Header Copy

Covering the villages of Wilsden and Harecroft

Isaac Abraham











 

Born in Cottingley in 1879, Isaac was the youngest child of Irish parents, Annie and William Abraham, a stone mason He had two older sisters, Ellen (Nelly) and Henrietta and an older brother John.

In 1901 they were living at 18 Bents Foot and Isaac was working in a spinning mill.

In 1911 he was still single and he and Nelly were living with their widowed mother at 8 Cranford Place Wilsden. At this time he was working as a cowman on a farm.

Both Isaac and his brother John served in WW1.

SURVIVED

After the war he lived with his sister Nelly and niece, Annie jnr, at 4 Cranford Place.

(1918 Naval & Military vote)

John Abraham





















Born in 1877 in Cottingley, John was the third of four children of Annie and William Abraham, a stone mason. His younger brother, Isaac, also served in WW1. They had two older sisters, Ellen (Nelly) and Henrietta.

In 1910 John, who was a wool warehouseman, married Annie Robinson.

SURVIVED

By 1918 they were living at 14 Birkshead and had a daughter, Edith.  After a few years they moved to Crack House and then to 35 The Norr where John died in 1930.

(1918 Naval & Military vote)

Private

Abram  Ackroyd

  


                

         













1st Bn Canterbury Infantry. New Zealand Expeditionary Force. 62221

 

Born on 3 April 1887 at 38 Main Street, Wilsden, Abram was the third of six children. (Alice Hannah, Abram, Ethel, Philip and Arthur). His parents were Mary and Jonas Ackroyd, a blacksmith. By 1891 the family was living next door at Rose Cottage Farm. 

Abram lived in Wilsden until 1911 when, at the age of 22, he emigrated to New Zealand. He became a dairy farmer in Te Pu, Rotorua but joined up to the NZEF on 7 July 1917. He had not married and had no children. He arrived in France at the end of February 1918.

On 15 August 1918, Abram was severely wounded in the face, arm and leg, and though he was operated upon, he died two days later.

DIED 17.8.18 aged 30

(Wilsden War Memorial)

 

[Shoeing Smith Corporal] Charles Ackroyd


























[Probably Royal Field Artillery 173878]

 

Charles was born in Harecroft in 1894 the son of Hannah and Thomas Ackroyd. Hannah was Thomas’ second wife so she gained four step-children and then had three of her own. Thomas had the smithy in Harecroft and when Charles was old enough, he joined his father and elder half-brother, Walter, as a Blacksmith. At the beginning of 1911 Thomas had died and Charles was living at 109 Harecroft with his mother, Hannah, and four of his seven siblings.

Both Charles and Walter served in WW1.

SURVIVED

Charles was married but widowed within a short time. In 1926 he married May Connell at Cullingworth Baptist Chapel and they lived at 72 Laneside. They had three children, Mary, Norman and ?Jean. Charles continued to be a Blacksmith

(Harecroft Chapel Roll of honour)

Gunner 

Walter Ackroyd


Walter was born in Harecroft on 25 March 1884 the third of four children of Thomas Ackroyd, the Harecroft blacksmith, and his first wife, Martha.

Martha died in about 1890 and Thomas remarried. Another three children were born. Walter was the oldest boy in the family and he became a blacksmith like his father. In 1907 he married Mary Drake and by 1911 they were living at New Holland Farm with Walter described as a ‘farrier & general smith’.

Walter and his half-brother Charles both served in WW1. Walter was reported wounded by the Bradford Weekly Telegraph in November 1916.

SURVIVED

He continued to be an agricultural blacksmith after the war, and lived at 109 Harecroft (the smithy).

(Harecroft Chapel Roll of honour)

(Bradford Weekly Telegraph 10.11.16)

James Alderton














Munitions worker

 

James was born at Sandy Lane on 3 May 1886, the only child of Rose and Charles, a stoker in a silk mill.

By 1901 James and his mother were living with her sister in Wilsden and in 1911 they had moved to 57 Main Street where his Aunt had a grocery shop.

In 1915 he married Ida Reade in Wilsden, he was at that time living in Lincoln and working as a mechanic. They settled in Wilsden at 59 Main Street, next door to his mother and aunt. James and Ida’s son Fred was born in December 1916.

