Monthly Archives: October 2012

Cosens, H S F, KIA

I first came across the person above while photographing memorials in St Mary Abbotts church in Kensington.  I homed in on the war memorial outside after spending a wonderful time in Wholefoods – what a fantastic place and their cheese room is to die for!!

Cosens, H S F, who is he?

Harold Stanley Frederick Cosens, born 2 December 1889, the son of Frederick George Cosens and Fanny Louisa Ambrose who had married in Kensington in the spring of 1877.

Frederick was a Sherry Shipper born in Streatham in 1855, his wife was born in Marylebone in  the same year.

In the census of 1891 the family were living at 8 Airlie Gardens, Kensington – just off Campden Hill Road. Harold was the youngest of three children.  The family employed three staff, one of which was a nurse.

Ten years later in 1901, Frederick and Fanny still had three children but the number of staff had increased to four.

A further ten years on only one of the children is at home – 24 year old Winifred but now back to three servants.

Harold by the census of 1911 was a Second Lieutenant serving in the East Yorkshire Regiment and was one of 330 men and 80 women at Aldershot Barracks.  We now know he was a career soldier.  But his early had been at St Paul’s School and later Sandhurst Military College.

Harold was Killed In Action at Rue du Bois, Armentierre, on  27 October 1914, according to a number of sources,but the memorial in St Mary Abbots gives the date of 28 October 1914.

The medal card for Harold gives quite a lot of information. Firstly, his regiment and rank was confirmed.  His date of death is given as 27 October.  Other information is taken from Routine Orders, Staff Book, Disembarkation Returns and medals awarded.  In March of 1918 F L G Coens, Esq., applies for the 1914 star in respect of his late son.  Mr Cosens requested the medals address given 7 Observatory Gardens, Campden Hill.  There are a number of notes on the card and one says ‘medals to’ 15 Vicarage Gardens, Kensington.  One other adress is for F G Cosens, Esq., Beech Bough, Bacton, North Walsham, Norfolk.  Harold parents must have moved to Norfolk as he is remembered on the village war  memorial.

His Commanding Officer, Major M Boyle wrote of Harold  “He was my subaltern and I never want a better, always cheery and ready for any work that came in his way, and to take on any hard job, even when out of his turn, as so often happened when I wanted a man I could trust to do any difficult or jumpy piece of work. I could not want for a nicer, more cheery and hard working officer to soldier with……. The exact circumstances are these. He had led his men to retake some trenches from the Germans and had carried out his work successfully, and was actually in the trench, doing a kindly act to one of the enemy, who wanted to surrender, when a sniper shot him from another direction. It is extremely painful to write thus, as it was sheer bad luck! My company are very cut up indeed. He died a gallant gentleman.”

Harold rests in Ration Farm Military Cemetery, La Chapelle-D’Armentieres

Sources:

Ancestry ; Masonic Great War Project ; Freebmd ; CWGC

History in a Wardrobe

What a wonderful way to learn about capsules of time – through a wardrobe, or should I say what is kept in a wardrobe.  But Lucy Adlington has a unique, informative and enjoyable way of bringing history alive through her History Wardrobe talks.

A friend of mine has known Lucy for many years, becoming friends by attending  one of Lucy’s talks and asking questions afterwards.  Talk, does not seem the right word as the events are more than that – more like a walk through a period of time with the audience being a friend or someone to have a conversation and a joke with.

I met Lucy earlier this year when my friend suggested I go to one of her events – that didn’t go to plan as the traffic was terrible and I arrived a little late. Lucy had started and  was all decked out (ouch!) in her finery as a first class passenger on the Titanic with her ‘husband’.

The changing of costumes during a day onboard the Titanic was wonderful, interspersed with jovial banter from the pair and was a delight – just like being party to their private jokes.  Then sadly the news of the iceberg reached the passengers and we follow the couple as they tell what happened to them – I won’t give away who their characters are as that would give away the ending!!

I next saw History Wardrobe when Lucy was in Agatha Christie mode during the 1920’s onwards and with the help of Merry wore some wonderful and original costumes from morning attire, day wear to an evening dress that would not be out of place on the red carpet today.  The duo worked off each other with quips and remarks flying fast and furious.

But seriously, the costumes together with snippets of Agatha’s novels went down a treat.  As with most of Lucy’s talks there are extra costumes on mannikins and memorabilia from the  period.

My latest show was ‘A woman of a certain age’, about Jane Austen and women in various times of there life in Jane’s  novels – the girl, the spinster, the married woman, the dowager, the widow and the ‘lady of a certain age’.  The costume worn by Lucy was simple but very striking.  Lucy de-constructed the dress, which in some places was held together with pins.  Hats were worn, flouncy capes worn, sections of Jane’s novels were read as examples of the times in a woman’s   life. An enjoyable time was had by all and many in the audience have been to more than one talk.

So, who is this lady that travels the country doing what women like doing – dressing up and talking?  Lucy is a graduate of both Cambridge and York Universities with degrees in English and Medieval Studies.

Cocktail anyone?

She has run workshops, given presentations and with her hands-on approach  is always in demand.  As well as all this Lucy is an accomplished author of childrens and young adult books.

A full diary of events can be found on the History Wardrobe website, so where ever you are in the country you will be able to see an event……………BUT !!!  keep it a secret, as I want to be able to get a seat!!!

Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery – Who is resting in peace

Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery nr Poperinge has a very special place in my heart, not only does my great uncle rest there but Nellie Spindler from my home town also calls Lijssenthoek ‘home’.  But recently while doing a bit of research I came across another man whose final resting place is also Lijssenthoek – Conrad Hugh Dinwiddy.

