Author: mike

Military Monday – John Ainsworth (1892-1916)

John Ainsworth is my 2nd cousin 2x removed. His parents are Ralph Ainsworth and Margaret Ann Louisa Birkett. Our common ancestors are John Carradice and Ann Ridley, my 3x great grandparents.

John was born in Kendal, Westmorland in 1892 and his birth is registered in Q1.

On the 27 May 1915 John signed up for military service at Carlisle – he was 23 years and 4 months. He was enlisted in The Border Regiment. His military number was 21851.

John was posted to France on 17 December 1915.

As far as I can tell John was fighting with the 2nd battalion Border Regiment when he was killed in action on 14 July 1916.

I can’t find any accurate information about the circumstances of his death. However the Battle of Bazentin Ridge began on 14 July 1916 so it is possible he was killed during that battle.

John is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France.

Thiepval Memorial

Thiepval Memorial

Military Monday – Hedley Duckworth

Hedley Duckworth is my 2nd cousin 2x removed. His parents were John Thomas Duckworth and Clara Stowell. Our common ancestors are William and Ellen Stowell, my 3x great grandparents.

Hedley was born in Padiham, Lancashire in 1885 – his birth is registered in Q4.

In 1892 his mother Clara died and I’m not sure what happened to Hedley in the years up to the 1901 census. I haven’t yet been able to find his father with any confidence.

However in 1901 Hedley is stopping with his uncle Henry Weller and his aunt Olivia Weller (nee Stowell) – his mother’s sister. Also there is another aunt Ruth Stowell. They are living in Padiham and Hedley is employed as a “moulder”.

By 1911 Hedley has joined the military and in the census of that year he is shown as serving in Malta with the rank of sergeant.

I have found Hedley’s military records on FMP – but sadly they are of very little help.

I know that he signed up for service in the East Lancashire Regiment at the age of 17 on 24 July 1902. The records show that he was discharged five days later on 28 July 1902. I can’t find any other information about this.

I know that he served in the army during WW1 as I have found his medal roll card on He served in the Army Service Corps and his military number was M.21068.

Hedley was mentioned in despatches on 13 Jun 1916. This is the lowest form of recognition that was announced. The Mention in Despatches (M.I.D.) for a Soldier is not an award of a medal, but is a commendation of an act of gallantry or service. Here is a Wikipedia article about being mentioned in despatches

There is also an article in the Burnley Express on 2 January 1915 with a photograph of Hedley and he is described as Coy. Sergeant Major Hedley Duckworth. Here’s a link to the article –


Our readers have been much interested in the accounts of two concerts at the front, programmes of which have been sent us by Coy. Sergeant Major Hedley Duckworth. They appeared on Wednesday and the previous Wednesday, and were given at the billet at the front by the “Commer Car” artistes, so named because they belong to that section of the A.S.C. which has a good many of these lorries and wagons.

Company Sergt. Duckworth, who has been chairman of these concerts, which have been greatly appreciated by the men in that particular area, in the A.S.C. 2nd Divisional Supply Column, and has worked himself up from a private to his present rank. Actually, he is a Padiham man. He has been twelve years in the army, and is now on his 21st year’s term. Most of the time he has been in Malta, and he was not in the South African War. He was over in Burnley and Padiham recently on five days’ special leave.

In his first letter to us, alluding to the concert programme, he says: “I am sure there are a great number of people in Burnley and district who would be pleased to hear how the officers try to encourage the men. Of course, this has only occurred to my knowledge in this column, but you see it helps to cheer up us poor Tommies.”

Coy. Sergt.-Major Duckworth’s father is Mr. John T Duckworth, of Knowlwood Road, Todmorden, and formerly of Padiham. His portrait has been kindly sent us by his aunt, Mrs Jenkinson, of Nelson, whose husband is serving with the East Lancashire Regiment. Duckworth has also a step-brother in Egypt.

Black Sheep Sunday – John Britliff (The Killing Field) – Part 2

Just over a year ago I posted about my wife’s 3x great grandfather, John Britliff, who was convicted of manslaughter for killing his wife. Here’s a link to the original post – Black Sheep Sunday – John Britliff (The Killing Field)

Since then I have been contacted by Karen who lives in Australia – John Britliff is also her 3x great grandfather.

