Silverwood Logo by John Doxey background photo Mick Carver1900 - 1994

Dedicated to the Miners of Silverwood

History of the Mine

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Silverwood Mine

Hollings Lane

Thrybergh

South Yorkshire England

Webmaster John Doxey

Main Photos Jonathan Dabs.

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  WALTER H. " ACKIE" ACKROYD 

Presented by Mandy Richter

 

 

Walter at Silverwood circa 1942

 

Foreword:

In March 2008 I received an email from Mandy Richter who lives here in Australia, in the email Mandy informed me of the sad loss of her mother whose maiden name was Ackroyd. Amongst her mothers keepsakes Mandy found an old newspaper article from the "Daily Mirror" regarding an heroic miner of Silverwood named Walter H Ackroyd during the second World War.

The name Ackroyd is as Yorkshire as Yorkshire pudding and has eight spelling variations, the name simply means " Dweller by the Oak clearing, " Old English 'ac' rod. Today's spelling preserves the dialectal pronunciation of "royd." Walter not only had a name that states his Yorkshire heritage, he had a character to match, a character that never saw defeat in his life, only obstacles to overcome, and overcome them he did.

When you read the article below, like me you will not fail to be impressed with this man.

John Doxey 2008


Article from the Daily Mirror during World War 2 exact date unknown.

 

ONE LEGGED VETERAN PUTS FIT ABSENTEES TO SHAME

 

Ackie a smiling veteran at Silverwood Colliery near Rotherham Yorks, which employs 3,000 men is the shining example of a man who never loses a shift. His courage and fortitude under heart-breaking conditions have shamed many brawny miners into cutting out absenteeism. The pit production committee tells defaulters "If Ackie can do it , you can. For Councillor Walter H. Ackroyd 56 widower whose name is a legend for good deeds throughout the local villages has only one leg. The other was amputated when he was a sergeant in the last war.

Either on the morning or afternoon shift he descends a half mile to the pit bottom and picks his way on crutches 300 yards to his haulage engine and hauls in an average of 500 tons of coal. Then his shift over he goes home often to prepare a lonely meal and to start his work for the Thornhill Ward which takes all  his spare time.

 

Refused Soft Job

 

But his mining job always comes first, Black-outs and ice covered roads, when his crutches have "let him down" have never made a difference. He is always on time.

Mr. Ackroyd could never wear an artificial leg. The amputated one never properly healed. He has had three serious operations.

"The pain is terrible at times but I think I must have got used to it" he told the "Daily Mirror." "I was offered a soft job but I did not fancy it. I started at the pit when I was 12 and I intend to stick it out now."

 

Given Transfusions

 

His son Leslie 28, is fighting abroad.

Mr. Ackroyd thought even his pit and council jobs were not enough. He volunteered for the Home Guard but has not been "called up" and he is number three on the list of Rotherham blood donors. He has given seven transfusions already.

"He is a grand fellow and a better man never worked down the pit. We know what a struggle it is for him to keep sticking it as he does. He is a perfect example to the other men" said Mr. David Tuke, the colliery under-manager.

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1940's Daily Mirror


 

The snippet from the article shown above has a fitting handwritten tribute to Walter, possibly from a family member "Good show Walt!" which may seem somewhat of an understatement considering the achievements of this man. However if you then reflect upon the nature of Yorkshire folks who are noted for not going into verbal ecstasy when impressed, "Good show" can be interpreted as fantastic, or marvelous, trust me I am a Yorkshireman

John Doxey

 

There were  a couple of Ackroyd's recorded at the mine, but it is not know if they were related to Walter.

G. Ackroyd 1915

Bernard Ackroyd age 16 living at 14 St Johns Rd Eastwood signed on as a Driver July 1924

 

Thornhill where Walter had become a councillor is a small suburb of Rotherham between Millmoor and Kimberworth.

 

If anyone can help with further information regarding Walter or his family please contact:

Mandy Richter mandyrchtr@westnet.com.au  who would be very appreciative in discovering more about her family.

 

Transcription of article, additional text John Doxey 2008

 

Many thanks to Mandy for sharing Walters story here

John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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