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Woodlesford

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Thomas Arch was a house painter's labourer who joined the 1st Battalion Prince of Wales Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) shortly after the war started in 1914. His parents came to Yorkshire from Broomfield in Staffordshire in the 1860s and his father was working as a labourer in an ironworks in north Leeds when Thomas was born in 1879.
 
The family later moved to Chadwick Street in Hunslet. Thomas was living in the Kings Cross area of Halifax in 1909 when he married Edith Fretwell who was born in Doncaster. They probably met in Hunslet where she had moved with her family and was working as a machinist for a tailor. Their daughter Annie was born in 1910 followed by Grace in 1913.
 
It's unclear why Thomas came to be on the Oulton-with-Woodlesford memorial. It's possible the family had moved to the area shortly before the war for him to work on new houses built by Armitage's or the Henry Briggs company for their workers at the quarry, brickworks and colliery.
 
Thomas died of his wounds on 29 June 1915. His battalion had been under "intense" shelling in the Ypres Salient in Belgium. He is buried at the New Irish Farm Cemetery in Ypres. Edith was living at 2 Applegarth in 1921 and remarried Sam Marsh the same year. From 1922 to 1925 they were at 1 Applegarth.
 
Walter Atha. Quarry labourer. Primrose Yard. Born Bridlington. Died 4 Apr 1917. Private. Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment).  1/7th Battalion. Killed in action.
 
Arthur Atkinson. Born 1887. Coal Miner. Died 1 Jul 1916. L/Sergeant. York and Lancaster Regiment. 14th (Service) (2nd Barnsley) Battalion. Killed in action.
 
 
William Blacker. Born 1880. Pit sinker. Died 6 Apr 1915. Private. Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment). 2nd Battalion. Killed in action.

John George Borman. Red brick kiln fireman. Eshald Place. Died 24 Mar 1918. King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry). 9th Battalion. Died of wounds.
 
Albert Britton. The Hollins. Born 1884. Died 11 Jul 1916. Private. Border Regiment. 7th Battalion. Died of wounds. Enlisted soon after outbreak of war. Had been in France about a year. Was wounded and died 2 days later without regaining consciousness in the Boulogne hospital. Had been a pit pony driver.
 
Charles Ernest Britton. The Hollins. Born 1886. Died 1 Jul 1916. Private. Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment). 10th Battalion. Killed in action. Started work making firelighters at Seanor's works in the old paper mill at Woodlesford then became a labourer at the copper works at Stourton. Lived with his brother Albert and sister Hannah who was married to Charles Hall, a brewery labourer.
 
George William Brook. Back Claremont Street. Born 1900. Died 28 Sep 1918. Private. Manchester Regiment. 1/10th Battalion. Killed in action.
 
Frederick Carter. Brewer's labourer. Father ran grocer's shop on Midland Street.
 
Thomas Henry Craven. Father was landlord of the Two Pointers. Died 22 Oct 1916. Royal Scots Fusiliers. 6/7th Battalion. Killed in action.
 
Walker Crossland. 6 French Street. Brewery labourer. Born out of wedlock in 1879. Mother Emma Crossland married widower John Walker, a joiner, in 1884. Emma's father John Crossland was also a joiner and was an unemployed widower living with his daughter and John Walker on French Street in 1881. In 1871 John Crossland was working as a colliery joiner and lived at Little Preston. Walker Crossland married Emily Edwards from Rothwell in 1901. They had five children. He enlisted at Rothwell in May 1916. 5 feet 9 inches. Initially posted as a reservist to 13th (R) Battalion. K.O.Y.L.I. (Miners Pioneers) but on 1 July 1916 after his medical was transferred to Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment, 2nd Battalion. After training was sent to France on 19 October 1916. Attached to Works Battalion at Maurepas on Boxing Day 1916. Had flu in February 1917. Killed in action 9 April 1917. Emily awarded pension of 31 shillings 3d. Arras Memorial.
 
Osbert Calverley. Born 1900. Son of Major Edmund Leveson Calverley, staff major of the British Expeditionary Force. Studied at Appleby College in Oakville, Canada, and at the Royal Military College of Canada. Second Lieutenant flight officer with the Royal Air Force, 124th Sqdn. Died 12 July 1918 in a flying accident in Cambridgeshire.
 
