Friday 23 September 2022

Gawber, Intake Lane Methodist, Herbert Kellett Plaque


Postcard image of Herbert Kellett's memorial plaque
(with thanks to Barnsley Archives)
The image above is cropped and edited from item A-2-N/57/8/31 at Barnsley Archives in the newly catalogued Nonconformist collection. The original is a postcard sized sepia image. With grateful thanks to all at the Archives.


War Memorials Register listing


 Sacred to the Memory
Gnr. Herbert Kellett, R.G.A.
Who fell in the Great War July 10th 1917
in his 26th year.
For many years Organist and a devoted worker of this church
They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condem,
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
We will Remember Them

Further Research:
The records at Barnsley Archives also include a book of Trustees' Meeting Minutes which record two brief mentions of Herbert Kellett. (A-2-N/57/3/1/1)

12 Jan 1918 - 'Resolved that Mr W Picard be appointed Organist and Choir Master in succession to Mr Herbert Kellett who had fallen in action in the past year.'

11 Feb 1924 - ' ... that permission be given to erect a marble tablet in the Chapel for the late Herbert Kellett.'

There was no further mention of the plaque in the book referenced above. Nothing was found about this memorial in a search of the Barnsley Chronicle 1914 to 1930 or in the newspapers currently available through the British Newspaper Archive online. 

Herbert Kellett:
His obituary was printed in the Barnsley Chronicle on 21 July 1917, on p.8 and in the Barnsley Independent, with a photograph, on 28 July 1917. The following notes include information and quotes from these obituaries.

Herbert Kellet from the Barnsley
Independent 28 July 1917
(with thanks to Barnsley Archives)
Herbert was the son of Frank Kellett and Amelia (nee Walker) of 34 Southwell Street, Barnsley. He was baptised at St Thomas Church, Gawber on Christmas Day 1891.  He had an older sister, Alice and an older brother William James.

Before the war Herbert 'was employed in the furniture trade by Mr Drake of Sheffield Road'. He was the 'organist at the Pogmoor and Gawber Wesleyan Chapel, and the Gawber Wesleyan Church, and a member of the Gawber Adult School'. He became the organist at the Sunday School in 1906 and the Chapel organist in 1909 when he was only 18 years old.

He served in the Royal Garrison Artillery and 'went out to France in October 1916'. When he was killed he was attached to the 94th Siege Battery. Herbert went out with a group of volunteers who were attempting to recover the body of an officer who had been killed when his observation post was hit by artillery fire. Sadly the group was also hit by an exploding shell  which killed two men, including Herbert, and wounding several others. Herbert's officer, Lieutenant R.A. Somerville wrote to Amelia Kellett explaining that he 'died suddenly, being hit on the head'. 

Herbert was buried at Ramscappelle Road Military Cemtery, Belgium and is recorded on the  Commonwealth War Graves Commission website . He was also remembered on the war memorial at Gawber Church, which was unveiled on Sunday 15 June 1924.

Herbert's parents died in 1943 and 1958 and are both buried in the churchyard at St Thomas' Gawber.


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