Author: mike

Christmas Eve Weddings

Happy Christmas 2012 to all my blog followers and readers.

I thought I would just have a look and see what family events have taken place on Christmas Eve in the past.  I discovered at least three weddings within a seven year period between 1859 and 1866.

Benjamin Gawthrop & Elizabeth Eastwood

Benjamin is my 2nd great grand uncle and he married Elizabeth Eastwood in 1859. According to the record in Ancestry they were both 21 years old. The marriage is registered in Colne, Lancashire. The grooms father was Martin Gawthrop (my 3x great grandfather) and the brides father was Richard Eastwood.

Benjamin and Ann had at least two children – Ann and Benjamin.

Ellen Carradice & Robert Brockbank

Ellen is my 2nd great grand aunt and she married Robert Brockbank in 1864. According to the marriage certificate they were both 24 years old. The marriage took place at Kendal parish church in Westmorland. The grooms father was Samuel Brockbank – a woollen spinner and the brides father was John Carradice (my 3x great grandfather) who was a weaver.

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Margaret Dawson & Abel Ellison

Margaret is my 2nd great grand aunt and she married Abel Ellison in 1866. Abel was about 28 years old and Margaret one year younger. The marriage took place at St. Andrew’s church in Kildwick, West Yorkshire. The brides father was Thomas Dawson (my 3x great grandfather).

What a magical time to be getting married. I hope they all had wonderful celebrations.

Sunday’s Obituary – Benjamin Gawthrop

I have written about my cousin, Benjamin Gawthrop, twice already, here and here.

Since then I have been lucky to make contact with one of Benjamin’s grandchildren and she very kindly send me the photograph and the article below from The Australian Baptist, 3 July 1928.

Death of Rev. B Gawthrop

“ Christian Gentleman”

Tributes to his life and ministry

After a protracted illness, Rev. Benjamin Gawthrop, A.T.S., passed into the Eternal Presence late on Saturday night last at a private hospital in Randwick (Sydney). Though his death, judged from the nature of his illness, seemed imminent, the end came more suddenly than was expected. Within twenty-four hours of his passing, all the members of his family had been with him, but none of them thought he was so near life’s close. Happily, those closing hours brought consciousness and Mr. Gawthrop was able to enjoy his last fellowship with those dearest to him

In his death the Baptist denomination in New South Wales has lost one of its ablest, wisest and most gifted ministers, and his passing leaves another gap in the fast thinning ranks of our senior ministers.

It is twenty years since Mr. Gawthrop came to Australia, and up to the time that his health began to fail, he occupied a commanding place in our ministry, and exerted wide and beneficient influence. He was one of our Greathearts, radiating sunshine and goodwill wherever he went and in whatever he did.

Mr. Gawthrop was a native of Colne, Lancashire, England. Had he lived till August he would have reached his  59th milestone on life’s journey. Educated at Rawdon College, where he gained his A.T.S. degree, he entered upon his first pastorate as minister of the church at Heaton (Newcastle-on-Tyne).

After a ministry there extending over 14 years, the call came to succeed the late Rev. Dr. Thomas Porter at Petersham, and 1908 Mr. Gawthrop made his great adventure and followed the gleam which led him to Australia. His fruitful ministry at Petersham continued for ten years, and one of the happiest features of the funeral service conducted in the church previous to the interment at Rookwood was the presence of quite a number of young men who had grown up in his Bible-class, and came to pay their last tribute to his memory and his influence.

From Petersham, Mr. Gawthrop went to Katoomba, and later to Newcastle, where he was minister of the Tabernacle for four years, with conspicuous success. In both these spheres of service his memory will long remain as a sweet savour. From Newcastle Mr. Gawthrop returned to Katoomba, but as an invalid. It was hoped that the mountain air and a subsequent visit to England, would cure him an his malady. But it was not to be, and soon after his return to the lowlands his friends realised that his days of active service were over.

Mr. Gawrhrop is survived by his widow, his only daughter (Mrs. Horace Simpson) and three sons (Mr. Clifford Gawthrop, Mr. Martin Gawthrop, and Master Jack Gawthrop).

