Edwin Barron

Don Street, Rotherham

Don Street, Rotherham

The Jarvis family became a part of my maternal family tree when Frank Jarvis married Eliza Jane Bowler Crossland (my first cousin, thrice removed) in 1880 in Rotherham. Frank and Eliza issued at least seven children. One died in a tragic fire incident (http://goo.gl/jITKPx). Another child, Stanley, was a radio and television dealer in Rotherham for many years (as was his son, David).

Frank and Eliza’s eldest daughter was called, Jennie. In 1901, Jennie married Frank Souter Wilson. On the 1901 Census, prior to their marriage, Frank was lodging with Jennie’s grandmother. However, on the 1911 Census, there is no trace of Frank Wilson but Jennie is a ‘House Keeper’ in the home of an Edwin Barron. In 1926, Jennie and Edwin married, in Rotherham. Jennie issued children with both husbands. I suspect that Frank Wilson deserted Jennie which would explain why many years passed before Jennie was able to marry Edwin. Bizarrely however, Jennie left her ex-husband over one thousand pounds in her Will when she died in 1949. Jennie is buried in Moorgate Cemetery, Rotherham whilst her second husband, Edwin, was cremated. Below is the obituary for Edwin Barron. Coincidentally, another of my relations (from my paternal side) was present at the funeral (William Charles: http://goo.gl/8jQx3R).

Jennie's grave

Jennie’s grave

THE ADVERTISER, SAT., NOV. 26TH, 1960

LOCAL SCRAP FIRM CHAIRMAN DIES, AGED 83

MR. EDWIN BARRON, chairman of a local scrap metal firm, of 72, Wickersley Road, Rotherham, died at his home on Monday, aged 83.

Masbrough Independent Chapel

Masbrough Independent Chapel

Mr. Barron inherited the scrap metal business from his father. In 1948 it was formed into a limited company, known as E. Barron and Sons Ltd., together with his two sons, Mr. Edwin Barron and Mr. Peter Barron. The firm’s headquarters are at Don Street, Rotherham.

He was a member of the Sitwell Park and Thrybergh golf clubs, and of the Rotherham Golfers’ club. He was also a member of the Rotherham Unionist Club.

Cremation took place yesterday at Sheffield, following a service at the Masbro’ Independent Chapel, conducted by the Rev. W. Unsworth.

The family mourners were Mr. and Mrs. E. Barron (sons and daughters-in-law), Miss M. Barron, Miss A. Wilson, Mr. M. Barron (grand-children), Mr. G. Jarvis, Mr. and Mrs. S. Jarvis (brothers-in-law and sister-in-law).

Sheffield Crematorium

Sheffield Crematorium

Among the mourners were: Mr. W. Hague (representing C. R. Hague and Co. Ltd., Sheffield), Mr. A. Leigh, J.P., and Mr. F. Allott (representing Allott Brothers and Leigh Ltd., also Mr. E. A. Smith), Mr. L. G Ellis (representing the firm of L. G. Ellis), Mr. and Mrs. G. Millson (representing Millson Brothers), Mr. G. H. Boulton (representing the Rotherham Town Cricket Club), Mr. T. Chambers, Mr. F. P. Enright, Ald. L. J. Tarbit J.P., and Mr. F. D. Sidwick (representing the Rotherham Golfers’ Club), Mr. W. Charles (representing the Rotherham Steel Strip Company Ltd.), Mr. G. T. Spearing (representing the Sitwell Park Golf Club), Mr. J. H. Dickinson, J.P. (representing “The South Yorkshire and Rotherham Advertiser”), Mr. B. Cutts (representing Deans Electrical and Engineering Company Ltd., also Mr. J. Booth (representing Col. W. J. Nutter, Wentworth Estates Company).

Mr. H. H. Styring (also representing Mr. C. Hoskins), Mr. and Mrs. R. V. Hobson (also representing Mr. and Mrs. W. Sides), Mr. and Mrs. R. Bird, Mrs. R. Roberts, Mrs. G. Kniveton, Mr. and Mrs. R. Wormald, Mrs. C. A. Birkett, Mrs. P. Ellse, Mr. A. Noble, Mr. C. D. Burgess, Mrs. G. Brooks, Mr. T. Maw, Mr. A. Coates, Mr. and Mrs. H. S. Downing.

