Family history

Sunday Snap – Railway Posers?

This is a photograph from my own collection – yet another of the many unidentified subjects.

Across the bottom right corner is the name Bruce Johnston, Keighley.    I can find a couple of references to this firm of photographers on local family history message boards.

The chaps in the photograph are obviously in some sort of uniform.  I think that there are some clues that suggest they are railway workers.

I can read the initials MR on the cap of the man on the right of the photograph.  I suspect that this is the Midland Railway company.  The visible pocket watch chain worn by the man second left indicates to me that he is probably a railway worker.

I don’t recognise anyone in the photograph.  However my grandfather, Joseph Dawson, worked for London, Midland & Scottish Railway company and may well have worked for the predecessor the Midland Railway company.

I am really hopeless at trying to date photographs.  But if there is a connection with my grandfather I guess it would have been taken around the 1920 period and before MR became LMS.

If anyone has any other suggestion I would be happy to hear it.

Military Monday – John Dawson

John Dawson is my 1st Cousin 2x removed – in other words he is my granddad’s cousin.  He was born about 1890.  His parents were John Dawson and Elizabeth Bradley.  He is the brother of Prince Dawson who I wrote about last September.

I found John’s army service records on www.ancestry.co.uk so I know that he enlisted on 11 May 1908 and was posted to the 6th Brigade West Riding Regiment.  His service number is 699.

The ‘Medical Inspection report’ was completed in Keighley, West Yorkshire, on the day he enlisted.  This shows that John was quite short – only 5 feet 3 inches.  His vision is described as ‘good’ and his physical development as ‘fair’.  Nevertheless the Medical Officer, Sergeant Major Will Gabriel considered John to be ‘fit’ for the Territorial Force.

It looks like John signed up for four years.  The ‘Statement of Service’ shows it would run from from 11 May 1908 to 10 May 1912.

He was assigned to Keighley for his preliminary training.  Over the next three years he had annual training in

Redcar from 25 July 1908 to 1 August 1908

Marske from 25 July 1909 to 8 August 1909

Peel (Isle of Man) from 31 July 1910 to 7 August 1910

Ripon from 30 July 1911 to 6 August 1911

Then on 10 May 1912 he was discharged in consequence of the ‘termination of engagement’.

CWGC Website

I have just visited the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website for the first time since it’s relaunch on 19 January.

I must say that I am really impressed both with the look and feel of the site.  It has certainly been brought ‘up to date’ with a much more modern style.

All the same information is there but is presented more clearly and I found it easier to navigate around the pages.

If you haven’t been on yet go and have a look.  What do you think about it?

Sunday’s Obituary – Benjamin Gawthrop (1869-1928)

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my cousin Benjamin Gawthrop and his work as a Baptist minister here in the UK and in Australia.

Benjamin died on 30 June 1928 – he was living in Randwick, New South Wales, Australia.

Here is an obituary from The Sydney Morning Herald of Tuesday 3 July 1928.

 

A large and representative gathering attended the funeral of the Rev. B Gawthrop at Rockwood yesterday afternoon.

Mr. Gawthrop fulfilled ministries at Petersham, Newcastle, and latterly at Katoomba Baptist Churches.  He occupied for a full term the presidential offices of the Baptist Union of New South Wales, and the Northern Baptist Association, and he also rendered services during the war as a local army chaplain.

A graduate of Rawdon College, Leeds, his first pastorate prior to his receiving a call to Petersham Baptist Church was at Heaton, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

The Rev. G A Craike conducted a service at the Petersham Baptist Church prior to the interment, with the assistance of Revs. J Barker, S Sharp, W Lamb, W Higlett and Rev. A P Doran, president of the Congregational Union.  At the graveside the service was conducted by Rev. G A Craike, Dr. Waldock, and other ministers.  Mr Gawthrop leaves a widow, three sons, Clifford, Martin and John, and a daughter, Mrs. H H Simpson.

Among those present were Messrs. F R King, J A Young, F H Searl, A Lord, R H H Butler, H Palmer, C J Dixon, W L Turnham, D Barr, J Maclean, F E Hood, Dr. H T C MacCulloch, H J Morton, H H Simpson, F W Oliver, and J A Packer, and the Revs. W Higlett, E G Hockey, A Jolly, E L Leeder, J Worboys, and W Lamb.

Austwick – Postcard #15

This is another postcard from my own collection.  It’s the second one I have shown you from the Yorkshire Dales village of Austwick.

The first one featured the Church of the Epiphany and village cross.  This time it is the village green which is just around the corner from the church.  The postcard is unused and is in very good condition.  There is no publisher and no printer identified on the front or the back of the card.

