Links in a Chain - the Mayors of Bolton
Links in a Chain - The Mayors of Bolton
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William Pollitt

Chairman of Little Lever Urban District Council: 1917-18 (Died in office)

Born: Darcy Lever c. 1858

Died: Little Lever 10 December 1918


Employed at Ladyshore Collieries for 40 years.

He was first elected in 1905 as a Colliers' Representative.

He was an Overseer, member of the Kearsley Education Committee and Chairman of the Food Control and Pensions Committee. He was also a member of Little Lever Conservative Club and on the Committee of the Co-operative Society.

He died while serving as Chairman - a victim of the influenza pandemic of 1918 which claimed more lives than the Great War itself.

At a special meeting of the Council on the day after his death the Chair was at the head of the table and was vacant for the first time for many years. At this meeting there were generous tributes to him. Dr Nuttall said he "knew Mr Pollitt first as an official of the Miners Federation and looked upon him as a fine type of the so called Labour man. He had a high conception of his public duties which he carried out with a single heart for the good of his fellows."

Dr Pickford said "he was one of the very best type of working man, for not only did he toil for his living but added to that toiled for the improvement for the position of his fellows."

The Clerk testified to Mr Pollitt's work not only as Chairman of the Council but as Chairman of the Food Control and War Pensions Committee. "He was ever willing and ready to help others and only a few days ago, when ill, spent much time in doing work for the discharged sailors and soldiers in connection with their pensions."

On 12 January 1887 some boys were playing football on a small frozen pond adjoining Fletcher's Mill Lodge in Spring Street Little Lever. The ball was kicked on to the frozen lodge and was a few feet from the edge. John Duckworth, aged 6 was sent on to the ice to retrieve it. The ice broke and he fell in but wasn't under water. John Pearson aged 17 went on the ice to rescue him holding his coat so that the youngster could grab hold of it. The ice gave way and Pearson went under and disappeared. William Pollitt happened to come by, stripped to the waist and went in. With the aid of a clothes line he and John Duckworth were pulled to safety. At the inquest it was said that William Pollitt was unaware that Pearson was in the water. His body was recovered later. (Bolton Journal 15 January 1887)

He was awarded the Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal for his bravery.

Anglican - he worshipped at St Matthew's Church where he was a Sidesman and a teacher in the Sunday School.

Pollitt Family Tree • pdf




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