Friday 22 December 2023

Death on Wentworth Street, Netherthorpe, Sheffield - May 1900

Wentworth Street in the Netherthorpe district of Sheffield no longer exists. The terraced houses that lined this street were demolished in the late 1950's and replaced by the tower blocks that look over what is no known as the Ponderosa.

It was a vibrant working class area in the early C20th and my research into my ancestry showed that my great grandfathers eldest brother William Sanby and his family lived there for a time.

The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 15th May 1900 carried this report of a tragic incident that led to the appalling death of a six year old boy Frederick Burton.

The verdict of "accidental death" was a forgone conclusion and possibly was the only verdict the jury could return. But it does seem rather inadequate. The collision with the wall does seem a pure accident but there is nothing accidental about the defective condition of the wall and the fact that is had been neglected for a "considerable" time. The rider also pointed to the fact that it was the responsibility of the city authorities and inferred that they had been negligent in this respect.

It is a shame that negligence did not feature in the verdict

Frederick is buried in a grave in Sheffield's City Road Cemetery - Sheffield Indexers

Burton, Eliza (Widow, age 76). 
     Died at 5 Wood Fold; Buried on June 17, 1933 in General Portion ground;
     Grave Number 12037, Section AA of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.
Burton, Fredk. (Child, age 6).
     Died at 14 Wentworth St; Buried on May 15, 1900 in Unconsecrated ground;
     Grave Number 12037, Section AA of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.
Burton, James (Clerk, age 62).
     Died at 97 Hoyle St; Buried on November 29, 1904 in Unconsecrated ground;
     Grave Number 12037, Section AA of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.
McDermott, Sarah (Widow, age 78).
     Died at 48 Summer St; Buried on November 14, 1901 in Unconsecrated ground;
     Grave Number 12037, Section AA of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield. 


Edward Pope and the murder of Henry Watts - Greenhill Sheffield February 1939 - An Update

 About three months ago I posted an article to the site the covered the death of Henry Watts in Greenhill Sheffield in February 1939. The tag line was "It would be difficult to imagine a more clearer case of murder."

The assailant Edward Pope was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death by hanging at Leeds Assizes. The jury did pass a recommendation for mercy which the trial judge forwarded to the appropriate authorities for consideration.

After due consideration Edward Pope was reprieved and his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. It was clear that Edward was suffering from a form of paranoia but he did not meet the threshold for a defence of insanity.

The 1939 National Register has him as an inmate at Maidstone Gaol but three years later his probate record shows that he died on 8th June 1942 at Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight. He was 49 years old 

His effects that he left to his widow Winifred amounted to £15000 in todays money. But it is looks as though Edward did not receive any meaningful treatment for his mental condition(s). Parkhurst had and probably still does have a reputation for being one of the toughest prisons in the UK. I would think that any treatment Edward did receive would be purely incidental. And I think that it would be very unlikely that he would have received any visits from family given the wartime restrictions that were in force in the Isle of Wight.       

Monday 18 December 2023

The Sad Death of William Drabble - Sheffield September 1930

I came across this report from the Manchester Guardian dated Saturday 4th October 1930

I was a bit puzzled by this report at first. The resumed inquest took place on Friday 3rd October 1930 and it states that William was found dead on the morning of Thursday last week which would have been Thursday 25th September 1930. His trip to London was on Saturday 20th September 1930 and he returned the next day Sunday the 21st.

He must have been absent from work from Saturday the 20th until Wednesday the 24th because when he did arrive at work on Thursday the 25th he found a letter on his desk suspending him from his post pending a full explanation for his absence. 

This evidently was the final straw for William who then shot himself in the basement of the shop. Of course this does beg the question of why a loaded gun was available to William at the time. Did he keep it at the shop or did he take it from home with the intention of killing himself at the shop.

This is a copy of William's burial record from the Sheffield Indexers site - the location of the shop is vague on the record. It is also worth noting that William was buried just 2 days after his sad and untimely death 

 REVILL, William Reginald Drabble (Manager, age 35). Died at 42 Steesan? St; Buried on September 27, 1930 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 10466, Section P of Abbey Lane Cemetery, Sheffield. Plot Owner: of . Page No 142

Sunday 17 December 2023

Dr Higgins - A Warning from History - Thorne Yorkshire - January 1955

 Yorkshire Observer dated Friday 7th January 1955 had this report  that has a modern day ring to it - if only they had listened to his grave warnings at the time and acted upon them. It would have saved countless lives in my lifetime if just one government had acted on his suggestions,

Frederick Greenwood's "Family" - Collyhurst, Manchester August 1922

The following cutting is from The Manchester Guardian dated 19th August 1922 and I must admit I had a wry smile when I read the report. Collyhurst was a working class district of Manchester and is about one and a half miles north-east of the city centre.  

According to the report Frederick lived alone and was reclusive. But on the day of the funeral 18th August 1922 quite a few relatives attended, the most prominent being a Mrs Clara Hall and her two brothers from Sheffield. They "claimed" that Frederick was their great uncle. Another un-named women from Heaton Park Manchester also "claimed" she was related

For those relatives who were unable to attend the funeral they sent letters "claiming" they were also related to Frederick.  

The Hull Evening News dated 17th August 1922 had this far more detailed report

The last report is intriguing. The Sheffield connection is that one woman turned up on one occasion, got no reply and then went to a neighbours for a cup of tea. And the line that that his relatives may have been unaware of his failing health is clearly troubling inasmuch as they all seemed to know of his death and the funeral.  

