Ellen Paley

Tombstone Tuesday – Jim Hurtley (1886-1947) and Jessie Evangeline Hurtley (1885-1969)

Jim Hurtley is my grand uncle – in other words a brother of my grandmother. His parents are James Hurtley and Ellen Paley (my great grandparents).

I previously wrote about Jim’s service in WW1 here.

Jim was born on Boxing Day 1886 in Flasby, Yorkshire. He was the second child of James and Ellen and their first son.

Jessie Evangeline Leeming was born on 12 October 1885 in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Her parents are William Roger Leeming and Sarah Jane Thompson. As far as I can establish she was the second of nine children and the first daughter.

On 28 March 1910 Jim and Jessie married at St. John’s church, Cononley, Yorkshire. Over the next 14 years they had three children.

I recently visited St. John’s church in Cononley and photographed the headstone at the grave of Jim and Jessie.

Jim died on 4 December 1947 and Jessie on 11 July 1969.

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Sunday’s Obituary – Sophia Paley (1861-1947)

Sophia Paley is my great grand aunt – in other words the sister of my great grandmother Ellen Paley.

Sophia was born on 31 July 1861 and baptised on 25 August 1861 in Rylstone, Yorkshire.

I haven’t been able to find Sophia on the 1871 census – she is certainly not at home with her parents. And I have checked the census returns for her grandparents and she is not there either.

In 1881 she is a domestic housemaid servant for a County Magistrate and cotton manufacturer in Skipton, Yorkshire.

By 1891 Sophia had moved south to Bromley in Kent, still working as a domestic housemaid servant – this time for a barrister. She remained in Bromley at least until the next census in 1901 when she was a parlour maid for a retired dealer in stocks and shares.

At some point over the next ten years Sophia had presumably earned sufficient money to leave domestic service. She had moved to Colne in Lancashire and was living in her own home. Her occupation is given as house keeper – own account. So I’m thinking she is maybe running a bed & breakfast type establishment – she has one person staying with her at the time.

Finally Sophia appears in the 1939 Register at Craven Cottage, Keighley Road, Colne and her occupation is described as occasional nursing.

Sophia passed away on 13 March 1947 at 2 Mayfield Avenue, Halifax, West Yorkshire. In her will she left effects totalling £647 18s 4d to Ernest Pearson, a solicitors managing clerk and Walter Pickles, a cotton manufacturer.

In the Barnoldswick & Earby Times of 11 April 1947 the following advert appears for the sale by auction of all Sophia’s household items.

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CRAVEN COTTAGE                                           OFF KEIGHLEY ROAD, COLNE                 (Heifer Lane Bus Stop)

Fred Smith, Auctioneer and Valuer, instructed by Executors of Miss Sophia Paley, will sell by Auction, at CRAVEN COTTAGE, COLNE, on SATURDAY, APRIL 12th, 1947: One Oak Dining Room Suite in green velvet, one Mahogany Drawing Room Suite in old gold figured velvet, one Inlaid walnut Bedroom Suite, one Maple Bedroom Suite, wardrobe and linen cupboard combined, full-length dressing mirror and commode; one Oak Gateleg Table, one Oak Antique Table, one Card Table, one Occasional Chair, one Mahogany Rocking Chair, one Antique Mahogany Table, one Inlaid Walnut Bedroom Suite, one Stand Table, one Walnut Fire Screen, one 4ft 6in Oak Bedstead, Spring Mattress and Hair Overlay, one Mahogany Plant Stand, one Maple Bedroom Table, one 4×3 Tapestry Carpet, one 4×3 Axminster Carpet, one 3×21/2 Axminster Carpet, one 3×3 tapestry Carpet, 2 Axminster Rugs, 12yds Wilton Stair Carpet, one Chrome-plated Carpet Sweeper, one Kitchen Leaf Table, one Onward Gas Oven, two Stools, one Night Commode, one China Tea Service (40 pieces), half Tuscan China Tea service (21 pieces), 15 Antique Tureens, Vases, Plates and Ornaments (Willow pattern), one part Dinner Service, one part Tea Service and various Cups, plates, Jugs, Pans and other Kitchen Utensils, Bed Linen, Sheets, Towels, Table Cloths and Window Curtains.

Sale at 1 o’clock.

The Auctioneer wishes to call your attention to this sale of very good Household Furniture.

Intending purchasers are requested to produce their Identity Cards.

View today (Friday, 2 to 4pm.

Fred Smith, Auctioneer & Valuer, Church Street Sale Rooms 9opposite Church), Colne.

A life sold by auction!

Military Monday – Curtis Walker (1918-1942)

Curtis Walker was born about 1918 – his birth is registered in Skipton, Yorkshire, in the first quarter of 1919. His parents are Curtis Walker and Annie Paley. Our common ancestor is Ellen Paley, my great grandmother.

