Aintree & Melling – Pen portraits of a community’s fallen heroes – 1914 – 1917

No sooner had I blogged about Lydiate’s fallen in World War 1 than Bill Honeyman got in touch to tell me about a similar project covering Aintree and Melling undertaken by two friends of mine Bill Borland and Peter Gill, what’s more Bill supplied me with a copy of their excellent booklet. Here’s a link to the Lydiate booklet blog:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2019/03/07/lydiate-and-its-great-war-1914-1918-a-lovely-remembrance-booklet/

The deaths of 81 servicemen from Aintree & Melling are attributed to the Great War

Many of the deaths are commemorated on memorials at St. Giles Church Aintree and St Thomas’ Church Melling including Henry Mattocks who died aged 21 on 13th October 1915. He worked at Melling Potteries and was a member of the Melling Brass Band. His name together with those of Michael May & Thomas Clark caught my attention because they all worked at in the now long gone Melling Pottery business. Some years ago when I was the leader of Sefton Council I was given a pamphlet-type book written by Irene Birch about her mother Bertha (Mattocks) Birch called A Melling Lassie “Pottery Days” Melling’s Scottish Heritage. In it on page 13 is an undated photo of Melling Pottery Band and I can’t help but wonder if Henry Mattocks is in that photo.

The vast majority of what we now know as Aintree Village was agricultural land back around the time of the Great War but I spotted a Richard Kirby who died aged just 19 on 14th November 1916. He was the son of Myles and Ellen Kirkby (nee Quick) of Aintree Lane. He died at the Somme and is buried at Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Montauban, France.

This booklet is another great addition to the local history of the East Parishes part of Sefton Borough. My congratulations to the authors and thanks to Bill Honeyman for providing me with a copy.

We will remember them

Maghull – ‘Truce’ 1914-1918 Great War Sculpture

I was in Maghull Town Hall’s Council Chamber a couple of weeks back for a meeting of the Maghull in Bloom Volunteers and could not be anything other than impressed with the scaled-down sculpture/piece of artwork that is on display there:-

The original life-size version of this lovely piece of remembrance sculpture is in the grounds of Liverpool’s famous bombed out church – St Lukes at the top of Bold Street and it looks like this:-

Lydiate and its Great War 1914 – 1918 – A lovely remembrance booklet

I think I mentioned a while back that Lydiate Parish Council had put some money towards this booklet which was produced to look at the impact of WW1 on the farming village of Lydiate, and how children today are remembering the young men from their community who gave their lives.

Local author and historian Pam Russell was the guiding light together with Kath Coyle – WW1 Lydiate project coordinator.

24 young Lydiate men died while serving in WW1

24 young men from Lydiate (or with strong links to it) died while serving in WW1 and the booklet celebrates the life of each one with individual write-ups. I was interested to have confirmed something which another well known local historian (Bruce Hubbard) had told me some time ago i.e. that one of Lydiate’s fallen is not on either war memorial in the community – Herbert Finch who was killed on 19th October 1917. It seems he lived near the Lydiate/Maghull boundary so may have unfortunately been overlooked by both villages. He is however commemorated at Tyne Cot memorial in Belgium. Wouldn’t it be fitting for his name to added now to either the memorial at Our Lady’s Catholic Church or the one at St. Thomas’ CofE Church?

There’s also a brief history of Lydiate through the ages and of Lydiate life in 1914 within the booklet.

As well as the booklet there’s a website about the project at ww1lydiate.org.uk which you can access via this link:-

madcos.org.uk/project/ww1-lydiate/

I think many primary school children from Lydiate’s 3 schools may have a copy of the booklet and you just might be lucky in tracking a copy down if you call in at Lydiate Village Center on Lambshear Lane.

A great tribute to the fallen, congratulations to all involved.

WW1 – A Sefton Parish family with huge losses

As the centenary year of the end of WW1 is about to close I decided to have a close look at the war memorial that stands on the opposite side of the road to St. Helens Church in Sefton Village:-

And here’s a shot of the plaque denoting those who fell during the Great War from Sefton Parish – Note the loss of 3 people in the Wood family:-

And then in a chance spotting within the extensive graveyard of the church I came across this grave:-

One family (the Wood’s) with 3 sons lost in consecutive years 1914, 1915 & 1916, with two other families (the Almond’s and the Wharton’s) losing 2 members – such an appalling loss of life.

We will remember them

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull North Station – Tribute to the fallen and the suffering

I went along to the still new Maghull North Station (on Merseyrail’s Northern Line to Ormskirk) today to have a look at the just installed piece of artwork which celebrates the work of the former Moss Side Hospital and its pioneering treatment of shell shock. Of course, the hospital is long gone and the new Poppy Fields Housing Estate now occupies the site.

Here are some shots of what I think is a quite striking piece of artwork which is sited adjacent to the station ticket office:-

It was unveiled by local historian and former Maghull GP Dr John Rowland who has published a number of books on the history of Maghull and Lydiate.

A fine tribute to Moss Side, its staff, doctors and indeed patients who benefited from its pioneering treatments during and after World War 1.

The 3rd photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Mersey Ferries at War – 1st World War

Modern Mersey Ferry Royal Iris but why its called Royal is in this blog posting

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/nostalgia/how-mersey-ferries-went-war-14561873

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

It’s 100 years since the Mersey Ferries Iris and daffodil were involved in the Zeebrugge raid and the short Echo article is well worth reading.