Saturday, 29 March 2014


Herbert Beacroft of the Royal Engineers. 

Herbert was originally enlisted on October 25th 1916 into the 2nd/4th KOYLI (Kings Own Yorks Light Infantry) Private 9613  and later Private 359486. 

He was born in Scawby in 1876 the son of Mark and Rebecca; his siblings were Emily and Ernest E Beacroft, and Harry Daubney who may have been adopted. Herbert was married on 31st January 1897 in the Primitive Methodist Chapel to Helen Gouldthorpe with whom by the time of war he had had six children with Edith 11-05 Ethel Dec 8th 1910 Vera Feb 23-1912 Lionel? (illeg) Herbert and Ernest born in 1900.The family lived at Clifford's Avenue 6 Pasture Road. 

Men of this category were called up a little later in he drafts, though he could consider himself a little hard done to considering his age to be called up. 
Men had been invited to put their names down into what was called the group scheme. The group scheme declared that you had offered your services and in the unlikely scenario, that you were called up you would be obliged to go into the military. There were points systems.  If you were married you got knocked down the list, if you had children you got knocked further down the list-in theory. So he was called up rather quickly, and by late 1916 after the bloody disasters on the Somme, just about no-one was exempt. 

Herbert worked at the Farmer's Co. (ACC Chemical Works etc) and had not done military service previously. He was attested at Lincoln. He had also done some time at the brickyards. 

His medical notes picture him as 5.ft 7in.,131lb, (9 odd stone) of good physique. 

As he was in a 2nd line company, initially he would in theory have been in the rear lines mostly. Herbert remained on home duty until 14-1-17 when he was sent out with the Expeditionary Force, to France.
He transferred to the Royal Engineers on 26-2-17 as a Sapper 359486 in the 252 Tunnelling Company. This tunnelling was actually fraught with danger. The mine shafts were dug out in silence under the enemy lines so that ammonal could be planted and the enemy blown sky high.  However the Germans were doing the same, and the chance of a meet in the middle was high enough, the risk of tunnels falling in and a counter mining incident all too common. He would have been 42 years old by then. It is plausible that his experience with chemicals was an asset to the work involved. 

Upon leaving the army he was still eligible for call up despite his age and army trade and he would have been compelled to go to Newark to re-enlist. 

So Herbert made it through the war. But as he was leaving, Ernest aged 18 was going to guard the Rhine in a Youth Battalion.

He had listed into the 53rd Youth Battalion Sherwood Foresters and had gone overseas  in September 1918. He had been home from the Watch on The Rhine, returning and drowning six days later while swimming at Cologne.  He is buried in the same cemetery, Cologne Southern as Alfred Taylor Woodcock of Barton. 
He had been back from leave at home for 6 days when he met his end. 
Interestingly Ernest had a deformity of his femur, which was due to an old fracture and possible disease. 

Ernest was one of the names missing until recently from the Barton Cenotaph and one of the first that I identified as missing through the Parish Magazines that the Late Hugh Varah let me study. according to family the omission broke his mother's heart.

Now thankfully this has been put right.

Despite the rigours of war, Herbert passed away in 1936 at the age of 60 not long after his wife Helen who predeceased him in December 1935. Hebert was buried in August 1936 his address then being Whitecross Street.


Many thanks to the Beacroft family for the loan of this photo

Friday, 28 March 2014


Elijah Foster was born in 1893.  He was the son of William and Mabel (nee Simpson) of North Killingholme and were living at 1892 census at Dinsdale's Brickyard at Pasture Road, Barton.
William was foreman of the yard by 1901. Elijah being the 4th son of 7 siblings, they four more sons, Bemrose, John, Arthur, and George, the two daughters being Ethel and and Maud.

Elijah was married ro his wife Mabel for 60 years, she preceding him in 1974. The family lived at Windmill Pond House, midway between Barrow Haven and New Holland from 1920 until 1950.

Elijah enlisted into the Leicester Regiment most likely though not definitely as a volunteer with the Regimental number 45953.

Not much is known about Elijah's service.  He was posted as mising in 1918, after the Great German offensive, near to Vaucelette Farm in the North Somme area.

What is known at the time the 6th 7th 8th and 9th battalions of the Leciesters were present and a composite battalion of 1st Lincolns, 12th and 13th Northumberland Fusiliers, 4th South Africans made a valiant stand against overwhelming forces of Germans on March 21st at Epehy. 
Vaucelette Farm, which is still there, is just a couple of clicks to the North of Epehy, in the Northern Somme region.

Elijah had been out on reconnaissance as a scout/sniper with a couple of pals only to come back a while later to find their regiment had been wiped out and that the German front line was now advanced beyond them.  They now had to make their way through enemy territory, which was increasing at a huge rate for three months, and back to the relative safety of the British lines, with possibly a lot of explaining to do., after which he was shipped home.  Mrs Foster was pregnant at the time, and when the child was born Mabel named her Vaucelette.
Most of the dead from the action appear to be remembered on the Pozieres Memorial and the large majority have no known place of burial.
Elijah passed away in 1983 at 90 years of age. 

Elijah's medal index card.

The card shows that Elijah was entitled to the British War and Victory medal.  There is a note which says at the top 24-5-16 which could allude to his entry into the army, despite it being in the wrong slot. Another date shows 7-6-16 which could account for his overseas service. 

Much gratitude to Elijah's family for the information. 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


Elijah Foster was the fourth son of William Foster who was married to of Eccles Brickyard.  He enlisted into the 4th Battalion the Leicetershire Regiment which meant he was in the same brigade, the 138th, as the Barton Company.  His regimental number was 45953. Elijah. was a tile maker by profession.  He was born in 1893 and lived to the ripe old age of 90, passing on in 1983. He has his own chapter elsewhere in the blog.

Many thanks to the family of Elijah Foster for the photo and information 


Thomas served his time in the Royal Field Artillery. He was born around 1892.
Likely his horsemanship would serve him in the Artillery, as he was enlisted as a driver. As you can see in the photo he has the bandolier and lanyard of a driver. 
The boots are also particular to the horse driver, with the heavy flap on the front. 
The photo was taken by Bertram Parker.
Thomas went out to France with the Royal Field Artillery Driver 85604 on 1st August 1915 as a driver. This qualified him for the medal trio, 1915 star.This is an early date, and indicates previous service, (reserve)  Territorial, or an emergency where they needed horsemen quickly. 
Thomas lived himself at Poor Farm which has strong connections to the Bluecoat charity. He was the son of John and Mary Newmarch, and had a big family as was typical for a farm, with brothers, George, Joseph, John, Thomas, and sisters, Alice and Mary (L) ranging in ages from 22 to 6 in the '01 census.