Albert Jennett – War Casualty

Albert Jennett

Albert Jennett

In 1903, Clara Simpkin (my great great aunt) married Albert Jennett and together they issued five children. Albert was born in 1879, in Sheffield, and served in World War One. Albert was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery displayed at Gallipoli in April 1915 and was himself wounded just three months later, but fortunately recovered.

Sadly, Albert was killed in France on 21st March 1918. Albert was serving with the 97th Field Coy Royal Engineers and was positioned within the forward line of the British defence, in anticipation of the German offensive from the Hindenberg Line in 1918. On the 21st March 1918, following a massive bombardment, including gas shells, aimed not at the infantry, but at targets of British HQ’s, communication and supply, artillery and engineers, the Germans attacked with their ’stormtroopers’ recently brought from the Eastern Front. They attacked in small groups intending to break through pockets of resistance, thus allowing the infantry to easily follow. The forward line of British soldiers were quickly overwhelmed and many casualties sustained.

Albert is buried in the Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery in France but is also remembered on the headstone of my great great grandmother (Clara Simpkin (nee Loukes)) in City Road Cemetery, Sheffield. Below are three newspaper snippets which pertain to Albert’s military career.

Albert's headstone in France

Albert’s headstone in France

SHEFFIELD DAILY TELEGRAPH
21ST AUGUST, 1915.

The engineers have been in the Dardanelles operations and Sapper A. Jennett, of the West Riding Field Co., R.E., is among the wounded.

YORKSHIRE TELEGRAPH & STAR
7TH SEPTEMBER, 1915.

D.C.M.’S

HONOURS GAINED BY LOCAL TERRITORIALS

GALLANT DEEDS

Sapper A. Jennett, 1st West Riding Field Company, Royal Engineers (T.F.) – For great bravery on the 28th April, 1915, on the Gallipoli Peninsula. An officer of the Argyll Mountain Battery had had his leg blown off and was lying in the open exposed to a heavy fire. Sapper Jennett, with the assistance of another man, voluntarily went out, crossing over a very difficult wire entanglement under heavy fire, and succeeded in bringing him to safety. He gave a conspicuous example of courage and self-sacrifice.

City Road Cemetery, Sheffield

City Road Cemetery, Sheffield

SHEFFIELD DAILY TELEGRAPH
8TH SEPTEMBER, 1915.

A GALLANT SEVEN

SHEFFIELD SOLDIERS WHO WON THE D.C.M.

Sapper A. Jennett, whose wife and five young children live at 12 Hadfield Terrace, off Hadfield Street, Walkley, rejoined the Sheffield Engineers, in which he had served for many years, on the outbreak of hostilities. He is a machine filecutter, and was in the employ of Messrs. Samuel Osborn and Co. Limited, at their Brookhill Works. Sapper Jennett went out to the Dardanelles in March, and is at present in hospital in Cairo. He was wounded in the thigh on July 11th by a piece of shrapnel while in the act of mashing tea. He is progressing favourably. His father, Mr. John Jennett, file forger, of Robertshaw Street, Sheffield, was a volunteer for several years.

An unpleasant experience in Conisbrough

Conisbrough Cemetery

Conisbrough Cemetery

The Jacobs family features in my pedigree and is becoming an increasingly large tree. Research conducted indicates that they were living in the Cambridgeshire region since at least the early 1600s. They mostly worked as agricultural labourers but a couple of branches in the late 1800s and early 1900s decided to try their luck in the north, presumably because of the plentiful and relatively well paid jobs. My second great grandmother (Eliza Ann Jacobs) along with her family moved to Rotherham in 1902 and settled there. Eliza’s uncle had settled in Wombwell in South Yorkshire, previously, in the 1870s but by 1901 was back in Cambridgeshire. Two of his children stayed in South Yorkshire however. The newspaper article below pertains to one of Samuel’s sons who was called Samuel Charles Jacobs. I’d been unable to find him on the 1911 Census but a cousin recently informed me that he had died in Conisbrough in South Yorkshire in unusual circumstances:-

