Famous Ulverstonians | Sir John Barrow | Ulverston Town Council
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(19 June 1764 – 23 November 1848) was an English statesman and writer. Barrow's Boys - Fergus Fleming (1998) "For 30 years beginning 1816, the British Admiralty's John Barrow and his elite team charted large areas of the Arctic, discovered the North Magnetic Pole, were the first to see volcanoes in the Antarctic, crossed the Sahara to find Timbuktu and the mouth of the Niger - John Ross, John Franklin, William Edward Parry and others." In 1804 he was appointed Second Secretary to the Admiralty by Viscount Melville, a post which he held for forty years. His life and work are commemorated in Ulverston by Sir John Barrow's Monument on Hoad Hill, overlooking the town. It was built in 1850 and was restored in 2009.
(Arthur Stanley Jefferson) was born in his grandparents' house on 16 June 1890 at 3 Argyle Street, Ulverston, Cumbria. He had two brothers and a sister. Laurel first appeared with his future partner, Oliver Hardy, in The Lucky Dog (1921), which was filmed in 1919, but not released until 1921. He visited Ulverston in 1947 when he appeared on the Coronation Hall Balcony with Oliver Hardy. He died in America on 23 February 1965, aged 74.
Maude was born in Ulverston in 1895. She emigrated to America aged 15.and became a classically trained pianist. She married William Albert Haley. Their son William (Bill) Haley, born on 6 July 1925 became a Rock and Roll legend. Maude died in 25 Apr 1955 in Bethel, Delaware, Pennsylvania, USA.
Norman was born on 30 March 1940 in Ulverston. He was an international cricketer, who played primarily as a left-arm spinner. Gifford played county cricket for Worcestershire, and Warwickshire, and represented England in fifteen Tests between 1964 and 1973. He was awarded an MBE in 1978 for Services to Cricket. http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Players/1/1230/1230.html
Lord Birkett was was born in Ulverston, Lancashire on 6 September 1883 to Thomas Birkett, a draper, and his wife Agnes. He became a distinguished lawyer. In 1936 he acted for Mrs. Wallis Simpson in her divorce proceedings against Mr. Simpson. As Lord Birkett he represented Britain at the Nuremberg Trials. He was created Baron Birkett of Ulverston in the County of Lancaster, and took his seat in the House of Lords on 20 February 1958. He sat for the last time in the House of Lords on 8 February 1962, where he made a speech criticising the Manchester Corporation Bill which would have water drained from Ullswater to meet the needs of the growing population in Manchester. His speech was "deeply felt and eloquent", and when the votes were announced, Birkett and his supporters had won by 70 votes to 36. The Ullswater Yacht Club now holds an annual Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy Race on the lake.
Bryan was born on May 29 1935 at Ulverston, Cumbria, the son of a stock and share broker who lived in the next street to the birthplace of the comedian Stan Laurel. He became a Senior BBC Radio 4 newsreader and presenter of the 70s and 80s, who announced on the Today programme the death of Elvis Presley in 1977, and broke the news of the Iranian Embassy siege in 1980. He appeared in The News Quiz, occasionally introduced The Goon Show, and read the spoof "news bulletin" which always featured in the middle of the comedy The Men From the Ministry.
The Victoria Cross is the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Francis Arthur Jefferson VC
(18 August 1921 – 4 September 1982) was awarded the VC for his actions during the Battle of Monte Cassino in World War II.
Francis Jefferson was 22 years old, and a fusilier in the 2nd Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 16 May 1944, during an attack on the Gustav Line, Monte Cassino, Italy, the leading company of Fusilier Jefferson's battalion had to dig in without protection. The enemy counter-attacked opening fire at short range, and Fusilier Jefferson on his own initiative seized a PIAT gun and, running forward under a hail of bullets, fired on the leading tank. It burst into flames and its crew were killed. The fusilier then reloaded and went towards the second tank which withdrew before he could get within range. By this time, British tanks had arrived and the enemy counter-attack was smashed.
William Basil Weston VC
(3 January 1924 – 3 March 1945) was awarded the VC for his actions during the attack on Meiktila, Burma, on 3rd March 1945.
William Basil Weston was 21 years old, and a lieutenant in the Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment), British Army, attached to 1st Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 3 March 1945 during the attack on Meiktila, Burma, Lieutenant Weston was commanding a platoon which, together with the rest of the company, had to clear an area of the town of the enemy. In the face of fanatical opposition he led his men superbly, encouraging them from one bunker position to the next. When he came to the last, particularly well-defended bunker, he fell wounded in the entrance. Knowing that his men would not be able to capture the position without heavy casualties he pulled the pin out of one of his grenades as he lay on the ground and deliberately blew himself up with the occupants of the bunker.
Harry Christian VC
(17 January 1892 – 2 September 1974)
Harry Christian was awarded the VC for his actions at Cuinchy, France during the First World War.
His actions are commemorated at Pennington War Memorial, near Ulverston, when the a memorial stone was unveiled on Sunday 18 October 2015 by the Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria Mrs Shiela Hensman.
Harry Christian was 23 years old, and a private in the 2nd Battalion, King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster), British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place at Cuinchy, France, for which he was awarded the VC. The citation, published in the London Gazette on 3 March 1916, read:
“For most conspicuous bravery. He was holding a crater with five or six men in front of our trenches. The enemy commenced a very heavy bombardment of the position with;heavy "minenwerfer" bombs, forcing a temporary withdrawal. When he found that three men were missing, Private Christian at once returned alone to the crater, and, although bombs were continually bursting actually on the edge of the crater, he found, dug out, and carried one by one into safety all three men, thereby undoubtedly saving their lives. Later he placed himself where he could see the bombs coming, and directed his comrades when and where to seek cover.”
His Victoria Cross is displayed at The King's Own Royal (Lancaster) Regiment Museum in Lancaster, England.