Totley History Group
Totley History Group

WW1 Casualties A-E

Ernest Alderson


Ernest Alderson was born in Totley in 1880. His father was William Alderson who was born in Gainford, Durham in 1842, the third of six children of Christopher Alderson, a farmer, and his wife Mary Ann Richardson who married at Staindrop, Durham on 29 March 1837. Ernest's mother was Emily Smith who was born about 1842 in Willoughby, Lincolnshire, the daughter of Richard Smith, also a farmer. Ernest's parents married at the (Cathedral) Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Sheffield on 22 November 1869. Both were aged 27, William was a joiner living in Broomhill and Emily was living at Arundel Street, Sheffield.


The couple made their home at Abbey View, Derbyshire Lane, Norton where a son, Harry (Henry), was born on 29 September 1870 and baptised on 1 January the following year at Norton St. James. The Aldersons were still in Norton in the census on 31 March 1871 but they moved soon after as their next child, Ellen (Eleanor), was born in Dronfield on 8 November 1872. Two more daughters were born in Dronfield, Alice Maud on 4 Apr 1875 and Jessie on 5 July 1877. 

St. James Church, Norton St. James Church, Norton

However, shortly after they must have moved to Totley as the next child Ernest was born here on 5 January 1880. In the census on 3 April the following year, the Alderson family were recorded at Totley Rolling Mill, although that name was also applied to Bricky Row. A daughter Ethel May was born on 1 November 1882 but she lived only 19 days and was buried in Dore Christ Church. Finally William and Emily's youngest child, Minnie, was born in Totley in 1884. Some school admission records have survived from which we know that Alice, Jessie and Ernest attended Norton Free Church of England School and that Jessie and Ernest later went to Totley Church School. Unfortunately no dates of leaving are recorded but by the time of the next census on 5 April 1891 the family were to be found at 60 Chippinghouse Road, Sharrow. That address would remain the family home for the next twenty years but there would be many departures.


Firstly Henry married Margaret Booker at St Barnabas, Highfield on 17 September 1894. They had two children, Henry junior born on 7 June 1895 in Sharrow and Gladys born on 4 July 1899 in Crookes. Henry became a gardener. Next to leave was Alice Maud who married William Illingworth, a groom, at St. Barnabas on 5 September 1900. They had two children, Dorothy Hilda born on 26 May 1902 in Wortley and Evelyn born on 16 September 1904 in Sheffield. Both Jessie and Ernest married in 1906. Jessie married Ernest Leonard Fielder, a silversmith, on 4 July 1906 at St. Barnabas, Highfield. We have not found any children of the marriage. 


We will come to Ernest later but first we need to record the death of his mother. On 17 December 1906, Emily Alderson fell downstairs at home at 60 Chippinghouse Road and fractured her skull. She later died from her injuries. At the inquest the jury found a verdict of accidental death and also noted that they considered the stairs dangerous without a handrail. Emily was aged 63.  


Ellen Alderson married George Henry Dunstan, a plumber, at St Barnabas on 7 September 1898. They lived in Norton, Upperthorpe and later Mexborough and had four children but only John Harold, born on 28 June 1904, reached adulthood. 


William and Emily's youngest daughter Minnie died in 1909. She was aged 25 and unmarried. That left just her widowed father, aged 69, at home at Chippinghouse Road on census night 2 April 1911. He died in 1926 aged 84.


Ernest Alderson had become a life assurance agent but, having raised a capital sum of £150, he commenced business as a draper at 157 Fitzwilliam Street in April 1903. On 21 November his premises were burgled and, it was claimed, £80 of stock was stolen, very little of which was recovered when the culprit, Henry Marrison, was apprehended. Ernest's business soon failed and a receiving order was made against him on 30 December 1903. In court it was established that Ernest had not kept proper accounts, indeed any accounts, and that receipts were missing - he claimed they had been accidentally burned - and that his financial position had been made even even worse through betting. There was a deficiency of £216 13s 7d. Ernest's offer to pay 7s 6d in the pound was refused by his creditors and he was adjudicated bankrupt in February 1904. At a further court appearance in May the Official Receiver applied for a commitment but His Honour said that whilst he looked upon the case with very grave suspicion, he would refuse the application and give Ernest the benefit of the doubt as he felt that he was not "a very sharp person". 