Many thanks to the family of Thomas Newmarch for the photo shown here

 Private Alfred Turgoose Barton Company 3230 and 360086 Lincolnshire Regiment 1892-1956   He was in the first batch that went out on 1st March 1915 and he was wounded at the Hohenzollern Redoubt.  Many thanks to Alfred's family for this photo.

Sergeant Jack Gouldthorpe probably West Yorkshire Regiment.  No further info at present. This is a Bertram Parker photo.  

Herbert Gouldthorpe of the Private 4495 and 202072 West Yorkshire Regiment.
He qualified for BWM and Victory Medal, hence putting him in the war after 1915. 
Notice the ammunition pouches this appears to be 1908 issue.  The camp is most likely in the UK. 

Many thanks to the families of Jack and Herbert for these wonderful photos.

Herbert Beacroft of the Royal Engineers.Many thanks to the Beacroft family for the loan of this photo

Charles Danson in what appears to be an Australian contingent.  I shall do some further investigation into thus man very soon.

Many thanks to the Danson family for the loan of this photograph


William Robinson of the Staffordshire Regiment (North possibly)  He was as the legend shows, a prisoner of war for a long time. 

If you have any further information on the Barton men, village men, or Barton at war in general please contact 

Sean at 

or Laurie,  at


Saturday, 15 March 2014


John William Leaning

Jack Leaning, in Tropical field dress, complete with pith helmet, and note the highly polished boots.  The photo was taken in Nubar Pacha Studio, Street 10.  Nubar Pacha is not a place but the name of an Egyptian premier.


  • Born on 27th December 1893 his parents were Joseph and Anne Leaning. He had a sister called Kate Eveline. The family home was 44 Pasture Road, Barton.
  • John went to church school from 5 years and left at 14 years.

  • After school he worked on several local farms and chemical works to earn a living.

  • Jack was enlisted in Hull on 9th November 1914 in the Territorial Force of the East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry at the age of 21 years and 11 months.  This was a cavalry unit.

  • For anyone that wants to track his army progress his two army numbers were 1812 and when he transferred into the machine gun core 95925 his final rank was lance corporal (one stripe).

  • After training he embarked Southampton on October 27th 1915 arriving at Alexandria November 10th 1915.

  • Jack saw service in the areas of Gaza-Alexandria,Cairo,Abu-Gandia, (Abu Jandir is to the South of Cairo) and Karoun-which appears to be in Modern Iran, a river delta. He had one of “by the grace of God I go” moments when a shell landed feet away from his position but did not explode and that was at a place called Bear-Azis.

  • After training he transferred into the machine gun corps on 27th February 1917 seeing service in the same area of the middle east in these days mainly Egypt. He was promoted on the 27th January 1917 into 18 Squadron Machine Gun Corps.

  • He embarked Port Said on 9th February 1919 and was demobbed in Clipstone 25th February 1919.

  • He qualified for medals as detailed pack-Victory, British and 14/15 star.

  • After the war Jack rejoined his family home then at 44 Pasture Road, Barton
  • Note from his medical record, he was hospitalised for fever this potentially turned into a lifetime recurrence of malaria for which he took regular medication.

  • He bought his war time horse “Captain” and his first occupation was leading coal from Barton railway station to the gas works.  Captain could count himself lucky, lots of British horses were sold off to the French meat market until a campaign in the newspapers stopped the export.

  • He married Maud Bingley in spring 1920 and by 1924 had their only son Norman. They set up home in Ferriby Road (now Towncliff) then referred to as Jubb's pit.

  • During World War two Jack joined the Barton Platoon of the home guard and also towed the fire pump for the local ARP and fire brigade. He also started his own career as a councillor and helped many fund raising efforts during and after the war.

  • He started his love of farming by renting a farm on the Humber Bank (now the yachting club) and started building a herd of milking cows by this time he started employing local men and women to deliver milk in bulk around Barton. This method uses churns on bikes and barrows and ladles to measure 1 pint or 1 quart to the customer's jugs or receptacle.

  • Jack bought Eagle House on Fleetgate in the late 1940's after the house had been used as an army billet. The next move in the milk business was to build a bottling plant (building still there on the right hand side of Eagle House entrance).  Sadly the building was recently burnt out but as yet is standing.

  • He made his way in politics and was a councillor on the now disbanded Barton Urban District Council and was chairman in 1956/1957. He served on the council committee for the first swimming pool in Barton and was a key figure in justifying the spend in the town again with fund raising events to support the case. The Humber Bridge was a far off vision in the 1950s but Councillor Jack could see the benefits and sat on the committee both side of the river. During his council career charity to help others was his drive and he chaired the Barton blue coat and grey coat organisation.

  • Back to his farming career he took on the tenancy of Glebe Farm on Barrow Road and Field Farm on Ferriby Road. Both in the 30's when land was being let cheaply after the great depression that followed the great war. This provided a unit of approx 400 acres. The milk business (point 8) developed but was sold to Prescott's dairy in the early 50's and by now he had taken his son Norman into the family business trading for 50 years as J.W.Leaning & Son.

  • He was chairman of the National Farmer Union (North Lincolnshire Branch) in 1944-1945 and was keen to see fair and just prices for farmers in sugar beet, potatoes, cereal and livestock. The farm unit supported a mixed animal combination of cows and sheep. Many changing fashions in beef rearing were championed by the farm – grass land being used throughout Lincolnshire to support the herd. Jack could also be seen regularly at markets in Barton (Saturday), Brigg (Thursday) and Barnetby (Tuesday) and was always keen to be involved how our stock yielded at the butcher's block to ensure his sheep/lambs and particularly beef stock demanded a premium at market. He sat on the Barton Fatstock Society Committee again mainly to see fair play.