However these "claims" of kinship at the funeral seem to be rather strange. As I cannot see any references to condolences in the reports  I can only assume that the "relatives" were more interested in acquiring the assets of the late Mr Greenwood rather the paying their respects to a departed family member . At the time of his death they were worth £18000 which is approximately £715,000 in todays money.    

I would like to know if any of the "relatives" did acquire Frederick's assets. If anyone can assist please let me know 

Monday 11 December 2023

Death on Howden Moor Derbyshire - "Dying Man's Terrible 5 Day Ordeal"  - 1924

I have just posted an article to my website that I have had on the go for the last couple of months. It relates to the death of Henry Starr, a 42 year old forge-man from the Upperthorpe district of Sheffield who went missing on Howden Moors in 1924.

It also gave me an opportunity to use a photograph I took in June 2006 when I flew over the Derbyshire Dames in a helicopter.

Manchester Guardian dated 9th October 1924



Sunday 10 December 2023

Sheffield and Aeroplane Building - November 1909

 This cutting is from the Times Engineering Supplement dated Wednesday 10th November 1909 and contains a startling revelation that I was unaware of. The Sheffield Simplex Motor-Car Co. were considering going into the manufacture of aeroplane engines and had actually purchased a Bleriot aeroplane

 According to the report they were actually designing an aeroplane engine and hinted that they were considering the manufacture of aeroplanes. But at present they had not even conducted experiments.

As far as I can ascertain this is about as far as Sheffield got in the development of aeronautics. From the information I have it seems as though any experiments that were conducted were deemed unsatisfactory and they concentrated on their core business of motor vehicle production 


The Duchess of York's Visit to Sheffield - July 1934 - An Update

Last year, Friday 1st April 2022 to be precise  I posted an article to this blog that featured The Duchess of York's Visit to Sheffield in July 1934. I was going to post an article to the website concerning the visit  but could not use any photos of the visit due to copyright reasons. I was vexed that I would have to pay money to some greedy corporate entity that really has no place in copyrighting the image in the first place.

But last week I came across this cutting from The Scotsman newspaper which goes into far more detail of the visit that its English counterparts but also gives a reason for the Duke of York's absence from the visit. It appears that he was suffering from a poisoned hand and was advised not to accompany his wife to the allotments to dig some spuds. 

On a wider note I have found over the years that non English newspapers often carry far more information about events than the English national newspapers do. Why this occurs I do not know and I have never been able to find a satisfactory explanation



Wednesday 22 November 2023

Bernard Fisher and the award of an Edward Medal - July 29th 1939


I was totally unaware that there was an Edward Medal in existence until I read this article in The London Gazette

Fuller details can be found on Wikipedia 

According to Wikipedia the Edward Medal (Industry) was only awarded 188 times (25 silver and 163 bronze, of which only two were awarded to women), making the Edward Medal one of the rarest British gallantry awards. Only posthumous awards were made after 1949, and the Edward Medal (Industry) (1st class) was not awarded after 1948.

The Edward Medal was discontinued in 1971, when surviving recipients of the Edward Medal (along with holders of the Albert Medal) were invited to exchange their award for the George Cross. Nine (2 silver, 7 bronze) elected not to exchange their medals.

Unfortunately the article does not stipulate if Bernard was awarded a silver or bronze medal but judged by his actions in the early morning of April 26th 1939 he certainly deserves the highest award possible -- a stunning act of bravery and selflessness! 

Joshua Frederick Greatorex Saves A Life - Crookes Sheffield - 1924

 Right at the top of Crookes Cemetery Sheffield in Section JJ which I believe is adjacent to the Roman Catholic section is the grave of Joshua Frederick Greatorex

GREATOREX, Joshua Frederick (Retired, age 82).

     Died at 52 Newlands Drive; Buried on July 31, 1943 in Consecrated ground;

     Grave Number 5159, Section JJ of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield. Plot Owner: of ~. Page No 53

Joshua is no doubt forgotten now but in 1924 he was awarded a bravery award for saving a young boys life at 167 Crookes. 

This is from the Guardian dated 2nd December 1924

167 Crookes no longer exists - the houses there were demolished and replaced by flats in the 1960's
And unfortunately the report does not name the boy he rescued but he was fortunate to survive such a vicious attack.  

Monday 6 November 2023

Pablo Fanque - Whitsuntide at Newhall Gardens Sheffield - May 1854

Many years ago I posted an article to the site called "The Henderson's were not there (and neither was Mr Kite)"  which centred on the appearance in Sheffield of Pablo Fanques Fair on 31st January 1848.

In August 2010 I came across an advertisement from The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 27th May 1854 which advertised "extraordinary novelty and attractions for Whitsuntide holidays at Newhall Gardens Sheffield

Pablo Fanque features prominently in providing the attractions and novelties in these "new and beautiful gardens," 

The last thing Newhall is nowadays is beautiful - in fact is a semi-derelict district that is devoid of any attractions whatsoever. It has in effect been thoroughly trashed.

But what I am having difficulty obtaining is obtaining an image of Newhall Gardens. There may well be no photographs taken of the Gardens in their prime but I would have expected to come across at least a  lithograph or engraving. But there is nothing so far which is strange for such a "beautiful place."      

Thursday 19 October 2023


 The following is taken from the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 9th April 1881 (page 6 column c) and refers to the death of one Benjamin Unwin. It was unusual for a "working man" to have an obituary published but I can only guess that it was due to the fact that Benjamin had defied the odds in contracting "grinders disease" which was all pervasive in his "calling"

"The theory that grinders are never long-lived is not borne out by the experience of Mr Benjamin Unwin, spring-knife grinder, who died a few days ago at the advanced age of 82, after a life spent in pursuit of his calling. He worked at the trade named without any intermission from his youth until a few years ago, and he never suffered from what is commonly known as the grinders' complaint. He was of a cheerful and hopeful disposition, and scrupulously temperate, which may perhaps have much to do with the manner in which he retained his health, and was unaffected by the injurious conditions of his calling. In politics he was a sincere Radical. He had a great facility for expressing his opinions, and a singularly retentive memory enabled him to recall with precision the great political events of his time."

It is also interesting to note that the obituary made a point of stressing Benjamin's temperate habits and how that may have contributed to his long life. 


Wednesday 27 September 2023


 I have just posted an article to the site that I have been working on for the last few years. It is the first new one I have posted in over three months and so it is rather overdue.

The title "Death at Sutton Bridge Lincolnshire" is really a bit of a misnomer because no-one really knows what happened - there were no eyewitnesses and the tragedy occurred in a desolate section of the River Nene near Bay Sands. Sutton Bridge is the nearest village.

There was very little on-line or in print about the tragedy but nine people lost their lives by drowning in the River Nene. Seven of those who died were from Sheffield including all four members of the Burkinshaw family.

I cannot be sure but it quite possible that this was Sheffield's greatest loss of life in a boating accident and it took place 100 miles away from Sheffield. There was a disaster in Masborough Rotherham on 5th July 1841 when 64 people mainly children lost their lives when a boat was launched and some of the fatalities were from Sheffield. Either way both were terrible tragedies that with foredight may have been avoided. .

The other interesting point is the detailed coverage the incident and its aftermath received in the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent. Their coverage of the inquest and the resultant funerals ay Burngreave Cemetery was exemplary.    

Photograph taken 03 March 2005 © Mr James Brown. Source Historic England Archive ref: 197930
Cross Keys Bridge was opened in 1897 as a road and rail hydraulic swing bridge. Two bridges spanning the river Nene had been built previously; the first by Thomas Telford, was opened in 1830-1 and the second in 1850. The current Cross Keys Bridge replaced the latter bridge and was used for both road and rail traffic. It cost £80,000 and is made of steel, iron and wood. When the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway closed in 1965 the tracks were converted to road use and Cross Keys Bridge became just a road bridge.

Tuesday 26 September 2023

John Nicholson (1864 - 1932) Sheffield United - An update

 Whilst I was updating the page on the website and posting the previous blog I had a look at Ancestry to see if there was any other information that had come to light in the last few years

I found a copy of the 1891 UK Census that featured John and his wife Mary Elizabeth living at their house in 97 Pinfold Lane in the Attercliffe district of Sheffield

and a copy of John's probate record from 1932

The intriguing aspect of this is that these are the only two documents that I can find on Ancestry relating to John and his family. Whilst John Nicholson is quite a common name I still would have expected to locate him in the 1881 Census and the 1901 and 1911 Census but I was unsuccessful.

And given his profile I would have expected some links in the Family Tree section but again nothing.
Puzzling to say the least!


John Nicholson (1864 - 1932) - Secretary of Sheffield United Football Club

Quite a few years ago I posted an article to the site that featured John Nicholson who was the secretary of Sheffield United Football from 1899 to 1932 and oversaw some of the most successful times in the clubs history 

In September 2023 I was contacted by a reader of this article who provided me with a fascinating update

" I have been reading your article about Nicholson in regards to his career with Sheffield United and the aftermath of his death. 

I have restored his grave which was crowdfunded by Sheffield United supporters through the group I have called "Sheffield United Preservation Society" which aims to protect the heritage of the club and the greats. Would you be able to assist with any of his ancestors as I saw that you had been contact by them?

I have attached the photos of the grave before and after. I shall look forward to hearing from you, Danny"

I contacted Danny and he kindly forwarded me the following information 

"My name is Danny, I’m part of massive Sheffield United family and loves the research along the way. I am the individual who is created Sheffield United Preservation Society which aim is to preserve the heritage of the football club via different variations. Ensuring former players will get recognised and featured on posts which will allow people to become educated about the club's history.

Nowadays it’s really hard to reach out to the younger generation these days due to technology especially! This way, this will allow the younger generation to know our heroes that laid the foundations of the club that we love today. This addiction started 127 years ago with me great father coming over in 1896 and leaving not a short way from Bramall Lane on Club Garden Road.

I always believe you should know where you come from. This is all started during COVID finding out about my ancestors that I have never heard of. 

My father, John Garrett is the curator of the Legends of The Lane at Bramall Lane in which I’ve grown around the club and grew to know the history of the club. My Dad has been trying for almost 20 years to restore former players grave various supporter's groups but sadly this has been unsuccessful. 

It made me realise, all these people with an unbelievable CV with medals, caps and success at the club were getting forgotten about.

Recently, I have restored Ernest Needham’s grave as well as John Nicholson’s grave. Roughly it costs £60-£80 depending on the state of the grave.

These are including:

-Memorial pot
-QR Code
- Pebbles & slates
-Cleaning products
-image of the individual 

A Facebook page will be created to allow this to happen so if anyone wishes to donate to this cause and be part of this project it will greatly appreciate.

Danny Garrett
Sheffield United Preservation Society"  

Danny also kindly sent two photographs of John's grave - before and after the restoration and refurbishment. Truly a fitting tribute to one of the most important people in the history of Sheffield United Football Club.

