Littleborough’s History

THE SECOND WORLD WAR

CASUALTIES OF WHO WERE RESIDENTS OF THE PENNINE TOWNSHIPS

Whose 75 or 80 years Anniversary occurs this month –  June 2019


LITTLEBOROUGH

Fusilier John Ellis

John was born in 1918 (Qtr 4) registered in Rochdale, the son of Harry and Elizabeth Ellis (nee Duckworth), of Littleborough, Lancashire who were married in 1918. He had a sister, Olive born 10th June 1920. In 1939 Elizabeth and Olive were living at 21 Furness Ave, Littleborough although John wasn’t recorded. Fusilier John Ellis joined the 1st Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers which was based in British India. During the Burma Campaign the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers became a Chindits formation. The Chindits, (Long Range Penetration Groups), were special operations units for raiding operations against the Imperial Japanese Army. Their operations were marked by prolonged marches through extremely difficult terrain, by underfed troops often weakened by diseases such as malaria and dysentery. There is controversy over the Chindits and the extremely high casualty rate. 25 year old Fusilier Ellis 3451706, 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers was killed in action on 3rd June 1944 at Tapaw Ferry near Lakum on the Mogaung River along with Cpl Spry, Pte Clay, Pte Tattersall, Pte Taylor all Chindits. John is named in the 77th Indian Infantry H Q War Diary. John is buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery, grave 14 F 2 and is remembered on Littleborough Cenotaph and Holy Trinity War Memorial.


Flight Lieutenant William Michael Conlon DFC

William was born around 1921, the son of Martin and Margaret Conlon, of Littleborough, Lancashire. He attended St Bede’s College, Manchester.  Prior to William joining the RAF he worked at Breda Visada but whilst the enlistment date is unknown, he was not at home when the 1939 Register was taken. His parents were at the time living at 11 Box St, Littleborough, with his father being a Bread Baker. After his first tour of duty he spent time as Liaison Officer on a USAF base in southern England. During his home leave he worked towards just settlements for Catholic Educational claims and the Wings for Victory Campaign. It is likely that he was associated with St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Littleborough. 23 year old Flight Lieutenant William Michael Conlon DFC, 133539, 156 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve was killed in action on 8th June 1944 when he was 2nd Navigator on Lancaster III ND577 GT-E bomber which as Deputy Master Bomber (Aircraft) crashed at Les Mesnuls (Yvelines) 13km north of Rambouillet, whilst on Operation Versailles. All 8 crew were killed. William is remembered on the Roll of Honour Board at St Bede’s Roman Catholic College, Whalley Range, Manchester, Littleborough Cenotaph and Breda Visada War Memorial now in Littleborough Library.


Lance Corporal Eric Sutcliffe Wallwork

Eric was born in 191 (Qtr 4) registered in Rochdale, the son of Herbert and Edith Wallwork (nee Sutcliffe) of 8 Furness Avenue, Littleborough. They had a younger son, Fred born in 1919. Eric went to Central School, Littleborough and was associated with St Barnabas Church in Shore and prior to enlisting in the Army in early 1940, he worked as a Mechanic at Breda Visada. Eric married Marjorie Howarth in Littleborough on 26th December 1940 presumably whilst on leave. Marjorie later lived at 4 Furness Avenue. Lance Corporal Eric Sutcliffe Wallwork spent three and a half years abroad in North Africa, Sicily and Italy but sadly died in hospital on 22nd June 1944 from injuries received in an accident. Eric is buried in grave VII B 23 at Bari War Cemetery in Italy and is remembered on Littleborough Cenotaph Littleborough Central School War Memorial (now in the History Centre), Wardle and Breda Visada War Memorials. His brother Fred was killed in action just four months earlier, aged 24 with the result that their parents lost both sons to the war. Many details extracted from Rochdale Observer 15th July 1944).


LITTLEBOROUGH and MILNROW

Telegraphist Bryan Johnson Butterworth

Bryan was born in Rochdale on 14th May 1925, the son of Edwin and Elizabeth Butterworth (nee Johnson) of Glen Villa, Buckley Hill, Milnrow. He was one of four children, Glenada born in 1915, Edwin V in 1917 and Herbert in 1922. The family may well have lived in Littleborough as Bryan attended Littleborough Central School. He also studied at Milnrow Church of England day school and was associated with Milnrow Parish Church and Sunday School. Before joining the navy on 12th May 1943, Bryan worked as a clerk in the Garfield Spinning Company in New Hey. Just over 2 year after joining the navy, 19 year old Telegraphist B J Butterworth, D/JX 574758, serving on H.M.S. Nith was one of 9 killed on 24th June 1944 when his ship was attacked by a modified JU-88. Bryan is remembered on Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 88, Column 3 as well as on Littleborough Central School War Memorial (now in Littleborough History Centre). Brian’s death was reported by the Rochdale Observer on 5th July 1944. The report also advised that his brothers were also serving in the forces. The edition of 8th July 1944 added that On Sunday evening the preacher at Milnrow Church, the Rev G Wilson, (Vicar) made sympathetic reference to the death of Telegraphist Bryan Johnson”.


