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Evelyn Tuke

Birthplace Yorkshire Stanley England Date of Death: May 9, 1982 Date of Birth: January 24, 1893


Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by) : Evelyn Tuke
Gender: Female
Date and place of birth: 24th January 1893 , Stanley, near Wakefield, W Riding
Date and Place of Death: 9th May 1982 registered Barnsley but probably still in Hoyland Nether
Nationality: English

Childhood: It appears that the family moved around quite a lot between Cumberland and West Riding of Yorkshire
Parents: John Henry Tuke and Mary Helena Wills
Parents occupations: Coal miner -hewer,
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance:  Not known
Occupation: Domestic servant , farm pre war then munitionette
Place of residence at Gretna: Not known
Marital status : Married
Children: 3 sons and 1 daughter
Travels : None of note
Awards/recognitions:  None known
Positions held
Trivia / any other information:  Lots of family information

Books published (Title, year of publication, publisher):
Books written about the individual or mentioning the individual (Title, year of publication, publisher):


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Evelyn Tuke 1893-1982 


Evelyn Tuke was born on 24th January 1893 in Stanley, near Wakefield, W Yorkshire. She was the fourth child of nine born to John Henry Tuke of West Ardsley, Leeds and Mary Helena ( Minnie) nee Wills of Redruth , Cornwall.  

Both parents appear to have moved around as children . The 1871 census places John Henry in Dalmellington Ayrshire and the 1881 census places him in Moresby Parks, W Cumberland. The son of a coal miner these were all mining areas. Mary’s father was a Cornish tin miner who clearly moved to Scotland sometime between the 1881 census and 1889 when Evelyn’s parents married. Going back another generation to Evelyn’s paternal grandparents – the 1881 census indicates that they were from Ireland and coal miners.  

Her parents married in Hamilton, Scotland on 15th June 1889 according to her father’s WW1 military record.  

Evelyn’s father was a very interesting character. In 1881, the census tells us that both he aged 14, his 16 year old brother Charles and their father were coal miners living in Moresby Parks, Whitehaven. 

 By 1885 Evelyn’s father now 19 had joined up/was called up  to the Royal Highlanders, Blackwatch and signed to serve for at least 12 years. His military papers are very detailed.  

The following year he got a 4th class certificate of education through the army Royal Military Asylum and Royal Hibernian Military School. He was admitted to hospital suffering from Bronchial catarrh. He spent a further period  In April 1886 he was wounded in Curragh, Dublin and was hospitalised for 34 days. He was hospitalised for a further 109 days due to rheumatism in November the same year. Curragh was the site of a large army training camp, established at the start of the Crimean War in 1854 to train British soldiers. ( 

On 27th September 1887, the military record tells that Evelyn’s father John deserted , rejoining in 1900. As punishment for his conviction he had to forfeit all the days he was missing as reckonable service towards his pension. 

During his years of desertion , John married in June 1889, and is included in the 1891 census living in Stanley-cum-Wrenthorpe near Wakefield. Both he and Mary are 24. There is a daughter Mary Ann born in Fothergill, Flimby Cumberland aged 4,  Jane  , 2 born in Hamilton and Elizabeth Ann , 4 months born at Lee Mount, Stanley . John’s occupation is coal miner and Jane in later documents becomes Margaret Rose. Mary Ann was born before the couple married. 

Evelyn also arrived in the desertion period , in 1893 where electoral registers list both John Tuke senior ( Evelyn’s grandfather) and John Tuke junior( her father ) at Lee Mount , Stanley. 

Evelyn’s brother John arrived in 1896 followed by Benjamin in 1898 and George Alfred in late 1900.  

Evelyn’s father is missing from the 1901 census and his military record for the period corroborates that he had rejoined the Royal Highlanders, served in S Africa for 2 years 188 days from 13th February 1900 to 20th August 1902 in the Boer War for which he was awarded the S Africa Medal. He then served for 317 days at ‘home’ after S Africa. 

The family must also have moved house from during his  desertion  because we learn from the census that John , 5,  and Benjamin, 3, were born in Flimby, Maryport , West Cumberland and George Alfred , 7 months was born in Distington. Evelyn’s mother Mary, 34, is clearly the head of the family but her status is married. 

