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Roll of Honour (Thwaites - Woof)

Private Cecil Rhodes THWAITES (58685)

20th Battalion, Manchester Regiment

Born: 26 Mar 1897, Crook, County Durham

Died: Abt Feb 1978, Appleby, Cumbria (Age 81)

Cecil Rhodes Thwaites, no doubt named after the founder of Rhodesia, was the son of Simon Thwaites and his wife Margaret Annie (nee Thornborrow). His father, who was born in Kirkby Lonsdale, was working as a Coke Yard Labourer in Crook when Cecil was born. His mother was originally from Penrith and had married Simon Thwaites around February 1880 in the Auckland registration district of County Durham. According to the 1911 census, Cecil was one of twelve children of which four had died. The siblings that we have found were; John William (1880), James Parker Dinsdale (1881), Edward Alexander (1884-1952), Ernest Boak (1888-1899), Eleanor (1889-1898), Herbert (1892), Stanley (1895), Frederick (1900) and Ernest (1904). So there are two other siblings who had died.

Around 1902 the family moved from Crook to Patterdale, settling at Hartsop Hall, where Simon became a farmer. Cecil and his siblings would have attended Patterdale School. By 1911 Cecil had left School and, along with his older brother Stanley, was helping his father on the farm at Hartsop Hall. Some of his older brothers had already left to start their own families, including John, who married local girl Ellen Dewell in 1909, and Edward who married Mary Eleanor Brownrigg in 1905.

Cecil eventually left the family farm and moved to Mallerstang, near Kirkby Stephen, to work as a cowman. He was still there when he attested in Kirkby Stephen on the 14th February 1916, aged 18 years and 11 months. He was placed in reserve with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. On the 8th July 1917 Cecil married Lucy Thornborrow at St Mary’s Church in Mallerstang and a year later their daughter Lillian was born.

Cecil was called to attend a medical in Carlisle on the 6th May 1918 and was mobilised on the 22nd June 1918, with the 3rd (Training) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. After basic training he embarked for France from Folkestone on the 30th October 1918. Soon after arriving in France, on the 8th November, he was 'compulsorily and temporarily transferred for the benefit of the service' to the 20th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, joining them in the field on 9th of November 1918, just two days before the Armistice was signed! He remained with them until his discharge on the 31st January 1919.

After the war, we know he rejoined his family at Outhgill in Mallerstang and had another child, James around November 1924. We have no further details about his life up until he died at the beginning of 1978 aged 81. His surname was often written as Thwaite (without the 's') and the Glenridding Roll of Honour even has it as 'Thawaite'.

His mother Annie died in March 1938 at the age of 78 and his father Simon, who continued to farm at Hartsop Hall until at least 1930, died on the 17th December 1943 aged 82.

Research Documents:

Census Returns: 1901, 1911 Service Record (10 Pages) Medal Index Roll Medal Index Card

Private Henry W THWAITES (186269)

90th Canadian Infantry Battalion 'Winnipeg Rifles'

Born: 12 Feb 1875, Stoke Newington, London

Died: 22 Nov 1963, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (Age 88)

Charles Henry Walmsley Thwaites was the illegitimate son of Mary Ann Thwaites. Mary Ann was born in Greystoke in August 1849, the daughter of Joseph Thwaites, a farmer, and his wife Mary (nee Todhunter). Mary Ann grew up on the family farm at Berrier End Farm, near Greystoke, before moving to London around 1870 to work as a Parlour Maid at a Lodging House in the fashionable Wimpole Street, Marylebone. In the summer of 1874, she became pregnant and would probably have lost her job when her condition became obvious, which might explain why the child was born in Stoke Newington, North London. Unless she named the father on the Birth Certificate, we will probably never know who he was (perhaps a Charles or a Henry Walmsley - it was not unusual to include some part of the father's name when registering the birth in such circumstances). With a new born child and presumably unable to work, Mary Ann returned to the North West to live with her parents, who had retired from farming and were now running a Lodging House, called Goldrill House, in Patterdale. Her father Joseph had died in July 1879, so when the 1881 Census was taken there was just Annie (as Mary Ann was now calling herself) and Henry (aged 6 and having dropped the forename Charles) at Goldrill House - her widowed mother, Mary, was away visiting her own sister Jane at Eamont Bridge. When the 1891 Census was taken, Annie was still single and living with her mother at Goldrill House, running it as a Lodging House - Henry, now aged 16, had moved away. Annie's mother died in August 1891 and a few months later, on the 6th March 1892, Annie (or Mary Annie as she appears in the register) the local Blacksmith Thomas Nicholson. Thomas was a Widower and lived at Scarfoot, across from the White Lion Hotel and the Smithy which he ran with his brother John Nicholson.