When war broke out, James became a munitions worker. He was probably one of many, including women, in Wilsden who did so, but there is no list of them and we only know that James was a munitions worker because it is given as his occupation on his son’s baptismal record.

(Wilsden Independent Chapel Baptism Reg)

Air Mechanic 2nd Class

George Saville Ambler






















Royal Air Force 231631

 

George was born in Wilsden on 11 May 1886, the seventh of eight children of Ann and Samuel Ambler, the owner of a worsted spinning mill. His siblings were, Fred, Elsie, Susan, Mary, Lillie, Carrie and Eveline.

By 1901 they were living in a large house, Sunnymede, at Clayton.

When he married Clarissa Ambler at Clayton in October 1916, George and his brother Fred had taken over the running of the mill from their father who had died in 1913.

George joined the Royal Naval Air Service in June 1917. He was a driver and then became a fitter in the Motor Transport section of the RAF (which had come into being in April 1918).

SURVIVED

After being demobbed, George and Clarissa lived at Baildon. They had two children, Hugh and Betsy.

Corporal

Thomas Ambler

Royal Engineers 182656

 

Tom was born on 16 August 1884, son of Jane and Frank Ambler, he had two younger sisters, Florence and Elizabeth. As a child he lived at Cragg House, Main Street. When he was eight his mother died, and his father remarried in 1910.

Tom married Sarah Myers in 1913 and they had two children, Sally and Thomas jnr

Being part of the Ambler spinning mill family, he lived at various times at the original Well House, Prospect House (now the newer Well House) and at Laurel Bank, Crooke Lane

SURVIVED

 

Private

William Ashwell

19th Bn Tank Corps 310561

 

Born 29 November 1898 in the Princeville area of Bradford, William was the son of Lilly and Fred Ashwell, a textile machinery mechanic. William had an older sister, Emily and in 1911 the family was living at Hallas Grange in Hallas Bridge. They continued to live at this address throughout WW1. William was an apprentice fitter prior to enlistment.

SURVIVED

After the war, became a textile engineer like his father. He married Edith and they lived at 2 Rose Cottage, Hallas Bridge.

(Harecroft Chapel Roll of honour)

(Service Record)

Private

Ernest Atkinson

 

 

16th Bn West Yorkshire Regt (POWO) 28660

 

Ernest was born on 6 May 1896 at Cranford Place, Wilsden. His parents were Phoebe and Edward Atkinson and he had an older brother, George, and a younger sister Alice. When Ernest joined up in 1916 he was an assistant engine tenter for Amblers mill and the family was living at 7 Crack Lane. He was taken Prisoner of War on 21 March 1918 and was made to look after German Army horses. His brother George died in the flu pandemic shortly after Ernest had returned home to 13 Tweedy Street in December 1918.

SURVIVED

After the war Ernest, and his parents and sister, moved to 17 School Terrace, Crack Lane and he went to work at Johnson and Booths’ Providence Mill as a weaving overlooker. He married Annie Gill (whose brothers Arthur and William had also served in WW1) in 1922 and they had one child, Norman, in 1925. They lived at 5 Main Street, Wilsden. Norman was killed on active service in WW2.

(Service Record)

Gunner

William Henry Bailey


‘A’ Bty 280th Bde   Royal Field Artillery 931718

 

William (known as Willie) was born in Wilsden and brought up in Harecroft, son of Emma and James Bailey, innkeeper of the ‘Rock & Hopper’ at 54 Harecroft. He had two older siblings, John and Mary. Their father died when Willie was young and when his mother remarried, they lived in Cullingworth. Willie became a carter and got married to Sarah Earnshaw. They lived at 13 Sun Street, Cullingworth.

Willie was killed by a shell whilst asleep in his tent.

DIED 17.8.17 aged 30

(Cullingworth history group)

Corporal

Ernest Bainbridge

 

3rd Bn Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regt) 10682

 

Born 5 December 1894, to Clara and John Bainbridge, both parents worked in textiles. Clara was widowed when Ernest was just a young boy. In 1901, mother and son were living at Listerhills in Bradford, but by 1911 they had moved to 15 Albert Street, Wilsden and she had remarried a landscape gardener, John Rawson in 1905 in Denholme.

