Totley History Group
Totley History Group

St. John's War Memorial

War Memorial, St. John the Baptist, Abbeydale War Memorial, St. John the Baptist, Abbeydale

The new parish of St. John the Evangelist was created in 1876 from adjacent parts of the parishes of Christ Church, Dore and St. James, Norton. The war memorial that stands in front of the church was dedicated on 29 Mar 1920. Eleven of the 22 names on its octagonal base can also be found on the war memorial in Dore village and a further five on the memorial at Baslow Road, Totley. Of the remaining six names two, Clarence Belbin and David Harry Prosser are also commemorated at St. James, Norton. The four other names on the St. John's war memorial are: Stanley Gummer, Thomas Reginald Heap, John William Masser and Harold Davis. On the centenary of the end of the war, we thought we would try to find out a little more about the men on the memorial starting with these six men.

Stanley Gummer was born in Rotherham in 1890, the elder son of William Guest Gummer, a brass manufacturer, and his wife Gertrude (nee Hemingway). He was educated at The Leys School in Cambridge where he was a noted scholar and active sportsman. On leaving school he became articled to a solicitor in Rotherham and completed a law degree at the University of London. He became a partner in the Rotherham firm of solicitors, Messrs. Gichard and Gummer. He was a good cricketer, playing for Rotherham Town and Yorkshire County Second XI and also a keen rugby player. On 24 September 1913 when living at Brentwood, Brinkburn Vale Road, Stanley married Vera Gichard at Rotherham Church. The couple had two children, Dinah born in 1914 and Michael born in 1917 shortly before his father's death. At the outbreak of war, Stanley Gummer enlisted in the 5th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment and was quickly promoted through the ranks to Captain. He served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from 19 September 1915 until he was killed in action at Passchendaele on 9 October 1917 aged 27. He is remembered on Panels 125-128 of the Tyne Cot Memorial at the cemetery of the same name in Zonnebecke, Belgium. 

Thomas Reginald Heap was born in Thirsk, North Yorkshire on 16 July 1881, the third son of William Heap J.P., a bank manager, and his wife Alice (nee Shaw). Thomas was educated at St Peter's School, York. Thomas joined the Royal Naval Reserve, receiving a commission as a sub-lieutenant on 18 October 1898 and, with both gunnery and torpedo certificates he was promoted to lieutenant on 8 January 1910. Shortly afterwards he retired from the sea and on 4 March 1911 at St. Jude's Church, South Kensington, he married Florence Elinor Primrose Harding, a niece of Commander C.T. Scott, the Chief Constable of Sheffield. The couple settled in Canada but soon after war broke out, Thomas was recalled by the Admiralty. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander on 14 June 1916. Thomas died on 25 November later that year. He was the skipper of H.M. Trawler "Burnley", a minesweeper based at Harwich, which sank off Orfordness with all 19 on board when she hit one of 12 mines placed the previous day by German submarine UC4. Lieutenant Commander Heap is remembered on Panel 18 of the Chatham Naval Memorial, on the Roll of Honour in the Chapel of St Peter's School and on the family grave at St Wilfred's Churchyard, Brayton, near Selby, North Yorkshire.

Insert an image caption here. Roll of Honour, St. John the Evangelist, Abbeydale Roll of Honour, St. John the Evangelist, Abbeydale

The war memorial outside St. John's Church, like the roll of honour inside it, honours the memory of John William Masser but no record of a mortally wounded soldier of that name is to be found, nor of anyone born with that name who could be of an age to have taken part in World War 1. The Sheffield Independent of 22 June 1915 announced a death earlier in the month of a Lance-Sergeant Masser of Totley Rise and even had an accompanying photograph but the newspaper failed to provide either the soldier's full name or his service number. We believe that the name on the St. John's memorial is wrong, like so many mistakes on memorials across the country, and it should in fact be honouring Lance-Sergeant Thomas William Masser who was killed in action on 7 June 1915 aged 23.

 

Thomas William Masser was born in Netherthorpe, Sheffield on 9 July 1892, the first of four children born to Thomas Masser, a scrapyard labourer, and his wife Charlotte Elizabeth (nee Garton). Young Thomas became a pen and pocket knife grinder working for the well-known Sheffield cutlers, Joseph Rogers and Sons. On 14 February 1910, at the age of 17 years 7 months, Thomas enlisted at Hyde Park, Sheffield in the Territorial Force of 4th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment. He embarked for France at Folkestone on 13 April 1915 and was killed in action at Fleurbaix less than two months later on 7 June. In the first quarter of 1915 Thomas had married Edith Shepherd in the Ecclesall Bierlow district of southwest Sheffield which included Dore and Totley. Their son Thomas K. Masser was born in the same registration district on 10 October 1915. Thomas is buried at Y-Farm Military Cemetery, Bois-Grenier, near Armentieres and is remembered on the war memorial at St. Thomas Church in Crookes, close to where his widow and young son were living at the end of the war. 

 

Harold Davis was born in Huntington, near York, on 28 February 1888, the middle child of three born to Albert Davis, a horn presser and his wife Ellen (nee Fowler).  The family had moved to Sheffield sometime before the 1901 Census and were living in Cambridge Road, Heeley. Soon after they moved to 16 Alexander Road, Heeley where the family sadly suffered two deaths, firstly of Harold's younger brother William in April 1903 aged 11 and secondly of older sister Louisa who died in March 1905 aged 19. The family left Heeley and moved to Dore and were living in three rooms at St. John's School by the time of the 1911 Census. Harold had become a labourer. His parents later moved to Ashfurlong, Dore. Harold's service record, like so many, has not survived. All we know is that he joined the 8th Battalion of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and died on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, aged 28. Private Harold Davis was buried in the Blighty Valley Cemetery, near the town of Albert, north France. He left a widow, Lily Davis, from Crookes.

Charles Thomas Clarence Belbin (known as Clarence) was born in Sheffield on 2 February 1892, the first of nine children born to Charles Albert Belbin and his wife Kate Eliza, nee Dufty. Clarence began his education in 1896 at the age of 4 at Totley Church School but left when the family moved back to Sheffield where they lived at 30 Rupert Road, Nether Edge and later at 5 Argyle Road, Meersbrook. After continuing his education at Sheffield Middle Schools, Clarence passed the incorporated accountant's preliminary examinations and became an auditor's clerk working with his father who was the accountant-auditor for Sheffield Corporation. The family moved to Moorhill, Prospect Road, Totley Rise in November 1911. Clarence was brought up in a sporting family. His father was one of the original promoters and then secretary of Dore & Totley Golf Club as well as being President of Sheffield United Harriers and Athletic Club. Clarence became a keen sportsman himself and excelled at cricket and football. After completing training with the 3rd West Yorkshire Royal Field Artillery, Clarence enlisted at Winchester in the 8th Battalion, Rifle Brigade on 8 September 1914 and was promoted to the rank of corporal on 12 January 1915. He died on 30 July 1915 in the German Field Hospital at Menin from wounds received in a flamethrower attack on his battalion at the battle of Hooge, near Ypres. He was aged 23. It was to be his last spell in the trenches before coming home to take up a commission. His parents had already suffered the loss of their daughter Irene from pneumonia shortly after war started. They were at first told Clarence had died but then given the good news that he was merely wounded and a prisoner of war only to have their hopes dashed when Clarence's death was finally confirmed. Corporal Clarence Belbin is buried at Harlebeke New British Cemetery at West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

David Harry Prosser (known as Harry) was born on 16 November 1898 in Heeley, the seventh of eight children born to Charles Albert Prosser and his wife Mary Elizabeth, nee Wright. Harry's father's career in the silver trade progressed from chaser, to fluter and eventually to silversmith. As the family became more prosperous they moved further out of the city to Beauchief in 1903 and Holmesfield in 1911 before settling at Woodbine Cottage, (Queen) Victoria Road, Totley Rise soon after. Harry became a trainee school teacher. He enlisted on 10 June 1916 in the 13th Battalion Training Reserve and, shortly after his 18th birthday, was mobilised on 25 November.  He was promoted to lance corporal on 27 June 1917 and on 30 September 1917 he was discharged from the army on appointment to a commission with No. 1 Auxiliary School of Aerial Gunnery, at Hythe, Kent. He joined the 27th Squadron R.A.F. as an observer. His aircraft was shot down and Harry was killed on 10 May 1918, aged 19. Second Lieutenant David Harry Prosser is buried at Caix New British Cemetery, Somme, France.

 

Another soldier whose name has been misrecorded on the war memorial is T.K. Donald Hall. His correct name was Tom Kershaw Hall.

