Seacroft Mill. The Chippindale family lived here before coming to Scholes (Kent University Special Collections)

The Chippindale Family

38707 Air Mechanic, 1st Class, William Chippindale,
Royal Air Force

Lieutenant Henry Murray Chippindale MC,
Yorkshire Dragoons, Yeomanry

Lieutenant Donald Chippindale MC,
Royal Field Artillery

Lieutenant Hugh Arthur Chippindale MC,
Royal Field Artillery and Royal Air Force

Brickworks House, with the quarries on three sides (National Library of Scotland)

Isaac Chippindale came to Scholes from the windmill at Seacroft which now forms the centre of the well-known hotel of the same name there. He established the Scholes Brick and Tile works on Wood Lane in Scholes. Run as a family business, the quarry gave high quality clay which made bricks from which many houses in Cross Gates, Seacroft, Scholes and Thorner were built. Isaac and his wife Clara had six children together, four boys and two girls. Arthur was the eldest son, born in December 1866, and he was followed four years later by Miranda. Next was Kate, three years younger than Miranda, followed another three years later by William. Isaac Murray Chippindale was born around 1884 and the family was completed with the birth of Henry Murray Chippindale in March 1887.

Clara took over the running of the Brickyard on the death of her husband, Isaac, and she was assisted by her two oldest children, Arthur, who managed the operation, and Miranda who was the bookkeeper. Clara later married James Milner of Milner Villas on what is now Main Street in Scholes.

The Badge of the Royal Flying Corps

Arthur married Susan and they had three sons, Roy, born around 1893, Donald, born 23 March 1895, and Hugh Arthur born in 1896.

When the Great War came so many of the workforce at the Brick and Tile Works joined the armed services or went off to other war work, the brickyard was forced to close, with the intention that when circumstances allowed, it would re-open. In addition to the workers going to the services, the Chippindale men also answered the call for volunteers and brothers William and Henry Murray joined up, as did their nephews, Donald, and Hugh Arthur.

William enlisted into the Royal Flying Corps on 10th December 1915 under the terms of the Group System, chose to defer his service, and was transferred to the reserve to await his call up. He reported for duty on 24th July 1916 as a General Fitter, and during his period of service, was promoted to become an Air Mechanic 1st Class. On 1 April 1918 on the formation of the Royal Air Force, William Chippindale was transferred from the Royal Flying Corps to the new service.

On his enlistment, he was put through the most basic of basic military training, and much of his time, before being sent off to his first active service unit, would be taken up by trade training and trade testing to ensure his stated skills were of the standard required by the Royal Flying Corps. We cannot now tell, from his service records, when he was posted to a unit in France, but after just three months’ service, he was admitted to No 8 General Hospital at Rouen on 10th October 1916, where he received treatment for an unrecorded condition over the next four days. From the hospital, he was transferred to a convalescent depot, where he would rest and recover, and, possibly, undergo some form of appropriate rehabilitation programme. From the convalescent deport, he was transferred to the RFC Base Depot on 2nd November 1916. He returned to the UK on 23rd November 1916.

The Aerodrome at Cramlington, 1931 (Newcastle Evening Chronicle)

On 3rd April 1918, William Chippindale transferred from 61 Training Squadron at Cramlington in Northumberland to the RAF Reserve Depot. Although 61 Training Squadron was a training unit, for a fitter, like William Chippindale, his work there will have been every bit as critical as it could be in a fighting unit in France. He would be responsible for the safe operation of aero engines, and of the airframe of the aircraft the trainee pilots were using, and upon his shoulders was the day-to-day safety of pilots under instruction. From the Reserve Depot, he was posted back to 61 Training Squadron, where he stayed until 27th July 1918, when he was posted to 28 Depot Training Station at Weston on the Green in Oxfordshire. This would be his last posting. On 7th September 1918, he was discharged from the Royal Air Force, suffering from tuberculosis. A measure of how severe his illness was can be seen by the award of an immediate pension, which was by no means guaranteed, for those who were discharged due to wounds or sickness, and there are many cases of men who had suffered amputations being denied pensions. He was awarded a Silver War Badge in respect of his service and premature discharge, which would, in time be supplemented by the award of a British War Medal and Victory Medal when those medals were instituted.

