Rossendale Branch - Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society

Rawtenstall War Memorial Obituaries

Lance Corporal Nathaniel Spencer BEARD  -  Bombardier Arthur John BENSON  -  Private Richard Ashworth BERRY
Private R. BIRTWISTLE  -  Able Seaman Samuel BISHOP  -  Lieutenant John BOLTON

Lance Corpral Nathaniel Spencer BEARD - killed in action 15th September 1915
Nathaniel Spencer Beard

Mr. and Mrs. Robert James Beard, of Highfield Farm, Waterfoot have received information that their eldest son, Corporal Nathaniel Spencer Beard, was killed in action on September 15th. The in­formation was conveyed in the following- letter dated October 14th from Lieut. Grimshaw, of the 12th East Surrey Regt. :—
"I have only just, re­turned from our second attack so have, been unable to write you before. I have to break the terrible news to you that your son was killed in action on the 15th September, before Fleurs. From the first report I had hoped that he was only wounded, as you know in the present operations it takes two or three weeks before any real in­formation can be obtained, but a return has now come in showing him has killed in action, and buried north of Delville Wood. I was extremely fond of your son and was very sorry for him indeed when his brother was killed earlier in the year when we were up north, as my own brother was killed too. A more fearless and capable man I never met. He was very popular with the section, and his late Company Commander, a friend of mine, who has also been killed, put great trust, in him, and always remarked what a good fellow he was. I am afraid in this last affair we have lost all our best friends. I only hope that God will help you and your daughters to bear up under this blow."

The late Corporal Beard was 26 years of age and joined the 12th East Surrey Regt. in March of last year. After training at Dover he went out to France in January of this year. He was a market, gardener and attended St. James' Church, Waterfoot He was also gymnastic instructor to the Boy Scouts.

It is fifteen weeks since Mr. and Mrs. Beard were informed that their son Harold, who was in the Machine Gun Corps, had been killed.

Source: R.F.P. 21st October 1915 p5 c3
Commonwealth War Graves Commission details
Bombardier Arthur John BENSON - killed in action 12th April 1917

Official news has been received of the death in action of Acting Bombardier Arthur John(Jack) Benson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Benson of 84 Schofield Road, Rawtenstall.
The deceased soldier was attached to one of the seige batteries of the Royal Garrison Artillery, and was killed on the 12th inst. in France by shell fire.
The young soldier, who was 26 years of age, prior to enlisting was an assistant foreman in Messrs. Brooks and Brooks quarries. He was an ex-Bury Grammar School boy, and was well known in Rawtenstall.

Source: R.F.P. 21st April 1917 p8 c3
Commonwealth War Graves Commission details
Private Richard Ashworth Berry - died 15th January 1916
Richard A. Berry

Mrs. Berry, of St. Mary's Place, Rawtenstall, has this week been informed of the death of her husband, Private R. Berry, of the 2nd Batt. Royal Lancaster Regiment, in Salonika The sad news was conveyed in the following letter, written on January 19th, and received on Thursday from, the Infantry Record Office at Preston:— "Madam,—It is my painful duty to inform you that a report has this day boon received from the War Office, notifying the death of No. 20117, Private R. A. Berry, 2nd Batt. Royal Lancaster Regiment, which occurred at 4th C.P. General Hospital, Salonika, on the fifteenth day of January. 1916, and I am to express to you the sympathy and regret of the- Army Council at your loss. The cause- of death was nephritis and broncho-pneumonia." The late Private Berry wag well-known in the Rawtenstall district. He frequently appeared on the platform at concerts as a comic singer. For some years he was a member of the Burnley Police Force. Much sympathy will be felt for the- widow and family in their sad bereavement.

Source: R.F.P. 22nd January 1916 p8 c4
Commonwealth War Grave Commission details
Private R. BIRTWISTLE - died 24th July 1918 ?