I think his name sounded similar to a place we used to stay on our way up to Lhangbryde when I was a child, so what do you do, or should I say ‘I do’ but find out a little about him………you know the thing, who were his parents, where did he live and what did he do before joining the forces and who survived him.     Here goes….

While waiting for a website to open I thought I’d try Wikipedia – lots of info there, not always correct but is somewhere to start and to my surprise there was not an established page for Conrad, there is an opening if any one wishes to start a page for him.

Here we go !  Conrad was born early in 1881 to Thomas Dinwiddy and his wife Eliza Charlotte nee Rooke (b. 1845 Marylebone).  In the census shortly after Conrad’s birth Thomas was aged 37 and was working as an Architect and Surveyor (b 1844 Bristol).  The family lived at 12 Croom’s Hill, Greenwich (now the London Fan Museum)- the road was home to other professionals and retired servicemen incl. William Rivers Retd., RN; Gay Shute, Surgeon; Thomas Creed(?), General Practioner MRCSE St Andrews Uni.; others include Stationers, Annuitants.

Thomas Dinwiddy is noted for having designed the main administration block (Grove Park Workhouse) of what was Grove Park Hospital. The plans were approved in 1897 and the foundation stone put in place 2 years later.  The plans were presented at the Paris International Exhibition in 1900 and won a Diploma of Merit. One of the local roads is named after Thomas.  In the early 1990’s the site was sold for housing development but Thomas’s administration block and a some of the original workhouse buildings survived.  The site had not been listed by the local authorities.  One of the buildings designed by Thomas did manage to get a listed status – Laurie Grove Baths including : swimming baths, slipper baths and launderies were designed in the mid 1890’s commissioned by the Vestry Board of St Paul’s Deptford under the Public Baths and Wash-houses Act of 1846.  The building is of Jacobean style and still has many of its original features.  A few other buildings by Thomas were Greenwich Board of Works Offices and Roans Girl’s College, Greenwich.

Ten years later, 1891, Conrad was hard to find on the census but eventually by just putting his year of birth +/- 2 and Greenwich as his place of birth he is found. He is at a school with some of his brothers in Walmer, Kent.

Another ten years on in 1901 the family are at The Manor House (?), Croom’s Hill – Eliza with her children, Conrad by now is classed as a student, and four servants but no Thomas.  Thomas was in fact staying at the Adelphi Hotel, Ranelagh Place, Liverpool with people from all walks of life incl. George Herbert Lindsay of Edinburgh a Distiller; Daniel Shurmann a Merchant  born in Russia.  That solved that problem, so now forward a few years.

On 27 September 1909, Conrad’s elder brother Malcolm, Capt., Royal West Kent Regt., who had served in Singapore, married  married Miss Laura de Satge, dau. of the late Mr Ocar de Satge, late member of the Upper House of Queensland.  The wedding took place in Folkstone and Conrad was the Best Man with various cousins from both sides being bridesmaids.  Guests included Lords and Knights of the realm and serving regimental Officers

The 1911 census finds that Conrad is now a newly married man.  He had married Winifred O Pochin in the Autumn of the previous year.  Conrad worked as a Surveyor employing a number of people and they lived at 76 Warwick Gardens, Kensington, a nine roomed house, with a number of servants and was a member of the RICS, which held a portrait of him.

Conrad served in the military and various entries in The London Gazette have him serving in various ranks incl. Temp Captain.  But it is The Medal Rolls Index Cards that tell a better story.

Conrad initially served in the RFA as 157860.  Later serving in the RGA as a 2/Lt., and now has no service number as Officers were not issued with a number at this time.  He is later in the 13/Siege Bty, RGA as an A/Major, then Major, with a medal entitlement of The Victory Medal and The British Medal.

Conrad was the inventor of the ‘Dinwiddy’ Range-finder for detecting enemy aircraft – this was adopted by the War Office. He was also a Councillor for the Borough of Kensington and a known mountaineer.

C H was one of five children and had three brothers in the services.

Conrad Died of Wounds received on 27 September 1917 aged 35, leaving Winifred and a young son, Hugh P Dinwiddy born in 1912.

Conrads brothers – Major Malcolm J Dinwiddy, as we have already said he married in 1909.  He served in  the Royal West Kents  and applied for his service medals in June of 1920.  He died on 19 November 1925 aged 46 and had at least one child. Probate was granted to Laura Emily Dinwiddy, widow or Fairview, Osborne Road, South Farnborough.

Donald Dinwiddy, married Ella May Jones in 1909.   He died on 19 February 1937.  Probate was granted to Ella Mary Dinwiddy of Red Cottage, 54a Parliament St, London

Harry L Dinwiddy. Harry Lurwyche Dunwiddy  married Ethel Maud MacArthur in 1903 and by 1911 they were living at 13 Pond Road, Blackheath with their son Thomas Lurwyche and a number of servants – Harry working as a solicitor.  He was living at Little Paddock, White Beam Way, Tadworth when he died on 21 April 1950.  Probate was granted to Thomas Lutwyche Dinwiddy, solicitor on 8 June of that year.

Conrad also had a sister – Dora, she married Stanton Freeland Card, a Royal Navy Instructor, in 1902 and by 1911 they were living with their three children and a few servants at Parkhurst, Westcombe Park Road, London.  Stanton of 24 Crown Lane Gardens, Streatham died at Putney General Hospital on 6 October 1940 with probate granted in Llandudno on 2 July to Westminster Bank Ltd.  Dora of Lawrence Road, Hove died on 24 March 1945 with Probate being granted in Llandudno on 20 December of the same year to Harry Lutwyche Dinwiddy, Solicitor.

Sources :

Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. Issue 29 Mar 1909, page 5

Ancestry.com.

Freebmd

The Fan Museum

Heritage-explorer.co.uk

Archiseek

Lost Hospitals of London

Flight Global