Friday, 29 November 2013

Discovering More War Memorials - and more people who care! Jump, Bolton on Dearne and Hood Green

Yesterday at Barnsley Archives I met and chatted to two people who are also very interested in recording and preserving the information on our local war memorials.  One was a lady whom I've seen there many times, working hard transcribing and indexing for the Archives as a volunteer, the other a gentleman whom I've not talked to before.

A tall white stone obelisk war memorial, with green hedges behind.
The Jump & Hemingfield War Memorial
(photo from BWM - WW2)

Jump and Hemingfield War Memorial is located on the edge of the cemetery on Cemetery Road in Jump.  SP has researched nearly all of the names on the memorial and is hoping to deposit her work in the Barnsley Archives in due course.  Anyone who has an ancestor on the memorial is welcome to contact SP to find out more.  There is a page for this memorial with a list of names and her contact information on the new Barnsley War Memorials Project.  The page also includes links to the memorials listings on other sites.  This memorial lists 54 names from the First World War and 21 from the Second World War. 

Later I was handed a little booklet entitled "Barnsley and District War Memorials Calendar Book 2014".  This has been produced by the Dearne Memorial Group to raise funds for the Dearne Renaissance Centre.  The Dearne Memorial Group has indexed all of the cemeteries in the Barnsley area and made the records easily searchable online with results available for a very small fee.  If you don't know where your ancestors were buried I would recommend a visit to this site.  Remember it includes cemeteries, not churchyards, but there again most churchyards filled up pretty quickly in the 19th century so ancestors who died after about 1860 are quite likely to be on here.

Bolton upon Dearne has two existing War Memorials, one in the church and one in a school playground.  This second memorial was recently featured in the Barnsley Chronicle, as it is under threat because the area is to be redeveloped now the school has relocated.  It lists just 45 names, men who had been pupils at the Bolton upon Dearne Board School who lost their lives in the First World War.  It is a wonderfully different design, looking like an inglenook fireplace, the names of the men are listed on the beam above the opening.  I will have put the pictures and links I have found for it onto a page on the Barnsley War Memorials Project - with all due thanks to the Barnsley Chronicle, the Dearne Memorial Group and the Mexborough and District Heritage Society (incidentally their site has a brilliant list and photos of all the memorials in their area).
Close up of the Bolton upon Dearne Old School Memorial
(from Mexborough and District Heritage Society's site)

The gentleman who had brought in the booklets, PF, told me all about their most recent project - to raise funds to erect a new memorial to the fallen men and women of Bolton Upon Dearne, Goldthorpe and Highgate which will be placed in Bolton upon Dearne Cemetery.  They have already collected nearly 300 names from the First, Second and Falklands wars.  They do need more donations, which can be made to The Dearne Towns War Memorial Appeal - contact Peter Shields or go to the Dearne Memorials site to make a donation online.

Finally, as I browsed through the little booklet (I've sent you a donation PF and PS!) I found a picture of a memorial that had not appeared on any of my lists up to now. 
Hood Green War Memorial on Google Maps

Funnily enough the OH and I passed through Hood Green on one of our drives around Barnsley to photograph pubs and war memorials only a couple of weeks ago, but as I hadn't known about this one I have no actual photograph of my own yet. The above is from Google Streetview - but of course it's not clear enough to make out the names!  As far as I can make out from the picture in the Dearne Memorials calendar there are between 15 and 20 names on this memorial - which, when you consider how small Hood Green is, is quite shocking. I look forward to the next time the OH and I are out and about - I know where we are going!

Yesterday was a very interesting day and it was lovely to meet other people who are as keen as myself, JA and GB to preserve and record these memorials.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Mysterious Worsborough Heroes - Barnsley Chronicle 6th November 1920

In gothic font - The Barnsley Chronicle and underneath "and Penistone, Mexbro' Wath and Hoyland Journal
Header from Barnsley Chronicle early 20th century (from Barnsley Archives)
As I work my way through the digitised Barnsley Chronicle in Barnsley Archives looking for mentions of war memorials in the post First World War years the story of the commemoration of the men of Barnsley gets more and more complex.
I have already mentioned that some villages erected their memorials much quicker than others, and in some places there was a lot of discussion about the proper form of such memorials.  Last week I found a mention of a plaque in Worsborough Parish Church which was unveiled on 31st October 1920.  I copied the cutting because it included a list of names, any list of names is like gold to a family and local historian, no matter what the context!