  • A fire at Glebe was a setback in the 1940's. The full yard of wheat/barley and oat stocks all went up in smoke. All the animals were saved but winter feed and bedding were a crippling blow. Many local farms sent trailers of straw and hay to help save the situation, all without being asked. He was forever grateful of such generosity.

  • Jack (grandad by this time) was keen to pass on his knowledge and experience to his now extended family. Agricultural Techniques of crop rotation, animal husbandry were his favourite topics and had Norman (son) sent to farming college at Askham Bryan (York). He undertook all of the administration tasks associated with the running of the farm. His love/hate relationship with any tax related communications was well known in the farming community. The other skill was his first aid skill which he passed onto his son, this was (WW1) based on iodine, every scratch/wound/graze was duly cleaned and dabbed with this yellow stinging fluid.

  • Jack never retired, he died on 3 August 1974 aged 81 years. Think for a moment what this generation saw in the way of change from horses being the main mode of transport to seeing a man on the moon. Two world wars, but massive change in living standards. Norman his son died in 1999 but his grandsons still reside in Barton and Barrow.

    Excerpts from Jack Leaning's diary-this will be updated frequently owing to the volume of writing. 

    Left England 26th October 1915 called at Malta 24 hours. Is it possible Jack heard of Barton's terrible losses at Loos prior to leaving?

    13.11.15 Arrived Alexandria (now Istanbul)

    Left Alex for Mina Camp under the pyramids at Cairo.

    Moved out Monday midday for Fayoum arriving at Arab Camp 2 a.m. I was put on guard and then had a week of duty.

    Moved to Abu Gandir. (Abu Jandir) (This place lies to the East of the desert and is located in modern Egypt.)

    Moved out about 12.2.16 to rejoin Regimental HQ. At Abu Gandir we had a good stay and several camsoon? winds also got 3 days CB. (confined to barracks)
    Had to move campoout onto the desert owing to a plague in the village so we camped on a hill called Medinet Mardle where we also has some very bad sand storms and some very hot weather too.

    Went on leave to Cairo 28/5/16 for 3 days and stayed at Ansar.
    Went into Field Ambulance for about 10 days then onto Abassaru for about a  week and then rejoined the Regt at the same camp as I left.

    Moved onto camp Afun 4.8.16 then out again to Karoun, (Lake Qaroun) a long way into the desert but a very nice camp to the salt lake where we bathed.

    14.9.16  Finished outpost and returned to Arab. 

    Went to Zaytoun (this is a very long journey through the country about 2 and a half hours these days)   for a machine gun course. stayed 3 weeks had a good time passing out as a QI. (This could be quartermaster-instructor)
    In the meantime the Brigade had moved acros the canal at Daida (probably Dawadah) and had a very nice time there considering the ruin. 

    7-1-17 MG section left the Regt for Bahareya and formed the squadron the next day.

    12-1-17 I was promoted to Lance Corporal which I managed to keep although the rank didn't grow to present day!

    28-1-17  Trucked to Abd (could well be Abd el Nayeem Giza) arrived there with no rations and the train broke down for 2 days.  (You can well imagine that a broken train meant a strong chance of ambush from what we now call insurgents)   

    7-2-17 Five days truck to El Arla  then onto Shek Loward?  where we stayed for about 10 days. 

    23-2-17 Moved out to Rafa (Rafah) beach (in modern Israel)  We stayed until the night of 24th March when we moved out about midnight along the beach to Bellah (Dayr al Ballah) and then out on reconnaissance.
    We returned about 11 o'clock and moved out again to the East of Gaza and had a bit of trouble from planes, (possibly Turkish Air Force) getting the order to attack Gaza from the North East at 2pm we did so, getting into action about  five times on the way to the top of the hill outside Gaza.  

    At about 3.30 we withdrew and at about 6.30 marched all night no one knowing were finding ourselves at daybreak at Shellal-a short break at that camp until 8.30 going along the beach to Wadi Guzzy (Whadi Ghuzze) hills overlook Gaza possibly, and stayed for the night.  We rejoined the ERY (East Riding Yeomanry) and went further up the beach returning at night and very pleased to hear we were going into this camp this being 
    Thursday 29th March.  
    Stayed here about three weeks going out on 24 hour outposts once a week. 
    Moved out of camp on the night on the 16th April marching on Shellal. (Al Shallal Red Sea?)
     Had breakfast in Wadi Guzzy (Whadi Ghuzze) and stayed there for the night. Moved out about 08:30 the Australian pulling in where we pulled out being bombed about half an hour after and lost several men and horses we marched out toward the furthest part of the line having little trouble from planes and little to do all day until about 430 when we had to take our two guns to cover the advance point while they withdrew back to the Wadi. during the night and put lines down, rested all day on the 18th so the infantry were resting before attacking Gaza. 
    I had  narrow shave-a bomb dropped about 10 yards away but nothing happened. 
    Moved on early on the 19th to Shallal where the Turkish cavalry and guns came out; had a bit of wind up but nothing much happened only a few shells. 
    At one of Johnnies (Johnny Turk)  old lines of trenches and came out covered all over with flies and came back about a ??? possibly some ailment! and had about 3 days reast, grazing the horses on young crops. Now Shellal is a good trot away along the Red Sea.  If you notice from maps the route takes in either coastal, lake, or rivieras. This was crucial for the horses and men alike.  

    Take a look at the map here to see how far Jack and his regiment had travelled.,+Abu+Gandir,+ATSA,+Faiyum,+Egypt/Faiyum,+Qesm+Al+Fayoum,+Al+Fayoum,+Faiyum,+Egypt/Zaytoun,+17+souk+el+khait+st.%D8%8C+EL+MANSHEYA%D8%8C+ALEXANDRIA%D8%8C+Egypt%E2%80%AD/Rafah,+Qism+Rafah,+North+Sinai+Governorate,+Egypt/Al+Shallal+Theme+Park,+Al+Shaty,+POBox+118985,+Jeddah+21312S,+Saudi+Arabia/@26.3551542,30.5084532,1484345m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m38!4m37!1m5!1m1!1s0x145968cde9c10527:0xf5824db951045a46!2m2!1d30.6545022!2d29.4840214!1m5!1m1!1s0x145bd8684339d5d5:0x8653a3327fbca2de!2m2!1d30.680402!2d29.239836!1m5!1m1!1s0x1459792fa8bf0013:0xa698b3d528236f63!2m2!1d30.8428497!2d29.3084021!1m5!1m1!1s0x145840659ca40185:0xeb380cb890f1095b!2m2!1d31.247994!2d30.081388!1m5!1m1!1s0x14fd9486011a1d1d:0xaef6d7fc0c29f2c!2m2!1d34.2401914!2d31.2802667!1m5!1m1!1s0x15c3db286bd1be5b:0x5fe0e2c958a2b510!2m2!1d39.111108!2d21.568062!3e0

    Guns to beat the Hun! PArt of Barton's war effort in WW2, spearheaded by the Council members, was to raise money for the Artillery. Jack is at the rear to the left.  The fund succeeded and a giant howitzer was paraded in the drill hall before being sent out to the armed forces.

