Littleborough’s History


Flight Sergeant Kenneth Chadwick Taylor

Kenneth was born in Littleborough on 20th May 1920, the son of John Albert and Eveline Taylor, of Littleborough, Lancashire. His mother married Arthur Crossley in 1920 and was later remarried to John A Taylor in 1928. Kenneth took the name Taylor when his mum remarried The 1939 register records Kenneth being a Slaughterman and Butcher living at  9 Glenfield, New Street,  Littleborough. Before he enlist around 18 months ago, Kenneth worked for Littleborough Co-op and earlier at the Marconi Wireless School. 22 yr old Flight Sergeant Taylor 1034269, 83 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, was initially reported as missing but was then declared to have died on duty on 31st December 1942 when the aircraft he was flying in, Lancaster I W4799 OL-S, on Operation Düsseldorf crashed with all 7 crew killed. Kenneth and the crew were buried in  Uden War Cemetery, Collective grave 2 I 2-7 and is remembered on Littleborough Cenotaph and Central School War Memorial. Lancaster pictured below.

Ordinary Seaman William Winstanley

William was born in Ashton in Makerfield on 16th September 1923, the son of Walter and Mary Ann Winstanley, of Littleborough, James Winstanley was his older brother and he had a younger sister Anne. In 1939 William was a Cotton Doffer and lived with his parents at 4 Whalley Avenue, Littleborough. His father was a Cotton Mill Labourer. It is unclear when William enlisted in the Royal Navy but when only 19 year old, Ordinary Seaman Winstanley P/JX 360242, Royal Navy, died at sea on 31st December 1942 when his ship HMS Achates was sunk by the German Cruiser Admiral HIPPER 135 east south east of Bear Island, when escorting Russian convoy JW51B. There were 113 survivors but 81 killed. He is remembered on PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Panel 66, Column 2 and on Littleborough Cenotaph and Central School War Memorial.


Private Arnold Hoyle

Arnold was born in Rochdale on 28th September 1908, the son of James and Florence Hoyle who in 1911 lived at 41 Berwick St, Rochdale. His father was a Law Clerk and Arnold had a younger brother Noel. He later gained 2 more brothers. Arnold went to Newbold School and was associated with Castlemere Christian Scientist Church. Prior to enlisting, Arnold was employed in a Hotel in London (kitchen porter). 34 year old Private Hoyle 2190797, 132 Company, Pioneer Corps, died of wounds on 1st December 1942. He was originally in buried Souk Ahras European Cemetery I C 4 but was reburied on 17th May 1944 by 30/GCU. His grave carries the message "In memories lane you are with us yet we loved you dearly to ever forget" His current grave is in Bone War Cemetery Annaba, Algeria, Grave No IV E 11 and Arnold is remembered on  St Annes War Memorial. The Rochdale Observer of 12th December 1942 reported that two of his brothers also served during WW2 with notification of Arnold’s death being given to his mother. Mrs Eley of 11 Lomond terrace, Rochdale.

Leading Aircraftman Charles Geoffrey Chadwick

Charles was born in Rochdale on 2nd March 1922, the son of Frank and Alice Chadwick nee Holt. Charles went to Rochdale Boys High School being a member of their  Boy Scout Group. On leaving school it is believed that he went straight to work at Thomas Robert and Son Ltd, Railway Works, Rochdale before being employed as a Junior Clerk in the Borough Surveyors Department in 1939. At that time he lived with his parents at 11 Bellshill Crescent, Belfield and had Frank Eric born and registered in Manchester in 1923. 20 year old Leading Aircraftman Chadwick 1507984 33,  Air Navigation School, Royal Air Force was killed on 13th December 1942 in an accident in Canada.  In bad conditions Anson W2491  hit some high trees killing Sgt Richard George Board; LAC Ernest Johnson; LAC Sidney Bressloff and Charles some one mile SE of Avon at 23.00 hours on a night navigation exercise out of Hamilton Ontario. Charles is buried in Mount Hope (St Pauls Anglican) Cemetery, R A F Plot, Grave No 10 and is remembered on  St Annes War Memorial. Anson Mk I pictured below

Able Seaman Harold Bland

Harold was born in Rochdale on 9th April 1913, the son of Henry and Elizabeth Jane Bland (nee Bell) of 115 Greenbooth, Norden. He was later the adopted son of Mrs Davies, 26 St Anns Road, Belfield. His mother died within the 3 months to June 1913 and his father married Susan Crouch on 2nd January 1926. Harold joined up in 1940 and spent the last 18 months in North Africa being wounded late1941/early 1942. Shortly after recovery, 29 year old Able Seaman Bland D/JX 266811, H M Tug St Issey, Royal Navy  was killed on 28th December 1942  when his tug boat was sunk off Benghazi by torpedoes from U-617. All 36 crew were lost. German submarine, U-617 ran aground after an air attack on 12th September 1943 and was finished off by the RAF and ship gunfire.  Able seaman Bland is remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 64 Column 2, (as Thomas Bland) and is remembered on  St Annes War Memorial.