S8.5 – William, Charles and Lucy Ann Goucke

A pair of proud parents and a proud uncle are buried here – at least, the father and uncle would have been proud if they’d still been around to see their son/nephew’s success. A tale of offcumden who embedded themselves in Todmorden life.

William and Charles Goucke were brothers who had moved to Todmorden from Great Ribston with Walshford, near Harrogate in the 1860s. William had been born in Cork, Ireland in 1845 and Charles in Pocklington in 1851, which helps us date the family’s movements over time. Their parents James Goucke and his wife Ann (nee Ogilvie) were originally from Angus, in Scotland, and James was a farmer. It’s interesting to see a farmer travelling so often, but perhaps farming was the compromise that James came to in order to allow his family to finally settle in one place. In 1867 William joined the West Yorkshire Constabulary and was posted to Todmorden. His entry documentation gives a basic description of him, so we know he was 5ft 8ins tall, had brown hair and grey eyes. Charles probably followed him to Todmorden to live.

William lied about his place of birth, probably because being Irish (or thought to be Irish) was not always terribly popular. It also seems that he needed some time to sink his teeth into the job, as 15 months after initially joining up he resigned before rejoining four months later. On the 1871 Census William was a Police Constable, lodging in York Street with a pensioner (who had formerly been a Police Constable himself) named Benjamin Bottomley and his wife Sarah. He also appears in the newspapers that year as P.C. Goucke.

Todmorden Advertiser, March 18th 1871

Meanwhile Charles had become a Printer’s Compositor and was lodging a short distance away in Canal Yard, and working for the Todmorden and District News. On the 9th of May 1872 at York Street Methodist Chapel Charles married Lucy Ann Broadbent, a cotton weaver who lived at Hanging Ditch. She was the daughter of James Broadbent, a weaver, and his wife Sarah (nee Cockcroft). Lucy was born in 1852 and grew up at Roomfield. The Broadbents moved to Hanging Ditch later and Lucy, like most of her other siblings, also became a cotton weaver. That changed after marriage when she took up her expected place within the home.

William Goucke left the West Riding Constabulary in May 1871, and also left Todmorden for Manchester not too long afterwards. In 1876 he was living in Hulme and working as a butcher. He later moved his butcher’s shop to Stretford. He never married, and when he died the following year in Stretford he was brought back to Todmorden to be buried and thereby became the first occupant of this grave.

Charles and Lucy Goucke moved to Brighouse after their marriage, but soon moved back to Todmorden and had four children: three daughters, Edith, Florence and Emily, and one son, Charles (more about him at the end of this). Charles Sr. was active in Todmorden life during this time. He was an important member of the Wesleyan Chapel, Secretary of the York Street chapel’s Sunday School, an auditor for Todmorden Borough, a librarian for the Co-Op, and was also a member of the Oddfellows (Hope Lodge). Lucy was busy with their children but also got involved with the church, running stalls at bazaars across the valley as part of the women’s contingent representing York Street. The Gouckes hardly seemed to sit still. They lived at Fair View, 11 Victoria Road, 23 Adelaide Street…they lived all over.

On the 1st November 1913 Charles Goucke died in a nursing home in Manchester. He had resigned from being auditor of the borough in 1906 and moved to Manchester with Lucy where they ran a stationers and tobacconist business. He joined his brother in the grave three days later. Lucy continued to live in Old Trafford and carried on with the stationers and tobacconist business after her husband died. In the 1921 census we found her visiting her daughter, Emily, who had married Charles Whitehead and was living at Dawson Weir, and she gave her occupation there as Stationer and Tobacconist. Lucy died on the 18th April 1937 and was also buried three days later – the final person to be buried in this grave that we know of. Interestingly, none of the three Gouckes buried here lived in Todmorden at the time of their deaths.

Manchester Evening News, April 23rd 1937

Remember our mention of proud parents and uncles? Charles and Lucy’s son, Charles Edward Broadbent Goucke, became Mayor of Todmorden in 1927. Lucy had ten years of life left, but got to see her only son ascend to impressive heights in her hometown, and will no doubt have been glad that she was able to live long enough to see such an achievement (but regret that her husband wasn’t there to see it too).

One Comment

  1. Charles Roger Goucke

    This is fantastic thank you so much for collecting this information.
    I am the grandson of Mayor Goucke!
    I knew a little of this story but that I also had a policeman uncle has made my day !

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