My Family

Posts about my family

Sunday’s Obituary – Norman Thornton (1912-1937)

Norman Thornton is my 3rd cousin 1x removed. His parents are Thomas Gawthrop Thornton and Ellen Quinliven. Our common ancestors are my 3x great parents Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley.

Norman was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire – his birth is registered in the September quarter of 1912.

I don’t have any information about Norman until his marriage to Mary Burland in Sheffield sometime in the September quarter of 1935.

I recently found the following report in the Sheffield Independent on 22 May 1937

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GAS SUICIDE

Pincers Used To Turn Bracket Tap

Suicide during a state of depression due to domestic unhappiness, was the verdict given by Mr Alan P Lockwood, Sheffield Deputy Coroner, on Norman Thornton (24), grocers’ assistant, who was found gassed at his home in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Thornton, who was employed at Glossop Road branch of Sheffield and Ecclesall Co-operative Society, had not been at work this week. The branch had been closed Monday and Tuesday, since when Thornton had not been seen.

Thomas Thornton, 63 Ronksley Road, Shiregreen, said that his son was married in September, 1935, but they had not been happy. They had been separated, but came together again five months ago. His son’s wife had been in a convalescent home for the past fortnight.

Police-sergt, W Parnham said he went with the last witness to his son’s house, and by means of a ladder got to the bedroom. He found the young man dead. He had a flexible gas pipe in his mouth, connected to a gas bracket. Near him were a pair of pincers which he had evidently had to use to turn the tap on.

A sad end to a short life and what seems like an unhappy marriage.

I haven’t yet been able to find what happened to Norman’s wife Mary.

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Wedding Wednesday – Alban Arthur Birch and Connie Jackson

Alban Arthur Birch is my wife’s 3rd cousin. His parents are Arthur Birch and Sarah Fitzgerald. Their common ancestor is Martha Espley, my wife’s 2x great grandmother.

Alban was born in Burnley, Lancashire on 5 August 1916. He was the only child of Arthur and Sarah Birch.

On Alban’s 23rd birthday he married Connie Jackson at St James Church, Briercliffe, Lancashire.

The wedding was reported in the Burnley Express on 12 August 1939.

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Briercliffe St. James’s Church was the scene of a pretty wedding last Saturday morning between Mr Alban Arthur Birch, son of Mr and Mrs A Birch, of 200, Burnley Road, Accrington, and Miss Connie Jackson, only daughter of Mr and Mrs T S Jackson, of 12, Burnley Road, Briercliffe. The bride, who was given away by her father, was charmingly attired in a gown of white satin with veil of embroidered net held in place by orange blossom. She carried a bouquet of pink roses and lillies of the valley. She was attended by a matron of honour, Mrs M Jones, of London, friend of the bride, and a bridesmaid, Miss Gwen Dewhurst, cousin of the bride, who wore dresses of lavender taffeta with head-dresses and shoes to tone, and carried bouquets of pink carnations. The best man was Mr James Hargreaves, friend of the bridegroom, while Mr Eliot Andrews and Mr B Spencer (friends of the bridegroom) were groomsmen. Mr G Dewhurst was the usher. The ceremony was performed by the Rev A B Dex, MA, who also rendered appropriate organ music. A reception luncheon was held at Storey’s Cafe, and afterwards the newly-wedded pair left for a honeymoon in Scotland, the bride travelling in a moss green coat with black accessories. Among numerous presents received were some from the staff of W H Dean and Son, where the bride and bridegroom are employed. Mr and Mrs Birch will reside at 1, Bedfordshire Avenue, Burnley.

Military Monday – Jack Hurtley Thompson (1921-1941)

Jack Hurtley Thompson is my 1st cousin 1x removed. His parents are Alfred Clark Thompson and Rhoda Hurtley. Our common ancestors are James Hurtley and Ellen Paley – my great grandparents.

Jack was born in Cononley, West Yorkshire and his birth is registered in the June quarter of 1921.

Jack joined the Merchant Navy and was serving on the British motor tanker Arthur F Corwin as a 5th Engineer when it was sunk on 13 February 1941.

