Littleborough’s History

2 Littleborough Soldiers who fell post Armistice in

 December 1918

Driver Walter Travis

Walter was born in Walsden in 1881 but later lived in Victoria Street, Littleborough being associated with Greenhill Primitive Methodist Chapel’s Memorial and Littleborough Central School. However, by 1911 he lived in Scarborough with his wife Alice. He enlisted in March 1917 and one month later departed to East Africa via Durban. Whilst there, he suffered from Dysentery and Malaria amongst other ailments and was admitted to No 3 General hospital, Beach, Durban where he died from influenza at 3.30 on 13th December 1918. At the time Driver Travis M/302194 was serving with the Royal Army Service Corps (Mechanical Transport). Walter is buried in grave No F110, Durban (Stellawood) Cemetery and remembered on the Greenhill Primitive Methodist Chapel’s Memorial and on the Littleborough Central School’s Roll of Honour (now in the History Centre). His wife Alice received a cable on the 13th to advise that he was seriously ill but on Tuesday 17th December 1918 she was advised that he had died. The Rochdale Observer for 28th December 1918 included sentiments from his sorrowing wife, mother, sisters and brothers.

Private Thomas Kershaw

Thomas was born in Littleborough in 1887 and in 1891 lived with his parents Soloman and Esther and family at 1 Queens Rd. In 1901 Thomas was living with his widowed mother and family at 43 Peel Street, Littleborough. Thomas married Maud Dixon in Todmorden in 1908 and in 1911 they lived at 7 Nelson Street with both employed in cotton. Prior to enlisting at Rochdale, he worked at Sladen Wood. He was a keen sportsman, playing for the Littleborough Cricket Club and football with the Wesleyan Guild Team. For five years he was Captain of the Woodhall Billiard Team, Littleborough. 31 year old Private 49246 Thomas T, 17th Bn Kings Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) died of pneumonia and septic poisoning on Wednesday the 25th December 1918 in Sutton Venry Military Hospital, Wiltshire and was buried in Grave Number D.54 Littleborough (Dearnley) Cemetery with full Military Honours. Thomas’s name is on the Cenotaph in Littleborough, the Littleborough (Durn) Baptist Church War Memorial and on the Victoria Street Wesleyan Chapel War Memorial.