Littleborough’s History


Their 80 year Anniversary in March 2023

Littleborough & Wardle

Frank Kershaw

Frank was born in Dearnley in spring 1910, the son of George Albert and Rachel Kershaw who lived at 4 Hursted Green in 1911 and in 1939 at 19 Cote Lane with George A Kershaw aged 12 years. Frank married Florence Petterson at St Barnabas Church in Shore late 1935 and they had 2 children, Rachel (b 1936) and Kathleen (b 1937). Frank and Florence had also lived at 2a Wagg Fold Shore. Prior to enlisting Frank worked for the LMS Railway company but he was discharged from the army after 3 months from the start of the war. He then worked for Messrs Clifton’s Bakery before leaving on health grounds. Some two years later aged 32 he died  on 1st March 1943 and is buried in St Barnabas Churchyard. Private Kershaw is not remembered on the Commonwealth War Graves registers or on any local war memorial. At the time of his death the family lived at 2a Wagg Fold, Shore

Private John Kershaw

John was born in early 1923, the son of Mrs. E. Kershaw, of Littleborough, Lancashire. Until 1942, John  lived with his grandparents  Mr and Mrs. C. Kershaw, of 687 Halifax Road, Hurstead. Prior to enlisting on 16th April 1942 John worked for Carrington and Dewhurst, Cotton and Rayon Manufacturers of Smallbridge and was a member of the Smithy Bridge Home Guard. Previously he worked for Alderman C R Thomas, Butcher, Yorkshire Street. It is likely that in 1939 he was a Butchers Assistant living with his grandparents Christopher and Elizabeth Kershaw, 165 Bury Old Road, Prestwich. Less than a year after joining up, 20 year old Private Kershaw 4470382, 16th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry was injured and believed to have died on 2nd March 1943 during the 1st Battle of Sedjenane in Tunisia. He was reported as missing and it was not until early 1944 that information suggested that he had died in a French Hospital and was buried in a French Cemetery. Private Kershaw’s Battalion withdrew on 4th  March after many losses. Private Kershaw now rests in Massicault War Cemetery, VI A 13 but is not recorded on any local war memorial.

Lance Corporal Ernest Howarth

Ernest was born in Rochdale on 13th August 1907, the son of James and Bertha Howarth who in 1911 lived at 246 Ramsden Road, Wardle together with his sisters Mary and Annie. The census form also noted that his sister Ethel would have been 11 had she lived. His father was a Carter and Mary a Woollen Piecer. Ernest married Alice Holt of 149 Ramsden Road, Wardle, Lancashire on 11th July 1931. In 1939, Earnest (a Demolition worker and Builder) and Alice lived at 149 Ramsden Rd Wardle with Terrace (born 21st May 1933) and Eric Alwyn (born 12th November 1935), both at school.  Prior to being called up he was employed as a Motor Driver by Mr Frank Dearden, Builder and Contractor of Wardle. Ernest was well known in Cricketing circles being an outstanding player for Wardle Cricket Club. Before being injured Ernest was also an excellent Football player. 36 year old Lance Corporal Howarth 10568713, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers died on 10th March 1943 probably in either No 2,  No 48 or No 133 General Hospitals based in Tunisia during March 1943. Ernest was buried in Tripoli War Cemetery, Grave No 10 F 2 and is remembered on Wardle War Memorial. Alice Howarth married Joseph Buttery in 1968 but it isn’t clear whether she lived with him earlier as the 1939 has been amended with her name as Alice Battery (Howarth).

Gunner Henry Ford

Henry was born in Stalybridge on 11th June 1918, son of Henry and Annie Ford (nee Burgess) who in 1943 lived at 8 Frederick Street Littleborough. George had 2 brothers, Stanley born 9th June 1920 and George born 30th July 1921. Henry went to Central School, Littleborough and was a member of St Barnabas Church Choir. In 1939 the family were living at 19 Furness Avenue, Littleborough with Henry Snr being recorded as a Chemical Plumber and Head Burner, Stanley was a Northrop Loom Cotton Weaver and George a Leather Finisher at the Tannery. Henry had left by the time the 1939 Register was compiled but before leaving to join the army he was employed by Fothergill & Harvey. It is believed that Henry also had 2 sisters, Marjorie born 1914 and Annie born in 1916. Henry joined the Army for six months Training on 15th July 1939 with the Royal Artillery. (AA) 261, Registration No: 593314 with the rank of Fusilier. He later volunteered for service with the Maritime Regiment and had travelled all across the gone. However, 25 year old Gunner  Ford 3451321, 1 Maritime Regt., Royal Artillery died on 29th March 1943 when serving aboard the Ocean Viceroy which was torpedoed 425 miles northwest of Cape Finisterre by U boat -262. Henry and 3 others fearing the inevitable sinking abandoned ship but the ship made port safely. Despite efforts to find the men they remained missing. In total 5 men perished from the attack. Henry is remembered on Portsmouth Naval Memorial Panel 80, Column 2. and on Littleborough Cenotaph and Central School War Memorial. At the time of his death his two brothers were also in the services


Their 80 year Anniversary in February and March 2023


Private Stanley Howard

Stanley was born in Rochdale on 24th August 1914, the only son of Scott and Dorothy Howard (nee Page). In 1943 his parents lived at 278 Milnrow Road, Rochdale. Stanley married of Eveline Jessie Hardman in St Edmund’s Church, Falinge on 19th March 1938. In 1939 Stanley and Eveline lived at 278 Milnrow Road with Stanley being a Flat Spring Maker. Prior to enlisting in 1941 he was employed as a by Leaches Springmakers, Moss Street, Rochdale and was associated with Newbold Methodist Chapel. Private Howard went abroad in 1942. 28 year old Private Howard 3718524, 13th Battalion Kings Liverpool Regiment was posted missing whilst serving in Operation Longcloth, one of Wavell’s Chindits and assumed to have died on 26th February 1943. Stanley is remembered on Rangoon Memorial Face 5 on St Annes War Memorial.

Guardsman George Phillips

George was born in Wrexham on 19th April 1912 to George and Lily Phillips. In 8th September 1934 George married Rose Leach in St Ann’s Church, Belfield and some 5 years later was registered living 5 Brocklebank Road, Belfield with George being an Asbestos Jobber, Rose a Cotton Reeler and his widowed father who was a Bakers Labourer. Prior to joining the army in September 1940 George was a warehouseman at the Barchant Spinning Co. 30 year old Guardsman Phillips 2521380, 6th Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed on 17th March 1943 during the Battle of the Mareth Line and is buried in SFAX WAR CEMETERY, Tunisia, grave number XXI D 9  is remembered on St Annes War Memorial.