John Albert Caine. Claremont Street. Miner. Died 15 Sep 1916. Private. Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment). 1st Battalion. Killed in action.
 
Thomas Henry Dalton. Mason. Born 1879. Royal Engineers.
 
Wilfred Dunwell. Taylor's Yard, Church Street. Miner. Died 9 Apr 1917. Private. Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment). 2/7th Battalion. Killed in action.
 
Walter Dunwell. Taylor's Yard. Died 21 Nov 1917. Rifleman. Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment).  2/7th Battalion. Killed in action.
 
Hubert Ellis. Died 29 May 1918. Private. Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment). 2nd Battalion. Killed in action.
 
Ernest Ellis. Claremont Street. Errand boy. Died 1 Jan 1918. Gunner. Royal Garrison Artillery. Killed in action.
 
John William Ellis. Railway platelayer.
 
 
Arthur Farrer. 7 Airedale Terrace. Born Methley 1875. Miner in No 2 pit at Ledston Luck colliery. Single man joined up in 24 September 1915 at Leeds, four months short of his 40th birthday. Letter from colliery manager ?.T. Shaw stated he "worked underground in various capacities," from 29 March 1915. Attestation papers say he wanted to join a tunnelling company. Was sent to Royal Engineers barracks at Chatham for training and embarked for France on 8 Oct 1915. At first was a tunneller's mate in 252 Tunnellers' Company, then promoted to tunneller on 6 November 1915, Lance Corporal on 9 December 1915 and Acting Corporal on 24 April 1917. Was in the Battle of the Somme. Killed in action 27 Dec 1917. Buried in the Red Cross Corner Cemetery at Beugny. Arthur's captain wrote this letter to his widowed mother the day after his death: "It is with the deepest regret I have to inform you that your son, Corporal A. Farrer, was killed yesterday afternoon. The deceased was struck with a shell and killed instantly while in charge of a party of men in the trenches. Your son has been with me in the company from its formation, and from the outset has been distinguished for his cheerfulness with his men, his reliability in his work, and his bravery and pluck in the most dangerous circumstances. He is missed by all, and the officers, non-commissioned officers and men wish me to convey to you their deepest sympathy with you in this bereavement." His mother received a separation allowance of 5s. 8d. along with pay of 3s. 6d. Her name was Mary Ann. She came from Ilkeston in Derbyshire and was the only one in the family not born in Methley. Arthur's effects were sent to her in May 1918 - a pocket knife, two notebooks, a matchbox cover, a purse, a letter, two photographs and rosary beads. He had two older brothers, John William, a boatyard carpenter, probably at Lemonroyd, and George, a miner. His younger brother, Frank, was a mason. Family moved from Woodrow at Methley to Burnell's Yard off Midland Street in the 1870s and then to Airedale Terrace in the 1890s. Father William probably worked first at Savile colliery at Methley and then Waterloo colliery at Woodlesford or possibly one of the Bower's pit on the Swillington side of the river. By 1911 he was an invalid. Arthur had two married sisters - Mary Elizabeth Todd who lived at Whitworth Yard in Rothwell, and Celina Walker, Vaux Street in Hunslet. His nephews and nieces were Harry, Gladys, Sylvester, and Alberta Todd; Lily and Connie Farrer; Ivy, May, Clive, Irvin, and Lewis Walker. Statement of family document was witnessed by the Vicar of Woodlesford, Arthur Irvin, in October 1919.
 
Fred Flockton. Bentley Square. Engineer. Died 1 Jul 1916. Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment). 15th Battalion. Killed in action.
 
William Goward. Railway clerk. Born 1887 at Woodlesford in house close to Anchor Inn on the canal. Son of canal labourer James Goward. Mother Sarah Ann Hirst. Grandfather Thomas Goward originally an agricultural labourer from West Hardwick who became a carter for one of the local stone merchants living at Chadwick's Row on Quarry Hill in Oulton. William started as a clerk at Woodlesford station in 1901 earning £15 a year. Three years later he moved to Armley where he was a booking and parcels clerk. Later he moved to Wellington station in the centre of Leeds and in 1914 was earning £95 a year. William died 30 Jun 1918. L/Corporal. Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) 6th Battalion. Killed in action. Had possibly trained to be a pilot. Left £199 in his will.
 
