THE TRIALS OF SELINA MANNIFIELD

In Sheffield's Walkley Cemetery there is the following memorial inscription in grave reference B195

In affectionate remebrance of / MARIA BACCHUS / who departed this life / February 13th 1887 / aged 70 years /
Also of THOMAS MANNIFIELD (nephew of the above) / who died April 2nd 1897 aged 36 years / Thy will be done /
Also of THOMAS / beloved son of the above named THOMAS and SELINA JANE MANNIFIELD / killed in action on April 11th 1918 / aged 26 years / He died that we might live /
Also SELINA JANE MANNIFIELD / wife of the above / died Feb 12th 1945 aged 83 years / Lead kindly light
[mason: J HOBSON Burngreave]

On 9th June 2012 on a work-day at the Walkley Cemetery I was shown the last resting place of the family


 

The researcher who brought this grave to my attention mentioned that the family appear on my website, and have done so for a number of years.

The 1891 census for Spring Hill contains the following entry for number 11

Thomas MANNIFIELD Head 30 Brewer's cashier Sheffield Yorkshire   Selina Jane MANNIFIELD Wife 29   Sheffield Yorkshire   Esther CLARK Mother in Law 65   Sheffield Yorkshire   Harriet Annie CLARK Wife's sister 26 Dressmaker Sheffield Yorkshire

Thomas and Selina had been married in the September quarter of 1885 - Marriages Sep 1885 CLARK Selina Jane Sheffield Volume 9c  539
Mannifield Thomas Sheffield.

The couple had twin boys CYRIL and THOMAS in 1892 (Births Mar 1892 Mannifield Cyril Ecclesall B. 9c 326 - Mannifield Thomas Ecclesall B. 9c 326) but the twins were only five years old when there father THOMAS died at the age of 36 - (June 1897 quarter Mannifield Thomas Ecclesall B. Volume 9c Page 326. At the time of his death he was a "brewer's cashier"

The death must have devastated the family. I have been unable to locate the family in the 1901 census but SELINA does appear in two trade directories as grocer living in Barber Road Sheffield

Mannifield, Selina J. (, grocer).
Residing at 95 Barber Road, Sheffield
Recorded in: White's Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham. 1905

Mannifield, Selina J. (Mrs, Grocer).
Residing at 95 Barber Road, in 1911.
Recorded in: Whites Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham - 1911.

It is believed that she took the shop on to earn money to keep the family together

The 1911 UK Census confirms this

Name Selina Jane Mannifield
Relationship to Head of Household Head
Condition Widow
Gender Female
Age 49 Estimated Year of Birth 1862
Occupation Grocer Employed Yes Working at Home Yes
Place of Birth Walkley Sheffield Yorkshire
Enumerator Information
Address 95 Barber Road Sheffield Parish Ecclesall Town Sheffield Type of Building Private House & Shop Number of Rooms 5 Inhabited Yes
Reference RG14PN27738 RG78PN1588 RD509 SD2 ED18 SN203 Administrative County Yorkshire (West Riding) Registration District Ecclesall Bierlow Registration Sub District Ecclesall West Central Enumeration District 18

Living at the same property were her two sons - CYRIL a 19 year old Hotel Clerk and THOMAS an outfitter's assistant

Both the twins enlisted but as the memorial in Walkley Cemetery shows, tragedy struck the family once again when one of the twins THOMAS was killed in April 1918 at the time of the great German offensive on the Ypres Salient

The following is from the Commonwealth War Grave Commission database

MANNIFIELD, THOMAS
Rank:Rifleman
Service No: 2084
Date of Death: 11/04/1918
Age:26 Regiment/Service: Royal Irish Rifles
12th Bn.Panel Reference Panel 138 to 140 and 162 to 162A and 163A.
Memorial TYNE COT MEMORIAL
Son of Thomas and Selina Jane Mannifield, of 85, Barber Rd., Sheffield.
 

Of course the TYNE COT MEMORIAL is a memorial to the missing and so THOMAS's body was not found.

SELINA must have been beside herself with grief and fear and she wrote this letter to the British Army

A letter from the mother to the Army:

Dear Sir,

From published information which I have observed may I claim your consideration of the following. I am a widow who had two sons (only children) serving in H.M. forces. One of these Rfl Thomas Mannifield R.I.P. was killed in action April 11/18. My other son Pte Cyril Mannifield 27297 3rd KOYLI has just been returned to his depot after serving in France from where he was invalided home suffering from shell shock & I am writing to ask if it is not possible for him to be kept in Home Service.

He has nearly always been a weakling and suffers from fits & was marked C111 by a Medical Board after six months in the army and later recommended for discharge but never got before another Board & was marked A1 by the Battalion Doctor and sent out. It does not seem right to mark my son fit when suffering from fits & I feel justified in drawing your attention to the above facts.

The shock of losing my other son has so undermined my health that I shall have to close the business on which I have depended & this being so I shall of necessity be to a certain extent dependent on this son who alone I have left. I am claiming this consideration as a widow & respectfully solicit your kindly inquiry into the case as stated on its merits & shall be most grateful if you could keep my son for Home Service where he could be of real use it is so very hard for a Widow who has lost one son to have the only one left sent out. Hoping to hear favourably from you, I remain

Yours respectfully

I do not know what the response was but CYRIL did survive the war

I would of course be delighted if anyone could provide me with any additional information on the family 

Notes

1881 Household:

Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation Disability
Maria BACCHUS Head U Female 64 Seaton Ross, York, England Annuitant
Robt. Chapeman BACCHUS Brother U Male 57 Crowle, Lincoln, England Engineer Tool Fitter

Source Information:
Dwelling Back Of No 3 Elliott Rd Census Place Nether Hallam, York, England
Family History Library Film 1342117 Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4627 / 45 Page Number 39

 

Sources

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Back to main Home Page

This page was last updated on 04/04/14 15:54