Armistice Day 2012

Today I especially want to remember the following people from my family tree who gave their lives fighting in two World Wars in the last century:-

Ernest Aldersley (1899 – 1918)

Philip Melville Cardell (1917 – 1940)

Prince Dawson (1893 – 1915)

Frederick Espley (1881 – 1916)

George Hurtley (1891 – 1918)

Arthur Lockington (1892 – 1915)

Thomas Musgrove (c1894 – 1918)

Allen Simpson (1923 – 1943)

Frederick Ellis Spink DFC (1921 – 1944)

Also the following family members who all signed up for service in the Great War of 1914 – 1918:-

Hugh Buckley (c1888 – ) Herbert Carradice (1896 – 1935)
Thomas Carradice (c1884 – ) Arthur Dawson (1879 – 1944)
Clifford Dawson (1900 – 1953) Harry Dawson (1895 – 1954)
John Dawson (c1890 – ) Watson Emmott Dawson (1887 – 1944)
William Dawson (1880 – 1939) Jim Hurtley (1887 – 1947)
Tom Hurtley (1897 – 1977) Harry Musgrove (1889 – 1974)
James Musgrove (1894 – 1925) Tom Musgrove (1898 – 1969)
Thomas William Paley (1892 – 1943)

I have written about each of these brave men and you can find their stories in the Military Monday category of my blog.

Summer recess is over

Hello – I’ve taken a break from blogging over the summer.

It has allowed me time to do some research for other people which I really enjoy. Also me and Mrs D have taken up “hiking” or really just strolling gently on a Sunday around our lovely Yorkshire countryside – this has stopped me becoming almost permanently attached to my computer.

I now need to re-connect with some relatives who have contacted me through my blog over the last year. I discovered new relatives in Yorkshire and in Australia.

Anyway please look out for new posts coming soon and thanks for taking time to read my blog and for your comments.

Sunday Snap – Cononley Gala

This is a photograph taken probably sometime in the 1950’s or 1960’s I think. The woman in the long “short’ pants is my great aunt Jessie Brown (nee Hurtley).

I can’t be sure but I believe the picture was probably taken at the time of the Cononley Gala. They are carrying collecting tins and are no doubt intent on fleecing gala visitors of their hard earned cash!!!

Cononley is a small village in Airedale, Yorkshire about three miles south of Skipton. The village is an important place in my family history. During his childhood my dad spent many happy times here staying with his aunts and uncles.

Here is a link to the Cononley Village Website. The 2012 village gala was held yesterday and you can see photographs from last year on the website.

Tombstone Tuesday – Thomas and Alice Thompson

This gravestone is at Holy Trinity church in Cowling, West Yorkshire.

Buried here are Thomas Thompson, his wife Alice (nee Dawson) and their daughter Mary Ellen.

Alice Dawson is my 2nd cousin 3x removed – our common ancestors are my 4x great grandparents John Dawson and Ann Watson. She was born on 18 November 1848 to parents James Wright Dawson and Mary Thompson.

Alice married Thomas Thompson sometime in Q4 of 1870. They had at least five children:-

• Mary Ellen – c1872

• James – c1880

• Sarah Lizzie – c1884

• William – c1886

• John David – c1888

Thomas worked as a warp dresser most of his life.

Alice passed away on 9 October 1926 at the age of 77. Thomas survived for almost another nine years until he died at the age of 85 on 8 May 1935. Their daughter Mary Ellen didn’t marry and she passed away on 12 November 1959 aged 88.

Tombstone Tuesday – James and Dinah Harker

This headstone is at the grave of James Harker and his wife Dinah (Dawson) at Holy Trinity church, Cowling, West Yorkshire.

Dinah is my 2nd cousin 3x removed – our common ancestors are my 4x great grandparents John Dawson and Ann Watson.  Dinah was born in Cowling on 5 May 1853 to parents James Wright Dawson and Mary Thompson.

Sometime in Q3 of 1874 Dinah married James Harker, also from Cowling.  I haven’t done any research on James so at the moment I can’t tell you who is parents are.

James and Dinah had at least two children – Martha (c 1878) and Edith (c1880).

Between 1881 and 1911 James worked as warp loomer, presumably in one of local mills.  Dinah worked as a weaver until in the 1901 census she is described as ‘confectioner, own account’.  In 1911 her occupation is ‘confectioner sweets’.  I have this image of Dinah running her own sweet shop – you know the sort I mean, with large jars of sweets of all different kinds.

In 1911 the family was living at 121 Keighley Road, Cowling (see photograph below).  I wonder if Dinah was running her confectionery business from this address.

James died on 28 July 1924 at the age of 73 and Dinah passed away on 9 September 1932 aged 79.

Military Monday – Allen Simpson (1923-1943)

Allen Simpson is my 1st cousin 1x removed.  In other words he is my dad’s cousin.  Our common ancestors are James Dawson and Emma Buckley, my great grandparents.

