Family history

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.

Military Monday – James Musgrove (1894-1925)

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.

Military Monday – Harry Musgrove (1889-1974)

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.

Military Monday – Arthur Lockington (1892-1915)

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.

RMS Cumberland – Postcard #19

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.