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Huddersfield Local History Society
ISSUE NO: 24.
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HUDDERSFIELD LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY was formed in 1977. It was established to create a means by which peoples of all levels of experience could share their common interests in the history of Huddersfield and district. We recognise that Huddersfield enjoys a rich historical heritage. It is the home town of prime ministers and Hollywood stars; the birthplace of Rugby League and famous Olympic athletes; it has more buildings than Bath listed for historical or architectural interest; it had the first municipal trams and some of the first council housing; its radical heritage includes the Luddites, suffragettes, pacifists and other campaigners for change.
MEMBERSHIP of the Society runs from 1° September until 31° August and the present subscriptions (2013/14) per year are:- Individual membership £10 Double membership £15 Group membership £15 Double membership consists of 2 named persons using a single address and receiving one copy of the Society’s Journal. Cheques should be made payable to “Huddersfield Local History Society” and sent to the Membership Secretary or submitted at a Society meeting.
MEETINGS: The Society organises a full programme of meetings each year and the programme for 2013/14 is published in this journal (page 4). Our programme of Monday evening meetings take place in the Reception Room at Huddersfield Town Hall and commence at 7.30pm. Occasional visitors are welcome at a charge of £2 per meeting.
PUBLICATIONS: The Huddersfield Local History Society “Journal” is produced on an annual basis and is free to Members and at a cost of £3.00 to non-members. In addition the Society publishes a number of booklets which are listed separately in this Journal (page 5) together with details of prices and how they may be purchased.
DATA PROTECTION ACT: Members are reminded that their names and addresses are held on computer. The information we hold will only be used for membership purposes and will not be passed on to any other person or organisation. Please inform the Membership Secretary if you do not wish your details to be stored in this Way.
© This Journal is copyright and no part may be reproduced for publication in any form without the written consent of the Editor
HUDDERSFIELD LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY
May 2013 Issue No. 24
St John the Evangelist Churchyard, Upperthong
Graveyards and memorials provide a rich stimulus for historical research and several articles in this Journal began when their author’s curiosity was aroused by names and circumstances. St John’s Churchyard in Upperthong is an atmospheric place and one of its gravestones resulted in John Rumsby’s article in this Journal.
Would you like to submit an article for inclusion in the Journal? The Society welcomes letters, articles, diary extracts, photographs on any aspects of local history. Please send items for publication to the Editor (John Rawlinson, 12 Station Road, Golcar, Huddersfield, HD7 4ED. Email address: email@example.com The deadline for submission of copy for the 2013 (Issue 24) will be Friday, March 28 2014. A “Style Guide” is available for Members wishing to produce articles and the Society offers help for those less confident in using a computer. The “Style Guide” can be found on the Society’s website www.hudderfieldhistory.or.uk
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 2
TABLE OF CONTENTS
About Huddersfield Local History SOCICtY Inside Front Cover Huddersfield Local History Society COMMIttEE INSIDE Back Cover
NEWS & EVENTS: The Society’s Programme of MeetingS, 2013/14 The Society’s Heritage FOPUIM Discover Huddersfield Initiative
ARTICLES: In Search of Martha Stocks - Part Two David COCKIMAN 9
An Encounter in Litzschena: An Intriguing Footnote on the Search for Martha Stocks David COCKIMAN LA
Another German Connection: Joseph Brook of Greenhead David ccc 20
Aid for Spain Alan Brooke 22
The Huddersfield Music Society: A Short History Hilary Norcliffe sae QO
A Melancholy Affair GeEOrge REAMOMNAS 4D
A Canadian Soldier’s Grave in Upperthong John H Rumsby.... 46
Lindley in the Great War DAVid VEL OD
“The case I suffer is for taking a few oats” Pamela COOKSCY DO
LETTERS 57& 65 BOOK REVIEWS
By: David Cockman - The Cormplete sneer 66 By: Keith Brockhill - S/avery in Yorkshire ses OF
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 3
As I write this Editorial the Mrs Sunderland Music Festival is in full swing. This Festival is a long established feature of our town and I remember when we first came to live here wondering who Mrs Sunderland was. Susannah Sunderland was a Brighouse girl and a nationally renowned soprano. She was born in 1819 and, after she was invited to London to perform for Queen Victoria, she was dubbed “The Queen of Song”. When a committee of town worthies made a decision to start a vocal competition in Huddersfield it was decided to name the festival after her.
There were 37 competitors at the first competition held in 3 1889. Nowadays the Festival lasts for some nine days and includes a huge number of competitive events most of which are musical but speech and drama are also included.
The Mrs Sunderland Festival is just one facet of the amazingly rich music tradition of our town which boasts a number of excellent orchestras, a world renowned choir, Susannah Sunderland # music societies, an excellent music department at our University, the Contemporary Music Festival, a tradition of organ building and much more. I am delighted that Hilary Norcliffe, the archivist of the Huddersfield Music Society, has allowed us to publish her excellent History of the Society in this Journal. It is to be hoped that future editions of the Journal will include similar accounts of our town’s musical traditions.
I would like to pay a special thanks to all our contributors who have worked hard to put articles together for this annual publication.
As we go into press the new season’s programme of meetings and activities is almost finalised. The 2013/14 Programme is produced on page 4 of this Journal and we are looking forward to another interesting year. Can |, therefore, encourage you to renew your subscription — at £10 for single and £15 for double membership it is good value. The arrangements for paying the annual subscription will be included in in our September letter to Members or can be found on the Society’s web site at:- www.huddersfieldhistory.org.uk Courtesy of: Kirklees Image Archive — or.uk
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 4
THE MONDAY EVENING PROGRAMME FOR 2013/14
Monday, September 30th 2013 The Search for Martha Stocks David Cockman
Monday, October 28th 2013 The Yorkshire Archaeological Society & its Roots,
150 Years of Local History Sylvia Thomas Monday, November 25th 2013 From a Yorkshire Glossary: new light on old words & phrases George Redmonds
Monday, January 27th 2014 Helping the Victims of Nazi Oppression — The Refugees from Czechoslovakia
in Huddersfield Frank Grombir Monday, February 17th 2014 Keeping a Yorkshire Novelist in Her Place: The Life & Work of Phyllis Bentley Dave Russell Monday, March 31* 2014 Cornelius Ashworth - Handloom Weaver, Farmer & Diarist 1750-1821 Alan Petford Monday, April 28th 2014 History of the Farnley Estate John Sykes Monday, May 19th 2014 School & School Days in the New Mill Valley Pamela Cooksey
Please Note: All the above meetings will be held in the reception Room at Huddersfield Town Hall - commencing 7.30pm.
OTHER EVENTS WE ARE PLANNING Saturday, November 9th 2013 The “Saturday Seminar” will be held at Newsome South Methodist Church, 9.30am until 3.30pm (lunch provided). The theme will be “Hudderstield between 1901 & 1914: A period of calm before the storm?” Speakers: Dr Jill Liddington, Ann Littlewood, David Griffiths January 2014 There will be a New Year Social Event (Date & details to be circulated to Members later) June Excursion - 2014 There will be an evening excursion to a place of local historical interest. Further details to be announced later.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal
HLHS PUBLICATIONS - AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
As well as our annual /ourna/, the Society has a range of booklets in print, as follows:
Liberty or Death: Radicals,
Republicans and Luddites, 1793-1823 es By Alan Brooke and Lesley Kipling
£8.00, plus £1.95 postage and packing
f Fl givin rt Lys te
LU ee AND MISSION PME te a
Queen Street Chapel and Mission By Edward Royle (ISBN 9509134 2 1)
£4.00, plus £0.95 postage and packing
Huddersfield in the 1820s By Edward J Law (ISBN 978 950913 4 5 2)
£6.00 plus £1.25 postage and packing
Huddersticeld inthe [S20 J Lee
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 6
Pioneers or Partisans? Governing Huddersfield, 1820-48 By David Griffiths (ISBN 978 9509134 4 5)
£5.00 plus £1.25 postage and packing ee
JOSEPH KAYE Joseph Ka ye,
BUILDER OF HUDDERSFIELD
on Builder of Huddersfield, c. 1779-1858 By Edward J Law (ISBN 9509134 1 3)
I, HISTORY SOCIETY
£2.50 plus £0.75 postage and packing
John Benson Pritchett: First Medical Officer of Health for Huddersfield ra Spat : By J B Eagles = “a7 G een oo (ISBN 95091350 5) fc MDA OFF RA a
rete as meat, of
£1.50 plus £0.75 postage and packing
All the above are available from HLHS, 24 Sunnybank Rd, Huddersfield, HD3 3DE, with a cheque payable to Huddersfield Local History Society, or via our website, www. hudderstieldhistory.org.uk, with secure on-line payment by PayPal. Look out for the bookstall, at our meetings and other local events, which also carries a wide range of local history materials from other publishers.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 7
KIRKLEES HERITAGE FORUM
Kirklees Heritage Forum was set up to review what has been written about the various ethnic and religious groups which over the years have settled in Kirklees and to encourage further research and writing. At present it is conducting an audit of what has been done in this area. The results of this audit will appear as a page on the Society's website, www.huddersfieldhistory.org.uk
In recent months the Society’s meetings and the /Journa/have featured several examples of research relevant to the objectives of the Forum. In February 2012 Esther Moriarty gave a talk entitled ‘Escape from famine, a new kind of poverty The Irish in Huddersfield’. This year’s programme featured Carmen Kilner on the subject of the Basque children in Yorkshire in 1937 and Nafhesa Ali, who gave a talk entitled ‘Asian Voices: the first generation migration’. The last issue of the Journa/ contained
Frank Grombir’s article ““Brief Encounters’: Baltic hospital workers in and around Huddersfield, 1946-1951’.
However much remains to be done to identify and preserve the records of the various groups which have made their homes in this area. In many cases the first settlers are passing away, their oral testimony and the records of their arrival are being lost.
=> Anyone interested in supporting the objectives of the Forum please contact Bill Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 8
The Society is taking part in a new initiative, ‘Discover Huddersfield’, with a May 2013 launch date. Managed by Huddersfield Town Centre Partnership, it includes the Civic Society, Rugby League Heritage Project, University, Creative Arts Network and Chol Theatre Co among other partners. The idea is to stimulate interest in the town centre and boost the numbers choosing to visit and use the shops and other facilities. Appreciating the town centre heritage is part of that, a briefer version of our recent heritage trail leaflet (prepared jointly with the Civic Society) will be one of several town centre trails. The project will also have an on-line presence and a mobile stall, from which guided walks will be offered during town centre events. Training will be on offer for people interested in acting as guides. The project is funded by a Kirklees Council grant drawn from the town centre innovation fund, set up after the Mary
Portas review of retail prospects.
HLHS members should already have a copy of our heritage trail; if not, it’s on the website at http://huddersfieldhistory.org.uk/walks
Huddersfield am, Heritage
~ St George's Square 9 - The Riding School - Estate Buildings 10- Lawrence Batley Theatre - Market Place 11- Parish Church - Brick Buildings 12 - Boast Market - Former Temperance 13- Byram Street Hotel [M25 site) 14- Old George Inn Supported by - The Town Hail 15~- Mechanics’ Institution - Former Examiner offices. 16- Former Wholesale Market & K I klees COUNCIL
8 - Library & Art Gallery 17 - Former Booth's factory
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 9 IN SEARCH OF MARTHA STOCKS PART 2 By David Cockman
In Issue 23 (May 2012) of the Journal of the Huddersfield Local History Society I described the research that I had undertaken into the life of Martha Stocks, born the daughter of a surgeon in Holmfirth in December 1823. She had died in 1878 as Baroness Martha Speck von Sternburg in the palatial family Schloss at Lutzschena near Leipzig in the then kingdom of Saxony. This elevation up the social scale had come about through her marriage in Leeds in 1849 to Alexander Speck, oldest son of Baron Speck von Sternburg of Lutzschena. Alexander had come to Leeds to set himself up in business as a merchant in wool, flax and jute. He had his office in Trinity Street in Leeds. When the Baron died in 1856 Alexander returned to Leipzig to assume his responsibilities as the new Baron Speck von Sternburg. With him travelled of course the new baroness, Martha, and their four sons, all born in Leeds. A further eight children, six sons and two daughters, would be born in the Schloss in Lutzschena. It seems to have been a very happy, as well as a very productive marriage!
Schloss Ltitzschena at the beginning of the 20° century
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 10
My researches into Martha’s life in Leipzig were greatly helped by the fact that the present Baron Speck, Martha’s great-grandson, was also the family historian who was as keen to learn about Martha’s early years in Holmfirth and Leeds as I was to learn of Martha’s life as a member of the German aristocracy. After much exchanging of documents and photographs throughout 2012 the Baron kindly invited me to visit him in Leipzig and Lutzschena, to explore at first hand where Martha had lived and died and to trawl at my leisure through the extensive surviving family archives. This I was able to do in September 2012.
When Martha arrived in Lutzschena in May 1857 her first home was not the large mansion seen in the picture above, but a much smaller and much older Schloss dating from the 16 centu ry. Her husband, however, was a committed anglophile and was determined to bring a little bit of England to Saxony. The old schloss was pulled down and on the same site a large mansion in the neogothic English style was erected. It was large enough to accommodate Martha’s ever expanding family, but
more space was also required so that Alexander could display to advantage the very large collection of paintings that his father, the first Baron, had acquired during his lifetime, (in fact the largest private collection of old masters in Germany, now in the museum in Leipzig.)
