Month: March 2019

Sunday’s Obituary – George Ernest Jackson and Elizabeth Ann Jackson (nee Gawthrop)

Elizabeth Ann Gawthrop is my 1st cousin 3x removed. Her parents are Israel Gawthrop  and Mary Ann Hargreaves. Our common ancestors are Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley – my 3x great grandparents.

Elizabeth was born on 4 April 1864 at Higham, near Padiham, in Lancashire.

At the age of 25 she married George Ernest Jackson on 19 June 1889 at St Nicholas Church, Sabden, Lancashire.

George and Elizabeth had three children:-
Harry – born 18 November 1890
Florence Mary – born 20 May 1893
Ernest J – born 7 May 1897

George and Elizabeth lived in Padiham where George was a cotton manufacturer and owned a mill there. When George retired from the business they moved to Lytham St Annes, near Blackpool.

George passed away on 10 July 1933. The Burnley Express of 15 July 1933 carried a brief obituary (image from

George Ernest Jackson - Burnley Express 15 July 1933.png



Formerly a cotton manufacturer in Padiham for about 22 years, the death occurred at his residence, “The Anchorage,” East Beach, Lytham St. Annes, last Tuesday night, of Mr. George Ernest Jackson. He was a native of Sabden, and was the managing director of the Sabden Calico Printing Company. At Padiham he owned the Industry and Enterprise Mills, and was well-known as a great lover of horses. Retiring 22 years ago, he went to Lytham, and was a member of the Lytham Conservative Club. He was a past president of the Lytham Subscription Bowling Club, and a past captain of Lytham Green Golf Club. Mr. Jackson is survived by a widow, two sons and a daughter.

Elizabeth moved to Ripon after the death of her husband. She died in January 1936 and the Burnley Express reported this on 25 January 1936 (image from

Elizabeth A Jackson (nee Gawthrop) - Burnley Express 25 january 1936.png

DIED IN RIPON – Many people in Padiham will regret to learn of the death at her residence in Ripon of Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Jackson, widow of Mr. George Ernest Jackson, a former well known cotton manufacturer, of Enterprise Mills, Padiham. Mrs. Jackson, who was 70 years of age, had resided in Ripon about three years. She is survived by two sons and a daughter. The interment took place in the family vault in St. Cutherbert’s Churchyard, Lytham.

Wedding Wednesday – Ronald Clifford Brown and Eveline Dacre Crewdson

Eveline Dacre Crewdson is my 3rd cousin 1x removed. Her parents are George Dacre Crewdson and Clara Shackleton. Our common ancestors are William Stowell and Ellen Lane – my 3x great grandparents.

Eveline was born in 1925 – her birth is registered in the third quarter.

On 28 July 1945 Eveline married Ronald Brown at St James Church, Briercliife, Lancashire. Details of the wedding were announced in the Burnley Express on 4 August 1945 (taken from

Brown & Crewdson Wedding - Burnley Express 4 August 1945.png


The Rev A B Dex officiated at the wedding at St James’s Church, Briercliffe, last Saturday, of Miss Eveline Dacre Crewdson, daughter of Mrs and the late Mr George Dacre Crewdson, of 7, Church Street, Harle Syke, and Mr Ronald Clifford Brown, son of Mr and Mrs H Brown, of 9, York Avenue, Swinton, near Manchester.
Given away by her cousin, Mr Ernest Enright, the bride was attired in satin beaute with lace inset, and she carried a bouquet of variegated roses. She was attended by her friend, Miss Dorothy Howarth, of Warrington, and Miss Hazel Hatherley, of Burnley (cousin of the bridegroom), who wore pale pink brocade and carried muffs, with sprays of roses, and by little Miss Maureen Rorke (cousin of the bride), who wore mauve and carried a posy of sweet peas.
Mr George Brown (brother of the bridegroom) was best man, and Mr James Donald Crewdson (brother of the bride) and Pte. George Winstanley, of Marton, Cheshire, were groomsmen.
The organist was Mr Wilfred Nuttall, and the hymns, “The Voice that breathed o’er Eden,: and “Lead us Heavenly Father,” were rendered. The church was decorated with sweat peas, carnations and roses.
Following a reception at the Black Bull Hotel, Lanehead, the newly married couple left for the honeymoon at Blackpool, the bride travelling in a nigger brown coat and dress with green accessories, and hat and shoes to tone. The couple will reside at 9, York Avenue, Swinton.
Among the presents were gifts from the South View Manufacturing Company, Harle Syke, where the bride is employed and from Gardeners’ Diesel Engine Works, Peel Green, Manchester, where the bridegroom is employed.
The bride was formerly a member of St James’s Church choir and a Sunday school teacher. Her father, the late Mr George Crewdson, was well known in Burnley as a tenor vocalist.

