Tuesday, 17 October 2017

PIP Assessment Time

I have a dreaded PIP assessment on Friday this week. I can assure you it will be much less fun than the dreaded 'Dance Off' on Strictly!

My MP Stephanie Peacock has recently spoken about the numbers of decisions on PIP and ESA which are overturned on appeal.  It seems that in Barnsley two-thirds of people initially refused these benefits are granted them after appeal, but this can take fifteen weeks!
Advice on Appeals from the charity Scope
I received a form from the PIP people in the post in June this year. I have been getting the benefit for around two years and it seems it is time for them to check up on me. I rang around trying to find somone to help me fill it in and was lucky enough to get an appointment several weeks later with the Citizens Advice Bureau. In 2015 I received help to fill in the form from Age UK, but it due to cut backs they cannot assist me now as I am only 56 years old. It seems unwise to assume that because I qualified for the benefit in 2015 that my assessment will be plain sailing. I have been reading the supplied leaflet and online advice to make sure I have covered everything.

In the last year my health and mobility has declined to the point where I don't go into Barnsley by myself except in exceptional circumstances. I haven't driven for years, and in June, following a seizure, was officially told to stop driving by my consultant. The bus ride into town is long and tiring, and everywhere I need to go is a long way from the bus station. I do still manage to get to our local Co-op on a good day leaning on my Sholley. I don't go to the Archives any more, partially because a snub by the Council last year caused me to lose a lot of confidence and as a consequence I have lost touch with fellow researchers.

My mother in law has become my lifeline. Despite being very poorly herself she always comes to my rescue by booking a taxi to get both of us to places. I confess to being scared to get in a taxi by myself, I can't pin point why, but probably connected to my long standing dread of having workmen in the house. Sadly I always assume they are casing the joint for a later burglary. When I lived on the Manor in Sheffield we were burgled, that must be more than twenty two years ago as I remember Persephone was a new kitten at the time. We were very, very poor. All they got was our tiny rented tv and some dvds which they carried away in my first mother in law's borrowed shopping trolley!

We went to see Citizens Advice with my form in July. My m-in-law booked a taxi to pick her up and then me.  She came with me into the interview room and was able to contribute to the form filling by recalling things I had forgotten or had thought were not important enough to mention.  Both she and the CAB man told me several times to stop saying that I worked around a thing or could just about manage, because as that was only applicable on a good day what was I doing the rest of the time?

Yes, on a bad day (like today and yesterday) I stay in bed in my nightclothes all day and eat toast, cheese and crackers and instant porridge. I am too tired to read and writing this post has been taken in short spurts over the last two to three hours. I either sleep a lot, or watch tv, often both at the same time!

At the end of the session in July, which took several hours, the man said he thought I should be getting more PIP.  I don't quite know how to take that, I know I'm worse than I was two years ago, and add on the escalating knee problems and the epilepsy ... I do spend more now on the taxis, and tins of soup and ready meals. I have even arranged a deal with the hairdressers a few yards up the road. They will wash, but not dry, my long hair for £4. Which is good as bending over the sink is getting very difficult. Oh, and I'm not supposed to bath or shower when I'm alone - that's the epilepsy again.

My m-in-law has booked a taxi for this Friday. Cross your fingers for me. That's more than two whole days away, and I am going to worry every second of it.

Universal Credit Rolled Out in Barnsley Reveals Problems with Accessibility

Barnsley Chronicle Friday 13th October 2017
Last Friday the new Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock wrote in our local newspaper, the Barnsley Chronicle, that she was adding her name to the list of people calling for the rollout of Universal credit to be halted. I hadn't realised until then that it had being rolled out here, being lucky enough to have a husband earning a living wage. But this morning I saw a horrendous tweet from a local parish councillor referring to the benefit. It seems that people must apply online, and at the end of that process (which took the councillor one hour and 25 minutes to complete on behalf of his non IT literate local resident) the person claiming has to ring a Premium rate phone number, up to 45p a minute, to book an appointment.

What planet are the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) living on?

I am aware, from my own experiences in Barnsley helping with Adult Education IT classes, that a substantial portion of the population are unable to use a computer even if they were able to access one. I taught a range of people from young unemployed and women in their 30s who had a poor educational background to elderly pensioners who wanted to learn so they could keep in touch with family by email or Skype. Most of these classes now attract a high fee, only the very basic short course 'Computing for the Terrified' is still free to people on certain benefits. Even pensioners have to pay part or all of the fees for Adult Education classes following Council funding cuts a few years ago.

I am 56 years old and learned to use a PC when my children started school in the 90s. But that was with the help of friends and word processing classes at Sheffield College, happily free to an aspiring young single mum on benefits. I still don't have one of those fantastical mobile phones, although I am writing this on a tablet computer connected to our wi-fi whilst lying in bed (the last few days I have been in a lot of pain, causing disturbed sleep and a higher than usual intake of painkillers). A significant number of people who attended school before the use of computers was widespread, let's say ANYONE OVER 40, will have no idea how to use one.

Another few examples - I occasionally attend a local history group at Cudworth 'Resource Centre'. Or Library to the rest of us! The members of the group are mostly very elderly yet motivated, so a self-selected group of people more likely than others their age to try new things. They attend regularly for a chat and a cup of tea. Only three or four of the fifteen regular attendees ever use the group's desktop PC. After a lot of initial teething problems with the new Council wi-fi, which requires use of a mobile phone to get a code to log in, they manage to log the PC onto the web most weeks. A straw poll around the table earlier this year showed that about half the members had a mobile phone (but some of those did not carry them about) with a few having a tablet and wi-fi at home, usually set up for them by concerned children or grandchildren. The rest had no interest in modern technology, in fact some were vehemently opposed to its use. These people will, therefore, always require help to access online facilities.

Recently a drop in day was advertised at the Library (Resource Centre pah!) for people wanting to learn more about Council online services. I turned up and found no actual advisors in attendance. I was directed to one of the library PCs to fill out some kind of form! Nearby was one of our Councillors who had also attended expecting to be shown the ropes by a real person. What use would that session have been to most of my history group colleagues? And yet access to many Council services is now only available online. Don't even get me started about ordering a new bin when yours has been stolen! To top it all the Benefits Advice service has just been closed in Cudworth Library! I hope they are not just referring people to Citizens Advice, because they are already swamped with work.