William Chippindale returned home to Brickworks House, where his health rapidly deteriorated as the tuberculosis took an ever-increasing hold on him, until, finally, he developed the pneumonia, which his body was unable to defend against, and would kill him on 22nd June 1921. His death came too late for his name to be included among those listed on the war memorial, but it is right that William Chippindale is remembered as a casualty of the Great War. William Chippindale is buried in Barwick Churchyard.

The Badge of the Yorkshire Hussars

Henry Chippindale originally joined the Yorkshire Hussars as a Trooper. He was promoted Corporal and served with the regimental number 2345. The Yorkshire Hussars was a yeomanry regiment, the Territorial Force equivalent of the cavalry. On his commissioning, he was transferred to the Yorkshire Dragoons. It was common for officers commissioned from the ranks to be transferred to a different regiment in order to not allow old familiarities and loyalties influence the new officer or let his subordinates, who were recently his equals, expect preferential treatment. The practice allowed the officer to make a fresh start.

Henry Chippindale was gazetted a 2nd Lieutenant in the London Gazette of 12th September 1917, with seniority dating from 25th August 1917. Although he was transferred to the Yorkshire Dragoons, for administrative purposes the transfer was to 6th Reserve Cavalry Regiment, based in Tidworth, which would provide a holding unit from which officers and men could be fed to their customer cavalry regiments

Some of the yeomanry regiments were broken up to provide squadron support to higher formations or were employed in different roles. In the case of Henry Chippindale, he was attached to the 19th Hussars, and spent the remainder of the war with the regiment.

The Military Cross

On 21st August 1918, working as a troop commander, Henry Chippindale led his men on a reconnaissance south of Bois de Logeast, southwest of Ablainzevelle. What happened next is taken from the London Gazette.



2nd Lt. Henry Murray Chippindale, Yeo.

For conspicuous gallantry and ability while making a reconnaissance. He took his troop forward, carrying out his duties most successfully, and when, machine-gun fire compelled him to send his horse away he continued his reconnaissance on foot and remained observing the enemy and sending back good information throughout the afternoon. He located enemy artillery, a machine-gun position, and an infantry position. He did excellent work, and his report was of the greatest value to the operations.

On the day news of the award reached the regiment, Lt Chippindale had departed to go on home leave.

Following the war, Henry Chippindale returned to Scholes and became a surveyor and architect, both of which would complement the operations of the Brickworks, although the Brickworks as a business struggled to survive after the Great War, and eventually the decision was taken to close it.

Henry Chippindale died in Leeds in 1972.

The Badge of the Royal Field Artillery TF

Donald Chippindale had been educated at Leeds Modern School and Pannal Ash College in Harrogate. He gained a commission in the Royal Field Artillery from Leeds University Officer Training Corps in November 1915 and was first posted to France in December 1916, joining 232 Brigade, RFA, one of the artillery brigades in 46th (North Midland) Division. The Brigade left 46th Division on 3rd January 1917 to convert to an Army Field Artillery Brigade under the command of Fourth Army.

On 23rd April 1917, Donald Chippindale’s Brigade was in action along the Tillloy - Wancourt Road, one of the Forward Observation Officers was killed near Guemappe as he advanced with the infantry. Donald Chippindale was sent up to the front line to replace him. Over the next five days his work as Forward Observation Officer would earn him the Military Cross. He was informed of the award on 17th May, but the official news was not released until the following month.

The London Gazette

The London Gazette published the award in a supplement on 18th June 1917. It read: -



2nd Lt. Donald Chippindale, R.F.A.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He did exceptionally good work as F.O.O. The trench in which he was posted was shelled continuously. In spite of this he maintained communications, and three times reported the enemy massing for an attack, thus enabling steps to be taken which brought the enemy attack to nothing.

Donald Chippindale’s Brigade was in action at Watou, near Ypres in October 1917. The brigade was subjected to a heavy barrage of gas shells and 17 officers from the Brigade were put out of action and sent to hospital. Donald Chippindale was eventually evacuated to England, as although he’d recovered from the most serious of the symptoms of gassing, he was still debilitated by the ordeal. On 5th November 1917, he was admitted to Catterick Military Hospital to rest and recover. Second Lieutenant Donald Chippindale was still at home in January 1918 and got married to Nellie Campanett of Ben Rhydding.

