Author Topic: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.  (Read 6874 times)

Offline Tony Lund

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #9 on: Tuesday 17 October 17 16:50 BST (UK) »
I have a few notes for you.

Herbert Beaumont and Fred Wibberley, two step-brothers.

Also killed that day (Tuesday October 10th 1916) was Herbert Beaumont, from Green Gate, Holmbridge, the twenty-one year old son of Hannah Wibberley and step-son of George Wibberley - who was the father of Private Fred Wibberley (died of wounds March 13th 1917).  Herbert Beaumont was a Private (5536), 1st 5th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment.  Born at Hepworth he worked as a weaver before enlisting at Holmfirth under Lord Derby’s Scheme, and was called up on March 29th 1916. 

He was described as a keen rugby player who was also involved in the little Bethel (non-conformist chapel) that his family was associated with.  He trained at Clipstone and went to the Front in July, and almost immediately he was attached to the 2nd 10th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and he was with them when he was shot several times on September 27th.  He died from gunshot wounds to the chest on Tuesday October 10th 1916.  A telegram arrived in Holmfirth saying that he was dangerously wounded and at a Stationary Hospital in Abbeville, and that permission to visit him could not be given.  This was followed by a letter from a nursing sister saying that he was wounded in the left hand and right arm and elsewhere, and they expected to send him back to a base hospital and from there on to England as soon as he was strong enough to travel.  “He is a good boy, so patient with his wounds” wrote the Sister, adding: “I always feel sorry for the mothers at home when their poor boys are suffering out here, after such damage, but you have much to be proud of, so think how well they are doing over here.  We do trust this terrible war will soon be over.”

Another letter said that it was believed he had been laying out in the open wounded for two days before he was found, but he was now improving, although he would not be able to make the journey home for a while.  A final message - which arrived on the 13th - was from the Military Authorities saying that he had died on the previous Tuesday.

Monday March 12th 1917.  At the time the 147th Infantry Brigade his Battalion was a part of was in the Ferme du Bois area.

Another man died the next day, (March 13th 1917) he was Fred Wibberley, who lived at Holmbridge.  A Private (5533), 1st 5th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment.   The nineteen year old son of George Wibberley, of Green Gate, Holmbridge.  Born at Austonley, he had attended Saint David’s School and he later worked at Bent Ley Silk Mills at Meltham Mills.  He enlisted at Holmfirth on his nineteenth birthday, March 29th 1916.  He went into training at Clipstone and went out to the Western Front in August, where he took part in the attack on the Pope’s Nose.  (3/9/1916 Somme area.)

He was wounded by a shell while working as a stretcher bearer, and died of wounds the next day, on Tuesday March 13th 1917, on the same day that his Battalion was relieved from the front line and moved into reserve at Senechal Farm, still in the Ferme du Bois area.

A stretcher bearer describing himself as: “A chum of your son” wrote: “Your son asked me to tell you not to worry when I handed him over to the RAMC.  He was doing well, and may I say that all the Company wish him good luck and a speedy recovery.”

The parents also received a telegram from the hospital, saying that he had passed away in France on March 13th.  One day later a letter from Second Lieutenant Ellis of A. Company arrived, saying that Private Wibberley died in hospital on March 13th from wounds caused by a shell.  The Lieutenant added: “He was in my Platoon and therefore I knew him exceedingly well, and must say I always found him cheerful and a good soldier under all circumstances, and I shall miss him very much indeed.  At least it will be some consolation for you to know that he died doing his duty, and therefore his death will not have been in vain.  Please allow me to offer you my sincere sympathy in the loss of your boy.”

Another message arrived, this one had a slightly different date of death - a not uncommon occurrence - the letter read: “I am sorry to inform you over your Fred.  He was hit on the 12th, but none of us thought that he would not pull through.  He died on the 14th, when he got to the main hospital.  He did not suffer much.  You must not bother as regards the funeral, as he will have all respect paid to him.  The Platoon send their deepest sympathy.  His pal, J. Morton.”