Herbert Gordon. Born 1884. Mother Annie Walton but brought up by Sarah Ann Abbey on Church Street. Lived with uncle George Walton, joiner, in Potternewton in 1901. Emigrated to Toronto, married in 1910 and and joined a Canadian regiment in July 1915. Date of death unknown.
 
 
John Beeston Hare. Brewery clerk. Died 5 Mar 1917. Private. Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment). 1/7th Battalion. Killed in action.
 
Frederick Hornby. Born Skipton 1889. Lived Station Lane with uncle. Died 3 May 1917. Private. Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment).15th Battalion. Killed in action. Formerly Royal Field Artillery. Buried Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras.
 
Ernest Arthur Higgins. Motor car fitter. Died accidentally 1 Mar 1918. Private. Royal Army Service Corps.
Killed in 61st Division Ammunition sub-park in an accident, buried in Ham British cemetery, Muille-Villette.
Father Benjamin Wood Higgins.
 
Rowland Higgins. Leeds Boys' Modern School. Clerk at the London City and Midland Bank. Died 25 Mar 1918. L/Corporal. Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). 1st Battalion. Killed in action. (Seven sons of architect Benjamin Wood Higgins joined the forces.) 
Rothwell Courier and Times report, 4 May 1918.

Official news has been received of the death in action, on March 25th, of Lance-Corporal Rowland Higgins, Royal Fusiliers, 6th son of Mr. and Mrs. B. Wood Higgins, of Oulton. He was educated at the Leeds Boys' Modern School, afterwards entering the London City and Midland Bank. He was one of seven brothers who joined the forces, and his elder brother, Private Ernest A. Higgins, was accidentally killed on March 1st., while on active service. General sympathy is felt with the parents and family in their second bereavement, it being only at the recent meeting of the Oulton and District Education Committee that sympathetic reference was made to the death of the eldest son.

 
George Robert Hullah. Litho artist. Beechgrove House. Died 6 Jul 1916. Private. King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry). 1/5th Battalion. Killed in action.
 
Henry Hughes. 7 Clement St., New Woodlesford, 12th K.O.Y.L.I.

Henry Hughes, born 1879, known as Harry, miner, 32, married Minnie Jenkins, 20, of Roberts Street in 1910. They lived next door to each other in 1901 on Roberts Street. He was a miner. His father Arthur Hughes and family later moved to Church Street. They had originally lived on Princess Street when Harry was born before moving to Cutsyke in about 1884 and then Glasshoughton by 1891. Her father William Jenkins, also miner. In 1911 Harry and Minnie lived with her parents. William Jenkins and his wife came from Dudley in Worcestershire. Harry and Minnie had four children - Agnes, Mary, Arthur and William. Harry probably died in the flu epidemic in 1919 and is buried at Oulton. It's not known if he was a serving soldier at the time. Could be Harry Hughes 12/64 12th Yorks L.I. Discharged 14 December 1918, British War Medal and Victory Medal. Minnie remarried in 1949 to Robert Hatfield. 


Arthur Hutchinson. Died 11 Dec 1916. Malta. Private. Royal Army Service Corps.
 
Ernest Hutchinson. Died 2 Dec 1917. Private. King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry). 2nd Battalion. Killed in action.
 
 
George Ernest Lawton. Died 27 May 1918. Private. Northumberland Fusiliers. 1/5th Battalion (Territorial).
 
Ernest McWilliam. Born 1886. Quarry Road and Dobson's Place Rothwell. Miner. Died 3 Nov 1918. Private. Royal Army Medical Corps (Territorial Force). Died of wounds. Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension. (Name only occurs on Woodlesford School memorial.)
 
Wilfred Martin. Born 1898. Church Street. Father and brother were agricultural traction engine drivers. Died 15 Sep 1916. Private. Scots Guards. Killed in action. 
 
 
Joseph Barker Mirfin. Joiner. Died 15 Sep 1916. Rifleman. Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own). 9th Battalion. Killed in action.
 
William Mirfin. Died 22 Apr 1917. Sapper. Corps of Royal Engineers. 81st Field Company. Died of wounds.
 
John William Moore. Born 1882. New Row, Aberford Road. Born 1892. Stone mason. King's Royal Rifle Corps. 10th Battalion. Died 21 Aug 1917. Verden.
 
John William Morton. Tobacco clerk. Born 1892. Father was a foreman for the Aire and Calder Navigation. Lived by the canal side at Swillington Bridge.
 