It's the first one I have looked at this evening and it has given me a new mystery.  Now it is possible that someone who attends the Worsbrough church(es) may well be able to help me out with this straight away, but getting in churches isn't the easiest thing these days so I would appreciate any help.

Barnsley Chronicle 6 Nov 1920 (from Barnsley Archives)
There was an extra 'o' in Worsbrough until about 50 years ago when it was officially dropped, so both spellings are right and although mostly I see Worsbro' with the apostrophe at the end in hand written sources, it also appears in this newspaper cutting.

The piece mentions that the memorial is a "mural tablet" and that it's in the interior of the church.  I have photos of the  combined war memorial at Worsbrough St Thomas's and there is a transcription on the Worsbrough Local History Society's website.

This plaque appears to be an additional memorial, erected earlier than the war memorial in the churchyard which was unveiled on 24 December 1924 according to the Worsbrough Local History Society's page.
War memorial outside St Thomas's church,
Worsbrough Dale

I don't have a problem with there being two memorials, although the plaque does not appear on the Imperial War Museum (IWM) War Memorial Archive, whereas there is an entry for the war memorial itself.   I imagine the local people wanted to make the memorial more accessible and impressive and suitable for Remembrance Day wreath laying and so on.  Maybe they received further donations after the plaque was unveiled and so decided to erect the memorial as well.  Further investigations in the newspapers may help with this.

No, my problem is that some of the names in the newspaper piece are of men who are not on the memorial.  Given that the memorial is the later of the two I would have expected it to be the other way around, with additional names on the memorial, maybe of men who died of wounds after 1920 or whose families came forward with their names too late to be included on the plaque.

There are 46 names listed in the newspaper cutting and 112 on the memorial.  But only five of the names in the cutting are on the memorial!

Capt W Elmhirst,
Pte F Abrahams,
Pte J H Rodgers
Lieut E C Elmhirst
Pte W Rodgers

Forty-one of the names listed as being on the plaque in the church do not appear on the memorial.  This is very odd. 

York and Lancs: Capt G A G Hewitt, Sergt G Aimer, Sergt J T Draisy, L/Cpl W Rushworth, L/Cpl W H Whitehead, Pte O Sanderson, Pte A Naylor, Pte G Weldrick, Pte J A Walton, Pte J H T Skelton,  Pte W Booth, Pte L Bassender, Pte F Burkinshaw, Pte J Booth, Pte E Jackson.
Duke of Wellington’s:  Pte J Hargate, Pte R E Burkinshaw.
Notts and Derby: Pte F Waller
South Staffords: Pte H Waller
KOYLI: Pte J Richardson, Pte S J Mayes
Royal Fusiliers: L/Cpl E Fripp
Grenadier Guards: Tpr J Hayhurst
Royal West Kents: Pte H A Young
Durham Light Infantry: Pte J Carr
Coldstream Guards: L/Cpl T Spencer,  Pte G W Kellett
RAMC: Pte C D Thorpe, Pte N Skelton
Motor Transport (ASC): Cpl A Utley
Royal Engineers: Cpl J Gallagher, Spr L Smith
Manchesters: Pte F W Bartle
Northumberland Fusiliers: Sergt E B Moody, MM
Royal Artillery: Dvr J A Butcher
Connaught Rangers: Pte T Goodyear
Oxford and Bucks LI: Pte T Higgins
Lancs Fusiliers: Pte W F Bromich
Border Regiment: Pte T Clark
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve: A/B E T Carrington
Yorks Dragoons: Pte C Armitage

I know there are several churches in Worsbrough, so maybe these men appear on another memorial.  After all the newspaper cutting doesn't actually say which church the Parish Church is.  It could be St Mary's in Worsbrough Village.  But if that is the case why do five of them appear on the memorial at Worsbrough Dale?
1917 face of the memorial at St Luke's
church, Worsbrough Common

I have photos of the memorial at St Luke's church in Worsbrough Common.  Two of the names from the newspaper cutting are on that memorial.

