Willie Rhodes


Willie Rhodes

Willie Rhodes, born circa 1885 in Rotherham, is the husband of my first cousin, thrice removed, Hannah Elizabeth Burton.

Willie was a casualty of the Gallipoli Campaign of World War One and below are newspaper entries published after his death.


News has been received of the death of Private Willie Rhodes (York and Lancaster Regiment), of 5, Truro place, Rotherham, who is reported to have been killed in action on September 24th. Working at the Rotherham Main Colliery up to enlistment in May 1915, he served with his battalion in Gallipoli and was an officer’s servant.

RHODES. – In ever loving memory of my dear husband, Pte. Willie Rhodes (York and Lancs.), killed in action Sept. 24, 1916.

How little I thought when I said goodbye,
We parted for ever and you were to die,
Oh! the grief that we feel words never can tell,
For we could not be with you to bid you farewell.

Sleep on, dear husband, in a hero’s grave,
A grave I may never see,
But as long as life and memory lasts
We will remember thee.

– From his sorrowing Wife and Children.


York & Lancaster Regiment

RHODES. – In ever loving memory of Private Willie Rhodes (York and Lancs. Regt.), killed in action Sept. 24, 1916.

For many years the family chain
Was closely linked together,
But oh! the chain is broken now,
One link has gone for ever.

Hard, hard was the blow that compelled us to part
From the loved one so dear to our hearts;
But the love that we bore him shall dwell in our hearts,
Till we meet him again in the realms of the blest.

– From his loving Mother, Brothers, Sisters, Nephews and Nieces.

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.




The 1918 flu pandemic (the H1N1 strain) that lasted between January 1918 and December 1920 infected 500 million people and killed up to 100 million. Unlike normal influenza, the 1918 strain generally affected healthy, younger people. This was due to their stronger immune systems overreacting. People would often contract pneumonia and die due to suffocation from their own secretions. It is interesting to note that the 1918 flu pandemic caused more deaths than the whole of World War One. It is thought to have originated at Camp Funston in Kansas, America in March 1918. Due to the infected troops living in close proximity to each other and because they travelled around the world, the deadly flu virus soon spread.

Fred Rowbottom

Fred Rowbottom - death certificate

Fred’s death certificate

My great grandfather, Fred Rowbottom, born in 1873 in Parkgate, Rotherham and husband of Frances Emily Brough, died from the 1918 flu virus. Fred caught it and his doctor told him to stay in his house, but he decided that the pub might make him feel better. He went out on a very cold night, contracted pneumonia and subsequently died. Fred is the son of Albert Rowbottom and Charlotte Yates

I know that at least 4 other members of my family tree died from this deadly virus. Below are a couple of newspaper articles regarding two families in my tree that suffered. The first regards the death of my great great granduncle who was called William Henry Remmington and the second is regarding my first cousin, thrice removed (Bernard Vincent Early (son of Priscilla Walker Berry and Jesse Early)) and his family.

Remmington. W. H.

Remmington. W. H.

William H. Remmington




Transport Driver W. Remington (1/5 York and Lancaster Reg.), son of Mr. and Mrs. Remington, of 9, The Crofts, Rotherham, who is reported to have died of pneumonia, following influenza, in France on December 20th last, was one of the original members of the 1/5 Batt. York and Lancaster Regt. (the local Territorials) which left England in April, 1915. He was 23 years of age, and joined the Army on the outbreak of the war. At the time of his illness he was on the point of being demobilised in order to return to work at the Silverwood Colliery.

36 - Moorgate Cemetery, Rotherham (Early) - 28.08.05 (1)

Early grave


EARLY. – Bernard Vincent Early, aged 30, died at 6, Lister Street, on Thursday, Feb. 27, from influenza. Elizabeth Early, aged 31, wife of the above, who died on Friday, Feb 28. Cyril Early, aged 11 months, infant son of the above, died March 5.

The relatives of the above beg to thank the workmen of Messrs. Steel, Peech and Tozer Ltd. for their practical sympathy, the bearers who volunteered to carry the little family to the grave, and all friends for their expressions of grief in this sad event.

Alfred Octavius Hinson – War Casualty

Alfred’s Headstone

Alfred Octavius Hinson is my third cousin, thrice removed. He was born circa 1887 in Bourne, Lincolnshire. Special thanks are owed to Trevor Higgins for writing the following text:-

Alfred Hinson was a member of the 7th Lincolnshire Regiment, drafted to take part in General Plumer’s ‘bite and hold’ offensives in the Third battle of Ypres in 1917. The regiment was attached to the attacking force at the first battle of Passchendaele, which took part in the area towards the ridge (Westrozebeke) on which the village stood. It was conducted in conditions of mud, after several days of rain, and was to prove costly to both German and British armies. The Germans had just at this time reinforced their lines, with soldiers from the Eastern Front, and were well prepared for the anticipated attack. On the 12th October the battle began, with the Lincolnshires supporting ANZAC troops, and the first wave was met with mustard gas (burning of th skin) and fierce artillery.

