Thursday 28 July 2016

Walter (Wally) Wale 1897-1917, age 20

Barnsley Independent 22nd December 1917 
A snip from a group photograph of Barnsley clerks who joined the Y&L Territorials.
Thanks to Barnsley Archives.
Born: 1897 Q2 in Gamlingay, Cambridge, full name Walter David Purvis Wale.

Son of: Mrs L Larkins of 27 Racecommon Road, Barnsley.
Husband of: Lily Wale nee Smith of 2 Spencer Street, Mansfield, Notts. They married in Mansfield in 1917 Q3. Wally was a clerk in the employ of Messrs McLintock and Sons, Summer Lane, Barnsley. 

Military Service: Walter was a Lance Corporal in the York and Lancaster Regiment, 2/5th battalion, (Territorials), service number 5/2375, and 200648. He attested on 3rd September 1914, giving his age as 19 years (his actual age was 17) and his address as 27, Racecommon Road, Barnsley

Death: 27th November 1917 in France.

Remembered: Cambrai Memorial, Louveral, France, panel 9 and 10. Walter has no known grave.

Find a grave link: here 
Commonwealth War Graves Commission link: here  

Note: The Barnsley Independent on 22nd December 1917 reported:
"[...] On Sunday last, information was received that Lance Corporal Wally Wale was missing. The news was conveyed in a letter written by Lance Corporal A. Jackson, who stated 'We went over the top on November 27th, and the last that was seen of Wally was about seven o'clock in the morning. I can tell you that I miss him because he was my chum. We both came out from Clipstone together.' Lance Corporal Wale who is 20 years of age was only 17 when he joined the Army and spent his eighteenth birthday in the trenches. Invalided home he spent some time at Clipstone where he was Quartermaster Sergeant and in August last was married. His wife resides at Mansfield and his mother Mrs Larkin at 27, Racecommon Road, Barnsley.[...]"

Friday 15 July 2016

William (Willie) Thorn

Survived the War and the sinking of the 'Transylvania.'
Barnsley Independent 1917
Thanks to Barnsley Archives
Born: 1875 in Dodworth.

Military Service: Willie enlisted on 13th January 1915, declaring his age to be 36 years and 8 months. As there is evidence that he was baptised on 9th May 1875 in Dodworth, his true age was about 39 years, approaching 40. The upper age limit at the time of enlisting was 38 years (later increased to 40 in May 1915). It appears that Willie was desperate to 'do his bit'.

Willie was a Private in the Highland Light Infantry, service number 9566, later transferring to the ASC, service number S/440597. 

A miner, living at 33 Shaw Lane, Barnsley, he married Lucy Crick at St George's Church in 1897, and after her death at the age of 25, he married Margaret Ann Williamson in Bishop Aukland in 1907. 

Willie's brother Stanley Thorn was killed at the Battle of Loos on 25th September 1915.

Sinking of the 'Transylvania'

On 4th May 1917 Willie was on board the liner 'Transylvania' when it was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean whilst carrying troops to Egypt. He described his experience in a letter to his father:

[...] Nearly all the men were on parade on deck at the time and lots of us saw the torpedo coming. When the explosion occurred we were practically ready for it. [...] 

The lowering of the boats proceeded with as much speed as possible, me helping as much as I could, when the second torpedo struck us. Directly after the second torpedo struck us I rushed across the deck to see what help I could render, when, as a boat was just being lowered from the top deck with only two soldiers in it, I was told to get into the boat. There was only about six of us in the boat when she touched the water so we picked up as many men as we could and I held the rope whilst the men climbed down it until we got as many on the boat as she could carry - about 70 altogether. 

The sea was very rough as there was a high wind blowing and we had great difficulty in getting the boat away from the ship. We succeeded after a while and managed to get about 500 yards from the ship when she went down nose first and very quietly. 

An Italian torpedo boat picked us up after about 2 hours tossing about. With the sea being rough they had to throw us ropes, one of which I held until the troops were nearly all transferred. I had a narrow escape as just as I was getting out of the small boat on to the destroyer the wave suddenly went down and I lost my grip and nearly fell into the water, and what with assisting in the loading and unloading of the boat and being sick I was just about finished. [...]

