Frances Emily Brough


Clara & Frances

Frances Emily Brough is my great grandmother and she was born on 2nd July 1873 in Sheffield to parents, Charles Brough and Clara Loukes.

Frances’s parents married in 1872 in Saint Matthew’s Church, Sheffield. Frances’s father, Charles, is an enigma. Family stories that I’ve heard are that he emigrated to Australia to become a Policeman or that he went abroad to find gold. I think the idea was that he was going to make some money and then invite his wife and daughter to join him. Except he never did. He simply disappeared and was never seen again. He may never have even left the country. His wife, Clara, had to wait eighteen years before marrying again; presumably, because the whereabouts of Charles were unknown. Frances and Clara both ended up in a Workhouse in Sheffield for a while before being rescued by one of Frances’s uncles.


Saint Stephen’s Church

In 1898, Frances married Fred Rowbottom in Saint Stephen’s Church, Sheffield. Together, they set up home in Parkgate near Rotherham, living on Albert Road, and issued eight children, who were called, Ethel, Fred, Lily, John, Clara, Frances Emily, Henry and Harold. Some time circa 1910, the family moved from Parkgate to Oxford Row in nearby Greasbrough. Fred’s grandparents had moved from Sheffield to Parkgate in the 1860s, perhaps at the time when the Parkgate Iron and Steel company was founded.


Fred & Frances

From accounts that I’ve read and heard about Fred, he wasn’t a particularly pleasant person. He liked to spend most of his wages in the pub and gave his wife a pittance to bring the family up on. He can’t have been much of a child lover either, as the children weren’t allowed to speak or move in his presence. Whilst pregnant with my grandfather, Fred kicked Emily in the stomach, causing her to give birth prematurely. It was thought that my grandfather was dead and he was placed in a basket underneath a bed. Signs of life were later detected however and he was fed with the aid of milk on a feather. Fred died as a consequence of the 1918 influenza pandemic when my grandfather was six years old. On top of bringing up eight children on her own, Frances had to work cleaning coaches belonging to a company called ‘Smarts’ in Greasbrough in order to ‘make ends meet’.


Frances & Henry

My mum used to visit her grandmother, Frances, every weekend. Frances was a quiet woman and never spoke of her past life to my mother (a trait passed onto my grandfather). Frances would make the tea and my mum would wash the used pots afterwards. My mum remembered a dark green rocking horse and an organ being in Frances’s home.



Frances died in 1955 and was buried in Greasbrough Cemetery with her husband, Fred. As was customary at the time, Frances was laid out in her home prior to burial. My mum remembered catching a glimpse of her grandmother’s face whilst she was laid out and described her as having a black eye/bruised face caused by a fall.



Scrooby Place


A verdict of “Death from natural causes” was recorded by the Deputy Borough Coroner (Mr. C. Blenkinsop) at an inquest on Thursday on Frances Emily Rowbottom, aged 82, of 6, Scrooby Place, Greasbro’, who died at the Moorgate General Hospital on Tuesday.


Moorgate Hospital

Ethel Sennitt, of 51, Scrooby Street, Greasbro’, said her mother had not been able to get about since Christmas 1954. She had poor sight in her right eye, and was blind in her left eye. She became ill in January and had been confined to bed since then. The doctor said her heart was weak and that she had a high blood pressure. She complained of pains in her stomach. She became steadily worse and was admitted to the Moorgate General Hospital on July 1st. When the witness visited her on July 3rd she was told that her mother had fallen down while trying to get out of bed, thinking she was at home.

Dr. Sybil M. Jenkins (house physician at the Moorgate General Hospital) said the deceased had complained of difficulty in swallowing and abdominal pains. Her heart was in a very poor state. After the fall, her nose and eye were bruised and swollen.


Greasbrough Cemetery

Her condition, however, was quite good, and the next day she was still quite well. She suddenly collapsed on Tuesday morning.

Dr. Gilbert Forbes (pathologist) said Mrs. Rowbottom had a sudden heart attack. In his opinion the fall had no bearing on her death. Because of the condition of her heart she was liable to die suddenly.


