Thrybergh Ravenfield Dalton

South Yorkshire England

            Pronounced locally Thrybur  Old English Triberg

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1914   The Great War   1918


Edmund Willert Photo from Ted BaileyThere is no doubt that the first world war 1914 - 1918 had a great impact on the human race, possibly more than any other event in the history of mankind. No one could have envisaged the amount of pain, suffering and loss of life this war was going to inflict upon the population of so many countries.
1914 was the year in which what was known as "The Great War" began, and Thrybergh, Dalton, and Ravenfield like everywhere throughout the British Isles was to know much sorrow both during and after this conflict. The numbers of war dead were staggering, two of the local mines owned by the Dalton Main Collieries Ltd lost 312 Miners alone.

[ Photo left Edmund Willert ]

The propaganda  on both sides at the time ensured that the public at large would not know the  horrendous scale of the horror endured by servicemen, and the colossal amount of lives lost. Young boys and men enlisted answering the call " YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU" often with very little realization that hell on earth was waiting to greet them on the battlefield.

 A very thought provoking example of this is that of a young 16 year old English boy who enlisted by lying about his age, obviously totally convinced by the propaganda of great glory. Just a few months later he was found staggering away from his position at the front shellshocked and frightened, he was arrested and court marshalled for desertion. Proven guilty he was wrapped head to toe in bandages and taken to a nearby field by ambulance, he couldn't see the men who were to be his executioners, and they had no idea of his identity, the order was given and a sixteen year old youth fell to the ground dead, slain by the army he had enlisted into to fight for his country.
We can only imagine the absolute torture and heartbreak this would have inflicted upon his parents and family
 Most of these men were buried on foreign soil never to return to " Blighty" as England was termed. The late Michael Cassidy of Dalton recalled taking supplies up to the front using a donkey, when he recognized another Dalton man who was being carried on a stretcher badly wounded. Michael approached and asked how he was and the man replied " A'm  alreight, A'm goin' back to Blighty" He never made it back home, he sadly died from his wounds.

Frederick Briddon was also never to return home to number 57, Silver Street, Whinney Hill, he left behind a grieving widow his wife Evelyn Bridden nee Critchley and his parents Richard and Margaret Briddon, who moved to Rotherham from Sheffield and were living in nearby Dalton. Before he signed up he worked as a collier, presumably at Silverwood or Roundwood pit. Frederick became a Private in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 2nd battalion. He was killed on the eighteenth of November 1914, aged 31, at the battle of Ypres. His service number was 6540.  There is a memorial reference to Frederick Bridden on the Menin Gate memorial at Ypres, The Memorial at Ypres is in remembrance of  the thousands who passed through the gates and are buried in graves unknown.




Frederick and Teresa Willert of Thrybergh were to learn just how war could inflict suffering upon a family. Their sons Edmund and George  were amongst those who enlisted when war came in 1914.  Edmund [ Pictured top of page. ] was wounded but he did survive. However what should have been a great celebration for the whole family was not to be, upon his return he learnt that his sweetheart  the girl he’d left behind had married another. He had returned from one hell only to discover another, the anguish of betrayal and heartbreak, an anguish that would have also been shared by his parents. Edmund buried his feelings and got on with his life, though sadly this war hero was never to marry, remaining single for the remainder of his long life.

George Willert Photo via Shirley WalkerThis was not to be the only heartbreak endured by the family as they were to soon to discover.
George Willert [ photo right ] was even less fortunate than his brother Edmund, he fought with the Connaught Rangers in the Dardanelles where he was wounded. Recovering from his wounds he found himself back in action , this time at the Battle of the Somme. He was injured by shrapnel in the leg and evacuated to a military hospital in Rouen, this time George was not to recover Lady Luck deserted him and on the 10th September 1916 he passed away in hospital. Thrybergh had lost another of her local heroes and Frederick and Teresa Willert lost a much beloved son.
Lance Corporal George Frederick Willert of the Connaught Rangers Unit Text: 6th Bn.
Age: 26 Service No: 5/3271 was buried at the ST. SEVER CEMETERY, ROUEN.

As was common practice at the time The family received a letter of sympathy from the hospital, and the contents of the letter were published in a local newspaper , possibly the Rotherham Advertiser as part of the obituary. The photo below left is the original article from 1916 and also my [John Doxey ] transcription of that article.