Tom Kershaw Hall was born in Stretford, Lancashire in 1897, the only child of Frank Hall, a mechanical engineer, and his wife Ada (nee Kershaw). In the 1901 census the family were living in Shifnal, Shropshire with Tom's grandfather, Edwin Hall, but by 1911 they had moved to Totley Rise, living at Littlehaven, 85 Baslow Road. Later they moved to Ashleigh, 92 Totley Brook Road. Tom Hall was educated at Chesterfield Grammar School and at Sheffield University. At the outbreak of the war he worked in the laboratories of John Brown and Company at their Atlas Works in Sheffield. In February 1915 Tom enlisted as gunner in the Royal Field Artillery, serving in the ranks until October 1915, when upon a special nomination of the university, he entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. He was successful in the examinations, passing out third, and received his commission in August 1916. Tom Hall arrived in France on 16 September and proceeded directly to the front where he saw much fighting. He was killed whilst carrying out his duties as a forwarding observing officer on the Passchaendale Ridge on 9 October 1917, aged 20. His commanding officer wrote "He was a keen and fearless officer and was killed when assisting men who had just been wounded." Second-Lieutenant Tom Kershaw Hall is commemorated on Panels 4-6 and 162 at the Tyne Cot Memorial, near Zonnebecke, Belgium. 

Cecil George Ibbotson was born on 3 March 1895 in Heeley, the second of three children born to William Ibbotson, a silver and electro plate manufacturer and his wife Fanny, nee Callum. The family were living at 10 Gatefield Road, Heeley in 1901 but had moved to Dalston Villas, Grove Road, Totley Rise by the time of the 1911 Census when Cecil was still a scholar. After leaving school he became a practical designer. On 16 August 1914 Cecil enlisted at Sheffield in B Company 12th (The Sheffield Pals) Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment. He trained at Penkridge Camp near Rudgely in June 1915 and later at Ripon and Hurdcott Camp near Salisbury. His first overseas posting was to Egypt to defend the Suez Canal. The 12th Battalion embarked aboard the HMT Nestor at Devonport on 20 December 1915 and arrived at Alexandria on 1 January 1916. The expected Turkish invasion failed to materialise and so on 10 March 1916 the Battalion left Port Said aboard HMT Briton bound for Marseilles, France on their way to join up with the British Expeditionary Force. They travelled by train to Pont Remy, near Abbeville and then marched to Bertrancourt arriving on 29 March 1916. They went into the trenches a few days later. Cecil was killed in action on 21 June 1916 aged 20. He is buried at Bertrancourt Military Cemetery, France. He was unmarried.

Harper Seed was born in Sheffield in 1889, the middle child of three born to George Alfred Seed and his second wife Mary, nee Harper. He also had a half-brother and two half-sisters from his father's first marriage. The family lived at Woodside, Abbeydale Road (South) before moving to Drayton House, 23 Devonshire Road (Mary was from Market Drayton, Shropshire). George was the managing director of John Hall and Sons, sugar merchants of Granville Hill, Sheffield and was well known in music circles in Sheffield and north Derbyshire as a choir conductor and baritone singer. Harper inherited his father's musical talents. He was a fine pianist who had been successful at the Royal Academy of Music attaining the degree of A.R.A.M. He was also a composer whose work, it was said, showed originality and feeling. By 1911 he was described as a sub-professor at the Academy. He joined Sheffield University Officer Training Corps and received his commission as 2nd Lieutenant, 17th Battalion of the Notts and Derby Regiment (the Sherwood Foresters) on 8 November 1915. He went to France in September 1916 and took part in much hard fighting on the Somme. The report from his commanding officer stated that he was killed on the 20 September "in the final stage of a big attack just as victory crowned his efforts. The men whom he led loved him". He had been the organiser of a popular concert party called The Tivolis and had only rejoined his battalion from leave in England a month before his death. He was aged 26. Second Lieutenant Harper Seed is buried in the Dunhallow Advanced Dressing Station Military Cemetery, near Ypres, Belgium and is also remembered on the War Memorial Tablet in the entrance hall to Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. London. 

James Talent was born in Highfield, Sheffield on 6 April 1896 the fifth of nine children born to Walter Joseph Talent, a bolt and nut manufacturer and his wife Maud, nee Nowlin. The family were living at 40 Kearsley Road when James was baptized at St Barnabas Church on 22 April 1896 but had moved to 191 South View Road by 1901. The were living at 48 Thompson Road, close to the Botanical Gardens in 1911 but moved to Lingrow, 2 Busheywood Road before the war started. James enlisted in the 8th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment at Pontefract on 7 December 1915. His training was done at Rugeley Camp, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire. On 27 May 1916 he sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne and reached his Battalion in the Somme on 23 June. On 1 July 1916 they were given the order to attack the German army near the village of Ovillers-la-Boiselle. Immediately after leaving the trenches they came under heavy machine gun fire and James was killed. He was aged 20. The 8th Battalion took 23 officers and 680 men into the attack that day of whom only 68 survived. Private James Talent is buried at the Adanak Military Cemetery, Miraumont, France. His older brothers Walter (1888-1965), Harry (1891-1942) and Jack (1892-1956) all served their country in the Great War and are listed on the Roll of Honour inside St. John's Church.

Clement Stanley Binns was born in Broomhall Park, Sheffield in 1885. He was the youngest of six children born to George Binns, a clothier and outfitter who had a large well-known store at Moorhead, and his wife Mary Jane, nee Wardlow. Clement was educated at Ashville College in Harrogate where he was boarding at the time of the 1901 Census, and later Sheffield University. He was an enthusiastic member of the Hanover Street Chapel Literary Society and was much admired for his recitations from Shakespeare, Kipling and Twain. Clement became a solicitor and by 1911 had entered into a partnership with Sam J. Newsom in the firm of Newsom and Binns of Melbourne Chambers, Cambridge Street. On 14 May 1914 at Gateacre Parish Church, near Liverpool, Clement married Ruth Victoria Whitney and the couple made their home at Fern Bank, Brinkburn Vale Road, Totley Rise. He joined the Sheffield Volunteer Defence Corps, becoming a platoon commander, before resigning to take up a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the 20th (Service) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (1st Tyneside Scottish) on 5 May 1915. His battalion arrived in France in January 1916 and were involved in many months of fighting in the trenches on the Somme. On 1 July 1916 they came under heavy machine gun fire near the town of Albert. Clement's brother Arthur received a telegram from the War Office on 9 July stating that Clement was missing. His body was never identified. He was one of 26 officers and 564 men from the battalion that were killed on that day. Lieutenant Clement Stanley Binns is commemorated on pier and face 10B, 11B and 12B of the Thiepval Memorial, France, at Ashville School, at Sheffield University and on the memorial tablet at Hanover Street United Methodist Church. As well as a wife, Clement left two young children, George Leslie Whitney Binns born on 7 March 1915 and Lorraine Mary Whitney Binns born on 19 April the following year.

Harold Charles Parsons was born in 1897 in Rhodes, Lancashire, the older of two sons born to Dr. Charles O'Connor Parsons and his wife Isabel Elizabeth, nee Kidman. Dr. Parsons was a physician and surgeon who came to live at Dovedale, 2 Totley Brook Road, when he bought a medical practice here in 1901. During the war he was in charge of the St. John's, Abbeydale VAD and Carter Knowle School hospitals, for which he was later awarded the M.B.E. Harold enlisted in the 5th Battalion The King's Liverpool Regiment on 10 August 1915 but owing to his medical category he was transferred a few days later to the 43rd Provisional Battalion, a unit for men thought to be unfit for overseas service. On 15 January 1916 Harold was discharged from the army "in consequence of not being likely to become an efficient soldier" and transferred to the Merchant Service. There he had many trying experiences, serving in various parts of the world. He was shipwrecked when aboard the SS Bornu but was rescued and taken to a French port. In later service his ship was torpedoed and he suffered other ordeals from which he contracted consumption. After the war he had a severe breakdown which resulted in his death on 9 March 1920, aged 23. Harold Charles Parsons was buried at Christ Church, Dore three days later. 

