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Author Topic: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.  (Read 2464 times)

Offline Tony Lund

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Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« on: Monday 31 July 06 21:53 BST (UK) »
I have a considerable amount of information on the people and events of this period, especially (most of) the 300 plus men who were killed.  I would be happy to share relevant information with anyone who wants it.

I would also be grateful for any background information on anyone who was living in this district at this time. 

Tony Lund.


Lund or Lunn and Hatfield of Pontefract.

Holmfirth & District during the First World War.

Offline drodgers34

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 27 December 06 03:48 GMT (UK) »
I have a gt grandfather John Mitchell who died on 13 May 1917His Brother Ernest also died on 7th Oct 1917. I saw from the war sites they were in the York and Lancaster regiment

38660, PRIVATE John Mitchell
7th (Service) Battalion., York and Lancaster Regiment
Killed in action, France & Flanders, 13/05/1917
Born: Hepworth, Yorks, Enlisted: Halifax

Any info or pointers would be most gratefully accepted

Descendants of Arthur Mitchell
               
   1     Arthur Mitchell   b: 1859 in Thurlstone, West Yorks      d: 09 Jul 1922 in hepworth, west yorks
..      +Mary Swallow ?   b: 1856      d: 21 Feb 1910 in Hepworth, West Yorks
      *2nd Wife of Arthur Mitchell:         
..      +Mary Anne Cartwright   b: 1859 in Hepworth, West Yorks   m: Jun 1882 in Huddersfield, West Yorks   d: 22 Apr 1894 in Hepworth, West Yorks
......   2     Annie Mitchell   b: 1881 in Hepworth, West Yorks      d: in 
......   2     John Mitchell   b: 1889 in Hepworth, West Yorks      d: 13 May 1917 in France and Flanders
..........      +Sarah Jane Whitehead   b: 1888 in Fulstone, West Yorks   m: Jun 1910 in Huddersfield   d: Abt. 1965 in New Mill, West Yorks
...............   3     Kathleen Mitchell   b: Sep 1910 in Huddersfield      d: Abt. 1995 in Huddersfield, West Yorks
...................      +Frank Richard Hartley   b: Mar 1903 in Huddersfield, West Yorks   m: Jun 1933 in Huddersfield   d: in 
......   2     Mary J Mitchell   b: 1893 in Hepworth, West Yorks      d: in 
......   2     Ernest Mitchell   b: 1896 in Hepworth, West Yorks      d: 07 Oct 1917 in France and Flanders
......   2     James A Mitchell   b: 1899 in Hepworth, West Yorks      d: in 


Offline Tony Lund

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 27 December 06 10:45 GMT (UK) »
I have some information, I will post John’s first.

John Mitchell lived at Foster Place, Jackson Bridge.  A Private (38660), 7th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, 17th Northern Division.  Born at Hepworth, he was married with one child.  Before the war he had worked as a teamer, and was well known as a cheerful man who was often seen driving a team of horses and a cart loaded with coke from the Hepworth Ironworks to Bridge Foundry.  Shortly before enlisting at Halifax on October 1st 1916 he had changed jobs and was employed at the Bridge Dyeworks at Honley.  He arrived in France on March 22nd 1917 was killed instantly by shellfire in France on Sunday May 13th 1917.  He had been at the front for seven weeks and three days.

He was twenty-eight years old, at the time of his death his twenty-one year old brother Ernest was in training and his eighteen year old brother James Arthur was due to leave for the front in about a month’s time. 
 
Lieutenant Crossdell, his platoon commander wrote:

“Being in my Battalion I also feel his loss.  He was such a bright fellow, and always had a cheery word when spoken to.  I feel his loss very much.”

The Reverend T. H. Cleworth also wrote to Mrs. Mitchell, saying:

“Before you receive this letter you will have had news from the War Office that your husband was killed in action on May 13th.  I am afraid I cannot tell you much about it.  I only know he was hit while with his Battalion working up the front line.  I know it will be a terrible loss to you.  I hope that the knowledge that he died doing his duty will be a comfort to you.  You have my deepest sympathy.  I did not know him personally, but I have lost many of my friends, and I know something of your grief.  I buried him in the cemetery not far behind the line in a grave next to a Sergeant of his own battalion and two of his officers, and many of his friends came to the service.  I will put a cross to mark the place to remind you when you feel most desolate that we buried him in the Christian hope of a happy resurrection.”

He was Buried in Grave Number 10 on Row C in Plot I.
POINT-DU-JOUR MILITARY CEMETERY, ATHIES Pas de Calais, France

Locally he is commemorated on the Holme, Holmfirth and New Mill War Memorial, Hepworth and Scholes section, and the Hepworth Lynch Gate Memorial.   

In March 1915 the 7th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment became the Pioneer Battalion of the 17th Northern Division.