Yorks Dragoons: Pte C Armitage
York and Lancs: Capt G A G Hewitt

But that still leaves thirty-eight men somewhere else maybe?

I'm confused.

I've tried looking  a couple of the names up on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site.  GW Kellett was from Birdwell and RE Burkinshaw is actually buried in St Mary's churchyard in Worsbrough.  J Hayhurst is also from Birdwell as is O Sanderson - is this a pattern?  Should I be looking for another memorial in Birdwell or in Worsbrough Village somewhere?

Some of the names don't even appear on the CWGC.  Aimer and Draisy and Bassender for example, I didn't search the whole list - have they been misspelt in the newspaper article?

Can anyone help me?

Launching the new Barnsley War Memorials Project

Barnsley Town Hall and War Memorial
I've been a bit busy these last few days launching a new newsletter and index blog for the Barnsley War Memorials Project.

Myself and a few other people were concerned that research of memorials in Barnsley might be getting duplicated, whilst research done by individuals on their own special or local memorial isn't being recognised or isn't available to other researchers.

We had our first meeting last week and there was support for the idea of providing a centralised index of all the Fallen of Barnsley in one place, in paper based folders in Barnsley Archives and Online. This wiil cover the whole of Barnsley linking to information already available and indicating areas still to be studied.

I have been researching War Memorials for the last couple of months for my own pleasure, it's an excuse to get the OH to drive me around to various churches while he takes pictures of pubs for Barnsley CAMRA's magazine.  Plus, whenever the weather is nice I take a wander up the road to Cudworth cemetery and photograph a few more gravestones up there, many of which are turning out to be technically war memorials, by the Imperial War Museum's definition, which is an inscription remembering someone who isn't actually buried on that site.

I wrote a post explaining the different sorts of War Memorials here.

We are hoping to have another meeting in January and anyone who is interested in contributing is welcome.  Please check the Barnsley War Memorials Project news page nearer the time for details.

Friday, 22 November 2013

It's all in a phrase ... "Work Related Activity"

So here's the decision, it landed on my doormat a few hours ago.

Officially for the next eighteen months the DWP have deemed that I "have limited capability for work" and my claim for Employment Support Allowance or National Insurance credits will continue.

But before you start to pat me on the back agreeing that someone has seen sense and realised that Crohn's Disease and Fibromyalgia and the associated side effects (which are similar to Chronic Fatigue or ME) mean that I just can't hold down a regular job  - just before you think there's justice in the world - you have to read the next paragraph too.
A picture of the letter telling me I have been put in the WRAG again
The decision - it's complicated!

There's a machine printed tick in the box before the heading "Work Related Activity Group".

The judgement is "you do not have limited capability for work related activity and you have been placed in the work related activity group", that's the WRAG.  Get used to that acronym I'll be using it a lot for the next year or so.

Let's review that:
I have limited capability to work .... but I do NOT have limited capability for work related activity.

The DWP and ATOS accept that I can't work at a regular job, BUT in their eyes I am fit enough to take part in some work related activity that they will decide. 

Sorry, but did I misunderstand?  I'm not fit for work! you said so! and yet you are expecting me to attend the Job Centre, waste the time of some poor 'specialist personal advisor' and undertake goodness knows what other kind of 'relevant activity' you might throw in my direction.  Note to DWP - I have been ill since 2003, my last day in full time work was in 2009, I have had nothing but doctors' appointments, consultants appointments and tests and test and tests ever since and I am not going to get any better!  Recently I had another colonoscopy and a gastroscopy and a CT scan and none of them were good news - it wasn't 'the end of the world' but it wasn't a New Dawn either.  I will be ill like this for ever!