 
Lund or Lunn and Hatfield of Pontefract.

Holmfirth & District during the First World War.

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Offline Tony Lund

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #10 on: Tuesday 17 October 17 16:52 BST (UK) »
And a few more:

At Holmfirth Police Court on Saturday 9th February 1918, Thomas Hardy, an Innkeeper from Upper Thong was charged with being drunk in charge of a pony and trap, and also of being in charge of a vehicle without a red light.  He pleaded not guilty.

Inspector Whincup testified that at 7-40 p.m. on January 25th he was in Victoria Square when he saw the Defendant accompanied by another man, George Wibberley, driving a pony and trap at an excessive speed.  When they reached the bank the horse fell down and Thomas Hardy also fell into the street.  The Inspector told Thomas Hardy that he would be reported for being drunk and drew his attention to the fact that there was no candle in the rear lamp.

 Police Constable Groves also testified that the Defendant was drunk, saying, “It took three of us to get him into the trap again.”  “It was because I was stunned by the fall,” retorted Thomas Hardy.  He added that the lamp would only take half an inch of candle and that it was full of wax when the Inspector stopped them, and that he objected to being described as drunk just because he fell out of the trap.  He was not saying that the Inspector was telling lies, but he did say that he was mistaken.  The Magistrates’ Clerk said, “You have not said whether you were sober or not.”  Thomas Hardy replied, “I was perfectly sober; I had not had four intoxicating drinks all day.” 

George Wibberley of Green Gate, Holmbridge  - who owned the horse and had subsequently driven the trap home - stated that the Defendant was quite sober when he fell out of the trap and that the Inspector must have thought he was drunk because of that fall.

Superintendent McDowall: “When this occurrence took place at the bottom of Victoria Street, did you dispute the word of the Inspector?”
George Wibberley: “No, he was not charging me.”
Superintendent McDowall: “Didn’t you take exception to your friend, who was, you say, perfectly sober, being charged with being drunk?”
George Wibberley: “I said he was dazed.”
After a brief consultation the Bench considered the case proved and fined Thomas Hardy 15 shillings for being drunk in charge and 10 shillings for being without a rear red light.

George Wibberley was the father of Fred Wibberley who had died of wounds in France + step-father of Herbert Beaumont.

May 1918.

Reported to be missing in action were: Private Willie Bray of Lydgate, Private Fred Battye of New Mill, Lance Corporal G. E. Mear, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, Private John Woodcock, East Yorkshire regiment, Private John Alexander Rose, brother of Willie Rose who was killed in 1915.  Private Albert Battye of Hey Gap, Private John Collins, 8 Woodhead Road, and Private Sam Walter Haigh and Private Robert Wibberley, of Town End,Holmbridge were also listed as missing at this time.

June 1918.

Two men were reported to be prisoners at Limberg, Private S. W. Haigh of the 1st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers from Hey Gap, Holmfirth, and Private Robert Wibberley of the Border Regiment from Town End, Austonley; the latter was with a friend from Slaithwaite named John Bellerby.

September 1918

Mr. Wibberley received a letter from his son Robert Wibberley who was captured on April 10th.  He said he was fine and with an old friend, John Bellerby from Slaithwaite, Huddersfield.

Returned home December 1918 or January1919.  Private Robert Wibberley of Town End, he was captured the day after he had arrived in the front line.  He had been working on the German railways but was taken ill and hospitalised.  He said that the food situation was so bad that they once went without food for three days in that hospital.

Lund or Lunn and Hatfield of Pontefract.

Holmfirth & District during the First World War.

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Offline Krazykat87

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #11 on: Sunday 22 October 17 23:27 BST (UK) »
Oh my!!!! This is amazing!
Can I ask your sources? I can't wait to tell my grandad (Robert wibberleys son)
I knew he was involved in the war as I have his 2 medals (and a sword my grandad said was his but I didn't think they used swords so can't confirm this)
I have been searching for his records without any luck. I can't believe he was captured 😱
I have found Fred's records but I'm not very good at transcribing so all you have provided on him is fabulous!
I wish I had photos of them all so I could put a face to my ancestors. I do have one grandad gave me and it is meant to be Robert and a friend that they got done at bamforths. It's a postcard if I remember correctly.