 
George Thomas Moss. Grocer and pork butcher with lock up shop on Aberford Road. Born 1854 at Marden in Kent. Airedale Terrace. Served for 27 years in the 1st Life Guards and was awarded a medal for the Sudan campaign in 1884/85 when he was the Regimental Sergeant Major. Served for a further 24 years in the Queens Own Yorkshire Dragoons. Staff Sergeant Major. Was in the reserve when he re-enlisted at Bridlington. Died 17 January 1916 in the UK. Died in the UK. Buried at Oulton.
 
Sergeant Major Moss.
 

THE PASSING OF A VETERAN SOLDIER.

Yorkshire Evening Post. Monday 17 January 1916.

 

SERGEANT MAJOR MOSS BURIED TODAY WITH MILITARY HONOURS. 

 

The many friend of Sergeant Major Moss, the Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons, who was well known in Leeds, will hear with with regret of the old warrior's death, which occurred from pneumonia at Harrogate. His remains were interred with military honours at Oulton Church this afternoon. 

 

Sergeant Major Moss had a most interesting military career. He joined the 1st Life Guards over 46 years ago and remained in the Regular forces for 27 years. He served in the Nile Expedition in 1884-5 for tne relief of General Gordon, and 1887 he had the exceptional honour of carrying the Royal Standard behind Queen Victoria in the Jubilee procession. 

 

In 1890 he was appointed instructor to the "A" Squadron of the Yorkshire Dragoons, a position which he held until April 1901, when he retired. In his day Sergeant Msjor Moss was a crack shot of the Life Guards, and held the cross swords and cross guns. He also won the Sheffield Gun Club's Cup three years in succession. 

 

When the War Office issued its invitation to yeomen and civilians to form tho Imperial Yeomanry Volunteers, the sergeant major, who for some years had been drill instructor to the Sheffield Yeomanry, was made recruiting sergeant for Sheffield. Despite being in his 63rd year, he bad been engaged at Harrogate in the training recruits. He leaves a widow, who lives Woodlesford.

 

Harry Myers. Born 1899. Lived at Oulton post office.

 
Charles Ernest Nettleton. Born 1880. Married colliery labourer in Featherstone before the war. Died 9 Apr 1917. Sergeant. King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry). 9th Battalion. Killed in action
 
Colin Nicholson. Born 1888. Private. Scots Guards. Died 12 Nov 1914. Killed in action.
 
Percy Paley. Died 1 Jul 1916. Private. York and Lancaster Regiment. 13th (Service) (1st Barnsley) Battalion. Killed in action.
 
Arthur Palfreeman. Born 1895. Died 5 June 1917. Brick kiln labourer. Private. Northumberland Fusiliers. 26th Battalion (Tyneside Irish). Killed in action.
 
James Parkinson. Miner. Born 1877. Died 27 Sep 1916. Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) 9th Battalion.
 
War memorial from Woodlesford church.
 
William H Preen. Milkman. Church Street. Born 1881. Died 2 Oct 1918. Rifleman. Royal Irish Rifles. 1st Battalion. Killed in action. Formerly in Royal Army Service Corps. 
 
Wilfred Ryder. In 1911 was living with his sister, Jane Clegg, and her husband Herbert at 6 Highfield Lane. Herbert had worked at the brewery but was now a labourer Charlesworth's Fanny Pit, Wilfred was a labourer at Water Haigh. Born 1892 at Methley. Enlisted at Leeds. Sapper. 185th Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers. Died of wounds 13 April 1916 at 2/1 High'd casualty clearing station. Buried Cabert-Rouge British Cemetery, Died of wounds. £35 pay and war gratuity of £6 to his mother, Margaret Smith, who had remarried. He had previously been with the Royal Garrison Artillery. His father Jesse was a joiner born in Methley, died 1901. Herbert Clegg's father, George, had been a self-employed coal leader or merchant living on Church Street. Herbert's children, William and Mary Clegg, were living at 62 Alma Street in 1939.
 
Arthur Walker Storey. Born 1893. Pit pony driver. Eshald Place. Died 7 Nov 1918. Egypt. Gunner. Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery.
 
Charles Scurrah. Died 25 Sep 1915. Rifleman. King's Royal Rifle Corps. 2nd Battalion. Died of wounds.
 
