BONSALL, Bertram

Private Bertram Bonsall
49213  3rd Leicestershire Regiment

Bertram Bonsall born 1896 in Ironville was the eldest son of Joseph and Mary Bonsall (nee Smith). He had a younger brother named Reginald Coy Bonsall born 1899. The family lived at Fanfields, Pye Hill (demolished in the 1970’s), which were six houses situated just inside the Pye Hill Colliery to house pit managers and deputies. By 1911 the family was living at Laverick Road, Jacksdale and Bert, aged 14 was working as a moulder at the sanitary pipeworks.

Bert’s Medal Rolls Index Card indicates that he enlisted in the Leicestershire Regiment on 18th April 1918 and was discharged on 19th Dec 1918. The card makes no mention of any medals awarded.

In 1920/21 Bert and his brother Reg both played for the Brinsley, St. John’s Football Team when the club won both the Royal Cup and the Notts Hospital Cup.

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Photo: Bert is seated 2nd from left in the middle row. St John’s, Brinsley F.C.

In 1921 Bert married Elizabeth Elsie Haddon and they had one daughter named Jean in 1925 who married Joseph Graham in 1947.

Bert worked for James Oakes Collieries at the pipe yard and the photo below shows Bert at a trade show possibly in the 1950’s, exhibiting sanitary ware and pipes made in the ‘odd stuff’ department, usually ‘one offs’ unusually shaped items made to special order.

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His father Joseph was the founding conductor of the Pye Hill Male Voice Choir and Bert was the choir’s treasurer and also assistant conductor for many years. Bert was also a keen member of the local bowls club.

Bert’s brother Reginald married Harriett Mee in 1921 and they had a daughter named Enid. His uncle Percy Bonsall is also named on the Jacksdale War Memorial as having served in the Lincolnshire Regiment during WW1.

Bert’s wife Elizabeth was born at Brinsley but lived in Jacksdale for all her married life. In 1961, she passed away suddenly.  Her obituary states that she had been a teacher at the Selston Church of England School for the past ten years and prior to that had taught at Jacksdale Council Schools. She had for some years been a member of the Pye Hill Trinity Methodist Church and both the Haddon and Bonsall families were well known and respected throughout the district.