It has rather thrown me about this Herbert Beaumont though. George is married to Ellen Ann schofield...... only Hannah I have in my tree so far is George's dads sister..... that shall be playing on my mind for a long while I bet.
I will be copy and pasting all you have sent to me thus far so I can put them with my tree documents.
Thank you so so much
Holmfirth, Austonley, Hoylandswaine etc: WIBBERLEY and FIELD
Marriages from above names to....CROOKS, WHITELEY, KAYE, DEARNALLY
Waterford, Ireland: POWER and SULLIVAN (Osullivan also)

Offline bykerlads

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #12 on: Monday 23 October 17 19:32 BST (UK) »
Tony,
Do you happen to have anything in your extensive records about the Armitage brothers of Underbank?
All served on the Dukes 1st/5th, as far as I know, including my grandfather Ernest. All survived. Probably didn't enlist until 1915, as they were reported as still running in the Harriers in early 1915.
Also, can you suggest which battalion of the Dukes a man who lived in Lockwood was likely to have served with?
Thanks in advance.

Offline Tony Lund

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #13 on: Tuesday 24 October 17 15:51 BST (UK) »
Armitage.

A lot of the time I only have a record when something happens that is considered to be news worthy, and that is often bad news.  I have a mention of Ernest coming home, I do not know the names of his brothers but there are two that might be them.

The Lockwood area will be the 1st 5th Battalion with the 2nd 5th added during the last couple of years.
   
1916
Private Battye Armitage of Underbank, who had been seriously wounded in the groin in October, was moved from France to a hospital at Southampton.

April 1917
Private John Armitage of Gully was in hospital at Lincoln after having a finger shot off his right hand, when he was visited by his mother he said it had happened just as he was leaving the trenches.  Before the war he was a tuner at a local mill, and a well known long distance runner who won many races with the Holmfirth Harriers. 
                        
Private Ernest Armitage (29224), Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, was discharged on March 2nd 1919, he was one of many local men who were discharged to the Class Z Reserve.  He lived in Underbank.  The formation of the Class Z Reserve was authorised by an Army Order on 3rd December 1918.  There were fears that Germany would not accept the terms of the peace treaty, and the British Government decided it would be wise if they were able to quickly recall trained men in the eventuality of the resumption of hostilities.  Soldiers who were being demobilised, particularly those who had agreed to serve for the duration of the war, were at first posted to the Z Reserve.  They returned to civilian life, but with an obligation to return to the army if called upon to do so.  The Z Reserve was abolished on 31st March 1920 following the issue of an army order saying that: “All soldiers in Class Z of the Army Reserve will be deemed to have been discharged as from the 31st March 1920".

Tony.
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 #14 on: Tuesday 24 October 17 15:57 BST (UK) »
Herbert Beaumont and Fred Wibberley

Most of the personal information I have comes from the weekly Holmfirth Express held on microfilm at Huddersfield Local History Reference Library.  If a man is killed it is often first briefly mentioned and then a reporter will usually pay a visit to the family and write a little obituary that appears one or two weeks later, they like to include a photograph when they can, but that can often be another week later.

I have fairly good information for 1914/15/16/17.  1918 and 1919 are still very much just notes, some better than others.  And I have photographs up to the end of June 1916. Plus some more that are on pages taken from the microfilm that just happened to be alongside the information I was after.  I have noticed that occasionally there are conflicting pieces of information, perhaps time will clarify these.

