Francis G Spencer 1869 – 1916


Kings Liverpool Regimental Badge
Kings Liverpool Regimental Badge
British Lime Industry Memorial to their employees who lost their lives during WW1
British Lime Industry Memorial to their employees who lost their lives during WW1

Francis is on the Buxton Lime Industry Memorial as before he went to War he was working at the Quarry in Dove Holes and had done so since he left school apart from his military service during the Boer War.

Born: 2nd November 1869 Wirksworth, Matlock, Derbyshire
Baptised: 22nd September 1872 Wirksworth, to parents Anthony & Hannah Spencer. Francis had 6 older brothers & sisters William, James, Harriett, Ellen, Richard & John

1871 Census: The family are living at Little Bolehill, Wirksworth. Francis has a baby brother Albert 4 months old.

1881 Census: The family had moved to Harpur Hill and there was another baby brother Joseph. Francis started North Road School 17th April 1882 the family were living in Batham Gate, Francis left school on 29th June 1883 to work in Dove Holes.
Marriage: 3rd July 1897 Buxton, Francis married Ellen Wilshaw, at St John’s Church. Francis is not on the 1901 Census, as he was in the Army he would have been in South Africa fighting in The Boer War, with the 1st Battalion, The King’s (Liverpool Regiment). Ellen was living at 1 South View, Fairfield, with their daughter Violet, and her son Frank Wilshaw. Living at the same address was Frank’s widowed father Anthony.
1911 Census: Living 14 Hogshaw Villas with wife and 6 children.
Occupation: Stone Quarryman. The couple had five more children, Mabel, Nellie, Ethel, Edward Anthony and Bessie.
Service: King’s (Liverpool Regiment) 4th Battalion Corporal 12067
Memorial: Cambrin Military Cemetery Plot F 33.

Herbert Simpson 1888 – 1917


Royal Engineers Regimental Badge
Royal Engineers Regimental Badge
Herbert Simpson photograph Buxton Advertiser/Keith Taylor
Herbert Simpson photograph Buxton Advertiser/Keith Taylor

Herbert enlisted at Derby on the 5th February1916 and then transferred to the Royal Engineers, Herbert was sent to France on 13th December 1916 just over a month before he was died.

Herbert Simpson: 57th Field Company, The Royal Engineers served with 3rd Division during the Great War 1914-1918 1914-1918. 3rd Divsion proceeded to France in August 1914. They saw action in The Battle of Mons and the rearguard action at Solesmes, The Battle of Le Cateau, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, at La Bassee, Messines and the First Battle of Ypres. They took part in the Winter Operations of 1914-15, and on the 7th of April 1915, 57th Field Coy, transferred to 49th (West Riding) Division. In 1916 they were in action in the Battles of the Somme. In 1917 they were involved in the Operations on the Flanders Coast and the The Battle of Poelcapelle during the Third Battle of Ypres – See more at:

Death report for Herbert
Death report for Herbert
Memorial Plaque in the former Conservative Club ( now Sports & Social Club) Fairfield
Memorial Plaque in the former Conservative Club ( now Sports & Social Club) Fairfield

Herbert’s name is on the Memorial.

Born: 27th June 1888 at  5 South Street, Buxton parents Joseph and Hannah Simpson. He had four older siblings, James Francis, Martha, Ellen and Elizabeth. On starting school Herbert’s birthday is given as 9th July 1888.
1891 Census: Living with Mum & Dad aged 2yrs @ 5 South Street, Buxton. Herbert now had a younger sister Louise. Herbert started North Road School on 15th January 1894.
1901 Census: Living @ 51 Kings Street, Fairfield. Aged 12yrs with brother James Simpson.
1911 Census: Living @ Bulls Head Cottages, Fairfield Road. Aged 22yrs still with brother James Simpson working as a House Plumber.

