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Killed by Crashing Plane

Air Mechanic II Lees Hyde of No. 8 Training Depot, Royal Flying Corps died in Fargo Military Hospital, Salisbury Plain. He is buried at Droylsden Cemetery, Greater Manchester.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission register of graves reveals that he died of accidental injuries and a website recording fatal air accidents in Britain 1917 reports the following:

On November 26, 1917, an aircraft struck a tent and then a building after suffering engine failure at Lake Down.26.11.17 AM 2 Lees Hyde (30) was injured and taken to hospital but later died December 8, 1917. Spr Edward Ernest Siddy, Royal Engineers (36) was killed instantly and another two personnel were injured. The Pilot 2nd Lt Gray was uninjured.

Lees Hyde was the son of Lees and Ann Hyde of Ashton-under-Lyne. He was married to Helen Hyde of 10 Broadway, Fairfield, Manchester. She lived on to the age of 93, dying in 1983.

Catholic Volunteer who fought in a little remembered war

In 2014, I visited Birkdale Roman Catholic Cemetery on the edge of Southport.Looking through my images recently, I hadn’t realised the significance of one particular memorial until now. It mentioned Daniel Henry Shee – Late Pontifical Zouaves 1867-1870 and Superintent of Birkdale Farm Reformatory School 1877 – 1909. Capt Shee was a Knight of Pius & Papal war hero. The story of the Papal Zouves is one of great heroism by a multinational force of Catholic volunteers [shades of the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War]. The organisation’s history is detailed HERE

The school, which became an Approved School in 1933, had a troubled beginning and it was Capt Shee’s arrival that saw much improvement in its operation made. A very useful history of the school can be read HERE

A transcription of the staff members and the ‘scholars under detention’ is available HERE




What’s in a Wall?

St Paul’s church at Peel, Little Hulton has a very large graveyard containing some magnificent memorials. Running alongside the right hand side of the building are a large number of small headstones which are closely packed. They are for cremated remains. It works well until a portion of the supporting wall collapses, tipping headstones and cremains [an awful word] over the edge. Worse still, it provides an opportunity to discover what the retaining wall is constructed from . . . Sorry, but I just don’t like it and I keep coming across path kerbs and walls made of the same thing!

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Showman’s Family Grave.

Samuel Henry Clayton was a member of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain and Ireland. It’s motto is Unity and Strength. In 1923, his wife Sophia appeared in court in Tamworth charged with illegally running a Grand National style horse race lottery. She was fined £2 and made to pay costs of nine shillings. Perhaps it was apt that she was arrested by the aptly named Inspector Horseman.

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