Tag Archives: 1911

1911 census occupations

Just a short blog this time, thank goodness you might say!

Have you ever been a little annoyed that you can’t read what the occupation of someone in the 1911 census was.  It is either unreadable, has been struck through or written  over, but what you can see clearly are the 3 numbers written in red, or some other colour  by the enumerator.
1911 extract

This seems to be a good example of the numbers coming in quite handy.  The salt hawker, simple enough but the occupation of the lodger.  At first glance, the occupation looks like music as there is an ‘dot’ over what looks like an i, but the wording in brackets, monthly, why would someone involved with music be monthly.

A look down the list for 437 and it gives a totally different meaning to the occupation.  The reference of 437 is listed as ‘sick nurses, invalid attendants and other’. The wording looks more like music than nurse, but the enumerator must have been right!!

To view the census codes click here you may find them some help when using the 1911 census as a research tool.

1911 census code sheet

1911 census code sheet

The Great Lafayette

lafeyetteThe Great Lafeyette, Sigmund Neuberger, was born in February of 1871 in Munich. When Sigmund was 19 his family emigrated to the United States where he began his career in one of his many guises.

Sigmund imitated the career of Ching Ling Foo, who studied Chinese magic and was a very well respected magician in his own country, and developed many illusions, including breathing smoke and fire or producing ribbons and a 15′ long pole from his mouth.   It seemed likely that when Ching Ling Foo brought his act to America, a few tried to emulate him, taking similar names and developing similar illusions.  Sigmund, taking the name of The Great Lafeyette, he was famed for his quick-change routines, flamboyant costumes and his dramatic illusions, including one he developed called the  ‘Lion’s Bride’ a 25 minute routine – this routine made him very popular with audiences.  But he was always aware of publicity and how to draw more people to see his act.

He was a world class illusionist and according to many was the highest paid magician of his time. In vaudeville it is estimated that he earned around £44,000 a year, millions of pounds in today’s money.

Lafayette-with-Beauty-11Lafeyette was an admirer of Harry Houdini and the two became great friends. Harry showed his friendship by the gift of a dog, who became known as beauty. Beauty, was pampered  even by celebrity pooches today.  He had his own set of rooms, ate five course meals and wore diamond studded collars. Both were to become inseparable and life long companions.

Life was going well for him, he was involved in all aspects of the shows, including set design, costume design and the creation of illusions. He created shows the like of which had never been seen before.

Lafeyette, is reputed to have his own Pullman carriage and he and Beauty always travelled first class, staying in the best hotels and always having a second room or suite for his best friend, Beauty.  He also looked after his staff, who toured with him – he paid well, but demanded total loyalty.

In 1911 Lafeyette and Beauty were in Edinburgh and set to appear at the Empire Theatre. It was just a few days before the show was set to open that Beauty died. The artist was so distraught that he sought permission to bury his companion in Piershill Cemetery, Edinburgh. The authorities were against this request until Sigmund said that he too would be buried there when his time came. Little did he know!

Empire Palace Theatre after the fire

Empire Palace Theatre after the fire

While in a state of deep mourning, it was during his performance on 9th May 1911 that, while performing  his ‘Lion’s Bride’ routine an oriental lamp burst into flames. The fire curtain dropped, but not fully. Lafeyette was very secretive of his illusions and had all the doors locked off. The fire very soon became out of control. In less than 20 minutes, the backstage area was ablaze and full of smoke, and the fire curtain fell to the stage. The audience, even in a state of panic all managed to escape to safety, but back stage was a different matter. Ten people in the back stage area lost their lives, including Lafeyette. He was identified by his costume and later cremated. But, strangely enough days later, after his solicitor had become involved while trying to find missing ornate jewellery that Lafayette wore,  another body was found under the stage, and identified as Lafeyette by a ring. The previously cremated body was that of a man who acted as Lafeyette’s double – a 25 year old man who played in the orchestra.

The Great Lafeyette's funeral

The Great Lafeyette’s funeral

lafeyette headstoneOn 14th May 1911, The Great Lafeyette, was cremated and the urn containing his ashes was laid to rest between the paws of his best friend, Beauty.

Years ago, while in Edinburgh I visited the grave of Sigmund and Beauty, a quite simple kerbed plot, headed by a simple yet informative headstone.

