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Idyllic Fermanagh childhood led to lifelong interest in land

The Duke of Westminster who has died at the age of 64, had alway fondly recalled his idyllic childhood in Fermanagh.
His death in the Royal Preston Hospital, Lancashire on Tuesday after becoming ill on his Abbeystead Estate has brought tributes from the people he grew up with in Fermanagh to politicians and leaders.
The Duke of Westminster had many happy memories of his childhood in Fermanagh, where he would have spent a lot of his time on Lough Erne or in the countryside close to the Ely Lodge estate the family owned. His sisters, Lady Leonora and Lady Jane are regular visitors to Fermanagh.
In an interview for The Impartial Reporter a number of years ago, the Duke spoke fondly of his time here and the people with home he regarded as his best friends.
I suppose one s endearing memory was the most perfect childhood one could ever have. It had all the ingredients of the excitement on the lough, living with nature, the outdoor life and a lot of very good friends and living in a close community like that we make good friends and we had a lot of fun together.
He recalled attending Gloucester House before going on to Harrow.
I was going to go to the Regular Army but couldn t because my father was ill and then really started into the running of this(Grosvenor Estates) well before I inherited you see. So I had all the fun and none of the responsibility and then my father died and I had none of the fun and all the responsibility.
His mother, the Dowager, Duchess of Westminster died in 1987 following a car crash.
The Duke of Westminster built up Grosvenor Farms in Cheshire, pioneering a dairy breeding project, Cogent, and also expanded urban property interests to America, Australia, Spain, Hong Kong, Portugal and France as well as retaining those already established in the United Kingdom, mainly London.
He recalled being President or Patron of 150 organisations as well as holding the position of Deputy Commander of the Territorial Army.
One of the people that the Duke knew well locally was Wesley Scott from Monea, who was gamekeeper at Ely Lodge Estate while the Duke was growing up there.
Wesley said; Lady Jane(the Duke s sister) phoned me on Tuesday night to tell me. We are in touch very often. I was gutted when I heard the news.
Recalling his years on the estate, Wesley said: They were a terrific family. From boyhood, he(Duke) was at my tail, shooting and fishing. He was a born sportsman and he was one of the nicest men I ve ever met. I last saw him at the Earl of Erne s memorial service along with his sisters.
The Westminster family had strong links with Devenish Parish Church, Monea.
The Duke of Westminster, regarded as one of the richest people in the UK, is now succeeded by his only son, Hugh, aged 25. He and the Duchess had three daughters, Tamara, Edwina and Viola.
A spokesperson for the family, announcing the news of his death said: His family are all aware and they ask for privacy and understanding at this very difficult time.
No further comment will be made for the time being but further information will follow in due course.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: I can confirm that Her Majesty the Queen is aware of the news about the Duke of Westminster.
A private message of condolence is being sent by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were said to be deeply shocked and greatly saddened by his death.
The First Minister, Arlene Foster, paid tribute to the Duke of Westminster.
She said: I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of Gerald Grosvenor, the 6th Duke of Westminster, suddenly in hospital in England. The Grosvenor family had of course very strong links to Fermanagh and the young Duke was brought up at the family home at Ely Lodge, Enniskillen, somewhere he once described as idyllic.
The Duke never lost his attachment for his childhood home and the last time I spoke with him was at the memorial service for the Earl of Erne in Enniskillen Cathedral in May of this year.
The Duke of Westminster may have been a very rich person but he used his fortune for good in many areas of London and beyond. He was above all a man of the country and loved farming, something that is obviously linked back to his upbringing here in rural Fermanagh.
His untimely death at the age of just 64 will of course be felt most keenly by his family, and I send them my deepest condolences, but he will also be mourned in Fermanagh where he will always be remembered with great affection.
Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP, Tom Elliott expressed his sadness at the news.
He commented: I was shocked to learn of the death of the Duke of Westminster at only 64 years of age. Indeed, the Grosvenor family was of great significance to County Fermanagh. The Duke was born in Omagh, and was raised on an island in the middle of Lough Erne. Indeed I received my post primary education at the Duke of Westminster High School in Fermanagh. His father, the 5th Duke of Westminster, Lord Robert Grosvenor was elected as MP twice for Fermanagh and South Tyrone before retiring in 1964. His son, Gerald joined the British Army and became a Major General, just one example of his hard work throughout his life.
He owned vast areas of land across the United Kingdom and was recognised by Forbes Magazine because of this. The Duke of Westminster was a proud Fermanagh man and his loss comes as a great blow to this constituency. I would like to pass on my sympathies to his entire family circle at this difficult time.
Ulster Unionist MLA, Rosemary Barton joined her colleague, Tom Elliott MP in expressing her sadness at the passing of the Duke of Westminster.
Mrs Barton stated: I was saddened to learn of the passing of the Duke of Westminster. He was held in high esteem in Fermanagh where he and his sisters spent their childhood at Ely Lodge a few miles from Enniskillen.
Many people will have vivid memories of the Grosvenor family growing up in the county and playing with the late Duke when he returned home from school for the summer vacation.
Returning to live in England, the Duke of Westminster became one of the most financially successful people in the United Kingdom.
The late Duke still has a large number of family connections in both Fermanagh and Tyrone and I wish to extend my sympathies to the family as they mourn the loss of a great man.