Bulls Head Cottages the home Herbert left to go to War
Bulls Head Cottages the home Herbert left to go to War 2014

Service: Formally Pte. 45243. North Staffordshire Reg.
Grave: Warlincourt 1V. F. 9

Abraham Sigley 1890 – 1918


Notts & Derby Regimental Badge
Notts & Derby Regimental Badge

Abraham Sigley entered the war in France on 27th August 1915 from his Medal Index Card. 1st Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)were in Bombay, India when war broke out in August 1914. They returned to England, landing at Plymouth on the 2nd of October 1914 and joined 24th Brigade, 8th Division at Hursley Park, Winchester. They proceeded to France, landing at Le Havre on the 5th of November a much needed reinforcement to the BEF and remained on the Western Front throughout the war. In 1915 they were in action at The Battle of Neuve Chapelle, The Battle of Aubers and The action of Bois Grenier. On the 18th of October 1915 24th Brigade transferred to 23rd Division to instruct the inexperienced troops. In March 1916 23rd Division took over the front line between Boyau de l’Ersatz and the Souchez River in the Carency sector from the French 17th Division, an area exposed to heavy shelling. In mid April they withdrew to Bruay returning to the Carency sector in mid May just before the German attack on Vimy Ridge, in the sector to their right. On the 15th of June 1916 24th Brigade returned to 8th Division. In 1916 They were in action at the Battle of The Somme. In 1917 they fought in The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and then moved to Flanders and were in action in The Battle of Pilkem and The Battle of Langemarck. In 1918 they saw action during The Battle of St Quentin, The actions at the Somme crossings, The Battle of Rosieres, The actions of Villers-Bretonneux, The Battle of the Aisne, The Battle of the Scarpe – See more at:

Born: 17th July 1890 Buxton registered Chapel-en-le-Frith Vol 7b Page 737 J/A/S, Abraham was baptised on 13th August 1890 at St Peters Fairfield to parents Joseph & Ann Sigley. Abraham had an older brother William,
1891 Census: Living with parents @Tom Thorn aged 3yrs.

1895: Abraham started North Road school on 24th September the family were still living at Tom Thorn.

1901 Census: Abraham had 6 younger siblings, James, Moses, George, Mary Ann and Emma.
1911 Census: Living @ Batham Gate aged 20yrs. Occupation Lime Burner.

Batham Gate 2014 from where Abraham went to War
Batham Gate 2014 from where Abraham went to War

Grave Plot: Longuenesse Plot 1V. F. 60.

Harry Sellers 1895- 1916


Middlesex Regimental Badge
Middlesex Regimental Badge
Harry Sellors photo from Buxton Advertiser
Harry Sellors photo from Buxton Advertiser researched 2014

H Sellers & F ButlerHarry pictured (left) with his friend Frank Butler who also lost his life during the War, photograph from Buxton Advertiser.

Harry Sellors Memorial
Harry Sellers (Sellors) Memorial (Stenson 2014)
Dud Corner Memorial 2014
Dud Corner Memorial 2014

Harry Sellars Death PlaquePhoto kindly supplied by Carmel & John Mills

Harry Sellers: 11th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) was raised at Mill Hill in August 1914 as part of Kitchener’s First New Army and joined 36th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division. They trained at Colchester moving to Shorncliffe in November and in February 1915 they moved into Ramillies Barracks at Aldershot for final training. The Divison proceeded to France between the 29th of May and 1st of June 1915 landing at Boulogne, they concentrated near St Omer and by 6th of June were in the Meteren-Steenwerck area with Divisional HQ being established at Nieppe. They underwent instruction from the more experienced 48th (South Midland) Division and took over a section of the front line at Ploegsteert Wood on the 23rd of June 1915. They were in action in The Battle of Loos from the 30th of September, taking over the sector from Gun Trench to Hulluch Quarries consolidating the position, under heavy artillery fire. On the 8th they repelled a heavy German infantry attack and on the 13th took part in the Action of the Hohenzollern Redoubt, capturing Gun Trench and the south western face of the Hulluch Quarries. During this period at Loos, 117 officers and 3237 men of the Division were killed or wounded.By the 21st they moved to Fouquieres-les-Bethune for a short rest then returned to the front line at the Hohenzollern Redoubt until the 15th of November, when they went into reserve at Lillers. On the 9th of December, 9th Royal Fusiliers assisted in a round-up of spies and other suspicious characters in the streets of Bethune. On the 10th the Division took over the front line north of La Bassee canal at Givenchy. On the 19th of January they began a period of training in Open Warfare at Busnes, then moved back into the front line at Loos on the 12th of February 1916. – See more at:


