This is one of a series of posts about local men named on the Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour.
Herbert Binns was living in Keighley's Children's Home aged 14 years in 1911.
He was born in the early part of 1897 in Keighley and his parents were Henry and Martha Ellen Binns. Henry was an iron moulder and they had come here from Royton, near Oldham in Lancashire, before Herbert was born.
By 1901 he was four and they were living at Swine Lane Cottages in Morton with his Mother, sister Harriet Ann (13), brothers Fred (11), William C. (8), Walter (6) and sister Florence (1). Their father was absent and the reason is that he had deserted his family.
Henry was in court at Bingley in August of 1901 for desertion and was found guilty and imprisoned for two months plus hard labour at Leeds Prison. A year later their mother Martha died aged 35 years, leaving the children in the care of their father, but he deserted them again and was sent to prison again in July for two months plus hard labour, for desertion of his family. He didn't learn from this sentence and in 1901 he was sent to prison again, this time his sentence was increased to three months plus hard labour. Henry died aged 45 years in 1909 and the children were now orphaned. Herbert would have been 12 years old.
Two years later in the 1911 census, Herbert was aged 14, and is recorded along with his older brothers William and Walter and five other teenage lads, all living at 30, Clarendon Street in Keighley and in the care of the head of the household who was 46 year old Betty Gregory. The house was being used as a children's home under the care of the Keighley Guardians so they were listed as inmates and Herbert's occupation was 'bath attendant' at a private baths.
We know Herbert served during the Great War because he is named on the roll of honour, but we cannot connect him with any military records beyond all doubt. The name Herbert Binns or H. Binns does not appear on any other war memorial or roll of honour in the Keighley district.
There is a set of medal records for a Herbert Binns who served in the Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment which is well represented locally here in Keighley. However, he was aged 38 at discharge in 1918 which would mean he was born in 1880 and aged about 17 when our Herbert was born in 1897.
Herbert is believed to have died in September 1966 aged 69 years at Cleveland, North Riding of Yorkshire.
England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
UK, World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
Keighley News archives at Keighley Library
Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour held at Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley.