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.