She was born in Belgium, to English parents, which may account for Ernest’s having enlisted 7 August 1914, immediately on outbreak of war. He was sent to France the following April. Gassed one month later, he then managed to pass the rest of the war unscathed until 4 November 1918 when he was wounded a week before the Armistice. The Keighley News reported that Ernest was injured but had had a narrow escape when a shell dropped amongst his battalion on their way up the line, killing seventy and some men losing limbs.

He was made up to Corporal in February 1916 and to Lance Sgt in November 1916, but was demoted back to Private in June 1917 for unknown transgressions.

By the end of the war he had been promoted back to Lance Corporal.

SURVIVED

Ernest was discharged from the army to 47 West View, Wilsden, his mother was living at Providence Hall.

He married Cora Butterfield at the beginning of 1922 and they had at least one child, Peggy, who was born in December the same year.

(Service Rec)

(Keighley News 30.11.18)

Private

William Bairstow

19th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers 18773

 

William was the eldest child of Mary and Bennett Bairstow, a worsted weaver. He was born on 6 April 1891 in Oxenhope but the family had moved to Wilsden before he was four years old. He had two younger sisters, Florrie and Maud. In 1901 they were living at 3 Cranford Place. They later moved to 1 Dewhirst Street.

At the end of August 1918 William married Ethel Whittaker at Shaw near Oldham.

When William joined up in April 1915, he was a well-borer and lived in Irlam, Salford. He trained as a saddler and was sent to France in November the same year. He served in France for the rest of the war except a month’s leave in August 1918.

SURVIVED

His demobilisation from the army in March 1919 was probably hastened by his need to recuperate after three weeks in a French hospital with influenza.

William went back to Lancashire and continued his occupation as a travelling well borer.

(1918 Naval & Military vote) (Service Rec)

Lance Corporal

Edgar Barker


Duke of Wellington (West Riding Regt) 267950

 

Edgar was born in Harecroft in 1892, the youngest of four children of Hannah and Greenwood Barker, a stone quarryman. Edgar’s siblings were John, Esther and Mary. His eldest sister, Esther, died in her teens.

By 1911 the family had moved to 54 Lane Side.

Edgar joined up in February 1916 and went to France June 1917. Prior to enlistment he had been a colour-mixer for Barker, Hey & Co, spinners of Bradford.

He received a gunshot wound to the head in May 1918 which was reported in the Bradford Weekly Telegraph and the Keighley News.

SURVIVED

After the war, Edgar continued in his job as a colour matcher for worsted spinning. In August 1923 he married Florence Marshall at Wilsden Independent Chapel. Their son John was born 1924.

(Harecroft Chapel Roll of honour)

(Service Rec).   

(Bradford Weekly Telegraph/Keighley News 24.5.18)

Private

George William Barraclough

818 Coy. Royal Army Service Corps (Motor Transport) M/314765

 

George was born on 22 May 1888 fifth of six children (Clara, Charles, Emily, Ann, George and Florence) of Sarah and Oliver, foreman at a worsted spinning mill. George also became a worsted spinner. He married Minnie Hutchinson in January 1916 and they had one son George Irvin. George William was called up in April 1917, he trained as a driver and was serving in Mesopotamia when Minnie died of pulmonary T.B. in March 1918. George Irwin was placed into the care of his paternal grandmother until his father was discharged from the Army in early 1919.

SURVIVED

George William re-married around 1925, his new wife was Minnie’s older sister Edith and they lived at Bents House cottage (next to his brother at Bents House and later moved into the bigger house themselves). Their daughter Florence was born in 1927.

(Service Rec)

Private

Hedley Lawson Barwick


Machine Gun Corps 89665

 

Born 31 August 1896 in Burley-in-Wharfedale, Hedley was the son of Ada and Thomas Barwick, a grocer in Otley. His mother, Ada, died when Hedley was just 11.

SURVIVED

After the war, Hedley became a builder, and was living at 31 Norr Lane, Wilsden when, in 1925, he married Maggie Stones at St Matthews Church. They lived at first at 3 Spring Hill Place next door to Maggie’s mother, then at Windy Grove. They had one son, Norman.                      

