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Newman Summerscales

Corporal Newman Summerscales, 3067, 1st/4th Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Newman Summerscales was born in 1877 and baptised at St Michael and All Angels, Thornhill on December 8th 1877. Newman was the eldest son of Lee Summerscales and his wife Emma (nee Pye) who had married at Darton Parish Church on April 16th 1876.

The 1881 census tells us that, at the age of four, Newman lived at Edge Road in Thornhill. His dad, 28 year-old Lee, was a coal miner and his mum, 25 year old Emma, stayed at home to look after her husband and their children. Newman had an older sister; Annie born in 1874 - and baptised with Newman in 1877, and two younger siblings; Lily, born in 1879 and Charles, born in 1880.

When the 1891 census was taken, the family were living at Top Row, Woolley where Lee Summerscales was an under manager at a local colliery. Newman, aged 14, was a pit boy. From this census we can see that Newman's sister, eight year old Eunice, was the first of six Summerscales children to be born in Woolley. George was born in 1884, Violet in 1887, Thomas Gilbert in 1888 (died in 1891) and Ralph in 1890. Another son, Tom Horace, was born in Woolley in 1892. From this information, we might conclude that the family had moved there in around 1883.

By 1897 the family had moved to Calder Grove, Crigglestone.

Emma Summerscales was 16 when she gave birth to her first child. She was 42 when she gave birth to her last. Herbert was born at Calder Grove on August 9th 1899 and he was little more than a year old when Emma died in the winter of 1900.

In 1901 Lee Summerscales was still living at Calder Grove with seven of his children. Annie had left home when she married Cliff Chappel in October 1897. Newman left the following year when he married Alice Robinson of Horbury. Annie and Newman didn't move far. They both set up home at Calder Grove.

In 1902, Lee Summerscales married widow Sarah Ann Green. Together they had a son, Archie, who was born in Ossett in 1903 and baptised the following year. The address entered on Archie's baptism record is "Ossett Spa".

In 1910 Lee became a publican and, with his second wife Sarah and their family, lived at The Little Bull on Teale Street. Lee took over from Roberta Teale. Guess how the street got its name?

Lee died on April 12th 1911 and Sarah took over as licensee until 1914. At the time of her death, 30 years later, Sarah lived at Moxon Place on the relatively new Lupset estate.

Newman Summerscales married his first wife Alice Robinson in the December quarter of 1898 in the Wakefield area.

The Spa Inn was only a short walk from The Little Bull and this is where, in 1911, Newman and his wife Alice lived with their children Ernest, born at Calder Grove in February 1901, and Marion, born in Mapplewell in July 1906. Newman is recorded as a "miner and innkeeper".

In May 1913, Newman Summerscales moved on from Ossett and became the licensee of The White Hart at Westgate End, Wakefield. Tragedy struck only weeks later when, in April, Alice Summerscales died after she fell down the stairs and fractured her skull. A verdict of "accidental death" was returned at the inquest. In November Charles Summerscales, Newman's brother, took over as the licensee. The pub stayed in the Summerscales family until 1943.

In October 1914, just weeks after Britain declared war on Germany, 37 year-old Newman Summerscales volunteered and joined the 1st/4th Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI). On August 15th 1915, Corporal N. Summerscales, 3067, embarked for France as a part of the British Expeditionary Force.

Newman's army service record hasn't survived. Almost 60% of all British service records were destroyed by the Luftwaffe during WWll. Those that did survive are known as the burnt records. His medal card still survives and from this we know his regiment, his rank, when he embarked for France and the medals he was awarded.

Newman received the Victory & British medals and the 1915 Star. The card also tells us that Newman was later transferred to the 1st/5th Battalion of the Notts & Derby Regiment and held the rank of Lance Sergeant with the service number 203187. A lance-sergeant was paid the same as a corporal, but wore the insignia of a sergeant. This was how corporals were tested for possible promotion. Newman later became Acting Sergeant.

In 1917 Newman was injured in battle and was discharged from service on September 20th 1918. He was 41 years old.

Newman married Charlotte Scarth Ashton in the winter of 1920.

Charlotte, who was baptised at the Wellhouse Chapel, Mirfield on November 10th 1872, was the daughter of William Ashton and his wife Charlotte (Clayton). By 1901 the Ashton's were running a grocer's shop near to The White Hart at Westgate Common. The shop had been in Charlotte Clayton's family since at least 1851 as this is where she lived with her maternal aunt Charlotte and her husband, William Scarth, who was a flour dealer.

The 1911 census gives us a little more detailed information and tells us that William Ashton was by now a widower, living at 53 Westgate End, just a few doors away from The White Hart. His occupation was that of sub-postmaster and news vendor. I think we might easily conclude that William was still in the same house and shop as he was in 1901.

On the 1911 census, Charlotte Scarth Ashton is recorded elsewhere. At this time, at the age of 38, she lived alone at 1 Ashton's Yard, Westgate End and worked as an assistant to her father.

In 1927 Newman's daughter, Marion, married Harry Mills, a grocer from Sharlston. The address given by Marion, and recorded in the marriage registry, was: The White Hart Inn. Newman's occupation is recorded as "miner (retired)".

On December 29th 1933, a short announcement was made in the "Leeds Mercury".


"Death from cerebral hemorrhage following atheroma, accelerated by war service" was the verdict at a Leeds inquest on Newman Summerscales (56), of Westgate, Wakefield, who died at the Ministry of Pensions Hospital, Leeds, on Friday. It was stated that Sumerscales joined the 4th Battalion KOYLI Regiment in 1914 and was wounded in 1917. His right leg was later amputated.

The hospital was established in WW1 to care for the many limbless service personnel who returned from the trenches.Newman's wounds received in battle had subsequently meant the amputation of his right leg.

Newman's brother, 34 year old George Summerscales, died on May 27th 1918 in a German hospital whilst a prisoner of war. He is remembered at the War Memorial in Ossett's Market Place.

Newman Summerscales did not die in battle. Nor as a captive in enemy hands. But, according to the inquest held in 1933, his death was "accelerated by war service".

Newman Summerscales of Westgate End, Wakefield died on the 22nd December 1933 at the Ministry pf Pensions Hospital. Probate Wakefield 8th January to Charlotte Scarth Summerscales, widow, Effects £141.


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