Finally - In order to allow the history group members to participate in a consultation exercise about the Library last year I had to ask the staff for paper forms. These should apparently have been readily available, in fact I had to beg for them from staff who had been told to only hand them out in exceptional circumstances. People were expected to book a session on one of the Library computers and fill in the online questionnaire. If they could have been persuaded to do this, not at all a given, it would have taken me hours (or days!) to coach twelve people to have the skills to answer the questions online. As it was they filled in the forms during the tea break of their normal meeting and then went back to business happy that they had been able to have a say in the consultation.

I know that older people are not (yet) required to apply for Universal Credit, but many of the problems I have described will apply to younger educationally disadvantaged people like those I met whilst helping at the Adult Education classes. Consider too, that to have turned up and enrolled at an IT class requires firstly knowledge of the classes' existence, the confidence to apply and self-motivation to attend, let alone overcoming the cost implications.  So those people I met were the tip of the iceberg!

I was inspired to write this post by reading this post on Twitter a couple of hours ago. Kevin is going to keep tabs on this family's claim and see how long it takes them to actally receive a payment.
Posted on Twitter 16 October 2016
It is a disgrace. We need to keep supplying MPs like Steph and councillors like Kevin with more examples of the shambles our benefit systems are in so they can continue to fight for us.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Battle of Poelcapelle, 9 October 1917

For the last month I have been attempting to Tweet links to the Imperial War Museum's website, the Lives of the First World War along with appropriate photos of the men or of memorials where they are Remembered, for each of the 221 Barnsley men who lost their lives in the Battles of Third Ypres. I am hoping to Tweet most of the names on the 100th anniversary of the day the individual man fell. Although the whole campaign is now often called Passchendaele that name actually specifically refers to two battles towards the end of the period covered. For more information I suggest you go to the Long, Long Trail website's very comprehensive page on the Battles.
Community Page on Lives of The First World War

I have created a Community on Lives to gather together all these men's stories. As a past volunteer for the Barnsley War Memorials Project I have access to their constantly updated master spreadsheet, which will be the basis for the forthcoming WW1 Roll of Honour. This provided me with the names, regiments and service numbers of the 221 men who fell or were assumed to have fallen between 31 July 1917 and 10 November 1917. 

The Barnsley War Memorials Project are also very fortunate to have been given privileged access to the Barnsley Chronicle from August 1914 to the end of 1918 as part of their mini-project to index all mentions of soldiers in the newspapers. This project has now been completed thanks to the efforts of over a dozen volunteers from all over South Yorkshire. The resulting index is available at Barnsley Archives, in both paper format and as a series of searchable spreadsheets. Permission was also given for photos of the men from the Barnsley Chronicle and the other local newspapers with Barnsley coverage to be used in the Roll of Honour project and on Lives of the First World War. Transcripts of some obituaries and death notices can also be found on Lives, but if you want the images of those for your ancestors you will need to visit Barnsley Archives yourself (please do, they need our support to keep operating the hours they are currently open) and search the index for the reference before printing out your own image from the digital copies of the Barnsley Chronicle. Only 55p an A4 sheet last time I visited, a bargain!  

The Barnsley Independent and South Yorkshire Times are also available, on microfilm and un-indexed I'm afraid, but if you know the date of death of your WW1 ancestor it is relatively easy to go to the right part of the newspapers to do a search. If you check the Chronicle index first you may get an idea of when news of your ancestor's death reached Barnsley. It could sometimes takes months for the families to be informed that a man was now officially presumed dead, rather than missing. Copies of articles from these newspapers can also be printed out.

Map of front line approaching Poelcapelle
on 26 Sept 1917 (from the FFFAIF blog)
The Battle of Poelcapelle

I has shocked to find that out of the 221 Barnsley connected men who fell during the Battles of Third Ypres 46 of them were lost on one day, 9 October 1917.  This was the Battle of Poelcapelle. You can find a detailed description on Wikipedia. It was the classic attack through heavy mud, with too little artillery support to create an effective creeping barrage which in any case soon became too fast for the advancing soldiers to keep up with.

The majority of Barnsley's soldiers in this Battle were from the 1st/4th, 1st/5th and 6th Battalions of the York and Lancaster Regiment, who were in the 49th (West Riding) Division, II Anzac Corps and the 11th (Northern) Division, XVIII Corps. In the map above you can see these two Corps are in the centre of the advance. Ten of the fallen were in the 1st/5th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment who were also in the 49th (West Riding) Division.
Tyne Cot Memorial from the CWGC

All but three of the 46 of the Barnsley men lost on 9 October 1917 are remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial. This means that they have no known grave. Two of the exceptions, who were each buried in cemeteries behind the British lines, are noted as having died of wounds, suggesting they had been injured prior to the 9th and did not take part in this particular battle. The remains of the third man, John Costello, were found after the war, identified by his disc, and reburied in Cement House Cemetery near Langemarck along with a number of unidentified men found nearby.

The OH and I visited Tyne Cot in 2009. The long memorial wall sweeps around the top of the site and commemorates nearly 35,000 men who fell in the Ypres salient after 17 August 1917. Men who fell prior to this date are remembered on the Menin Gate.

I hope I will at least be able to add some family detail, plus photos and transcriptions from the Barnsley Chronicle where available, to each of these 46 men before the centenary of their deaths in October. However it is unlikely that I will be able to Tweet them all individually on the day as I would have wished, there are just too many. But I will share my list and with the information on that anyone can look up their stories on Lives of the First World War and their commemorative information on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.
The IWM website - Lives of the First World War
Did your WW1 ancestor serve in any of the Battalions I have mentioned? Why not look them up on Lives of the First World War and add your family stories and photos to the site. It is absolutely free to use to add this kind of thing, the paywall only comes into play if you want to search the records they have made available, and if you have a subscription to Ancestry or Find My Past you probably have access to these already or you could access them for free in Barnsley (Ancestry) and Sheffield (Find My Past) libraries. It is not just men who were killed who are Remembered on Lives, anyone who was affected by the war may already be included. If your soldier, sailor, airman, nurse, munitions worker or civilian casualty or other WW1 ancestor is not yet named on the site you can ask for them to be added by submitting a request to the Support Forum.

Lest We Forget.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

When your Name is Not your Name?

This morning  I read, with interest, a Guardian item on the difficulties one lady was having with her bank over her use of both maiden and married names.
The Guardian 28 August 2017
My case is slightly different, however my names have caused me some difficulties over the years, and more particularly in the last few weeks.

