VAD Kathleen Horsfall

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Kathleen Horsfall
General Service

Kathleen May Horsfall was born on 1st February 1893 to Sir John Cousin Horsfall, 1st Baronet and his second wife Dame Sarah Emily Horsfall nee Fawcett. John Horsfall had taken over the ownership of Hayfield Mills (now Cirteq) in Glusburn from his first father in law, John Hartley. He had five children to his first wife Elizabeth Ann Hartley - Marian, Edith, Maude, Alice Dora and John Eric.  In addition to Kathleen, he had another three children with Sarah - Cedric Fawcett, John Donald (who would become 2nd Baronet) and William Alec.

The family lived at Hayfield Mansion, near the mill.

Hayfield Mansion, home of the Horsfall family. Photo courtesy of

In 1901 John C Horsfall was described as a JP and worsted spinner, born in Hebden Bridge and his wife Sarah being born in Halifax. Marian, Alice and Kathleen were also there, as well as five servants. I have not been able to locate Kathleen on the 1911 census.

The 1901 Census

Kathleen worked in general service from June 1915 until June 1916 at Spencer Street Auxiliary Hospital, working three hours per day, totalling 1000 hours over that year. She was perhaps inspired to contribute to the war effort as her brother, Cedric Fawcett Horsfall, was a Captain fighting with the 6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment. Sadly he was killed in action on 19th September 1916 and is buried at Blighty Valley Cemetery, Authville, Department de la Somme.

On 17th December 1919 Kathleen married Captain Thomas Temple Muir, of 4th Battalion, King's Own Scottish Border Regiment, at the Baptist Church in Sutton-in-Craven. Thomas was born in Melrose, Roxburghshire. They had one son, Richard Horsfall Temple Muir, born in 1923.

It seems that Kathleen and her husband and son lived between Wimbledon Common and  France for several years, according to passenger lists, and during the 1930s had an address in Kensington.

The 1939 Register shows Kathleen staying at Currergate - which was now the Horsfall family home (and is now a nursing home) in Steeton. Her older brother John Donald was also there at the time. It is noted that during the Second World War John worked as a Special Constable, while Kathleen was a "Women's volunteer...."

Kathleen was widowed in 1944 and Thomas cremated in Edinburgh. Kathleen died on 9th August 1974 at Raydon House Nursing Home in Suffolk.

England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1901 England Census
England and Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
1939 England and Wales Register
London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965
UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960
UK and Ireland, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960
England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995
UK, British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards, 1914-1920
Global, Find a Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current

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