Patrick G R Daniel 1928-1943
RMB/X 2012
Band Boy
Served 1942-1943

Patrick Gordon Reuben Daniel was born and raised in the Crookes area on the west side of Sheffield, Yorkshire on Sunday 25th March 1928. He was the son of Fred, who worked in a toy shop and Eunice Daniel (Clarke). Patrick had a brother.. Fred who was ten years younger.
For a reason unknown, Patrick was listed in the September 1939 census as an inmate at Fulwood Cottage Homes in Sheffield. It housed seventy-eight children in eighteen homes, plus a cottage for the purpose of isolating sick children, another for a store with the boys’ cobbling and tailoring shops above. As boys grew older they would grow vegetables on the land within the grounds and were trained to be gardeners, tailors and cobblers.. many were found jobs on farms when they were fifteen years old. They would also try to get their boys into the Army or Navy and were disappointed when any had to go and work in the local mines. The children in the homes had access to musical instruments and when they’d progressed a little, they were put in the homes’ Brass Band, which would have given Patrick his early musical knowledge and the stepping stone to joining up..
These pupils would most probably have suffered many traumas during their lives at the homes which, in this day and age would be regarded as out and out child abuse. Marjorie P Dunn wrote a book in the1980’s.. ‘For the Love of Children’.. A story of the poor children of Sheffield, which includes a chapter on Fulwood Cottage Homes.

Young Patrick should have benefited greatly when he joined the Royal Marine Band at Howstrake Camp near Douglas on the Isle of Man. It was originally a Holiday Camp, where families went for their summer break to get away from it all, before it was commandeered for use as the Royal Naval School of Music.

Band Boy Patrick Daniel had only just turned fifteen when he sadly lost his life on 12th May 1943 while he was stationed at the camp. Surrounding Howstrake Camp at Lackabury Gully were quite high, craggy rocks above the sea, he sustained a fracture of his skull as he fell to his death when he was climbing the cliff searching for sea gull eggs.. a luxury foodstuff for the boys at the time.. Thereafter that pastime was strictly forbidden.. but many of the boys totally ignored the prohibition.

The whole of the camp attended Patrick’s funeral, which was held with full military honours at the nearby Douglas Cemetery. Some local people at the side of the road were openly crying as the cortège slowly passed the Salvation Army canteen, where the boys frequented on their run ashore. His grave is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Block N.F. Grave 41.
Both Patrick’s parents passed away in the 1970’s… Why they consented to allow their child to go into a children’s home remains unanswered, but it must have been heartbreaking for them and difficult to understand why their fifteen year old boy never came home again.

RIP Patrick


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