John’s paternal grandfather was Charles Nye. While there is some confusion from census data as to his birth year, it was probably 1820 as he was baptised at the cathedral in Manchester on 15 October 1820. His father was a bricklayer. Charles was apprenticed to a Mr Wolstenholme, a painter. Wolstenholme was notorious in Manchester and in 1838 he and Charles robbed Samuel Fox, a corn dealer, while painting his house and shop in Deansgate. Charles went to prison for 3 months. Perhaps he was led astray by his employer.
Letitia Thomas was born in Salford around 1820. Charles and Letitia married in September 1840. In 1861 they lived at 14 Lloyd St, Hulme. Charles was a house painter. They had 8 children. The 3 oldest, Elizabeth 18, Harriet 16 and Caroline 14, were all cotton workers. Mary was 12, Letitia 9, William Henry (John’s father) 5, Emma 2 and Alice 7 months. Another child, Elisa was born about 1862.
Letitia Snr. died on 29 April 1869 and was buried on 1 May 1869 at St George’s church, Hulme.
In 1871 Charles lived at 37 York St, Hulme with William Henry, now 15, Mary, 21 and a drawing tinter in a cotton mill, Emma, Alice and Elisa. Charles married Mary Ann Fisher at St Mary’s church, Manchester on 12 November 1872. He died in 1874. The maternal grandparents were John and Mary Crosby. John was a labourer and Mary a cotton operative.
William Henry Nye was born in Hulme on 12 January 1856. Emma Crosby was born in Pendleton on 20 July 1857 and was baptised at St John the Evangelist, Pendlebury on 30 August 1857. They married in 1876. William became a house painter like his father. In 1881 William and Emma lived at 17 Colman St, Hulme, with 2 children, Charlotte 4 and Alice 1. By 1891 they had moved to 84 Burton Rd with 6 children, including John, aged 4. By 1901 they had moved to 98 Burton Rd with 10 children. In 1911 the family lived at 30 Cavendish Rd. John was now 24. Also still living with the parents were Charles, 20 and a greengrocer’s assistant, Harry, 17 and a railway clerk, Fred, 14 and an office boy in a chain works and Bessie, 12 a scholar and news girl. Older sister Harriet also lived there with her husband, John McPherson, a clothier’s assistant. The 1911 census shows that William and Emma had 12 children of whom 2 had died.
William died in 1914 and was buried in Southern Cemetery on 24 September 1914, grave reference N973. Emma died in February 1915.
John Nye was born on 17 March 1887in West Didsbury. He was baptised on 30 January 1889 at Christ Church. His brother, William Crosby Nye was baptised at Christ Church on 31 July 1889, at which time the family was living at 72 Burton Rd. In 1911 John was 24 and a packer in a rubber factory. He married Lilian Marland on 8 June 1913 at St Luke’s church, Miles Platting. He was described as a rubber manufacturer and they both lived at 13 Wilson St, Miles Platting.
Lily was the daughter of George and Hannah Marland. Hannah was born in Stockport around 1852. Lily was born in Pittsburgh, USA. By 1891 the family had returned to 21 Enoch St, Miles Platting. George, a mechanic, had already died. Hannah was an office cleaner, her son Alfred was 17 and an apprentice fitter, Lily was 9 and George was 7. In 1901 they lived at 8 Hough St, Miles Platting. Alfred was a crane fitter, Lily a brace machinist and George an apprentice to a chemist. In 1911 they lived at 13 Wilson St, Lily was a rubber heel trimmer and George a tool storekeeper.
John enlisted in Manchester on 7 December 1914, aged 27. His address was 24 Stanway St, Gorse Hill, Stretford. His service number was 18577. He joined the 15th Battalion of the Royal Scots and served in several battalions subsequently. In February 1916 he was admitted to King George V Hospital, Dublin, where he remained for about 6 weeks with acute nephritis. In June and July of the same year he was in hospital in Dundee with protein in his urine. He was killed in action on 9 April 1917 and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, reference Bay 1 and 2. The memorial commemorates 34848 casualties.
On 6 August 1921, Lily, still at Stanway St, remarried at St Peter’s church, Stretford. Her second husband was Walter Grieveson, a shoemaker.