58 - Greasbrough Cemetery, Rotherham (B189) - 01.06.09 (9)

Fred & Frances’s grave (unmarked)

THE LATE MRS. F. E. ROWBOTTOM. – The interment took place in the Greasbro’ Cemetery, on Saturday, the Rev. G. K. Dixon (Rector of Thrybergh) officiating, of Mrs. Frances Emily Rowbottom, of 6, Scrooby Place, Greasbro’, who died in the Moorgate General Hospital on Tuesday week after a long illness, at the age of 82. Born at Sheffield, Mrs. Rowbottom lived at Parkgate for a number of years, and took up residence in Greasbro’ 49 years ago, having bee a widow for 37 years. She was a member of the Church Street Methodist Church and of the Greasbro’ branch of the National Federation of Old Age Pensions Associations. She leaves three sons, three daughters, 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Mourners were Mr. and Mrs. J. Rowbottom, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rowbottom, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Rowbottom and Mrs. F. Rowbottom (sons and daughters-in-law); Mr. and Mrs. P. Sennitt, Mr. and Mrs. G. White and Mrs. F. E. Smith (sons-in-law and daughters); Mr. and Mrs. D. Sennitt, Mr. R. Rowbottom, Mr. J. Rowbottom, Mr. E. Rowbottom and Miss J. Rowbottom (grandchildren); Mr. J. Simpkin, of Sheffield (brother); Mrs. Brady and Mrs. Harris (both od Sheffield), Mrs. Davis, Miss Scholes and Clarice (all of Rawmarsh) nieces. The family thank Dr. P. Collinson, Queen’s Nurses and Home Help Service, doctors and nurses at Moorgate General Hospital and Mrs. Casswell for kind attention, neighbours and friends for kind inquiries and floral tributes.

Albert Jennett – War Casualty

Albert Jennett

In 1903, Clara Simpkin (my great great aunt) married Albert Jennett and together they issued five children. Albert was born in 1879, in Sheffield, and served in World War One. Albert was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery displayed at Gallipoli in April 1915 and was himself wounded just three months later, but fortunately recovered.

Sadly, Albert was killed in France on 21st March 1918. Albert was serving with the 97th Field Coy Royal Engineers and was positioned within the forward line of the British defence, in anticipation of the German offensive from the Hindenberg Line in 1918. On the 21st March 1918, following a massive bombardment, including gas shells, aimed not at the infantry, but at targets of British HQ’s, communication and supply, artillery and engineers, the Germans attacked with their ’stormtroopers’ recently brought from the Eastern Front. They attacked in small groups intending to break through pockets of resistance, thus allowing the infantry to easily follow. The forward line of British soldiers were quickly overwhelmed and many casualties sustained.

Albert is buried in the Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery in France but is also remembered on the headstone of my great great grandmother (Clara Simpkin (nee Loukes)) in City Road Cemetery, Sheffield. Below are three newspaper snippets which pertain to Albert’s military career.


Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery

21ST AUGUST, 1915.

The engineers have been in the Dardanelles operations and Sapper A. Jennett, of the West Riding Field Co., R.E., is among the wounded.





Sapper A. Jennett, 1st West Riding Field Company, Royal Engineers (T.F.) – For great bravery on the 28th April, 1915, on the Gallipoli Peninsula. An officer of the Argyll Mountain Battery had had his leg blown off and was lying in the open exposed to a heavy fire. Sapper Jennett, with the assistance of another man, voluntarily went out, crossing over a very difficult wire entanglement under heavy fire, and succeeded in bringing him to safety. He gave a conspicuous example of courage and self-sacrifice.

City Road Cemetery




Sapper A. Jennett, whose wife and five young children live at 12 Hadfield Terrace, off Hadfield Street, Walkley, rejoined the Sheffield Engineers, in which he had served for many years, on the outbreak of hostilities. He is a machine filecutter, and was in the employ of Messrs. Samuel Osborn and Co. Limited, at their Brookhill Works. Sapper Jennett went out to the Dardanelles in March, and is at present in hospital in Cairo. He was wounded in the thigh on July 11th by a piece of shrapnel while in the act of mashing tea. He is progressing favourably. His father, Mr. John Jennett, file forger, of Robertshaw Street, Sheffield, was a volunteer for several years.

Arthur Parkin

Arthur Parkin is the husband of my third cousin, thrice removed (Catherine Loukes). Below is the newspaper article published shortly after his death with details of how he demised.



