Remember them all – named and unnamed.
The Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s website gives the names of the 83 civilians killed during WW2 in Barrow. All but one of these people died in the periods of bombing known as the “Barrow Blitz”: 14th – 16th April and 3rd – 10th May 1941. The one exception is the first victim, five-year-old Peter Goodwin, of 13G Egerton Buildings, Barrow Island, who died at North Lonsdale Hospital on 13th September 1940. Due to his home’s proximity to the shipyard and the docks, his mother had moved him and his sister for safety to Worcester Street, Salthouse. His mother and sister, though injured, survived the attack that killed Peter.
Ten of the 83 were taken back to their home towns for burial, or at least there is no record of them being buried in Barrow Cemetery. For example, Gilbert Mason, Minister of the Baptist Church on Abbey Road destroyed on the night of 16th April, was returned to Scotland for burial.
Since many of those killed were likely to be relatively poor, it would not have been usual for them to have gravestones. It was an expense that could be spared, especially at a time when money could be better spent, perhaps on alternative housing.
I have found 15 readable gravestones, commemorating 20 individual Barrow Blitz victims – plus Peter Goodwin, who died earlier. Strangely, two are not mentioned on the stone: James Halfpenny is not mentioned on his mother Sarah’s memorial; and Ada Charlotte Jenner (or Charlotte Ada) is not mentioned on Chief Engine Room Artificer Harry Jenner’s standard Commonwealth War Grave headstone.
Cemetery records suggest that three more stones exist, but are laid flat.
While Barrow was experiencing its own “Blitz”, Barrovians were also dying elsewhere. Sapper W. J. Coats of the Royal Engineers (home address: 30 Richmond Terrace, Barrow) died on the night of 16th/17th April 1941 in the London Blitz.
|30th Sept. 1940||Peter Goodwin||of 13G Egerton Buildings, Barrow Island. Injured Salthouse. Died in North Lonsdale Hospital.|
|14th April 1941||Albert Edney||7 Coulton Street. Died at Dalkeith St.|
|14th April 1942||Ada (or Charlotte) Jenner||Of Portsmouth. Died 1 Dalkeith Street (Trevelyan Hotel).|
|14th April 1943||John Marsh (His daughter-in-law died there too. Buried elsewhere in the cemetery)||Died at 38 Vernon Street.|
|16th April||Edith Gerrish||Died at 12 Union Street.|
|16th April||Mabel Goude||Died at 4 Union Street.|
|16th April||Ellen (Nellie) Goude||Died at 4 Union Street.|
|16th April||Alice Tamblyn||Died at 4 Union Street.|
|3rd May||Arthur Heath||34 Hawcoat Lane. Died North Lonsdale Hospital. Firewatcher.|
|4th May||George Hemingway||54 Hawcoat Lane. Died North Lonsdale Hospital.Firewatcher.|
|4th May||George Carradus||Died at 74 Hollow Lane (See Mildred Carradus below).|
|4th May||William Hudson||Died at 26 Hill Road.|
|4th May||Mary Hudson||Died at 26 Hill Road.|
|4th May||Emily Thompson||Died at 30 Hill Road.|
|4th May||Irene Thompson||Died at 30 Hill Road.|
|5th May||Kathleen Barker||91 Hawcoat Lane; died at North Lonsdale Hospital.|
|8th May||Sarah Halfpenny||24 Vernon Street; died at Vernon Street Shelter.|
|8th May||James Halfpenny||24 Vernon Street; died at Vernon Street Shelter.|
|9th May||Betty Knight||36 Newby Terrace. Died at North Lonsdale Hospital.|
|10th May||Ernest Shipton||Died at 33 Newland Street. Air Raid Warden.|
|18th May||Mildred Carradus||Injured at 74 Hollow Lane. Died Winwick Emergency Hospital, Warrington.|
CIVILIAN WAR DEAD BARROW
NAME OF DECEASED
Note: Some people died when bombs hit their homes, but others died in air-raid shelters, or hospitals; details are given where available.
BANT, RICHARD – died at home, 41 Prospect Rd
BARKER, KATHLEEN – lived at 91 Hawcoat Lane (died North Lonsdale Hospital)
BEATTIE, GEORGE – died at home, 2 Union St
BIDDULPH, IRENE – lived 6 Hall St, died Hall St Shelter
BROCKLEBANK, RICHARD – lived at 11 Exmouth St, died in Vernon St Shelter
BROCKLEBANK, SARAH ANN – lived at 11 Exmouth St – died in Vernon St Shelter
BROWN, GEORGE – lived at 5 Strand, died at Newland St Shelter
CARR, BARBARA MAY – died at home, 44 Vernon St
14/04/1941 9 months
CARR, EDNA MAY – died at home, 44 Vernon St
CARR, FRANK HARDING – died at home, 44 Vernon St
CARRADUS, GEORGE WILSON – lived at 3 Summit Avenue, died at 74 Hollow Lane (his sister’s house)
CARRADUS, MILDRED ALLEN – lived at 3 Summit Avenue, died at Winwick Emergency Hospital, Warrington, of injuries sustained at 74 Hollow Lane, on 4th May 1941.
CARSON, HEZEKIAH – of 136 High Street, Gifford, Co. Down, Northern Ireland; died at 2 Union St
COOKE, THOMAS MARTIN – lived at 8 Lincoln St, died on firewatch duty at East Shop shipyard
DAVIS, ERIC- lived at 36 Dundas St, died in the cottage of the Baptist Church, Abbey Rd (where the Coronation Gardens are). A member of the Home Guard, Eric died on firewatch duty.
DUXBURY, JOHN W – died at home, 6 Hall St
EDNEY, ALBERT WILFRED – lived at 7 Coulton St- died at 1 Dalkeith St (Trevelyan Hotel)
FIELDHOUSE, CHRISTOPHER – lived 41 Rawlinson St, died on firewatch duty at Buccleuch Dock (East Shop, Vickers shipyard)
FISHER, EDWARD – lived at 6 Hall St, died at Hall St Shelter
FRASER, JAMES STANLEY – died at home, 9 Union St
FRASER, MARGARET ELLEN – died at home, 9 Union St
GELDART, BRIDGET MARY – injured on Hawcoat Lane, died at North Lonsdale Hospital (resident of Lytham)
GERRISH, EDITH MAY – died in home shelter, 12 Union St
GLAZE, ALICE ANN – injured at 1 Suffolk St, died next day at North Lonsdale
GOODWIN, PETER – severely injured while staying at a relative’s house in Worcester St (he lived at 13G Egerton Buildings). He died in North Lonsdale Hospital.
GOUDE, ELLEN JANE – died at home, 4 Union St
GOUDE, MABEL – died at home, 4 Union St
HALFPENNY, JAMES – lived at 24 Vernon St – died in Vernon St Shelter
HALFPENNY, SARAH – lived at 24 Vernon St – died in Vernon St Shelter
HANNAN, ROSINA – died at home 42 Vernon St
HANNAN, WILLIAM CHARLES – died at home 42 Vernon St 14/04/1941
HANNAN, WILLIAM JOHN – died at home, 42 Vernon St
HARPER, WILLIAM – died at home, 1 Hall St
HARRIS, CYRIL – a fireman who lived at 31 Bristol St, injured ‘Barrow in Furness.’ Died at North Lonsdale Hospital; location where he was injured not known.
HARRISON, ELIZABETH ANN – died at home, 8 Union St
HEATH, ARTHUR HOWARD – lived at 34 Hawcoat Lane, injured on Hawcoat Lane, died same day at North Lonsdale Hospital. Firewatcher.
HEMINGWAY, GEORGE – lived at 54 Hawcoat Lane, injured Hawcoat Lane, died North Lonsdale Hospital. Firewatcher.
HERRON, WILLIAM – resident of Bolton Rd, Duxbury, Chorley; died at 1 Dalkeith St (Trevelyan Hotel).
HIGGINSON, JOHN THOMAS – lived at 5 Hindpool Road, died in Newland St Shelter. Firewatcher.
HOWIE, ELIZABETH ANN – lived at 41 McClintock St, died at 8 Hall St.
HOWIE, ROBERT – lived at 41 McClintock St, died at 8 Hall St.
HUDSON, MARY STOBART MCLOUGHTON – died at home 26 Hill Rd
HUDSON, WILLIAM ALLISON – died at home, 26 Hill Rd
JENNER, ADA CHARLOTTE, – resident of Portsmouth, died 1 Dalkeith St (Trevelyan Hotel). A relative, Harry Jenner (who was a serviceman) died in the same explosion, but is not listed with the civilian deaths.
KNIGHT, BETTY – lived at 36 Newby Terrace – injured Barrow in Furness (location not known) – died at North Lonsdale Hospital
LANCASTER, CHARLES – died at home, at 13 Union St
LEAVER, THOMAS – resident of Bolton, Lancs. Died at 136 Blake St
LONG, MARY SARAH – lived at 30 Prospect Rd, died at 47 Prospect Road
LUPTON, NOEL VERNON – lived 13 Hawcoat Lane, died in air-raid shelter at 91 Hawcoat Lane
MARSH, ETHEL RACHEL- died at home, 38 Vernon St
MARSH, JOHN ENOCH – died at ome, 38 Vernon St
MASON, GILBERT MCMILLAN – lived at 47 Carlton Ave. – died inside the Baptist Church Abbey Rd (where the Coronation Gardens are). He was on firewatch duty).
McKINNON, AGNES – died at home, 10 Union St
McMANUS, JOHN – died at home, 228 Duke Street
MULHOLLAND, ROBERT WILLIAM – lived at 3 Hindpool Rd, died in Newland St Shelter. Firewatcher.
