Tom Knight (1889-1918)
Tom's family were not originally from the Lindley — James and Elizabeth Knight had lived in Linthwaite, Almondbury and Lockwood before their fourth child, Ethel, was born in the village, 1881.
Three more children soon followed and Tom arrived on 24 July 1889. By 1891 the family was living in Wellington Street and James worked as a "Power Loom Tuner". Three of the children were old enough to have left school and two, Sarah Hannah, aged 20 and George, aged 17, worked in the textile industry. Sam, age 16, was a wire scaler, probably in the card works on Acre Street.
The 1901 census showed that James was the tenant of the Black Horse public house, on Occupation Road just off Acre Street, in the centre of the village. The oldest son, George had left home, presumably to marry; the four girls — Ethel, Lily, Clara and Laura — all worked in wool or cotton textiles. Tom was still at Oakes Council School.
Unfortunately Elizabeth Knight died in 1906 and James in 1907. By 1911, the oldest daughter, Sarah Hannah, who twenty years earlier had been a weaver, was head of the household she kept for two of her sisters and her brother Tom in a small, three-room house on Baker Street. Sarah Hannah now described herself not as having "no occupation" but as a "Housekeeper" working "at home".
In addition to Tom and his sisters an eight-month niece, Hilda Townend, was staying with them. She was presumably the daughter one of their sisters, Ethel or Lily. Number 28 Baker Street was one of a number of houses built and owned by the Independent Order of Foresters on Baker Street and Wellington Street where the Order had its Lodge.
Tom was a "Fillet Grinder" in a "Wire works", working round the corner at Sykes' works on Acre Street.
Tom enlisted in the army on 12 May 1916 probably after being conscripted, and served in the Northumberland Fusiliers. He died in the last month of the war as an Allied victory was clearly in sight.
Tom has no known grave but is remembered on the memorial in the military cemetery in the Pas de Calais village of Vis-en-Artois. This memorial contains the names of over 9000 Commonwealth servicemen who lost their lives between 8 August 1918 and the Armistice and who have no known grave. He is remembered locally in St. Stephen's church and on the Roll of Honour of the Zion Chapel formally on Lidget Street.
Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922
The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:
- KNIGHT, TOM. Private. No 44352. 2nd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. Born Victoria Street, Lindley, 24.7.1889. Educated Oakes Council School. Employed as a card grinder by Messrs Joseph Sykes, Acre Mills, Lindley. Single. Enlisted 12.5.1916. Killed in action, 5.10.1918. Has no known grave. Commemorated VIS-en-ARTOIS MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Private TOM KNIGHT
- regiment: Northumberland Fusiliers
- died: Saturday, October 5, 1918
- record ID: 1745810
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission (ID #1745810)
- Imperial War Museums: Lives of the First World War (ID #2373238)
Notes and References
- Staying on the books until 1913.