Category Archives: News

Calais Berry, WW1 Soldier and WW2 Special Constable

Calais Berry, WW1 Soldier and WW2 Special Constable

Following on from my previous blog, I thought I would highlight one of the battle names and find a young man who fought during the Great War.

I found a young man named Calais Berry who was born in the late 1890’s in one of the London boroughs. What made this young man interesting was that his WW1 service record has survived the bombings in London during WW2.

Calais birth was registered in the Wandsworth District in 1897.

1901 Calais and his family are living at Fords(?) Place, Battersea. He was the son of Abraham Berry, a 51 year old carpenter and joiner who was born in Shropshire. His mother Martha A was aged 41 and born in Cape Town, Cape Colony. Of their eight children, the 6 eldest were born in Chatham, with the two younger ones being born in Battersea.

Ten years later Martha A Berry, had included in the second column that she was Mrs Berry, aged 51 she was a widow. Mrs Berry had included that she had been married 33 years and born 10 children – all of which had survived. Four of her children were still at home, ranging in ages from 21 down to Calais’ (now 13) younger sister who was 11. Home for the family was a 3 roomed house – 7 Fords Place – could this be the same house she shared with her husband and her other children? Martha signed the census form Martha Agens Berry.

Signature of Calais Berry on his Attestation Papers via Ancestry

Signature of Calais Berry on his Attestation Papers via Ancestry

Calais Hugh Berry attested before Capt., H R Hadow in Battersea on the 18th of August 1915. He was a mill assistant living at 8 Alfred Place, Battersea, London. His age was listed at 9 years and 271 days. His height was given as 5′ 6” tall and he weighed 115lbs. Distinctive marks – he had a raised mole on the back of his neck. Calais served as Gunner 166591 in the Royal Garrison Artillery.

On the 18th of August 1915, he was attached to the Howitzer Bde. By July of the following year he had been posted to Ripon, while another document has him being ‘Home’ from August 18th, 1915 – 5th March 1916. In France from 6th March 1916 – 8th June 1916 and ‘Home’ from the 19th of June. A rubber stamp across his records tells he was part of the British Expeditionary Force in France 1916.

On 23rd June 1916, Calais’ time in the military takes a little bit of a turn! One record tells on 23trd June 1916 he is in No 6 Canadian General Hospital, Rouen. He is sent back to England onboard HS Aberdonian. A letter from the Metropolitan Hospital, Military section, Endfield Road request Calais medical records. He is suffering from vertigo, the records are requested for his discharge when fit. Calais is now serving as Gnr 41261, RFA, HQ Bgde, A Bty.

On 19th of July 1916, the War Office received a letter from Mrs A Berry, Calais mother.

“ Dear Sir, Having already written to you on behalf of my son, Gunner C Berry No 41261, A Sub, 51st reserve Bty, ****brige Camp, Hemel Hempstead, Herts. I am writing to you once again as I want to prevent him returning on Active Service until he is of age. He has only returned to England a month ago, suffering from Shell shock, and Vertigo, He is my only support. I am very anxious about him for I know he is not fit for returning yet. I have no ********* for him being in the army, but, I think it only just that he should not go back to France until he is 19 which is at the end of November, especially has he has only just returned. I do trust you will kindly see into the matter for me and oblige, Believe me, Yours Obediently, Mrs A Berry, Trusting you will reply and let me know.

One of Calais’ records which detail his postings and movement, tells that on the 30th September 1917 he had been at 62 CCS, classified as ‘Wounded Shell Concussion in the field’ The date of him becoming a casualty was 18th September 1917. Had he been wounded before as by the following day the above letter tells that Mrs Berry had already written to the War Office. Had she received the news very quickly and written two letters on the same day?

On the 24th July 1916 another letter from Mrs A Berry was date stamped by the War Record Office and the War Office Accounts, went on to say “Dear Sir, I am writing to you on behalf of my son, Gunner C Berry No. 41261, 186 Brigade, RFA Headquarters Staff. He has been on Active Service, and returned to England a fortnight ago suffering from Trench Fever and Vertigo. He is still very queer, he has suffered when a child with fits and general bad health and I his mother wish to prevent him returning on Active Service until he is 19, which will be at the end of November. I may tell you the Doctor who attended him in France told him not to return until he was nineteen. I am very anxious about him, so I trust you will kindly see into the case for me and let me know, for I sincerely do not want him to return until he of age. Trusting you will do your best, Believe me, Yours Obediently Mrs A Berry.

