Earby mourns D-Day hero Jim (94)

Charles Moreland Tattersall (Jim). (S)
Charles Moreland Tattersall (Jim). (S)

Earby is mourning the loss of one of its community stalwarts and heroic war veterans who has died at the age of 94.

Charles Moreland Tattersall, known as Jim to everybody, died in Cravenside Home for the Elderly in Barnoldswick on Monday, April 6th after a long illness.

Mr Tattersall was the face of Earby’s Royal British Legion branch for decades and completed the role of Standard Bearer with pride for approximately 35 years.

He served with Royal Dragoon Tank Battalion 152 during the Second World War, largely in Belgium and Holland in Challenger tanks in battle and Honey tanks for reconnaissance missions.

Mr Tattersall played his part in the famous D-Day landings in Normandy too, and drove his tank on to the beach as battle raged around.

His dedication to former fellow service men and women for years after the war meant he was also the Royal British Legion’s welfare officer up to the age of 90 and frequently made home visits with as many as 33 people on his list at one time.

Born in Earby in May 1920, he was adopted at a young age by Mary and John Tattersall and attended Alder Hill and New Road schools.

Highly intelligent, Mr Tattersall was set for going to grammar school but his parents could not afford the uniform so he never went.

He worked in the textile industry all his life beginning as a weaver at Booth and Speak Mill. After the war, he progressed to overlooker and was the last President of the Colne and District Overlookers Union, retiring from work when he was at County Brook Mill in Foulridge.

Mr Tattersall married his wife Edna Dearden in 1940 at Thornton Church and the couple had three children, Gerald, Moreland and Pamela.

Barring a brief period living in Bradford, he lived in Earby all his life, and although a stanch Labour man he would ironically always drink in the Conservative Club.

He was a very successful player at Earby Bowling Club and was made a life member when he stepped down as chairman.

Mr Tattersall enjoyed watching the Earby cricket team at Applegarth with his pals Alan Reedy, Walter Thompson and Jim Wiseman and another sporting interest of his was wrestling where he would go to Nelson and Colne to watch.

Away from sport, he loved dancing with Edna at the Romany Ballroom in Nelson, listening to classical music and opera, and was extremely well read with a particular interest in Shakespeare and further educating himself through the likes of crosswords and quizzes.

Mr Tattersall later put his mill skills to good use again in retirement when he assisted at Bancroft Mill in Barnoldswick to re-time the Lancashire looms.

Paying tribute, daughter Pamela said: “He was very patriotic and strong willed. He was also very selfless. If he could help somebody, he would. He had such a focus on education. He always said ‘educate a daughter and you educate a family’. He sent two his children to private schools and I’ve no idea how he managed to do it. Money was very tight.

“He was very family orientated and extremely proud of his six grandchildren. He also had such a laugh and would play with his youngest great granddaughter like they were both children.”

Mr Tattersall leaves behind his three children, six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

His funeral will take place on Monday at 1-30pm at All Saints’ Church, Earby,