THE UNUSUAL DEATH OF SECOND LIEUTENANT RISHWORTH - SEPTEMBER 1915
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has a record of the following officer who died whilst on active service
Initials: H H
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Regiment/Service: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) Unit Text: 6th Bn.
Age: 22 Date of Death: 15/09/1915
Additional information: Son of Charles Frederick William and Mary Hannah Rishworth, of Moorfield, High Utley, Keighley.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: M. New. 23. Cemetery: KEIGHLEY (UTLEY) CEMETERY
According the Commission there are another 57 persons in the Cemetery who died in the service of their country, but none will have suffered such an unusual death as Second Lieutenant Herbert Rishworth. (see note at the foot of the page))
From The 'Keighlian' magazine which was produced by Keighley Trade and Grammar School
In October 2009 I came across the following report in The Manchester Guardian dated Tuesday 18th September 1915 which gave details of a Coroner's Inquest held in Sheffield the previous day.
I also went to the local archives in Sheffield and found a report in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated Monday 17th September 1915
Sheffield Daily Telegraph Monday September 17, 1915,
OFFICER’S TRAGIC END IN SHEFFIELD
The 2/6 West Riding Regiment, at present stationed at Totley, where the men are undergoing musketry course, has lost a most promising young officer in Second Lieutenant H. H. Rishworth, when met with a fatal motor-cycle accident on Wednesday. Lieutenant Rishworth lives at Keighley. He was riding a motor-cycle in the direction of Sheffield, and when near Totley Station the front wheel of the machine ran into a hole in the road. The wheel rapidly twisted round, and before Lieutenant Rishworth could realise what was happening, he was thrown violently into the road. The machine travelled some little distance and dragged him about thirty yards along the highway. He was badly injured on the head, but retained consciousness for a time. A taxi driver fortunately passed along the road, and seeing Lieutenant Rishworth lying on the ground bleeding, took him back to the camp at Totley, and from there, on the advice of a doctor, he was removed to the Base Hospital in Collegiate Crescent, where it was found that he was suffering from a severe fracture of the skull. Later in the day he succumbed.
Totley Camp - Sheffield circa 1915
In late February 2016 I was contacted by a fellow researcher who kindly provided me with copies of reports from The Keighley News who comprehensively covered Herbert's death and subsequent funeral. The first two reports are from the edition dated 18th September 1915.
and the final report is of Herbert's funeral which is rather moving to say the least
Whilst the circumstances of Herbert's death are undoubtedly tragic, natives of Sheffield and those who visit the city regularly will have a wry smile on the face. In recent years Sheffield has been labelled in many quarters as "Pothole City", a term that has to be said is well-deserved. The conditions of the roads and pavements in most parts of the city are in an appalling state after decades of neglect by successive city councils. It was surprising to find out that this seems to be a perennial problem - the roads in 1915 seem to be as bad as they are now. The "highway authorities" obviously ignored the jury's recommendation that they attend to the condition of the city's roadways!. To use modern parlance "lessons have not been learnt"
In October 2009, I located the family in the 1901 Census (GRO Ref RG 13/4077 Page22) - the address was Moorfield, High Utley, Keighley (the same address as listed on the Roll of Honour). His parents Charles Frederick William and Mary Hannah Rishworth were both 41 years old. He had two sisters Elsie aged 11, Jessie 10 and a brother Hugh age 7
The 1911 Census gives the following information
Name Charles Frederic William Rishworth
Relationship to Head of Household Head
Gender Male Age 51
Estimated Year of Birth 1860
Occupation Corn Miller Employed Yes Working at Home No
Place of Birth Yorkshire Keighley
Address Moorfield Greenhead Lane Keighley Parish Keighley Town Keighley
Type of Building Private House Number of Rooms Nine Inhabited Yes
Reference RG14PN26089 RG78PN1508 RD492 SD2 ED25 SN194 Administrative County Yorkshire (West Riding)
Registration District Keighley Registration Sub District Keighley Enumeration District 25
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission just gives the initials of Second Lieutenant Rishworth "H.H" The Manchester Guardian refers to a Second Lieutenant "Herbert" whilst the Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 17th September 1915 refers to Second Lieutenant "H.H" Rishworth. However the notices in The Keighley News refer to a Henry Holmes Rishworth.
It is the local Keighley press that are correct - see 1911 Census for a Henry Holmes Rishworth.
The Manchester Guardian dated 18th September 1915
Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 17th September 1915
The Keighley News dated 18th and 25th September 1915
The Men of Worth Project Community Interest Company
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
101 and 1911 Census
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This page was last updated on 02/03/16 16:07