As a footnote I would like readers of this blog to visit the Find a Grave website. If you leave a flower on John's page this will then allow it be to become recognised on the site and become a ‘famous’ grave. I think John and his family deserves it.

Saturday 23 September 2023

May Simpson at a bus stop in Angel Street Sheffield - late 1960's

 I came across this photograph purely by chance. My daughter saw it on an online newsfeed from the retro section of  the local newspaper and instantly recognised a much loved family member who sadly is no longer with us.

Sadly it was not the man in hot pants carrying an umbrella. And neither was it the man holding a folded newspaper. But just behind the man with a newspaper is my late mother in laws sister May. It is hard to discern what May was thinking but I think I can safely say that she was not impressed with this latest fashion trend!

From the faces of the onlookers he seems to have attracted everyone's attention but no-one is smiling which speaks volumes for Sheffield in the "swinging sixties"

May died in January 2003 and is noted for being the first person in the family to have had a woodland burial.

Friday 22 September 2023

Bolsterstone - The Village Where Time Stands Still - March of Ghostly Armies over Desolate Moorlands

 I was going to post an article to the website based on this report that appeared in The Sheffield Daily Independent dated 21st August 1931. But when I was preparing it I discovered that there was a Bolsterstone Archaeology and Heritage Group that had their own on-line presence.

The report did not feature on their website and so I decided to post it to the blog rather than my website.

Saturday 19 August 2023

The Sanby name in the 1881 Census - England and Wales

My grandmother's maiden name was Sanby which is not a common surname. I knew very little about my gran's ancestors  when I started off researching my family history but over the years I have pieced the Sheffield Sanbys and have a fair grip on their comings and goings

I have just come across this information which was supplied to me over 20 years ago and forgotten about it.

It is not a complete list - for instance my great grandparents Edwin and Mary Sanby nee Broomhead do not featured on the list  - they were transcribed as Sambery!

There were a total of 72 Sanbys who appear on the 1881 Census. The first of the two places names is place of birth and the second the place the person was living at the time the Census was taken 

SANBY, Kemp FathL <1796> Linc Lanc
SANBY, Jane Wife <1819> Nham Nham
SANBY, John Head <1820> Linc Nham
SANBY, James R. Head <1825> Lanc Lanc
SANBY, Agnes Wife <1831> York York
SANBY, Hannah M. Wife <1831> Lanc Lanc
SANBY, Hannah Head <1833> York York
SANBY, Frederick Head <1835> Nott Mntg
SANBY, Isabella Wife <1840> Mntg Mntg
SANBY, Mary Wife <1844> Leic York
SANBY, Absolam Head <1845> Linc York
SANBY, Edward Head <1846> Suss Lond
SANBY, Edwin Head <1846> York Derb
SANBY, George Head <1846> Irel Dors
SANBY, Elizabeth Wife <1847> Surr Lond
SANBY, Elizabeth Wife <1849> York Derb
SANBY, Annie Wife <1850> York York
SANBY, Ellen Wife <1850> Hamp Suss
SANBY, Samuel D. Head <1851> Suss
SANBY, William B. Head <1851> York York
SANBY, Helen A.C. Wife <1852> Suss Lond
SANBY, Job E. Head <1853> Linc Nott
SANBY, Elizth. Ann Serv <1854> Linc Nott
SANBY, George Head <1854> Kent Lond
SANBY, Joseph Bord <1854> York York
SANBY, Emily Wife <1855> Dors Dors
SANBY, John E. Head <1856> Nott Nott
SANBY, Frederick Head <1857> York York
SANBY, Jane Bord <1857> York York
SANBY, Sarah A. Wife <1859> Nott Nott
SANBY, Annie J. Serv <1860> York York
SANBY, Bernard J. Son <1860> Lanc Lanc
SANBY, Elizabeth Wife <1860> York York
SANBY, Priscilla Sis <1861> Kent Lond
SANBY, Charles R. Son <1862> Lanc Lanc
SANBY, George C. Cous <1862> Indi Glou
SANBY, Kate C. Wife <1864> Nott
SANBY, Geo. Son <1865> York York
SANBY, Martha Dau <1865> Staf Mntg
SANBY, Agnes Dau <1867> York York
SANBY, George T.W. Neph <1868> Lond Lond
SANBY, Sarah Ann Dau <1869> York Derb
SANBY, Clara Dau <1870> York Derb
SANBY, Jane Dau <1870> York York
SANBY, John Son <1870> Mntg Mntg
SANBY, Benjamin Son <1872> Mntg Mntg
SANBY, Edwin Son <1872> York Derb
SANBY, Annie E. Dau <1873> York York
SANBY, Emily Dau <1874> York York
SANBY, George H. Son <1874> Mntg Mntg
SANBY, Alfred E. Nrsl <1876> Surr
SANBY, Alice Dau <1876> York Derb
SANBY, Ada Dau <1877> York York
SANBY, Robert W. Son <1877> Suss
SANBY, Ada Dau <1878> York York
SANBY, Albert J. Son <1878> Lond Lond
SANBY, Bertha Dau <1878> York York
SANBY, Elizabeth Dau <1878> York Derb
SANBY, George Son <1878> Dors Dors
SANBY, Jane Bord <1878> York York
SANBY, Arthur G. Son <1879> Lond Lond
SANBY, Athur Son <1879> Nott Nott
SANBY, Eliza Ann Dau <1879> York York
SANBY, Henry Bord <1879> York York
SANBY, Mary E. Dau <1879> Mntg Mntg
SANBY, May Dau <1879> Dors Dors
SANBY, Elizabeth Dau <1880> York York
SANBY, Florence H. Dau <1880> Lond Lond
SANBY, George Son <1880> Derb Derb
SANBY, Henry W. Son <1880> York York
SANBY, Leonard Son <1880> Dors Dors
SANBY, Sabina Dau <1880> Nott Nott

There are Sanbys still around in Sheffield but there are fewer than they were in 1881. 