I am commonly known by my middle name, and have been all my life. Why my parents chose to register my name (and have me baptised) as A. L. and then called me L. is a mystery, my 79 year old mum cannot remember any particular reason for their decision. The only places where I am accustomed to being addressed as A. are hospitals and the Student Loans Company (with whom I have an even more complex name problem at the moment). Even my GP calls me L. by the simple expedient of underlining that name on my notes or more recently by entering my preferred name in a field for that purpose on their computer system.

A few years ago I started to give talks to small church and community groups on local and family history. I used L. (surname) on my leaflets and my blog advertising my talks. I was frequently paid by cheque, and often these cheques had been made out in advance because of difficulties within the group in getting multiple signatories together. This meant that it was difficult to ask for a cheque to be rewritten if it was directed to me as L. (surname) rather than A. (surname). Sadly, due to my progressively worsening health, I can no longer give the talks as I cannot guarantee being well enough on a particular day to fulfill my commitments. I do miss the social interaction and the stimulus of having to prepare new material.

Santander refused to accept cheques written to me as L. (surname) a few years ago, despite my joint bank account with my husband being in my full name and my driving licence, with photo id also displaying my full name. I now pay cheques in my middle name into my individual Post Office account, set up (after some struggle) when I left work due to my ill health and needed an accessible bank near our home. Because the Post Office staff in the little suburb where we live recognise me and accept my explanation for the occasional cheque directed to L. (surname) I have had no problems with these cheques being returned.

I now ask my mum to write cheques to us in my husband's name rather than mine (she has an old fashioned conviction that a man should always appear to pay in restaurants even though it is her intention to remburse us as soon as she gets home) in order to avoid difficulties with Santander. She always calls me L. and writing a cheque to me as A. seems a bit odd and unnecessary to her. I even request that any Christmas gift cheques are addressed to him to avoid the possibility of them being returned. It does make me feel very much like an adjunct to my husband. Which is ironic considering the situation with my surname.

My difficulties with the Student Loans Company revolve around my surname rather than my forenames. I confess that I just let them call me A. It is easier.

In 1985 I married for the first time, in 1992 I divorced and changed my name to my mother's maiden name, carefully chosen to have meaning to me, but to be different to both my maiden and married names. In 2004 I remarried but kept my own name with my second husband's full agreement. One of my reasons for this was that my professional qualification was in my chosen name, and my subsequent Open University study and qualifications were all in that name.

I did have a passport for a period while I was working and could afford to go on holidays abroad, which was obtained in 2002 in my chosen name. I do not remember having any difficulty getting that. I had old passports in my maiden and married names which presumably served to confirm my identity. Unfortunately for me this passport has long expired. Apparently the reason I was able to get Student Finance for my PGCE in 2011 without any difficulty (I was trying to retrain as an IT teacher to the elderly, a job that might have allowed me to continue working part-time) was because my passport was then still in date,

This year's application for Student Finance to do a Distance Learning MA in the History of Britain and the First World War with the University of Wolverhampton, has been rejected because I no longer have a valid passport. I have provided my birth certificate and my statutory declaration (my name change document from 1992), but now they want my marriage certificate from 1985 as well. They do not care a fig that I am married to an entirely different man now as I did not take his name. A suitably qualified friend has filled out the necessary form to confirm I am who my birth certificate says I am, but this is apparently not enough.

I was told, during a long phone call (whilst being addressed as A.), that they need me to prove the link between my birth name and my first married name. This, despite me having the same account with them as I had when I first applied for Student Finance during my Radiography training (1990-1993) under my first married name, and having shown both my birth certificate and marriage certificate to the admin staff at the then North Trent School of Radiography (which, ironically changed its name twice whilst I was there, firstly to the Sheffield City Polytechnic and then to the Sheffield Hallam University!) From the dates I give you can deduce that I divorced and chose my current name whilst undertaking that study, and having informed all the necessary authorities my final certificate was issued in my chosen name. The same one I now have and retained on my second marriage to avoid difficulties!

The Student Finance people can apparently see that I had a passport in 2011, that I was called by a different name when I first registered with them in 1990, and that I have now produced my birth certificate to them on at least three separate occasions. I have also supported both my children's applications to them for their respective university study, using the same account reference. This will have involved providing them with financial information and details of my employment.

I have sent away for a copy of my 1985 marriage certificate, which has cost me £9.25. It will not arrive in the post for another week. Then I have to send it to the Student Finance people and wait goodness knows how long for them to cogitate on it.

Names. Do we own them? Even if we choose them ourselves in order to demonstrate a break with the past they still come with all the baggage of our previous history. Why is a passport so superior a document for proving who you are? I have had my photo id driving licence for many years and that is accepted as final by most institutions. But not the Student Finance people of course.

I don't write blog posts very often these days, but this situation has me very annoyed. This post will serve as a record of the situation that I can look back on in years to come and laugh. Well, I can always hope.

Thank you for reading, I welcome comments, but I do moderate them to avoid spam so they might take a day or so to appear.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

World War One Soldiers' Story - Arthur and Spence Walton

Some days I tend to 'go off down a rabbit hole' in my WW1 soldiers research.  That's what one of my colleagues on the Remote Volunteers team for the Imperial War Museum's Lives of the First World War website calls it when we get distracted by a particular man or woman and spend hours on them instead of getting on with our standard work. 

At the moment I am fluctuating between Tweeting a few details of each Barnsley connected man who fell during the Battle of Third Ypres, commonly known as Passchendaele, on the 100th anniversary of the day they died, and trying to research a batch of men buried in France between 31 July 1917 and 2 November 1917 to see if any of them might have been wounded in Belgium, but transported to a hospital in France before they died.

The Passchendaele at Home project is a similar initiative.  They are asking schools and community groups to look for men buried in the UK who were wounded at 3rd Ypres. I have checked 15 Barnsley men who might have fulfilled these criteria, but only one seems to fit. He is buried at Darfield, so I have passed his name onto the Friends of Darfield Churchyard who are going to take up the research and hopefully carry out some form of commemoration on the 100th anniversary of his death in September this year.

So far, out of my list of 44 Barnsley men buried in France I have ruled out 16.  It is a complicated process requiring you to find out where his battalion was serving when he was wounded. The Long, Long Trail website is particularly useful for this as it lists which Division a battalion was in at any particular time and then you can cross reference that with the battles in which each Division was involved.

