Author: mike

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.

Tombstone Tuesday – Thomas, Jane & Watson Emmott Dawson

I took this photograph on a recent visit to the Cowling Hill Baptist chapel graveyard in Cowling, West Yorkshire.

The grave is the resting place of Thomas Dawson (my 1st cousin 4x removed), his wife Jane (nee Emmott) and their son Watson Emmott Dawson.

Thomas was born in Cowling in 1851 to parents John Dawson and Elizabeth Benson. The census returns show that Thomas worked as a warp dresser, a worsted weaving overlooker and also an engine tenter in a local factory. In 1911 he was working as a farmer.

Sometime in Q1 of 1877 Thomas married Jane Emmott, also from Cowling. I haven’t done any research on Jane yet so have no information about her family. Although the Emmott family name has a long tradition in and around Cowling.

Thomas and Jane had at least three children:-

• Albert Frederick – born 8 February 1883

• James Willie – born 17 May 1885

• Watson Emmott – born 24 June 1887

If you follow the link above you will see that I wrote about Watson Emmott in a recent Military Monday post.

Thomas died on 18 January 1926 at the age of 74 and Jane died aged 90 on 2 February 1949. In between their deaths Watson Emmott passed away at the age of 57 on 14 October 1944.

Military Monday – Tom Musgrove (1898-1969)

Tom Musgrove is my 1st cousin 2x removed – he is my maternal grandfather’s cousin. Our common ancestors are my 2x great grandparents John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth. Tom was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire about 1898 to parents Joseph Musgrove and Bridget Maria Grainger. He was the fourth of at least ten children.

On 13 May 1916 Tom went to Blackburn and enlisted in the 4th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. He was 18 years 9 months old. The medical report written at the time of his enlistment describes him as having ‘bow legs’.

Tom remained at ‘home’ until 28 February 1917. He embarked the following day from Southampton to Le Havre, France.

During the period May to June 1918 Tom appears to have been ‘surplus’ and transferred between Battalions. He was also granted 4 days leave to England in August.

The next significant piece of information from Tom’s service record on www.ancestry.co.uk is that he was admitted to hospital on 6 April 1919 – I can’t make out what the record says – see below. Anyway whatever it was he had an operation and was subsequently discharged after 62 days on 6 June 1919.

He was finally demobilized on 4 December 1919 to the Class Z Reserve.

Class Z Reserve was authorised by an Army Order of 3 December 1918. There were fears that Germany would not accept the terms of any peace treaty, and therefore the British Government decided it would be wise to be able to quickly recall trained men in the eventuality of the resumption of hostilities. Soldiers who were being demobilised, particularly those who had agreed to serve “for the duration”, were at first posted to Class Z. They returned to civilian life but with an obligation to return if called upon. The Z Reserve was abolished on 31 March 1920.

Tom married Rhoda Kear in Q4 1921. I haven’t been able to find a record of any children. He died sometime in Q3 1969 in Clitheroe.

Sunday Snap – Ice Cream Sunday

Here is another photograph from my own collection. I don’t know who the people are but they are clearly enjoying their ice creams – probably at the seaside.

Given that I have inherited the photograph along with many others from my grandparents I guess that someone in the picture, or all of them may well be my relatives.

I think that the photograph looks to be taken perhaps in the 1950’s or very early 1960’s.

Postcard #20 – Lumb Bridge, Silsden

This is a postcard from my own collection. The location is Lumb Bridge at Silsden in West Yorkshire. I bought the postcard because Silsden is the birth place of my paternal grandmother and I can imagine her standing on the little wooden bridge you can see.

The card is unused and in good condition. It was published by R. Dewhurst, 71 Kirkgate, Silsden.