Littleborough’s History



Whose 75 or 80 years Anniversary occurs this month – January 2019



Harold was born on 26th July 1914 with his birth registered in Rochdale. He was the son of Son of Isaac and Elizabeth Hoyle (nee Sutcliffe) who later lived at 140 Holly Bank, Shore Road, Littleborough. Besides Harold there were 3 brothers, Franks born 1912 Qtr 1, Fred b 1916 Qtr 3 and Clifford b1917 Qtr 2. When Harold lived in Littleborough he went to the Central School and was later employed by H Whittle, Bakery in Featherstall as a motor driver. In 1936 Harold joined the Lancashire Constabulary and later served in Leyland. In October 1938 Harold and another constable were awarded the police merit badge for diving into the Preston to Kendal (Lancaster) Canal and rescuing four Blackpool men trapped in a car which had been accidentally driven off the wharf side. Harold married his wife, Joy Vause (Cause) in 1939 Qtr 1 in Leyland and at the time the 1939 Register was compiled they lived at Wyre Bank, Garstang. Harold and Joy later moved to Churchtown, Garstang. In 1941, Harold received permission from the Constabulary to leave and join the RAF where he subsequently became a Flying Officer. Having served for around 3 years, Joy, his wife who was staying with her parent at Balfour St, Leyland was officially advised that her 29 year old husband, Harold was killed on active service on 21st January 1944. Details provided in the Rochdale Observer of 25th January 1944. Harold was buried in Leyland (St. Andrew) Churchyard, grave 10, plot 7, row O and his name is remembered on Littleborough Cenotaph and the Central School War Memorial (now in the History Centre).


Lance Bombardier Leonard Fogg

Leonard was born in Rochdale on 6th May 1918 the youngest child Joseph and Ellen Fogg (nee Forrest) who were married in 1907 and had daughter Nora in 1914 Qtr 4. Leonard went to Lower Place Council School and before enlistment in 1935 he was employed in the warehouse of Arkwright Mill, Hamer. In 1939 his mother was a paid domestic help at 201 Belfield Road. Also living in the house was Nora Smith (nee Fogg, probably her daughter and Leonard’s sister) who was employed as a Shoe and Slipper Machinist. The Rochdale Observer for 27th March 1942 reported that his parents living at 98 Royds Street were notified that their youngest son, 23 year old Leonard had been posted as missing. Lance Bombardier Leonard Fogg, 850829, Royal Artillery 7 Coastal Regt, died on 19th January 1944 working as a POW on the notorious Thailand - Burma Railway. Leonard is buried in Chungkai War Cemetery, grave 1 E 5 and is remembered on the Roll of Honour of the Thailand/Burma Railway. The Rochdale Observer of 21st August 1943 noted that Leonard was a prisoner of war and that he had previously been posted Malaya and Singapore for some 6 years. The 6th January 1945 edition reported that has parents living at 201 Belfield Road had been advised by Leonard that he was a POW following the fall of Singapore and was quite well (3 cards received the last one during Christmas week of 1944) In January 1945 the War Office notified his parents that returning PoWs had advised that their 25 year old son had died and although not confirmed by the Japanese Authorities there was no reason to doubt it.

Petty Officer (Electrical Artificer 4th Class) John Travis Greaves

John was born in Chorlton on 24th September 1921, the son of Joseph Travis and Florrie Greaves (nee Stockley) were married in married Qtr 3 1920 and also had a daughter called Dorothy T in 1924 (Qtr 4).  John never married and worked at Birch Mill, Heywood but is believed to have lived in Milnrow. Having joined the Navy 22 year old Petty Officer (Electrical Artificer 4th Class) J T Greaves, D/MX 102291, when serving on HMS Hardy was killed when his ship was attacked and seriously damaged by German Submarine No U-278 on 30th January 1944 whilst escorting a Russian Convoy north of Norway. Although badly damaged HMS did not sink but was purposely sunk by HMS Venue. Submarine U-278 was sunk by gunfire after the German surrender on the 31st Dec 1945. John is remembered on Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 90 Col 3 as well as on Milnrow and St James (Milnrow) War memorials. The Rochdale Observer for 19th February 1944 reporting his death noted that official notification of his death was given to his paternal grandmother who lived at 77 Rochdale Road, Milnrow.