WW1 Project

Holmfirth Remembers’

Those of the Holme Valley who served in WW1

During 2017/18, members of this group led the development of the ‘Holmfirth Remembers’ project to commemorate all those from the Upper Holme Valley who served in WW1. The aim was to remember them as members of the Valley community rather than as statistics of the war, and to provide an identity for those many names which appear on the various war memorials which have been erected about the Valley.

The main source of the information garnered was the pages of the Holmfirth Express augmented by the personal reminiscences of family members and genealogical information on the Ancestry website available in the local library. During the course of the project, local exhibitions were held at Netherthong, Holmfirth Methodist Church, Hepworth Village Hall and Holme Sunday School with the major exhibition of all our information held in Holmfirth Civic Hall on the centenary weekend of the Armistice, on Friday 9 November 2018.

The major war memorial is that at the Holme Valley Memorial Hospital which lists 299 names (Lewis Beaumont appears twice!) Memorials and Rolls of Honour were also erected locally in all the major settlements of the valley. Those associated with churches include St David’s Holmbridge, Holy Trinity Holmfirth, Christ Church New Mill, Holy Trinity Hepworth, St Andrews Thongsbridge, St Johns Upperthong and All Saints Netherthong. Methodist Chapels and Sunday Schools include Holmfirth, Lane Chapel, Underbank, Lydgate, Wooldale, Cartworth Moor and Holme. Working Men’s Clubs also had their memorials, that at New Mill taking the form of a Memorial room containing photos of the men commemorated. Memorials were also erected at work places: the mills of Albert Mellor & Son, Vickerman’s of Thongsbridge and, most poignantly, that for Holmfirth Secondary School, then located in the Mechanics Institute, and now found in the foyer of Honley High School.

Many names appear on more than one local war memorial and these include those who lived locally as well as those who had emigrated abroad to Australia and Canada in the early years of the century just prior to the war and fought in their adopted country’s forces.

We have identified 362 men connected with the Valley who died as a result of the war and have lifestory information for all but four of these men. In addition, we have lifestory information for 38 men who were awarded medals or gallantry certificates and 68 who were captured. Finally, we have newspaper cuttings for 627 other men who served, most of whom were wounded to varying degrees.

We are happy to provide the information we have to enquirers. More specifically, we have generated memorial booklets for specific war memorials in the Valley such as Christ Church, New Mill and the Wooldale Arms and are happy to provide these for any caretakers of other local war memorials.

Alternatively, information for those who died, were awarded medals, or were captured have been uploaded to the Imperial War Museum Digital Memorial called “Lives of the First World War” accessible at

https://livesofthefirstworldwar.iwm.org.uk/