Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Showing posts with label Birmingham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Birmingham. Show all posts

Thursday, 17 March 2022

John Winship Soppit, Mary Ellen Finch and Mary Morrell

Sangley Rd
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © N Chadwick - geograph.org.uk/p/3162332

John Winship Soppit, son of John Soppit and Louisa Tompson married Mary Ellen Finch, at St Lawrence, Catford (built in 1887, demolished in 1968 to make a car park) [in Lewisham registration district] on 24 September 1904. 

John and Mary Ellen had three daughters:

  1. Dorothy Louisa Soppit b. 18 Aug 1906 in LAMBETH Vol 01D Page 471
  2. Hilda Mary Soppit b. 14 Aug 1908 in LAMBETH Volume 01D Page 477
  3. Kate Winship Soppit b. 12 Oct 1910 in Lewisham 
The records for the first two girls show the mother's maiden name as Finch. Even though FamilySearch quote GRO references for Kate's birth, this record does not show up in searches on the GRO website.

In 1911, living at 78 Sangley Road, Lewisham, were John Winship Soppit (29) Joiner from Deptford; Mary Ellen Soppit (36) with birthplace listed as York; Dorothy Louisa Soppit (4) birthplace Brixton; Hilda Mary Soppit (2) birthplace Brixton and Kate Winship Soppit (0) born in Catford.

There wasn't a record of a Mary Ellen Finch born in York, around 1875. As she was also seven years older than her husband, my guess is that Mary Ellen was a widow at the time of her marriage to John Winship Soppit and that Finch is her previous married name. Without seeing the marriage certificate that might tell us who Mary Ellen's father was and thus her maiden name, I can't yet confirm.

In 1917, then actually 35 (not 33 as listed) John Winship Soppit enlisted (was probably conscripted) into the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) at the 4th General Hospital, Birmingham. [See more at: Birmingham’s Military Hospitals] At the time of his discharge he was a nursing orderly. [Source]

In 1921, John Winship Soppit is listed in Lewisham. As Joseph and Rachel are among other members in the listing's household, we can surmise that John was visiting his brother. While Mary Ellen (who appears to have got younger), Dorothy, Hilda and Kate are listed in the district of Aston, Birmingham

Mary Ellen Soppit then died in 1924 D Quarter in BIRMINGHAM NORTH Volume 06D Page 486. 

In 1928, John Winship Soppit then remarried to Mary Baker (née Morrell), daughter of William Jabez Morrell and Sarah Waldron. This time we know she was a widow - her first husband Samuel Horatio Baker had died in 1925 - and had at least two sons from that previous marriage.

Second wife, Mary Soppit, died, aged 65, on 13 Jul 1950.

John Winship Soppit died, in Birmingham, on 6 May 1969. The death notice in The London Gazette gives his address at that time as 15 Homecroft Rd, Yardley, Birmingham. It's ironic that growing up in Birmingham in the 1960's, at times I'll have been mere streets away from there, while my mother felt as 'a fish out of water' in that city. If only she'd known she had relatives so close.

  • Dorothy Louisa Soppit died in DOR Q2/1989 in BIRMINGHAM (0611K) Volume 32 Page 1041
  • Hilda M Soppit married James F Lawless, in Birmingham, in 1933. James Frederick Lawless (bap. Jacobus Fredericus Lawless at the Roman Catholic parish of Most Holy Sacrament & St Osburg, in Coventry, in 1908.) The couple don't appear to have had children. In 1939, they lived at 286 Chester Road, Hardwick (286 Chester Road, Streetly, Sutton Coldfield). James Frederick Lawless died in 1980 in Carmarthen. Hilda Mary Lawless of 15 Homecroft Road, Yardley, Birmingham died, aged 86, on 18 Mar 1994 (DOR Q1/1994 in WARWICKSHIRE SOUTH (7751B) Reg B24B Entry Number 279) at Lapworth Nursing Home, Chessetts Wood Road, Solihull and was buried at Yardley Cemetery & Crematorium, on 25 Mar 1994.
  • Kate Winship Soppit died in DOR Q3/1998 in SOLIHULL (0731B) Reg B41F Entry Number 97.
It's evident, therefore, that neither Dorothy, nor Kate ever married.

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Charley Stone and Ellen Jones

St George's Church, Tiverton

Charley Stone (Char), son of Charles Stone and Emma Middleton, married Ellen Jones (Nell), daughter of David Jones and Laura Elizabeth White, on 3 Jul 1922, at St George's Church, Tivertongenerally considered to be the finest Georgian church in Devon, and one of the best examples in England. Witnesses: Francis Stone, the groom's uncle; William Henry Middleton, the groom's elder half-brother and their mother, Emily Stone (former Emma Middleton). Given that line up, my feeling is that Bill was best man, while Frank gave away the bride.

Charley Stone born 6 Jun 1898 at 1 Silver Street, Tiverton, and baptised on 20 Jul 1898 at St Peter’s Church Tiverton, lied about his age when he enlisted in the Royal Marines at Exeter on 18 Jan 1915, which is why this and many subsequent records for him suggest he was born a year earlier in 1897. They can't ever have discovered the one year discrepancy though, because his record notes the 139 days he was underage, from 18 Jan 1915 to 5 Jun 1915, but 6 Jun 1915 will only have been his 17th birthday. 

Char did his training at the Royal Marine Depot, Deal, until 18 Aug 1915. Then after a brief period at Plymouth Division, was assigned to HMS Revenge (06) on 1 Feb 1916 and stayed with this ship until 24 Jan 1918, being promoted to Corporal on the 1st day of that year.

Revenge (left) and the battleship Hercules (right) at the Battle of Jutland

Consequently, on 31 May - 1 Jun 1916, just five days before his 18th birthday, Charley Stone took part in the Battle of Jutlandthe largest naval battle of the First World War. "In the course of the battle, Revenge had fired 102 rounds from her main battery [...]. She also fired 87 rounds from her secondary guns. She was not hit by any fire during the engagement." [Thankfully.]

British battleship HMS Glory at Murmansk
From 23 May 1918, until 16 Jul 1919, Char was assigned to HMS Glory (1899), of the British North Russia Squadron, which took him to Archangel and Murmansk during the North Russia intervention. "Glory was based at Archangel to protect supplies that arrived there for the Russian Army. The squadron's mission evolved after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 into preventing the supplies that had been delivered from falling into the hands of the Red Army." 

Char will have arrived just in time for A Fire, a Riot, a Bombing, and a Mutiny

Like most who went through these events, Char never spoke about his experiences, except to a brother who was also a Marine, and what I've been told of that only intimated that things were really bad (understatement) up there. 
HMS Royalist (1883)
Continuing his amazing ability to turn up in all the wrong places at the right times, from 12 Feb 1920 to 15 Mar 1922 Char was sent to HMS Colleen (formerly HMS Royalist (1883)), which was then the depot ship at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, at the height of the Irish War of Independence. Being hulked (stuck in one place), allowed more opportunity to fraternise with the locals.

Nell and Char's only child, Charles Francis Stone (Frank) was born, on 17 July 1923 at The Military Families Hospital, Devonport and christened at The Anglican Church of Saint Paul, Durnford Street, East Stonehouse on Sunday, 5 Aug 1923. This was the day after the wedding of Char's first cousin Frederick Thomas Stone and Kathleen Mullarkey, at which he was best man and could have been the new baby's first "social engagement" - not that he'd have remembered it - but it feels like a real connection to the past to imagine that maybe Maria Mullarkey, the bride's mother, may have fawned over the new infant (as you do). The family's address at that time was 36, Admiralty Street, East Stonehouse (now The Fig Tree Restaurant.)

Nell and Char's only child, Charles Francis Stone (Frank), aged around three.

The rest of Char's Royal Marines' career was spent mostly at Plymouth Division - they lived in the Eastern King battery - and at HMS Impregnable training establishments in Devonport: the former HMS Black Prince (1861) in late 1922 and the former HMS Ganges (1821) in 1923/24. Char was promoted to Sergeant from 9 Aug 1924, Colour sergeant from 2 Apr 1931, and Quartermaster sergeant (QMS) in Aug 1932, retiring on 5 Jun 1936. 

Charley Stone's uniform tunic now in the possession of the Royal Marines Museum

Nell and Char on their
25th Wedding Anniversary
in 1947, in the garden of 117,
Corisande Road, Selly Oak.
After he retired from the Royal Marines, Char took a job as a Post Office Van Driver in Birmingham, which is where we find the family in 1939, at 117 Corisande Road, Selly Oak with Charley Stone, Postman Driver (Heavy Work) still listing himself as a year older and Ellen trying to be two years younger than she was. Frank (16) was working as a Stationery clerk at the Screw Works. 

Char worked as a gardener before he'd joined the marines, having worked, casually, in the kitchen garden at Knightshayes Court in Tiverton. In Birmingham, he grew soft fruits - I remember being sent up the garden to pick raspberries and blackcurrants - and he had a greenhouse stuffed full of his favourite fuchsias that, in his Devon accent were always pronounced foosherrs.

Charley Stone died on 10 May 1973 at Selly Oak Hospital. He was 75.

Ellen Stone died on 31 Jan 1993 in Highcliffe, Dorset, in her 99th year.