PEMBERTON, MARY – resident of Cross Hill, Ecclesfield, Sheffield, died at 1 Dalkeith St (Trevelyan Hotel)
PHILLIPS, ALICE ELLEN – died in shelter at home, 15 Monks Brow
PRATT, CATHERINE – died at home, 76 Hollow Lane
PUGH, ANNIE MCKINNON – died at home, 10 Union St
PUGH, JOSEPH – died at home, 10 Union St
RANKIN, ELIZABETH – died at home, 48 Vernon St
RANKIN, JOHN – died at home, 48 Vernon St
RAVEN, EDITH – died at home, 46 Vernon St
RAWCLIFFE, JAMES – lived at 6 Hall St, died in Hall Street Shelter
REDMAN, SHEILA MARY – lived 22 Vernon St, died in Vernon St Shelter
REDMAN, ELIZABETH – lived 22 Vernon St – severely injured in Vernon St Shelter, died at Conishead Priory Emergency Hospital, Ulverston
ROGERS, AUDREY – died at home, 40 Vernon St
ROGERS, HARRY – died at home, 40 Vernon St
ROGERS, MARY MARIA – died at home, 40 Vernon Street
ROGERS, MILLICENT JANE – died at home, 40 Vernon St
SHIPTON, ERNEST EDWARD – died at home, 33 Newland St. Air Raid Warden.
SIMPSON, EDWARD – lived at 6 Hindpool Road, died in Newland St Shelter
SMITH, ROBERT – lived at 6 Hindpool Road, died in Newland St Shelter
STACE, ALBERT – died at home, 5 Orchard Avenue
SWARBRICK, MARY ANN – died at home, 6 Hall St
TAMBLYN, ALICE ANN – died at home, 4 Union St
THOMPSON, EMILY IRENE – died at home, 30 Hill Road
THOMPSON, IRENE MAVIS – died at home, 30 Hill Road
WALTERS, WILLIAM – died at home, 47 Prospect Road. Firewatcher.
WELSH, MARIAN – died at home, 8 Union St
WELSH, RECARDA- died at home, 8 Union St
WELSH, THOMAS DOUGALL- died at home, 8 Union St
WELSH, VIOLET – died at home, at 8 Union St
Unidentified male, died in Newland St Shelter.
* This document was produced by Jean McSorley, with assistance from Rod White, as part of the Sankey Project, for Signal Film & Media, and Cumbria Archives. It is copyrighted to Cumbria Archives.
Every effort has been taken to make this list as comprehensive as possible, but it might contain errors or omissions as not all the relevant records are available.
The list of those who died, and where and when, was drawn from information in: Local Authority’s Record of Civilian Deaths due to War Operations (held at Barrow Archives); and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission list (of civilian dead) for the County Borough of Barrow in Furness, pages 663-665.
Albert Wilfred Edney
d 14 April 1941
CWGC: Husband of Elizabeth Edney, of 7 Coulton Street. Died at Dalkeith Street from the bomb which hit the Trevelyan Hotel. His house probably backed onto the hotel.
Albert W. Edney married Elizabeth Stevenson in Barrow 1911 (Cumbria BMD). They had 2 children: John Leslie Edney (b 1911) and Irene Audrey Edney (b 1913).
Albert was born into a large family of nine children. In the 1891 Census they were living at 45 Back Hartington Street (which later became Wordsworth Street). The Head of the household was William O. Edney (49), Engine Driver, born London, Middlesex; his wife was Rachel Edney (44), born Wednesbury, Staffs; and the children were Martha M. Edney (20), Dressmaker; Lilian E. Edney (17), Jute Weaver; Louisa B. Edney (14), Jute Weaver; Selina K. Edney (12), Scholar; Charles J.? Edney (10), Scholar; Maud G. Edney (8), Scholar; George H.? Edney (6), Alfred (should be Albert) W. Edney (3) and Fred O. Edney (6 months). All the children were born In Barrow.
Some of the family were still there in the 1911 Census: William Oliver Edney (69), Stationary Engine Driver, born Spittlefields (sic), London; Rachel Edney (66), born Wednesbury, Staffs.; Rachel Selina Edney (32), General servant – Domestic, born Barrow, Lancs.; Fredrick Oliver Edney (20) Single, Ship’s Caulker, born Barrow.
1911 Census 32 Coulton Street. Albert Edney (23), Machine Worker (Shipyard), born Barrow-in-Furness; Lizzie Edney (22), born Belfast; John Stevenson (59), Widower, Blacksmith’s Striker; born Gourich?
Albert Wilfred Edney’s Territorial Attestation Papers from 1 April 1909 for the Westmorland and Cumberland Imperial Yeomanry (Service no. 1442) say that he was a labourer in Vickers Sons & Maxim. He appears to have been a regular soldier for a period from November 1906. By 1911 he was a Lance Corporal in the Territorials, and in 1914 he was made a Sergeant.
1939 Register living at 7 Coulton Street were Albert Edney (DoB 8 January 1888), Metal Slotter; Elizabeth Edney (DoB 23 March 1889), Unpaid Domestic Duties; Leslie Edney (DoB 3 August 1911), Foreman Sheet Metal Worker; George Leather (DoB 4 April 1911), Ship’s Joiner; Irene Leather (DoB 13 September 1913) [Albert & Elizabeth’s daughter] Unpaid Domestic Duties. A sixth name is redacted. This is likely to be Audrey Leather (Born 1937). George and Irene had a son, George Albert Leather, in 1947. (Cumbria BMD)
National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1941 has EDNEY Albert Wilfred of 7 Coulton-street Barrow-in-Furness Lancashire died 14 April 1941 Administration (with Will) Lancaster 27 October to Elizabeth Edney widow and John Leslie Edney foreman sheet iron worker. Effects £458 4s 8d.
Alice Ann Tamblyn
d 16 April 1941
CWGC mistakenly records her husband’s name as William.
Alice Tamblyn was a widow who lived at the Goude’s house, 4 Union Street. Was she a relative, or simply a paying lodger?
1939 Register: living at 11 Howe Street, Barrow, were Albert Gillard (DoB 2 August 1909), Ship’s Plater (Heavy Worker); Ethel Gillard (DoB 13 March 1908) Unpaid Domestic Duties; (Next record redacted); John Henry(?) Gillard (DoB 26 December 1857), Old Age Pensioner; Alice Ann Tamblyn (DoB 27 January 1867), Old Age Pensioner. Based on the information in the 1911 Wales Census, Albert is Alice’s son by her second marriage, to John Gillard, whose age is recorded wrongly on the 1911 Census. It is somewhat mysterious why she is calling herself a widow.
An Alice Tamblyn (47) got into trouble for theft in March 1915, having been previously convicted on 31st December 1914 for stealing a dress and cruet, for which she was sentenced to 2 months hard labour. On the second occasion, which can’t have been too long after her release, she pleads guilty to stealing an overcoat worth 3s 11d from Jackson Herdman on 5th March, and on the same day stealing a pair of boots from John Walter Kent. A month later, on the 6th April, she was sentenced to 3 months hard labour at Barrow Petty Sessions. For this offence she earned a place on the Register of Habitual Criminals, which records her details: height 5ft 2½ins; fresh complexion; dark brown hair; blue eyes. Born Rosebeck (sic).
Alice’s petty crimes need to be understood against the backdrop of her hard life. By the time of the 1901 Wales Census she was already a widow. Her family were living at Ruperra Street, Llantrisant, South Wales. The household was: Alice A. Tamblyn (35) Widow; James Tamblyn (14), Coxing or Boxing Coal Underground; William Tamblyn (11); Alice Tamblyn (10); Edith Tamblyn (7); Ada Tamblyn (5); Laura Tamblyn (11 months), all born in Barrow, Lancs.
From the National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1900 Tamblyn John Thomas of Ruperra-street Llantrisant Glamorganshire died 12 July 1900 at Meiros-colliery Llantrisant Administration London 21 September to Alice Ann Tamblyn widow Effects £12 2s.
According to the wonderful Durham Mining Museum website, he died due to a fall of part of the roof. He was a Repairman. On road, cliff, 8 ft. x 6 ft. x 16 ins. thick, while a fall was being cleared. A collar broke, and the stone fell on to him. No. 3 Rhondda seam.
By the 1911 Wales Census Alice had remarried and was living at 24 Greenfield Street, Pontlottyn, South Wales. Her husband is John Gillard (60), Labourer (Underground) Colliery, born Gwennap(?), Cornwall; Alice Ann Gillard (44), born Barrow, Lancs.; William John Tamblyn (22), Mineral Water Haulier, born Barrow, Lancs.; Edith Mary Tamblyn (17), born Barrow, Lancs.; Laura Tamblyn (11), born Barrow, Lancs.; Mabel Gillard (6), born Llantrisant, Glamorgan; Dorothy Gillard (5), born Barrow, Lancs.; Albert Gillard (1), born Pontlottyn, Glamorgan.
In the 1891 Census the Tamblyns were living at 4 North Row, Roose. John T. Tamblyn (30) was an iron miner, born in Perron(?), Cornwall; Alice A. Tamblyn (25), born Barrow, Lancs.; James Tamblyn (4), born Barrow; William J. Tamblyn (3), born Barrow; and Alice A. Tamblyn (6 months), born Barrow. There was also John Rose/Row (22), Boarder, Iron Miner, born Breage, Cornwall.
In the 1881 Census Alice Ann Edmondson (14) – born Roosebeck, Lancs., is living with her married sister Jane Clark (24) at 51 Forshaw Street, next to the Star Hotel. Two other sisters, Margaret Hannah Edmondson (15) and Frances Mary Edmondson (12), also live with Jane and her husband, John Clark (26), an Eating House Manager.
Arthur Howard Heath
d 3 May 1941
Arthur Heath’s grave is slightly damaged, and the kerb which presumably has his name is displaced, and can’t be read. However, his wife’s kerb can be seen, and the grave is directly adjacent to the grave of another pair of Blitz victims, Emily and Irene Thompson, of 30 Hill Road.
Arthur Howard Heath was the son of George Samuel Heath and his wife Eliza, of the Devonshire Brewery, who are buried near the Crematorium.
CWGC says “Firewatcher; of 34 Hawcoat Lane. Husband of Anne Jane Heath. Injured at Hawcoat Lane; died same day at North Lonsdale Hospital.” Mr. Heath died in the company of George Hemingway, a fellow firewatcher, of further up the road at 54 Hawcoat Lane.