Gunner Berry, RFA was discharged from QAM HP Millbank on 4th July 1916 – could he have been sent to Ripon?

In 1917 Calais must have been back in Ripon as in April he was given 3 days CB for ‘having dirty butter on shelf in hut 26’. The following month he was absent without leave from 7th May 1917 to 9 am 9th May 1917 (9 hours). A soldier named O’Keefe was the witness, his charge could have been a repeat of 3 days CB.

Calais reported sick on 17th September 1917. On admission at 3 am ‘Unconcious; pulse 66, Temp. normal, Pupils equal, normal- except for slight sluggish reaction to light. Reflex normal, no injury of head detected. Signed off by W J Johnson, Capt RAMC 62 CCS Section 4 ‘I certify that the above named was subjected in the course of his duty to exceptional exposure of the following nature ………….On my way to the Battery position, a shell dropped very close to him. Again on reaching the Battery another Shell dropped quite close. This seemed to him a bit strange in his matter and he rapidly got worse and he was sent to the Field Ambulance. Dated 21/9/1 Signed off by J Harcourt Jeffers Lieut Major 220 Seige Battery RGA., classing Calais as ‘wounded Shell Shock Concussion’.

According to his Medal Card somewhere in his service history, his service number changed from 41261 RFA, 5C Res. Bge to 166391, RGA (?)

By the 11th of March 1919, Calais was giving his address as 81 Blondel Street, Calvert Road, Battersea. He had joined the army his medical grade was A1. According to his mother’s letters during 1916 she feels is no longer fitting that status.

A sheet of his service record informs of his hospital admittances/sick list – On the 23rd of June 1916 to 4th July 1916 Calais was in the Metropolitan Hospital suffering from Vertigo (12 days). The remarks section says ‘No Vertigo observed, Constipated’. On the 5th of March 1918 to 1st April 1918, he was admitted to the Red Cross, Wallasey , again for Vertigo (27 days). The following line tells that he was in The Western General, Fazakerley, Liverpool. The dates don’t appear to be in order as he was admitted on 20th February 1918 and discharged on 5th March 1918 – the same day he was at the Red cross? He was suffering from Heute Nephritis – did he go straight from one to the other?

Gnr Berry's Medal Card via Ancestry

Gnr Berry’s Medal Card via Ancestry

Did Calais go back to France? Did he survive the war?

Yes, he did return to France and survive the war. Initially going to France in March 1916, returning by mid-June of the same year. By the 31st May 1917, he was back in France, returning home on 20th February 1918. Serving once again ‘at home’ until 16th April 1919. He was demobilised on that day, being transferred to Class ‘2’ Army Reserve having served 3 years 242 days – most of which had been in England.

In the first few months of 1925, Calais married Grace Hobin in the Wandsworth Registration District. In 1927 there is a birth for a child born to Berry/Hobin – Olive A born in Lambeth. Before the war Calais had been working as a mill worker, by the time of the 1939 Register, now supporting his wife, he is District Manager, Scottish Legal Life Assurance Society. He is also a Special Constable Wartime with the Portsmouth City Police. Grace, like many other women, did Household Duties, was part of the Voluntary Aid Detachment. Home for the couple was 8 Wallisdean Avenue, Portsmouth.

In a 1954 Telephone Directory, Calais H Berry was living at 9 Auburn Road, Redland, Bristol. You could contact Calais by ringing Bristol 3-5426.

Born on 20th November 1897, Calais died aged 92 and is registered in the Dec Qtr of 1989 in Bristol.

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Babies names of the Great War

Babies names of the Great War

Poster 'War Babies of the Great War' via the National Archives

Poster ‘War Babies of the Great War’ via the National Archives

Whilst browsing through a batch of photographs I came across a poster I had saved from the National Archives. The poster was entitled ‘Babies of the First World War’. I would have collected with the thought of using it as a base for a blog…….later. Well, the poster has now found its time to be of us.

