Thursday, 30 June 2016

Somme 100 Commemorations in Barnsley July to November 2016

The Battle of the Somme lasted from 1 July 1916 to 18 November 1916. It is particularly poignant for Barnsley because it marked the first battle for many of our volunteer soldiers, and for many it was also their last.  

On 1 July 1916 297 Barnsley men lost their lives and hundreds more were wounded or reported missing.  The confusion was such that the date of death of many of the men eventually recorded as killed in the first few days of the battle cannot be taken as certain.  The total number of Barnsley men killed in the whole of July 1916 is 494.  This is many, many more men than were killed at any other time during the war. We can scarcely imagine the effect this must have had on the towns and villages in our area. Men who had worked together had died together, some families lost more than one member, fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, nephews, cousins - communities were devastated.

Deaths by month for Barnsley Men During the First World War
The total of Barnsley losses during the Battle of the Somme was 809 men (at our present count) and these included men from a whole range of regimentsNot just the Barnsley Pals (13th & 14th Battalions of the York and Lancaster Regiment) and other Yorkshire Regiments but also Barnsley men serving in Lancashire Regiments, London Regiments, Scottish Regiments, the Royal Medical Corps and many, many more. A number of Barnsley men who had emigrated to Canada and Australia and who were fighting in those countries' Forces fell during the Battle

For more information please contact us bwmp2015@gmail.com or via Facebook or Twitter.

We published a partial list of the events we knew were taking place in Barnsley in our June newsletter, needless to say in the past week or so more have come to light. You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter where we will post updates when we receive them.

On this page we will list any and all events, displays, commemorations, services, in fact any show of respect and commemoration for our Barnsley men during this, the 100th anniversary of their service at Battle of the Somme.

Commemorative Events

Date & Time
 Event
Organising Body
Venue
Friday 1 July  6.30am
Vigil, Whistle Blowing, Wreath Laying
Barnsley War Memorials Project
Barnsley War Memorial
Friday 1 July 7.30am
Period of Reflection 

Dodworth War Memorial
Friday 1 July 7.30am
Remembrance Service
Barnsley Pals Scooter Club
Silverwood Scout Camp

Friday 1 July 7.30am
Tolling of Single Bell
Across West Yorkshire Diocese
Darton Church, St Edward's Church, Kingstone
Friday 1 July 10am
Service & Reading of Names

Penistone War Memorial
Friday 1 July 10am to 2.30pm
Open Day
Royston History Group
Royston Library
Friday 1 July 10am to 12 noon
Exhibition & Coffee Morning
Wombwell Heritage Group
Wombwell Library
Friday 1 July 11am
Service
Dodworth War Memorial Group & Church Council
Dodworth War Memorial
Friday 1 July 11am
Lighting of Candle & Prayers

Elsecar Holy Trinity Church
Friday 1 July 12.45pm
Commemoration & Public Art Launch
Experience Barnsley
Barnsley War Memorial
Friday 1 July 1.30pm
Service & Displays

Silverwood Scout Camp
Friday 1 July 4pm
Battle of Somme Memorial

Amphitheatre, Kendray
Friday 1 July 6pm
Commemoration
Friends of Wombwell Cemetery & British Legion
Wombwell Cemetery
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Thursday 7 July 10.30am
Remembrance Service 
Thurnscoe History Group
Thurnscoe Park
Monday 11 July 10.15am
Dedication of Somme Memorial Garden
Cudworth Environment Group
Cudworth Park


Exhibitions and Displays 

Dates
 Event
Organising Body
Venue
1st to 29th July
Heroes of the Somme Exhibition
Thurnscoe Local History Group
Thurnscoe Library
From 1 July 
all summer
Exhibition of Photographs & Memorabilia
Wombwell Heritage Group
Wombwell Library
24th August to 20 November
Stories of the Somme Exhibition
Experience Barnsley
Barnsley Town Hall
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Please help us keep this list up to date and inclusive.  
Contact us on bwmp2015@gmail.com with any updates.

 

Sunday, 29 May 2016

War Memorial Gravestones in Thurnscoe Cemetery

During both the First and Second World Wars re-repatriation of the bodies of fallen servicemen and women was not usual.  The Unknown Soldier, entombed in Westminster Abbey represents those buried and commemorated overseas who could not come home.  For many families, deprived of a graveside at which to mourn, one solution was to add the name of their lost son (or daughter) to the family gravestone in their local churchyard.  

The Imperial War Museum's War Memorials' Archive defines a War Memorial as "any tangible object which has been erected or dedicated to commemorate those killed as a result of war, conflict or peacekeeping; who served in war or conflict; or who died whilst engaged in military service."  This includes gravestones which commemorate a casualty buried elsewhere.  There must be a clear statement on the memorial (or in a printed document such as a newspaper report from the time) that defines the commemorative purpose of the feature and reports its erection. The full wording of their definition can be found here.

