Anthony Mason

Military Monday – Flather Heap (1897-1962)

Flather Heap is my 3rd cousin 2x removed. His parents are John Starkie Heap and Martha Elizabeth Forrest. Our common ancestors are Anthony Mason and Mary Brayshaw, my 4x great grandparents.

Flather was born on 1 May 1897 in Keighley, West Yorkshire. He was the youngest of four children.

When the First World War came Flather enlisted for service on 13 November 1915 – he was immediately assigned to the army reserve with a service number of 141238.

He waited a further six moths before being mobilised on 11 May 1916 as a Gunner with the Royal Field Artillery. He was posted to No.1 Depot in Newcastle upon Tyne for training and as part of a home based defence unit.

Eventually on 3 January 1917 Flather was posted to France as part of the Expeditionary Force.

On 31 July 1917 Flather was appointed as Acting Bombadier (equivalent to the rank of Corporal) with the 177th Brigade. The promotion was made substantive on 11 November 1917.

On the 8 August 1917 he was wounded in action but I have no other information as to the extent of his injuries. I can also see from his record that he was hospitalised in May 1918 after being “gassed”.

Flather survived the war and was finally demobilised on 8 February 1919.

He returned home to Keighley where he married Clara Bancroft on 28 May 1922.

In the 1939 Register Flather and Clara are living at 2 Morning Street, Keighley. He is working as a “weaving overlooker”.

Clara passed away in 1958 and Flather lived for a further four years before passing toward the end of 1962.

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Wedding Wednesday – Richard Jacomb Pitt and Diana Fay Lovel Mack

Diana Fay Lovel Mack is my 4th cousin 1x removed. Her parents are Lovel Durant Mack and Hilda Muriel Watkinson. Our common ancestors are Anthony Mason and Mary Brayshaw, my 4x great grandparents.

Diana was born in Liverpool, Lancashire in 1925 – her birth is registered in the December quarter.

A report of Diana’s marriage to Richard Jacomb Pitt on 16 March 1946 was published in the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette on 23 March 1946.

Diana Mack & Richard Pitt wedding.png

MARRIED IN LONDON

CHESHIRE BRIDE FOR LT. R J PITT

A large number of friends of Col. and Mrs R B Pitt and their family travelled from Bath last Saturday to attend the wedding in London of Lieut. Richard J Pitt, MBE, RN, to Miss Diana Fay Lovel Mack.

The bridegroom is the eldest son of Col. and Mrs Pitt, who live at Middle Twinhoe Farm, Midford, and his bride is the only daughter of Mr and Mrs Lovel Mack, Massey Lodge, Sandiway, Cheshire.

The bride was on the staff of the Foreign Office during the war. Lieut. Pitt’s MBE was awarded for bravery and skill in damage control in the assault area off the Normandy beaches during the invasion of the Continent. He was serving on a destroyer.

The choral ceremony took place at St George’s, Hanover Square, the Rev F E S Jacomb-Hood, cousin of the bridegroom, officiating, assisted by the vicar.

The bride, who was given in marriage by her father, wore a lovely gown of silver brocade, with a train of white satin trimmed with true lovers’ knots in silver brocade, and white heather. She had fresh white flowers in her hair and carried a bouquet of white spring flowers. Her jewellery consisted of a blue zircon ring, brooch and earrings.

She was attended by two bridesmaids, Miss Susan Clarke (her friend) and Miss Josephine Pitt (only sister of the bridegroom). They wore white velvet dresses, with head wreaths and bouquets of fresh white flowers. Their naval brooches were gifts from the bridegroom.

The best man was Mr Simon Pitt, Welsh Guards (brother of the bridegroom), and among the eight groomsmen were Mr Paul Lovel Mack (brother of the bride), and Mr Robin Pitt (brother of the bridegroom). There was a guard of honour of naval officers outside the church.

The reception was held at Claridge’s, and was attended by 250 guests. Many friends of the bride and her family travelled from Cheshire, and among the Bath party were directors of Stothert and Pitt Ltd, of which Col. Pitt is managing director.

The bride travelled afterwards in a blue frock and fawn tweed coat.

