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Bedlington Soldiers Who Died in WW1


Symptoms
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14 hours ago, Symptoms said:

I've just come across this interesting site created by Derek Johnstone about those local lads who died fighting in the Great War (I don't know if this has been posted on this forum before).

 https://docplayer.net/152715054-Bedlington-soldiers-who-died-in-the-great-war.html

I knew Derek ( @Rigger ) was working on it but didn't know he had created that site. 

If we get any members asking for info on their Bedlington family members that died in WWI this is an excellent PDF document to refer them to.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

I  have just looked through this very interesting site created by Derek Johnstone.  My Grandpa Thomas Bestford, and 4 of his brothers fought in WW1, 2 of them lost their lives.  Thomas is standing at the back in this photograph. Unfortunately, they are not listed on this site.  Maybe this was because at the time of WW1 they were listed on the census as living at Snowball Terrace, Gateshead?  However, all 6 brothers were born and raised in Bedlington.  

Bestford brothers copy 1.jpg

1901 census.jpg

Edited by Jo C
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5 hours ago, Jo C said:

I  have just looked through this very interesting site created by Derek Johnstone.  My Grandpa Thomas Bestford, and 4 of his brothers fought in WW1, 2 of them lost their lives.  Thomas is standing at the back in this photograph. Unfortunately, they are not listed on this site.  Maybe this was because at the time of WW1 they were listed on the census as living at Snowball Terrace, Gateshead?  However, all 6 brothers were born and raised in Bedlington.  

 

 

@Rigger - one for you to have a look at. 

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16 hours ago, Jo C said:

My Grandpa Thomas Bestford, and 4 of his brothers fought in WW1, 2 of them lost their lives.

The 1901 census shows that Thomas Bestford lived at the Ironworks and was a candle maker so he must have worked at the Dene Candle Works, at the bottom of furnace bank. The photo, taken 1908 is from one of Evan Martin’s books.1505462391_Candlefactory.thumb.jpg.ee237b4c4ec97c71504568091596d832.jpg

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Thank you for sharing this picture and info.  From other information and Census records I have seen, it appears that Thomas wasn't a candlemaker for long.  He was previously a coalminer, then returned to coal mining after being a candlemaker. 

I am actually an Essex girl, and have never been to Bedlington. When I started researching my family tree during the first lockdown, I suddenly became quite fascinated with the place, and I have so much to learn.  Hopefully I can track-down some copies of Evan Martins books, and one day make a visit.  

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From the Bedlington timeline -  1898 Graham & Bestford's Dene Candlework's established.    

Does anyone know if the Bestford of Graham & Bestford's Dene Candle Works, was Thomas Bestford (1861 - 1947)?  Thomas was my get grandfather.  From Census documents his occupation in 1881 ( residence Double Row, Bedlington), 1891 (residence Furnace & BankTop) is listed as coal miner, then in 1901 (residence Ironworks) as candlemaker, then again coal miner in 1911 (36 St Cuthberts Terrace Gateshead).  

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2 hours ago, Jo C said:

From the Bedlington timeline -  1898 Graham & Bestford's Dene Candlework's established.    

Does anyone know if the Bestford of Graham & Bestford's Dene Candle Works, was Thomas Bestford (1861 - 1947)?  Thomas was my get grandfather.  From Census documents his occupation in 1881 ( residence Double Row, Bedlington), 1891 (residence Furnace & BankTop) is listed as coal miner, then in 1901 (residence Ironworks) as candlemaker, then again coal miner in 1911 (36 St Cuthberts Terrace Gateshead).  

@Jo C - the photo that @James posted from Evan Martin's book, The People's History - memories of Bedlingtonshire and Beyond, doesn't have any info, other than a comment with the photo on the Dene Candle Works and the comment, by Evan Martin, says ...Graham Bestford's....... not Graham & Bestford as the entry in the Bedlington Timeline has. The bulk of the Timeline was created by @johndawsonjune1955 ,still a member of the group, but no longer a frequent visitor. I have 'Tagged' him and if he does see this topic he may say where he got the info for the Timeline from.

This is the photo + text 

2146890799_CandleWorks.thumb.jpg.4a1837970325840e8849ee7bbbe27182.jpg

This is the book the photo is from 

 

Evan Martin3.jpg

This 1920-21 map shows where Dene House and the Candle Works were. It also shows there was another candle factory - Bedlington Candle Works.