Herbert Sharpe. Born 1895. Farrer Lane. Groom and then motor driver. Attested 5 October 1915. He had been driving an 8 cylinder cadillac for Major Horace Walter Calverley who was an officer in the Terriorial Force at York. On Calverley's recommendation Herbert joined the Mechanical Transport Division of the Army Service Corps. He was posted to France. Died of appendicitis on 5 Dec 1916 in the No. 9 General Hospital at Rouen.
 
Claude Taylor. Born 1889. Died 5 Apr 1916. L/Corporal. East Lancashire Regiment. 2nd Battalion. Killed in action. Tram conductor. Reservist with 7 years military service to his credit. Called up at outbreak of war.
 
Fred Taylor. Born 1893. Groom. St. John's Street. Died 1 Jan 1916. Private. Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment). 12th Battalion. Killed in action.
 
George Thompson. Clement Street. Brickworks labourer. Born 1896.
 
Walter Townend. Died 24 Aug 1916. Gunner. Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery. Died of wounds.
 
Walter Tranmer. Beecroft Yard and Alma Street. Born 1884. Miner. Had served in 7th Battalion Leeds Rifles when he attested and joined the 6th (Service) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment on 12 Oct 1914. Trained at Grantham but was discharged on 16 Nov 1914, "not likley to become an efficient soldier," as he had a ruptured inguinal hernia. Must have undergone surgery as he rejoined. Died 26 Jul 1917. Private. Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment) 2nd Battalion. Killed in action. Ypres.
 
Wilfred Varley. Eshald Place. Grocer. Died 26 Apr 1918. Private. King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry). 1/4th Battalion. Killed in action.
 
Clarence Ward's headstone in the Voormezeele Enclosure No. 3
cemetery near Ieper in Belgium.
 
Clarence Ward. Born 1893. Killed in action 17 July 1915. 22933 2nd Battalion, K.O.Y.L.I. Enlisted at Newcastle as a member of the Durham Light Infantry 12111. In 1911 miner's trammer below ground living as a boarder at Calder Grove in  Crigglestone parish. In 1901 Clarence was living with his brothers Alfred and William, sister Hetty Isabel (died 1908) and mother Elizabeth at Bell Hill in Rothwell in the home of Robert Ward (75), described as the children's grandfather.
His death was reported in the Rothwell Courier and Times on 14 August 1915 under the headline WOODLESFORD SOLDIER'S DEATH.
Mrs. Ward of 19, Beecroft Yard, Woodlesford, has been informed that her son, Private Clarence Ward (23) of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, has been killed in action.
In the last letter to his mother, Private Clarence Ward said:
"I am in the trenches and expect to be in five more days yet. I am only about 30 yards from the Germans. When I was getting my breakfast this morning a German let fly and hit the top of my sandbags, filling my tea full of dirt. There are plenty of frogs out here, and if you go to a pond just behind our trench you can hear the croaking. Every night they hold some good concerts."
Ward joined the army at the outbreak of the war and has been at the Front since April. He was killed on July 17th. Mrs. Ward has a married son, Private Alfred Ward, also in the K.O.Y.L.I.
 
James Warwick. Claremont House. Born 1894. Brewery labourer.

William Wass. Aberford Road in 1911, no occupation, age 13. Born 7 July 1895? Baptised at Woodlesford church 1 August 1897. Full name Thomas William Wass. Private in Royal Marines. Died from dysentry 21 August 1915 on H.M. Hospital Ship Delta. The ship was used to evacuate wounded from the Galipolli campaign. Medical Unit Royal Naval Division. Buried at sea. On Chatham Royal Navy Memorial. It states his age as 18 suggesting he may have lied about his age when he joined up. Mother Jane lived Midland View, Oulton when he died. Brother of Albert Wass. Father Thomas Scaife Wass was a wagonner for stone quarry. 
 
Joseph Watson. Quarry Hill. Born 1878. Labourer at Hall's quarry. Died 1918. Private. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
 
William Watson Wild. Brick presser. Pottery Lane. Born 1896. Died 3 Jul 1916. Private. 12th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Doullens Communal Cemetery.
 
Marshall Ivan Westmoreland. Railway Cottages. Died 27 Nov 1917. L/Corporal. Grenadier Guards. 3rd Battalion. Killed in action. Cambrai Memorial. Military Medal.