem is that Doreen did not murder June Crofts. She was acquitted of the charge by the court. Doreen was found guity of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibilty which is totally different from pre-meditated murder

This is from the Manchester Guardian dated 27th November 1958

The Trial Judge Mr. Justice Hinchcliffe in summing up stated that the death of June was accidental, unintentional and directed the jury to return a verdict of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibilty. He clearly acknowledged the age of Doreen when he said that they would be treated "sympathetically and as children" Even the punishment of "approved school" was tempered with the remark "You will be well looked after." In fact it seems to me rather disconcerting that the charge of murder should have been made in the first place. None of the evidence produced in court points to an act of murder

This is clearly not a case of murder and yet it is being portrayed as such by the National Archives and on-line authors. Furthermore apart from newspaper reports no-one will be able to ascertain the full and correct facts of the case until 2059. The ruling is there ostensibly to protect the privacy and confidentiality of those involved which is understandable. But surely a more accurate title for the record would be

given that no murder took place.

Annie Drinkall - The Last Woman to be Sentenced to Death in Sheffield - November 1955

"However great the sorrow, sadness and tribulation, our law says that human life is sacred" - Mr. Justice Oliver - Sheffield Assizes 17the November 1955 

I have just posted an article on the case of Miss Annie Drinkall who I believe has the distinction of being the last woman to be sentenced to death in Sheffield. The date was Thursday 17thNovember 1955 and the venue Sheffield Assizes on Castle Street.

The following report is from the Manchester Guardian dated 18th November 1955

A sad and at times harrowing case. The article contains more details and also a sequel to the trial

Tuesday 29 November 2016

William Clarke Wilkinson 1879 - 1955 Darnall Sheffield

Quite a few years ago I posted an article to the site about the antics of Mr and Mrs Pochin in Ranmoor Sheffield in 1890

Last week I recived an e-mail from an international publisher who wanted to use one of the photographs in the article for a book that it due to be published next year.The photograph in question was of 15 Ranmoor Park Road, Sheffield. It is the location of the events that led to the social disgrace and disinheritance of the Mr and Mrs Pochin.

I revisited the article and decided to find out if anymore information had come to light in the interim about the victim of their cruel and vicious assaults - "the lad Wilkinson" as he was refered to by the court. He was in fact William Clarke Wilkinson who was only a 12 years old at the time of the beatings. He had been orphaned the previos year.

A combination of newspaper reports, census and BMD data enabled me to piece his life together after the assaults. It was a fascinating and at times sad journey  

Gunner Henry Brown No 1422222 Royal Artillery - died 14th February 1942 Beighton Sheffield

I have just received this information from a reader of the site who kindly gave me this information about his great uncle Gunner Henry Brown who was a fatality in the Beighton Rail Crash in February 1942

"Please find attached a photo of my Grandfather's brother's War grave in Harton Cemetery South Shields. He was a victim of the Beighton Rail crash and noting the date of his death may help you reconcile the numbers lost and when. I'm sorry I have no further information."

This is from the CWGC database

Rank: Gunner Service No:1422222
Date of Death:14/02/1942 Age:41
Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
Grave Reference: Sec. 9. Grave 8087. Cemetery: SOUTH SHIELDS (HARTON) CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Brown, of South Shields; husband of Dorothy Brown, of South Shields.

The interesting point to note is that unlike the other fatalities who have been identified to date, Henry did not die on either 11/12th February 1942. He died two days later on the 14th which seems to indicate that he survived the actual crash but died from the injuries he received. 

If anyone can supply me with any additional information on Henry, please contact me and I will forward it onto his geat nephew 

Friday 25 November 2016

The Brunswick Hotel Morley Leeds

For quite a few years I have had this framed photograph stored in the attic but I did not know the date and location.

The only hint I had was that it was probably Yorkshire - the Tetleys sign - and possibly more West than East given the nature of the terrain. Also the fact that there were no cars in site made it date circa 1900.I did check "S Wood Wine and Spirit Merchant" and "Brunswick Hotel" in the on-line search engines but gor precisely no-where. 

But I then put the terms into the British Library Newspaper archive and discovered that there was a Brunswick Hotel in the Morley district of Leeds. It opened in the late C19th which ties in with the photo. There is a current photo of the Brunswick Hotel on Flickr which is copyrighted but it appears that it shut its doors for the last time  circa 2005, and is now some rather depressing flats.

