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The Goldthorpe Family 276

Contributor: Pat Benatmane
Decade: 1910s

All 5 Goldthorpe brothers played for Hunslet. Albert Goldthorpe would have been almost 43yr when war broke out. For the first enlistment in August 1914, men had to be between 18 yrs and 38 yrs and minimum 5ft 6in (168cm). By 1915, you could be called up at 40yr: by 1918 you could be 41 yr. Height restrictions had dropped to 5ft 3ins (160cm). By 1918, the age had been extended to 50 years. Even so, the Goldthorpe family were mainly farmers, a reserved occupation, as people still had to be fed and German submarines and destroyers were blockading Britain. Albert, Walter and William all farmed in Belle Isle. James, born 1867, who had played for Hunslet in the Northern Union, had become a teacher and combined that with being a Leeds Auxiliary Fireman during the war. John, also a Hunslet player, had emigrated to Australia. His 2 sons joined up - Arthur with the 18th Battalion, 5th Infantry, Australian Expeditionary Force. He was killed at Gallipoli in 1915, aged 18yr. Harry joined the ANZAC forces in France and survived.

Heritage Number: James 64; John Henry 68; William 69; Albert Edward 112; Walter 119.