I blogged about place names and titles being used as first names a while ago, but not until rediscovering the poster had I ever thought of battle names being used as first names. Why not? It is only like the Beckhams of today using Brooklyn as one of their children’s names.

The poster informed that over 1,200 babies were named after battles. Over 200 babies were named after heroes and 203 babies were named after the end of the war.

The name Verdun was used 901 times and was most popular in South Wales. The battles of Ypres, Mons, Arras, Dardanelles, Loos and Somme were responsible for some children’s names. Why? Was the father involved in the battle? Did he lose his life during a battle, or did a relative or close friend lose his life?

My great uncle was in the battle of Passchendaele which has its centenary coming up shortly. It appears that in the September quarter of 1918 a baby was born and given the name Paschendale, his family name being Holman.

Cambrai also seemed to be used as a first name, this time as early as 1874. Also being used from 1915 to 1933. Dunkirk also seems to have a couple of entries in the first two years of the war.

Calais, another French town is not forgotten, with two births in the late 1890’s, eight births in the Great War period and two during the Second World War. Ostend also seems to have had its fair share of naming. In 1920 the Belgian town of Poperinghe is remembered by the Jones family. Vimy Ridge is not forgotten in the naming stakes and is popular, having its first mention in 1916. With the Moore, Chapman, Banister and Isaac families using this first name.

During WW2 Arnhem is remembered with three births.

Using names of battles or heroes is not a 20th or 21st century idea, as early as 1848 Waterloo was used by the Hatton, Waters and Durrant families to name their children – all boys I presume!

Trying earlier battles and wars, and using ‘Civil’ as a search criterion I came up with it as a  name being used quite a number of times. The earliest entry in civil registration is Civil Reed born in 1837 with the latest entry being 1930. The name has been feminised in some instances to Civilia.

The end of the war was remembered with the use of the name Peace. The name has been used for many years but civil registration has seen one or two children born each year with that name. There are 16 births recorded in the June Qtr of 1856, this coincides with the end of the Crimean War. The numbers fall back to one or two each quarter until the first quarter of 1902 with nine children being given the name, followed by 27 children having Peace as a first or second name – being either male or female. December of 1918 had 28 namings. A steady stream of namings follows in each quarter until the September entries of 1919 when over 45 children have Peace or Peacefull as a first name. The same trend doesn’t follow after the Second World War.

Victory has been used as a first name for many years with at least one or two being recorded in Civil Registration since 1937, with a growing number being registered from 1914 to December of 1918 with over 35 instances.

Lord Kitchener via Daily Mail

Lord Kitchener via Daily Mail

Kitchener is first used according to Civil Registration in the winter of 1898, having a spike in September of 1902, and a spike in the 1914, 1915 and 1916 quarters. There was a small spike in the September quarter of 1917 – December 1917 sees the last three entries until June quarter of 1921, then being back to one each quarter until its last entry in 1963

The National Archive poster tells that between 1914 – 1919 the first name Cavell is used 25 times. But omits, as I have found with other names, that the first entry in Civil Registration was Cavel Dickinson in 1844. The next entry in 1854 followed by 1901. The name not being registered again until the December quarter of 1915. During in the war years it was used over 25 times. From 1920 being used at least once or twice each year.

I know the poster is informative but when looking at the poster I was lead to believe that these names were only used from that time, but with a little bit of time spent on FreeBMD I know know that these names have been used from Civil Registration and if I looked at Parish Registers would find that many of the names would go back further.

Visit to Germany and Tyne Cot by Guest Blogger Debbie Staynes

Extracts from father’s diary of his visit to Germany with Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield in the summer of 1931.

Friday August 7th.

Said Auf-Wiedersehen to Father Rhine and boarded the Ostend train. We had a pleasant journey through Aachen and Bruges, with its belfry, to Ostend. Arrived at Ostend, we had a ham-sandwich and arranged a trip to the battlefields for those who wished. Two taxis were chartered. We careered down the straight road flanked by poplars, with cobbles down each side and potholes down the middle; it was late afternoon and everything was beginning to revive after the noon-day heat. Hedges there were none, only ditches and pollard willows. We came to Thourout, the German Headquarters, and now a change began. The trees were young, the farms new built; the mellow red brick gave way to brighter reds, the little old churches to new ones. Then we came to the crest of a ridge with a fine view and a straggling village on the skyline with a church that reminded me of