Any information on the Sanbys would be gratefully received,

Saturday 3 June 2023

Murder on Spring Hill Crookes Sheffield - June 1980

 I have just posted an article to the site that I have had for the best part of 20 years. The murder occurred 43 years ago next week at the bottom of the road I live,

Photographs taken March 2010 - the murder victim was discovered just where the double yellow lines end to the right of the photo

I do not know the outcome of the trial or the inquest. The case against the accused seems on the face of it a strong one, and I have no doubt that it went to trial. The difficulty I had was that I do not know where and when the trial took place. And so if any reader of this article can help me out I would be grateful.  

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Mr Colin Clegg of More Hall Bolsterstone Sheffield (1878-1929) - Ewden Valley Waterworks Engineer

Following on from the penultimate blog on Ethel Theodora Clegg and the Clegg family, the following reports are in effect obituaries for her first cousin Colin Clegg and the last surviving son of Sit Charles Clegg, the President of the Football Association

Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Thursday 12 September 1929


Sudden Death of Son of Sir Charles Clegg. 

Mr. Colin Clegg, of More Hall, Bolsterstone, who was the only surviving son of Sir Charles Clegg, President of the Football Association, has died in London, following an operation. He was resident engineer of the Sheffield Corporation’s Ewden Valley Waterworks undertaking, and was well-known in local, social, and football circles. The news of his death, the age of 51, will come as a shock to many, but during the last month or two has not been in very good health. While in London on Monday he had to undergo an operation, and he died afterwards in a nursing home. 

It was only in July last that Mr. Clegg completed his great work for the Corporation at the Ewden Valley. This he began in 1913, and the tremendous waterworks undertaking has cost £1,700,000. The great responsibility which was upon Mr, Clegg's shoulders and the credit due to him can well be realised. Recently he had been resting, on holiday in Filey. At a meeting of the City Council on June 12th, 1915, when Mr. Clegg was appointed resident engineer of the new Valley waterworks,- Alderman Styring said “they would all express their appreciation of the fact that there was in the person of a son of Mr. J. C. Clegg (now Sir Charles) a gentleman who was qualified to undertake this work.” He was fully qualified for the post, having had experience while holding appointments at Leeds, Westminster, and in connection with the construction of the Ramsley reservoir for the Chesterfield Corporation. 

Mr. Clegg had an attractive personality. He was very popular with the staff and workmen employed on the construction of the reservoir, and on the occasion of his marriage to the daughter of Mr. Charles Castle (a former Sheffield Citv Councillor) the employees made a presentation to him. He inherited his father’s love of sport, and in his younger days was a capable amateur footballer, playing right full-back for the Sheffield Club and appearing for Sheffield in inter-city football matches. For the last four or five years, to the time of his death, he was a director of the Sheffield United Football Club. Tennis attracted him in recent years also, and he was a member of the local Rustlings and Norfolk clubs. An ardent worker in the cause of temperance, he took active part in the movement, and was well-known for his efforts in this direction He was treasurer of the Sheffield and District Sunday School Bund of Hope Union, of which his father is president. Mr. Clegg is survived by his wife, who was in London with him at the time of his death. There are no children. Sir Charles has now been bereaved of both his sons, for his elder son, Mr. O. W. Clegg, died three years ago. His daughter, Mrs. Paul Wilks, resides in Harrogate.

Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Saturday 14 September 1929

A LIFE WELL LIVED. Tribute to the Late Mr. Colin Clegg. 


In his life, Mr. Colin Clegg, M.1.C.E., V.I.W.E., F.G.S., of More Hall, Bolsterstone, maintained the high traditions of his distinguished family, being to the forefront in work for the city of Sheffield, for sport, and for the temperance movement. Therefore it was not surprising that his funeral in Sheffield yesterday was attended by many mourners representative of the interests for which he did so much. 

For sixteen years was in charge of the constructive work of the Sheffield Corporation’s Ewden Valley Waterworks, and his death on Wednesday last, at the age of 52, came very quickly after the completion of that great undertaking. His engineering work there will, no doubt, be recognised at the formal opening of the works early next month, but it was significant and indicative of ius interest in religious and temperance work that amongst the many wreaths at his funeral yesterday was one from “The Women of Ewden.” 

The service, was held in Queen Street Congregational Church, before the interment at the City Road Cemetery, the Rev. Ernest Hamsou said Mr. Clegg entered into a very great heritage, following father and grandfather who stood for big things, and there was nothing trifling or small about him. Life to him was a joyous privilege, a great adventure, and he put into it something which made extremely straight and cleau. Many of those present, said Mr. Hamson, would think Mr. Clegg particularly in connection with his work for temperance. For him temperance meant teetotalism, and in these days of indecision concerning that matter it was refreshing for many of them to see the stand took. 