Paying tribute for the ultimate sacrifice…

THANKS to help from Marigold Cleeve and a small number of researchers from the Loughborough Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum, we have been commemorating the brave men from Loughborough and the surrounding areas who lost their lives during the First World War. Here, we continue to remember the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in August 1916:

Frederick Arthur William Hague was born in Loughborough in 1890, the eldest son of William Goodacre Hague and his wife Emma. William, a hosiery machine fitter, and Emma had nine children, eight of whom survived to adulthood.

Frederick had five sisters Edith, Carrie, Gertrude, Florence and Hilda, and two brothers Leonard and Everard. In 1891 and 1901 the family lived at 3 Cobden Street, Loughborough, but by 1911 had moved to 1 Forest Road. Frederick attended Holy Trinity Church in Loughborough.

Frederick, who in 1911 was a clerk in the timber trade in the offices of Messrs, J. Griggs and Co. in Loughborough, went to Australia in 1913 to take up farming. By 1915 he was living at 145 Blythe Street, Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and was employed as a farm labourer. Frederick enlisted in Melbourne on August 4, 1915.

As Private 2669 he embarked in Melbourne, Australia, on H.M.A.T. Ulysses on October 27, 1915, with the 6th Reinforcements, 24th Battalion, of the 6th Australian Infantry Brigade (Australian Imperial Force). In Egypt he was initially sent to the 6th Training Battalion at Zeitoun but was taken on the strength of D Company of the 7th Battalion of the Australian Infantry at Serapeum, Egypt, on February 24, 1916. Frederick embarked in Alexandria, Egypt, to join the British Expeditionary Force on March 26, 1916, disembarking in Marseilles on March 31.

Upon arrival, his battalion was sent to Morbecque, west of Armenti res, and it was in this area that the men entered the front line trenches for the first time on May 3. The battalion s first major action in France was at Pozi res in the Somme valley where it fought between July 23-27 and August 15-21, 1916. Frederick was wounded in action on August 17, 1916.

He was admitted to the 1st Australian Field Ambulance suffering from a gunshot wound to the neck on August 19, 1916. He died from his wound on the same day, aged 25, and was buried in Becourt Armyrats © Military Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, near Albert, by the Officer Commanding the 1st Australian Field Ambulance on August 19, 1916. A package of personal effects was forwarded to his father and included a religious book, eight coins, two photos, a stud, two pieces of ribbon and a linen bag.

His brother Leonard, who was with the 8th Leicesters, was killed in 1917. His brother Everard, who served with the London Territorial Engineers, survived the war.

Eric Ivo Jacques was born in 1891 in Barrow-upon-Soar, the son of Robert William Jacques, a bricklayer, and Rose Jacques. Eric was one of ten children. He had three brothers Robert William (Junior), Arthur, and Harold and four sisters Ann, Harriet, Mabel and Sarah. Two other siblings, Frank and Mary, had died young. In 1901 the family was living at 23 Gordon Street, Loughborough, but by 1911 had moved to 53 Morley Street.

Prior to the war, Eric worked as a moulder at Messenger and Co. and was a member of the Old Loughburians Football Club. For a number of years he was a Drummer in the St. Peter s Church Lads Brigade, and latterly a teacher in the Woodgate Baptist Sunday School. Eric came from an old soldiering family. He had a great-grandfather who was in the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) who fought at Waterloo and had three horses shot under him, and a grandmother who was born in Windsor Barracks.

