Arthur Northwood, is, I believe, the son of Thomas Henry & Sarah E. Northwood (nee Evans). Sarah E. Evans was the second wife of Thomas Henry Northwood, he was married first to Sarah Jackson in the September quarter of 1902 in Dudley, Worcestershire. ( Dudley Vol. 6c Page 170).
They are seen on the 1911 census living at 24, Norman Road, Stalybridge, Lancashire,with 6 rooms. Thomas Henry Northwood, 32 and married 9 years was an Ironworker Rollerman (Sheet Rolling Works), born Dudley Port, Staffordshire. His wife Sarah Northwood, 32, tells us that no children had been born to them and she had been born in Dudley, Worcestershire.* Also in the household was Sarah’s parents William & Hannah Jackson, age 58 and 59 respectively. They had been married for 39 years and 5 children had been born, sadly 1 had died. William had been born in Dudley and Hannah in Great Bridge, Staffordshire. There was also a Niece, Sarah Evans, 17 and single, a Cotton Winder (Cotton Mill) born Dudley, Worcestershire**
*Sarah NORTHWOOD (nee JACKSON) is the sister of Elizabeth (Lizzie) EVANS (nee JACKSON) who married George H. EVANS. Sarah died in 1913, then Thomas Henry NORTHWOOD married Sarah EVANS in 1914.
**Sarah EVANS is the daughter of George H. & Elizabeth (Lizzie) EVANS (nee JACKSON) so Sarah Northwood was her Aunt.
They must have moved to Hawarden between the 1911 census and 1913. Then Sarah Northwood sadly died in the December quarter of 1913 (Hawarden Vol. 11b Page 292), (see copy of Parish Register below).
Thomas Henry must have returned home to Dudley after her death as he married Sarah’s niece Sarah E. Evans in the December quarter of 1914 in Dudley (Dudley Vol. 6b Page 2041).
Arthur Northwood was born in Hawarden in 1916 (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/20A/54), his mother’s maiden name was Evans.
I have no information on Arthur throughout his early and teenage years, but his family show up on the 1939 National Register taken on the 29th September 1939. They are living at “Ferndale,” Welsh Road , Hawarden, Flintshire. This source gives us the dates of birth, Thomas Henry’s was the 4th April 1877 and he was a Steel Sheet Roller, Heavy Worker. Sarah E. Northwood’s date of birth was the 24th January 1894 and as most women on the register who did not have a job, was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.” There was one redacted or closed record.
I believe that Arthur may have had 2 sisters, Ivy, born 1920 and Olwen, born 1924, but I am not certain, the 1921 census may have been able to shed light on Ivy, but it has not been published yet. Any help would be appreciated.
Arthur was to find himself as a Petty Officer Telegraphist on the H.M. Submarine Swordfish, Royal Navy in November 1940. This leads me to think that he had joined up before the war to have had that training, but I cannot find any service records for him, so if anyone can help, please get in touch so he won’t be forgotten for his sacrifice.
Arthur Northwood in the UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960, tells us that his birth date was the 20th January 1916 in Hawarden. This document also tells us that his cause of death was –Numerical code 2 – Missing – Death on War Service presumed.
Thanks to http://www.naval-history.net/WW2aBritishLosses05SS.htm we get to know what happened to H.M. Swordfish and her crew.
SWORDFISH (Lt M A Langley+), 7th November 1940, Western Europe, English Channel off the Isle of Wight, southern England – probably German mines. Sailed from Portsmouth on 7th November for Brest patrol. Failed to signal back on 15th and 16th, and not heard from again. At the time she was declared ‘overdue, presumed lost’ and believed sunk in the Bay of Biscay either on mines or at the hands of German destroyers near Brest. Her wreck was discovered in 1983 a few miles south of St Catherine’s Point off the Isle of Wight. She had been mined a few hours after leaving Portsmouth, with the loss of all 41 crew (Brest patrol)
Daily Mail, Monday, December 23rd 1940 – SUBMARINE LOST
The Submarine “Swordfish” (Lieut. M.A. LANGLEY, D.S.O., R.N.) is overdue, and must be considered lost, states an Admiralty communiqué issued last night.
https://wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?450 – The wreck site has been derived in part from material obtained from the UK Hydrographic Office with the permission of the UK Hydrographic Office and Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and the following authorities. © British Crown Copyright, 2018.
People On Board HMS “Swordfish” – Portsmouth Naval Memorial
- NORTHWOOD, ARTHUR (24), Petty Officer Telegraphist (no. D/JX 135376), HMS Swordfish, Royal Navy, †16/11/1940, Memorial: Plymouth Naval Memorial
Board HMS “Swordfish”Crew List – Taken from the Evening Telegraph, Wednesday 5th February 1941. Entered by: Black Jonathan. entered: 22/02/2015.copyrights: Unknown).
Arthur’s parents must have suffered terribly not knowing for many years what had really happened and indeed his mother Sarah Elizabeth Northwood was to die, age 82 years, before her son’s demise was known as she died in the September quarter of 1976, seven years before the wreck of the Swordfish was found in 1983. (Solihull, West Midlands, Volume: 34 Page:0038).
Thomas Henry Northwood also went to his grave not knowing what had happened to his son as he died before Sarah Elizabeth in Hawarden, on the 14th September 1958 age 80 years. (Hawarden
Flintshire Volume: 8a Page: 416). I believe though they would have been alive to put Arthur’s name forward for the Hawarden WW2 War Memorial circa 1954.
Thomas Henry Northwood in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995 – NORTHWOOD, Thomas Henry of Sunnyside, 58a, Welsh Road, Queensferry, Flintshire died 14th September 1958. Probate Chester 21st October to Sarah Elizabeth NORTHWOOD, Widow.