Kiveton & Wales Heritage

Kiveton & Wales Heritage

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Names beginning with R

Private Bruce Radford (b.1899 at Aughton) was little more than a boy when he was killed on 13th June 1917.  He enlisted at Doncaster into the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 1/5th Battalion (241718).  His father had died in 1907 and his mother Annie remarried Fred Starsmore and the family lived at 38 Main Street, Aughton in 1911.  We think that Bruce may have been working at Waleswood Colliery.  He is commemorated on the Loos memorial, panel 97/98, and also the Wales Square and St Johns church plaque.

Bombardier Arthur Redfern (b.1894, Kiveton) lived at 27 Wales Road with his widowed father William Redfern.  He was amongst the first group to enlist at St John’s Rooms, Kiveton on 2nd September 1914, joining the Notts and Derbys Regiment (14726) as a Private.  He was later transferred to the Royal Field Artillery, and given the rank of Gunner (equivalent to Private) and later promoted to Bombardier (equivalent to Corporal).  A letter which he wrote home was published by the Worksop Guardian on 9th July1915:

Gunner Arthur Redfern, of the R.F.A., of Wales Road, Kiveton Park, writing home under date June 30th, from “somewhere in France”, says:  “We are having a pretty hot time now. All the detachment got buried in the dirt that a ‘Jack Johnson’ threw up; another ten yards and we should all have been blown to England, I think, or bits of us. You would be surprised the destruction these shell do. You could get a good sized house in the hole they make”.  Gunner Redfern also encloses a newspaper cutting of a cricket match played between the Right and Left Sections of his detachment in Belgium within ten miles of the firing line, whilst they were resting. The team included several Etonians, and Gunner Redfern was top scorer for his side, which won easily, with 24 not out and six wickets for seven runs.

Arthur also wrote to the Worksop Guardian in disgust at conscientious objectors in July 1916.  In October 1916, he was wounded by shrapnel in the shoulder which required surgery.  He was sent back to England to recover but was left with a permanently helpless right arm and invalided out of the army.  He was awarded the Silver War badge to wear in civilian life in recognition of his service as well as the usual medals.  The village held several benefit events for him, including one at the Kiveton Cinema which was reported in the Worksop Guardian:

A SUCCESSFUL “BENEFIT” – A very successful picture and variety entertainment for the benefit of Arthur Redfern, who has been discharged from army permanently disabled after nearly four years’ service, was held in the Kiveton Park Cinema House on Friday evening. Mr. Bennett Wood presided and thanked the audience on behalf of the committee for their patronage. The beneficiate was a Kiveton Park lad born and bred; he was one of the first to volunteer and had had a long period of active service, gallantly performed. He had been discharged owing to wounds with a permanently helpless right arm. It was true that pensions had recently been increased, but they were not yet liberal enough. The heroes and their dependents who had fought and suffered for them should not be forgotten, as had happened in previous wars. (Applause). It was up to the people to see that justice was done. It was their duty to insist that justice be done. In conclusion, he quoted the poem: “Come Britain True,” written by Lieut. G. R. Newton, Duke of Cornwall’s L.I. beginning:

“Come, Britain true, defend they flag. Use willing hands, not empty praise; Let justice reign beneath the flag. Give men their due and count the days, When sailors need A friend indeed. They played their part! Let thine begin. The Blind! The maimed! their kith and kin.”

These lines, said the Chairman, were written by a soldier from Wales parish, Lieut. Newton. (Cheers)

The performance consisted of a very excellent picture show interspersed with songs by Miss L. Mann, soprano, (Ripley): and Mr. Harry Heath the popular Sheffield humourist. Miss Mann rendered several songs in an accomplished manner. Mr. H. Heath’s humorous songs and patter were greatly to the liking of the audience, who demanded repeated encores.  Mr. W. H. Hart accompanied the singing and Mr. W. Wigmore played for the pictures. The benefit, which should make a substantial sum, was arranged by the Kiveton Park Football Club Committee and friends (Mr. Arthur Redfern being a member of the F.C. prior to the war). Mr. C Aldous undertook the secretarial duties and was ably supported by a strong and energetic committee.

Arthur also became the secretary of the Kiveton branch of the National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers which campaigned for better pensions for ex-servicemen and their families.


Private Edward Redfern (b.1895, Kiveton) was the brother of Arthur (see above).  He served with the Northumberland Fusiliers (17851) enlisting on 17th Feb 1915, seeing service in France from 29th June 1915.  He was a grocer’s assistant at Kiveton Co-op prior to the war and wrote a letter to the staff which was published in the Worksop Guardian on October 8th 1915:


Private Edward Redfern, 1st. Batt. Northumberland Fusiliers, writing to his late colleagues at the Kiveton Park Branch of the Worksop Co-operative Society, says:

“We are out for another short rest. We were in the trenches seven days this time, and I have only had 14 hours sleep the whole of the time. I never closed my eyes for the first two days we were in. We have been in a wood called Sanctuary Wood, where the Guards made their famous charge earlier on in the war. The Germans have held the same wood twice. Some of our troops are in what is called the Ypres Salient; it is like a horse-shoe, and our regiment has been at the nose of it. We have had the worst time we have had yet. The Germans have bombarded us every day; as soon as we built the trench up it was knocked down again by whizz-bangs, etc.