In Bryn Trescatheric’s The Barrow Blitz 2009, Mrs E. A. is quoted regarding the death of her father: “.. I had to go back to get my grey firewatching tin hat, my father said he’d go on and I was to catch him up. When I returned to the front door I saw large objects hurtling through the sky. I rushed indoors and there was a terrific explosion. My father and Mr. H(eath) were both killed. Later that night a land mine floated over our house and landed in Hill Road, killing Mrs. T(hompson) and her young daughter. …” (p22)
The North-Western Evening Mail 14 May 1941 had an account of the funeral:
FUNERAL OF MR. A. H. HEATH, BARROW
The funeral of Mr. A. H. Heath, of 34, Hawcoat-lane, Barrow, took place on Monday, the Rev. N. Robinson conducting the service at St. Paul’s Church and officiating at the grave-side.
The mourners included Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Osborne, Mr. G. Heath, Miss E. Heath, Mr. J. Heath, Mr. G. R. Heath, Mr. T. Pitt-Pladdy< Messrs. S. Ellis, R. Galloway, L. W. Whiteley, J. W. Osborne, R. F. Case, G. Case, W. Bagot, J. Berry, E. Banks, W. Roach, O. Muldoon, R. T. Dockeray, H. Britton, Jos. Danks, R. Pass and many others.
The bearers were Messrs. Warriner, Scott, Dobson, Pettifer, E. and J. Holmes.
There were numerous floral tributes, including wreaths from the employees (sic) of G. S. Heath, Ltd.
The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. A. Fletcher and Sons (Barrow), Ltd., High-street, Barrow.
From Ancestry, the National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1942 has HEATH Arthur Howard of 34 Hawcoat-lane Barrow-in-Furness Lancashire died 3 May 1941 at The North Lonsdale Hospital Barrow-in-Furness Probate Lancaster 12 March to Anne Jane Heath widow. Effects £19687 18s 5d.
The 1939 Register at 34 Hawcoat Lane are Arthur H. Heath (DoB 5 October 1875), Director, Brewer, Wine & Spirit Merchant; Anne J. Heath (DoB 30 July 1871), Unpaid Domestic Duties; Florence M. Osborne (DoB 10 October 1906), Unpaid Domestic Duties; redacted record – but likely to be Florence’s child; Violet V. Roper (DoB 23 October 1915), Paid Domestic Servant. Florence Heath had married Arnold Douglas Osborne at St. Paul, Barrow, in 1933.
In the 1911 Census, living at 34 Hawcoat Lane, Barrow, are Arthur Howard Heath (35), Head, Manager, Wine & Spirit, Bottling and Mineral Water Stores (Brewery), born Barrow-in-Furness; Annie Heath (40), Wife, born Kendal, Westmorland; Florence Muriel Heath (4), born Barrow-in-Furness; Olive Shaw (20), General Domestic Servant, born Barrow-in-Furness.
In the 1901 Census they were at 251 Abbey Road. Arthur is a Brewer, Annie is listed as Anne J. Heath, and the servant is Mary Loghran (18), born Barrow-in-Furness.
Arthur Howard Heath married Anne Jane Gardner in St. James’, Piccadilly, Westminster 5 September 1900. Her address is given as 85 Regent Street, L30. Her father, Christopher Gardner, was a chiropodist. The 1891 Census shows that the whole family of Gardner’s were born in Kendal, Westmorland.
Arthur Howard Heath shares his name with Arthur Howard Heath TD (29 May 1856 – 24 April 1930), a British industrialist, first-class cricketer, Rugby Union international and Conservative Party politician. (from Wikipedia).
d 9 May 1941
The 1939 Register has the following living at 36 Newby Terrace, Barrow: John J. Wilson (DoB 17 July 1878), Gauge Store Keeper; Jessie A. Wilson (DoB 10? November 1883, Unpaid Domestic Duties; Betty Wilson (DoB 22 April 1917), Cinema Cashier [Wilson crossed out, replaced by Knight]; next record redacted; Peter Hool (DoB 1 April 1929), At school.
The CWGC record simply has KNIGHT Betty of 36 Newby Terrace. Wife of Eric Cowell Knight. Injured at Barrow-in-Furness. Died at North Lonsdale Hospital. Many of the other CWGC records have a place of death – an address, or a shelter. Was Betty in a street? Was she at work? The Gaiety Cinema suffered damage on 15th April; as did the Coliseum and the Ritz – all on Abbey Road, but this is the wrong date for Betty’s death.
Betty and Eric had got married at St. Matthew, Barrow in the second quarter of 1940. How had they met?
The 1939 Register for Devizes, Wiltshire, has Eric C. Knight (DoB 15 October 1910) living at 11 Deramore Row. He was a Cinema Operator. Is this the connection?
Eric Cowell Knight, born 15 October 1910, died in Barrow-in-Furness in the first quarter of 1983. He had remarried, to Martha Cunningham, in Barrow in 1966.
Chief Engine Room Artificer Harry Jenner DSM (HM Submarine P37)
d 14 April 1941
Chief ERA Harry Jenner Service No. P/M 22010 (a war grave) was killed in a bombing raid in 1941 whilst ‘Standing By’ HMS Unbending (P37) which was building in the Yard. He was staying in the Trevelyan Hotel, on the corner of High Street and Dalkeith St. HMS Unbending was to be launched on 12 May 1941. (Advert from 1908 Barrow Yearbook)
Nella Last’s Diary records: Easter Monday, 14 April 1941: One Hotel had gone and a little street. The former and four houses of the latter are just rubble, and no one was saved from them. I could not have believed so few bombs could do so much damage. Bulging walls, gaping windows, crazily leaning chimneys, dirty tired wardens, ordinary citizens in demolition gangs working like men possessed, crowds of quiet, white faced spectators. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/britain_wwtwo/nella_last_part2_01.shtml
Ada Charlotte Jenner, of 16 St. Helen’s Rd, Drayton, Portsmouth also died. The Burial Records say that she was the wife of Harry, but CWGC says that she was the wife of William Jenner, which if correct, could be Harry’s brother. She is buried in the same grave, but not recorded on the gravestone. The exact relationship remains unknown. The Barrow Submariners’ Association believe that she was Harry’s aunt. (The Mail: Nostalgia section 14 April 2016)
An interesting document held in the Barrow Archives suggested that Harry was initially identified as a Civilian Death, caused by falling debris in the Trevelyan Hotel, and found at 8.00am on April 14th. His body was claimed for burial by W. Jenner, of 147 Rainham Road, Chatham, Kent.
Harry Jenner’s DSM
Jenner had been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal 31st December 1940: published in the Supplement to the London Gazette 1st January 1941. The Submarine Museum, Gosport, told me that his honour was for services on HM Submarine H44. H44 was an old submarine of the Holland H602 Class, built by Armstrong Whitworth on the Tyne and launched on 17 February 1919.
21 Jun 1940
HMS H 44 (Lt. E.D. Norman, RN) torpedoed and sank the small Danish merchant Alfa (844 GRT, built 1921) off Texel, Netherlands.
At 1750 hours HMS H 44 spotted a merchant ship of about 3000 tons at 4000 yards. At 1810 hours two torpedoes were fired from 3500 yards. One torpedo was seen to hit the target amidships three minutes after firing. Four of the crew of the Alfa died in the attack. http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/3653.html
Ancestry tells from the National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1941 that JENNER Charlotte Ada (sic) of 16 St. Helen’s-road Drayton Portsmouth (wife of William Jenner) died 14 April at 1 Dalkeith-street Barrow-in-Furness Lancashire Probate Llandudno to the said William Jenner newsagent. Effects £944 3s 11d.
The same page has JENNER Harry of 16 St. Helens-road Drayton Portsmouth died 14 April on war service Administration Llandudno 22 September to Roy Maurice Jenner bacteriologist and chemist. Effects £2102 5s 10d.
The 1939 Register has Charlotte Ada Jenner (DoB 22 June 1900) living at 16 St. Helen’s Road, Portsmouth, carrying out Unpaid Domestic Duties.
In the 1911 Census Harry Jenner is living with his parents and siblings at 26 Linden Road, Gillingham, Kent. The household was:
Harry Jenner (43), Head, Chief Engine Room Artificer (RN), born Gillingham, Kent; Gertrude Jenner (29), Wife, born Malta; Harry Jenner (10), Son, born Malta; Percival W. Jenner (9), Son, born Malta; Vera G. Jenner (4), Daughter, born Malta; and Roy M. Jenner (1), Son, born Gillingham, Kent.
Harry’s Naval Records can be found on Ancestry. His date of birth is listed as 2 November 1900 at Casal Paula, Malta. He signed up for 12 years on 2 November 1918. Considering he ended up in the Submarine Service, he was a tall man: 5ft 10ins when he joined, and 6ft 1in in November 1928. Perhaps that is why his service record has him on submarine supply ships such as HMS Maidstone; HMS Cyclops and HMS Titania, as well as submarines H44 and H49.
Dec 2011 Submariners Newsletter Barrow in Furness Branch
Edith May Gerrish
d 16 April 1941
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
EDITH MAY, BELOVED WIFE OF
JOSEPH HENRY GERRISH
KILLED THROUGH ENEMY ACTION 16TH APRIL 1941
AGED 40 YEARS.
ALSO THE ABOVE JOSEPH HENRY GERRISH
DIED 14TH JANUARY 1952
AGED 63 YEARS
ALSO THEIR BELOVED SON
JOSEPH HENRY GERRISH
DIED 2 – 4 – 98 AGED 77 YEARS
At the foot is another stone, reading:
1.10.1918 – 17.1.2005
A WONDERFUL MOTHER,
NANNA & GREAT NANNA.
THOSE WE LOVE DON’T GO AWAY
THEY WALK BESIDE US EVERY DAY
A typical funeral account from Barrow News 26 April 1941 reads:
WARDENS ACT AS BEARERS AT BARROW
The funeral of Mrs. Edith M. Gerrish took place on Monday afternoon from 33, Adelaide-street, Barrow. The first portion of the service was conducted at St. Mark’s Church by the Rev. G. E. Woodmansey, who also officiated at the graveside.
