Dorothea Schofield (1909-1944) née Hunter

This page is part of the Holmfirth Flood Project which aims to make content available to researchers in advance of the 175th anniversary of the 1852 Flood which will be commemorated in 2027.

Dorothea Schofield was one of the three victims of the Holmfirth Flood of 1944.


Dorothea Hunter was born on 27 November 1909 at Manchester, the daughter of railway worker Basham Harvey Wesley Hunter and his wife Grace Harriet (née Baildon), and was baptised on 30 January 1910 at Ancoats, Manchester.

By the time of the 1921 Census, the Hunter family were living at 4 Coldwell Fold, Thurlstone, and Basham was working as a railway signalman.

She married bus driver Willie Schofield (1911–1983) on 23 September 1933 at St. John the Baptist, Penistone. The couple had one known daughter:

  • Marjorie Schofield (c.1934-?)

At the time of the 1939 Register, the family were living on Towngate, Holmfirth.

By 1944, she was employed as a part-time clerk by motorbus proprietors Baddeley Brothers of Holmfirth.


Dorothea Schofield (1909-1944) née Hunter.png

On 29 May 1944, a heavy cloudburst led to flash flooding in Holmfirth.

Together with bus conductor Lewis Hirst, Dorothea was at the firm's garage on Hollowgate when the pair found themselves cut off by rapidly rising floodwaters and "climbed on to a wall where they were marooned". To the horror of onlookers — including Lewis' mother — the wall collapsed, "casting the couple into the swirling currents". Lewis managed to "scramble on to a bale of bobbins" and was rescued, but Dorothea drowned.[1][2]

In February 1945, her daughter Marjorie received £500 from the Holmfirth Flood Relief Fund. The money was placed into a bank account for her until she reached the age of 23.[3]

Her father committed suicide by drowning himself in Scout Dyke Reservoir near Penistone. He was last seen alive on 7 December 1954 and his body was recovered on 30 January 1955.

Her husband, Willie Schofield, is believed to have died aged 71 in 1983 at Huddersfield.

Notes and References

  1. "Trail of Devastation in Holme Valley after Cloudburst" in Yorkshire Post (09/Jun/1944).
  2. "Holmfirth Cloudburst" in Bradford Observer (09/Jun/1944).
  3. "£1,000 for Holmfirth Boy and Girl" in Yorkshire Post (20/Feb/1945).