August 1918
Littleborough’s History

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Driver John Hulton - Picture

John was born in Bolton in 1897 and by 1901 was living with his widowed mother Sarah Ann (37 a Charwoman) and his sister May (7) at 6 Frederick Street, Littleborough. In 1911 the family were living at 2 Smith Street, Littleborough and had taken in a lodger. John was an apprentice butcher and May was a Cotton Weaver. He had his early education at Littleborough Central School and attended the Victoria Street Congregational Chapel. Prior to enlisting in Rochdale in 1915 he held the position of manager at the Argenta Meat Company’s butchers shop in Summit. Driver Hulton was badly wounded in May 1917 and was invalided home to England to recuperate. On regaining his health, he was again sent back to France some 7 months before he met his death. Sometime during the week ending 24th August 1918, Mr Amos and Mrs Hulton, received a letter from an officer serving in the Machine Gun Corps advising that their only son, 21 year old Driver 10058 John Hulton, 61st Bn Machine Gun Corps had been killed in action on Thursday 8th August 1918, the officer writing that his death had been instantaneous. John was buried in Row F Grave 13 Thiennes British Cemetery, Nord, France and is remembered. on the Littleborough Cenotaph, Littleborough Central School War Memorial, the Oddfellows, Lodge 3397, Roll of Honour – State Section  and on the Victoria Street Congregational Chapel War Memorial.


Private Lancaster Cockroft – alias Frank Fletcher

Lancaster was born in Littleborough in 1884 and at the time of the 1891 Census he was living at 24 William Street, Littleborough with his parents George (38) and Rachel (33) together with his brother Edgar (10) and Frank (2) and his sister Caroline (4). The children were scholars and his father was a Cotton Loom Tackler. By 1901 there was an additional child, Emmanuel aged 5. Lancaster was now employed as a Rodder at a Flannel Mill and his brother Edgar may have also worked at the same place as he was shown as a Flannel Maker Up. His father was now a Canal Porter. The family still lived at the same address in 1911 but by now his parent’s home was only shared by Lancaster and Emmanuel. Lancaster was now described as a Wrapper, Dyeing and Finishing Cotton and his father had also moved trade to become a Power Loom Overlooker, Cotton. Lancaster subsequently emigrated to Australia and joined the 6 Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force in January 1916 in Meatian, Victoria under the alias of Frank Fletcher and showed his next of kin as George Fletcher rather than George Cockroft. Private Fletcher (Cockroft) embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A23 Suffolk on 1 April 1916. He subsequently embarked from Alexandria on 31st May 1916 disembarking at Plymouth on 12th June 1916. He later left England to join his unit at Etaples France. He was granted leave in England late December 1917 but it is not known if he visited Littleborough. He was 34 years old when he was killed in action in France on 10th August 1918. An informant 6526 C E Morgan advised in a note dated N.A.T. 30/10/19 re 6attn. FLETCHER F No 5089 that “I knew the Casualty, he was a man of medium build, 5’ 7” in height, fair complexion, about 26 years of age. Casualty was at Daours during the advance and while going forward in attack was killed instantly by an enemy bomb. I did not see him killed but helped to bury him in a German Cemetery at Daours a little time later. There was a cross erected over his grave, bearing his name, number and unit”. Private Fletcher’s (Cockroft) grave was no doubt lost as he is now remembered on the Villers Bretonneux Memorial in France. His name is also recorded on the Littleborough Cenotaph and Holy Trinity War Memorials. Private Fletcher (Cockroft) showed his father, George Fletcher (Cockroft) as next of kin and living at 24 William Street, Littleborough but in his ‘will’ he declared that all of his possession were to be given to his friend, Mr G H Bourchier, c/o Meatian PO, Victoria, Aus, who received a parcel containing his belongings of 1 disc, 1 coin, 1 YMCA wallet, 1 letter, cards and 1 wallet.


Private Sidney Deemer Picture

Sidney was born in Littleborough in 1899 and by 1911 was living with his parents Charles (43 – labourer in the building trade) and Eleanor Ann (41) together with his sisters Lily (15) and Rose (13), both Cotton Weavers  as well as his brothers Douglas (7) and Bernard (4) at 2 Marsden Square, Littleborough. Prior to enlisting Private Deemer was employed at Cleggs Shore Mills, On Saturday 10th August 1918 20 year old Private 62815 Sidney Deemer, 15th Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers was killed in action in France, unfortunately, his body never recovered. At 8am the 10th August 1918, the 15th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers with Canadian forces (The 16th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers some 800 yards behind) left their jumping off trenches with their objective being the capture of Le-Quesnoy-en-Santerre and wood close to it (Wood 99). By 8:25 am their objective had been captured, pushing on the Battalion came under heavy machine gun fire which caused many casualties to both Battalions; nevertheless the advance was continued and by 9:20am had captured “Wood 101”, at that moment they came under heavy artillery fire causing many more casualties. During the rest of the morning despite sniper and machine gun fire, old German and French trenches of 1915 and 1916 and the heavy barbed wire protecting the trenches the greatly reduced combined units had by 10:30 entered the old German trenches west of Damery where they again came under heavy fire from both flanks. Despite this, they worked their way through a communication trench and captured a battery of German field guns. At 11:50 both Battalions were ordered to halt and consolidate the ground they had won but before the order reached them they had rushed a copse known as Bois en Equerre and captured a “pill box”. Despite German counter attacks, the units held on to what they had won. Late that night the 15th and 16th Battalions were temporarily amalgamated for tactical purposes on account of their heavy casualties, the Battalions being relieved during the evening of the 11th August. Sidney is remembered on Panel 5 and 6, Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France, Littleborough Cenotaph and the Victoria Street Wesleyan Chapel War Memorial and Clegg’s Shore Mills War Memorial. His parents later lived at 18 Bare Hill Street and to commemorate Private Deemer’s death, thes family had a Mourning Ribbon struck in his memory.


