Friday 28 May 2021

Barnsley Armed Forces Commemorative Walkway, Westgate


Shared by Brian Rowe 19 May 2021
on the Barnsley's History - The Great War
Facebook page

This memorial was launched by Barnsley Council in November 2019. More information is available on their website. When it was first launched it conisisted of twelve stones. The central one in the photograph above is a introduction or definition of the memorial.

It reads:

Welcome to Barnsley's
Commemorative Walkway
Dedicated to Her Majesty's
Armed Forces Personnel
Past and Present
November 2019
[Badge of Armed Forces Covenant] [Barnsley Council Coat of Arms]
[Barnsley College logo]

Brian has been back and photographed each of the 20 current (28 May 2021) individual stones as the consenus amongst colleagues has been that the whole walkway is one memorial, with a list of names, or organisations upon it. His photos have been resized for the internet and each one is captioned for accessiblity.

(See above)
The Yorkshire Regiment
2004 [Badge] 2011
Thornton M.A.
Pte 25304156
The Light Dragoons
1992 [Badge] Present
In Honour of Those
who served
and are still Serving
3rd Bn Light Infantry
1981 [Badge] 2005
Tallant A.
Sjt 24625116
The Yorkshire Regiment
Barnsley Branch
2006 [Badge]
In Honour of Those
who Served
and are still Serving
The Duke of Wellington's
Regiment (West Riding)
1702 [Badge] 2006
In Honour of Those
who Served

Royal Artillery
1939 [Badge] 1945
White R.
Gnr 953946

3rd Bn
Light Infantry
1979 [Badge] 2003
Portman D.P.
Sjt 24507575
The Yorkshire Regiment
2006 [Badge] Present
In Honour of Those
who Served
and are still Serving
The Green Howards
1688 [Badge] 2006
In Honour of Those
who Served

2nd Bn
Light Infantry/3 Rifles
1998 [Badge] 2010
Hague E.
Rfn 25072824
13th/18th Royal Hussars
(Queen Mary's Own)
1922 [Badge] 1992
In Honour of Those
who Served
1st Royal Dragoons
1958 [Badge] 1960
Strachan P. J.
Tpr 23572687
Royal Electrical and
Mechanical Engineers
1972 [Badge] 1994
Timms K.
Warrant Officer Class 1
King's Royal Rifle Corps
C Company 2nd Battalion
1953 [Badge] 1960
Lusha V. C.
L/Cpl 22839796
13th/18th Royal Hussars
(Queen Mary's Own)
1992 [Badge] 1996
Lusah A. V.
Tpr 25020770
York and Lancaster
1881 [Badge] 1968
In Honour of Those
who Served
Parachute Regiment
1944 [Badge] 1945
McNicholas T.
Pte 14995825

Prince of Wales's Own
Regimental Association
Barnsley Branch
1958 [Badge] 2006
In Honour of Those who Served
1st Bn
Prince of Wales's Own
Regiment of Yorkshire
1965 [Badge] 1978
Cousen B.
Cpl 24054895



Wednesday 19 May 2021

Darton, Matthew Thornton Bench & Memorial


Photo taken 10 August 2020 by Nigel Croft

Private Matthew Thornton, aged 28 years, was killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan on 9 November 2011. He was buried at Darton later in the month. 

This installation was erected by Matthew's family. The Yorkshire Regiment Association memorial bench to Matthew is nearby. 

The inscription reads:

In Loving Memory of
A True Hero, Soldier, Brother and Loving Son,
Pte. Matthew Adam Thornton
3rd Nov 1983 - 9th Nov 2011
"Our hearts and love are with you forever,
You will never be forgotten."


Darton, Yorkshire Regiment Association, Matthew Thornton Bench


Photo taken 8 March 2019 by Nigel Croft

Private Matthew Thornton, aged 28 years, was killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan on 9 November 2011. He was buried at Darton later in the month.

BBC article about his funeral

This bench is located on Huddersfield Road, Darton, near to the Darton Family Centre. When we last visited the hedge was higher and we had difficulty finding the right place.

The bench was installed in 2017. There is an article from the Barnsley Chronicle on 12 November 2017 online which describes the Yorkshire Regiment Association's bench project and the dedication of this, their first bench.

The inscription reads:

Barnsley Branch
The Yorkshire Regiment Association
[Badges and a photo of Matthew]
Pte Matthew Adam Thornton
25204156 03/11/83 - 09/11/11


Wombwell, Wombwell Cemetery, York and Lancaster Regiment, Barnsley Pals Bench


Photo taken August 2020 by Nigel Croft

This bench was dedicated on 2 June 2018.  There are some pictures on the Wombwell Cemetery's Twitter account.

The inscription on this bench reads:

York and Lancaster Regiment
13th Battalion [Y&L badge] 14th Battalion
Barnsley Pals
Lest We Forget


Cudworth, Peace Garden, Yorkshire Regiment Association Bench


Photo by Nigel Croft February 2021

The Yorkshire Regiment Association - Barnsley Branch (YRA) aim to site memorial benches around Barnsley, with one at each of the main outdoor memorials around the area.

This bench was dedicated on 15 June 2019. There are some good pictures on the Barnsley Council Facebook account. 

