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

Saturday 13 October 2018

George Lambert VC - The Garrison Hotel - 18th June 2018

An article was posted  in the Sheffield Star dated 18th June 2018 about the unveiling of a plaque in the Garrison Hotel to George Lambert VC .

George was the first person to be awarded a Victoria Cross who had a Sheffield connection. I posted the article on George to the website many years ago and over time I have managed to add some additional content, But sadly a photo and or image of George has always proved elusive.

I was invited to the ceremony and manged to take this photo of the event. I am glad that George's bravery and courage are still being recognised today.


Deaths under Anaesthetic - Sheffield February 1935

This is the first post to the blog I have done in over six months. There are a number of reasons for this tardy behaviour but the main one is that I would rather sit outside in the summer sunshine reading a good book, than sitting inside posting content to the blog and site.

Nevertheless, material has surfaced over the period, a lot of which deserves publication

The first is from The Manchester Guardian dated 25th February 1935

Bearing in mind that this was the last week in February, the Coroner remarked that he had already officiated in 12 inquests this year where the victim was under anaesthetic at the time of their death. And that 10 of those deaths occurred at the Sheffield Royal Infirmary. He stated that he was "concerned" at the "unusual number of anaesthetic deaths" that had resulted and suggested an inquiry into the methods used.

I would have expected that any sudden death under anaesthetic would have been investigated by the hospital but it is inferred in the report the this was not the case. In fact you get the impression that if the matter had not been raised by the Coroner, no action would have been taken.

Unfortunately I have not been able to find out the reasons for these "unusual number of anaesthetic deaths" and I have not been able to locate any reports