Donald Chippindale's Advertisement (Leeds Mercury 5th June 1934)

In December 1918, the London Gazette carried an announcement that Donald Chippindale was relinquishing his commission due to ill health contracted on war service. He also received a Silver War Badge.

Following the Great War, Donald Chippindale became a bookmaker. He and Nellie had a son in December 1918, whom they called Derek Keith, but was known to the family as Keith. In 1940, during the Second World War Keith Chippindale, formerly an insurance agent, was granted an Emergency Commission in the Indian Army and served with The Sikh Regiment.

Nellie Chippindale died in York in 1972, and by the time of his own death on 9th December 1984, Donald Chippindale had moved to 133 Cardigan Road, Bridlington.

Royal Aircraft Factory Re8 Aeroplane (© IWM Q 68147)

Hugh Arthur Chippindale was commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery as a territorial officer, attached to the Sheffield-based 3rd West Riding ammunition Column, but on 30th December 1917 he was seconded to the Military Wing of the Royal Flying Corps where he trained and qualified as an Observer. Flying with 15 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, he quickly made his mark in his new role and was awarded the Military Cross, for an action over Fremicourt on 24th March 1918. He was flying with Second Lieutenant George Leslie Hobbs in a RE8 aircraft at about 1500 feet. 

The area between Fremicourt and Beugny, where Lts Chippindale and Hobbs won their MCs (National Library of Scotland)



Lt. Hugh Arthur Chippindale, R.F.A., attd. R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While carrying out a reconnaissance, he and his pilot were attacked by eleven hostile scouts. They succeeded in destroying one of these, drove off the remainder, and then completed the reconnaissance. Later, when information was urgently needed during an engagement, he and his pilot carried out a most successful reconnaissance, flying at a very low altitude under continuous rifle and machine-gun fire from the ground. They located hostile batteries, and enabled very effective counter battery work to be carried out, and also engaged ground targets with bombs and machine-gun fire. He showed splendid courage and skill.

Hugh Chippindale was wounded on 3rd June 1918, when while on patrol, an enemy aircraft fired a burst of machine gun fire at his aircraft. He received wounds to the head and legs.

A Chippindale Brick, with the IC&SON Frog Stamp

On leaving the Army, Hugh Chippindale returned to Scholes and lived with his parents in The Avenue. He married Lilian Heaton at St Martin’s Church, Potternewton, on 27th September 1921. Together, the couple had two children, Richard, born in 1923, and June, born in 1930. Hugh Chippindale worked as a café proprietor, and on his retirement, the family moved to Bridlington, where he died in 1977. Lilian Chippindale died in 1984.

Between the wars, investment was made into the brickyard and new steam boilers were bought, but the efforts to get the business up and running again could not save it and the company finally closed.

Scholes Brick and Tile Works

The Chippindale family probably made more of an impression on the village than any other. The houses their bricks built can still be seen and the Arthursdale area of Scholes is obvious in its origins. Their military achievements, being awarded three Military Crosses between them is something which the family was obviously very proud of. There being two family members in the RFC and later the RAF shows that they were a family that embraced the future and were modern in their outlook. When Donald Chippindale left the Army, he was granted the honorary rank of Captain, and this appeared in his telephone directory entries until 1971. He used the post nominal letters MC until 1960.

The derelict site of the brickworks was littered with the detritus of its former use but the most imposing feature of the site was the pair of chimneys which once vented the furnaces under boilers and the kilns. These stood in mute testimony to the bygone era of Scholes Brick and Tile Works until they were brought crashing down by controlled explosion in the early 1980s when it was discovered, after years of suspicion, that the structures had been rendered unsafe by age, neglect, and vandalism. The site of the quarry was cleared, and the lake cleansed of much of the deposited rubbish of years of fly tipping, including, so rumour has it, the shells of numerous dumped cars. The waters of the quarry have supported the angler in his hobby almost since the pit stopped being pumped dry, and stories of fabled pike abound. Today many anglers from East Leeds can claim to have baited their first hook at "Chippy's".