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Person Details
10 Jan 1894
Sutton in Ashfield Nottinghamshire
Bertie was born on 10 January 1894 (birth registered, 1894, J/F/M Mansfield). He was registered as 'Bertie Liley' but both CWGC and RN&RM War Graves Roll give his name as 'Bertie Clarke Liley'. Although the CWGC record gives the information that Bertie was the son of Thomas and Mary Liley of Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, his mother was recorded on the 1891 Census - three years before Bertie's birth - as Mary Liley, widow. No record has been found of a marriage in Nottinghamshire in the right period for a Thomas Liley but the death of a Thomas Liley (28, b. 1860, April Newark) was recorded in the Mansfield registration district in 1889, J/F/M. There are numerous records of families surname Liley in the village of Collingham, Newark. Mary Liley has not been traced earlier than the 1891 Census. From census details, Mary Liley, who was born in Sutton in Ashfield, had at least eight children, all of whom were born in Sutton in Ashfield (births recorded in the Mansfield registration district) and given the surname 'Liley': Samuel Holland b. 1881 J/A/S, Rebecca b. 1883 O/N/D, Arthur b. 1886 J/A/S, Lotty (Lottie) Olive b. 1889 J/A/S, Maud Miriam birth registered 1892 J/F/M, Bertie b. 10 January 1894, Minnie birth registered 1897 J/F/M and Clarence birth registered 1899 J/F/M. In 1891 Mary Liley (32) a widow, was living on Brown Street, Sutton in Ashfield, with her four children; Samuel H. (9), Rebecca (7), Arthur (4) and Lottie O. (1). Also in the household was a boarder, Mary C Hibbert (27, b. Collingham, Notts). By 1901 Mary Liley (42), was housekeeper to Joseph Allsop (55), a widower working as a publican's servant, at his home in Idlewells, Sutton in Ashfield. Also in the household were five of her eight children: Lottie (13), Maud (11), Bertie (9), Minnie (4) and Clarence (3). Mary's three eldest children were living independently in 1901: Samuel was probably serving in the Sherwood Foresters (service number 6766) as he had joined the regiment in 1899 at the age of 18. Rebecca (17) was working in a hosiery factory and was a boarder in the household of John and Eliza Slack at 7 Bentinck Street, Sutton in Ashfield. Arthur (14), was a coal gang lad (underground) and living at Mansfield Road, Sutton in Ashfield, as a boarder in the household of Thomas Gregory (49) a coal miner. Thomas employed a housekeeper, Charlotte Liley (38, b. Collingham). Mary Liley married John Ives in 1908 (marriage registered O/N/D Mansfield). John Ives (b. Oundle Northampton) was a brick maker, who had been widowed the previous year on the death of his wife Ann Elizabeth (nee Reeves) at the age of 48 (death registered 1907 J/A/S Mansfield). John and Ann had at least seven children; Abraham, John, Mary, Sarah, Beatrice, Gertrude and Helen (Nellie). In 1911 John Ives (58) and Mary were living at 2 Club Street, Sutton in Ashfield, with John's three youngest children; Beatrice (18) a domestic servant, Gertrude (15) and Helen (11). Mary (Ives) was living at Wood Yard, Club Street, when she was notified of Bertie's death in November 1914. Mary has not been traced after 1917 when her youngest son Clarence gave her as his next of kin when he attested. Her husband, John Ives, probably died aged 76 in 1933 (December Mansfield). Of Mary's children: In 1911 Samuel Holland (29), an army pensioner but working as a coal miner hewer, was the head of household and living at 24 Swan Street, Sutton in Ashfield. Also in the home were boarders Nellie Frene Hurst (29), a seamstress, and her two daughters, Fanny Olive Hurst (6) and Marian Hurst (3). Although Nellie Hurst was described on the census as single it also said that she had been married for 9 years and had had three children, one of whom had died. There was also a married couple in the household, John Adkin (48) a coal miner hewer, and Elizabeth Adkin (40) who had been married 13 years and had had 6 children, none of whom survived. Samuel and Nellie Hurst were married four years later in 1915 (O/N/D Mansfield). Samuel died in 1951 (death registered December Belper) aged 70. Rebecca had married Tom Connell Goodall in 1906 (O/N/D Mansfield) and in 1911 she and Tom (26), a builder's joiner, were living at Fryston Villas, Crocus Street, East Kirkby. Their only child, Harry Connelly, was born later that year (1911 J/A/S Basford). Tom served in the war in the 3rd Battalion Sherwood Foresters (60282 Private) and died on 23 December 1916 (Kingsway Old Cemetery). Rebecca married Ernest J Heppenstall in 1920 (J/A/S Mansfield). Arthur (22) was serving in India with the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters (10868) in 1911. He may have served in India from 1908 as there is a note on the medal roll that he embarked on 27 June 1908. According to the military census he was a married man. Arthur probably served in the Gulf during the war, but was invalided back to India and at some point transferred to the Indian Unattached List (service number 26). His medals were issued to him in India and he was probably still serving there when he was discharged from the army; this may have been on 25 April 1919. Lottie had married Arthur George Wootton (b. Eckington Derbyshire) in 1907 (A/M/J Mansfield) and in 1911 she and Arthur (27) were living at 12 Bowers Yard, Parliament Street, Sutton in Ashfield. They had had two children neither of whom had survived. Also in the house on the night of the census was a visitor, Mary Elizabeth Liley (21, b. Derby), a weaver, married for two years and with one child. Lottie and Arthur later had at least one other child, a daughter Olive. Arthur died in January 1935 (death registered March quarter Wakefield, buried Stanley, Wakefield), address 90 Park Lodge Lane, Wakefield, and Lottie married Fred Field the same year (J/F/M Wakefield). Lottie died on 16 December 1962 at St James' Hospital, Leeds. Maud Miriam has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census, but