My friends have just been suggesting on Facebook that I look into part time teaching or some other self employment - I am trying to establish myself as a Local History speaker, but somehow I think that the four, expenses only, bookings I have got so far for 2014 aren't going to do any more than start to repay the OH for the nice shiny leaflets he had printed for me.  I can't commit to teaching, I tried that, I can't guarantee to turn up to a regular session, I will inevitably fall foul of something or other and end up spending a week in bed and another couple of weeks being dodgy, just like I did last month and I'm only just coming out of it now. 

If I don't participate in the activities the DWP specify it "may affect your Employment and Support Allowance".  That's my NI credits actually, I haven't had any ESA for over eighteen months as the OH (my other half) works full time.  So presumably if I'm ill on one of the days I have to go and be 'active' that will count against me rather than prove that I'm actually too ill to work - oh, dear it's all a bit too complicated and circular.

What if I give it all up  and don't bother to attend? - I probably have enough NI credits for my pension by now - I will completely fall off their statistics and they'll be able to crow about another scrounger who has been found to be claiming a benefit they weren't entitled to.

Errm ... I'll just reiterate - YOU  - the DWP - have just agreed AGAIN I have 'limited capability for work'.  Why do I have to keep proving it?

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Population of Cudworth, Yorkshire, and its Growth over Time

Today at the Cudworth Local History and Heritage Group I wrote up on the whiteboard a set of population figures for the village from 1801 to 1931, I hoped this would provoke some discussion and indeed it did, though not necessarily all of the kind I wanted!

Table showing Population of Cudworth, Yorkshire

The CLHG recently joined the Society for One Place Studies and I needed the data above to start to prepare our 'In Depth' submission to the website.  Data for all the towns and villages in Britain and Ireland can be obtained from the Online Historical Population Reports website along with lots and lots of other interesting information.

I asked the CLHG members what they thought was the reason for the dramatic increases in the population of the village between 1871 and 1881 (58% increase), then again between 1891 and 1901 (219% increase) and finally between 1901 and 1911 (100% increase).  The consensus was the timing of the opening of local pits (collieries).  Although Cudworth never had a pit sufficiently on the door step to be named after the village it was, by the end of the 19th century, surrounded by coal mines.  There had always been some mining in the area, small bell pits or little drift mines, but the 19th century pits were the real deal, employing hundreds of men and attracting incomers from all over the country when they opened and expanded.
Pits around Cudworth (based on 1928 map from NLS Bartholomew's Maps)

Please bear in mind that I am not from Cudworth or even Barnsley so I do apologise in advance if what follows is inaccurate - I am sure of the dates, but when the pits grew, closed, took over others and so on is very complex and the motivation behind the choice of home village for the miners is something we may never know!

I used The South Yorkshire Coalfield by Alan Hill for reference.  This gives information about just about every pit in the area, but I did find it complicated to find information in as it was arranged chronologically in chunks and there was a separate chapter on the colliery companies which confused me for a while as many of them have the same names as the pits. 

So in timeline order near to Cudworth we have: Monk Bretton sunk in 1867 and probably expanded in the 1880s  as that is when the miners' cottages at Day's Croft were built. There's a map snip with the colliery and the cottages on my previous post.  I have seen families in the Cudworth census returns that started off in living in Monk Bretton and then moved to Cudworth - maybe as nicer, larger houses were built there at the turn of the century.  Monk Bretton closed in 1968.

Over beyond Carlton was Wharncliffe Woodmoor Colliery - this was opened earlier a bit earlier than Carlton, but is further away than both Monk Bretton and Carlton, nearer three miles to walk in the early pre-public transport days.  It was a huge complex of pits though and did not close until the 1970s.