“Our Sergeant-Major says we have had the worst 11/2 hours’ bombardment since he has been out, and he came out last September . . . There were Johnsons, whizz-bangs, shrapnel, trench mortars and aerial torpedoes dropping like rain. There was not a dug-out left intact in that part of the trench which our company held. It was our company which got the worst of it.

“Our Commanding Officer read a note from the General to our Company, expressing his pleasure at the way in which every order was carried out and the cool way in which every man in the company stuck to his post. You talk about war! This is not war, it is worse than murder. I can tell you it tried me. I was laid on my belly with my head in a patch of mud. I was like a pig rooting, but that did not trouble me, so long as the shells didn’t hit me. Mind you, the Huns do not have it all their own way.

“Our artillery are on all the day; they go nice and steady, and then give them two hours rapid, and they don’t forget to give it them, either. The Germans stopped us from having our tea twice. They started shelling just as we were getting it ready. Well, after all, I am still alive, but I have seen some awful sights. . . . It was awful, I cannot describe it in a letter . . .

“Well, I am all right, and Willis (Deakin) is all right. By the way Willis saw W. Blackwell and three more of the boys from Kiveton Park, the other day – J Baugh, W. Holland, and A. Dennis. They were coming out of the trenches the same night as we went in . . .      I think there will be another winter campaign.  I shall be home in time for next cricket season, I think – well, I hope so.

“It’s good fun to see two aeroplanes fighting in the air. They carry machine guns, and it is interesting to see them circling round to get on top.”

The writer, who enclosed souvenirs for those on the shop staff, concluded with thanks for the parcels.

In December 1915 Edward was hospitalised at Boulogne suffering from Trench foot.  He received a shrapnel wound 10th Sept 1916 in the shoulder while fighting in the Balkans.  He also contracted Malaria while serving in Salonica in November 1916.

Driver James Redshaw (b.1880) worked as a traction engine driver at Waleswood colliery and lived with his sister Mrs Mary Bell at 5 Victoria Terrace, Kiveton.  He served with the Army Service Corps, Motor transport division (301748) having joined from the B Reserves in November 1917.  He was demobbed in June 1919.

Sergeant George Revitt (b.1893, Laughton) was the son of Ernest and Susan Revitt of Wales.  We have been unable to trace his service records but a report in the Worksop Guardian of 14th January 1916 notifies of his promotion to Sergeant:

George Revitt of Wales, who enlisted in the regular army a few months ago, has just gained the rank of Sergeant in the Royal Field Artillery. Sergeant Revitt’s promotion has been a rapid one, and he is to be heartily congratulated. Sergeant Revitt was employed at the Kiveton Park Collieries prior to enlistment and was well known in football circles, being a prominent member of the Wales Football Club and has on occasions appeared in the colours of the Kiveton Park Football Club.

Lance Corporal Arthur Percy Robinson (b.1892, Wales) was the son of William and Annie Robinson of 114 Wales Road, Kiveton.  He worked at Kiveton Park Colliery prior to enlisting on 2nd September 1914 at St John’s rooms, Kiveton into the Notts and Derbys Regiment, 10th Battalion (14734).  He was serving in France between 14th July 1915 and 23rd October 1917, being wounded in April 1917 and again in October 1917.  From September 1918, he was transferred to Royal Warwickshire Regiment (service number 54493) and posted to Italy on 28th September that year, where he stayed until January 1919.  He was demobbed on 20th February 1919.

Amos RoeLance Corporal Amos Roe DCM was a lodger with Mr and Mrs Robinson at 114 Wales Road, Kiveton while he worked at Kiveton Park Colliery.  He joined the Kings Royal Rifles, 1st Battalion on 12th Aug 1915.  He was awarded the DCM "for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.  He single handedly held back a counter attack and on the enemy retiring, pursued them. Later though all his party, including the officer in command, had become casualties, he maintained his position until re-enforcements arrived. His conduct has been consistently gallant".  Gaz date 17th April 1918; p 4683. During this encounter which gained him the DSM, he lost his left eye.  A letter he sent to Mr and Mrs Robinson which was published in the Worksop Guardian January 25th 1918 and detailed the circumstances:


Lance-Corpl. Amos Roe, 1st. K.R.R.C., of Kiveton Park, has had the honour conferred upon him of the award of the D.C.M. Lance-Corpl. Roe is at present an inmate of Northern Hospital, suffering from wounds which, unfortunately, have resulted in his losing the left eye. In a letter to Mr. and Mrs. W. Robinson, 114 Wales-road, Kiveton Park, with whom he lived prior to his enlistment on Aug. 12th 1915. Lance-Corpl. Roe gives some particulars of the deed which procured for him the decoration. Though the award was only gazetted a few days ago, the deed in question was performed on April 29th last, on which morning they went “over the top” at 5 o’clock. Those on the right and left fell back and he was ordered to take six men and bomb the right flank. They succeeded in bombing the Germans out of the trench “and it was jolly good sport for about ten minutes”. After that they were ordered to go down the trench to the right. They went well for about 50 yards down the trench, and then the Germans made a stand and counter-attacked in massed force, which resulted in losses on both sides. The officer commanding recommended Roe for his courageous leadership and initiative.

There were benefit fundraisers in the village to help support him.

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