A member of The Federation of Family History Societies
St James' Church, Haslingden
St John's Church, Bacup
St Mary's, Church Rawtenstall


Rossendale Branch Newsletter November 2009

Programme: 2009 - 2010

Wednesday 8th November

Members Evening. 10 Minute talks.

Wednesday 2nd December

Christmas Festivities.

Tickets are now on sale £3.50 each

Wednesday January 6th 2010

Commemorating the Ancestors

an archeologist's view. Ben Edwards

Wednesday February 3rd

Research Evening

Coming Events

LFHHS Pendle & Burnley Branch

Saturday 7th November

Family History Open Day

Barnoldswick Library, Fernlea Avenue, Barnoldswick 10.00am – 3.30am

Admission Free. Everyone welcome during the above hours.

Experienced members will give help and advice on how to trace your family history.

There will also be access to genealogical websites on the Internet.

Also an EXHIBITION of FAMILY HISTORYwill be on display throughout November.

There is Parking available For informatim telephone 01282 869815

Oldham Family and Local History Open Day

Saturday 14th November

Gallery Oldham, Cultural Quarter, Greaves St, Oldham, OL1 1AL

Free, no need to book

Stalls, Displays, Help-desks, Talks, Film show 11am-12noon

Filmshow 12:30-1:30pm A Failsworth Pole or Two

2-3pm Military Archives for Family Historians

For more information Call 0161 770 4654

Research and Advice Sessions: at Rawtenstall library every Tuesday 1.30 – 3.30

Rossendale Branch has a group of members who are on hand very Tuesday, to assist members of the public with their Family History enquiries. You will find us upstairs at the library adjacent to the new Community History facilities.. contacting us with an enquiry, please include your membership number.

Free Access to 1911 Census Has Proved too Popular!

The free access provided at the seven hubs around England and Wales was provided as a set number of credits for use on the 1911 Census website. The huge popularity of the scheme at both Tyne and Wear Archives and Museum, and Manchester Archives and Local Studies and Greater Manchester County Record Office, has meant that the credits supplied to these two areas have run out earlier than anticipated. Based on the onsite usage of the website at The National Archives (TNA) in Kew, it was estimated that the credits supplied would last for around a year. These sites ceased to have free access to the 1911 Census from 1 October 2009.

Welsh Wills Online

Free to View The National Library of Wales has good news for family historians. Over 190,000 Welsh wills (some 800,000 pages) have been digitised and are now available on the Library’s website or direct on their online catalogue and are free to view. More information can be viewed at www.llgc.org.uk

Rossendale: News Notes and Queries

Lawrence Mawdsley and Joseph Mawdsley

Haslingden men of the 1st World War.

by Beryl Venables member No. 8038

One of my maternal Grandmothers was Emily Mawdsley b 1876 in Bacup. I knew Emily's Grandfather was born in the Haslingden/ Grane/ Musbury area in the early 1800's so I was on the lookout for Mawdsley (Maudsley) when visiting Haslingden recently. At the library are beautifully illuminated plaques with the names of the Haslingden men who fell in the 1st World War.

There are two Mawdsleys listed, Lawrence and Joseph. I decided to see what I could find out about these men from the military lists recently added to a subscription website.

Lawrence - he is listed under the Royal Naval Division Casualties of the Great War 1914 – 1924. He was a Royal Marine in a Field Ambulance Unit of the Royal Marine Medical Unit. He enlisted in July 1915 and joined 1st (RN) Field Ambulance in September 1915. The War Diary of the 148th (RN) Field Ambulance states that on 24.10.1917 at 6pm they relieved the 27th Field Ambulance, 9th Division in the line and took over charge of the evacuation of the forward area.

Three men of the unit were killed in action that day. Lawrence was one of them.

Private Lawrence Mawdsley is buried at Dochy Farm New British Cemetery, Langemarck.

Next of kin are his parents Lawrence and Elizabeth. Their addresses must have been regularly updated as 4 old addresses in Haslingden are listed.

Joseph - There are two separate entries for Joseph Mawdsley. At first I thought these were two different men but the more I read the pages for each the more I became certain that they are one and the same person.

First in chronological terms is the entry of Joseph signing an Attestation for a Short Service (One year with the Colours) in February 1900. The questions before Enlistment state that Joseph was born in or near Haslingden, was aged 25, and a Quarryman. He had received notice (I presume conscription) and joined at Burnley. His entry states he had brown hair, blue eyes, stood 5' 3" and weighed 132 lbs. The Military History Sheet states he served at 'Home' until 20 March 1901 when he went to South Africa – the Boer War. He returned home and was discharged as his 'service was no longer required' on 22 June 1902. He was awarded the Queens South Africa medal and clasps for service the Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal, the South Africa medal 1901 and 1902.

The names of his next of kin are given as his brother, Hargreaves in Grane Road, sister Margaret also in Haslingden and a brother, Zachariah Maudsley in Moscow, Russia. That must be another story!

From my Mawdsley names I knew Joseph’s family. His parents were John and Susannah who on the 1881 census were living in Park House, Musbury, with Joseph the eighth of ten children. John had been at Park House in 1841 with his parents, James and Jane nee Hargreaves.

Joseph re-enlisted at Haslingden in September 1914.. He was still a quarryman but was now married. He had married Margery Heap in April 1907 and a son, Frank, born August 1912.

Joseph was posted on 1st November 1914, with the 2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment to where I cannot determine. Where he went and when he returned I cannot see mentioned. But, there are records of the Pensions Medical Board Opinion in May 1915 that Joseph was 'permanently unfit for further war service'. There is mention that he had 'disabilities' consistent with his work as a quarryman, and his 'physique deteriorated'. He was discharged on 9th June 1915. Joseph died 2nd March 1916.

We will remember them

email: berylvenables@talktalk.net


Mary Davison our local WWI expert was able to add the following comments to Beryl’s article:

Three men of the unit were killed on the 27th October 1917, one of them was another Haslingden man Albert Edward Walsh. Both Mawdsley and Walsh were buried in Dochy Farm Cemetery Langemarck.

A small paragraph in the Haslingden Gazette 10.7.1915 states that 30 Haslingden men passed a First Aid Exam arranged by St. John’s Ambulance Brigade on the 9th June 1915. Ten of them joined the RN Reserve, two of whom were Walsh and Mawdsley.

The battle in which they were killed became known as the battle of Passchendale. Fighting had been raging on two fronts since 31st July 1917. The area was a swamp – "never before had they (the R.N. Division ) been confronted with a task incapable of fulfilment. The Front line was virtually non-existent and communications with the "Front" was a series of posts surrounded with a sea of mud. The way to the Front was by a series of duckboards, over which food, ammunition, communications and relief had to be carried out at night, under constant German shellfire. It was not possible to deviate from these duckboards, otherwise there was a risk of being drowned, in a treacly mud already full of rotting dead (a few days earlier it had taken a battalion of East Lancs. over eleven hours to cover two miles".

Joseph Mawdsley did not serve abroad. He was discharged in May 1915 being permanently unfit for further service due to mental weakness and poor physical condition. He died on 2nd May 1916 and is buried in an official Commonwealth War Graves Commission grave in Haslingden cemetery.