Then came Carlton, the pit nearest to Cudworth I think.  This opened in 1872 but was worked out by 1909.  The company bought other pits nearby: Frickley, Brierley, Ferrymoor  and Grimethorpe.
Carlton Main Colliery on a 1906 map (from Old Maps)

Look at the long row of houses to the left of the colliery, not a great deal of imagination went into laying them out I'm afraid.  Apparently they were not demolished until the 1970s after the Wharncliffe Woodmoor pits closed, but the colliery buildings appear to have been converted into coke works according to the old maps.  There were new houses built in Upper Cudworth on Sidcop in 1876 which may have housed miners working at this pit.
Monckton Main Colliery near Royston in 1894 (from Old Maps)

In 1875 Monckton Colliery opened one mile east of Royston railway station, to the north of Cudworth and beyond Carlton.  A new company, handily called New Monckton Collieries Ltd took over this pit in 1901 and became a very large concern opening several more shafts to extend the workings.  If you click on the map above it will open up in a larger window, and you will be able to see the various rows of pit houses, Jubilee Terrace and Monckton Row.  I would have thought this was a long way for the miners to go to get to work from Cudworth, but members of the CLHG assure me local men worked there, in later years travelling on special works buses.  These collieries came to a close in 1966 for "economic reasons" rather than the exhaustion of the coal.

Grimethorpe Colliery in 1906 (from Old Maps)
Grimethorpe had opened in 1894 and was taken over by Carlton Main Colliery Company in 1896, so I imagine men who had worked at Carlton could easily transfer there when Carlton closed.  The housing for this pit is a bit more convivial - closely packed rows of cottages and a couple of schools are visible in the map snip above.  So why would men live in Cudworth?  Better houses?  Nicer shops?  It's a good question.  It's very handy for the village - the members at the CLHG have talked about paths across the fields to the pit and tunnels under the railway lines, even special permission to cross the lines.  Grimethorpe closed in 1993.

Houghton Main, at the bottom of my map snip opened in 1871 and closed in 1993.
Frickley Colliery just off the map to the north east at Hemsworth, another pit owned by the Carlton Main Company opened 1903 and closed 1993.
And of course there was Barnsley Main on the edge of the town, at the bottom left of my map snip - but not visible on the Bartholomew map for some reason.  It might be there but obscured by all the knotted railway lines and canals in that area!  I suppose Cudworth men may have worked there too.  Or maybe started there and moved out of the densely packed houses of the town to Cudworth as the new pits opened.

So why did the population of Cudworth grow in huge leaps and bounds?  The largest increase percentage wise was 1891 to 1901, which fits with the opening of Grimethorpe pit and the expansion of that and the Monckton collieries may account for the doubling in population between 1901 and 1911. It does look as if we can tie most of the growth into the openings of the collieries, but don't forget the railways.  Cudworth Station was one of the first in the area and later there were many, many interlocking lines and branches to the collieries to be taken care off.  One of the CLHG members told me that most of the people who moved into the New Town estate in Cudworth when it was built in 1922 were railway men.
Further Reading:

Elliott, B. (2000) Royston, Carlton & Monk Bretton, Stroud, Sutton.

Hill, A. (2001) The South Yorkshire Coalfield: A History and Development, Stroud, Tempus.

South Yorkshire Archaelogy Service (2008) South Yorkshire Historic Environment Characterisation: Barnsley Zones: Industrial Settlements [Online] Available at: (Accessed 20 November 2013).

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Unusual War Memorials - Lychgates in Felkirk and Wortley

Today the OH took me out for another airing, a drive around the outskirts of Barnsley looking for war memorials.  I particularly wanted to visit Felkirk church as last time we went it was covered in scaffolding and plastic sheeting so I came away without a photograph.  Today was a bit grey, but the church looked wonderful.  You can see a lot of work has been done to the main building and to the adjacent old Sunday Schoolroom.  The notice board by the gate includes a plaque giving credit to National Lottery funding for the work.
Stonebuilt church with square tower at the far end, so looking at it from the east.  Aisle to the south, but not on the north.  Benches and gravestones in the foreground.
St Peter's church, Felkirk, near Barnsley

The OH has a second cousin five times removed (yes, I know that's so distant as to be invisible by the Hubble telescope but it's still a relationship as far as I'm concerned) George Owram who was the schoolmaster in South Hiendley in the 1871 census.  Two of his children, Eleanor (b.1871) and Fanny (b.1873) were born in the area and baptised at St Peter's church, Felkirk.  
Black and white map snip showing mainly fields, two small settlements Felkirk with a church and a couple of large houses and South Hiendley maybe a mile away with a straggling row of small houses and a large unfenced common area to the south with a school indicated.
Felkirk and South Hiendley in 1894 - note the school at the bottom right (from Old Maps)