Photographs courtesy of Guest Blogger, D Staynes

Shelly Church. About 7.0 o’clock we reached the Tyne Cot Cemetery on Passchendale Ridge. The sun had lost its fierceness and a few small white clouds were high, very high up in the heavens. Nearby a lark deadened the sound of our feet as we walked up the avenues between long white rows of gravestones, prim and even, save where the plain wood cross of a fallen foe broke the white line. At the head of the cemetery on a semi-circular wall are the names of the fallen, 3500. Many of the gravestones bear names; many have but the inscription “Known unto God”. It was very peaceful amongst the lavender and rambler roses, so peaceful that war seemed very far away indeed; and above us sang the skylark.

The signs of war have rapidly effaced. New buildings have sprung up. The fields are now corn, the pastures level but for the occasional hollows which are not quite filled in yet. We were at Ypres before we knew it, and entered by the Menin Gate. Here over 50,000 names are recorded of those who fell before the city. The Cloth Hall is still a blackened ruin; it is to remain a perpetual memorial of war. By it are stall with curios to sell and little children asking for centimes. We bought some curious stone covered apparently with clay and gunpowder, with a very effective crack when dropped. Child also bought a very large cigar; he wondered whether customs would pass it, but they never bothered him. From Ypres we bumped along, passing a curious steam-tram (these run on railway lines where the foot-path should be and are uniquely wonderful) until we came to the trenches near Nieuport. The very extreme north section of the trenches is preserved with blasted trees and stagnant pools complete, the guns still jutting from their emplacements. It was eerie and rather awful in the dusk. That was our last stop……..

Le Chemin de Arts – Gravelines

Le Chemin de Arts – Gravelines

Recently I was given a leaflet letting me know of an art exhibition in Gravelines, Northern France.

Why was I given this leaflet? Well, it so happens that one of my friends has been asked to exhibit some of his oil paintings…………how good is that?

Who is my friend and the artist?

David Segrave is his name and he has a background in graphic art. He has family origins in Jersey and lives in the South of England but spends some of his time on the Chateau du Gandspette, where he has a small exhibition in the restaurant. His work is admired by those who either eat in the restaurant or step inside to visit the bar for a coffee or a cooling drink on a hot day.

Le Chemin de Arts – Gravelines

David Segrave art photographed by C Sklinar July 2017

David Segrave art photographed by C Sklinar July 2017

David Segrave art photographed by C Sklinar July 2017

The exhibition opened in June and closes Sunday 27th of August with many local artists, including – Christian Beni, Grande-Synthe; Francois Wetterwald, Dunkirk, exhibiting in one of the 8 display areas. David will be displaying his art in the Corps de Garde Varennes, Place de l’Esplanade on the 26th and 27th of August 2017. The exhibition areas are open from 10:30 to 12:30 and 14:20 – 18:30.

If you are visiting Northern France during this time, you could do worse than spend a few hours visiting Gravelines and its eight pop-up galleries.

Wakefield Express – 2nd Sept 1944

Wakefield Express 2 Sept 1944

Dead on the Beach – ~An open verdict was returned at an inquest held this week in Berwick, on the body of Trooper Joseph Gamble, whose home was at Chapel House, Crofton. The deceased disappeared from his unit early in the last month, after visiting the medical officer. The body was found on the beach by a holiday-maker. Deceased was called up in August, 1939, and left England the following year. After serving in Palestine he went through the Syrian campaign, and was with the Eight Army throughout the North African fighting. He was wounded whilst in Tripoli and subsequently he was regraded and sent home to England. The funeral took place at Berwick Cemetery last Monday.

Brothers met in India – Mrs Dickinson, 3 Hambleton Street, Wakefield, has received a letter from her husban Corporal Stanley Dickinson, stating that he has met his younger brother, Signalman Jack Dickinson, in India, and spent a short leave together. Corporal Dicki inson, before the war was employed at the Reaicut Wool Co., and he served two and a half years in the N.F.S. at Horbury. His brother was employed on the railway, and is an old scholar of Thornes House School.

Wounded in France – Mr and Mrs Sherwood, 23, Esther Avenue, Lupset, have received news that their son, Driver R Sherwood, has been wounded in France, and is now in hospital somewhere in England. Prior to joining the Forces he was employed at Messrs, G Brook and Sons brick-works. He was educated at St Austin’s School.