His passing and the recent deaths of several stalwarts of the temperance movement brought challenge to the young men and women of this generation, for there were many gaps to be filled. Referring to Mr. Clegg’s connection with sport, Mr. Hamson said such work was a family tradition. The Clegg family brought something which was clean and wholesome into the sport of our country, and Mr. Colin Clegg carried on that tradition. Sixteen years of labour in the Ewden Valley were part of his Christian ministry, for the mission hut in (he centre of the village meant a great deal to him and to the men and women there


Saturday 13 May 2023

"Oh, for God's sake, shut up! You are always on about the war." - the death of Alice Booth - June 15th 1940 Sheffield

 I came across this report dating from June 1940


Sheffield Man Sentenced for Manslaughter 

John Henry Barton lorry driver, Longley Avenue Weet. Sheffield, pleaded not guilty before Mr. Justice Stable at Leeds Assizes today for the murder of Alice Booth, who had been living with him as his wife. The prosecution stated that that on the evening of June 15 the couple, in company with two women, were on their way home, from the Forester's Arms, Rutland Road. 

Forester's Arms, Rutland Road Sheffield

Barton said something about the war, which caused Alice Booth say, "Oh, for God's sake, shut up! You are always on about the war." There was a violent quarrel, and Barton, was alleged, pulled the woman down and kicked her head, making her unconscious. On the way to hospital she died from cerebral haemorrhage. 

It was alleged that Barton said, "I am the boss. Women can't boss" It was stated in evidence that Barton was under the influence of drink. Mr. J. S. Snowden, defending, submitted that there was no case of murder for the Jury, the fatality having occurred in a sudden quarrel involving neither lethal weapon nor premeditation. 

His Lordship agreeing. Barton was acquitted of murder. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment, the Judge remarking that he had no doubt the tragedy would never have happened if Barton had not had too much beer.

Nine months for the loss of a life seems beyond excessively lenient. In fact why send John Barton to prison at all. The murder charge should not have been brought in the first instance bearing in mind that if proven John Barton would have received a mandatory death sentence. The charge should have been one of manslaughter in the first place - there was no pre-meditation or weapon involved but Alice Booth did die as a result of a vicious drunken assault and there are no mitigating circumstances to this fact. Kick a person in the head and there is always a chance they will die.

No doubt if John Barton had been sober the assault may not have happened as Mr Justice Stable stated in sentencing but it did. And drunkenness is in law no defence    

John Barton was very fortunate - I wonder how Alice's 3 children coped?

1939 National Register

Name: John Barton [Henry Barton]

Gender: Male Marital Status: Single

Birth Date: 18 Mar 1899 

Residence Date: 1939 Address: 39, Longley Road West Residence Place: Sheffield, Yorkshire (West Riding), England

Occupation: Rolling Mill Truck Driver

Line Number: 40 Schedule Number: 36 Sub Schedule Number: 2 Enumeration District: Kijs

Borough: Sheffield Registration district: Sheffield 510/3

Household Members (Name) Age

Alice Booth 51

John Barton 40

Thomas Booth 16

Mabel Booth 14

John Booth 11

Alice Booth Burial Record

Booth, Alice (Wife of Walter, age 53). Died at City General Hospital; Buried on June 20, 1940 in Consecrated ground;      Grave Number 18243, Section CC of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield. Page No 211 

It seems as though John Barton remarried after doing his time in Armley

Ethel Theodora Clegg (1891 - 1972)

 Many years ago I posted to the site an article titled The Cleggs of Sheffield. It centred around William Johnson Clegg (1827-1895) and his two famous sons John Charles and William Edwin. 

There was also a younger son Leonard Johnson Clegg who was also a fine footballer in his younger days and was the father of a daughter Ethel Theodora Clegg

A few days ago  a reader of the site contacted me and pointed me towards a well known internet auction site and an item that was for auction

"1900 portrait photograph of named girl Ethel Theodora Clegg

A named 1900 portrait photograph to card with lots of information to rear - Rear of card names her as Ethel Theodora Clegg (born 12th Mar 1891) and that she was later E.T.Leefe.  She was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire the daughter of Leonard Johnson Clegg and his wife Ethel Maud Clegg (nee Wilks). She married Thomas Oswald Leefe in 1920. 

Name: Ethel T Clegg [Ethel Theodora Clegg]

Spouse Surname: Leefe Thomas Oswald

Date of Registration: Jul-Aug-Sep 1920

Registration district: Ecclesall Bierlow Registration county (inferred): Yorkshire - West Riding

Volume Number: 9c Page Number: 954

Photo measures 10cm by 10cm on a card mount 12cm by 10cm"

The 1939 National Register has the following entry

Name: Thomas O Leefe Gender: Male Marital status: Married 

Birth Date: 15 Aug 1896

Residence Year: 1939 Address: 134

Residence Place: Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, England

Occupation: Travelling Salesman, Totally Blinded, Ex-Serviceman

Schedule Number: 60 Sub Schedule Number: 1 Enumeration District: QEMB

Registration district: 394/1 Inferred Spouse: Ethel T Leefe

Household Members: 

Thomas O Leefe

Ethel T Leefe

From the records of the Register it appears that Thomas was blinded in the Great War. There is an entry in the burial registers that states he was a resident of St. Dunstans, a home for blind ex-servicemen in Brighton

Thomas Oswald Leefe

Died: 10 May 1952

Cemetery Brighton City Cemetery Middle Avenue Brighton, Brighton and Hove, England United Kingdom