Born: 20th March 1895 Fairfield to Joseph & Catherine Sellers, registered as Harry Sellors Vol 7b Page 844 A/M/J Qtr

1900: Harry started North Road School on 26th June 1900, already at school was his older sister Lillian (Lillie) born 26th February 1891 who started school on 8th June 1896. Harry also had 2 older brothers John Thomas born 1st October 1872 started school 31st March 1879, Frederick born 16th November 1886 started school 29th April 1895, as well as Lillie there were 2 other sisters Bertha born 5th August 1876 & May born 30th May 1881, Bertha & May started school on the same day, 10th September 1889.
1911 Census: Living at 35 Windsor Road, Fairfield (living with Mum & Brothers & Sisters) aged 16yrs, his occupation was a Fruiterer’s Assistant.

35 Windsor Road 2014 the home Harry left to go to War
35 Windsor Road 2014 the home Harry left to go to War

Rank: Acting Corporal

Loos Memorial 2014 (Panel 99-101).

Obituary from The Buxton Advertiser

Corporal H Sellors
Official news has been received from the War Office of the death of, Corporal Harry Sellors, of Fairfield. Before the statement arrived Lance-Corporal T Elliott conveyed the news to Mrs Sellors, in the following letter :- “It is with my deepest sympathy that I inform you of the death of Harry, which took place last Friday (3rd inst). He was shot through the head by a German sniper. I know what a terrible blow it will be to you & the girls, for he was a good lad, and thought alot of his home. It is only a few weeks since he joined us, but we have spent many happy hours together, hours I shall never forget. When we came to France there were five Buxton boys in our Battalion; two have given their lives for their country, and the other two are wounded. Then came Arthur Phillips, but I hope to see Arthur again before long: he has gone into hospital, but should be well again soon….. May God comfort you and all the family in your bitter loss. The deceased was the son of Mrs Sellors, Windsor Road and would he have lived, have celebrated his 21st birthday on the 20th inst. He attended Fairfield Wesleyan Chapel and was employed by Mr J H Dale and had a very promising career before him. He has two other brothers serving, and of the three he was the youngest. He was first wounded at Loos, in the head by shrapnel, and was home on sick leave at Christmas. He joined the Middlesex Regiment in 1914. The family have the deepest sympathy of all in their irreparable loss.

Report from Buxton Advertiser researched 2014

Harry is remembered on same Memorial Panel 99-101 @ Dud Corner, Loos as Pte John Stenson G/6417 & Pte John Rawlinson G/5806 both from Fairfield, Pte Harold Orgill from Fairfield also remembered at the same memorial.

Harry’s older brothers both served during WW1, John T Sellers was  Sapper 160540 in the Royal Engineers, Frederick Sellers was Pte 198057 and served with the Labour Corps.

Hugh Robinson 1887 – 1918


Lincolnshire Regimental Badge
Lincolnshire Regimental Badge

Brother of John Marsden Robinson who was killed 1 month after Hugh.
Born: 17th July 1887 Fairfield registered Chapel-en-le-Frith Vol 7b 773 J/A/S the son of Hugh & Hannah Robinson, the family  farmed 50 acres. Hugh started school on 13th April 1896, the address was 1 Rock Villas. As well as John Marsden Hugh had another 2 older brothers George & William with 1 sister Mary. Hugh’s father died before he was 1yr old.
1891 Census: Living with Mother a Widow @ Rock Villa’s, Fairfield Road (Mum  Hannah was a Lodging House-Keeper). The house was named Ivyleigh
1901 Census: Aged 13yrs living @ Ivyleigh, Fairfield Rd, occupation given as Boot ? his brother William was a Shoe makers apprentice.
1911 Census: Living @ 65 Fairfield Rd aged 23yrs with Mother.
Occupation: Window Cleaner.

