4 December 2016

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: George Housden Dellar

George Dellar was born in St Ives, in the old county of Huntingdonshire, in 1889, oldest of the four children of George & Ellen (nee Culpin).  My second cousin twice removed, he grew up in the town and was working for Cranfield & Wheeler, solicitors in St Ives.

George initially enlisted in the Hunts Cyclists Battalion but later transferred to the 1st Beds.  in January 1916 he married Grace Harlick in Somersham, which was reported by the local paper "The Hunts Post":-

"Military Wedding: On Monday at the Baptist Chapel, Miss Grace Harlick, youngest daughter of the late Mr James Harlick, of Somersham, was married to George Housden Dellar, late of St Ives and now serving in the Hunts Cyclists Corps. The officiating minister was the Rev. H E Jessop. Mr Harold Williams, of Harrow, acted as best man. The bride was given away by her mother. A large number of friends assembled to witness the ceremony, after which the happy pair left for Hunstanton."

Sadly, George was wounded at Guillemont on 3rd September that year and died of his wounds in hospital in Windsor on 4th December.  The Hunts Post has a number of reports on his death.  On 8th December:-

"Death of Pte George Dellar: Pte George Dellar, of St Ives, passed away at Windsor Hospital on Monday morning, in the presence of his wife and father. Pte Dellar was badly wounded in the chest in the early stages of the Great Push, and when taken to the base hospital in France was in so dangerous a state that his wife and father were wired for. They proceeded at once to France, where they had the gratification of finding the young soldier much better, and left him with every hope of recovery. Last Thursday a fateful wire came, and Mrs Dellar with her father in law proceeded at once to Windsor. The deceased was only 27 years of age. For a considerable period he had held a confidential position in the offices of Messrs Cranfield and Wheeler. He was an enthusiastic member of the VTC and went into khaki with the Hunts Cyclists, being subsequently transferred to the Royal Warwickshire Regt. Last January he married Miss Grace Harlick, daughter of the late Mr Harlick and Mrs Harlick of Somersham. The interment takes place at the St Ives cemetery on Friday afternoon, with full military honours."

The following week's edition contains a full report of George's funeral and it is clear that it was well attended, and the locals also came out to line the streets.  

We will remember them.

4 November 2016

Unexpected Item in the Blogging Area.....

Anyone familiar with my website may have seen that I photograph War Memorials and display them on one of the pages.  My latest “acquisition” is the memorial at Howgate, a small village about 1½ miles from Penicuik in Midlothian.  And, as I haven’t  blogged for a while I thought I’d combine my photographic habit with my regular blogging about the centenary of the Great War.
Thus, I chose the first name on the Howgate memorial:  William James Falside was the third child, and eldest son, of the Rev. John Tully Falside and his wife Elizabeth (nee Semple).  Born in Eskdalemuir, in Dumfriesshire, in 1883 I found him in the 1891 census at the Davington Manse in the village, and again in 1901 in Govan, this time studying at Glasgow University.
Thereafter I followed his life through various newspapers.  The Dundee Courier (20 September 1911), reports: “Dalkeith United Free Presbytery last evening unanimously agree to moderate in a call to the Rev. Wm J Falside to become minister of Howgate U.F. Church, Midlothian, to fill the vacancy caused by the departure of the Rev. John G Taylor to Glasgow some months ago.  Mr Falside’s ordination was fixed for 20th October.  He is a native of Langholm, Dumfriesshire, and was for two years assistant at St Paul’s Church, Dundee, and for the last three months assisted in Moncrieff Church, Alloa.  The Howgate call was signed by 129 members and 13 adherents.”
A few weeks later, on 4 November 1911, the Alloa Advertiser tells us: “As mentioned in these columns last week, the Rev. W J Falside, son of the late Rev. J T Falside, Eskdalemuir, and Mrs Falside, Livingstone Place, Lockerbie, was on Friday, October 20th, inducted to the pastoral charge of Howgate United Free Church (in the Presbytery of Dalkeith), the vacancy having occurred through the translation of the Rev. J G Taylor to Lyon Street U.F. Church, Glasgow.  After hearing a number of candidates, Howgate congregation address to Mr Falside a unanimous and singularly harmonious call, which was duly sustained by the Presbytery.”
The next significant entry, in respect of this blog, was in the pages of the Scotsman on 8 December 1915: To Dalkeith U F Presbytery the Rev. William J Falside, M.A., Howgate, made application for leave to enlist, and this the Presbytery granted.  The Rev. Robert T Jack agreed to undertake the duties at Howgate during his absence.”
Sadly that absence was to be permanent.  I found five reports of his death; the Scotsman, on 14 October 1918, represents them all: “MIDLOTHIAN MINISTER DIES ON SERVICE.  News reached Penicuik yesterday of the death of the Rev. W J Falside in Italy on 6th inst.  He was a son of the late Rev. John T Falside, Eskdalemuir, and passed through Glasgow University with distinction.  He acted as assistant at Dundee and Alloa, and in October 1911 was ordained minister of the U.F. Church, Howgate, Penicuik.  In January 1916 he enlisted as a private in the RAMC, and saw service in East and West Africa.  In the beginning of this year he received his commission as a chaplain, and as such served for eight months in Ireland.  He preached in Howgate Church three weeks ago before proceeding abroad to take up duty, and on the way he became ill with pneumonia.  Two brothers were killed on service with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers.”
William was 35 years old when he died in the Faenza Military Hospital, in the Ravenna area of Italy.  He is buried in the Faenza Communal Cemetery.  

