Friday, 8 August 2014

John Henry Bird 1898-1917

John Henry Bird (photo from Eileen Bird)

Q1 1898 Hednesford, Staffordshire (Cannock 6b 550)

Son of:
Samuel Bird b.1869 Newcastle, Staffordshire, d.1933 Barnsley

1911: 28 Wilson Street, Barnsley Boiler Firer at Colliery
married at Stafford Registration District on Q4 1894 (6b 31 - NB. Byrd)
Hannah Bird (maiden name Moore) b.1872 St Mary's Stafford, d.1937 Barnsley

Position in family: Possibly second oldest of twelve children (5 died before 1911)
1. Annie May Bird b.1897 Hednesford d.1910 Barnsley

2. John Henry Bird b.1898 Hednesford WW1 KILLED
3. Samuel Bird b. 1900 Hednesford m.Elizabeth Swift 1918
4. Ann Gladys Bird b.1902 Hednesford m.John Henry Traviss 1921
5. Harry Bird b.1904 Hednesford
6. George Bird b.1906 Hednesford
7. Martha Bird b.1909 d.1910 Barnsley
8. Charley Bird b.1911 Barnsley
9. Arthur Bird b.1916 Barnsley

Home address, age and occupation:

1901: 14 Rawnsley Buildings, Rawnsley, Cannock, Staffordshire, aged 3
1911: 28 Wilson Street, Barnsley aged 13, at School
1917: 77 Thomas Street, Barnsley aged 18 years and 11 months, Glasshand

Marriage: John Henry was unmarried

Military Service:
Enlisted: 15 January 1917 at the age of 18 years and 11 months
Regiment and Battalion:    10th Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment
Service number and rank:  32953 Private
Awards: British War Medal, Victory Medal.

Personal information:   5' 5.5" tall, 33" chest, weight 114lbs, good vision.

Death:     30 September 1917 age 19
CWGC Remembered: Tyne Cot Memorial Panel 125 to 128


Barnsley, Redfearn Brothers Glassworks & Aldham Works
St John's Church, Barnsley - Oak Memorial Tablet (lost)

With thanks to Eileen Bird for the photo, letter and other information about John Henry Bird, couldn't have done it without you!


The family appear to have moved to Barnsley from Hednesford between 1906 and 1910. 
Annie May and Martha Bird both die in Barnsley in 1910 and are buried in Barnsley Cemetery.

John's youngest brother, Arthur is born at the end of 1916 and it is his birth record on FreeBMD that gives us the clue to Hannah's maiden name of Moore.  That allowed me to backtrack and find Samuel and Hannah's marriage, where, just to complicate matters Samuel gives his surname as Byrd!

Letter from John to his sister (from Eileen Bird)

About three weeks before his death John sends this letter to his sister.  

In it he says that he is sorry to hear of the death of Andrew Dolan and asks her to remind their mother about the socks she was going to send him. 

It gives a great insight into Army Life, John could get notepaper from the Church Army Hut (or Tent) which was "Open to All".  

He ends, "Give them all my best love at home. xxxxxxxxxxx".

John's death is reported in the Barnsley Chronicle in November 1917.
Barnsley Chronicle 3 November 1917
When Samuel Bird the younger gets married in April 1918 his wife is a Munitions Worker reflecting the continuation of the war.

In 1920 Samuel Bird the elder writes to the Army Record Office asking where his "son is put to rest has I have not been informed as yet".  The Infantry Record Office has to tell him that there is no record of a place of burial for John.  They do say they will inform him should any information be received - but as we know John is remembered on Tyne Cot, so John is one of the thousands of men who have no known grave.

When Ann Gladys Bird gets married in 1921 she is a Glass-hand, a job not usually associated with women.

Samuel and Hannah Bird, John Henry's parents, are buried together in Barnsley Cemetery in Section 4 Grave No. 424.  


Eileen Bird said...

Samuel Bird father of John Henry was born 13th Sept 1868 at Forebridge, Castle Church, Stafford son of Samuel Bird and Ann Swan

Eileen Bird

Eileen Bird said...

Emma Moore wife of Samuel was born 1st October 1871

BarnsleyHistorian said...

Thank you Eileen - so the Birds are another example of a family who moved north to find work in the coal mines here? Barnsley really was a destination for job seekers in the 19th century!