1920-21.thumb.jpg.eb8014e231263dd3dc5a750b40c6ae7d.jpg

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)
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Thank you Alan.  I will search through the family tree to see if there is a Graham Bestford in there.  I have just purchased a few books by Evan Martin - uh oh, I feel I am not going to get much else done for a while 🙂

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42 minutes ago, Jo C said:

Thank you Alan.  I will search through the family tree to see if there is a Graham Bestford in there.  I have just purchased a few books by Evan Martin - uh oh, I feel I am not going to get much else done for a while 🙂

Jo - as you will see many of the books by Evan martin, and his dad Stephen Martin, have 'Bedlingtonshire' in the title. So some of the books will cover the surrounding small towns/villages eg. Cambois - Nedderton - Netherton Colliery - Stakeford - Choppington - Guide Post - Sleekburn etc. Also you will probably have noticed on the 1920-21 map the name 'Sleekburn'. That name changed to Bedlington Station but I can't tell you the exact date the name changed:)

The colliery at Sleekburn was Sleekburn 'A'.,and that later changed it's name to Bedlington 'A' (The Station Pit - The A'd (old) Pit)  When the Bedlington railway station was opened - 3/8/1850 it was at Sleekburn, http://disused-stations.org.uk/b/bedlington/index.shtml . So the Bedlington folk, from what the locals call the 'Top End' of Bedlington, had to travel to Sleekburn to get the train from Bedlington's railway Station. The railway station not only served the area for passengers but it had branch lines off to all the local collieries, Bedlington 'D' pit (= the Doctor Pit) - East Sleekburn - West Sleekburn -Cambois - Netherton Colliery - Stakeford - Choppington - Ashington etc, from where the coal was transported to the Blyth docks for shipping all over. 

Hope that helps when you are looking at old maps and books.

 

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6 hours ago, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

It also shows there was another candle factory - Bedlington Candle Works.

The other candle factory was Muter’s candle works and was situated at the bottom of St Johns Road where it meets the Stakeford Road. (Cross roads with traffic lights.) Across the road is Moorland Avenue on the way to Cambois. The photo is from another one of Evan Martin’s books.

317911242_MutersCandleFactory.thumb.JPG.ed49817238b1adac19e86ed7cc32b82c.JPG1557788862_MutersCandleFactory2.JPG.png.59c973acfc9dfa80072cbf28904a54ad.png

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14 hours ago, James said:

The other candle factory was Muter’s candle works and was situated at the bottom of St Johns Road where it meets the Stakeford Road. (Cross roads with traffic lights.) Across the road is Moorland Avenue on the way to Cambois. The photo is from another one of Evan Martin’s books.

 

Cheers @James👍- I'd forgotten about that image:)

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On 07/02/2022 at 15:52, Jo C said:

I  have just looked through this very interesting site created by Derek Johnstone.  My Grandpa Thomas Bestford, and 4 of his brothers fought in WW1, 2 of them lost their lives.  Thomas is standing at the back in this photograph. Unfortunately, they are not listed on this site.  Maybe this was because at the time of WW1 they were listed on the census as living at Snowball Terrace, Gateshead?  However, all 6 brothers were born and raised in Bedlington.  

Bestford brothers copy 1.jpg

1901 census.jpg

Hi Have had a quick check and find the following:

Note.  the Soldiers in the Bedlington Soldiers who died in WW1 are based on the Record of Enlistment document held at St Cuthbert's Church.  This is not a complete list of Bedlington Soldiers who died in WW1.

1. Robert Bestford, # 38597. died 1/12/1917.  he was with the Durham light Infantry. Military records show and address at 42, Snowball Terrace Gateshead.  His detailed war records are available.  Robert is remembered at the Memorial for the North East Railway at York.  Robert was a Station Porter before WW1. The Memorial Roll of Honour & Case at the 1914-1918 Library honours his name.

2. William Thomas Bestford, #1242, died 21st July 1916.  he was with the Royal Engineers 1st/2nd Northumbrian Field Coy.  his details are available on the CWGC site and easy to find. 

3. George Bestford survived the conflict but had wounds and shell shock. He is shown to be associated with 5th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, Oxford and Bucks. Regiment and possibly the the Tyneside Scottish (record in the Tyneside Scottish book (Stewart & Sheen).  In the Record of Enlistment he is shown to be living at Bedlington. Note the photo shows a possible Sergeant Tyneside Scottish.  George has links with Egypt and being promoted to an Officer.

4. Thomas Bestford it appears was a 2nd Lieutenant with the 41 Sanitary Section serving in India.  No further details available.   

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Just now, Rigger said:

Hi Have had a quick check and find the following:

Note.  the Soldiers in the Bedlington Soldiers who died in WW1 are based on the Record of Enlistment document held at St Cuthbert's Church.  This is not a complete list of Bedlington Soldiers who died in WW1.

1. Robert Bestford, # 38597. died 1/12/1917.  he was with the Durham light Infantry. Military records show and address at 42, Snowball Terrace Gateshead.  His detailed war records are available.  Robert is remembered at the Memorial for the North East Railway at York.  Robert was a Station Porter before WW1. The Memorial Roll of Honour & Case at the 1914-1918 Library honours his name.