In 1906 Ernest married Agnes Ethel Ronksley in Ecclesall Bierlow. Agnes was born on 18 March 1884, the tenth of eleven children of Arthur Ronksley, a scissors manufacturer, and his wife Sarah Hannah Hinchcliffe who had married at St. Mary's Church, Sheffield on 16 September 1869. After their marriage Ernest and Agnes left Sheffield and over the course of the next few years lived at many addresses in north Middlesex and south Hertfordshire including Hackney, Tottenham, Edmonton, Waltham Cross and Ponders End. Their three children were all baptised at St Luke, Hackney: Violet Agnes born on 22 February 1908, Ernest Sydney William born on 20 September 1911 and Henry Frederick born on 23 February 1913. Ernest was still a draper when Violet was born but thereafter he returned to his earlier occupation of insurance agent.


Ernest enlisted at Edmonton as Private number G/51868 in the Royal Fusiliers. He served briefly from 3-11 December 1916 in the 22nd Battalion before being posted to the 24th Battalion (City of London Regiment). His war ended when he was killed in action on 21 March 1918 during the Battle of Cambrai. He is buried at the Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery, Manancourt, Somme, France. He was awarded the the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Ernest does not appear on any local war memorial.

Ernest Alderson's Medals l/r: British War Medal, Victory Medal (Courtesy of Chris Emsley) Ernest Alderson's Medals l/r: British War Medal, Victory Medal (Courtesy of Chris Emsley)

Agnes also lost her younger brother during the war. Pte. Sydney Herbert Ronksley, number 7303, of the 2nd Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry died on 19 September 1914 at the Battle of the Marne. He was aged 26. Sydney is commemorated on the Hillsborough and Wadsley Bridge Parish War Memorial.


After the war, Agnes and the three children moved back to Sheffield and lived at 202 Sheffield Road, Wadsley Bridge and later at 138 Hangingwater Road, Ecclesall. On 11 July 1922 Agnes married John Lane, a gardener like his father Thomas, at the Parish Church, Owlerton. They lived at first at 8 Cheadle Street, Hillsborough. A son, John junior, was born the following year. 


It would appear that they later moved to 225 Nottingham Road, Burngreave as both Agnes and Ernest's sons died at that address. Ernest jnr, a cabinet maker's apprentice aged 18, died on 6 December 1929 and was buried at Burngreave Cemetery on 10 December. Henry, a clerk aged 17, died on 11 September 1930 and was buried in the same grave two days later. In the 1939 Register the Lane family were shown at 71 Fircoft Road, Shiregreen. Agnes died at 104 Homestead Road, Shiregreen and was buried with her two sons on 18 July 1958. She was aged 74. John Lane senior died the following year at Firvale Infirmary (Northern General Hospital) and was buried on 18 March. He was aged 82. 


Ernest's daughter Violet married James Horace Coxon, a surveyor, in 1932. It was, however, a bigamous marriage as James had married Teresa Mary Josephine Fitzgerald at the Catholic Church of Our Lady of The Rosary in Marylebone, London on 7 June 1920. She was the third daughter of Dr. Joseph Fitzgerald and his wife Mary Teresa Quinlan of Cappawhite, County Tipperary. James was sentenced to three years penal servitude for bigamy at Leeds Assizes on 4 December 1934 with a further 18 months imprisonment to run concurrently for theft, fraudulent conversion and falsification of accounts. He had been sentenced to imprisonment on at least two previous occasions for obtaining money by false pretences and fraudulent conversion: a term of six months in Leicester in 1929 and one of three months in Sussex in 1933. Teresa obtained a divorce in March 1936 whilst he was still in prison in Dartmoor. Violet and James remarried in 1938 and remained married until Violet's death on 7 August 1959 aged 51. James died in Rotherham in 1982, aged 89.




Charles Thomas Clarence Belbin

Clarence Belbin 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.




Clement Stanley Binns

Clement 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.




Colin Hedley Bishop


Colin Hedley Bishop, known as Hedley, was born in Dore on 8 April 1893 and baptized at Christ Church, Dore on 22 October 1893. He was the fifth child and second son of Colin Bishop, a gardener, and his wife Mary Ellen (nee Kirk) who were married at Dore on 4 June 1884.