In the company was one James Edwin Baines, who I was sent information many years ago, but with computer glitches lost that information, so I have had to start again.

Early in 1881, James married Sarah Bailey, in the Dewsbury Registration District  and they can be seen in the census of that year, living at 72  Kirkgate.  James is employed as a clog sole maker. By the time of the 1891 census, James and Sarah were mother and father to four children.  The family lived at 10 Kirkstall Lane and James worked as a Journeyman Clogger

James in 1901 was living on Bradford Road, East Ardsley, a few houses away from the Black Swan Inn, married to Sarah and father to Edwin, Mary, Elizabeth and Esther – working as a Rate Collector.

On the night of 2nd/3rd of April 1911 census was taken and there is a James Edwin Baines, born in Leeds around 1861, which ties in with information regarding funeral arrangements made in Edinburgh. James is a 50 year old man, working as a musician, a visitor in the house of Henry Robert Tubbs, a car-porter living in Brighton, also in the house, as visitors, are other acrobats and musicians from various countries in Europe.  How has James come from being a rate collector to working as a musician.  If James is Brighton, where is his wife.  Well Sarah, is within a few miles of her birth – Hanging Heaton. Sarah, in 1911 says she has been married 29 years, bore 11 children and suffered the deaths of 7.  But as her husband is not with her, that information has been struck through.  While her husband was away, and more than likely when he was at home, Sarah worked as a woollen weaver in one of the local mills, close to her home at 10 Wordsworth Square, Morley (bottom of Commercial Street).

Lafeyette

Lafeyette

Sigmund is also on the census, he is living at 55 Tavistock Square, London. He is entered as Mr Lafeyette, 38 years old and says he is born in Los Angeles. He is single and works as a Music Hall Artist, of independent means. Also entered is Beauty Lafeyette, aged 16 of independent means and there is a 1 in the ‘children living’ column. Both the children living and the entry have been lined through. In the infirmity section Mr Lafeyette wrote ‘too good’ that has also been struck through.

The death of Mr Baines, it is thought was due to a gallant effort to rescue two members of the show from their dressing rooms. The body of James Edwin Baines, of Hackney, London, was encased in a polished oak coffin, accompanied by his wife and sister, he was conveyed by the 10.50pm train to Wakefield, where he would be interred in Woodkirk Churchyard. The solemn event was witness by family, friends and the majority of the local communities, who held James in high regard.

On 22nd August 1911, Probate was granted to Sarah with effects if £24 18s – What happened to Sarah and her family.

The building that once was the Black Swan Inn, still remains and today 98 Bradford Road, East Ardsley has been the home of H Waterhouse and Sons, since they moved there from Waterhouse Corner, opposite Woodhouse Lane.

Note- some sources say that James was accompanied on his last train journey by his brother-in-law.

A letter of Thanks dated 1916

Some of you that know me will be aware that I have a box that  has a lot of newspaper snippets and notes all ready for the day when I will get around to telling the world their story. I also have a folder in my email and a file on my laptop that has something similar, but sometimes the donor of photographs after being saved to the laptop gets separated and I am unable to acknowledge the sender or owner of the photographs…………yes, I know, but none of us are perfect!

A while ago I was sent a set of three pictures – one was of an envelope, and the other two were pages of a letter.

The letter, by a little ragged, was franked and had two one penny stamps on the top right hand corner. It was not written in a style I would have thought was used in that time but a style that was more rounded and with rounded loops on the high letters. The envelope was addressed to Nurse Howell, The Asylum, Wakefield – followed by a full stop and a confidently underscored stroke. I will leave Nurse Howell for a while and concentrate on the sender, one Elizabeth Rudd.

Elizabeth Rudd on the top right of her letter gave her address as 32, Westcliffe Terrace, Harrogate and dated it March 5th 1916. Who was Elizabeth and why was she writing to Nurse Howell?

To find who Elizabeth was we have to pry into her life by reading her words of thanks. Elizabeth was thanking Nurse Howell for looking after her sister during her last hours of life, which as she says ‘I did not know the end was quit so near….’ The nurse was thanked for her kindness for being at her patients side while her sister was not. But Elizabeth was glad that the nurse had been spared any painful suffering – Elizabeth’s sister having a peaceful end. Elizabeth went on to say that Nurse Howell was doing ‘noble work, one which required much patience and endurance…..’