I will post Ernest’s shortly.

Tony Lund.
Lund or Lunn and Hatfield of Pontefract.

Holmfirth & District during the First World War.

Offline Tony Lund

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 27 December 06 11:03 GMT (UK) »
Ernest Mitchell was a Private (34287), 6th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, 110th Infantry Brigade, 21st Division. 

He was born and raised in Hepworth, and later moved to South Crosland, Huddersfield.  He enlisted at Huddersfield on February 22nd, 1917, and after six months in training he went overseas.  He was killed in action just six weeks later on Sunday October 7th 1917.  He was twenty-two years old on September 27th, a few days before he died.  A single man, before joining the army he had worked on his father’s farm.

At the time of his death the 21st Division were at Polygon Wood near Ypres in Belgium.  At that time the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele, was in progress.

A friend wrote to the family saying:

“We were heavily bombarded for about two hours in the afternoon, and a shell burst just behind us.  Ernest, who was in my section, was severely wounded in the right thigh.  I went at once to see if I could help him, but it was impossible to do anything for him except call for the stretcher bearers.  I am sorry to say Ernest passed away just after he was placed on the stretcher.  I stayed close by him till the end.  He was quite cheerful and asked me to write and tell you.  I don’t think he had much pain, as he did not know where he was hit.  Almost his last words were, ‘Corporal, I have done my bit’.  I feel his loss very much as we came out together in the same draft, and I alway found him doing his work willingly and cheerfully.”

There is no known grave.
Panel 50 to 51.  TYNE COT MEMORIAL, Belgium.

That is all I have at the moment.  Do you have any family stories that can be added?

Tony Lund.
Lund or Lunn and Hatfield of Pontefract.

Holmfirth & District during the First World War.

Offline drodgers34

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 28 December 06 06:34 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks Tony. I will consult my father to see if he has any other information.

I met John's widow a couple of times (my gt grandmother) although I was too young and she too old to really speak much.

I also liked your story on The Holme Electric company on the holmfirth web. Mary Howard was my gt gt grandmother and legendary apparently.

It's a pity the homfirth web has less emphasis on History these days.

If there were to be a Holmfirth History site it might be called "Theres more than just Compo" as that seems to be the focus these days - its a shame  ;) They couldn't raise enough for a bronze statue of him. But I suppose he did help to put the place on the map !

Anyway thanks again - your info is great - i assume its form newspaper archives ?

Regards

Dale

Melbourne Australia

Offline Tony Lund

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #5 on: Friday 29 December 06 19:53 GMT (UK) »
This is a picture of Ernest taken from microfilm at the library.  As you can see the quality is not very good. I would be grateful for any scans of any better copies if you know of any.  It is a fact that young men who died young did not leave many photos behind.

A lot of the information given came from the old Holmfirth Express, but I will also look anywhere that has information.  Including the Australian online records of Holmfirth men who served in their army; they are very good, a lot of ours were destroyed during the Second World War.

Tony.

Lund or Lunn and Hatfield of Pontefract.

Holmfirth & District during the First World War.

Offline drodgers34

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #6 on: Monday 01 January 07 08:11 GMT (UK) »
Thats a great picture Tony - was it from Huddersfield Library ?

I will enqure from my Father when I visit in July this year. John had only one child, Kathleen. My Father Lawrence is one of two surviving children so there's a good chance he has the family stuff.

Until then here's what I have.

Born 1889 the son of Arthur Mitchell (1859-19 Jul 1922) and Mary Anne Cartwright (1859 - 22 April 1894) Arthur had a second wife Mary (perhaps swallow) b 1856 who died 21 Feb 1910.

From the census and Mary Anne's death date you could assume the younger Ernest and James were half brothers to the older Annie John and Mary J. Neither mother lived long enough to witness the loss of their sons.

In 1901 Arthur employed 2 servants on his farm

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Inscription from Hepworth Weslyan methodist graveyard (HDFHS):

Area F: Row J: Plot 7:

In loving memory of MARY ANNE wife of ARTHUR MITCHELL of Foster Place died April 22nd 1894 aged 35 years. Also of MARY his wife died February 21st 1910 aged 54 years. Also the above ARTHUR MITCHELL died July 9th 1922 in his 65th year. Also of JOHN his son  died May 13th 1917 aged 28 years. Also of ERNEST died October 7th 1917 aged 22 years. The last two named fell in action in the great war.

copyrights HDFHS and The National Archives

Offline Tony Lund

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 02 January 07 11:50 GMT (UK) »
The Holmfirth Express is on microfilm at Huddersfield Library, but there are also copies of the original newspapers at the British Newspaper Library at Colindale Avenue, London
NW9 5HE.

Thanks for the background information, it all helps to build a picture,

Tony.
Lund or Lunn and Hatfield of Pontefract.

Holmfirth & District during the First World War.