News Snippets for 1916

What follows are news snippets with Crich Parish interest from various newspapers for 1916.

This was beginning of the war years. A great many of the newspaper transcriptions between 1914 and 1918 relating to the men who served and other parish events were included in the WWI project. To see these men's full service details go to:

As with all transcriptions there could be "typos" which is always a possibilty with audio trancriptions, although care has been taken.

The following index shows parish names that appear in some of the reports – allow for spelling variations; plus omissions are possible owing to human error. The list is of transcribed names, there are other names in the images.


In the transcriptions names have been capitalised to aid quick searches; also some transcriptions have had minor edits.

Many of the newspaper reports of weddings at the time contained full details of clothing, bestman, bridesmaids, congregation and a list of presents received. Only the basic marriage details have been transcribed. Similarly funeral reports often gave long lists of mourners and floral tributes received. Refer to the original newspapers if the additional information is of interest.

1916 newspapers

Belper News 7 January 1916
The tiny hamlet of Alderwasley has responded magnificently to the call of the country, for no less than 35 names of villagers are now on the roll of honour. Although soldiers from Alderwasley are serving on all the Fronts there have been no deaths, but Lieutenant R.H. MIDDLEDITCH was wounded months ago, and is a prisoner of war in Germany. He is the son of Mr MIDDLEDITCH, of Tamworth House, Duffield, and of the hosiery works Derwent Street Belper. We are informed the interned officer is in good health at Ruhleben, to which his parents have to regularly forward such food and comforts as the Germans permit.
[Note: View the Alderwasley Roll of Honour and details of the men]

Derby Daily Telegraph 20 January 1916
Charles COWLISHAW, of Crich, quarryman, was summoned for trespassing in search of conies on land in the occupation of Louis NIGHTINGALE, at Lea, on December 9 only on which Mr J. B. Marsden SMEDLEY has the right of shooting. Defendant admitted the offence. Some snares were observed in a hedge, and Mr WILTON a tenant, saw COWLISHAW go and examine them. Find £1, including costs.

Derbyshire Courier, 25 January 1916
Cpl William COOKE, of the Royal Field Artillery, who is attached to the shoeing and smith's department (BEF) writing home to his parents, Mr and Mrs G. COOKE, Tor View, Crich Common, informs them that he met with an accident on Christmas Day. He says that whilst following his occupation just behind the firing line in France he was severely kicked on the head by a horse and sustained a painful injury. He writes that he is now progressing favourably and expects getting out of the doctors' hands soon after the time of writing his letter. Cpl COOKE at the time of his enlistment, was employed as blacksmith at Messrs Glossop's of Ambergate.

Derbyshire Courier, 5 February 1916
Mr and Mrs William HARRISON, of Roes Lane, Crich, have received news that their son, Private Ernest HARRISON, of the East Surreys, is ill in hospital at Le Havre, France. No further details are yet to hand. Private E. HARRISON was for a period in the Royal Garrison Artillery, but was later transferred to the East Surreys. His brother William of the 1st Sherwood's, is still in hospital at Stretford, Manchester, suffering from severe shrapnel wounds sustained in France some months ago. Recently he underwent an operation at the Manchester Infirmary, when he had some pieces of shrapnel removed.
Another Crich soldier who is ill in hospital is Sgt William CURZON, news having been received recently by his mother to this effect. Sgt CURZON who is in the 5th Sherwood Forester's, stationed somewhere in the south of France, states in his letter that he has been bitten in the eye by a venomous insect whilst he was asleep.

Belper News 11 February 1916
Crich lost a well-known resident on Thursday by the sudden death of Samuel HOLMES, who resided with his niece, Mrs JEFFREY, and was an over-looker at the Lea Mills. Although 75 years of age, deceased walked through the hilly country between Crich and Lea Mills to work daily, a total distance of over six miles, and in addition worked overtime. On Thursday he went to work apparently in the best of health but later in the day was found lying dead in a lavatory. He had been in the service of the proprietors of the Lea Mills for some 50 years. Mr TAYLOR conducted the inquest at the Mills on Friday afternoon. Grace JEFFREY, the niece, gave evidence of identification. During her uncle's eleven years residence with her she said, he had experienced good health with the exception of one attack of influenza about four years ago. He was perfectly well when he went to work the previous morning and although he sometimes complained of exhaustion he was not afflicted with pain. He had been working overtime at the mill, and had to walk three miles each way daily.
[there followed evidence from several co-workers and Dr MACDONALD]
The Coroner suggested a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence, and the jury agreed. A juryman informed the Coroner that deceased did not regularly work overtime, and was not influenced to do so by the management.

Derby Daily Telegraph 19 February 1916
Wanted a grocer’s assistant ineligible for the army; state experience and salary required. MERCER, Chemist & Grocer, Crich.

Derbyshire Times 8 April 1916
The sad news was received on Saturday morning last by Mr and Mrs Elias HARTLE of the Tors Crich, that their son, Thomas HARTLE, of the Military Mounted Police R.G.A. who, as previously stated in these columns, has been lying seriously ill in hospital in Mesopotamia, has died. He was amongst the first to join the Expeditionary Force, and was beleagued at Kut-el-Amara under General Townsend. He had been 15 years in the Army, ten of which he spent in India. He was the eldest son on Mr and Mrs HARTLE, was 36 years of age and single, and of his two brothers, William has been in the trenches for some considerable time and Charles is training in England.

Derbyshire Courier , 8 April 1916
Mr and Mrs E.W. HARTLE of Laburnum Cottage, Crich, received news on Saturday that their son Cpl Thomas HARTLE, had passed away in hospital on 19 March at the Persian Gulf. The intimation was forwarded from the Dover Record Office. As stated in last weeks "Courier" Cpl HARTLE was in hospital suffering from beri beri and his condition was reported as dangerous. He enlisted fifteen years ago and of this period he has spent about ten years in India. About six years ago he was at home on furlough and after a short stay in the south of England he again was sent to India and was stationed there at the outbreak of war. With his brigade, which formed part of the Indian Expeditionary Force, he was dispatched to Mesopotamia and he took part in a lot of the fighting there. Cpl HARTLE, who was 36 years of age and single, was held in high esteem in Crich. His two remaining brothers are in the army. Prior to joining the Army Cpl HARTLE was a mason and quarryman, and for a considerable time he worked on the Langsett waterworks along with other Crich artisans.

Derbyshire Courier 20 May 1916
Crich Congregational’s New Pastor
Wednesday last will be remembered as a red letter day in the history Fritchley Congregational Church, meetings being held in connection settlement of the Rev Richard DALBY to the pastorate of the church.
[there followed a long report about the installation]

Derbyshire Times 10 June 1916
Anthony BOWMER of Crich Carr , who has been in the Navy for about five years, and whose age was 22, is reported as having gone down in the North Sea fight on the 31st of May; also Jim ROGERS, son of Mr William ROGERS of Bull Bridge, who joined the Navy since the war broke out, went down in the "Black Prince”.

Derbyshire Courier , 10 June 1916
An official notification from the Admiralty received by his father on Wednesday states that Able Seaman James ROGERS, of Bull Bridge, Crich was supposed to have gone down with HMS Black Prince when she was sunk in the naval battle. Seaman ROGERS was 24 years of age. In civil life he was a miner and worked at Haslam’s Colliery, Hartsay, joining the Navy on 28 September last. His younger brother George is with the forces in France, and his brother Amos is at Salonica, while his half brother Fred WRAGG is in a Guards regiment somewhere in France. Seaman ROGERS was the next youngest son of Mr Wm ROGERS.

Derbyshire Courier , 24th June 1916
An official intimation has been received from the Record Office, Chatham, by Mrs Harry CAULDWELL, informing her that her husband, Sapper Harry CAULDWELL, is suffering from gas poisoning. Sapper CAULDWELL is now in a general hospital at Le Treport, France. He appears to have been "gassed" early this month. It is presumed that he is recovering, a letter having been written by him since admission into the hospital. Sapper CAULDWELL, who has been in the Army since last September, eight months of which has been in France, was over on leave six weeks ago.

Derby Daily Telegraph 7 July 1916
William MELLOR, of Plaistow Green, was summoned for carrying a gun without a licence on May 2. Defendant did not appear. Sgt WYLES proved the case. The man stated he had been on a farmer’s land to scare away the crows, but he found this to be untrue. Find 1s and costs or 14 days.

Derby Daily Telegraph 4 August 1916
The vicar of Crich Rev J Martyn SIMMONS,M.A. has resigned the living of Crich. The reasons given by the vicar are as follows: “After much thought and prayer, the vicar feels that he cannot any longer consistently with his private convictions remain in the National Church, and has therefore placed his resignation in the hands of the trustees.” Rev J M SIMMONS has been ten years in the diocese, being appointed to the living of Crich in 1906. He was ordained deacon in 1884. The living of Crich is in the gift of the following: Bishop STRATON, Mr C. C. KINGDON, Revs M. WASHINGTON and R.N. HURT .

Belper News, 4 August 1916
Lieut Henry Westbury SARGENT, of the Sherwood Foresters, and only son of Mr Henry C. SARGENT, of Fritchley was killed in action at La Bouisselle, he was in his 22nd year and was educated at Berkhamstead and Derby. Previous to enlisting, in December 1914, he was on the clerical staff of the Midland Railway. Mr SARGENT, the father, is a thorough patriotic Quaker, and his family have been residents of Fritchley for the past 53 years; he himself carried on the business for many years in London, and is now spending his retirement in Fritchley. Mr SARGENT has received several sympathetic letters, in addition to the following from officers of his son’s regiment, all of which testify to his great courage and devotion to duty.
Dear Mr SARGENT, – it is my painful duty to have to tell you of the death from wounds of your son at 71st Field Ambulance, Albert. Where he had also been buried. In action at La Bouisselle on July 5, your son was severely wounded by a bomb thrown by the enemy on reaching the head of his Company, where he had once gone hearing that the advance was temporarily held up. I enclose a report on the work he did and the great courage he displayed, which you may care to keep. Had he lived his name would have been sent in for the Military Cross. Unfortunately, I think now, no reward can be made to the services he rendered to the regiments. Please accept my very deep sympathy for your sad loss, which is also the regiments. Your boy had not been long with us but I had already noted his work and general tone – believe me, yours sincerely, R L Sherbrooke Lt Col.

Derby Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 8 August 1916
Second-lieut. Henry Westbury SARGENT, of the Sherwood Foresters, who is reported killed, was born in 1895 at Walton-on-Thames. He was the only son of Mr Henry Crunden SARGENT, now of Fritchley, Derbyshire, and the late Mrs SARGENT. He was educated at Berkhamsted and Derby Schools.

Derbyshire Courier 12 August 1916
The Parish Church, Crich was the scene of an interesting wedding on Monday, when Mr Alfred BOWMER, eldest son of Mr and Mrs John BOWMER, of the Cross, Crich, led to the altar Miss Elsie GAUNT, daughter of Mrs S GAUNT, of the Common, Crich. The bridegroom is well-known in football circles in the Midlands, and for a number of seasons was the popular right half for Chesterfield Town. He also played for Derby County Reserve. The bride, who was given away by her brother, Mr Arthur GAUNT, was dressed in cream eolienne , with hat of cream felt. She carried a bouquet of red white roses and maidenhair. The bridesmaid in attendance was Miss Alma WILSON of Crich, who was dressed in Wedgewood blue eolienne and wore a cream felt hat. The duties of best man were discharged by Private Arthur BOWMER (Grenadier Guards) brother of the bridegroom. Second Lieutenant Vernon BOWMER, the bridegroom’s youngest brother was also present at the service. The nuptial knot was tied by the Rev James WILLIAMS (curate). Afterwords a largely attended reception was held at the bridegroom’s home. Amongst the large number of gifts was a handsome present to the bride by the employees of the Derwent Hosiery Co. Belper.

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 18 August 1916
Frederick MARTIN, of Crich, aged 31, described as an insurance agent was before the Court on failing to join the army. Superintendent VARDY said the man had been at Walsall and from there came to Crich where he had been hiding. The authorities had been chasing him all over the country. MARTIN: I have not been hiding. Superintendent VARDY: I can prove it beyond any doubt. The decision was to hand MARTIN over to an escort.

Derbyshire Courier ,26 August 1916
Grenadier Guardsman death from wounds
War’s toll on the nation’s manhood was vividly bought before the minds of the Crich people on Tuesday, when the interment of Private Fred WRAGG, 3rd Grenadier Guards, of Crich, took place with military honours at the Parish Church. Private WRAGG was wounded in France early in July, the intimation being conveyed to his Uncle Mr James WRAGG, of Cliffe House, Crich in a letter from an army chaplain which appeared in the “Courier” at the time. He was wounded in the head by a bullet which injured his skull and he was sent to the County London Hospital, Epsom, but his chance of recovery was hopeless and he passed away last Friday. Sergt W. CURZON, Crich, who is in the same hospital was with him up to his death. The body was bought to Ambergate on Monday and later to Cliffe House for interment the following day. Practically the whole of the parish, in addition to a number of people from Holloway and Ambergate, assembled at the Churchyard to pay their tribute of respect to the dead soldier while nearly every blind was drawn in the upper end of Crich. The procession was headed by the Crich Silver Band. Mr S. HOLLINGSWORTH conducting, and the Dead March was impressively played. Draped with the Union Jack the coffin was born by Private WRAGG’s fellow workmen of peace times, whilst in addition to the family mourners the workmen connected with the Clay Cross Companies quarries and lime works at Crich followed. The firm was represented by Messrs. E.H. HUDDLESTONE and H.B BOAG. A squad of the 1st Notts and Derbys, with Lance Corporal KNIPE in charge, also followed.
After the service in church, and after the committal rites had been carried out by the Rev James WILLIAMS, the band gathered at the head end of the grave and played “Lead, kindly light,” followed by the “Last Post,” the bugler being drummer BENTON of the Notts and Derbys. From the church the band led the procession back to Cliffe House with the march “Farewell my Comrades”. Later, with the bells deeply muffled, Messrs. T. STIMPSON, B. BOWLER, C. WALTERS (Pentrich), G. BROWN, W. DRAKE, and Gunner J. WORTHY rang a peal of 480 Grandshire doubles. The large number of beautiful floral tributes sent included a wreath from Messrs. E.H. HUDDLESTONE and H.B. BOAG, and wreaths from “Officers and Staff” and “ Comrades” of County London Hospital, Epsom the latter being designed in red white and blue.
Private WRAGG, who was 31 years of age and enlisted in the Grenadiers nearly eighteen months ago. He was generally regarded as the smartest soldier sent from Crich to the present war, and his progress in marksmanship was a feature of his training. It resulted in his winning several shooting competitions. He was formerly a member of Crich Band. His half brother Seaman W. ROGERS was lost on the “Black Prince.”

Derbyshire Courier 26 August 1916
Mr. James BARBER, son of Mr and Mrs J BARBER, Church House, Crich, has passed the necessary tests for acceptance into the Royal Flying Corps and on Tuesday left to commence training.

Derbyshire Courier, 9 September 1916
Wounded Crich Yeomen's Experiences
In a recent issue of the "Courier" we briefly intimated that Trouper Stanley LEE, of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, has been wounded in action, whilst helping to push back the Turks. In this brilliant work it will be remembered that the Warwickshire Yeomanry played a gallant part. Our correspondent has now received a full particulars of how Trooper LEE was wounded. These having been forwarded from his parents Mr and Mrs J. T. LEE of Edgbaston, to whom Trooper LEE vividly described the fighting.
He was wounded at Kotia Sinai Desert on 4 August, when he was hit in the left shoulder by a bullet and in the abdomen by another. The latter has been extracted and it will soon be able to have the stitches removed. He says: "it is absolutely perfect to be between white sheets once more, after not having had one’s clothes off for a month. The boys are still doing good work in the desert and the people at home have no idea of the difficulties the fellows have overcome, what with lack of water, septic poisoning, and so on. I cannot describe to you what it was like riding from the firing line to Anzac loop which was ten miles away. I thought the journey would never end. My shirt and coat were all torn away, but the worst of all my horse kept attempting to lie down with me. I have no idea what our casualties are, but I know our troop officer was killed on the 5th, and more on the 7th. There are three more of our fellows in here, so we hope to have a nice time in a little while. I am sending you the bullet which had been extracted. I'm all over bandages round my chest and stomach, and septic sores on both hands, so can't write very well, and I certainly look a mess, but I'm very lucky indeed to be alive. We were 400 yards away from the Turks and I was firing like Hell I can tell you. My rifle was red-hot and so was my blood. Many of the fellows had their rifles choked with sand. Send me word how the Crich lads are getting on."
Trooper LEE is in the British Red Cross hospital at Giza, Cairo. He enlisted in the Warwickshire Yeomanry during the early stages of the war and since has his arrival at Egypt has taken part in some heavy fighting against the Turks. He is the eldest son of Mr and Mrs J.. LEE who recently left Victoria House, Crich to live at Edgbaston.

Derbyshire Courier 12 September 1916
A house at Park Head, Crich, was struck by lightning. About 3.15 when the storm was at its height, the cottage which was occupied by Mr Henry BOWMER, appeared to be enveloped in flames and immediately the gable coping at one end of the house was stripped from chimney to the gable foot. A quantity of plaster in the kitchen was also knocked off the wall. Fortunately no one was injured. The roads for a period had the appearance of miniature lakes, whilst gutters were transformed into torrents.

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 13 October 1916
A married man, of Crich, 35 years of age, who was unattested and had been granted a month’s exemption by the local Tribunal, appealed on the grounds of domestic hardship. He was a builder, employed by a local firm, but also lived at and kept a small farm of 6½ acres. He kept three pigs, and three beasts, his wife doing the butter making on the farm. The appeal was disallowed. He asked for a little extension of time to sell up, but this was not granted, he being told that he would get a fortnights notice in the ordinary course.

Derby Daily Telegraph 26 October 1916
… Ellen WEST, widow, Crich… were summoned for failing to obscure lights on dates October 12th to 17th. The fine was…15s.

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 3 November 1916
The Rev William BUNTING, senior curate of St John’s, Mansfield has accepted the offer of living of Crich, vacant by the resignation of the Rev J Martyn SIMMONS. The new vicar will take with him to Crich benefit of considerable experience in large industrial centres. From 1907 to 1909 he was a curate in the thickly populated artisan parish of St Stephen’s, Sheffield, and since then he has been curate at St John’s Mansfield. He is a nephew of Mr Joseph BUNTING, of Eden Bank, Whatstandwell who has been an enthusiastic worker for Crich church, and who efforts were largely responsible for the raising of the recent restoration and organ fund. It is understood that he will not begin his ministry at Crich for a couple of months or so. The living is valued at £255 nett yearly, with a residence.

Ashbourne News Telegraph 10 November 1916
A wedding of considerable local interest took place at the Parish Church Crich, on Tuesday last, when Miss Edith Maud COOPER, elder daughter of the late Mr W. Hill COOPER, of Ashbourne and Mrs COOPER, who at present is residing at Whatstandwell, was married to Mr Ian Pendlebury MACDONALD, I.A.R.O., attached 29th Punjabis, only son of Dr MACDONALD, of Crich. The wedding was an extremely quiet one. The Vicar, the Rev J. Martyn SIMMONS, officiated, assisted by the Rev J.WILLIAMS. The bride, who was given away by her mother, wore a costume of light gabardine trimmed with musquash
[there following a long report of the wedding and gifts received] …
There were no bridesmaids, but the bride’s sister was in attendance. Dr RANKIN was best man. There was no reception, the bride and bridegroom leaving immediately after the service for the South Coast.

Belper News, 17 November 1916
Mr and Mrs Joseph BOWMER of Crich Carr, have received a note from their son Private Anthony BOWMER, of the Notts and Derbys, who was seriously wounded last month and who is in hospital in France. A few weeks ago he had one of his legs amputated and now unfortunately the other leg, which was so badly injured by shrapnel at the time, has had to be removed also, otherwise his recovery would have been hopeless. He was a strong powerful man about 6 foot in height, age 26. He left school at 14 and went to Messrs SIMS, Whatstandwell, to learn stone dressing. Afterwards he went to Mansfield and became a miner, from which place he enlisted about 18 months ago.
His brother Private Harry BOWMER who is also in the Notts and Derbys, got wounded last month, but recovered quickly and is again in the trenches. He is 22 years of age, worked at the Cliff Quarry, Crich, and join the Colours directly the War commenced.