Charles Cartwright was born in Callington, Cornwall on 25 November 1882, one of twin boys born to Rev. George Dawson Cartwright and his wife Maria, nee Root who had 14 children in all. His father had been a school teacher but by 1881 had became a clergyman. Charles was educated at Denstone School, Staffordshire and at St. Catherine's College, Cambridge. He too became a school teacher and for about four years taught at King Edward VII school in Sheffield. After leaving Sheffield he went to South Africa where he acted as a special constable during the Johannesburg strikes. He returned to England in 1913 to teach at St. George's School, Windsor before being appointed second master at Sutton School, Surrey. On 27 August 1914 he enlisted into the 6th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment and was promoted quickly through the ranks to Sergeant on 1st November 1914. He was discharged to commission as a Temporary Second Lieutenant in the 9th (reserve) Battalion on 28 January 1915. It was whilst Charles was stationed at Aldershot that he married Louise Hoyland, the youngest daughter of Charles Hayward Hoyland, a brush manufacturer of Thornfields, Totley Brook Road at Christ Church, Dore on 3 March 1915. Charles was later attached to the 8th Battalion and served with them on the Western Front from his arrival in early January 1916 until he was killed in action on 19 April 1916, aged 33. Second Lieutenant Charles Cartwright is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium. His twin brother Edward, who had emigrated to British Columbia in 1906, joined the 7th Battalion Canadian Infantry and was badly wounded in September 1916. Private Edward Cartwright died at 2nd Northern General Hospital, Leeds on 10 October and was buried at St. Andrew's Church, Wimpole where his father was the Rector.

Frank Walter Warmsley was born in Chesterfield on 2 February 1898, the only child of Walter Leonard Warmsley and his wife Agnes Ann, nee Seddon. Frank's father was the clerk, rate collector and assistant overseer for the Board of Guardians of the Ecclesall Bierlow Union (which included Dore & Totley) for over 35 years. The family were living at 101 South View Crescent, Highfield in 1901 but had moved to 58 Everton Road, Endcliffe by 8 September 1903 when Frank was admitted to the infants department of Hunter's Bar School. He left the school on 15 May 1905 but no details are given of his later schooling. Frank became an employee of the Sheffield Banking Company, at first in George Street, Sheffield and later at their branch in Rotherham. The Warmsley family had moved home to Brentwood, King Ecgbert Road by 1916. Frank joined the King's Liverpool (Scottish) Regiment as a private in August 1916 and went into training at Park Hall Camp, Oswestry, Shropshire. On 7 April 1917 her entered the 12th Cadet Officer's Training Battalion School at Newmarket, Suffolk, and on 10 August that year he obtained his commission and was transferred to the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derbys Regiment). He left for France on 19 September and died on 22 November 1917 at No. 7 Casualty Clearing Station from a bullet wound he had received on returning from patrol. He was 19 years of age. Second Lieutenant Frank Walter Warmsley is buried at Noeux-les-Mines Communial Cemetery Extension, near Béthune, France. 

Harold Todd was born in 1891, the younger child of Thomas Wilkinson Todd and his first wife Annie Ada, nee Bell. His parents were natives of Bradford, West Yorkshire and had been living there with their one year old daughter, Louisa, in April 1891, but had moved to Sheffield by the time Harold was born later that year. Harold's mother died on 6 October 1900 and was buried at Christ Church, Dore. In the census of the following year, the Todd family were living at Fairfield, Totley Rise (possibly 5 Glover Road) and Thomas had taken up a position as cashier for the Corporation Tramways. On 23 June 1903 he married Jessie Willis at Dore & Totley Union Church but further misfortune fell less than two year later when Jessie died. She was buried at Ecclesall on 15 March 1905. In 1907 Harold's father married for a third time to Annie Ethel Bagshaw also at Dore & Totley Union Church where she was the accompanyist. Harold was  educated at the Central Secondary School, Sheffield. By 1911 the family were living at Newlands, 22 Chatsworth Road and Harold had become a bank clerk with the London, City and Midland Bank in Church Street, Sheffield. He enlisted on 11 September 1914 in the 12th Battalion (The Sheffield Pals) York and Lancaster Regiment. His first overseas posting was to Egypt to defend the Suez Canal. The 12th Battalion embarked aboard the HMT Nestor at Devonport on 20 December 1915 and arrived at Alexandria on 1 January 1916. The expected Turkish invasion failed to materialise and so on 10 March 1916 the Battalion left Port Said aboard HMT Briton bound for Marseilles, France on their way to join up with the British Expeditionary Force on the Somme. They travelled by train to Pont Remy, near Abbeville and then marched to Bertrancourt arriving on 29 March 1916. They went into the trenches a few days later. On 4 May 1916 Harold received a slight wound to the leg which was attended to and he felt fit enough to make his own way to the rear. He stopped to talk to some friends in a dug-out when a shell burst close to them killing six men and wounding a further three. Harold was wounded again, this time more seriously. His wounds were again dressed as well could be done at the time and he was carried back to a dressing station where he died from loss of blood. Private Harold Todd was buried at the Sucrerie Miltary Cemetery, Colincamps, France.

Henry Edwards Wingfield was born on 14 August 1896 in Crookes, Sheffield the only son from William Henry Wingfield's second marriage. His father had previously married Eliza Keyworth Gilson in Crookes in 1875 but she had died childless and been buried in Ecclesfield on 24 February 1890. Henry had four sisters from his father's second marriage to Louisa Ruth Edwards in Bexley, Kent in 1892. William was a partner in the cutlery manufacturing business of Wade, Wingfield and Rowbotham of Tenter Street, Sheffield. The family had lived in Crookes and Woodhouse but when the business was taken over by Thomas Turner & Sons, William retired and the family moved to Devonshire Road, Dore. By the time of the 1911 Census the Wingfields were living at Brookside, 144 Totley Brook Road but Henry was away at boarding school in Southport, Lancashire; his aunt Sarah lived in nearby Birkdale. Henry's father died on 12 March 1914 and was buried at Ecclesfield two days later. Henry's mother then took his sisters to live with their grandmother, Amelia Victoria Edwards, at Lullington Cottage, Bexley but Henry remained in Sheffield. On 28 November 1914 he had attempted to enlist in the 4th (Hallamshire) Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment but was found to be under age and was discharged the following day. A week after reaching the age of 19, Henry signed attestation papers for the 12th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment in Sheffield. He was living at 76 Archer Road, Millhouses and had become an engineer's apprentice. Henry was transferred to the 15th Battalion which on 5 April 1916 sailed to France to join the British Expeditionary Force. Henry was killed in action on 22 July later that year. We have been unable to find a report of how he died. Private Henry Edwards Wingfield is buried at Rue-du-Bacquerot No. 1 Military Cemetery, Laventie, France.

Selby Wolstenholme was born in Totley on 25 January 1886, the only son of Selby Wolstenholme senior, a scythe smith at Totley Rolling Mill, and his first wife Rachel Moore nee Toulson who had married in Attercliffe on Christmas Eve 1882. Selby junior had an older sister Nellie who was born on 7 April 1883 but sadly his mother and his new born sister Sarah both died when he was aged just one. Rachel Wolstenholme was buried at Christ Church, Dore on 7 August 1887. She was aged 24. Strangely there is no mention of daughter Sarah in the Dore parish baptisms or burials. In the 1891 Census Selby senior was still living at Totley Rolling Mill with his parents and daughter Nellie whilst his son was recorded as a "nurse child" of the Laws family who were their close neighbours. Selby junior was admitted to Totley Church School on 17 August 1891 aged 5 but unfortunately no date of leaving is recorded in the register. His father married Mary Lowe at St. John's, Abbeydale on 20 November 1895. They had a daughter, Mabel, who was baptized at the same church on 15 March 1897. By 1900 they had moved to 63 Baslow Road, Totley Rise where Mary and Selby ran a drapery shop and the following year they took over the Post Office business which had been established a couple of years earlier at number 71. Young Selby became an apprentice butcher living with Colin Thompson at number 69. On 2 November 1909 Selby junior married Nellie Sprentall at Rotherham Parish Church and soon after the couple moved to Dore to run a butcher's shop which Colin Thompson had established at Greenwood Mount. Selby enlisted in the 2nd Battalion (Sherwood Foresters) Notts and Derby Regiment. His service record unfortunately has not survived. What we know is that he served in France and Flanders and was reported wounded on 20 November 1917. He rejoined his Battalion and was presumed to have been killed in action near St. Quentin between 17 and 19 September 1918. He was aged 32. Private Selby Wolstenholme is buried in the Chapelle British Cemetery at Holnon, France. He is also remembered on the family gravestone in Dore churchyard.

Our subsidiary website Totley War Memorial WW1 1914-1918 provides more information about the ten Totley soldiers whose names are recorded on the Totley War Memorial on Baslow Road. This website uses connected text (similar to Wikipedia); you move from page to page by clicking on highlighted words.