Resident of St. Dunstans, a home for blind ex-servicemen in Brighton

Ethel died in Redbridge in Hampshire in 1972




Wednesday 12 April 2023

Annie Elizabeth Lush 1879-1879 - Granville Street Park Sheffield

Turners Hill leading down to Granville Street Sheffield

This small article appeared in the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated  Saturday 27th December 1879 and it refers to a death that occurred the previous Saturday - 20th December 1879

The death of a baby or young infant by accidental suffocation was not an uncommon occurrence, Given the grinding poverty and houses that were little more than hovels many families resorted to body warmth as a means of keeping young babies and children as warm as they could. Sadly the death of their child through suffocation was always a possibility and in this case the risk manifested itself

The inquest on Tuesday 23rd December 1879 was held at night at the long gone Station Hotel on Granville Street. Night inquests were not uncommon either - the jury members were employees and could not take time off work to attend inquests during the day. And by holding the inquest in a pub which again was a common feature of the time they could refresh themselves as well as conduct their duties as jurors.


John Ruskin and Sheffield

I was going to place an article on the site relating to John Ruskin and Sheffield but I came across this article on the Guild of St George website which is very informative on the subject. Needless to say it was not worth pursuing this  avenue  - I could not add anything to this well researched article   

However I did have this cutting from The Manchester Guardian dated 05 March 1953 which explains why John Riskin decided to locate his museum in Sheffield in 1875  


The Death of Elias Armitage - Canal Basin Sheffield March 1908

 I have just posted an article to the site regarding the death of Elias Armitage in March 1908 in the Camal Basin at Sheffield

The inquest that was held on Monday 06 April 1908 was a strange one inasmuch as the Coroner directed the jury NOT to return a verdict of suicide on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to prove that this was the case. He then goes on to say that the case points strongly to the fact that the victim did commit suicide and he had "no doubt that Armitage did commit suicide." If that was his strong belief why did he not convey this to the jury? But he the goes on to say that it was possible for Armitage to have fallen into the canal unintentionally. The jury must have been by this time been totally confused by the Coroner's musings and returned an open verdict. This was of course the correct verdict as no one could say for certain what caused Elias's death.

The only thing I am perplexed about is that I can find no record of a burial for Elias after the inquest or if indeed he had any family. 

Tuesday 11 April 2023

The Revill Family Tragedy - Sheffield August 1925

The excellent Sheffield Indexers site has this entry for two burials for a father and son at Sheffield's City Road Cemetery. They are buried  in the same grave and their burials were just five days apart 

REVILL, George (, age 27).      Died at Royal Hospital; Buried on August 31, 1925 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 24241, Section II1 of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield. Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No 18

REVILL, George (Son of late George, age 10mths). Died at 2 Red hill; Buried on September 5, 1925 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 24241, Section II1 of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield. Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No 18

On the face of it it just seems a horrible co-incidence but if you read the Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 29th August 1925 the death of the father takes on a whole new dimension

It refers to an inquest that took place the previous day

The cut was described as "slight" and "small" and one that "often happened" in the workplace, Nevertheless happen it did, and it did not receive any treatment at all. This neglect resulted in the onset of Septicaemia (sepsis) and the death in hospital of George from the condition. His death was preventable        

I do not know how his son died but it was at home 2 Red Hill Broad Lane, His mothers grief must have been unimaginable!

Good Friday in Sheffield - 19th April 1889

 This is again from the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated Saturday 20th April 1889 and refers to the events that occurred in Sheffield the previous day Friday 19th April 1889 - Good Friday.

It is interesting to note that at "the big works and factories the men were busily at work." although many shops banks and business in the city were closed. 

Good Friday Customs and Legends

 This is from the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 20th April 1889 and from the byline it seems as though this was a syndicated article from the Daily Chronicle


Sunday 26 March 2023

Alonzo Hemsworth - A Callous Driver - South Street Sheffield - August 1910

The previous blog on the dishonest apprentice referred to my mother's maternal grandfather Fred Shirt but the following refers to her paternal grandfather and my great grandfather Alonzo Hemsworth.  

Once again  the first I knew about this incident is when I discovered it in the British Newspaper Archive  Needless to say it never came up in family conversations!

It is from the Yorkshire Telegraph and Star dated 8th September 1910 and refers to an accident that occurred on 21st August at South Street and Cemetery Road in Sheffield

Reading the report it does not appear a first glance to be favourable towards my great grandfather. The girl was carried "some distance on the front of the car" and when he eventually stopped he refused to take the girl to hospital. He was according to the prosecution travelling at between 15 and 20 miles an hour which was deemed excessive given the nature of the road. This I find difficult to believe - if he was travelling at that speed the girl would have in all probability been killed or at best seriously injured.
My great grandfather said he was travelling at 5 to 6 miles an hour and skidded 6 inch.

At that speed the girl would have and did survive and there is nothing to indicate that she sustained any major injury or trauma. I am more dubious about the 6 inch claim as I am about him travelling some distance with the girl on his bonnet. Also the fact that he did not take to hospital points to the fact that her injuries if any were superficial.

But he lost his licence for 6 month and was fined £2 which is about £165 in todays money.  

And so thanks to the BNA I have discovered that both my maternal great grandparents had a criminal past 


Fred Shirt - A Dishonest Apprentice - A Long History of Thefts - November 1897 Sheffield

Over the last few years many thousands of historical newspapers have been scanned and digitalised. Sadly it many cases you need a subscription to access them. For the last few months I have had access to the British Newspaper Archive which I have to admit is a tremendous resource in research.

