Showing posts with label World War I. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World War I. Show all posts

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Andrew Ephire King and Annie Jones

The former St. Luke's church
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Jonathan Thacker - geograph.org.uk/p/5436811

Annie Jones, only daughter of Nicholas Jones and Ellen White, married Andrew Ephire King, Chief Yeoman, United States Navy, son of Joseph Damos King and Josephine Martel, at St Luke's Church, Cork, Ireland on 18 Aug 1919. Witnesses were Frederick Joseph Lee and Nelly Jones (presumably Annie's mother). 

Andrew Ephire King, b. 10 Nov 1894, in 1910, was in Dover, New Hampshire, with parents Joseph D King (39), Josephine (35) both Canadian, Andrew (15), Dina (13), Wilfred (12), Victor (10), Lena (9), Philip (4) and Amelia (2).

Andrew and Annie had met in 1917, wrote their daughter, Margery, "... when Dad was on one of the destroyers sent by the US Navy to patrol the south coast of Ireland and convoy supply and troop ships to English and French ports. 

When Cork became "out of bounds" to the crews of the US Fleet when the Sinn Féiners attacked them, Dad asked Mum to come down to Rushbrooke / Queenstown to visit him. In this way, Dad became acquainted with Nellie and the rest of her family, often going to Rushbrooke for tea when he had a few hours liberty when his ship was in port." As one entry from Andrew's diary, retells:

April 24, 1918: "Liberty was granted today. I went ashore at 4:30 p.m. and went to see Nellie Jones. Today was her 24th birthday. She had made a chocolate cake and some cookies so we had a quite nice little tea party. I gave her a gold pendant for a gift. Novak came up about 7:30 with a fruit cake that his sister in Portland, Oregon had sent him. We had cocoa and some of the cake. Returned to the ship at 10:30 p.m."

After they married, Annie King applied for permission to depart for the United States, expecting to sail on USS President Grant on 6 Sep 1919, giving her future address in the US as 31 Chapel StreetDover, New Hampshire.

Andrew and Annie had three children: 
  1. Douglas Andrew King born 23 Mar 1921 in Norfolk, Virginia
  2. Edith M King born 22 Feb 1923 in Brooklyn, New York
  3. Margery Ellen King born 6 Apr 1927 in Cork, Ireland
In 1920, Andrew King (25) and Annie King (29), were living in Duval, Florida.

In 1921, Annie King applied for a US Passport for herself, accompanied by her minor child, Douglas Andrew King.

In 1930, in Norfolk, Virginia, were Andrew E King (36), Annie King (40), Douglas A King (9), Edith M King (7) and Margery E King (3). 

In 1935, they lived in Portsmouth, Virginia. That year, on 7 Jul 1935, Douglas Andrew King (14) travelled from Cobh (Queenstown), on the RMS Laconia, arriving in Boston in 14 Jul 1935. Margery remembered them visiting the family in Rushbrooke in the 1930's.

And by 1940, they had moved out to San Diego, California, with Andrew E King (45), Annie King (49), Edith M King (17) and Marjory E King (12).

Andrew Ephire King sailed from Pearl Harbor on 7 Aug 1942, on USS Henderson, while she did service as a transport between California and Hawaii during World War II, arriving in San Francisco, California on 15 Aug 1942. He was still serving in WWII. Could he have been in Pearl Harbour the year before?

On 5 Apr 1945, Douglas Andrew King (24) married Daisy Mae Hadlock (19), daughter of Ivan Hadlock and Esther Smith, in Hampton, Virginia.

Margery and her mother visited Ireland and England, visiting Dave and Kitty in Rushbrooke, their sisters, Queenie and Alice in Cork City, my grandparents in Birmingham and had stayed with Marcella in Portsmouth for a time, in 1946. Margery wrote that, "My mother had kept in touch with her cousins all through WWII while we were in the USA and was anxious to see them all again."

A licence had been applied for, for the marriage of Margery Ellen King to a Donald William Gemmel in January 1950, but this marriage never took place. Margery never mentioned this. No surprise. I always knew her as Mrs Margery Hamilton, but haven't been able to find any record of a marriage for her.

In 1950, Edith King married Kenneth Crawford, in Cork. Her parents went to Ireland for a couple of months for the wedding, and returned on RMS Franconia, leaving Liverpool on 21 Sep 1950, arriving in Quebec on 29 Sep 1950. The Crawfords had at least one son (name and birth date unknown, but thought to be still living somewhere in Cork), as Margery often mentioned her nephew - who will now have possession of Andrew Ephire King's detailed diaries.