The mourners were: Mr. J. Gerrish, husband; Mr. Harry Gerrish and Miss D. Fisher, son and fiancée; Mr. John Gerrish, son; Mr. and Mrs. A. Hoggarth, brother and sister-in-law; Mr. W. Gerrish, sister and brother-in-law (sic); Mr. and Mrs. G. Tomlin; Mr. S. Lockley; Mr. E. Lockley; Mr. and Mrs. G. Dickson, Miss Bloomer, Miss Foster, Mrs. F.P. Gerrish, Mr. W. Gerrish, Mr. J. Gerrish, Mr. and Mrs. J. Padley, Mr. and Mrs. A. Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. Brown, Mr. and Miss Fisher, Mr. and Mrs. Townson, and Mrs. Grant, Wardens Govan, Fenton, Bell, Cowan, Wilkinson, and Kirkby acted as bearers, and a large number of Wardens from D3 Post attended the funeral.
The arrangements were carried out by Mr. W. J. Fox, of Rawlinson-street, Barrow.
CWGC records the death of Edith Gerrish: of 12 Union Street. Wife of Joseph Henry Gerrish. Died at 12 Union Street.
Edith had lived at 12 Union Street for most, if not all, of her life. In the 1911 Census living at that address were Agnes Brockbank (65), Head, Widow, born Scotland; Marion Brockbank (39), Single, born Barrow; Eideth (sic) May Brockbank (9), Grand-daughter, At School, born Barrow; Elizabeth Brockbank (27), Daughter-in-law, born Barrow; Harold Brockbank (5) Son (sic – presumably son of Elizabeth.), At School, born Barrow.
Edith M. Brockbank married Joseph H. Gerrish in quarter 1 1920 at St James, Barrow.
The 1939 Register records the residents of 12 Union Street: Joseph Henry Gerrish SEN (DoB 2 September 1888), Turbine Engine Driver – Alternators & Blowing; A.R.P. (Air Raid Precautions) Warden Barrow Haematite Steel Co.; Edith M. Gerrish (DoB 25 May 1901) Unpaid Domestic Duties; Joseph H. Gerrish JUN (DoB 26 August 1920), Apprentice Bricklayer; John F. Gerrish (DoB 21 February 1925), At school.
Joseph was born in Westhoughton, Lancs, and can be found living with parents and siblings at 27 Melbourne Street, Barrow in the 1901 Census. By the 1911 Census, Joseph was a Wireworker, and the family was living at 15 Adelaide Street, Barrow.
The National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1952 leaves the Administration of Joseph’s Effects of £739 16s 3d to John Frederick Gerrish shipyard fitter.
d 10 May 1941
Some unremarkable people have interesting and often unrecorded, certainly uncelebrated, back-stories. Ernest Shipton is one of them.
Ernest Shipton was a fire warden of 33 Newland Street, which is where he died. The National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1941 has his Effects of £380 7s 8d being left to Joseph Albert While, labourer, and Margaret While, Joseph’s wife.
He is registered at that address, along with three other households, in the 1939 Register. His date of birth is given as 5 July 1874, and he is a Retired Caretaker.
In the 1911 Census, Ernest and his wife are living at 130 Hindpool Road, Barrow. Ernest Edward Shipton is 36 yrs old, a Carpenter’s Labourer in the Shipyard, born in Charlton Kings, nr Cheltenham, Gloucs.; Keturah Shipton is 39 yrs old, born Barrow-in-Furness, Lancs. They have been married 7 years, and have had no children.
Ernest’s WW1 War Pension Records contain a One Year Attestation Paper for the Territorial Reserve, 4th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment (Service number 2384), signed in Barrow on 31st October 1914. He had previously served 11 years in the Army Reserve in Gloucestershire; 4 years in Lancaster, and 4 years in Barrow. He served in France from May to November 1915, when he came home, and was discharged on 19 May 1916 as permanently unfit. His marriage to Keturah While took place at St. Marks, Barrow, on 28 December 1903. They were living at 130 Hindpool Road, Barrow.
Ernest is 5ft. 9½ins tall (Tall for 1914 – though another document says he is 5ft 6ins), weighs 147lbs (10½ stones) and has tattoos: a ship on his right forearm, and Lord Roberts on his left forearm.
His records show an Army Career in the 1st Batt., Gloucestershire Regt, rather than one just spent in the Reserve:
- Home March 1893 to October 1893
- Malta November 1893 to November 1895
- Egypt November 1895 to February 1897
- India February 1897 to September 1899
- South Africa September 1899 to August 1900 (Wounded in Action at Rietfontein, South Africa, 24/10/99. Took part in the Relief of Ladysmith – for which he got a clasp for his South Africa Medal).
- Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) August 1900 to December 1902
- Home December 1902 to March 1905.
At some point he must have been transferred from Active Service to the Reserve, because he appears on the Great Western Railway Records (same date of birth) as a Porter at Aberbeeg Station (Monmouthshire) from May 1903 to his resignation in November 1903.
At the time of his discharge from the KORL in 1916 his occupation is listed as Rigger (Battleships). He had scars on his right shoulder and right abdomen from an operation; and scars from a bullet wound in his right shoulder from South Africa.
He is discharged due to neurasthenia. This was a common diagnosis for shell shock.
Ernest does not appear, or at least I haven’t found him, on the 1891 or 1901 Censuses, probably due to being overseas with the Army, but he does appear (aged 6) on the 1881 Census, living with his grandparents James and Elizabeth Hawkins (both aged 60; James a Coal Miner), two uncles, his brother Fred (aged 2) and his great-grandmother Amy Teague (aged 83), living in Top Lonk, West Dean, between Berry Hill and Joyford, part of the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. His birth place is given as Cheltenham.
Ernest Edward Shipton was baptised 26 July 1874 in Charlton Kings, Gloucs, son of Joseph Shipton, a gardener, and his wife Annie.
Keturah was a concubine and wife of the Biblical patriarch Abraham. According to the Book of Genesis, Abraham married Keturah after the death of his first wife, Sarah. Abraham and Keturah had six sons.
One modern commentator on the Hebrew Bible has called Keturah “the most ignored significant person in the Torah”. (From Wikipedia)
George Hemingway, draper
d 4 May 1941
The News had an obituary and account of the funeral on 17 May 1941:
G. HEMINGWAY, BARROW.
By the passing of Mr. George Hemingway, Barrow has lost a very well-known member of the community. He carried on his business as a draper at St. Vincent-street, as did his father before him. He was an ardent worker at Abbey-road Wesleyan Church, where he officiated as a Society Steward and deputy-organist. He is survived by his widow and only daughter.
The funeral took place on Thursday at Abbey-road Wesleyan Church, the ceremony being conducted by the Rev. Mark H. Earle, who also officiated at the graveside. The hymn “O Love that will not let me go,” was sung, the organist being Miss Phillips.
The principal mourners were: Mrs. Hemingway, widow; Mrs. Bradley, sister; Mr. and Mrs. R. Hemingway, brother and sister-in-law; Miss O. Hemingway, sister; Master Bernard Hemingway, nephew; Mr. and Mrs. and Miss Kinrade; Mr. and Miss Rushton; Mrs. G. Hall, Mr. and Mrs. S. Stoppard, Mr. and Mrs. Barker, Mr. and Mrs. Martin, Mr. and Mrs. F. Moore, Mr. C. Holt, Mr. F. Robinson, Mrs. Riley, Mrs. Carter, Mr. Angel, Miss Nettleton, Miss Brockbank, Mr. Dobson, Mr. C. F. Jackson, Mr. W. Garnett, Mrs. Earle and Mr. G. Hoole.
The bearers were Messrs. J. Todd, Peart, Barker, Moore, Clelland, Mrs. Hughes, Mr. Robinson.
There were many beautiful floral tributes.
The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. G. Hall (late E. Firth), 2, Montague-street, Barrow.
Ancestry lets us know that George Hemingway had a distant start: he was born in Auckland, New Zealand on 15 October 1889 to Alfred and Martha Tonge Hemingway.
1891 Census, living at 33 Forshaw Street were Alfred Hemingway (36), born Bradford, Yorkshire, Martha Hemingway (28), born Barton, Lancs., Hilda Hemingway (7), born New Zealand, scholar, Olive Hemingway (5), born New Zealand, scholar, George Hemingway (3), born New Zealand, and Alice Lee (14), general domestic servant, born Ulverston.
1901 Census George (13) was a boarder at Woodhouse Grove School, Rawdon (Leeds). However, the rest of the family were living at Logan Villa, Roose Road. Alfred Hemingway (45), Draper, born Bradford, Yorks; Martha Hemingway (38), born Manchester Lancs; Hilda W. Hemingway (17), born New Zealand; Olive Hemingway (15), born New Zealand; Horace V. Hemingway (8), born Barrow-in-Furness, Lancs; Roy Hemingway (5), born Barrow; Millicent Hemingway (4), born Barrow, made up the family. Rose Savage (15), General Servant (Domestic), completed the household.
1911 Census, living at Logan House, Roose Rd, Barrow were Martha Tonge Hemingway (50), assisting in drapery business, born Barton, Lancashire; George Hemingway (23), son, assisting in general drapery warehouse, born Auckland, New Zealand; Horace Hemingway (18), son, assisting in general drapery warehouse, born Barrow; Millicent Hemingway (14), daughter, born Barrow, and servant Florence Gale (21), born Peel, Isle of Man. Second-Lieutenant Horace Vincent Hemingway, 36th Battalion Machine Gun Corps, died on 2nd October 1918. The CWGC website gives his parents’ address as “Fulford, Welton Park Rd., Shanklin, Isle of Wight.
1939 Register living at 54 Hawcoat Lane were George Hemingway, Master Draper, and Mary Ellen Hemingway, born 10 March 1887, housewife and part-time general drapery assistant.
If I have the right George Hemingway at this point, he married Mary E Ackernley in Settle, West Yorkshire, in July 1920.
The WW11 Register of Civilian Deaths for the Borough of Barrow in Furness has:
HEMINGWAY, GEORGE, age 53; Firewatcher; of 54 Hawcoat Lane. Son of Martha Hemingway, of Craigmore, Wynn Avenue, Old Colwyn, Denbighshire, and of the late Alfred Hemingway; husband of Mary Ellen Hemingway. Injured 3 May 1941, at Hawcoat Lane; died 4 May 1941, at North Lonsdale Hospital.