No information available

Source: Not available
Able Seaman Samuel BISHOP - died 1st November 1918

Another naval funeral took place in Rawtenstall Cemetery on Thursday, when the remains were interred of Able-Seaman Samuel Bishop, whose home is at 38 Woodcroft-st., Rawtenstall. The young man was only 18 years of age, and he died on Friday of last week in a hospital in Kent from pneumonia. The body was brought to Rawtenstall by train, and was accompanied by a detachment of naval men. The funeral took place from the home of Mr. and Mrs. H. Newsome (the deceased’s  brother-in-law and sister), 15 Ormerod st., and was carried to the grave by the sailors. There were also present representatives from the Sunnyside troop of Boy Scouts, of which The Rev. S. Anderton, pastor of Sunnyside Baptist Church, officiated.

Wreaths were sent from his sorrowing sisters and brothers, Nellie and Martha, Harry and Bob in France, Annie and William; mother, Walter and James Thomas; from his fellow Scouts, Sunnyside Baptist Troop, “He did his duty”; from Mr. and Mrs. Tomlinson and Alice; from Sunday School Scholars, Sunnyside Baptist Chapel; Irene his Grandmother, Aunts and Uncles; from Mrs. Langley and family and Mrs. Green; from neighbours and friends; from Mr. and Mrs. Hamer, also Ethel and Harry; from Mr. and Mrs. Waterwoth. Mr. J Barnes of Bank Street, Rawtenstall was the undertaker.

Source: R.F.P. 9th November 1918 p8 c3
Commonwealth War Graves Commision details
Lieutenant John BOLTON - died 4th June 1915
Lieutenant John Bolton

Another terrible blow has fallen upon Mr. H. H. Bolton, J.P., and Mrs. Bolton, of Heightside, Newchurch, in the death from wounds at the Dardanelles of their second son, Lieutenant John Bolton. The sad news came in the following telegram to Mr. Bolton, which was received at 12-30 noon on Thursday: —
Regret to inform you Second Lieutenant J. Bolton, 6th East Lancashires, died of wounds, June 6th. Lord Kitchener expresses his sympathy. Territorial Record, Preston.

Following so closely on the death of the eldest son, Captain H. H. Bolton, news of whose death only arrived last week, the event is painful beyond expression, but the family have the consolation that both sous died at the post of duty in the service of King arid Country. Like his elder brother, Lieutenant John Bolton was a gentleman of fine physique and extremely pleasant disposition, and held in the highest regard by all who knew him.
He was born at Hollins Grove, Accrington, on the 6th January, 1889, and was therefore 26 years of age. He was educated at Mostyn House School, Park Gate, and at Tunbridge Public School, after which he spent three years at the Manchester University, taking the engineering course. On returning home he was engaged in connection with the collieries at Accrington, and on the death of the late Mr. Whittaker, in September 1913, he was put in charge of the commercial department. He soon proved himself to be diligent, alert, and capable in that capacity.
Some two years ago he joined the 6th Battalion East Lancashire Territorial Force, and was gazetted First Lieutenant on the 6th May. He attended to his Territorial duties regularly at the Stacksteads Drill Hall. In August last he went with the company to camp at Carnarvon, and was encamped there when the Battalion was mobilised for the war. The Battalion came to Burnley, and after being stationed there a few weeks they were moved into camp at Bury. Lieutenant Bolton sailed in September last to Egypt. In letters sent home he stated that he thoroughly enjoyed military life in that country, and while there he took a special course in scouting under Gurka officers at Abassia, and was made scout officer for the Battalion.
When on board the transport, just before sailing for the Dardanelles on May 5th, he wrote home in high spirits saying he was "off to see some fighting at last," and expressing his pride that he and his brother, Captain Bolton, were to be the first of the family in the firing line. Nothing further was heard from him until the 26th May, when he wrote home to his mother the character¬istically brave and sympathetic letter, extracts from which are given in another column, and in which he stated that personally he had no regrets that he had gone out, adding that he would forward home a photo of Captain Bolton's grave. Lieutenant Bolton had resided at Heightside, Newchurch, since the family came to reside there in June 1911, and he went daily to business at Accrington.
A memorial service will be held at St. Nicholas' Parish Church, Newuhurch, at three o'clock on Sunday afternoon.

Source: R.F.P. 12th June1915, 19th June 1915, 17th July 1915, 11th Sep 1915
Commonwealth War Graves Commision details