65 Fairfield Road 2014, the home John left to go to War
65 Fairfield Road 2014, the home Hugh left to go to War

1916: 31st August Hugh enlisted into the Army, Hugh’s occupation was still as a Window Cleaner he was 28yrs 1mth old. Hugh was just under 5ft tall.

Hugh was initially posted to the Auxiliary Reserve Pte 37372 he was mobilised on the 19th October 1916. He was then re-posted to the Reserve until the 27th February 1917 when he was re-mobilized and posted to the 3rd Company Labour Corps Pte 24961.
On the 6th March 1917 Hugh was transferred to the 3rd Company, Labour Corps, landing on 24th March 1917 at Boulogne. On the 9th May 1917 Hugh was transferred again to the 42nd Company.

Memorial: Rocquigny-Equancourt, Road British Cemetery X.B.18.

John Marsden Robinson 1876 – 1918


Notts & Derby Regimental Badge
Notts & Derby Regimental Badge

John is also commemorated on the following Memorials in Buxton

The Bennett Street Memorial, Buxton
The Bennett Street Memorial, Buxton
St John's Church Memorial, Buxton
St John’s Church Memorial, Buxton
St Mary's Memorial Plaque
St Mary’s Memorial Plaque

Brother of Hugh Robinson (who died just over a month before John).
Born: 14th April 1876 in Hawksworth, Nottinghamshire. John started North Road School on 31st March 1884 (the same day as George Goodwin who also died during WW1)  he was the oldest son of Hugh Robinson Snr a local man from Chelmorton & Hannah who came from Hawksworth where John himself was born. When John was just 12 yrs old his father Hugh Snr a farmer of 50 acres at Waterswallows, Fairfield  died. John was only at school for 4yrs leaving on 11th June 1888 to start work. John left school at the same time as his father died, perhaps the family needed his wages.
1891 Census:  Following Hugh Seniors death his mother kept a Boarding House and the 1891 Census shows Mother Hannah a Widow and Boardinghouse Keeper living @ Rock Villa’s, Fairfield Road. The house was named Ivyleigh . The 1901 Census John aged 24yrs is living @ Ivyliegh, Fairfield Rd. John’s occupation was a Merchant Car Man. In 1903 John married Catherine Wearne in Penzance, Cornwall and in 1911 the couple were living on St James Street, Buxton with John aged 34yrs working as a Carter for a Wine Merchant. They had 2 children William aged 6yrs and Elsie 17mths old. During the War Catherine & the children moved to Bennett Street. John enlisted in Buxton, his name as well as being on the Fairfield Memorial & The Slopes is also commemorated on The Bennett Street Memorial as well as in St John’s and St Mary’s Mother a Widow @ Rock Villa’s (she was a Lodging House-Keeper).
Service Details: Enlisted around the beginning of 1916 into 5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters Pte 5847, he was transferred to Durham Light Infantry Pte 63609 before finally being transferred to Pte 21377 Labour Corps.
Memorial: 11.E.41 Favreuil British Cemetery

Joseph Riley 1896 – 1918


Notts & Derby Regimental Badge
Notts & Derby Regimental Badge
Sgt Riley photograph from Buxton Advertiser 23rd November 1918
Sgt Riley photograph from Buxton Advertiser 23rd November 1918

WW1 Memorial LongnorThe War Memorial at Longnor, nr Buxton.

Longnor MemorialJoseph is remembered on the Longnor War Memorial and also St Peters.