St. Philips Road

In lieu of direct evidence supposition had largely to be reported to at the inquest at the Sheffield Coroner’s Court to-day on the body of Arthur Parkin (48), of 70, Milton Street, a Corporation carter, whose death took place in curious circumstances. From the statements it had been found possible to collect, it appeared that the man, who was a carter in the Cleansing Department, was discovered lying in a pool of blood, suffering from terrible internal injuries, and the theories on which the jury based its verdict of “Accidental Death” were that the man, whilst applying the brakes before proceeding down a hill with his waggon, had been caught by the wheel and run over.

Arthur’s grave

A fellow-workman said that when he left Parkin at 2.45 a.m. he was all right, and was leading his horse and waggon, loaded with nightsoil, up Thomas Street, on his way to the destructor on Penistone Road. Henry Crouch, a Corporation street sweeper, found the body of Parkin in St. Phillip’s Road lying in a pool of blood, but could form no opinion as to what had happened. He made the discovery as day was breaking, and the horse and cart were nowhere to be seen.

Some time later, said another Corporation employee, he found the horse and cart of which the deceased had been in charge near the destructor in Penistone Road. The brakes were hard on, and the horse was pulling up the hill “as though it had gone mad.” In his opinion Parkin had been caught by the wheel whilst applying the brake in St. Phillip’s Road.

Dr. Mowat, of the Royal Infirmary, described the terrible injuries of the man when he was admitted to the institution. All the ribs on the right side were broken, there was a wound reaching down to the bone underneath the chin, and bruises on the chest and head. There were also severe internal injuries.

At the conclusion of the inquest, Mr. E. B. Gibson, who represented the Corporation, expressed the sympathy of the Cleansing Department with the relatives of the dead man. He was a good, honest workman, and the department were very sorry to hear of his death.

Herbert Collinson Lowkes

Herbert C. Lowkes

Herbert Lowkes is my second cousin, twice removed and he died as a result of an industrial accident. It is interesting to note that Herbert’s father (William Henry Loukes) preferred the ‘Lowkes’ variation of his surname which consequently has been passed on to all subsequent generations. Below are three newspaper articles regarding Herbert and his unpleasant demise (special thanks to Steve Lowkes for these and the photos).


Described by those who were in the vicinity as an explosion that seemed to shake the universe, an accident resulting in the death of one man and serious injuries to two others at the works of Bromborough of Messrs. Brotherton and Co., Ltd., the Mersey Chemical Company on Wednesday.

The injured men were:-

John Williams, of 35, Wood-street, Port Sunlight,
Herbert C.. Lowkes, of 32, Rock-lane-West, Rock Ferry, and
Henry Poole, of 2, Bartlett-street, Wavertree, Liverpool.

All received terrible burns about the face and body. Williams dying from his injuries early on Thursday morning, while the other two men are in the Port Sunlight Hospital in a serious condition.

The accident occurred about 11.30 a.m., in a large room where trays of powdered dye are placed in oven-like containers to dry.

Williams was engaged in one section of the room, his duties including the insertion and withdrawal of the trays, of which there are a number in each “oven.” Lowkes and Poole were, it is understood, engaged at work on a scaffold above, the latter having just returned after fetching a spanner when the tragedy occurred.

Williams had withdrawn all but three of the trays when he noticed, in the one he had just pulled out, a small flame. He shouted, but it was too late, and a terrific explosion occurred. He was flung back for several yards, while Lowkes was, presumably, hurled from the scaffolding to the ground. Poole was thrown down, but jumped up and ran outside, where he collapsed.

Owing to the confined space the dye mixture exploded with extreme violence, and the “oven,” which was made of cast iron a quarter of an inch thick, was smashed to pieces and the back blown out. Pieces of the aluminium trays were also scattered in all directions, wile the windows and skylights of the workroom, which afterwards presented a chaotic scene, were shattered. So great was the force of the explosion that one man standing some distance away had an oilean blown out of his hand.

The “oven,” or frame concerned was one of numerous similar ones in the room and measured about six feet by six feet, while the trays, which are arranged in tiers, are about 2ft. 6Ins. By 2ft. As the dye mixture concerned is, we understand, of a non-ignitable nature, an element of mystery surrounds the cause of the occurrence.

Other men in the room immediately ran to the assistance of the victims of the accident, who, it was seen, were very badly injured. The Port Sunlight Ambulance was telephoned for and the men were conveyed with all speed to the hospital.

It was stated at the hospital yesterday, that if anything, Lowkes and Poole showed a slight improvement, but their condition is still very serious.

