William James Sibbald (1874 - 1920) - Headmaster of Western Road Evening School, Sheffield.

I first came across William when I was looking into the origins of the trees that line Western Road in Crookes Sheffield. They are currently a source of local controversy given that the contractors to Sheffield City Council want to remove them from the sides of the road. But unlike other trees that have been felled in Sheffield, these were specifically planted as a war memorial in memory of the 64 former pupils of  Western Road Council School, Sheffield who lost their lives in the Great War (1914-1918). I may come back to this topic at a later date.

The following two forms are from the 1901 and 1911 Census respectively and it shows a William James Sibbald and his wife Olive Sibbald (nee Peach) living at 232 School Road Crookes Sheffield in 1901 and then in 1911, 98 Mona Road Crookes Sheffield 

1901 Census

1911 Census

William must have been a Schoolmaster at the school from when it opened and he would have known all or nearly all of the pupils who lost their lives in the war. It must have caused him great sadness on many, many occasions. And he must have been held in high regard as well. This report is from the Sheffield Daily Independent dated 20th September 1921 which reveals that an oak tablet made by scholars was unveiled at the school in his memory

Earlier that year this "graceful tribute" was made and hung in the school hall. The report is from the Sheffield Daily Independent dated 4th March 1921

William was only 46 when he died, leaving his wife Olive a widow.

But it was only when I accessed his burial record that I had a rather sad surprise. At the time of the 1911 census William and Olive were childless after 13 years of marriage, but the following year they had a daughter Mary Olive. But as the burial record shows she died at the very young age of 14 in March 1926 and  was buried with her father who died six years earlier

SIBBALD, Mary Olive (Daug of Olive, age 14).
Died at Royal Infirmary; Buried on March 18, 1926 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 997, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.

SIBBALD, Thomas (Traveller, age 79).
Died at Ecclesall Institution; Buried on November 30, 1918 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 997, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.

SIBBALD, William James (School Master, age 46).
Died at 98 Mona Road; Buried on August 14, 1920 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 997, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.

The Thomas Sibbald who lies in the same grave is I believe William's father. This is the family in the 1881 Census - the surname was transcribed incorrectly. Thomas was a draper by trade and he probably named his daughter after his mother

William J . Sebbold
[William J . Sibbald] 
Age: 4 Estimated birth year: abt 1877
Relationship to Head: Son
Father: Thomas Sebbold
Mother: Mary Sebbold
Gender: Male
Where born: Hereford, England Civil Parish: Ross County/Island: Herefordshire Country: England
Street address: Tudorville Place
Occupation: Scholar
Registration district: Ross ED, institution, or vessel: 6 Piece: 2585 Folio: 107 Page Number: 3
Household Members: 
Name Age
Thomas Sebbold 45
Mary Sebbold 43
William J. Sebbold 4
Douglas Sebbold 2

His widow Olive must have left Sheffield after the death of her husband and daughter. The next record I could find was in the 1939 National Register. She is listed as a housekeeper to a Douglas Sibbald, her brother in law and William's younger brother. Both are listed as widowed

Sibbald Household (3 People) -12 Melrose Victoria Road , Knighton U.D., Radnorshire, Wales

Olive Sibbald 05 Jul 1877 Female Housekeeper Widowed 155 2 
Douglas Sibbald 16 Oct 1878 Male Company Secretary Widowed 155 1 
Lydia (Laura) Watkins (Passey) 10 Aug 1918 Female Domestic Servant Single 155 5 
Ref: RG101/7695A/013/30 Letter Code: ZYAA

The final record is from the National Probate Index which records that Olive died on 8th March 1957 aged 79. She outlived her husband by nearly 37 years 


Sheffield Daily Independent dated 4th March 1921

Sheffield Daily Independent dated 20th September 1921

UK Census

Sheffield Indexers

National Probate Index

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This page was last updated on 27/04/17 16:49