Last month I was bringing my maternal family history up to date and I found this cutting from the Evening Telegraph and Star dated 19th November 1897

Fred was my mothers maternal grandfather and my great grandfather. I never met him as he died in 1944 in Sheffield's Northern General Hospital from lung cancer. He was 67 years old. Needless to say until I read this cutting I was unware of my great grandfathers criminal past and I am sure my mother wasn't either. In fact was anyone? 

Fred did have a difficult and poverty stricken childhood but his spell in prison probably sorted him out so to speak. I cannot find any other record of criminal activity and in the same year he was released from prison 1898 he married Florence. They proceeded to have ten children but two died in infancy. One who did survive was his daughter and my grandmother Lily 


Wednesday 1 March 2023

Frederick Sanby (1856 1931) Walkley Sheffield aka The Pansy King and Old Fred

 I have just posted an article to the site relating to the life of my great grandfather Edwin Sanbys twin brother Frederick

He celebrated his golden wedding on 27th May 1928 and was featured in the local newspaper the following day. It appears that he was a very keen gardener and enjoyed many successes in local horticultural shows. In fact he was so successful he became known as "The Pansy King"  

FREDERICK died on 22nd May 1931 at the age of 75, his wife ELIZABETH had died two years earlier. His death warranted two small pieces in the local press 

Sheffield Independent - Friday 29 May 1931

All local and district anglers will be sorry to hear of the death of Mr. F. Sanity, a well-known angler, and father of Mr. Fred Sanby, assistant secretary to the Sheffield and District Anglers’ Association. 

Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Friday 29 May 1931

Passing a Local Sportsman. A wide circle of anglers will learn with regret of the passing of Mr. Fred Sanby. “Old Fred,” he was known to host of intimates, was a keen and capable angler, several times figuring prominently in local matches. Although 75 years of age. he retained all his faculties until a few weeks ago. when a stroke supervened. Mr. Sanbv's son is assistant secretary to the Sheffield and District Angling Association, Ltd, 

There is no mention of his gardening prowess but the obituary revealed that he was "a keen and capable angler, several times figuring prominently in local matches". It also said that he was known to all his friends and colleagues as "Old Fred." 

The house where Old Fred and his wife Elizabeth lived 8 Parsonage Crescent was demolished many years ago and replaced by a modern building. The views from the rear of the property are amazing!

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Herbert Sanby and his pigeons - Walkley Sheffield August 1942

 I have managed to resolve this after quite a long time. The problem was that there were three Herbert Sanby's in my family tree - one was born in 1892 the next in 1912 and the last, four years later in 1916.

The one born in 1892 was my great grandfathers nephew and he had a son also called Herbert in 1916.

The one born in 1912 was the son of Walter Sanby born 1886 (also my great grandfathers nephew), who was the older brother of Herbert born 1892.

But the reason for sorting this out was that in August 1942 Herbert Sanby was prosecuted for buying beans for pigeon food without surrendering the appropriate ration documents. It appears he bought a quarter of a ton of beans for the sum of £8 5s (abt £272GBP ay todays prices)    

It is inferred in the report that this was one of the first of many prosecutions that were going to be initiated by the authorities for breaching the rationing regulations. He was found guilty and fined £4 (abt. £130GBP at todays prices). Seems a bit steep to me.

But going back to the beginning of the article I did not know which of the three Herbert's was prosecuted - my only lead was that Herbert lived on Walkley Road. But I have just come across a probate record from January 1960 and it confirms that it was the Herbert born in 1892 my great grandfathers nephew who was the miscreant and not the other two.

His estate was just over £6000GBP 



Saturday 18 February 2023

What Happened To Lady Jones? - Whirlow Brook Hall, Sheffield 1946 - An update

Quite a few years ago I posted an article to the site that related to the sale of Whirlow Brook Hall to Sheffield City Council. As the headline stated at the time Sheffield Corporation bought Whirlow Brook and nearly forty acres of grounds for £15,000 which in current values amounts to circa £440,000. But the bulk of the purchase was financed by grants from Trusts leaving the Corporation to find a mere £1500 (£44,000). Surely it must have been one of the most astute pieces of municipal acquisition that the Corporation has ever managed. The seller was Sir Walter Benton Jones a prominent industrialist.

The one problem that needed to be resolved was the removal of Sir Walter Benton Jones's late wife Dame Lily Marguerite Jones who was buried in the gardens of the Hall eight years earlier.

The exhumation must have occurred before the sale went through but for years I was unable to ascertain where Lady Jones was re-interred. This week purely by chance I had another attempt and was fortunate to locate her final resting place

The excellent Find A Grave site carried an entry for St Andrews Churchyard in Irnham in Lincolnshire 

Name: Lily Marguerite Jones
Birth Date: Apr 1879 Birth Place: Sheffield England
Death Date: Sep 1938 age 59
Death Place: Irnham, South Kesteven District, Lincolnshire, England
Cemetery: St Andrew Churchyard Burial or Cremation Place: Irnham, South Kesteven District, Lincolnshire, England
Spouse: Walter Benton Jones

This is the inscription on the grave. 











What I believe happened is that this memorial was in place over her initial resting place at Whirlow Brook Hall because "it was in the garden in which she loved and in which she spent a great deal of her life." When he body was exhumed from the garden in 1946 it was re-interred in the graveyard at St Andrew Churchyard Irnham, South Kesteven District, Lincolnshire, England. Irnham Hall was the home of her husband's family and she was finally laid to rest there. 

The memorial from Whirlow Brook Hall also accompanied her on her final journey.