In local historian Bryn Trescatheric’s The Barrow Blitz 2009, Mrs E. A. is quoted regarding the death of her father: “.. I had to go back to get my grey firewatching tin hat, my father said he’d go on and I was to catch him up. When I returned to the front door I saw large objects hurtling through the sky. I rushed indoors and there was a terrific explosion. My father and Mr. H(eath) were both killed. Later that night a land mine floated over our house and landed in Hill Road, killing Mrs. T(hompson) and her young daughter. …” (p22)
Probate was granted on 3 July 1941 in Carlisle. George Hemingway left estate valued at £5639 6s 5d to his widow. This is over a quarter of a million pounds at 2019 prices.
From the same source in Ancestry Mary Ellen Hemingway, of 154 Heeley Road St. Annes-on-the Sea Lancashire widow died 19 September 1962 Probate Lancaster 8 January (1963) to Mabel Elaine Atkins (wife of Edmund Frank Morris Atkins). Effects £12883 4s 1d. This too is over a quarter of a million pounds at 2019 prices.
Cumbria BMD tells us that Mabel Elaine Atkins was born in 1923, and married Edmund F M Atkins in 1948 at the Abbey Road Methodist Church. She died in Cirencester in 2004.
Confusingly, another George Hemingway, George William Hemingway, of 137 Hawcoat Lane, died in June 1941.
The London Gazette 28 August 1928 carried a Notice dissolving the partnership between father & son Hemingway:
NOTICE is hereby given that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us, the undersigned, George Hemingway and Alfred Roy Hemingway, carrying on business as Drapers, at 53, St. Vincent-street, Barrow in Furness, and at 20, New Market-street, Ulverston, both in the county of Lancaster, under the style or firm of A. HEMINGWAY & SONS, has been dissolved by mutual consent as from the eleventh day of August, one thousand nine hundred and twenty eight. All debts due to and owing by said late firm will be received or paid by the said George Hemingway, who will continue to carry on the said business under the old style or firm at 53, St. Vincent-street, Barrow in Furness, while the said Alfred Roy Hemingway will carry on business on his own account at 20, New Market-street, Ulverston aforesaid. – As witness our hands this 11th day of August, 1928.
George Wilson Carradus / Mildred Allen Carradus
d 4 May 1941 / d 18 May 1941
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
LUCY MARY CARRADUS
DIED 22ND JULY 1906
AGED 4 YEARS 7 MONTHS
ALSO WILLIAM CARRADUS
FATHER OF THE ABOVE
DIED 25TH JUNE 1926
AGED 50 YEARS
ALSO GEORGE WILSON CARRADUS
SON OF THE ABOVE
DIED 4TH MAY 1941
AGED 39 YEARS
ALSO MILDRED ALLEN, HIS WIFE
DIED 18TH MAY 1941, AGED 36 YEARS
ALSO MARGARET ELEANOR
BELOVED WIFE OF WILLIAM CARRADUS
DIED 17 APRIL 1946 AGED 75 YEARS
ALSO ALBERT DOUGLAS CARRADUS
ELDER SON OF THE ABOVE
DIED 5TH DECEMBER 1953 AGED 56 YEARS
ALSO THEIR DAUGHTER
ELEANOR JANE GOUDIELOCK
DIED 24TH MAY 1959 AGED 62 YEARS
CWGC list of Civilian War Dead has:
George Wilson Carradus (died 4 May 1941) of 3 Summit Avenue. Son of Mrs. M. E. Carradus, of 32 Prospect Road, and of the late W. Carradus; husband of Mildred Allen Carradus. Died at 74 Hollow Lane.
Mildred Carradus (died 18 May 1941) of 3 Summit Avenue, Barrow-in-Furness. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nottingham, of 2 Park Lane, Irlam O’ the Height; wife of George Wilson Carradus. Injured 4 May 1941, at Hollow Lane, Barrow-in-Furness; died at The Emergency Hospital, Winwick. 23 people are listed on the Warrington Rural District Civilian War Dead list. Most were from Manchester or Merseyside, and died at Winwick Emergency Hospital.
It must have been thought that Mildred had a chance of surviving for her to be taken nearly 100 miles (by train or pre-motorway roads) to Warrington to be treated. 74 Hollow Lane was the address of George’s sister Eleanor Jane Goudielock. (From Probate Calendar)
The National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1942 records Carradus George Wilson of 3 Summit-avenue Barrow-in-Furness Lancashire who is believed to have been killed through war operations on 4 May 1941 and whose dead body was found on 6 May 1941 Administration Lancaster 21 May to Margaret Eleanor Carradus widow. Effects £1970 2s. NB By this time Mildred Carradus was already dead: this is his mother. She was the Hotel Proprietress of the Strawberry Hotel at the time of the 1939 Register, with her son Albert Douglas Carradus as the Hotel Manager.
The 1939 Register records the residents of 3 Summit Avenue, Barrow as: Geo. W. Carradus (DoB 19 October 1900) Engineering Inspector Guns, Naval Construction Works, and Mildred A. Carradus (DoB 29 December 1904) Unpaid Domestic Duties.
George Carradus and Mildred Nottingham married in Barton, Lancashire in the third quarter of 1938.
On September 28th 1922, George arrived in New York on the S.S. Carmania, sailing from Liverpool. He is described as a Fitter, son of William Carradus of the Strawberry Hotel, Barrow-in-Furness. His final destination is listed as Pittsburgh.
On 29th August 1932 he arrived at Liverpool from New York on the R.M.S. Scythia, His occupation is given as Machinist, and his address as the Strawberry Hotel, Barrow-in-Furness.
He declared his intention to become a Citizen of the United States on 10th October 1922, declaring (as was required) “I am not an anarchist; I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy ….” (see below)
George Wilson Carradus (DoB 19 October 1900) joined the Royal Air Force on 10 September 1918 (Service no. 293969).
In the 1911 Census the Carradus family were running the Strawberry Hotel, Abbey Road, Barrow. Head of the household was William Carradus (41), Hotel Keeper (own account), born Kendal, Westmorland. He and his wife Margaret Ellen Carradus (41), born Bury, Lancs, had produced four children, three of whom were still living. Eleanor Jane Carradus (14), born Barrow; Albert Douglas Carradus (13), born Barrow; and George Wilson Carradus (10), born Barrow. Also living at the Hotel were George Wilson Carradus (71), Relative, Retired Joiner, born Broughton-in-Furness; his wife Ellinor (sic) Douglas (71), born Cartmel, Lancs; Margaret Rowlinson (26), Barmaid, born Leace (sic), Lancs; Maggie Kellett (23), Housemaid (Domestic), born Millom, Cumberland; and Elizabeth Donaldson (20), General Domestic Servant, born Barrow. Lucy Carradus mentioned first on the headstone must have been their youngest child.
A Wilson Carradus is listed in Kelly’s Directory 1924 as the landlord of the Devonshire Public House, Michaelson Road, Barrow. Albert Wilson Carradus (7) At school, born Barrow, is living with the Hellon family at Gosforth in the 1911 Census. There are others: Wilson must have been a family name for the Carradus’s.
Mildred Allen Nottingham was born on 29 December 1904, and baptised 29 January 1905 at St. John the Evangelist, Pendlebury, Lancs.
In the 1911 Census she was living at 2 Queens Place, Queen Street, Pendleton, Salford. The household contained Abel Nottingham (34), House Painter, born Pendlebury, Lancs; Mildred Nottingham (35), Wife, born Bozeat, Northants; Mabel Nottingham (7), School, born Irlam o’ th’ Heights, Lancs – as were all the following children; Mildred Nottingham (6), School; Alan Nottingham (4), School; Norman Nottingham (2); and Marian (1), daughter.
The National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1945 records Carradus Mildred Allen of 3 Summit-avenue Barrow-in-Furness Lancashire died 18 May 1941 at Winwick Hospital Warrington Administration Manchester 18 May to Mildred Sophia Nottingham widow. Effects £671 11s 6d. Note that it had taken four years for probate to be granted.
John Enoch Marsh
& Ethel Rachel Marsh, Daughter in Law, Buried in a Different Plot
d 14 April 1941
John Marsh (aged 72) died with his daughter-in-law Ethel (Aged 26) (Wife of W. Marsh) at 38 Vernon Street. Ethel’s husband, Fusilier Walter Marsh (3460131) 10th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers, died on 05/12/1942 aged 32, and is buried in Chittagong War Cemetery. (CWGC)
John E. Marsh married Margaret Brown at St James’s, Barrow, in 1892
Walter Marsh married Ethel R. Postlethwaite at St James’s, Barrow, in 1936. (Cumbria BMD)
According to the Cemetery Records, Ethel Rachel Marsh is buried elsewhere in the Cemetery.
From Ancestry, the 1939 Register lists the following living at 38 Vernon Street: Enoch J. Marsh (DoB 1 July 1869), Steel Foundry Labourer; Margaret Marsh (DoB 6 October 1868), Unpaid Domestic Duties; Walter Marsh (DoB 6 August 1910), Temporary Lightman; Rachel E. Marsh (DoB 20 May 1914), Unpaid Domestic Duties. The next record is redacted, but is likely to be Margaret J. Marsh (born 1937 – from Cumbria BMD). Where was she on the night of the bombing, or did she survive it?
In the 1911 Census John & Margaret Marsh were already living at 38 Vernon Street, Barrow. John Enoch Marsh (41), Head, Foundry Worker (Worker is crossed out and Brass Foundry Labourer, Shipbuilding overwritten); Margaret Marsh (41), Wife; Eliza Marsh (17), Daughter, Laundry Worker (Machinist); William Henry Marsh (13), Son, Errand Boy, Chemist; Robert Marsh (11), Son, School; John Marsh (7), Son, School; and Walter Marsh (9 months), Son, all born in Barrow, make up the household.
