Littleborough’s History










Gunner Fred Shaw

Fred was born in Littleborough in 1889 and have lived in Church St by 1911 the family, parents Edwin and Alice and his brother Edwin were living at 29a Featherstall Road with Fred a Warehouseman, Maker Up. Fred married Margarite Jane Coward in 1914 and was employed at Clegg’s Shore Mills. Gunner Shaw enlisted and joined 7th Co, Kings Royal Rifle Co but was discharged shortly afterwards. He rejoined the army in June 1917. However, 9 months later, 29 year old Gunner 165108 Fred Shaw, 32nd Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, was killed in action on Tuesday 9th April 1918 and is buried in Grave Number III C 10 Royal Irish Rifles Graveyard, Laventie, France. Fred is remembered on Littleborough Cenotaph and Clegg’s Mills War Memorial. The Roll of Honour of the Rochdale Observer of 4th May 1918 included sentiments from his loving wife of 38 Featherstall Road and from Mr and Mrs Cowlishaw. Mrs Fred Shaw thanks all friends for kind words and letters. His widow later remarried and became Mrs Foxton of 38 Featherstall Road,

Private Frank Laurence West.

Frank was born in Denton in 1899 and later lived in Leigh, Lancashire. It is recorded that Frank enlisted in Rochdale but lived in Littleborough at the time of his death. 19 year old Private 42825 Frank Laurence West, 4th Bn South Staffordshire Regiment (formerly S/306804 Royal Army Service Corps) was killed in action in the course of day to day trench warfare on Wednesday 10th April 1918. His name inscribed on Panel 6 Ploegsteert, Memorial, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium.

Private John Chapman Leach

John was born in Littleborough in 1884 and in 1911 he was living with his mother at 68 Featherstall Road, Littleborough being employed as a Cotton Weaver. John went to Holy Trinity church and school. He subsequently got married and moved to Middleton where he enlisted. 33 year Private 37208, John Chapman Leach, Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment) 1st/4th Bn was killed in action on Thursday 11th April 1918 and is buried interred in Grave Number I P 35 Rue-Petillion Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix, France. His name inscribed on Littleborough Cenotaph and Holy Trinity War Memorials. The Rochdale Observer for 22nd May 1918 reported that at evensong, the Rev Gaskell conducted a memorial service to the memory of Privates E H Rigg, W Howarth and J C Leach.

11 Private John Willie Beaumont

John Willie was born in Rochdale in 1895 and in 1911 he lived at 16 Frederick Street, Littleborough with his mother Elizabeth and his brother George. John Willie was employed as a Cotton Weaver whilst his brother was a Calico Printer Labourer. He married Leah Riley in 1915 and enlisted less than one year later in June 1916 at which time he was employed at Clough Printworks, Littleborough. He later lived at 16 Birch Road, Wardle. The Rochdale Observer for 25th May 1918 reported that his wife having had news of him being missing later had it confirmed that 32 year old Private Beaumont 203194, 1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers was killed in action on 12th April 1918 when the Germans attacked at Neuf Berquin, Bn withdrawal to Vieux Berquinn. John is remembered on Panel 4 on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Wardle and St Andrews Church War Memorials. His wife, later remarried and as Leah Bamford lived at 12 Springfield Avenue, Calderbrook Road. Littleborough

Private Jesse Greenwood

Jesse was born in Littleborough in 1879 and in 1911 he was a single man living at 89 Summit being employed as a Cotton Weaver (Calico). Prior to enlisting in Rochdale he was employed by the Sladen Wood Mill Company. He later married because his wife, Mrs Betty Foster Greenwood of 1 Grove, Todmorden Road was advised that 39 year old Private 242419 Jesse Greenwood, 1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers died of wounds on Sunday 14th April 1918 possibly during the German attack on Neuf Berquin. Jesse was buried in Grave Number I A 18 Ebblinghem Military Cemetery, France and is remembered on Littleborough Cenotaph.