Herbert C. Lowkes


The inquest on Williams was opened at the New Ferry Police Station yesterday by the West Cheshire Coroner (Mr. J. C. Bate), who sat with a jury. Superintendent Ennion represented the police, and Mr. E. Lloyd appeared on behalf of Messrs. Brotherton’s.

The Coroner said that Williams was employed at Brotherton’s works, at Bromborough, as a process worker. The explosion occurred on Wednesday, and he and the two other men were seriously burnt. Williams was the most badly burnt, and he died as the result of his injuries, while Lowkes and Poole were both in hospital in a serious condition. He only attended to take evidence of identification and adjourn the inquest until Friday next at 10 a.m. It was necessary, he added, in such cases to give notice to the Chief Factories Inspectors at the Home Office, and that had been done.

William Williams, of 35, Wood-street, Port Sunlight, a chemical labourer, employed by Messrs. Lever Bros., Ltd., identified the body as that of his son, who, he said, was twenty three years of age last birthday. Witness saw him in the hospital after the accident and his son was able to speak to him.
The Coroner: Did he make any statement as to what happened?
Witness: Yes.
The Coroner: Perhaps we had not better take this statement now. We will have your evidence at the adjourned inquiry.


The news of the tragedy and the subsequent death of Mr. Williams caused a painful sensation in the Bromborough and Port Sunlight district. Williams was a popular young man and had many friends in the village. He was formerly a member of the Port Sunlight Boys Brigade, and was a a popular member of the Old Boys’ Association. He was of a quiet and unassuming disposition, but extremely well liked by all with whom he came in contact and widespread sympathy is extended to his parents in their tragic bereavement. He was in the employ of Lever Bros. For some years before joining Brotherton’s staff two years ago. One of his favourite hobbies was bell ringing and he was a ringer at Christ Church, Port Sunlight, for a period. He was born and educated in Port Sunlight, where his father has been employed for many years.

Poignancy is added to the tragedy by the fact that he was engaged to a young lady on the staff of Lever Bros. Catering department, and preparations were already being made for the wedding, which would probably have taken place about Christmas.

Herbert C. Lowkes



Herbert C. Lowkes, aged thirty-three, of 32, Rock-lane West, Rock Ferry, one of the three men injured in the explosion at Messrs. Brothertons’, the Mersey Chemical Works, Bromborough, on November 7th, died in the hospital, Port Sunlight, on Saturday afternoon. He leaves a widow and two children. He is the second victim of the tragedy, the first, John Williams, aged twenty-three, a single man, of Wood-street, Port Sunlight, dying in the hospital on the day of the explosion. The third man, Henry Poole, Bartlett-street, Wavertree, Liverpool, is improving in Port Sunlight hospital.


Accidental Death was the verdict at the Rock Ferry inquest, yesterday, on Herbert Collinson Lowkes, the second victim of the mystery explosion at Brotherton’s Dyeworks, Bromborough, on November 7.

John Williams, Port Sunlight, died the day after the accident, and Harry Poole, Wavertree, is still in hospital.

Harold Loukes

Harold Loukes

Harold Loukes is my fourth cousin, twice removed and below are his obituaries.


Friends in Oxford, as elsewhere in the country, have suffered a great loss in the death of Harold Loukes, on August 7, at the age of 68. He had retired only a year ago and, though for most of that time he was aware that he had only a limited time to live, he continued his faithful service to the Society.

Harold Loukes was born and educated in Sheffield, and at JesusCollege, Oxford, where he took a First in English, followed by the Diploma in Education. Coming up to Oxford as a Methodist, he came in touch with Friends through Henry Gillet and became a member of the Society while still a student.

After Oxford, Harold went to St Stephen’s College, Delhi as a lecturer in English, and in 1937 he married Mary Linsell. He stayed in India until 1945, becoming Headmaster of the NewSchool at Calcutta and Darjeeling. Harold and Mary then returned to Britain with three sons. A daughter was born later- Harold gained experience at Oundle, LeightonPark and ThorneGrammar School before becoming lecturer (later Reader) in education at the Oxford Department of Education. There he taught for 30 years, entering fully into the ambitions and ideals of his students, and delighting many generations with his penetrating, experienced and witty lectures.

