January 1917

For Christmas 1916 the factories and mills in Rawtenstall accumulating funds in order to send Christmas presents to their employees at the front. So that the parcels could be sent to the men their regimental addresses were compiled and the Rossendale Free Press published these as Rolls of Honour for the factories and mills.

Below is shown a transcript of a section from the last list published on 6th January 1917.

Rossendale Free Press
6th January 1917

One of the companies listed is the Longholme Mill. My mother remembers that her father spoke of working at a felt works called Dick O' Debbs. The Longholme Mill was owned by a Richard Ashworth whose mother's name was Debra. The mill was known locally known as Dick O' Debbs, which means Richard of Debra. This indicates that at some point Herbert worked at the Longholme Mill.

Amongst those listed as serving abroad from the Longholme Mill is Pte. H. Halliday, Royal Field Artillery, Salonika. This is the first piece of documentary evidence that shows that my grandfather served in Macedonia and confirms my uncle's recollection of Herbert talking of sailing to Salonika. It also shows that he was still serving out there at the beginning of 1917, as was the 27th division. His published rank of private is however incorrect since privates did not serve in the artillery.

A total of 25 was raised for the mills listed on 6th January and this allowed a parcel or 12s. to be sent to each of the men in service.