Village Web Site Forum

Joan and Robin Tindale, Cowling
Sunday, July 6, 2008 15:40
Ebay Postcard taken at Cowling Pinnacle 27.7.1918
Would the person "Stookeman 647" ( probably from Sutton )who has just outbid us for the Cowling Pinnacle postcard- taken at Cowling Pinnacle with large group of people on it (maybe a choir outing?) be so kind as to let Cowlingweb have a copy -because that is mainly why we wanted it. We always pass on to Sutton anything which is Sutton related -as you may realize. Many thanks in advance!
Sunday, July 6, 2008 16:07
Hi Joan and Robin. According to his eBay profile, Stookeman is located in Melbourne, Australia. There's an option on eBay to ask the seller a question, you might be able to contact him directly. He (assuming it's a "he") looks to buy and sell WWI memorabilia.
Andrew Monkhouse
Monday, July 7, 2008 05:12
Err, hi folks (sheepish look)…....sorry Joan, that was me who out-bid you on the Cowling pinnacle postcard (hot flush). I had no idea you would be in on the bidding and definitely never intended to compete with you for the card.

In actual fact, when I checked the item last night it was still at its opening price of 99 pence with no bidders. Because the auction was due to finish around 2.00am Adelaide time I decided to set my ‘auction sniper’ a few hours in advance to ‘snipe’ the post card with only 5 seconds remaining, then I took myself off to bed and forgot all about it.

Got up this morning to find a 2nd bidder had attempted to ‘snipe’ the card with 7 seconds to go, but I was still the winner so BIG CHEESY SMIRK on my face. Then I casually checked the Sutton forum over a bowl of muesli and nearly choked on a piece of dried apricot when I read your message, aaahhhhhhh !!!

As for your request Joan, yes of course I am more than happy to let you have a copy of the postcard. I’ll scan it and ask Paul to forward it to you if that’s OK. In fact if you really want the original postcard itself you can still purchase it and I will ask the seller to forward it directly to you.

By the way Joan, how did you come up with the name Stookeman 647 !!! My ebay username is sutton-in-craven and has been since I first became a member of ebay in February 2003

You are right Paul, I use ebay quite a lot to buy WW1 memorabilia for my rather oversized medal collection. Bought a Victory medal to a recipient on the Otley war memorial last week and Ady picked up another Victory medal for me yesterday (at the Leeds medal fair) to George Inskip who is listed on the Kildwick memorial. Sutton still eludes me, very frustrating !

Joan if you ever come across any WW1 medals for sale from the Cowling memorial I would be very keen to buy and add them to my collection. I like to frame and display them all over the house which delights my wife no end. She suspects that I pay more attention to the medals than I do her, which of course is perfectly true !

Sorry again Joan for inadvertently competing with you for the Cowling postcard. I guess the good news is that is was me who won the auction and not the mysterious Stookeman 647 !
Monday, July 7, 2008 09:58
Hi Andrew - I just did a lookup on the profile for Stookeman and did wonder at one point if it might be you, but discounted that theory when the location said Melbourne not Adelaide. Presumably Stookeman was in on the bidding too? I think the (647) is just the number of transactions he's made - it looks like he's got a similar bug to you!!
Monday, July 7, 2008 17:19
Many thanks Andrew, please send the photo on to, I will let him know. It was my husband who put the bid in - as I don't dabble in Ebay at all, I don't know how to anyway, but just picked up the word Stookeman somehow? Very good result - thanks to Paul at Sutton site too! Any more photos we obtain which are Sutton-related we will gladly pass on to you.
Monday, July 7, 2008 22:37
P.S. You might have seen my lists on Cowlingweb of Cowling men who died - WW1 - 60 men, and WW2 - 10 men. Have got my Grandad's medals - thankfully he came home, and this prompted my interest and research, he was never the same again and couldn't talk about his experiences. It must have been very sad for those who returned home without their mates from the same village.
Andrew Monkhouse
Tuesday, July 8, 2008 11:38
Hi Joan, had a quick look on the Cowling site but couldn’t find your list of 60 casualties from WW1. Where should I be looking ?

