Thursday, 30 June 2016

Ernest Patrick Lynn ........... another story from Tony Goulding

The history of Ernest Patrick Lynn, “ticked so many boxes” of my interests that it virtually demanded that I write it up.   

Private Ernest Patrick Lynn
I came across his story by pure chance whilst carrying out some other research; as is so often the case.

Not only was he a casualty of July, 1916 he was also in the 20th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, a Roman Catholic of Irish Descent and his father was a policeman stationed in Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

Fortunately I have been able to discover quite a lot of information to “flesh out” these bald facts.
Ernest’s parents were Michael who was born in Carrickmore, Co. Tyrone Ireland in 1850 and Maria K. (née. Collins) born in 1853.

The couple were married in Maria’s hometown of Castlerea, Co. Roscommon in 1871 shortly thereafter they settled in Gorton, Manchester where Michael joined the Police Force and the first of their five children, a daughter, Margaret Keturah, was born in 1875.

The family were still in Gorton when Ernest Patrick, the fourth born, arrived in the September quarter of 1883. By the time of the 1891 census, however,

Michael had been promoted to Inspector (1) and had moved with his family to Chorlton-cum-Hardy and were living in the police station on Beech Road. Two years later the youngest of Ernest siblings, his sister, Catherine was born. (2)

The old Police Station, Beech Road, 2016
In 1901 they were still there but by 1911 Michael had been promoted to Inspector and the family, including Ernest Patrick, were at 34, Mersey Road, Heaton Mersey, Stockport. On this census return Ernest is described as a “manufacturer’s agent” in 1901 he’d been apprentice in a shipping warehouse.

Also part of the family at this time was Frederick Whiteside,(3) Michael’s young 5 year old grandson – the issue of his eldest daughter Margaret Keturah and her husband George Frederick, a Ladies Tailor from Co, Armagh, Ireland.

The Bethune Town Cemetery 
Ernest enlisted early in the war and joined the 20th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers; one of the designated university/public schools battalions.

He arrived in France as part of the reinforcement of the army in preparation for the major British offensive of July, 1916-The Battle of the Somme.

It seems, however, that he was fatally wounded   in the trenches by general German fire on 5th July and never actually took an active part in the Battle.

Private Ernest Patrick Lynn’s grave (No.V.F.56) is in The Bethune Town Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

There is a report (complete with photo) of Private Lynn’s death in the Manchester Evening News, dated 11th July, 1916 which records that he was an ex-pupil of Chorlton-cum-Hardy High School (4) and had represented a number of prominent Manchester firms.

The article also includes an extract from a Roman Catholic Chaplain to Ernest’s grieving parents informing them that he had ministered to their dying son and how he had died peacefully.

Obituary of Private Lynn, 1916
As always seems to happen one story has led me on to another. I discovered that Ernest Patrick’s father, Michael, whilst he was a sergeant at the Beech Road station, was a key witness in an infamous child-murder case of 1890. Elizabeth Mapp’s baby son Edward was found in the River Mersey at Urmston on Thursday 19th November 1889; she was charged with his murder, tried convicted and sentenced to death (5) in the March of the following year. This however, as I have said, is another story for another day.

©  Tony Goulding, 2016

Pictures; Private Lynn, Manchester Evening News, dated 11th July, 1916, & The Bethune Town Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Lead Station, former Beech Road Police Station, courtesy of Tony Goulding

1) A report in “Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser” of 30th July, 1886 records Michael as already a sergeant whilst still stationed at Gorton.

2) It is of some interest to note in passing that as well as being a functioning police station the building on Beech Road served as the Lynn family residence. In 1891 there were 9 occupants Sergeant Lynn and his wife, 7 year old Ernest Patrick, his 3 older (teenage) siblings and three boarders. --- A relative from Ireland and two Scottish Police Constables. In 1901 there were only 8 residents but, apart from the young Catherine, all adults/ adolescents.

3) Tragically Frederick Michael Whiteside appears to have died aged only 9, in December quarter 1914, after  the family’s move to the Fylde coast

4) According to John M. Lloyd’s 1972 book “The Township of Chorlton-cum-Hardy” this school was that opened by Robert Davies in 1872. After almost a quarter of a century of educating the young men of the area he retired in 1896/7 when the school premises at 47, High Lane were sold to The Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford to become in turn  St.  Augustine's Church, then, from 1927, part of the original Our Lady and St. John’s Roman Catholic Primary School, and latterly the Parish Centre. Chorlton-cum-Hardy was not, however, left bereft of a High School as in the same year Mr. Davies left a Mr Charles Carey Dadley founded his Chorlton-cum-Hardy Grammar School just a little further along High Lane at 57 (with the later addition of 59) - “Denbigh Villas”

5)  As the trial jury had recommended clemency Elizabeth Mapp’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Following further representations, including a 16,000 signature petition, the home secretary granted an additional respite and Elizabeth was released from Woking Prison on Thursday, January 4th, 1894.

No comments:

Post a Comment