Many thanks to Mr J.W.Leaning (Junior) for all the information.  

Many thanks to Denise Atkin for a hard days slog at the keyboard!

Thursday, 6 March 2014


Hoodless Gouldthorpe MM DCM CdeGuerre was born on 5th November 1892, and died 4th January 1969, having lived most of his life in Barton.

In 1911 he was working on a farm, for an Arthur and Caroline Spilman at Northorpe as a farm labourer and in another column on the census a servant.

He was 22 years old when the war broke out and he joined the 5th Lincolns in France on 1st March 1915 with the first contingent. He was to see much fighting at the Hohenzollern Redoubt and many of his comrades, and fellow NCOs fell in that battle.

He was married in 1921,when he was 28 to Minnie Welton, of Appleby, who was then 22 and who survived him by 13 years.

Sergeant Hoodless Gouldthorpe, mud still on his boots, earlier on in the war, putting his feet up and relaxing for a photo most likely taken in Flanders behind the lines.  Notice how he still has the match and cigarette in his hand. Past caring? or someone who didn't care much for convention of the time?

Private 2093 and Sergeant 240329 H. Gouldthorpe holder of Victory, British, and 1915 Star having gone out with the Barton contingent on 1st March 1915. Interestingly his address-29 Barrow Road. on his Medal Index Card.
Hoody is listed as a Private on one card under both numbers but this is incorrect detail-not uncommon on military documents of the time.
He was a Sergeant although at the beginning of the war, he might have been of lower rank. His part 2 Medal Index Card refers to him as a Sergeant in the 5th Lincolns T.F.  (Territorial Force)  and having been having been awarded the DCM on 1st January 1918, the traditional date for the Kings New Years Honours.
 The citation for his award of the DCM is as follows-''For courage and devotion to duty when all officers were killed he led with skill and great courage'' London Gazette.

He worked at the Farmers Company, later A.C.C. or Albright and Wilson's.  He was well known for getting veterans work when the seasonal tile yard had closed for the winter, from when the last swallow flew, until the arrival of the first.  Hoody as he was widely known was a foreman, and was involved in unloading boats at the landing stage.

In this photo all the men have got some rank, and some have been wounded several times. There is a sprinkling of Scots Regiments, Camerons and Gordons, Manchesters, and East Yorkshires, Scots Greys, and of course, Hoody fourth from right second row in his Lincolns cap badge.  As to what this occasion was, is only guess work, but it is most likely NCO training or an officer selection process-not a field hospital as not one of them appears to be wounded.  Note Sgt. Gouldthorpes ribbon medals, hazy but just discernible is the ribbon of the DCM,  second only to the VC.  He is the only one wearing ribbons so he would have had plenty of enquiries as to how he got them.
The Military Medal ribbon would sit next to it, and his Croix de Guerre, a foreign decoration inaugurated by the French in 1915 would sit to the left of his British awards.

This photo has the legend on the reverse, NCOs of 'C' Company Sergeants, 5th Lincolnshire Regt. Hoodless is 3rd left at the rear, with his hands on his fellow NCOs shoulders.

Hoody at work unloading a boat at the Farmers Market Landing Stage, date unknown, between the 1920s and 50s?

 After the war, Hoody worked at the Farmer's Company as I have already stated. He went into the Home Guard in the 2nd World War, ready to defend his country, not once, but like so many others like him, twice.

Hoodless' retirement party after a lifetime at the Farmer's Company after a lifetime of bravery and helping others in keeping hunger from the door during hard times.
He died fairly young at the age of 76.

All photos and some information shown here kindly loaned by Trina Dunderdale, granddaughter

Contact details of blog Sean at  

Saturday, 1 March 2014


William David  Toogood was  born  at number 2, Priestgate on 20th September 1884.
He was married on Christmas Day  1906  at St. Peters to Emily Phoebe Handson and given away by George her brother. They made their home in Hungate. They had two children George Gilbert and Ada. William was a brake maker at Hoppers Cycles in the 1911 census and was living at 41 High Street.Later in life they were at number 37. He was 29 when the war broke out. 

William's service record shows he was enlisted on 6th February 1915 regimental number m2/290461 on mechanical transport in the 74th division which was Yeomanry, under the command of formed in Egypt in 1917 out of three dismount brigades,  under the command of General Archibald J Murray.  due to gas inhaled in the war, but was also a survivor on the ship Transylvania which was torpedoed on its way to Salonika in 1917 and water in his lungs was also a probability.  In all likelihood he was in the Yeomanry prior to the formation of this division on foreign soil.

The SS Transylvania formerly a Cunard liner, 14348 tonnes sailed out from Marseilles under the escort of two Japanese destroyers the Matsu and the Sakaki. The liner had been requisitioned by the military which doubled her capacity as a troop ship to over 3000.    In the gulf of Genoa she was hit by a torpedo from a sub U-63, commanded by Otto Schultze on May 4th, one day into her journey. 
The Matsu came alongside to take on troops from the stricken vessel, while Sakaki circled to keep the submarine from attacking; this did not deter Schultze who fired again, and the Matsu in turning hard astern to avoid being hit, allowed the Transylvania to be hit once more.  Schultze was one of the most successful U Boat commanders and he survived the war, and got to high command in the German navy.
410 men lost their lives, and many of the recovered bodies are buried at Savona, in the gulf of Genoa where there is apparently a memorial to the dead.

The Division was involved in the battles of Jerusalem, 2nd Gaza, Beersheba, and Tel-Asur.  The division was transferred to France for the battles of Epehy and the 2nd battle of Bapaume. 