Curtis doesn’t appear in the 1939 Register, I guess this may be because he was already away serving in the military,

So the next record I have for Curtis is a marriage to Florence Mabel Newhouse sometime in the December quarter of 1940, registered in Skipton.

Curtis served in the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) as a driver in WW2 – his service number was T/113820.

According to the records on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website Curtis died on 14 November 1942 while attached to the HQ 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

Curtis is commemorated at the Alamein Memorial in Egypt.

The following information is taken from the CWGC website.

The Alamein Memorial forms the entrance to the El Alamein War Cemetery in Egypt. The memorial commemorates nearly 12,000 servicemen of the British Empire who died in the Western Desert campaigns of the Second World War including the Battle of El Alamein.

The Battle of El Alamein marked the culmination of the North African campaign between Commonwealth forces and the Axis forces (German and Italian). The Allies, led by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, pinned their hopes on their new defensive position near the coastal railway station of El Alamein.

The campaign in the Western Desert was fought between the Commonwealth forces (with, later, the addition of two brigades of Free French and one each of Polish and Greek troops) all based in Egypt, and the Axis forces (German and Italian) based in Libya. The battlefield, across which the fighting surged back and forth between 1940 and 1942, was the 1,000 kilometres of desert between Alexandria in Egypt and Benghazi in Libya.

For both sides the objective was the control of the Mediterranean, the link with the East through the Suez Canal, the Middle East oil supplies and the supply route to Russia through Persia.

Panels of the memorial commemorate different areas of service and the location. The Land Forces panels commemorate more than 8,500 soldiers of the Commonwealth who died in the campaigns in Egypt and Libya, and in the operations of the Eighth Army in Tunisia up to 19 February 1943, who have no known grave. It also commemorates those who served and died in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Persia.

The Air Forces panels commemorate more than 3,000 airmen of the Commonwealth who died in the campaigns in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Greece, Crete and the Aegean, Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Somalilands, the Sudan, East Africa, Aden and Madagascar, who have no known grave. Those who served with the Rhodesian and South African Air Training Scheme and have no known grave are also commemorated here.

The memorial was designed by Sir Hubert Worthington. Sir Hubert was Principal Architect for North Africa for the Commission. His work required accepting the special demands of the terrain and climate of the regions. For example, a desert site such as El Alamein needed high walls to keep out drifting sand and water was needed for plants.

Alamein Memorial takes the form of a cloister which forms the northern boundary of the cemetery and the principal entrance to it. The name panels are of Portland stone and the cloisters are of limestone. At each side of the forecourt broad flights of steps lead to the flat roof of the memorial, from which there is a view of the cemetery, the surrounding desert and to the north, the sea.

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El-Alamein War Cemetery

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

Tombstone Tuesday – James and Mary Ann Paley

James Paley and Mary Ann Paley (nee Spink) are my 2x great grandparents. They’ve only had very brief mentions in my blog up until now. So having recently found their gravestone at St Peter’s church in Rylstone, North Yorkshire it’s time to write about them.

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James Paley

James was born c1828 to parents William Paley and Mary Blackey. He was baptised on 23 March 1828 at Linton in Craven, Yorkshire.

James Paley - Baptism.jpg

As far as I have been able to establish James was the third of at least six children – his siblings were:-

Thomas – baptised 20 June 1824
Mary – baptised 25 December 1825
William – baptised 11 April 1830
Francis – baptised 1 February 1835
John – baptised 2 May 1841

I have James on the 1841 census at Threshfield, Yorkshire and in 1851 at Drebley (about 5 miles from his home) living and working as a “farm labourer”

Mary Ann Spink

Mary Ann was born 20 June 1832 to parents John Spink and Sophia Shuttleworth Kitching. She was baptised 4 days later at Conistone, Yorkshire.

Mary Ann Spink - Baptism.jpg

Mary Ann was the first of at least seven children – her siblings were:-

Ellen – baptised 19 March 1834
James – baptised 1 May 1836
Joseph – born 11 March 1838 and baptised 15 March 1838
Sophia – baptised 8 September 1839
John – baptised 5 June 1841 and died early 1842
John – baptised 6 August 1843

I have Mary Ann in the 1841 census at home and in 1851 living and working in Keighley, West Yorkshire as a “servant”.

And that is where I thought I was going to move on and tell you about James and Mary Ann after they married. However, sometimes when you look at the records afresh you spot things you might have previously missed.

Searching the “Spink” baptisms in Conistone for this blog post I noticed one for Annie Elizabeth Spink on 18 June 1852. The baptism record shows the mother as Mary Anne Spink (spinster). Could it be that my Mary Ann became pregnant while living in Keighley and returned home to have her baby?

Annie Elizabeth Spink - Baptism.png

Looking again at the 1861 census for John and Sophia Spink (Mary Ann’s parents) there is Ann Elizabeth Spink listed as “granddaughter”. I’m sure that I would have spotted that before but for some reason didn’t try to find out who the parents were – well now I know!! More research required about Annie Elizabeth I think.