Of course the question that is puzzling me now is how I came to have a photo of a Leeds pub in the attic in the first place?.

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Reginald Archibald Cammell (1886 - 1911) - The first airman to be killed while on active service

This information was sent to me by a WW1 researcher who specializes in the North Derbyshire area.

Reginald Cammell , was the grandson of Charles Cammell Sheffield Steel Baron . He was the first airman to be killed while on active service . His father Archibald Allan Cammell was born in Sheffield (1856) and lived at Brookfield Manor Hathersage. The family company later merged to form Cammell Laird

There is a picture of Reginald Cammell   in The Royal Aero Club Aviators  Certificates 1910- 1950  , he is listed as no 45 which means that he was the 45th person to be granted an Aviators Certificate ( the modern day equivalent of a Pilot’s Licence ) in Great Britain . If you scroll back to the start of the Certificates book you will see he some very illustrious contemporaries Hon Charles Rolls & Geoffrey  de Havilland

From the Dundee Courier - Wednesday 20 September 1911

A Coroner's inquiry into the death of Lieutenant Reginald Archibald Cammell (24), of the Army Air Battalion, who was killed whilst making a flight at Hendon Aerodrome on Sunday evening, was held yesterday, the jury returning a verdict of "Death from misadventure." Mr Barber, of the Aeronautical Syndicate, who witnessed the accident, said deceased was making a practice flight on a Valkyrie aeroplane, but, making too sharp a turn, the machine backed, and coming over on its side slipped to the ground. The funeral of the late Lieutenant Cammell will take place at Aldershot to-day with full military honours.

(Buried Aldershot Military Cemetery)

His memorial has listed status

Reginald Archibald Cammell

Born 10.1.1886 Inverness. Parents Archibald Allan & Katherine Marion(Orr) Cammell. Believe 3 siblings.

1901 Census Believe Reginald at Repton School, Derbyshire

1911 Census. Reginald at Gibraltar Barracks, Stanhope Lines, Aldershot. He was an Army Officer, Royal Engineers.

Probate. Of Aldershot, Hampshire. Died at Hendon Middx. Admin to Katherine Marion Cammell, widow(his mother). £3412.4s.8d

Tuesday 15 November 2016

The Sheffield Boiler Disaster Messrs Southern and Richardson, Doncaster Street, Sheffield - 1st November 1899

Yesterday I received two contemporary photographs showing the aftermath of the exposion that occurred at Messrs Southern and Richardson, cutlery manufacturers, Doncaster Street, Sheffield on 1st November 1899. Such was the ferocity of the explosion seven people lost their lives and several more were injured.

I placed an article on the site detailing the disaster a few years ago but this is the first time that I have seen photographs of the devastation. In fact I did not know if any existed and so it came as a marvelous surprise.


Monday 14 November 2016

The Startling Assertions of the Reverend W. J. Morrison 28th March 1915 - St Peter's Church Abbeydale Sheffield

I've just posted an article to the site relating to the Rev W J Morrison's observations of women in March 1915. It makes for disturbing reading!

But what is even more alarming is that the Rev Morrison makes no mention of the actions of his former curate who only the year previously had been "over-familiar" with the 17 year old daughter of one of his parishioners. In fact he had "been familiar" on a few occassions with the young girl. But the outcome of his many advances had a ruinous effect on both himself and the girl in question.

St Peter's Church Abbeydale Sheffield was situated in Machon Bank Sheffield - it was demolished in 2003 after a 108 year history. I would have liked to place a photograph of the church in the article but I could not find one that is not copyrighted which is a shame. The land where the church once stood is now a community space whilst the congregation that used to attend St Peter's are now catered for by St Oswald's which is situated at the bottom of Bannerdale Road.


Tuesday 8 November 2016

St Paul's Church Pinstone Street Sheffield

I've just updated the article on St Paul's Church in Sheffield with information that appeared in the Grapevine magazine (December 2008) It was wriiten by Jason Heath (John Heath Funeral Directors) and includes three excellent photographs that I have never seen before

The church was demolished in 1938 as it was deemed to be redundant by the church authorities. Whilst I have to admit that it was no architectual masterpiece it was still a marvelous building  - the interior photograph of the church looks particularly impressive.