Annie King of 28 Oceana AvenueOcean Park, Maine (wife of Andrew Ephire King, Retired Lieutenant Commander U.S.N.), died on 21 Dec 1950, at the Trull HospitalBiddeford, Maine, aged 60, leaving her effects to her husband. Annie King is buried at, New Town CemeteryRollinsford, New Hampshire.

On 26 Sep 1953, Margery King left Cobh on the MV Britannic, presumably to attend her father's second marriage, on 24 Oct 1953, at the Methodist Church, Plymouth, New Hampshire, to divorcee, Elma Marguerite Wyman (née Dunphy).

Andrew Ephire King, who died on 1 July 1983, Lieutenant commander United States Navy Mexican Border, WWI & WWII, is also buried in the family plot at New Town CemeteryRollinsford, New Hampshire.

Douglas Andrew King died on 13 Mar 2002. 

We visited Margery in Ireland in 2014. Her sister, Edith, had died not long before. Margery must have died in 2016, which, sadly, we only discovered when the Post Office in Ireland returned my correspondence. Her contribution to this research has been invaluable: even when the family stories she was told weren't quite true, they've provided valuable clues that I'll continue to pursue. 

Sunday, 29 August 2021

Cornelius Walter Jones


Cornelius Walter Jones, born 2 Jan 1893 in Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, eldest son of David Jones and his second wife, Laura Elizabeth White, was my grandmother's elder brother. We've never been able to find his military record, but know he enlisted in the Army and served during World War I. His first cousin's husband, who was in Queenstown with the US Navy, kept a detailed diary and had written that Cornelius (Con) was leaving for Egypt in 1917. 

The image above, which I will admit that I downloaded some years ago (and have since lost the link), is dated 10.11.1917 EGYPT. The taller man, second from right, back row, is so much like my father it's literally like looking straight into his eyes. His stance, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, brow line and, above all, hair, are all identical. It's eerie and uncanny and, unless someone can prove otherwise, I feel very sure that there's a chance this is my great-uncle, Cornelius Jones.

Though the cousin's daughter had thought that Con didn't return from the war, I know that he did, probably suffering shell-shock, for which one of his younger siblings described him as "daft" - such was the lack of understanding then. 

Not expecting to find him there in Ireland, we were quite shocked when we read the listing of his burial at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh)

Cornelius Jones, late of Rushbrooke, Cork, died on 21 Apr 1926 at the Cork District Hospital (now St. Finbarr's Hospital, with its origins in the Cork Union Workhouse and Infirmary). He was a bachelor, previously employed as a labourer. The record says 30, but he was 33 and died from Pneumonic Phthisis (tuberculosis, also known as consumption), after 8 months in hospital. The informant was Helena Lynch, "Inmate" Cork Union. 

Cornelius Walter Jones was buried on 24 Apr 1926, in the family plot at Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), along with his mother, Laura Elizabeth Jones (née White), who had died in 1917.

Saturday, 28 August 2021

Edward John Bicknell, Marcella Jones & Harry Babb

Portsmouth Cathedral
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © N Chadwick - geograph.org.uk/p/6829155

Edward John Bicknell married Marcella Jones, eldest daughter of David Jones and Johannah Anne O'Callaghan, at St Jude's ChurchSouthsea on 12 Dec 1906. Among the witnesses was Marcella's younger sister, Helena Jones. At the time of his marriage to Marcella, Edward John Bicknell's rank was Corporal RGA (Royal Garrison Artillery), then stationed at Southsea Castle. On the marriage certificate, Bicknell's father is listed as Edward Bicknell, a farmer. 

Their only child, David Nicholas Bicknell was born on 20 Jan 1909, at 15 Gold Street, Southsea and baptised, on 10 Feb 1909, at The Anglican Cathedral of St Thomas of Canterbury, known simply as Portsmouth Cathedral

On 17 Dec 1895, Edward John Bicknell, listed originally as aged 14 years, 11 months (although the 14 appears to have been over-written as 15 on the 2nd page), from Withycombe [Withycombe Raleigh], Exmouth, Devon, formerly a Telegraph Messenger, had enlisted for Long Service in the Royal Artillery, at Slough, Bucks. The name and address of his next of kin was given as Mrs F E Palmer, 18 Hencroft Street, Sough, Bucks. In 1901, there was an Elizabeth F Palmer (60) Tailoress, from Withycombe, Devon at that address. 

In 1891, as Edward Jno Bricknell (10), at Hencroft Street, Upton with Chalvey, Eton, Buckinghamshire, with Henry Palmer (42) Butler domestic and Elizabeth F Palmer (54) from Withycombe, Devon, he's described as their nephew.