Derbyshire Courier 25 November 1916
Mr and Mrs A. COLEMAN, of the Cross, Crich, received on Tuesday a letter from their fourth son, Gunner William COLEMAN in which he informs them that he is wounded. He also writes to his sister Mrs Henry WETTON saying: “No doubt you will be surprised to hear that I am slightly wounded. I was hit by shrapnel in the right shoulder during the big battle on Monday. I am pleased to say it was not of a serious nature. I have been in hospital for four days, and today the 17th they have sent me to a convalescent home. I am having a fine time and hope to be with my battery again shortly.” Gunner COLEMAN is one of four brothers across in France. Cpl Luke COLEMAN, the eldest, having been reported killed. William joined the army immediately after the war commenced and has not been over on leave for nearly two years. He has been in France for seventeen months and although has taken part in some severe fighting he has steered clear of the casualty list until this month. Another brother, Isaac, who is serving with a labour battalion, has also written to his sister Mrs WETTON, telling her of a lucky escape he has had. He writes that he was a lucky chap that he did not get his back broken, for he says “I was blown up in the air fifteen feet by an explosion, but got worse than being badly shaken. But don’t worry I’m all right”.

Derbyshire Courier 25 November 1916
Pte Anthony BOWMER, of Crich Carr, who has had both legs amputated at a base hospital in France, the result of severe gunshot wounds, has progressed so far as to enable him to be removed to a hospital at Birmingham.

Ripley and Heanor News 15 December 1916
The marriage was solemnised at Pentrich Church last Thursday between Trooper Gerald KNEEBONE, of Crich, of the Derbyshire Yeomanry and Miss Nellie SKELTON, youngest daughter of Mr R SKELTON, of Lodge Hill Farm. The bridegroom, who is in training in County Cork, and is expecting shortly to go out to France was in civil life manager at the Loscoe branch of the Co-operative Society.
[Nelliie’s name recorded as SKELTON should be SHELTON]

Derby Daily Telegraph 19 December 1916
Mr A. N. WISTON, deputy county, coroner, held an inquest on Monday the house of Mrs HAY Thurlow Booth Crich, on the body of Martha KENYON, widow, aged 78, of Crich. From the evidence it appears that the deceased had carried a lamp into the kitchen of her house on Friday, and had fallen smashing the lamp and cutting her left wrist severely with the broken glass. She bled to death on a couch in the kitchen. Dr H.J. RANKIN, said death was due to to haemorrhage. A verdict of “Accidental death ".

Derbyshire Courier 30 December 1916

photo Harry Cauldwell1916

Sapper Harry CAULDWELL, of Cliff View Crich, is the first man from the parish to win the D.C.M. A soldier of not many words he modestly refrains from describing the deed for which he was awarded the honour. In a letter to his wife dated 16 December he says: "You will be pleased to hear that I have been presented with the D.C.M. this morning on parade. The officer commanding shook hands with me and congratulated me". It is understood that Sapper CAULDWELL gained the honour for some brave deed he accomplished at the time he was gassed in June. He has been in France since September 1915. Formerly he was a miner at South Wingfield Colliery.

Derbyshire Courier 30 December 1916
On Christmas Day at the Parish Church, Crich wedding took place of Mr William HAYNES, youngest son of Mr and Mrs Robert HAYNES, of Lower Hartsay, and Miss Bertha HOLMES, second daughter of the late Mr George HOLMES and Mrs HOMES of the Old Vicarage, Crich…
[there followed a description of wedding]…
The Crich ringers rang a peal in honour of the event, the bride’s father having been a ringer at the church for nearly 35 years. After the service a largely attended reception was held at the Old Vicarage. The many presents included a handsome standard lamp given by friends from Lea Mills.