Private Renice Leach

Renice was born in Littleborough in 1885 and lived at 107 Featherstall Road with his parents William and Sarah and brother and sisters. Prior to enlisting in Rochdale Renice worked as a Weaver at Frankfort Mill, Durn. 32 year old Private 282213 Renice Leach, 2nd/5th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers was killed in action on Sunday the 14th April 1918 by a burst of a shell when in the front line trenches Givenchy. He is remembered on Panel 45 and 46, Loos Memorial, France, Littleborough Central School War Memorial and on the Cenotaph in Littleborough. The Roll of Honour in the Rochdale Observer for 18th May 1918 included five sentiments from his family.

Private Albert Edward Dodgeon

Albert was born in Burnley around 1898 and continued living there with his parents in 1901 and 1911. 19 year old Private 38724 Albert Edward Dodgeon, 11th Bn South Wales Borderers, was killed in action in France on May the 15th April 1918 and is remembered on Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium. His parents, Albert and Mary Ann later lived at 9 Greenhill, Calderbrook with Albert being a member of the Greenhill Primitive Methodist Chapel. Albert is also remembered Greenhill Primitive Methodist Chapel War Memorial and on Littleborough Cenotaph

Link to the first ATS Girl to be killed in action during WW2

Private William Edward Ward

William was born in the Fylde in 1891 but by 1901 was living with his parents James, a Butcher and Grocer and Agnes and his brothers Thomas, John and James and sisters Annie and Dorothy at 361A Halifax Road. By 1911 William and his brothers Thomas and John were mill hands in the Cotton industry whereas his sister Dorothy worked in the Woollen Trade. The Rochdale Observer of 1st May 1918 noted that he lived at 72 Halifax Road and worked in the asbestos department of Turner Bros Ltd, Spotland. He was injured when in action at Armentieres and was later invalided to a hospital in England where he died from the wounds received on Wednesday the 24th April 1918. His body brought home to his parents who had him buried with Military Honours in Littleborough (Dearnley) Cemetery in grave No B.12a. The Rochdale Observer of 1st May 1918 reported on a Memorial Service held on Sunday eve in St John’s church, Smallbridge with special reference to Tom Jackson, J C Butterworth and W E Ward who were connected with the church Sunday school. There is a William E Ward listed on the St John’s Church War Memorial located in the church yard accessed off the main road.

Private Frank Price

Frank was born in Littleborough in 1897 in 1901 lived with his parents John William, a decorator and Mary and his sisters Clara, Martha Jane and Margeret at 3 Shore Hill. By 1911 the family now enlarged with 3 sons Charlie, Jack and Arthur lived at 5 Gate House, Blackstone Edge Road. Prior to enlisting in Rochdale he was employed by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway as a porter at Rochdale but still lived with his parents at the same address. The Rochdale Observer for 20th November 1915 included a list of Church Lads Brigade members who had enlisted including Frank Price. During May 1919, his parents appealed to anyone who had any information as to his health or whereabouts to contact them. However by weekending 31st May 1919 it was later officially confirmed that Littleborough born 22 year old Private Frank Price 241390 D Co. 1/6th Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers who had been wounded and taken prisoner on 21st March 1918 had died of his wounds in a hospital in Germany on Friday 26th April 1918. He is buried in Grave Number I. B. 73 Le Cateau Military Cemetery, France. Frank is remembered on the Littleborough Cenotaph, the Holy Trinity War Memorial, the Oddfellows, Lodge 3397, Roll of Honour – State Section and Littleborough (Durn) Baptist Church War Memorial.