Willie's home address at the time of the sinking was 17 Knowsley Street, Barnsley. The Transylvania sank with the loss of 412 lives. 

Information from the Barnsley Independent 1917   

James Harold Causer

Survived the War - awarded the Military Medal 
From the Barnsley Independent 14th April 1917
Thanks to Barnsley Archives
James was born in 1896 and died in 1935 at the age of 39 years. 

Military Service:  Private in the 2/5 York and Lancaster Regiment (Territorials), enlisting in January 1915.

Awarded the Military Medal.

His parents resided at 3 Grafton Street, Barnsley in 1901 and later 51 Racecommon Road, Barnsley. His bother Sam was wounded 3 times by 1917 and was in the 3rd Lincolns.

Information from the Barnsley Independent 14th April 1917   

Walter Jackson Gledhill

Survived the War - awarded the Military Medal 
Barnsley Independent 14th April 1917
Thanks to Barnsley Archives
Private Walter Jackson Gledhill was better known as Paddy Jackson

He married Sarah Ellen Goodyear at St Edward's Church in 1911 and resided at 12 Longcar Street, Barnsley at the time of marriage.  By 1917 he had moved to Havelock Street, Barnsley.

Military Service: Enlisted in the 2/5 York and Lancaster Regiment (Territorials) in November 1914. 

Awarded the Military Medal for bringing in his Colonel who had been shot in the ankle on 12th March 1917. They were under fire all the time and both escaped unhurt. 

Member of the Battalion's football team and tug-of-war team. Formerly played for Longcar United and Dodworth Albion in the Barnsley Association Junior League. 

Information from the Barnsley Independent 14th April 1917

Tuesday 22 March 2016

Harry Raymond Allden 1898-1917, age 19

Barnsley Chronicle 20th October 1917
Thanks to Barnsley Archives
Born: 5th June 1898 in Barnsley and baptised on 10th July 1898 at St Mary's Church in Barnsley. 

Son of: Edward and Elizabeth Allden nee Midgeley. Edward was born in Brierley Hill, Staffordshire and was a glass bottlemaker. He died in March 1899 at the age of 49 when his youngest son Harry was 10 months old. The couple married on 22nd June 1873 at All Saint's church in Silkstone and made their home in Wesley street, Barnsley. They had 8 children. 

  • George Henry 1877
  • Edith Annie 1878
  • John Edward 1881
  • Francis Willie 1884-1884, died age 5 months.
  • Thomas Arthur 1885-1932, died age 46.
  • Cyril Francis 1888
  • Florence Mabel Elizabeth 1891
  • Harry Raymond 1898

After Edward's death, the children and their mother moved to Western street, and then later to Shaw Lane, Barnsley. 

Military Service: Harry was a Private in the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales Own) 11th Battalion, service number 42747.

Death: 20th September 1917 in Belgium. 

Remembered: Harry has no known grave and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium on panel 42 to 47 and 162.  

Commonwealth War Graves Commission link: here  
Remembered: St Mary's church war memorial, Barnsley

Note: The Barnsley Chronicle on 20th October 1917 reported that prior to Harry's death he had worked at the Barnsley National Shell factory. He was educated at St Mary's Schools and was formerly a chorister at the Parish Church.  

Saturday 19 March 2016

Stanley Thorn 1893-1915, age 22

Barnsley Independent 30th October 1915
Thanks to Barnsley Archives
Born: 26th February 1893 in Dodworth 

Son of: Edward Thorn (1850-1936, died age 86) and Elizabeth Thorn nee Jacques. Edward was born in Firbeck, Yorks and was a check weighman at a colliery. The couple were married at St George's Church on 28th May 1871 and had 12 children but only 6 were still living in 1911. The children were born in Dodworth but most of the family moved to the Shaw Lane area of Barnsley by the time war broke out. Three sons served in the war, and Stanley was the youngest and unmarried.
  • Thomas Henry 1871-1909, died age 37
  • Annie 1873
  • William 1875, served in the Highland Light Infantry and survived the sinking of the 'Transylvania'.
  • Charles Edward 1881-1944, died age 63
  • Alfred 1886, served overseas in the Y&L Regiment. He wrote letters to the local newspapers describing his experiences during the war. In January he wrote to the Barnsley Chronicle from the Stoke War Hospital, Newcastle (Staffs) where he was being treated for a breakdown in health and was unable to walk.  
  • Clara Grace 1891
  • Stanley 1893-1915 WW1 death 

Military Service: Stanley was a private in the Highland Light Infantry 10th battalion, service number 1782.  

