Growing Up In Ossett A Hundred Years Ago.
My father , Sydney Brammer, about whom I am going to tell you was the first generation of our family to be born in Ossett. The family came here from Aberdeenshire via Sheffield and Barnsley. John Brammer my great, great grandfather, came from Scotland as a young man and started a tailoring business in the heart of Sheffield. James, John's youngest child, became a miner and by the time his youngest child Fred was born, was living and working in Worsborough, near Barnsley. As was the practice in those days, miners followed the work and by 1891 the family were living on The Green in Ossett. Fred was my father's father . His parents were in their early forties when he was born and Emma Walker, his mother, who was born in Flockton died in 1897 when my grandfather was only ten years old. Unlike his older brothersFred did not follow James into mining but became a millworker. At the time of my father's birth, Fred and Emma (Marshall) were living at Springmill Cottages Flushdyke (see drawing in part 1), so presumably Fred was employed at the adjacent mill. By now all the other Brammer males had returned to Barnsley but Fred had chosen another line of employment. His war records are partly destroyed by fire but it is possible to decipher that he embarked for France with the K.O.Y.L.I. 12th. Battalion on December 12th 1916 and was posted to the East Yorkshire Regiment 1st. Battalion on December 30th 1916. He died in action, shot by a sniper, on April 9th 1917, Palm Sunday, in battle near Arras. Reports show that it snowed on that day . My father's future also changed on that day.
In this part of my story I tell of how I think my father may have felt being an only child whose father was killed in WW1 in 1917 whilst my father was still very young. He was left with a sickly mother to look after. I mention the care he had to give her and how he would walk from Flushdyke to Dewsbury each Saturday to do the shopping.
I think my father and mother hesitated to marry whilst he was caring for my grandmother. They did marry very soon after her death and he had a new suit made for the occasions. He is also wearing it in the photo of their wedding.
I go back to his school days, the friendships he formed, the school football team he played in, "Empire Day" celebrations in school, the methods of teaching and the practice of children having their chests rubbed with goose grease and stitched into their vests for the duration of winter.