MILNROW SOLDIER KILLED ON D-DAY

Sergeant Ronald Fielding

Ronald was born in Rochdale on 1st April 1915, the 3rd son of Harold and Isabella Fielding (nee Heys) 385 Albert Royds Street brothers Wilfred (1910), Arnold (1913), Herbert (1917) and sister Doris (1920). The 1939 Register records Roland living at 385 Albert Royd Street with his widowed mother and his brother Arnold and Herbert with all 3 being employed as Paper Makers. Prior to enlisting in 1941 Roland worked for J J Makin Ltd, Wallhead Mills, Rochdale, paper makers. Roland married Grace Pollitt from Shaw who at the time was serving with the ATS, in Rochdale Methodist Church, Ballie Street on 12th December 1942. The Rochdale Observer of 23rd October advised that Roland, then a Corporal, had written to his mother in October 1943 advising that he had been injured (at Salerno) but was expecting to be released from hospital on the following day, 11th October 1943. 29 year old Sergeant Roland Fielding PO/X 106789, 41 Commando, Royal Marines was killed in action during the landings at Sword Beach, Normandy on D-Day, 6th June 1944 and was buried In Hermanville War Cemetery, grave No1 O 3. The Rochdale Observer dated 1st July 1944 in reporting his death noted his address as 38 Lyon Street, Shaw. The paper also advised that his grandfather, Harry Heys was a famous local athlete and that one of his brothers, (Arnold), was serving with the Cameron Highlanders.  The edition of 8th July 1944 carried sentiments from Isabella, his mother and his wife Grace living in Shaw, his aunt Annie, uncle Leonard and cousin Reggie, brother Wilfred, sister-in-law Ivy and nephew Harold of 24 Bingley Road, brother Arnold (serving overseas), sister-in-law Molly and babies Arnold & Barbara, 1-2 Court, St John’s Street, brother Bert and Madge, only sister Doris and brother-in-law Ernie and baby Beryl and The Family in Oldham and Shaw. Their birthday remembrances were also carried in the Rochdale Observer on 6th January 1945 and similarly remembrance on 9th June 1945. Amongst the sadness the Rochdale Observer of 6th January 1945 announced the birth of June, daughter of Ronald and Grace who was born on 29th Dec 1944. Grace later lived in Marton Blackpool. Sergeant Fielding is remembered on the St Anne’s War Memorial.


2 BROTHERS KILLED ON THE SAME DAY

In Tank Battles In Northern France – Just weeks after D-day.

Trooper Hammond Lord

Hammond was born in Rochdale on 14th July 1913, the eldest son of Abraham and Mary Lord (nee Booth). His younger brother Harold (see below) was born in 1915. Prior to volunteering for service in November 1939, he was employed by Walter Beattie, painter and decorator of Newhey Road, Milnrow and was a member of Milnrow Working Men’s Club. He married Kathleen Midgley of Milnrow, Lancashire early in 1940 who later lived at Wildhouse Cottage Milnrow. In May/June both brothers were evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk, France. Hammond’s son was born in later on in 1940. He was called Harold, presumably after his younger brother. The Rochdale Observer of 22nd July 1944 reported on the tragic death of the two Lord Brothers killed on the same day serving in Royal Armoured Corps. 30 year old Trooper Hammond Lord, 3452347, 3rd Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment, R.A.C. was killed in action on 28th June 1944 at Cheux West of Caen Operation Epsom Hill and is remembered on the Bayeux Memorial, France, Panel 8, Column 3. Hammond is also remembered on Milnrow and St James’s War Memorials. The Rochdale Observer of 30th June 1945 carried sentiments from aunt Clara and uncle George 112 lived 123 Royds St in 1939.


Trooper Harold Lord

Harold was born in Rochdale on 19th July 1915, the younger of two sons born to Abraham and Mary Lord (nee Booth). His elder brother Hammond (see above) was born in 1915. Harold was called up for military service at the outbreak of war having previously worked as a Tanner for Littleborough Tanning Co (itself set up by emigres from Europe). Harold was a member of Milnrow Working Men’s Club. In May/June both brothers were evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk, France. He married Helen Brown at Littleborough Register Office on 11th March 1944 and Helen lived at 4 Kiln Lane, Milnrow. The Rochdale Observer of 22nd July 1944 reported on the tragic death of the two Lord Brothers killed on the same day serving in Royal Armoured Corps. 28 year old Trooper Harold Lord, 3448037, 3rd Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment, R.A.C. was killed in action on 28th June 1944 at Cheux West of Caen Operation Epsom Hill.  He was a week away from his 29th birthday and had only been married for less than 3 months. Harold and is buried in the Bayeux War Cemetery, grave XXVII F 6, France,. Harold is remembered on Milnrow, St James’s and Milnrow Working Men’s Club War Memorials. The Rochdale Observer of 30th June 1945 carried sentiments from aunt Clara and uncle George 112 lived 123 Royds St in 1939.