Wednesday, 27 April 2016

St. John's Ambulance - William Dewhurst, Edward Graham (Co founders) etc.

Mr. William Dewhurst (co-founder)

St John Ambulance Association (Click over to enlarge)

This medal belonged to Mr. William Dewhurst (No. 17743) who was involved in our local branch  of the St John Ambulance for over 50 years of which for a long period of this time achieved the position of Divisional Superintendent - a incredible achievement and below I have shown even more medals and certificates which belonged to him.
Photos and Certificates scans relating to Mr. Wm Dewhurst have been kindly contributed by Joyce Thorne the grand daughter of Mr. Dewhurst.

British Red Cross and St John Certificate awarded to Mr. William Dewhurst in recognition of valuable services rendered during the War  (Click over Certificate to enlarge)

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St. John Ambulance Service Medal  (Click over to enlarge)

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Mr. Edward Graham (co-founder)

Mr. Edward Graham was also a officer of the Ambulance Brigade for more than 50 years and lived at "Graemar" on Helmshore Road. 

Haslingden's oldest tradesman and an Ambulance Brigade officer for more than 50 years, Mr. Edward Graham "Graemar", Helmshore Road, Haslingden died on Sunday, aged 83.

Mr. Graham's fish and fruit business founded by his father in 1885, has moved only a few yards in 68 years - across the road in Deardengate, Haslingden.

Mr. Graham has had the business 53 years.  He served in three wars, in the Boar War with the 21st Field Ambulance Corps, and with the Royal Army Medical Corps in the first world war, and as a Quartermaster sergeant, during the last war he was awarded the Defence Medal for his work at Haslingden's first aid post.


Mr. Graham was a founder member of Haslingden St. John Ambulance Brigade in 1897, and was Corps superintendent from 1919 until joining the Reserve five years ago.  He was made a serving member of the Order of St. John during the 1914-18 war.

(Above is information gathered from extracts taken from the Haslingden Guardian newspaper from 1954 kindly contributed by Jackie Ramsbottom)


Mixed photos of Haslingden's St. John Ambulance 

Opening of the New Ambulance Drill Hall on Lyndale Avenue  (Click over to enlarge)

St Johns Ambulance Brigade, Lyndale Ave  (Click over photo to enlarge)

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Haslingden St. John's Ambulance Officers and Nurses  (Click over image to enlarge)

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(Extracts from the Haslingden Guardian kindly supplied by Jackie Ramsbottom) Ambulance Brigade lacks volunteers - "not the same spirit of service as in bygone years"

Why is it that people of today have not the same spirit or enthusiasm for voluntary service as those in bygone years? asked Ald. A.S. Watson president of Haslingden Corps of the St. John Ambulance Brigade, at the annual meeting on Tuesday night.

Is it because there are so many attractions outside, and so much more opportunity for relaxation?
Whatever it is, he said "the plain fact is that people are not joining our organisation to replace the older ones when they retire."

"Our only hope is through the boys and girls we have to convince them that ambulance work is really worthwhile and personally as well as publicly rewarding".

He added: "You will never go out through shortage of funds for Haslingden people do recognise the valuable work you have always done and are still doing."

Lady Superintendent Mrs. E. Brown said she was sure that young people would realise that voluntary service was essential to life, "I have always felt," she said, "that in spite of the shortage of members that the St. John Ambulance would come back into its own.  We must not get discouraged, but try to make our organisation stronger."

The Corps, disclosed the secretary and treasurer, Mr. George Green, had spent %96 more than it had received during the year.  Donations on which they almost solely depended, amounted to just over £39, compared with £352 the previous year. This had included £300 from Haslingden Corporation as part of a fund that was being wound up.  Also Donations were: The Mayors Annual Ball £15, Rawtenstall Amateur Operatic Society, £15,  Also £8 3s. 8d, as the collection at the Mayors annual civic parade and church service and Haslingden Grammar School Old Students Association, a guinea.


The weekly cost of running the Ambulance Drill Hall, said Mr. Green, had risen from £2 17s 8 1/2d in 1950 to £3 14s 3d last year.