In the 1901 Census the family at 38 Vernon Street consisted of John – at this time a labourer in the Steel Works, but listed as born in Crewe, Cheshire; Margaret; William, Robert and Eliza; with Leah Grainger (20), Boarder, Jute Weaver, born Barrow.
John’s family had lived there a long time. In the 1891 Census living at 38 Vernon Street, Barrow, were: Enoch Marsh (45), Head, Bricklayer’s Labourer, born Gornal, Staffs; Eliza Marsh (46), Wife, born Gornal, Staffs; John E. Marsh (21), Moulder’s Assistant, born Crewe, Cheshire; and Susannah Marsh (19), Daughter, Jute Twisting at Jute Works, born Barrow, Lancs.
Legal Records identify John Enoch Marsh (16), 5ft 3½ins., Brown Hair, Labourer, getting into trouble for “Wilfully causing an obstruction in a certain public thoroughfare at Barrow by playing at football”. At the court of 23 February 1885 he was sentenced to 7 days in gaol, or pay a fine of 2s 6d with costs of £1 4s 3d. He appears to have served the 7 days.
John Enoch Marsh was baptised at Coppenhall, Cheshire (Parents Enoch and Eliza Marsh) on 8 August 1869. Another record, also with Enoch and Eliza Marsh as parents, has John Enoch Marsh being baptised at Dalton-in-Furness on 7 August 1879. Was he baptised twice, once at birth and again when he was 10, or have the Ancestry Gremlins struck again?
d 5 May 1941
Kathleen Barker (21 yrs old) of 91 Hawcoat Lane, was injured on 4 May 1941, and died at North Lonsdale Hospital the following day. She was the wife of Gordon Milton Barker. Gordon M Barker had married Kathleen Thompson at St Paul’s, Newbarns in 1939 (Cumbria BMD)
In the 1939 Register Kathleen Thompson was living at 31 North Scale, Walney, with her widowed father, Francis R. Thompson, a retired Hand Driller. Kathleen’s date of birth is given as 27 September 1919, and she is a Chemist’s Assistant. It also says Boots Cash Chemist First Aid A.R.P.?
From the 1939 Register it appears that several houses on Hawcoat Lane (e.g. 91; 95; 97; 99) were empty, probably waiting for their first residents. I have been unable to find Gordon in the 1939 Register.
In the air raid itself, Gordon and Kathleen’s child was lucky:
Barrow News 4 April 1942 had :
SURVIVED THE BLITZ
BARROW’S BONNY BABY CHRISTENED
Meet Raymond Milton Barker, a fortnight off his first birthday, and one of the bonniest and healthiest youngsters in Barrow today.
Less than a year ago his life was despaired of. His mother and two others were killed when a bomb dropped close to the Anderson shelter at the rear of their home in Hawcoat-lane on the night of 4 May, but his father escaped with a severe shaking.
Raymond, then three weeks old, had a leg broken and suffered from shock. Along with his dad, he was rushed to Conishead Priory Hospital, and it was thought he would not live, but on Sunday he was christened in a service at St. Paul’s Church, by the vicar, the Rev. Norman Robinson.
The baby is being cared for at the home of a relative, Mrs. Mitchell, 52 Longlands-avenue, Barrow, and is admired by all who have seen him.
Raymond’s relatives pay a warm tribute to the skill and devotion of the medical and nursing staff at Conishead, which enabled him to fully recover from his blitz experience.
Three babies were present at the ceremony at St. Paul’s Church, which was attended by the Sunday School children.
Gordon Milton Barker (DoB 18 November 1916 – registered in the Fylde) died in Blackpool 2 May 2009.
Speculatively, John Milton Barker (father of Gordon?) is in Kelly’s Directory 1924 under Dentists; living or practising at 51 Lytham Road, South Shore, Blackpool.
Nellie & Mabel Goude
d 15/16 April 1941
On the Commonwealth War Graves Commission list, Nellie’s full name is given as Ellen Jane Goude, and the date of death 16th April 1941.
Robert Goude married Nellie Taylor in the third quarter of 1896, in Barrow-in-Furness.
The Goude family home at 4 Union Street was one of several destroyed by enemy action on the night of the 15th/16th April 1941. Locally-born historian Bryn Trescatheric reports that this was due to a land mine. Nellie Goude, a widow, was aged 69, and her unmarried daughter Mabel, was 44. About seventeen people died in Union Street (figures vary) including six at no. 8 and three at No. 10. (Trescatheric “The Barrow Blitz” p12) News reports during WW2 omitted most details, thinking that it could be of use to enemy agents. Thus, while the North Western Daily Mail published pictures of the destruction, they were not identified by street, or even by town: simply as ‘Bomb damage in a North West town’. Barrovians, of course, knew what had been done, and where. Death notices in the NWDM listed couples to be buried together, a sign of common tragedy befalling the household.
In the 1939 Register 4 Union Street is occupied by Robert Goude (DoB 6 May 1873), Steel Works Labourer (Retired); Ellen J. Goude (DoB 21 August 1871), unpaid Domestic Duties; Mabel Goude (DoB 8 September 1897) Unpaid Domestic Duties; Elsie Bonner (DoB 20 June 1913), Unpaid Domestic Duties; (next record redacted) and Robert Goude (DoB 20 November 1903), House painter. Next door at 2 Union Street was Dorothy Goude (DoB 2 July 1907), followed by 4 redacted records.
Ancestry tells us that the Goude’s were living at 4 Union Street, Barrow at the time of the 1911 Census. The household consisted of Robert Goude (37), Head, Rail Loader (Steelworks), born Whittlesea (sic – should be Whittlesey) Cambs.; Nellie Goude (39), Wife, born Barrow-in-Furness, Lancs; Mabel Goude (13), At School; Norman Goude (12) At School; Robert Goude (7) At School; Nellie Goude (4), all born Barrow-in-Furness, Lancs. At this point, Robert & Nellie had produced 6 children, 2 of whom had died.
In the 1901 Census the family had been living at 25 Brewery Street, Barrow. Robert, Nellie, Mabel and Norman have the same detail, and there is also Sidney (1 Month), and 2 Boarders, John Melling (60), Ship’s Engine Fitter, and Elizabeth Melling (55), Wife, both born Bolton, Lancs.
The National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1947 has GOUDE Ellen Jane of 4 Union-street Barrow-in-Furness Lancashire died 16 April 1941 Administration Lancaster 25 October to Nellie Warman (wife of Harry Warman) and Elsie Bonner (wife of William Ernest Bonner). Effects £180 15s. Note that it had taken 6 years for Probate to be granted.Norman Goude’s WW1 Military Service records can be seen on Ancestry.
d 13 September 1940
The first, and one of the youngest, victims of Nazi air raids on Barrow during WW2.
The grave is near the bottom of the Catholic section, below the Chapel. The gravestone is laying on its back. Many of the letters are missing.
In the 1911 Census, Daniel Goodwin’s family lived at 16 St Vincent Street, Barrow. The household consisted of Patrick Goodwin (37), Head, Shipwright, Messrs. Vickers Ltd., born Greenock, Scotland; Annie Goodwin (36) Wife, born Barrow in Furness; Richard Goodwin (14), Son, Rivet Catcher, Messrs. Vickers Ltd., born Portsmouth; Kathleen Mary Goodwin (13), Daughter, at School, born Portsmouth; David Goodwin (9); Daniel Goodwin (7); William James Goodwin (4); Winifred Goodwin (1); Anne Isabella Goodwin (1 month), all born Barrow in Furness.
Daniel Goodwin married Hilda Dixon in Barrow in the third quarter 1929.
In the 1911 Census, Daniel’s future wife Hilda Dixon, and Peter’s future mother, was living with her parents at 62 Worcester Street, Barrow. The household was Henry Dixon (39), General Labourer, Gas Works (Borough Council), born Kendal, Westmorland; Ruth Dixon (38), born Luton, Bedfordshire; Phillip Hills (20) Son, Holder up to Riveter;
Walter Dixon (16), Labourer at Oil Works; Eva Dixon (11), Thomas Dixon (9), Hilda Dixon (6), Bertha Dixon (3), Annie Dixon (2 months) – all born in Barrow. Mistranscribed as Diron. In the 1901 Census they were at 30 Worcester Street. Philip is described as step-son. Cumbria BMD has no father recorded.
Hilda Dixon’s father, Henry Dixon, of 62 Worcester Street, joined the 27th King’s Liverpool Regiment at Lancaster in June 1918, aged 45 yrs, though his service until discharge in February 1919 was all at Home i.e. not Overseas. His papers describe him as a Navvy; marrying Ruth Hills in Barrow on 24 November 1894, and having 4 children: Thomas Henry (DoB 30 Sept 1902); Hilda (DoB 5 August 1905); Bertha (DoB 22 April 1908) and Annie Townsend Dixon (DoB 20 January 1911). The older children had left home by this time.
In the 1939 Register living at 13G Egerton Buildings are Daniel Goodwin (DoB 22 December 1903), Steel Erector; Hilda Goodwin (DoB 5 August 1905), Unpaid Domestic Duties; Next record redacted; Jeane (sic) W. Goodwin (crossed out – replaced by McKenna) (DoB 27 July 1930), At School; Patricia M. Goodwin (DoB 16 Feb 1932), At School; Peter Goodwin (DoB 22 April 1935) Under school age; 2 records redacted.
Local historian Bryn Trescatheric’s Barrow Blitz (Dock Museum 2009) (p6) quotes the local press: “One of the bombs fell on a five-year-old child, PG., who was sleeping with his mother and sister. The child died shortly afterwards. His sister is now in hospital with burns on the arms and legs, and the mother sustained burns on her left hand.
Bombs hit a number of houses in the vicinity, but damage was mainly to rugs, clothes and bedding. A number of small fires were caused, but were quickly extinguished.
A Council school and a Children’s Home were hit, but no-one was injured.”
I have read that Mrs. Goodwin took her youngest children to a relative in Worcester Street thinking that they would be safer there, away from the shipyard and docks. If they had stayed, Peter would probably have survived.
Sarah & James Halfpenny
d 8 May 1941
Sarah and her son James Halfpenny (42) lived at 24 Vernon Street, and died in the Vernon Street Shelter.