After leaving school, Henry had moved to Great Strickland, where he was boarding with the Boustead family in 1881 at Skeels and working as a farm servant. Around 1893, Henry must have made a visit to London because the photo shown above, of Henry aged 18, was taken at the studio of Johnston & Co, in Stoke Newington - was he in contact with his father who perhaps paid for the picture to be taken? By 1901, Henry had moved to Barrow in Furness where he was working as a labourer in the Vickers Shipyards and boarding with the Coward family - around August that year he married their daughter, Maud Mary Coward, in St George's Church, Barrow-in-Furness. They continued to live in Barrow-in-Furness and had five children there, Harold (1901), Maude (1902), Lilian (1903), Warwick (1906) and Annie (1908), before deciding to start a new life in Canada. Henry went out first, leaving Liverpool on the 27th of May 1909 aboard the 'Canada' and arriving in Quebec on the 5th June. Maud and the children joined him the following April aboard the 'Corsican'. They settled in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where Henry found work as a Labourer but by the time the special Census of Manitoba was taken on the 1st June 1916, two more children had arrived, Henry Walmsley (1911) and Evelyn (1916), and Henry's occupation was recorded as a Soldier.

Henry enlisted with the 90th Canadian Infantry Battalion (The Winnipeg Rifles) on the 27th August 1915, it was the same regiment that fellow Patterdale emigrant to Manitoba John Dewey Place would join the following March. The records show that a Battalion of the 90th Winnipeg Rifles sailed for Britain on the 31st May 1916, arriving at Plymouth a week or so later. The Battalion then travelled to Shorncliffe, on the Kent coast, which had become the main Canadian military centre. We know from a postcard which Henry wrote, in Patterdale, to his wife on Sunday the 16th July 1916, that he had been given 6 days leave from Shorncliffe, during which he was able to visit his father-in-law in Barrow-in-Furness and then his mother in Patterdale.

Surprisingly, there is a second enlistment record for Henry, which he completed and signed in Winnipeg on the 8th of December 1916, this time for the 251st Overseas Battalion (Good Fellows) of the the Canadian Expeditionary Force. On this form he gives his year of birth as 1876 (to make his age 40 instead of 41), he also falsely declares, in answer to Question 10, that he has not served in any other Military Force. It's highly unlikely that he would have wanted to, or even been allowed by law, to enlist in another Battalion whilst still a member of the 90th Battalion, it therefore suggests that he had been dismissed from the 90th for some reason, perhaps his age, and sent back to Canada. Clearly still eager to 'do his bit', he must have attempted this second enlistment out of frustration. We do not know if he succeeded in joining the 251st but it seems unlikely, as it's the '90th Battalion CEF' that's inscribed on his Gravestone. In any event, the 251st did not sail for Europe.

Henry and his family continued to live in Winnipeg. Maud died on the 31st July 1962 aged 86 and Henry just over a year later on the 22nd November 1963 at the age of 88. We are very grateful to his descendants in Canada for all the information and photos they have shared with us. Henry’s son, also called Henry Walmsley Thwaites, served in the Canadian Army in the Second World War. Tragically he died of a heart attack aged just 42 on the 30th May 1954 . Back in England we know that his mother Mary Annie had moved from Goldrill House to the adjacent house Ullswater View before she died on the 2nd of January 1919 at the age of 70 and her husband, Thomas Nicholson died on the 23rd May 1920 at the age of 73. They are buried together in the East Section of St Patrick's Churchyard in Patterdale.