Able Seaman

Fred Baxter

Anson Bn Royal Naval Division, Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve R/1695

 

Fred was born in Wilsden on 28 September 1886. His parents were Hannah and John Baxter, a blacksmith. Fred was the second youngest of eleven children. The family moved to Nelson, Lancashire, before Fred was 2 years old. Their father, John, died whilst Fred was still a child.

He married Fannie just before or during the war.

In 1917 Fred joined the Anson Battalion of the Royal Naval Division, an infantry force. In July 1916 it had been transferred to the Army and numbered 63rd Division.

At the beginning of 1918 the Battalion was holding the front line for six thousand yards around Ytres, a village which held important ammunition dumps and stores for the Royal Engineers. Although there was no attack from either side until the German offensive in March it was not a quiet sector and Fred was killed in the February.

DIED 19.2.18 aged 31

(Navy & Marine war graves)

Captain

Joseph Wilfrid Beanland


 1st/7th Bn Royal Welch Fusiliers

 

Wilfrid was born on 26 October 1894 at Calverley where his father was curate at the time. He was only son of Frances and the Rev. Joseph Beanland, he had an older sister, Constance and a younger one, Margaret. They moved to the Vicarage at Wilsden when their father became vicar at St Matthew’s church.

After being educated at Bradford Grammar School, Wilfrid became a Foundation scholar in History at Selwyn College, Cambridge in 1913. He was a keen sportsman, being in his college rowing club and playing tennis, cricket and rugby. He obtained his commission as 2nd Lieut. on 2 September 1914. In August 1915 he and his men arrived at Gallipoli. Two days later he was killed.

DIED 14.8.15 aged 20

(Wilsden War Memorial)

[Private]

Fred Beilby

[probably Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regt) 25051 then Labour Corps 13894]

 

Born at Castle Howard in 1889, Fred was the son of Charles Beilby, a general labourer. He had two younger sisters, Edith and Annie.

Their mother died when Fred was still young and by 1901 the children and their father were living with his sister, Elizabeth Robinson and her family in Keighley. In the same street was living William Crouch who had also lost his mother at a young age.

In 1911 Elizabeth Robinson had moved to Princeville Road in Bradford, taking her brother and his children (Fred Edith and Annie) with her, and Fred’s friend William Crouch.

At this time, Fred was working as a card minder in a spinning mill. He enlisted, probably into the WRR in April 1915, being medically discharged in October 1918 due to illness.

SURVIVED

In 1919 Fred was living at Old Allan Cottage, Harecroft, with his cousin William Robinson and William Crouch who had also recently returned from army service.

(NM 1919 electoral roll)

James Ernest Bennett

Born in Otley on 2 April 1892, James was the son of Louisa and Isaac Bennett, a stationary engine tenter at Birkshead worsted mill. In 1911 James was living with his parents and younger sister, Carrie, at 5 Birkshead and both James and Carrie were weavers at the mill.

SURVIVED

By the end of the war in 1918, James’ address was 7 Birkshead, where he lived for the next ten years.

He married Emma and they had at least four children. In 1939 they were living at Bank Top Farm and James was a Mill engineer and fireman, and a power loom overlooker.

(1918 Naval & Military vote)

John Edward Berry

Born 7 March 1877, John was the youngest of four children (older siblings were Harriet, William and Hannah) of Bridget and Tillotson Berry, who was at various times a greengrocer, a market gardener and a coal merchant.  

When, in 1902, John married Emily his address was 199 Hermit Hole, Keighley and he was a weaver.

The following year they had a son, John William.

In 1914-1919 their address was 7 then 9 Ling Bob, initially next door to Emily’s cousin with whom she had lived as a child.

SURVIVED

In 1920, with John now back from active service, they moved back to his childhood home at Hermit Hole, and in 1939 John was still living there, his occupation was labourer for the Corporation Highways Dept.

(1918 Naval & Military vote)

Gunner

Arthur Bickerdike

170 Siege Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery 133488

 

Born 6 Dec 1885, in Halton near Leeds, the only son of Grace and Matthew Bickerdike a farmer. He had one older and two younger sisters, Emma, Edith and Mabel.

By 1910 he was Wilsden’s printer, boarding with the Bailey family at 1 Moorside Road. His printing workshop was initially at 214 Main Street then at 128 Main Street.

He enlisted in December 1916, an over-active thyroid was not deemed an impediment and he was sent to France.