The Buxton Advertiser at the 23rd November 1918 reported as follows: Reported Died of Wounds. Sergt, Joseph Riley. It is with extreme regret that we have to announce that Sergt. Joseph Riley, Sherwood Foresters, is reported to have died of wounds, on November 3rd. Before enlisting he was employed at the Midland Locco, Department, where he was well esteemed by all who knew him. He had seen over 2 years of active service, and was on leave a few weeks ago, during which time he was married. Deceased was only 22 years of age, and was a relative of Mrs Sigley, Oakland Cottages, and will be remembered as a bright cheery youth. The list  of those fallen from Fairfield is, alas, becoming of some length.

Born: Mar Qtr 1896, Longnor, Staffordshire. Registered at Leek Vol 6b page 315. The son of Issac & Nancy Riley, Poultry Farmers.
1901 Census: Aged 5yrs living at Church Street, Longnor with parents. Joseph had 2 older brothers John & Isaac and an older sister May Anne.
1911 Census: Aged 15yrs, living at Church Street, Longnor with parents. Joseph was working on his fathers farm as an assistant. There were now 2 younger brothers Sam & Fred.
1915: Joseph enlisted 9th November he was 19yrs 9mths old. Joseph gave his occupation as an Engine Cleaner, he was employed by the Midland Locco Works. His application was approved on 18th February 1916.
1918: In September whilst on leave Joseph married Lily Moody.  They married at Devonshire Park Chapel on the 29th September 1918, they were only married for a total of 36 days before Joseph was killed.  Registers: at Chapel-en-le-Frith J/A/S Vol 7b 1690. In 1919 Lily was awarded a pension of 16s 3d per week. On the 11th March 1922 Lily received Joseph’s British War & Victory Medals, Lily was living at 28 Nunsfield Road, the couple had no children.
1918: November 3rd. Joseph died and is buried at Forest Communal Cemetery Plot C 7.


William H Riley 1895 – 1918


Hampshire Regimental Badge
Hampshire Regimental Badge

WW1 W H RileyWilliams grave at St Peters Church, Fairfield.

Brother of Alfred Riley & cousin of Arthur Riley both deceased in WW1.
Born: 6th May 1895 Fairfield registered Chapel-en-le-Frith Vol 7b Page 848 A/M/J to parents William & Frances Fanny Riley. William was christened on 5th June 1895 at St Peters, Fairfield. William started North Road School on 26th April 1899.
1901 Census: Living at 8 Heaton Place with Grandfathers house with his parents, younger sister Martha & younger brother Alfred Aged 5yrs.

Heaton Place
Heaton Place

1911 Census: Living at Fern House Farm as a Servant Occupation Cow Man.

1913: William married May Wardle O/N/D Qtr Vol 7b Page 1857 in 1914 they had a son William A Riley.

Pte W H Riley
The funeral took place on Tuesday last, at Fairfield Church burial ground of Pte W H Riley, who passed away at Cosham Hospital, Kent. He had served about three years overseas, and when in civil life was employed at Messers, Bagshaw and son, Builders, and was well known and much respected. The Rev. A Urling-Smith, Priest-in-charge of St.Mary’s, Buxton officiated. The volunteers provided the escort and firing party, and the C.D.D. band played the cortege to the grave. The gun carriage was drawn by two beautiful mules which were kindly lent for the occasion by Col. Hanson. The following were family mourners , Mrs Riley (widow) and son, Mr and Mrs W Riley (Father and Mother), Messrs. Alfred, Percy and Fred (Brothers), Mrs Lomas (Sister), Mrs Riley (Sister-in-Law), Father and Mother-in-law, Mr and Mrs Chapman, Mrs Wibberley (Sister-in-law), Driver Jack Wardle (Brother-in-law), Pte William Wardle (Brother-in-law), Messrs . Walter, Arthur and Eric (Brothers-in-law), Miss Edith Wardle (Sister-in-law), Mrs Riley, Mrs E Wardle, Mrs Garlick, Mrs Mycock, Mrs M Blackwell, Mrs Mrs C Blackwell, Mrs M Keeling, Mrs Walker, Mrs Lomas, (Aunts), Mrs Wood (Grandmother), Mr S Riley (Grandfather), Miss E Riley, Miss B Riley, Pte N G Hollins, Mr N Mycock, Mrs Rigby (Cousins). The bearers were uncles of the deceased, Mr G Riley, H Riley, W Mycock, S Wood. The coffin was of English Elm, polished and plate bore the following, Pte W H Riley, 3rd Hants Regt., Died 3rd November 1918, aged 23 years. Messrs F W Booth and Co, were the undertakers. Owing to pressure of our space we are compelled to omit the list of floral tributes.

