VAD Samuel Brooksbank

Voluntary Aid Detachment page

Red Cross, St John Ambulance Brigade and Royal Army Medical Corpsbadges

Samuel Brooksbank

Transport of Wounded From Trains to Hospital

Samuel Brooksbank was born on 30th November 1880 and baptised at St. John's Church in Ingrow, Keighley on 22nd April 1883. He was the oldest of eight sons and one daughter of Ramsden Brooksbank, a carter who was originally from Colne in Lancashire and Mary Isabella Brooksbank nee Hargreaves of Keighley.

Samuel's baptism record

In 1881 they lived at Hainworth Moor Side, Samuel was just four months old.

In 1891 they lived at 2 Crown Street. Although only ten years old, Samuel as working as a doffer in a worsted mill. His younger siblings were Hiram (8), Alice (5), Harry (4) and William Gladstone (1), who I assume took his name from the Liberal Prime Minister who would begin serving his fourth and final term the next year.

By 1901 the family had moved to 39 High Street in Steeton. Ramsden was working as a teamster at a bobbin mill and 21 year old Samuel was a labourer in a wood yard, as was Hiram. Alice was a worsted spinner and Harry a labourer in a bobbin mill. Other siblings had been born - Harold (9), John (7), Tom (5) and Cecil (8 months).

The Brooksbank family shown on the 1901 census

On 11th August 1906 Samuel married Alice Wrathall, a mill worker from Steeton, at St. Stephen's Church. They had one daughter, Annie, born in 1909.

Samuel and Alice's marriage record

In 1911 they lived at 12 Queen Street in Steeton. Samuel was described as a bit sharpener for a bobbin manufacturer.

John Dixon and Sons' bobbin mill in Steeton employed a large number of people from the local area from 1844 until 1983, by which time it was thought to be the last surviving bobbin mill in the world.

Samuel volunteered his time from June 1916 until June 1919 to transport wounded soldiers from the trains to the hospitals. He must have been mindful of his brothers who were serving.

William Gladstone, who had emigrated to Australia, had joined the Australian Imperial Force on 20th April 1915 but was sadly killed in action just four months later on 7th August in Gallipoli. He is commemorated there on the Lone Pine Memorial. Unfortunately his family knew nothing about his death until the friend he was staying with in Australia had a letter to him returned which said "killed" on the envelope, over a year later. His parents wrote to the Australian military authorities who investigated and confirmed his death, though this was over two years later.

Harold Brooksbank served with the West Riding Regiment as a Lance Corporal and survived, he was awarded the British War, Victory and Star Medals.

Tom Brooksbank served with the navy on board the Pembroke II and Actaeon.

A John Brooksbank served with the King's Royal Rifle Corps and was discharged due to disability in November 1917, though I have not confirmed this is Samuel's brother.

It seems that Samuel continued to work at the bobbin mill for several years after the war. I 1939 he was a foreman there. His daughter Annie was working as a shop assistant, and also a cook and draper.

Samuel appears to have remained in Steeton, he died in January 1961 and is buried at St. Stephen's Church.


West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1935

1881 England Census

1891 England Census

1901 England Census

1911 England Census

West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935

Australia, World War 1 Service Records, 1914-1920

Australia, Imperial Force Burials at Gallipoli, 1915

UK, British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards, 1914-1920

UK, WW1 Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1925

UK, Royal Navy Register of Seaman's Services, 1848-1939

'Memories of Lost Industry' - Ian Dewhirst, Keighley News, 22nd November 2012

1939 England and Wales Register

West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1986


No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

Please verfiy you are not a computer program by answering the following question to submit your comment *