Friday, 26 June 2015

Duckworth, Holden - Driver (45610)

Driver Holden Duckworth
Royal Field Artillery,
Killed in Action,
8th October 1918,
Age 28,
Buried Hooge Crater Cemetery

Driver Holden Duckworth 45610 of the Royal Field Artillery was killed in action on  8 October 1918 near the village of Zillebeke in Belgium whilst serving with the eighteen pounder guns of 4th Division. He was aged twenty-eight and a single man. He was the second son of the late Joshua and Ann Duckworth. Before he enlisted he lived at 455 Holcombe Road, Helmshore, with his sister Betsy and his brother William. In civilian life he was a carter at Messrs. Stott and Smith’s Camms Mill, Helmshore. He attended Grane Mission Church where a memorial service was held on Sunday 5 November 1918. His name is also on the war memorial in St Thomas’ Church, Musbury. In a letter to Dvr. Duckworth’s sister, his officer broke the news - “I am very sorry to have to tell you that your brother was killed by a shell on the night of the eighth whilst taking ammunition up the line. It was instantaneous. We brought his body in and he is buried with some others just behind where we are camped. He was one of our best drivers [of horses] and we shall greatly miss him. Yours truly, L.B.Bigg,Captain”. Zillebeke is a village two and a half miles (4 Kms) from Ypres on the road to Menin. Hooge Chateau was the scene of very heavy fighting in 1917 and 1918. Hooge Crater Cemetery (named after a mine crater) was begun in September 1917 with seventy six graves. After the Armistice it was enlarged by the concentration of 5,000 bodies from other cemeteries in the battlefield. Dvr. Duckworth’s would be one of these. He lies in Plot XVI, Row C,Grave 14. (Pte.John Milson of Haslingden is also buried in this cemetery). N.B. Dvr Duckworth’s name is also on the family grave headstone in the old St.Stephen’s churchyard at Crowtrees.

Newspaper Report:

Information has been received of the death in France of Driver Holden Duckworth.  The deceased soldier resided at 455, Holcombe Road, Helmshore, and was employed as a carter at Camm's Mill.
At the time of his death Driver Duckworth was expecting to come home on leave.
The following letter has been received by his sister from his captain:-
Dear Miss Duckworth, - I am very sorry to have to tell you that your brother was killed by a shell on the night of the 7th, whilst taking ammunition up the line.  It was instantaneous.  We brought his body in and he is buried with some others just behind where we are camped.  He was one of the best drivers and we shall greatly miss him.  Yours truly, L.B. BIGG, Capt.

The deceased soldier was on the roll of honour at Musbury Church, also at Grane Mission, where a memorial service was held on Sunday last.  The Rev. H. Murdock was the preacher.  At the close of the service mr. Jas. Houghton Yates, the organist, rendered the "Dead March."  Many floral tributes were sent.  He was of a quiet disposition and was well liked by all who knew him.

Newspaper Memorials:

In loving memory of our dear brother, Holden Duckworth, who was killed in action somewhere in France, October 8th 1918.

"Just when his days were brightest,
Just when his hopes were best,
He was called from this land of sorrow,
To that beautiful land of rest."

From his Sisters and Brothers at Helmshore.

"The light is from our household gone,
The voice we loved is stilled;
A place is vacant at our hearth,
Which never can be filled."

From his sorrowing sister, Betsy, and brother, John, Musbury Road, Helmshore.

"Just a year ago you left us,
How we miss your loving face,
But you left us to remember,
None can fill your vacant place."

From his sorrowing sister, Mary, and brother, Ben; also his little nephew, Harry, 455, Springfield, Helmshore.

"Someday, sometime our eyes shall see,
The face that's kept in memory."

From brother and sister, Will and Agnes, Top O'th'Brow, Helmshore.

"Oft' we think of you, dear brother,
And our hearts are sad with pain;
O! this world would be a heaven,
Could we hear your voice again."

From his sorrowing sister, Ellen Ann, and brother, Mark; also his nephews, Holden and Fred, 275, Holcombe Road, Helmshore. 

"In our home you are fondly remembered,
Sweet happy memories sling round your name;
True hearts that hold you in deepest affection,
Always shall hold you in death just the same.

Not gone from memory, not gone from love,
But gone to his Father's home above."

From his Sister and Brothers.

What if the war is over,
And the heroes do return,
We still have lost our dear brother,
For whom our sad hearts mourn."

From Sister and Brother, E,. and A. and Mark.

"We know we are only little,
But in time we can tell,
That he fought for King and country;
He did his duty well."

From Fred Harry, and Nephew Holden.

If we could only see his grave,
Or touch his smiling face,
This shock would not have been so hard,
To have laid him to rest ourselves.

If those who caused this awful war,
Were the only ones to suffer,
What a brighter world this would have been,
For those who have lost their brother."

From Sister and Brother Mary and Ben.

Driver Holden Duckworth - Census information - (Click over to enlarge)