The Barton branch of the British Legion were out in force for the funeral, with veterans George Boyce, also a neighbour, Dennis Goodson, Dove, probably Preston Dove, and Mr R Wood being present.Note Mr and Mrs. Leaning also.

William died on 16th February 1933 from the effects of pulmonary TB. and gassing, while living at 37 High Street, at what is now or was Spencer Molloys shop with the loading bay on the first floor.   Emily survived him and lived to the age of 77. She died in 1961. 

Posing in a photo somewhere in possibly Salonika, William Toogoodand a companion bare chested, in tropical dress.

Much gratitude to the family of William Toogood for this information


This blog was conceived after a long research 25 years into the history of Barton upon Humber in the Great War.  I started it at school in 1984, when our class teacher Norman Warriner, sent us out, armed with cameras to find out a little about local history. Finding little of value, that was of interest to 17 year olds, I hit upon the idea of going into an old people's home and ''bothering grannies'' for some idea of what the town was like back in the day.  The museum had nothing much to speak of at that time; the trials and tribulations of that institution need no introduction!

I was shown around the Willows, the retirement home off Pasture Road, which features heavily in this work, by a lady who was very helpful, Mrs Caroline Manchester; she directed me to an old fella who sat on his own named Harry Hewson.  Although not from Barton he had settled in Broughton after the Great War.

I sat astonished as he informed me of going to the doctors in the middle of the night some 75 years previous, on bare horse back for his dying father's medicine, then his enlistment into the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry; the very name of the regiment had a Napoleonic ring to it, a world of cavalry charges and fledgling biplanes-yet they went into the trenches of 1914-to a static warfare of barbed wire trenches and machine guns, along with all the other horrors invented by mankind-I was hooked by this.

I was to meet Jack Thompson, Jack Aldridge and Bertie Mills through my travels, and many others not connected with Barton. 

I sat and listened and recorded for hours-I still have the original notes 30 years on. 

Another thing that got me hooked  was the War Illustrated. This was a weekly newspaper which was bound into volumes at the end of the War. It was full of propaganda, spy paranoia, a bit like the Sun of today-nothing much changes, but as years have gone by I found that the contents for the most part were not that far from the truth.  The most interesting thing about these volumes for me personally is that they taught my grandfather Josef Bukacek, how to speak English.  He was on the run from the Nazis and he and his comrades formed the nucleus of  the Czech Free Army.  His friends who had travelled with him went on to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich the Hitler appointed governor general of Czecholovakia, but that is another story and I digress, the books have a special place for me from the two angles, despite the fact that they take up a great deal of room.

Third and finally was an old photo, seen in this blog, of the Barton men assembled in khaki, half of them boys, outside the Butts Road drill hall en-masse in 1914, ready for the biggest journey of their lives, from which some obviously would never return.  I was given a clandestine copy of this from the printers, and I asked lots of people who were the men in the photo, without at first much success.  It became a lifetime work, to find out who they were, what they id, were they fought, and several journeys, to the old peoples homes, France and Flanders bore fruit, if only moderate amounts.
More photos were to come, with names attached the bulk of it only many years later.

Fourthly I made contact with the late Reverend Hugh Varah, and his lovely wife who supplied me with his his study, his documents and a lot of cuppas, and Brian Peeps who supplied me with the Parish magazines, a myriad of lists and photos, personal memories-a veritable treasure trove. One common denominating factor is that everyone connected with this has a very patient wife!

By 2003 a lot of information was coming out on the internet. The London Gazette where I got a lot of the information about Colonel Wilson, the medal winners , the Wargraves Commission and other bodies had ploughed a massive amount of detail ont onto the internet-A CD Rom ''Soldiers Died in the Great War'' appeared on the Great War scene, which was more or less taking a back seat owing to work commitments and it was on these that I discovered that there were 30 names missing from the Barton Cenotaph, as seen in a separate chapter.

It intrigued me as to why and when the names were chosen for the Cenotaph.
There was, according to the late Ted Appleyard MBE in a 4 hour phone call I had with him one night! money changing hands and the usual political shenanigans. One lady who donated £200 for her sons name, who had only visited Barton once.  And as Barton Cenotaph was one of the first to be erected in Britain, it was possible that the rush to get the names down, accounted for the misplaced names.   

I thoroughly researched the names that were missing and checked the details were correct.  When Ancestry came on the scene I found that the details were correct and that the names had been omitted for whatever reason.

By about 2007 then I had information galore to go on with, acres of it. I produced my own CD Rom having visited various people including a new face, retired teacher Nigel Land, who was working on his own book about Hoppers Cycle Works. He put the Hopper threads together for me along with Chris Bailey and Steve Bramley, whom he had introduced me to, and who, had unbeknownst to me had been doing exactly the same as I had, taking tape recorders on their bikes across the Wolds to interview/bother pensioners!

A lot of stuff had come together and the CD Rom was serialized in the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph for a week.

All went quiet and I thought I could knock the whole project on the head, until in 2012 I found an old email that I had somehow missed among the flurry of those I had received from Laurie Robinson. I replied to it with apologies for not getting back sooner.

I was given marching orders to come up and visit him in Barrow Road, and since then the information has been coming non stop.  Laurence with his myriad of contacts in Barton, poured a whole new lease of life into the project.  His own photos of his family and mementos and his vivid recollections of his Granddad Jim Knight added a real dimension to the work. 
He himself has been knocking on doors and the stuff he has bought back to the blog has been incredible, as well as his own personal memories of old Barton.

Reading the chapter on the missing names he was shocked as I initially was that the men and woman  had been omitted from the memorial and together, after working on the repair of Colonel Wilson's grave we founded the Barton upon Humber Living Memorial Trust.  Although I do not play an active part in the organization. I feel somewhat proud to be connected with it. 

Finally after a couple of years of Lawrence's grit and determination, his fund raising, and badgering the council, with the effort and information put in by Mike Hemblade, two new memorial stones have been made to be placed on the cenotaph so that the men and the one woman who fell in the Great War from Barton are rightfully and permanently remembered.  This all came together in the Barton museum in a ceremony which was attended by local dignitaries and from further afield, a religious service was held and the last post was sounded; the museum which Laurie and Brian have breathed new life into, with the long hours of research and typing alo put in by Prudence Gaughan, Donald and Marjorie Ball.
I am told that 'Pru' is a driving force at times and that all have made outsatnding contributions to the venture.  On its first day, the Great War exhibition at Barton had 300 visitors.