Let’s go and find these two ladies!

Firstly, Elizabeth. We know where she lived in 1916, so a look at the 1911 gave an Elizabeth Rudd living at 81 Skipton Road, Harrogate, who was 28 years old and working as a draper’s clerk. Her parents were John William Rudd, a joiner and Mary Ann, and five other children in the house. Elizabeth had one sister, Maud Mary aged 23 – could this be the sister whose life had ended with Nurse Howell by her bedside?

Back in time 10 years to 1901 the family have now swelled their ranks and are living at 4 possibly Ashworth or Charlesworth Place, Harrogate. But there are still no clues as to the missing sister.

Back to the drawing board and a cleared Ancestry. I have set up the quick links and one of the links is directly into the UK Collections, but could not find the collection I wanted. So back to the home page and ‘see all new records’ Bingo, there it was, the UK, Lunacy Patients Admission Registers, 1846 1912. My main fear was that the date of the letter was just four years after the collection date, but hey-ho, in for a penny!

I did not know Elizabeth’s sisters name therefore a general search for Rudd and Wakefield. One entry stuck out and that was for a young lady called Hannah Jane Rudd. Hannah had been admitted on the 16th of September to the W. Yorks Asylum with no year given at the top of the page and no years on the previous pages, but her date of discharge of death on 14th February 1916, does seem to lend itself to being the lady we need.

So, if Hannah Jane is Elizabeth’s sister and she is not on the 1901 of the 1911 census, will she be on the 1891 and link her to her sister? Let’s go see!

The Rudd family in 1891 were living off Grove Road, Harrogate. John William was a joiner and builder and there was a Jane A Rudd, in the house. Could this be our Hannah Jane, who was three years older than Elizabeth?

Do you know any different?

Nurse Howell, now this could be a little trickier! Presuming, a thing I know you should never do, but where needs must…………as a nurse I presume she would have been a mature person, so over 21. I know during 1916 she was working in the Asylum, and possibly living in the Wakefield area. But, was Nurse Howell, 21ish in 1916 or older?

Back again to the 1911 census and a very, very broad search for Howell, Wakefield and female………and more ladies to search through than I cared for. I selected the search to about 1870 to 1895. I hate the new search on Ancestry, the searching does not hold the same ‘chase effect’ that it used to, but we got there after what seemed like an age – I could have made a Christmas cake quicker, or it felt that way!

One entry out of all of them stood out! Harriet Margaret Howell, aged 21, giving her year of birth around 1890. She was born at Bowes Park, Middlesex but was living in Seacroft seacroft hospitaland her occupation was Hospital Nurse. Harriet was one of many nurses and ancillary staff working at Leeds City Hospitals for Infectious Diseases, Seacroft, Leeds, Mr A E Pearson, MRCS, Medical Superintendent was in charge. The hospital cared for patients with scarlet fever and diphtheria and provided care for 482. When the need for isolation hospitals lessened Seacroft was changed to a children’s hospital.

Harriet  must have moved to work in the Asylum by 1915/16 to have nursed Miss Rudd. 

Seacroft Infectious Disease ward c1900

Is the Nurse Howell I am looking for or do you know better!

Sources:-

Leodis

Ancestry

Find My Past

Henshaw, Pte., Stephen

I’ve not written anything for a while, so while I’ve been away from work for a few days I thought I would put fingers to keyboard and do a few snippets, as you have already will have seen.

Normally I see interesting things and make a note to write later, this time, decided to write something from some of the information passed on by friends – I have some wonderful friends who keep cuttings for me to use as a starting point for my meanderings. This time seems to be a reverse of the norm. Whilst looking through a book I’ve had for ages and is one of many I take away with me, I found the name of a young man and was quite moved by what happened many years after his death.

Stephen was the son of Ephraim and Sarah Ann Henshaw of Quinton, being born in 1887. In 1901 he was 14 years old and employed as a brick maker. His 52 year old father was navvy on the reservoir, while his 18 year old sister was a rivet sorter.

