MR. ACHESON LITTLEWOOD,
UDC NEWRY COUNCILLOR FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS.
By the death of Mr. Acheson Littlewood, U.D.C. which took place at his residence, Sandys St., Newry, on last Sunday morning, the town has lost one of its most prominent citizens.
Born at Bessbrook 86 years ago Mr. Littlewood, during his long life, rendered valuable public service by his membership of the Newry Urban District Council, and was a prominent personality in the Orange Order, the Unionist Association, and other bodies.
He was a member of the Orange Order for 64 years, and in the course of his association with it and the Royal Black Institution, he held many high offices. He was also a foundation member of the Frontier Club of the Apprentice Boys of Derry.
During his earlier life, Mr. Littlewood was prominently identified with the local Trade Union movement, and was chairman of the local Trades Council, being a sett-maker in the granite industry.
Local government attracted his attention, and in the early part of the present century he became a member of the Newry Urban District Council, on which body he sat as a Unionist representative .for the North Ward for 36 years.
In 1944 he was elected vice-chairman of the Council in succession to his son-in-law, the late Mr. James Ruddle, J.P., and held this office at the time of his death.
He was also President of the Newry Unionist Association.
During the war he served with the local Civil Defence movement as an A.R.P. warden.
He also held various offices in connection with St. Mary’s Parish Church.
A few years ago he and Mrs. Littlewood celebrated the diamond jubilee of their marriage.
He is survived by his widow, two sons, Mr. W. J. Littlewood (Belfast) who served in the 1914-18 war, and Mr. Albert Littlewood, who served in the 1939-45 war, and by three daughters: Mrs. J. Chester, who served us a nurse in both wars; Mrs. Elizabeth Ruddle and Mrs R. Bunting (England). To these and the other relatives deep sympathy is extended in the sad loss they have sustained.
Speaking in St. Mary’s Church on Sunday morning, Rev. Canon B. A. Swanzy, B. A. referred to Mr. Littlewood’s passing. There was no man in the town who was better known or more widely respected, and no member of that church and congregation more regular, more devoted, or better loved. His simple and straightforward character won for him the unfeigned respect of all. In public life he never fought to hide his own decided views or to water down his life-long principles. But he never expressed those principles with rancour, and so he never gave offence. In these matters he was an example to all of them.
The attendance; at the funeral on Tuesday afternoon, was large and representative of the industrial, business, professional and agricultural life of the community, whilst his colleagues and officials of Newry Urban Council were present. All the organisations with which he was connected were fully represented, and members of the Orange and Black Institutions and Apprentice Boys of Derry acted as pall-bearers.
The services in the home, Church and graveside were conducted by Rev. Canon B. A. Swanzy, B.A; (Cantab-), and Rev. H. H. Warner, B.A.
The chief mourners were: – Wm. J. Littlewood, Albert Littlewood (sons) Robert Littlewood, Belfast (brother); Bennie Ruddle, Tim Ruddle, Stanley A. Littlewood, Belfast; Donald S. Littlewood, Thomas Bunton, London (grandsons); Brian Ruddle, Michael Ruddle (great-grandsons); Wm. Rowlands, Acheson Littlewood, William Littlewood, Acheson McKnight, Jack Littlewood, Belfast (nephews); Head-Constable Crawford, R.U.C. Dungannon; Sergt. W. Littlewood, R.U.R.; Jack Littlewood, Bessbrook; Wm. J. Hanna, Bessbrook; Wm. Hanna, jun., Bessbrook; Robert Stewart, Ballymena; Wm. Bums, Newry; David Burns, Newry; George Reid, Searse; George Reid jun., Searse; Bryce McMurray, Banbridge; John Reid, Newry (relatives).
Wreaths and floral tributes were from Mother and Jean; BilIie, Bee and Yvonne, Belfast; Albert, Molly and children; Elizabeth and grandson Jim; Sally, Reggie and family; Willie, Annie and children; Bennie, Muriel and family; Lizzie also Blanche and Wm. John; Stanley, Ida and Deidre, Belfast; Mr. and Mrs Wm. Littlewood, Bessbrook; the Crawford family, Dungannon; Mrs. Burns and family; officers and members of Henry Thompson L.O.L. 129; officers and members of R.B.P. 39; officers and members of the Frontier Branch of the Apprentice Boys, members of the Apprentice Boys of Derry Social Club, Newry; Newry Unionist Association; officials of the Newry Urban District Council; the Staff Abattoir; The Vicarage; May Tweedie, Mrs. Johnston and family, Cowan St.; Mr. W. C. Ewen, Acheson, Eileen and family; Mrs. Frank Armstrong, Mrs. Reilly.
Mr. Wm. Heslip, Sugar Island, Newry, carried out the funeral arrangements.
URBAN COUNCIL TRIBUTES.
As a mark of respect to the memory of their late Vice-Chairman, the annual meeting of the Newry Urban District Council was adjourned on Wednesday evening till Thursday evening.
The Chairman (Mr. T. Kelly); in proposing that a vote of sympathy be extended to the widow and other relatives of deceased, said that during his almost forty years membership of the Council he had rendered great service to the ratepayers and those he represented. It had always been a pleasure to him (the Chairman) to listen to the way in which Mr. Littlewood discussed Council matters.
Mr. J. Morgan seconded the resolution, and said that his association with Mr. Littlewood went back further than their Council acquaintance. The Littlewood family had been connected with the Trades Council years ago, and perhaps it was not well known that deceased was one of the stalwarts in bringing Technical Instruction to Newry.
At times during Council debates, discussions became heated, but Mr. Littlewood kept calm and when he spoke he left them feeling very small, and “brought them to their senses.” He had strong political views, but he never brought them into Council business.
In associating himself with the resolution of sympathy, Mr. J. Connellan suggested the adjournment of the meeting as a mark of respect to Mr. Littlewood’s memory. He had known him over a long period, and notwithstanding their great differences he always found Mr. Littlewood to be a man of great broadmindedness, upright, honest, and well-disposed to everything he did. He would not allow anything to stand between him and personal friendships.
He had strong political views, and it was right to say he was not a religious bigot. Though he disagreed profoundly with one in a variety of things, he always granted one the right to have their own opinion. He was a very intelligent and well-balanced man, who strongly adhered to what he believed to be right.
His loss would be a big one to the Council but more so to his own family circle, to whom they all extended their sincere sympathy.
Mr. W. Byrne described him as a friend of the working man and the poor man. His chair would be hard to fill.
Mr. H. McCullough said that they in the Party would miss him very much.
Mr. Wm. Baird, Mr. E. Niall McAteer, and Mr. W. E. McKnight associated themselves with the resolution.
On behalf of the officials and on his own behalf, the Town Clerk (Mr. Gerald Cronin) extended his sympathy.
The officials would miss him very much, for he had been a staunch friend to them. He was approachable and sympathetic.
Looking through the minutes of the Council recently, he saw that Mr. Littlewood was at a meeting of the Council in January, 1913, and had been a member of the Council practically continuously ever since. T hat was a splendid record of public service. The ratepayers had lost a sincere friend.
The resolution was passed in silence, the members standing, and it was agreed to adjourn the meeting till Thursday evening.
NEWRY TELEGRAPH, Saturday, May 29th 1948.
See also: The Family of Acheson Littlewood and Anne Duffy