The extensive parkland surrounding the Schloss was also remodelled by both Alexander and his father, the inspiration once again coming from England and the landscape designer William Kent (another Yorkshireman). From documents in the Sternburg archive it is clear that this parkland also provided a kind of Enid Blyton paradise playground for Martha’s twelve children, as these pictures drawn by Hermann, Martha’s second son, (born Leeds 1852) demonstrate:
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 11
eee pee theed Jiwk wrote Lv sth ate Macher, Vine rere a, Bevis ram chan,
Drawings by Hermann, Martha’s second son
The Sternburg dynasty, founded by Alexander’s father the first Baron Maximilian, had drawn its considerable wealth from wool and cloth. And there is evidence in the archive that Maximilian had close links with the wool industry in Huddersfield, for in his travel journal for the year 1803 Maximilian describes a visit to Huddersfield and to the mill of “Mr. Wheticar”. In fact he means Mr. Whitacre and his mill, Woodhouse Mill, at Deighton. It is possible that wool from Saxony was sold by Maximilian to Mr. Whitacre. It is one of history’s little ironies that Maximilian could not know that this corner of Yorkshire would in a few decades have so much impact on the future survival of his family.
But by the time Alexander became Baron in 1856 the emphasis and shifted from wool to beer. When Maximilian had bought the large estate at LUtzschena it had also ‘included a small village brewery. The brewery was greatly expanded under Alexander, including a link to the main railway line recently opened close by, and beer became the major source i of income for the Sternburgs in the second half of the 19°" century and beyond. Alexander had become, if you like, the Joshua Tetley of Saxony. The brewery remained in production until 1991 and the collapse of the communist regime in East Germany. The buildings now stand empty
and badly vandalised, their future uncertain, just a short walk from the Schloss.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 12
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Sternburg brewery workers 1893. Martha’s husband, Alexander, is sitting at the table on the left front wearing a black hat.
The archives also show that Martha maintained her links with her Yorkshire heritage during her Leipzig years. This was particularly so when choosing godparents for some of her children. Martha’s mother was Ann Shaw, a member of the very prosperous Shaw family, who at the beginning of the 19" century lived in a large house called “Stubbin” on Shaw Lane (!) at Hinchliffe Mill. Three members of the Shaw family were godparents for Martha’s first daughter, (also called Martha (1859-1941), at her christening in the village church in Lutzschena in September 1859. And for each of Martha’s twelve children an English oak was planted in the park. Some still survive.
Whether Martha ever mastered the complexities of the German language is a moot point. All the entries in the family Bible during Martha’s years are in English. Certainly her children were raised in a bilingual home, Mama speaking to her children in English and Papa in German. This must have been a considerable advantage for her son Hermann in his distinguished career in the German diplomatic service, especially as German ambassador in Washington. Likewise for his younger brother, James (born Leeds 1856) ,who spent several years in the USA learning the ropes of the
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 13
brewing trade in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He would return to Lutzschena to take over the running of the family brewery from his elderly father, and, on his father’s death in 1911, would succeed to the title of Baron Speck.
All the evidence points to a happy relationship between Alexander and his Holmfirth bride. When Alexander told his father of his engagement to Martha in 1849 he received a stern letter back from Lutzschena, voicing disapproval, the tone of the letter suggesting that Martha “might not be good enough” for his son. Alexander chose to ignore his father’s advice
Wolf. Dietrich, Baron Speck von Sternbure and his decision seems to have by his great-grandmother’s grave in the been the right one. After Martha's
park at Schloss Litzschena, September 2012 “eath in 1878 Alexander lived another 33 years dying in 1911 at the
age of 91. Martha’s twelve children all lived into adulthood, (very rare at the time), and many of their descendants live on in Germany today. When the present Baron dies, his nephew, another Maximilian Speck von Sternburg will carry the family title into the next generation. Martha Stocks of Shaley House, Holmfirth casts a long shadow over almost two hundred years of Anglo-German history.
David Cockman is a retired language teacher living in New Mill from where he pursues a life-long interest in history, as a member of the Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society, the Holmfirth Local History Group and the Huddersfield Local History Society.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 14
AN ENCOUNTER IN LUTZSCHENA: AN INTRIGUING FOOTNOTE ON THE SEARCH FOR MARTHA STOCKS By David Cockman
One of the pleasures of searching archives is to come upon some tit-bit of information which sheds an unexpected light on the matter in hand. Such an example was uncovered in the travel diary of Martha’s future father-in-law where he described a visit to Huddersfield in 1803, some two decades before the birth of Martha. With the benefit of hindsight we can enjoy the little irony of history that he was totally ignorant of the huge significance that this part of the world would have, and still has, for the Sternburg family.
Another chance find in the archive may have nothing to do with the current research, but provokes such a spark of curiosity that it must be pursued, pushing to one side all other concerns. And in the Sternburg documents I came across an astonishing (to me!) example of this also. Another Yorkshire lass from the Holmfirth area, and a contemporary of Martha, had also, amazingly, found her way to Schloss Lutzschena, where she was faced with a decision which had not only profound implications for her personal life, but would have ramifications in the wider world of European music. Such a find could not be ignored.
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ANN ROBENA LAIDLAW was born at Bretton, (possible at Bretton Hall or in a house on the estate), in April 1817, @) i.e. just some six years before Martha. From an early > =
age she showed a prodigious talent on the piano, so much so that her parents sent her to stay with relatives in Edinburgh, so that she could receive tuition from a German piano teacher, Robert Muller, resident in that city. He, too, was so impressed with her musical gifts
that he suggested to her parents that she should continue her studies in Germany. (Not such an
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 15
outlandish suggestion, as many aspiring English musicians in the 19" century, such as Sterndale Bennett and Arthur Sullivan, made their way to conservatoires in Germany.)
What is perhaps surprising is that Robena’s parents acted on his advice. After all, Jane Austen was not long dead and the most that was generally expected of middle class girls at this time was they make a good marriage if possible, and failing that, a bad one. There were few other career options. But in 1830, when Robena was about 13 years old, the family departed for KOnigsberg in East Prussia where she would study with Georg Tag for some four years.
(East Prussia now no longer exists. Although it had been part of German speaking Europe since the middle ages, in 1945 the German population fled or were expelled by the advancing Russian army. After the war East Prussia was divided up between Poland and Russia and resettled with citizens from those countries. The German towns were renamed in Polish or Russian. K6nigsberg became and remains Russian Kaliningrad, which finds itself since the collapse of the Soviet Union, rather bizarrely, a tiny enclave inside the EU. )
At about the age of 17 Robena was launched on her career as a concert pianist, performing at first in salons in Berlin where she caught the eye, or perhaps more accurately, the ear of the Duchess of Cumberland then living in Berlin. When the Duchess became the Queen of Hannover Robena was appointed her court pianist. In 1835 she returned to England and played in several cities, including a recital before Queen Adelaide at St. James Palace. At the end of the year she returned home to her parents in KOnigsberg. In the next few years Robena toured widely in Germany performing in all the main cultural centres, such as Vienna, Berlin, Dresden, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden and Leipzig.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 16
It was in this latter city, Leipzig, and more specifically in Martha’s future home, Schloss Lutzschena, that Robena was to make a fateful and potentially life changing encounter with Robert Schumann in the summer of 1837. It was evidence of this encounter that I uncovered in the Sternburg archives in 2012. Robena had come to give a recital in the famous Gewandhaus concert hall in Leipzig and Schumann was in the audience. Her performance made a deep impression on him. That Robena was also a very pretty girl may perhaps have also added to his appreciative judgement of her playing. “The pianist, “ Schumann wrote, “combines natural charm with English proficiency and diligence. All who heard her play and made her acquaintance retained the most valued memories of her.” Schumann introduced himself to Robena and invited her to walk with him in the park at Leipzig, a walk which took place unchaperoned, even though the not yet 20 Robena was accompanied by her mother on this visit to Leipzig. The “Leipzig park” was in fact the beautiful parkland surrounding, and forming part of the extensive estate at Schloss Lutzschena. Then as now the Sternburg family was happy to allow the citizens of Leipzig to take their
leisure in the park. It is also likely that Robena and her mother together with Schumann went into the Schloss to view the large collection of paintings that Baron Maximilan had on show. That all three signed the visitors’ book suggests this. Perhaps Madame Laidlaw was taking tea in the Schloss while Schumann flirted with the unchaperoned Robena outside in the park.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 17
1837 was a difficult and frustrating year for Schumann in his private life. He had been legally restrained from making any contact with his great love, another child prodigy on the piano and about the same age as Robena , Clara Wieck. Clara’s father objected strongly to the idea that Schumann might be a suitable husband for his daughter. To some extent he was justified in this. Schumann had a volatile and perhaps bipolar personality. But father Wieck
also had his own agenda. He was Schumann & Robena Laidlaw touring Germany with Clara making a From a drawing by J. Raabe
lot of money out of her concerts and he was unwilling to see this valuable source of income disappear.
So perhaps the arrival of Robena caused Schumann to reconsider his options and to make the discovery that there could be other apples on the tree. Certainly there seems to have been some intensity in the relationship between the two during this week in Leipzig. Schumann dedicated his new work the Phantasiestucke Opus 12 to Robena and the score carries this dedication. It is also likely that Robena gave the first performance. The artist Raabe produced a drawing showing Robena playing to Schumann and when Robena left Leipzig at the end of the week both exchanged locks of their hair, a significant step in 19" century romances. Letters between them were exchanged and Schumann visited Robena’s parents in KOnigsberg.
However the couple do not appear to have met again. Perhaps Robena was not as impressed with Schumann as he was with her. Certainly she seems to have found his behaviour a little strange. On their intimate unchaperoned walk together Schumann barely spoke a word, so that Robena was forced to ask: ‘For goodness sake, Herr
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 18
Schumann, why don’t you say something?” (Schumann was famously taciturn in social situations.)
With Robena’s departure the extremely jealous Clara Wieck was once again able to exert her hold on Schumann and the couple eventually married in 1840, just one day before her 21” birthday. Her father still disapproved. In the early 1840s Clara would hear Robena give a recital in Berlin and made some rather catty criticisms of her playing. (Then she would, wouldn’t she!) After several years of mental instability, including a suicide attempt, Robert died in an asylum in Bonn in 1856. His widow Clara lived until 1896 and was, along with Liszt, perhaps one of the finest pianists of the 19" century. She was devoted to Robert’s memory and to the wider dissemination of his music.
Robena Laidlaw returned to England in 1845, making London her permanent home. In 1852 she married a Scottish lawyer called George Thomson and retired from the concert platform to raise a family. In the 1891 census she appears to be running a small private school with the help of her daughters, the eldest of whom is also called Robena. She died in London in 1901.
In the second half of the 19" century Clara Schumann was a frequent visitor to the UK,
giving recitals throughout the country. (She played in Leeds and Bradford, but not Huddersfield.) It is interesting to speculate whether Robena was in the audience when Clara played in London. Did they ever meet and discuss the “old days”? Knowing Clara’s rather severe and forbidding character it seems unlikely.
And of course the events of that week in June 1837 took place some two decades before Martha Stocks herself arrived from Yorkshire in Lutzschena as the new
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 19
Baroness Speck. In 1837 Martha would have been about 13 years old and almost certainly still living at Shaley House, Holmfirth. Whether she was aware of this earlier contact with Yorkshire and of the signatures in the visitors’ book is unknown.
dates Meee oben eel
Evening — Le soir Robert Scher
Schumann dedicated his new work the
Opus 12 to Robena
The park at Schloss Liitzschena where Robert and Robena walked and flirted
David Cockman is a retired language teacher living in New Mill from where he pursues a life-long interest in history, as a member of the Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society, the Holmfirth Local History Group and the Huddersfield Local History Society.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 20
ANOTHER GERMAN CONNECTION — JOSEPH BROOK OF GREENHEAD By David Griffiths
Huddersfield’s German connections continue to be of interest. David Cockman has contributed two pieces in this Journal linking our town with Germany. David Griffiths has added a third in the form of a taster for a book he is currently writing and which is to be published by the Society in 2013. (Editor)
In the early 19° century, the woollen industry was growing rapidly while many farmers began to breed sheep more for meat than for wool. The gap was filled by a growing import of fleeces from eastern Germany, first shipped to Bermondsey in east London and then to the West Riding. In 1821 Huddersfield wool merchants James and Joseph Brook formed a partnership with the Rileys of Bermondsey - Riley, Brook & Co, of Huddersfield, London and Magdeburg. Three marriages between Brooks and Rileys must have helped to cement the business relationship.
Joseph Brook’ (1787-1858) was a leading public figure who lived at Greenhead Hall from about
1840, later serving as a magistrate and chairman of Joseph Brook of Greenhead the Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners, but the German connection was an important part of his life. His obituarist reported him saying that ..such was the confidence in his regularity that the innkeepers on his line of travel to the German fairs, where he yearly went as the purchasing partner in the firm, were able to fix on the exact day and hour of his arrival; and he not unfrequently found his dinner ready provided, without any previous notice of his approach having been forwarded. The extent of his purchases
rendered his advent of great importance, and his annual visit was, in the
* Thanks to Alastair & Jennifer O’Riordan for the image of Joseph Brook.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 21
early days of his travels, looked forward to with interest by the German wool growers.”
