Herbert Surtees (1883-1916)

An ongoing project to commemorate and research the lives of those who appear on war memorials and rolls of honour in the local area, who served in the military, or whose deaths were linked to conflict.


Herbert Surtees was born on 15 February 1883, the son of house decorator William Smith Surtees and his wife Emily Elizabeth (née Lawson), and was baptised at St. Bartholomew, Meltham on 17 February 1897 along with his older brother Ernest. The family had previous lived at Barnsley and Moldgreen before settling in Meltham in the early 1880s. William died in 1900.

By 1901, the family was living at Bridge House and teenage Herbert was working at a woollen piecer.

In April 1906, he pleaded guilty to the theft of a galvanised iron pump, the property of the Silica Fire Co., along with Harry Speight.[1]

He married Martha Mabel Church in 1907. By 1911, they were living at Stove Cottages, Wessenden Head Road, and Herbert was employed as a silica brick maker at Meltham Brick Works. The census noted that the couple had had two children, but both had died. Their other known children were:

  • Ralph Surtees (1911-1990)[2]
  • Elice (1912-?)[3]

Vera Surtees (born 1915), who died in infancy, was also likely their daughter.

Prior to his enlistment, the family had moved to Coldwell Street, Hoyle House, Linthwaite.

At the time of Herbert's death in July 1916, it was reported that his wife and children had relocated to Sheffield.[4] However, by the time of the 1921 Census, Martha had returned to live at Natty Fold, Mill Moor, Meltham.

Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922

The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:

SURTEES, HERBERT. Private. No 3527. 1/7th Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment. Lived Meltham. Formerly of Coldwell Street, Hoylehouse. Employed as night fireman by Messrs George Mallinson and Sons Limited, of Linthwaite. Married, with two children. Killed in action, 3.7.1916, aged 30 years. Has no known grave. Commemorated THIEPVAL MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING.
ROH:- St. Bartholomew's Church, Meltham; Huddersfield Drill Hall.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission



Notes and References

  1. "Meltham: Alledged Theft" in Colne Valley Guardian (27/Apr/1906).
  2. Born 25 May 1911. Married Rachel Hannan Wenban in 1941.
  3. Married Gilbert Morton in 1936.
  4. "Local Casualties" in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (21/Jul/1916).