Sarah Ellen Crompton
Research by Marjorie Gregson & Sally Banister
Mrs Sarah Ellen Crompton (nee Dent) was born in Blackburn in 1860. She married John Crompton in 1893. They had two children, Harry Dent Crompton, born 1895, and Lillian Bickerston Crompton, born 1897.
John Crompton OBE, MSc Tech, Fellow of the Textile Institute, was born in Bolton in 1863 and was a descendant of Samuel Crompton, inventor of the Spinning Mule. John’s father was a weaver of silk fabric who moved to Walkden, approximately 6 miles away, where his son joined him. Textiles were in John’s blood and he went on to become a managing director and later President of The Textile Institute. He evolved a model loom on which he studied pattern weaving and conveyed his findings to others.
He had a long working life and was single minded in the pursuit of improving the textile industry, presenting many papers on the manufacture of textile fabrics, employment and labour saving machinery, amongst related topics.
The Cromptons lived in the Bolton area, although there are links to Rhos-on-Sea prior to retiring to Ansdell around 1913. When he left the church at Rhos-on-Sea, the minister, in the letter of transfer to the care of Fairhaven, wrote, 'I feel that in losing Mr Crompton I have lost my right hand'.
They lived at 25 Ansdell Road North, Lytham St Annes, where John Crompton became a great supporter of the Fairhaven Congregational Church and was elected president of the Rotary Club in 1932.
Harry, their son, was educated in Colwyn Bay before moving to Epworth College in Rhyl. He went on to train in textiles at the Harris Institute, Preston, then represented a Farnworth textile company on the Manchester Stock Exchange. When the First World War broke out he enlisted in the army, first as an air mechanic before being given a commission in the West Lancashire Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery.
After training he was awarded his “wings” in September 1915 and became a pilot in the 4th Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps. Harry saw active service in October 1915. During the Battle of the Somme he flew his B2 aircraft over enemy lines, making regular reconnaissance and artillery-spotting missions. He held the rank of Second Lieutenant when he was killed at Courelette on 4 December 1916 and was buried at Contay British Cemetery in the Somme area of France. His name is on the War Memorial in Lytham.
His father established a prize fund in his son’s name for students of the Textile Institute. Mrs Crompton and her daughter presented the Fairhaven Congregational Church with eighty hymn books inscribed to his memory.
Lillian Crompton was married at the consulate in Rio de Janeiro. Her son, Kenneth H C Bryers, was born in the Fylde in 1922. Later, she emigrated to Australia where she died in Melbourne in 1981.
John Crompton died in 1941 and Sarah in 1949.
Artworks donated to the Lytham St Annes Art Collection by Sarah Crompton
On the River Dee
by E Bennett
by E Bennett
by Samuel Towers
The Village Wedding
by John Falcon Marshall
Also an untitled painting by Macwhirter (after)