Wool-dealing and banking were often closely allied businesses. Joseph had been a private banker and a founder of the Huddersfield Banking Co. His eldest son Richard, who had moved to Dessau by 1841, married Sophie Wagener, from a German banking family, and joined the family business there. According to a German writer, “In the early years of the Industrial Revolution the Berlin Brooks were readily accepted into the expanding and ambitious circles of the Berlin middle class. These well-placed representatives demonstrated their economic and social ascent through their patronage of the arts, thereby also elevating themselves in cultural circles as well.”°
This wealthy household perhaps provided a haven for Richard’s niece Amy (1849- 1904), after her father (Richard’s brother; Joseph’s 5" son) Frederick Smith Brook died at sea in 1859. She would marry a German aristocrat, Johann von Rosenberg (previously married to Richard’s own daughter Helen, who had died at 26!), and their son Frederick (1874-1937) became a career diplomat. Briefly foreign minister of the Weimar Republic in 1922/3, he went on to serve the Nazi regime until his death in 1937, and earned a full-length German biography. It’s perhaps a surprising destination for a Meltham-born woolstapler’s great-grandson, and shows that it is often only a short step from local to world history.
Biography David Griffiths is Treasurer of HLHS and author of Pioneers or Partisans? Governing Huddersfield, 1820-1848, published by the Society in 2008 and Secured for the Town: the story of Hudderstield’s Greenhead Park (Friends of Greenhead Park, 2011). He is currently writing a biography of Joseph Brook of Greenhead, for publication by the Society in autumn 2013.
* Hudderstield Chronicle, 17/7/58. > Winfried Becke r, Frederic Von Rosenberg (1874-1937): Diplomat Vom Spaten Kaiserreich Bis Zum Dritten Reich, Aussenminister Der Weimarer Republik [‘Diplomat from the late Empire to the Third Reich, foreign minister of the Weimar Republic’]. I am grateful to David Cockman for translating this reference.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 22
AID FOR SPAIN By Alan Brooke
Many of you will remember the moving talk given at the Society’s meeting on 29” October 2012 by Carmen Kilner entitled “The Basque Children of Yorkshire in 1937”. Carmen dealt admirably with the background to this tragic but uplifting story and outlined for us the ways in which Yorkshire folk were able to help. In the piece below Alan Brooke has written a fuller account of how Huddersfield responded to the crisis. ( Editor)
The military uprising against the democratically elected Republican government on 18 July 1936 polarised opinion in Huddersfield as it did throughout Britain. Shortly after the rebellion the Daily Telegraph’s Madrid correspondent, Reginald A Calvert came to visit his uncle H C Calvert, of Calvert & Co. Engineers, Folly Hall, at his New North Road residence. He recounted tales of the ‘Red Terror’ in Madrid reflecting the pro-Franco line taken by his newspaper. * There were even rumours that a local man, James Ronald Ricketts, aged 25 from Crosland Moor, had been shot by Republican forces, shortly before the rebels took the town of Irun. He had been in the British army for seven years, having served in India. What he was doing in Spain was not revealed. However, later in the year he returned safely to Britain.”
For members of the town’s vibrant labour movement and all those concerned about the rise of Hitler and Mussolini the conflict in Spain was seen as part of the wider European struggle against Fascism. It was feared that the official British government policy of ‘non-intervention’ in the civil war meant abandoning Spain to Franco and his allies. Huddersfield became part of an international movement to aid the Spanish people. At least two local men took their commitment even further and went out to Spain as part of the International Brigades. David Horradge was killed at Brunete in
* HUDDERSFIELD EXAMINER (WEEKLY) (HEW)15 Aug; 22 Aug 1936. This account inevitably relies heavily on the Examiner. For the background to local events see Fyrth, Jim, The Signa/ Was Spain, (Lawrence & Wishart 1986) pp. 230-231; and Bell, Adrian ‘On/y For Three Months”, (Mousehold Press, Norwich 2007). > HEW 19 Sep 1936; 13 Feb 1937.
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July 1937 and Alec Tough, 22, of 129 Moor End Road, Lockwood, a former worker at David Browns, was captured at the battle of the Ebro and spent six months in a notorious nationalist concentration camp at Burgos.”
In February 1937 150 people attended a Left Book Club meeting in Collinson’s Cafe entitled ‘Spain in Revolt’, which was chaired by Dick Horradge and addressed by a medical student from Manchester, L Pregar, who described his experiences with the Spanish Medical Aid Unit which had gone out the previous August. Of six members of the unit, three had been killed and two wounded. He had spoken with former Halifax man Ralph Fox near Cordoba only five hours before he was killed on 3 January, and brought the message that Spain’s fight was also England’s. The movement gathered pace when Huddersfield Trades Council threw it’s weight behind the campaign and in April a conference of the Huddersfield and District Aid for Spain Committee was held at Victoria Hall, when there was a showing of the film ‘The Defence of Madrid’ and Dr H Edelston of the Bradford branch of Aid for Spain warned of the danger of Fascism.’
The sense of outrage and urgency was compounded when, on 26 April 1937, Gernika (Guernica), the cultural capital of the Basque country in northern Spain, was destroyed in an air raid by the German Condor Legion, killing over 1500 civilians. The Nationalists tightened the noose around Bilbao, the main Basque city, which came under constant attack. An international effort was launched to save as many Basque children as possible from the bombing and the British government agreed to allow 4,000 to enter the UK. On 23 May 3,861 children and 230 adult teachers and other helpers landed at Southampton. They were housed in a temporary camp at Stoneham, Eastleigh, built entirely by volunteers.
° David Horradge is commemorated in the International Brigade role of honour available on the internet. I assume he was related to Richard (Dick) Horradge of the Huddersfield Aid to Spain Committee; HEW 29 Oct 1938 Alec Tough’s return to Huddersfield.. ” HEW 20 Feb 1937. HEW 10 Apr 1937.
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Following a meeting with George Hargrave, an officer of Huddersfield Spanish Aid Committee, the Reverends Leonard Haley and J H Middlebrook approached the Mayor Cllr Barlow, who offered to support the campaign on the basis of a non- partisan public appeal. On gs June 1937 he chaired a meeting at the Town Hall of 80 delegates from a wide range of organisations which resolved to do all it could to ‘give sustenance and relief to the Bilbao refugees.’ Consultation had already taken place with the national organisation supporting the children since a telegram was read out from the Duchess of Atholl thanking the meeting for its support and asking whether 40 Basque children could be maintained ‘in suitable premises.’ A consultative committee was set up with the mayor, George Hargrave, ET Sykes, Archdeacon Albert Baines, the Rev Middlebrook, J C Maggs and Mrs J R Glaisyer with a mandate to invite 30 different organisations to elect representatives onto the committee and with the power to co-opt others if necessary. The mayor estimated that £1500 a year would be required to support the proposed number of children. Archdeacon Baines said it was a cause which needed no pleading and reminded those present of the welcome given in the area to Belgian refugees 23 years previously.” The following Tuesday the Spanish Relief Committee was formed at the Town Hall and it was resolved to adopt 20 Basque children as ‘an experiment’. The Mayor was elected chairman and George Hargrave secretary. The committee was given the power to obtain suitable accommodation by approaching the Corporation estates Committee about using the Old Clergy House at Almondbury. There was some
* HEW 12 June 1937. Among the organisations represented at the meeting were: Huddersfield Rotary Club, Huddersfield Trades Council, Spanish Aid Committee (Milnsbridge Section), Spanish Aid Committee (Huddersfield Section), Peace Pledge Union, YMCA, All Saints Home (Almondbury), Waifs and Strays Society, British Federation of University Women, Left Book Club, Technical College, Labour Party, Charity Organisations Society, Chamber of Trade, Pattern Weavers Trade Union, Electrical trade Union, Huddersfield Industrial Society Ltd, Soroptomists Club, Hillhouse Congregational Church, Victoria Nurses Organisation, Royal Society of St George (Huddersfield Branch), Guild of Help, International Voluntary Service for Peace, Huddersfield Esperanto Society, Huddersfield and District Free Church Committee, Huddersfield Round Table, League of Nations Union (Gledholt Branch), New North Road Baptist Church.
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apprehension about the project from some quarters. A letter from the local BMA, which had been asked to serve on the committee, was read out expressing ‘considerable disquiet’ at ‘the grave risk of serious infectious disease being introduced from Spain,’ and proposing ‘complete segregation of the children for a period’. A discussion, (obviously uninformed about the climate in the Basque country), also ensued as to whether it would be better to raise support for housing the children at a location in the south of England ‘where the climate was more favourable than the North’. Cllr Butterworth offered the Cinderella Society home at Honley for three months, saying the Basque children’s needs were greater and that he presumed they would be ‘segregated’ and checked for diseases before they were sent. The Mayor proposed that the Old Clergy House belonging to the Corporation Estate would be better, since it was empty, was available for more than three months and could house 20 children, with the advantage that it was opposite the recreation ground. The number of 20 children was decided on and the finding of suitable accommodation was left to the Committee.”
Arrangements were finalised after a meeting between members of the committee and David H Thomson, the travelling officer of the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief on 13 July. It was announced that 20 boys, aged 5 to 12 would arrive on 30 July from the camp at Stoneham, accompanied by a teacher and other adults. The Ladies Committee section of the Relief Committee was busy equipping the Old Clergy House. It was estimated that 10s a week would be required to support each child and an appeal was made for funds, the mayor proposing that individuals, or groups, should sponsor a child. In the following week four individuals and New North Road Baptist Church each agreed to maintain one.
The Duchess of Atholl was billed to speak at the Town Hall on 29 July and it was decided to try and get the children to Huddersfield a few days before the event. Mr Bernard Pilkington, clerk to the health committee, who was also secretary of the
HEW 19 June1937. *° HEW 17 July 1937.
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Ladies Committee, reported that a ‘matron governess’, a Spanish refugee of British nationality, would be in charge. George Hargrave appealed for boots, shoes, socks, towels, caps, games and musical instruments, while Mrs W Lawton, of Marsh, chair man of the house committee, asked for help with the gardening and donations of carpets, furnishings, balls, cricket bats and boxing gloves !
Mrs Lawton, along with
other volunteers, had been at the house every day from morning until night spring cleaning and renovating the rooms, helped by her husband who was a railway
charge hand joiner, whose skills were called on for the repairs. Members of the
Labour League of Youth
helped with transforming the The Old Clergy House, Almondbury ‘wilderness’ into the semblance
of a garden and stripping the wallpaper. She considered the mental break the work offered a good substitute for her fortnight holiday. The large house, designed by architect Edgar Wood, with its mullions and leaded windows had been unoccupied for years, some of the panes were broken and the floors were filthy. Four of the upper rooms were converted into bedrooms and the downstairs included a kindergarten and a dining room with trestle tables which could also double as a class room. There were also facilities for a matron-governess, a teacher and a cook. Mrs Lawton said the intention was that they should not feel that they were in an orphanage but receive motherly love. She asked for donations of sweets for the tuck-shop and the services of anyone who could speak Spanish. The house was also well stocked with coronation mugs for the use of the children. As a finishing touch a hanging basket, donated by a local florist, decorated the porch entrance.
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The Matron Governess was Mrs Clark, the widow of William P Clark, who she had met in Barcelona when he was a representative of the British Dyestuff Corporation Ltd. She now lived with her sister in law at Kaye Lane, Almondbury. ‘It is a lovely old house. I think it will be ideal for the children,’ she said.’ I hope to be able to help them forget the horrors of the Civil war.’ For those concerned that the children would suffer because of the climate she pointed out that the Basque country could be even colder than Huddersfield.”
The boys arrived by train at 7.30 on the evening of 28 July to a reception by the mayor in the station entrance hall and the greetings of a crowd of several hundreds in St George’s Square. They were then loaded onto a special bus and taken to Almondbury where another crowd was waiting. They were accompanied by a
teacher and assistant teacher,
Senoritas Soleded Gorrino , The Basque children and the Mayor from Guernica, and Hilaria
Alonso, who were to remain with them and a Miss Sykes and a Senor Lipovitch, an interpreter, who returned to Stoneham Camp the next say. They were met by Mrs Clark and her 12 year old daughter Jean, a pupil at Greenhead High School, who also acted as an interpreter. Some had already picked up some English, since some responded ‘Good Night’ to the mayor’s parting ‘Buenos Noches’ After coffee they had a medical examination and it was proposed to quarantine them for two weeks to monitor their health. They were put to bed on ‘a good Spanish supper’ of tripe, onions, potatoes and coffee.”
* HEW 24 July 1937 ** The ‘Examiner ‘ reporter was intrigued by every detail and, while not reporting what they had for breakfast, recorded that they had two meals during the journey, ‘corned beef, sandwiches and fruit for lunch, and fruit, biscuits and chocolate for tea.’