Private Harvey Bamford

Harvey was born in Littleborough in 1899 and 2 years later was living with his father John, mother Hannah and 2 sisters and his grandmother, Betty, at 11 George St Littleborough. By 1911 his father was the head of the family and there was another son Frank Mills aged (8). Prior to enlisting in Rochdale, Private Bamford lived at 11 Church Street and helped in his father’s window cleaning round. On Sunday 25th August 1918 Private 52242 Harvey Bamford, 10th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers was killed in action, his body interred in Grave Number VII. B. 32, Adanac Military Cemetery, Miraumont, Somme, France. From the 10th August - 25th August 1918 the 10th Bn took part in the general advance by British and Commonwealth forces, during the advance the Bn captured the village of Martinpuich, on the 25th a heavy German counter attack was repulsed, the action resulting in the Bn suffering heavy casualties. Sergeant H. J. Colley. M.M. for his part in the action was awarded (posthumously) the Victoria Cross. Harvey is also remembered on Littleborough Cenotaph and on the Littleborough Central School War Memorial. The Roll of Honour in the Rochdale Observer for 21.09.1918 included 2 entries from Uncle and Aunt and from 80 Sedgewick Avenue. The Wednesday 9th October edition noted that on the previous Sunday the preacher at Littleborough Congregational Church referred sympathetically to the death of Harvey at both services.


Private Norman Bielby

Norman was born in Littleborough in 1898 and in 1901 he lived with his parents John W (Domestic Gardener, born Flamborough) and Ada L (born Goole) and family at 2 Off Crowther Street, Littleborough. By 1911 it appears that the family had moved to Second Lane, Hessle with but there was no mention of Norman on the census, perhaps being temporarily absent on the day. Norman enlisted at Beverley, Yorks on date unknown but having gone to France, 19 year old Private Bielby 44679 of 2 Bn Lincolnshire Regiment (previously 86564 KOYLI) died of wounds 26th August 1918 and is buried in grave B6 in Fienvillars British Cemetery, France. His parents later moved to Anlaby Park Rd., Hessle, Hull..


Private James Thomas Rogers - Picture

James was born in Littleborough on 24th March 1886 (per Canadian Army records)  According to the 1891 census James T Rogers lived with his parents John H (25 – Labourer in a Clay Works) and Martha A (26 – Woollen Weaver) at 5 Nelson St, Littleborough. By 1901 they had moved to 28 Bare Hill and his father’s employment was now shown as Sanitary Tube Maker with James a Plumber’s Apprentice. James later emigrated to Canada and was married to Ethel who was born in Hamilton, Ontario. Private 690158 James Thomas Rogers, 116th Batt. Canadian Infantry died aged 32 on Tuesday the 27th August 1918 and is interred in Grave Number VIII C 13 Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, Pas de Calais, France.  He was the son of Mr John H. and Mrs Martha Rogers and the husband of Mrs Ethel Rogers of 3319 North Water Street, Philadelphia, U.S.A. However, on the country of birth James is shown as born in Canada in the Canadian Records. The Roll of Honour of the Rochdale Observer 26th October 1918 included Private Rogers with the comment that his wife and family reside at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The Rochdale Observer for 2nd November 1918 advised that “A former resident of the Littleborough District, Private J T Rogers (Ontario Regiment, Canadian Forces) was killed in action on August 27th. He has relatives at 143 Gale Road, Littleborough”. Overall, the available data appears to confirm that Littleborough born James Thomas Rogers did serve with the CEF.


Private Arnold Whitworth - Picture

Arnold was born in Littleborough in 1897 and in 1901 lived 151 Whitelees Road, Littleborough with his parents John William (33 an Under Carter for a Cotton Mill) and Emelia Elizabeth (32) together with his brothers James T (9) and Bernard (5) and William (10 months). By 1911 he had moved to 28 Milnrow Road, Shaw where he later enlisted. His parents were later in business at Shaw, living at 28 Milnrow Road. 21 year old Private 18290, Arnold Whitworth, 1st/4th Bn King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) died of wounds in a Casualty Clearing Station in France on Wednesday 28th August 1918 and was buried in Grave Number Iv B 28 Pernes British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Arnold is remembered on the Shaw War Memorial

#Hulton #Deemer #Rogers #Whitworth

Also

Pte Lancaster Cockroft

Pte Harvey Bamford

Pte Norman Bielby