An uncle once walked from Barrow (where the family came from) to Chatham to enlist. Eric enlisted on September 4, 1914, at Loughborough and joined the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment on September 24 as Private 14953. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on November 7, 1914.

From the Depot he was sent firstly to Aldershot for training and then to Shorncliffe in Kent at the end of February 1915. In April 1915, Eric s battalion became part of the newly established 37th Division of Kitchener s 2nd New Army and the Division began to concentrate on Salisbury Plain. On July 22 the Division began to cross the English Channel and Eric travelled from Folkestone to France on July 29, 1915.

Initially the 37th Division concentrated near Tilques. The 8th Battalion then moved via Watten, Houlie, St. Omer, Eecke and Dranoutre to Wulverghem and Berles-au-Bois, a short distance from the front line. In the 11 months that followed, the battalion was mainly based in the area of Bienvillers and Bailleulmont, a short distance from the front line south-west of Arras.

They did tours in the trenches, the 6th Battalion alternating with the 8th Battalion who relieved them. On April 9, 1916, he injured his ankle in bayonet fighting at the Brigade Sports Ground, while attacking trenches and scaffolds and was admitted to No. 6 General Hospital in Rouen three days later. He was discharged on April 29 and sent to convalesce at Etaples.

He rejoined his battalion in the field on May 20. Eric was promoted to Corporal on December 10, 1915, to Lance Sergeant on February 6, 1916, and to Sergeant on June 26, 1916. At the beginning of July, the 8th Leicesters were sent to the Somme.

On July 14 the battalion was in action at the Battle of Bazentin Ridge. After the battle the battalion withdrew to Ribemont and then to M ricourt, and having entrained for Saleux, marched to Soues. From Soues the battalion moved to Longeau, Gouy-en-Ternois, Lattre St. Quentin and then to Arras where they went into the trenches on July 29.

Casualty figures for the battalion in July had been high: 17 officers and 415 other ranks had been killed, wounded or were missing. The battalion went into Divisional Reserve at Agnez-les-Ouisans on August 8 but went back into the trenches on August 18 where they were on the receiving end of trench mortar bombs and heavy shells. Eric was wounded on the following day by a shell which exploded and damaged his jugular vein before he could take cover.

He was taken to No. 30 Casualty Clearing Station and died on the following day, August 20, aged 24. He was buried at Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, Grave I. E. 8. Eric s brothers Robert William (Junior) and Harold and Eric s sister Mabel emigrated to the USA and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

John Gregory Chambers was born in Breedon-on-the-Hill in 1874, the eldest son of John Chambers, a publican at Griffydam, and his wife Clara.

By 1891 the family had moved from Griffydam to Oxford Street, Alvaston, Derbyshire, and John Chambers was now a labourer and John Gregory Chambers, aged 17, was a forge boy. By 1901 the family had moved again, this time to 85 Storer Road, Loughborough, and John Chambers was a railway labourer while John Gregory Chambers was a furnace man. Between 1901 and 1911 John Gregory s parents moved from Loughborough to 70 Taylor Street, Osmaston, Derbyshire.

John Gregory, unmarried, moved with them and was employed as an iron worker on the Midland Railway while his father was employed in the gas works. John Gregory Chambers had seven brothers William, Charles, Thomas, Peter, Henry, Gerald and George and two sisters Maria and Emma. When the Chambers family moved to Osmaston, Maria Chambers, now Mrs. Joynes, remained in Loughborough and lived at 1 Albert Promenade.

John joined the 11th (Service) Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment as Private 20858. The battalion was raised in Chester on September 17, 1914, as part of Kitchener s Third New Army and joined the 75th Brigade, 25th Division of the Army. John s battalion sailed for Le Havre on the H.M.T Mona Queen on September 26, the division concentrating on arrival in the area of Nieppe, north of Armenti res.

From the beginning of October 1915 to the end of January 1916, the battalion was in the area of Ploegsteert Wood, where working parties improved the trench defences while being subjected to shelling and sniping by the enemy. A month in Strazeele followed, after which they moved to Nedonchelle, Valhuon, Tinques and Chelers. In May 1916 they were in the front line at Neuville-St.-Vaast and Ecoivres in defence of the German attack on Vimy Ridge.