Hedley Bishop's 1914-15 Star (Courtesy of Chris Emsley) Hedley Bishop's 1914-15 Star, and Yorkshire Dragoons cap badge (Courtesy of Chris Emsley)

By August 1897 Colin Bishop and his family had moved to Totley and in the 1901 census they were living at Rolling Mill, Totley Rise. Hedley attended Totley All Saints School until April 1906 when, at the age of 13, he left to start work. By the time of the 1911 census, Colin and Mary Ellen Bishop had ten children, six of whom were still living with them at Ivy Cottage (now called Mill Cottage) in Mill Lane, Totley Rise. Hedley Bishop was aged 17 and was working as a machine file cutter.


Hedley's paternal grandfather, Joseph Bishop, was a farmer and scythe maker who lived at High Greave Farm, Whitelow Lane, Dore. He died young being buried in Dore churchyard on 27 July 1871 at the age of 41 followed 8 years later on 13 July 1879 by his wife Mary, aged 49. The family of Hedley's mother, the Kirks, were from the area around Hope and they were also farmers.


When the First World War began, Hedley Bishop must have volunteered almost immediately and he became Service No. 2763 Private Hedley Bishop in the Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons. The regiment arrived at Le Havre in France on 16 July 1915 as part of the 17th (Northern) Division and were deployed to the Ypres salient. In September 1915 Hedley will have received the sad news that his 17 year old sister Doris had died.


On 1 July 1916 the Battle of the Somme began and on the first day 19,240 British soldiers died. The Yorkshire Dragoons were involved in the Battle of Delville Wood which took place between July and early September. This was a subsidiary attack of the Somme offensive and it seems very likely that Hedley Bishop was wounded during the fighting and eventually died of his wounds on 21 October 1916. He is buried in Grave K34 at Aveluy Communal Cemetery Extension. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star as well as the Victory Medal and British War Medal.


1916 was a year of tragedy for the extended Bishop family as two of Hedley Bishop's cousins were also killed. Maurice Bishop died at the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 and his brother Harry died on the Somme in September 1916.




Charles Cartwright 

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.




Herbert Collett 


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.

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 Co Herbert Collett's British Campaign Medals (L/R): British War Medal, Victory Medal (Photo: Chris Emsley)

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.




Charles William Collier 


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.




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Future Meetings



Unless stated otherwise our meetings are held in Totley Library on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm.

Pauline Burnett's book The Rise of Totley Rise has been revised and updated. It tells the story of this small piece of land from 1875 when there was only a rolling mill and chemical yard alongside the river a mile from Totley, through Victorian and Edwardian times, two world wars and up to the present day. It has 94 pages including a useful index and many illustrations from private collections. The book is available now from Totley Rise Post Office priced at £5, or through our website when an additional charge will be made to cover packing and postage.

A few copies are still available of Sally Goldsmith's book Thirteen Acres: John Ruskin and the Totley Communists. Totley was the site of a utopian scheme funded by art critic and social reformer John Ruskin. In 1877 he bought 13-acre St. George’s Farm so that nine Sheffield working men and their families could work the land and, to keep themselves busy, make boots and shoes. Sally tells an engaging story from our history with a quirky cast of characters including Ruskin himself, the poet and gay rights activist Edward Carpenter and Henry Swan, a cycling, vegetarian artist and Quaker. The book is available to order online from the The Guild of St. George by following this link.

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 local shops and via our website.  Further information about the correspondence is in this inside page of our website: Dore & Totley Minesweeping Trawlers Comforts Fund

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.

Totley All Saints' Church Parish Magazines for the years 1985-2006 with notices of baptisms, marriages and funerals and accounts of spiritual, educational, charitable and social matters in the village. Scanned in full, including advertisements from local traders.

In 1893 during the building of the Totley Tunnel there was an outbreak of smallpox amongst the navvies which spread to some of the local population. 17 people were buried in communal graves in Dore Churchyard, 6 from "Green Oak" (Lemont Road). The severity of the outbreak was principally caused by overcrowding and insanitary conditions in lodging houses .

