Friday, 18 January 2019

New year, new beginnings


Much has been discussed in this blog about the emigration of the many young orphans of the Manchester and Salford Boys' and Girls' Refuges and Homes (and those in the care of other charities) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Whilst the idea of the mass migration of vulnerable young children who had undergone life changing and traumatic events actions is unthinkable in the present day, it is, however, important to acknowledge and understand the circumstances which led to this. The first question we may now ask is whether the actions of these organisations was fully in the interest of the children: did places like Canada truly offer a new beginning, far removed from the poverty and squalor of urban Britain, or did the removal from familiar surroundings and family simply compound a child’s isolation and suffering? Did these wealthy philanthropists even consider such effects on the child, and were they truly motivated by philanthropic ideals or a need to remove the problem from their doorstep and provide a cheap workforce to the colonies? To begin to address these questions we will look at the stories of two girls, Mary Ann and Harriett who made the long journey to Canada together in May 1898 aboard the S.S. Dominion under the supervision of Miss Harriet Smethurst, representative of the Manchester and Salford Refuges. 

The events leading to Mary Ann's referral to one of the Refuge's orphan homes in Manchester were sudden and tragic. At the age of ten Mary Ann of Newton Heath was placed into the care of the Refuges at the advice of the magistrates after the attempted suicide of her father. During this period (and up to the 1961 Suicide Act) suicide was a criminal offence punishable by law. Mary's father, dealing with the loss of his wife some two years before, was no doubt placed under great emotional, and potentially financial, stress.  Mary Ann would have been dealing with the trauma of these events too when she was separated from her father upon his consent to her referral into the orphan home (likely having been given no choice due to his pending conviction), and her brothers and sisters whom were unable to care for Mary. Traumatic for all parties involved, within the one year of being accepted into the home, around the time of Mary's eleventh birthday, Mary's life faced further upheaval with her move to Canada.

Mary Ann, c.1897

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Our birthday and some reflections

As we hit 2019, the Together Trust once again finds itself on the brink of yet another birthday. This is its last one before the big 150 in January next year. Like many of us, teetering on the edge of a decade, we gaze back in wonder at how quickly the years have passed and what has been achieved in the last decade. 

Our earliest photograph taken 1873

Friday, 21 December 2018

Christmas donations 1895

Once again, we find ourselves near the end of another year. It has been a busy one in the archive department with World War One commemorations and research for our forthcoming book. We’ve also been preparing for a busy year in 2019, as arrangements for our 150th anniversary goes full steam ahead. We’re excited to be celebrating this momentous occasion and share our fabulous story far and wide. 

Santa at an annual bazaar

Monday, 19 November 2018

The Last Post

Tuesday saw the culmination of many months work with the hosting of our ‘Gone but not forgotten’ event. 

Commemoration Garden

Your King and Country Need You!

On the 11th August 1914, the now famous ‘Your King and Country Need You’ slogan was published, calling for 100,000 men to join Lord Kitchener’s new army. The call was answered within two weeks. Amongst them was Brian Crossley. 


Your King and Country Needs You © IWM (Art.IWM PST 0581)

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Bravery in the Field

With only a few days to go until the Together Trust hosts its commemoration event‘Gone but not forgotten’ on Tuesday 13th November, the charity has been looking in more depth into the history of those who fought. 


There are a number of historical documents available, which give more information around the men who fought in World War One. Records can range from generic genealogy records such as census data, revealing addresses and family details pre-enlistment, to more specialised documents such as workhouse registers, industrial school files as well as charity records, such as those provided by the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes.

In terms of military papers many soldier’s personnel records remain, including the British Army Service Records. The collection contains a myriad of army forms including attestation papers, medical forms, discharge documents and pension claims. These can be accessed through the genealogical sites such as Find My Past and Ancestry. For those who fought in the Canadian Regiments, the Library and Archives Canada is an excellent resource for discovering relatives war records. These have been digitised and are on open access to the public.

Index cards were created by the Army Medal Office towards the end of the World War One recording the medals that men and women who served in the War were entitled to claim.





Service Medals for WW1
All those who served in World War One received service medals. The main campaign medals received were the 1914 or 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, sometimes nicknamed 'Pip, Squeak and Wilfred'. These were issued in recognition of an individual’s service in Britain overseas during the war during a particular period or in a particular role.

Other medals were issued as military decorations in recognition of bravery. One such medal was the military medal. This award was established on 25th March 1916, with retrospective application to 1914, and was awarded for "acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire".




Eric Renshaw received the military medal. He was a sergeant in the Liverpool Regiment and received the medal in 1917. It was reported in the Edinburgh Gazette on the 17 July:

“His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the under mentioned Non-Commissioned Officers and Men.” 

Eric Renshaw

The reason for this award has not been given but it was reported in the charity’s magazine, the Children’s Haven, with great pride:

“Sergeant Eric Renshaw has won the military medal, we feel very proud of him and pleased one of our old boys has been so honoured.”


Eric had been admitted to the Crossley Home on the 16th August 1890 at the age of 7 along with his brother John. His father had been dead for 3 weeks on account of ‘alcoholic poisoning’ and his mother had died of a ‘broken heart’.

We will be honouring all those who fought in World War One next Tuesday. We do hope you can join us then.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Remembering those who fought in WW1

“While we rejoice at the advent of peace and the vindication of righteousness, we remember with awe the price. How many homes in our beloved land will mourn some who will never return! The end of the war has even renewed the sense of loss to many. We have our own sad yet proud record as an Institution. There was a ready response to our country’s need in the early days of the war from officers and boys alike, and we have had the sad tidings time by time of those who have fallen – a member of Committee, three officers in charge of the boys, and 29 of the boys themselves. It is indeed true of these, as of so many others that they,  
'Died for us'”. - Children’s Haven, 1918

On the 11th November 1918, the country celebrated the end of World War One. Four long years of fighting had finally come to an end and people spilled out onto the streets, flag waving, rejoicing and singing. But peace had come at a great cost and for many, including our great charity, there were those who had gone out to war did not come back to celebrate. 


One hundred years later Together Trust is coming together to remember those associated with the charity, who fought in World War One. A plaque has been commissioned, in memory of those who died and will take pride of place in the Cheadle grounds. Alongside this Together Trust have also been awarded five silhouettes, funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for display.

Young people from our Ashcroft service have been working hard to learn more about the charity during World War One and have been involved in art work, music and poetry. All will be displayed on Tuesday 13th November and we hope the local community will join us to remember those who fought. 


For more information please contact the Together Trust. 

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Belmont and the coal chute

It’s that time of the year again when quiet descends upon the Together Trust’s head offices in Cheadle. As its two schools, Ashcroft and Inscape shut up shop for the summer, only the main central administration building now remains open. 

 Crossley Gaddum

Monday, 30 July 2018

A History of the North in 100 Archives

The Together Trust is excited to be part of a new online exhibition celebrating the history of the North. 


Official logo the Great Exhibition of the North

Friday, 20 July 2018

We're back...

The Together Trust has been busy over the last few months preparing for its obligations under the new Data Protection Act, 2018. This is an important piece of legislation affecting everyone, which ensures that the personal data organisations’ hold is kept safe and held legally. Consequently, this blog has taken a back step as we’ve worked to ensure your data is compliant with the new Act. However, now we’re back and we hope you’ll be back with us. 

The age of technology