Records show that Henry Palmer had married Elizabeth Fanny Bicknell, at St Margaret's, Westminster, London, in 1873. In 1881, they were living at Church End, Tempsford, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, where Henry was Under butler. Elizabeth Bicknell, listed in Withycombe Rawleigh in 1841 and 1851, bap. as Elizabeth Nanny Bicknell on 5 Jan 1834, had a brother named Edward, born 1830. However, he died in 1870, so cannot be the boy's father.

Fort Rowner-Gosport
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Colin Babb - geograph.org.uk/p/704877

When he enlisted in 1895, Edward John was 5' 1⅝' tall, weighed 98lbs, had a fresh complexion, hazel eyes and dark brown hair. He was sent to Fort Rowner, Gosport on 21 Dec 1895. Initially passed as fit, he spent 29 days in hospital from 5 Feb 1896 to 4 Mar 1896, whatever he was suffering from, referred to only by the initials V.D.H., it was of unknown cause and he was discharged on 7 Mar 1896, as "Not being likely to become an efficient soldier."

On 19 Sep 1900, in London, at 18 years and 9 months, Edward John Bicknell, once again enlisted in the Royal Artillery. The record, again, says that he was from Withycombe, Exmouth, Devon. Was he cured of his previous ills, or was he hopeful that nobody would tie the two together (which they don't seem to do)? 

There are many people named Edward Bicknell, in Withycombe, going right back to the 17th Century. None of them were farmers. And I can find no birth, nor baptism for an Edward John Bicknell, in 1881, anywhere near the area. The closest is an illegitimate birth of an Edward Bicknell in St Thomas, Devon (under which Withycombe would fall), in 1879. That child, born 19 Nov 1879, in the Village, Withycombe Raleigh, was the son of Rose Creasley Bicknell, Domestic Servant, Cook. No father listed. His birth was registered by his mother, on 9 Dec 1879 and curiously the name of the deputy registrar on the certificate was Edward John Carter. Is that where the Edward John came from?

As yet, I haven't been able to establish whether there is any link between Elizabeth Fanny Bicknell and the boy's mother, Rose Creasley Bicknell. 

All that and naming their son only after his maternal grandfather and uncle and not after his father, leads me to think that Bicknell had no idea who his father was and, as is often done, simply made one up for the marriage certificate.

Leith Fort flats, North Fort Street
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © kim traynor - geograph.org.uk/p/2623474
The flats were to be demolished, but the wall and remnants of the old fort were to remain.

In 1901, Edward John Bicknell (19) Gunner Royal Artillery, was listed on the census at Leith FortNorth Fort StreetLeith, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Tigné Barracks, before its demolition in 2001. Image: Billy Shewring, CC BY-SA 3.0
Parts of The Point Shopping Mall include architectural elements from the former Tigné Barracks.

In 1911, Sergeant Edward John Bicknell (29), from Exmouth, Devon, was listed on the census of Overseas Establishments with 96th Company RGA (Royal Garrison Artillery) at Fort Tigné, Malta. Also listed on the census there at that time are wife, Marcella Bicknell (26) and son, David Nicholas Bicknell (2).

96th Company, I believe, remained in Malta for the duration of World War I. 

Edward John Bicknell was Mentioned in Despatches at least once.

On 27 Oct 1919, Edward John Bicknell, then a Battery Sergeant Major at Sandown Barracks, Sandown, Isle of Wight, filed for divorce from Marcella, citing her adultery with Co-respondent, Harry Babb, a Fitter in His Majesty's Dockyard at Portsmouth, with whom she was allegedly residing at 34, Castle Road, Southsea. The final decree was granted on 29 Sep 1920 and Harry Babb was ordered to pay the costs of £63 18s 4d (around £2,900 in 2021).

Marcella Bicknell married Henry Babb in the 4th quarter of 1920, in Portsmouth.

Babb was no easier to pin down than her first husband. The only relevant birth of a Harry Babb, in the 4th quarter of 1894, is in Barnstaple, Devon, with his mother's maiden name given as Ware. There was a marriage of an Eli Francis Babb and Annie Ware on 21 Feb 1880, at St Martin-in-the-Fields, in The Strand, London. Harry was baptised on 25 Jan 1895 at Holy Trinity Church, Barnstaple and the baptism record gives his parents as Levi Frank and Annie Babb, with his father's occupation listed as 'Boots' at the Fortescue Hotel

The word came from, ‘boot boys’, an occupation in the 1830s and 40s requiring young men to clean the boots of hotel guests. Later, the occupation had become simply known as ‘boots’, and duties included odd-jobs around the hotel. 

