This site celebrates the life and work of sculptor
John Cassidy (1860 - 1939).
At the start of 2014 a small group who attended the
Family History Class at Clayton-le-Moors library decided to
research the lives of the 245 men from Clayton-le-Moors who
died in WW1 and who are listed on the Mercer Park Memorial,
compiling at least one page for each of the names.
Hilary Fearn, a member of the group, has been in regular
contact with us, assisting with improvements to the accuracy
of our record. We suggested that we might publish a small
section of their results.
'The three examples here, included with the approval of the
families concerned, are chosen three soldiers because
to me they tell the whole story of the bravery of the men
Clayton, the comradeship of the soldiers all from different
religions. The bravery and hardships of the women left
behind, and the neighbours who pulled together to help each
'John James Coady, a Roman Catholic, was born before his
mother married Oliver Iddon. Oliver Iddon was related to
William Thomas Iddon, Church of England, so the two families
were linked and when the soldiers died they left nine
children without fathers. Arthur Dean Cookson, a
member of the Baptist Church, was a close friend of John
James Coady all his life; they had been at the same school
together, worked at the brickyard together, enlisted
together and died together.'
Clayton-le-Moors War Memorial, Lancashire
Supplement to the Clayton-le-Moors memorial main
WILLIAM THOMAS IDDON
Private 7984, 2nd Battalion Borders Regiment
(Formerly 9527 Manchester Regiment)
Thomas Iddon was born in the Lake District town of Ulverston
in the September quarter of 1887. He was the son of John and
Hannah Iddon (née Crabtree).
The family came to the Clayton-le-Moors area between 1891
and 1894. On the 1911 Census they were living in Church, a
village not far from Clayton-le-Moors, at 247, Dill
Hall Lane. John R. Iddon was 66 years old, his wife
Hannah was 58 years old, and their daughters Beatrice (19)
and Rhoda (17) were living with them. Also present was
William Thomas (24), who had married Amanda Pearson (24) in
1908 (with a Hyndburn Registrar attending) and their son
John James, aged 10 months.
By 1914 William and Amanda were living at 11, Mill Street,
Clayton-le-Moors, and they had four children: John
James born 1910, Richard born 1911, Florence born 1913 and
Ellen born in 1914. William worked as a labourer at the
William was called up as a Reservist and went to France in
August 1914. He had been in France for 7 weeks when he was
badly wounded in the heavy fighting around Ypres. He died of
his wounds on 31st October 1914 and was the first married
man from Clayton-le-Moors to die in the war.
He was survived by his wife Amanda and four small children.
His widow received a parcel from the War Office
containing his private papers and photographs and also a
German watch chain, a Belgian cross, and a row of black
JOHN JAMES COADY
Sergeant 23273 1st Batallion, East Lancashire Regiment
James Coady was born in Brindle, Lancashire about 1889, the
son of Ellen Coady, father unknown. His mother Ellen Coady
married Oliver Iddon on 30 June 1894 at Holy Trinity Church,
Habergham Eaves, Burnley, and their son William Thomas Iddon
was born in 1895, but sadly died soon after his birth. On
the 1901 Census John James Coady is listed as John James
Iddon, living with his father and mother at 78, Burton
Street, Rishton. When he got married he would have had to
show his birth certificate and he reverted back to Coady on
his marriage. He married Mary Whittaker at Church Kirk
James and Mary had five children: John Coady born 1908,
Robert Coady born in 1909, Edith Mary born in 1910, Ellen
Ann born in 1912 and Frederick aged 2 years born 1915.
On the 1911 Census the family are living at 28, Well Street,
Clayton-le-Moors and John James aged 22 years is a slater at
the Enfield Brick and Tile Works. Mary is 22 years old, a
cardroom hand in a cotton mill, born in Accrington. They
have been married for 3 years, and have 3 children. Also
living with them is Mary Coady’s brother Robert Whittaker
aged 19 years, a coal miner born in Accrington.