Yesterday morning I started work on Private Arthur Walton 13/671 in the 2nd Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment at his death in France on 8 September 1917. He is buried in St Patrick's Cemetery at Loos. We think he is the man remembered on the Roll of Honour at the Wesleyan Methodist Church at Stairfoot, Barnsley and on the WW1 memorial plaque in Christ Church, Ardsley. The date given on the RoH is one day out (September 9th 1917), but the Battalion fits and he is the only Arthur Walton in the Y&L to die any time around September 1917.
Enlarged snip from the Stairfoot Wesleyan Methodist RoH
In addition I have discovered that Spence Walton, named below Arthur on the RoH, did definitely live at 24 Industry Road, Stairfoot in 1915. He is named in the Electoral Register at that address.  Industry Road is immediately adjacent to the Wesleyan Chapel on old maps of the area. Spence also served in the York and Lancaster Regiment, Private 3/3864 in the 8th Battalion at the time his medals were awarded, which tallies with the detail on the RoH, although he seems to have become a Lance Corporal.  I assume Spence asked for Arthur's name to be included on the RoH.

Arthur Walton's Service Records have not survived, but I suspect that he initially enlisted in the 13th Battalion Y&L at Barnsley (Soldiers Died in the Great War says he enlisted at Barnsley) and then was transferred to the 2nd Battalion, possibly after being wounded or sick and having some time away from the front line.  The Long, Long Trail website says that the 2nd Battalion Y&L were in the 6th Division and in 1917 the took part in the Battle of Hill 70 (near Loos on 15th to 25th August 1917) and the Cambrai operations (20th November 1917 to 30th December 1917). Neither of these were part of the Battle of 3rd Ypres in Flanders, and neither took place during the time period in which we are interested so Arthur's death, "By Aerial Torpedo", if you are having trouble reading the rather fuzzy snip above, must have been a random occurrence whilst his battalion was working at or near the front, maybe in support or on transport duties.

Arthur's wife Eliza (nee Fisher) had remarried by the time her details are recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Arthur and Eliza had married in Castleford on 26th March 1910 and had one child, John Thomas Walton, aged 7 months, listed in the 1911 census. It seems likely that four other Walton children born in Pontefract with the mother's maiden name Fisher, also belonged to the couple. These were George Arthur Walton b.1912, Martha Ann Walton b.1913, Arthur Walton b.1914 and David Walton b.1916.  As Eliza was left a widow with up to four small children it is no surprise to me that she remarried so quickly. She and Joseph Garforth married in Q4 1918 in the Pontefract Registration District.

The location of Hill 70 does fit with Arthur being buried at Loos in September 1917. So not a Passchendaele man then. Tick him off the list and move on.

Well, that was the plan, but along the way I had become quite involved in finding out about Spence Walton and his connection to Barnsley.  

The older generation of the Walton family were living in Castleford in the 1891 and 1901 census returns. Harry Walton (of full age) and Annie Wright (aged 17), had married on 12th April 1879 at Drax Parish Church in the Selby Registration District. Their first child Spence, was born in the same Quarter, also in Selby RD. He was baptised on 6th July (when a birth date of 8th June is noted) at Carlton near Selby. So a bit of a hurried marriage then!
Snip of the 1901 census for Harry Walton's family in Castleford
By 1901 Harry and Annie have 8 children living with them at 26 Chapel Street in Castleford. Harry is a Colliery Surface Man, eldest son Spence, aged 21, is a Coal Miner Hewer and Arthur, aged 14, has no occupation declared.  There must have been great changes for the family over the next ten years as in the 1911 census Harry Walton is a widower declaring he is the uncle of the householder, Robert Wright, at 2 St Michael's Place, Rotherham.  A relative of his wife's maybe? Harry only has one child living with him, his second youngest daughter Martha, now aged 18. 

I have found a possible death for an Annie Walton, in 1905 in Castleford but her age at death is out by two years compared to the ages given on the census returns for Harry's wife. A final child to the couple may have been born and died aged 8 months as I have found the burial record for a Harry Walton in Castleford New Cemetery (while I was looking for Annie) in MQ 1902 which tallies with the birth of a child of the same name, with mother's maiden name Wright in Q3 1901. Having had at least nine children (and there may have been more who died young) it is not surprising that Annie was only in her 40s when she died. 

Hopefully Annie was able to enjoy the marriage of her eldest son in 1901. 

Spence Walton had married Emma Caroline Legg on 12 May 1901 in Castleford. In the 1911 census they are living at 4 Granville Street, Cutsyke, Castleford and despite being married 10 years only declare one child, a daughter, Emily who appears to have been born BEFORE their marriage as she is 13 years old at this point. The birth place of Emma and her daughter are both Fareham in Hampshire, so maybe Emily is Emma's illegitimate daughter and Spence has adopted her.  

I do know that when Emily Beatrice Walton, aged 19, gets married in Darfield Parish Church on Christmas Day 1916 to James E Garner, she declares her father to be Spence Walton, who is at that time "On Active Service". A search of the electoral registers shows that Spence was registered at 34 New Street in Darfield in 1918, when he was listed as an Absent Voter (Naval or Military). 

Sadly the Ardsley Cemetery burial registers show that Spence's wife Emma was buried on 26 September 1915 from 24 Industry Road. In the same grave is a 10 month child, Harold Walton, buried on 11 September 1915 from the same address.  Had Spence and Emma had a child together at last, only to see him die in infancy? Without finding a birth registration that fits it is impossible to say.  The only Harold Walton that is born in the area is an illegitimate child in the Rotherham RD in Q4 1914. Could this be a child of Emily Beatrice Walton who would have been about 17 years old at the time? Also in the grave is a James Spence Garner, aged 23 months, buried from 26 New Street in Darfield in March 1919. This must be a child of Emily and her husband James Garner.

Earlier I used the 1915 Electoral Register earlier to show that Spence Walton was at 24 Industry Road in Stairfoot in 1915. Interestingly at 18 Industry Road in the same year the occupant is a Thomas Walton.  Spence and Arthur had a brother Thomas who fell between them in age. Could this be the same man?