Today I also wanted to take photos of the lychgate - which I had spotted on Brierley Village website as being the war memorial for the area.  This is the second lychgate war memorial I've seen in the last few weeks, the other being at Wortley.  A lychgate was traditionally a covered gateway into a churchyard and sometimes contains a table or stone block for resting the coffin (or the shrouded body) on its way to the church.  At Wortley there is a traditional lychgate with a central stone block at the far end of the church yard - the memorial appears to have been a later addition in the same style.
Swooping roof over a double wooden gate set in a stone wall.  Open woodwork stucture to gables and sides and sumounted by a cross in a circle.
Lychgate and War Memorial at Felkirk

At Felkirk the legend "1914 may they rest in peace 1918" is carved in raised letters onto the beam above the gate.  Inside the structure to the left is a bronze plaque bearing the names of the fallen from the First World War and to the right a similar plaque for the fallen of the Second World War.
Greeny bronze plaque with raised names, listed in text below.
1914 - 1918 plaque at Felkirk

The First World War names are:

A E Bettney
H Garton
A Ogley
A Bowen
L Godley
J A Parkinson
M B P Boyd
S Goodchild
F Peckett
N Bradbury
B Govier
C Pickard
G Burton
J Harwood
P Sendall
R Davis
W R Hayton
E Taylor
T O Dunhill
J Holmes
W Taylor
J Elliott
J A Hunt
F Teal
J Fenn
W Johnson
A Torr
W H Garner
E W Litherland
T Webb
G Gartenfeld
C Miles
H Wilkinson
H Gartenfeld
W Owen
G W Woodward

Greeny bronze plaque with raised names, listed in text below.
1939 - 1945 Plaque at Felkirk

The Second World war names are:

F Barraclough

H Hopkinson

M Rose

H Bird

R Jackson

J Smith

A Brook

W King

J E Smith

R E Butterwood

A Lillward

L Steele

D Collins

R Moore

J Taylor

C Cooper

G Needham

F I Tibble

W Davenport

J Nichols

R Thorpe

F Davis

A E Oldroyd

A Ward

W Flynn

T A Oliver

Margaret Wardle

C Fretwell

E Pashley

R A Whittlestone

H Goften

H Richards

R B Wilson

H Roberts

D Livett
We took pictures of the lychgate at St Leonard's church, Wortley last weekend.

A wooden double gate set in a stone wall with an gabled structure above.  Decoratively carved and with shaped fretwork.  Surmounted by a wooden cross.
The Memorial Lytchgate at St Leonard's church, Wortley
Above and around the gable of the gateway it reads, "To the Glory of God & In Memory / of the Wortley Men who Gave Their / Lives for their Country in the Great War 1914-1918".  Some of the lettering is a little bit broken - the OH, who is a joiner by trade - said that a lot of work had gone into that carving.  He pointed out the little holes around each letter where the craftsman had drilled into the wood to create the curves of the letters before chiselling out the straight lines.

Inside the gateway are two plaques, bronze mounted on wood.  Both are headed simply Fallen and I assume these are the names for the First World War.
Composite picture of two bronze plaques with wooden borders.  Headed simply Fallen the names are listed in the text below.
The WW1 Fallen plaques at Wortley church

These names are:

Frank Bidwell

Enoch Laycock

William N Bradshaw

Frank Laycock

Frank Copley

Thomas Mansell

William Crapper

John Myerscough

Henry Ford

Sidney Raynor

Charles Harker

Samuel Reynolds

George Hough

John Robbins

Vincent Jowitt

Leonard White

George King

Harold Wragg

Cyril Laycock

There is a small plaque inside the gateway with three names for the Second World War.

Bronze plaque with raised lettering set on wooden beam.
Wortley WW2 names
The Wortley WW2 names are:

Kenneth Francis
Mabel Turner
William Turton

I will be adding Felkirk and amending Wortley to add the names on the War Memorials Online site shortly.