The area around Austwick is said to have been inhabited for over 4000 years.  Archaeological finds in and around the village include prehistoric burial places, a large Bronze Age settlement, and even an Iron Age settlement.

At one time, Austwick and the nearby villages of Clapham, Lawkland and Newby, were independent manors each with their own lord.  Together they formed the larger parish of Clapham.

In the Domesday Book Austwick was at the head of a group of 12 manors and was obviously of importance.  The Anglican lord at the time Norman Conquest in 1066 was Thorvin.  A field in the village is known as ‘Thorvin Croft’ – a connection or just a coincidence?

Since 1782 the Farrer family has held the Lordship of the Manor of Austwick – the present Lord being Dr John Farrer of Clapham.

Here’s a link to the village website.

This is how the postcard scene looks today.

Wedding Wednesday – Flapper Girl Identified!

Last June I posted this photograph in the Wedding Wednesday theme and admitted then that I had no idea about the identity of the happy couple.

Well I can now tell you that I solved the mystery – thanks to my cousin in Australia.

The photograph is of George Isaac Dawson and Constance Mabel Austin leaving the church after their wedding ceremony.  I don’t have an exact date but it is mid to late 1920’s.

George Isaac is my grand uncle – my grandfather’s brother.  He was born sometime in Q1 of 1901 in Keighley, West Yorkshire.  In the 1911 census he is living with his parents, James Dawson and Emma Buckley, and his siblings at 91 West Lane, Keighley.

His entry in the GRO birth register is Isaac but he was known as ‘Ike’ to me – at least that’s how my grandfather referred to him.

Anyway, ‘Ike’ emigrated to Australia.  He sailed from London on 15 September 1923 on board the ship Orsova bound for Fremantle, Australia.  Here is his entry in the passenger list.

At the moment I don’t have any information about Constance’s family.

I do know that ‘Ike’ and Constance had their first of four children in 1928.  So within five years of arriving in Australia ‘Ike’ fell in love, married and started a family.

I really admire ‘Ike’s’ sense of adventure – leaving his family in the UK and starting a new life at the other side of the world.  I am also glad that almost 89 years later we are still in contact with our Dawson relatives in New South Wales.

Military Monday – Thomas Carradice

Thomas Carradice is my 2nd cousin 2x removed.  Our common ancestors are my 3x great parents, John Carradice and Ann Ridley.

Thomas was born in Kendal, Westmorland – his birth is registered in the June quarter of 1884.

By the time of the 1901 census Thomas was living in Bradford, West Yorkshire with his father John Carradice and step-mother Sarah Jane Lightowler.  His mother Mary having died in 1892.  Thomas was working as a ‘wool comb minder’.

He enlisted in the West Yorkshire Regiment on 12 June 1903 – his service number is 7095.  He is described as 5 feet 6 inches in height and weighing 115lbs.  His religion is given as Church of England.

The next piece of information I have is a note dated 13 November 1903 that Thomas appears to have been charged with fraudulently enlisting in the ‘R I Regiment’.  He was tried and convicted and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment with hard labour.  He was then to be discharged with ‘ignominy’ – see extract below.

I have not been able to find any other details about this.

I found Thomas in the 1911 census still living in Bradford and working as a ‘moulders labourer’.  I haven’t done any more research on him except to identify a potential death record in the September quarter of 1921 in the North Bierley registration district of West Yorkshire.

Sports Centre Saturday – Ernest Dawson

Ernest Dawson is my 3rd cousin 2x removed.  He was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire on 26 February 1896.  Ernest is my only Dawson ancestor I have found so far with a connection to sports activity.

This is a photograph of the Cowling Football Team from 1912-13 and reproduced with permission of Cowling Web.  As far as I can tell Ernest is the young man on the left of the middle row.

© / Credited To: Norman R Binns. Scanned by: Moonrakers

Back Row L-R: Maurice Laycock, Laurie Hardy, Arthur Binns

Middle Row L-R: Ernest Dawson, Thomas Percy Smith, Albert Dale

Front Row L-R: Harry Wilkinson, Richard Fort, Willie Hewitt, George Thorp, George Robinson

Team football in Cowling began in 1910 when Cowling United was formed.  The team first played at Hallam Hill, then on top of Earl’s Crag and Knowle Hill before moving to their present ground on Keighley Road.

There was a break in playing during the First World War.  The team then reformed in 1918 in the Craven League.

One legendary story from those early days suggests that the team had a very unusual cup double – playing and winning two cup finals on the same day.

In 1920 young lads who couldn’t get a game formed another team Cowling Swifts.  They first played on the recreation ground and then on the present pitch.  The Swift players became the nucleus of the good Cowling sides of the 1920’s and 1930’s.

The club is still going strong after more than 100 years.