In June the battalion was at Mingoval, Tinques and Bernoval before moving on to the Somme at Toutencourt. The battalion joined the Somme Offensive just after the main attack, making a costly attack near Thiepval on July 3. The battalion was also in action at the Battle of Bazentin and the Battle of Pozi res.

It is not known when and where John was wounded by a bullet which went through his head but he was brought back to England and died of his wounds, aged 42, in Grantham Camp Armyrats © Military Hospital, Lincolnshire, on August 26, 1916. John is buried in the churchyard of St. John the Baptist Church, Londonthorpe, Grantham. A newspaper report of the time entitled A Proud Record noted that: Of a family that included seven brothers, six have served in H.M. Forces of whom at the present only two are living.

That is the proud record of the brothers of Mrs. Joynes 1 Albert Promenade, Loughborough, who this week learned that her brother, Pte. John G. Chambers of the Cheshire Regt, died on Saturday in hospital at Grantham from a bullet wound, which entered the side of his head and made its way out on the other side.

He was buried at Grantham on Wednesday.

At the latter end of last year another brother Q.M.S. Peter Chambers a regular of the Royal Scots Fusiliers was killed in action while since then Pte. Thomas G. Chambers of the Northumberland Fusiliers has died of wounds while a prisoner of war at Cologne.

A fourth brother after serving 12 years in the K.O.S.B. recently died in Canada, while another George is at present in hospital having been wounded some 12 months ago.

The only brother still on active services is Gerald of the Grenadier Guards who was wounded early in the war and has since returned to duty.

The only brother of the family who has not served with the forces is at present living in Canada.

Mr and Mrs. Chambers the parents of this family of fighters will be remembered by many residents for they kept the Griffin Inn Ashby Road for a number of years.

John Waldron (or Waldrom or Waldram) was born in Shepshed in 1866 or 1867, the son of William Waldron, a framework knitter of cotton shirts, and his wife Anne, a hosiery seamer.

He had two brothers Thomas and John and two sisters Kate and Anne. By the time he was 16, in 1881, he had left home, had become a framework knitter, and was lodging with the Thurman family in Forest Street, Shepshed. He married Eliza Smith in 1887 and the couple set up home in Charnwood Road, Shepshed.

John and Eliza had fourteen children, thirteen of whom survived to adulthood. In 1911 the family was living in Leicester Road, Shepshed, but at some point after 1916 moved to 17 Salmon Street, Loughborough. John enlisted at the Drill Hall in Loughborough on September 14, 1914, and said that he was aged 34, when in fact he was aged 48.

On September 5 he joined the 7th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 12393. His two eldest sons also enlisted. In April 1915 the 7th Battalion became part of the 37th Division of the Army and concentrated at Cholderton on Salisbury Plain.

While he was at Perham Down, a rumour went round that his battalion would shortly be sailing for France. When all leave was cancelled, John managed to escape and made his way to Shepshed for a quick visit to his wife and family. He was caught by the police, returned to Wiltshire under escort and fined three weeks pay for misconduct and a further 13 days pay for being absent without leave between July 2-14.

John went to France on August 25, 1915, where his battalion gathered with the 37th Division at Tilques, near St. Omer. In September the 7th Battalion was sent to the area of Berles-au-Bois, south-west of Arras. The battalion remained in this area around Bienvillers and Bailleulmont until April 1916 and was engaged in localised operations seeking a tactical advantage.

When not in the trenches being subjected to enemy shelling, the 7th Leicesters received intensive training in bombing, Lewis gunnery, visual signalling and a host of other activities. In April 1916 they were moved to the Doullens area and formed working parties to cut down trees and prepare brushwood for the front line as well as preparing the support trenches in the area. In May they worked on building a new railway line between Le Bret and Bienvillers-au-Bois.

Towards the end of May the battalion returned to the trenches in the Bienvillers-Bailleulmont area. At the beginning of July, the 7th Battalion moved on to the Somme. They were at Fricourt on July 13 and at Mametz Wood and in the attack on Bazentin-le-Petit on July 14.

After Bazentin the battalion moved north to the trenches near Arras, supposedly for post-battle recuperation. On August 29 John was one of a working party detailed to excavate chalk pits near the village of Duisans west of Arras. When heavy showers interrupted their work, John and two other men took shelter from the rain under a chalk outcrop.