Castle Inn

Castle Inn

MEXBOROUGH AND SWINTON TIMES, SATURDAY, JANUARY, 27, 1912

Unmarked Jacobs grave in Conisbrough Cemetery

Unmarked Jacobs grave in Conisbrough Cemetery

UNPLEASANT EXPERIENCE. – Mr. G. Jacobs, the landlord of the Castle Inn, had a rather unpleasant experience towards the end of last week. On the Thursday evening, about 7-20, his brother in a practically destitute condition, put in an unexpected experience. It was soon found out that he had been scouring the country for the past 12 months, and a warrant was out for his arrest on account of his neglecting his wife and family at Chesterton, in Cambridge. He was apparently, in a broken-down state, and said he had come to die. New clothes were given to him, and he retired about nine o’clock. After a restless night he rose shortly after ten o’clock next morning, and medical aid was summoned. He expired, however, shortly after three o’clock on Thursday afternoon while sitting in a chair, about an hour after he had received medical attention. The funeral took place at the cemetery on Sunday afternoon, Mr. Jacobs paying all the expenses incurred. The Rev. W.A. Strawbridge officiated at the graveside. (There appears to be an error in the reporting of the incident as Samuel is reported as arriving on Thursday and then dying during the following day on Thursday)

Arthur Parkin

YORKSHIRE TELEGRAPH AND STAR, WEDNESDAY EVENING, MAY 10, 1916.

NO WITNESSES OF CARTER’S FATAL ACCIDENT

Arthur Parkin is the husband of my third cousin, thrice removed (Catherine Loukes). Below is the newspaper article published shortly after his death with details of how he demised.

St. Philips Road, Sheffield

St. Philips Road, Sheffield

In lieu of direct evidence supposition had largely to be reported to at the inquest at the Sheffield Coroner’s Court to-day on the body of Arthur Parkin (48), of 70, Milton Street, a Corporation carter, whose death took place in curious circumstances. From the statements it had been found possible to collect, it appeared that the man, who was a carter in the Cleansing Department, was discovered lying in a pool of blood, suffering from terrible internal injuries, and the theories on which the jury based its verdict of “Accidental Death” were that the man, whilst applying the brakes before proceeding down a hill with his waggon, had been caught by the wheel and run over.

(Grave No. 90) City Road Cemetery, Sheffield (Copyright Tony Morton)

Arthur’s grave in City Road Cemetery, Sheffield

A fellow-workman said that when he left Parkin at 2.45 a.m. he was all right, and was leading his horse and waggon, loaded with nightsoil, up Thomas Street, on his way to the destructor on Penistone Road. Henry Crouch, a Corporation street sweeper, found the body of Parkin in St. Phillip’s Road lying in a pool of blood, but could form no opinion as to what had happened. He made the discovery as day was breaking, and the horse and cart were nowhere to be seen.

Some time later, said another Corporation employee, he found the horse and cart of which the deceased had been in charge near the destructor in Penistone Road. The brakes were hard on, and the horse was pulling up the hill “as though it had gone mad.” In his opinion Parkin had been caught by the wheel whilst applying the brake in St. Phillip’s Road.

Dr. Mowat, of the Royal Infirmary, described the terrible injuries of the man when he was admitted to the institution. All the ribs on the right side were broken, there was a wound reaching down to the bone underneath the chin, and bruises on the chest and head. There were also severe internal injuries.

At the conclusion of the inquest, Mr. E. B. Gibson, who represented the Corporation, expressed the sympathy of the Cleansing Department with the relatives of the dead man. He was a good, honest workman, and the department were very sorry to hear of his death.

Operation Hurricane

Operation Hurricane

Operation Hurricane

In an entry on this site (http://goo.gl/StTPGL), I wrote about how a couple of my cousins died as civilians during the Sheffield ‘Operation Crucible’ Blitz of 1940. In contrast, in this entry, I write about how three of my German cousins died as civilians during World War II. To set the background as to how I lost English and German cousins in World War II, I’ll explain that through the paternal side of my family, my ancestry can be traced back to Rhineland in Prussia (now Germany). My second great grandfather, Johann Mölleken, came to England with his family circa 1860.

My second cousin, twice removed is called Emilie Mölleken and she was born in 1906 in Hiesfeld, Dinslaken, Rheineland, Prussia. In 1932, she married Friedrich Gerhard Van Laak. Together, they issued three children called Fritz (born 1932), Erwin (born 1934) and Heinz-Dieter (born 1937).

Friedrich Gerhard Van Laak owned a house painting and pharmacy business in Hiesfeld. With tax-payer’s money during World War II, the basement of this store was developed into an air raid shelter. This basement therefore always had to be accessible.