In 1901, Levi F Babb (43) Hotel servant (boots) from Somerset (Eli Frank Babb was baptised in Williton, Somerset in 1857); Annie (42), Levi F (18) born in London, John (14), Ellen E (11), Harry (6), Rose (4), Charley (3) and William G (2) were living at 2, Higher Church Street, Barnstaple, Devon

In 1920 and 1921, records show that Sergeant Major Edward John Bicknell was a member of Sandown Masonic Lodge on the Isle of Wight. 

Edward J Bicknell also remarried, to Ida G Priestley, on 25 Mar 1921, on the Isle of Wight. Ida Gertrude Priestley (b. 31 Dec 1891), was the daughter of Thomas F and Sophia C Priestley. Her father was a Yacht steward. Her mother, Sophia, was from Jersey, Channel Islands. In 1901, the family address was Grocer's Shop, 62, West Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight (now a branch of The Co-operative Food). In 1911, Ida Gertrude Priestley (20), had been employed as a Lady's Maid to Mrs Winifred Walker at 10 Marmion Road, Battersea, London.

Edward John Bicknell was discharged from the Army on 18 Sep 1921, at Dover, under Paragraph 392 (xxi) of the King's Regulations - the end of a period of engagement. He was awarded a pension of 51½d per day for life from 19 Sep 1921. His address on discharge was 177, Filbert Street, Leicester.

But Edward John Bicknell of 4 Burton Street, Leicester, Bank Messenger, died on 21 Apr 1922, at Leicester Royal Infirmary from shock following an operation, having been diagnosed with stomach cancer 5-6 months previously. He was 40. His death was registered by P H Priestley, Brother-in-law (Ida's younger brother, Percy H Priestley, born 1895) of 18 Hartington Rd, Leicester.

It would appear that Ida G Bicknell remarried to Thomas A Brennan, in Southampton, in 1923. In 1939, she was living at 66 Shakespeare Avenue, Hillingdon with two daughters, born 1924 and 1927. She is listed as married, but her husband is not at home. Ida died, in Uxbridge, in 1942, aged 50.

In 1939, Harry Babb (b. 17 Nov 1894), Marine Engineer, Marcella Babb, David N Bicknell and a lodger were living at 10 Wilberforce Road, Portsmouth.

Marcella Babb of 1 Festing Grove, Southsea, died on 9 Oct 1963, at 80.

Henry Babb, also of 1 Festing Grove, Southsea, died on 19 Nov 1967. 

David Nicholas Bicknell never married. He died of a cardiac arrest on 22 Jan 1987, two days after his 78th birthday. The retired production controller still lived at 1 Festing Grove, Southsea. His place of birth quoted on his death certificate was India. The records show that he was, in fact, born in Southsea, so I wonder if his father spent time in India while he was growing up. 

Festing Grove, Southsea
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Kate Jewell - geograph.org.uk/p/3319369

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Charles Ridgeway and Ivy Edna Evans

Fort Regent, Saint Helier, Jersey

Charles Ridgeway (b. 1884), son of Thomas Ridgway and Ann Tooze, married Ivy Edna Evans (b. 5 Jan 1905), in Tiverton, in 1936. The bridegroom was 52 at the time of their marriage, while the bride was 21 years his junior at 31. Nevertheless, this does seem to be Charles' first marriage. Unable to find Ivy's birth record, I cannot discount that she could have been married before.

On 29 May 1901, Charles Ridgeway, previously a labourer from Uplowman, Devon, had enlisted in the British Army. His age of 18 and 3 months on enlistment, would give a birth year of 1883, so it appears that he added a year to his age to sign up. Certainly not the first or last to do so, and if there were any additional urgency or motivation for doing this, it might have been because the Second Boer War was then in progress. Charles later, was at Fort RegentSaint Helier, Jersey and there transferred to the Royal Tank Corps, having previously been attached to the 3rd Hussars

He was discharged, after 21 years service, on 28 May 1922, at the termination of his period of engagement (Para 392 (xxi) KR), having served through the entirety of World War I. His address on discharge was 104, Barrington Street, Tiverton, which was his sister, Bessie Ann Quick's address. 

At some point, Charles had been wounded, which I believe is why he was awarded a pension at a rate of 31½d for life from 29 May 1922. (That's 18s 4½d per week, when 20 shillings = £1 in 1922 is worth £58.29 today.)

In 1939, Charles Ridgeway, Groom, was living at 5 Radcliffe Cottages, St Thomas, Devon. His date of birth on the 1939 Register is given as 24 Feb 1884. This was the date he was baptised, so either he was baptised on the very day he was born, or the actual date of his birth is lost in time. Living with him is his wife, Ivy E Ridgeway. There are then two closed entries, so it's possible that they had children (who may well be alive), but the records are not [yet] available.