Wednesday 2 November 2016

Sheffield's First Foot Hospital - November 1936 "Hospital for City's Feet"

This cutting is from the Daily Independent dated 2nd November 1936 and refers to the opening of Sheffield's First Foot Hospital at 1 Northumberland Road. The building still stands today and has listed status. And by co-incidence was opened 80 years ago this week

I came across this cutting purely by chance - a previous owner of the property in 1871 was a  landowner and gentleman called Mr John Bingley and he was the great grandfather of Herbert William "Billie" Thomas who I mentioned in earlier blogs.

The cutting also made me smile when the Lord Mayor of Sheffield admitted that he "had seen ladies perform various gymnastic feats to try and ease their feet." mmm

And the article also reminded me of the situation that exsisted in this country prior to the advent of the NHS - not an appealing prospect to say the least. 

Tuesday 1 November 2016

William Parker (1783 - 1837) A Merchant in Sheffield's General Cemetery

This photograph is of William Parker's magnificent monument in Sheffield's General Cemetery - William was one of the first burials in the cemetery in 1837,

and this is the actual entry in the burial book - it is the fourth row on the page

The problem I am having at the moment is finding any information about William. This is the content of the record

Grave: T vault 8
William PARKER Merchant, Springfield, Sheffield age: 53, buried: 13 Feb 1837

Lily Parker SMITH Daughter of Joseph Smith,Merchant , Endcliffe Crescent age: 27, buried: 2 Apr 1880

Catherine SMITH Widow, Tapton Mount age: 80, buried: 27 Oct 1892

burial no: 42
grave no: T vault 8
death date: 04 Feb 1837 
burial date: 13 Feb 1837
name: William Parker
sex: male age: 53
cause of death: Apoplexy
description: Merchant
birthplace: Sheffield
residence: Springfield, Sheffield
parents: Thomas & Mary Parker, Table-knife Manufacturer
informant: Catherine Parker
minister: W.T. Kidd 

The death date is a transcription error - it should read 11th February 1837. And that is about it with regard to information and so any additional material would be welcome

Friday 14 October 2016

The Marriage of Reuben Milner and Sarah Myers - Leeds May 22nd 1875

I came across this marriage certificate the other day in my family history files

At the time (May 2002) I was looking for the marriage of my great grandmothers twin sister Sarah Ann Myers who was born in Alderney Channel Islands on 16th April 1857. I was unsure about whether or not it was the correct marriage but my late mother did give me some encouragement, stating the name "Milner rang a bell".

Well after lashing out a few quid for a copy of the certificate, it was apparent straightaway that it was not my late mothers great aunt Sal - in fact it had nothing at all to my ancestors. Complete strangers.! But it was a lesson learned the hard way - I am a lot more circumspect nowadays when I order any form of certificate.

In the years following I did learn from the UK Census that my ancestor Sarah Ann Myers did marry a James Burnett who was born in Scotland in 1829 and so was 28 years older than Sarah Ann. And I still have not located a marriage certificate!

100 years ago - Herbert William "Billie" Thomas of Spring Hill Sheffield died 7th October 1916

The Yorkshire Telegraph and Star dated 19th October 1916 carried this small notice in its Births, Marriages and Deaths column.

I posted an article to the site about Billie a few years ago but it struck me that I did not know how John and Gertrude received the news that their only son was killed in action. Did they receive a telegram similar to this

or did they receive the news by post - the Army Form B 104 - 82

Either way the terrible news would have been delivered to them on the doorstep of 37 Spring Hill a hundred years ago this coming week - it certainly makes you think 

Tuesday 11 October 2016

William Clegg (1898 - 1989) - World War 1 (Rawmarsh Rotherham)

I received this mail from the son of William Clegg who served in the First World War

" I am writing to see if you can help me with a specific enquiry regarding my fathers service in WW1.

I have my Clegg family history dating back from the mid 1700s. Early all of whom were associated with the the mining industry in and around Sheffield. My grandfather, Charles Clegg b 1869 in Handsworth d 1969, was married to Kate (nee Olivent) b1871 d 1937.