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A spokesman for the Committee asked the Examiner to reassure its readers that they were ‘all very nice children and we need not expect the slightest trouble from them.’ These reassurances were unfortunately necessary since the same edition of the paper which announced the boys arrival also carried an eyewitness account of the Brechfa incident by Harry Ducksbury, the manager of the George Hotel in Huddersfield, who had been on a fishing holiday in Wales. A gang of boys, housed in what was formerly a camp for the unemployed, were accused of a ‘raid’ on the village , smashing windows and holding up motorists to demand cigarettes. His own car had been vandalised. *°
The Duchess of Atholl spoke at the Town Hall on 29 July. Opening the meeting the mayor announced that 13 of the boys had now been ‘adopted’. Catholic organisations including St Patrick’s Church, St Joseph’s, the St Vincent de Paul Society and the Society of Ladies of Charity had come forward with support. The Duchess explained the background to the refugees coming to the UK and the concern to evacuate Bilbao following the air raid on Guernica. The National Joint Committee had got permission from the government to bring in 4,000 children on condition that they were not selected according to their parent’s politics and that they were maintained by voluntary effort. The Roman Catholic archbishop of Westminster had promised to place 1200 in homes and the Salvation Army hundreds more. Yorkshire was one of the first places to offer help and now, nationally, there were 71 centres. She believed that the children would soon endear themselves to the people of Huddersfield since ‘They are very bright children, very graceful, with good manners , a sense of dignity , a certain Spanish pride and a great deal of feeling’. She described the emotion with which the children in the camps had received the news of the fall of Bilbao on 19 June. In moving a vote of thanks, G Hargave compared her to Florence Nightingale, whilst the Rev Middlebrook said,
‘The National Joint Committee was one of the bright things in these days of fear and hatred. It stood for co-operation, compassion and philanthropy,
Fyrth, Jim, The Signal Was Spain, (Lawrence & Wishart 1986) pp. 230-231.
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the elements that made for civilisation, the spirit that made for peace. He hoped that the focusing of attention on the children would result in efforts to give a squarer deal to the children of our own country and that arising from this work we would have a better England and a better world.’
The following day, along with the Rev. Middlebrook and the mayor, the Duchess visited the Old Clergy house and talked to the voluntary workers and the boys. She was presented with a bunch of flowers by the ‘tiniest little refugee’, whilst the eldest boy gave a short speech of welcome. She thought the accommodation ‘a charming old house’ and was delighted that they had a garden. A cinematograph film of the event was made for the mayor which showed him having a ‘hay fight’ with the
On Wednesday, 25 August, the boys were treated with a trip to Greenhead Park. They tried every facility in the playground, but Giordano Diaz was forbidden by his brother Amador from trying the slide because he had his best pair of trousers on. He was given a stick of rock as compensation, while Amador protected his own trousers by acting as goalkeeper in the elder boys game of football. The reporter found them ‘terrifically keen’ about ‘soccer’ and said they had been to a Huddersfield Town practice match a couple of days before. An appeal was also made for bicycles since the boys had a tendency to ‘commandeer’ other children’s bikes in Almondbury , something the committee doesn’t approve of. Generally speaking , however, the young Basque boys are well behaved, especially if other children don’t tease them.’ ”” In order to increase public involvement permits were issued by the secretary of the Committee, Mr Pilkington, to those interest in visiting the Old Clergy House which was open for an hour on Wednesday afternoons. Visitors were encouraged to donate either to the children’s entertainment fund or the general fund, although money had to be sent to the treasurer care of the Town Hall and not left at the
HEW 31 July 1937. * HEW 28 Aug 1937
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house. An appeal was also made for winter clothing, particularly gabardine coats and a request was made for a globe of the world so that the teacher could ‘show
them where they have come to, as graphically as possible.’ 6
A newsletter, ‘Ambiente Nuevo’ was also published, priced 4d and available from Mr Pilkington at the Public Health office. He also edited the translated articles and pictures by the boys. The first issue contained a dramatic eyewitness account by Amador Diaz, (the boy so concerned about his brother’s trousers), of the bombing of Guernica, which he described as, ‘one of the criminal actions of the war.’ Mrs Clark, the Spanish matron, expressed ‘Many thanks to England’...’The shadowed and sorrowful faces of the children are now illuminated by a smile, because they are beginning to forget the horrors of the cruel civil war...England with a gesture of infinite pity has done a very great favour to these poor children.’ Pilkington expressed the delight of the committee with the behaviour of the children, all of whom were now being taken out on trips by local people or were visiting them for tea.’ The second edition of the bulletin, price now 9d, came out at the beginning of November with articles by the Spanish teachers on their impressions of England and the description of a bull fight by J B Wilkinson of Thornton Lodge, one of the local interpreters. The Examiner also reported that although repatriation of the children would take place as soon as possible it would not begin in less than three
That month, the local Spanish Relief Committee met to discuss the running of the home at Almondbury. It was chaired by Cllr Joseph Barlow and George Hargrave reported that the children had the best level of health of any of the homes. B Pilkington gave an account of the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief conference which he had attended in London saying that he had ‘come away...with the firm impression that the Huddersfield Committee has cause to be well satisfied
HEW 4 Sept 1937 ” HEW 18 Sep 1937 *® HEW 6 Nov 1937
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as to the position in this town.’ At Almondbury the cost of each child was 13s.10d per child, per week, while the national figure was 15s.9d. Food cost 5s.2d per child a week compared to 6s.7d nationally. It was announced that the Almondbury children were to give a concert at the Victoria Hall. At this event Commander Pursey, a former British naval officer, gave an eyewitness account of the bombing of Bilbao.”
In January 1938 Miss Jessie Moorhouse from Leeds spoke at a meeting at the Brunswick Street School chaired by T. Bertram Porritt on the International Voluntary Service for Peace, a Quaker organisation, appealing for support for the starving women and children of Spain. She had spent three months at IVSP farm at Pulgierda with volunteers of different nationalities producing food. She showed slides of the activities. The chairman said that ‘Some of the volunteers gave all their spare clothing to the refugees and left Spain with only the clothes they stood up in.’ The Labour Party held a ‘Milk for Spain’ meeting at the Victoria Hall in February chaired by J.P Mallalieu and addressed by the Leeds MP J Milner. The Basque children were also
invited to the Labour Childrens’ Treat in the Saturday. Northumberland Street Methodist Chapel to be —— entertained by songs and Punch and Judy””. The New Church Grove Place,
In December Alec Tough, the former POW,
spoke at a meeting to support a food ship for Canivenciia’
Spain along with Ms D Brook of the Left Book An Operetta with a Spanish Flavour Club. The campaign was supported by the Performed by Children of the 1 yy urch, rove nce, Mayor, Fred Lawton. Rosalind In the es ek aie ca ? ( , the Spanish Childrens’ Home, Almondbury. Examiner’s ‘Woman to Woman’ column also reported on a concert of the Basque boys from Wednesday, December 7th, Saturday, December / Oth, the Old Clergy House held along with the Doors Open 6-15 p.m, Commence 7-15 p.m.
children of Dalton New Church who had ae
Prices: T/- and 6d. Reserved Seals 1/3
HEW 4 Dec; 18 Dec 1937. *° HEW 12 Feb 1937.
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performed an operetta ‘La Princesa Carmencita’. She told her readers, ‘some of them don’t even know whether or not their mothers are alive.’ They had already made many friends in Huddersfield. B. Pilkington, secretary to the committee of the home had asked her to appeal for Christmas gifts, ‘surely we can remember this little family of refugees and help to make their Christmas a happy one.’ By now there was also concern for other victims of Fascism in Europe and a carol singing event was held for the relief of Czech and Jewish refugees.”
The food ship for Spain campaign was launched in January 1939 and the Examiner carried a photo of the opening of the depot for donations, featuring the mayor, Mrs Glaisyer, the Rev. J.B. Middlebrook, and B Pilkington with six of the Basque boys from Almondbury and their Spanish teacher Senorita Gorrina. The Depot on New Street was also a centre for spreading information about Spain.” Some grocery shops (one was photographed in Kirkburton) put out baskets for donations for the food ship. *“ The first lorry load of food was ready less than two weeks later and the mayor was pictured shaking the driver’s hand before he set off’. It was announced in April that Huddersfield’s donations had reached Spain safely. But it was already too late to help the Spanish Republic - Madrid surrendered on the 28" March.
With their homeland now firmly in the grip of Franco and the fascists the last seven boys left Almondbury in June. They were photographed at the Old Clergy House with B Pilkington and the matron Hilaria Alonso and at a ‘Touching Leave Taking at the Station’. Ramon Ortega, aka ‘The Mascot’ , shed some tears as the boys said
*" HEW 29 October; 17 Dec 1938. ** HEW 24 Dec 1938 There was also growing concern for the plight of British ‘refugees’ if war broke out. ‘Puck’ in the Examiner complained about the use of such a term because it implied foreigness ! This view was obviously held in official circles because the term was abandoned for ‘evacuee’. *° HEW 21 Jan 1939. *“ HEW 28 Jan 1938. *° HEW 11 Feb 1939.
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goodbye to Mrs Dennis who had befriended him in Almondbury. Senoritas Gorrino and Alonso remained behind in Huddersfield.”
At least two local men retain fond memories of their friendships with the Basque boys. Huddersfield Local History Society would be pleased to hear of any other recollections of this interesting aspect of the area’s history.
Biography Alan Brooke has worked with refuges and asylum seekers for about twenty years on a voluntary basis and has visited several conflict zones including the Basque country. His main local history research concerns the social, political and industrial history of the Huddersfield area in the 19°” century. He has published several booklets on various topics including ‘Colliers and Hurriers’, ‘Handloom Fancy Weavers’ and ‘The Hall of Science’. He is co-author, along with Lesley Kipling, of ‘Liberty or Death — Radicals, Republicans and Luddites c. 1793 — 1823’.
“© WHEW 24 Jun 1939.
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As the study local history seems to become ever more academic and
“orofessional” it is reassuring to recall people like Ernest, our former Committee member, who passed away in January. In his 86 years he packed in several careers: textile worker, miner, farmer, wood worker and could recall them all with clarity and humour. One of nature’s raconteurs, he could tell it like it was — literally - in the dialect of the West Riding, that, as an active member of the Yorkshire Dialect Society, he promoted passionately. He was an Editor and Secretary’s dream —always ready to contribute an article, a talk, or simply enliven a committee meeting. When Ernest wrote of the language of the Heavy Woollen district, it was as someone who had worked in the now almost forgotten trades of shoddy and mungo, when they were a normal way of life. In farming he experienced other profound changes, as described in his article “Who’d a thow’t thed a been a farm baht osses” an elegy for a far older way of life that vanished almost “overnight’ in the 1940’s. Even the harsh lot of the coal miner could appear all the more poignant through Ernest’s light, homely touch. “Darkest darkness, brightest light, can’t tell if its day or night” “feeling human for a while, just a chance to laugh and smile’... for tomorrow, once again, We’ll be more like moles then men”.
As a Society we only touched a small part of his life, but despite family tragedy and personal ill health, he was always cheerful, helpful and a pleasure to know. K. Brockhill
SYLVIA ARDEN-BROWN Sylvia Arden-Brown, a longstanding member of the Society, who has lived in Chichester for some but remained in faithful contact with us, always remembering to send her good wishes and apologies for not being able to attend the AGM. Sadly, she passed away in August and we will miss her kind letters and her support. Editor
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THE HUDDERSFIELD MUSIC SOCIETY: A Short History By Hilary Norcliffe
Founded in 1918 by Arthur Eaglefield Hull, the Huddersfield Music Society has been promoting live concerts by professional artists for nearly a century.
Dr Hull was a notable musician and musicologist. He founded the British Music Society (of which the Huddersfield Music Club was an original member), also the School of Music in Huddersfield, forerunner to the University Music Department. He was organist at Huddersfield Parish Church from 1904 to 1920, wrote and edited many compilations of organ music and contributed to many other scholarly works. In 1927 he published a book, within which it was claimed that material had been plagiarised. Whether this was actually so, or a failure to cite references is unknown. The resultant criticism undoubtedly affected him deeply as he committed suicide by throwing himself under a train at Huddersfield Railway Station; he died later in November 1928 of his injuries.
Over a period of nearly a century musical tastes have inevitably changed and evolved. The early concerts, by comparison with today, seem to be extremely long. The very first concert, by the Russian tenor Vladimir Rosing contained nineteen separate songs; The English Singers often performed well over twenty five items per concert, many of which were repeats from performances in only the previous season. In 1934 Egon Petri gave a recital that included the Mozart Piano Sonata K331, the Go/dberg Variations, Beethoven Piano Sonata Op 110 plus four other (not insubstantial) items. Solomon in 1945 played twelve pieces including the
Appassionata Sonata and Brahms’ Hande/ Variations.
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To their credit, in the formative years, the committee was not shy of scheduling contemporary pieces. Works such as the Bart6k and Dohnanyi String Quartets were played in Huddersfield within a few weeks of their premieres in London. However a programme note in 1925 from Dr Hull explains: ‘it may interest Club members to know of the care taken by the committee with the programmes; for instance, the second [Bartok] quartet was decided for this programme, but after some recent experiences in London of the reception of this extreme piece, a cable was sent to
Budapest, asking for the substitution of the first
quartet which represents Bartok’s intermediate style’. It was in fact 1953 before the second quartet was played for the first time, by the Vegh Quartet, and it has only been played twice since. In November 1927 Jelly d’Aranyi and Myra Hess played the Ravel Violin Sonata; it had been premiered by them in London only three weeks earlier. Respighi’s Quartet in the Dorian Mode was dedicated to the Lener Myra Hess Quartet; it was premiered on October 29" 1924 in
London, then played in Huddersfield on November 12"" for only the third time.
