Ellesmere Port is a remarkable place. It lies on the banks of the River Mersey, at the southern end of the Wirral Peninsula. It grew as a result of its links with the Midlands via the Ellesmere Canal (later called the Shropshire Union Canal) and access to Liverpool, Manchester and the wider world via the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey. Two ironworks arrived early in the 20th century – Burnell’s in 1903 and The Wolverhampton Corrugated Iron Company in 1905. By 1911 the two works were employing over 3,000 people between them and the town’s population had risen by 142.5 percent since 1901.
Thomas’s name appears on the Morecambe War Memorial. The first source to mention his existence is the 1901 census:
We see that Thomas’s parents were Henry and Mary De Maine and that Thomas had a brother called John McClure Demaine who was born in about 1893. The next source is the 1911 census: Continue reading
Private Dixon appears on Morecambe War Memorial and was mentioned in the ‘Lancaster Guardian’ of 25th March 1916 as follows:
The article is typical of the time and gives us a brief, but useful introduction to the experiences of one Morecambe family during the Great War. We notice the following facts:
- In 1916, the Dixon family lived at 65 Edward Street, Morecambe.
- Farrell was serving with the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment.
- He was killed in action ‘in France’ on 2nd March 1916 aged 24.
- He went to France at the beginning of the summer of 1915.
- He had been on leave a month prior to his death.
- Farrell’s father, George, served in the Royal Army Medical Corps.
- His brother, Leonard, was an ‘Old Territorial’, who was also on active service and had been seriously wounded in the left arm.
- His brother, George Frederick, was a sergeant in the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, also on active service.
For a couple of years, we had a base in Middlewich. It was a remarkable coincidence because my wife and I are sixth cousins via the Yoxall family, which must have begun in the village of Yoxall in Staffordshire, but, in the 18th and 19th centuries, lived in the Cheshire village of Sprowston near Middlewich. We are descended from Moses Yoxall (born in about 1700), our six greats grandfather. During my frequent strolls around Middlewich I noticed the town war memorial and saw the two Yoxalls – G. and G.W.; there is also a George Yoxall on nearby Winsford War Memorial; his inscription appears at the top of this post. I wanted to know firstly whether they were related to each other and secondly whether they were related to my wife and I.