The website CPGW lists only 54 killed for Cowling from three sources – the Holy Trinity Church memorial cross, Cowling Hill Baptist Chapel oak & mahogany memorial plaque and the recreational ground memorial plaque. This leaves a shortfall of six more casualties according to your list.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008 21:52
Cowlingweb Local History and Information just above the book Craven's Part in the Great War, there you should have it all -and don't get me going on all that again, I made 2 albums in 2004 - there were more than on memorials, and on the Cowling Hill board only half were actually killed, the other side just "served", there was probably one similar in each chapel, and one in cricket club which is long gone now, might have been memorials in mills also, etc. Still one or two puzzles when in the mood, a complicated subject so long afterwards?
Wednesday, July 9, 2008 22:04
Andrew - referring to war casualties, think you can still get me on "Joan@Cowingweb" as I am one of their highly paid and overworked executives!
ha-ha-a! (The boss sometimes checks up on me down here).
Andrew Monkhouse
Wednesday, July 9, 2008 22:46
Hi Joan, have since found your war casualty research on Cowlingweb after Paul (webmaster) had kindly emailed the file to me.

I can certainly help you access quite a bit of additional information on those casualties, once I have completed another project I am currently undertaking. If you would like me to research your grandad's medals in the mean time I just need his details. This can be found in impressed lettering around the rim of one of his medals.
Friday, July 11, 2008 21:55
Just 2 medals, silver and bronze, cap badge and silver plate from uniform -
97969 H. (Harold) Binns U.M. 41st batt. M G C. Any group photos I wonder, just got his wedding photos in uniform? One query I have (from Keighley Library list) is
Pte. S. S.(Smith S.) Whitaker MM, W.R.R., b.7.6.1891. son of James & Susannah of Long Hill End (Cowling) died 21.9.1918. No reference to him here in Cowling, except that much later on an S. S. Whitaker was very active in village life (from old cuttings)? Also can't trace,as yet ,3 more Smiths? Waiting for the 1911 census now! V. old film show in Morecambe last night (at old WinterGardens theatre) showed hundreds of men leaving for WW1 from that area, v. clear.
Andrew Monkhouse
Saturday, July 12, 2008 03:55
Hi Joan, your Granddad’s (Harold Binns) medal index card was not too revealing I'm afraid. It shows that the silver and bronze medals you mention are his full medal entitlement and that he entered the theatre of war sometime after 1st January 1916, otherwise he would also have been entitled to the 1914/15 star.

He retained the same service number 97969 throughout the war. Very often a soldier was issued 2 or more regimental numbers. The most of I have seen issued for one man is 5! This happened for a number of reasons, not least when soldiers transferred regiments to bolster depleted numbers due to catastrophic casualties during WW1.

Your grandad was lucky to survive the war. MCG stands for Machine Gun Corps and I have often seen if referred to as the ‘suicide squad’ for good reason. Formed in 1915, of the 170,500 officers and men who served with the MGC, over 62,000 were casualties - machine guns being such effective killing machines they were constantly targeted on both sides.

I guess you’ve already accessed the 1901 census showing young Harold aged 8 living with mum & dad Joseph and Hannah at 187 Fold Lane, Cowling.