Newspaper report of George Willerts deathCpl. G. F. Willert, Thrybergh
It is with the deepest possible regret we have to report the death of Cpl Geo/Fred Willert, son of Mr. and Mrs Fred Willert, of Lamberts Cottage Old Thrybergh . Young Fred has given his life for his country in France. The family have resided at Thrybergh for generations and in consequence are well known throughout the district. Deceased enlisted on Sept 1st 1914 and with a large number of other Silverwood and Rotherham boys he was drafted to to Ireland to make up the strength depleted Irish regiments. Here he was posted to the Connaught Rangers, and went with the first contingent to the Dardanelles .  He was wounded after landing at Suvia Bay, and was eventually invalided home to England.
He went out to France with the Royal Inniskilling Rangers with whom he saw much fighting, being amongst those of the Irish Brigade who quite recently earned the special thanks of Sir Douglas Haig for their bravery and fighting spirit. His luck was out however. He was shot in the leg and thigh with shrapnel. The thigh was shattered. Little hopes were entertained from the first. He scarcely ever regained consciousness and died in hospital on Sept 9th. The news of his death reached his parents last week through a kindly letter from the nurse as follows
"General Hospital Rouen, France Sept. 10- Dear Mrs Willert- You will be distressed to hear that Cpl. Willert died in hospital yesterday. Everything possible was done for him, but he gradually sank and passed peacefully away. I told him I was writing  you and he said I was to give you his love. He will be buried with military honours in Rouen cemetery, and will be with many of his comrades. The graves are well looked after and his name and number will be put up at the head, so that if at any time later you should come over here you will be able to see his last resting place. - Yours with much sympathy, I Greaves."
Cpl. Willert was only 26 years of age, and was an exceptionally smart young man.
A large number of friend and relatives attended St Leonard's church, Thrybergh on Sunday morning when the Vicar, the Rev. G. H. C. Bowen made sympathetic reference to the deceased. The choir sang special hymns and the heroes favourite hymn " Nearer My God to Thee" was sung by the choir and congregation. The Rector spoke of the sacrifice the late Corporal had made in what he thought was the cause of right. He was a young man of splendid qualities and good traits, and had proved himself a good soldier in the fight as he was a good son in times of peace. He personally felt the loss of such a promising young villager, and his sympathies with those of the many friends were wholly extended to the bereaved parents.
The service was keenly impressive.


The family kept Teresa’s letter to one of the daughters in which she refers to her last contact from George “not out of his clothes for weeks”, and to the storms in Sheffield which stopped the trams running.  Teresa also kept the letter of sympathy from the hospital.

Main text David Culley with additional text from John Doxey




This war was a war like no one had ever seen before, many new weapons and machinery were introduced, new strategies were employed often causing the deaths of thousands in each campaign. Trench warfare being the nightmare most men dreaded. Living in these trenches for months on end, often surrounded by mud, never knowing when it would all finish.
The men who were wounded badly enough  to be sent home were taken out of their khaki uniform and given a uniform of a different colour known as "the blues"

This interesting story was sent in by Lyn Crosby 'nee' Page.
In 1916 a young Jack Page a Corporal in the Regiment of the Royal Marine Light Infantry was killed in action, and buried in Hersin France. The following year 1917 the Page family were blessed with the birth of a son, and they named him Jack after his deceased brother. Presumably to ensure that the family would always remember where the first Jack was buried, they gave the second Jack the middle name of Hersin.  The second Jack served in the second World war in the Navy and served under Lord Mountbatten. On his return to England after the War Jack settled in Thrybergh and with his wife Millicent lived on South Vale Drive with their daughter Lyn. Jack was employed at Silverwood as a Locomotive Engineer and sadly passed away in 1971.

Mabel Bragger was the wife of Alfred Bragger who was a coalminer at Silverwood pit, Mabel's first husband was George Furniss who was Killed in France during the 1914-18 war.
Mabel of course was one of the many women widowed at an early age by war, and for these women survival was a battle indeed. After the first world war widows did receive a small war pension but extra income was needed, or help from families and friends. A handful of war widows fared even worse when they were informed at the pension desk, that their husbands had been shot for desertion and were not entitled to a pension. So they not only had to face life with no pension but also live with the disgrace. The sad reality was that most of the men shot for desertion in the first World war had not deserted at all, they were suffering from shellshock and simply staggered away from their line.
Many young women like Mabel did remarry
Courtesy Christine Nash

My father Ike Doxey was hit by shrapnel in the right thigh during this war and was left with a slight limp for the remainder of his life, a constant reminder of the war like no other.
The above examples do not even scratch the surface of the many effects this conflict inflicted on the populace, and yet when one looks at the many conflicts in the world today we have to observe that the human race will seemingly never learn.



Many thanks to  David Culley, Lyn Crosby, Christine Nash, and Danny Cassidy for the stories above


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This site is the result of over 7 years research, and compilation, should you wish to use any of the content for publication of literature please contact me. The poetry and life of James Ross, the story of St. Leonard's Cross, and other items on this site were compiled, and first published on this site in their present context as a study of Thrybergh. If you use this site as a source, out of courtesy, please give credit where it is due as I have done on this site where appropriate.
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