Haworth joiner joined up to fight in France

Herbert Chaplin

Herbert Chaplin

First published in News

Herbert Chaplin’s training as a joiner stood him in good stead when he went to France halfway through the First World War.

He was recruited to the Royal Engineers, and was sent across the English Channel in July 1916 as an army joiner.

Herbert was born in Haworth in 1886, attending Haworth Board School before following in his father’s footsteps to become a carpenter and joiner. He worked first in Barnoldswick, helping build Edmondson’s Fernbank Cotton Mill, then in December 1915, at the age of 39, he volunteered for war service.

Under the Derby Scheme, he was allowed to return home to await his call-up, but he was summoned just one month later.

Following training, he joined 155 Field Company, 16th Division Royal Engineers, and spent two years serving overseas. He returned home for ten days to marry Annie Chaplin, who lived at Haworth Brow, in September 1917.

Twelve months later Herbert received a gunshot wound to his right hand and was treated at Carrington Hospital, a Nottingham mansion converted to use as a hospital and convalescent home.

This ‘Blighty Wound’ was serious enough for him to be sent home permanently, no longer fit for war service. Herbert was awarded a Silver War Badge, which he could wear to prove he had a war injury and avoid the stigma attached to men of service age who were still at home.

After the war, Herbert, above, worked at Ebor Mill in Haworth, dying in 1975 aged 89, more than two decades after his wife. The pair are buried at Haworth Cemetery in Penistone Hill.

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