31 March 2011

Another first ...

As the title suggests, I hit another "first" this week, by discovering a Prisoner of War amongst my various & distant ancestors.

Blaydon Edward Pilbrow, for t'was he, was born in July 1899 to William & Laura (nee Blaydon) in the village of Hinderclay in Suffolk. He lived briefly in Ipswich, although he may well have been too young to notice (speculation, m'lud, no evidence!), and then the family returned to his birth place by 1911.

According to the Great War Service Records on Ancestry, Blaydon enlisted on 6 September 1917 at the age of 17yrs 359 days, then joined the British Expeditionary Force in France on 2 April 1918.  Three weeks later he was taken prisoner.

Blaydon died five months later, in the prison hospital in Metz.  I originally thought that Metz was in Germany but, having just looked it up, it seems to be in France - just south of Luxembourg and just north of Nancy.

So, the next thing to do is to look for information about POWs in the Great War .....

More soon

26 March 2011

Military matters ....

Every time I find a new male ancestor born in the 1890s I get mildly depressed.  In the sense that my heart sinks as I wonder: "did he grow up to get chewed up in the military machine of the Great War?"

Alas, I found another two this morning who fulfilled this sad thought.  And they were brothers.  Cecil and Albert Blaydon, of Luton, were my fourth cousins three times removed and the sons of Sydney & Mary (Lily).  Both joined the Bedfordshire Regiment and ended up in the 1st/5th Battalion.

Albert died at Suvla Bay, aged 18, in 1915 and his brother Cecil, older by two years, died in Palestine two years later having, I assume, survived the hell of Gallipoli.

One thing I did learn was that both brothers were killed by Turkish forces.  I had no idea that the Turks were the opposition in Palestine, so that's increased my knowledge.

More soon.

15 March 2011

I think I'd better stop .....

I've had a few enquiries recently from people who have found people on the website and, this evening, I thought I'd better do some research before responding to one of them.

The request was for any link/further info about George Day.  Now, I have three George Days on the site, all related to each other ..... well, all on the same branch of the tree.  And none of them has a great deal of info, hence the desire to beef up the detail before replying.

Perhaps the reason is that I simply can't find much .......?

And when I did find something on two people related to them - had to widen the net for any chance - I have promptly killed them off!

Faith Day, possible mother of one George Day: found her in the 1861 census and then she died two years later.  And Solomon Day, brother of another George Day: found him in Belgravia (as a servant) in 1871 and, blow me, he died two years later too.  Irritatingly, before I could find him with the wife he should have as he is down as married in the census.

What with that and a new pair of specs which are driving me nuts, I'm going to call it a night before I either kill more people off or throw the specs through the screen!

More soon.

1 March 2011

A restless man ...

Happy St David's Day to you!

I don't know that I have any Welsh ancestry, although I'm fairly certain that the Celts made their way to this part of the country, so I thought I'd follow up an entry I made in November 2008.  I've already explained how rubbish I am at filing info, so you won't be surprised at how long it took me to enter this stuff ....

Albert Hahnamann Culpin was born in 1860 in Ardley, Herts, the son of Benjamin & Sarah (nee Chaloner), and grew up in his father's Shillington (Beds) parish (Benjamin was a minister).  I found reference, in the Beds Archives, to some letters Albert wrote about his life in the Army in 1877 and now I can report the follow-up:

This time, the Shillington website (www.shillington-history.org.uk) comes up trumps ..... "letters survive from Albert Culpin, the son of the Congregational minister, in which he refers to Shillington men whom he met nearly everywhere he went.  He was a restless man who enlisted at one stage where he met some he knew.  He then deserted and stowed away to America, travelled the country extensively and later went to Australia."

How impressive is that!!  

Of course, as a stowaway he is unlikely to have left a trail but I have found him on the New South Wales Unassisted Passengers Lists, arriving in Sydney on 19 May 1890 aboard the vessel "Burwah".

There is a reference, again in the Beds Archives, to a letter written by him in 1892 about the Broken Hill strike and maritime disturbances but I need to work on how to read this, along with the correspondence from his (brief) time in the Army.

And then, courtesy of the wonderful Aussie BMD indexes, I found his death in Ryde, NSW, in 1932.

I'm really quite pleased with myself.  Now all I have to do is sort through the pile at my left elbow - heaven knows what I'll find in there!

More soon.