James Oswald Harrison 1894 - 1914
James who was brought up in Gilberdyke, was killed in October 1914 aged 20.
His father John William Harrison had moved from Gilberdyke to Garthorpe with his family to run the Bay Horse hotel there.
|The Bay Horse at Garthorpe. John Naylor, the landlord whose name is shown on the board, died in 1908 and his widow emigrated to Iowa to be with her family. John Harrison then came from Gilberdyke to Garthorpe.|
But the further back I went in the family history the more interesting - and complicated it got.
John William Harrison was born in 1864 at Spaldington Mill. His father was James who was the miller there, as his father had been before him.
James Harrison snr had died in 1840 aged 46 and in 1845 his widow Mary married another miller, Thomas Bell so by 1851 the mill was being worked by Thomas and the Harrison children were living there too.
Thomas was part of the long established and extensive Bell milling family of Gilberdyke. His grandfather [I think], Alexander had been at Gilberdyke since the 1760s.
In fact the Bell family history illustrates the fact that millers' families often intermarried and that younger sons often went off to become millers elsewhere. I have found various Bells also milling locally at Newport, Reedness, Barmby and Atwick.
Then James jnr's mother Mary died and in 1861 James was the Spaldington miller and his sister was his housekeeper. Two years later at Eastrington he married 21 year old Elizabeth Bell - whose father, Nathaniel was the miller at Gilberdyke.
I am not sure of the exact relationship but Elizabeth would be a sort of distant niece of James' stepfather Thomas.
James and Elizabeth at Spaldington had at least five children but then tragedy struck. Two days before Christmas in 1873, while at Selby market, James suddenly collapsed and died aged only 38. This left Elizabeth with a mill and a large family as well as being pregnant with her daughter Minnie [who went on the marry Harry Gossop].
Spaldington Mill got a new tenant and Elizabeth moved back to her parents' home at Gilberdyke Mill. Living next door was retired farmer John Harrison Stather. John was born in 1815 at Everthorpe and so was quite a lot older than Elizabeth.
[ I said it was complicated !! I cannot yet work out why he was called Harrison Stather and whether there was any connection with the other Harrison family]
However they married in 1881 at Eastrington church and in 1883 their son was born - named Harrison Arthur Stather.
In 1891 John William and his brother Bell both described as millers were living with them. Also there was young Harrison Arthur Stather while James was an apprentice in Hull.
Elizabeth died in 1895 and her husband in 1899. The four brothers [ three Harrison and one Stather] at various times worked as millers but eventually moved to different jobs, leaving Bell Harrison to run Gilberdyke mill
|Gilberdyke Mill with Bell Harrison centre|
When he retired his younger half brother Harrison Stather took over. By then the mill was used mainly for grinding grain for cattle feed. His son Mr John Stather, who was the last owner of the mill, remembers that his father frequently had to get up in the night to take advantage of the wind and it was this unreliability which led to the removal of the sails. The mill was then powered by a tractor which stood in a shed behind the house. Most of the grinding was done during the winter months, since the Stathers were also farmers and worked the land the rest of the year.
|Family group at Gilberdyke mill: Tom Jackson, left of Sunnycroft, his wife Mary [nee Harrison], Bill Harrison, Harry Gossop. Standing front right Minnie Harrison, later Gossop.|
But back to James Oswald Harrison [with thanks to the Crowle soldiers memorial page]
Not having heard from him since he went over to Belgium in December his parents had become extremely concerned so they wrote to the War Office. The reply came back with official notification of his death in October.
If anyone would like to add more to this post I would be pleased to hear from them. But now it's time for Sunday tea and Poldark!!!