Wilfrid Steel 1882 - 1915

If you visit Sheffield Cathedral you will see on the one of the walls a Roll of Honour that honours the officers of the  2nd/4th ( Hallamshire ) Battalion, York & Lancs who lost their lives in the Great War. Here is a photo of the Roll of Honour.

At the bottom of the first column there is a name of WILFRED STEEL. He also appears on the Roll of Honour at  St Andrews Church in the Sharrow district of Sheffield.  Research on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database reveals the following entry

Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Regiment/Service: York and Lancaster Regiment
Unit Text: 4th Bn.
Age: 33
Date of Death: 09/05/1915
Additional information: Son of Harry John Steel; husband of Evelyn Steel, of 'Sharrow,' Richmond Rd., Bexhill-on-Sea.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: H. 24. - Cemetery: Y FARM MILITARY CEMETERY, BOIS-GRENIER - Bois Grenier is a small village in the Department of the Nord, about 4 kilometres due South of Armentieres. Leave Bois Grenier on the D222 in the direction of Fleurbaix. After 1200 metres turn left following the signs for the Cemetery, which can be found on the right hand side after the farm, approximately 800 metres from the main road.
Historical Information: The cemetery was named after a nearby farm, called by the Army "Y" (or Wye) Farm. It was begun in March 1915 and used by units holding this sector until February 1918. At the Armistice it contained 335 burials, but it was then increased when graves were brought in from the battlefields south of Armentieres and other cemeteries:

In September 2011 I was in Sheffield's Local Studies Library researching a totally different area when I came across the following obituary in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph

Quite a poignant and fulsome obituary especially as his death left his wife Evelyn a widow with four children to bring up. I checked the 1911 census and was surprised to find that at the time of the census Wilfrid was staying at a hotel in London with his wife Evelyn. They were married in 1905 and at the time of the census they were the parents of two children. Evelyn was the second daughter of Edward C Bedells, a warehouse manager for a firm of tape measure suppliers  

Personal Information
Name Wilfred Steel
Condition Married Gender Male
Age 28 Estimated Year of Birth 1883
Occupation Silversmith
Employed Yes Working at Home No
Place of Birth Sheffield
Nationality British
Enumerator Information
Address 375 Strand Parish St Martin In The Fields
Type of Building Haxells Hotel Inhabited Yes Reference RG14PN1188 RG78PN40 RD13 SD1 ED3 SN187
Administrative County London Registration District Strand Registration Sub District Strand Enumeration District 3

Haxells Hotel now forms part of the Strand_Palace_Hotel

I also did a check on-line and found the following information about the family firm William Hutton and Sons of Sheffield who seemed to specialise in nickel silver and had their main offices and works in West Street Sheffield. In fact the Hutton Buildings can still be seen on West Street 

Ten years earlier Wilfrid together with his older brother Harold who is mentioned in the obituary are living with their aunt in Psalter Lane Sheffield

And with the help of a fellow researcher I was able to obtain a photo of Wilfrid from the local archives.

I do not know what became of his wife and children after his death, but the family firm which seems to have been a sizeable undertaking given the size of the buildings was taken over in 1930 by James Dixons and Sons.

Wilfrid is buried at Y Farm Military Cemetery Bois Grenier in Northern France



1901 Census

Name Wilfred Steel
Relation to Head of Family Nephew
Age Last Birthday 18 Sex Male
Profession or Occupation Silversmith
Condition as to Marriage Single
Where Born Yorks Sheffield
Address 128 Psalter Lane Civil Parish Ecclesall Town Sheffield
Ecclesiastical Parish St Andrews Parliamentary Borough or Division Ecclesall County Borough, Municipal Borough or Urban District Sheffield
Administrative County Yorkshire Ward of Municipal Borough or Urban District Ecclesall

1891 Census

Name Wilfred Steel
Age 9 Estimated Year of Birth 1882
Relationship to Head of Household Son
Occupation Juvenile
Address 47, Clarke Grove Road District Ecclesall Bierlow, Ecclesall Bierlow Parish Ecclesall Bierlow
Administrative County Yorkshire (West Riding) Birth Place Sheffield Birth County Yorkshire

Hutton's Building - Occupants

Herbert and James Edward Hutton were listed as Silversmiths (William Hutton & Sons), at 146 West Street in the 1893 Kelly Directory. (Jacob Turner was Coachman to Herbert Turnerr and is shown at Endcliffe Crescent, 6 Vernon Terrace, Manchester Road).

Herbert Hutton lived at 81 Clarkehouse Road in
1911. (White's Directory)
The Secretary to William Hutton & Sons in 1911 was John L. Spalding, home was 400 Sandygate Road, Sandygate.

Herbert Hutton lived at 84 Grange Crescent, Sharrow in
1919. (White's Directory)
The Secretary to William Hutton & Sons in 1919 was Frederick William Senior whose home was 530 Ecclesall Road.

Secretary to William Hutton & Sons in
1925 was still Frederick William Senior though his home was now at 139 Rustlings Road. (Kelly's Directory)
The Managing Director was Sydney O Gibbs.


Commonwealth war Graves Commission

UK Census

Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 12th May 1915


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This page was last updated on 19/09/11 08:45