Allen was born sometime in Q3 of 1923 in Keighley, West Yorkshire to parents Alfred Simpson and Annie Dawson.

As far as I can tell from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website Allen served as a Private in The Parachute Regiment, AAC.  He was assigned to the 6th (10th Bn. The Royal Welch Fusiliers) Battalion – see this in Wikipedia.  His service number was 4868547.

Allen would have been involved in the Allied invasion of Italy at the beginning of September 1943.

Allen’s date of death is given as 10 September 1943.  And although I haven’t been able to prove this conclusively I believe he died during Operation Slapstick.  This was the code name for a British landing from the sea at the Italian port of Taranto.

The only casualties in the landing occurred on 10 September when HMS Abdiel, while maneuvering alongside the dock, struck a mine and sank.  There were 58 killed and 154 wounded from Allen’s battalion and 48 from the Abdiel’s crew.

I haven’t been able to find a list of casualties from the Welch Fusiliers but I found this Special Forces Roll of Honour which lists Allen as a casualty of the sinking of HMS Abdiel in Taranto Harbour.

Allen is buried in Bari War Cemetery in Italy – his grave reference is II.B.24.  Incidentally his name is recorded as Allen in the GRO birth records and as Alan on the CWGC website.

The following information is from the CWGC.

The site of Bari War Cemetery was chosen in November 1943.  There was no serious fighting in the vicinity of the town, which was the Army Group headquarters during the early stages of the Italian campaign, but it continued to be an important supply base and hospital centre, with the 98th General Hospital stationed there from October 1943 until the end of the war.  At various times, six other general hospitals were stationed at Trani and Barletta, about 48 km away.

Besides garrison and hospital burials, the cemetery contains graves brought in from a wide area of south-eastern Italy, from the ‘heel’ right up to the ‘spur’.  Here too are buried men who died in two disastrous explosions in the harbour at Bari, when ammunition ships exploded in December 1943 (during a German air raid) and April 1945.

Bari War Cemetery contains 2,128 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 170 of them unidentified.  There are also some non war burials and war graves of other nationalities.

The cemetery also contains 85 First World War burials, brought in from Brindisi Communal Cemetery in 1981.  Most of these burials are of officers and men of the Adriatic drifter fleet which had close associations with Brindisi during the First World War.

Here’s the certificate that you can obtain from the CWGC website.

Tombstone Tuesday – Thomas & Ann Redman

This gravestone is at Holy Trinity church in Cowling, West Yorkshire. It marks the resting place of Thomas Redman and his wife Ann (nee Dawson).

Ann is my 1st cousin 4 x removed. Our common ancestors are my 4x great grandparents John Dawson and Ann Watson. She was born about 1838 to parents Watson Dawson and Mary Hopkinson.

Sometime in the March quarter of 1860 Ann married Thomas Redman, also of Cowling. I haven’t done any research on Thomas so I have no information about his parents or earlier ancestors.

As far as I have been able to establish so far Thomas and Ann had one son, James, born about 1860.

Thomas worked as a cotton weaver all his life.

Ann died 107 years ago today on 8 May 1905 and was buried four days later. Thomas survived for almost six more years until his death on 29 April 1911.

Military Monday – Thomas William Paley (1892-1943)

Thomas William Paley is my 2nd cousin 2x removed.  Our common ancestors are William Paley and Mary Blackey my 3x great grandparents.  He was born sometime in the June quarter of 1892 to parents William Paley and Olive Sexton.

In the 1911 census Thomas was working on the family farm (Oakhurst Farm) at Moortown in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Almost three and half years later, on 30 September 1914, Thomas enlisted in The Yorkshire Regiment at the recruiting office in Leeds – his service number is 15159.  Fortunately I have been able to find his service records at www.ancestry.co.uk.

Thomas is described as 5ft 9ins tall and weighed 142lbs.  He had brown eyes and brown hair.  His physical development is recorded as good and he was considered fit for the army.

I’m not sure exactly what happened after that because just over three weeks later, on 25 October 1914, Thomas was discharged on the grounds that he was ‘not likely to become an efficient soldier’.

I can see from his service records that he was discharged under King’s Regulations 392 and what then looks like subsection iii vii.

This link to The Long, Long Trail website explains about King’s Regulations 392.  If my interpretation from his service records is correct, then it seems like he was discharged because he was ‘considered to be physically unfit for the ranks’.

Here’s the extract from his service records – what do you think?

Despite his very short time in the army I am still incredibly proud of Thomas as he was prepared to enlist and serve his country.