Hiesfeld

Hiesfeld

In the early hours of 14th October 1944, the Royal Air Force launched a massive 1000 bomber air raid, codenamed ‘Operation Hurricane’ on the German city of Duisburg in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The route of the bombers took them over Hiesfeld. At 08:46, Hiesfeld air defence made a direct hit on a four engined Avro Lancaster heavy bomber flying in at 52,000 meters altitude. Consequently, a second Avro Lancaster was also affected. The two bombers were due to hit the Hiesfeld air defence and their numbers were NF928 and JB297.

A reporter filmed this event out of another aeroplane. Because of the great quantity of bombs and the half full tanks of fuel that the bombers were carrying, the force of the explosions ripped the bombers apart and the cascading large and small debris scattered for miles in and around Hiesfeld. Several witnesses described how aeroplane and body parts fell from the smoke filled sky. Fires broke out across the entire of Hiesfeld. This was followed by sporadic bomb explosions. Several unexploded bombs also scattered around aimlessly. At several points dead Avro Lancaster crew members were found with unopened parachutes still on their backs.

Avro Lancaster

Avro Lancaster

The Van Laak store was hit by falling aircraft debris and was completely destroyed by subsequent fire. In the air raid shelter underneath the store were twenty three civilians, all of which were killed. A fire-fighter, who was recovering the bodies there, reported that the lungs of the causalities were burst due to the huge explosion and pressure wave. They were found with bloody foam at the mouth but otherwise, their bodies were unharmed. The shelter did not collapse and so all of the causalities were found, still sat down. The inputs and outputs of the air raid shelter were filled in, during the explosion. Paint buckets caught fire and exploded which hampered the rescue attempts.

Near to the Van Laak store was a greengrocer’s store and people had gone to buy cabbage that morning. Once the air raid sirens sounded, the people fled into the Van Laak air raid shelter.

Sadly, Emilie and two of her children (my third cousins), Erwin and Heinz-Dieter were killed in the blast. Their eldest child, Fritz (still alive at the time of writing) survived because he was in School.

All 14 crew members of NF928 and JB297 were recovered and buried in the cemetery of Dinslaken. In 1947, they were reburied in the Imperial Forest Cemetery of Kleve.

Special thanks are owed to my cousin, Hermann Mölleken, who provided details of this tragic account.

Van Laak grave (www.moelleken-genealogy.de)

In a twist, the granddaughter of my second great grandfather (Johann Mölleken) was killed as a result of German bombing in Liverpool in 1941. Her name is Hilda Augusta Tudball (nee Köhler) and is my first cousin, twice removed. Unfortunately, Hilda does not seem to appear in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database (yet) but thanks are owed to her granddaughter, Victoria Carr, for informing me of how she died.

Further information regarding the Mollekin/Mölleken family can be found at http://www.mollekin.net/molleken and http://www.moelleken-genealogy.de A full list of currently known war dead in my family tree can be found at http://www.mollekin.net/familytree/war

Death of Mary Ann Marsden (nee Pinder)

Leeds Infirmary

Leeds Infirmary

In July 2009 after meeting a distant cousin, I learnt that my 2 x great aunt, Mary Ann Pinder, died as a result of a boiler explosion. Because Mary didn’t seem to reveal her true age on Census Returns, trying to find a corresponding death entry was difficult. Mary married Sam Marsden in Rotherham in 1895 and below is a newspaper entry pertaining to her death.

THE YORKSHIRE POST. WEDNESDAY. April 16. 1913.

FIVE DEATHS AT AN INFIRMARY.

Five deaths at the Leeds Infirmary were investigated by the City Coroner (Mr. J. C. Malcolm) at the Town Hall yesterday.

Three of the cases were the results of burning accidents, and the victims were Harry Haigh Fern, two years of age, of 11, Parsonage View, Leeds; Reginald Fletcher, aged three years, of 1, Tennyson Street, Pudsey; and Mary Ann Marsden (48), wife of the caretaker at the Girls’ High School, Headingley Lane, Leeds. The clothing of the two children caught fire while they were playing with matches, and in the case of Mrs. Marsden her blouse was set alight at a gas stove. Verdicts of “Accidental death” were returned in each case.

Jas. Alderson, aged 10 years, of 7, Dalmeny Terrace, Rodley, fell a distance of seven and a half feet from a warehouse “landing” whilst at play on Saturday. He died from hemorrhage caused by the injuries. The jury agreed that the boy’s death was accidental. Frederick George Sales (53), out porter, of 4, Wharfedale Street, Leeds, died whilst under anaesthetic. The jury concurred with the doctor’s statement that an operation was necessary in consequence of internal injuries, and returned a verdict that death was due to misadventure.