 

November 2018

Other Totley Soldiers

Edwin Marsden was born in Sheffield in 1887 and named after his paternal grandfather. He was the only son of Arthur Edwin Marsden and his wife Sarah, nee Tate, who had married at St. Mark's Parish Church, Broomhall on 19 July 1883. Edwin's older sister Ruth had been born in Sheffield on 18 January 1885. Arthur Marsden was an carver and fluter in a family firm of ivory merchants to the cutlery trade which had been established in the 1850s by his uncle, William Marsden. By the early 1900s, the firm of Edwin Marsden & Sons of Aberdeen Works, 99 Division Street, Sheffield were well known at the ivory sales in London and Antwerp. Young Edwin was educated at St. Cuthbert's College, a boarding school for boys, at Sparken Hill, Workshop, Nottinghamshire. After leaving school he became a fitter serving an apprenticeship with Vickers. On 21 May 1908 he enlisted in the 17th Field Company of the Royal Engineers and was stationed at The Curragh, County Kildare, Ireland where he was an instructor in bridge building. He invented an improvement on the Wheldon tressle which was accepted by the War Office and became known as the Marsden Band Tressle. Edwin was sent to France when war broke out and arrived at the front near Mons on 17 August 1914. His war lasted only six days as he was killed in action on 23 August. Edwin had volunteered to blow up a bridge under heavy enemy fire which he did successfully returning unscathed. Shortly afterwards he looked over the parapet and was hit in the head by a shrapnel bullet killing him instantly. Edwin was mentioned in the dispatches of Sir John French for gallant and distinguished conduct in the field. He was aged 27 and unmarried. Second Corporal Edwin Marsden is buried in the Hautrage Military Cemetery, Hainaut, Belgium and is remembered on memorials at Hathersage Memorial Hall and Worksop College. The Marsden family had lived at 51 Clarkegrove Road, Broomhall and 155 Cemetery Road, Sharrow before moving to Hathersage by 1901. They came back to Sheffield by 1916 living at 6 Kenwood Bank before moving to Stanmore, 206 Baslow Road, Totley. Ruth Marsden died in 1922, her father in 1931 and mother in 1938. 

 

James McPhee was born in Glasgow in 1887, the elder son of Hugh McPhee, a cabinet maker and furniture salesman and his wife Flora, nee White who had married in 1882. In the 1891 Census James was living with his parents and two older sisters, Marion and Mary, and younger sister Flora in Main Street, Gorbals, Lanarkshire. By the time of the 1901 census a younger brother Hugh and sister Eliza had joined the family who were now living at 3 Apsley Place, Gorbals. James, aged 14, had left school and become an office boy. We know very little about James's military career except that he joined as a Private in the 2nd Battalion (17th Glasgow Pals) of the Highland Light Infantry and arrived in France on 12 November 1915. James suffered a minor wound to the hand in March 1918 which required a 7 day stay the 18th General Hospital. It was around this time that James married Annie Hibbard at Sculcoates, Kingston-upon-Hull. Annie was one of eight children born to John William Hibbard, an etcher and guilder on cutlery, and his wife Mary Jane, nee Revitt who lived at South View, 118 Totley Brook Road. After recovering from his wound James rejoined his Battalion in France. He was reported killed in action on 12 September 1918. He was aged 31. Private James McPhee is buried at the Vaulx Hill Cemetery at Vaulx-Vraucourt, Pas-de-Calais, France.

 

John Green was born in 1893. He was one of two adopted sons of William Henry Green from Pitsmoor and his wife Ruth Sophia. She was the daughter of John Coates, a farmer and beerhouse keeper and his wife Harriett, nee Pinder who lived at Totley Bents. Who John's birth parents were and where he was born remain undiscovered. After their marriage at Sheffield Parish Church in 1890 William Henry and Ruth went to live at Mickley where he followed his father's occupation as file cutter. They had moved to Totley Rise and were living with their two adopted sons in the 1901 Census. White's Trade Directory for 1905 shows that William Henry had become the licensed victualler at the Crown Inn. However, he was refused a renewal of his license in 1912 following an incident the previous May when he was found guilty of being drunk on his own premises. John Green was apparently living in Barnsley in 1914 when he enlisted as a Private in the 1st Battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers. He had been with the British Expeditionary Force in the field for 16 months when he was wounded in the chest in late September 1916. He died from his wounds on 3 November 1916. He was 23. Private John Green is buried at the Bailleul Community Cemetery Extension, France, close to the Belgium border. His parents later went to live in Blackpool where they ran a boarding house. John's father died in 1922 and his mother in 1941. John Green is commemorated on Blackpool War Memorial, near North Pier.

Blackpool War Memorial, Princess Promenade, North Shore Blackpool War Memorial, Princess Promenade, North Shore

Reginald Hartley was born in Totley in 1892, the second of four sons of Tom Curtis Hartley and his wife Agnes, nee Livsey who married in Manchester in 1885. After taking a B.A. degree at London University, Tom became a schoolteacher and it was whilst living in Willesden that the couple's first son, Bernard, was born in 1887. Soon afterwards Tom took up the roles of assistant master and then headmaster at Hipper Street Board School, Chesterfield and came to live at Totley Brook Road. In July 1892 Tom was appointed assistant inspector of schools for Worcestershire and the family which now included young Reginald moved to Worcester in September 1892. Two more sons were born there, Sydney in 1894 and Norman Curtis in 1899. Reginald was awarded a scholarship to Bromsgrove School where he distinguished himself as an athlete. He passed his matriculation for Oxford University in 1910 and gained his second class B.A. degree in August 1914 just before war broke out. He enlisted in the 10th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment and received his commission in December 1914. Lieutenant Reginald Hartley became the first officer from that battalion to be wounded in action in September 1915. Worse was to follow when Reginald was killed in action at Festubert on 26 October 1915. Reports say that he was struck by a shrapnel bullet which entered his lung whilst he was bringing in wounded men of his own platoon. He was aged 24 and engaged to be married to Elsie, the daughter of Charles Wall Turner, a chemist of Worcester. Lieutenant Reginald Hartley is buried at Brown's Road Military Cemetery at Festubert, Pas de Calais, France. His younger brother Norman also died in the war. He was killed in action near Marcoing in France on 20 January 1918.  He was 19 years old and had been on active service for about three months. Before the war he had been a scholar at Bromsgrove School. He won a scholarship to Worcester College, Oxford in 1917 but his service commenced before he could matriculate. Second Lieutenant Norman Curtis Hartley of the 19th Division Armoured Column of the Royal Field Artillery is buried at Neuville-Bourjonval Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. The brothers are remembered on memorials at Bromsgrove School, at their colleges in Oxford and also at Highfield, Southampton where their parents lived after 1919.

Robert Saxelby Vine was born in Sheffield on 5 March 1891, the only son of George Robert Vine junior and his wife Alice nee Saxelby who had married at the Zion Congregational Church, Sheffield on 29 March 1888. An older sister Edith died at home at 10 Ranby Road, Hunter's Bar on 13 February 1899 aged 10. Robert's grandfather, George Robert Vine senior came to Sheffield in 1865 where he set up a business as a stay and crinoline maker and devoted his spare time to microscopic studies of the minerals and fossils of the local carboniferous deposits. He had 67 papers published in scientic journals and  was a founder member and first president of the Sheffield Microscopical Society. His son and namesake became a teacher at the Carbrook and Darnall Schools before attending Glasgow University. He then took a B.Sc. degree at London University and became a class teacher at Sheffield Central Schools. Robert's father was appointed headmaster of the Hunter's Bar Schools and then, for 17 years until his retirement in 1923, headmaster of Huntsmen's Garden Schools in Attercliffe. Young Robert was also academically bright and was awarded a bursary to Sheffield's Central Secondary School in 1905. He passed his matriculation examinations for Sheffield University in 1907 and obtained a Class II B.A. Degree with Honours in History in 1913. The following year he gained a Masters degree and was awarded the Gladstone prize in political economy. In September 1915, he was appointed to the staff of the Sir Andrew Judd Commercial School, Tonbridge, Kent. Owing to defective eyesight he was three times refused admission to the Army but in December 1915 a fourth offer of service was accepted and he received a commission in the 1st Battalion of the Cambridgeshire Regiment. On Christmas Eve 1915 Robert married Elsie Palmer, the daughter of Mr and Mrs James Palmer of Fern Bank, at Dronfield Baptist Church. Ordered to the front in August 1916 Robert spent only eight weeks in the trenches before being killed in action on 14 October. He was aged 25. Second Lieutenant Robert Saxelby Vine M.A. is commemorated on Pier and Face 16 B of the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. He is also remembered at the Judd School in Tonbridge and at Cemetery Road Baptist Church, Sheffield. At the start of the war Robert's parents lived at 27 Broomhall Place, Sheffield but later they moved to Inglewood, 40 Main Avenue, Totley.