Progressing Favourably – Private R Wormald, K.O.Y.L.I., who was wounded in Normandy on July 27th is reporte to be progressing favourably in a hospital in Birmingham. He is the son of Mr and Mrs L Wormald, 113 Aberford Road, Stanley. He has also served in Norway and Iceland, and before the war he was employed by Sydney Raines Ltd., Wakefeld. His wife is in the W.L.A.

Killed in Action – News has been received by Mr and Mrs F Dobson, 2, Saville Street, Emley, that their son Pte., R E Dobson, has been killed in the Burma fighting. He joined the Forces in September. 1939, and went overseas in December of the same year. He was previously employed at Armitage’s, Shelly.

Additional information :-  

Trooper Joseph Gamble – Joseph Herbert Gamble, was the son of George and Sophia Gamble.  Joseph served in the KOYLI, as Private 410047.  He died aged 30 years on the 24th of August 1944 and rests in Section C A Grave 1349 in Berwick-upon-Tweed Cemetery along 56 other casualties of war.

R E Dobson, was Robet Ebinor Dobson who served as Pte., 4748477 in the York and Lancaster Regiment.  The son of Frederick Ebinor Dobson and his wife Lily.  He was married to Vera and lived in Shelley.  He was killed in action n the 5th of August 1944, aged 26 and rests in Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar (Burma).  The cemetery is approximately 6o minutes drive from the centre of Rangoon. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission :-

Taukkyan War Cemetery via CWGC

“TAUKKYAN WAR CEMETERY is the largest of the three war cemeteries in Burma (now Myanmar). It was begun in 1951 for the reception of graves from four battlefield cemeteries at Akyab, Mandalay, Meiktila and Sahmaw which were difficult to access and could not be maintained. The last was an original ‘Chindit’ cemetery containing many of those who died in the battle for Myitkyina. The graves have been grouped together at Taukkyan to preserve the individuality of these battlefield cemeteries

The cemetery now contains 6,374 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 867 of them unidentified.
In the 1950s, the graves of 52 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War were brought into the cemetery from the following cemeteries where permanent maintenance was not possible: Henzada (1); Meiktila Cantonment (8); Thayetmyo New (5); Thamakan (4); Mandalay Military (12) and Maymyo Cantonment (22).

Note :- The Wakefield Express includes images of each of the soldiers included

Miss Louisa Fennell

Miss Louisa Fennell

Wakefield Art Gallery source unknown

Extracted from the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer 18th April 1936:-

Pictures at Wakefield – Acquisitions of the Art Gallery. Among interesting events at the Wakefield City Art Gallery this year is to be an exhibition of the work of Miss Louisa Fennell, the members of whose family have presented to the gallery nine of the original water colours of Wakefield from which the well-known series of repodictions of views of Wakefield were taken.
Miss Fennell faithfully recorded interestinf views of Wakefield and the fact that the subjects of the scenes have now altered in most caes almost beyond recognition has made the paintings even more valuable from an historic point of view.  With the paintings have also been presented a copy of the artist’s book – “The live of St. Paul in Rome” – and the original sketches for the illustrations.  In addition the family have given three fan designs which are water colours on silk, two executed by Miss Emily E Fennell, and the other one by Miss Louisa Fennell.  The exhibition of Miss Louisa Fennell’s work is to be held in the Gallery in September.
Rece191nt acquisitions by the Gallery are two oil paintings, “Seascape”, by George Chambers, and “Cottage Interior”, by an unknown artist, both presented by Mr A A Haley, and a portrait by a talnted West Riding artist, John A Spancer, purchased by the Corporation from a recent exhibition at the Leeds Art Gallery.  Mr T Burgess of Rotherham, has loaned to the Gallery a painting by Pieter Wouverman, a 1th century Dutch artist, and a younger brother of the famous Philip Wouverman, who was born in Aarlem in 1614.

The article concludes with the following final paragraph:- 
The Wakefeld Art Gallery has come prominently to the fore rcently as a result of the special exhibition of pictures suitable for schools, arranged by the West Riding Education Committee, held there.  it was th first exhibition of its kind to be held in the North of England.  nearly 5,000 people visited the Gallery during the exhibition and inquiries concerning it have been received from all parts of the country, and one from South Africa.

