Military Monday

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 http://www.ancestry.co.uk. 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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentioned_in_dispatches

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 – http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000283%2f19150102%2f059

Burnley ExpressCONCERTS AT THE FRONT

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.

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.

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)

Military Monday – Allen Simpson (1923-1943)

Allen Simpson is my 1st cousin 1x removed.  In other words he is my dad’s cousin.  Our common ancestors are James Dawson and Emma Buckley, my great grandparents.

Allen was born sometime in Q3 of 1923 in Keighley, West Yorkshire to parents Alfred Simpson and Annie Dawson.

As far as I can tell from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website Allen served as a Private in The Parachute Regiment, AAC.  He was assigned to the 6th (10th Bn. The Royal Welch Fusiliers) Battalion – see this in Wikipedia.  His service number was 4868547.

Allen would have been involved in the Allied invasion of Italy at the beginning of September 1943.

Allen’s date of death is given as 10 September 1943.  And although I haven’t been able to prove this conclusively I believe he died during Operation Slapstick.  This was the code name for a British landing from the sea at the Italian port of Taranto.

The only casualties in the landing occurred on 10 September when HMS Abdiel, while maneuvering alongside the dock, struck a mine and sank.  There were 58 killed and 154 wounded from Allen’s battalion and 48 from the Abdiel’s crew.

I haven’t been able to find a list of casualties from the Welch Fusiliers but I found this Special Forces Roll of Honour which lists Allen as a casualty of the sinking of HMS Abdiel in Taranto Harbour.

Allen is buried in Bari War Cemetery in Italy – his grave reference is II.B.24.  Incidentally his name is recorded as Allen in the GRO birth records and as Alan on the CWGC website.

The following information is from the CWGC.

The site of Bari War Cemetery was chosen in November 1943.  There was no serious fighting in the vicinity of the town, which was the Army Group headquarters during the early stages of the Italian campaign, but it continued to be an important supply base and hospital centre, with the 98th General Hospital stationed there from October 1943 until the end of the war.  At various times, six other general hospitals were stationed at Trani and Barletta, about 48 km away.

Besides garrison and hospital burials, the cemetery contains graves brought in from a wide area of south-eastern Italy, from the ‘heel’ right up to the ‘spur’.  Here too are buried men who died in two disastrous explosions in the harbour at Bari, when ammunition ships exploded in December 1943 (during a German air raid) and April 1945.

Bari War Cemetery contains 2,128 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 170 of them unidentified.  There are also some non war burials and war graves of other nationalities.

The cemetery also contains 85 First World War burials, brought in from Brindisi Communal Cemetery in 1981.  Most of these burials are of officers and men of the Adriatic drifter fleet which had close associations with Brindisi during the First World War.

Here’s the certificate that you can obtain from the CWGC website.

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.

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.

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.

Military Monday – William Dawson (1880-1939)

William Dawson is my great grandfather’s cousin. Our common ancestors are my 4x great grandparents John Dawson and Ann Watson.  He was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire on 9 October 1880 to parents Matthew Dawson and Ann Brigg.

William married Lucilla Whitaker on 29 February 1912. They had two children

• Matthew – born 19 September 1912

• Mary – born 9 March 1914

On 28 May 1918 William enlisted in Halifax at the age of 37 years 213 days. He was assigned to the 6th West Riding Regiment. At the time of his enlistment he was working as a ‘warp dresser’. His service number was 52089.

According to his service papers on www.ancestry.co.uk William left for France on 12 October 1918. He returned to England less than six weeks later on 20 November 1918 having received ‘gun shot wounds’ to both his thighs.

William was finally discharged on 6 May 1919 under King’s Regulation 392 (xvi) being no longer physically fit for war service.

The extract below indicates the degree of William’s disablement – and I think it says 38%. There are also some details of his pension and it looks like he was awarded £0.8s.3d per week from 7 May 1919 to be reviewed after 52 weeks. Also an allowance of £0.3s.6d per week for his two children from 26 May 1919.

William died about twenty years later – his death is registered in Q3 of 1939.