SURVIVED

Arthur married Elizabeth Brundell on Christmas Eve 1927. They lived at 16 Wellington Street for many years and he was a printer for the rest of his working life.

(1918 Naval & Military vote) (Service Rec)

[Private]

Joseph Biltcliffe

[probably 2nd/5th Bn King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regt, 41380]

 

Joseph was born in Bingley in 1878, the second of seven children of Mary and George Biltcliffe a stone fence waller

He married Sarah Alice Varley in April 1904. They had three children, Ben, Ross and Mary Ann. Joseph was a stone fence wall-builder, like his father.

Joseph and his family lived at 6 Chapel Row for many years before, during and after WW1, but his wife Sarah died in 1920.

SURVIVED

(1918 Naval & Military vote)

Private

Harry Binns


Durham Light Infantry 3296 then Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry 45388

 

Harry was born in Shelf, Halifax in 1886, the son of Mary and John William Binns a coal miner. Harry had an older sister, Gertrude. By 1901 the family was living at Allerton.

Harry married Ellen Williams in May 1914 and they had a daughter, Mary. He joined up in December 1915. At this time they were living at 278 Ling Bob and prior to enlistment he had been a woolsorter. For James Hill, wool merchants.

He was sent to France in September 1916 then to Italy in November 1917. For the duration of his service, Ellen lived with her parents at 36 Crooke Lane.

SURVIVED

(Service Rec)

Lieutenant

Percy Binns


2nd Bn 25th Reinforcement Australian Imperial Force

 

Percy was born on 27 January 1892 at Binns Fold, the second of four children of Aethelbert and Ann Binns. He had an older brother, Arthur, and two younger sisters, Louie and Edith. Aethelbert was Wilsden’s Printer, Stationer, Post Office and publisher of the ‘Wilsden Almanac’.  Ann was a Professional Photographer.

Percy won a place at Keighley Grammar School. In 1907, when he was 15, the family emigrated to Hobart, Tasmania. Percy became an Advertisement Writer, then a Sub-manager in a Department Store.

He signed up for the Australian Army at Sydney Showground on 12 May 1916 and arrived in France in January 1918. He died charging a machine gun post.

DIED 13.8.18 aged 26

(Wilsden War Memorial)

Private

William Binns
















 1st/6thDuke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regt) 1779

 

William was born in Wilsden in 1895, he was the eldest of four children (younger siblings were George, Susy and John) of

David & Mary Binns, a stone quarryman. Before William was six years old they had moved to Hogholes at Glen Lee, Keighley.

William became an apprentice weaving overlooker with Timothy Hird and sons in Keighley, and in 1912 he joined the Territorial Force of the 6th Bn West Riding Regt.

He was mustered on 5th August the day after war was declared, signed up for overseas service in September and was sent to France in Spring 1915.

DIED 6.11.15 aged 20

William was buried at Talanna Farm cemetery

(Service Rec)

Corporal

Owen Cyril Bird






















1st Bn York & Lancaster Regt 203756

 

Born in Quorn near Loughborough on 31 March 1898, Cyril was the eldest child (with younger siblings Mary, William and Rose) of Emma and Cyril Vincent Bird, a manager for a paper-tube works.  By 1904 the family had moved to Wilsden and when Cyril enlisted in 1916 they were living at 256 Main St. Cyril had been a woolcomber prior to enlistment.

He served in France from May 1917 and became a 1st class shot. In September 1918 he got a gunshot wound to his right hand, although he quickly recovered the use of it.

SURVIVED

Cyril married Florrie Lund in 1921, and they had four children. He lived in Wilsden for the rest of his life.

(Service Rec)

Sapper

James Blacka

M.M.

















20th Division, Signal Coy. Royal Engineers 311451

 

James was born in Cullingworth in 1892, the third child of Ann and William Henry Blacka, a lamplighter for Bingley Urban District Council. James had six siblings; Stephen, Martha, Robert, Raymond, William and Sam and they all worked in the textile mills.

James enlisted into the Royal Engineers and was awarded the Military Medal, reported in the Edinburgh Gazette of 19.3.18. During his leave to receive the medal he married Emma Cookson in Keighley.