James is listed in the CWGC records of Civilian Dead in Barrow as ‘son of Sarah and the late Patrick Halfpenny’. Patrick Halfpenny had died in January 1937, aged 65 years.
Unlike many of the Vernon Street victims, Sarah Halfpenny has a gravestone. Puzzlingly, the inscription only mentions Sarah, while the records indicate that James is buried with her. Cemetery records have her age as 64 yrs (CWGC has 63), and James as 39 (CWGC has 42).
The 1939 Register for 24 Vernon Street, Barrow has the following listed: Sarah Halfpenny (DoB 17 September 1878), Unpaid Domestic Duties; James Halfpenny (DoB 13 January 1901), Post Office Telephonist, Pensioner Regular Army 3702912 Lance Sergeant; Francis Halfpenny (DoB 4 March 1921), Fitter and Turner; John Halfpenny (DoB 18 January 1916), Dairy Roundsman; Margaret A. Halfpenny (DoB 15 May 1913), Unpaid Domestic Duties; Michael G. Halfpenny (DoB 6 June 1939), Under school age. There are puzzling numbers next to each name and a red asterisk against the bottom 2, with a note to see separate sheet. Perhaps they weren’t permanent residents.
James Halfpenny appears in the British Postal Service Appointment Book having been nominated to be a NT & COA (Night Telephonist/& Call Office Attendant) in Barrow-in-Furness on 14 February 1939.
In the 1911 Census the Halfpenny family were already living at 24 Vernon Street. Living there were Patrick Halfpenny (39) Rivetter’s Holder-Up, born Glasgow; Sarah Halfpenny (32), born Barrow, Lancs; Annie Halfpenny (11) Daughter, School, born Barrow; James Halfpenny (10) Son, School, born Barrow; Thomas P. Halfpenny (8) Son, School, born Barrow; Joseph S. Halfpenny (7), Son, School, born Barrow; Robert Halfpenny (5) Son, School, born Barrow; John G. Halfpenny (3) Son, born Barrow; Mary Halfpenny (10 months) Daughter, born Barrow; James Neary (15) Nephew, Apprentice Coppersmith Shipyard, born Barrow; Mary Neary (13) Niece, School, born Barrow.
The 1901 Census sees the family already at 24 Vernon Street. Annie is one year old, and James is 3 months old. Patrick’s brother John Halfpenny (mistranscribed by Ancestry as Halpenny) (24) Ship Rivetter, born Scotland, lives with them, and another Boarder is Louisa Hart (54), Widow, Charwoman, born West Bromwich, Staffs.
Sarah and Patrick had married in the fourth quarter of 1898 in Barrow.
Sarah must have spent most of her life living in Vernon Street. As a child of 2 years in the 1881 Census she is living with her family at 12 Vernon Street. Patrick Neary (44) Head, Labourer in the Iron Works, born County Down, Ireland; and his wife Ann Neary (35), born County Armagh, Ireland; have seven children: James (13), Unemployed; Thomas (11), Scholar; Annie (8), Scholar; Mary (6), Scholar, Catherine (5), Scholar; Sarah (2) and Patrick (9 months). The first two children were born in County Armagh, the rest in Barrow. Two boarders, Andrew Barr (59), Labourer in the Iron Works, and his wife Mary Barr (46) Weaver in the Jute Works (both born County Torone (sic), Ireland) share the house.
Emily and Irene Thompson
d 4 May 1941
Over 80 (numbers vary) people died in the ‘Barrow Blitz’ of April & May 1941, with Newland St, Hall St, Union St and Vernon St being particularly affected. Some died in the shelters built for their safety. While the bombers were aiming for the docks, steelworks and shipyard, plus the railway which served the industries and circled the town, many jettisoned bombs over the suburban parts of the town.
Many of the news accounts of the funerals made no mention of the cause of death. Due to censorship, headlines in the local paper simply mentioned ‘Bomb Damage in North-West Town’. This would certainly not fool local readers, and probably no-one else either.
The Thompson family lived at 30 Hill Road, which is where mother and daughter died on the night of 4 May 1941. Local historian Bryn Trescatheric’s book The Barrow Blitz (Dock Museum 2009) quotes Mrs E.A. thus: My father was G.H., owner of a drapery warehouse, and we lived at 54 Hawcoat Lane. On the night of Saturday, 3 May when the sirens sounded my father and I were on a fire watching rota and had to make contact with Mr. H. who lived at 38 Hawcoat Lane. As we were leaving the house I had to go back to get my grey firewatching tin hat, my father said he’d go on and I was to catch him up. When I returned to the front door I saw large objects hurtling through the sky. I rushed indoors and there was a terrific explosion. My father and Mr. H. were both killed. Later that night a land mine floated over our house and landed in Hill Road, killing Mrs. T. and her younger daughter. We were told it would be safer to leave our house and go to the shelter inside Vickers Sports Ground. (p22)
From the CWGC website we can learn that G.H. was George Hemingway, while Mr. H. was Arthur Howard Heath, a wine & spirits merchant, who contrary to the above is listed as living at 34 Hawcoat Lane.
Others who died on Hill Road were Mr & Mrs Hudson, at no. 26, while 2 died at 91 Hawcoat Lane, Kathleen Barker, aged 21, and Noel Lupton, aged 42, who may have been a lodger and/or a relative.
In the 1939 Register the Thompsons are already at 30 Hill Road, Barrow, where James W. Thompson (DoB 16 June 1896), Director, Under-Manager Brewers Wine & Spirits Merchants and Emily I. Thompson (DoB 2 July 1899) live with their child, whose record is redacted. Apparently records are redacted for 100 years, unless it is proved the person has died. Apparently no-one checks the war death records.
Emily Irene Pickering (28) married James William Thompson (31), Wine & Spirit Merchant, of 9 Clarence Road, Barrow-in-Furness on 8 November 1927 at St. Barnabas, Mossley Hill, Lancashire.
In the 1911 Census the Pickerings lived at 75 Beaumont Street, Liverpool. Father George Howard Pickering (49) was a Carriage Builder and he and his wife Catherine Pickering (45) had three sons and three daughters, including the splendidly named Hildegarde Muriel Pickering (13) and Emily Irene Pickering (11). The next and youngest child was son Ince Gilbert Pickering (3).
James W. Thompson was part of the Barrow Thompson firm of Brewers, Wine & Spirit Merchants who have a large vault in Barrow Cemetery (see https://furnessstoriesbehindthestones.co.uk/stories/the-thompson-family-vault/ ) and was baptised 26th July 1896 at Heapey, Lancs.
William Allison Hudson and Mary Hudson
d 4th May 1941
William Allison Hudson, B.A., (aged 47) and Mary Stobart McLoughton Hudson (aged 45) died at 26 Hill Road, Hawcoat.
CWGC reports that she was the daughter of Mrs. Binnie, of 28 St. Paul’s Road, Ardmore, Philadelphia, USA. He was a schoolmaster at Barrow Grammar School. (See below)
On 17 May 1941 the News reported:
LATE MR. W.A. HUDSON
21 YEARS BARROW GRAMMAR SCHOOL MASTER
NOBILITY OF SPIRIT WILL BE TREASURED MEMORY.
War could hardly have dealt the Barrow Grammar School a crueller blow than the taking of Mr. William Allison Hudson. He joined the staff of the school in January, 1920, as modern languages master, and having served under every headmaster the school has known, could rightly be regarded as an indispensable part of the place. On the death of Mr. J. H. Childs, the second master, in 1936, Mr. Hudson was entrusted with the senior modern languages post, a promotion which was not only a fitting reward for his sound work over many years, but also a confidence amply justified in the years, unhappily few, which followed. But the school’s record of modern language scholarships to the Universities was due as much to the solid foundation which Mr. Hudson laid in the middle school as to his work with the sixth form. He had the gift of inspiring the boys and bringing out the best that was in them.
By many old boys, however, he will be remembered more for his untiring interest in Association football, of which he was in charge. He had coached the school eleven, and right up to the time of his death could often be seen changed to play with his form. He was also responsible for the school music, and the interest which boys took in music was largely due to his patient endeavour. The musical programme on speech day, together with concerts in the happier pre-war days, were entirely in his hands.
But Mr. Hudson’s work did not end when these things were done. He always gave most generously of his time and energy to all the best things in the life of the school. And while the illness of his wife over many years restricted his social activities in the town, it gave to him a nobility of spirit which will always be a treasured memory in the minds of those whose good fortune it was to work with him.
The 1939 Register has William A. Hudson (DoB 17 Feb. 1894), Assistant Master, sharing 26 Hill Road with Frederick W. Hudson (DoB 9 October 1901), Master watch-clock repairer, and Air Raid Warden; and Hilda Hudson (DoB 27 November 1904), Unpaid Domestic Duties.
William’s origins were in the North-East. In the 1911 Census the Hudson’s were living at 9 Broxbourne Terrace, Sunderland. Father Joseph Hudson (49) is a Watch and Clock repairer; William Allison Hudson (17) is a Bursar at School; brother Joseph Hudson (15), is an Apprentice Watch and Clock repairer; brother Laurence Hudson (12) is at School; brother Frederick Whitfield Hudson (9) has no recorded occupation, nor do mother Mary Elizabeth Hudson (49) or sister Elizabeth (18). The whole family were born in Sunderland.
The National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1941 has William Allison Hudson leaving his Effects of £1995 4s 3d to Joseph Hudson, watchmaker.
In the 1901 Census the Hudson’s were at 44 Cleveland Road, Sunderland, along with Father-in-Law Allison Whitfield (66), Traveller for a Foundry.
The Barrow Boys Grammar School magazine, The Barrovian, had a lengthy eulogy to Mr. Hudson:
Mrs Hudson is something of a mystery. The article from the School Magazine implies that she was an invalid of some description. Where was she at the time of the 1939 Register?
The CWGC has her as the daughter of Mrs Binnie in Philadelphia.
Documents on Ancestry have her full name variously as
Mary Stobart McLoughton Hudson (from CWGC)
Mary Brown Stoddart McLauchlan Hudson [from National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1941]. Her Effects of £1002 10s 8d are left to the care of George Southcote Townsend solicitor.
