William Henry Cliffe

William Henry Cliffe was born on 27th January 1878 in Hatton and baptised on 5th March that year at a Primitive Methodist chapel in the Runcorn Circuit.  He was the second son of James Cliffe (born Lower Whitley) and Mary Clare (born Stockton Heath).

The 1881 Census showed the family living in a cottage in Hatton.  James was a farm labourer and the couple had three children: John Peter aged four years of age, William Henry aged three years and Mary (Elizabeth) aged one year.

Ten years later William Henry had left home and at the age of thirteen was working as a farm servant to Peter Clare at Small Sheepscroft Farm in Appleton with Hull.

By 1901 he was working as a groom at Crowley, near Whitley Reed, living with the family of Peter Hankey.

On 14th May 1908 William Henry Cliffe married Georgina White (Whyte?) at St Thomas’ in Stockton Heath.  He was at that time employed as a coal breaker. He was 29 years of age and she was 21 years old.  Georgina had been born in Pendleton in Lancashire.

The census of 1911 recorded the couple as living at 43, Church Street in Golborne.  He was working as a bricklayer’s labourer in a coal mine and they had three children: Alexander James aged two years of age, Lewis aged one year and one-month-old Esme.  (Over the next decade they would have five more children: Doris, Freda, Cecil, Iris and William Ivor).

It is not clear which regiment William Henry served with during the Great War.  He was reported as having been sent home suffering from shellshock.  His brothers John Peter, Percy and James Frederick also served.

William Henry Cliffe died on 15th September 1923 and was buried in Daresbury churchyard.  He was 46 years old.  His widow Georgina moved to live in Hatton near to her husband’s family.  Her eight children were between one and fourteen years of age.  Georgina died in late 1932 and was also buried at Daresbury.

William Henry’s father James Cliffe died in 1932 and his mother Mary Cliffe died in 1945.