Joseph Goodall and the Lund Hill mining disaster

Lundhill mining disaster

Lundhill mining disaster

Joseph Goodall is my 4 x great uncle. On 27th February 1857, Joseph was killed in one of the worst mining accidents ever to occur when a fire-damp explosion ripped through the underground workings of the Lund Hill colliery, near Barnsley. 189 men and boys were killed. One family alone lost seven members. It took five months to recover Joseph’s body from the mine after which he was buried in Saint Thomas’s Churchyard in Gawber. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert donated £300 to the disaster fund which was subsequently set up. Below is a transcription of a newspaper article published shortly after the disaster.

DREADFUL COLLIERY ACCIDENT

Lundhill mining disaster

Lundhill mining disaster

It is our melancholy duty to record one of the most awful and fatal colliery accidents which has perhaps taken place in the history of coal mining in this country. The scene of this sad occurrence was at Lund Hill, near Hemingfield, about six miles from this place, and one from the Wombwell station on the South Yorkshire Railway, known as the Lund Hill Colliery, at present worked by a firm under the name of “The Lund Hill Coal Company”. The accident occurred about 12.15 a.m., on Thursday last. During the time that the banksmen and the above-ground workmen were at dinner, a loud explosion was heard, and almost at the same moment the corf and chair suspended in the drawing shaft were driven with extraordinary violence against the head gear of the shaft, by which the latter was considerably broken. The alarm spread immediately, and the most direful consequences of a terrific explosion were soon made evident to all. The cupola of the air shaft was rest asunder; and the volumes of fire and smoke which issued there-from depicted fear all around.

Lundhill disaster monument, Darfield

Lundhill disaster monument, Darfield

The workmen at hand immediately hastened to the spot, and under the superintendence of Mr. Coe, the viewer of the mine, proceeded to repair the head gear of the shaft, in order to render assistance to the workmen down in the mine. But in the mean time no person can describe the scene which speedily followed. As the alarm spread, the most fearful forebodings sat upon each countenance. Messengers were despatched for assistance in every direction to the neighbouring collieries, and in a very shot time the vicinity of the pit was alive with the most distressing and horror-stricken faces. The surgeons from Barnsley and the district were summoned or volunteered to render assistance to any of the men who might be got out. But before any of the unhappy beings who were at work in the mine could be got out, a large concourse of the wives, children, and relatives of those in the mine were gathered round the pit hill, and the most appalling and heart-rending sight was presented. The despairing shrieks of the women and children, and the fear which sat upon the faces of all assembled cannot be here adequately described.

Saint Thomas the Apostle, Gawber

Saint Thomas the Apostle

Joseph Goodall's grave

Joseph Goodall’s grave

The number of persons who descended the shaft in the morning would be about 180, including men and boys; and from the above-ground appearances, those experienced in mining expressed but faint hopes for the lives of those below, The utmost efforts were, however, made to prepare for a descent into the mine, and many times were those persons attempting to gain an entrance drawn up and down the shaft before the chair could descend to the bottom. The effort being at last successful, they, however, only succeeded in rescuing about 19 from the bottom of the shaft. Those men, being engaged in the dip workings, had rushed to the pit shaft on the first shock of the explosion; and, awful to relate, these 19, with about 12 persons who came out of the pit at dinner time, and just before the explosion took place, are all that are that saved out of the number who entered that morning. The sacrifice of life must therefore amount to near 150 persons who have thus met an untimely death, in this most fearful of all calamities which has yet befallen this mining district. The report of the disaster soon spread far and wide, and but few persons could at first believe the report circulated, so fabulous indeed did it appear. The owners of the colliery were telegraphed for, and messengers despatched to inform them of the awful tidings. Mr. (missing text) work to subdue the fire, but, at the hour of our account leaving on Friday the fire still continued, and the pit remained sealed up to stop the current of air which feeds the flame in the cupola shaft. On Friday the interest seemed only to increase, and thousands of persons assembled at the colliery. Many to satisfy themselves of the reality of the accident, and many more unhappily to bewail the fate of those buried in the dark abyss below. We shall endeavour, in our subsequent editions of the week’s paper, to present any further information which we can obtain relevant to this dreadful catastrophe.

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