Joseph Henry Yarnold (credit: Fred Gegg, Evesham)
Broadway History Society has been sent the following biography of Joseph Henry Yarnold (1860-1923) by Yocker Yarnold and Ken Edwards. Joseph served with the police force in Broadway in charge of the village’s police station from 1887 to 1894.
Joseph Henry Yarnold was born on the 20th December 1860, in Kingswinford, Staffordshire, the son of Eliza Yarnold. Joseph, known as Henry or Harry, was initially brought up by John and Eliza Bint at Market Street, Kingswinford. Sometime after 1871, Joseph moved to live with his Yarnold relatives1 at Menithwood, Pensax, Worcestershire, where he was brought up alongside his many cousins.
After leaving school Joseph first found employment at the local Hollins Colliery2, however, having received a good education, aged 19, he joined the police service as a Special Constable. By 1883 Joseph was serving as a full time officer and within a few weeks had been promoted to Constable at Evesham.
In March 1887 Joseph transferred to take charge of Broadway Police Station. During his time at Broadway Joseph met and married Eliza Jane Baskett, daughter of George Baskett the Sexton of the parish of Salford Priors, and they married at Salford Priors on the 20th February 1887. In January 1894 Joseph was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and after serving in Broadway for 7 years moved back to Evesham to the new Police Station in the town. Upon his promotion the village held a dinner in Joseph’s honour. The Evesham Standard on Saturday 20th January 1894 reported:
At the Lygon Arms, on Wednesday, a public dinner was given to present a testimonial to PC Yarnold, on the occasion of his departure to Evesham and his promotion to be Sergeant. Ald. Averill presided, and there were also present – Messrs A Drury, G M Cook, K Averill, A Williams, T Bayliss, R Johnston, J Brick, J W Wilson, B Burrows, H Preston, Haines &c. The Chairman read letters from the Vicar and Mr Pemberton, who expressed regret at being unable to attend. He said they had met to make Sergeant Yarnold a presentation, as a small recognition of his services in Broadway for the last seven years. They were all aware that the life of a police officer was by no means an easy one, and PC Yarnold came to Broadway in troublous times3, just after an election, but his conduct throughout was most satisfactory. All classes of people respected him, and would be sorry to lose him. The Chairman asked Sergeant Yarnold to accept the present, which was a beautiful marble clock, as a mark of appreciation from the Broadway people. Ald. Averill then proposed the health of Mr and Mrs Yarnold, which was cordially drunk. Sergt. Yarnold returned thanks for the way the toast had been received, and for the handsome present made to him. He was sure in after life he should never forget their kindness, and he hoped at the end of the next seven years to have proved himself as satisfactory in his new office. Other toasts were drunk, including the health of Mr Johnston, who had promoted the testimonial. Mr Johnston said he was sure he had never collected money with more pleasure. Sergeant Yarnold had been a splendid officer, and all had responded most generously to his appeal. Mr Averill proposed the health of Mr and Mrs Drury, which was very heartily drunk. Songs were given during the evening by Mr S Jarret, Ald. Averill, Messrs Smith, A Hunt, and others, and the proceedings concluded with the toast of “The Chairman”, which was heartily responded to.
Eight years later Joseph was again promoted to the rank of Inspector a position he held until his retirement in 1909. Joseph was held in high esteem by his colleagues, magistrates and solicitors and on his retirement he was presented with a gold watch by the magistrates at Evesham County Sessions. The watch bore the inscription: Presented to Inspector J H Yarnold on his leaving the Worcestershire Police Force by the Magistrates of the Petty Sessional Division and Borough of Eversham and their Clerk, in recognition of long and faithful service, June 1909.
During his police service Joseph received a merit badge for saving the life of a man who had been pulled out of the Avon river and presumed drowned. Joseph performed respiration on the man and he survived. Upon retirement, Joseph and Eliza went to live at Salford Priors. Following a short illness in May 1923 Joseph was admitted to Clent Nursing Home where he died, aged 63, on 23rd May 1923. His funeral took place at Salford Priors Church the following Thursday. Joseph’s wife Eliza outlived him by 24 years dying at Bream in Gloucestershire on the 21st December 1947, aged 83.
Broadway History Society
1. The large Yarnold or Yarnall family had lived in the villages of Menithwood, Lindridge and Pensax for many generations, the men employed as agricultural labourers or coal miners.
2. Hollins Colliery was on the site of a farm of the same name, situated between Pensaz and Clows Top. Samson Yarnold (1860-1937), one of Joseph’s uncles, followed in his father’s footsteps, working at several of the small local Pensax pits. Samson became the owner of the Hollins coalmine in the 1890s and retired from coal mining, aged 70 in 1930.
3. In the late 1880s the country was in deep recession and unemployment and poverty, particularly in Broadway and the surrounding area, was high. However, an article aimed at attracting visitors to Broadway published in the local newspapers in August 1887, painted the village as a rural idyll.