Research Documents:

Census Returns Patterdale Parish Registers and Memorials Joseph Lowe Photograph of Goldrill House

Passenger Manifest SS Canada - May 1909 Canadian Army Enlistment Forms Gravestone Charles H W Thwaites

Driver Stanley THWAITES (152569)

Royal Engineers

Born: 15 Mar 1895, Crook, County Durham

Died: Mar 1972, North Westmorland (Age 77)

Stanley Thwaites was the son of Simon Thwaites and his wife Margaret Annie (nee Thornborrow). His father, who was born in Kirkby Lonsdale, was working as a Coke Yard Labourer in Crook when Stanley was born. His mother was originally from Penrith and had married Simon Thwaites around February 1880 in the Auckland registration district of County Durham. According to the 1911 census, Stanley was one of twelve children of which four had died. The siblings that we have found were; John William (1880), James Parker Dinsdale (1881), Edward Alexander (1884-1952), Ernest Boak (1888-1899), Eleanor (1889-1898), Herbert (1892), Cecil (1897), Frederick (1900) and Ernest (1904). So there are two other siblings who had died.

Around 1902 the family moved from Crook to Patterdale, settling at Hartsop Hall, where Simon became a farmer. Stanley and his siblings would have attended Patterdale School. By 1911 Cecil had left School and, along with his younger brother Cecil, was helping his father on the farm at Hartsop Hall. Some of his older brothers had already left to start their own families, including John, who married local girl Ellen Dewell in 1909, and Edward who married Mary Eleanor Brownrigg in 1905.

We know from the Roll of Honour that Stanley served with the Royal Engineers. The only records that have been found are his medal index card and his entry in the R.E. medal roll, these show that he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, so he must have served in a theatre of war at some time (but after 1915, as he didn't qualify for the 1914/15 Star). We cannot find any other information about his army service.

Stanley married Ethel May Atkinson around May 1945 in the North Westmorland registration district. They were both 50 years old.

Interestingly, Stanley and Ethel are listed in the Tourist Class manifest of the S.S. United States, arriving from New York into Southampton on the 3rd October 1960. Stanley is described as retired and Ethel as a housewife - their address, unfortunately abbreviated, was recorded as 29, High Street, Westmorland.

Ethel was born, possibly in Leicester, on the 16th July 1895 and died around May 1964, aged 68, in the Penrith registration district.

Research Documents:

Census Returns: 1901, 1911 Medal Index Roll Medal Index Card Marriage Record - 1945 S.S. United States, Passenger Manifest - 3 Oct 1960

Trooper Thomas H WALL (260645)

7th Bn. Border Regiment

(Westmorland & Cumberland Yeomanry)

Born: 24 May 1893, Gillside, Glenridding, Westmorland

Died: 17 Apr 1918, Glasgow, Scotland (Age 24)

Thomas Henry Wall was the eldest son of Henry Wall, a Lead Miner, and his wife Ann (nee Tuer Dent). His father Henry had arrived in Glenridding with his parents in the mid 1880’s from Rookhope in County Durham, along with many other families from that area (including the Readshaws) to work at the Greenside mine. Thomas attended Patterdale School and was a choir boy at Patterdale Church. In 1901 he was living at Myres Cottages, in Glenridding with his parents, baby brother John, three sisters and Ann’s widowed mother Charlotte Dent. His father died in October 1902 aged just 38, which must have been a great hardship for his mother Ann with no wage coming in. By 1911, Thomas was living with his Uncle James Wall in Ryton-on-Tyne, where they both worked as Coal Miners (Thomas was using the name Harry by this time).

Towards the end of November 1914, Thomas enlisted into the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry, most likely into ‘B’ Squadron who had their headquarters at the Drill Hall in Penrith, and was given the service number 2724. From his Medal Card, we can see that he was initially assigned to the 2/1st which had been formed in September 1914 as a "second line" (training, draft-supplying reserve) for the 1/1st. However, before the 23rd of June 1915, Thomas had been transferred into the 1/1st and sent to Marlborough in Wiltshire, in preparation for going to France attached to the 1stCavalry Division. He landed in France on the 28th July 1915.

Historically the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry were a cavalry regiment on horses but in the trench warfare of WW1, horses were of more use pulling guns and supplies, so the regiment were re-equipped with bicycles. However, because of manpower shortages at the front, in June 1917 it was decided to dismount the 1/1st Regiment and train them as infantrymen, before sending them to join the 7th Border on the 22nd September 1917, under it's new title – 7th (Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry) Battalion, Border Regiment.