In the census of 1911 Stephen had been married to Sarah for under 1 year, but the enumerator had struck through the written explanation and recorded just a ‘1’ in the relevant box. Stephen worked as a stoker on a stationery engine at a local brickmakers. The young couple lived at 51 Stonehouse Lane, California, Northfield, Worcestershire.

dozinghem cwgcStephen enlisted in Birmingham, serving as Pte 204232 in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (The Ox & Bucks). He was wounded during the Battle of Langemarck on 16th August 1917 and lay wounded in the fields for 6 days. After being found he was taken to Casualty Clearing Station 61 (CCS 61) Dozinghem near Proven, but sadly died of wounds on 23 August 1917 aged 30 and rests in Dozinghem Military Cemetery.

The book I had been looking at was by Major and Mrs Holt and in the pages I found the idea for this snippet and that Stephen’s granddaughter had been researching her grandfathers war . It was during a visit to the area and finding local historians that lead to finding the approximate area where Stephen lay for six days and nights. The area back in WW1 was known as Springfield Farm.

As many people who go on pilgrimages to WW1/2 sites will have seen, a laminated information sheet was left attached to one of the farms fence posts – a semi-permanent potted history of a family man whose life was taken away – a notice that passers by may see, stop and take a few moments to read about Stephen.

henshaw stephenWell, someone did stop and read the laminated information about Stephen’s last days – the owners of Springfield Farm (now renamed). So, when Stephen’s granddaughter returned a few years later she was shocked to find that from the information left attached to the farm fence, a memorial had been erected at the farmers’ own expense.

For further information

http://www.inmemories.com/Cemeteries/dozinghem.htm

http://www.wo1.be/en/persons/henshaw-stephen

Images CWGC.org and http://echoesofwar.blogspot.co.uk/

A Boy Named Sue or Any Other Name That Fits!

As usual I start off doing a little project and then I go off on a tangent – I was looking for someone on a war memorial, a local one, that had a surname that I knew one of my friends was researching – I sent her a message and while waiting for the reply, the whole blog went belly up and did a full 180 ° turn – so you will have to wait for that blog.

But, while I was waiting for a reply, someone on one of my facebook groups placed a request for information on a lady who died in Egypt in 1918 – well what was I to do?  Leave her question unanswered, or go for it!  A quick search of Probate came up with nothing, a search of passenger lists came up with a few but none that I could say 100% without further information.  So the good old 1901 was consulted, but not to sure about the entries, therefore, forward 10 years to 1911 and this is where it went all wrong!!

I had been looking for ‘Abbie Garner’, she may have been known as Abbie and everyone called her Abbie, and it stuck but I checked Abigail and I should not have done……………..as one entry, an entry very near the top of the list in the 1911 census was for a George Abigail Garner – a transcription error on the index I thought, but no, it was his name, he wrote it clearly on the census and I was totally and utterly distracted from both the war memorial and Abbie.

Now I am hooked, who was George Abigail Garner and why the unusual middle name for a man and why did he give his son the same name?  Starting where I found him in 1911, we have George snr, head of the house aged 38 and working as a cooper, born in Lowestoft.  His wife, Mary Elizabeth aged 34, stated she had been married 10 years, given birth to 4 children, with 3 surviving to the 1911 census. Elizabeth Shepherd Garner is aged 10 and born in North Shields, next is George Abigail jnr, and then Helen aged 5. Finally, Robert Stephenson Garner aged 7 months.  Why does Helen have only one name when her siblings have an extra ?

A change of websites and a hit for G A in Lowestoft comes up in 1901 where Nathan Garner aged 55 is the head of the house, a town crier, with his wife Martha and 5 children aged between 20 and George, the youngest on the census aged 8. But still not a hint of a clue as to why Abigail was used as a middle name – George is not even entered with this name on the census.  Think we may have to back a generation to see what lies there.

So to Google, a wonderful too, but don’t believe all you read – verify and check with original sources where possible but if that is not possible make a note of the source and where you found the information.  A search for Nathan Garner took me to a site listing all Town Criers world wide, very interesting but I am confused as to why it had an piper playing over the page and even turning my sound off, still the sound could be heard when mousing over the information – why it was not Scottish and had no reason to be there.  I like a good tune played on bag pipes, in tune and in the right place – rant over, now back to Nathan.  Well, the site did tell me he was working as a crier in 1891.  Another link took me to a page full of Suffolk family names – this should be interesting and was.  The Nathan Garner I had been looking at on the previous site was born, as we know from the census in 1901, around 1845, but the list of names goes back one more generation, as I said I needed to do.  Nathan Garner, yes another, was born around 1829.  Back to the census.