Throughout his many years in Oxford Harold was a loyal member of his meeting. He took a particular interest in Young Friends, and was for many years the ‘Senior Member’ (required by university regulations of the Oxford University Friends Society. Young Friends appreciated his combination of scholarship, spiritual depth, frankness and humility, and his keen sense of humour. The same qualities, together with his deep concern for the meeting, made him an outstanding elder. His ministry had a memorable beauty and calm, his spiritual insight was expressed in lovely and sometimes striking phrases. This was perhaps especially felt, when he spoke, as he often did, of the nature of Quaker worship, which he described as ‘ a living moment, a loving silence; the sound of the sea, the light behind the hills’. Meeting for worship, he told us in his last spoken message to Oxford Friends ‘is meant to be living, immediate, open to insight and interpretation. But there is a right ordering in the love of God, which we obey by quiet sensitivity and the holding in our tendered imagination of the needs of the other.’

Harold said that he found it a good discipline to think things out on paper. Throughout the postwar years that discipline has enriched the life of the Society of Friends and beyond with a series of books, study outlines, essays and articles. Apart from his extensive writings on the religious and other aspects of education, his books on

Quakerism, must have been instrumental in drawing many, especially younger readers, into the fellowship of the Society, and in deepening the beliefs of those born into it. He gave the 1959 Swarthmore Lecture, entitled The Castle and the Field, and the 1963 Rufus Jones Lecture in Philadelphia. He contributed countless reviews and articles to THE FRIEND, and was chairman of the Friends Home Service Committee from 1969 to 1973.

By careful planning Harold made full use of his life. Apart from his devotion to his family he had many public commitments. He was a JP for many years, and from 1975 to 1980 was chairman of Abingdon magistrates. He had been a governor of both maintained and independent schools and a member of Oxford Education Committee. He also had many friends and contacts in other churches.

Though he lived a very full life, Harold had time for friendship, and taking an interest in people. With all his experience he was a quiet, modest man. We loved him for the depth of his faith, but we loved also his jokes and the twinkle in his eye. We offer our deepest sympathy to his wife, Mary, and their family.


Harold Loukes, who died on August 7, was educated at the Central Secondary School, Sheffield and at Jesus College, Oxford, where he gained a First Class in the Honours School of English Language and Literature. After graduating in 1934 he spent 10 years in India teaching in the University of Delhi and later serving as Headmaster of the New School, Darjeeling.

He returned to this country in 1945 and after four years as a schoolmaster he was appointed in 1949 to a lectureship in the Oxford University Department of Education and, in 1951, he became University Reader in Education.

During his 30 years in the Department he contrived to sustain three successful careers: his published works furnish adequate evidence of his capacity for competent empirical research and meticulous scholarship; he involved himself in civic affairs, as a school governor, a member of the Oxford City Education Committee and as a Justice of the Peace; but it is for his effectiveness as a teacher that he will be chiefly and gratefully remembered.

Bungling Police

Terry Loukes

The newspaper article below always amuses me. This incident concerns my third cousin, once removed who is called, Terry Loukes.


BUNGLING police smashed down a disabled Sheffield pensioner’s door during a drugs raid… at the wrong house.

Widower Terry Loukes, aged 72, who suffers from spinal arthritis, was taking an afternoon nap when he realised someone was approaching his front door.

He got up to answer it but, just seconds later, the door came crashing in – missing him by inches.

Terry, a retired car showroom worker, of Haslehurst Road, Wybourn, says four policemen – all wearing full body armour and crash helmets – then pushed past him to search his house.

Terry said: ‘I was lying on my settee when I heard my intruder alarm go off. I have one in the garden because my shed was broken into recently. As soon as the alarm sounded I got up and noticed someone standing at the door.

‘I shouted, ‘Just a minute’, and told the person I was about to open the door. But he shouted, ‘Get back’, and it came crashing in.

‘Next thing there were four policemen in my house, up my stairs, in my front room and in my kitchen. There were more policemen standing in the garden.

‘The officer asked me if I lived here and I said, ‘Yes, for 35 years’.’

Officers told Terry they had a warrant to search the address but quickly realised they were in the wrong house.

‘I’ve never known anything like it,’ said Terry. ‘I mean, this doesn’t look like a drug dealer’s house – how many drug dealers have gnomes in their garden?’

Terry, who was in a state of shock, said he was comforted by an officer who made him a cup of coffee.

He added: ‘He couldn’t apologise enough and told me he’d come back next week with a bottle of whisky for me, but I don’t even drink.’