Thus gravestones which include wording such as: died of wounds received in action, killed in action, fell in France, died on active service, reported missing in action, or even killed accidentally while on active service all count as War Memorials.  The wording is a "clear statement" that the purpose of recording that person's name on the gravestone is as a memorial.

Graves which are situated on the site of the burial of a casualty, such as Commonwealth War Graves, are not War Memorials, however the Barnsley War Memorials Project is also collecting their details for inclusion in the Barnsley Roll of Honour.

Thurnscoe Cemetery contains 4 WW1 & 7 WW2 memorial gravestones + 10 CWGC burials

In the list below, where the names is blue click to follow the link to a page with a larger photograph and more information.

 Gravestone Location
Section Row No.
Soldier's Name & Regiment
Date of Death
Photograph
E 2 62John Lawton

Seaforth Highlanders

4 August 1918
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BWMP #THN10

Thurnscoe Cemetery John Lawton

Lawton Family Gravestone in Thurnscoe Cemetery
Links:

War Memorials Archive listing

War Memorials Online listing

Lives of the First World War

Photograph by BarnsleyHistorian

Grave Location and Inscription:

E 2 62
In Loving Memory of / Ada / the beloved wife of John E Lawton / who died Aug 12th 1936, aged 65 years. / Also of our dear sons / John who was killed in action in France / Aug 4th 1918, aged 22 years / William who died April 8th 1921, aged 29 years / Edward who died Sept 5th 1925, aged 21 years / and Thomas who died Aug 24th 1933, aged 39 years//

John is buried at Gonnehem British Cemetery in France and commemorated on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. 


Only Ada and her husband John are buried in this grave, the other sons mentioned are not buried here.


BWMP #THN10/06


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Crowdsourcing is working to find our Unidentified Men

Some great detective work is going on across Barnsley and the wider digital community of the Barnsley War Memorials Project. Publicising that we have a problem to solve seems to be attracting help from all over the country.
Our aim is to create a Roll of Honour commemorating Barnsley's fallen service personnel, including nurses, volunteers and the civilian casualties of World War One.  You can read more about our project here.

Once we had copied the names from our 600+ memorials into a huge spreadsheet we began to add service details using the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, Soldiers Died in the Great War on Ancestry and the local newspapers as sources.  Two years on and in a spreadsheet of nearly 4,000 names we still have over 300 names taken from the memorials yet to be identified.  We have published a list on our website, just click on the 'Unidentified Men' tab above. 

As these men are gradually identified we are gaining a better understanding of the limitations of relying on the evidence on the war memorials.  The spellings of the names, the initials and the service details (where supplied) are only as good as the information supplied by the families to the various committees and only as good as the stone mason or artist's interpretation of that information. Sometimes it is our interpretation of the memorials that is at fault and a second pair of eyes is all that is need to spot the error and identify a man.

Panel 2 - Barnsley Battalions - from St Mary's War Memorial
Click to enlarge
One of recent identifications was of L Hoyle on the war memorial in St Mary's Church in the centre of Barnsley.

Panel 2 on the memorial has a red title after the first two names, who are carried forward from the previous panel. It reads, "Yorks and Lancaster Rgt, The Barnsley Battalions" and there is a long list of names underneath.  These are the men who served and died in the 13th and 14th Battalions of the York and Lancaster Regiment, also known as the Barnsley Pals.

Right down at the bottom are Pte L Hoyle and L Corpl W Whysall.  We assumed they were in the Pals too, maybe added a little later as they were out of alphabetical and rank sequence.

However we now know that Lawrence Hoyle was in the West Yorkshire Regiment and Walter Whysall was in the Yorkshire Regiment.  Note that little line just above their names! It's a big clue that these names WERE added later and out of order. 

Thanks to MAC from the Rotherham War Memorials site, who has also researched the Second World War memorials for Barnsley, for identifying Lawrence Hoyle for us.
 
A close up of names on one panel of the Grimethorpe War Memorial

Within the last few days a name on the Grimethorpe War Memorial has been identified by a reader of our Facebook page, Rita Rogers.  She spotted that the double dash after J W Howell's name, shown in the picture above, might not a ditto mark as we had assumed, stating that J W Howell had been in the Royal Engineers, but rather an indication that his regiment was unknown. This encouraged her to investigate other possibilities.

With a bit of research utilising her family history experience Rita discovered a family by the name of Howell in Cudworth from which two sons emigrated to Canada in 1914.  John William Howell joined the Canadian Engineers in July 1915, which may be where the confusion occurred. His Canadian service records clearly show he was born in Barnsley.  Great work Rita!


Barnsley Chronicle 24 June 1916
with thanks to Barnsley Archives
A recent appeal in the Barnsley Chronicle, our local newspaper, has resulted in several new volunteers, including Andy Lusha, an ex-soldier, who has been coming into Barnsley Archives at Barnsley Town Hall on Thursday mornings to work with us.  