Sydney James Jones was born in Totley in 1893, the third of four children born to William Jones and his wife Charlotte, nee Badham. His parents were from Worcestershire. William was born in Powick, the eldest son of Ann and James Jones, a nurseryman and gardener. Charlotte was born in Shrawley, the third of nine children born to Mary and William Badham, a labourer. The couple were married at Brampton St. Thomas, Derbyshire on 13 March 1887. William had become a constable with the Derbyshire County Police and was stationed at Normanton. Their first child William Spencer was born in Brampton in 1888 and their second, Amelia Ann, in Normanton the following year. The Jones family came to Totley in 1890 and lived in the County Police Station, Grange Terrace, 331 Baslow Road. They lived in Totley until September 1896 when William was transferred to Chunal, between Glossop and Hayfield. A fourth child, Peter Ball Jones was born in 1899. By the time of the 1901 Census they had moved again. William had been promoted to sergeant and was now stationed at Mosborough. In the 1911 Census the family were living in Ilkeston and Sydney, aged 18, had become a loco engine cleaner with a colliery. Few details of Sydney's military service record have survived. He joined the 1st Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) and was subsequently transferred to the 2nd Battalion. He was killed in action on 19 September 1918, aged 25. Private Sydney James Jones is buried in Trefcon British Cemetery at Caulaincourt, Aisne, France. He is remembered on the war memorial at Ilkeston, Derbyshire. His younger brother Percy also served in the Great War. On 8 April 1918 he received multiple gunshot wounds and was captured and held in a Prisoner of War camp at Parchim in Germany until the end of the war. 

John William Stone was born in Totley on 24 August 1892, the ninth of twelve children born to John William Stone senior and his wife Bertha nee Blackwell who had married at St. Lawrence Church, Eyam on 5 August 1877. Their first child Mary was born in Eyam in 1878 but soon after they went to live in Curbar with John's parents, Rowland and Mary Stone. Further children followed: Eliza (1879), Joseph Blackwell (1881), Clara (1883),  Annie (1884), Frances (1886) and Emma (1889). John senior had been a stonemason until around 1885 when he became a gamekeeper employed by the Duke of Rutland on his Longshawe Estate. The Stone family moved to live at the the Duke's Bole Hill Lodge, Totley Bents in 1890. Four children were born in Totley: Martha (1890), John William (1892), Frederick (1894) and George (1897) and in all eight of the children attended Totley Church School, including John junior. The Stone family then moved to Thickwood Lodge, the Duke's large hunting lodge at Owler Bar where their twelfth child Albert was born in 1900. Bertha Stones died there in September 1907 at the age of 50. She was buried at Eyam with Mary, her eldest daughter, who had died on 5 January 1899 at the age of 21. John senior had retired by the next census in 1911 and was living at Stanton Ford Farm, Curbar, with four of his children: John junior, Emma, Fred and Albert. Young John had become a farm labourer working on the Duke's estate. On 10 February 1916 he joined the 2nd/6th Battalion (Sherwood Foresters) Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment and was stationed in Ireland during the Easter Rebellion of April 1916. Later he was sent to France and was killed in action on 27 April 1917 aged 24. Private John William Stone is buried at Templeux-le-Guerard British Cemetery, Somme, France and is commemorated on the war memorial at All Saints Church, Curbar. His effects were left to Elsie Gregory of Calver to whom he was engaged. Her older brother Walter married John's sister Emma in 1918.

Samuel Wright was born in Totley in 1883, the tenth of fourteen children born to Levi Wright and his wife Ann Elizabeth, nee Pickering who had married in 1869. At first they lived with Ann's widowed father Edward Pickering who farmed 23 acres at Piper House, Dore Moor. Levi was a coal miner like his father James Wright who had come to live at Dore after his marriage to Elizabeth Law in 1847. The couple had six children at Piper House: Elizabeth Ann (1870), Joseph (1871), Lilly (1872), Albert Edward (1873), Lucy (1875) and Clarissa (1876). Following Edward Pickering's death in 1877, the farm stock, carts, equipment and house furnishings were put up for sale on 18 March 1878 and Levi, Ann and their five surviving children (Lilly died in her first year) moved to Totley Forge House, Oldhay. Three more children were born who died in their infancy, Hannah Maria (1878-79), Thomas Arthur (1880-80) and Lillie (1880-80) before Samuel Wright was born on 15 February 1883. Another four children were born subsequently: Ernest (1885), Hilda (1887-1890) Levi junior known as Jack (1888) and Gladys (1891). In all nine of the children attended Totley Church School, Samuel being admitted on 29 September 1887 aged 4. By the time of the 1891 Census, Levi Wright senior had become a labourer in a brickyard, possibly at Moor Edge and Lucy and Joseph had left home. Elizabeth Ann died unmarried in 1893 aged 23. The 1901 Census records that the remaining six children were still living with the parents at Totley Forge. Their mother Ann was shown as a laundress so perhaps money was becoming tight for the Wright family. Ernest had become a filer in an engineers shop and Samuel, aged 18, was a joiner. Albert, who had become a railway labourer, died soon after in May 1901, the seventh of the Wright children to die. Before the next Census in 1911 Samuel had emigrated to New Zealand. He joined the 4th Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade and fought on the Somme. Samuel was killed in action on 15 September 1916 in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, when the village was entered by the New Zealand and 41st Divisions behind tanks, the innovative new weapons that were used here for the first time. He was aged 33. Corporal Samuel Wright is buried at Bulls Road Cemetery, Flers, Somme. He is commemorated on the Auckland Museum Memorial and on the Wright family gravestone in Dore churchyard.

Edwin Hewkin was born in Whittington, Chesterfield, Derbyshire in 1892, the fifth of eight children born to Samuel and Emma Hewkin. Samuel had been born in Newbold Moor on 15 September 1860 and as a young man Samuel became a miner like his father and two older brothers but he gave up that occupation after his marriage to Emma Hadell at St. Bartholomew's, Whittington in August 1883. Their first child Percy died shortly after he was born in 1884 but three daughters quickly followed: Leonora, known as Nora (1885), Evelyn (1887) and Ada (1890). In the 1891 Census, Samuel was recorded as a grocer at Sheffield Road, Whittington but by time Edwin was born in 1892, he had taken on a second line of business as a traveller for a tailor. Three further children were born soon after: Samuel junior (1894), Beatrice Alice (1896) and Leonard (1899). After the turn of the century, Samuel went on to be a tailor and gents' outfitter with businesses at Sheepbridge and Whittington Moor. After he died in 1909 the family business was carried on by his widow and son Edwin. Nora and Ada went into service, Evelyn became a dressmaker and Samuel a machine tool grinder. Later that year the family moved to 22 Bromwich Road, Woodseats and Nora married William Harry Nunney at St. Paul's Church, Norton Lees on 4 November. Edwin was a weight-lifter who competed for the title of amateur champion of Sheffield at the 10½ stone class on 20 January 1912. Both he and his younger brother Leonard served with the British Expeditionary Force during the war. Edwin enlisted in Sheffield as a Private in the Territorial Force of the 2nd/4th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment on 23 October 1915 and was mobilised on 10 February 1916. He embarked for France on 13 January 1917 and arrived at Le Havre the following day. He reached the front on 7 February and was reported as wounded in action and missing on 3 May 1917 and on 26 May he was presumed to have been killed. He was aged 25. Private Edwin Hewkin is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France and on war memorials at Old Whittington and Norton St. James. By the end of the war, Edwin's mother was living with her unmarried daughters Evelyn and Beatrice at Bella Vista, Queen Victoria Road. Both daughters were subsequently to marry; Evelyn to William Joel Allen in 1919 and Beatrice to John James Jubb in 1944. Leonard Hewkin, a Private in the 14th Division Northumberland Fusiliers, survived the war and became a watch repairer. He died at 131 Queen Victoria Road in 1958 where he had lived with his sisters Ada and Beatrice.