Black Sheep Sunday – Cecil Hurtley Harrison

Cecil Hurtley Harrison is my 3rd cousin 1x removed. His parents are George Holroyd Harrison and Florence Shaw Hurtley. Our common ancestors are Thomas Hurtley and Hannah Braidley – my 3x great grandparents.

Cecil was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire on 17 August 1901. He was the second of five children.

In the 1911 census Cecil, his parents and his siblings are living at 58 Shaftsbury Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds.

Twelve years later Cecil found himself in trouble for dangerous driving. The following story is from the Yorkshire Evening Post of 5 April 1923 (image from

Cecil Hurtley Harrison - YEP 5 April 1923.png



For driving a motor-car in a dangerous manner, Cecil Hurtley Harrison (21), of Shaftsbury Avenue, Roundhay, was fined £10 and costs in Leeds today, while his licence was also endorsed.
It was stated that on March 15 Police Constable Dodge was on duty in Roundhay Road when a big touring car flashed past, and, almost at the same moment, collided with a motor-cycle.
Both vehicles were travelling towards the city. As the car did not stop, the constable blew his whistle, but the driver continued his journey.
The motor-cycle was damaged, though, fortunately, the rider, Mr. William Arthur Dalby, of Wyke, was able to go home without seeking medical aid.
On arrival at the police station, the constable learned that the defendant had called and reported that he was driving at a speed of 25 to 30 miles an hour when he suddenly saw the motor-cyclist in front of him, and was unable to avoid him.

I guess that Cecil perhaps panicked and then realised the consequences of not stopping. I am glad that he at least had the good sense to go to the police station and report the accident.

Sunday’s Obituary – Jane Dawson (nee Hargreaves) 1855-1922

Jane Hargreaves was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire about 1855.

Sometime in the September quarter of 1877 Jane married my great grand uncle Isaac Dawson in Keighley, West Yorkshire. Isaac’s parents are John Dawson and Ellen Gawthrop – my 2x great grandparents.

For much of their married life Isaac and Jane lived at Steeton with Eastburn, near Keighley. They had six children but three died young – only Matthew, Annie and Maggie lived until adulthood.

By the time of the 1911 census Isaac, Jane and Annie had moved to Morecambe, Lancashire. Isaac was employed as a “Company housekeeper”.

Jane passed away on 17 February 1922. The Morecambe Guardian published the following obituary (image from

Jane Dawson (nee Hargreaves) - Morecambe Guardian 25 February 1922.png


On Tuesday afternoon the Rev. F Etherton Blake conducted the funeral service of the late Mrs Dawson, 39 Clarendon Road, in the Parliament Street Church, W.E. The Dawson family, some ten years ago, came from their Yorkshire home at Eastburn to Morecambe. They have life-long associations with Primitive Methodism, and to that extent the Church suffers the loss of a valuable devotee. Since Christmas Mrs Dawson has suffered acutely, and ever since been under the shadow of death. On February 17th she passed away at the age of 67 years and leaves a sorrowing husband, bereft son and two mourning daughters.

Wedding Wednesday – Eveline Ivy Coulam and Charles Carter

Eveline Ivy Coulam is my wife’s 3rd cousin 1x removed. Her parents are Charles Coulam and Priscilla Rowbotham. Their common ancestors are James Padley and Sarah Bradshaw – my wife’s 3x great grandparents.

Eveline was born on 3 April 1920 – her birth is registered at Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.

In September 1939 Eveline married Charles Carter – the marriage is registered at Boston, Lincolnshire. In the 1939 Register they are living at Lade Bank, Olivers Lane, Boston. Charles is described as a “farm worker” and Eveline as a “land worker”.

The Lincolnshire Standard and Boston Guardian of 23 September 1939 carried a report of the wedding (taken from British Newspaper Archives website).

Eveline Coulam - Lincolnshire Standard and Boston Guardian 23 September 1939.pngTHE MARRIAGE of Miss Evelyn Ivy Coulam, fourth daughter of Mr and Mrs Charles Coulam, Leake, Lade Bank, with Mr Charles Carter, youngest son of Mr J Carter and the late Mrs Carter, Midville, was solemnised at the Parish Church on Saturday. The Vicar (Rev A Gibbons) officiated at the ceremony. The bride, given in marriage by her father, wore a pretty frock of turquoise satin, with gold trimmings, with a coronet of golden velvet leaves, and her shoes and gloves in matching shade, while in charming colour contrast her bouquet was of pink dahlias and fern. Miss Rosemary Coulam, sister, as bridesmaid, was attired in a dainty frock of pink crepe-de-chine, with head-dress of gold leaves, and shoes and gloves of matching colour, and carried a bouquet of blue scabious and fern. The duties of best man were discharged by Mr Harry Moore, Tumby (‘groom’s friend). As the bridal pair left the church, little Rita Pinner (bride’s niece) presented a silver horse-shoe. The reception was held at the home of Mr and Mrs C Coulam, Lade Bank, where relations and friends were entertained. Many good presents were received. Mr and Mrs C Carter will reside at Lade Bank.