SURVIVED

After the war, James and Emma moved to Wilsden. By 1939 they were living at Sunnymeade, Binns Fold with their daughter Nora (born January 1920). James was working as a mule spinner.

Private

Harold Boothman
































 

1/6 Bn Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regt) 267459

 

Harold, the son of Elizabeth and Stephen Boothman, a stone mason, was born at Sandy Lane in 1894 but he and his five brothers (Frank, Bottomley, John, Harry, and Roy) were educated in Todmorden and on leaving school, Harold became a mule-spinner in Sowerby Bridge, then worked for a bobbin mill in Cornholme near Todmorden. By 1911 his two oldest brothers were married, but Harold (again working as a mule spinner) and the rest of the family were living at 20 Main Street, Wilsden. All the six Boothman brothers served in the Army in WW1. Harold enlisted in the Territorials in 1912 but was discharged 18 months later as they felt he was ‘not likely to become an efficient soldier’. However they were happy enough to accept him back into the West Riding Regiment when he re-enlisted in 1916.

He died in France on 12 March 1917 when his post was hit by a heavy shell killing Harold and five other soldiers.

DIED 12.3.17 aged 23

Harold’s father, who had been in poor health for some time, died within a fortnight of receiving the news.

(Wilsden War Memorial)

 

Gunner

Harry Boothman


























 

Royal Field Artillery 32698

 

Born at Sandy Lane in on 4 January 1899, one of six sons of Stephen and Elizabeth Boothman. Harry was raised in Todmorden and worked there as a spinner for Wilson brothers. He enlisted in March 1915, lying about his age. All six brothers joined up and one of them, Harold, was killed.

Harry was wounded in France in 1916, then in October 1916 his battalion was sent, with a multinational force, to bolster the Salonika Force (holding a front which stretched from Albania to Greece). The area suffered extremes of climate and Harry was hospitalised in Salonika in 1917 (at the time of his brother Harold’s death) with rheumatism and malaria. At the beginning of 1918 he had been transferred to the RA Tank Corps but then spent four months in hospital with severe anaemia and debilitation.

SURVIVED

Harry was discharged from the army in 1918 as no longer fit for service. His medical report described him as ‘a poor, thin debilitated anaemic looking boy’.

In 1918 Harry’s address, along with his brothers John and Roy was 278/281 Main Street where his widowed mother was living.

He married Florrie and became a plasterer, they lived in Allerton.

 (1918 Naval & Military vote) (Pension Rec)

Private

John Boothman

Hampshire Regt

 

John was born in 1888 in Nelson, Lancashire, one of six sons of Stephen and Elizabeth Boothman. By 1911 the four younger sons were living with their parents at 20 Main Street and John’s wife Sarah Alice, whom he married in 1913 also came to live there.

All six Boothman brothers joined the Army during WW1. John lost an eye in the fighting at Loos

SURVIVED

John’s address at the end of the war was that of his widowed mother at 278/281 Main Street, along with his brothers Harry and Roy

(1918/1919 Naval & Military vote).

Private

Roy Boothman

Lancashire Fusiliers 240833 then South Lancashire Regt 238048

 

Youngest son of Elizabeth and Stephen Boothman, he had five brothers. They were brought up in Todmorden but the four youngest sons moved with their parents to Wilsden and in 1911 were living at 20 Main Street.

Like Roy, all five of his brothers served in the Army in WW1, with one of them, Harold, being killed.

SURVIVED

After the war Roy came back to Wilsden briefly to live with his by now widowed mother at 278 Main Street. In 1919 he married Lilian Firth in Todmorden where they then lived.

 (1918 Naval & Military vote)

Private

Patrick Bowen

Royal Engineers 123577. 709th Bn Labour Corps 295204

 

Born at 5 Dewhirst Street, Wilsden in 1883, Patrick was the youngest of nine children of Mary and Thomas Bowen, a worsted weaver. Patrick’s mother died when he was 4 years old in 1897 by which time the family had moved to Colne. On leaving school, Patrick was a leather worker probably working with his brothers James and Charles. He signed up at the outbreak of war to the Royal Engineers but was discharged before the end of 1914 because of poor eyesight. He signed up again and was accepted for the Labour Corps, working in France. It is likely that was wounded near St Quentin and taken to the 61st Casualty Clearing Station. He is buried at Ham cemetery attached to that Clearing Station.

