Photocopies of material relating to the Billany Family

Scope and Content

Photocopies of material, including apprenticeship indentures, relating to the Billany Family

Administrative / Biographical History

Neiles Boyton Billany (1826-1896) was apprenticed as a shipwright in 1839 and it appears he completed his apprenticeship as he became a Freeman of Hull in 1847.

Lincoln Billany (1865-1930) was Neiles sixth child, was born shortly after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. He attended Board Schools in the City and was then apprenticed with Mssrs Amos and Smith Boilermakers and became a member of the Boilermakers' Society serving as District Secretary for a while. Lincoln's second son Harry Rusling Billany (1887-1950) had 7 children including their first son Dan (1913-1943).

Dan Billany was born in Hull in November 1913. He was active in the Labour League of Youth and later the Hull branch of the Socialist Party of Great Britain. He received a degree in English from the University College of Hull in 1937 and began a career in teaching at Chiltern Street School, Hull. Billlany joined the army in 1940 becoming an officer in the East Yorkshire Regiment. He was captured by the Germans and spent 15 months in a prisoner of war camp in Italy. Billany wrote a number of novels including 'The Opera House Murders' (published in 1940) and 'The Magic Door' (1943). Billany continued to write whilst a prisoner, after he escaped he gave the manuscripts for two further novels 'The Cage' (1949) and 'The Trap' to an Italian farmer to be post back to Britain after the war. Sadly Billany and three friends were last seen in Capistrello in November 1943 trying to make their way to the Allied forces and it is believed he died shortly afterwards.

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Copied with permission of R Brown, Department of Economic and Social History, University of Hull, 4 September 1975

Related Material

1951 TORCH student magazine includes reprint of a story by Dan Billany that first appeared in 1938 edition of Torch [Ref U DX313/1]

Valerie A. Reeves & Valerie Showan, Dan Billany: Hull's Lost Hero (1999) L.920 BIL