January 1918 found the 7th Border in The Somme region, supplying working parties for the defences there, in anticipation of the expected German Offensive now that the Eastern Front fighting had finished and many battle hardened German Divisions were being amassed on the Western Front. On the 21st March 1918 the German Bombardment began and the 7th Border 'stood to' in battle positions at Havrincourt as part of V Corps, Third Army. The shelling was very intense and forced a fighting retreat from the Cambrai Salient to Millencourt, where a consolidation at Henencourt held up the German Assault for a time but further withdrawals had to be made as far back as Flesselles north of Amiens. By the 5th April 1918, when the battle ended, the 7th Border losses were 18 killed, 124 wounded and 65 missing. Thomas was one of the wounded, his injuries were severe but he was expected to make a recovery and was evacuated back to Britain by Hospital Ship to the No.4 Military Hospital in Stobhill, Glasgow. Sadly, during the journey he contracted a severe cold and double pneumonia ensued. His mother Ann was telegraphed in Patterdale and immediately travelled to Glasgow to be at his bedside. He died on the 17th April 1918 aged 24 and was buried with full military honours in Patterdale Churchyard on Sunday the 21st April 1918. His ‘military style’ gravestone can be seen in in the churchyard not far from that of his father Henry and grandparents Henry and Susannah.

Thomas had spent two years and 8 months in France and Flanders. His medal card1 shows that he was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal, British War Medal and the 1915 Star.

For Research Documents and a more detailed biography, see his War Memorial Page Click Here

Private Amos Moses WALTON

2nd/3rd Bn. Monmouth Regiment (291285)

14th, 2nd and 3rd Bn's. South Lancashire Regiment (266309)

Born: Abt May 1884, Glenridding, Westmorland

Died: 13 May 1951, Glenridding, Westmorland (Age 67)

Amos Moses Walton was the third child of Thomas Winder Walton and his wife Agnes (nee Brumwell) and was baptised at St Patrick’s Church Patterdale on New Years Day 1882. His parents ran the Post Office and Grocery Store in Glenridding. Amos was one of five children, his siblings were; Jane Eleanor (1880), Thomas (1881), Mabel (1886) and Ada (1892). On the 29th November 1892, tragedy struck when his father Thomas died aged just 36, he was buried in St Patrick's Churchyard on the 2nd December 1892. Agnes continued to run the Post Office and grocery store on her own and by 1901 was living at the Post Office, being helped by her daughter Jane and son Thomas. By 1911 Agnes was still at the Post Office, but assisted by Ada and Amos, who was the postman).

Amos enlisted on the 10th of December 1915 at the Drill Hall in Penrith and was assigned to the Border Regiment. He had stated a preference to join the Royal Engineers but when he was mobilised on the 8th May 1916 he was initially sent to the Border Regiment Depot. Within a week, he had been transferred to 'C' Company of the 2nd/3rd Battalion of the Monmouthshire Regiment, who were performing home defence duties, mostly in Suffolk. On the 17th January 1917 he was transferred to 'C' Company of the 14th Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment who were also based in East Anglia at Hemsby in Norfolk. Amos remained there until he was sent to join the BEF in France on the 10th April 1918. A few days after he arrived, he was posted to the 2nd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment, who had been on the Western Front throughout the war. When he joined them on the 13th April 1818, they were part of the 75th Brigade within the 25th Division who were defending their lines against a German attack known as Operation Georgette and fighting in the valley of the River Lys and in the Flemish hills. On the 30th April, Amos sustained a gun shot wound to the left leg and evacuated to a Field Hospital but was able to return to his unit on the 18th June. However at the end of August he caught Dysentery, which was serious enough for him to be invalided back to England and then to the Edinburgh War Hospital where he remained until the 9th October 1918. Following his discharge from hospital, he was transferred to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment, who were based in Barrow-in-Furness guarding the Armaments works. Curiously he also spent a few weeks working for the Army's Home Postal Service at Regents Park in London before returning to Barrow on Christmas Eve and demob on the 18th February 1919.

Whilst based in Barrow-in-Furness, during the last quarter of 1918, Amos must have been allowed leave to marry Annie Jackson from Maiden Head, Penrith. After the war he returned to Glenridding and took over the running of the Post Office from his sister Ada who moved away with her family. Shortly afterwards he became the owner of the block of property next to the Post Office (what is now Sharmans store). He and Annie set about expanding the business and, as it said in his obituary in the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald:

.... the business of newsagent and fancy goods was extended and a grocery store opened. This was where his apprenticeship to the trade proved a valuable asset, for the success of this venture was never in doubt, developing into a store of the highest class.

He became involved in local politics, firstly as a member of Patterdale Parish Council, then a member of the West Ward Rural Council and later of the newly formed Lakes Urban District Council. In the Autumn of 1927 the Keppel Cove Dam burst after a freak storm - it was one of the worst disasters ever to affect the Dale and flood water caused serious damage to land and property. The Post Office was in the path of the raging torrent and suffered extensive damage to goods, furniture, a car and a motor cycle.

Amos was actively involved in many aspects of local and village life; he was secretary of the Ullswater Hunt Committee for nearly twenty years, joint secretary of the King George Playing Field and the Local Commemoration and Appreciation Fund, a member of the Ullswater Sheepdog Trials, a School Manager, a member of the Ullswater Mechanics Friendly Society from boyhood, a Past Master of the Penrith Unanimity Lodge, an officer in the Beacon Lodge and a member of the Royal Arch Chapter of the Freemasons.

He continued to run the post office at least until ill health forced him to retire in around 1948. He died just three years later whilst living at Bridge House, Glenridding on Sunday the 13th May 1951. His obituary also stated:

He was a leading member of the community and his loss will be keenly felt in many spheres. Aged 67, he had lived in Glenridding all his life. He was best known as postmaster at Glenridding, a shrewd and successful business man and always helpful and obliging. By nature kind-hearted, he got a lot of enjoyment out of life by helping others less fortunate than him.

Amos’s mother Agnes died during the war, on the 25th January 1915, at the Cottage Hospital in Penrith and was buried in St Patrick's Churchyard on the 28th January 1915. His youngest sister Ada continued to run the Post Office in Glenridding and married Albert Ernest Bennett, a soldier. They continued to live at the Post Office until after the war before moving to Alton in Hampshire.

Research Documents:

Census Returns: 1891 (Pg1), 1891 (Pg2), 1901, 1911 Baptism Register (Entry 334) Service Record (15 Pages)

Medal Card Medal Roll Probate

Private Thomas WALTON (40226)

2nd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment

Born: Dec 1881, Glenridding, Westmorland

Died: Sep 1966, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire (Age 85)

Thomas Walton was the second child of Thomas Winder Walton and his wife Agnes (nee Brumwell) and was baptised at St Patrick’s Church Patterdale on New Years Day 1882. His parents ran the Post Office and Grocery Store in Glenridding. Thomas was one of five children, his siblings were; Jane Eleanor (1880), Amos Moses (1884), Mabel (1886) and Ada (1892). On the 29th November 1892, tragedy struck when his father Thomas died aged just 36, he was buried in St Patrick's Churchyard on the 2nd December 1892. Agnes continued to run the Post Office and grocery store on her own and by 1901 was living at the Post Office, being helped by her eldest daughter Jane and Thomas who was described in the census as a 'Grocers Assistant'. By 1911 Agnes was still at the Post Office, but assisted by Ada and Amos (who was the postman). Thomas had left the area and moved to Lancashire where, on the 12th August 1910, he married Celia Lloyd at the Register Office in Blackburn.

When the 1911 Census was taken, Thomas and Celia were living in Equity Street in Darwen; he was working as an assistant in the Maypole Dairy shop near the Market Place in Blackburn. When he signed up as part of the Derby Scheme in December 1915, he and his wife were living at Larkhill in Blackburn and he was working as a Grocer. Thomas wasn't mobilised until the 23rd April 1918, surprisingly late compared to many others. A possible reason for this could be that, after enlisting, he worked as a Furnace Man (most likely at the nearby Yates & Thom Ltd, who manufactured stationary steam engines and boilers at their Canal Ironworks) which may have put him in a reserved occupation. He initially joined the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment and did his basic training in Scarborough. On the 7th September 1918, he embarked for France and two weeks later was transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment, so is likely to have been involved in the final advance in the Artois region, which resulted in the capture of Douai on the 17th October 1918. He remained in France until his discharge on the 22nd February 1919.

So far we have not been able to trace Thomas after the war, although we know that he and Celia eventually settled in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, where Thomas died in September 1966, and Celia in December 1972 at the age of 83.

Thomas’s mother Agnes died during the war, on the 25th January 1915, at the Cottage Hospital in Penrith and was buried in St Patrick's Churchyard on the 28th January 1915. His youngest sister Ada continued to run the Post Office in Glenridding and married Albert Ernest Bennett, a soldier. They continued to live at the Post Office until after the war before moving to Alton in Hampshire.

Research Documents:

Census Returns: 1891 (Pg1), 1891 (Pg2), 1901, 1911 Baptism Register (Entry 297) Service Record (9 Pages) Medal Card Medal Roll

Corporal John WATSON (2877/201478)

2nd/4th Border Regiment

Born: Abt Sep 1888, Grassthwaite How, Patterdale, Westmorland

Died:

John Watson was the only son of Henry Watson, at that time a groom and huntsman, and his wife Mary (nee Patterson) who was born in Glasgow. John was baptised at St Patrick’s Church on 14th October 1888. He had three sisters, Nelly (1884), Frances (1886) and a younger sister Mary Elizabeth (1892). John, or Jack as he was generally called, would have attended Patterdale School. When the April 1911 census was taken, Jack was working as a journeyman gardener with the Robinson family at Thwaite Hill, Pooley Bridge.

Jack enlisted in the second formation of the 4th (Cumberland and Westmorland) Infantry Battalion of the Border Regiment probably in November 1914 and was given the Regimental Number 2877 (although this was changed in 1920 to 201478). After basic training near Blackpool, the Battalion was shipped to India in the 7th March 1915. Jack would have had several close friends travelling with him, as fellow dalesmen Frank Brown, Fred Dewis and Jack Bell had also joined the same 2nd/4th Battalion. From March 1916 the battalion was stationed in and around Peshawar where it took part in the Mohmand Blockade from February to May 1917. We know from Jack’s medals that he won the North West Frontier Service clasp to his India General Service medal, which means he took part in the Third Anglo-Afghan War which began on the 6th May 1919 and ended with an armistice on the 8th August 1919. A detailed account of the Battalion's movements can be found in their diary (see Research Documents below).

Following his demobilisation Jack moved to Keswick, where he once again became a gardener including a spell at Armathwaite Hall. Jack married Mary Cowperthwaite on the 22nd September 1920 in Crossthwaite. Mary was the sister of Annie Cowperthwaite, the mother of John Scoon, who was for many years the head teacher at Patterdale School. Jack was also a keen follower of the hounds, and was the proud owner of a champion hound called Welfare.

His father, Henry Watson, died in 1927 aged 72 at Grisedale Bridge and his mother continued to live in the Township in Patterdale until her death aged 81 on the 26th December 1932.

Research Documents:

Census Returns: 1891, 1901, 1911 Medal Card Medal Card for Indian Service 2nd/4th Bn. Border Regiment Diary

Driver Lawrence WILSON ( )

Royal Field Artillery

Born:

Died: (Age )

Work in Progress

Research Documents:

Sergeant Rodger R Jackson WOOF (200017)

1st/4th Battalion, The Border Regiment

Born: 1 Jan 1881, Patterdale, Westmorland

Died: Jun 1959, Keswick, Cumberland

Roger Robinson Jackson, was born at 7, Township Cottages, Patterdale. He was the illegitimate son of Elizabeth Jackson, the eldest daughter of Thomas and Dorothy Jackson (nee Robinson). His birth was registered and he was baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 29th January 1881 as Roger Robinson Jackson, however, when the 1881 census was taken a few weeks later, on the 3rd April, his first name was written as 'Rodger', a spelling he retained for the rest of his life. In 1883, his mother married Thomas Woof, a labourer, in Crosthwaite Church, Keswick, and went to live in Keswick - leaving her son to be raised by his grandparents. We will perhaps never know if Thomas was Rodger's biological father. When the 1891 census was taken, he was 10 years old and attending Patterdale School and still using the surname Jackson. When his grandmother Dorothy died in June 1894, which is also around the time he would have left school, it seems likely that Rodger went to live in Crosthwaite with his mother and took on the surname of Woof.

