Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Another story from Tony Goulding ........ World War 2 Sites of Chorlton-cum-Hardy Part 1 The Beech Road Area

A) Lead Station 

The Lead Station
 The “Lead Station” in its latest incarnation as a Bar/Restaurant.

Originally built as a Police Station for the Lancashire Constabulary it also housed offices of Manchester City Council’s Environmental Health Department for a time prior to its conversion to its present use in, 1995.
  During World War 2 it was the location of 1st. Civil Defence H.Q.
B) 49-51 Claude Road.

At number 49, Claude Road Gilbert Medlicott (1) was killed in the bombing on the night of 23rd/24th December, 1940.

A Home Guard volunteer he is one of over 1000 fellow members of that regiment named on the Commonwealth War Graves site. His next door neighbour’s 15 year old daughter, Ethel Jean Rickard, a pupil of Whalley Range High School for Girls, graphically recorded the times spent in her cellar sheltering from feared and actual air raids.

The nightly detailing of the various noises (or lack of) from planes , bombs, and gunfire vividly convey the fear and horror she lived through from the late summer of 1040 through to spring of 1941. Ethel Jean’s father, Arnold Ramsden, was himself a senior A.R.P. warden at his place of work; Tootal Broadhurst Lee’s warehouse, 56, Oxford Street, Manchester.

The son of Charles, a Wesleyan minister, (2) and grandson of James, a tin miner of St. Agnes, Cornwall Arnold Ramsden Rickard was born in Barbados, The West Indies, on 14th April, 1894 and attended boarding school in England viz. Kingswood School, Bath. During World War 1 he saw service in The Manchester Regiment enlisting as a private he was promoted through the ranks and ended the war as a 2cnd Lieutenant.

At the conclusion of the war he resumed his career as a hire powered textile sales representative for Tootal Broadbent Lee of Manchester travelling widely in China and the Far East.

These trips continued after his marriage to Linda Margery (née Gamble) on a trip home in the December quarter of 1923 with his daughter Ethel Jean being born in Shanghai, China in 1925. Ethel Jean’s parents married in The Moss Side/Whalley Range Methodist Chapel on Withington Road, Manchester.

Miss Rickard's Evacauation Label
Her mother, Linda Margery was the daughter of an auctioneer’s cashier turned wood pulp agent, Robert Williams and his wife Linda Maud (née Dyke).: who although born on 3rd August, 1898 in Forest Gate, Newham, East London (at that time part of Essex) came to live in Whalley Range at 3, Burford Road as a young girl. Evidence from the 1939 Register suggests the family made a hurried exit from China, possibly as refugees from the brutal Japanese attack on Shanghai of August, 1937.

The father was living with his in-laws in Grosvenor Road. Whalley Range whilst the mother and children are recorded in Bacup, Lancashire seemingly in lodging.

Miss Rickard’s “Evacuation Label” – now in The Imperial War Museum North.
                  Below her wooden panel records;

From Claude Road
© Tony Goulding 2017

Pictures; supplied by Tony Goulding from various sources

1) Gilbert was born in Birkenhead, the Wirral, Cheshire on 27th October, 1897.

He was the youngest of the 11 children of Edward, a house painter, and his wife Jane (née Wright) In the Great War Gilbert saw service as a Private in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. In 1939, Gilbert is recorded as working away from home, as a plumber on a public works contact, in Carlisle.

From Claude Road
His wife, Minnie E. and his 5 year old son Gerald occupied part of the house on Claude Road. Gilbert is buried in Southern Cemetery in grave S 4221 of the Church of England section alongside his son , Peter, who sadly died in his first year of life and was interred on 4th April, 1940.

2) His father’s appointments to different parishes saw the family move back to England first by 1896 to Leicester: in 1901 they were at Thornaby, Nr. Middlesborough, and North Yorkshire then by 1911 the Greater Manchester area, at 35, Greek Street, Stockport.

Gilbert Medlicott’s headstone
The Rev. Charles married the daughter of a fellow missionary, Etta Edith Sykes who was born in what was known at the time as British Honduras (now Belize).

The couple’s marriage took place in the West Indies and their first three children were born in the Caribbean. Etta Edith died on 14th November, 1910 and left to her husband the considerable sum at the time of £1010-5s

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