The 1871 census has Nathan living next door to his brother, William, at 7 Nobbs(?) Buildings, Lowestoft and is a tailor, brother William is a basket maker.  Nathan jnr is 16 and working as a shoemaker.  I now know Nathan snr’s wifes name – Martha, obtained from an original document.  Next stop was to find who Martha was. A visit to Freebmd and a quick search came up with just one entry – Nathan Garner + Martha = Martha Abigaill……………..Fantastic.  So, it looks like that George Abigail Garner, even though there is a spelling variation, has the maiden name of his grandmother as his middle name – not unusual but sometimes it may raise a few questions.

George Abigail Garner had a son in 1903 and like generations before gave his son his name – George Abigail Garner.

Problem solved and back to the blog I was going to start earlier!

The Truce and a Footballer

100 years ago the noise, chaos, confusion and panic of life in the trenches of Northern France fell silent, it was Christmas Day! No orders came from on high to stop the fighting for one day, yet peace and calm was the order of the day.  The sound of carols rose from the trenches and gradually men from either side risked their lives to enter ‘no man’s land’ – no shots were fired as they left the safety of the trenches – it was Christmas and all was calm and they played footbal.

Some say the events of that day were fiction, while other deny that and have evidence to prove that the truce and the match took place.  Recently, there was a programme on television that produced the actual football – somehow being brought back home.

It seems appropriate with the football match taking place 100 years ago that I chat about a young man, a footballer who gave his life in the Great War,

By the title of the page you know who I am focusing on today – Walter Tull.  Walter Daniel John Tull was born on April 28 1888, the son of Daniel Tull a carpenter from Barbados and Alice Elizabeth Palmer, who he married in the spring of 1880.  When Walter and his siblings were young Alice died and in the winter of 1896 Daniel married her cousin Clara Alice Susannah Palmer but by the time Walter was 9 years old both his parents had died and he was living in a Methodist orphanage in Bethnal Green.

Clara, remarried in 1899 to a William Charles Beer, in the Dover Registration District and the 1901 census the couple are living in Coldred, Kent, with Elsie Tull and Miriam Tull aged 10 and 3 recorded as step-children. The family next door are the Palmers.  In the census of 1911 has the couple living in Kearnsey(?) also in the household is Miriam Victoria Alice Tull, step daughter, aged 13 and a William Thomas Palmer a boarder aged 64.

tullfootballHis brother was eventually adopted, while Walter remained and played football for the orphanage football team.  By 1908 he was playing for Clapham F C and within months had won winners’ medals in various leagues.  The Football Star in 1909 called him ‘the catch of the season’. The following year, 1909 he signed as a professional player with Tottenham Hotspur – it was while playing with Tottenham that he experienced racism from the spectators, one correspondent commented ‘a section of the spectators made a cowardly attack on him in language lower than Billingsgate’  he continued ‘Let me tell those Bristol hooligans that Tull is so clean in mind and method as to be a model for all white men to play football whether they be amateur or professional.  In point of ability, it not actual achievement, Tull was the best forward on the field’.

Tull, Walter officer

In the latter part of 1911 he moved to Northampton Town where he played half-back and scored 9 goals in 110 appearances.  When in 1914, the war started, Walter was the first player to sign up and join the 17th (1st Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment and by late 1915 he was in France.  It was not long before the military took advantage of Walter’s leadership qualities and he was promoted to sergeant.  Walter took part in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 but in the winter of the same year he returned to England due to illness – sources differ with trench fever and/or shell shock’ being the cause.

2nd Lieut.,Walter Tull

2nd Lieut.,Walter Tull

On his recovery Walter was not returned to the front, as many others were, he was sent to the officer training school at Gailes, Scotland.  Even though regulations were against a man of walters birth becoming an officer, he did receive his commission in May of 1917, thus Walter became the first black combat officer in the British Army.  He was posted to the Italian front, being mentioned in dispatches for his gallantry and coolness under fire.