They had six children plus one adopted and lived in Handsworth. census records show they moved from there in 1901 and in 1911 they show up in Rawmarsh. At that time my grandfathers occupation changed from Colliery Banks-man to Insurance Superintendent.

My father, William, b 1898 d 1989 is recorded in 1911 as a scholar in Rawmarsh. The only information that I have about my fathers army service in WW1 is that he was a Batman and delivered messages from his Officer to the trenches. My sister and I have a recollection of a large framed, glass fronted black and white photo of him in army uniform. This disappeared some years ago together with any knowledge of his regiment or brigade. The recollection of this have a plain background suggests it was probably a studio photograph and it would have been unlikely for it be commissioned.

I have tried almost every search engine and history site including those local regimental sites without any luck so far. I'm waiting for a copy of a marriage certificate, my parents were married in 1920 in the hope that he may have still been serving then and it include service details.

Any information or suggestions you are able to make would be very much appreciated.

Thank you and kind regards

This is the family in the 1911 Census living on Rawmarsh Hill Rotherham

If anyone can help in answering the questions raised we would be delighted to hear about it.

Sunday 25 September 2016

A Despairing Sight on a Summers Day - Burngreave Cemetery Sheffield Sunday 11th September 2016

As I walked around the Burngreave Cemetery last Sunday, my eye was drawn to the War Memorial that stands on a mound towards the Scott Road Entrance.

For those that are not familiar with the Memorial, this is what the Commonwealth War Graves Commission state

"During the First World War there were two substantial war hospitals in Sheffield, the Wharncliffe, in the Wadsley Asylum, and the 3rd Northern General, housed in 15 separate buildings. The city, a centre for war industry during the Second World War, suffered heavy enemy air-raids during the Blitz with 600 people killed in a single raid in December 1940.

Sheffield (Burngreave) Cemetery contains scattered war graves of both wars. Behind the Cross of Sacrifice in plot JJ is a Screen Wall commemorating those First World War casualties whose graves could not be marked by headstones, most of them buried in the plot of ground immediately in front of it. In front of the Screen Wall are a number of Special Memorial headstones for Second World War casualties buried elsewhere in the cemetery whose graves could not be marked".

In all, the cemetery contains 235 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 57 from the Second."

And so what has happened - some idiot(s) have put their tags in black aerosol paint on the memorial. It is on the side of the plinth and is nothing short of desecration. They should be ashamed of themselves but somehow I think that is unlikely. You do despair at times.

Monday 19 September 2016

A Sad Sight on a Summers Day - Burngreave Cemetery Sheffield Sunday 11th September 2016

There was an Exhibition and Walk on Sunday 11th September at Sheffield's Burngreave Cemetery. The theme was the Zeppelin attack on Sheffield on 25th/26th September 1916 that led to 29 civilians losing their lives. 25 of those victims are buried in the Cemetery

The raid and its aftermath was one of the first articles that I wrote for the site many years agoand I have kept adding to it since

One of the high explosive bombs landed in Corby Street (now Fred Mulley Road) demolishing 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.

The seven members of the Tyler family were buried together on Saturday 30th September 1915 in Burngreave Cemetery - the grave reference is E3 093 (Gen) and this is their grave. The names are just initials and the inscription states that they were killed in the air raid on 26th September 1916. The (empty) flower holder to the side states "a token of respect from Bar Mill E.S.C." The inference is that the memorial was funded by the employees of E.S.C. - there was no-one left of the Tyler family to pay for one.

A very sobering sight


Friday 2 September 2016

Crookes Chapel Crookes Cemetery Sheffield

Photos taken Spring 2009 

I have just received this information from Bereavement Services at Sheffield City Council regarding Crookes Chapel. Until a couple of months ago I was unaware that the Chapel was closed for services and as it is one of the few Grade 11 listed buildings in Crookes I decided to find out the reason(s) why.

"We can confirm that, unfortunately, Crookes Cemetery chapel has been closed now for a number of years as the building became unfit for use due to damp and dry rot issues.

The building was surveyed for renovation but funding has not been forthcoming as other priorities such as schools have taken priority for the funding that has been available.

If you need any further information, please let us know".

It is very much as I feared - the building will now be allowed to deteriorate and I suppose eventually it will be deemed a "dangerous structure" and be demolished. It has happened elsewhere and I fear it will happen here. Grade 11 listed buildings are not very high on Sheffield City Council's list of priorities!