Terry who even has a South Yorkshire Police ‘No Cold Callers’ sign by his front door, is now finding it difficult to sleep and plans to see his GP. ‘I’m a bag of nerves,’ he said.

Inspector Andy Male, who heads up South Yorkshire Police’s Safer Neighbourhood team, personally called to see Terry within minutes of learning of the mistake.

He apologised, ensured the door was boarded up, and promised to have it replaced.

‘The warrant was executed at the wrong address,’ Insp Male confirmed today.

‘The mistake came about due to intelligence being incorrectly attributed.

‘Occasionally this happens and we are reviewing the process.

‘We are very sorry about the damage done to Mr Loukes’ door.’

This post was originally published on Mollekin Portalite on 10/10/2011.

The Loukes Family

The Loukes Family

The first mention of the Loukes family is in the proceedings of the Wakefield Court on 19th May 1314 when Mathew son of Thomas was forced to pay 6d for a false claim against Adam son of Jordan and John de Loukes.

My 12th great grandfather was called Robert Loukes who was born and died in Normanton, South Yorkshire/Yorkshire West Riding. His 5th great grandson was called, Edward Loukes. He was born circa 1837 and died in 1811 in Sheffield. He probably moved to Sheffield in the 1750’s or 1760’s in order to become apprenticed to a Butcher. Many people with the surname, Loukes, can trace their ancestors back to Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

The name, Loukes, does and has varied with regards to how it is spelt. Known deviance’s are, Lowkes, Louks, Lankes and Lonkes just to name a few. Lowkes however would seem to be the only legitimate variance – the others simply being spelling errors.

I first came across the name, Loukes, in my Family Tree when I ordered and read the birth certificate for my great grandmother (Frances Emily Brough). It named her mother as Clara Loukes (1854 – 1910).

Loukes in my Family Tree can be found in the geographical locations of Australia, Barnsley, Blackpool, Cawthorne, Finland and Sheffield.

I would like to hear from anybody with connections to the Loukes family. I think the first move should be to try and ascertain which of us share common ancestors. So, could I please request that everybody lists their earliest known ancestor with the name, Loukes, and the geographical location or locations that they were associated with along with any other information which is felt to be relevant.

This post was originally published on Mollekin Portalite on 09/10/2011.

James Wilfred Loukes – War Casualty

James W. Loukes

James Wilfred Loukes is my third cousin, thrice removed. He was born in Sheffield and according to the 1901 Census was a Bricklayer’s Labourer and lived at 2 Little London Place in Sheffield. Special thanks are owed to Trevor Higgins for writing the following text:-

James is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, which is situated in Berkshire Cemetery, Ploegsteert, Belgium. The memorial contains 11,000 inscriptions of men who died within a defined area, who were never recovered. None of them died in a major offensive, but were casualties during daily trench skirmish, or small engagements in support of offensives taking place nearby.


James was a member of the 2nd Btn York and Lancaster Regiment, which is recorded during the battle of Armentiere, as being part of an attacking force to capture Meteren, North West of Armentiere near the town of Bailleul. Bailleul has several large cemeteries with the greatest number of burials in each as ’known only to God’.

This is a revised version of a post which was originally published on my WordPress Blog on 06/01/2010 and republished on Mollekin Portalite on 09/05/2011. Special thanks are also owed to Mel Pack for donating the photo of James for this post.

Henry Loukes born circa 1824 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Henry Loukes

According to Henry’s marriage certificate, his father was a Farmer called John Loukes. However, this cannot be so.

John Loukes died on Sunday 6th December 1818 and was buried at All Saint’s Church, Ecclesall Bierlow, Sheffield on Tuesday 8th December 1818.

According to Census Returns and his marriage certificate, Henry was born circa 1824.

There is no mention of Henry in the Will of John Loukes:-

‘…..educating and bringing up my two sons, John Loukes and William Loukes during their respective minorities….’

Henry’s mother, Katherine Loukes (nee Crooks) possibly named John as his father due to conditions stipulated in the Will of John Loukes:-

‘…….respectively upon and in upon first to permit my wife to have the use of beds, six chairs, two tables and such other rents of my furniture at friends and my trustees may think necessary to furnish a small house during her (Katherine) natural life if she shall so long continue my widow and unmarried but not otherwise…’

So, clearly, should Katherine no longer remain John’s widow, she would have something to lose.