Ok – back to James and Mary Ann. They married on 11 April 1857 at Conistone.

James Paley & Mary Ann Spink - MC.png

Over the next eighteen years they had at least ten children:-

John – born 1857 and died 1858
Ellen – born 2 December 1858 (my great grandmother)
Mary – born 2 December 1858
Sophia – baptised 25 August 1861
James – born 20 January 1864
Margaret Ann – baptised 22 October 1865
William Thomas – born 21 October 1867
Martha Jane – born 24 January 1870
Betsy – born 19 December 1871
Francis – born and died 1875

I have James and Mary Ann on all the census returns from 1861 to 1901. James is variously described as a farmer, road contractor or general labourer. For all of their married life they lived in the village of Hetton in the Yorkshire Dales.

James died of bronchitis on 16 April 1903 – five days after their 47th wedding anniversary. He was 75 years of age.

Mary Ann lived for a further four months and died of angina on 18 August 1903 at the age of 71. In her will she left effects valued at £451 6s 2d to her son James.

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Sunday’s Obituary – Ellen Hurtley (1858-1934)

My great grandmother Ellen Hurtley (nee Paley) died on this day in 1934 at the age of 75.

Ellen is one of my ancestors with missing information because I can’t find a registered birth for her. I know from census returns and from her death certificate that she was born about 1859. I have searched the GRO records both online and on microfiche at Leeds Library. I am fairly confident that there is no birth registered [UPDATED].  Well what do I know!!  One of my regular readers, Richard Thornton, has emailed me with details of a birth registered in Skipton Q3 1858 for Ellen Saley – I’ll be ordering the certificate today.

Ellen’s parents were James Paley and Mary Anne Spink. They had at least six other children and I have been able to find registered births for five of those children. The other missing birth is for Mary Paley.

Thankfully I made a breakthrough recently!!!

I discovered a baptism record for Ellen Paley and Mary Paley on 3 December 1858 at Conistone in the Yorkshire Dales. Ellen and Mary were twins.

Ellen & Mary Paley Baptism - Burnsall 1858

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been able to find Ellen on all the census returns from 1861 to 1911. She was at home with her parents in 1861 and 1871. Then in 1881 she was working as a “domestic servant” at 4 Water Street, Skipton for Margaret Cooper (widow).

Ellen married James Hurtley on 5 February 1885 in the parish church at Rilstone, near Skipton. They were living in Flasby at the time of the 1891 census then in Silsden (1901) and finally Cononley in 1911.

James and Ellen had at least seven children:-

Rhoda – Abt December 1885
Jim – Abt March 1887
Jessie – Abt June 1889
Maggie – Abt March 1892
Nellie – 9 September 1894
Tom – Abt September 1897
Alice – 29 October 1900 (my grandmother)

It also seems that Ellen had a daughter before she married James Hurtley – Annie Paley (birth registered September1881). I haven’t yet obtained a birth certificate for Annie so haven’t been able to confirm whether or not a father is shown.

Ellen’s death certificate shows that she died at home – 58 Main Street, Cononley and that her daughter Jessie Brown was present at death.

Below is a photograph of Ellen Hurtley (nee Paley) and my grandmother Alice Dawson (nee Hurtley).

Ellen Hurtley & Alice Dawson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Military Monday – Tom Hurtley (1897-1977)

Tom Hurtley is my great uncle – my grandmother’s brother.  His birth is registered in the September quarter of 1897 and he is the sixth of seven children born to James Hurtley and Ellen Paley.

I have been lucky enough to find what remains of Tom’s WW1 service records on www.ancestry.co.uk but sadly the quality of them is not very good.

Tom enlisted in February 1916 and in August he was appointed to the West Riding Regiment.  His service number was 203517.  Occupation at the time of enlisting is shown as ‘cowman’ – he worked on his father’s farm at Town Head, Cononley, West Yorkshire.

The ‘medical history sheet’ shows that he was examined in Halifax, West Yorkshire on 19 August 1916.  He is said to be 5 feet 5.5 inches tall and weighing 117lbs.  His physical development is described as good.

According to the ‘military history sheet’ Tom was at home from 19 August 1916 to 13 December 1916.

He embarked on 14 December 1916 heading to France.  The next piece of information I can find is that Tom appears to have been awarded the Military Medal for ‘bravery on the field’ – the date looks to be 4 October 1918 – see what you think below.

The extract above also shows that he was wounded on 11 October 1918.

Tom was finally ‘demobbed’ on 26 October 1919.  However, like many of his comrades he was retained in 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 Ada Binns sometime in the September quarter of 1922.  They had one daughter, Ellen, born in 1923.

I remember as a young boy visiting relatives in Cononley with my parents in the early 1960’s and can recall meeting Tom and Ada.  Little did I realise at the time how much there was to admire about Tom and his bravery.

Tom died in 1977 aged about 80.

Military Medal