Sunday, 11 November 2007

My Maternal Grandfather

Below is a photograph of my grandfather, Alexander Joseph Limb. He was born in Awsworth, Nottinghamshire in 1884 the first son of William Edward and Celia Limb (nee Young).

I know very little about his early life. By 1891 his parents had moved to Ilkeston where his mother was born and were living at No 7 Chapel Street. By 1901 the family had moved again to Shirebrook in Derbyshire and were living at No 30 Church Drive, on the census my grandfather is 16 years old and a coal carter. My mother once told me that my grandfather loved animals and used to work with the pit ponies.

In May 1906 he married my grandmother Florence Mary Stubbs. In March 1907 their first child my Aunt Gladys was born just a few days before my great grandfather William Edward Limb was killed in a pit cage accident (see my earlier post). My grandfather had to identify the shattered body of his father and register his death in the same week as becoming a father for the first time and registering the birth of his daughter. The family tale is that my grandfather should have been on the same shift at the pit as his father but missed the cage down because his boot lace snapped and he had to find another one to make sure his boot was secure for his day's work.

In 1909 my grandparents had a son whom they called William Edward and he is the small child on the pony above. Unfortunately, more tragedy was to strike the family as the child - their only son - died in October 1910 of meningitis aged 16 months. This would date the photo above as being taken in the spring or summer of 1910.

My grandfather died in April 1954 o
f pneumoconiosis or miner's lung. I was three at the time of his death and my only memory is of him being very ill upstairs in grandma's house and my Mum and Aunts being with grandma and me playing downstairs, in front of the huge range fireplace, with the contents of my grandma's treadle sewing machine drawers, listening to the loud ticking of the wall clock and of having to be very quiet indeed.


  1. I can't recall where I saw a reference to your blog but I have just started to read it.

    Like you I have a link to the LIMB's in Scarcliffe, although quite a bit earlier - John Goucher married Mary Limb 16th Oct 1799 in Scarcliffe. Mary was the daughter of John Limb and Hannah, nee Charlesworth. I can go back another generation on the Limb's to Job Limb and Mary Taylor who married in the parish in 1746.

  2. Hello - have only just found your comment - I think you must have found me via my Scarcliffe website, then my main blog 'Corners of my Mind' - although I lived from the age of 5 to 28 in Scarcliffe my Limb family came from around Heanor in Derbyshire I've traced them back there to about 1780ish. The Scarcliffe Limbs were probably from nearby Ault Hucknall as the name seems to go back there well into the 17th century. I guess at some point they are all connected as it is such an unusual name - thanks for popping by.