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. 

8 June 2016

It's only just.....

......occurred to me that I don't know where my great-grandfather was buried. 

George Staden died in 1920 at the TB hospital, Papworth. I know that from family stories and his death certificate. But I've never worked out where his grave is ....!  That's clearly this evening's task. 

More soon. 

3 June 2016

Children's names

So there I was, revelling in some new information which enables me to welcome some of my stray Culpins into the family file. And I was checking some, as is my wont, and I discovered two Georges born in the same village four years apart. 

So far, so very ordinary.  Then I saw that one, incidentally the 'wrong' one according to my recent information, had a mother called Dorothy. 

And the 'right' one had a daughter called Dorothy. The eldest daughter, no less. 

So now I'm surrounded by pages of notes.....and I think my head is going to explode!

More soon.