NAYLOR, Joseph

Joseph Naylor
42501 Norfolk Regiment
64962 5th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment

Naylor Joseph served350Joseph Naylor was born in 1897 at Westwood, Notts, the son of Joseph Naylor a coal miner hewer born Eastwood and Emma Castledine born Westwood. The family lived at Old Westwood (Palmerston Street) in the house next to the infants’ school. Joseph and Emma had four children in all, Joseph, Lucy, Sarah and Martha Henry Naylor. Joseph (senior) also had a son named William from a previous marriage.

In 1902, when Joseph was aged only 4 or 5, his father Joseph died, leaving wife Emma widowed with her four young children. In his memoirs, ‘Pit Lad to Deputy’ published in a book by the Selston WEA entitled, ‘Selston Victorians’, Joseph describes his life as a little boy of 5 and how his mother received parish relief of 1 shilling per week, per child, provided that the children continued to attend school on a regular basis. His mother took in washing to supplement the meagre income, and every day was wash day. Joseph scrounged coal slack from neighbours to keep the fire going and ran errands, taking hot meals to men at the Codnor Park Forge during his school lunchtime or fetched bottles of ale for night shift workers at the forge in return for the coppers paid for returning the empties. Late in 1903 his mother Emma married Robert Berresford, so the family once again had a ‘bread winner’.

Joseph first attended Westwood Infants School, moving on to Ironville & Codnor Park School where he was also taught to swim and finished off at Jacksdale School where he won a scholarship to go onto Higher Education but the family was so poor, they had to decline the offer and instead send Joseph to work at the pipe yard. He only drew one week’s pay at the pipe yard as he discovered friends were earning more at the pit, so he moved onto the ‘Bull & Butcher’ Colliery at Selston, where he earned 1 shilling and six pence (7.5p) a day. He worked hard and by 1915 was promoted to the stalls, loading coal into tubs.

EJoseph’s service record has not survived but his Medal Rolls Index Card indicates he was a recipient of the British War and Victory medals and he is listed on the Absent Voters Roll. He was wounded on the Somme on 12th October 1918, the same day that his friend James Ernest Green of Westwood was killed in action.

After the war, in 1918 he married Mary Dove from Selston and they had a daughter named Irene.  In 1923, at the age of 25 Joseph was made a deputy at the pit, a position he held for 10 years. He was offered a terraced house with a bay window, which he said was meant to be a symbol of his affluence as a deputy. His wage had increased to £4 3s 0d per week and rent for the house was 13 shillings a week (65p).

Joseph’s service during the Great War was the only interruption to his 52 year working life in mining. Joseph died in 1987, aged 87 in the Mansfield District. His wife Mary pre-deceased him in 1969