Tuesday 12 July 2016

The son of James Firth V.C. - Sheffield

This relates to the family of James Firth who was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1901 for his actions in the Boer War. He was the first person to be "born and bred" in Sheffield to receive the award.

Alleyne Firth who is mentioned in the mail was James's surviving son.

This came from a reader of the linked article  

"Just a side story somewhat irrelevant, but here it is...I was researching some puzzling postcards in my collection sent from German Silesia to Luton and Tetney which I found years ago in Gloucester on a stall.

It seems they were sent to a Miss Mary Eunice Haith [1902 - 2002]  who married Alan Haith Blow  [guess there was minor some degree of intermarriage there...] in 1935 who himself  had previously been married to Sylvia Dolby [d.1942] whose second marriage  was to Alleyne Firth [who remarried in 1946] 
Alan Haith Blow [1905 - 1989]  became the Borough Engineer in Maldon, Essex.
Best wishes

I replied

"Yes it is a bit irrelevant but fascinating nonetheless. Could I use the information you so kindly sent me on my site/blog?. I feel it may lead to something in time and if it does I will of course let you know.
Thanks again for taking the time and trouble to contact me." 

"No problem, Chris It's amazing what one finds on the web, and there are some amazing stories out there of ordinary people, like the Firth V.C. I never did find out the link  with Silesia  now in Poland - in those days, there were many aristocratic connections between rich Austro-Hungarian and German families and those of equivilent status in the UK and often their youngsters would exchange.  Perhaps the Haiths worked for one such family.  No other clues. Best wishes,"

As before any further information would be most welcome

George Hartley - St Pauls Church Sheffield 1766

Many years ago I posted an article to the site on the long demolished St Paul's Church Sheffield which used to stand where the Peace Gardens now are

Last week I received this e-mail from a reader of the site

"I hope you don't mind me contacting you. I've come across a reference to a George Hartley who was Organist at St Paul's until his dismissal in 1766. I'm interesting in finding a little more about him, particularly the reason for his dismissal, and hoped that you might have come across this information. If you could please get in touch I'd be most appreciative"

This is the "earliest" query I have ever had - it is 250 years old

I replied " I've looked through my notes and I'm afraid I have nothing on George Hartley and his life. The newspapers in Sheffield at that time (1776) were in effect non-existent, and the national press was in its infancy. I have accessed the British Newspapers Archive C18th Burley Collection through the University and despite using a number of search terms I cannot find a reference to George Hartley.

The next thing I can suggest is contacting the Local Archives in Sheffield. I believe that they hold the Parish registers for St Pauls - they may also have additional information".

And so if anyone can supply me with any information on George Hartley and the circumstances surrounding his dismissal I (and a reader of the site) would be grateful. 


A Soldier from Sheffield Arthur Malia 1897-1916 - Died on The First Day of the Somme

Last week I received this mail from a reader of the site

"Hope that you remember me. We corresponded some time ago about an article you published about my wife's mother - Blanche Deffley We hope that you are still OK these days and still "exploring " the history of Sheffield. I look at your website regularly and get engrossed with the fascinating stories.
As you are now considered the font of all knowledge I wondered if you had any idea how I could find another photo. I think that I told you last time that my grandfather was killed on the 1st July at the Somme. I have often wondered what he looked like and the anniversary of the battle last week made me decide to make another attempt. Is it just my faulty memory but I seem to remember that I once saw a Sheffield Star with all the photos of Sheffield men who died that day but I wasn't that interested in those days. I wondered if you could advise me of the best way to find any information. His name was Arthur Malia and he was in the K.O.Y.L.I's. Please don't let this interfere with your work but if you could point me in the right direction I would be most grateful. But maybe I'm just clutching at straws and there is no chance after 100 years"

I replied

"The reference to the 10thBtn KOYI rang a bell straightaway. Have a look at this article I posted last year.