In 1902 Evelyn’s father suffers a further bout of rheumatism in the army and his discharge papers are completed between 11th February and 16th March 1903 . These include his childhood vaccination record. His medical declares him medically unfit to serve in the army. 

From the age of 7 to 10 Evelyn’s father was away from home. During 1903 another brother , Sydney arrived. The family home was obviously becoming quite crowded. 

It is unclear how correctly completed the 1911 census return is. Unusually, Mary Tuke , Evelyn’s mother completed the form. Their address is Wallace House , Blennerhassett, inland from Maryport. Dad is a coal miner hewer and younger brother John now 15 is a labourer at the  mine. 

It states that they have had 8 children and all have survived but there is evidence from earlier censuses that there was a 9th. This return also includes Evelyn who at 18 is a domestic servant , general. The family are living in 6 rooms. 

Evelyn should not have been included in the family census return as we also find her on a return for a young 24 year old farmer and his wife for Ashness, Keswick ( Borrowdale ) where she is indeed a Domestic servant, general along with a  16 year old farm labourer called Harrison Earl. 

Evelyn’s father seemingly decided to join up in 1915 at the start of WW1, even though he was in a protected job. At age 47, and living at 83 Fern Grove, Grasslot, Maryport he signed up on 23rd August 1915 for the Army- Royal Engineers Labour Corps for the duration of the war. ( Military records) His service number was 292924. This record informs us that eh is married, is a labourer, had been in the BlackWatch until 1902. He embarked for France on 2nd September 1915 and was discharged on 15th December 1917 as no longer fit for service.  

Only 3 children are listed on his attestation papers – George Alfred , D of B 24/8/1900. Sydney D of B 29/9/03, Edna D of B 9/3/11. 

So, at the time her father went to France and her brother John also joined up Evelyn  left service as did many young women at the time and went to work at HM Factory Gretna as a munitionette. It is unclear where she lived during her time there although it would highly likely have been in one of the hostels. A relation informed me that she talked about her time at Gretna and the yellowing of her skin. She also wore a wig in later years as a result of losing her hair following her work with the Devil’s Porridge ( cordite).  

Tragically , whilst working at Gretna , Evelyn’s brother John was killed in France . He is buried in Wancourt British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais. The citation on –“ John was a serjeant with the 5th Btn., The Border Regiment , Service No. 240842. He was the son of Mrs M Tuke of 83 Fern Grove, Grasslot, Maryport. He was 22.  

Her brother George Alfred also joined up in 1914 to the Notts and Derby regiment as a private. He was discharged with an unspecified  disability on 9th September 1919 from the 2nd King’s Liverpool as a Lance Corporal. 

Younger brother Benjamin also joined up. Evelyn’s mother had three of her sons and her husband in the army and Evelyn at HM Factory Gretna during this anxious time.  

Assuming that Evelyn left HM Factory Gretna in 1918 she clearly returned home to Grasslot, Maryport and married Jonathan Crellin ,5 years her junior, also of Maryport , at St Mary’s in Spring 1919. 

Jonathan was born in Maryport on 24th July 1898. In 1901 he was the youngest of 7 children to a cola miner father . 11 people lived in his household at 1 Bank Lane , Netherhall, Maryport including some in laws – a male who was a dock labourer and a female who worked at the pithead.  

His mother suffered the loss of a baby in 1900 and another in 1908.  

By 1911 they had moved to 7, Anne Place, Maryport . The census tells us that in 24 years of marriage they had 13 children to date , 10 survived . 10 people were living in 3 rooms. Jonathan aged 12 was a  scholar but his father and brother were down the mine and his sister Bessie was a coal screener.  

Jonathan’s  military record informs us that he joined the army in 1914 . He was in the King’s Liverpool Regiment 1/6th . A corporal, service number 3880445. 

On 1st July 1916 his brother Henry was missing presumed dead in France. The record of Henry’s effects records that Henry joined the Border Regiment and had been wounded and suffered shell shock in Spring 1916.  