In the 1911 Census a Mary Binnie (15), born Falkirk, is living in the orphanage at Secretary’s Sheltering Homes for Orphan, Fatherless and Destitute Children, Myrtle Street, Liverpool, where she attends school part-time. NB While Ancestry connects this Mary Binnie with Mary Hudson, it is by no means confirmed.
Sapper Wm J Coats
d 17 April 1941
While Barrow was being bombed, Barrovians were being killed elsewhere:
On the [16th/17th April 1941] one of the heaviest attacks was made on London since the war began. Bombing commenced shortly after 2100 and lasted until nearly dawn. Some sixty-six boroughs were affected, the main bombing being on central and southern London. Damage in the docks area was comparatively light and so far there is little damage to key points to record. In addition to H.E. and incendiary bombs a large number of parachute mines were dropped and great damage was done to private property by fire and blast. Among the public buildings damaged were St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament, the Admiralty, the Law Courts and the National Gallery. Many roads were blocked and the railway systems were hit in nineteen places. There were a large number of fires, the most serious being at L.N.E.R Goods Yard in Lisson Grove. Other serious fires were caused at Selfridges, Bessborough Gardens, Westminster, and the Kidbrooke R.A.F. Stores Depot. Although many fires were burning at daybreak, the situation was considered to be in hand. http://ww2today.com/17th-april-1941-heavy-attack-on-london
The Barrow News Saturday 3 May 1941:
BARROW SOLDIER’S FUNERAL
KILLED IN LONDON AIR RAID
The funeral took place at the Barrow cemetery on Friday week of Sapper Wm. Coats, only child of Mr. and Mrs. Cyril Coats of 30, Richmond-terrace, Barrow, who was killed in a recent enemy raid on London. Twenty years of age, the deceased young man was brought to Barrow from Workington 13 years ago, and was educated at the Victoria and Oxford-street Schools before going to the Barrow Grammar School, where he matriculated at the age of 14. He worked for the L.M.S. Railway Drawing Office before joining the Royal Engineers in August, 1940. Previous to this he had passed Section A of the A.M.I.C.E. (London) examination, and had also been awarded the Ramsbottom Webb Scholarship in 1940 tenable for three years at the Manchester University, which he was to have taken up after the war.
There was a large attendance of relatives and friends at the funeral, the chief mourners being Mr. and Mrs. Coats, father and mother; Miss Audrey Furness; Miss Coats and Mrs. Graham. Mrs. Allenhead (Hexham), the Misses McKee, aunts; Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong (Workington), Mrs. Atkinson, Mrs. Rae (Ilkley), Mr. Jas. Ealing, Mr. Jas. Silvie, Mr. Birkett, Mrs. Bleasdale, Miss Rae (Ulverston), Mrs. Furness, Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson (Maryport); Mrs. Stevenson (Workington) and numerous friends.
Members of the staff of the L. M. and S. Railway Engineer’s Department acted as bearers.
The many beautiful floral tributes included a wreath from the deceased’s colleagues in the Engineer’s Department and a wreath of Flanders poppies from the T.N. Department, War Office.
Dr James Peters from the University of Manchester provided the following:
The Ramsbottom Webb Scholarship was awarded by the University. It was a triennial entrance scholarship awarded to an employee or child of an employee of the LMS. It was worth £100 (payable for the first year only), and was awarded on the basis of an examination. Recipients were required to study a degree or certificate course in engineering. At the time, fees for an engineering course were £45 10 shillings (50p), plus laboratory and exam fees. The sum excluded accommodation costs.
Carol Morgan (Archivist, Institute of Civil Engineers) told me: (Coats) became an ICE Student member 19 October 1937. At the time he had a Matriculation Certificate Joint Education of the Northern Universities – I think this was a school leaver’s certificate but I am not sure. In 1937 he was training as an Assistant under agreement to the London, Midland and Scottish Railway under W K Wallace.
Ancestry: 1939 Register living at 30 Richmond-terrace, Barrow were Cyril Coats (DoB 7 July 1886), Railway Clerk; Sarah J. Coats (DoB 26 July 1887), Unpaid Domestic Duties; William J. Coats (DoB 28 July 1920), Apprentice Engineer (Railway).
John & Elizabeth Rankin
d 14 April 1941
Somehow I had missed John & Elizabeth Rankin in my various sweeps through the Cemetery Records. Thanks to the power of Facebook, I was contacted by their granddaughter and her granddaughter, who provided me with information.
The grave stands somewhat isolated at the bottom of the Cemetery below a row of Commonwealth War Grave headstones.
The Rankin family were yet another pair of victims living in Vernon Street, one of the most bombed streets in the Barrow Blitz. 14th April was the first day of what became known as the Barrow Blitz. Local historian Bryn Trescatheric’s “The Barrow Blitz” (Dock Museum 2009) has:
14th April (1941)
Air raid warning from 3.05 a.m. to 4.40 a.m. on Easter Monday. Two bombs were dropped on the Steelworks, one of which failed to explode; bombs fell on Vernon Street and Napier Street killing 14 people and totally demolishing six homes; a bomb on the Trevelyan Hotel … killed five guests and demolished the Hotel. This bomb clipped the Technical College on its way down and the building today is minus its eastern gable. (p10)
A family tree (of Douglas Berry) on Ancestry says a son, John, was born 4 December 1911 (NB according to my correspondent – his daughter, this is an error, and should be 1909) in Barrow in Furness. Cumbria BMD has a John Rankin born 1909, mother’s maiden name Smith; and a Catherine Smith Rankin born 1914; and an Agnes Jackson Rankin born 1916, as well as James in 1920. I was able to find exact birth dates on Ancestry.
Left – Right: bDan b 17 January 1912, John b 9 Sept 1883, Catherine b 6 Feb 1914, Jean b 17 Feb 1909, Elizabeth b 12 Nov 1885, Agnes b 25 May 1916, John b 4 Dec 1909
For a woman with 5 children under the age of seven, Elizabeth looks remarkably composed, cheerful and proud. 1909 was a busy year!
From Ancestry, the National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1941 has RANKIN Elizabeth of 48 Vernon-street Barrow-in-Furness widow died 14 April 1941 Administration Lancaster 30 October to Jean Allonby (wife of Wilson Allonby). Effects £262 12s 9d. In the 1939 Register, Jean (nee Rankin) was living with husband Wilson Allonby (Timber Faller) and his extended family at Sandground, Hawkshead.
In the 1939 Register living at 48 Vernon Street, Barrow, were John Rankin (DoB 9 September 1883), Iron dresser, Shipyard; Elizabeth Rankin (DoB 12 November 1885) Unpaid Domestic Duties; and James Rankin (DoB 9 June 1920), Apprentice Fitter, Shipyard. (Listed as Rawkin by Ancestry).
The Rankins were not living at 48 Vernon Street in the 1911 Census, but I haven’t yet found them elsewhere. (June 2021)
John and Elizabeth’s granddaughter told me that they came from Glasgow to Barrow. A vague family story was he came to play football but no proof has been found.
Of their children, Dan Rankin was born in Motherwell. Jean was also born in Scotland, but John, Catherine, Agnes and James were born in Barrow, or at least their births were registered there. (Cumbria BMD)
Also in the 1939 Register are John and Elizabeth’s son John Rankin [on the right in the family picture] (DoB 4 December 1910 – sic) Iron Moulder, and his wife Annie (DoB 22 October 1914), Unpaid Domestic Duties), living at 7F Blake Street. There is a third record which is redacted. John & Annie née Steele had married in the second quarter of 1936. Daughter Catherine Smith Taylor née Rankin (DoB 6 February 1914) is married to Arthur Taylor (DoB 3 March 1911), a Coach Painter (Cellulose) and living at 12 Strathmore Avenue. They had married in Barrow in Q2 1935, and later moved to Canada.
John and Elizabeth’s son Dan received some news coverage in the local press:
This news account appeared in the Barrow News 26 September 1942:
BARROW E.R.A. ON DESTROYER SIKH
SERVED ON H.M.S. NAIAD AND CUMBERLAND
Mrs. Rankin, or 132, Marsh-street, Barrow, has received no news from her husband, E.R.A. Daniel S. Rankin, for a few weeks. The last word she had from him was to say he was still serving on the destroyer Sikh, which, burning, sank with guns firing to the last off Tobruk on 13 September, when a British party attacked the port.
Aged 31, he has been serving in the Navy for four years. He met his wife, of Plymouth, when his ship put in to the Devon port for repairs. They have been married about 12 months, and have a baby daughter, Elizabeth, who has not yet seen her father. Rankin served on the British cruiser, Naiad, from which he was transferred just prior to its sinking and was on the cruiser Cumberland, when it encountered the Graf Spee. Before joining the Navy he was a mechanic in the Rolls-Royce works at Derby.
KILLED IN BARROW’S “BLITZ”
His parents were killed on 14 April, 1941, when Vernon-street, Barrow was bombed. He has two brothers, one older, one younger than himself. One of his sisters lives in Barrow, the other two residing in the Lake District.
Mrs. Rankin’s father, a widower, lives in a small village near Plymouth. Of her two brothers, one is in the Sudan and the other is in the West African Field Forces. They have not heard of the latter since the fall of Tobruk in June.
Better news came in the Barrow News 27 March 1943:
BARROW E.R.A. REPATRIATED
Mrs. D. Rankin, 132, Marsh-street, Barrow, on Thursday received a telegram from her husband, E.R.A. Daniel Rankin, who has been a prisoner of war in Italy, stating that he has been repatriated, is safe and well, and will be home soon. E.R.A. Rankin has been in the Navy for four years, and was taken prisoner off Tobruk on 12 September 1942. He is a Barrow man and served his apprenticeship as an engineer at the Shipyard, later going to Derby to work. It will be recalled that both his father and mother perished in the blitz on Vernon-street, in April, nearly two years ago. He has a daughter nine months old, whom he has not seen.
Daniel Smith Rankin married Emily J. Sings in the Tavistock Registration District of Devon in the third quarter of 1941, and died in the Medway District of Kent in September 1999 (DoB 17 January 1912).