James Dawson

Black Sheep Sunday – Vera Dawson (nee Mills)

Raymond Dawson is my 1st cousin 1x removed. His parents are Harry Dawson and Leah Owen. Our common ancestors are James Dawson and Emma Buckley – my great grandparents.

Raymond was born on 15 November 1923 in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

Sometime in the September quarter of 1952 Raymond married Vera Mills in Nelson, Lancashire.

About six years later Raymond and Vera appeared in The Nelson Leader on Friday 19 September 1958 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Vera Dawson - Nelson Leader 19 September 1958.png

Man Struck by Car “Thrown in Air”

LEARNER DRIVER IS FINED AT NELSON

Because the pavement was overgrown and not fit to walk on at a point in Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, two couples were walking in the roadway at 10.40 p.m. on Saturday, June 28th. The two husbands were walking together and their wives were some distance behind.
Prosecuting at Nelson Magistrate’s Court on Saturday, Superintendent J.A. Lancaster alleged that the man on the outside, Ronald Howarth, a shop manager, of 137 Cleaver Street, Burnley, was struck from behind by a car, “thrown in the air,” and fell on the bonnet striking his head on the windscreen, which was shattered.
The learner driver of the car, Vera Dawson (35), of 2 Oak Villas, Edith Street, Nelson, was find £5 with £5 7s. 5d. costs and had her licence endorsed for driving without due care and attention. Pleading “not guilty,” Mrs. Dawson told the court that she thought she had passed the two men safely. Mr. Howarth suddenly seemed to turn into the car.
Mr. Howarth, who said he was walking close to the pavement on the outside of Mr. John K. Probert, of 246 Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, told how he was struck from behind. “The next thing I remember was picking myself up off the road,” he said. He was taken to Victoria Hospital at Burnley, where he received treatment for lacerations to the back of the head.
Mr. Probert, who also gave evidence, said it was impossible to walk on the pavement on the near side of the road, and that there was no pavement at all on the other side. He saw a bus approaching up the hill towards them, and then the first indication of anything behind them was “a bump – a crash.” Mr. Howarth was carried by the car from five to 10 yards and dropped into the gutter by the side of the road. The car carried on for quite a distance beyond the point where the accident occurred, probably 20 yards.
Both witnesses agreed with Mr. J. Parry (defending) that if they had been obeying the Highway Code they would not have been walking on that side of the road, but pointed out that there was no refuge at all on the opposite side.
Evidence was given by both wives. Mrs. Howarth said that the car had gone round them, but had not pulled out far enough to get round her husband. She could see there was going to be an accident and shouted, but her husband did not hear and he did not move at all.
Mrs. Probert said that Mr. Howarth seemed to be lifted up on the bonnet of the car. She did not hear the car’s horn sound, and saw no reason why the car should not have pulled out.
Inspector T. Lunn told the court that, facing in the direction of Nelson, the nearside footpath at that point was overgrown and that it was not possible to walk on it.
In a statement by the defendant, which was read in court, she said that because an oncoming bus was level with the men she could not swing out very far. As she passed, one of the men seemed to “step out” and she heard breaking glass.
She told the court that she thought she had passed the men safely, and had no recollection of bringing the car nearer the side of the road after passing the ladies. Asked why she had travelled so far after the accident, she said she thought she had touched the accelerator instead of the brake. She had been startled by shattering glass. Mrs. Dawson, who had been learning to drive for three weeks at that time, said she had only taken over control of the car a few yards before the accident, was only in second gear and travelling between five and 10 miles per hour.
A statement by her husband, Mr. Raymond Dawson, who was in the car with her, was also read. In it he said that as the car drew level with the men the outside one “appeared to turn out, pivoting towards us.” In court, he said he thought the car was safely past until the man appeared to half turn and hit the windscreen with his shoulder. He saw no reason to interfere with his wife’s driving until the accident had happened and she put her foot on the accelerator.
On behalf of his client, Mr. Parry submitted that the people walking in the road were not obeying all the rules laid down in the Highway Code and were apparently making no effort to see if there was any traffic coming behind them. He maintained that there was sufficient conflict of evidence to justify the case being dismissed.

 

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Allen Simpson (1923-1943) – Update

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

Allen was killed in action during WW2 and in May 2012 I wrote about him here.

Allen was involved in Operation Slapstick in Italy and was a casualty in the sinking of  HMS Abdiel on 10 September 1943.

Earlier this year I was contacted by Philip after he read my post about Allen.

Philip’s father served in the same regiment as Allen and he survived the sinking of the Abdiel.  Philip was taking a trip to Italy to do some research and very kindly offered to photograph Allens grave in Bari War Cemetery and to place a poppy for me.

I received some fantastic photographs from Philip – see below.

IMG_2311.jpegIMG_2316.jpegIMG_2303.jpeg

I am extremely grateful to Philip – I know he had a wonderful time in Italy and that it was a very moving experience.

I have visited a number of Commonwealth War Grave Commission cemeteries in Northern France and it is just so emotional – the grounds are always immaculate and the atmosphere so peaceful.

Workday Wednesday – Isaac Dawson (1847-1923)

Workday Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

Here’s a way to document your ancestors’ occupations (they weren’t all farmers), transcripts of SS-5s, photos and stories of ancestors at work, announcements of retirements, etc.

Isaac Dawson is my great grand uncle – the brother of my great grandfather James Dawson. He was born sometime towards the end of 1847 in Cowling, West Yorkshire

I have Isaac on all the census returns from 1851 to 1911. He had various occupations over the years:-

1871 – worsted power loom weaver

1881 – general labourer

1891 – assistant bobbin turner

1901 – green grocer / shop keeper

1911 – company housekeeper

Here’s a photograph, courtesy of steeton.net, of Isaac with his green grocers cart sometime around the end of the 19th century or early 20th century.Isaac-Dawson-1024x656.jpg

 

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 – Harry Dawson (1895-1954)

Harry Dawson is my great uncle – he was my grandfather’s brother.  He was born on 25 March 1895 in Keighley, West Yorkshire, to parents James Dawson and Emma Buckley.

I recently found Harry’s naval records on The National Archives website – before then I had no idea at all that he had served in the navy during WW1.

This is my first attempt at interpreting naval records so I am not very confident at deciphering the information.

It looks like Harry signed up on 24 June 1914 for  five years service.  Until 22 October 1914 he served on / at Victory II.  From the research I have done I understand Victory II was the Crystal Palace / Sydenham training base.

His next posting was to the Lion class battlecruiser HMS Princess Royal on 23 October 1914.  Harry served on this ship until 31 May 1919.  This means that he would have fought in some of the major sea battles of the time – Battle of Dogger Bank and Battle of Jutland.

HMS Princess Royal (courtesy of Wikipedia)

From 1 June 1919 to 24 June 1919 he served on the Edgar cruiser HMS Crescent.  He was then back to Victory II until he was ‘demobbed’ on 26 July 1919.

When ‘demobbed’ Harry was transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve.

His service record shows that he then served between 12 April 1921 to 7 June 1921 at Victory II.

Harry Dawson - Navy Record

On this day … 20th August

1779 … Sarah Kighley was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire to parents George Kighley and Ann Edmundson.  She is my 4x great grand aunt.

1857 … George Musgrove was and died in Blackburn, Lancashire.  His parents were John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth.  He is my great grand uncle.

1952 … James Dawson died in Keighley, West Yorkshire.  He is my grand uncle.