Saturday, 28 March 2020

Distant connection - the Brampton Parish Hall Roll of Honour

It was bound to happen eventually ... I have found a connection between some of the men named on the Brampton Parish Hall Roll of Honour and my husband (aka the OH).  As I have been researching the OH's family history for the past twenty years or so I have come to realise that Barnsley really isn't that big a place. If your family has a line that stretches back two hundred years in the area, just beyond the census returns and into the realms of the parish records being the best available sources, there is a very good chance that you are connected to everyone else in the area who has equally long lines.

Quite a few years ago now I discovered that the OH's father and one of his best friends, who had for many years, with their wives, been accustomed to taking Tuesday nights off and going out for a drink together, were fifth cousins. I have shown that the OH is related to a number of his own friends, admittedly in some cases with marriage links rather than blood lines, and using the OH as an intermediary one of my BWMP (Barnsley War Memorials Project) colleagues was related to her husband!  These connections are usually via the OH's paternal grandmother Mary Blackburn; I have determined that thirteen of her great-grandparents (out of a possible sixteen) were born in the Barnsley area between 1800 and 1831. In comparison, on his mother's side not a single one of her great-grand parents were born in Barnsley!

Cropped section of the Brampton Parish Hall RoH
showing Joseph and Walter Savage's names
The connection with the Savage family is via a marriage link. In 1957 the OH's great aunt married into the Savages, a family who have been in Barnsley since about 1819.  George Savage, born 1767, his wife Mary and at least three of their eight children (that I am aware of) moved to Barnsley in time for the birth of their youngest son Joseph in 1819. They had previously lived in Newark in Nottinghamshire and George, head of the family, was a weaver. The OH's connection descends from that Joseph Savage born in Barnsley in 1819 and the two brothers on the Brampton Parish Hall Roll of Honour descend from his older brother, George Savage, born in Newark in 1806.

A short history of the Savage family by Vivian Thomas can be found in Moving Lives: Stories of Barnsley Families (Barnsley Family History Society, 2007). Vivian is the granddaughter of Walter Savage who was listed on the Roll of Honour and her article includes a photo of Walter in uniform. I confess that I have only just noticed this, my only excuse is that I bought the book years before I really started researching the OH's First World War relatives.

I have been researching the names on the Brampton Parish Hall Roll of Honour since the beginning of February. At a rate of one or two men a day, and with a hundred names on the list, it is not a quick job! Yesterday I reached Joseph and Walter Savage. I did wonder about them as Savage is not a common name in Barnsley, but with them being in Brampton I didn't immediately assume there was a connection to the Barnsley family I knew were related to my husband.

1911 census for 6 Wath Road, New Wombwell (from Ancestry)
My first search was in the 1911 census where I found the two men, obviously brothers, living at 6 Wath Road, New Wombwell, with their father George, mother Mary Jane and two other siblings, Charles and Sarah. The address is in the vicinity of most of the others I have traced on the Roll of Honour and therefore I accepted that I had found the correct men.  In a previous post I explain how most the men named (that I have researched so far) appear to come from a small area around the Concrete Cottages and Wombwell Junction.

I noticed that George Savage, the father of the assumed soldiers, was born in Barnsley in 1866, and my suspicions were aroused. It was fairly easy to find his marriage to Mary Jane Skiffington at St George's Church in Barnsley in 1886 on Ancestry and I saw that both he and his father Charles Savage were described as Publicans. I remembered that the Savages in the OH's family tree had run a few pubs so I tracked back one more generation. Charles Savage married Sarah Naylor at St George's Church in Barnsley in 1864 and his father was George Savage 'Inspector of Nuisances'. Yes, they were connected to the OH!  I wrote a post about the family in 2013.

1891 census for 1 and 2 Wombwell Junction, Guide Post Inn (from Ancestry)
In 1891 Charles Savage was running the Guide Post Inn at Wombwell Junction. George, his son, already married to Jane (aka Mary Jane), was still living in his father's household along with his sons Charles and Walter.  Charles had previously run the Melbourne Hotel on Sheffield Road in Barnsley which is where I found him and his family in the 1881 census.

