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Old 22-01-2015, 11:26 AM
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Default Tait Brothers Chevington Drift

Here's the Gazette column dated 10th July 1915 regarding the Tait brothers, two wounded, one missing.
James was eventually declared as killed in action on the 26th April 1915. Body never recovered, or if it was, in an unidentifiable condition as he is commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial to the missing in Ypres town. Of course the area where he died was churned over by shellfire for years after, not the best conditions for preserving a soft, delicate human body.

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Old 22-01-2015, 11:44 AM
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The badge Willie is wearing is the Imperial Service Badge. A lot of the guys photographed in 1914 and 15 are pictured wearing this badge. I generally have a few of these lying about; now pictured below. The copper one below is I believe a worn silver plated version.

The territorial soldiers who joined pre war were actually not obliged to serve overseas, they joined for home service only. Service overseas was voluntary, and when war came volunteers were called for for overseas or 'imperial service', these volunteers signed an agreement and were give this badge to show they had done so.

It's a great shame these badges were not individually numbered; would have been an interesting collecting field! I actually found one of these on the Braid, along the tip edge at the high water mark.

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Old 22-01-2015, 12:14 PM
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On the 1911 Census all are miners as we might expect, Thomas, the older brother, has married and is in his own house at 43 Hartside Terrace, occupation 'Coal Miner'

James is a 'Breaker, Endless Rope', underground.

William, just 13 according to the census, is a 'Pony Driver'.
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Old 22-01-2015, 04:29 PM
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Default James's 1910 Hauler?

There's quite a plethora of designs and sizes for endless rope haulers at this time. Here's one example for this period:

Interestingly they had at this time single haulers driving multiple ropes operated via brakes and clutches.

I never saw anything other than single drives in my time. Brakes would be electrically operated by a thruster lifting a heavy weight attached to an enormous 'brake shoe', in a fail safe manner - that is the thruster energising to release the brake. They still had mechanical 'winding' handle to apply the brake as well as an emergency back up. Apart from that the basic design and function just the same as 1910!



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Old 22-01-2015, 05:13 PM
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I notice from the census that the father, Richard, was an incomer, born in Benton. His wife was local but all the children born at West Chevington, presumably at the colliery there, moving in to Chevington Drift.
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Old 22-01-2015, 05:14 PM
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I wonder if your Imperial Service Badge from the Braid had washed out of the old rubbish tip there?
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Old 22-01-2015, 05:18 PM
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Is the William Tait on the St John's memorial one of the above?
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Old 22-01-2015, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janwhin View Post
I wonder if your Imperial Service Badge from the Braid had washed out of the old rubbish tip there?
I think it's quite likely. I think some of the men even threw their medals away, never mind badges. A lot of painful memories I guess. The badge probably belonged to someone who just wanted to forget about the war and the army.
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Old 22-01-2015, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janwhin View Post
Is the William Tait on the St John's memorial one of the above?
I think it's a different man, but I'l have to check it out...now where is John Hardy's book?
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Old 22-01-2015, 05:26 PM
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Answered my own question, that great new resource on Ancestry shows the effects of William Tait going to father Richard. So two sons killed.
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Old 22-01-2015, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janwhin View Post
Answered my own question, that great new resource on Ancestry shows the effects of William Tait going to father Richard. So two sons killed.
That's interesting, you will be correct, John Hardy also has him recorded as dead on the 26th Oct 1917. What threw me was there are two W. Tates on the embarkation roll, but apparently three W.Taits on the medal index cards for the 7th Battalion. I could see the two on the embarkation roll were survivors, assuming one was our Willie, before checking the cards. Wonder why he was omitted from the embarkation roll? his arrival date is correct to be on it (21/4/15) Wonder if it had anything to do with him being under age?

cards on ancestry:

7/2471

7/1628

7/1620
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Old 22-01-2015, 06:00 PM
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Army Effects:
William Tait, 1/7th North. Fus. L/Cpl 290608. Killed 26 October 1917, in action, Belgium. Personal effects, 5 19s 3d and war gratuity 13 10s paid to father Richard.
James Tait, 1/7th North. Fus. Pte 1457. Death presumed on or after 26 April 1915. Personal effects 1 5s 7d and war gratuity of 3 to father Richard.
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Old 22-01-2015, 06:05 PM
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He might be mentioned on those 1917 pages I sent you? Anyway, I'll have a better look at John's book tonight (again)
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Old 22-01-2015, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janwhin View Post
Army Effects:
William Tait, 1/7th North. Fus. L/Cpl 290608. Killed 26 October 1917, in action, Belgium. Personal effects, 5 19s 3d and war gratuity 13 10s paid to father Richard.
James Tait, 1/7th North. Fus. Pte 1457. Death presumed on or after 26 April 1915. Personal effects 1 5s 7d and war gratuity of 3 to father Richard.
Changing to those long numbers if a bit of a pain.
I wonder why the family added details to the war grave registers for one son and not the other?
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Old 22-01-2015, 08:11 PM
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The batch you sent ends with the newspaper of 27 October so a bit too early.
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Old 22-01-2015, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coquet View Post
Changing to those long numbers if a bit of a pain.
I wonder why the family added details to the war grave registers for one son and not the other?
Just had a look, that was strange wasn't it.
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Old 23-01-2015, 07:42 AM
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Default Endless rope haulage.

The title "breaker" probably referred to what was called a braking bank. This was where tubs were lowered from one level to another via a drift, the weight of the full tubs going down was used to pull the empties up. The whole thing was controlled by someone used a braking device to control the speed.
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Old 23-01-2015, 09:26 AM
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That's probably it. I was also thinking 'breaker' as in breaking the rope to do haulage extensions as a possibility!

Did the actual drift itself at Chevington Drift have a hauler in it for materials?
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Old 23-01-2015, 10:55 AM
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No it was only for man access, the coal went underground to the shaft at the colliery.
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