Henry Titterton - A Civilian Casualty of World War 2
Walkley, Sheffield 14th December 1939
Henry Titterton appears in the 1891 Census as a married living with his wife Mary and his young daughter Hilda. The address is 82 Washington Road which was in the Sharrow district of Sheffield. Henry's occupation is given as a Pawnbroker's Assistant
Ten years later Henry and his family had moved from Sharrow to the Walkley district of Sheffield. His address is given as 323 South Road. Henry and Mary had two more children in the intervening period - Gladys who was 8 years old and a son Louis who was two years younger. The census also reveals that Henry was now a self-employed Pawnbroker and Shopkeeper
By 1911 Henry's family moved to 68 Hadfield Street which is just off South Road. It is barely half of a mile from their old address in South Road. Henry had been married to Mary for 24 years by then, the couple having four children in total but one did not survive childhood. He was now a pawnbroker - there is no mention of being a shopkeeper
I then lose track of Henry - there is a report in 1927 of a Henry Titterton being served a bankruptcy notice in respect of a draper's shop in Langsett Road. But I cannot verify if it the same person.
But it is this newspaper report that is intriguing. It is from the Telegraph and Independent dated Saturday 23rd December 1939 and refers to an Inquest that was held in Sheffield the previous day.
The incident that cost Henry his life occurred on the evening of Friday, 15th December 1939. Unfortunately the report does not state what type of Air Raid shelter Henry fell into. But given that the shelter was 4 foot deep with a foot and half of water in it, it seems that it was some form of public slit trench. If it was an Anderson shelter it would have had a corrugated roof over it which would have prevented Henry falling in. Furthermore even though Anderson shelters were noted for wet floors and damp atmosphere, it would be unlikely to have one and a half foot of water in one. The fact that the Coroner refers to "these holes used as air raid shelters" tends to point to some primitive type of trench - an indictment if there ever was one for the poor state of air defence in Sheffield.
Henry was not the first person to die in Sheffield as a result of the blackout - I believe the first person in Sheffield to die due to blackout restrictions was John Hall who died on Monday 4th September 1939. But I wonder if Henry was the first causality of the war in Walkley.
Henry is buried in the cemetery in Crookes Sheffield
TITTERTON, Henry (Retired, age 75).
Died at 9 Hands Road; Buried on December 26, 1939 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 5773, Section JJ of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
Six rears later he was re-united with his wife and son
TITTERTON, Lewis William (Clerk, Ministry of Labour, age 50).
Died at Crimicar Lane Hospital; Buried on February 7, 1945 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 5773, Section JJ of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
TITTERTON, Mary Ada (Widow, age 81).
Died at 2 Herries Road; Buried on July 11, 1945 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 5773, Section JJ of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
UK Census 1891 - 1911
The Telegraph and Independent dated 23rd December 1939
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