Your other enquiry about Pte Smith S Whitaker of the West Riding Regiment, Military Medal winner, died 21.9.1918 is a bit of a mystery. I have tried many variations to the spelling of his surname, yet there is no medal index card listed for him or his MM, I cannot find any London Gazette entry relating to his MM award, he is not listed on the nominal rolls for either the 1st or the 2nd West Riding Reg’, the CWGC do not list him as deceased, neither does CPGW. But he does (did) exist as the 1901 census shows him aged nine living at number 16 Longhill End, Cowling. Hopefully his army service file survived the fires of the 1940 London Blitz and will one day be digitised on-line for all to see, otherwise he could well remain a mystery for ever.
Saturday, July 12, 2008 20:05
Many thanks, v. interesting, will ask around here about Pte. Smith S. Whitaker, maybe there has been a mistake somewhere?
Barbara Chapman
Sunday, July 13, 2008 13:55
Andrew and Joan. Been reading your comments. Allen was given a book some time ago called "Craven's Part in the Great War" by John T. Clayton who was the editor of The Craven Herald, published in October 1919. It is full of photographs of individuals who died in that war. He has had a look for Pte Smith and has found on page 385 under "Honours and Awards" a Pte Smith Stephenson Whittaker MM Duke of Well's Regiment of Cowling.
As yet he hasn't found his photo, there are hundreds of photos to look through but we will keep looking. Hope this is helpful.
Sunday, July 13, 2008 20:13
Thanks v. much, did look through that marvellous but v. sad book in library, but missed that one. He is not on our memorials here, but could be on another somewhere, found his record in Keighley Library (special awards/honours book I think). Still can't find him on CWGC site, only one near is no.4/8545 husband of Lily, Hunslet?? There was only one family here spelt with 2 "tt's". Any more help appreciated, and I will let CWGC site know about it too, or even point them to this site and forum which might be easier? Wonder if he is on Hunslet's memorial?
Andrew monkhouse
Monday, July 14, 2008 05:11
Hi folks, mystery solved ! Well done cousin Allen on finding Pte Smith Stephenson Whittaker (double t) in the book CPGW, no need to keep looking for his photo though because you won’t find him !

I have finally managed to locate his Medal Index Card showing that he entered the theatre of war sometime after 1st Jan 1916, his regimental number was 22827 and he was discharged Class Z on 2nd February 1919

Joan, this would explain why you have seen old cuttings showing S S Whittaker being very active in Cowling village life later on, because he did in fact survive the war and didn’t perish on 21.9.1918 as the Keighley library list suggests.

Once I had his regimental number I quickly found his Military Medal entry on page 1,224 in the Supplement to the London Gazette, 24 January 1919 showing he won his award in Italy of all places :

“22827 Pte. Whittaker, S. S., 10th Bn. (Cowling). (ITALY)”

Interestingly enough, 23 soldiers (including Whittaker) all serving with the 10th battalion West Riding Regiment were all awarded an MM at the same time for action in Italy – all grouped together on page 1,224 on the same date.

So to try and pin down the actual date of these awards (always Gazetted at least 6 months after the event) and what action they were awarded for, I turned to the CWGC.

On checking each of the 23 names I found that two were killed in action on 27.10.1918 and a third fell on 30.10.1918, all buried in the Tezze British cemetery in Italy. Tezze is a village in the Province of Treviso, a large town north of Venice. The British Military Cemetery lies about 270 metres south of the village of Tezze.

Further research highlights an allied offensive commencing the morning of 27.10.1918 that continued until 4th November, so it is reasonable to suggest that most if not all of the 23 MMs (including Whittakers) were awarded for this specific action. The following is a summary taken from the CWGC :

“The Italians entered the war on the Allied side, declaring war on Austria, in May 1915. The village of Tezze was captured by the Austrians in the advance in the autumn of 1917 and remained in their hands until the Allied forces crossed the River Piave at the end of October 1918.

The Allied attack east of the Piave began early in the morning of 27 October 1918. Despite stiff resistance and difficulties with bringing forward supporting troops across the river, the Austrians were forced back over the next few days until the Armistice came into effect on 4 November. Many of those who died are buried in Tezze British Cemetery. It now contains 356 Commonwealth burials of the First World War”

So there you have it, Pte S S Whittaker’s MM was courageously won, most likely between 27th October and the 4th November 1918 for the allied advance on Austrian troops in the Tezze region of Italy.
Barbara Chapman
Monday, July 14, 2008 10:58
Well done Andrew, You certainly put in some research. Don't think we can add anything to that but glad to be of help. If there are any other local names you want us to look up in the CPGW book, just ask.
Josie Walsh
Monday, July 14, 2008 15:13
Message for Barbara & Andrew, I have done a surname index for the Craven Roll of Honour book with a note of the page they appear, and will willingly look up any entries if you want to email me at, might save you some time.
Monday, July 14, 2008 15:57
Many thanks for all above information and your research - will print out for Cowling history. Will also take it to Keighley Library and show them. (I was actually going to take a day off from looking on here as it is becoming addictive - that is until Josie contacted me!) Thanks.

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