THE MINER AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR 1914-1918.

By Eileen Paddock and Joyce Wilson.

  

When War was declared against Germany on August the 4th 1914 the Army needed more soldiers, so an appeal was made for volunteers. Thousands of men rushed forward to sign for King and Country, and included in these volunteers were a great many miners from the North Staffs area. The Army were very pleased to welcome the miners to their ranks as these were tough hard working men used to working as a team and looking after their mates every day in the bowels of the earth.

Who were these men who readily put themselves forward? It is difficult to find out as I can testify to.

After a lot of thought I decided to write a letter to the local daily newspaper, "The Sentinel", asking if any relatives of these long lost miners had any family stories to tell that had been handed down through the family.

I had a lot of telephone calls and a few letters. The people that I have spoken to have been very helpful and are very proud of their fathers and grandfathers, and so should we all be when we consider what they went through for us.

Not all miners were in the Army. A lot stayed in this country still working in the mines. Coal was a vital commodity, the country could not have survived without it. Coal was needed for industry, shipping, railways and we must not forget the housewife who needed it to heat the water to bath the miner in the tin bath when he arrived home in all his pit dirt, after he had eaten his meal that had been cooked on the coal fire.

Here are the stories that have been told to me...
(N.B. with additional contributions from J. Wilson)

E. Paddock


Select a story...

Charles Henry Newbon George Riley and Hugh Collin Ronson John Paddock Edwin Turner and A. Turner W.A.Bowers and the men of Park Hall Colliery William Davenport Charles Clewlow Josiah Mellor John Harold Rhodes George Philips

CHARLES HENRY NEWBON

KINGS ROYAL RIFLE CORPS 7TH BN

Killed in action Friday 22nd December 1917, aged 27, son of James and Hannah Newbon, 60 Wise Street Dresden. This is the letter that was published in the Weekly Sentinel Newspaper January 1918.

Mrs Newbon 60 Wise Street Dresden has received official news that her son Rifleman C H Newbon Kings Royal Rifles has been killed in action He had previously been wounded. Prior to enlistment in October 1914 Rifleman Newbon who was 27 years of age was employed at the Florence Colliery. His Captain has written to Mrs Newbon saying; at the time he was acting as my servant and we were going up to the trenches when a shell fell very near to us and your son was killed instantly. I have known him for over a year now and he was one of the best men and soldiers in the Battalion. It is all the sadder as he would have been going home on leave about this time had he lived. Mr MacGregor to whom he was previously servant will be very much grieved I am sure when he learns of your sons death. All the officers and men are very sorry to lose him.

Charles Henry Newbon is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Dresden Church Memorial and Longton Cenotaph. He was awarded a 1914-15 Star Silver War Medal and a Victory Medal.

E. Paddock


In Stoke-on-Trent and the surrounding districts thousands of miners lived and worked at the outbreak of the so called War to end all Wars (1914-1918) and these are the stories of only a very few of them. I hope that you have found them to be interesting, if so and you have stories of your own grandfathers and great grandfathers please write them down before it is to late and they all become forgotten,please do not think that they will not be interesting to other people, they will be.

If you would like to tell me about them I can be contacted atEmail:- eileenpaddock@tiscali.co.uk

E. Paddock

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