Private Frank Law Fish

Frank was born in Littleborough in 1899 and in 1901 he lived with his parents Thomas (a Joiner) and Edith Annie at 107 Halifax Road, Littleborough. By 1911 the family had moved to 60 Todmorden Road, Summit where his father was a Fruiterer – shopkeeper and his mother was shown as assisting in business. He now had a sister Gladys and his aunt Ester Grace also lived with them. Prior to enlisting in Rochdale in February 1917, Frank Law Fish was employed as a Weaver at Messrs Fothergill & Harvey's Sladen Wood Mill and was secretary of the choir of the Ebenezer Congregational Chapel, Summit, a church he was strongly associated with. Mr & Mrs T Fish 79 Todmorden Road, Summit were officially informed that their only son, 19 year old Private 82268 Frank Law Fish, 20th Bn Durham Light Infantry had been killed in action on Sunday 28th April 1918, his body interred in Grave Number VI A 15 Duhallow A.D.S. Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium. His name is on the Ebenezer Congregational Chapel, Summit War Memorial as well as on Littleborough Cenotaph. On Sunday evening 9 June 1918 there was a memorial service held at the chapel in honour of his memory. There is also a F. L. Fish on the War Memorial of Littleborough (Durn) Baptist Chapel located in Littleborough Library.

Private Sam Eddison

Sam was born in Littleborough in 1897 and having lived with his grandparents in Littleborough was by 1911 living with his parents Herbert and Emma Eddison and his 2 younger brothers, Maurice and Hubert at 8 Davyhulme St, Rochdale. Prior to enlisting, Sam was employed by the L&Y Rly Co as an assistant signal fitter at Smithy Bridge Station. When in Rochdale he attended the meetings of the Rochdale Brotherhood at the Empire Hall. The family later moved to 39 Dean Street, Hamer, Rochdale. He enlisted in Rochdale on 1st August 1916 and went to France in Christmas of that year but returned to England wounded in October 1917. On 31st March 1918 he returned to France (and ultimately Belgium) but less than 3 weeks later was reported missing. 21 year old Private 32864 Sam Eddison, “D” Company 1st Bn, Lincolnshire Regiment was killed in action between Stazyer Cross Roads and Scott Farm, Wytschaete on Tuesday 16th April 1918. He is not remembered on local memorials but his name is inscribed on Panel 35 to 37 and 162 to 162A, Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium.

Private Reginald Watts

Reginald was born in Dearnley in 1894 and in 1901 was living with his parents John, a police constable and Grace E and brother Harry at 86 Dearnley, Littleborough. By 1911, this family were living in Didsbury with Reginald being a Servant. 24 years old Private Watts 12492, 20th Bn Manchester Regiment was killed in action in Italy on 18th April 1918 and is buried in Plot 3 Row C Grave 1 at Boscon British Cemetery, Italy.

Major Frank Northey Harston Military Cross

Frank was born in Littleborough in 1890 and in 1891 aged 7 months he lived with his parents John Edward, an Architectural Clerk and Bessie Ann together with his elder brother Thomas and his maternal grandmother Betsy Plucknett at 20 Frankfort Terrace .Frank later boarded at  a Preparatory School in Southampton before his family moved to S E London where they were in 1911. Major Frank Harston later gained the Military Cross and his Citation in the London Gazette of 18th July 1917 “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He rendered most valuable service as Brigade Major during the advance. When a gap occurred he proceeded at great risk of capture and under continuous fire to rectify matters before daylight. He set a magnificent example throughout”. 27 years Major Frank Northey Harston MC, 11th Brigade, East Lancashire Regiment was killed in France on 22nd April, 1918 and is buried in grave B7 Gonnehem British Cemetery, France. According to probate records he lived at Elmwood, Kineton Road, Olton, Warwickshire.

