24.36 – Rodger, Ada, William and Betty Craven

Roger (or Rodger) Craven was born in Todmorden in 1865, his parents were William Alfred Craven and Betty Pickles. He married Ada Ann Greenwood in 1891, the family lived on Eagle Street and by 1894 Roger and Ada Ann had two children : Ellen (born 1892), and William (born 1893).

Roger was a loom tackler at Waterside shed, but his passion was playing football. He appears many times in the newspapers playing for Todmorden and he must have been good as he became Captain of the football team.

Roger was described as a “finely built young man”, but this good health and fitness unfortunately didn’t help him when he became ill with typhoid fever. Roger died on 6th June 1894, just 19 days or so before he had lost his wife Ada Ann to the same disease.

This left their two children, Ellen and William as orphans. Friends that Roger worked with at Waterside raised £14 for an orphan fund. It would also seem by the headstone inscription that his work colleagues paid for the stone too.

“Erected as a token of respect and esteem by his friends and fellow workpeople”

As for the fate of Ellen and William, they make an appearance in the 1911 census, living at Shade with their auntie Ellen Kershaw. Their grandmother Betty is also with them, so thankfully it’s evident that they were kept with their family. William died a few years after his son and daughter-in-law, and Betty in 1919.

We don’t know who the infant in “also an infant” is – not all children under the age of three who were buried at Christ Church are mentioned in the sexton’s book or even the burial register.

Both Ellen and William survived to adulthood, even WW1, and married, raised families, and died in Todmorden.

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