At the outbreak of the Second World War all places of entertainment were closed by the government but it was soon realised that the war effort would benefit if people’s morale was kept up. The Music Club therefore maintained a full programme of concerts, although they were generally held on Saturday afternoons. In those days the Club had a Ladies’ Committee whose raison d’etre was to raise money to support the Club in times of crisis. Headed by Mrs Hull, it promoted four seasons from the artists still available, including six concerts by the Hallé Orchestra, conducted by Laurance Turner in the Town Hall. Sir Clifford Curzon made his first appearance for the Club playing the Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4 with them in 1941. St Patrick’s Hall was the venue for the regular concerts ‘by permission of the Military Authorities’ and although most programmes were performed as scheduled, the Blech Quartet had to be replaced ‘owing to war service’. Troops were admitted free to all recitals and some artists such as the Griller Quartet and William Pleeth performed in uniform. Isobel Baillie, Eileen Joyce, Cyril Smith, Myra Hess, Kathleen Ferrier and Solomon also
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gave concerts; Louis Kentner however was the most favoured artist appearing in four consecutive seasons.
Just as happens today many performers were engaged at the beginning of their careers. The Amadeus String Quartet first played in Huddersfield in 1949 when they were all in their early twenties; they appeared a further five times during the next ten years after which their fees became prohibitive. Budgets have always been tight: Artur Rubinstein was engaged in 1929, but only once before his fees became exorbitant; similarly Paul Robeson who came in 1930 before he could command higher fees at the Albert Hall and Drury Lane. John Ogdon was engaged in 1962, only weeks prior to becoming the joint first prize winner of the prestigious Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition. In recent years the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition has identified many excellent young pianists who have been subsequently engaged, including Peter Donohoe, Artur Pizarro, Jean Efflam-Bavouzet and Wolfgang Manz; artists are regularly engaged from the Royal Northern College of Music and through the Countess of Munster Scheme.
From the outset singers were an integral part of most seasons. In the 1920s Olga Haley gave two recitals, and although possibly not a household name today, she was a popular artiste in her time, singing at the Promenade Concerts and making recordings with HMV. Born and brought up in Huddersfield, it is possible that she was a student under Dr Hull at the College of Music. The most prestigious song recitals however were in 1945 and 1947 when Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears came to
the Club. Among the various items that they performed
were Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Britten’s Seven Sonnets of Michelange/o in their first concert and Britten’s 7he Holy Sonnets of John Donne and a number of his popular folk-song arrangements in the second. Forty years later lan and Jennifer Partridge offered similar repertoire: their programmes contained Schubert’s Die Schéne Muillerin in 1980 and 1995 and Britten’s Winter
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Words in 1983. Singers of the highest calibre are still being engaged: John Mark Ainsley and Roderick Williams being two of the most recent.
In 1962 the title of Music Club was formally changed to The Huddersfield Music Society. It was proposed by the committee to ‘remove the suggestion of exclusiveness’. The minutes reveal that it was felt that the title of Club suggested a ‘closed shop’ and perceived formal proposals of membership. The new name was unanimously supported by the rest of the committee and has been used ever since.
Instrumentalists too have played an essential part in the Society’s repertoire over the years. There have been recitals by (of those not mentioned elsewhere) the ‘cellists Pablo Casals, Paul Tortelier and Natalie Clein; violinists Ida Haendel, Ginette Neveu, and Arthur Grumiaux; harpists Marisa Robles and Osian Ellis; woodwind players Michael Collins and Leon Goossens and horn player Dennis Brain (only a matter of months before he tragically died in a car accident). Pianists are of course the most prolific as they are required as accompanists in much of the instrumental and song repertoire and also as artists in their own right. In the early years Dr and Mrs Hull (both FRCOs) accompanied solo singers; Cyril Scott, a personal friend of Dr Hull gave a number of solo recitals and also accompanied the mezzo Astra Desmond in a recital of all his own works. Ernest Lush came in 1949, a senior staff accompanist with the BBC, in this instance he was with the ‘cellist Pierre Fournier. Gerald Moore came on three occasions: with John Coates, Isobel Baillie and lastly in 1951 in a programme entitled ‘The Accompanist Speaks’. Moisewitsch, Walter Gieseking, Moriz Rosenthal, Wilhelm Backhaus, Shura Cherkassky, Stephen Bishop (Kovasevich) also have given recitals to great acclaim. In 1990 the Society was delighted to be able to use the University’s new Steinway D; subsequently Angela Hewitt, Imogen Cooper, Alexei Grynyuk and Paul Lewis have enjoyed playing on it and have given audiences exhilarating recitals. As a special treat in 1997 a matching Steinway was hired when Artur Pizarro and Stephen Coombs played a wonderful concert for two pianos, a first in Music Society history.
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Many people would say that string quartets have been the bedrock of most seasons. The Caterall were the first in 1919, playing what was then a very contemporary programme of Elgar, Borodin and Ravel (this being the first performance at the Society of a quartet that has become the most played work in HMS history). The Czech String Quartet who played in 1920 was formed by the second violinist, Josef Suk. He, of course, was an eminent composer and the son-in-law of Dvorak. In 1927 the Flonzaley String Quartet, (regarded by many as the then leading quartet in the world) gave their final recital in Huddersfield before retiring. During the succeeding years the Music Society has enjoyed performances from eminent ensembles such as the New Budapest, Prazak, Ysaye and Takacs String Quartets. The Lindsays first appeared in 1970 and gave eleven memorable concerts over thirty five years. Their final concert, an all Haydn programme was in March 2005 before they disbanded in July of the same year. Recently there have been notable performances from (among many) the Jerusalem, Carducci, Petersen, Atrium, Tokyo and Pavel Hass Quartets.
Early Music was initially only represented by composers of songs within very eclectic programmes: Morley, Weelkes, Arne, Purcell, Gibbons and of course the prolific Anon and Trad featured regularly. However, one of the first artists to be engaged who embraced the use of period instruments was Violet Gordon Woodhouse who appeared in 1922. A devotee of Dolmetsch, she was an early exponent of the harpsichord and clavichord. Sartorially flamboyant and beloved of the social set she became a professional in her forties and made the first ever recording of the harpsichord, for HMV. Since the war, when the early music movement rapidly gained momentum, many eminent groups have been engaged including The Academy of Ancient Music, Musica Antiqua of Koln, Florilegium and The Rose Consort of Viols with the acclaimed soprano, Emma Kirkby.
In October1950 the venue was changed to the Mayor’s Reception Room at the Town Hall, previously having been held in the Highfield Hall, New North Road and St Patrick’s Hall, Fitzwilliam Street. In 1952 the concert day was changed from Wednesday to Monday and the season was reduced from six concerts to five. This was maintained until December 1966 when a new policy was adopted — a sixth
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 40
concert was to be given by the students of the Music Department of the (then) College of Technology. This continued until 1974 when the student concerts were discontinued but the season of six concerts remained until 1990 when a full season of seven concerts was established and has been maintained ever since. In 2011 the idea of a student concert was revived as a one-off fund-raising idea. It was extremely successful and well supported, and although it will not be a regular feature, it could well be repeated in future seasons.
In 1979 dry-rot in the roof of the Town Hall forced the Society to seek other accommodation. Venn Street Arts Centre (now demolished to make way for the Kingsgate Centre) was used until November 1983 when the first concert was held in the now permanent venue of the University’s St Paul’s Hall, with Janet Hilton on clarinet accompanied by Keith Swallow. There was a notable return however to a previous venue when in 1981 Huddersfield celebrated the centenary of the Town Hall and the Society was invited to participate. The Delme Ensemble including Jack Brymer on clarinet, and Adrian Beers on double bass played the Beethoven Septet and the Schubert Octet to a very enthusiastic audience. Similar ensembles have been engaged when monies have been available and the Society has enjoyed some very significant concerts such as The King’s Singers, Manchester Camerata, Domus and the Gould Piano Trio who have also been regular contributors, appearing six times to date. The brilliant Leopold String Trio, the dynamic Fujita Piano Trio (playing their complete programme from memory) and the percussionists O Duo have appeared recently and brought
with them diverse programmes which have widened the Arthur Eaglefield repertoire of chamber music to the delight of the audience. Hull, HMS founder 1918
It is evident that since its inception the Music Society has engaged many of the leading musicians of their age. It has built on the foundations laid by the first President Arthur Eaglefield Hull and has consistently upheld his values of promoting excellent musicianship in the chamber repertoire. The collaboration with the
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 41
University has helped to promote the Society as a prominent feature within a vibrant music-making town. In conclusion it is appropriate that the Society looks ahead with a statement from the current President:
‘The future of our esteemed Society does seem to be bright and positive and we are all eagerly anticipating our centenary season in 2017-2018. After that landmark has been achieved we can only hope the Hudderstield Music Society will continue to promote memorable concerts by artists of depth and integrity and thus be able to flourish for another hundred years.’
Biography Hilary Norcliffe was born in Huddersfield and has lived in Brighouse all her life. After
graduating from Sheffield University in 1980 she was a junior school teacher for eighteen years. She then decided to have a complete career change: after gaining an MA in Librarianship and until her early retirement in 2012 she enjoyed working ina number of libraries, including the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. For seven years she was the Orchestral Manager of the Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra, and is currently the archivist for the Huddersfield Music Society. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, travel, researching her family history and attending classical music concerts.
The 2013/14 Programme for the Music Society is included on the next page. Ifyou haven't been to any of their concerts it’s a good experience. Editor
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal
Huddersfield Music Society
SEASON 2013 / 2014
October 7th 2013 Rose Consort of Viols, Claire Wilkinson (Soprano), I Jacob Heringman (lute)
4 November 2013 Gould piano trio
2 December 2013 Erringden ensemble
13 January 2014 Michael Collins (clarinet) and Michael McHale (piano) I
10 February 2014 Martyn Jackson (violin) Alison Rhind (piano)
3 March 2014 Yevgeny Sudbin (piano)
14 April 2014 Benyounes String Quartet
Details of each concert are available on the website www.huddersfield-music-society.org.uk Tickets are available on the door or through the website.
All concerts take place at the St Paul’s Hall, Queengate Huddersfield commencing at 7.30pm.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 43
A MELANCHOLY AFFAIR By George Redmonds
In 1726 Sir Arthur Kaye of Woodsome died without a male heir and the family’s extensive estates passed to the earl of Dartmouth whose son George Legge had married Sir Arthur’s only child Elizabeth. For the first time since the late 14" century there was no Kaye at Woodsome and responsibility for the management and farming of the land passed to Joseph Scott, a gentleman whose descendants were later to be the tenants of Woodsome Hall. Little is known about Joseph but a series of his letters to the Earl of Dartmouth has survived in Stafford County Record Office: they cover a brief period from ae aa November 1730 to March 1732, |. =e ae =e offering illuminating glimpses The Courtyard —- Woodsome Hall into the running of the estate at this
transitional period in its history. There is though one enigmatic sentence in a letter dated 9 March 1731, which particularly arouses our interest:
Father Rockley Yesterday Tooke Coach for London Upon this Malancoley Account & Great Surprise & which wee all Lament and are Much Concerned for & what lyes very hard upon My poor Wife She being Not In A Condition fitt to bear Itt.
We are obliged to wonder what the melancholy affair was: the writer’s unusual reliance on capital letters seems designed to express how gravely he viewed the matter but there is no hint in this letter or in those that followed just what had caused Joseph’s anxiety.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 44
We can infer that his wife was pregnant and his concern for her provides us with a clue, for she was Margaret Rockley before their marriage, the daughter of ‘Father’ Rockley who had felt impelled to set off for London in such a hurry on the 3". He was actually Robert Rockley, a gentleman whose family had been prominent in the Worsbrough area for centuries until their decline in the aftermath of the Civil War of the 1640s. As a result of a connection with the Kayes of Woodsome Robert had moved to Woodsome Lees where he apparently acted as a steward. We know also that he had two daughters and an only son who is said in a number of published accounts of the Rockleys to have been the last of the line. He too was called Robert and he died unmarried in 1772, aged 70, but that is practically all that has been written about him.
Nevertheless, Robert was mentioned by the New Mill diarist Arthur Jessop, almost in passing, when he detailed the events of the impact that the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 was having on local people. Three of the references are to a ‘young Mr Rockley’ who had been captured with 500 men en route to Scotland from France, intent on joining the rebels. He was said to have been the group’s Quarter Master and the suspicion in the neighbourhood was that he was the son of the steward at Woodsome Lees. On 25 and 27 March Arthur Jessop confirmed that he was indeed Robert Rockley, the disgraced son of this noble family ‘who had run away from London with the King’s money into France some years ago’. He then went into more detail saying “young Mr Rockley ran away on Sunday 14 February 1731, so that he had been 15 years absent last Valantine’s day’.
That date makes it absolutely clear that Father Rockley’s hurried journey to London in March 1731 was the result of his son’s actions. It is hardly surprising that his daughter Margaret Scott had been so moved by the affair or that her husband should have been so discreet in his letter to the Earl of Dartmouth. What we know now is that the Rockleys of Worsbrough actually had a long history as Catholic recusants and it must be suspected that they were covert supporters of the Jacobites who were seeking to restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. The father may have understood his son’s more open support of the rebellion but he would have felt very keenly the dishonour that he had brought to the family name.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 45
That was not quite the end of the affair for it throws light on another unsolved matter in the history of Woodsome Hall, one that was also commented on by Arthur Jessop. His entry for 29 December 1745 notes that ‘the Bluecoats searched at Mr Scot’s of Woodsome last week upon suspicion that some Rebels were harboured there’. The ‘bluecoats’ were local levies and the search they had made indicates that fourteen years later ‘Father’ Rockley and his son in law had remained under suspicion, guilty of treason by association. We still do not know what young Robert Rockley’s punishment was but it may explain in part why he never married and is remembered as the last member of a previously illustrious family.