Death: Killed in action on 25th September 1915 at the Battle of Loos.
Remembered: Stanley has no known grave and is remembered on the Loos memorial on panel 108 to 112. 
Commonwealth War Graves Commission link: here  

The Barnsley Independent of 30th October 1915 reported that a letter was received one month ago from another soldier stating that Stanley had been killed, and his father who resided at Shaw lane Barnsley had suffered great suspense and contacted the War Office before receiving official news of his son's death. 

The newspaper reported
[...] "When a youth, young Thorn was apprenticed to learn the engineering trade at Messrs. Qualter and Smith Brothers, engineers and ironfounders, Summer Lane, Barnsley. He subsequently secured a post in the fitting shop at the Church Lane Collieries, Dodworth and was afterwards transferred to the Chemical works at Barugh. He was employed at the last named works when he enlisted early in December last. Since that time he has only visited his home once, and that was last Easter. However he always made a practice of writing home once a week. The following are extracts from the last letter he wrote to his sister 
'Ask father to get me a good thick wool jersey and a pair of good thick wool gloves to wear at nights when it turns quite cold. You will get another silk-worked card about the time you 
get this letter, so look out for it. It has all the Allies flags worked on it and it looks very pretty and neat. You would be surprised to see what a large number are sold. I wish you the best 
of luck and trust that God will bring this war to a speedy termination. It will be a good job when it is finished and the soldiers home safe and sound again'" [...] 

William Montgomery 1893-1917 age 23

 Barnsley Chronicle 2nd June 1917
Thanks to Barnsley Archives 
Born: 17th October 1893 in Barnsley

Son of: William Henry Montgomery (1866-1927, died age 61) and Christiana Montgomery nee Shepherd. William Henry was a grocer and the couple had 3 children, but only their son William survived infancy. Daughter Beatrice died in 1895 aged 7 weeks, and their son George died in 1900 aged 3 years and 6 months.  Their son William was unmarried.  The family lived in Summer Lane, Barnsley before moving to Blenheim Road, Barnsley by the time of William's death. 

Military Service: William was a Private in the York and Lancaster Regiment, 13th Battalion (the 1st Barnsley Pals) service number 649.

Death: 15th May 1917, killed in action in France

Buried: Albuera Cemetery, Bailleul - Sire - Berthoult, France in grave ref South C.17.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission link: here  

The Barnsley Chronicle on 26th May 1917 reported:
Private William Montgomery, the only son of Mr and Mrs Montgomery of 48 Blenheim Road, Barnsley, has made the great sacrifice at the age of 23 years. He was one of the first to join the Barnsley Pals Battalion and through hereditary instincts he took an enthusiastic interest in soldiering. Prior to joining the Battalion in September 1914, he worked at the warehouse at Messrs Richardson, Tee and Ryecroft's factory, Pitt Street, and was held in high esteem by his colleagues at the mill and by a host of Barnsley friends. Last November he sustained a gunshot wound in the thigh and was temporarily buried in a dug out, but he made a quick recovery from the injury and was soon back in the firing line. Profound sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Montgomery in the loss of their only son. They have been much comforted by the receipt of a letter received from Lieut. Huggard. "Tonight (the officer wrote) I have one of the saddest duties a man could have to perform when I write to tell you of the death of your son. This will be a shock to you; it has been a shock to me and and to all his pals. Your son was in one of the finest sections of the platoon in controlling the Lewis gun, and he had some good friends who miss him very much. It was soon after midnight last night when your son, with most of the lads in the platoon, were doing a job of great importance close to the front line when a shell burst amongst them, killing two and wounding four others besides your son William, who died soon afterwards. He had not much pain for the stretcher bearers gave him something to numb it. It seems a shame that such a fine young lad as your son was should be taken away but we must bow to the will of Almighty God. Your son died besides his pals for the sake of his home and country. I was his Platoon Commander but have been moved to another Company, otherwise I should have been with him at the time, for I always shared their dangers with them." [...]