Having married Jonathan whom she must probably have known from their close knit mining community in Maryport , Evelyn suffered the loss of a baby, James M Crellin in October 1919. The death registration gives the age as 0 so this could tragically have been a still birth or a death shortly after birth.  

Happily , they had a daughter, Olive in November 1920 and a son Cyril on 24th August 1924. Both of these births are registered in Cockermouth which is the registration district for Maryport. Jonathan had resumed his work as a miner. 

At some point in the following 5 years , Evelyn ,Jonathan and their two children moved to South Yorkshire , then the West Riding.  Malcolm Travis Crellin was born in April 1934 in the Barnsley area. Jonathan’s father had died in 1925 and his mother in 1938. 

The Penistone, Stocksbridge and Hoyland Express of Saturday 8th June 1935 reports the Platts Common Methodist Sunday School Anniversary and names 11 year old Cyril Crellin as taking part in the recital. 

Hoyland was at the centre of the  very busy South Yorkshire coalfield so clearly Jonathan had moved for work.  

We know from the 1938 electoral register that Evelyn was living at 41 Guest Street, Hoyland Nether but by the 1939 register they had moved to 91 Milton Road , Hoyland Nether, Barnsley. Where they stayed for many years, until at least 1958. 

The register appears in two versions , once to include Olive . Jonathan a colliery worker, underground,  Evelyn unpaid domestic duties, Olive , Paid domestic duties so possibly in service locally, Cyril , aged 15 a shop assistant, grocery. A 5th line on the register is blanked out so this could have been Malcom. 

Olive remained unmarried and died in 2005. 

In 1948, Jonathan and Evelyn’s son Cyril married  Doreen Sanderson. The marriage is registered in Staincross which is the registration district for Hoyland/Wombwell. 

Cyril and Doreen blessed Evelyn with two grandchildren. A daughter Ann born in 1950 and a second child who is difficult to trace.  Both of the Tuke seniors were still alive at the time to see their grandson Cyril marry and to meet at least one great grandchild. Cyril continued in the commercial field of work. He died in 1983.  

Evelyn’s father died in summer 1951 , registered in Cockermouth so probably still residing in Maryport. Her mother died in June 1957. 

Younger son Malcolm married Jean Worbey in March 1958.  

South Yorkshire Times and Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 8th March 1958.  



Mr. M T. Crellin and  Miss J Worbey ( Ryhill). Two Co – operative Society employees who work in the Barnsley office—one as a clerk from – Ryhill, near Wakefield and the other as an agent from Hoyland-were married last month at St, James’s Church, Ryhill.  

The bride, who wore a white brocade embroidered dress, was Jean Worbey, daughter a Mr. and Mrs. F. Worbey, of 111 Mulberry Place, Ryhill. She carried cream roses, white stephanotis, lilies of the valley and white fuchsia, and was married to Mr. Malcolm Travis Crellin, of 91, Milton Road, Hoyland. 

 She was attended by Mrs. Sally Greetham, Was Barbara Whittaker, Miss Jennifer Clare, Miss Ann Crellin and Miss Janet Best man was Mr. Gerald Greetham and groomsmen Mr. Peter Worbey and Mr. David Bromley. 

 The couple received a china tea service from colleagues at work.” 

This report tells us so much about the young couple. A proud day for Evelyn and Jonathan. 

Jonathan died 3 years later. 

This marriage did not appear to last- it is unclear whether there was a divorce or Malcolm was widowed and there is no evidence of any children being born to the couple. 

Evelyn would see Malcolm  remarry Victoria Webster in the registration district of Barnsley in 1981. Electoral registers place Malcolm and Victoria Crellin in Torquay from at least 2003.  

Firstly at 8 Windsor Road to 2010, then at 37 Dunmere Road to 2016. The last evident entry is for 2016 in Flat 4, Eclipse Lodge, Rawlyn Road  which is an assisted living residence (Google) At 82 and 79 in 2016 it is possible that Evelyn’s youngest child is still alive.  

As for Evelyn. She lived until 9th May 1982 , her death being registered in Barnsley District. Her work with Devil’s Porridge had still allowed  her to lead a long life to the age of 89. 

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