Biography: George Redmonds is a local historian who specialises in names studies. His present project is a dictionary of Yorkshire surnames due to be completed this year.
THE SATURDAY SEMINAR <= “Huddersfield between 1901 & 1914: —_ A period of calm before the storm?”
ed) Lam. Har
Our Saturday Seminar on eee Sth November 2013, I November 9" 2013 has the theme “Huddersfield between 1901 & 1914: A period of calm before the storm?” Look out for details and booking form in the
10.00am “The Suffragette Boycott of the 1911 Census across West Yorkshire”.
(Ho iorary Re earch Fe low Un versity of Leeds)
11.45am “Storthes Hall Remembered”
September letter to Members
(Retired nurse from Storthes Hall)
“Flying the flag up North: the 1912 Royal Visit” David Griffiths
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 46
A CANADIAN SOLDIER’S GRAVE IN UPPERTHONG By John H Rumsby
In a corner of the graveyard of St John’s Church, Upperthong, there is an unusual grave of a Canadian soldier who died of wounds received in the First World War. The headstone is not the normal type supplied by the Imperial War Graves Commission, but is a large and dignified cross in local sandstone. It bears the following inscription:
7 Ph 4 rc re, 4 ‘ 7 >
To the memory of Clarence B. Denman Royal Montreal Rifles, Aged 22. Wounded at Hill 60, died at The Holmfirth Military Cottage Hospital, May 251915. A Soldier of the Empire mustered out. Erected by the Hospital Staff.
The grave of Clarence B Denman, St John’s churchyard, Upperthong.
Clarence Benjamin Denman was the son of Walter Frederick and Amelia May Fryer Denman, and was born in London, England, although he was brought up in His parents’ address was 1836 Esplanade Avenue, Montreal. He served in the 14" Battalion, Canadian Infantry, a unit formed from three Montreal militia regiments for overseas service in 1914. The 14" Battalion formed part of the Third Brigade of the First Division of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Like Denman, two-thirds of this division of 30,600 men were British-born.” Denman trained in Canada and then after the voyage to England, on Salisbury Plain.”
The First Division moved to France in February 1915, and served on the Western
*” Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website (Feb 2013). The Ho/mfirth Express, however, describes him as ‘a Canadian born and bred, but of British stock.’ *® Robin Neillands, 7he Death of Glory. The Western Front 1915. (London, 2007) p. 89. Holmfirth Express 29 May 1915, from which most of the details of Denman’s death and funeral are taken.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 47
Front for the rest of the war. Their first major battle was at Ypres, where the Germans launched a huge attack on 22 April, using the new terror weapon of poisonous gas. In attempting to stem this attack around St-Julien the Division sustained 5,400 casualties in three It is likely that it was during this fighting that Denman was seriously wounded in the lungs by shrapnel. He was evacuated to England and assigned to the Military Cottage Hospital at Holmfirth.
originated in a class given, when war seemed inevitable in the summer of 1914, by a
The Military Cottage Hospital at Holmfirth was a remarkable institution.
Dr Williams. This class consisted of the St John’s Ambulance Association course on ‘First Aid to the Injured,’ and was attended by about a hundred people. Two members of the course, Mrs A H Roberts and her sister-in-law Mrs J Roberts, suggested that a small military hospital should be set up in Holmfirth to help cope with the expected rush of wounded from the front. The idea quickly took wing, with premises being offered by Messrs T and J Tinker of Bottoms Mill, who
placed a house in Lansdowne Terrace at their disposal.
This was opened as an ‘auxiliary hospital’, with six beds, Mrs A H Roberts, the on 12 November 1914. It should be noted that this was Matron at the before the main Huddersfield War Hospital at Royds Hall Holmfirth Military was opened, in October 1915, and initially the Holmfirth Hospital. Hospital was apparently administered from Leeds (Courtesy Kirklees Image Archive ) Hospital. Only later did it become one of a number of
*° Neilla nds, 7he Death of Glory, p. 109. *" Details are taken from the collection relating to the hospital held by the Tolson Memorial Museum, Huddersfield, and especially the typescript by F Marsh, 7he Story of Holmfirth Auxiliary Hospital(1975). This collection seems to have originated from the Holmfirth Civic Society.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 48
auxiliary hospitals managed from Royds Apart from a tiny sum of two shillings per patient per day given by the War Office from March 1916, the hospital was maintained entirely by voluntary subscriptions and local fund-raising events, as well as gifts in kind from the local council, firms and individuals. The furnishings and medical equipment were, however, provided by the War Office.
The hospital soon began to expand, reflecting the huge number of casualties being sustained by the Empire’s armed forces. Adjacent fields were taken over as the site for several ‘huts’ which appear to have been prefabricated. Judging from photographs, the huts at Holmfirth were identical to those used at Royds Hall. By the end of the war, the hospital was caring for seventy-six patients. The first medical officer was Dr Williams, but he soon left for active service, and his place was taken by Dr RH Trotter, a local GP. The matron throughout the hospital’s history was Mrs AH Roberts. Mrs Roberts was Irish, and had come to England to practice nursing. She married Mr Roberts, a cloth manufacturer of Yew Tree Mills, Holmfirth. ‘She ruled the hospital with extreme firmness, and would not tolerate any slackness, indiscipline, or excuses from any of her staff or the patients.’* There were only three professional members of staff, the medical officer, the matron, and the cook.* The nursing staff were members of the original first aid class, who with further training became the St John’s Voluntary Aid Detachment (‘VADs’). Many of these women had other jobs, and some would work night shifts after spending a full day working in a mill. This then was the small but efficient establishment to which Clarence Denman was brought in the Spring of 1915.
** Untitled booklet giving short histories and photographs of auxiliary hospitals and St John’s Ambulance detachments in West Yorkshire, Tolson Memorial Museum collection. See also the copies of the Huddersfield War Hospital Magazine, held by the Huddersfield Local Studies Library. Ma rsh, Holmfirth Auxiliary Hospital, p. 3. Marsh interviewed several members of the staff. "AN masseuse, Mrs Dobson, only charged half her normal fee for her services.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 49
Wi ’ f Pir tas de be ert tae € CORY Ud
es ee i nd 4
Group of staff and patients, thought to have been photographed at the Holmfirth Military Hospital. (Courtesy Kirklees Image Archive: www. kirkleesimages.org.Uk)
It was quickly seen that Denman’s wounds were mortal, and he died on Tuesday afternoon, May 1915. Whether this was the first death at the Holmfirth hospital is not known, but it became the occasion for an extraordinary outpouring of mourning in the town. There was at least one Canadian connection in Holmfirth at the time. A local minister had resided in Canada for many years, and had recently preached a sermon calling for more in which he talked of ‘our loyal Colony’ and its inhabitants’ feelings for the ‘old country.’ Amongst the mourners listed by the Ho/mfirth Express were several Canadian soldiers, fellow patients at the hospital. Whatever the motives, Denman’s funeral must have been one of the largest Holmfirth had ever seen. The cortege included coffin-bearers from the Military Training Corps,” a firing party from the 5"" Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment,”
*° Conscription was not introduced until 1916. °° The First World War equivalent of the Home Guard.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 50
hospital patients, the Hinchliffe Mill Band, the vicar of St John’s Church, Upperthong, hospital staff including the matron, president and fifty of the nursing staff, representatives of the Holmfirth Urban District Council and the Holmfirth Recruiting Committee, and many other official and unofficial mourners. The church was crowded for the funeral service, with ‘thousands’ of spectators waiting outside. The interment was accompanied by the firing party firing three volleys, and the Last Post was sounded by Mr Arthur Haigh of the Hinchliffe Mill Band. The Ho/mfirth Express even described the coffin, which was of polished pitch pine, with brass mountings, covered by a Union flag on which rested Denman’s uniform cap. The funeral arrangements were ‘successfully carried out’ by Messrs J Shaw, Son and Co of Westwood House, Holmfirth. Presumably the gravestone was provided later as a result of a collection amongst the staff of the hospital.
That Holmfirth’s efforts in looking after the last days of a stranger from Canada were appreciated is proved by two letters in the Tolson Memorial Museum collection.
The first was from a comrade of Clarence Denman:-
France June 21" 1915
Dear Doctor, /am in receipt of your letter dated the 31° inst., which was delayed on account of my having left Hospital. In this I would like to express my sincere thanks for the kind interest yourself & staff took in the case of my Dear friend Denman. Through unforeseen circumstances I learnt of his death three days later by one of our boys who is himself from Yorks, receiving a Hudderstield Paper where I read a full account of his funeral. Should we ever be in England again, a few of his personal friends & myself intend visiting his last resting place, & then / trust we shall have the pleasure
*” So-called by the Ho/mfirth Express, probably more likely to be the 5"" Battalion Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment, the Huddersfield Territorials. 8 They form part of a collection of letters of appreciation from former patients, mostly written to Mrs Roberts the matron.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 51
of personally thanking the people of Holmfirth, in the name of Canada, for their kindness & sympathy towards a very esteemed & beloved friend. Yrs very sincerely Wellesley S Taylor
Taylor was a sergeant in the same battalion as Denman. Sadly he too was killed on the Western Front, on 1 May 1916, aged 24.°°
The second letter is from Clarence’s brother: 2469 B Hutchinson St Montreal Que. July 8.15
Dear Mrs Roberts, /am writing to thank you for being so kind in sending us Clarence’s personal belongings, and also the photos of the funeral which you were so kind and thoughttul for us in taking and sending. We received them last week in good condition and the photos are beautiful. You have been very kind to us in taking all the trouble you have and maybe in the future some of the family may take a trip over there and have an opportunity of meeting and thanking you personally. We have about six cousins at the war and as far as we know all are well at present. * One had a piece taken out of his hand by a shell, but has recovered again as much as Is possible to do so. Hoping you are well and again thanking you I will close. Yours sincerely Leonard Denman (brother).
Denman was not of course the only Canadian soldier of the Great War to die in the Huddersfield area. For example, Pte T Lawson and Pte T S A B Shearman of the
CWGC website. *° One of these cousins may have been Pte Herbert Alfred Denman of Montreal, 87" Bn Canadian Infantry, died in France 9 April 1917: CWGC website.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 52
Canadian army died in Royds Hall hospital in 1917, and were buried with military honours in Edgerton cemetery. Lawson seems to have been a United States citizen, but moved to Canada to enlist before the USA entered the war. Shearman came from
Vancouver, and had just completed a degree at the University of British Columbia.”
After the declaration of the signing of the Armistice in November 1918, the number of patients at the Holmfirth hospital gradually diminished, and the last patient was discharged at the end of February 1919. A closing function took place at Holmfirth Drill Hall (now the Civic Hall) on 4 March 1919, at which various presentations to the staff were made. The matron, Mrs A H Roberts, had however already received official recognition in the form of the silver medal of the Royal Red Cross Second Class, which was actually presented to her by the King at Buckingham Palace on Armistice Day, 11 November 1918.
Canada lost 64,751 men during the First World War, of whom 19,501 have no known grave.” Most of those who do have graves have their resting place marked by a plain Portland stone marker of the approved Imperial War Grave design. Clarence Denman, although he lies thousands of miles from his home town, has a unique gravestone erected by those who cared for him in his last days as a mark of their rr 43 patriotic pride and gratitude.
Acknowledgements: I am grateful to Mr Richard Butterfield of Kirklees Museums Service for permission to publish the two letters printed here. I would also like to thank Mr Chris Yeates and Miss Amanda Booth for providing access to the collections of the Tolson Memorial Museum.
Biography: John Rumsby worked as a curator for Kirklees Museums from 1981 until his retirement in 2007. This article combines his two favourite subjects: military history, and exploring cemeteries and churchyards.
War Hospital Magazine (May 1917) p. 13, with a photograph of the funeral; CWGC website. ** Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Annual Report (1993-4) p. 47. The modern successor of Denman’s old regiment is now, by coincidence, affiliated to the Yorkshire Regiment.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 53
LINDLEY IN THE GREAT WAR By David Verguson
Anyone who has undertaken family history research will know the window it opens into all aspects of social history. With this in mind, when a small group of like- minded people formed the Lindley History Research Group with the initial idea of focusing on Lindley in the years up to the First World War, I decided that a good ‘way in’ would be to investigate the backgrounds of those Lindley men who died in the War: giving identity and character to the names on the war memorial. Who were they and what can we Say of their lives?
Lindley has at least three memorials to those who died =~ in the Great War: in the parish church of St Stephen’s, = the Methodist Church on East St and the Zion chapel memorial, now re-located to the East St church. With other names from Edgerton, men named in the Hudderstield Examiner and some on no memorial but remembered on family gravestones, the total comes to about 120. So far almost sixty ‘biographies’ have been
completed and some tentative insights into life in early
20" Century Lindley are beginning to emerge. St Stephen's Church showing the war graves
The first task was to track these names through the 1891, 1901 and 1911 Censuses and then to find Service Records — only possible in a minority of cases - or at least Medal Roll Index Cards.