On the 1841 Census, Katherine appears to be married to William Allen. By 1881, Katherine is widowed but has retained the surname, Allen. Perhaps William Allen is the father of Henry. If this was the case and had Henry not been an illegitimate child, Henry Loukes would have been called Henry Allen. Subsequent descendants who held/hold the surname, Loukes, would have/would be, called Allen. The only person who would have known for sure the name of Henry’s father was would have been his mother, Katherine, who died in 1884/1885.

This is a revised version of a post which was originally published on my WordPress Blog on 12/12/2008 and republished on Mollekin Portalite on 21/04/2011.

Joseph William Loukes and the Sheffield Blitz

Blitz Garden

During the evenings of Thursday 12th and Sunday 15th December 1940, around 300 German aircraft, consisting of Junkers Ju 88’s, Dornier 17’s and Heinkel 111’s, flew to Sheffield on bombing raids.

Sheffield was targeted by the Luftwaffe due to its importance as a steel and armament centre and the campaign against Sheffield was code named Crucible.

The German aircraft were guided by an early radar style radio beam which was fixed to a target. In the case of Sheffield this beam was fixed to the eastern area of the city where steelworks and armament factories where prevalent. The English were able to intercept this beam however and bent it towards the city centre instead of the steelworks.

At the time of the bombing raids, the Vickers works (located in Brightside Lane) were the only place in the country to possess a drop hammer capable of producing crankshafts for the Rolls Royce Merlin engine which powered both the Spitfire fighter and Lancaster bomber planes. Vickers were solely responsible for manufacturing Barnes Wallace’s bouncing bombs and the heaviest ever 10 ton ‘Tallboy’ and ‘Grand Slam’ earth quake bombs. Also in 1940, Hadfields East Hecla steelworks (located in Vulcan Road and now mainly covered by the Meadowhall shopping complex) were the only steelworks in the country to produce 18 inch armour piercing shells.

Vickers, Hadfields and a multitude of other vitally important steelworks survived the bombing raids relatively unscathed but nevertheless, approximately 450 high explosive bombs were still dropped and as a result, over 660 lives were lost, 1,500 more were injured and 40,000 were made homeless. 3,000 homes were demolished with a further 3,000 badly damaged. A total of 78,000 homes received damage. Sadly, my third cousin (William Joseph Loukes) and his wife (Edith) were killed in 197 Olive Grove Road during the night of Thursday 12th December 1940. Number 197 is now the site of modern housing.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission had recorded this couple with the surname of Lonkes.

I initially found the deaths of Joseph and his wife whilst browsing the Index to the “Civilian War Dead Roll Of Honour” for Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire ( The surname, Lonkes, rang alarm bells and sure enough, when I checked the death indexes, I couldn’t find anything for a Joseph and Edith Lonkes but there were entries in the the January quarter of 1941 for a Joseph W. Loukes (aged 68) and an Edith Loukes (aged 67). These deaths are both recorded on the same page in the same volume in the General Records Office (volume: 9c / page: 1248). This indicates that the deaths were recorded at the same time (which is likely as the couple died together).

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission wouldn’t consider a change to their records without firm documentary evidence. I visited City Road Cemetery in Sheffield in November 2008 in the hope that the couple might be commemorated on the wall of the Sheffield Blitz Garden. They aren’t however which means that the couple aren’t buried in the communal plot and will have their own burial plot somewhere else (presumably because their bodies would have been identifiable). I decided to contact the Sheffield Indexers ( in the hope that they might have a burial record for the couple in City Road Cemetery. They haven’t but Tony Morton e-mailed to me an extract of the 1936 Kellys Directory which clearly shows Joseph William Loukes residing in 197 Olive Grove Road, Sheffield (where Joseph and Edith died). I e-mailed this extract to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission who accepted this as sufficient documentary evidence and have amended their records as a result.

Tragically, Joseph’s third cousin (William Kitson) was injured at 10 Tummon Road, Sheffield on Friday 13th December 1940 as a result of the Blitz and died in Wharncliffe Emergency Hospital in Sheffield on Saturday 21st December 1940. William Kitson was buried in City Road Cemetery, Sheffield on Friday 27th December 1940. William Kitson is my third cousin, three times removed.

This is a revised version of a post which was originally published on my WordPress Blog on 23/01/2009 and republished on Mollekin Portalite on 18/04/2011.