Halifax or Lancaster?

Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Sgt W. E. L. HARRISON.


William was in the RAFVR when he was killed. One online source has a photograph of him (giving his second name as Edward) and states in part:-

…the unit was equipped with Halifax bombers, one of the mainstay bombers within the R.A.F. at the time.

Unfortunately, during one particular training flight Billy’s Halifax was seen to lose control and the bomber crashed.  Harrison died of the wounds he received in the crash and his body was interred in St. Oswald’s cemetery just over a week later.

Another source offers “Edmund” rather than Edward but, more importantly, says he was the bomb aimer aboard a Lancaster.

Both sources agree on his service number – and his prowess on the football field. He played semi-professionally for Bradford Park Avenue FC. I thought that the CWGC website might offer a definitive casting vote but the information there is sketchy. It reckons Edmund was his middle name, but the St Oswald’s burial register gives Edward. (His birth registration has “William E. L.”).

William isn’t on the FamilySearch Tree but his great-grandmother, Eleanor AUTON, offers a starting point to build upon.

Today’s Image

The official record of the deaths of Port Hunter’s crew gives Geoffrey Bradley’s last address as 16 West Avenue, Filey. (Wednesday’s post.) If the numbering hasn’t changed since the Second World War, the space where this dwelling should be is occupied by Thornton House. With its three gables and sunny appearance, it makes me smile whenever I walk past. It is very clearly a one-off in architectural terms, and may well be the fanciful creation of a capable small town builder.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASamuel Bradley was such a man. He appears in a number of newspaper court reports seeking restitution for non-payment, mostly for minor debts relating to materials used, but one customer defaulted on a house that Samuel built in Lincolnshire.

The birth of his first son with Harriet Smith was registered in that county and Geoffrey’s, three years later, in Scarborough. Perhaps Thornton House (at left in the photo) was a fresh-start project for his second family.

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