John Francis Housley
Voluntary Aid Detachment - Hospital transport and duties
John was born in Dukinfield, Cheshire on 5th May 1883, to parents Valentine Housley, a blacksmith and Emma Housley, a dressmaker. His birth was registered at Preston in Lancashire in the second quarter of the year.
Valentine worked as a shuttle tip forger and wasn't at home on the night of the 1891 census, so he may have been working away at the time. His family were living at 5, Warrington Street in Blackburn. John's mother Emma was 41 and his two older sisters Mabel (17) and Sarah (15) were working as cotton weavers in Boundary Mill which was close by. John (7) was a scholar at this time and probably attended St Stephen's School which was just a few streets away. He also had two younger brothers Bertie (5) and Arthur (2). Their mother Emma died in Blackburn in 1895 aged just 45.
By 1901 John was 17 years old and living with his father Valentine at 8, Goodley in Oakworth. They were both shuttle tip forgers, Valentine died in Oakworth in late summer 1901 aged 52.
John married a local girl Mary Emma Smith in Oakworth in 1910 and they were living at 71, Lidget in the 1911 census, but their marriage was cut short as she died in 1913 aged just 29.
During the Great War John volunteered in December 1916 for the Red Cross and helped with the transport of wounded soldiers from Keighley railway station to Spencer Street Hospital where he also
carried out hospital duties. He served for 1162 hours in total until May 1919 and was unpaid. During this time he remarried on 24th November 1918 at the age of 35, to stuff maker Sarah Berry aged
40, of Park Avenue, Oakworth and they lived at 18, Goodley in Oakworth for many years. They'd had a daughter Enid, who had been born on 3rd February 1917. They were still living at 18, Goodley in 1939 and by now John was a foreman, shuttle accessories.
John died in October 1954 at the age of 71, registered in the Worth Valley.
Sarah died a few years after John in April 1961 aged 82, registered in the Worth Valley.