In 1902, Litherland was in the process of rapidly expanding - ten years before there were open fields in the area. It was in Lancashire, neighbouring the town of Bootle, with Liverpool to the south, and is now in the administrative county of Merseyside, and is not, and never has been, part of the city of Liverpool.
William Henry Hands Killed in action at Spion Kop, on 24th January 1900, aged 27 Edward Johnson Killed in action at Tugela Heights, on 22nd February 1900, aged 27 Edward John Williams Died in hospital at Germiston, on 7th March 1901, aged 22 Richard Williams Invalided home and died - The odd thing here is that his death was reported in the local newspaper as having been on 27th November, and his funeral on Saturday 30th November, 1900. So why does the inscription have his death as being on the 4th November, -there's a gap between died and 4, also, the comma is missing - was the person who inscribed the memorial unsure of the correct date?
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Litherland Men at the Front.
A few weeks ago we gave a list of some 26 Regulars, Reservists, and Volunteers, belonging to Litherland, who were serving with the colours in South Africa, and now we have the painful duty to record that Private E. Johnson, of School-lane, Litherland, serving with the South Lancashire Regiment in the relief of Ladysmith, was killed on the 22nd ult. This sad news called forth many expressions of regret and sympathy with his widow, especially seeing that his time in the Reserves was almost expired when he was recalled to his regiment. Fortunately he leaves no children behind him. Another casualty among the Litherland contingent is that of Private Jones, formerly employed as ticket collector at Seaforth Railway Station, who was attached to the same regiment, and is reported wounded. (Waterloo & Crosby Herald, 10 March 1900)
Another notice in the following week's issue described him as being a Seaforth man, and his home address as 31, School-lane, Seaforth. Both School Lanes exist, less than a mile apart.
Richard Williams died at Linacre Hospital, and is buried at nearby Sefton. Linacre is a small district, between Litherland and Bootle.
St. Philip's Men's Club.
A lecture, illustrated by limelight views was delivered by the Rev. G. H. lander, M.A., vicar of St. Philip's, in the Mission Hall, Linacre-road, Litherland, on Saturday evening. The hall was crowded, many people being unable to obtain admission. Over 100 views, all bearing on the war in South Africa, were shown. During the interval, Mr. Richard Williams, of Eaton-avenue, Litherland, who has now gone to South Africa with the Lancashire Hussars, was presented with a pair of field glasses and case. The vicar, on handing them to Mr. Williams, said he hoped he would have a safe journey and a speedy return to his native village, and wished him God-speed. Mr. Williams feelingly thanked those who had subscribed to buy the glasses. Coffee was then served out from the men's club coffee stall. At the close of the lecture a collection was taken on behalf of the Litherland War Relief Fund. The proceeds of the men's coffee stall for the week was also given to the fund. At the conclusion the whole assembly sang "God Save the Queen." Mrs. Parkinson presided at the coffee stall. Mr. Leslie Glover was accorded a hearty vote of thanks for the satisfactory manner in which he showed the views. The men's club will pay all expenses incurred by the entertainment, so that all money collected will go to the relief fund. (Bootle Times, 3 February 1900)
Extract (below) from a letter published in the Waterloo and Crosby Herald, on 7th December 1901.
This gallant young soldier, who saw a good deal of service in South Africa, and who was widely known in Waterloo and district, I deeply regret to say passed away on Wednesday, 27th ult., at the home of his father, Bridge-road, Litherland. Trooper Williams contracted enteric fever at Kimberley, and was invalided home about six months ago. He only made a partial recovery - the trouble had taken too deep a hold - and the brave young spirit flashed out.
While visiting St. Philip's, I was told that Hands Street, off Catherine Street, in Litherland, was named after William Henry Hands.
He was born c.1873, in Coventry, and in the 1891 census his residence was given as Holy Trinity, Coventry. In 1896 he was married at St Mary's Church, Bootle, and at the time of his death his home residence was 16, Surrey Street, off Hawthorne Road, Bootle.
The area around where Hands Street is now was mostly fields in 1893, streets such as Catherine Street, Hands Street, and Lily Road didn't exist. Violet Road was an unmade, and unnamed, track which linked Linacre Road to Akenside Street. I came across a reference, in an issue of the Bootle Times, March 1900, which made reference to the council waiting for work to be completed in Violet Road. So it may be that the information I was given re. Hands Street is correct, and it was named so in memory of William Hands, the timeline fits. Unfortunately, so far, I've found no mention of him in the local newspapers of the time.
The photos below show Hands Street as it is now, but there was originally early-20th century housing.
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Makes you wonder if there any other streets named after casualties especially in small towns......
Definitely, other than the usual Ladysmith, Kimberley, and Mafeking Streets. I was in Worcestershire one day last year, had just photographed the village war memorial, and, on looking in my street atlas for directions, noticed that two of the men on the WW1 memorial had Haines Avenue and Phipps Close named after them, and they were both modern housing developments.