The death of Mr Harry Green, of Park
Terrace, Thrybergh, on Monday morning, has aroused in the district a wave of
sympathy and regret such as is rarely experienced. Nearly every society in
the district – labour, political, literary and musical – will feel deeply
the loss Thrybergh has sustained, for Mr Green was perhaps the most
versatile person in the district, and his abilities were always at the
disposal of those to whom they could be of the least possible benefit.
Born at Dalton 57 years ago his early days were spent in the rural
environments of the then pretty, quiet peaceful village. Receiving but a
sparse share of what education a poor boy could get at that period, young
Harry drifted into the pit in order to swell the needed family income.
Early on he showed an aptitude for learning, and became noted even as a boy
for hankering after what was then thought by his friends to be impossible
knowledge. Nothing daunted, the young man began to read and study any and
every book and paper he could get. He told the writer a few years ago that
the very first book that set him really thinking was a little history book
(it was from a Mr Dutchman or Goodison, and we are not quite sure at the
moment which gentleman it was), he paid 4s.6p. for it – 1s. down, and his
pocket money of 3d. per week. He read in that book of the ancient wars
among the nations and somewhere he came across the passage : “The Greeks
were always victorious because they were educated and disciplined.” This
set young Green thinking and he said that every time he looked at that
passage he could not help substituting “Green” for “Greek”. In a few years
after that he was Chairman of the Rawmarsh School Board, and was an
authority on education. He was a lecturer on both science and art,
literature, horticulture, and knew more than a little of the Classics. In
the Science and Art department he held certificates of proficiency from
Sheffield University, Firth College, Kensington College, Privy Councils of
Education, Science and Art Departments, Advanced Stage. In 1900, while
acting as Chairman of the Rawmarsh Education Committee he had the honour of
opening the new Ryecroft Schools, when he was presented with a golden key.
On the dissolution of the old School Boards, Mr Green was presented with an
illuminated address by his associates and friends. This was signed by a
number of influential Rawmarsh gentlemen, and is very flattering in its
tribute to the abilities of the deceased man. He continued in the paths of
education almost until his death, and only some two years ago relinquished
his position as member of the Whiston Education Sub-committee, when he was
publicly thanked by the Chairman for his service to that body.
Mr Green for a time was Chairman of the Thrybergh Parish Council on which
body he did some useful work. He was also a prominent member of the Dalton,
Thrybergh and District Literary and Debating Society. Here the full
attendance of members and a good sprinkling of interested visitors was
always synonymous with the announcement that Mr Green would take a leading
part in the debate.
Whilst always scrupulously fair to his opponent and stickler for truth and
principle at all times he was feared by most debaters. From thirty years
knowledge personally of his public work we only remember his losing the
verdict on two occasions, and on one of these he took up the most unpopular
side possible at the time.
AS A MINING OFFICIAL
It was, however, in the labour world that he was best known. For several
years he was the most popular labour leader in South Yorkshire, and was at
the head of over 3000 Silverwood miners. In this capacity he fought many
stiff battles for the cause. When addressing the men at their meetings he
was noted for his outspokenness, and never feared to risk his reputation
through plain speaking if they were taking up any unreasonable attitude, the
late John Brown’s strike being a typical example of this. He was a highly
valued member of the panel of Rotherham and district, and had been the
recipient of high praise from such men as Alderman Grundy, Councillor
Featherstone, Mr Fred Hall M.P. and others. He has always served on the
Rotherham Hospital Board, Working-Men’s Clubs in the district who have
derived some benefit from his association with them, and he was a member of
several whilst he held the post of President of the Thrybergh Working-Men’s
Club until recently, when he voluntarily resigned, but was persuaded to act
on the Committee.
Local institutions in the village were always sure of his hearty support,
and he was a vice-president of the cricket and football clubs, and also the
colliery band, his services for the latter being highly appreciated.
A WORKER’S FRIEND
Since the Workers’ Compensation Act came into force, Mr Green held the post
of adviser and secretary for compensation for the Silverwood miners. In
this, as in everything else he took up, he quickly became adept, and he had
no rival in Yorkshire in compensation matters. Dr. Pye-Smith, the eminent
Sheffield doctor, counted him as a friend, whilst nearly every gentleman of
influence in the Rotherham area was proud to shake hands with him. He could
have made a great name at Barnsley as a miner’s leader and probably become
an M.P. in the cause, but his retiring disposition and bashful temperament
foiled him when the great chance came along. In fact he begged not to be
posted for candidate for executive honours, but opinion was overwhelming
against this, and reluctantly he allowed his name to go forward. His
ambitions, however, never soared to ethereal heights, and the word “vain”
was the very last adjunct applicable to his character – hence he stayed on
in the lower order of things amongst his fellow men. Good for them he did
so is the expressed sentiment of all. Reverting to the extraordinary
versatility of the man it may be stated he dabbled in nearly everything, and
was successful in most things. He has held the position of Manager (under
the Rawmarsh Council) of a sewerage works outfall, and held diplomas for
expert farming, poultry breeding, etc. Many people will remember also that
some years ago he kept some of the finest carrier pigeons in the district,
and was especially praised in “Fur and Feather” for a fine pen of bantam
prize fowls at a North Midland show. He was one of the founders of the
Ryecroft Working-Men’s Club and held the post of Secretary there for some
time. A few years ago the Rotherham Rural Council requisitioned his
services for a deposition to London on the tramways question.