Private George Smith

George was born around 1888 and having spent time in the Union Workhouse at Birch Hill he later lived in Castleton. George married Mary Alice Chadwick in 1909 and 2 years later the couple were living with her mother, Elizabeth Chadwick at 31 John Street, Wuerdle. They had a 1 year old daughter, Sarah Elizabeth (born at home on 24th November 1909). They later had a son, George Thomas who was born on 7th January 1915. Prior to enlisting, George was a Flannelette Raiser for Messrs W H Heap & Co, Durn, Littleborough. He was well known in the Smallbridge District being an instrumentalist in the Salvation Army Band. George enlisted in Rochdale on 15th July 1915 when 28 years 7 month old.  On 29th September 1916 George sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne. He served in France and Belgium for some 18 months but 30 year old Private George Smith, 93080, 2nd Bn Durham Light Infantry was killed in action on 23rd April 1918 when he was hit by a shell when positioned near the Menin Road beyond the Hooge Crater near Clapham Jcn/Stirling Castle. Private Smith is buried in Brandhoek Military Cemetery No 3 in Grave II O 23 and is remembered on the Wardle War Memorial The Rochdale Observer for 15th June 1918 reported that his wife had moved to 31 John st, Smallbridge. His wife was awarded a pension of 25/5 per week (£1.27).

Sergeant Samuel Lomas

Samuel was born in Glossop, Derbyshire about 1896 but soon moved to Littleborough. In 1911 Samuel was a labourer in a Dyeing Works and lived at 10 Back Centre Vale with his widowed mother, Liza and 3 sisters Eliza (9), Maud (12 - part time scholar and working in a Ring Room) and Mary Ellen who was now a Ring Spinner Cotton.. The Rochdale Observer for 8th May 1918 noted that (prior to enlisting in Rochdale) he worked at Grove Dying Co, Littleborough and that he lived at 6 William Street. Sgt Samuel Lomas 19682 of 1 Bn King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), was killed on 1st April 1918 and is buried in grave number No V C 9 in Bailleul Road East Cemetery, St. Laurent-Blangy, France and is remembered on the Littleborough Cenotaph and Wardle War Memorial. The Roll of Honour in the Rochdale Observer for 1st June 1918 included sentiments from his sorrowing sisters Eliza and Maud and from sister Anne and family of 6 William Street, Hurstead.

Private James Frank Taylor

It is believed that James was born in Littleborough in 1884 and lived at 3 Travis Street, which was off Todmorden Road, with his parents James and Hannah. They later moved to Todmorden and James also lived in Bacup. Private Taylor 203828 enlisted in Preston and served with the 12th Bn (Kings Liverpool Regiment) and was killed in action on 2nd April 1918 and is remembered on the Pozieres Memorial, France.

Private Frank Crossley

Frank was born in Littleborough in 1893 and in 1911 lived with his family at 40 Ealees Road. Frank was employed in a woollen mill, his father, David ran a grocery business assisted by his mother, Mary. Ethel, his sister worked in a Flannelette Mill. Prior to enlisting in Rochdale in 1916, Frank attended the Baptist school, Littleborough and was employed as a Jigger at Ealees Dyeing Company. The family then lived at 48 West View, Durn. Frank joined the 5th Lancashire Fusiliers and later transferred to the 16th Bn late April 1917. A year later, 25 year old Private Frank Crossley, 204312 of the 16th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers (2nd Salford Pals), was Killed in Action on the 5th April 1918 whilst his Battalion were in support trenches Quesnoy Farm, Douchy-Les-Ayette. Private Crossley is buried in Quesnoy Farm Military Cemetery. Frank is remembered on Littleborough Cenotaph, Littleborough (Durn) Baptist Chapel and Littleborough Central School War Memorials and a family grave in St Andrew's Churchyard.

Private John Alfred Buckley

John was born at 4 Higher Calderbrook, Littleborough in 1899 and continued living there with his parents Robert William and Alice. Unfortunately his mother died on 3rd August 1907 aged 32 leaving 2 children, John and Joseph.  His father remarried in 1908 and in 1911 he and Mary Elizabeth were living at 9 Chestnut Place of Ramsey St, Rochdale. The family later returned to 13 Street, Calderbrook. 20 year old Private 42085 John Alfred Buckley, 12th Bn Suffolk Regiment died of wounds on Tuesday 16th April 1918 and is buried in Grave No III C 21 Erquinghem-Lys Churchyard Extension, France. John Alfred is remembered on St. James’s (Calderbrook) Church, Roll of Honour and War Memoria and there is an Albert Buckley on the Littleborough Cenotaph.