While only 23 full records have so far been found, one surprising detail to emerge has been the physical size of the recruits: ten were 5’ 5” or under and only two were 5’ 8” or over. Chest sizes were typically about 36” and the few men on whom there is information weighed in at less than 130 lbs, or about 9 stone. All were deemed of ‘good physical development’ or at the very least ‘will develop’.
However, the medical examination was cursory to say the least. Take the case of George Henry Moore, a woollen piecer. Called-up, he presented himself for examination and enlistment at the Halifax barracks on 27 June 1916 and was
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 54
described as 5’ 4%” tall with 32%” chest and of ‘good’ physical development. The
following day, having marched six miles with other recruits from Mansfield station to
the new camp at Clipstone he became hysterical, was given water and calmed down
and then he was put to bed and examined by an RAMC doctor who said he was semi-
conscious and rambling. Five hours later he was dead.
The inquest agreed with the doctor: heart failure after an attack of hysteria. The
coroner remarked that it was ‘now very doubtful’ that he was fit when medically
examined the previous day.
Grave of Fred Moores, St Stephen’s Churchyard
lodger to help pay the rent. In losing his father while still in his teens, Fred was not unusual: of the 100 or so on whom we have enough information, 22 fathers had died. A couple had also lost their mothers.
Fred, like his father, worked in the
‘card clothing works’ on Acre St owned by the Sykes family, one of
Another casualty, Fred Moores, of the Tank Corps, lies buried in St Stephen’s and his story throws light on housing and employment in the village.
Fred’s parents, Joseph and Sarah Moores lived with their four children in a three-room house in Albert Terrace, a tiny road long lost under the hospital car park on Acre St. A three-room house was small but not untypical of those lived in by many of the Lindley men. Four rooms were probably more common but, it must be remembered, this included the kitchen: basically, two-up, two-down houses.
Before 1911 Joseph died and the widowed Sarah took in a
Acre Mill, home of Sykes card making works
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 55
the village’s largest employers. Albert Terrace was built on the edge of the Green Lea estate where Frederick William Sykes, partner in the Card Works lived in 30 rooms.
Inside the estate in 1911, in four rooms in one of the lodge cottages, lived Albert Nutton, his wife and three children. Albert was FW Sykes’ coachman, while his son George, who died in 1917, was an apprentice in the card factory.
Many of the recruits had at some time lived in that complex of houses — many of them back-to-back - off Acre St between the Bay Horse pub and the Sykes works opposite the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary: Wellington St, King St, Baker St and beyond the factory on Union St. A census page for one of these streets for 1901 had 33 people of whom 19 were in
employment and this was not untypical. Of these seven worked in woollen textile manufacture and another seven worked at the card works. There were many mills within easy walking distance at that end of the village.
It comes as no surprise that the textile and related industries
Wellington Mill where many Lindley people were employed
were the biggest employer in the village: of the 80 or so on whom there is sufficient information at present, 59 worked in
either textile or card production. And that doesn’t include the
few drapers and tailors.
Seven of these young men were described as ‘warehouseman’, another was a very young sorter’. One boy was described as a ‘reacher-in for a yealder’. These occupations were relatively unskilled, and possibly the first rungs to higher paid jobs.
The 1911 census also throws light on infant mortality. Many of the families were very large, often with seven or more children, though families of four or five were more common. And most families would have lost at least one child in infancy. Such personal tragedies are usually attributed to class differences and it must be the case that poverty and overcrowding are important factors.
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However it is not as clear-cut as that: Joseph Moores, acard grinder, lost none of his four children, while his employer, John Sykes of Acre House, lost three of four children; A/sson Herbert Higginson, of Briar Court, lost one of four children.
And the casualties were similarly distributed: Herbert’s only son, Lesley Gordon, one of the four front-line officers in our sample, died in a flying accident in England after serving as an artillery officer in France while in his late teens.
Likewise, the Hanson family, of Daisy Lea, a big house of 14 rooms on a private road in the centre of the village, lost three of six children and their eldest, Harold, a civil engineer like his father, died a captain on active service at the age of 36. A few yards up from the Hansons but a world apart socially, lived the Dysons in Norman Terrace, on Lidget St. Joe was a foreman in the Sykes factory and the Terrace he lived in, along with the Clock Tower opposite, had been designed for the late James Neald Sykes, by his nephew, the Manchester architect, Edgar Wood. J N Sykes, one of the original partners in the card making business on Acre St, lived in Field House on Lidget St, between the church and Norman Terrace.
The Dyson’s had eight children of whom three died young. Arnold, born in 1895, was an apprentice designer in worsted textiles by the age of 16 and, as such, was one of the few of those who were not in manual employment. Arnold, who like many of the
Lindley men served in the Duke of Wellington’s, died in
Norman Terrace in the
November 1915 and is buried near Ypres. He is
centre of Lindley, remembered In St Stephen’s and on the family where the Dyson gravestone in the old Zion chapel graveyard, now a Family lived
green path through the heart of the village.
Our research is still in its early days but the evidence so far begins to tell us something of the social history of Lindley; a picture of housing, infant mortality and employment in this small mainly urban community , is forming. But beyond this, Lindley boasted four chapels and an Anglican church and parish hall, a Mechanics
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 57
Institute and two ‘political clubs’, so the story has another dimension and is not simply a tale of deprivation and loss.
Sources: The National Census of England, 1891, 1901 and 1911 British Army WW1 Service Records 1914-1920 British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards 1914 — 1920 (All accessed through Ancestry .com) The Huddersfield Examiner
Biography: David Verguson is a retired history teacher who has lived in Lindley since 1975 and who is a member of the Lindley History Research Group.
Letter: A recent copy of this Journal (No:23) expressed curiosity as to why someone from Salford would send a picture of Lockwood Viaduct. Some years ago when following up my ancestry I found to my surprise, not expecting a Lancashire connection, that my great- great-grandfather was from Salford. Later I discovered that this was the name of the part of Lockwood south of the river so that the picture was of what was, and still is, the most impressive feature of the sender’s district. Salford is shown on the current 1:10000 map but is much more prominent on the original 6”. Edward Vickerman
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal
“THE CASE I SUFFER IS FOR TAKING A FEW OATS”
Part One By Pamela Cooksey
On 22° February 1814 the convict ship the Surry sailed from Portsmouth bound for New South Wales in Australia with a cargo of 200 male prisoners sentenced to
transportation to “parts abroad.”
Amongst their number was Samuel Haigh of
Wooldale, a thirty-four year old weaver. He was the son of Samuel Haigh, a Clothier of Denby and his wife, Mary, who were Quakers and members of High Flatts Quaker
Meeting. tance Veloe E her 77: oa on the ie ps Lae? in t ar fru "ye ear of 1 no of our “Sovereign Lord GEORGE thé Third, Kin, rreat-Britain, &e. and in the, ‘ear of our Lord bne Eight Hundred and = ) f ‘ Gi 7 I BA ft g rhe 05 ¢ G Hick Bee F124 AO Deity, € ee - hy 4 ~ Perfonally ¢ came before Pre < oC Nelle ta pe ) Bort or pt His Majelty’s penal of the Peace for the faid Riding, and acknowledged £4 = be indebted to our faid Sovereign Lord the King, in the Sum eee ta, - at S ate nro Tae 7 : of ge ood and lawful Money of Great-Britain, to be levied on >; =_ mattels, Lands and Tenements, for the Ufe of our fad Sovereign Lord the King, his Heirs and Succeffors, if Default hall be made in the Con-
HE Condition cre fue °c Ae ba. fez fe
fhall Zo at the next General Rake of the Peace to ‘be —_ a? LEP Ta & ee if andy for the faid has and cheer ath there ill a Bill of Indigiment, ¢ Masel. & re faze aL Cow OT CA (ie thy Artin — ‘on Sufpicion of felonioufly ftealing, talring, and efrrying away Le An 7
vanes Panes op tke tees ot Laks 2 gaan AE dente
a re ays i Meche,
— = Metin ' ———$————— ry,
and thall then and there give Evidence re the fame to the Jurors, who fhall inquire thereof on the Part of our faid Lord the King ; and in Cafe the fame
be found a true Bill, then if the faid bh fait.
fhall perfonally appear befigre the Jurors, who fhall pals upon the Trial of the faid
“a. ese Bas fou eee and give Evidence upon the (iid Indi€iment, and not depart the Court without Leave ; then this Recognizance to be void, otherwife of Force.
Acknowledged before Me
i ; fA? Sf wt EL Ee Fi
Pes. Zz SV Shee
Samuel Haigh this morning from the Barn of his Master the said Elihu Dickinson.”
On 9 March 1813
Blackburn, a serving man to the
Quaker Elihu Dickinson, a clothier of High Flatts in Denby, appeared before Mr William Wood, Justice of the Peace and on oath accused
Samuel Haigh of stealing: a guantity of Oats the property of the said Elihu Dickinson.” \t would appear that Samuel had either been caught red-handed or very soon after committing the theft for the oats involved were presented to Mr Wood, Amos Blackburn then confirming that they were: “oart of those oats which were so feloniously stolen
taken and carried away by the said 45
Quarter Sessions - Pontefract Recognizance — Felony March 19" 1813
° Paper attached to the above
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal
From the day of his arrest until he was brought before the Judge and Jurors of the
—_ * i as
Prison Hulk I
Court of the Yorkshire Quarter Sessions held at Pontefract Samuel was most likely held in the House of Correction § in Wakefield. On 26° April
1813 he was charged and found guilty of larceny, a crime which for which the sentence was transportation for seven years. Having received his sentence there is no surviving record of where Samuel imprisoned prior to his arrival at the Portland Prison Hulks_ in
Langstone harbour below Portsmouth on May 131813. However the entry in the Registers and Letter Books for that day stated: “received twe/ve prisoners from
Amongst the twelve were Samuel Haigh and also John Carr and Timothy
Hanson who had been sentenced to transportation the same day as Samuel at the Pontefract Court. This would suggest that these three men had not been sent to London as was customary for those awaiting transportation. Newgate Prison, at the time, served as a holding prison whilst it was being determined to which country a
prisoner would be sent and to which ship he or she was assigned.
transferred to York Gaol meant that Samuel was spared the well documented horrors
of Newgate as he waited with other convicts the journey to Portsmouth.
The Portland Prison hulks on
t. arf A, éé — + fd # “ * : * of * ae ay Gk, Bae af (fae Bh os * ts Aas, é # 5 4 Mi whhe i az é A boop, te of * 7 a Ath yh e ” # Ps 4 i ? ‘ fé 2 i ee Bee 4 Bi dg Loss help a shirk Mayh a * sr hey) / ; 7 fw of Riis Lidice : ays a * * a 7 a A thigh ; ¥ a x # ee Jf FE as He ve gevte Net ' (14. hon 4 a os 4 Bird 5 Pans fe Vw ‘ iene len ere (fife Kes. PF) May * Kolb * tl a a “ ) % fi; wea Fa ei pen a oe vA ony, 449 z a Zz a i # ‘
* ve arr
spent the next nine
months as he waited
Prison Hulks Registers and Letter Books
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 60
to be transported to Australia must have been typical of the kind of floating prisons anchored along the banks of the river Thames and in the ports of Portsmouth and Plymouth. In 1776 Parliament agreed the use of decommissioned navy ships as temporary accommodation for an increasing prison population. The original intention was that these would be used for two years but in reality they were not abandoned until 1858. Living conditions on the hulks were often much worse than those in local prisons and houses of correction. A lack of the most basic sanitary facilities, overcrowding and poor diet meant that there were recurring outbreaks of dysentery and vomiting and diseases such as typhoid and cholera. These frequently led to the deaths of those who were already ill-nourished and in a poor state of health from their time spent in local prisons before arriving on the hulks. In such conditions Samuel was put to hard labour in the docks during the day-time and the nights were spent chained to his bunk.
On 21° January 1814 Samuel was transferred to the Surry then at anchor in Portsmouth awaiting its first voyage as a convict ship. Built at Harwich in 1811 the Surry had two decks with a height between these of 5 feet 8 inches (for the convicts confined in the lower deck this meant there was a lack of headroom to stand upright). She was armed with fourteen cannons and had a bust of Minerva for a figurehead. The Surry became one of the most well-known convict vessels for on her eleven voyages between 1814 and 1842 she carried two thousand, one hundred and seventy-seven convicts to Australia and also because of the circumstances relating to the first of these.
Ten days after arriving on the Surry Samuel Haigh sent a letter to Joseph Wood (1750-1821), a member of High Flatts Quaker Meeting. Joseph Wood was a much respected Quaker who knew well the realities of the lives for the rural poor. This
letter has survived in a private collection now known as the Joseph Wood Archive. “
“© This consists of the one hundred Large and Small Notebooks written by Wood, letters written and received by Wood and miscellaneous personal papers and printed Quaker papers. The Archive is deposited in the Specials Collection, Brotherton Library, The University of Leeds
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 61
Interestingly the letter and Samuel’s signature were not written by the same hand. It is highly likely that Samuel, a handloom weaver who was described at his trial as a labourer, would have been barely literate. However, having found a fellow prisoner or even a crew member to write down what was told him, he was able to sign his name. Would such a task have involved payment in money or goods, food, perhaps?