His success spread even to his private domestic affairs, for he has reared a
family of 12 children for the most part. Four of these are married, and the
others range down to tender years.
Although the end came suddenly it was not wholly unexpected, for the past
two years he was obviously sinking, but nothing would induce him to relax
his labours and husband his strength. He was actually working on
compensation claims less than a week previous to his death, and even in his
last hours when the spirit was fast failing the semi-conscious utterings
told the death watchers that he died as he had always lived, his brain busy
working for the welfare of his fellow man.
The funeral took place at Rawmarsh Parish Church on Thursday afternoon. The
cortege left Mr Green’s house shortly after two o’clock arriving at the
cemetary about 3pm. The service was conducted by the Rev. G.H.C. Bowen,
rector of Thrybergh. A tremendous crowd gathered in the cemetary to pay
their last tributes to Mr Green, and some very pathetic scenes were
witnessed. Several beautiful wreaths were laid on the grave, among which
were tributes from “Mrs Green and Family”; “With deepest respect and
sympathy from the neighbours”; “Token of respect from the members of the
Rawmarsh Working-Men’s Club”; “In loving memory from G. & E. Green”; “Token
of respect from members of the Thrybergh Working-Men’s Club”; “Token of
deepest sympathy from the Ryecroft Working-Men’s Club”; and “With sincere
sympathy from Dr and Mrs Adams”.
The mourners were : -
First Carriage:- Mr Ernest Green, Miss Jennie Green, Miss Edith Green and Mr
Second Carriage:- Miss Lilian Green, Miss Milly Green, Mr Harry Green, Mr
Jim Green, and Mr & Mrs Holloway.
Third Carriage:- Mrs John Stones (daughter), Mr & Mrs H. Towler (daughter
and son-in-law), Mr W. Green (brother), and Mrs P.J. Burt (sister).
Fourth Carriage:- Mr & Mrs C.E. Green (brother and sister-in-law), Mr & Mrs
Brooks (sister and brother-in-law), Mrs Darwin (daughter), and Mrs Green
Fifth Carriage:- Mr & Mrs Geo. Green, Mr W. Weston, Mr E. Deakin, Mrs
Jackson, and Private G. Green (West Yorks.).
Sixth Carriage:- Mr F.W. Stamp, Mr E. Green, and Mr C. Green
Seventh Carriage:- Mr J. Marriot, Mr Geo Swift and Mr Simpson (representing
Roundwood Colliery), Mr Geo Wall and Mr G. Ackroyd (representing Silverwood
Eighth Carriage:- Councillor S. Featherstone and Mr A. Sykes (representing
Aldwarks Main Colliery No. 1), Councillor Greaves and Mr F. Cheetham
(representing Aldwarks Main Colliery No. 2).
Ninth Carriage:- Mr W. Pearce, Mr W.A. Barker, Mr A. Hoyland, Mr T.W.
Clarke, Mr S.N. Selman and Mrs T. Brown.
Tenth Carriage:- Mr John Dibbs, Mr Sawyer Robinson, Mr Walker, Mr France,
Mr Ramsden, Mr G. Bailey, Mr J. Walker, Mr F.J. Bates, Mr J. Ashton, Mr C.
Hellewell and Mr A. Bailey.
Eleventh Carriage:- Mr G. Gill (weighman), Messrs T. Roberts, E. Gaskell, R.
Dabbs, J. Barlow, W. England, J. Davies, W. Messon (Club members), Mr A. E.
Dodd, Mr J. Sawyer, and Mr J. Hoskin (Financial Secretary for the Yorkshire
Messrs J. Ainley (Secretary at Silverwood Colliery), Geo. Wall (Treasurer),
J. Stamp, F. Stamp, J. Wilson, J. Marriot, R. Hinchcliffe and G. Fulwood
were the bearers.
The coffin which was of unpolished oak with brass mountings bore the
inscription : “Henry Green, Died June 29th 1915, Aged 57 years”.
Mr T.W. Outram was the undertaker.
The article above was kindly
contributed by Helen Grazier