A Thomas Walton whose father's name was Harry, married Elizabeth Firth on 25th June 1905 at All Saints Church, in Castleford.  In 1911 they living at 10 High Street, High Town, Castleford and have two children, Lillie aged 5 and Harry aged 2. This last seems to confirm that I have the correct family. The census notes that little Harry was born in Rotherham and a search of the Yorkshire Baptisms on Find My Past turned up a record for Harry Walton born 11 June 1908, baptised 5th July, son of Thomas and Elizabeth living at 4 Charles Street. Thomas' occupation was Miner.  Unfortunately Barnsley baptisms beyond 1910 are not available online so I cannot check whether three births registered in Barnsley between 1914 and 1920 to surname Walton, mother's maiden name Firth are for this couple, but they do seem to fit especially as the child born in 1914 is named Thomas (for his father?)
Two snips from the 1918 Electoral Register for Darfield (from Ancestry & FMP)
In the 1918 Electoral Register for Darfield on Ancestry I was able to find a Thomas and Elizabeth Walton living at 34 New Street.  Previously in a different section of the 1918 Electoral Register, which I had found on Find My Past, I had discovered Spence Walton registered as living at 34 New Street, Darfield and absent from home as a Naval or Military voter. (I am assuming the MN instead of the usual NM is a typo as I can find no mention of that abbreviation at the start of the volume.) So the two brothers Walton appear to be living at the same address in Darfield in 1918, or at least Spence is registered to the address at which his brother lives. Bearing in mind that his wife had passed away in 1915 and that his only child had married in 1916, maybe Spence had no particular home address of his own by then.

So, to conclude, this rabbit hole was very deep and it took me most of yesterday to dig myself out of it!  Arthur Walton somehow made his way from Castleford to Barnsley where we know at least one of his brothers (Spence) was living in 1915.  The 13th Y&L recruited in Barnsley in the autumn of 1914 but did not go overseas until the end of 1915, arriving in France in April 1916. As Arthur and Eliza appear to have a child born in late 1916 (David b.Q4 1916) that suggests Arthur was at home sometime in early 1916. (Dare I say it? If it was his child - sorry but I have to keep my mind open about these things.) We know Arthur transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the Y&L before his death in September 1917; transfers often happened after a period away from the original battalion, usually through wounds or sickness. This could be when Arthur was in England in early 1916.  I have shown proof that his brothers Spence and Thomas were both registered in Darfield in 1918, and probably both lived on Industry Road in Stairfoot in 1915. The names for the Stairfoot Wesleyan Roll of Honour were collected in 1917 (first version, see newspaper cutting) and probably updated in 1918 and it includes men who survived the war. It seems reasonable that when approached (or when the family became aware of the appeal for names) either Spence or Thomas may have asked that Arthur be included in the RoH, especially as he enlisted in a Barnsley Battalion, in Barnsley.

Thank you for reading - writing this all out has, as usual, helped me to focus my thoughts on Arthur Walton's life and family and I am pleased that I have discovered a possible reason why he is remembered on two memorials in Barnsley.

Monday, 26 June 2017

WW1 Soldier's Story - Fergus O'Connor Law Buried at Rawmarsh

Two weeks ago the OH and I called in at the cemetery on Haugh Road, Rawmarsh.  It is a bit out of our local area, but we were on the way back from the Parkgate Shopping precinct in Rotherham, and I can't resist some WW1 gravestone potential! Little were we to know that just a short while afterwards I would be taken very ill and spend the next few days in and out of hospital.

It is only now that I've finally been able to concentrate enough to start processing the pictures we took that afternoon, and I can still only use my tablet in short bursts. I haven't turned my laptop on to do research yet. Happily the temptation of these photos is helping me overcome some of my tiredness, and hopefully I'm now on the mend.

Fergus Law's grave at Rawmarsh Cemetery
This is the CWGC gravestone of Fergus Law, born 1883 in Barnsley, died of wounds in May 1917 in a military  hospital in Epsom, Surrey. Follow the link to his page on the IWM site Lives of the First World War where you will find a photo of Fergus from the Barnsley Chronicle (with thanks to Barnsley Archives). He was a Private in the 2nd/5th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment, one of the Territorial battalions.

The family citation at the foot of the stone reads, "Some Time We'll Understand."  I must confess it made me tear up a little at the time to read that sentiment. Yes, I expect the loss of a loved one in his prime is very difficult to come to terms with. Fergus would have been around 34 years old, although the CWGC have his age as 39 for some reason.

But who requested that message?
Citation instructions and contact details - CWGC website
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) recently added sone additional documents to their site which give more information on the graves and gravestones listed. On Fergus Law's page the document above tells us that his citation was billed to a Mrs F Smith of Upper Haugh, Rawmarsh. As I understand it despite a request for payment at three and a half pence per letter and space, six shillings and five pence in this case, families and/or next of kin were not obliged to pay if they could not afford it.
1911 census for 60 Upper Haugh, Rawmarsh (from Ancestry.co.uk)
In 1911 Fergus Law was a lodger in the Smith household at 60 Upper Haugh, Rawmarsh. He is a 27 year old Iron Moulder. None of the detail of the Smith family suggests a kin connection, so I can only assume he was a genuine, unrelated lodger. He must have had a very good impression of the family for Mrs Smith to be his named sole legatee. This is confirmed on the Army Register of Soldiers' Effects which can be seen on Ancestry. In the report of his death in the Barnsley Chronicle on 30 June 1917 it notes that he had worked at the Low Stubbin Colliery in Rawmarsh before enlisting.  His entry in Soldiers Died in the Great War tell us that he enlisted in Rotherham.

Fergus was born in Barnsley, probably on Waltham Street off Sheffield Road in the autumn of 1883. His parents were Fergus Law (b.1841) and his wife Sarah Ann (nee Tingle, b.1850). They had married on 4 September 1871 at St John's church in the Barebones area of Barnsley. There were seven children born to the couple, two of whom died before the 1911 census (I have identified one as Fred Law who died aged 18 months in 1877) and all three of their surviving sons served in the Great War. Fergus, as we know, died of wounds in May 1917, Walter, who served in the KOYLI, was killed in action in December 1917 and Arthur, who served with the Royal Engineers, survived the war. Both Walter and Arthur had Fergus as a middle name which does make for some confusion in their records! In addition both Fergus and Walter have O'Connor as a middle name.
Baptism in the St Peter's District of St Mary's Church, Barnsley 3rd February1884 (from Ancestry.co.uk)
Feargus O'Connor (1794-1855) was an Irish Chartist, who led a movement to try to provide smallholdings for the working classes. His name was obviously well known to the Law family for them to give it or part of it to their sons.

Fergus and Walter Law are both remembered on the additional name panel below the main war memorial in St Peter's Church on Doncaster Road in Barnsley.  These names were added in November 1921 after the main memorial was dedicated in June of that year.

