Littleborough’s History


Sergeant Jack Robertson

Jack was born in 11th July 1924, the son Maurice (John) Robertson and Florence Maud Smart Millward. At the time of the 1939 register the family is living at 42 Little Clegg Road, Smithy Bridge with his father being a widower. Besides the father there were four children living in the house, Jack (Cotton Doffer), Violet (Cotton Gaiter) as well as Eric and Karl at school. Daughter Lilian who would have been 10 was not recorded. Violet has their mothers’ maiden name - Horsefield (family name of Partridge). Also living same address was Lavina Horsefield, shown as married. Jack attended Smithy Bridge Council Primary school and prior to joining the RAF in 1941 worked at The Globe  Leather works of Messrs J Ormerod of Castleton and lived with his sister Mrs N Taylor at 31 Firgrove Gardens. 21 year old Sergeant Robertson, 1450835, 12 Squadron,  Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve was killed on 14th January 1945 when Lancaster III LM714 PH-L (which took off from a station (airfield) in or near Wickenby) was shot down by a German Fighter near Steindorf during a raid on the synthetic oil plant at Leuna 4 crew killed, 3 PoW. Jack was buried in Hanover War Cemetery, Coll. grave 1 F 13-16 and is remembered on Littleborough Cenotaph.

Private Leonard Brennan

Leonard was born on 22nd November 1914, the son of James and Lucy M Brennan  and elder brother to Cyril. In 1939 the family lived at 9 Stopford Avenue, Littleborough with Leonard being a Goods Motor Driver, his father was a Cotton Over-looker and Cyril was involved in the distribution of bread. Prior to enlisting Leonard was employed by J P & W H Fletcher, Haulage Contractors. 30 year old Private Brennan 14662750, 2nd Bn Royal Berkshire Regiment was killed on 15th January 1945 at Myothit, Burma. Leonard was buried in Maynamati War Cemetery, Bangladesh, grave 4 A 1 and is remembered on Littleborough Cenotaph. The Rochdale Observer of 3rd February included sentiments from his parents in Littleborough and his brother Cyril who was serving with the RAF in England as well as from his Auntie Mary and family.



Whose 75  years Anniversary occurs in January 2020


Private Wilfred Mullender

Wilfred was born in 6th January 1910 in Toxteth Park, the son of Charles Mullender, and of Mary A. Mullender who in 1911 lived at 8 Bowood St, Toxteth Park, Liverpool. Also living there were his elder siblings Elizabeth (14), Edith (13) and Stanley (5). His father was a Marine Engineer. At the time of the 1939 Census, Wilfred was a Hide Grader living at 12 Huntley St, Littleborough, with his widowed Mother and Ethel Butterworth (Mullender). Prior to joining the army Wilfred was associated with the Congregational Church in Victoria Street, Littleborough, a Sunday School Teacher  and a member of Rochdale Festival Choir. In 1940 the Rochdale Observer reported him being the soloist at a successful Anniversary service at Zion Methodist Chapel in Calderbrook. Wilfred worked for the Lancashire Tanning Co in Littleborough (set up by a German Company, Adler and Oppeneiner who had been looking to establish a British subsidiary. It is reported that this was to provide safe haven for around 25 Jewish families. The boss of the company lived at Stubley Old Hall which was included in the purchase of the disused Atlas Mill – see for more information and photograph. 33 year old Private Mullender 3783246, 7th Bn Hampshire Regiment was killed on 22nd January 1945 near the village of Waldenrath Netherlands and is buried in Brunssum War Cemetery, Netherlands, grave VI 295 and is remembered on Littleborough Cenotaph  and the Victoria St Congregational Church War Memorial pictured below.