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.


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