Lieut. and Mrs Pitt are making their home at Petersfield, Hants, where the former is doing a year’s signalling course.

The bride and bridegroom received many beautiful presents. There were gifts, among others, from Mr Lovel Mack’s shipping firm, from the directors of Stothert and Pitt, and from the farm and domestic staffs at Middle Twinhoe.

Elsie Cracknell (1915-1981)

Elsie Cracknell is my 4th cousin 1x removed. Her parents are William Henry Cracknell and Lily Eastwood. Our common ancestors are Anthony Mason and Mary Brayshaw, my 4x great grandparents.

Elsie was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, on 5 May 1915. She never married and passed away in 1981 – her death is registered in the December quarter.

In 1919, at the age of 4, Elsie was involved in a car accident. I found the following newspaper report in the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer of 29 April 1920.

Elsie Cracknell - Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer 29 April 1920.png

A TAXI-CAB’S EXCESSIVE SPEED

CHILD SERIOUSLY INJURED: £100 DAMAGES AWARDED

At Leeds County Court, yesterday, before his Honour, Judge Parfitt, K.C., Frederick Snape, a taxi-cab proprietor, of Wetherby, was the defendant in an action for damages for £100 in respect of injuries suffered by Elsie Cracknell, aged 4, the daughter of a mechanic, living at 8, Bayswater Street, Roundhay Road, Leeds. The child was knocked down in March of last year by a taxi-cab, owned by the defendant, and driven by Charles Henry Patrick, a youth of 18. The child sustained a depressed fracture on the left side of the head, just above the ear, her left arm and leg were injured, and she was an inmate of the Infirmary for two months in consequence. The plaintiff’s case, which was conducted by Mr J A Greene, was that Patrick was driving a taxi from Leeds towards Roundhay at a very rapid pace. Near Spencer Place an outward tramcar was standing, and Patrick, seeing people getting on and off the car, instead of slackening speed, merely sounded his horn, swerved round the tramcar and knocked down the child, who was a little higher up the Roundly Road. Patrick was driving so quickly that after he had knocked the child down his car ran about 20 yards before bring brought to a standstill. This version was bourne out by several witnesses.

Mr T P Perks appeared for the defence, and the driver of the taxi declared that the child rushed out of Spencer Place in front of his car, which he had not time to pull up. He stoutly denied that there was any tramcar near Spencer Place, and said he swerved in order to try and miss the child. He was travelling between 12 and 15 miles an hour.

His Honour held that the car was being driven at an excessive speed under the circumstances, and there would be judgment for the full amount claimed, with costs.

This was before the NHS in the UK – so I wonder what the cost of treatment and two months in the Infirmary would have been.

Sunday’s Obituary – Thomas Cracknell (1896-1942)

Thomas Cracknell is my 3rd cousin 2x removed. His parents are Henry Cracknell and Ann Vickerman. Our common ancestors are Anthony Mason and Mary Brayshaw, my 4x great grandparents.

Thomas was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire on 6 October 1896. He was the youngest of six children born between 1887 and 1896. By the time of the 1911 census four of his siblings had died – only Thomas and his brother William Henry were still alive.

I have no more information about Thomas until he married Norah Milner in Wakefield, West Yorkshire sometime in the December quarter of 1924.

Thomas and Norah had one son – Alan Milner, his birth is registered in Wakefield in the September quarter of 1930. At the time the 1939 Register was taken on 29 September the family were living at Romany, Town Street, Middleton, Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Less than three years later Thomas died on 12 February 1942. Notice of his death was announced in the Yorkshire Evening Post on 14 February.

Thomas Cracknell - YEP 14 Feb 1942.png

CRACKNELL – February 12, at “Romany”, Town Street, Middleton, THOMAS CRACKNELL, Past Provincial Grand Master, Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, Leeds district. Interment Woodhouse Hill Cemetery, Monday, February 16, at 2.30pm. Members are requested to attend.

In his will Thomas left effects valued at £1092 3s 1d to his wife Norah.

The title of Past Provincial Grand Master sounds quite important so I thought I would include a link to information about the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows.