Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The WW2 Civilian War Dead of the county of Cumberland, N.W. England

One intention whilst researching those casualties to be remembered in a ‘Roll of Honour’ for the Cleator Moor area of Cumbria (previously in the English county of Cumberland) is to honour all those from the area who lost their lives in the service of their country, or as the result of wars and conflicts. Consequently a friend and fellow researcher contacted the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for details of any records they have about the ‘Civilian War Dead’.

The CWGC kindly supplied details of those civilians who had died in the old county of Cumberland. So far as I have been informed, for a civilian to be included in the CWGC lists they would have either died during their duty in one of the wartime civilian services (NFS, ARP, etc) or died as the result of enemy action (e.g. bombing raids). These guidelines still probably miss some of the civilians lost in the war. For example, if someone was knocked down by a car and died while on ARP duty they would be included, while if they were not on ARP duty they would not be included.

The details provided by the CWGC only cover what they believe covers the former county of Cumberland (i.e. omitting the parts of present day Cumbria that used to be in Westmorland, Lancashire or Yorkshire). All the names listed are from the Second World War. Strangely, the CWGC has also included details of six civilian deaths that took place in the former Whickham Urban District Council area, which is actually in the North East of England near Gateshead.

(For a list of the WW2 civilian casualties for the former county of Cumberland click ‘Comments’)

5 Comments:

Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional Comments

According to the CWGC records they have details for 22 civilian war dead for the former county of Cumberland during WW2. This excludes those from the former Whickham Urban District Council, which was not in Cumberland. They are listed by the former council area in which the person died, and then alphabetically by surname.

BORDER RURAL DISTRICT, Cumberland.
Civilian War Dead
 
1. BULL, Civilian, CLARA, Civilian War Dead. 12 April 1941. Age 60. of 22 Somerset Road, New Barnet, Hertfordshire. Wife of Francis Jacob Bull. Died at Houghton Road, near Carlisle.

2. BULL, Civilian, FRANCIS JACOB, Civilian War Dead. 12 April 1941. Age 61. of 22 Somerset Road, New Barnet, Hertfordshire. Husband of Clara Bull. Died at Houghton Road, near Carlisle.

3. ROWE, Civilian, ERNEST, Civilian War Dead. 11 March 1943. Age 26. N.F.S. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Rowe, of Townhead Farm, Scotby, Carlisle; husband of Julia Rowe, of Newlands Farm, Carleton, Carlisle. Died at Public Hall, Scotby.


CARLISLE, COUNTY BOROUGH, Cumberland.
Civilian War Dead
 
4. BEATTIE, Civilian, THOMAS COOMBES, Civilian War Dead. 7 April 1941. Age 60. Wife of Helen J. Beattie, of 72 Annan Road, Gretna, Dumfriesshire Injured at Masonic Hall, Gretna; died same day at Cumberland Infirmary.

5. BURNS, Civilian, STANLEY, Civilian War Dead. 8 April 1941. Age 38. member of A.R.P. First Aid Party. Husband of Mary Forster Burns, of 14 Silverhill, Annan, Dumfriesshire. Injured 7 April 1941, at Gretna; died at Cumberland Infirmary.

6. ROBERTSON, Civilian, JOHN, Civilian War Dead. 11 April 1941. Age 47. Husband of Sarah Robertson, of 3 Seafield Road, Annan, Dumfriesshire. Injured 7 April 1941, at Masonic Hall, Gretna; died at Carlisle Infirmary.


MARYPORT, URBAN DISTRICT, Cumberland.
Civilian War Dead
 
7. COSTIN, Civilian, MARGARET ANN, Civilian War Dead. 21 July 1940. Age 59. of 2 Well Lane. Wife of David Costin. Died at 2 Well Lane.

8. GURDLER, Civilian, JOHN CHARLES, Civilian War Dead. 31 May 1943. Age 21. Cpl., Home Guard. Son of Charles and Linda Kathleen Gurdler, of 11 Townsend Road, Southall, Middlesex. Died at Maryport.

9. HARRISON, Civilian, JESSIE, Civilian War Dead. 1 July 1940 - 31 July 1940. Age 26. of 285 Mortimer Road, South Shields, Co. Durham. Daughter of Robert Harrison, and of Sarah Harrison. Died at 10 High Street.

10. HARRISON, Civilian, SARAH, Civilian War Dead. 21 July 1940. Age 55. of 285 Mortimer Road, South Shields, Co. Durham. Wife of Robert Harrison. Died at 10 High Street.

11. HOWARD, Civilian, JOSEPH, Civilian War Dead. 21 July 1940. Age 60. of 10 High Street. Husband of Sarah Ann Howard. Died at 10 High Street.

12. HOWARD, Civilian, SARAH ANN, Civilian War Dead. 21 July 1940. Age 62. of 10 High Street. Wife of Joseph Howard. Died at 10 High Street.