Fergus Law senior had predeceased his sons in October 1914 and is buried in plot R 222 in Barnsley Cemetery. His widow Sarah, still living on Waltham Street, died in 1922 and is buried in the same plot. This makes me wonder why Fergus jnr was buried in Rawmarsh, not in the family plot in Barnsley? Brother Arthur died in 1946 and was also buried in R 222.

Walter Law had married Bertha Dewsnap in 1910 and when he left her a widow in 1917 she had four children. One of the Law daughters, Eva, also married and had at least eight children with her husband William Walton. So there are probably Law descendants in Barnsley today. I wonder if they know about their WW1 ancestors?

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Moorhouse Family and the Pindar Oaks Hotel

First published in November 2016 in Barnsley CAMRA's BAR magazine

As part of a project to Remember all of Barnsley’s WW1 servicemen and women last year the Barnsley War Memorials Project transcribed the 1918 Absent Voters’ List which gives the names and military details of over 6,000 men from Barnsley who served in the war, most of whom came home safely. Two thirds of service records from WW1 were destroyed in the blitz in WW2 so this listing is often the only clue we have to these men’s time in the armed forces. A copy of the transcription can be found in Barnsley Archives where you can also view the original document on request. Pubs are not named in the Voters’ List but if on checking the address in the 1911 census the occupation of the residents suggests the pub trade the Tasker Trust website is the next place to call to find a photo of a lost pub.

The Moorhouse brothers, Ben and Henry appear in the Absent Voters’ list at 274 Doncaster Road. Ben is listed as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers and Henry as a Lance Corporal in the 4th Reserve Battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Trying to find Ben on the Lives of the First World War website the only match available was a Captain Ben Moorhouse – but checking his Medal Index Card confirmed his home address as above, so he had been promoted quite rapidly. Only men who served abroad have medal cards and nothing could be found for Henry, suggesting he served his time entirely in the UK. 

Pinder Oaks Hotel copyright the Tasker Trust
In the 1911 census no. 274 Doncaster Road is named as the Pindar Oaks Hotel, and is the home of the Moorhouse family headed by George Henry Moorhouse, occupation beerhouse keeper, aged 38, married to Sarah, with five surviving children (a baby, Walter, died in 1897 aged just 3 months) living at home along with a niece, a servant girl and a visitor. His son Ben is 16 years old and ‘assisting in the business’, whilst Henry is 14 years old and is an apprentice joiner.

On the Tasker Trust website a search for the pub brings back this picture and a list of occupants covering one hundred years.

The first licensee listed was John Harper in 1872, then Henry Moorhouse took over in 1883. A quick search of local newspapers on the Find My Past website returns a few mentions of Henry at the pub. In September 1883 the York Herald reports that H Moorhouse of the Pinder Oaks Hotel, Measbro’ Dyke, offered £15 in prizes for a Pigeon Flying Leger which was advertised as the largest competition to take place in South Yorkshire for some time. The birds flew from Doncaster Railway Station to their own cotes at Ardsley and Barnsley. Henry advertises a Grocer’s Shop and House to let at Barugh Green in the Barnsley Chronicle in 1885, which could have been the family’s previous home. Henry died in June 1898 aged 66 and is buried in Barnsley Cemetery. The pub passed to his widow Betty and then on her retirement in 1908 to their son George Henry Moorhouse, who had previously been a Pork Butcher at 260 Doncaster Road. Betty dies in 1922 aged 84 and is buried with her husband. In 1929 George Henry and his wife Sarah retire to a nice new semi-detached house in Doncaster and their son Henry Moorhouse jnr, who had been the KOYLI soldier in WW1, takes over the pub very briefly until his death in October 1929 aged just 33. The next name listed on the Tasker site is Elsie Moorhouse, who is Henry jnr’s widow. The pub passes out of the family in 1932 with five more licensees until its closure in 1972.

Top of Portland Street (from Google Maps)
A picture from a similar viewpoint on Google Maps today shows new housing on Portland Street has replaced the pub.

The 49 year tenure of the Moorhouse family at the Pindar Oaks Hotel was not their only connection to the pub trade. Tracing the family backwards through the census returns before their arrival on Doncaster Road I found that they were at the Spencers Arms at Barugh in 1881. Henry Moorhouse snr, born 1833 in Hepworth, nr Holmfirth, is listed as a Beer Seller. Henry and his family were in Barugh at an unnamed establishment in 1871, where he was listed as a Miner and Publican. A newspaper cutting from 1869 mentions Henry Moorhouse applying for a spirit licence for a beerhouse in Ardsley, which was refused, but with a watching brief for the next year. In 1861 they were living at Low Hill, Higham and Henry’s occupation was solely as a Miner. The family appear to have progressed from a modest background and worked their way up by taking on various pub businesses and expanding over the years.

I did wonder why Ben Moorhouse, being the elder son, had not taken over the Pindar Oaks Hotel in 1929 when his father retired. It seems that obtaining a commission in the Royal Engineers during the war changed his life. He had enlisted early in the war, first arriving in France in October 1915. He was commissioned in September 1917 and would have had some special training as a ‘temporary gentleman’ as part of this. After the war he took a B.Eng Degree whilst still living at the Pindar Oaks Hotel. 

He married Phyllis Crossland, daughter of the Registrar at Barnsley Cemetery in 1924 giving his occupation as Engineer; his brother Henry had married her sister Elsie in 1920. He had finished his Electrical Engineering degree by 1927 because by then he and Phyllis had moved to a new semi-detached house in Osbaldwick near York. In 1939 he is a Works Manager for a firm of Chocolate and Confectionary Manufacturers in York (maybe Terry’s?). The Moorhouse family’s journey from coal miners to professionals had continued, helped along the way by Ben’s experiences in the First World War. No wonder he hadn’t wanted to take on the family pub!

WW1 Soldier's Story - Harold Peart and the Thorpe Hesley War Memorials

On Saturday I was double checking the last few 'Orphans' on the huge list of WW1 casualties the Barnsley War Memorials Project (BWMP) have accumulated over the past three and a bit years against my particular interest, the Imperial War Museum's Lives of the First World War website.  I am no longer on the Committee of the Project but I couldn't possibly stop researching the men (and women) just yet and I fully support the Project's current campaign to develop and print a Roll of Honour naming all the men by November 2018.  Many of the Project volunteers are currently working on trying to solve mystery names on the various war memorials and on other aspects of data checking before compiling the final version of the Roll of Honour.