John James Coady enlisted in 1915 along with his school
friend and workmate Arthur Dean Cookson. He was 28
years old when he was wounded and had served in the Army
previous to the war. On the call for men soon after
hostilities commenced he pluckily volunteered for service
and his experience was utilised for training recruits on
Two Clayton-le-Moors friends, Sergeant John James Coady and
Private Arthur Dean Cookson (see below) who worked together
and fought together in the East Lancashire Regiment, had
been in France over twelve months when they were both killed
by the same shell. Private Cookson was killed instantly, but
Sergeant Coady, notwithstanding very severe wounds, lived
for 4 days, receiving the very best of attention in
From the Observer and Times 21 April 1917:-
During the last weekend Mrs Coady received the following
letter from No. 7 Stationary Hospital, France.
Your husband Sergeant Coady 23273 East
Lancashires has asked me to write a few lines to you from
him. He wishes to tell you that he was severely wounded on
the 9th April 1917 in both arms and back and has lost his
right leg. He is receiving every care and attention from
the kind doctors and nursing sisters, and he is as well as
can be expected, and is bearing his pain and loss bravely.
I am to say he hopes you will try and not worry, or be
more anxious than you can help – he hopes to pull through.
He will be sent to England as soon as he is fit to travel
– his address here is No.13 General Hospital. He sends his
love to yourself and the children, and hopes you are all
well. Please give them a kiss from daddy.
He died four days later.
He is sorry to say Private Cookson was killed at the same
time. Your husband will be glad if you try and break the
news nicely to his mother – poor thing.
Yours sincerely, H. Morbrey A.S.R.”
ARTHUR DEAN COOKSON,
Private 26578, 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment
Dean Cookson was the second son of William and Margaret
Cookson. William Cookson married Margaret Dean at St. James
Church, Accrington on the 19th March 1882. Margaret was 25
years old and William was 23.
Margaret and William had two children both born in
Clayton-le-Moors: James Albert Cookson born in 1882
and Arthur Dean Cookson born in 1889. By the Census of 1901
William and Margaret had separated, and William was a
boarder at 11, Marsden Street, Accrington.
On the Census of 1911 Margaret is 54 years old, has been
married for 29 years and is living at 14, William Street,
Clayton-le-Moors with her two sons. James Albert Cookson is
28 years old, single and a labourer at the Enfield Brick
works, and Arthur Dean Cookson is 21 years old, single and
also a labourer at Enfield Brick Works.
Soon after the war commenced James enlisted in the Army
Ordinance Corps as Private 016596 and Arthur enlisted in the
1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, along with his
friend John James Coady whom he worked with at the
brickworks. Arthur and John James Coady were in the same
Battalion and on the 9th April 1917 in France Arthur was
killed instantly by an exploding shell and John James was
seriously wounded and he died four days later. Whilst he was
in hospital he got a nurse to write to his wife and in that
letter told her of Arthur’s death and asked her to go to Mrs
Cookson and comfort her.
From the Observer and Times 21 April 1917:
Margaret Cookson, the mother of Arthur Dean
Cookson who is over 60 years old and lives by herself at
14, William Street, Clayton-le-Moors, received the news of
her son Arthur’s death from Mrs Coady. Her two sons both
joined the Army soon after the war. Arthur was a quiet
young fellow and had many friends in the district. He
worked at the Enfield Brick Works and was connected with
Whalley Road Working Men’s Club and Clayton Baptist
Church. He enlisted in March 1916 and was drafted to
France on July 8th 1916. Much sympathy has been extended
to the bereaved families in the loss they have sustained.
Private Arthur Dean Cookson 26578 of the 1st Battalion East
Lancashire Regiment was killed in action on 9 April 1917, in
France, in his 28th year. He is remembered on the Arras
Memorial, the Baptist Church, Clayton-le-Moors Memorial, All
Saints Church Memorial and the Mercer Park Memorial. He
received the Victory Medal and the British Medal.
His effects of £3.16s.2d and £3.10s.0d were given to his
mother Mrs Margaret Cookson the sole legatee. Arthur's
brother James Albert Cookson survived the war and in 1922
was living with his mother at 14 William Street. She
died there in 1936.
On the 1939 Register, Wiliam's brother James is still at 14
William Street, working as a bricklayer. His next-door
neighbour, Mary Alice Whiteside, a widow (née Salt) is a
paid housekeeper. In the December quarter of 1939 he
married her with a Darwen Registrar attending. James Albert
Cookson died on 1 June 1943 at the Pulmonary Hospital,
Withnell, Lancashire and administration of his effects was
granted to Mary Alice Cookson his widow. He left effects
Edited by Charlie
Hulme, May 2019.