1905 map snip of the Wombwell Junction area
(from National Library of Scotland)
Vivian Thompson, in her article in Moving Lives, refers to the triangle of houses with the Guide Post Inn at the apex (see map on left) as 'the three cornered hell' which seems a little harsh. She does not explain from where she got this term.

There is a picture of the pub on the Old Pictures of Barnsley Facebook site which probably dates from the 1960s as the houses behind it appear to have been demolished. In several of the comments attached to the picture the term 'three cornered hell' is also mentioned.

Walter Savage enlisted in the Royal Artillery in 1909 giving his address as 6 Wath Road, Wombwell and his occupation as Colliery Trammer. His place of birth was New Wombwell, which I have noticed is the term used for the area covered by the Junction and the Concrete Cottages.

You might have spotted that in 1911 he is listed as a Soldier in his father's census return. As George also includes a deceased child, Tom Savage, he appeared to interpret the census instructions very broadly, including all his children whether at home or not, so the presence of Walter on the return does not mean that he was living at home in 1911.

A further search of the 1911 census, now that I know Walter had enlisted in 1909, uncovered him in Kirkee, India (now known as Khadki) in an army barracks with the 81st Battery, Royal Field Artillery. Some information on the 81st Battery and the 5th Brigade of which it was part can be found on the Long, Long Trail website.  Walter's Medal Card, service number 54143, informs us that he reached a theatre of war (unspecified, so it could be Egypt or France) on 6 November 1914, which qualifies him for the 1914 Star. His rank was Gunner.  The Barnsley Chronicle on 13 November 1915 reports that he had a brief return home to Wombwell.
Corporal Walter Savage, R.F.A., on Wednesday, made an unexpected re-appearance amongst his family and friends at Wombwell Junction, Wombwell, after being absent for over six years. At the outbreak of war Savage was serving in India. The regiment was recalled after the outbreak of war, and he was drafted to France in October without having the pleasure of paying a visit to his home. He has seen a great deal of heavy fighting, but, fortunately, so far has received no injury. He was given a great reception by his old friends. Savage was once prominent in local football circles.
He was discharged on 1 January 1921 and the address he gave at that point was 74 Hawes Side Lane, Blackpool.  He had married Faith Hope Charity Pearson (lovely name!) on 24 December 1920 at Marton in Lancashire, presumably whilst on his final leave from the army. Marton is now a suburb of Blackpool and is very close to Hawes Side Lane. By 1939 he had moved around the corner to Powell Avenue. Walter and Charity (Vivian refers to her by this name) appear to have only had one child, Alice born in 1922 in Wombwell oddly enough.

Joe Savage, Walter's younger brother, enlists into the Territorial Force in June 1915 and joins the (West Riding) Royal Horse Artillery, service numbers 4050 and 831644. Joe's Service Records have survived and can be viewed on Ancestry and Find My Past. He was a tall man for the time, 5 feet 11.75 inches and with a 38 inch chest. He gives his father's address as 6 New Wombwell, but I assume this is the same as 6 Wath Road. He lands in France on 23 May 1916 and is wounded in the right leg in September 1917, but this does not appear to cause any lasting disability.  He was discharged on 13 March 1919 and gives his address as 6 Wath Road, New Wombwell. He marries Nellie Count on 21 September 1919 at St Mary's Church in Wombwell. They have three children, Betty who dies young, Jessie and George. In 1939 the family is living at 80 Wath Road in Wombwell. Joseph is listed as a Licensee - but of which pub?  Vivian's article helps again telling us that the Guide Post Inn was run by three generations of the family (although not continuously), Charles, George and Joseph before its closure in 1968.  Joseph apparently ran it for 38 years!

It is always nice to link the OH to pubs as he is a longstanding member of the Campaign for Real Ale (Barnsley Branch). But he hadn't heard of the Guide Post Inn before so I look forward to telling him his tenuous connection.

Thank you for reading.

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