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Old 20-05-2015, 22:35   #51
Junior Member+

Re: Where have all the graves gone?

Originally Posted by Mikejoed View Post
You really mustn’t be so bombastic in your opinions, Retlaw. It’s one thing to be confident in your own accuracy but to claim everyone else is wrong and you are the only one that’s right is nowt less than sheer arrogance. I am aware of the many hours of research you have put in and even as one who is only just starting out, I can and do appreciate your endeavours. I do, however, think it is not just sheer selfishness but downright criminal that your findings should remain under lock and key. What on earth is the point of all your research if all you want to do with the findings is to lock it away where no future generations can benefit from all your hard work. I am aware that you have been a tremendous assistance to folks who have been researching their family tree. And respect for your reputation as a historian, particularly in the field of the Accrington Pals is of proven repute, as cantankerous as you can be. I just wish you would get down off your high horse for a minute and don’t just read what I am saying but rationalise the evidence with some common sense.

You insist in saying there is no relationship with the Hargreaves at Christchurch but the evidence is there in the stain glass windows. See attached photo. The dedication reads ‘In affectionate remembrance of my father & mother Robert & Louisa Hargreaves of Bank House Accrington – who are buried in this churchyard this window is dedicated by their only surviving daughter Louisa Grace Robertson Aikman’.

R S Crossley’s ‘Accrington Captains of Industry’ is as accurate an account you’ll find anywhere on Accrington’s history. He was respected by and worked closely with Richard Ainsworth, another highly esteemed Accrington historian. Excerpts from Crossley’s book were reproduced in The Observer in 1988. See attached entry about Thomas Hargreaves. Look closely and you will see in the third column a reference to Robert Hargreaves who married Louisa. Now look at the ‘Hargreaves Pedigree’ attachment and you can see under ‘TAB III’ a Robert Hargreaves of Bank House who married Louisa and their third child was ‘Louisa Grace’ who married ‘Colonel Francis Robertson Aikman’. How much more evidence do you need as unequivocal proof of the Hargreaves’ connection with Christchurch?

When I suggested that newspapers were renowned for making errors during the war I was in fact agreeing with you! Doh! However, getting accurate news from the front line back home was no easy task and was invariably subject to inaccuracies. The old adage of ‘Send reinforcements we’re going to advance’ becoming ‘Send three and four pence we’re going to a dance’ was a humorous example of how easy it was for errors to be made when passing on information to and from the front line. And who could blame them in the midst of a heated battle. So, please don’t be so unreasonable with the press when they did get it wrong. I agree it must have been devastating for a family to read of their son’s demise whilst he was still very much alive but crap happens in war.

When it comes to the newspaper article about the re-internments of members of the Hargreaves family in Christchurch, which you refuse to accept as fact, I am left with the quandary of trying to imagine why on earth would the press publish such an article that not only gave accurate names and dates of Hargreaves family members, as you can check against the attached ‘Hargreaves Pedigree’, what sense would such an account make. Are you seriously suggesting they invented the entire episode? I know you have been through the Christchurch records but to imagine they never made errors or omissions is to be more naïve than I can be, and you’ve been at this historical research business for more years than I could ever hope to match. You suggest that Christchurch wasn’t opened until 1841 meaning the contract to reserve grave sites would have to have been made 2 years earlier in 1839. I see no problem with that. When looking for funding of the church building, that is, before building commenced, such contracts would be commonplace by benefactors with the church. And whilst the church may not have opened its doors until 1841, work on building it may well have started two years earlier. It was a huge project and without the machinery available to today’s builders. I will look into this more thoroughly and report back to you, Retlaw. Unlike you, I believe that history belongs to everyone and our findings should be shared. Not everyone who has a deep interest in our local history has the time, perhaps not even the wisdom, to carry out the research that you have been privileged to successfully do.

I am currently preparing to interview a couple of Accrington’s senior citizens. One is 96 and the other is just 76. Both are absolute treasure chests of memories about Accrington and I am looking forward to the amazing privilege of recording their reminiscences on DVD so that future generations can learn about the life and times of Accrington folks in times gone by. You would be an ideal candidate for such a project, Retlaw, if it weren’t for the fact that you would rather selfishly keep your knowledge to yourself
I am currently doing research on the Hargreaves. Would you be please kind as to forward the newspaper articles about their re-interments at Christchurch?

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