Who was Louisa Fennell.  Louisa had been born in Wakefield in 1847 to William and Mary Fennell.  William worked as a Wine Merchant.  The family of 12, in 1881, lived in Westgate, Wakefield.  By 1901, William is an 83 year old widow, still working as a Wine merchant is  living with four of his spinster daughters at 31-33 Westgate, with two servants. Ten years later in 1911 Louisa was now the head of the household of 33 Westgate, where she lived with two of her sisters and one servant.  Home, 33 Westgate is quite a large house consising of 12 rooms.

Louisa was best known as a painter of landscapes and townscapes in the West Riding of Yorkshire, especially, Wakefield.  She also painted a series of townscapes of the City of York. She exhibited widely in the North of England – in 1884 her paintings were exhibited at the Spring Exhibition in Derby.

Sometime before 1930 Louisa moved to 21 St John’s Square, Wakefield (according to the 1911 census 21 St John’s Square was a 7 roomed dwelling), and it was there in 1939 that her sister, Bertha, was found living with one servant, Ivy Morgan (later to be Armitage) in 1939. Other residents were, a Company Director, Transport Engineer, Teacher, Headmistress, Inspector of Nurses and Midwives, HM Inspector of Schools.  The beautiful three sided square, with St John’s Church at its centre is quite unlike the square today.

Hepworth Gallery ©C Sklinar

Louisa died on the 13th of March 1930 and rests within the small burial ground surrounding St John’s Church. Probate was registered in London the following month and granted to Emily Esther Fennell and Bertha Fennell spinsters and Charles William Fennell engineers.  Effects £1808 10s  6d.

Wakefield City Art Gallery, now having moved to a purpose built building by the River Calder and re-named The Hepworth Gallery (taking its name from another Wakefield artist) has within its collection 17 Wakefield scenes and other works by Louisa.

Wakefield Express – Butel Brothers

Wakefield Express – Butel Brothers

Extracted from the Wakefield Express June 1944.

BROTHERS WOUNDED – Cpl. B butel and Pte. J. Butel, Dorsetshire Regiment, sons of Mr P.A. Butel, of la Moye, Jersey, Channel Islands, now living at 16, St John’s North, Wakefield, have been wounded in Normandy.

Butel brothers via Wakefield Express June 1944

Butel brothers via Wakefield Express June 1944

Although not a very good photocopy of the Butel brothers – the image was very dark. You can get an impression of the young men.

What were the Butel brothers doing in Wakefield.

Quite a few people from the Channel Islands came to Wakefield during WW2, leaving their home as the islands had been taken over by the German Army.  Were the brothers part of this migration to safety? Or, had they already left to join the British Army? Does anyone know?

Photographs – Who are You?

Photographs – Who are You?

A while ago I was donating somethings to charity – my chosen charity shop was closed, and as the items I wished to donate were in my car I stopped off at another charities shop to pass on the items. While in the shop one of the staff, I think it was the deputy manager, started talking when he spotted my interest in a framed photograph. It was old, in a wooden frame and was of a couple and looked to be from the first 20 years of the 1900’s. I love old photographs but I wish people would write on the back – passing on the information of who is who. My mum was an example of non-writing on photographs, well, why should she, she knew who the people were.

DSCF6080Anyway, moving on. I walked out of the shop armed with an envelope containing a handful of WW2 photographs and one of a lady who looked to have been captured in time a little earlier. I also had a simple wooden frame securing a grey board, upon the board was a printed military crest. Below the crest was the name, service number and regiment of a man written in what looked like a pencil, with the passing of time had faded and only the faint indentations of the writing implement were visible…………..that is another story!

I was told in the charity shop that they came from a house clearance in the Castleford/Normanton area.

Now is the time to try and link names to a lady and a few soldiers.

Starting with the lady, as you should in polite circles. Her dress looks to be from around the second decade of the 1900’s. Her hair is in a simple off the face style and she has a wistful look that could be tinged with sadness. Her dress or top is buttoned through and finished off with a brooch which looks to be in the form of a bow and a long securing pin. The photograph was taken by Muller Portrait Co., 4 Silver Street, Halifax.