Kathleen Grayson was a 39 year old housewife when WW2 broke out. She volunteered for the ARP and became an ambulance driver. During an air raid on Sheffield in July 1941, and despite her own injuries, she managed to get a seriously injured casualty to hospital. For this she was awarded a commendation from King George VI. Together with her friend Hilda Duffy, Kathleen also assembled a team of knitters to provide essential warm clothing for the men serving on the minesweepers patrolling the North Sea.

We have recently bought at auction the WW2 memorabilia of Douglas Platts whose family home was at Hillside, 98 Queen Victoria Road. After the war Douglas returned to his civilian occupation working in the family scissors manufacturing business. He lived in our area for the rest of his life.

We are very grateful to Mrs Valerie Taylor of Dore for lending us the title deeds to Lower Bents Farmhouse which is reputed to be the oldest surviving building in the area with a proven history back to 1621. We have now scanned and transcribed the deeds which could be particularly interesting to anyone with a connection to the local Fisher, Dalton and Marshall Families. 

Until 1844, when Dore Christ Church parish was created, Totley township was part of Dronfield parish. We have now transcribed the burial records for former Totley residents at St. John the Baptist, Dronfield for the period 1678-1870 and at St. Swithin, Holmesfield for the period 1766-1901.

Whilst researching the history of the Dalton Family we found it useful to transcribe a number of early Wills and Inventories. These and those of many other Totley, Dore and Holmesfield people dating from between 1594 and 1856 have now been added to our website.

St. Swithin's Church, Holmesfield pre-dates Dore Christ Church and was the place where many of the people from Totley worshipped and were baptised, married and buried. Read the inscriptions on more than 750 gravestones in the churchyard including those of Mr. and Mrs. William Aldam Milner of Totley Hall, Jessie Matilda Tyzack (nee Fisher) of Avenue Farm, and Rev. J. A. Kerfoot of St. John's, Abbeydale.

Thomas Youdan was a music hall proprietor and benefactor who was living at Grove House, Totley in 1867 when he sponsored the first football knockout competition in the world for The Youdan Cup.

The words Millhouses Cricket Club can be seen in the background of team photos which are likely to date from between 1905 and the early 1920s, very probably pre-war. They were lent to us by Garth Inman who can identify his great uncle, Cecil Inman, in some of the photos and would like to know when they were taken and, if possible, the names of others present. Please take a look to see whether you can put names to any of the faces. 

Josiah Hibberd was seriously injured whilst working on the construction of the Totley Tunnel in 1892. He died on 9 May 1897 at the age of 38 having apparently spent most of previous five years in hospital.

Bradway House was built around 1832 by Henry Greaves, a farmer, together with two adjacent cottages. We have traced most of the occupants of the property from these early days up to the start of World War Two.

We have transcribed the baptisms records at St. John the Evangelist, Abbeydale from when the church was consecrated in 1876 until just after the start of World War 1. The records are arranged in alphabetical order based upon the child's name and show the date of baptism, the names of the parents, their home location and occupation.

Nick Kuhn bought an original 1920s poster which had this owners' blind stamp in one corner. The stamp almost certainly refers to a house named Wigmore that was built in the late 1920s or early 1930s. The first occupiers that we can trace are John Howarth Caine, a district mineral agent for the LNER, his wife Florence Jane (nee Prince) and daughter Doris Mary. The Caine family lived at Wigmore until 1936 by which time the house would have been known simply as 12 The Quandrant.

George Griffiths died on 13 December 1888 following an explosion during the sinking of number 3 airshaft at Totley Bents. His widow Florence died shortly afterwards and his two daughters Maud and Annie were adopted separately. Whilst Annie lived the rest of her life in Yorkshire, Maud emigrated to Australia in 1923 with her husband, John Burrows, daughter Margaret and son Jack, pictured above.

George Wainwright was said to have been born in Bamford, Derbyshire in 1714. He learned the trade of linen weaving and moved to Totley after his marriage on 1744. He became an ardent follower of John Wesley who paid many visits to Sheffield and who would have passed through or close to Totley. Preaching was at first conducted out of doors and when Wesley's preachers became harassed by a mob of Totley ruffians in 1760, George offered them safety of his own home. He remained a Methodist for all of his long life, dying in Dore in 1821 at the reputed age of 107.