Alfred was removed from the battlefield and his final resting place is Cement House Cemetery, situated between Langemark and Poelcappelle. The cemetery was begun in August 1917 (231) burials)) and added to from 14 other battlefield burial plots during the autumn of 1917. There are 3592 burials there, 2425 of which are unidentified.

When Passchendeale was eventually taken, 310,000 British and 260,000 German troops were dead or missing.

This is a revised version of a post which was originally published on my WordPress Blog on 28/12/2009 and republished on Mollekin Portalite on 31/05/2011.

Clement Percy Joscelyne – War Casualty


Clement Percy Joscelyne is the husband of my fourth cousin, twice removed. It is interesting to note that his sister in law is the mother of the Author, Eileen Mary Challans (A.K.A. Mary Renault). Special thanks are owed to Trevor Higgins for writing the following text:-

Lt Joscelyne did not join the Suffolk Regiment until the 10th August 1917, and he and his battalion took part in the first of Gen Plumers ‘bite and hold’ battles of the third Ypres offensive. The attack on Poelcappelle, commencing on the 9th October was not successful in gaining ground from the Germans, and at some cost. Lt Joscelyne was removed from the battlefield and taken to Dozinghem Casualty Clearing Station, where he died from his wounds on the 10th October.

The three clearing stations, specially prepared for this offensive were named by the troops who no doubt had a wry sense of humour in that Dozinghem (dosing them) Mendinghem (mending them) and Bandaghem (bandaging them) dealt with the troops on their severity of injury. Dozinghem, then chosen as the burial place, no doubt dealt with those with casualties with mortal injury. There are 3174 burials within the cemetery.

Dozinghem Cemetery

Lt Joscelyne’s headstone is inscribed with a line from the ‘ Epilogue to Asolando’ by Robert Browning and ‘Speed fight on, fare ever there as here’.

This is a revised version of a post which was originally published on my WordPress Blog on 28/12/2009 and republished on Mollekin Portalite on 31/05/2011.

Herbert Amory – War Casualty


Herbert Amory is the husband of my fifth cousin, once removed. He was born in 1888 in Park, Sheffield. Special thanks are owed to Trevor Higgins for writing the following text:-

Herbert is commemorated on Le Touret Memorial within the cemetery of the same name , north east of Bethune. The Memorial has inscribed some 13,000 names of soldiers who died within a defined area and were never found. The geographical area as defined, covered the battles of La Bassee and Armentieres. (James Wilfred Loukes died on the 24th October 1914 in an engagement within the same area).

Le Touret

Le Touret

The battles and engagements around Bassee and Armentieres were the BEF’s attempt at stopping the Germans advancing south, and ably assisted by French battalions, stemmed the flow, but at great cost. The Germans made use of field artillery and many soldiers were killed in a 20 kms area south of Armentieres. German snipers also caused many deaths during times when the British ‘moved’ during quiet times.

When the numbers of the two memorials Le Touret and Ploegsteert are added together, 24000 names, one can appreciate the loss of life in this area, that is without the named buried in countless cemeteries.

This is a revised version of a post which was originally published on my WordPress Blog on 10/09/2009 and republished on Mollekin Portalite on 16/05/2011.

Walter Gill – War Casualty


Walter Gill is my second cousin, thrice removed. He was born circa 1879 in Manchester. According to the 1911 Census he was a Sanitary Labourer for Sheffield Borough Council and lived at 9 Weigh Lane, Park, Sheffield. Special thanks are owed to Trevor Higgins for writing the following text:-

Walter was a member of the 8th btn York and Lancaster Regiment, which was formed from men of the same geographical area at Pontefract. It was a regiment never given the ‘Pals Battalion’ title as were many other locally formed regiments.

The 8th were part of 70th Brigade and assigned to the Western Front of theSomme. On the night of the 30th June 1916, the soldiers of the battalion were located to trenches between Authille Wood and Ollivers . Their orders were to take the village of Ollivers when the attack was launched at 7.30 am on the 1st July.

The attack did not go well and many men were killed almost immediately. Those that remained, 70 of them, actually reached the third line of defence of the Germans, but none ever returned. Of those left defending the first trench, including members of the KOYLI Regiment, stood their ground until eventually overwhelmed.

Of 680 soldiers and 23 Officers, only 68 remained to return to the rear.