Divisional Superintendent W. Dewhurst, in his 23rd annual report, said that "A" and "B" Divisions had now been merged because of shortage of men.  They had held 48 drills during the year and he appealed to members to put in better attendances.  "it is hard work for the Corps Surgeon and officers if members don't turn up," he said.

They needed new members, too, and he urged members to try to get more recruits during the forthcoming year "so that we can keep our heads above water,"  A first-aid class for men and women had been held during the year said Superintendent Dewhurst, they were disappointed at the fact that only nine people had turned up for the examination.

Sergeant Isaac Haworth, secretary of "A" Division, said the 20 cases of treatment which had been notified during the year did not reflect the real work of the Corps.  Many of their members were actively engaged in first-aid in industry and altogether probably dealt with something like 200 cases during a year.


Lady Superintendent Brown, presenting the Nursing Division report, said the numbers remained about the same, while Mrs. A. Leddy (girl cadets) said they were "just about washed out at the moment." They had not been able to meet because of other classes, she said, and whether they would start again remained to be seen.

Mr. Green, presenting the report on the boy cadets, said they were up against the difficulty that when the boys left school and went to work "we cannot keep them."  Another problem was that they had not sufficient money to fit out all the boys with uniforms.

Alderman Watson said that on the whole the reports were not discouraging, but they could certainly do with more members and they had to do something during the year to get the girl cadets back. It was a tribute to the Corps, said the president, that 22 members had a total of more that 400 years, a record which showed that in spite of the difficulties and discouragements they had still maintained their interest in a job that was really worthwhile.  Alderman Watson suggested that they should try to raise money to provide the boy cadets with uniforms, it was wrong not to encourage them to that extent, he said.


The Corps decided to seek permission to hold a flag day during the summer and to start a personal drive to recruit more members.  Appointments included Mr. W. Hartley (Caretaker), and Miss Ida Pickup and Miss Vera Hadfield (joint social secretaries).  The resignations were accepted with regret of Mr. H. Walker (social secretary), and Private George Tunstall, who has more than 50 years service with the Corps.  The president welcomed the new Corps Surgeon (Dr. S. Carter), and the meeting stood in silence to the memory of the late Ambulance Officer Duerden who had 38 years service with the Corps.

from: Michael Mullaney and posted 19th May 2016:

I like many teenagers became a member of the St John Ambulance, we met on a Monday evening to be trained in first aid and marching but the highlight was the rough and tumble after when Fred Rumble organised a game of British Bulldogs.
Fred also organised camping trips and his potato pie suppers were a treat.  One of the tricks was to get a new recruit on a stretcher, secure with bandages and the tip upside down and run around the hall with him hanging from the bandage fixings.  
One bonus was we got into all the shows and other events at the Public Hall as first aiders... Great Times sadly no longer there for today's youth.




Alice Ashworth, Duggie Bailey, John Barnes, Ronald Baron, Harry Chadwick, William Dewhurst, Alan Durkin, Edward Graham, George Green, Vincent Greenwood,  Jim Grinrod, John Kaylor, Carol Kemp, Peter Merriman, Michael Mullaney, James Tattersall, John T. Wood, and the many many other special people who were past members of such a fantastic Brigade.

It is hoped that we maybe able to add members to the above list who all deserve a mention

Thanks also to the following who have so gratefully contributed to this Blog in one way or another: Ann Belshaw, Roy, Gridrod, Derek Haworth, Michael Mullaney, Jacqui Ramsbottom, Joyce Thorne, Robert Wade,

I have also put a request out on our FACEBOOK page to request if anyone can add to this list. Thank you.


Ron Baron's Certificate


St. Johns Ambulance (Click over to enlarge)
This is a group of young people on a trip to Bexhill on Sea around 1960
Photo: Kindly shared by Pauline Emmett Dagg on 13th May 2017 

March 1982 St Johns Ambulance members and cadets.

St John's Ambulance personell at their local Lyndale Avenue headquarters
Photo: Thanks to Mrs. Alyson Bennison for kindly sharing.

Members of the Haslingden St. Johns Ambulance.
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Mrs. Alyson Bennison