Edwin Kelly - My father
My dad, Edwin Kelly joined the army in 1916 he was in the First World War. His dad got married again and did not get on with the family. He lived in Sutherland Street off Worsley Road and my mother worked at Lower Nuttalls Mill nearer by, and she lived in Antelope Street Kearsley. She used to walk over the Moss, so I presume that is how they met. He came on leave and asked the Padre for a licence to marry on his day off. They met on Market Street, Congregational Church but had no witnesses so they asked the church cleaners to be their witnesses. Therefore, they got married and he had to return to camp as he was going abroad.
He was at the Battle of the Somme and was shot along with two other soldiers. He said come on to the other soldiers, we need to get to the next trench, but one was already dead and he thought the other one was breathing. So, he carried him on his back to the First Aid Tent and the medics said 'aye lad you've been carrying a dead'. However, as they took him off his back he collapsed himself. His body was covered all over in shrapnel; he had been shot in his knee and had three holes in his lower leg. So he was made convalescent and made chef with the French men.
He was a very good cook, he used to make broth with vegetables and herbs on a string tied to the handle of the pan. He made many other great dishes along with my mother. He never got a pension for his wounds. Although my brother who had been in the last War, was an avid reader and discovered that my dad could claim. He was awarded 50 pence but they did not give him for the years in between. My brother was keen to ride a motorbike in the War, although because of his office skills at Chloride that's where he was placed.
My dad's trade was of spindle and fly maker but after the war the mills did not want any more workers. Therefore, he worked at Ashton Field Pits. One day there were three of them carrying a steel girder and the other two dropped it, my dad fell and his middle finger was chopped off to the first joint. They took him in the ambulance with the severed finger that was very dirty, although they couldn't stitch it back. He then he went to convalesce in the miner's home at Blackpool. There was always a lot of people getting hurt and sadly he only managed one more holiday.
He eventually retired from his last job in a foundry on Folds Road. On his, way home on a rainy day, he was on the kerb and a Lay Preacher knocked him down as he was driving very fast. The police were coming along the road at the same time, so he had to stop his vehicle. The ambulance and paramedics asked where it hurt, he replied all over - they gave him morphine but he died.
And he was a good dad.