Samuel described his crime as: “Zhe case / suffer for is for taking a few oats value
‘ 4 I gr a
4 ane Y,
Zo. Pe ‘
pee Pt ar Be Lee t-2 Le. calf ban Bags La. BS, rome! ee op I va ‘ “pet HEME x , bees xe vc Ce es oF
(Merwe Lo Mes fe
Samuel Haigh’s Signature
fifteen shillings” and the explanation he gave for having done this was: “distress alone were the sole object of my committing this Error for I could get no relief whatever to support an innocent family you are aware that my situation Is beyond all Possibility of expression.” Clearly Samuel was no criminal but a man driven through sheer desperation to committing a criminal offence. However it is difficult to ascertain whether or not his crime was a well thought out, pre-planned theft or carried out on an impulse? What is known is that daily living and providing for one’s family’s needs was very hard for many people such as Samuel during the early years of the 1800s. The reality of his situation was: “cou/d / procure labor to have supported my family in Credit by the sweat of my Brow I should not have been to experience such distress.”
Full of remorse Samuel accepted his wrongdoing: “/ can assure you I have drunk deeply out of the bitter Cup of affliction.” He told Joseph: “we expect to sail from England in the course of a week” and reminded him of an arrangement that evidently had been made by Joseph Wood and others on his behalf: “/ hope every exertion of self and friends will be used to Procure me a liberation from such a dismal situation the same interests extends to New South Wales as it does in this Country therefore
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 62
AN APPHICATION Sidmouth Whitehaven London in my behalf will have as much effect as if ! were on Boards the Hulks” adding “/ have not yet felt the lron hand of misfortune in so meanest a degree as entirely to divest me of hope from your humane exertions I should experience quiet alleviation to my Present distress.”
He assured Joseph that: “/t /s my wish and unalterable intention to become a good and useful member of society if I should be so fortunate as to be released from this Captivity and I hope that by your exertions and friends in London in my behalf I should experience a Pardon in New South Wales.”
The Surry finally set sail on 22" February 1814 at the same time as the Broxbornebury, a ship also bound for Australia with free settlers, one hundred
Convict ship — the Surry
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 63 women convicts and a variety of merchandise on board. They soon separated, the
Master of the Surry, James Paterson, taking the route via Rio de Janiero where he arrived on 12" April. It was already evident that the common ship fever or typhoid was present on board, three deaths having by then occurred. Nine days were spent in port and after the voyage continued an ever increasing number of both convicts and crew fell ill and from the beginning of June: “the deaths became awfully
frequent. As the Captain, the Officers, the Surgeon and key crew members
succumbed to the infection the ship became: “reduced to the greatest distress” 6
On 26° July when drifting down the east coast of Australia the Broxbornebury was re-sighted near Shoalhaven and her Captain, Thomas Pilcher, was asked: “to send some person aboard to take charge of the ship.” Dr Nash went and found: “the Captain, the Surgeon, two mates, twelve of the shios company, six soldiers and
sixteen convicts lying dangerously il! on the floor. A volunteer crew member was
then transferred to the stricken ship and he navigated her into Port Jackson on 29" July. The Surry and those on board were immediately quarantined.
It is on record that Samuel Haigh was one of those who having survived were immediately taken to a hastily erected tented camp on the north side of Port Jackson. It is hard to imagine the condition he and the others must have been in after this terrible voyage. The measures then taken by the authorities to stop the spread of the infection were such that only one case of further illness occurred after the landing, surely quite a remarkable achievement. On 13" August the survivors were taken to a camp in Sydney where they were then set as a labour force to work for free settlers.
A Board of Enquiry was set up to determine why it was that on the first voyage of the Surry as a convict ship the Surgeon, the first and second mates, the boatswain, two seamen, four soldiers of the guard, and thirty-six convicts had died. The death of the
“’ True Patriots All Geoffrey Ingleton ** Ibid “True Patriots All Geoffrey Ingleton
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 64
Captain happened shortly after the ship’s arrival in port. The findings of the members of the Board led them to the view that: “Vo attempt appears to have been made towards ventilating the prison and neither the Surgeon’s representations nor his efforts met with the attention or assistance from the Captain and his Officers
Which it was their duty to have afforded him. It was this negation of
responsibility that had caused the terrible loss of life on board the Surry.
Interestingly, Thomas Raine, a Junior Officer, was the only Officer to survive the voyage and as acting Master he set sail on 3" November 1814 for the return sailing to England. He subsequently commanded her for the next three convict voyages between 1818 and 1823 and oversaw her refitting to a three decked ship. The profound and lasting influence of his experiences on board the Surry during the infamous voyage of 1814 can be seen clearly. His humane treatment of prisoners being widely acknowledged he soon became an influential figure in the campaign for both the appointment of naval surgeons to convict ships and improved conditions on these vessels.
What became of Samuel Haigh?
Part 2, to be included in the 2014 edition of this Journal, is concerned with what is known of Samuel's life in Australia. Editor
Biography Pamela Cooksey is known as both a speaker and writer on a variety of local history subjects relating to Huddersfield, Holmfirth and the New Mill Valley. She has a commitment to encouraging people to undertake local and family history researches with a particular emphasis on the use of original documents. Most recently her lengthy commitment to researching the life and writings of Joseph Wood (1750-1821) A Yorkshire Quaker of High Flatts Meeting has resulted in three publications, a book about Joseph Wood, his life and ministry and writings, a Transcription, in five volumes, of his surviving Large and Small Notebooks and a compilation of the names of the People and Places noted by Wood in his writings.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 65
Those of you who received a copy of Journal Issue No. 23 may recall an article by Amy Devenney entitled “New Deposits of the University of Huddersfield Archives and Special Collections”. One of our Members, David Browning, wrote me the letter below which usetully adds to Amy’s article. (Editor)
The Melting Point, 7 Firth Street, Huddersfield, HD1 3BZ
John Rawlinson HLH Society 12 Station Road Golcar Huddersfield HD7 4ED
The collection that I deposited was relatively small, brought together from personal papers, reports, correspondence and publications on the development of Northern College, Barnsley, 1978; Open Colleges Networks (established first in Manchester) in 1982; the National Open College Network (NOCN) first established at a meeting at Northern College in 1986; and Access to Higher Education for mature students. I was directly involved in these developments. For most of that period I lived in Huddersfield, and have now returned, hence the significance of the deposit to Huddersfield University.
There are however much larger regional and national archives which I have collected, waiting to join this more personal collection at the University. They are stored at Northern College, near Barnsley, and at the National Open College Network head office, in Sheffield. Currently, the University Archive has no space for these much larger and more detailed collections charting the developments, which led to these progressive adult education achievements.
However, the University of Huddersfield recently announced the development a new £1.7 million Archives Centre that will have space and facilities to meet demand from huge numbers of new users and offer scope for special activities. There will be more than one-and-a-half kilometres of shelving, enough to accommodate the 60,000 books and documents in the collections housed by the University’s Archives and Special Collections Service. But there will also be an extensive programme of digitising documents, so that researchers around the world will have instant on-line access to material.
The new Archives Centre will occupy two levels of space in the University’s Central Services Building, currently home to a large cafeteria-restaurant and a conference venue. When the University’s new £21 million Learning and Leisure Centre is completed in 2014, these areas will be vacated and cleared for redevelopment.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 66
My long-held adult education/community development archives may yet make it into the University’s new facilities.
Tel: 01484 533021 Email: browning707 @btinternet.com
Reviewer: David Cockman & Keith Brockhill
THE COMPLETE POMPEII
By Joanne Berry Published: Thames and Hudson, £24.94 (£21.21 Amazon)
ISBN 978-0-500-05150-4 Reviewed by David Cockman
Although it has been available for several years now Ms. Berry’s book is essential reading and a valuable primer for anyone planning to visit the exhibition “LIFE AND DEATH: POMPEII AND HERCULANEUM” at the British Museum in London which is open until the September 2013.
Her lavishly illustrated book covers all aspects of Pompeii, (and to a lesser extent Herculaneum), - its early history and development in the centuries leading to the eruption in 79AD, the nature of the eruption itself, what it destroyed and what it preserved, and the rediscovery of Pompeii in the 13°" century, when it became an essential stop-off on the grand tour. It covers as well the looting of anything precious found during these early excavations, with an apparent total lack of interest in its historical context and richness, until the arrival on the scene in the 1860s of Giuseppe Fiorelli, who imposed more rigorous archaeological procedures on the site. (He was the man who thought to pour plaster of paris into the cavities found in the ash, thus revealing the ghosts of those, men, women and animals who had perished in the pyroclastic flow.)
There are chapters also on the graffiti , the brothels, religious practices, gladiators, architecture and the humdrum daily routine caught and captured for ever by this catastrophic event. It has an extensive bibliography.
From a modern archaeological and historical perspective the real tragedy of Pompeii is that it was discovered about a century too soon. Much was lost, stolen and destroyed in a century long scramble in the ashes for booty to sell to greedy collectors. Anything regarded as of little
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 67
value was Casually destroyed by these early diggers. And now Pompeii faces another survival crisis. There are few if any funds for a proper programme of conservation. The thousands of visitors to the site annually are, ironically, helping to accelerate the destruction of what they find so fascinating and moving. Only another massive eruption from Vesuvius might solve this dilemma, covering the town once more in a deep and protective layer of ash. And it could happen at any time. The volcano has been dormant since 1944. But it is only snoozing. Beneath the surface pressure is building up. It could burst forth next week or in two hundred years time. And what if the next pyroclastic flow should fall on modern Naples, burying the city beneath sixty feet of ash? What a treasure house that would be for archaeologists in the 24" century!
The book costs new between £16 and £25. Second hand copies are also available from Abe Books and Amazon.
SLAVERY IN YORKSHIRE: Richard Oastler and the campaign against child labour
in the Industrial Revolution. Edited by John A Hargreaves and E A Hilary Haigh. Huddersfield University Press. 2012. ISBN 9871862181076. 238pp, Illus. £20. Reviewed by Keith Brockhill. (Amateur local historian, member of the Huddersfield Local History Society, and former Editor of its Journal.)
In 2007 the University of Huddersfield held a Conference in response to the Bicentenary of the transatlantic slave trade’s abolition in 1807. In 2010, as one of this collection of Conference papers notes, a British newspaper could still report that “child “slaves”’, as young as nine, had been found working on a farm in Worcestershire, confirming that the issues of child labour are as relevant today as in the Yorkshire factories of the1830s and 1840s.
as Slavery has such a long history, and the profitable transatlantic trade benefitted many in the 138" century, not least some local landed families, notably the Lascelles at Harewood, but by the late 13" Century, it was seen as abhorrent and had become the focus of a particularly vigorous abolitionist movement. So effective was this that, James Watkins explains, even to mention the hated word “slavery” was to “instantly seize the moral high ground”. This created a “new and popular movement” that, despite its Parliamentary leadership in the person of the evangelical M.P. William Wilberforce of Hull, had “emerged quickly from new corners of British life” and “operated in a fashion which offered a new kind of politics, a popular blend of moral and religious feeling which was rooted in the changing fabric of British urban and religious life.” It was Oastler’s ability to link the causes of the antislavery campaign and the campaign for shorter factory hours, especially those of children, that reinvigorated the factory movement, made him a contemporary hero, and a social reformer of lasting significance.
Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 68
Oastler didn’t invent the Factory Movement, as John Halstead discusses in his chapter on the work of the Huddersfield Short Time Committee, indeed he was a rather unlikely champion of any such cause. As the “surrogate squire” of Fixby Hall, on the still sylvan outskirts of Huddersfield, he managed a large and diverse estate on behalf of its absentee owner, Thomas Thornhill, after succeeding his father, Robert, as agent in 1820. His upbringing had been imbued with Methodism, as Robert Oastler had brought his faith to Leeds from their North Yorkshire roots, before becoming more radical in his views, and embracing the “Tom Painite”, New Connexion position. Oastler was, briefly, a Methodist preacher himself, before moving to Huddersfield and emerging as a “Tory —Anglican factory reformer.” Whether this upbringing, which included education by the Moravians at Fulneck, was a significant factor in developing his social conscience, is considered by D. Colin Dews, using material that wasn’t available to Cecil Driver for his monumental biography Jory Radical: the life of Richard Oastler in 1946. Certainly, once Oastler’s letter S/avery in Yorkshire appeared in the Leeds Mercury of 29 September 1830, local Radicals responded by agreeing the “Fixby compact “with him in 1831. From here, as Edward Royle describes in his relationships with the Leeds Press, and Janette Martin considers in his charismatic, sometimes intemperate, oratory, so vital in contemporary public affairs, Oastler won mass loyalty, made enemies, “an incendiary, an assassin and a madman” and achieved extraordinary successes for such extra-Parliamentary campaigns.
Although born in Leeds, and retaining a strong connection with that city throughout his life, there was a special bond between Oastler, the passionate orator, and the labouring people of Huddersfield. In 1833 he appeared at two major demonstrations with the “Oastler’s Own” Huddersfield contingent; once imprisoned in the Fleet debtor’s prison, his “Huddersfield Boys “organised a fund raising festival (to be followed by many food hampers); while his rapturous (if carefully organised) return from prison in 1844 through the packed streets of Huddersfield was remembered as “a red letter day in the annals of the town”. As late as 1856, John Leech of the Huddersfield Short Time Committee, could assure him that “the factory operatives of Huddersfield never cease to regard you as their friend”
In all, a beautifully produced book that enhances our understanding of a turbulent period in Yorkshire’s history and the role of one paradoxical “Tory Radical” within it.
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ISSN 2049-8403 Price £3.00