You will see from the original post that John was sentenced to 10 years transportation in 1843 but he was back in Lincolnshire by the time of the 1851 census. So this raised a number of questions for me:-

  • Did he really get transported?
  • If he did get transported for 10 years how come he is back in England after 8 years?
  • Did he get a “certificate of freedom” for good behaviour after serving part of his sentence?
  • How did he afford the fare back to England?

I have to admit I hadn’t made any progress answering these questions before now.

Karen alerted me to the use of Prison Ships (Hulks). Because of overcrowding in the prisons in Australia many convicts served their sentences on prison hulks moored on The Thames. Here’s a bit of background but there is lots more on the Internet –

Anyway thanks to Karen I found some prison hulk records on Fortunately these included the details for John Britliff or Britcliffe as he was described.


So there we have it – John served his sentence on the hulk Warrior. He must have been given an early release for good behaviour and returned to Lincolnshire.

Black Sheep Sunday – Alfred Gawthrop

Alfred Gawthrop is my 1st cousin 3x removed.  Our common ancestors are Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley, my 3x great grandparents.

Below is a report from the Burnley Express of 8 November 1916 when Alfred and eighteen other defendants were in court charged with drinking out of hours – in other words they were caught having a “lock in”.  


Burnley Express - 8 November 1916

Burnley Express – 8 November 1916


Some heavy fines were imposed by the magistrates at the Skipton Petty Sessions on Saturday in a licensing case which occupied four hours.  Mr. J. W. Morkill presided.

There were nineteen defendants in all.  The following were summoned for consuming intoxicating liquors on licensed premises, the Moor Cock Inn, Brogden (between Blacko and Gisburn), during closing hours:  John William Ogden, farmer;  Bolton Wilkinson, labourer;  Joseph Smith, farmer;  George Whitaker, millhand;  Fred Gott, carter;  Fred Snowden, carter;  Jonas Stephenson, carrier;  and Alfred Gawthrop, farmer, all of Cowling;  Benjamin Cawdrey, dealer, of Bradford;  Thomas Broughton, dealer;  Isabella Rhodes, married;  and Lilly West, weaver, of Colne;  James Ince, barber, Brierfield;  William Emmott, farmer, Blacko;  Brown Speake, farmer, and Walter Waddington, farmer, both of Nelson; and James Craddock, farmer, of Brogden.  Emmott was further summoned for treating, and West for being treated with intoxicating liquors on licensed premises.  Jane Utley, the landlady, was summoned for supplying intoxicating liquors, but owing to the fact that she was too ill to appear in court, the case against her was withdrawn.  The landlord, Isaac Utley, was summoned on three counts, for supplying liquor, for permitting it to be consumed on licensed premises during closing hours, and for permitting treating.  All the defendants pleaded “Not Guilty”.  Mr. J. C. Waddington, solicitor, Burnley, represented the landlord, while Mr. J. E. Newell, solicitor, Skipton, defended the men from Cowling.

For the prosecution, Police-Sergeant Williams and P.C. Milburn gave evidence as to what they witnessed after 9.30 at night on Thursday, when they were engaged in watching the inn.  The two officers said they saw three vehicles standing outside the Moor Cock, and persons who had occupied them had apparently gone inside the house and appeared to be having a very good time, for they could hear the piano being played and popular airs being sung.  They went to the rear of the premises, and through a broken window had a clear view into the tap-room, and could distinctly hear orders being given for drinks, while at times strong language was used.  Neither of the officers heard at any time any orders for mineral waters or food.  There was another window close to, which looked directly into the bar, and owing to the fact that the curtains did not come quite to the bottom the officers could see all that went on inside.  They saw the landlord and landlady filling beer, whisky, and stout, and subsequently take it into the smoke-room, where the company was seated.  The people inside were very rowdy.

That kind of thing, the officers stated, went on until 10-45pm., when they heard a voice shout, “Bring a —– whisky hot and a beer.”  They saw the landlord come to the bar, and then they slipped round to the front of the house and entered just in time to see the landlord going into the smoke-room with a tray on which there were a glass of whisky and a glass of beer.  They followed him into the room, and saw him place the whisky before the defendant West and  the beer before Emmott, who tendered 1s. in payment by placing it on the tray.  The landlord gave him some change and left the room, taking with him three glasses, which they saw emptied by some of the company.  Police-Sergeant Williams took the glass of whisky from the defendant West and a portion of the beer from Emmott.  He also took a glass of whisky from Wilkinson and a half-glass of beer from Ogden, all of which he produced.  At that time there were fourteen empty glasses on the tables.  The defendants were all told that they would be reported.

