John Daniel Whetton married Mary Elizabeth GRICE of Walsall Wood, Staffordshire.

John became a colliery under-manager at Glapwell colliery. His left arm was severely injured in an accident at the colliery as he was inspecting a broken machine. As a result, his arm was amputated. He remained at the colliery in an administrative capacity until his retirement. He also lectured in Mathematics at Sheffield University on a part time basis.

John’s diminished earning capacity affected the educational aspirations of his son who had been expected to attend university. Instead, at the age of 18 years, John’s son Fred was required to work in the coal mines to earn a decent wage to help keep the family together.


John and Mary were living in Mansfield, probably with Mary’s parents, when their first child was born in 1917. They later moved to a colliery owned cottage at Carr Vale near Bolsover and eventually to the converted Wesleyan chapel at Heath which had been purchased by John’s father and converted into two cottages, one for himself and the other for John and Mary.


John and Mary had 8 children -

Frederick Walter Whetton


John Thomas

Vera Ivy

Richard Levi




Frederick Walter Whetton FARNSWORTH

Frederick was born at Mansfield, Nottinghamshire on 19 August 1917. Fred worked in the mines from the age of 18 years until he was in his late thirties by which time he had reached the status of Charge Hand Coal Cutter. He left the mines after an accident to his nose. He tried a number of jobs including a period working a the Clay Cross Works and as Manager of a Credit Drapery organisation. He undertook retraining as an Engineer and was responsible for maintenance of wool spinning equipment. He later became Service Engineer for a firm which manufactured fork lift trucks. He retired at the age of 62 years.

The mining and wool spinning industries had taken their toll on his health and he suffered breathing difficulties for the rest of his life. Fred died on 23 November 1995 aged 78 years.

In January 1942, at the age of 25 years, Fred married Evelyn EVANS at St Peter’s Church, Mansfield Nottinghamshire. Evelyn was born at Mansfield on 15 December 1920. She was a housewife for the whole of her married life. Fred and Evelyn were totally devoted to each other and Evelyn never really recovered from Fred’s death. Evelyn died on 20 March 2000 aged 79 years.

Fred and Evelyn had 5 children -.

Frederick who married Pamela Ann TAYLOR of Hollingwood near Chesterfield. They had 2 children.

Janet who married Brinley Thomas UPHILL of Clowne at Staveley Parish Church, Derbyshire.

They had 2 children

Margaret who died of a heart condition aged just 13 months.

Angela who married Simon SHELLEY of Cambridge at Staveley Parish Church, Derbyshire. They have 2 children

Catherine who married Neil CARRINGTON, of Mansfield Woodhouse, at Staveley Parish Church,

Derbyshire. They had 2 children.


Nellie was born on 25 October 1919. She never married and lived in her grandfather’s (Frederick Whetton Farnsworth) house until and after his death. During WWII Nellie worked in the R.A.F. as a dental nurse. After the War she operated a gents clothing market stall in Chesterfield and Mansfield.

On returning home from work one day in about 1955, she complained of chest pains (perhaps caused by overlifting crates of clothes), and was visited by her doctor who gave her medication. She died the following day, aged 36 years. Her family are convinced that a wrong diagnosis by the doctor, who prescribed barbiturates, caused her death. Nellie was buried in the same grave as her grandparents, at Heath Churchyard.


John was born on 7 January 1921. He served in the military before going into the mines where he died as a result of a heart condition. John married Marion FARHAM of Wood Street, Holmewood. Marion is also now deceased.

John and Marion had 3 children –





Vera was born on 12 October 1923. She married Austin POLL, (always known as Don), who was from Grimsby. During WWII Hardwick Park near Heath where Don was an instructor, was a training camp for paratroopers. It was here that he met Vera. Don died in July 1976 having predeceased Very by 14 years. Vera worked for the Village Post Office at Heath and lived in her grandfather’s cottage after the death of her sister Nellie. Vera died in December


Vera and Don had one child –

Raymond Alan, who married Jean SPEED of Brimington. They had 2 children


Richard was born on 28 June 1925. He married Mavis TERRY, of Compton Street, Holmewood and they lived at St Albans Close, Holmewood, near Chesterfield. Richard was a coal miner. He died at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, aged 80 years. His obituary appeared in the Derbyshire Times and reads –

“Mr Richard Levi Farnsworth, of St Albans Close, Holmewood, has died at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, aged 80. Born at Carr Vale and a lifelong resident of this part of Derbyshire, he had been a miner for the NCB at Glapwell, Williamthorpe and Holmewood collieries and Domonic’s privately owned mine at Warsop up to retirement. He was a keen gardener who also enjoyed reading jigsaws,walking and being with his family. He was a member of the British Legion and Holmewood Miners Welfare. Mr Farnsworth leaves a widow, Mavis, daughters Gloria and Shirley, son Richard, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. A service was due to take place today at 10am at All Saints Church, Heath, followed by burial. Funeral directors : Stephen Pledger, 20a Heath Road, Holmewood”

Richard and Mavis had 3 children –





Harry was born on 28 September 1926. He never married and lived all his life at his parents home at Heath. Harry worked in the mines most of his life, as a colliery banksman, but eventually retired as an estates worker for the local council. He died on 4 July 2003.


Eileen was born on 24 August 1928. She married Joseph TAMASOUSKAS, a Lithuanian paratrooper who trained at Hardwick camp. After the War he worked in the mines, eventually at Arkwright Colliery, near Chesterfield. Eileen died in March 2004. Eileen and Joseph had 2 children –




Una was born on 10 December 1930. Living at Heath. She married Joseph SIMANSKIS, a Lithuanian

paratrooper who trained at Hardwick camp. They had 3 children –





© Neil Wilson 2012 -
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