James 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. He was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire about 1894 – the second of at least ten children – to parents Joseph Musgrove and Bridget Maria Grainger.
On 20 January 1915 James enlisted in the 18th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers. His regimental number was 16718. I’m not sure how good or bad his eyesight was but there is a note in his records that two pairs of glasses were issued to him, presumably resulting from his medical at the time he enlisted.
It was a further 12 months before James embarked for France on 29 January 1916.
There is not much detail in the pages about his war service on www.ancestry.co.uk. But it appears that James became ‘unfit’ for battle on 22 January 1917 and he was transferred to the Army Service Corps. He was given a new service number – 111748.
James was eventually demobilized to the Class Z Reserve on 15 March 1919.
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.
As far as I can tell James died sometime in Q2 of 1925.
Harry Musgrove is my great uncle – my maternal grandfathers brother. He was born 17 November 1889 to parents Thomas Musgrove and Ellen Stowell.
I have been lucky enough to find Harry’s WW1 service record on www.ancestry.co.uk.
Harry enlisted in Clitheroe, Lancashire on 11 November 1915 – six days before his 26th birthday. At the time he was living at 11 Brownlow Street, Clitheroe and working as a ‘weaver’.
He served as a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) and his service number was 103760.
It looks like Harry was initially assigned to the ‘home hospital’ reserve in Blackpool, Lancashire. Then in May 1917 he ‘volunteered’ for overseas service – see below.
next information about his service shows that he was in Corsica from 9 June 1917 to 31 December 1918. Harry returned home at the beginning of 1919 and according to his service papers was ‘demobbed’ on 23 February 1919 and transferred to the Class Z Reserve.
There is a note in the papers addressed to the Officer in Charge at the Queen Mary’s Military Hospital, Whalley, Lancashire. This note was sent with Harry’s ‘medical history’ sheet on 16 January 1919. On one of the documents is stamped ‘sick and wounded’ but I can’t find any information about Harry’s condition at the time.
The Queen Mary’s Military Hospital was formerly the Whalley Asylum. It was used as a military hospital until June 1920. There is also a military cemetery attached to the hospital.
Queen Mary’s Military Hospital
Harry married Edith Hitchen on 20 January 1940. He died on 25 November 1974 – eight days after his 85th birthday.
Arthur Lockington is my wife’s 1st cousin 2x removed. Their common ancestors are John Lockington and Susannah Snowden, my wife’s 2x great grandparents. He was born about 1892 in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire to parents Joseph Lockington and Ellen Elizabeth Johnson.
I have been fortunate to find Arthur’s WW1 service records on www.ancestry.co.uk.
Arthur enlisted at Middlesbrough on 4 September 1914. His records show his age as 22 years 157 days. He served as a rifleman in the 12th Battalion Rifle Brigade and his service number is S1746.
While he was still on service in England Arthur married Margaret Wilkinson on 6 March 1915 in Middlesbrough.
Arthur left for France with the British Expeditionary Force on 21 July 1915 and landed at Boulogne the following day.
The next important piece of information is that Arthur is reported missing presumed killed in action on 25 September 1915 while fighting at Pietre in a 6.00am attack to the north of Neuville. This was a supporting or diversionary action during The Battle of Loos.
On 5 July 1916 The War Office awarded Margaret Lockington a pension of 15 shillings a week for her and her daughter Florence who was born on 11 April 1916. Sometime in the December quarter of 1918 Margaret married Sydney Flett in Middlesbrough.
Finally on 17 February 1921 Margaret took possession Arthur’s war medals.
Arthur is remembered on the Middlesbrough War Memorial and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium. This memorial includes the names of more than 11,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in this sector during the First World War and have no known grave.
The memorial was designed by Harold Chalton Bradshaw, with sculpture by Gilbert Ledward and was unveiled by the Duke of Brabant on 7 June 1931.
Here is a very battered , torn and creased postcard which has been in my family for almost 70 years. The card shows RMS Cumberland at Barrow in Furness
There is no publisher or printer information.
The postcard was sent from Barrow on 13 July 1942 to my grandparents, Mr & Mrs J Dawson, 7 Ellis Street, Brinsworth, Rotherham, Yorkshire.
Unfortunately I have no idea who sent the card. You will see that there are only some initials to indicate who wrote to my grandparents – they could have been friends or relatives, I simply don’t know.