The overhang unfortunately collapsed on the three men and buried them in chalk rubble. Two of the men were rescued but John s neck was broken and he could not be saved. A verdict of accidental death was returned at the Court of Enquiry on August 30.

John was aged 50 when he died. He is buried in Duisans British Cemetery Grave VII. C. 41. His two sons survived the war.

William Ernest Powell was born in Walthamstow, Essex, in 1897, the son of William Henry Powell and his wife Florence Ada. In 1901 the family was living at 14 North Road, Walthamstow, and William Ernest s father was a stationer s bookkeeper.

William Ernest s father died in 1904, aged 29. By 1911, Florence Ada Powell was earning her living as a monthly nurse. She and a daughter Elsie Florence, aged 7, were resident in the Turner household at 86 Shernhall Street in Walthamstow.

William Ernest, meanwhile, was with his grandparents Henry and Mary Ann Ganderton at 46 Barrett Road, Walthamstow. Aged 14, he had left school. William Ernest s mother subsequently moved with William Ernest and his sister Elsie to 2 Russell Street, Loughborough. When war broke out, William Ernest enlisted in London and joined the 12th (Service) Battalion of the King s Royal Rifle Corps as Rifleman R/13928.

The battalion proceeded to France on July 22, 1915, landing at Boulogne and the Division concentrating in the St. Omer area. The battalion then moved to the area of Fleurbaix for trench familiarisation. In September 1915 they were in the trenches south of Laventie, north-east of B thune.

In February 1916 William s battalion was in the front line trenches east of the Yser Canal. The battalion was in action at the Battle of Mount Sorrel in the Ypres Salient (June 2-14) in which the Division, along with the Canadians, recaptured the heights. In August 1916 they were in action again on the Somme in the Battle of Delville Wood (July 15 September 3).

William was killed in action, aged 19, on August 27, 1916.

Steel’s Big Comeback Might Be Running Out of Steam Already

After eight years of misery, 2016 has been something of a boon for the steel industry. The big question is can they keep the winning run going? While many steelmakers surprised analysts with better profits and the stocks enjoyed the best rally in years, the industry s biggest problem hasn t been solved. China still exports at a record rate and there are hundreds of millions of tons of surplus capacity around the world still undercutting prices.

We don t think at this point that the recovery is sustainable, said Alon Olsha, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in London. There remains a huge amount of overcapacity in steel and latent capacity that can easily be turned back on. The biggest sign that the recovery in steel is almost over — prices have started to turn south and even ArcelorMittal recently warned that momentum is slowing. At the beginning of the year, steel prices rallied with the speculative fever in iron ore and signs that extra stimulus would spark a recovery in the Chinese economy. Prices peaked in late April, and have since weakened.

In July, China s steel exports jumped 5.8 percent year-on-year to 10.3 million tons. For comparison, the U.K. produces 12 million tons a year. China exported 67.4 million tons in the first seven months of the year, a record for the period. U.S. Steel Corp. is already moving to capture some of the benefits from its 192 percent surge this year and government efforts to stem a tide of cheap imports. The Pittsburgh-based producer said on Monday it was tapping shareholders for about $439 million to give it more financial flexibility. In July, the company reported a narrower loss than analysts expected.

ArcelorMittal reported its best quarterly profit since 2014 as deep cost cuts started to pay off and steel prices rebounded. The industry continues to face the challenges of structural overcapacity, Chief Executive Officer Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement last month. Thyssenkrupp AG, Germany s largest steelmaker, today reported[1] earnings that beat analyst estimates. Still, third-quarter profit fell 18 percent from a year earlier as Chinese exports continued to pressure the industry. The company doesn t expect higher steel prices.

Prices are currently rather flattening, Chief Financial Officer Guido Kerkhoff said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Kloeckner & Co. SE, another Germany producer, said last week that it expects U.S. sheet-steel prices to fall by as much as 15 percent until year-end and doesn t expect a further steel price recovery in Europe in that period.

We expect market conditions to remain challenging in the second half of the year with uncertainties around prices and level of imports from Asia, Moody s Investor Service said in a report to investors last week. The second half should see mounting pressure on prices in all regions.

Before it’s here, it’s on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE[2]

References

  1. ^ Thyssenkrupp Profit Falls as Chinese Steel Pressures Prices (1) (www.bloomberg.com)
  2. ^ LEARN MORE (bloom.bg)
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