Charles Ridgeway died at the beginning of 1955, aged 70, in Tiverton.

Ivy Edna Ridgeway died, in Exeter, in 1975, also aged 70.

Friday, 20 August 2021

Robert Thomas Bridle and Mary J Strange

Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium
WernervcCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Robert Bridle (19) Errand boy, in 1911, was lodging at 35 Chestnut Grove, BalhamRobert T Bridle, seventh and penultimate child of Edwin Symons Bridle and Lucy Lindsey, married Mary J Strange, in Wandsworth, in 1915. Their daughter, Lucy Mary Bridle, was born on 1 Nov 1915. On 11 Dec 1915, R T Bridle (24) of 17, Caistor Rd, enlisted in the East Kent Regiment. On 17 Oct 1917, Robert Thomas Bridle (26), 36th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, husband of M. J. Bridle, of 17, Caistor Rd., Balham, London, died of wounds, no doubt sustained during The Third Battle of Ypres (Battle of Passchendaele). He is buried in grave ref XI. I. 18. at Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium.  

Thursday, 19 August 2021

William C J Truscott and Beatrice Gwendolen Kerslake

Beatrice Avenue, Plymouth
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Derek Harper - geograph.org.uk/p/1776659

Whilst neither of these are blood relations, having discovered that Beatrice lost her mother at the age of two and knowing of the tragic circumstances of the death of her half-brother (who was my cousin), I couldn't help wondering, what happened to Lewis William Kerslake's daughter. When the 1921 census is published next year, we may get clues as to who brought her up.

Beatrice Gwendolen Kerslake, daughter of Lewis William Kerslake and his first wife, Beatrice Hoare, married William Clarence James Truscott, son of Willie James Truscott and Eleanor Hilda Warren, in St Thomas, Exeter, in 1933. 

William Clarence James Truscott was born on 24 Dec 1909 and baptised, on 10 May 1910, at St Mark's, Ford, Plymouth. His parents had married, on 11 Mar 1909, at The Anglican Church of Saint James the GreatDevonport, Plymouth. Their marriage certificate shows that Willie James Truscott, Shipwright RN, was the son of James Robert Truscott, a fitter at the RN Dockyard, whilst Eleanor was the daughter of William Henry Warren, Pensioner RN.

HMS Thunderer 1912

Willie James Truscott (b. 7 Jul 1883) enlisted in the Royal Navy on 11 Jul 1899, just after his 16th birthday. He was assigned to HMS Thunderer on 15 Jun 1912 - the day she was commissioned - and remained with this ship right through until 24 Jan 1921, which means, of course, that on 31 May - 1 Jun 1916, Willie James Truscott, Shipwright 1st Class, took part in the Battle of Jutland.

From 25 Jan 1921 to 28 Feb 1922 Willie James Truscott was assigned to HMS Colleen depot ship at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland - at the same time my grandfather was at this same establishment. Small world. Again. Although, even if they met, they'll have had no idea of a family connection in the future.

Willie James Truscott retired from the Navy on 6 Jul 1923.

There was a strong naval tradition in this family: at the time of the marriage of Eleanor Hilda Warren's parents, William Henry Warren (b. 29 Jun 1857 in Maker, Cornwall) and Jane Ann Pearce, in Stoke Damerel on 8 Nov 1882, the groom was listed as Seaman, HMS Agincourt (1865) - which allowed me to find his naval record from a Boy on 1 Jan 1873 through until 30 Jun 1895). It also lists the bridegroom's father as a Pensioner (unlikely to be anything other than military at that time) and the bride's father, Charles Pearce, as a Seaman.

Could these even be related to Admiral William Truscott (1734 - 1798)?

Bonhay Road houses, Exeter
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Jaggery - geograph.org.uk/p/4698532

In 1939, Beatrice G Truscott was living at 91 Bonhay Road, Exeter, with the couple's two children (still living), while her husband, William C J Truscott was lodging with his uncle and aunt, Alfred C and Phyllis Warren (his mother's younger brother) at 95 Beatrice Avenue, Plymouth. William Clarence James had followed in his uncle's and grandfather's footsteps as an engine fitter.

Beatrice Gwendoline Truscott died in 1974, in Plymouth, aged 65.

William Clarence J Truscott died, also in Plymouth, in 1981, aged 71.

