James Staveley was born in Wigan in 1861 the son of George Staveley (b. 1818) of Aysgarth, and his wife Ellen HARRISON. In 1891 James is living with his then widowed mother Ellen at Mowpin Lodge in Haigh. James married Mary M. SHEARER at St. George, Wigan in 1892. In 1894 they had a son Joseph Shearer Staveley whose birth was registered in Wigan, although below his place of birth is listed as Blackrod in the 1901 census. By 1901 James and his wife Mary are living with their children in Westhoughton, but had apparently lived in Blackrod for a few years prior to arriving in Westhoughton:
1901: 75 Brancker St., Westhoughton, Lancashire, England
|James STAVELEY||Head||M||Male||40||Haigh, Lancashire, England||Colliery Overlooker|
|Mary STAVELEY||Wife||M||Female||34||Hetton, Durham, England|
|Mary STAVELEY||Dau||U||Female||8||Wigan, Lancashire, England|
|Josh. S. STAVELEY||Son||U||Male||6||Blackrod, Lancashire, England|
|Margaret E. STAVELEY||Dau||U||Female||5||Blackrod, Lancashire, England|
|Elizabeth STAVELEY||Dau||U||Female||5 days||Westhoughton, Lancashire, England|
James and Mary's son, Joseph Shearer Staveley, was working in the Pretoria Pit Mine at Hulton Colliery on December 21, 1910. He was one of only four individuals to survive the initial explosion in the Yard Mine, though two of the four would die soon thereafter. Lancashire's worst ever colliery disaster that occurred early that morning, and would have been only 16 years old at the time of the blast. 344 men and boys lost their lives during the explosion, and although the extent and nature of the injuries sustained by Joseph are not fully understood, it is known that all three survivors were significantly injured. Less than four months after the accident, we find Joseph at home with his parents.
1911: 354 Park Road, Chequerbent, Lancashire, England
|James STAVELEY||Head||M||Male||50||Haigh, Lancashire, England||Surface Manager|
|Mary STAVELEY||Wife||M||Female||44||Hetton Le Hole, Durham, England|
|Mary STAVELEY||Dau||U||Female||18||Wigan, Lancashire, England||Dress Maker Assistant|
|Joseph Shearer STAVELEY||Son||U||Male||16||Blackrod, Lancashire, England||Apprentice Fitter|
|Margaret Ellen STAVELEY||Dau||U||Female||15||Blackrod, Lancashire, England||Apprentice Millinery|
|Jane STAVELEY||Dau||U||Female||10||Chequerbent, Lancashire, England||School|
|James Shearer STAVELEY||Son||U||Male||7||Chequerbent, Lancashire, England|
It's apparent that Joseph recuperated from his injuries, as he later became a sapper with the Royal Engineers during World War I (see Medal Card Index). He served 3 years in France from October 5, 1915 until he was discharged on September 9, 1918. During his service he was awarded the Victory Medal, the British War Medal, the 1914/15 Star and the Silver War Badge. The Silver War Badge was awarded to personnel that were discharged due to sickness or wounds received during the war.
After the war Joseph Shearer Staveley returned to Westhoughton and married Ethel BARRETT in 1926. Together they had a son James in 1927, a daughter Mary in 1929, and a son Alan in 1936.
Joseph's brother, James Shearer Staveley, married Margaret E. PARTINGTON in 1925.
James and Joseph's mother Mary (nee SHEARER) died in 1931 at the age of 64 years. Their father, James b. 1861, in Wigan, died in Farnworth in 1942 at the age of 81 years.