2. William Thomas Bestford, #1242, died 21st July 1916.  he was with the Royal Engineers 1st/2nd Northumbrian Field Coy.  his details are available on the CWGC site and easy to find. 

3. George Bestford survived the conflict but had wounds and shell shock. He is shown to be associated with 5th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, Oxford and Bucks. Regiment and possibly the the Tyneside Scottish (record in the Tyneside Scottish book (Stewart & Sheen).  In the Record of Enlistment he is shown to be living at Bedlington. Note the photo shows a possible Sergeant Tyneside Scottish.  George has links with Egypt and being promoted to an Officer.

4. Thomas Bestford it appears was a 2nd Lieutenant with the 41 Sanitary Section serving in India.  No further details available.   

Continued (finger trouble)

5. Adam Bestford shown to be living at 179 Whitby Road Whitley Bay.  No military records located (not to say he did not enlist)

6. Luke Bestford is shown living at Gateshead again no military records found (as above)

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Thank you for the update.  I know Thomas fought in Mesopotamia in ww1. I have quite a few old photographs and stories of George and Thomas, both went on to fight in WW2. George died in South Africa in 1968 & Thomas in Eastbourne, Sussex in 1978.

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@Jo C back in 2016 when @Rigger started research on his WWI project we found that the West Bedlington Community Centre was working on a project and they were creating a 'Poppy Map'  

 I have no idea if the 'Poppy Map' is still on display and if they are still adding names of local people killed in WWI.

The link in the post above to the community center is now invalid and they have a new address. My browser reposts the site as 'Unsecure'. This is the current link :-  http://bedlingtoncommunitycentre.com/

The Bestford family members might be named on their Poppy Chart

199545202_Poppymap.jpg.56e09c89c9e79c653602d3c16ad434e1.jpg

 

Community centre info.png

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 08/02/2022 at 10:33, Jo C said:

From the Bedlington timeline -  1898 Graham & Bestford's Dene Candlework's established.    

Does anyone know if the Bestford of Graham & Bestford's Dene Candle Works, was Thomas Bestford (1861 - 1947)?  Thomas was my get grandfather.  From Census documents his occupation in 1881 ( residence Double Row, Bedlington), 1891 (residence Furnace & BankTop) is listed as coal miner, then in 1901 (residence Ironworks) as candlemaker, then again coal miner in 1911 (36 St Cuthberts Terrace Gateshead).  

@Jo C - just in case that building the Boys Band are standing in front of was not Bedlington and was Gateshead I had a check on the Gateshead Facebook groups - Gateshead History & Gateshead Now and Then to see if anyone recognised the brick built building.

1390894772_BedlingtonBoysBandc1911.jpg.cd9d7ee84d04e8c87aac5d3e52f7f287.jpg 

There were a few suggestions of old churches but they were all stone built.

You mentioned above that the 191 census has the family living in St Cuthberts Terrace, Gateshead so I checked if there were any images of a St Cutherberts Terrace. This one was posted and I screen shot a couple of the comments :- 

 39857849_StCuthbertsterrace.jpg.6c2864fccc39ec2736c8b1aaab88bf5b.jpg

872545689_gatesheadNowandTheninfo.thumb.jpg.369fec9c4900e589ce19ea62bfa55189.jpg

Using the info that Tony Diston posted this is a Google street view now with a pointer added to where St Cuthberts Terrace used to be.

Overhill.thumb.jpg.10a7390b5c8b160c7b3c8c550fca5f6a.jpg 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Jo C - I believed that the Bedlington Station school didn't open until 1912 as the school celebrated it's 100th year in 2012.

99742282_1912to2012.png.9347905d5521d697d45673216e56445b.png

A c1936 class photo of the school was just recently posted on the Bygone Bedlingon Facebook group and I have added it into the school album we keep within this site. Whilst I was doing that I checked out the other photos in the album to see what was the oldest photo we had and I noticed this comment, that I had totally forgotten about, saying the school was built between 1906 and 1910 but didn't 'officially' open until 1912 :-

Project1.thumb.png.bc231e1312898d0a8ddcc87941daccde.png

 

So it is possible that your photo was taken at the Bedlington station Council School.

I have checked all the school photos in the album but can't find an exact match to yours eg. down pipe next to window, but it could be that's where your photo was taken.

We don't have a full photo of the walls where the class photos would have been taken but there is one of the front of the school, taken c1960, showing the down pipes at either end of the building between the corners of the building and the single width windows.  The other side of the building where we would expect the class photos to be taken could easily have had the down pipes between a single and a double with window.

219006746_BedStnSchComp.thumb.jpg.66ff01589bd0adb399604486f6db724e.jpg  

 

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)
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