DSCF6092 lady cropped 20170417_102406

The photographs of the soldiers seem to be taken in various places including Talbot Studios (T H Louden) 61 Talbot Road, Blackpool; Swift Studios in either Plymouth of Exeter; Modern Studios, 11 Boar Lane, Leeds; Pictorial Studios, The Esplanade, Redcar; T  E Cox, Ripon and a couple in Bombay that look like pictures taken by fellow soldiers.

A few of the photographs have names on the back, as if sent with a letter, while others are blank.

Who to start off with?  The man at the top.  A soldier with his cap at a jaunty angle and no signes of a regiment apart from a cap badge.  On the reverse are the words ‘Plows Histon 170 Street (?)’.

Eric on the left and Mr Plows on right

Eric on the left and Mr Plows on right

Next is a man who writes on the reverse of his image ‘To Forrie and Harold with love from Eric’. At least we know this young mans name!

Following on is a man serving in the RAF and written on the reverse is ‘Mr Plows’ – could he  be a relative of the soldier at Histon?

Florrie and Harold must have been well known and liked in the area as the photographs from Bombay are for them and they received two photographs within a month.  ‘To Florrie and

Raymond, Bombay 1945

Raymond, Bombay 1945

Raymond, Bombay 1945.

Raymond, Bombay 1945.

Harold from Raymond xxxxxx, Bombay Aug 45′ and then ‘ To Florrie and Harold from Raymond xxxxx Bombay 15th Sept 45’.  What connection had Florrie and Harold to Raymond and our first young man? On close inspection of the coloured photograph, it looks like it is hand coloured as his cap badge on the left clearly shows it should not be red and the pink/red colouring runs in two places onto the white border.

The following pictures have no names or clues except the group image was taken by a photographer from Ripon. Do you know who these men are, if you do, let me know!

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10 WW1 things to do in Northern France and Belgium

10 WW1 things to do in Northern France and Belgium

1 Toc H and the Shot at Dawn Post – Poperinghe

2 Lijssenthoek CWGC Cemetery and Visitor Center

3 The Blochaus de Eperleques

4 Tyne Cot CWGC and Visitor Center

5 Langermark German Cemetery

6 In Flanders Field Museum

7 Vimy Ridge and Visitor Center

8 Le Carriere eWellington

9 Passchendale Museum

10 Victoria Cross: The Heroes’ Trail

Before you visit – check for opening times, entrance charges, facilities and access.

If you are going to look for a specific soldier or place, do a little bit of research before you go, it will be worth the pre-planning.

Family History Diary

Family History Diary

Recently I collected another print run of my Family History Diary and I was delighted with the new section I asked them to included.

What is a Family History Diary?

Family History Diary

Family History Diary

An A4 40-page booklet printed on quality 120gsm paper offering a simple and easy way to organise your research. It is a handy and easily transportable way to keep your information at hand when visiting archives, libraries, relatives or family history fairs and events.

No longer is there the need to be laden down with files and lose papers while researching.

The centrally held family tree forms the core of your work with each ‘couple’ having a unique page number – a simple and quick way to find who you need without flicking through the pages.

The page for each couple has sections for their names, places of birth, death and burials with ‘tick boxes’ so you can see at a glance if you have a birth, marriage and death certificate for the couple.The marriage information also has a section.  Plus spaces to include up to 12 children and their relevant details.

The census is the next important fact to be included from 1841 up to the current 1911 census – space is also available for the address and the census reference, which is also a boon when wanting to follow up or print the information at a later date.

As well as a notes section at the front of the booklet the back has pages for monumental inscriptions, including such information: where the headstone is, a brief description and most importantly, the wording.

The booklets are in a choice of colours – if using more than one booklet for different sides of the family you can have a specific colour to a family.

Now it’s even easier to transfer the newly found information to your main way of storing your family history, be it a computer, database or card system.

All in all a good tool for the beginner or more experienced researcher and now includes an extra page for a new family history source.

Don’t forget to use a pencil – if you find an error you can simply erase !

Click here to get yours 
Note: there is a variation in the colour choice in this print run but the cost including postage and packing is still only £5.25.

Available in: Yellow, Cream, Turquoise, Pale Blue, Orange