Hopefully the Trust will be copycatted and other areas will up the ante, as Lawrence himself said, ''Given the nature of mankind, we know there are going to be more names added to it in the future.''

So we go on. I can never say ''it's finished'' because it isn't, you never know what's round the corner and what you can unearth.

Sean W J Scholfield 1st March 2014 

Contact myself Sean at  or Laurence Robinson at 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014


John ''Jack'' Marshall Andrew was a young farmer of Ninety Acre farm at Elsham, the son of Everitt and Elisa Andrew.   He was born 19th April 1897. The Andrews lived at Elsham Top Farm, his father being the foreman for a Mr. Duncan Dodds at the princely wage of £25 per annum. Hack attened the village school until he was 12 years old, and then went to work on the land, sevring time as a gamekeeper.

Jack was enlisted at 19 years old  into the 4th South Staffordshire Regiment, giving his trade as a general labourer living at Elsham Lines.  He was a tall lad for the time,
being 5 ft and 9 in.
The record for him reads.
Attested 12-2-16
Army Reserve 13-2-16
Mobilized 27-2-17
Posted 27-3-17
He was to be transferred most likely from this reserve, into the 2nd Battalion Linciolnshire Regiment, a regular battalion.  He never actually served in the 4th Staffords, and was only on the nominal roll for this unit, should he be called up; when he went it was in the county regiment.In any case, he trained at Grimsby and Belton before leavign for France.
A booklet from Elsham village described him as being in severe fighting around Ypres and the neighbourhood, and at Passchendaele ridge.

Farming was a reserved occupation and it is probably because of this  Jack was kept back for a year.  The Government reviewed their farmers scheme and finally sent a lot to France in the Autumn of 1916.  This short sighted policy led to harvests not being sewn nor reaped, among the other tasks facing the older fathers and grandfathers left on the farms, and the policy was eventually rescinded.  Those that had survived were by and large returned home to work their farms in 1918.  This was a complete policy failure that helped to starve Britain which was already suffering from the submarine campaign of Admiral Tirpitz.

There is very little on Jack in his military records apart from these bare items.

He went into the Lincolns aged 19 in late 1917, and according to his papers was posted to Cork, in Ireland.  This was just a year after the Easter Uprising in Dublin.  Cork was not a completely safe place to be for British soldiers.  It was to become known as ''Rebel Cork'', the homeland of Michael Collins, though in 1917, the strong military presence there probably annulled too much rebel activity.  Much worse was to come in 1919/20 but at this time it was reasonably quiet.  Bandon was the main military centre for the British Army.  Cork was very loyal during the war, giving a lot of men as volunteers and winning a lot of medals for bravery, but the milk turned sour when the war ended.  Many soldiers who enlisted from 1916 on got a spell in Ireland prior to embarking for Flanders.

Jack was a sniper and had the crossed rifles of a marksman on his sleeve. He had after all been a gamekeeper prior to the war in his farming life so he new how to handle and use a rifle. 

A patrol was sent out one evening to locate a German sniper; a Sergeant and a handful of men. Within so many yards, there was only Jack Andrew and the sergeant remaining, who took cover in a shell hole.   The Sergeant said, ''Wait while it gets dark and we'll make a run for it.'' Duly the sergeant arose from the shell hole they were sitting in and was taken instantly by a bullet. John Andrew told me, ''My father was a patient man, and he sat and waited; he could see an embankment, a railway and caught the gleam of a scope. Finally after several hours this German rose from his spot and was stretching himself.  Jack took the chance and felled him with his rifle. He crawled over to the embankment and took the German's dog tags. The sniper's position was between two sleeper under the rail, (which was most likely war damaged) hence he was so hard to place. He bought the tags back to the officer and explained what happened. The officer told him he would be recommended for a medal, but he was killed himself before the report was submitted. John Andrew told me that it ''troubled my father in later life that he had killed a man, but he had saved a lot of lives by killing this sniper.''

Jack wrote home to his family in March 1918, to say that he had ''got out alright...not as bad as expected..'' without the loss of any men in his battalion.  This would have been the beginning of March.

 ''In the battle some of them lost their heads and soon got ''cappued'' (shot, killed)  ...I enjoyed sniping at Hun but...oh those shells and gas...''

His luck was to run out as he was wounded in action in the legs and back, in five places in total. also being gassed later on 21st March 1918, at Cambrai; he was now a prisoner of war. This was the first day of the great German offensive. 
He was transferred to Poland to a large POW camp that contained many Russians.
 He worked in the hospital section of the 'Lager' or prison that he was confined in.
It seems he was a man of letters as he learned to peak Russian, which is a difficult language to pick up.
 In later years it seems he was a little anti-war at least.  One one occasion he lifted up his shirt to show young national servicemen the scars he had gained in battle at his farm..
''That is what you get for fighting lost causes.'' he told them.
Jack returned to farming post war at Ninety Acre Farm.
He again became a gamekeeper on the Elsham estate, and was then at Wrawby Moor. From 1920 to 1946 he was a special contable. In 1922 he married Elisabeth Huttoft.  They had two sons, Tom born in 1924, and John born in 1929.
In 1937 he moved to Barton to join his father and brother famring at Grange Farm.
During WW2 he trained a small auxiliary unit ready to hassle the Germans, had they succeeded in invading Britain. After the second war, he became well known as a breeder of shire horses.  He passed away in 1972.

                          Jack in the uniform of the 5th Lincolns shortly after his return to England

POW. Jack shown with possibly a German surgeon (his son says this man was probably a cook-and a Russian POW; Jack is on the right in a Russian uniform
 Bear in mind he had been severely wounded and his own uniform would have been cut from him as he received treatment.  His son, John showed me a piece of the shrapnel removed from his body, an inch of what would have been hot steel.
The Russian in the centre was stealing food for the prisoners at night, he was very adept.  He must have been stealing it of the Germans, as all they had was cabbage soup normally. He would have been shot if he had been caught.  We can only speculate as to what happened to him after the war, returning to Stalin's Soviet Republic.