DIED 16.2.18 aged 34

Gunner

Charles Henry Bowen, served as Charles Carroll

26th Mortar Heavy Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery 14414

 

Born at 5 Dewhirst Street, Wilsden in 1881, Charles was the second youngest of nine children of Mary and Thomas Bowen, a worsted weaver. Mary died in 1897 when Charles was just 6 years old by which time the family had moved to Colne. On leaving school, Charles was a leather worker probably working with his brothers James and Patrick. He married Rhoda Pattinson in 1908 and they had three sons, Victor, Charlie and George. They lived with Rhoda’s parents in Trawden and Charles worked at Sagar’s Tannery until he enlisted into the Royal Garrison Artillery under the name Charles Carroll.

He was killed near La Bassee during two days of heavy shelling and his body was never recovered.

DIED 6.7.15 aged 34

Private

James Henry Bower

10th Bn York & Lancaster Regt 203750

 

 James, known as Jimmy, was born at Tewitt Farm on the Thornton/Wilsden border in 1883, the son of Sarah Jane and William Bower, a farmer, they moved to Moorside Farm, Wilsden. Jimmy was cattleman on the farm, he had an older sister, Evelina (known as Lina). When he married Annice Horrox they went to live at 13 Albert Street where their daughter, Sarah Jane (Janie) was born in 1905. Jimmy became a woolcomber and he and his family moved to 56 Crooke Lane, near to his widowed mother at no 46. (The top terrace of houses on Crooke Lane having been built by Jimmy’s’ father, William).

Jimmy was a well-known local sportsman, playing knurr & spell and cricket. He enlisted into the York and Lancaster Regiment in Halifax in September 1916.He was killed in action in 12 August 1917 in Flanders.

DIED 12.8.17 aged 35

(Wilsden War Memorial)

Frank Bower

Frank was born on 8 May 1898 the only surviving child of Annie and Ellis Bower, a farmer at 167 Harecroft.

His father, Ellis died in April 1914.

SURVIVED

When Frank was demobilised he lived with his mother, Annie at 44 Lane Side.

He married Nora Weatherhead in Knaresborough in 1925 and they lived at Harden Lane. She died in 1937 and the following year Frank married Marjorie Fisher, again the wedding was in Knaresborough.

By 1939 they lived at 27 Gilrene Avenue. He was a turner for a mechanical engineering works.

(Harecroft Chapel Roll of honour)

Arnold Bowker

Born 1885 in Elland, Arnold was the eldest of four children (his siblings were Beatrice, Alice and Clarence) of Mary and William Bowker, a woollen carder. In 1901 the family was living in Sowerby Bridge, by 1911 Mary had died and William had moved his family to Bury, Lancashire where Mary’s youngest sister Gertrude was helping look after them. Arnold was working as a woollen spinner.

Arnold and his younger brother Clarence both served in WW1

SURVIVED

In 1918 and 1919, Arnold was living at 6 Crooke Lane, Wilsden. There were three more people listed as eligible to vote at the same address, his brother Clarence and also William and Louisa (probably their father and his second wife)

Arnold continued to live in Wilsden until his death in 1938.

(1918 Naval & Military vote)

 

Clarence Bowker

Born at Holy Well Green in Halifax, in 1896, Clarence was the youngest son of Mary and William Bowker a woollen spinner. His older siblings were Arnold, Beatrice and Alice.

In 1901 the family was living in Sowerby Bridge, by 1911 Mary had died and William had moved his family to Bury, Lancashire where Mary’s youngest sister Gertrude was helping look after them.

Clarence and his older brother Clarence both served in WW1

SURVIVED

In 1919, Clarence was living at 6 Crooke Lane, Wilsden. There were three more people listed as eligible to vote at the same address, his brother Arnold and also William and Louisa (probably their father and his second wife)

(1919 Naval & Military vote)

Sergeant

Ernest Brear



 

15th (The Kings) Hussars 4113

 

Ernest was born in Bradford in 1880, the son of Ellen and Robinson Brear. He had three younger siblings, Mary, Jessie and Edward. They grew up in Wilsden, at 1, Hallas Bridge. Ernest enlisted, aged 18, into the regular army prior to the Great War and was a cook in the 15th Kings Hussars, being promoted to sergeant.

