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?


Unknown said...

This is a wild guess .there are also methodist churches that may have a plaque??there's is methodist church in high Street Worsbrough Dale, and in Birdwell nit sure if there is one in Blacker hill.

There are three original parishes in worsbrough ud.. st Mary's in worsbrough village, st Thomas' backend Rd worsbrough Dale and until 1970s st James West st worsbrough Bridge..it has been rc since the 70s.

Unknown said...

Try the 2 methodist church at birdwell, worsbro Dale.
And the 3rd parish church the one for worsbriugh Bridge and ward Green on West Street, worsbroughBridge, St James. Its been an rc church since 1970s.
Maybe there's a methodist at Blacker hill

BarnsleyHistorian said...

To the previous poster: Comments on this blog are moderated, that is why your comments didn't automatically appear. I have deleted your third as it was a close duplicate.
Thank you for your suggestions, the main post here was published in 2013, so I have probably moved on a bit since then. The church memorial mentioned above WAS in St Mary's, the outdoor memorial was at St Thomas's, I had less understanding about how men, especially officers, could appear on multiple memorials eight years ago. The Elmhirsts are also listed at Thurgoland or example, where the family has property. There is also the outdoor memorial at St Luke's Worsborough Common, that I mentioned, I understand they also have a memorial book. We have yet to find any evidence of a memorial at St James's, but things are still coming to light as more local newspapers come online. Holy Rood, in town, has memorials in the form of Stations of the Cross and a Shrine. I have not seen these mentioned in a newspaper, maybe St James's is the same now it is R.C., and in the early 20th century it shared the FWW memorial at St Thomas.
Finding memorials in Methodist Churches is an ongoing challenge, they are so hard to access, fewer coffee mornings, etc where you can just drop in to talk to someone. I'd welcome any help to search these.
Thanks again,
(Barnsley Historian)