Joseph Booth Espley

Sunday’s Obituary – John Espley (1869-1945)

John Espley is my wife’s 1st cousin 2x removed. His parents are Joseph Booth Espley and Christiana Boyle. Their common ancestor is Martha Espley – my wife’s 2x great grandmother.

John was born on 5 May 1869 in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

In the 1891 census John was with his uncle & aunt Frederick Espley and Frances Espley in Biddulph, Staffordshire. He was working as an iron turner. By the time of the following census in 1901 John was living in Burnley, Lancashire working as a builders labourer.

On 7 December 1901 John married Sarah Booth at St Matthew the Apostle church, Habergham Eaves, Lancashire.

Sarah was a young widow of 25. Her maiden name was Sarah Baines Turner. She had married Samuel Booth in the first quarter of 1897 in Burnley. Samuel died three years later. This left Sarah on her own with three children under three years old – Betty, Jane and Samuel.

By the time of the 1911 census John and Sarah had six children of their own but sadly two died in infancy. By now John was working in the water department of the Burnley Borough Council.

John was a conscientious employee for the water department and eventually retired from there in 1934. The Burnley Express of Saturday 5 May 1934 reported on his retirement (images from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

John Espley - Burnley Express 5 May 1934.png

THIRTY-THREE YEARS WITH WATER DEPARTMENT

After completing 33 years service with the Burnley Corporation Water Department, Mr. John Espley, of 14 Hawk Street, enters into a well-earned retirement today. Mr. Espley, who is 65 years of age, has served under three managers, and for over 20 years has been a foreman with the department.
He holds the proud record of never having been late for 32 years. One day, when he had been with the department about 12 months, he arrived five minutes late and was sent home for three days. He has never been late since! Mr. Espley is interested in gardening, with which he occupies much of his spare time.

John’s retirement lasted for eleven years before he died on 4 June 1945. He was buried three days later in Burnley cemetery.

The Burnley Express reported on his death on Saturday 9 June 1945.

John Espley - Burnley Express 9 June 1945.png

MR. JOHN ESPLEY

The death of Mr. John Espley (76) took place at his home, 81 Albert Street, Burnley, on Monday, after a short illness. Mr. Espley, a well-known Fulledge resident, was employed by the Burnley Corporation Water Department for about 33 years, being a foreman for about 20 years. He retired about 11 years ago. The funeral took place at the Burnley Cemetery on Thursday, preceded by a service in the Latter Day Saints’ Chapel, Rosegrove, with which he was connected. Elder John R. Moore and Elder W. Duckworth officiated. Arrangements: Mr. Joseph Harling, 29 Yorkshire Street.

Sarah lived for a further 13 months – she was buried on 29 July 1946 in Burnley Cemetery.

Military Monday – Richard Espley (1875-1915)

Richard is my wife’s 1st cousin 2x removed. His parents are Joseph Booth Espley and Christina Boyle. The common ancestor of my wife and Richard is Martha Espley, my wife’s 2x great grandmother.

Richard was born on 13 June 1875 in Macclesfield, Cheshire. He married Edith Elizabeth Wardle sometime in the December quarter of 1895.

Between getting married and the 1911 census Richard and Edith had nine children. Sadly three of their children died young and there were six living and shown on the census:-

Winifred May – born 3 April 1897
Annie – born c June 1900
Edith – born c September 1901
Frederick – born c September 1905
Horace – born c March 1909
Gertrude – born 15 October 1910

I haven’t been able to find any remaining military records on http://www.ancestry.co.uk or Find My Past. However I can piece together information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website – http://www.cwgc.org and from http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk

Richard was a Private in the Cheshire Regiment and served in the 2nd Battalion. His service number was 11961.

I know that Richard was killed in action on 15 August 1915 and died from wounds.

Richard is buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension in Nord, France. He is also commemorated on the Congleton War Memorial in Cheshire.

Congleton War Memorial

Congleton War Memorial

The information below is taken from the CWGC website.

Bailleul is a large town in France, near the Belgian border, 14.5 Kms south-west of Ieper and on the main road from St. Omer to Lille.



Bailleul was occupied on 14 October 1914 by the 19th Brigade and the 4th Division. It became an important railhead, air depot and hospital centre, with the 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 11th, 53rd, 1st Canadian and 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Stations quartered in it for considerable periods. It was a Corps headquarters until July 1917, when it was severely bombed and shelled, and after the Battle of Bailleul (13-15 April 1918), it fell into German hands and was not retaken until 30 August 1918.



The earliest Commonwealth burials at Bailleul were made at the east end of the communal cemetery and in April 1915, when the space available had been filled, the extension was opened on the east side of the cemetery. The extension was used until April 1918, and again in September, and after the Armistice graves were brought in from the neighbouring battlefields and the following burial grounds:-



PONT-DE-NIEPPE GERMAN CEMETERY, on the South side of the hamlet of Pont-de-Nieppe, made in the summer of 1918. It contained German graves (now removed) and those of a soldier and an airman from the United Kingdom.



RENINGHELST CHINESE CEMETERY, in a field a little South of the Poperinghe-Brandhoek road, where 30 men of the Chinese Labour Corps were buried in November 1917-March 1918.



BAILLEUL COMMUNAL CEMETERY contains 610 Commonwealth burials of the First World War; 17 of the graves were destroyed by shell fire and are represented by special memorials.



BAILLEUL COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION contains 4,403 Commonwealth burials of the First World War; 11 of the graves made in April 1918 were destroyed by shell fire and are represented by special memorials. There are also 17 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War and 154 German burials from both wars.



In the centre of the town is a stone obelisk erected by the 25th Division as their Memorial on the Western front, recalling particularly the beginning of their war service at Bailleul and their part in the Battle of Messines. The town War Memorial, a copy of the ruined tower and belfry of the Church of St. Vaast, was unveiled in 1925 by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, the City which had “adopted” Bailleul.

Bailleul Communal Cemetery

Bailleul Communal Cemetery