Camp life was hard; disease, harsh treatment by the enemy, starvation, and lice.  Life was slightly easier for the British prisoners, the Russians were treated very harshly by their captors. Still many died after their return to their home countries.
However Jack recounted that the treatment he received from German surgeons was very good.

When Jack returned to England his invalid status showed him to have GSW (gunshot wounds) to abdomen back and thigh. This gave him a 40% disability rating but this was reviewed to 20%.  This entitled him to 11 shillings per week for 26 weeks which was then cut to 5 shillings and 6d (pence) for a further 26 weeks.

He was to write in an undated letter, which is contained in his military papers;

Dear Sir,  I have been talking to a man yesterday who was a prisoner of war and I understand that he got two months leave with ration allowance besides his 28 days mobilization leave. Well now I was a prisoner of war and I only got 25 days leave and never got a penny for being a prisoner.  Will you be kind enough to let me know where to apply for it and oblige.
Yours truly
31654 Private J M Andrew 2nd Lincs Regt.

He received a negative response however, with Army command in Lichfield informing his that his allowance was not given as he had been admitted to hospital upon arrival back in Britain.  Therefore he was penalized for being wounded.

After the war Jack returned to his farm.  He was a great runner, very keen on sports, and won the 100 metres hurdle at the Elsham races seven times running.  He found it difficult to do greater distances because of the effects of poison gas on his chest. 

Many thanks go to the family of Jack Andrew for the loan of photos and information from Mr. John Andrew. 

Saturday, 15 February 2014


Walt was the son of Edmund and Hannah, and at 3 years old was living in High Street.

The Atkinsons had five children in total-Harriet, Charles, Elsie, and Lucy being the remainder.  Walter was 16 at enlistment, but he wasn't returned home. He gave his age as 19.   Their father was a labourer.

Walt wasn't very tall, 5ft 6inches, and had GOOD vision, but was of good physique.   He was living at 29 Queens Avenue according to his military papers, listing his occupation as a hawker.

Sometime in 1914 Walt and Paddy Mills two adventurous boys, put their heads together and decided to enlist, without their parents permission of course.  They took the New Holland ferry and sought out a recruitment office. Was it the glory of war, or could it have been the 10 shilling fine that Walter received for poaching at Barton magistrates a the end of 1914 that propelled them toward the firing line?

It was on May  10th 1915 that he went with Reginald Bertie ''Paddy'' Mills to the recruiting Sergeant in Hull and, after the Sergeant took a bribe of a guinea between the two of them, both were enlisted, into the Royal Artillery, Walter as gunner 2278 Northumbrian Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. The conversation went, as Paddy recalled;

The recruiting sergeant they approached said to them on King William Street;
''How old are you?''
''Nineteen, Sir.''
''You don't look it.  Go for a walk round the block, and we'll see if you're 19 when you come back.''
They wandered off, and discussed what had been said.  ''He wants a bribe!'' And so they returned, gave away their money, and were enlisted.  But they were not to go together into the glory of battle.  Both were enlisted into the Royal Artillery but Paddy was shipped off to the 5th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers soon after, where his true age got found out. 

Walt had suffered all his life with an eye condition called ulcerative keratitis, that got found out, when he was having a spell of it. It can be a lifelong condition, and causes blindness which was no good for a gunner in the artillery.  Walt was duly sent home in April 1916.

After his military service Walt was the landlord of the Coach and Horses for many years.

Walt seated left and his old chum Bertie Mills in the dark sweater, who not long after this decided the army life was for them.

An underaged Walt Atkinson, hawker by trade, in the uniform of a gunner of the Royal Artillery.
Note that he came back to Barton to Betram Parker's to have his photo taken. The leather pouches are an ammunition bandolier around his shoulder. This photo is unusual.  Note the stage backing of a cannon behind.  Obviously Mr. Parker got this prop for the war, but it is the only Parker photo I have seen with it in place.

Not quite sure what the occasion was here, but possibly cup final day. The cat possibly belonged to the Lincolnshire Times and was named ''The Blot''!He was ready for a Grimsby Town match. I wonder if he saw his old mate Paddy playing for them? Paddy was a professional footballer playing for Aston VIlla and Grimsby, to whom he was transferred for £3000 in 1929, a very tidy sum.

Special thanks to the family of Walter Atkinson for their contributions

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


Robert's story is one of a forgotten hero who did his duty for his duty for God King and country in the Great War.

He is buried in Barton cemetery, and the only hint of service to his country was the burial register kept by Canon W E Varah and the parish magazine, which gives the clinical entry of ''Died of disease contracted on active service.''

Robert had a full military career, but for whatever reason, perhaps that he had died a little too late,  despite being a Chelsea pensioner, his name was omitted from the Cenotaph.

However, all is changing this year 2014, because of the combined efforts of the Barton Living Memorial Trust, Robert's name along with 29 others whose names were left off the Cenotaph, is to appear, carved into new stones on Barrow Road.

The photo below comes courtesy of  the family of Robert Haith, and is the only one of him known.

Robert appears at the top right of the photo with his family.  His father is John Henry Haith and his wife is Anne.  His brother John Henry junior is on the left, and the late arrival William (3 in 1911) is on the knee of his parents. Robert's father worked at the brickyards.

Robert was born in the first quarter of 1898 and lived at Pasture Road and was a Quarry man. He would most likely have known Jim Sobey who was also in the trade, and possibly George Colley, who has a chapter elsewhere in this blog. He would have been used to explosion, on one aspect of the war, artillery, explosions might not have been such a shock to him as it might to say a pen pusher in the city.

                         Another photo of Robert in uniform, the Light Infantry badge can clearly be seen

Robert was young when he was called up for service or conscripted at 18 years and 9 months  into the 15th training battalion of the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry (KSLI) regimental number 111627 then 1116985 as a private soldier on 26th October 1916 at Scunthorpe, and approved at Lincoln, attested by a Colonel Jessop.
He was 5ft 7in. tall and of good physique. 

He was then transferred to the 8th Battalion of the same Regiment on 23-4-17 and posted overseas with the M.E.F. Mediterranean Expeditionary Force 

Seeing active service in Salonika, which was a pit of disease during the war, and at the time, vaccines not being readily available, for many soldiers, Robert not being the only one to return with health deterioration to Barton post war.