 We will remember them.


Sources:  The British Newspaper Archives online (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk); Photograph from "www.findagrave.com"

26 September 2016

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: Richard Howe Watson

Richard Watson was born in Girton, Cambridgeshire, in 1886, fourth of the twelve children of Philip and Alice (nee Howe); he was my fourth cousin twice removed.  In 1901 the family had moved to the nearby village of Histon and then back to Girton by 1911.  As with many people in those villages he became one of the workers at the Chivers Jam factory.

The following article from The Cambridge Independent Press on 13 October 1916 gives a small amount of information: ROLL OF HONOUR: GIRTON - News has reached Girton that Pte. Richard (Dick) Watson, of the Suffolks, has been killed in action.  The information was received in a letter written to his parents by one of his chums, Pte. Impey, of Dry Drayton.  He appears to have been shot by a sniper.  Pte. Watson was called up under the Derby Scheme, and had only been in France a short time.  He was formerly employed at Messrs Chivers’ Works at Histon.  He has four other brothers serving with the colours, one of whom joined the Royal Flying Corps during the past week.

(Note: The Derby Scheme was proposed by Lord Derby as an attempt to increase recruitment and avoid the need for conscription by allowing men to attest voluntarily for service at a later date.  Men who signed up under the scheme would be paid one day’s wages, placed in the Class B Army reserve, and then released back into civilian life until required by the military.)

He was serving with the 8th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, when he died on 26 September 1916 in the Somme region.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

We will remember them.

5 September 2016

Great War Centenary: William Anyon

My second cousin three times removed, William Anyon was born in Rock Ferry, Cheshire, in early 1888, second of the ten children of William and Mary (nee Pates).  He was christened at St Peter's church in February of that year.  Growing up in Rock Ferry, he was an errand boy by the age of 13.  By the 1911 census he was a scrap piler, living in New Ferry.

The next, and final, sighting we have of him is as a Lance Corporal in the 1st Battalion, the Cheshire Regiment, serving in the Somme region of France.  He died on 5 September 1916 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, along with so many others.

We will remember them.


3 September 2016

Great War Centenary: James Crick

James Alfred Crick, my third cousin three times removed, was born in 1896 in Kensal Rise, London.  He was the second of the four sons of Charles and Hannah, nee Mallinder, and grew up in the family home in Linden Avenue.  By 1911 he was listed as a dental engineer.

By 1916 he was a private in the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment, serving in France in the Somme area.  He died on 3rd September and has no known grave.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial.

We will remember them.  

1 July 2016

Great War Centenary: First Day of the Somme


At 7:30am on 1st July 1916, whistles blew along the Allied lines in France.  By the end of the day, four members of my extended family had lost their lives.

ALBERT CONQUEST was my second cousin three times removed and was born on 28 June 1878 in the Cambridgeshire village of Over. Second of the nine children of Charles and Jane (nee Thoday), he was an agricultural labourer by the age of 12, according to the 1891 census. In 1899 he signed on in the Royal Navy as a stoker, being discharged in 1908.  He returned to Over and was a bricklayer's labourer in 1911. When war came he enlisted in the 11th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, known as the Cambridgeshire Pals, and died on 1st July. Along with so many others he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

CHARLES HILLS, my third cousin once removed, was born in Doddington, Cambs, in 1893, the sixth of ten children of George and Naomi (nee Wadlow). In 1901 the family was at Pannick Farm, and Charles was at school. They moved to Chatteris where, in 1911, Charles was a farm labourer. He too joined the Cambridgeshire Pals (11th Suffolks) and was a lance corporal at the time of his death. The Thiepval Memorial also bears his name.

FREDERICK GEORGE PATES was another third cousin, this time three times removed.  He was the son of Frederick and Agnes (nee Tull) and was born in Shoreditch in 1881.  The oldest of three sons, he grew up in Shoreditch and was a carman in 1901.  He joined the Dorsetshire Regiment and died on the first day of the battle.  He is buried in Serre Road Cemetery No. 2.

LIONEL ERIC BLAYDON was born in 1890 in Wandsworth, the second of eight children of Avey and Caroline (nee Rhind).  He was my fourth cousin three times removed.  By 1901 the family had moved to Chorlton-cum-Hardy in Lancashire and the 1911 census finds him boarding in Manchester, working as a shipper's clerk.  His war service was with the 19th Manchesters until he too ended up on the Somme.  His name is also on the Thiepval Memorial.

Somewhere in the region of 210, 000 Allied men lost their lives in the horror of 1st July 1916.  

We will remember them.

18 June 2016

Not sure....

I loaded a friend's tree onto Ancestry yesterday and started adding to it. 

And very easy it was too. I was lucky to find information quickly and, one click or two later, there it was - added to the tree!

But not into my memory because I often need to write things down for them to stick in the brain cell.  I wonder how other people manage?

More soon.