Wednesday, 20 February 2013

West Ham Utd, Greenock, Tate & Lyle and German Sugarbakers

Donald Currie was a Greenock born shipbuilder,Currie had shipyards in Greenock, Liverpool and the East End of London. He brought Scots workers down to his shipyard in the East End, Currie and those workers then created a football team made of Scottish Workers called which eventually became West Ham United.
Similarly, Abram Lyle, Greenock born Sugar refinery owner, set up in the East End of London. Lyle also bought quite a few Scots to the East End mostly hand picked from Greenock, and arrived by train in 1882. Lyle appears have trusted only his own. The whole management team, and then the middle management, foremen, skilled workers and experts in the various departments were Greenockians it's reasonable to assume they preferred Scottish labour as well. This is no different from 50 years earlier when the German experts in the London trade preferred German labour in their sugarhouses. Again, these workers went on to be involved in both the formation of West Ham and Millwall.
On a related topic I received this very interesting and really nice note below from the excellent West Ham Pals regiment blog as a reply to an old post about Anglo-German folks in the West Ham Pals regiment...
"Also, thank you for mentioning the West Ham Battalion in your post. Yes, Sherman was German heritage, but wasn't the only one. The medical officer was Alan HOLTHUSEN, his brother Len was also the Hammers signals officer. The West Ham Battalion tailor was Ernie KURTZ (who changed his name to Curtis in 1916). Other names off the top of my head include LANG, LUCK,

This is an extract from the orginal post...

The unveiling, by Sir Trevor Brooking at the Boleyn Ground, of the Memorial Plaque dedicated to the service and sacrifices made by the Men of the 13th (Service) Battalion (West Ham) Essex Regiment ('The Hammers') took place on Remembrance Sunday, 8th November at 10.55am.Among the West Ham pals was Ernest Sherman, born in Whitechapel, who was originally a Corporal in the 2nd battalion Essex regiment. He was severely wounded by accurate shellfire during the Battle of Arras in April 1917 and was awarded the Military Cross at the age of 20.

It is interesting to note that, Sherman was of German origin, German immigration into the UK was very common in the late 19th Century because of the Royal family's strong German connections.***See note on family history**** Most Germans like my Great Great Grandfather Bernhardt came to work in the Sugar wharehouses in Greenock , Liverpool and the East End of London. This was because Tate and Lyle was formed from a merger between Abraham Lyle of Greenock who had expanded into the east end of London and Henry Tate, who had set up a sugar refinery in Liverpool. Lyle himself brought quite a few Scots to the East End .

By the time the First world war arrived the Royal Family switched to an English-sounding name because of anti-German feeling, as did some of their subjects. For those ordinary German-Britons who did not change their names like my own family there was then additional pressure to prove ones loyalty. The best way to do this was to enlisted and many German-Britons did just that...

In fact, a battalion of the Middlesex Regiment was formed to accommodate men with German names from London, and was promptly christened "The Kaiser's Own". A number of German names can be found in the pages of the London Gazette as receiving decorations

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