CHRISTOPHER CUSWORTH

Private 32617, 8th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment

Died 5th June 1917 aged 31

Buried Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm), Belgium

Husband of Laura Cusworth

Lived 20, High Street, Heckmondwike



Christopher Cusworth (Cushworth) was born in 1886 in Liversedge, the youngest son of William Cusworth, a local Draper, and Susannah Gent Coates from Durham.  They had married in 1861 and had eleven children. Christopher was 12 when his father died and he had moved in with his elder brother Frederick by 1901 to work alongside him as a Hosier and Draper.

In 1905 Frederick William Cusworth recently widowed immigrated to America, taking his widowed mother, his three children and his younger sister with him.  They settled in New Jersey, working in the textile mills, marrying, and having children of their own.  Two other brothers, John and Ralph, also went out and settled nearby.

Their brother Christopher remained in Heckmondwike.  By 1907 it is recorded that he had a warehouse at 12, Little Green Lane.  He married a local girl, Laura Walker in 1909, and they had one child, Harry, born in 1910.  They had moved to Walkley Lane by 1911 and then to 20, High Street, Heckmondwike by 1915.  Christopher was well known in the drapery trade, with shops on the High Street, at Frost Hill and stalls on the markets in Heckmondwike, Dewsbury and Batley.  He was associated with St. Saviour’s Church and was a member of the Mechanics’ Club and Institute.

He enlisted on 10th December 1915 but he was not called up until 10th February 1917 when he was enrolled in the 8th York and Lancaster Regiment.  He had only been in France for 5 weeks when he was killed in action.  The 8th Battalion war diary for the day records “5th June 1917.  Day spent in interior economy, issuing fighting kit etc.  At night we relieved the 13th DLI in the Mount Sorrell sector, relief being completed with 3 killed and 6 wounded at 4.30am”.

The Cleckheaton and Spenborough Guardian reported that Mrs Cushworth of 20, High Street, Heckmondwike had received the following letter from Second Lieutenant A. C. Calvert of the York and Lancaster Regiment. “It is with deep regret I have to report the death of your husband, Private Christopher Cushworth, who was killed in action on 5th June. His body has been buried at Transport Farm and a suitable cross erected.  Assuring you of the sympathy of all the officers, NCOs and men of his Battalion in this your hour of trouble”.

Christopher’s widow Laura, agreed to the inscription “Their Glory shall not be blotted out” being inscribed on his Commonwealth War Graves headstone. It was also inscribed on several other headstones as a special memorial owing to their graves having been obliterated by enemy action in 1917.

Laura’s widow’s pension amounted to 18/9d per week for herself and one child with effect from 24th December 1917.

Medals: Victory and British
Commemorated: Green Park Memorial, Vellum Roll, and St. Saviours’ Memorial, as Christopher Cushworth.
War records, census, official documents recorded as Christopher Cusworth.

His headstone photograph may be viewed by following this link.
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