Thursday, 12 August 2021

James Wood and Mary Ann Melhuish

Kentisbeare : St Mary's Church
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke - geograph.org.uk/p/4771675

James Wood, son of James Wood and Harriet Gollop, married Mary Ann Melhuish on 20 May 1883 at St. Mary’s church, Kentisbeare

James' elder brother, Henry Wood, had married a Mary Jane Melhuish, which seems an incredible coincidence. Henry's wife, Mary Jane had said she was from Plymouth, while Mary Ann lists herself as being from Clayhidon. But in neither case can I find a birth for either of them individually, much less find any connection between them. That's another mystery for another day.

James and Mary Ann had 11 children:
  1. Robert Wood born 1883, bap. 12 Jul 1885 in Kentisbeare *
  2. Sarah Ann Wood bap. 12 Jul 1885 in Kentisbeare
  3. Edith Maud Wood b. 24 Jul 1887, bap. 14 Aug 1887 in Kentisbeare
  4. Harriet Mary Wood b. 23 Nov 1888, bap. 13 Jan 1889 in Kentisbeare
  5. George Wood born 30 Aug 1890, bap. 5 Oct 1890 in Broadhembury
  6. Unnamed male Wood born Q1 1893 (Died in the same quarter)
  7. Eldred James Wood born 15 Mar 1894, bap. 1 Apr 1894 in Broadhembury. Eldred J Wood served in the Devonshire Regiment during World War I.
  8. Mabel Wood bap. 8 Aug 1896 in Kentisbeare (Died at 21 days old, buried 23 Aug 1896, also in Kentisbeare)
  9. Roland Ashford Wood b. 25 Jan 1898, bap. 13 Mar 1898 in Kentisbeare. Roland A Wood married Cicely Butt 1939. That year they were living at Bodmiscombe Wood, where Roland was a Farmer on his own account. Roland Ashford Wood died on 28 Feb 1975.
  10. Reginald Leonard Wood b. 8 May 1901, bap. ? 1901 in Blackborough
  11. Mabel Frances Wood b. 1904 (Died at 26 days old, buried 17 Jan 1904 in Blackborough)
* Baptism record for Robert Wood notes that he was 18 months old. That way, hopefully nobody noticed how soon after the wedding he'd arrived! :) 

In 1891 the family were living in Broad Road, Broadhembury, Honiton with James Wood (32) Agricultural Labourer, Mary A (29), Robert (7), Sarah A (5), Edith M (3), Harriet M (2) and George (0).

But by 1901, they were back in Kentisbeare at Hollis Green, with James Wood (43), Mary A (39), Edith (13), Harriet M (12), George (10), Eldred J (7) and Roland A (3). I've been unable to find either Robert or Sarah Ann in 1901. 

In 1911, at Cobblers Hall, Kentisbeare, were James Wood (53), Mary Ann (49), Sarah Ann Wood (25) Domestic Servant Cook, and Reginald Leonard Wood (9).

James Wood died in 1918, aged around 61.

In 1939, Mary Ann Wood, Widow, was living at 15, Blackborough with her youngest son, Reginald Leonard who was then employed as a Rabbit Trapper. 

Reginald Leonard Wood of 15 Blaydon Cottages, Blackborough, died on 18 Jun 1954 at Tiverton and District Hospital. As he left his effects to his widowed mother, Mary Ann Wood, we can probably conclude that he had not married. 

Mary Ann Wood died in 1955, aged 91.

Broadhembury
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © David Stowell - geograph.org.uk/p/6855

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Albert Stone and Agnes Jones

Tiverton : King's Crescent
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke - geograph.org.uk/p/3053842
On Bert's Marines record, Agnes' address is given as King's Crescent, Tiverton.

Albert Stone (Bert), son of Charles Stone and Emma Middleton and brother of Charley Stone, married Agnes Jones (Daisy), daughter of David Jones and Laura Elizabeth White and sister of Ellen Stone (née Jones), married, on 7 Aug 1926 at the Anglican Church of Saint Matthew, which was in Clarence Place, opposite the former Royal Naval Hospital at East Stonehouse, in Plymouth.

As you may have deduced, the two brothers married two sisters.

On 27 July 1914, at the age of 14½, Albert Stone enlisted as a Bugler in the Royal Marines and from 7 Dec 1914 until 29 May 1917, was assigned to his first ship, HMS Hilary (1914), a former passenger steamship, converted to an armed merchant cruiser for service during the First World War. She was commissioned into the Royal Navy at Liverpool on 6 Dec 1914 and patrolled between the British Isles and the Denmark Strait, often in the area between the Outer Hebrides and Faroe Islands and also to the Shetland Islands. 