Sunday’s Obituary – Jane Fletcher (nee Musgrove) 1884-1949

Jane Musgrove is my 1st cousin 2x removed. Her parents are George Musgrove and Elizabeth Ann Stoup. Our common ancestors are Harrison Musgrove and Jane Rooking – my 2x great grandparents.

Jane was born in Westmorland on 18 September 1884. She was the first of five children.

The family gradually moved south from Westmorland eventually settling in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

On 12 February 1908 Jane married Walter Fletcher. They were married for 41 years and had three daughters.

Jane passed away on 25 March 1949. The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times reported her death on 1 April 1949 (image from

Jane Fletcher (nee Musgrove) - CAT 1 April 1949.png


The death occurred at her home on Friday of Mrs Jane Fletcher, of 7 Chester Avenue, Clitheroe, at the age of 64.
Mrs Fletcher, who was born at Leighton Beck, Westmorland, came to Clitheroe 50 years ago. She was keenly interested in the Clitheroe Women’s Unionist Association of which she was a member for many years.
Her husband, Mr Walter Fletcher, and her three daughters and three sisters, will have much sympathy in their loss.
The interment took place at St. Mary’s Cemetery on Tuesday, after a service at the house. The Vicar of Low Moor, the Rev. I Pugh, officiated.

Workday Wednesday – Walter Duncan Burt (1904-1967)

Walter Duncan Burt is my wife’s 4th cousin 1x removed – so not especially close. Their common ancestor is John Aspley (my wife’s 4x great grandfather).

Walter was born on 28 July 1904 in Hanford, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire. His parents are Robert Duncan Burt and Mary Elizabeth Hollins.

Sometime in the second quarter of 1930 Walter married Evelyn Higgs.

In the 1939 Register Walter and Evelyn are living at 107 Wilson Road, Stoke on Trent. Walter is working on the railway as locomotive fireman. Living two doors away at 111 Wilson Road is Walter’s sister Lucy Ellen and her husband Thomas Wilson Critchlow.

Sadly Walter was killed on 28 February 1967 when the train he was driving was involved in the Stechford rail crash at Stechford railway station in the area of Stechford, Birmingham.

A total of nine people were killed in the crash – an inquest was opened and adjourned on Thursday 2 March 1967. The Birmingham Daily Post of Friday 3 March 1967 ran the following story (image from

Walter Duncan Burt - Birmingham Daily Post 3 March 1967.png

Many inquiries into rail deaths – Coroner

The inquests on the nine people killed in the Stechford train crash on Tuesday, were adjourned yesterday for further inquiries to be made.
Opening the inquests the Birmingham City Coroner, Mr George Billington, said: “The inquests upon these nine victims of this terrible tragedy will have to be adjourned to a date to be fixed because there are many inquiries which have got to be made.”
After hearing formal evidence of identification, the coroner gave permission for the funerals to take place as soon as the relatives wished.
One of the witnesses, a Coventry man who saw his wife killed in the crash, broke down and wept while giving evidence and had to be helped from the courtroom.
He was Mr John Graham Costigan, of Yewdale Crescent, Potters Green, who said he was travelling with his 22-year-old wife, Sylvia, on the electric train from New Street, Birmingham to Coventry when the train was involved in a collision.
His wife was dead on arrival at East Birmingham Hospital.
The nine victims of the crash were: The driver of the electric train, Mr Walter Duncan Burt, aged 62, of Wilson Road, Stoke on Trent; Sylvia Ann Costigan, aged 22, of Yewdale Crescent, Coventry; Mr Carl Adrian Perry, aged 17, a student, of Prince of Wales Road, Coventry; Mr Gerald Richard Oliver Gilbert, aged 56, stockbroker of Belvedere Road, Coventry; Mr Rajindir Singh, aged 15, student, of Bryn Road, Coventry; Mr Mohinder Singh, aged 17, shop assistant, of Foleshill Road, Coventry; Mrs Joan Lilian Smith, aged 23, of Ash Road, Stockingford, Nuneaton; Mr Michael Hubert Asquith Batten, aged 22, architectural student, of South Avenue, Stoke Park, Coventry; and Mrs Ethel Elisabeth Gleave, aged 49, housewife, of Allesley Old Road, Coventry.
The condition of Mr Alfred Hollins, of Bath Street, Rugby, one of three people still detained at East Birmingham Hospital after the crash, was said yesterday to have improved.
The conditions of the other two, Miss Lilian Le Rose, of Chapel Lane, Hadfield, Glossop, Derbyshire, and Mrs Hilda Mayhew, of Pearson Avenue, Bell Green, Coventry, remained satisfactory.
The Minister of Transport has appointed Col. D McMullen, chief inspecting officer of railways, to hold an inquiry into the crash.
It will be held at the Midland Hotel, Birmingham, next Thursday.