in 1918 she married Matthew Sheppard (A/M/J Mansfield). Maud died on 13 March 1952 at the age of 60. In 1911 Bertie (17) was a farm servant (horseman) on Ryhill Farm, Newstead, Linby, Nottinghamshire, working for Daniel Pinder (farmer). Minnie (14) was recorded on the 1911 Census as the adopted daughter of John Scothern (55, b. Sutton in Ashfield) a framework knitter and his wife Matilda (36, b. Sutton in Ashfield). According to the census the couple had been married for 36 years and had had eleven children of whom nine had died - there is an obvious discrepancy in the age of John's wife, Matilda, and this information either applies to a first marriage by John or an error in Matilda's age. The family lived at 77 Chilwell Road, Beeston. Minnie married Willie Gough in 1920 (J/F/M Basford) and died in 1962 (December Nottingham) aged 66. The youngest child, Clarence, was living at 11 Broomfield Lane, Mansfield, in 1911. The head of the household was a Mr Mills and Clarence (13), along with 11 other boys between the ages of 6 and 14, was described as an 'inmate' so he may have entered a home or a residential school. Clarence attested on 19 March 1917 at the age of 18 years and 2 months. He was living at Dobsons Buildings, Bottomboat, Stanley, Wakefield, and working as a colliery pony driver. He joined the Lincolnshire Regiment Training Reserve (3198 Private) but later transferred to the 6th Lincolnshire Regiment (42922) and served in France from early 1918. He gave his mother as his next of kin and it is interesting that the army record names her as Mary Liley; she was living on Club Street, Sutton in Ashfield, which was her address in 1911 after her marriage to John Ives. Clarence died in 1954 (June Wakefield) at the age of 55.
In 1911 he was a farm servant (horseman)
26 Nov 1914
2871560 - CWGC Website
Stoker 1st Class
HMS Bulwark Royal Navy
Bertie was working on a farm in Newstead, Nottinghamshire, in 1911 but he probably joined the Royal Navy at least a year before his death in November 1914 as at the time he was killed he was rated 1st Class Stoker. Bertie was killed when HMS Bulwark was sunk by a catastrophic explosion. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. The pre-Dreadnought battleship HMS Bulwark of the 5th Battleship Squadron, Channel Fleet, was sunk on 26 November 1914 by an ammunition explosion while at No 17 Buoy in the River Medway off Sheerness. Only 12 men survived from a ship’s company of over 750 and among the dead were sailors and Royal Marines from Nottinghamshire, many of whom came from the Meadows and Radford. Eye-witnesses in nearby ships described seeing smoke from the stern of the ship before the explosion, which appeared to have been in an after magazine. Divers who examined the wreck a few days later reported that Bulwark’s port bow had been blown off by the explosion and lay 50 feet beyond the mooring while the starboard bow lay 30 feet further away. No other large sections of the ship could be found. A Naval board of enquiry into the cause of the explosion concluded that the most likely cause of the disaster was the overheating of cordite charges stored alongside a boiler room bulkhead. It was also suggested that shells for the ship’s 6” guns had been stored in in cross-passageways connecting the ship’s 11 magazines and had, contrary to regulations, been packed too close together and were also touching the magazine bulkheads. A chain reaction explosion of the shells would have been sufficient to detonate the ship’s magazines. On the afternoon of Thursday, November 26th, 1914, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill made the following statement to the House of Commons : ‘I regret to say I have some bad news for the house. The Bulwark battleship, which was lying in Sheerness (on the River Medway) this morning, blew up at 7.35 o'clock. The Vice and Rear Admiral, who were present, have reported their conviction that it was an internal magazine explosion which rent the ship asunder. There was apparently no upheaval in the water, and the ship had entirely disappeared when the smoke had cleared away ... I regret to say the loss of life is very severe. Only 12 men are saved. All the officers and the rest of the crew, who, I suppose, amounted to between 700 and 800, have perished. I think the House would wish me to express on their behalf the deep sorrow with which the House heard the news, and their sympathy with those who have lost their relatives and friends.’
Nottingham Evening Post, 31 January 1916: ‘Cigarette Fund £920. Joy in a tent when the smokes arrived ... Pte A Liley of the Wireless Signal Squadron (late 1st Sherwood Foresters), Poona, India, writes under date January 1st: ‘I am writing to ask you what is the reason the troops in the Persian Gulf are not allowed to receive anything from your Cigarette Fund? When the football season is on I have received the ‘Post’ every week for this last seven and a half years, and I think it is a great shame that the troops in the Gulf are not allowed to receive any gifts from England of any description, as I do not think there could be worse conditions than in the Gulf; in fact they are twenty times worse than they have ever been in France. I was invalided back myself to India after nearly twelve months, and when I was there could not buy a cigarette half the time if you had a pocket full of money, and I am sure after you have read this you will think they are worthy of at least a packet of cigarettes, it being so hard to obtain them. Wishing your paper every success, and hoping you will kindly look into this matter.’ We are pleased to be in a position to inform our correspondent and contributors generally that we have now made arrangements by which obstacles that existed, preventing parcels being sent to the Gulf, have now been overcome, and that in future consignments can be despatched in that direction both to individuals and units.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
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