Reported in Buxton Advertiser 9th November 1918 (researched 2014).


Arthur Riley 1893 – 1917


Machine Gun Corps Regimental Badge
Machine Gun Corps Regimental Badge
Arthur Riley, photograph Buxton Advertiser/Keith Taylor
Arthur Riley, photograph Buxton Advertiser/Keith Taylor

Arthur Riley: The 118th Machine Gun Company joined, 118th Brigade, 39th Division on the 21st of March 1916. On the 30th June 1916 they were in action in an attack near Richebourg l’Avoue with the Sussex battalions suffered heavy casualties. They were in action during the Battles of the Somme, including, the fighting on the Ancre, The Battle of Thiepval Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre heights and the capture of Schwaben Reddoubt and Stuff Trench as well as The Battle of the Ancre. In 1917 they fought in The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck, The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, The Battle of Polygon Wood and The Second Battle of Passchendaele. – See more at:

Arthur was the Cousin of both William H Riley & Alfred Riley also deceased during WW1

Born: 26th March 1893 Fairfield to Henry & Sarah Riley, registered Chapel-en-le-Frith Vol 7b Page 853 A/M/J. Arthur was christened on 26th April 1893 at St Peters. Arthur started North Road School on 2nd December 1896.
1901 Census: Living at 7 Heaton Place aged 8yrs.

Heaton Place  Arthur's home in 1901
Heaton Place Arthur’s home in 1901

1911 Census: Living at 73 Kings Road, Fairfield.
Occupation: Engine Cleaner Aged 18yrs. The family were nearly altogether in the same house for the first time, Arthur was living with Mum, Dad and 8 of his brothers & sisters.

1912: Arthur married Sarah Bennet Bingham on 22nd June at St Johns Church, Tideswell he gave his age as 21 when in fact he was 19yrs old. Registered at Bakewell Vol 7b Page 1598.

73 Kings Road 2014, Arthur's home in 1911
73 Kings Road 2014, Arthur’s home in 1911

Residence: at time of death Tideswell.
Military: Pte: 68218 Notts & Derby (Sherwood Foresters) Pte: 87235 MGC.
Memorial: Tyne Cot Panel 154 – 159 & 163A.

Alfred Riley 1898 – 1920


Yorkshire Regimental Badge
Yorkshire Regimental Badge

WW1 A RileySt Peters Church, Fairfield 2014

There are no surviving papers or medal Index to show details of  Alfred’s service during the war.

Brother of William Riley & cousin of Arthur Riley both deceased during WW1.
Born: 12th August 1898 Fairfield registered Chapel-en-le-Frith Vol 7b Page 867. His parents were William & Frances Fanny Riley, Alfred was christened at St Peters Church on 17th August 1898. Alfred started North Road School  on 27th November 1901 (the Headmaster recorded his year of birth as 1897). The family were then living at No 8 Heaton Place.
1911 Census: Living at 11 Heaton Place aged 12yrs.

1911 Census
1911 Census
Heaton Place lfred's home
Heaton Place Alfred’s home

Service: Pte. 36134 Kings Own Yorkshire
Died: 14th December 1920, registered Chapel-en-le-Frith Vol 7b Page 817