By early 1918 Walter was now serving on the Western Front.  On March 25th he was ordered to lead his men on at attack on German trenches at Favreuil, where shortly after entering No Mans Lane he was hit by an enemy bullet.  He was a highly regarded officer and some of his men made an attempt to bring him back to the British lines. One of the rescuing soldiers told that Walter was killed immediately with a bullet through his head.  And so it was that Walter who had been the first in many fields ended his life on 25 March 1918 aged 29.

Walter Tull had been recommended for the Military Cross, The award was never granted and various campaigns have been hoping that someday 2nd Lieutenant Walter Tull’s family will receive his Military Cross.

Back to Walter, as his body was never found and he is remembered on the Arras Memorial, bay 7.

It may not be the Military Cross, but the Royal Mint announced earlier in 2014 that Walter will be remembered one of a set of £5 coins commemorating the centenary of World War One.

Sources :-

 http://spartacus-educational.com/FWWtull.htm

http://www.100greatblackbritons.com/bios/walter_tull.html

www.ancestry.co.uk

http://www.freebmd.org.uk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

A Fusilier’s Postcard

A friend of ours/mine is a songwriter and musician, basing many of his songs around his Northumberland origins.  A few years ago I blogged about a mining disaster that was the basis of a wonderful and moving song and a song dedicated to my husband called ‘The Old Chateau’.

northumberland fus badge

Anyway, the moving lyrics have once again spurred me into putting fingers to keyboard, but this time based on a postcard written by a fusilier to ‘his Maggie’.  I have no idea who the writer was or who ‘his Maggie ‘ was but I have found a Northumberland Fusilier who I shall blog about!

Frederick Noel Coates – who was he, just picked out at random from Army Service Records, basically as I thought his name would be easy to follow.

Frederick was born in 1895, in Whitley Bay, Northumberland, the son of John Robson Coates and Edith Annie, his wife of 19 years.

On Sunday 2nd April 1911 the family were living at 39 Victoria Avenue, Whitley Bay.  John was classed as an Accountant, while Edith  was given no occupation, but it did give information that she had born 6 children – the eldest being Edith Vera aged 18 and the youngest was Gwendoline aged 7 months.  Frederick Noel was the eldest boy aged 16 and employed as a Commercial Clerk.  The family were looked after by 2 teenage servants.

Ten years previous in 1901, John was an accountant working for the Water Gas Company with his family living at 37 Victoria Avenue.

A few short years after the census Frederick Noel Coates on 10 September  1914 signed his Short Service Attestation Papers in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Our young man gave his age as 19 years and 259 days and employed as a Wireless Telegraphy Student and was now officially a Private in the 16th Bn., Northumberland Fusiliers.  The only other entry on ‘Statement of Service was dated 18 September 1915, but will mention that later.

His military history sheet is bare apart from the information regarding his next of kin – John Robson (surname missing , probably as we know the name of the family) 8 South Parade, Whitley Bay.  One thing that was not missing was his description – a wonderful find for any family member who has no photograph to view.  Frederick was, as we know, 19 years and 259 days old.  He was 5” 7 1/2 “ tall and weighed 121lbs.  He had a girth of 35” with an expansion range of 4”.  His complexion was fresh, he had blue eyes and fair hair and gave no religious preference and he was declared fit for duty.

You may be wondering why I wanted to come back to Fredrerick’s Statement of Service, well on the 18September  1915 he was Discharged, but for a very good reason – he was Gazetted a Commission and became Temp. Second Lieutenant.

Frederick changed Battalions and was now in the 22nd.  These Battalions were made up of ‘Pals Battalions’ and took part in many battles including 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme – the 22nd Bn., lost over 530 men on that day.

The Northumberland Fusiliers were often known as the ‘fighting fifth’ as until 1881 the regiment was the Fifth Foot, but during The Great War the Northumberland Fusiliers raised no fewer that 51 battalions making it the second largest after the London Regiment.nf_steloi

The  22nd was formed in Newcastle on 5 November 1914 by Newcastle’s Lord Mayor and landed in France in January of 1916.