 

Herbert Collett was born in Totley and baptised at Christ Church, Dore on 25 October 1885. He was the ninth of ten children born to Charles Collett from Sandhurst, Gloucestershire and his Chelsea born wife Mary Ann nee Gray who had married at Woolwich, Kent on 10 April 1869. Charles's father had died before he was born and he had been brought up by his mother and older siblings. Having become a groom, Charles enlisted as a driver in the Royal Artillery on 16 January 1856. He served for more than 21 years including a four year period in India. When he received his discharge on 28 August 1877 Charles gave his intended future residence as Wood End, Dore Station but why it was that Charles, Mary Ann and their four surviving children came to our area is unknown. In the 1881 Census the Colletts are shown as living at Totley Rise. Charles had become a mason's labourer. Another daughter Lavinia had been born in 1879 but sadly she died aged two and was buried at Dore Christ Church on 16 October 1881. Four more children were subsequently born in Totley: Ada in 1883, Herbert in 1885, Louisa in 1889 and Arthur in 1890 by which time the family had moved to Green Oak and Charles had become a gardener. He died in 1896 and was buried at Dore on 3 October. Mary Ann and the younger children, including Herbert, moved to 31 Blair Athol Road, Banner Cross by 1901 and were still there ten years later. Herbert became a road labourer like his older brothers but later he worked as a moulderer and then concrete mason. Herbert married Clara Bartell at the Parish Church, Worsbrough Dale, near Barnsley on 2 September 1914. Clara was the ninth of eleven children of George Bartell, a colliery labourer, and his wife Fanny, nee Allen. Clara and Herbert were living at 29 Hamilton Road, Firth Park on 9 December 1915 when Herbert enlisted in the 14th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment. He was mobilized on 16 November 1916 but his service record gives no further details. He died on 2 July 1917 aged 31. Private Herbert Collett is commemorated on the Bay 8 of the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France and on the memorial plaque at All Saints' Church, Ecclesall close to Silver Hill House which was where Clara was living at the end of the war.

William Henry Green, known as Willie, was born in Totley on 15 May 1880, the second son of William Green, a labourer, and his wife Annie, nee Mather who had married at Christ Church Dore on 3 August 1870. William was the son of Sampson Green, a saw grinder who lived on Totley Hall Lane. Ann was born in Dronfield, the daughter of John Mather, a carter, who had come to live at Bradway Mill by 1851. At first the family lived in Bradway where Hannah Elizabeth was born in 1870 but soon after the family moved to Totley where eight more children were born in the space of twelve years: Sarah Jane (1872), Mary Alice (1873), Walter (1875), Emily (1877), Harriet (1878), Willie (1880), Ada Annie (1882) and George (1884). Willie was educated at Totley Church School from the age of 6 but he disappears from our records after the 1891 Census when he emigrated to Canada. When war broke out he enlisted in the 4th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry (1st Central Ontario Regiment) which almost immediately sailed for England. Willie was killed in action on 8 September 1916, aged 36. Private William Henry Green is buried at the Sunken Road Cemetery, Contalmaison, Somme, France and is remembered on his parent's gravestone in Dore churchyard. Also remembered on the gravestone is Willie's cousin James William Green who died in the Great War and who is one of the ten soldiers commemorated on Totley War Memorial.

Charles William Collier was born in Totley and baptised at Dore Christ Church on 4 October 1891. He was the first of eight children born to Charles William Collier senior and his wife Emma, nee Davis who had married at St. Swithin's Church, Holmesfield on 1 September 1890. Charles senior was a brickmaker's labourer who had come to Totley from Burton on Trent to work at Totley Moor Brickyard, the main supplier of bricks for the Totley Tunnel. When the tunnel work was finished the Colliers moved to Goldthorpe, near Bolton upon Dearne, Yorkshire where seven more children were born between 1894 and 1909, three of whom died in infancy. Charles junior became a pit pony driver in a coal mine. On 14 June 1913 he married Maud Shepherd, a miner's daughter, at St. Andrew's Church, Bolton upon Dearne. The couple had a son, Alban, who was born  at Goldthorpe on 20 September 1913. Charles's war service record has not survived. We know only that he enlisted as a Private in the York and Lancaster Regiment and arrived in France on 10 September 1915. He served with the 10th, 9th and 1st/4th Battalions and was killed in action on 9 October 1917. He was aged 26. Private Charles William Collier is commemorated on Panels 125-128 of the Tyne Cot Memorial, near Ypres, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium and on the new Dearne Township Memorial at Bolton upon Dearne.

 

Ralph Norman was born in Totley on 13 May 1892 and baptised at Chedworth, Gloucestershire on 12 June in the same church where his parents, Cornelius Norman and Martha Keturah Beames had married on 20 June 1891. Ralph was the first of four children but, besides himself, only his brother Charles survived to adulthood. The family appear to have followed Cornelius's sister Mary Ann who moved up from Gloucestershire to Totley after her marriage in 1890 to William Norman, a tunnel miner, who presumably worked on the Totley Tunnel. Both Norman families lived in the navvy huts at Green Oak where Ralph's cousin, John, was born in 1891. Their stay in Totley was short with Cornelius and his family moving to Shirebrook by 1896 and Church Gresley by the time of the next census in 1901. From being a labourer, Cornelius had become a coal miner's sinker. Son Charles was born in Arley, Warwickshire, another coal mining town, and baptised at St. Andrew's, Chedworth on 27 August 1905. By the time of the next census in 1911, the Norman family of four were living at Balby, Doncaster. Ralph, aged 18, had become an electrician working for a colliery company. He was still an electrician on 17 March 1915 when he married Ada Alice Mattock at St. Peter's Church, Barnburgh, near Bolton upon Dearne. Ralph and Ada were living at Green Lane, Barnburgh when their son Ralph junior was born on 31 August 1915. On 9 December that year Ralph senior enlisted at Mexborough in the territorial reserve of 9th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was mobilized on 8 December 1916 and served at home until 10 May 1917 when he was sent to France. Ralph was reported missing, presumed killed in action, on 22 March 1918. He was aged 25. Private Ralph Norman is commemorated on Bay 6 of the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France and on the memorial tablet at St. Peter's Church, Barnburgh.  

 

George Martin was born in Totley on 27 August 1891, the eighth of ten children born to Samuel Martin, a railway tunnel miner, and his wife Jane, nee Beer who had married in Bristol in 1873. The family were rarely in one place for long as they followed the development of the railway. This can be seen from the birth places of the children: Samuel junior (1876, Grimston, Leics.), William (1880, West Hoathly, Sussex), Alice Ada (1881, Oxted, Surrey), Elizabeth (1883, Whitchurch, Hants.), James (1884, Caldicot, Monmouth.), Caroline (1887, St. Nicholas, Glam.), Nellie (1889, Totley), George (1891, Totley), Florence (1895, Maulden, Beds.) and David Joseph (1897, Helidon, Northants.). During their stay in Totley the family lived on Bricky Row and later in the navvy huts at Green Oak. The five children that were of school age, i.e. Willie, Alice, Lizzie, James and Caroline, all attended Totley Church School. George was too young of course and his first school was at High Lane, Marple, Cheshire which he attended between 21 August 1899 and 5 December 1901. But before then George's father had committed suicide at a navvy camp near Helidon on 4 May 1897. He had been employed by Thomas Oliver and Sons, who earlier built the Totley Tunnel, in the construction of a 2,997 yard tunnel at Catesby. George's mother remarried in Marylebone, London on 11 April 1898 to George Clarke, a labourer from Athlone in Ireland. The family's nomadic life continued, however, as George's oldest brother Willie had become a tunnel miner like his father. The family moved firstly to Hebden Bridge by 1903 and then Todmorden where George's mother died in 1910. In the census the following year only George, Florence, James and Joseph remained at home with their stepfather. On 27 November 1915 George enlisted in the 1/7th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment. He was mobilized on 6 August 1917 and posted overseas on 7 December 1917. Private George Martin was killed in action on 11 October 1918, aged 27. He is buried in the Wellington Cemetery in the village of Rieux-en-Cambrésis near Cambrai, France and is commemorated on the Todmorden war memorial.

Graham Stuart Ward (1881-1916)

At last year's Armistice Day service, a relative placed this small cross on Totley War Memorial in memory of their ancestor who died in World War 1. We thought we would see if we could find out more about him. 

 

Graham Stuart Ward was born in Heeley on 30 March 1881, the youngest of twelve children born to William Ward and his wife Elizabeth (nee Blythman).  Graham's father had a number of occupations including an iron and steel manufacturer's clerk and cashier before setting up business as William Ward and Company, umbrella rib manufacturers of Bernard Lane in the Park District of Sheffield. The family moved home location frequently but for much of the time that Graham lived in England the family were at 40 Oxford Street, Crookesmoor. There may be a connection with Dore and Totley as Graham's brother Norman married into the Fearnehough family in 1902. 