Oakwood School was started by Mrs Phoebe Holroyd in 1925 initially as the Firth Park Kindergarten and, by 1927, as the Firth Park Preparatory School. Phoebe was still working at the school almost fifty years later when she was well into her seventies. We would like to hear from anyone with memories of the school. 

James Curtis was born at sea aboard HMS Chichester in 1790. He enlisted as a Private in the 1st Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards in Sheffield in 1812 and served in Spain and Portugal during the Peninsular War. He later fought in France and Belgium taking part in the Battle of Waterloo. In later life James lived at the Cricket Inn where his son-in-law William Anthony was the licensed victualler. He died in Heeley in 1882 aged about 91. 

Charles Paul lived in Totley in later life. He was a local historian and archaeologist who was an authority on the history of Sheffield, especially the two areas he knew best: Attercliffe and Ecclesall. His books and letters to local newspapers were published under the Latin form of his name Carolus Paulus.

Towards the end of the 19th century Totley Hall gardens became a well known beauty spot that attracted many hundreds of visitors from Sheffield on open days and the rock gardens became one of its most popular features. Mrs Annie Charlesworth sent us six glass transparencies of the rock gardens taken, we believe, in the early years following the Great War.

Anton Rodgers send us photographs of three water-colours that had been bought by his grandfather at a sale of the contents of Abbeydale Hall in 1919. One was of a scene said to be in York by A. Wilson. A second was of a seated child with a dog believed to be pianted by Juliana Russell (1841-1898). The third was of Lake Como, by Ainslie Hodson Bean (1851-1918) who lived for much of his life on the Riviera and in North Italy.

A Canadian correspondent sent us photographs of a set of silver spoons that were bought in a small town in British Columbia. The case contained a note signed by Ebenezer Hall indicating that they were a wedding gift to Maurice and Fanny Housley. We think we may have traced how they got to Canada and where they might have been since.

Green Oak Park was opened on 23 March 1929 on land that had been bought by Norton District Council from John Thomas Carr, a farmer and smallholder of Mona Villas. In later years, the buildings were used by the Bowling Club (the green having been built in 1956) and by the park keeper. However, the buildings appear to have been constructed in several phases, the oldest of which predates the park to the time when the land was used for pasture.

We believe the old Totley Police Station at 331 Baslow Road was built around 1882. Two lock-up cells were excavated just below floor level in the summer of 1890. We have traced the Derbyshire Constabulary police officers who lived there from John Burford in 1886 to George Thomas Wood who was there when Totley was absorbed into Sheffield in 1934.

David Stanley lived in Totley Rise in the later years of his life. Born in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, he joined the 17th Lancers when he was 19 and rode in the Charge of The Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava where he was seriously wounded. For the first reunion of veterans in 1875, he told his story to a reporter from the Buxton Herald.

This picture postcard was addressed to Miss Abell, Holly Dene, Totley Brook Road and posted in Rotherham on 10 December 1907. Edith Annie Abell was born on 4 February 1887 in Sheffield and her family came to live in our area in the 1900s, staying for the rest of their lives.

Charles Herbert Nunn enlisted in the British Army on 23 August 1915 and was sent to France on 18 December 1915 to served with the British Expeditionary Force. In March 1916 it was discovered that he was underage and he was returned home. Shortly after his 18th birthday he re-enlisted and was again posted abroad where, in addition to this trio of medals, he was awarded the Military Medal. 

This certificate was awarded jointly by the Red Cross and St. John's Ambulance to Isaac Henry Williams, of Lemont Road, for his services during WW1 as a stretcher bearer. We are seeking anyone who can help us pass it on to a living relative.

In 1832 Samuel Dean pleaded guilty to stealing a quantity of lead from the Totley Rolling Mill and was sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia. He sailed on the Mangles and upon arrival in New South Wales he was sent to work for William Cox, the famous English explorer and pioneer. After receiving his Certificate of Freedom in 1840, Samuel became a farmer and went on to have a very large family. Samuel was born in Whitechapel around 1811 to parents Samuel Dean Snr. and Susannah Duck. His descendant Sarah Dean would like help in tracing his ancestry.

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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