3/9/16 - James Edward Mellor, a Private of 8 Flush House, Holmbridge,  He enlisted at Holmfirth and after around three months’ training he was at home on draft leave in August before sailing for the Front.  After allowing time for travelling the Holmfirth Express estimated that he could not have been in the trenches for more than a day or two before he was killed.  He had left home with Herbert Beaumont and Fred Wibberley, so they must have all arrived around the same time.  3/9/16 was the second worst day of the war for deaths from Huddersfield and district.  3/5/17 was the worst.  In both cases the German army was left in control of the battlefield which means a lot of dead and wounded men were originally classed as missing.    


               
He left his home in perfect health,
He looked so young and brave,
We little thought how soon he wouldBe laid in a hero’s grave.

He gives us the dear old smile,
From the picture on the wall,
And we feel as though our hearts would break,
When found memories we recall.

Some day I hope to meet him,
Some day, I know not when,
I’ll clasp his hand in the better land,
And never part again.

No one knows the parting,
Or what the parting cost,
But God, in His great mercy,
Has gained what we have lost.”

The Family of Herbert Beaumont, Killed October 1916.
Green Gate, Austonley, Holmbridge.

Abbeville Communal Cemetery, (including Extension,) Somme, France.
Herbert Beaumont, Grave 2 on Row H of Plot 1. - Died of Wounds 10/10/1916 - Gunshot Wounds.

Bethune Town Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France.
Fred Wibberley, Grave 7 on Row C of Plot 6. - Died of Wounds 13/3/1917 - Shellfire.

A few years ago I was given a bayonet that once belonged to a Holmfith man, it has a proper handle and looks like a short sword a bit under two foot long.  Apparently a lot of these old bayonets were kept as souvenirs, perhaps the sword you mention is one of these?

Tony.
Lund or Lunn and Hatfield of Pontefract.

Holmfirth & District during the First World War.

Offline Krazykat87

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #15 on: Tuesday 24 October 17 20:14 BST (UK) »
Gosh Tony You have just made me cry with the photos!!!
Thank you so so much!
I do plan to go to hudds library when I have chance to start going through the newspapers myself but all you have shown me makes me feel a little more encouraged to know I can get possible copies of the info and know a little about these men!
I am truely greatful honest!!

I popped in to honley library today as I was early to the bus stop. Got two books out about the war.

‘Huddersfield in the great war’ by Vivian Teasdale

‘Words on war’ by Helga Hughes (this one is mainly about the ww2 but I was rushed while looking)

The sword you speak of I am going to photograph and get a picture up of when I manage to figure out how to do it lol

I am hoping I manage to come across a photo of my great grandad Robert wibberley at some point too as I only have a posed photo by bamforths at the moment.

Thank you again for the info and do let me know if there is anyone in the area you want me to keep an eye out for. You are most certainly better at this than me but you never know what you come across I guess when reading and looking for something completely different :-)
Holmfirth, Austonley, Hoylandswaine etc: WIBBERLEY and FIELD
Marriages from above names to....CROOKS, WHITELEY, KAYE, DEARNALLY
Waterford, Ireland: POWER and SULLIVAN (Osullivan also)

Offline bykerlads

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Re: Holmfirth & District during the Great War 1914 - 1918.
« Reply #16 on: Wednesday 25 October 17 18:25 BST (UK) »
Tony, thanks for the info on the Armitages. Ernest and John were probably joined by their brothers Joe, Fred, Albert and James. All would have been of an age to serve during WW1. The family lived at Gully.
We have Ernest's medal but knew nothing about John's injury. Interesting to hear that their mother Annie made the journey to Lincoln to visit John- she must have been a doughty woman, successfully raising a huge family in very impoverished circumstances. ( the prospect of significant winnings and sponsorship by local business men was no doubt the reason why all the brothers were ran for the Harriers)
The Mellor lad of Flushouse was a cousin of my grandmother on the other side of the family. Grandma also had many brothers, all of whom made it through the conflict.
She married a man from Lockwood in 1917, a soldier in the Dukes. Probably she met him through him being in the 1st/5th alongside her relatives.
Anything else you might have on the Armitages of Gully, the Mellors of Upperthong and the Hills of Lockwood would be gratefully received.