13. MILLIGAN, Civilian, WILLIAM, Civilian War Dead. 21 July 1940. Age 72. of 14 Well Lane. Died at 14 Well Lane.

14. THOMASON, Civilian, ROBERT, Civilian War Dead. 21 July 1940. Age 68. of 13 Well Lane. Son of the late Robert and Catherine Thomason. Died at 13 Well Lane.

15. WELSH, Civilian, ADAM, Civilian War Dead. 31 May 1943. of 4 Wilder Place, Galashiels, Scotland. Husband of Jean Welsh. Died at Hayborough.


MILLOM, RURAL DISTRICT, Cumberland.
Civilian War Dead
 
16. BOULTON, Civilian, STEPHEN, Civilian War Dead. 2 January 1941. Age 59. of 79 Newton Street. Son of Stephen Boulton, of 34 Lord Street. Died at 79 Newton Street.

17. GELDERD, Civilian, ISABELLA, Civilian War Dead. 2 January 1941. Age 43. of 5 Steel Green. Daughter of David and Georgina Allison, of Bruntshiels, Cupar, Fifeshire, Scotland; wife of William Gelderd. Died at 5 Steel Green.

18. GELDERD, Civilian, WILLAM, Civilian War Dead. 2 January 1941. Age 51. A.R.P.; of 5 Steel Green. Son of Mr. and Mrs. John Gelderd, of Main Street; husband of Isabella Gelderd. Died at 5 Steel Green.

19. GELDERD, Civilian, WILLIAM EDWARD, Civilian War Dead. 2 January 1941. Age 17. S.J.A.B.; of 5 Steel Green. Son of William and Isabella Gelderd. Died at 5 Steel Green.

20. MORGAN, Civilian, JOHN PRIDY, Civilian War Dead. 2 January 1941. Age 56. Senior Air Raid Warden; of 3 Steel Green. Husband of Fanny Morgan. Died at 3 Steel Green.


WHITEHAVEN, MUNICIPAL BOROUGH, Cumberland
Civilian War Dead
 
21. GRAHAM, Civilian, THOMAS C, Civilian War Dead. 10 October 1940. Air Raid Warden; of 6 Kilnside, Distington. Husband of E. Graham. Injured 8 September 1940, at Distington; died at Whitehaven and West Cumberland Hospital.


WIGTON, RURAL DISTRICT, Cumberland
Civilian War Dead
 
22. ROBSON, Civilian, ALAN, Civilian War Dead. 20 October 1941, at Little Bampton.


Additional comments

The casualties listed for the County Borough of Carlisle died in the Cumberland Infirmary at Carlisle, but were actually injured by enemy action at Gretna, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, just over the Cumberland / Dumfriesshire border.

Most of the other casualties were as a result of enemy bombing or shelling. The town of Millom was believed to have been accidentally attacked by the Germans whose real target had been the shipyards at Barrow-in-Furness across the Duddon estuary.

There are actually no civilian casualties listed for the Cleator Moor area by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The casualty geographically closest to Cleator Moor was the ARP Warden Thomas C. Graham who was injured at Distington (about 8 miles north of Cleator Moor) and died on 8 September 1940 at Whitehaven Hospital (about 5 miles from Cleator Moor).

Thanks to Mr Jeff Wilson of Distington, Cumbria and the CWGC for their assistance in providing the details for this article.

J. Ritson
October 2007

Tuesday, 30 October, 2007  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Joseph -
Interesting that there was so much inter - marrying of Scots from such widepread locations as Galashiels in the Borders and Cupar in Fifeshire - Gretna of course would be a natural with such close proximity to Cumberland -
I note that Gretna finally have a strong football team in the Scottish Premier league - so strong in fact that they hold up the whole league !

Tuesday, 30 October, 2007  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Now they are in the SPL for 2007 / 2008 Gretna F.C. are playing their home games at Motherwell, which I think is about 75 miles or so to the north (closer to Glasgow). There was an option to play at Carlisle United's ground (Brunton Park) which is only about a dozen miles or so away (about 15 mins by road). But as this is in Cumbria (England) Gretnas F.C. wanted to keep playing in Scotland.

Berwick F.C. of course play in the Scottish Leagues and they have their home ground in England. Berwick-uponTweed has been English since Tudor times.

Wednesday, 31 October, 2007  
Blogger Damien Wright said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Monday, 08 December, 2008  
Anonymous Damien Wright said...

Hello Mr. J. Ritson,

Can you possibly contact me on damien.wright@unisa.edu.au? I am researching a Distington man who was awarded the Military Medal in WW2 and later Killed In Action in Italy.

I have a newspaper clipping with a photo which is from one of the local newspapers. I know its from late February/early March 1944 and from a newspaper with "News" in the title. Im trying to get in contact with Mr. Jeff Wilson from Distington who may be able to provide information or perhaps an obituary.

I believe the soldier concerned is listed on the Distington War Memorial.

Hope you can help.

Monday, 08 December, 2008  

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