John and Annie Coates lost their eldest son on 4 April 1917 aged 23.  He is remembered at FAUBOURG D’AMIENS CEMETERY, ARRAS with over 2640 other  known men and 10 who are Known only unto Their God.

FAUBOURG D'AMIENS CEMETERY, ARRAS

 

 

 

Frederick is mentioned in Whitley Seaside Chronicle of the Great War

As to who was the Maggie, dearly mentioned on the postcard that could well be another story, but I do hope that  her soldier did return home.

You can listen to A Fusilier’s Postcard here

You may also like to listen to Where Footsteps Used Fall also with a WW1 theme

Sources –

Ancestry

Find My Past

 

 

 

 

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

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

Tedbah Siddle ??

I started my family history nearly 30 years ago.  I had no grandparents and only one parent.  After my Scottish grandfathers death that side of the family seemed to drift off a little – as families do when the hub goes away.  That has, I am very pleased to say been rectified.

But, back locally, my grandmothers maiden name was Agnes Siddle and she married Ernest Wilkinson.  My aunt was born in 1907 before grannies marriage to Ernest.  I remember asking her as a child ‘why does daddy have a different name to you?’  I was told that grandma married twice – a plausible answer and as a youngster it shut me up.  Oh, aunty, if you knew what I knew now!!!!

While looking though Ancestry for any trace of my great uncles military service – 4 of my grandma’s brothers fought in the Great War, with 3 coming home again to their family, I kept coming across this young man – Tedbah Siddle.  Who is he ? And does he link into my Siddle line?  Tedbah can sometimes be found with the spelling, Tedbak and Tedbor.

Anyway, who is he?

Well, I know he has a service record, so I’ll come back to that later but starting with the census, 1911 as I know he served in WW1 and that’s the nearest census to that milestone in his life.

The 1911 census has Tedbah aged 28, being born in Heckmondwike, a worsted spinner, living with his mother and 4 siblings at Walker St, Littletown, Liversedge.  Tedban’s mother was either very formal or chose to be a rebel as she wrote in red and her entry reads:- Mrs Siddle, head, aged 50, married 29 years, 10 children with 8 surviving to the census, works at home and was born in Gildersome.  But she signed Mrs E A Siddle – a small clue there.

Tedbor Siddle, according to Freebmd was registered in Dewsbury in the September Quarter of 1881 and this was confirmed by looking at the GRO Indexes.

Back to the census – I thought Tedbor or the variations in his name would be the stumbling block in this trail.  I searched the census for all the ways his name had been found – Tedbor, Tecbak and Tedbah and still none of his family could be found.  A search for his mother would be very long and hard as all I had found in the 1911 census was her as Mrs E A Siddle.  A sibling, that would be the way to go, try and find one of Tedbor’s siblings who was a similar age and hopefully pick up the man himself.

One of Tedbor’s siblings, Amanda was born in 1892, therefore she should be in the 1901 census.  Amanda Siddle born 1892 +/- 5 years found nothing.  So in for the long haul – a search for an Amanda born around 1892 in Yorkshire that could take time.  But, not as hard as I thought just around 460 entries and I quickly started at the last page and worked back, came to the s’s and there she was Amanda Siddal and I thought Tedbor would be the stumbling block.  So 1901 who were this family and were was Tedbor.   Well, Mrs Siddal was there and her name was Emma, she was aged 40 and a cloth weaver born in Gildersome.  Tedbor was there now entered as Ted aged 18 and a woollen twister.  There was a Jane aged 16 and a worsted spinner.  Alonzo aged 13 also a worsted spinner.  Robert aged 7 ; Ada 5 ; Norah 3 and Amanda aged 9 – no idea why she is out of age order.  But where is Mr Siddal as Emma states she was married.  Back another 10 years to find out as he must have been around within the last 3 years at least – well according to the ages of the children !

What I find in the 1891 census, I did not expect.  We have Emma A Siddal, giving her status as mother, aged 30 and still a cloth weaver.  We have Clara E Haigh, daughter aged 11 a scholar born in Dewsbury. There is, what looks like, Delert Siddal (our

Carol Sklinar 2010

Carol Sklinar 2010

Tedbor) aged 8. Jane A is there aged 6, along with Alonzo C aged 3 and Olive C aged 1.  But, as the head of the household is one Joseph Crawshaw aged 40 a warp dresser born in Dewsbury.