 

When his father died in 1903 the umbrella business was sold. With all of his surviving siblings married or moved away, Graham sailed from Liverpool on 25 March 1903 aboard the Allan Line Numidian bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia with the intention of joining his brothers Frank and Edgar who had emigrated to Canada in April 1894. Their mother joined them there the following year accompanied by her niece Marguerite Marie Beecher. Graham's married sister Violet and brother Harold were soon to follow with their families. By the 1906 Census the Ward family were in Mackenzie, Saskatchewan and by 1911 they had moved to Humboldt in the same Province. Graham had become a farmer. His mother died on 26 October 1914 when the Wards were living at Hilliers Crossing, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

 

On 17 September 1915 Graham signed attestation papers to join the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force. He belonged to the Active Militia but he had no previous military experience and was unmarried. He joined the 72nd Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders, who embarked for Britain on 26 April 1916. They arrived in France on 13 August. They were drafted into the 16th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry on the Somme and Graham was reported killed in action on or around 4 September 1916, aged 35.

 

Private Graham Stuart Ward is buried in the London Cemetery Extension, High Wood, Longueval, France along with 3,871 other Commonwealth soldiers.

 

November 2018

Latest News

Coming Soon

The first meeting after our summer break will be on Wednesday 25th September when we welcome back Dr. Chris Corker who will be giving us the third in his series of talks on Sheffield in the Great War. The focus now turns to the final years of the conflict, the innovative ideas which emerged during the war, the supply to the US Navy of projectiles in 1917, the continuing role of women workers in the munitions factories, and an attempt to recount what Sheffield made for the war effort. The talk concludes with the effects that the Armistice had on Sheffield in November and December 1918. The meeting will be in Totley Rise Methodist Church starting at 7.30 p.m. Please note this is a change of venue.

 

On Wednesday, 23rd October we welcome back historical clothes expert Janet Stain with a light-hearted talk called Ration Book Fashion. Janet will be telling us what made fashion tick during and immediately after World War II when resources were scarce and creativity and improvisation the order of the day. Clothes were rationed between June 1941 and March 1949 and the Ministry of Information issued the 'Make Do and Mend' pamphlet, providing useful tips on how to be both frugal and stylish. The event begins at 7.30pm in Totley Library.

A recently discovered box of WWII correspondence reveals the story of how a small group of ladies from Dore and Totley recruited knitters from the west of Sheffield and how their efforts made them the country's greatest provider of Comforts for the Minesweeping crews of the Royal Navy. The story is told in Knit For Victory, a new book from Totley History Group. Written by Pauline Burnett, it has 82 pages and many illustrations. It is on sale in Totley Rise Post Office and local shops. Also available in Dore at the Village Store or direct via our website.

Since 1875 when there was only a Rolling Mill and Chemical Yard alongside the river a mile from Totley, the area has changed beyond anyone's imagination  This book by Pauline Burnett tells the story of how it was named and grew into the community we know today. The Rise of Totley Rise has 94 pages including a useful index and is profusely illustrated throughout with many previously unpublished photographs from private collections. 

The story is told in Totley War Memorial WW1 of the ten men from our village who gave their lives in the Great War. Written by Pauline Burnett, Jim Martin and Dorothy Prosser, a chapter is devoted to each of the soldiers with a family tree followed by as much information as could be discovered about the men and their families. There is also information about their military careers and the actions in which they lost their lives. The book has 64 pages and is illustrated throughout with photographs of the men, their families and the houses where they lived.

Ellen Topham was born in 1889 in Nottingham. Her parents had been living together since 1862 but had never married so it was most unusual that, after their deaths, Ellen was accepted into Cherrytree Orphanage. Even more so since her father, Snowden Topham, had been acquitted somewhat unexpectedly in a widely reported manslaughter trial. Ellen remained at Cherrytree until her death from pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 15.

Mabel Wilkes was a resident in Cherrytree Orphanage between 1897 and 1905. Her granddaughter Sally Knights sent us these images of a book presented to Mabel as a prize for her writing. Sally also sent us some personal memories of her grandmother and a photograph of a locket which contains portraits of Mabel and her husband Septimus Gale.

John Henry Manby Keighley was living at Avenue Farm when he enlisted in 1916. He fought in France with the Cheshire Regiment but after home leave in early 1918 he went missing. The Army were unable to determine whether he had deserted or returned to the front and been either killed or captured by the enemy. In August 1919 he was formally presumed killed in action but it appears he did not die but returned home to his family.

Horace Ford was admitted to Cherrytree Orphanage on 26 October 1888 at the age of six. He left at the age of 14 to become an apprentice blacksmith and farrier. Soon after his 18th birthday Horace enlisted in the Imperial Yeomanry to serve his country in the war in South Africa. His letter home to his Orphanage mentor tells of the lucky escape he had in battle.

Pat Skidmore (née Sampy) lived on Totley Brook Road from 1932 to 1948 before her family moved to Main Avenue. In this short article she remembers her time at Totley All Saints School where she was a contemporary of Eric Renshaw and Bob Carr.

As we have nowhere to exhibit memorabilia and artifacts, we have created a Virtual Museum instead. The latest addition to our collection is this double-sided Totley Rise Post Office oval illuminated sign which was on the wall of 67 Baslow Road before the Post Office business transferred to number 71. Please contact us by email if you have things that you own and would like to see added to the virtual museum.

Conway Plumbe was a man of many talents who came to live in Totley Rise around 1912. As a young man he had poems published by Punch magazine and is remembered in modern collections of WW1 poetry. A number of his paintings were accepted by the Royal Academy. An engineering graduate of London University, he joined the Civil Service where he rose to a high level as a factory inspector, publishing two books on the subject and giving a series of talks on workplace health and safety on BBC radio during WW2. In retirement he wrote a philosophical-spiritual work called Release From Time.

Inside Totley Rise Methodist Church there is a Roll of Honour commemorating the soldiers from its congregation who served their king and country during the Great War. For all but one of the 28 names the soldier's regiment is recorded in the next column. The exception is David Cockshott for whom 'killed in action' is written alongside yet he appears on no war memorial in our area and no record of a mortally wounded soldier of that name is to be found. We think we have solved the mystery.

Mrs. Kate Plumbe moved from Mansfield to Totley Rise with a number of her family in 1913 and became closely involved with the Totley Union Church. Her daughter Winifred became a missionary and headmistress in Calcutta for over 38 years following which she returned home to live with her sister Hilda on Furniss Avenue. Hilda had also been a teacher, missionary and, like her mother, a volunteer at St. John's VAD during WW1.

Thomas Glossop was a cutler and razor manufacturer who was well known amongst cricketing and gardening circles. Despite going blind, he was able to continue his hobbies with remarkable success

The Totley Union Cycling Society Prize Giving and Fete was held on the fields near Abbeydale Hall on 18 July 1914. Anne Rafferty and Gordon Wainwright have named some of the people in two wonderful photographs of the event. Can you identify any more for us? 

The Tyzack family are well known in our area for owning iron and steel trades at Walk Mill, Abbeydale Works, Totley Rolling Mill and Totley Forge. This article covers the history of the family from the late 18th century when William Tyzack the founder of the company was born until the early 20th century when Joshua Tyzack farmed at Avenue Farm, Dore.  

Walter Waller Marrison moved to Totley around 1897 with his wife and their two young sons. He was a house builder who constructed properties around Totley Brook and Greenoak before ill health forced him to take up less physically demanding work. In 1904 he took over the tenancy of the grocers and off licence at number 71 Baslow Road. After his death in 1908, his widow Kate and later their eldest son Jack continued to run the business until it was sold in 1934.   

Ron Wijk of Nieuw-Vennep in the Netherlands has sent us two scanned images of drawings of old cottages made by the celebrated Dutch painter, Anton Pieck (1895-1987) simply annotated "Totley", and wondered whether we could identify their locations.

We would like to thank Christopher Rodgers for bringing to our attention this fascinating log of the 85th Sheffield (St. John's and Totley Orphanage) Wolf Cub Pack for 1927-45. The log is published jointly by Sheffield Scout Archives and Totley History Group as a free PDF download. It is illustrated by no fewer than 92 photographs and is supported by a comprehensive index and biographies of some of the main participants.

Following our Open Meeting event on School Days, Roger Hart, Howard Adams and John Timperley have each written to us with their memories of Norwood School, which was located in the rooms attached to the Dore & Totley United Reformed Church on Totley Brook Road. 

