Notes from Arnold MacDonald

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Written in October 2002

I was the elder son of Joshua Joseph MacDonald and Frances Elizabeth nee Tunstall. The other son was Jesse.

My father, Joshua Joseph MacDonald, was killed in action on 15th November 1915 at Thiepval Woods, France while serving with the 5th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's Regiment. He was one of two sons and a daughter of Kenneth and Fiona MacDonald of Princess Street, Edinburgh. The daughter, Fiona was put into a convent and became a nun.

My mother, Frances Elizabeth, was the eldest daughter of John Tunstall of Hartshead and Mary nee Caldwell of Hightown.

Tunstall family was:

Sarah Ellen

Albert was killed while playing cricket for Liversedge Cricket Club. He was struck on the temple with the ball and died immediately aged 17 years.
Joe married Emily ?? and they had one daughter, Dorothy, but adopted Emily's sister's daughter, Hilda, after her early death. Dorothy married Harry ? Wood and had one son, Dean.
Hilda married George Allcock of Hartshead and had one daughter and two sons.
Harry married Annie and had two sons, John Alfred and Arthur.
Sarah Ellen married Norman Lockwood of Huddersfield but had no children.
Nora married Fred Beaumont of Liversedge but had no children.

I married Alice Butterfield, the youngest daughter of a family of eleven children. Her parents were Freddie and Martha Butterfield of 21 Old Bank Road, Mirfield.

Butterfield family still living at 2002 were:


Sally married Ernest Clegg and had two daughters and two sons.
Leonard married ?? and had one daughter and two sons.
Bertha married Sydney Howells and had one daughter and two sons.
My wife Alice died in childbirth in 1936.

I married Nora Ellis, my second wife, in 1937. Our first child was Ian, born 1939 who died of diphtheria in 1941. We then adopted a girl, Doreen (surname Rose), and then followed two daughters, Sandra, and Rita and finally another son, Stuart.

My brother, Jesse was born 15th February 1916. He married Ivy Armitage who was the eldest of four girls of John and Sarah Armitage of Northorpe. He joined the army at 17 years of age and served with the REME in France, Germany and Italy. He had three daughters, Ivy, Mavis Sheila and Nellie and one son. He died in December 1996 at Mansfield.

Following the loss of my father in action, my mother was a war widow with a pension of ten shilling a week so I was mostly brought up by my grandparents. They had a smallholding with pigs, goats, geese, ducks and chickens so I soon learnt to look after myself. I went to work down the pit and from then on worked bloody hard. At the age of 16 I joined a gymnasium at Cleckheaton under the care of Joe Cawthra who lived in Hartshead the same as I did. Joe made me start boxing at 10st. 6lb, taking on all comers. I boxed all round the area at Huddersfield, Brighouse, Bradford, Keighly, Skipton, Cleckheaton, Morley and Leeds under the name of "Young Miner" and was never beaten with only two of my fights going the distance. All the others were KOs. Finally only Butcher Johnson, weighing in at 11st. 6lb, would take me on.

I have to say that I wasn't nice to know. Even my own mother said so.

Footnote: Arnold died 30 May 2011 at 96 years of age.