He married Ethel in June 1914 and they lived at Totterdown in Bristol.

 At the outbreak of war his battalion was recalled from India and rushed to France to help the French to stop the German Army reaching the coast. Ernest sustained shrapnel wounds when his trench was rushed by the Germans. He was evacuated to Glasgow, where his pregnant wife Ethel travelled to be with him. Although he had written cheerfully to a friend of “trying to stop a shell”, complications set in and he died on 17 November 1914.

DIED 17.11.14 aged 34

His daughter, May was born five months later.

(Wilsden War Memorial)

[Private]

Jack Brigg

[Probably Royal Engineers 362869]

 

Born 31 March 1897 in Harecroft, the second child of Ann and Hugh Brigg an oil and paraffin dealer. He had an older sister Alice and two younger brothers, Norris and Dick. They lived at 146 Harecroft next door to his Uncle Tom and family. His cousin Joshua was six months older than Jack. They both, together with Norris (Jack’s brother), served in the army in WW1.

SURVIVED

After the war Jack became a motor driver, marrying Ella Winder in 1924. By 1939 they were living at 143 Main Street and Jack was a haulage contractor like his brother Norris.

(Harecroft Chapel Roll of honour)

(1919 Naval & Military vote)

Corporal

Joshua Brigg

Royal Field Artillery 135131

 

Born in Harecroft on 26 June 1896, Joshua (known as Joss) was the eldest of five children (siblings were; Ada, Sarah, Daniel and Fred) of Hannah and Tom Brigg a paraffin and oil dealer. They lived at 150 Harecroft, next door to Tom’s brother Hugh whose children were the same age. Joshua and two of his cousins, Jack and Norris would serve in the Army in WW1.

Joshua’s official final rank was corporal but he had been acting sergeant in the last months of his army service.

SURVIVED

Joshua survived the war and married Amelia Hannam in early 1923 but he died in August 1923 aged only 27. Their daughter Joyce was born a few weeks later.

(Harecroft Chapel Roll of honour)

Private

William Norris Brigg

2nd Bn Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regt) 51942

then Agricultural Coy Labour Corps

 

Born 10 May 1899 in Harecroft, Norris was the son of Ann and Hugh Brigg, oil dealer. He was the third of four children, having older siblings Alice and Jack and a younger brother, Dick.

Norris’ cousin Joshua lived next door, they were the same age.  In WW1, Norris, Jack and Joshua all served in the army.

At the time of his enlistment in May 1917, Norris was a ploughman living with his family at 146 Harecroft, he was held on reserve for a year before being called up. He was hospitalised for four days in June 1918 with Influenza which was at that stage still epidemic rather than the global pandemic it would become by the end of the year. He served at home rather than abroad.

SURVIVED

In October 1925 he married Sarah Jane (Janie) Bower, whose father James had been killed in France in 1917. Norris’ occupation was motor driver. They had a son, David.

By 1939 Norris was a haulage contractor, still living at Harecroft (at no.118) but separated from Janie.

(Harecroft Chapel Roll of honour)

(Service Rec)

Private

Arthur Brooksbank

3rd York and Lancaster Regt 30918

 

Arthur was born in 1877 in Bingley the son of Mary and William Brooksbank, a miner. William died before Arthur was five years old and by 1881 Mary had taken Arthur and his two sisters Hannah and Alice to live at The Square on Wilsden Hill. During the next ten years Mary remarried but was again widowed, and they moved to 2 Albion Fold.

Arthur was married to Isabella Peacock in June 1900. By 1901 they were living at Albion Mill Fold and had a son, William. A daughter, Hannah was born the following year.

At the time of his enlistment in August 1916, they lived at 20 Club Row and Arthur was a plasterer’s labourer. Being over 40 years old and married,  Arthur only just fell inside the age of conscription (introduced in March 1916), which was 18-41 and expanded to include married men in May 1916 but he volunteered rather than wait for conscription.

He was sent to France almost straight away (he had military experience having served in the Halifax Militia when younger), however he was discharged on medical grounds in October 1917 with recurrent middle ear infections.

SURVIVED

Arthur returned to 20 Club Row where he and Isabella and their family lived until 1930.

(Service Rec) 

Private

Booth Brooksbank