Orphan names are those of men who were killed in WW1 who were either born in Barnsley or who demonstrably lived here at the time of their enlistment into the armed services but who are not named on any of the 649 war memorials found in the borough.  
Harold Peart's SDWG index entry from Ancestry
Many men enlisted in Barnsley from other parts of the county, travelling from Sheffield and Wakefield and even further afield to do so. Soldiers Died in the Great War (SDGW) includes a line to tell you where men enlisted but that doesn't mean that I can take it for granted they actually lived in the borough at the time. Sometimes a line for Residence is included, but for Corporal Harold Peart, above, this has not been shown. Other problems around the SDGW dataset include mis-spelling of Barnsley and the surrounding villages, inclusion of areas such as Woolley and Wath in Barnsley (they were part of Barnsley in the early 1900s but are not any more) and especially for officers, the total lack of useful information!  
A report on Harold Peart's death from the Barnsley Chronicle 23 November 1918
with thanks to Barnsley Archives
A search of the local newspapers for mentions of the man can often help.  The BWMP have recently completed an index to the Barnsley Chronicle from August 1914 to March 1919 which is available at Barnsley Archives. It makes looking up a name very easy and you can often find multiple mentions of a man and trace their war time career through the newspaper reports.  Other local newspapers, the Barnsley Independent and the South Yorkshire Times, are also available at Barnsley Archives on microfilm and other Yorkshire newspapers can be found on the British Newspaper Archive or on Find My Past.  Harold Peart's death was reported in the Barnsley Chronicle in late November 1918 and the article helpfully states that the family lived at 3 Newton Street, Barnsley and that Harold had worked locally before his enlistment. As he was only 22 and unmarried I think it is fairly safe to assume that he still lived at home with his parents when he enlisted.  The article also gives confirmation of Harold's Military Medal which was noted in the SDGW entry although I could see no reference to this in the Chronicle index for the previous year.

A further check is provided by the 1918 Absent Voters' List, also transcribed by the BWMP and available on the open shelves at Barnsley Archives.  

Ward    PD    No    Surname    Forenames    Street    House     No    Service No    Rank    Battalion    Regiment  
West    13P    4010    Peart    Harold        Newton Street    3                   2333        Pte    1/5        Y & L  

This confirms that Harold's last known address was the family home at 3 Newton Street.

Newton Street runs off Summer Lane onto Farrar Street and is on the same side of the town centre as Cranbrook Street where I found the Peart family in the 1911 census. At that time Harold's mother Mary Elizabeth was still alive having had eight children, three of whom had died before the census was taken.  I can find burials for two of these children in Barnsley Cemetery, Colin in 1910 aged 4 months and Elsie aged 8 months in 1912, both from 48 Cranbrook Street but their mother is not buried with them. The index to burials in Barnsley Cemetery is also available at Barnsley Archives - it is a great place to visit if you are doing your family history, with so many more local resources than are available online! Sadly the grave plots mentioned in the two children's burials appear to be 'pauper graves' as all the burials are around the same dates. FreeBMD tells us that Mary Elizabeth died in 1913 aged just 36. So where is she buried?  Harold's father Wilfred did not pass away until 1960 and he is not buried in Barnsley Cemetery either. With a family of young children to support I was not surprised to find him remarrying in 1918, somewhere in the Barnsley area.  His second wife, Mary Ann is buried in Barnsley Cemetery in 1937 from 3 Newton Street, aged 70.

When I see a man is not remembered on a Barnsley memorial my next thought is to search the place where he was born.  In the case of Harold Peart I was lucky to find a list of names on the Thorpe Hesley war memorial on the Genuki website. A H Peart is included on the list which could be Harold. In an attempt to find some good pictures of the war memorial at the Holy Trinity church in Thorpe Hesley I came across the church's own Flickr account.  What a wonderful resource!  There were pictures of all kinds of social and religious event in the area going back a number of years including several Remembrance Sunday services.  I was intrigued to see that the congregation, including Scouts, Guides and Brownies all paraded through the village on these occasions to another memorial for a second wreath laying.  So much so that I got the OH to take me up to Thorpe Hesley yesterday to have a look at the two memorials.
Holy Trinity

The soldier on top of the memorial outside the church reminds me of the one at Dodworth in Barnsley, the detail of his uniform and rifle are quite amazing.  And those look like shell cases surrounding the base!  H Peart is named on the right hand side of the pillar.  

It looks well cared for, although the soldier could do with a little cleaning as he is a bit greenish.
Flanders Court

The second memorial is at Flanders Court, a little housing development higher up in the village.  It consists of two stone plaques laid down in a brick paving frame, it is set at a slight incline but sadly the names are already weathering.  According to the entry for this memorial on the War Memorial Register there are 212 names listed of men from the village who served in WW1.  H Peart MM is named near the foot of the middle column of names. This is a rare and special kind of memorial as most list only the men who lost their lives. A passing resident was able to tell us that the plaques had been saved from the nearby Mechanics' Institute, which, to my surprise, was still standing.  She told us that the building could not be demolished as it was listed (which was not substantiated by a search of Rotherham Council's website; the cottages beside it are but not the old Institute) but that the new owners had not wanted the enormous Roll of Honour. (Click on the OH's pictures to see them enlarged.)
Former Mechanics' Institute Thorpe Hesley
In the picture above taken from Thorpe Street, you can see a large centrally positioned stone frame which we guessed had been the original position of the Roll of Honour. It now contains an advertisement for the occupiers of the building. To the left is a gennel (alleyway) leading to the Housing Association development Flanders Court (built in 1988) where the Roll of Honour now lies.

I think that the inclusion of a Military Medal citation on the Roll of Honour strongly suggests that the H Peart listed on this and the church war memorial are the same Harold who lived in Barnsley. There was another H Peart who was awarded the Military Medal, but he survived the war.

The Peart family appear to move from Thorpe Hesley to Barnsley between the the birth of the youngest child shown on the 1911 census, Miriam b.1907 and the birth of Colin in Barnsley in 1909. The three children already lost by 1911 are Eva, b.1904 in Thorpe Hesley, Josiah b.1905 in Thorpe Hesley (both buried in Thorpe Hesley) and Colin b.1909 in Barnsley. Subsequently Elsie b.1911 dies in Barnsley in 1912 and a further child Arthur John is born in 1913 who survives.  It could be this last child who contributes to his mother's death. She bore ten children in total between 1896 and 1913.

It seems that despite the move the family still retained ties to Thorpe Hesley as I found the burial of Mary Elizabeth Peart aged 36 recorded in the church there on 1 July 1913. This is undoubtedly Harold's mother. It would be nice to think that she rejoined her two little lost babies there.   

Harold, meanwhile, is buried in York Cemetery, Haspres, Northern France in plot D.4. His headstone bears no family citation but probably does record his Military Medal.

Harold Peart's Lives of the First World War page

Friday, 2 June 2017

WW1 Soldier's Story - Thomas William Halton

I became interested in this man's family and his story when I began to add his war memorial gravestone to the Imperial War Museum's War Memorial Register.
Halton family memorial
in Barnsley Cemetery

The family gravestone is unusually elaborate and wordy for Barnsley Cemetery. It seems that Thomas' father Matthew Corri Halton was the mayor of Barnsley from 1892 to 1894 and had been a doctor in the town since 1868, marrying a local girl, Lucy Ann Allen here in 1876.

His section of the inscription reads, "Of Your Charity / Pray For The Soul Of / Lieutenant Surgeon Matthew C.S. Halton / M.D., J.P. / Late mayor of Barnsley / Born June 3rd 1843 / Died March 7th 1899 / R.I.P. / Jesus. Mercy. Mary. Help."

An obituary for Matthew in the British Medical Journal (25 March 1899) explained that he was originally from Mullingar, Ireland and his father had been the organist in the Catholic Cathedral there for fifty years. The family were living in Church Street in Barnsley in the 1881 and 1891 census returns. He died of influenza complicated by pneumonia leaving his wife, Lucy, two sons, Thomas and Patrick and a daughter Mary. 

Lucy Halton passed away herself in 1902 from the house in Hopwood Street where she had been living with Thomas and Mary in 1901. Her occupation was given as 'Living on own means' and she left £4,600 when she died.

Her portion of the inscription reads, "Also of Your Charity / Pray for the Repose / of the Soul of / His Beloved Wife / Lucy Ann / Born March 21st 1848 / Died June 4th 1902 / R.I.P. / Jesus. Mercy. Mary. Help."

Patrick had already left home and in 1901 was living with his uncle Michael Halton, who was also a doctor, in Leigh in Lancashire.  Patrick's occupation in the census is given as Medical Student.  He must not have found this career to his taste as in the 1911 census, after his marriage in 1909 to a Manchester girl Mary McDonnell, his occupation is given as Clerk to a Coal Merchant.  The recently married couple don't yet have any children, but lodging with them is Patrick's brother Thomas, now aged 33, a 'Gentleman with private means'.  The house at 9 Princess Road South, Moss Side, Manchester had seven rooms and is where Patrick and Mary were still living in December 1915 when he attested, although by then children Patrick (b.Dec 1911) and Mary (b.May 1913) had joined the family. Patrick was not mobilised, probably due to his age (he was 37 years old in 1915) until July 1917 when he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Private, presumably being able to put his earlier medical training to good use. By then he had a third child, Matthew (b.Jan 1916).  His records show that he attended some courses of training to be a medical orderly and that he was smart and efficient in this role.

Thomas William Halton's army service records do not appear to have survived, but we know that he initially joined the Lancashire Fusiliers (Service no.30956) and was then transferred to the Labour Corps (Service no.276853). He may have knocked a couple of years off his age when he enlisted as we know he was baptised at the Holy Rood Church in Barnsley in May 1877, yet his Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry states that his age at death in 1918 was only 39 years (suggesting he gave a birth date in 1879).

The inscription on the family gravestone shown above states that Thomas was 'accidentally killed in France April 24th 1918'. Little more can be gleaned from the additional documents on the CWGC site which say that he died of 'accidental injuries'. There is nothing in the Barnsley newspapers about his death, but that is not surprising as he and his brother had been based in Manchester for some years by this time.

However his sister Mary Magdalen Halton had married locally to Harold Henry Dransfield, a Brewer, in August 1910 and was living in Darton in 1911.  I am surprised there wasn't a death notice in the local newspaper at least. In 1939 Harold and Mary are living at 22 Paddock Road in Darton and Harold is a retired Moulder of Iron and Steel. They have one son, Richard (b.1911) who is an Engineers General Turner. Mary and Harold die in Darton in 1950 in their 70s within a few days of each other and are buried in the churchyard there. 

Patrick Halton pays 6 shillings and 1 penny (or at least agrees to pay, as I understand not everyone was charged) for a personal citation at the foot of Thomas' CWGC gravestone in Guarbecque Churchyard in France.  Matching the style of the family stone in Barnsley Cemetery it reads 'R.I.P. Jesus Mercy, Mary Help".  By this time Patrick's address was 255 Princess Road, Moss Side, Manchester.  
Death Notice from the Manchester Evening News 1 May 1918 (thanks to Find My Past Newspapers)
Patrick must also have put the above death notice in his local newspaper. Although it does confirm that Thomas remained in Manchester up to the time of his enlistment (tallying with his entry on Soldiers Died in the Great War) it still doesn't give any more information about his death.  In 1939 Patrick and Mary are still living at the same address in Manchester. Patrick is now a Kitchen Clerk in a Restaurant and his two sons, Patrick and Matthew are both Insurance Agents. His youngest son, Phillip (b.1922) is blanked out in the 1939 Register on Find My Past as he may still be alive. We know that Patrick snr dies in 1942 as he is also buried in the family plot in Barnsley Cemetery. 

His inscription reads, "Also Patrick Allen / Dearly beloved husband / of Mary Halton / and son of / Dr Matthew C.S. Halton / born June 23rd 1878 / died Feby 3rd 1942 / Jesus. Mercy. Mary. Help."

Thomas William Halton left a will and his effects amounted to £2551 8s 3d. His executor was an accountant, William Peckett Moulton, who was also named on his entry in the Army Register of Soldiers' Effects

A Google search of his name gave me a hit on the Derbyshire War Memorials site. Thomas is remembered at Mount St Mary's College in Spinkhill in Derbyshire, which was a Jesuit school in the 19th century. It is about 25 miles from Barnsley so Thomas must have been a boarder.  There is no other information about his schooling on the site however.

He does not appear to have ever married and is not noted as having any particular occupation in any census return in which he appears.  All in all he's still quite a mystery.

Thomas William Halton on Lives of the First World War
Patrick Allen Halton on Lives of the First World War