July 1918
Littleborough’s History

Private Albert Mitchell Duckworth

Albert was born in Littleborough in 1888 and by 1891 he was living with his parents Joseph and Elizabeth at 11 Rock Nook with his elder 2 sisters Ruth (24 – Cotton Winder) and Clara (21 Cotton Weaver) and brother Arthur 7. By 1901 he was still living in Littleborough but the family had moved to 4 Lower Calderbrook although Joseph is not recorded. Elizabeth is also noted as his Grandmother. Arthur was employed in velvet work and Albert at 12 was a Woollen Piecer. By 1911 Albert (23 – Velvet Finisher) was married to Emma (25) and they had a daughter Amelia (2). Their cousin, Arthur Kelly who also worked as a Velvet Shearer also lived in the house at 4 Lower Calderbrook. Prior to enlisting in Rochdale, he was employed by the Littleborough Dying Company, Calderbrook.28 year old Private 381580 Albert Mitchell Duckworth 1st Bn The Kings (Liverpool Regiment) and formally 6222 South Lancashire Regiment died as a result of wounds to the back of the head in a Casualty Clearing Station near the village of Gezaincourt. Saturday the 20th July 1918, his body was interred in Grave Number III F 4 Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt, Somme, France. His name is inscribed on Littleborough Cenotaph, also on St. James’s (Calderbrook) Church, Roll of Honour and War Memorial. Private Duckworth left a widow who now lived at 3 Clough Head, Calderbrook and his child, Amelia together with sister Edith, brother Arthur and two aunts, Clara and Sarah. Under the Roll of Honour in the Rochdale Observer of 3rd August 1918 there were sentiments from his wife and child, his mother, brothers and sisters and his aunt, uncle and cousin.


2 Brothers killed in the same month – Privates George and Henry Lawrence Ainsworth

George was born in Blackburn around 1898 and Henry in 1891 and 1901 they were living at 52 Burton Street, Rishton with their parents, 36 year George Ainsworth (a Club Steward) and his 35 year old wife Sarah Ann. Their brother Thomas (born in 1890) who like his brothers lived in Wardle and he worked at Clegg’s Shore Mills, was killed in May 1915. The Burnley News for the 14th August 1918 reported under its headline “PADIHAM MOTHER’S LOSS – THREE SONS KILLED – A FORTH DIES AFTER OPERATION” – After detailing the death in action of her three sons in action in the war the report continued “At the outbreak of War Mrs Ainsworth had four sons and, sad to relate William Bromley Ainsworth, the one who did not join the Army, died after an operation in Rochdale Infirmary. Though Mrs Ainsworth has resided in Padiham for nine years, her sons only resided there a short time but all were very well known in Accrington and Rishton, two of them being in the Salvation Army Band at Rishton for a good many years”. They had a 4th brother did not join the army but died in Rochdale Infirmary sometime prior to July 1918.

Private George Ainsworth

George was born in Blackburn around 1898 and in 1911 George was living on New Road, Littleborough, and worked as a Doffer in a Cotton Mill. He was lodging with Mary E Berry, her son, his father George (51) and his two brothers Harry (19) and Willie (10) and Minerva Dearden. He worked for Messrs B F Evans and Co, Cotton Finishers at Clough Halse Mill and attended Watergrove Methodist Church Sunday school and latterly lived at Birch Road, Wardle. Private 33013 George Ainsworth, serving with the 1 Bn Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was killed in action on 10th July 1918 aged 20 and is buried in Le Vertannoy British Cemetery at Hinges, Pas de Calais, France. George is remembered on Wardle War Memorial and that of the United Methodist Church at Watergrove. The Rochdale Observer of 17th August reported on a well-attended Memorial Farewell service at the Union Methodist Church, Watergrove, conducted by Rev T A Jefferson of Littleborough in memory of George Ainsworth and his sacrifice. Sympathy was expressed with his relatives. The “Dead March” was played.

Gunner Henry Lawrence Ainsworth

Henry was born in Blackburn in 1891 and in 1911 he worked as a Weaver in a Cotton Mill also lodged with Mary E Berry, her son, his father George (51) and his two brothers George (13) and Willie (10) and Minerva Dearden (21). Harry Ainsworth married Minerva Dearden in 1912 and they had a son, William. They later lived in Jackson Street, Wardle per Rochdale Observer of 7th September 1917. Prior to enlisting in Rochdale he worked at Clegg’s Mill in Shore but the Rochdale Observer for 7th September 1918 also records that he had worked for Messrs B F Evans and Co, Wardle. Gunner Ainsworth 165006 90th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery was killed on 27th July 1918 and is buried in grave No IV B 11 Canada Farm Cemetery, Belgium.  It is believed that his battery was attacking Dome House and Road (South of St Elooi) from a location near Machine Gun Farm. At the time of his death he was on his way from the scene of action to come home on furlough when a stray shell exploded near him and caused instantaneous death. Gunner Ainsworth is remembered on the Shore Mills War Memorial and also on the Wardle War Memorial.

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