On 17-9-17 Private Haith was tranferred to the Valetta Military Hospital in Malta. This was the usual route for wounded soldiers from Salonika. He was admitted with  pleural effusion which is fluid trapped between the pleural layers that surround the lungs.  He would have therefore been having severe breathing difficulties.
What is now relatively easy to cure, cost many their lives. Usually the fluid is drained off into bottles from tubes through the chest wall.
He was transferred onto a vessel named MS Braemar Castle (not the hospital ship that was torpedoed in 1916) of the Union Castle line and was taken back to Malta at Mtarfa Military Hopital on 7th November 1917. 

Robert then spent a week in November 1917 in the Military hospital in Bristol. 

He was admitted to Chelsea Royal Hospital as a Chelsea pensioner, with the number 31133 suffering with general Tubercolosis with pleural effusion. Robert was discharged with honour form the army on 6th March 1918, while still receiving treatment.

His Chelsea record showed Robert to be honest, steady, and sober. He was returned after to his family at 54 Pasture Road and died there in March 1919. How his name wasn't applied to the cenotaph under such circumstances is unknown.

Note: Poison gas was certainly used in the offensive which involved Serbian, Greek French and British on one side, with Bulgarians on the other but there is no reference to this in R A Haith's  military notes.  It could have been the secondary cause of his death but this is not certain.

The mountainous ground held advantage for the tactically wise Bulgarians, manning heavily fortified lines and the British led allied offensives  never managed to break through it in three attempts.  British losses were very heavy around the battle of Dojran Lake.

Many thanks to the Haith family for the information and photos 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

''THE GREATER GAME'' Football Teams and Sport in Barton before and during the Great War

Football and sport in general was a big feature of pre-war life in the town and there were many football teams including the Chruch Lads, (CLB), Old Boys, Territorials, St.Chads and the Methodists.  Some teams were short lived while other survive today.

As we have seen there were many who served and died at the various fronts in the Great War that had played football and won medals playing for one Barton team or another.

Harry Hunt
Walter Brown
Frank Cox
Herbert Barley
Thomas Proctor 
Herbert Barley

were among those killed in the line of duty who donned a football jersey for one team or another in Barton's teams.

We have heard of the ''all conquering Barton side'' to which Proctor and Cox belonged, their balmiest years... 

The following news reports are scattered about over the years and I hope to get some more on the subject.

Church Lads team (CLB.)  At the far right is Percy ''Dick''Dent who died of pneumonia in the trenches in 1917 while serving with the Hussars.  He was an ''outstanding singer'' and used to entertain the players with his singing on journeys. Photo courtesy of Brian Peeps

News clips

Barton Town v Barton Amateurs

On the ground of the former on Saturday...before a small gate..the premier club had the best of the game....and won by 7 goals to Amateurs 0.

Barton Town: Brown, Batson, A Pickard (Captain) Winship, Hutchinson, Hare, Johnson, C. Farr, Ashley, Sellers, (Sellars?) and G. Farr.  

Amateurs: Robinson, Boyce, Thurnall, B.Pickard, Linley, Small, Barraclough, Flowers (Flower?) Captain, Wood, Leathley and Thompson.

Looking through the list of names it seems as though the amateurs formed a hard core of the Barton Company soldiers.  This puts into perspective that not only did they play together, they worked together and went to war together-inseperable!

A great photo rarely with names of Barton on Humber FC.  At the rear is Harry? Southall who appears in the Charabanc photo of the survivors chapter. Photo by kind permission of Brian Peeps

During the close season Barton Old Boys which almost looked like extinction has gained a new lease of life. The main problem was relocation to a new ground, but Mr.Collingwood has let them stay at some inconvenience and on Saturday they will be seen at Reckitts. Their Captain this year is Herbert Barley, one of the keenest players to ever don a jersey. Arthur Goring has been appointed secretary and Charles Bennett is treasurer. It is reported that Wright, Robinson, and Kirby of New Holland have signed for them.  The boys will be a force to be reckoned with and in the competitions they have entered they will be stickers.

Barton United team. Walter Brown who was killed in action 1916 appears at second right of the front row. Thomas Proctor is on the far left. He was killed at the redoubt in 1915.  Walter Brown at second right. The house is at the end row of Butts Road, drain end at Marsh Lane.   This team is Barton United. A familiar face at second right appears to be Sgt Pickard, who between himself and the young Captain Wilson, had designs on team members to form their own club.  Photo courtesy of Brian Peeps

There is no doubt that the Barton and district league has given a great impetus to the game. the position of champion of the league being a coveted position which is greatly contested. Barton Town who no one will doubt is the premier team have suffered the loss of some of their players services to the newly formed territorial club. As a set off...they have gained the services of Kingston Amateur players. They have also lost their old ground, the recreation ground, that having been secured by the Terriers. The acquisition of a new ground looked an insurmountable difficulty.  They have however secured a field on Tofts Road which is nearer the town and certainly nearer the headquarters. In  Charley Welsh they have a Captain who keeps his eye straight on the goal, a through enthusiast and the officers are tried and tested. They have entered several competitions and open against Haycroft Rovers on Saturday. Note: Haycroft are a Grimsby side.

Looking at this report, I wonder if there was any animosity over the taking of the football ground and the players by the Terriers team.  I'm sure it wouldn't have made them too popular. Still the Barton Town team survived to this day whereas the Terriers have become history. 

                       Barton Juniors, photo taken at an unspecified pre war date.

As the caption shows, this team is the Church Lads in the middle of the war.  No doubt, some of the team would be ready for a different war in a few months. 

Church Lads Team in 1913.  Ostensibly a church youth organisation, the ''Lads'' were militarised and carried rifles on parade. 

                                             An unidentified Barton Town player in full kit. 

The Ladies Cup and the Taylor Cup

These were two shooting cups one of which may have been held in Baysgarth Park, then the home of the Wright Taylor family.

Then Colour Sergeant Herbert Pickard was proficient especially at long range targets and picked up the Ladies Cup one year, second prize, a full 2 shillings and 6d going to Lance Corporal A E Wilson and 3rd of 1shilling and 6d to the then Private Tew.

If anyone can name players please keep me posted thank you. 


More on this soon.