All the defendants, some on oath, denied that they were served with any intoxicating liquors after half-past 9.  Several of them stated that they ordered and were supplied with tea, bread and cheese.

The Bench retired to consider their decision, and on their return Mr. Morkill said that they had decided to convict in all cases, except in respect to the charge against the defendant West of being treated, which case would be dismissed.

The Bench imposed penalties of £20 in each of the first two summonses against the landlord, Utley, and £10 in the third, while Emmott was fined £5 for treating.  Fines of 40s. each were imposed on Ogden, Wilkinson, Smith, Whitaker, Gawthrop, Emmott, Speake, Waddington, and Craddock; and 20s. each on Gott, Snowden, Stephenson, Cawdrey, Broughton, Rhodes, West, and Ince.

Wedding Wednesday – Annie Gawthrop & Walter Bannister

Annie Gawthrop is 2nd cousin 2x removed.  She married Walter Bannister on 22 October 1919.  The report of the wedding from the Burnley Express of Saturday 25 October 1919 is below.

Burnley Express

Burnley Express


The Wesleyan Church, Laneshawbridge, on Wednesday was the scene of a wedding of local interest.  the bridegroom was Mr. Walter Bannister, only son of Mr. J. T. Bannister, cotton manufacturer, Oak Leigh, Trawden, and the bride was Miss Annie Gawthrop, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Benson Gawthrop, of Bridge House, Laneshawbridge, and formerly of Benside.  The bridesmaids were Miss Edith Gawthrop (sister of the bride) and Miss Emmeline Bannister (sister of the bridegroom).  Mr. Ed. Fishwick presided at the organ.  The Rev. John Gawthrop (uncle of the bride) was officiating minister.  The bride was given away by her father, and the bridegroom was attended by his cousin (Mr. Ernest Bannister) and Mr. Wilfred Lowcock.  Following the ceremony, a reception was held at Bridge House.  Later in the day the bride and bridegroom left for London.

Armistice Day 2013

Today I want to remember the following people from my family tree who gave their lives fighting in two World Wars in the last century:-

Ernest Aldersley (1899 – 1918)

Philip Melville Cardell (1917 – 1940)

Prince Dawson (1893 – 1915)

Frederick Espley (1881 – 1916)

George Hurtley (1891 – 1918)

Arthur Lockington (1892 – 1915)

Thomas Musgrove (c1894 – 1918)

Allen Simpson (1923 – 1943)

Frederick Ellis Spink DFC (1921 – 1944)

Also the following family members who all signed up for service in the Great War of 1914 – 1918:-

Hugh Buckley (c1888 – ) Herbert Carradice (1896 – 1935)
Thomas Carradice (c1884 – ) Arthur Dawson (1879 – 1944)
Clifford Dawson (1900 – 1953) Harry Dawson (1895 – 1954)
John Dawson (c1890 – ) Watson Emmott Dawson (1887 – 1944)
William Dawson (1880 – 1939) Jim Hurtley (1887 – 1947)
Tom Hurtley (1897 – 1977) Harry Musgrove (1889 – 1974)
James Musgrove (1894 – 1925) Tom Musgrove (1898 – 1969)
Thomas William Paley (1892 – 1943)  Walter Dawson (1883 – 1942)

I have written about each of these brave men and you can find their stories in the Military Monday category of my blog.

Wedding Wednesday – Mason Buckley & Elizabeth Lilla Watkins

Here is the wedding notice from the Burnley Express of Saturday 27 April 1878 announcing the wedding of Mason Buckley and Elizabeth Lilla Watkins.

Burnley Expres - 27 April 1878

Burnley Expres – 27 April 1878

Mason is my 1st cousin 3x removed.  His parents are Sharp Buckley and Nancy Gill.

Before his marriage to Elizabeth, Mason was living in Keighley, West Yorkshire.  I haven’t yet been able to find him on the census after 1871 – maybe I will have another try now I have this marriage information.