Norman George Collingham Burfield

Norman George Collingham Burfield married Elsie May Fry on 18th February, 1918 In Balby.

Norman was born in 1895 in York.  Before the war he worked as a Clerk on the Railway.  He joined the West Yorkshire Regiment Labour Corp. on 3rd February 1915 and served in France from January 1917 until November 1918 when he was invalided back to the UK with influenza on board the Hospital Ship “Brighton”.  Norman was demobbed in February 1919.

While Norman was in France, Elsie lived with her mother at 6 Anelay Road, Balby. In 1919 their daughter Dorothy was born in Doncaster. They must have moved to York as their sons Kenneth and Rex were born there in the 1920s. Norman went back to work as a Clerk at the Railway.

Sgt. Oswald Rixon

Sergeant Oswald Rixon

King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Oswald , son of William and Ada Rixon was born in 1895 in Rotherham. His father was a brick maker and by 1911 the family had moved to Thorne. William was still a brick maker but now worked at Thorne Colliery.

Oswald joined the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and was sent to France early in 1916. His death on 27th March 1918 was reported in the Doncaster Gazette. Before the war it was reported that he was widely known in athletic circles playing both football and cricket, a local scoutmaster and in Command of a Boys Brigade troop. He attended the Thorne Congregational church and was connected to the Adult School in Thorne ( the old hut, now demolished, next to the Travis School on Church Street).

Oswald died from wounds at a military hospital in Doullens having been injured a few days before in the Somme area of France. He is buried in the Communal Cemetery in Doullens France, Extension No. 1 and is also commemorated on his parents grave in the Thorne Graveyard Extension.


John Thomas Jewitt-Poskitt

Private John Thomas Jewitt Poskitt ( served as J. Simpson)
King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 3rd Battln. (No 26579)

John enlisted in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and served under the name of John Simpson. He was born on 5th January 1891 at Bridge Street , Thorne, his mother was Ellen Poskitt Jewett, domestic servant, but no father was entered on his birth certificate.

There is no John T Jewitt Poskitt  (or any other combinations of his name on any census returns) however  on the 1891 census but there is a John J Simpson living with his grandparents  James and Elizabeth Simpson in Morris Yard, Bridge Street, Thorne aged 3months, and on the 1901 census this is a John Poskett  living with his unmarried mother Elizabeth Poskett at Thorne, perhaps someone could throw some light on this mystery?

John served in France and was injured on the Somme in1916 and invalided home. John was placed in the army reserve and undertook farmwork to regain strength but he fell ill and was taken to Rotherham hospital where he died from pneumonia on 20th April 1917 and was buried in St. Nicholas Extension on 22nd April 1917 with full military honours as reported in The Goole Times under the name J T J Poskitt.

Pte. John Thomas Weldrake

Private John Thomas Weldrake
Yorkshire Regiment (No.45248)

John Weldrake born 1897 in Thorne, enlisted in the Yorkshire( Princess of Wales’ Own) Regiment, Alexandra Depot. in 1917. His parents George William who was a butcher and Ann Elizabeth Weldrake lived at Moorville Farm, Thorne. John had two brothers Alfred Ernest and George Henry and son sister Ida.

A few weeks after enlisting  John died on 11th April 1917 of pneumonia whilst at home. He was buried in St. Nicholas Churchyard Extension on 14th April after a service at Thorne Primitive Methodist Church.

Five Matthew Brothers Go to War

The Five Matthews Brothers sons of George Matthews & Emma (nee Frost)

Harry was the eldest brother  born in 1883 in Wath.  In 1891 the family were lodging with their In-Laws, Henry and Ann Frost at Midland Terrace, Wath on Dearne.  In 1901 the family were still living in Midland Terrace but now without the grandparents, Harry at this time was a Bricklayer’s  Labourer.  When Harry was 18  he joined the regular army 6 March 1900 3rd York & Lancaster Regt  but on the 3rd May, 1900 he deserted until 23rd May 1903  and stood trial.  Whilst in the army he served in Dublin, South Africa, Mauritius and India.  After serving his time Harry was  transferred to Army Reserves on the 21st April, 1911.  In the 1911 census Harry was living back home in Midland Terrace and was working in the pit.

Harry was mobilized on the 5th August, 1914 in the Northumberland Fusiliers (Service No. 6607)  serving in France .  Harry had a very chequered career  again being Absent without Leave on 11th August until the 13th September, 1916 and again on the 29th September until the 13th November 1916, also being charged with Deficiency of Kit.    Then Harry redeemed himself as he was promoted to Sargeant  for “good Services in the field”  on 12th September, 1917.  But yet again Harry went AWL, his punishment was he was reduced in rank and stoppages of pay until he has made good his deficiencies (31st December, 1918).

Harry  received a gunshot wound to his hand resulting in an amputated finger he was transferred to the Northern General Hospital (?) on 4th March, 1918 until the 13th April, 1918 then later on 22nd November until 7th December 1918 he was in Sunderland Hospital for Influenza.

He left the army in 1920.

Harry  married Charlotte Limer in 1911 in Wath but unfortunately she died shortly after childbirth with their first child who also sadly died, he did not remarry.

In 1939 he was recorded as a Labourer possibly with the council.

Harry died 14 July 1956 in Wath.

George born 18th April 1888 in Wath  In 1911 he was a Trammer  at Wath Colliery and  before the war  married  Hilda Wilhemina in Wath.

George joined  the York & Lancs Regt. (Pte 14984 ) before enlisting on 4th September 1914 as  Able Seaman in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve with the Anson Batln.

He received a bullet wound to the left thumb whilst on action in the Dardanelles.  While on board HMS Swiftsure he was sentenced 14 in the cells for drunkeness.  In November 1915 he was in hospital in Malta, re-joined his batln on 19 March 1916.  In May 1916 George was transferred to France.  Sadly George was reported missing, then  later reported killed in action on 26th October 1917.

He is listed on the War Memorial Wath and commemorated in the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Samuel born 2nd February 1890 in Bradford and in 1911 had the same occupation as his brother George, a Trammer at the pit.

On 12th May 1913 Sam married Marion Dean in Wath.

He enlisted with the  KOYLI on 10th September, 1914, then on the 6th January, 1915 he joined the Royal Navel Division, Drake Batln.  and fought in the Dardanelles  stationed at Hadra Camp.  Sam was taken ill and  transferred to Alexandria Hospital Egypt , being discharged to duty on 19th November,  1915 but in December he was back in the same hospital with jaundice then in January 1916 he was back on duty to Hadra Camp, later transferred to France in 1917.

Sam also became ill with Influenza and was returned to England in November, 1918.    He was demobbed on 20th January 1919 at Clipstone and returned to mining in Wath.

Sam died 4th September 1970.

Ernest  was born 16th February 1892 in Wath.

In 1911 he worked as a Pony Driver at the pit.  Out of the five brothers, Ernest is the least known, he joined  up on the 10th November,  1914 in the Yorkshire Light Infantry Defence Corp. (Pte 69686, Royal Defence Corp. Pte 61401)

Sometime during the action he was injured losing an eye, which led to him being discharged on  26th March, 1918.

After being discharged Ernest  was an Iron Foundry Worker in Derbyshire and possibly worked for Rolls Royce.

Ernest died in 1970.

William born 30th March 1896 in Wath – the youngest of the five brothers.

In 1911 William was living with his brother-in-law, Harry Webb who had married William’s sister Lucy they were living at 24 Midland Terrace, Wath.  William was a Coke Oven Labourer.  He enlisted on 3rd November,  1914 with the  York & Lancaster  Regmt   William saw action in France  and in January  1917 was blown up by a shell whilst going up to the trenches and was unconscious. William was taken to the Canadian hospital at Doulon and remained in hospital  for five weeks.  He suffered loss of speech, tremors and sleeplessness.  Following this William  received light duties for six weeks only to  returned to hospital  with headaches and tremors (shellshock) he was  then transferred back to England in April 1917.  William was  discharged as permanently unfit on the 17th October 1917 at  the war Hospital in Bradford.

William although never fully recovered,  return to work on the pit top in Wath as a shunter.

He married Margaret Peperoni in Wath on 12th April 1921.

William died on the 17th  September 1963 in Bolton on Dearne.

Joseph Hopwood – Killed in Gallipoli

Joseph Hopwood was born 29th November, 1888 in Darfield son of James and Mary Hopwood, James being a miner.

By 1901 the family had moved to Wombwell. Later in 1909 Joseph married Mabel Hill and in 1911 they lived in West Melton, Wath. Joseph was also a miner.

On 2nd September, 1914 enlisted in the York & Lancaster Regiment (Private No. 15035) later transferring to RNVR Drake Battalion on 10th September,  1914

Joseph served in Gallipoli in 1915 and was killed in action and was originally buried in the dead ground behind the British trench Trotman Road (to the right of Regent Street). Most trenches had names.

