Private Abraham Sugden

Private Abraham Sugden, 11th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. Service number 46638.

Abraham in his British Army uniform, his cap bears the badge of the Northumberland Fusiliers. (Photo supplied by his family)

Early life:
Abraham Sugden was born at Lees, Cross Roads on 5th April 1882, registered at Keighley. His parents were Murgatroyd and Mary Sugden née Brown.
In 1891 Abraham was nine years old and a scholar, living at 34, Well Street in Lees with his parents, older brothers Veniah and Varley and a younger brother Haydn. Their father was employed as a mill mechanic and a repairer of machinery at a local mill.
By the time of the 1901 census Abraham was eighteen years old and working as an apprentice mason and his father Murgatroyd was still a mill mechanic. The family was just Abraham, his brother Haydn aged fourteen and a younger brother Walter aged just two, the older lads having left home.
They were all living at 171, Hebden Road at Lees, near Cross Roads which he was renting from Sugden.
Abraham married Susannah Potter in late 1907 and on 23rd December 1908 they had a son, called Murgatroyd after his grandfather. He was baptised at St Michael and All Angels parish church in Haworth on 9th February 1909.

In 1910 Abraham was renting a house at 175 Hebden Road from his mother Mary Sugden at 171 Hebden Road, she also rented out number 169 as a shop.
Abraham, Susannah and their young son Murgatroyd were still living at 175 in the 1911 census which shows Abraham as a 'stone mason contractor,' having served his time as an apprentice. Susannah was also working as a burler and mender. In the third quarter of 1915 their first daughter Mary Emma was born but sadly she only lived to the age of three, dying on 23rd April 1919.
A family member has shared the story that Abraham carved the headstone himself for their daughter Mary Emma's grave in Haworth Cemetery, which must have been a true labour of love for him. This grave became the family plot as in time Abraham, Susannah, their daughter Emma Marcham and her husband John Ellis Marcham were also laid to rest here on Penistone Hill, overlooking the confluence of Sladen Beck and the River Worth.

Their second daughter Emily was born on 18th February 1917, registered in the first quarter of the year at Keighley.

War service:
We know from stories related by his family that Abraham served during the Great War, with the Northumberland Fusiliers. They have a photograph of him in British Army uniform wearing the badge of this regiment and there is a medal record showing he earned the British War Medal and Victory medal for his service. In the electoral roll for 1919 he was recorded living at 3, Hill Street in Lees but as an absent voter under the qualification NM, meaning he was probably still serving in the Navy/Military at the time. His medal record shows his number as 46638 and he was discharged on demobilisation, which this is likely to have been in early 1919.

Abraham's brother Walter also served during the Great War. He was an engineer in the Royal Air Force from 24th April 1918 to the end of the war.

Post war and later life:
Abraham was a member of the Grand United Order Of Oddfellows, Woodlands Lodge number 185 who were based in Haworth. Their archives show he was serving with the 11th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. He is also one of the members named on their framed and painted roll of honour, which was rescued from their building when it was put up for sale in 2017. It is now under the custodianship of Wyedean Weaving which funded the conservation work on it, along with matched funding from the War Memorials Trust. It was rededicated during a ceremony in November 2018 and it has pride of place in the company's boardroom. It is recorded with the Imperial War Museum, reference number 65291.

Abraham and Susannah were living at 2, Hill Street in Haworth in the 1921 census. Abraham was thirty nine years of age and a stone mason employed by Sir Wm. Arroll & Sons Public Works Contractors, who were building the Sladen Valley Waterworks and the new dam at Lower Laithe near Stanbury. Abraham was one of the masons involved in the construction. Their son Murgatroyd was twelve years old and Emily was four. The dam was inaugurated on 11th August, 1925, the works having actually commenced in November 1909. The construction of the dam was delayed by the intervention of the Great War.

In the 1939 Register, Abraham was recorded as fifty seven years of age and with Susannah aged sixty one, was still living at 2, Hill Street in Haworth, their children Murgatroyd and Emma having left home to start their own families some years earlier. Abraham was a Mason and Building contractor.

Susannah died on 19th August 1943 aged 64 and Abraham died on 2nd June 1944, his death being registered at Keighley in the second quarter of that year. He was buried on 19th June 1944 with his wife in the family grave at Haworth Cemetery on Penistone Hill near Haworth, overlooking the Sladen Valley Waterworks.

His daughter Emily was the probate beneficiary, receiving just over £1,000 on 18th August 1944.

Source information:
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
Name: Abraham Sugden
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910
West Yorkshire, England, Tax Valuation, 1910
1911 England Census
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2007
West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962
British Army World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
G.U.O.O.F.S.,Woodlands Lodge No.185, LODGE ROLL. Transcriptions copyright Graham Stewart
1921 Census Of England & Wales
1939 England and Wales Register
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
National Burial Index For England & Wales Haworth, Yorkshire (West Riding), England
Transcriptions © Keighley & District Family History Society
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995

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