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Arthur F Corwin

The Arthur F Corwin was part of Convoy HX106 sailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Liverpool, England. Forty one merchant ships departed Halifax on 30 January 1941 – they were escorted by a series of armed military vessels at various times during the journey.

According to reports on the Internet the Arthur F Corwin was a straggler from the convoy. It was attacked and damaged by two torpedoes from U-boat U-103 at 16.25 hours on 13 February 1941. The U-boat then left the burning tanker in a sinking condition southeast of Iceland.

At 19.50 hours the same day, U-96 came across the stricken wreck of Arthur F Corwin, which was still afloat, and sank her with two further torpedoes.

There were no survivors.

I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like for Jack and all his crew mates.

Jack is commemorated on the Cononley War Memorial and also on the Tower Hill Memorial, near Tower Bridge in London.

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Cononley War Memorial

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Tower Hill Memorial

Sunday’s Obituary – Arthur Frederick Lord (1906-1946)

Arthur Frederick Lord is my 4th cousin 1x removed. His parents are Charles Lord and Sarah Lonsdale. Our common ancestors are Isaac Kighley and Ellen Jackson, my 4x great grandparents.

Arthur was born on 20 January 1906 in Rochester, Kent. In the 1911 census he is living at 190 High Street, Rochester.

As far as I can establish Arthur joined the Merchant Navy as a cadet in June 1921. His identity certificate number was 209328 (see below) and he was serving on the SS Gothic Star (Official No. of ship 108793).

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I don’t have a comprehensive record of Artur’s service in the Merchant Navy but I do know that he obtained a Certificate of Competency as Second Mate on 11 May 1927.

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On one of his stays back in the UK Arthur married Hazel Walkem sometime in the March quarter of 1934 in Woolwich, London. Later that year their only child, David, was born on 28 December, also in Woolwich.

When the 1939 Register was taken in September that year Hazel and David are living at Lee Mount, Shoreditch Road, Taunton, Somerset. Arthur doesn’t appear in the register – he was presumably away at sea.

Moving forward seven years to 1946 we find Arthur working as a Chief Officer aboard Screw Steamer Rembrandt – a ship built by Lithgows Ltd in Glasgow, Scotland. The Rembrandt was launched as a cargo ship on 30 August 1940, its first owner was the Bolton Steam Shipping Co. Ltd in London.

201608302116290.2. Capetan-antonis ex Rembrandt 1940-8-30

Screw Steamer Rembrandt

Now this is where my story about Arthur Frederick Lord reaches its conclusion. According to the Deaths at Sea Register Arthur disappeared on 19 November 1946 sometime between 11.30am and 4.00pm. He was presumed to have fallen overboard. The latitude and longitude co-ordinates given in the register – Latitude 36º 26´N : Longitude 18º 19´E – put the ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea – somewhere between Greece and Malta and North of Lybia.

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In his will Arthur left effects totalling £1241 11s 3d to Albert Leslie Binns, chartered accountant. This was his brother-in-law, husband of his sister Florence May.

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Workday Wednesday – Barbara Dale Snape (1919-2001)

 

Barbara Dale Snape is my wife’s 3 cousin 1x removed. I posted recently about her sporting achievements while at university – see here.

Apart from her sporting achievements Barbara also had a successful career in education following graduation from university.

The following article appeared in the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer on 25 May 1955.

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Recommended as head mistress

A former head girl of Allerton High School, Leeds, and a graduate of London University, Miss Barbara D Snape, daughter of Mr and Mrs Frank Snape, of Alwoodley, Leeds, has been recommended for the post of head mistress of Pontefract Girls’ High School.

Miss Snape is at present in charge of senior history at Queen Ethelburga’s School, Harrogate, where she is a house mistress.

She was formerly a stroke in the London University women’s boat crew and has also rowed for Cambridge University women against Oxford University women.