On 22nd July 1909 the children of Dore and Totley Schools celebrated by a pageant the union of England under King Ecgbert which took place at Dore in AD 827. The pageant was devised and written by Mrs Sarah Milner and her daughter Marjorie and performed in a field close to Avenue Farm in front of a large audience. Photographs of the event survive together with a fragment of the script.

John Edward Greenwood Pinder had lived all 46 years of his life in Totley but on census night, Sunday 2 April 1911, he was not at home; he was in Derby Gaol serving a sentence of three months hard labour. From the age of 20, John had been in and out of local courts for a series of minor offences including drunkenness, assault, wilful damage and night poaching. Finally he was sent to gaol for cutting down and stealing 86 small trees which he sold in Sheffield market for Christmas.

We have already transcribed the census returns for Totley, Totley Rise and Dore. Now we have transcribed Census Strays. These are people who were born in Totley but are missing from our earlier transcriptions. They may have been living, working or studying elsewhere or just away from home on the night the census was taken. Two people were in prison. Others were in Union Workhouses, hospitals and asylums. Fully indexed strays from the 1851, 1861, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses are available now. 

We wish to thank Gillian Walker for allowing us to digitize an archive of material about the 1st Totley Scout Group. Most of the material was collected by Arthur Percival Birley in the period 1949-51 and there are many interesting documents pertaining to the building of the scout hut on Totley Hall Lane. In addition four Newsletters survive, two from the 1940s and two from 1971.

We are grateful to Angela Waite and All Saints' Parish Church for giving us access to baptismal and kindergarten birthday rolls dating from 1926 to 1941. We have transcribed the names, addresses, birthdates and baptismal dates and created an alphabetical index of entries for you to search. 

Edmund Sanderson, a Sheffield estate agent, aquired the land on either side of the old drive to Totley Grove in 1874 and divided it into plots for development. He called it the Totley Brook Estate. But before many houses were built, the estate road was severed in two by the building of the Dore & Chinley Railway line. The eastern end of the road became the cul-de-sac we now call Grove Road

John Roberts was born in Sheffield in 1798. He became a partner in one of the leading silversmiths firms in the city before moving to Abbeydale Park in 1851 and extending the house in Victorian gothic style. He paid for the building of St. John's Church and was believed to dispense more in charity than any other person in the neighbourhood including his protege Ebenezer Hall.

The Coke Family owned the Totley Hall Estate from 1791 to 1881. With the aid of a family tree to guide us, Josie Dunsmore takes us through the story of their tenure. 

When the Rev. D'Ewes Coke inherited the Totley Hall Estate in 1791 it had two farms. Josie Dunsmore tells the story of how the two farms were combined under the tenancy of Peter Flint with the aid of field maps drawn by Flint himself and later by the Fairbanks family.

Do you think you recognize this face? More than sixty photographs of the girls and teachers at Hurlfield Grammar School for Girls in the 1940s were given to Totley History Group by Avril Critchley, who was herself a student at the school. The collection includes fifteen form photographs from June 1949. There would have been a number of girls from the Totley area attending the school in those days.

Christine Weaving tells the story of her 2 x great uncle George Edward Hukin, a Totley razor-grinder, and his life-long friendship with the academic, poet, writer, and free-thinker Edward Carpenter.

Eric Renshaw (pictured here on the right with Bob Carr) grew up and lived in Totley from 1932 to 1960. Many of his memories are of a sporting nature.

We are very grateful to Gordon Grayson for giving us this splendid sale document for the Norton Hall Estates, following the death in 1850 of Samuel Shore. The estates included a large part of Totley and the document has maps and illustrations, plus schedules of land and property with the names of tenants. We have also added a transcription of the entries for Totley and Dore. 

Watch this Youtube video of the talk given by Dr. Mark Frost and Sally Goldsmith on Ruskin, Totley and St. George's Farm. The talk was hosted by Totley History Group on 20th May 2015 as part of the Ruskin in Sheffield programme. Also enjoy a video of the outdoor performance Boots, Fresh Air & Ginger Beer written by Sally.

When Jacqueline A. Gibbons became interested in what made her father tick, it began a journey through WW1 archive records and led to her flying from Toronto to visit the house and village where he lived and the countryside that he so much enjoyed. Jacqueline reminds us that in the early 20th century Sheffield was a driving force of industry and that Totley was the place where many of its remarkable people lived and where they formulated their ideas.

Edgar Wood was the designer of The Dingle, 172 Prospect Road, built in 1904 for Rev. William Blackshaw, the founder of the Croft House Settlement. The house, together with its western terrace and boundary walls, has now been awarded Grade II listed building status. 

What was probably "the most perfect little garden railway in existence" in 1910 was to be found in the grounds of Brook House, Grove Road, the home of its designer and constructor, Guy Mitchell. Look at some wonderful photographs and read reports in newspapers and a full appreciation in Model Railways magazine. 

We have now completed our transcription of Totley School's Admission Records for the period from 1877 to 1914. There is also a useful index to the names of the scholars and to their parents or guardians. We are very grateful to Sheffield Archives and Local Studies Library for allowing us to transcribe and publish these records and for permission to reproduce the photograph of a specimen page of the register.

On 8, 9 and 11 November 2014 Totley History Group held an exhibition at Dore & Totley United Reformed Church to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. Below are additional links to some of the photographs we were lent and stories we researched especially for the exhibition.

 

Oscar Creswick was a local farmer who served with the Army Service Corps in Salonika and who after the war returned to Totley to become the innkeeper of the Cricket Inn and a member of the village's successful tug of war team.

 

Walter Evans was a market gardener who also ran a small grocery shop on Hillfoot Road when war broke out. He fought with the Machine Gun Corps at the fourth battle of Ypres. After the war, Walter ran a grocers shop at the top of Main Avenue.

 

Fred Cartwright was another Totley soldier who survived the Great War. He fought in France and Belgium and although he wasn't wounded he was gassed and was home on sick leave when his daughter was delivered by Nurse Jessop during a snowstorm in January 1917.

 

Maurice Johnson joined the Yorkshire Dragoons, a territorial unit, on 1 Jan 1914 and so was called up at the very start of the war. He fought throughout the war on the Somme, at Ypres and at Cambrai. After demobilization in 1919 Maurice returned to his old occupation in the steel industry.

 

Bill Glossop lent us a letter written by his father, William Walton Glossop to his wife describing life in the army during training in the north east of England and asking her to keep him in mind with the children.

 

The photo above provides a link to an album of photographs taken of WW1 Hospitals at St. John's, Abbeydale and the Longshaw Estate.

 

Nora Green, of Chapel Lane, was only 14 when war broke out. In 1914 she was ill with diphtheria and was sent to the isolation hospital at Holmley Lane, Dronfield. Nora recovered and wrote a letter of thanks to one of the hospital staff and the reply she received survives. 

 

We have collected together on this page the names of local men who appear on various War Memorials and Rolls of Honour in Totley, Dore, Abbeydale, Norton, Holmesfield and Dronfield.

 

Unfortunately we were unable to identify all the photographs we were lent of Totley Soldiers. Please take a look at this album to see if you recognize any of the missing names.

This walk visits locations that have strong associations with Totley during the First World War. It includes the homes of the ten soldiers from the village who lost their lives, the auxiliary hospitals, war memorials, and even the rifle range on which the soldiers trained. Take a look at the first draft of a new walk by the authors of "Totley War Memorial WW1 1914-1918"

We wish to thank the Trustees of Cherrytree for giving us permission to publish transcriptions of the Cherrytree Orphanage Admissions Book entries for the years 1866-1929. There is also an alphabetical index for you to look at.

With more people having access to faster broadband and mobile networks, we have uploaded seven full and unedited oral history recordings and also added more short excerpts for you to listen to.

Our transcriptions of local trade directories have been expanded to cover the 95 years from 1837-1932 and have also been indexed. From the days when there were a handful of farmers, stone masons, saw handle makers & scythe grinders to the wonders of the Totley Bridge Garage Company, Betty's Boudoir and The Heatherfield Shopping Centre.

We continue to add to our Totley Newspaper Archive. Recent entries have included several about The Plumbe Family, Thomas Glossop and accidents during the construction of Totley Tunnel.

Totley Church of England Parish Magazines for the years 1922-1939 and 1948-1967 with notices of births, marriages and deaths and accounts of spiritual, educational, charitable and social matters in the village. 

Around 90 photographs taken by Stuart Greenhoff for his thesis A Geographical Study of Dore and Totley including several of Totley Moor Brickworks. Superb!  

Chronologically ordered snippets of information recorded by Brian Edwards during his many years of research into our local history.

Read the inscriptions on more than 700 gravestones in  the churchyard.

 

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