Monday, 4 August 2014


If I'd have thought about it in time, I would have posted something about the commemorations of the centenary of the start of the First World War, 4 August 1914.  As it is, this is just a quick PS really. I shall sit with just one candle burning at 10 pm tonight, along with others in this country. I shall be thinking of my great-uncle Edward Marriott, who was killed in the Great War, in his late 20s. Also his brother, my great-uncle Walter, who survived, minus an arm and with a prosthetic for his other hand. He fascinated me and made me laugh when I was a child - but no-one ever spoke to me of the War.  Many of my other relatives were miners and maybe they didn't go to fight. I don't know, but one day I hope I will find out, when I have time to do some proper research.

I will be thinking also of the family who lived in my house at the time. The house was built in 1902 and at first it was owned by landlords who let the property. So I am not sure exactly who lived here at the start of WWI, though the 1911 census lists the tenants as the Marsden family: Robert, his wife Ellen and their two daughters, Ida, who was 16 when war broke out and who worked as a spinner in the mill, and Ellen, who was just eight years old. I wonder if they knew this night that war had been declared? I wonder if they had any idea what was coming? I wonder if they cried themselves to sleep that night? I wonder....

Saltaire History Group is publishing an online diary of events as they would have happened in Saltaire 100 years ago. It starts this Friday on the Saltaire Village website, which can be found here.


  1. Hi Jenny - very thoughtful post ... I too sat with one candle ... and I don't know anyone who died in the first world war - there must be some distant family ...

    Fascinating information you've found out from the census ... and for Saltaire reisdents the online diary of events will give a great resource ... really interesting to know about ...

    Thanks - Hilary

  2. Lovely and thoughtful -- the Great War had such an effect on so many.


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