Albert Wright served in the same battalion as Arthur Mali and sadly met the same fate on the same day. I met one of his descendents earlier this year.which was an enlightening experience.I then attached the following three census forms for Arthur and his family
1891 Census

1901 Census

1911 Census

I also contacted a friend who has a large collection of WW1 photos/images. This is his reply

"I have looked through all my 'stuff' and I can't see an image for Arthur. This includes my database of all images that appeared in the Independent and the Telegraph. That's not to say there isn't one somewhere! "

I also closely checked Ancestry with the same results - there is no service record just the attached.medal cards and panel reference.

The only other avenue I can suggest is the KOYLI Museum in Doncaster - there is the outside chance they may have a photo.
I did find something that may interest you re the family history. The surname changed sometime between 1908 and 1911 from Melia to Malia.There is info on the Melia's on Ancestry that I can access for you if you want me to. And there may be an explanation as to why there are no photos of Arthur and his family

The only cutting I could find is from 01.07.1936 Sheffield Independent (20th Anniversary - In Memorium). I have attached the full sheet. It looks as though it was placed by his daughter Ethel who was just a baby when he died. Very sad notice

I passed on this information and received the following reply

"Once again thanks for all your efforts looking into my past.
It's a pity that we can't find any photo but it's what I feared after all these years.
But thanks for all the other information that you sent which I have never seen before.  I didn't even know that there used to be a Sheffield Independent newspaper. Judy, my wife, vaguely remembered it because she worked in the Teleads at the Star in the late 1950's.
Arthur's wife, Ethel, my grandmother, remarried to a Glossop and went on to  have 5 more children. The crazy thing is that the youngest of these children, Gary, is younger than me so is my uncle.
The Ethel who put the  notice in the paper was, obviously, my mother,and I was born a few months after the date of the notice in Feb 1937.I do remember that when I was young we had a framed photo of a man in our back bedroom in , I think, uniform. I guess this was Arthur. My mother and father divorced and my dad remarried. As is usual, apparently,my step mother moved house and threw everything away that was anyway connected to my mother .
I do remember that he was a very good looking man and I obviously take after him !!!! If only!
I also guess that my step grandad threw all Arthurs letters to Ethel away as we have asked around all my step aunts and uncles with no result.
If I had only been interested in Arthur when I was young I might have been able to meet someone who was with him at the Somme as , after all, when I was 10, say, there must have been survivors of that battle who were only in their 40s or 50s. Even later if I'd thought about it but by then I was too busy playing football, watching Wednesday, drinking beer and chasing girls.
Chris, once again thank you for all your efforts for me.
What fascinating work you do. How do you manage to not get sidetracked down all the blind alleys ?"

And I then received this ver interesting follow-up

" Thanks for your efforts again. My brother and I got our thinking hats on to see if there was any other way to find any information about Arthur and saw, maybe, another way.
Arthur's parents were from County Mayo in Ireland and were staunch Catholics. We wondered if the church had any records going back that far so I contacted St Marie's  Church in Sheffield where we think the Malia family attended. We a1so believed that his name was on a memorial somewhere in Sheffield.
The receptionist told that they had a Deacon who was now researching into the archives and might just have something. So I phoned 
He is in the process of compiling histories of St Marie's and has just finished the time period including the WW 1. Last week he also preached at a service for the catholic soldiers of Sheffield who died at the Somme. He took the names from the memorial for his book and the sermon and mentioned each one in turn. Some he could find no information about. Amongst the few that he could not expand upon was an Arthur Melia and has never been able to find any records about him. 
Deacon Bill Burleigh was amazed and delighted that I had contacted him as he can now tie up  (we think) a loose end. I thought that you wouldn't mind him  having the information that you gave me so I have just emailed him your e-mail. Did I do right and was that OK ?
 He is now going to search his archives to see what he has about Arthur Malia so I'll let you know if he finds anything."


Wednesday 29 June 2016

Reuben Thompson and Sir John Bingham - Barkers Pool Sheffield 1905

Another photo-card that I came across recently does have a family connection. The card shows the taxi driver a Mr. Reuben Thompson and the noted Sheffield industrialist Sir John Bingham in Barkers Pool Sheffield 1905.

Reuben Thompson was to become the owner of a major transport company in Sheffield and was the employer of my grandfather Sid Hemsworth. Sid worked for the company up until the end of the Second World War. Here is a photograph of Sid admiring his handiwork!

The company had offices on Queens Road Sheffield which are now demolished. They were opposite the Earl of Arundel public-house