For example:

This photo was credited to the Barnsley - North East Area Team

The Flag Party with Stephanie Peacock MP, Cudworth Councillors Joe Hayward and Charlie Wraith, and Father David Nicholson from Cudworth St John's Church.


Barnsley, Yorkshire Regiment Association Bench, Cooper Memorial Gardens


Yorkshire Regiment Association bench photo by Brian Rowe

The Yorkshire Regiment Association - Barnsley Branch (YRA) aim to site memorial benches around Barnsley, with one at each of the main outdoor memorials around the area.

When we hear more about this bench we will update this post. I believe a Remembrance Event had to be postponed due to the Covid pandemic. 




Monday 17 May 2021

Smithies Working Men's Club Roll of Honour Scroll

Short Row, Smithies in 1970 - the location of Smithies WMC (From Barnsley Council's YOCOCO)

The only evidence (so far) for this memorial is a newspaper article in the Barnsley Independent on 15 November 1919. It required an appeal on Facebook to even work out where the Club used to be. Happily someone pointed us in the right direction and after some research we can confidently say that the building above housed the club.

Researched / transcribed by BarnsleyHistorian

Barnsley Independent
15 Nov 1919, p. 6
(from Find My Past)
The Roll of Honour was unveiled on the morning of Sunday 9 November 1919 by Councillor Sam Jones, J.P.  and although the article mentions that it contained 190 names only the names of the men who gained distinctions and the the names of the fallen are mentioned in the newspaper report.

Honouring the Brave
Roll of Honour Unveiled
At Smithies Working Men's Club

On Sunday morning, at the Smithies Working Men's Club and Institute, a function was performed which will live as a red letter day in the annals of that institution. A crowded meeting of members had assembled to witness the unveiling of a roll of honour and pay homage to those of their fellow-members who had answered their country's call in the great war. Mr. J. W. Johnson, president of the South Yorkshire Branch of the Club and Institute Union, presided, and was supported by Mr. Councillor S. Jones, J.P., and Mr. T. Acklam (president of the Club).

In opening thr proceedings, the Chairman expressed his pleasure in meeting such a large number of the Smithies' members, and most truly he deemed it a very high honour in being invited to preside over that important a gathering. Especially did he welcome Councillor Jones amongst them, for they wished the outside world to know and see how the workingmen's club was being conducted. They feared no enquiry into their status, for they considered that the workers were as capable to carry on their club as the aristocrats. The club union movement was making rapid progress, and what London once was South Yorkshire is today, for they can claim to 32 out of 100 members of the entire Union. It was a proud moment when he could pay homage to those of their members who had rushed into battle without counting the cost, and their action that morning told abundant appreciation of the sacrifices made on behalf of their nation, their homes and their friends. (Applause.)

The Chairman then called upon Councillor Jones to perform the unveilling ceremony.

Mr. Councillor Jones, who was received with acclamation, said that he, like their Chairman, was proud to be amongst them. Their gathering together that morning had both the gladsome and sad side of things, but in the midst of it all the lesson to be taught was that they were as one brotherhood an acknowledging the British flag as the flag and only flag. He begged of them to see every endeavour to build up their country such as no other country in the world could boast of, and their aim should be to help each other to get a fair share of the comforts of life, for having done a fair week's work, they were entitled to just pay, and having got fair return for their labour, they ought to be able to get food at a fair price and be able to live and move in comfort. Referring to the roll of honour Councillor Jones said it contained 190 names of their members, and then of those had fallen in action. To perform the duty imposed upon hime, it was a pleasing, yet sad, act, but it was one of the sublimest things to do in life to symbolise and make others feel that they were brothers.

The assembly then rose in silence as Councillor Jones unveilled the scroll.

The Chairman read the list of members who had gained distinctions [see below].
The names of those who had fallen were read [see below].

The members stood in silence whilst Mr. E. Scorah sounded the "Last Post".

Votes of thanks to Mr. Jones and the Chairman concluded the proceedings.

Where further information has been discovered for any of these men it will be linked (look for names underlined and in blue) to a page on this site or to an external site.  In this way we try to avoid duplication and encroaching on the research of other groups and individuals.

Men Who Gained Distinctions

Ernest Allen, D.C.M.
F. Green, Italian Cross and D.C.M.
E. Gillespie, M. M.
William Wilkinson, Italian Cross and D.C.M.

Those Who Had Fallen

H. Atkinson (probably Herbert Atkinson, also remembered at St Mary's, Gawber and Monk Bretton)
J. Beechill (Joseph Beachill, also remembered at St Mary's.
Leonard Hall (also remembered at Carlton)
J. Crichley (James Critchley, also remembered at Monk Bretton)
J. Norbury (James Norbury)
G. Stringer (George W. Stringer, also remembered at St Peter's)
Austin Turton (also remembered at Darton, Mapplewell, Monk Bretton and the *Somme Centenary Artwork)
H. Turton (Herbert Turton, also remembered at Carlton)
T. Trueman (Thomas Trueman, also remembered at Monk Bretton)
G. Waterfield (George H. Waterfield, also remembered at Cudworth and on the *Somme Centenary Artwork)

*The Somme Centenary Artwork commemorates men who fell on 1 July 1916, the First Day of the Battle of the Somme, when the total of Barnsley men lost was almost 300.