Joseph Dawson

Military Monday – Walter Dawson (1883-1942)

Walter Dawson is my 3rd cousin 2x removed. I recently discovered him and his military record as a result of a contact through my blog with a newly found relative in New Zealand.

Walter was born in 1883 to parents Joseph Dawson and Alice Hartley in Marsden, Lancashire. Our common ancestors are John Dawson and Ann Watson – my 4x great grandparents.

On 9 December 1898 Walter emigrated with his aunt and uncle, Alice Dodgeon (nee Dawson) and Frederick William Dodgeon. They were heading for Sydney, Australia. At some point after arriving in Australia they all moved to New Zealand.

According to the military records Walter enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 19 June 1917 for the duration of the war. His service reckons from 26 July 1917 and he was finally discharged on 18 June 1819 having spent a total of 1 year and 328 days in service and reaching the rank of lance corporal. Walter’s regimental number was 3/3732.

At the time he enlisted he was living with his aunt and uncle at 34 Coyle Street, Mount Albert, Auckland, New Zealand. His occupation was a clerk.

Walter served with the New Zealand Medical Corps and spent the first part of his service (118 days) in New Zealand. He was then posted overseas on 21 November 1917. He disembarked in Liverpool, England on 8 January 1918.

He was appointed lance corporal on 15 August 1918.

Walter returned to New Zealand after the war and married May Parslow in 1925. As far as I know they had one son – Peter. Following Walter’s death in 1942 I think May and Peter  came to live in the UK.

fileStream-3 (dragged)

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.

Military Monday – Clifford Dawson (1900-1953)

Clifford is my 1st cousin 2x removed – he was my granddad’s cousin.  Our common ancestors are my 2x great grandparents John Dawson and Ellen Gawthrop. Clifford was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire, sometime in Q3 1900 to parents Joseph Dawson and Elizabeth Hannah Barrett.

Clifford enlisted in the army on 2 August 1918 and was called up for service on 27 August. His age is given as 18 years 24 days and his occupation is described as ‘iron turner’. He was assigned to the 53rd Durham Light Infantry. His service number was 113260.

Details of Clifford’s war activity are unclear. But I have been able to discover that he was stationed in Cologne, Germany during 1919. I know this because I have information about two misconduct charges in his service records on www.ancestry.co.uk.

On 16 May 1919 he was charged with ‘neglect of duty including a dirty locker’. I can’t make out the punishment for this offence.

Three months later on 24 August 1919 he was charged with being ‘late on dinner parade’. Clifford’s punishment for this was ‘3 days C B’ – confined to barracks.

Clifford was demobilized on 24 March 1920 and transferred 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.

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.

Horton in Ribblesdale – Postcard #14

This is a postcard from my own collection.  It is a real photograph published by Joanes Publications, Broomhouse, George Nympton, South Molton, Devon.

The postcard is unused and in very good condition.

The image is of steam engine number 45522 ‘Prestatyn’ with a train from Carlisle at Horton in Ribblesdale station and is dated 27 July 1962.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you might remember that Horton in Ribblesdale is an important location in my ancestry.  This is where my nannie, Florrie Musgrove, was born in 1897 – here’s a recent post about Foredale Cottages where she lived.

Horton in Ribblesdale railway station was built in 1876 during the construction of the 73 mile long stretch of line between Settle and Carlisle by the Midland Railway Company.  The line runs through remote regions of the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines, and is considered to be the most scenic railway in England.  The drama of its history and construction mean that it is regarded as one of the culminating symbols of Victorian enterprise and engineering.

All the station buildings along the route were designed by Midland Railway Company architect John Holloway Sanders.  The general design was known as Derby (or Midland) Gothic because the company was based in Derby.

There were three sizes of buildings in all, reflecting the relative importance of the station stops.  Horton in Ribblesdale was a Type C station.

In 1963, Beeching Report into the restructuring of British Rail recommended the withdrawal of all passenger services from the line.  Some smaller stations had closed in the 1950s.  The Beeching recommendations were shelved, but in May 1970 all stations except for Settle and Appleby were closed.

Over the next two decades the Settle – Carlisle line faced the threat of closure by British Rail as passenger number reduced and the cost of repairing viaducts and abandoned station buildings grew.  A very public campaign against the closure was eventually successful and the Government finally refused consent to close the line in 1989.

Meanwhile refurbishment work had already begun at Horton in Ribblesdale station and it was reopened in 1986.

There is one other family connection with this post.  The Midland Railway Company was merged into the London Midland & Scottish Railway, with the LNWR also forming part of the new company.  My granddad, Joseph Dawson, worked for LM&S, first as a fireman then a driver.  He’s the one in the photograph with a x on his arm.

Grandad Joe and his work mates

Wedding Wednesday – Who’s that girl?

This is a photograph from my own collection.  I have to admit up front that I don’t know the happy couple.  Well, what I mean is that I know who the groom is but I never met either him or the bride (as far as I know) and I am not related to them.

The photograph is in one of those little fold over covers that you get from photographers.  There is a description on the cover written by my dad – it says

‘Harold Crossland’s wedding.  Dad’s best friend from Rotherham’

The ‘dad’ referred to in the description is my granddad – Joseph Dawson.  He is the chap second from the left – I am guessing that he was ‘best man’.

So I did a search on Find My Past and came up with a couple of possibilities.

There is a marriage in the December quarter of 1943 between Harold Crossland and Marian Jenkinson  in the Rother Valley registration district.

There is also a marriage in the June quarter of 1947 between Harold Crossland and Marian Smith in the Sheffield registration district.

For those who don’t know the area Rotherham and Sheffield are not a million miles apart.  I know that my grandparents lived in Brinsworth (part of Rotherham) for a while and I guess that this is where Joseph made friends with Harold.

Of course the wedding could have been held somewhere else completely and I am way off the mark.

My granddad was born in 1903, so, if I am right then he would be either 40 or 44 when these photographs were taken.  I am really bad at trying to estimate ages – what do you think?

Are there any clues from the style of clothes?

Leave a comment if you think you can help.

On this day … 28th July

1700 … Henry Hurtley was born in Kirkby Malham, Yorkshire.  His parents were James Hurtley and Agnes Lawson.  He is my 5x great grandfather.

1806 … James Espley and Martha Silvester were married at Stoke on Trent in Staffordshire.  They are my wife’s 3x great grandparents.

1978 … Joseph Dawson died at Otley hospital in Yorkshire.  He is my grandfather.