On 25 May 1917, HMS Hilary was torpedoed and sunk west of the Shetlands, by German submarine, SM U-88, captained by Kapitänleutnant Walther Schwieger. Schwieger was infamous for sinking RMS Lusitania two years earlier - an event Agnes (Daisy) remembered as a child of eight, living in Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, where both survivors and dead were brought ashore. 

Bert was, of course, one of the survivors in the seven lifeboats from HMS Hilary, picked up by the naval drifter Maggie Bruce or the destroyer HMS Sarpedon.

After that, Bert was transferred to Plymouth Division and was at Deal from Sep 17 to Apr 18, becoming a Private in Dec 17, shortly before he was 18.

From 25 June 1919 to 21 Aug 1919, Bert embarked on HMS Cornwall (1902), presumably for her return journey from Bermuda to Devonport.

In Oct-Nov of that year, he was at HMS Impregnable training establishment (at that point the former HMS Black Prince (1861) in Devonport. And then at the HMS Vivid shore establishment from Dec 1919 until Dec 1920. 

British battleship HMS Ramillies

His subsequent excursions were with: 
Bert, who had been promoted to Corporal in July 1927, was discharged at the end of his second period of engagement in Jan 1939. But, on 27 Sep 1939, he was back for service during World War II, until 1 Jan 1942.

Bert and Daisy had two sons, Albert Henry Stone (1927-1999) and one living.

In 1939, Albert Stone, Postman, wife Agnes, son Albert H (Harry) and two other occupants were living at 9 Falconhurst Road, Birmingham.

Albert Stone died in 1974. Agnes died in 2000.

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.)

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.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

William Henry Middleton and Alice Maud Osmond

Admiralty Mews, Deal
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Philip Halling - geograph.org.uk/p/1407334

William Henry Middleton
, son of Emma Middleton, married Alice Maud Osmond, in Tiverton, on 21 Sep 1918. Alice Maud, known as Maud, born 2 Nov 1888, bap. 23 Dec 1888 at St. Mary, Willand, was the daughter of John Osmond (son of Henry Osmond from Halberton) and Annie Osmond (daughter of John Osmond of Willand) - it's likely her parents were cousins.

In 1891, John Osmond (29), Annie (34) lived in a cottage in Kentisbeare, Devon along with daughters Alice M (2) and Emily M (0). At that time, William Henry (2) was living with his grandmother, Jane How at Habridge Cottages, Steart Road, Stoodleigh, Tiverton.

By 1901, however, when Maud (13) was still at home with her family, then living at 1, Crosslands [Cottages], Halberton, William Henry (13) had already left home and was employed as an Agricultural Labourer by John Hussey (38) Farmer at Wood & Honeyland, Tiverton. (Honeyland Plantation?)

William Henry "Bill" Middleton, born 10 Dec 1889, then enrolled in the Royal Marines on 4 Nov 1907, at Exeter (his record says was underage between then and 9 Dec 1907), and was sent off to the Royal Marine Depot, Deal, until 2 Oct 1908, before being sent to Plymouth Division. William Henry was promoted to Corporal in 1911, and Sergeant in 1916 while serving on HMS Roxburgh (1904), which he was with from 4 Jun 1912 until 13 Aug 1916 - she was hit by a torpedo on 20 Jun 1915 but escaped with serious damage to her bow - latterly at the North America and West Indies Station.

From 13 Apr 1917 until 26 Nov 1918, Bill was with HMS Highflyer (1898), which means that he was present in Halifax, Nova Scotia during the Halifax Explosion on 6 Dec 1917. "Royal Navy cruisers in port sent some of the first organized rescue parties ashore. HMS Highflyer, along with the armed merchant cruisers HMS Changuinola, HMS Knight Templar and HMS Calgarian, sent boats ashore with rescue parties and medical personnel and soon began to take wounded aboard."

From 27 Nov 1918, Bill was transferred back to Plymouth Division, with a brief sojourn at HMS Excellent (shore establishment) near Portsmouth on 23 Dec 1918, but was Invalided on 25 Sep 1919. Whilst I don't know the nature, I can only surmise it may have been as a result of effects of the Halifax blast.

Remarks on his marine's record say, "Has a good knowledge of semaphore ..."

In 1939, William H Middleton, Road Chargeman for Devon County Council, and wife Alice Maud were living at Trickey Cottage, Ash Thomas, Devon. Lodging with them was Frederick H Kerslake (20) Railway Clerk. He was their nephew, son of Maud's sister Emily and her husband, Frederick James Kerslake.

