Violet Priest

Violet was born in 1897 in Doncaster to William Priest, a Blacksmith, (b. 1864 in Wolverhamton) and Polly nee Vessey. (b. 1868 in Crowle).

In 1901 the family were living at 35 Union Street, Doncaster, Violet had an older sister called Ethel who was born in 1893 in Doncaster.

By the next census in 1911 the family were living at 36 Union Street, by which time Violet had more siblings, Marie b. 1902, Dorothy b. 1904, William b. 1906 and  Clarice b. 1910. It is recorded in total eight children being born, two having died.

On 24 December, 1921 aged 24 Violet married George William  at St. James Church, Doncaster, they both gave their address as 26 John Street, Doncaster, George was a Miner and Violet was a Waitress.

Violet and George had a daughter Patricia Mary Williams who was born on 5 June, 1927.

Sadly in 1932 Violet died.

In the 1939 Register, George is living at 26 John Street with his mother-in-law Polly Priest and her family William Priest, Clarice Northrop, Marie and her husband Edgar Shread along with two other occupants (records closed).

The Hughes Family

William Hughes b. 1876 was a coal miner living in the Hemsworth area where he married Laura Ramsbottom in 1903 and where their children were born – Evelyn b. 1904, William b. 1906 and Albert b. 1909.  In 1911 they were living at 3 Cross Street, Maltby . Later the family moved to 11 Elwiss Street, Marshgate, Doncaster where children  Alice b. 1914 and Mary Louvain b. 1915.

William enlisted into the York & Lancs Regmt (No. 17692)  on 12 December, 1914.  William was killed in action on 16 September, 1915 in France and is buried at the Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium.

The Hughes children were found neglected by the NSPCC who informed the Army on 9 December 1915 that “the wife was sentenced to six months for neglecting the children”, and subsequently the war pension was awarded to the four children (as the wife was ‘unworthy’) to be paid to the Guardian (Workhouse) as from 27 March, 1916.

The  children being discharged to children’s homes at various dates between 1915 and 1917.  Mary Louvain dying in the workhouse on 29 August, 1915.

The Mellors Family

In 1911 the Mellors family  lived at the Huts, Dinnington, Rotherham, Charles Mellors (b. 1872 in Mansfield) was a miner, with his wife Annie Elizabeth nee Marsh (b. 1873 in Chesterfield, they had married in Chesterfield in 1892) along with their children William b. 1900 Chesterfield, Samuel B. 1903, Alfred b. 1906, Maud b. 1907 Hemsworth, Ethel b. 1909 Hemsworth, Rose b. 1910 Worksop, and later,  Harry b. 1915 Doncaster.

It is unsure when Charles joins up, but he serves with the Notts & Derby Regiment (No. 7463) possibly stationed at sometime in Sunderland. The family were living at 95 Staveley Street, Edlington when they fell on hard times.  On 12 February 1916 the children were admitted to the workhouse by the NSPCC. On 4 July 1916  mother Annie is also admitted to the workhouse giving her address as Peacock Yard, Low Pavement, Chesterfield and is discharged three days  later on 7th July, 1916.

The fate of the children was:

Samuel admitted to workhouse 12.2.16 until 24.2.16

Alfred admitted to workhouse 12.2.16 until 25.2.16 discharged to childrens home/cottage home, again  4.7.16 until 12.7.16, then 30.7.18 until 5.10.18  and 13.2.20 until 19.5.20.

Maud admitted to workhouse 12.2.16 until 25.2.16 discharged to childrens home/cottage home, again  11.10.19 until 31.10.19 and  15.6.22 until 10.7.22

Ethel admitted to workhouse 12.2.16 until 25.2.16 discharged to childrens home/cottage home, and  27.1.20 until 3.2.20.

Rose admitted to workhouse 12.2.16 until 25.2.16 discharged to childrens home/cottage home, again on  25.1.19 until 8.2.19, then on 20.5.19 until 28.10.19 and 22.3.20 until 3.5.20.

Harry admitted to workhouse 12.2.16 until 2.5.18 discharged to childrens home/cottage home.

Henry Crisp

On 1 October, 1915 Florence Crisp b. 1876 of 17 West Laith Gate admitted by the Police to the Workhouse, her husband Henry Crisp 195293 serving on the HMS Leviathan, on the 6 October Florence was discharged to the asylum.

Henry Crisp (No.195293) serving on HMS Leviathan during the time when his wife Florence was admitted to the Workhouse and then discharged to the Asylum in October 1915.  The HMS Leviathan was with the Grand Fleet 6th and 1st Cruiser Squadron, North America and West Indies North Atlantic Convoys, between July 1914 and December, 1918.  On 1 October 1915 the HMS Leviathan was in Nova Scotia sailing on the 10th bound for Bermuda via New York, arriving on the 14th October where it was stationed all of October.

Before the war in 1911 Henry and Florence, with their daughter Florence Annie (b.1907 Doncaster) were living at 3 Moores Place, West Street, Doncaster, Henry was a labourer.  Neither Henry or Florence were from Yorkshire (with a  possible marriage in 1903 in Christchurch, Hampshire between a Henry Edward Crisp and a Florence Loveless is the only link to be found).

The Proctor Family

The Proctor family were admitted to the workhouse on 6 Nov. 1918  as a result of  their father Sapper John Proctor 282551 R.E. APO BEF France, being a prisoner of war, his family residing at 60 Spring Gardens, Doncaster  his wife Mabel b. 1885 gave birth on that day (6 Nov 1918)  to Thomas Charles who sadly died the day after on the 7th , followed by Mabel on the 9 Nov. 1918.  The other children Josephine b. 1912, Edna b. 1914 and Leslie b. 1916 were discharged to children’s homes.  Their nearest relative being Grandmother Mrs Lockwood of Hawthorne House, Arskey Lane, Bentley.

The story behind the story – John Proctor was a bricklayer’s labourer living at 59 Mill Road, Cleethorpes.  John joined up on 11 December, 1915 into the Lincolnshire Regmt. being transferred to the 25th Durham Light Infantry on 11 September, 1916.  On 2 November, 1916 he was transferred again to the South Staffs. Regmt and finally on 22 May, 1917 John was transferred to the Royal Engineers. There is no record that John was ever a P.O.W. and infact he spent most of the war in hospital being treated for V.D.  six times over a period from 1917 to 1919.

John’s ‘wife’ Edith Mabel Boothby was born in 1884 to Charles and Sophia Boothby of White Cross Street, Barton-upon-Humber.  In 1891 aged 6 Mabel was living with her sisters and brother in Caister, Lincs., no parents  were recorded on the census.

John and Mabel’s children Josephine b. 1912 in Crosby, Edna b. 1914 in Grimsby and Lesley b. 1916 in Doncaster (all illegitimate).

John states he married Mabel on 8 August, 1918 in Doncaster and in his service record it is noted he went AOL on 19 until 22 August, 1918!

John was demobbed on 26 November, 1919 giving his home address as Hawthorne House, Bentley. It is not known if he was reunited with his children.

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.