It then took a further 15 months before the outcome of the inquiry was made public.

The following article is from the Aberdeen Evening Express of 23 May 1968 (image from

Walter Duncan Burt - Aberdeen Evening Express - 23 May 1968.png

Four blamed for rail death crash

FOUR RAILWAYMEN were today blamed for a rail crash near Birmingham last year in which nine people died.
The crash – at Stechford (Warwicks.) – occurred when an express electric train and a diesel shunting engine collided on February 28, 1967

In his report to the Minister of Transport, Colonel D McMullen, Chief Inspecting officer of railways, says the diesel was making an unauthorised move across main lines from a branch line.
The move was being made without authority from the New Street power box, and was said to be tacitly agreed to by local signalman   C H Curtis (64).
Curtis, says the report, must accept a share of the responsibility for the result.
Head shunter R H J Tolster – who knew the diesel’s move was unauthorised – was “seriously to blame.”
He was negligent in not coming to a clear understanding with the diesel’s driver, Mr H D Garrett (49), as to what movements were to be made.


An alternative route for the diesel was said to have been suggested by Tolster to Curtis, but Tolster did not press the point – probably because he realised it would cause delay and he thought the diesel’s crew were anxious to get home, the report says.
The report says that Curtis was not in a position to give Tolster an order not to carry out the movement, but he did not exercise the authority of his age and nearly 4o years experience to dissuade Tolster.
Driver Garrett and his second man, B K Sugden (27), were both at fault in failing to come to a clear understanding with the traffic staff about an unsignalled movement such as the one they made.
Both were also at fault in failing to comply with instructions regarding the position of the second man in the locomotive.
The report clears the New Street power box signalman, Mr R W Bradbury (60), and the driver of the express, Mr Walter Duncan Burt (62), who was killed, from any blame.
There was no failure of the modern signalling equipment the report adds.

I hope the family of Walter were able to get some comfort from the report and the fact that no blame was attached to him for the accident. Nevertheless it must have been a very bad period for everyone involved.

Here is a full version of the inquiry report by Cololnel McMullen.


Sunday’s Obituary – Gordon Fitzgerald (1928-1938)

Gordon Fitzgerald is my wife’s 3rd cousin. His parents are William Edward Fitzgerald and Emily Wilkinson. Their common ancestor is Martha Espley – my wife’s 2x great grandmother.

Gordon was born in Burnley, Lancashire. His birth is registered in the June quarter of 1928. At some point in the mid to late 1930’s the family moved to Warwickshire. In the 1939 Register they are living at Perrywood Road, Birmingham.

Gordon does not appear in the 1939 Register – he died in a tragic accident the previous year. The following article is from the Midland Daily Telegraph of 7 December 1938 (image taken from

Gordon Fitzgerald - Midland Daily Telegraph 7 December 1938.png


Hanged After Reading Strip Cartoon

At an inquest, in Birmingham, today, on a ten-years-old boy, who was found hanging in the bathroom, the theory that he was experimenting after seeing a strip cartoon in a boys’ periodical was put forward. The boy was Gordon Fitzgerald, of Perry Wood Road, Great Barr, Birmingham.
A magazine, which the father said his boy read occasionally, was produced in court. It contained a strip cartoon showing one of the characters with a lasso drawn tightly round his neck.
An illustration of how the string was fastened round the boy’s neck proved that it could not have got there by accident.
Mr Fitzgerald said that the boy must have put his head into the loop, deliberately leaving a very narrow margin of safety, and, when he tried to draw his head out of it, pulled the loop tight and increased the pressure around his neck.
Returning a verdict of “Death from misadventure,” the Coroner (Dr W H Davison) said that there was nothing suspicious about the case. The boy’s death was the result of a childish prank, probably stimulated by something he had read.

Perhaps this is a 1930’s example of what we regularly refer to today as the negative and dangerous influence of social media on young children.