Bill and Maud didn't have any children, for what reason I'm unaware, but they did have a cat named "Stripy" (a tabby, obviously), who, I was told, used to drink milk out of a jug on the windowsill, by dipping his paw in the jug (like Arthur from the Kattomeat ad). In our family, if you cleaned your plate at the end of a meal, someone would exclaim, "Poor old Stripy!", intimating that the poor cat, fed on scraps, would therefore go without. I only hope this was in jest!

Bill Middleton died in 1967, aged 78. Alice Maud Middleton of Tidcombe Hall, Tiverton, died on 21 Sep 1982, only a few weeks short of her 94th birthday. 

Tiverton : Tidcombe Hall
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke - geograph.org.uk/p/6337380
Early 19th century house, shown as Tidcombe Rectory on late 19th century Ordnance Survey map. Much altered in late 20th century. The building was also once a Marie Curie daycare unit.

Friday, 30 July 2021

George Burt and Fanny Jerwood

Tiverton : St Peter's Church
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke - geograph.org.uk/p/1654824

George Burt married Fanny Jerwood on 25 Dec 1884 at St Peter's Church, Tiverton. George Burt's Rank or Profession was given as Sailor. Fanny Jerwood was the daughter of John Jerwood (b. 1830), Labourer and his wife Sarah Davey (who had also married at St Peter's on 31 May 1853). George Burt's father is listed on the marriage certificate as William Burt, Labourer, however, this looks like an error as records suggest George's father was Edward Burt. As his father had died when George was two, he would never have known him.

On 26 Nov 1837, Edward Burt (b. 1816), son of Richard Burt, had married Mary Ann Prescott (b. 1821), daughter of John Prescott and Ann Warren, also at St Peter's Church, Tiverton. In 1841 they were living in Bampton Street, Tiverton with son George Burt (b. 1840). By 1851, Edward Burt (34) Labourer and Mary Ann (30), had added Edward (b. 1842), John (b. 1846), Richard (b. 1848) and William (b. 1851). Living with them was Mary Carter (71) Lodger. 

In 1859, the son George born in 1840, died, aged 19.

George Burt, born 1863, was actually registered as Sidney George Burt.

Their father, Edward Burt, then died, in 1866, in Tiverton, aged 50. 

In 1870, listed simply as George Burt (Sidney is never used again), son of a widow from Bampton Street, he was registered at Heathcote School.

In 1871, Mary Ann Burt (50) Widow, Seamstress, was still living in Bampton Street with her children: John (25) Mason's Labourer, Lucy (19) Lace Hand in Tiverton Factory, Charlotte (17) Laundress, James (11) and George (7), both at School. Emily Peters (19) also Lace Hand in Tiverton Factory and her son Berty Peters (2) were Lodging with them. Mary Ann Burt died in 1877, aged 56.

And so, George Burt, born 4 Nov 1863, enlisted in the Royal Navy, at 15, as a Boy 2nd Class on 8 Apr 1879. He served until 1 Nov 1901 and joined the Royal Fleet Reserve on 18 Aug 1902. He was brought back into service on 2 Aug 1914 until 18 Jul 1917, although at shore establishments HMS Vivid (II and III). 

HMS Superb (1875)

In 1881, George Burt (17) Boy 1st Class was with the 1st Class Iron Screw Ship HMS Superb (1875), moored in Valletta (Grand Harbour), Malta.

George and Fanny's only child, Charles Edward Burt, was born on 4 Dec 1887.

In 1891, Fanny Burt (27) with son Charlie (3), were living at 150 Pembroke Street, Devonport, while George was with HMS Amphion (1883) in the Pacific.

Young Charlie was then enrolled at Heathcote School in 1894 and at that time, his mother's address was Melbourne Street, Tiverton, even though George was predominantly in Devonport in 1894, first with HMS Himalaya (1854) and then at HMS Vivid II, joining HMS Grafton (1892) on 23 Oct 1894.

In 1901, George Burt (38), now a Leading Stoker, was again at HMS Vivid II, before being pensioned on 1 Nov that year. Fanny (37) was living at 2, Wellbrook Street, Prospect Place, Tiverton, with Charles (13) now a Silk lace maker and Sarah Jerwood (70) Widow, Boarder (Fanny's mother.)

Sarah Jerwood having died in 1910, in 1911, George Burt (48) Grocer and dealer, wife Fanny (47) Assisting in the business and son Charles Edward Burt (23) Lace machine hand, were living at 24 Wellbrook St, Tiverton.

George Burt died in Tiverton in 1937, aged 73.

Fanny Burt died in 1938, aged 74.

Tiverton: Wellbrook Street
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Martin Bodman - geograph.org.uk/p/1993212

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