Blighty Valley Cemetery

The Battle of the Somme is written in history as the greatest military loss in one day of conflict, some 19857 men killed or missing. It has also been suggested it was never a battle designed to win but, a campaign to cause the Germans to withdraw troops from Verdun in the south to defend the Western Front. Whatever the reason the battle was bloody and sacrificial. German losses were described as ‘the muddy grave of the German Field Army’.

Walter is buried in close proximity within Blighty Valley Cemetery, Authuile Wood, which lies 4 klms north of Albert on the Somme. He are buried with other casualties of the 8th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment, and is probably one of those interred at the commencement of the cemetery shortly after the 1st July 1916. There are 1027 burials within the cemetery, 536 of which are unidentified.

This is a revised version of a post which was originally published on my WordPress Blog on 10/01/2010 and republished on Mollekin Portalite on 16/05/2011.

Aylmer Erling Tomlinson – War Casualty

Aylmer Erling Tomlinson is my fifth cousin, three times removed. He was born in 1897 in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. According to the 1911 Census he was living at Cabin Hill, Clumber Park, Worksop. Special thanks are owed to Trevor Higgins for writing the following text:-

Aylmer was a member of the 1/4 Loyal Lancaster Regiment, which was tasked to join other battalions in the attack on Pilkem Ridge, part of the assault at Passchendaele. The area was a complete quagmire after heavy rain, in which artillery bombardment had destroyed the drainage system of the area. The front was heavily defended by German forces, in particular their artillery.

Menin Gate

The rain had eased during the early hours of the 31st July, and the decision was made to launch the attack at 3.50 am. The ridge extended from the outskirts of Ypres south east towards the Menin Road and ran for some 12 miles. The Lancashires attacked at a point south of Zonnebeke, and were severely hampered by unbroken wire, well entrenched pill boxes and mud which was knee deep. Gains were made up to lunchtime, but deteriorating weather conditions caused the British to halt and dig in as best they could. They were subjected to a fierce bombardment from the Germans during late afternoon, followed by counter attacks. The British line held, but no further advance was made, and they were compelled to hold their position until better weather.

The cost was enormous and some 400000 soldiers were dead or missing. Aylmer was one of them and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate.

This is a revised version of a post which was originally published on my WordPress Blog on 04/01/2010 and republished on Mollekin Portalite on 16/05/2011.

Harry Tyzack – War Casualty


Harry Tyzack is my fourth cousin, twice removed. According to the 1911 Census he was an Oil Merchant’s Clerk and lived at Woodburn Road Council School, Sheffield with his parents. Special thanks are owed to Trevor Higgins for writing the following text:-

Harry was a member of the 6th Btn KOYLI, who were in position south east of Arras, in preparation of what is now known as the first battle of the Scarpe (river). On the 9th April their orders were to take the village of Tilloy-les-Mofflaines on the Wancourt Ridge. The Germans held a well fortified trench which held the village and the surrounding ridge. British casualties were high.

Tilloy Cemetery is some 2 miles from the battle scene and Harry is buried in Plot III. Plots I and II contain the burials of immediate casualties as the cemetery was initially a casualty clearing station. It suggests Harry was initially buried in either Artillery Track or Harp Redoubt burial plots, where the bodies of some 90 soldiers were recovered and later interned in Tilloy. The cemetery was added to later and now contains 1642 bodies of which 611 are unidentified.

This is a revised version of a post which was originally published on my WordPress Blog on 29/12/2009 and republished on Mollekin Portalite on 11/05/2011.

Arthur Higham – War Casualty


Arthur Higham is my fifth cousin, once removed. He was born circa 1896 in Sheffield and according to the 1911 Census was living at Hermitage Street, Sheffield. Special thanks are owed to Trevor Higgins for writing the following text:-

The 1/4th York and Lancaster Regiment (Hallamshires) of which Arthur was a member, was held in reserve at the outbreak of the battle of the Somme on the 1st July 1916. However, as things did not go too well for the Allies in the following days, the Regiment was brought forward and tasked to help ANZAC forces to take Poziers, a village situated on the Albert to Bapaume Road. This road formed a ridge and was beneficial to whichever army held it, because of surrounding views. There were several battles for Poziers in mid July, none of them of much success and at great cost to the Australians.

On the night of 23rd July, the Hallamshires , supporting other ANZAC troops carried out a frontal attack on German positions, which extended either side of the road. German machine guns killed many soldiers, and the wounded ones were removed to the 44th CCS at Puchevillers. Arthur was buried in the cemetery there. There are 1756 burials there, most of which were buried after the German advance of 1918.

This is a revised version of a post which was originally published on my WordPress Blog on 05/01/2010 and republished on Mollekin Portalite on 11/05/2011.