During the latter half of 1900, Rodger, who was working as a Labourer in a Stone Quarry, was seeing a girl called Ellen Anderson and got her pregnant. They married on the 4th February 1901 in Crosthwaite Church, Keswick and their son, John James Woof, was born on the 12th June 1901Fn1. A second child, Mary Elizabeth Woof, was born on the 10th April 1902.

Perhaps to supplement his income a little, on the 24th January 1902, Rodger enlisted in the Volunteer Battalion of the Border Regiment, serving with them until the 31st March 1908, at which point he transferred into the 1/4th Territorial (Cumberland and Westmorland) Battalion of the Border Regiment. These duties had been on a part-time basis and his service records show that he attended several of their annual 3 week training camps between 1908 and 1913. On the 1st August 1914 Rodger set off with his Battalion for their annual camp, this time at Caernarvon in Wales. However, when Britain declared war with Germany on the 4th August, the Battalion hurried back from their camp and by the 5th August 1914 Rodger had been 'embodied' into the regular army.

By the end of September 1914, the 1/4th Battalion had moved to Sittingbourne in Kent, to become part of the Home Counties Division. On the 29th October they sailed from Southampton bound for India and Burma. After a short stop in Bombay around the 2nd December, to disembark Battalions being stationed in India, they went on to Burma, arriving in Rangoon in mid December. The 1st/4th Battalion were relieving the 1st Battalion of the Border Regiment and were stationed at Maymyo, near Mandalay, around 450 miles North of Rangoon, where they remained for the duration of the war. Soon after arriving, Rodger was included in a detachment that was sent further North to join of a small expeditionary force that was dealing with the Kachin Hills UprisingFn2. Trouble had been simmering since early December 1914 amongst the tribes who inhabit the Kachin Hills close to the frontier with China. Against a larger and better equipped force, the tribesmen soon backed down and peace restored by mid February 1915.

Rodger's character and conduct were described as 'Exemplary' by his Commanding Officer. Just before Christmas 1915, he was promoted to acting Lance Corporal and sent to Poona, in India, to be trained as a Cook. He passed the examination and on his return to Maymyo, his promotion was confirmed. He continued to work as a Cook and on the 17th May 1918, following the death of Sergeant R Walker, Rodger was promoted to the rank of Cook Sergeant.

Early in July 1919, Rodger became ill with Nephritis (an inflammation of the Kidneys) and was invalided back to England on the 12th July aboard the Hospital Ship 'Varela'. The ship arrived in England on the 5th August and Rodger was transferred to the Wharncliffe War Hospital in Sheffield. He was soon well enough to be writing letters, including one, that was retained in his service record, requesting information about the medal ribbons he was entitled to wear.

He was eventually 'Disembodied' (the demob term used for Territorials who had fought in the war) on the 13th October 1919, given the Silver War Badge and a 20% disability pension. He would have returned home to 16, Poplar Street in Keswick, where Ellen and the children (by now grown up) had spent most of the war, apart from a period in Gretna Township near Carlisle - no doubt working at the secret Cordite (Devils Porridge) factory there.

It seems that Rodger and Ellen continued to live in Keswick until their deaths - Ellen in September 1950 aged 73 and Rodger in June 1959, aged 80 (his death was registered as Roger Jackson Woof). Their son John Jackson Woof died in Keswick in September 1945 aged 44. Their daughter Mary Elizabeth married Frank Houldershaw in March 1927 and she died in March 1979 aged 77.

There were none of Rodger’s direct family left in the Dale at the end of World War One, which perhaps explains why he is remembered on the Glenridding Public Hall Roll of Honour as “Private Roger Jackson, Border Regiment”. That was his name when he was growing up in Patterdale some 20 years earlier.

Fn1 - In Rodger's service records, the year of birth for his son John is shown as 1900 but this can't be correct as the birth was registered in July 1901. Also he doesn't appear with them in the census taken on the 31st March 1901. The year of Rodger's marriage is also recorded incorrectly in the service records.

Fn2 - To read an excellent account of the Kachin Hills Uprising click here

Research Documents:

Census Returns Baptism Register (Entry 288) Service Records Medal Index Card Silver Badge Roll