There is free access to Ancestry in the Archives as there is in local libraries around Barnsley, plus the digitised Barnsley Chronicle and other local newspapers on microfilm.  There is also the cuttings index to the Barnsley Chronicle, August 1914 to March 1917, to which has now been added our own Barnsley War Memorials Project index to servicemen and women named in the Chronicle from April 1917 to March 1919 completing coverage of the war years.

Last week Andy confirmed the identity of his first 'Stray' (that's the nickname we give to our unidentified men), a man named only as A Blacker on the Cortonwood Colliery war memorial, by cross checking Ancestry's Soldiers Died in the Great War database against the cuttings index.

He found the above piece from the Barnsley Chronicle dated 24 June 1916 which confirmed that Arthur D Blacker lived at Stairfoot, but had worked before the war at Cortonwood Colliery.  His full name was Arthur Dames Blacker and he served in the 14th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment, the 2nd Barnsley Pals.  Well done Andy!

A D Blacker is also named on the war memorial at Ardsley Christchurch. 


Another volunteer to come forward following the Chronicle piece is Stu from Birmingham who has offered to use some of his spare time looking up Barnsley men in his CD copy of Soldiers Died in the Great War.  Thank you Stu!



Many hands make light work - or so the saying goes. If more people could help us with our unidentified men, especially people with local knowledge or access to Ancestry either in their own homes or in their local libraries or Archives, I am sure we would soon find many more of our missing men.  

If you would like to help why not contact us on bwmp2015@gmail.com or visit our Facebook page. 

Friday, 1 April 2016

Barnsley, Newman and Bond Solicitors war memorial plaque, Church Street, Barnsley


Links:

War Memorials Register listing

War Memorials Online listing

Lives of the First World War Community

Photograph by KingstoneHistory

The brass plaque with a wooden frame is displayed in the premises of Newman and Bond Solicitors, 35 Church Street, Barnsley half way up the stairs overlooking the reception area. 

Inscription: 
"Lest We Forget"
The Gallant men who in 1914 were assisting in these offices
Name           / Entered Office / Position  / Joined HM Forces / Rank  / Regiment
1. Bond, Alfred Dalton /Aug 1901 / Solicitor & Partner /1914 / 2nd Lieut / 5th Y&L (TF) / Died Serving 22nd May 1916,age 32
2. Simpson, Robt. Arthur Abbs  / Jan 1914 / Solicitor  / 1915 / Lieut  / Northumberland Fusrs / Died of Wounds Nov 1917
3. Barraclough, William / Oct 1912 / Surveyor / 1914 / 2nd Lieut / 5th W. Yorks / Killed in Action 28th Sep 1916
4. Burt, Walter George  / Sep 1911 / Solicitor  / 1914 / 2nd Lieut / 14th Y&L  / Wounded 
5. Lyons, Francis John William / Aug 1909 / Clerk  / 1914 / 2nd Lieut / 13th Y&L / Prisoner
6. Bradley, Wilfrid Gray / Jan 1914 / Asst. Cashier /1914 / 2nd Lieut / Duke of Wellington's West Riding / Wounded

Names: Where further information on a name has been researched by our volunteers it will be linked here (look for the names in blue) to a page on this site or to an external site.

Alfred Dalton Bond
Robt Arthur Abbs Simpson
William Barraclough
Walter George Burt
Francis John William Lyons
Wilfred Gray Bradley

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Barnsley, St George's Church, Reynolds Memorial Window

Reynolds Memorial Window (photo by AE)
Close up of inscription on the Reynolds Memorial Window
Barnsley Chronicle 27 September 1924
with thanks to Barnsley Archives

Links:

War Memorials Archive listing

War Memorials Online listing


Photographed by AE before the church was demolished.
 
Inscription:
To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory / of her husband John Reynolds who died / 19th Jan 1910 aged 76 years, also of her son/ 2nd Lieut Percival Reynolds aged 37 years / missing in the Great War 19th Sept, 1918 / this window is given by Mina Reynolds, 1924.

Names:
Where further information on a name has been researched by our volunteers it will be linked here  (look for the names in blue) to a page on this site or to an external site.


Percival Reynolds

























BWMP #BAR68

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Barnsley, St Paul's Church, Old Town, Litany Desk.


Links:

War Memorials Register listing

Transcribed and photographed by KingstoneHistory

Inscription:
To the GLORY of GOD
This LITANY DESK was presented
to St. PAUL'S CHURCH, OLD TOWN,
BY
MARY LOUISA LOWRANCE
OF BARNSLEY
IN EVER GRATEFUL THANKS FOR THE
SAFE RETURN OF HER FIVE BROTHERS 
FROM THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918.


BWMP #OTW04