Tedbah Siddle was in a marriage entry for the December Quarter of 1911 in North Bierley to Gertrude Wooller the exact date being 11 December 1911.

Back to the service record, where I initially found Tedbah – There are four entries for Tedbah with the first being dated 1905 when he is Attesting for the Militia or Reserve Div.,   He  joined the 3rd West Riding Regt., no. 14948.  He was single and aged 22 years 6 months and a millhand – all this we know from census and birth entries.  He said that he had served/ was a currently serving with the Volunteers 1st Bn W R Regt., and that he had purchased his discharge.  Further paperwork goes on to bring him more to life – he was 5′ 3″ tall, weighing 113lbs, with a fresh complexion, brown eyes and hair and worshipped within the Church of England and had no distinguishing marks. The Army Recruiting Office wrote to the local police to enquire about Tedbah, the reply came back that they knew him to be of good character.  A reference from Joseph Armitage, Manager stated that he had know Tedbah for over 12 years and last saw him 3-4 days ago (from date of signing Jan 13 1905) – Joseph commented that Tedbah was sober, honest and respectable.  Tedbah attending various training sessions.

In 1913 he re-enlisted after notice, by now he was a married man, his writing had become a more confident hand.  He was part of the B.E.F and rose through the ranks becoming a  Company Sgt., Major.  He ceased to be a CSM when he was transferred to the Heavy Branch – M.G.C and now his army number changes to  7870644.  He was wounded  and a letter from Mrs G Siddle of 4 New Brighton, Oakenshaw, Bradford dated July 14th 1921 asks  if she could be supplied with the following information.

“Is 14948/7807

644 Sgt T Siddle MGC yet demobilised or is he yet serving in the H M Forces.  He has been in India for the last two years (or there abouts) and is at present in this district, and is reported to be on six months leave prior to been transferred to South Africa.  I was given to understand that in July 1919 he had re-enlsited for a period of four years.  I am his lawful wife and am curious to get correct information on the matter and herby appeal to you for such. Thanking you in antisipation for an early reply.  I am Sirs, yours truly, Mrs G Siddle”

A reference in his army records gives the answer to Mrs Siddles question.  A margin note for Tedbak said that he was placed on the married establishment list, in view of the fact that he is separated from his wife by mutual consent.  There was a type written reference to this by his Commanding Officer, basically saying that as he had entered a status of married on the Attestation that had stood as there had been no update to this saying he was now separated.  The regarding his marital status would be altered and that ‘the soldier’ would proceed to Deolali enroute to the UK.

Note – Deolali – a town in India where the Deolali transit camp was based.  It was known for being an unpleasant environment and boredom and many soldiers with psychological problems pass through its portals – hence the terms ‘gone doolally’ and ‘doolally tap’ – terms for someone who  has ‘lost their mind’ possibly due to the stresses of war.  In Urdu the word tap meals a malarial fever.

One part of his service records was an award for the D.C.M. and he should be presented with such in accordance with the Northern Command Authority.  His citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry and resource at Ypres on the 20.3.1915 when he held on to a position with his section, although the trench was destroyed by the enemy;s shell fire, throughout the day until relief arrived.  During the defence of his post he managed to take back a report to his company, from whic

h he was cut off, under heavy shell fire, and then returned to his section. He was wounded during the day. “ This report answers an earlier entry in his records.

Further information gives information that Mrs Siddle was requesting that her husband acknowledge that he is the father of at least one child, a child that will come into the world very soon. He acknowledge two children, Gladys Irene born 15 April 1912 and Mabel born 12 October 1916 (Mabel is the unborn child referred to)

I’ve done a potted history of Tedbor and his siblings, found out his mother’s name and eventually his father’s.  But I still don’t know where his name comes from – is it a family name ? A search of Freebmd only lists one Tedbor and the Army Records, as we already know, shows up Tedbah, while the GRO gives a zero result.  I am no nearer to know where nor why he was given that name………………May be someone reading this knows !

Addendum – Cleckheaton Advertiser and Spen Valley Times Page 2 July 1st 1915 has an interview with Tedbah about his exploits – he was in line for a V.C. but received the D.C.M. instead.