Saturday 31 December 2022

View From A Hill - 31st December 2022

This blog is the 45th I've posted in 2022  which is an increase on 2021. I have also managed to post a few more articles to the site, one of which was Sheffield 1931. It was based on a newspaper cutting from ninety-one years ago today and reviews the year in Sheffield. I must admit I had a wry smile at times at the antics of Sheffield City Council.

It is a shame that that articles of this nature have more or less disappeared - when the local press could review the successes and failures of the city. Of course this year would be "interesting" with the closure of major city centre stores and the installation of shipping containers on one of Sheffield's main thoroughfares. There have also been a plethora of "green initiatives" which normally involve costs and disruption to the people of Sheffield. The people of Crookes and Walkley have been vexed this year  with "low traffic neighbourhoods" whereby the Council placed plant holders in the roads on an ad-hoc basis and blocked access to properties and businesses

I fear it will only get worse in the years to come

Anyway a big 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 on the site with new information which is always a pleasure  

And so all that remains is to wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2023

Thursday 29 December 2022

Sheffield's First Air Raid Victims of World War 2 - 28th-29th August 1940

One of the first articles I placed on the site many years ago was one about the loss of life that occurred on 12th December 1940 when the Marples public house in Fitzalan Square was flattened by a Luftwaffe bomb. It was the single biggest loss of life in Sheffield during the whole war.

But there were a number of other occasions when lives were lost as a result of Luftwaffe activity. The last two people to lose their lives in Sheffield were George Macbeth and William Trevor Wilde. They were killed on Clarkhouse Road in Sheffield on Monday 20th October 1941 but their deaths were caused not by a German bomb but by an anti-aircraft shell that exploded in the road near to them. The Last of 631 Fatalities - Sheffield 1939-1945.

And so to round the articles off I thought that it would be fitting to ascertain who were the Sheffield's first air raid victims of the Second World War. I have just posted the article to the site

Friday 30th August 1940

Of the three fatalities I noticed that two victims were taken to Sheffield's Royal Infirmary and it was at the hospital that they died from their injuries some hours later. But ALFRED ASPINWALL died at his home at 25 St Stephens Road which seems to indicate that he died at the time the bomb hit the property. And so ALFRED ASPINWALL was the first person to die in Sheffield from an air attack in the Second World War. 

For those with a long memory I posted a blog in March 2014 regarding Sheffield's first air raid victim Frederick Stratford who died in the Zeppelin attack of September 1916  

Private Herbert Greaves (1889-1917) - 6th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Battalion:

A young soldier who died on the Western Front during World War 1 has finally been laid to rest just yards from where he was found.

This was the strap line that appeared in article that appeared on a government website in November 2022 - Sheffield soldier of the Great War laid to rest 105 years after his death

It is quite a poignant article but ultimately an uplifting one as well. I wanted to know whereabouts in Walkley the Greaves family lived - and the 1911 UK Census provided an answer - 58 Channing Street. The Street is still there but the house was demolished in the 1960's. Channing Street is in Lower Walkley and now forms part of the Langsett Estate


Name: Herbert Greaves

Birth Place: Walkley, Sheffield

Death Date: 15 May 1917

Death Place: France and Flanders Enlistment Place: Sheffield

Rank: Private : King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Battalion: 6th Battalion

Regimental Number: 28126

Type of Casualty: Killed in action Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

1901 Census

1911 Census

Thursday 22 December 2022

The Grief of Alice James - Douchy-les-Ayette, France August 1925

 Quite a few years ago whilst I was in the Local Studies Library in Sheffield I came across this small report from a local newspaper which I scanned and saved. I found it profoundly sad that Alice had passed away whilst visiting her sons graves in France. It was nearly seven years after the war had ended and her grief was still there.

I came across it again the other day and after searching the British Newspaper Archive I found this article from the Evening News dated 19th August 1925 which gives a fuller account of the circumstances surrounding her death

The articles are misleading inasmuch as they state that Alice collapsed whilst visiting the graves of her two sons. I checked with the CWGC site and found the following


Regiment & Unit East Yorkshire Regiment 11th Bn.Date of Death Died 27 March 1918

Age 35 years old

Buried or commemorated at DOUCHY-LES-AYETTE BRITISH CEMETERY II. H. 4. France

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Headstone Placeholder

Country of Service United Kingdom

Additional Info Son of Frederick John and Alice Augustine James, late of Seaview, Isle of Wight.



Regiment & Unit Canadian Infantry 1st Bn.

Date of Death Died 15 June 1915

Buried or commemorated at BEUVRY COMMUNAL CEMETERY 50. France

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Headstone Placeholder

Country of Service Canadian

Additional Info Son of Frederick John and Alice Augustine James, of "Woodstock," Seaview, Isle of Wight, England. Born in Surrey.


The two sons are buried in different cemeteries. Alice collapsed and died whilst visiting the grave of her son Rupert. Her grief must have been overwhelming  


Wednesday 21 December 2022

The Suspicious Death of Jadish Chandera Bhatta - Brinsworth Rotherham Friday 1st May 1931

I have just posted an article to the site - The Suspicious Death of Jadish Chandera Bhatta - Brinsworth Rotherham Friday 1st May 1931.

Jagdish's suspicious death was not the only one that occurred in Sheffield around that time. The deaths of Elizabeth Alice Smith in 1922 and Florence Hargreaves in 1926 are covered my site  - both deaths aroused controversy, and the verdicts that where delivered by the coroner and his jury were highly questionable. It is the same in this case.

The other interesting point to note is that I found it difficult to find local press coverage of the case. The above cutting is from the Scotsman dated 8th May 1931 and I found two more from the Manchester Guardian and Observer. The only notification on-line was from a Singapore newspaper - The Straits Newspaper dated 22nd May 1931 dateline Sheffield 9th May 1931. I could have used the cutting but I would have run the risk of ending up in Changi Goal for copyright breaches. The prohibition notice on the site was a fearsome one and a rather worrying development