Sollitt Family-Pictures Album


The son of Matthew Sollitt Snr - His father was a Shoemaker of  'Walmgate' in the City of York - England - UK

Matthew Jnr - Born in - Walmgate -  the City of York England in 1840ad.

Died - 13th November 1915 - Leeds General Infirmary - Gt George Street - Leeds 2

Buried - 23rd November 1915 - Ashes to:  Holbeck Cemetery. Beeston Hill, Beeston, Leeds 11

As a young boy he left church school at the tender age of 12 years and worked for the 'Yorkshireman' Newspaper (a local York newspaper). He later worked for a solicitor in the City of York .  He was a choirboy in York Minster, which was built on the site of the first Christian emperor to be crowned!- Constantine the Great.  York being an old roman fortress town.

An adventurous boy, he joined the Merchant Navy where he sailed the worlds seas - he was subsequently injured in France . He was trapped between two coal wagons on the railway - and laid out for dead, whereupon he was laid out in the mortuary! (See newspaper clips on this site).

However, amazingly he was not dead and he recovered, much to the shock of the mortuary staff we presume!  But not before he was mentioned in 'The Gazetteer', which was the official source for the forces of the day, naming those who were killed in service for England .  The only person, the newspapers said, to have been listed as killed whilst on service and who recovered!  He was eventually brought back to England -  But the urge to go back to the sea was burning away in his heart and soul - the life of a seafarer was calling to this young adventurous man!

He was later mentioned in a Yorkshire newspaper of the day for his outstanding bravery whilst in the Baltic sea - Saving the entire ships crew, it said, who were on the point of starvation, in temperatures well below freezing. They were, the papers said, 'eating the grease from the ships mast, as the ships biscuits had been long exhausted'. No other food was available for the crew!

The ship was in serious danger of capsizing due to the yard arms and masts being covered in ice. Alone and without prompting this young man volunteered to climb to the tops of the masts and axe away some of the ice - allowing the sailing ship to recover and proceed on it's way through the perilous seas of the Baltic to safety.

Due to his injury he was discharged from the service of the Merchant Navy.

As the urge to go to sea grew young Matthew Sollitt decided to give a false age in order to join Her Majesties Royal Navy.  However this was not long lived after his scull was fractured when a section of the masts iron work struck his head whilst on a sailing ship belonging to Her Majesties Royal Navy, the ship was the' Armageddon'. Again he was returned to England and he received a pension from the Royal Hospital in London . Later he received treatment at the Leeds Royal Infirmary for his injury.

He was an outspoken person, a member of the  'Leeds Free Thinkers' - A strong supporter for the rights of the working class! - He was detained in the 'Leeds Goal' at Armley, Leeds after he condemned the way the working classes were treated. Standing outside the Leeds Town Hall he addressed a large crowd who had gathered to hear a number of public speakers. Matthew Sollitt, addressing the crowd, said - "The laws passed within these walls are as black as the walls outside" - Hence he was whisked away to the cells!.

Ironically it was Matthew Sollitt jnr was responsible for getting the 'Leeds Police Force' their first ever pay rise - (As mentioned in a local newspaper).

After a serious accident at his home - He was admitted to the Leeds General Infirmary, Gt George Street , Leeds - Where later he died of his injuries after a screwdriver had passed through his ear into his head. He had fallen from a stepladder whilst working in his home in Portland Place , Leeds 2..

Now buried in Holbeck cemetery, Beeston Hill, Beeston, Leeds 11. In a private family grave.  Laying at rest with him is his daughter Flora Sollitt (Nurse), Ex of the USA  Harry Sollitt (Son) and Maud Sollitt  (Matthew's wife).

By trade he was a 'French Polisher - although the sea was really his life long love.  A very brave but ferociously stubborn man - A man of many moods - He knew what he wanted and did everything possible to get his way. He always fought against inequality and was outspoken for what he felt was for the good of the ordinary people!



Matthew Sollitt Jnr

Copy of English Birth Certificate - Matthew Sollitt (Jnr) Walmgate - York - Yorkshire - England



Matthew Sollitt Jnr - H.M Royal Navy - England

DATED: 27th January 1863