The message says
Dear A & J
Everyone landed here OK and quite happy to be together. Sorry to say it looks like rain but hoping for better weather later as the tide goes out.
All the best.
C. G. TD & MO
The message is intriguing. And I also wonder whether or not the RMS Cumberland is more important to the story than just appearing on the front of the postcard.
Does the use of the word ‘landed’ suggest that perhaps they travelled to Barrow in Furness on the RMS Cumberland? Does the phrase ‘quite happy to be together’ suggest that before they arrived in Barrow then they were not together. Does ‘everyone’ mean a larger group of people than just C. G. TD and MO?
I did wonder if ‘they’ had been evacuated from Rotherham – but then I thought Barrow, with its shipyard, was probably not a place people were evacuated to. However this link on Wikipedia – Barrow Blitz – suggests that the last bombs of the blitz fell on Barrow in January 1942 and the last air-raid siren was sounded on 25 March 1942.
Also further research suggests that Rotherham did not loom large on German maps and only suffered two serious raids – both in August 1940. Maybe C. G. TD and MO came from somewhere else.
Anyway, I could go on trying to imagine the story behind the message on the postcard, but I need to just accept it as a piece of family history and leave it there.
William Dawson is my great grandfather’s cousin. Our common ancestors are my 4x great grandparents John Dawson and Ann Watson. He was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire on 9 October 1880 to parents Matthew Dawson and Ann Brigg.
William married Lucilla Whitaker on 29 February 1912. They had two children
• Matthew – born 19 September 1912
• Mary – born 9 March 1914
On 28 May 1918 William enlisted in Halifax at the age of 37 years 213 days. He was assigned to the 6th West Riding Regiment. At the time of his enlistment he was working as a ‘warp dresser’. His service number was 52089.
According to his service papers on www.ancestry.co.uk William left for France on 12 October 1918. He returned to England less than six weeks later on 20 November 1918 having received ‘gun shot wounds’ to both his thighs.
William was finally discharged on 6 May 1919 under King’s Regulation 392 (xvi) being no longer physically fit for war service.
The extract below indicates the degree of William’s disablement – and I think it says 38%. There are also some details of his pension and it looks like he was awarded £0.8s.3d per week from 7 May 1919 to be reviewed after 52 weeks. Also an allowance of £0.3s.6d per week for his two children from 26 May 1919.
William died about twenty years later – his death is registered in Q3 of 1939.
Today is World Poetry Day so I thought I would share two poems for all my fellow genealogists.
If you could see your ancestors all standing in a row,
Would you be proud of them? Or don’t you really know?
Strange discoveries are often made, in climbing the family tree.
Sometimes one is found in line who shocks the progeny.
If you could see your ancestors all standing in a row,
Perhaps there might be one or two you wouldn’t care to know.
Now turn the question right about and take another view.
When you shall meet your ancestors, will they be proud of you?
Your tombstone stands among the rest; neglected and alone.
The name and date are chiseled out on polished, marble stone.
It reaches out to all who care; it is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist; you died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you in flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled one hundred years ago.
Spreads out among the ones you left who would have loved you so.
I wonder as you lived and loved, I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot, and come to visit you.
This is a postcard of Edisford Bridge, near Clitheroe in Lancashire.
The card is from the Valentine’s Series and was printed in Great Britain. It is postally unused and in good condition. There is no date but there is a serial number – 62116.
Research on the Internet suggests that the photograph was registered in 1909 but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the postcard dates from the same period. My feeling is that it might be a more modern reproduction.
In any event I purchased the postcard because of the location. I know that when my parents were ‘courting’ they used to go to Edisford Bridge.
Edisford Bridge incorporates the structure of a five arched bridge possibly dating from 1339. Today the bridge has nine spans and is considerably wider than the original. It is thought that a timber bridge had been constructed on the same spot even earlier.
Edisford – “the nobleman’s ford” or Anglo-Saxon nobleman - was the scene of an 1139 battle, where King David of Scotland’s army fought and defeated the less numerous Lancastrians.
The bridge is located about a mile west of Clitheroe Castle and is the subject of a noted painting by Turner.
For bridge enthusiasts here’s a link to more information – Transport Heritage.
Here’s the painting by Turner c.1799
I’ve never been to Edisford Bridge – I will have to put it on my ‘to do list’ – maybe this summer.