Pontefract and District Girls’ High School was established in 1912 and closed in 1987. Some notable former students are:-

Jane Brooke – crime writer
Barbara Castle (Baroness Castle of Blackburn) – politician
Jane Collins – MEP, UKIP politician

Sunday’s Obituary – Joseph Musgrove (1866-1933)

Joseph Musgrove is my great grandfather. He was born on 1 December 1866 in Kendal, Westmorland, to parents Harrison Musgrove and Jane Rooking.

Joseph was the youngest of eight children. He was baptised on 21 April 1867 in Kendal. Less than a year later his father (Harrison) died on 16 April 1868. Then when Joseph was six years old his mother (Jane) died on 12 April 1873.

I guess that Joseph would have been looked after by his older siblings after the death of their parents. And in the 1881 census he is boarding with his eldest sister Agnes and her husband David Hutchinson at Albert Hill in Settle, West Yorkshire.

By the time of the next census on 5 April 1891 Joseph was back in Westmorland working as an agricultural labourer and living on a farm in Duke Street, Holme – about 10 miles south of Kendal.

Just over two years later Joseph married Elizabeth Ann Turner on 12 April 1893 at Settle Register Office.

Not sure what it is about the month of April but all the previous significant events happened in that month!!!

Anyway, Joseph and Elizabeth journeyed south to Clitheroe in Lancashire – stopping off on their way for three or four years at Horton in Ribblesdale, West Yorkshire, where Joseph worked in the limestone quarry. Their first three children were born and baptised here.

At this time the family lived at Foredale Cottages – in the photograph below you can see the cottages on the hillside below the quarry.

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In the 1901 and 1911 census returns Joseph is still working as a limestone quarryman – now at the local Clitheroe quarry.

Over a period of about 20 years Joseph and Elizabeth had ten children:-

John Robert Turner Musgrove – born 2 November 1891
Thomas Musgrove – born cMarch 1894
Florrie Musgrove – born 6 January 1897
Mary Elizabeth Musgrove – born 22 August 1899
James Musgrove – born 9 April 1901
Joseph Musgrove – born cSeptember 1903
Leah Musgrove – born 28 July 1905
Isabel Musgrove – born 12 July 1906
Alice Musgrove – born 23 August 1910
Joseph Musgrove – born 23 October 1912

Sadly Joseph developed stomach cancer and he died at home on 30 September 1933. He was buried at Clitheroe Cemetery on 4 October 1933.

The archives for the Clitheroe Advertiser & Times have recently been added to the British Newspaper Archives website. I just discovered the following obituary.

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A further death we have to record is that of Mr Joseph Musgrove, of 28 Russell Street. Mr Musgrove, who was sixty-six years of age, died on Sunday after a brief illness. Since the war Mr Musgrove had carried on business as a general dealer and was particularly well known among the farming community, his business bringing him into contact with farmers at the Clitheroe Auction Mart. A native of Kendal he had lived in Clitheroe for forty years, and for more than twenty years resided in Salford. At one period he was employed as a quarryman at Bold Venture Quarries. He leaves a widow, three sons and five daughters. The interment took place at St Mary’s Cemetery on Wednesday, the Rev S E Harper officiating.

Sports Centre Saturday – Barbara Dale Snape (1919-2001)

Sports centre Saturday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites, talk about family members’ love of sports or athletic endeavours.

Barbara Dale Snape is my wife’s 3rd cousin 1x removed. Their common ancestor is Martha Espley, my wife’s 2x great grandmother.

Barbra was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire on 24 December 1919 to parents Frank Snape and Susan Dale.

I recently found the following article from the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer of 2 March 1942.

Barbara D Snape - 2 March 1942

Inter-University Women’s Boat Race

Cambridge beat Oxford by three lengths in the inter-University women’s boat race at Oxford on Saturday. A Leeds student and former head girl of the Allerton High School, Barbara D Snape, was a member of the winning eight. It was the second time she had shared in the success against Oxford, for she stroked the London University women’s crew which defeated Oxford last year. She graduated at Westfield College (evacuated to Oxford) and is now training for the Diploma of education at Cambridge.

There will be another post about Barbara in a few days.