He is listed on the Wath War Memorial and remembered at Redoubt Cemetery Helles Turkey.

William Bettney – a plasterer by trade

William Bettney born on 21 May 1890 in Wath he was the son of Richard, a coal miner and Sarah. In 1901 they lived at Market Terrace, Wath.

On 26 December, 1913 William married Harriet Matthews (sister of the five Matthew brothers – see their story).

William enlisted in K.O.Y.L.I. Service No. 4177 and in 1915 fought in France. On the 25 June 1916 William received a gun shot wound to his left hand, then in September 1916 William was gassed and suffered from shell shock.

William was a plasterer by trade, but did not work again after the war due to ill health.

William was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

William died in 1958.

John George Scarbor – hated his cold wet billet!

John George Scarbor born in York on the 5th September, 1876 son of William and Esther Scarbor.  In 1901 the family were living at Fulford Street, Water Fulford, York were John like his father worked as road labourer for York Corporation.  In 1903 on 11th April John married Edith Champrey in Fulford, York, and in 1911 they lived in Stillingfleet, York and John was a cowman on a farm.  Around this time they moved to Campsall and John worked at Campsmount.

When war broke out John joined the army, but was too old to fight on the front line but was enlisted  in the Home Defence in the Bedford Regiment, this being a  Home Defence Regiment.  John undertook his  training  at Harlow Carr near Harrogate.  The conditions here was really poor, wet and cold and John hated it! After he completed his training he was transferred to Hartlepool for coastal defence, and was billeted  in near derelict property, but John said  this was still much better than at Harlow Carr!

After the war John returned to Campsmount as a gardener, then  later worked for Pilkingtons Glass Works at Kirk Sandall as a  gardener/groundsman .

John died in June 1939 and has buried at Kirk Sandall, he was living at King George Square, Kirk Sandall at the time of his death.

Peter Gasper Codiferro a pastry cook with the family business

Peter was born on the 10th June,  1889 in Deal, Kent son of Swiss born parents, Petre Antonio Codiferro a Pastry Cook and Confectioner and Maria, Peter had a brother Henry born 1896 in Deal who in 1911 was an apprentice photographer.

In 1911 Peter was also a pastry cook  with the family business alongside his parents they resided at 4 High Street, Deal.

Peter married Edith Emma Knott on 4th April, 1915 in Willesborough, Kent and later that year enlisted on the 16 November 1915 in Normanton, Yorkshire into the KOYLI.

Henry served with the Duke of Cambridge Own Middlesex Regmt.  and was killed in action in France on 16th August, 1916 and is remembered on the Threpval  Memorial and the Hounslow Middlesex war memorial,  at the time the family were living at 171 Beach street, Deal.   In 1919 on the 18th March Peter was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Land Forces.

By 1922 Peter and Edith lived in the Wakefield Area, Peter worked for the Civil Service Insurance for about 18 months then transferred to Wakefield Probate Registry retiring in 1953 as Assistant Chief Clerk.  During Peter’s career in Wakefield he was a member of numerous organisations and societies e.g. Honorary Sec. of YMCA for nine years,  Church sec. and Deacon of the Zion Church for 32 years, Treasurer of Clayton Hospital Trust Fund to name but a few.

Sadly in 1949 Edith died.  In 1951 Peter remarried to Ella Hunter in Sunderland.  Ella had been a nurse from 1942 to 1951 and had nursed at the Clayton Hospital in Wakefield.   Peter and Ella moved to Harrogate in 1963 where sadly Peter died of lung cancer aged 79.

William Isaac Tasker and Henry Asher Mabbott

William Isaac Tasker and Henry Asher Mabbott were friends born in Lincolnshire in the late 1800s. They moved to Doncaster to work as Porters on the railway. Porters helped passengers on the platforms and loaded the train carriages. They were exempt from military service.

By 1918 William and Henry were living together at 42 Prospect Place in Hyde Park. They were both members of the National Union of Railwaymen.

Henry sadly died in 1918, but better news followed as William married Henry’s sister, Rose Mabbott, later that year. They had a son in 1920. By 1939 they had moved to 76 Harrowden Road in Wheatley, and William still worked on the railway as an LNER Guard. The third man in this photograph is called Mr Johnson. We are unsure of his background, but he seems to be a good friend of William and Henry.