22 June 2017


Today I remember a man who has already had a mention in this blog in 1914: Albert Pridmore, my sixth cousin a few times removed, was born in Wittering, near Peterborough, in 1879.  He was the second of the eleven children (nine boys, two girls) of William & Sarah, nee Culpin, who moved to the Sheffield area soon after he was born.  After schooling in the town, Albert worked as a labourer.

In 1913 he married Margaret Richardson in Sheffield and they begat five children before Albert enlisted in the Yorks & Lancs Regiment and was sent to France & Flanders to join the Expeditionary Force from January 1916.  He was wounded in action on 2 May 1917 and repatriated to Bradford Military Hospital.

Where he died one hundred years ago today.  He was buried in Burngreave cemetery in Sheffield.

We will remember them.

7 June 2017


Ernest Mendham was born in 1886 in East Wretham in Norfolk, eighth of the nine children of Thomas and Mary (nee Freeman).  Christened in the local church on 8 August that year, he was next "seen" in the 1901 census, with the family in Streatham, south London.  In 1909 he married Lily Hudson and the family lived in Upper Tooting in 1911; he was a librarian's clerk.

In 1914, or thereabouts, he enlisted, at Clapham Junction, in the London regiment.  He died in Flanders on this day in 1917 and has no known grave.  Along with thousands he is commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial.

We will remember them.

2 June 2017

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: Charles William Rumbelow

Charles William Rumbelow was my fifth cousin twice removed, the eldest of five children (four boys & one girl) of George and Laura (nee Mace).  Born in 1897 in the village of Wicken in Cambridgeshire, he seems to have lived in the village all of his short life.  Aged only three in the 1901 census, he was at school by 1911 - then living with his grandparents.

And that is all I know about him; other than that he died one hundred years ago today, in Birmingham, having been serving with the Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment.  He is buried in the churchyard in Wicken.

We will remember them.

25 May 2017

Great War Centenary: Percy Poulter

Percy Poulter was my 5th cousin three times removed (our mutual ancestor was Richard Culpin, born circa 1685) and was born in Shillington, Beds, in 1883.  The fifth of eight children of Thomas and Emma (nee Culpin), he was working on the family farm in Campton, near Shefford, in 1901 but joined the Royal Lancers before 1911.  The census of that year very helpfully gives his location as "Egypt, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Sudan"..... so I have no idea where he was!

Sadly I do know that he died of wounds in France on 25 May 1917 and is buried in Tincourt New British Cemetery.

We will remember them.

21 May 2017

This little piggy went to........

A chance find in the BURY FREE PRESS of 12 February 1954: 

One of five pigs which were thrown out of a ten cwt. Van taking them to the Elmswell Bacon Factory met premature death in a crash on the ice road near Rougham Estate Office on Monday.  The two vehicles involved were a van driven by Mr Reginald Staden, baker, of 41, Out Westgate, Bury St Edmunds, and a British Road Services lorry, drive by Mr Arthur Tyre, of “The Lilacs”, Mendlesham Green, Stowmarket.

All the pigs were thrown out of the van and one of them sustained a broken leg and had to be destroyed.  Both the drivers had minor injuries – facial cuts and bruises.

I am resolutely not laughing......

More soon.

Source:  www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

16 April 2017

Check, check, check........again, again!

Cousin Bob and I have been working on getting our early Langfords right.  Bob has cracked it and I've be re-inputting a few ('000s) of Langford rellies.  And it was in search of their various sources that I was looking on FreeBMD for them, born between 1880 and 1890.

And there he was: an additional Freeman Langford.  Ooo-er!  A quick check on the "new" GRO indexes showed me that his mother's name was Quince.  That's my great-grandmother, btw, my primary family.

So he fitted between William and Lilian, and clearly before the Freeman who came after Lilian.  He wasn't christened in Stretham with his younger siblings so I used the CFHS new search.  And found him being done in the Wesleyan Methodist in Ely..... along with John, Ellen, and Lilian.

Suspicion now abounding that there might be another sibling to fit into another four-year gap, so I went back to the GRO indexes and found Kate, born in 1885.  Another Kate? But my grandmother, Kate, wasn't born until 1889....!

So, brain fog lifting slightly, I realised that Freeman and Kate must both've died before their younger versions were born.  No sign of them in the Ely district so, on a whim, I widened the search to all of England.

And there they were: 1886 in Sheffield.  Sheffield?  FMP gave me Kate's christening in the Cathedral in 1885, and another search found me "The Original Sheffield Indexers", who have kindly indexed various graveyards in the city.  Success - Langford, Freeman (child, age 4) and Langford, Kate (child, 9m) buried five days apart in the City cemetery.

So now I'm very excited that I've found these two.  And slightly boggled.....

More soon.

26 March 2017

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: George Ernest Flavell

George Flavell was born in 1892 in Wickliffe, Victoria, in Australia, the fourth child of George Flavell and his wife Sophia (nee Parrish).  He was my third cousin three times removed and grew up to work as a labourer in Moyston, Vic.  And that's really all I know about him as a man.

Of his time as a soldier I can tell you that he enlisted in August 1915 when he was 22 years and 10 months old; that he embarked on HMAT Thermistocles in Melbourne on 28 December 1916 and that he served in the Suez area before being moved to France.

I found letters in the Australian Red Cross Society Wounded & Missing Enquiry Bureau files (1914-18 War) which confirm that he was reported Missing believed Killed on 26 March 1917. It was only after these letters that his death near Bapaume was confirmed.  Six months after the event, his colleagues all wrote that George was blown in half by a shell on this day one hundred years ago.

We will remember them.

19 March 2017

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: Norris Ernest Wiltshire

Norris Wiltshire was my second cousin three times removed and was born in Skelton, Yorkshire, in 1895, eldest of the seven children of Ernest and Ann (nee Norris).  In the 1901 census he was six years old and the family were still in Skelton; by 1911 the family had move a few miles north to Saltburn and young Norris, by now 16 years old, was "trapping in mines".

In the September quarter of 1914 he married Jane Marsh in Morpeth and they begat two daughters. He enlisted in the Northumberland Fusiliers and served with the second battalion in the Balkans area.

The Registers of Soldiers' Effects gives Norris's date of death as "between 10 September 1916 and 19 March 1917" in Bulgaria.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial in Greece, the memorial to the missing of Salonika.

We will remember them.

15 March 2017

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: William Arthur Staden

My cousin, three times removed, William Arthur Staden, together with his twin brother Frederick Walter, was born in Bury St Edmunds on 15 October 1876, the eighth and nine children of Joseph, a plumber and glazier, and his wife Eliza, nee Drury.  Frederick sadly died less than seven months later.

William grew up in Bury St Edmunds and then moved to London; the 1901 census shows him, aged 24 and a draper's assistant, living in the "Residence for Employees of Peter Robinson Ltd" in Marylebone.  In 1911 he was boarding in Westminster, by now a "draper traveller".  Come the Great War, by now in his mid-to-late thirties, he enlisted, in Westminster, as a private in the 12th Battalion, the Royal Fusiliers.

He died on 15 March 1917, aged 40, and is buried in the Chocques Military Cemetery in the Pas de Calais region of France.

We will remember them.

5 March 2017

Mind the Gap......

I seem to have been more absent than present on here recently so I will recount a story of great achievement.....and a fair bit of luck!

Last weekend, whilst attempting to identify the people in my maternal grandparents' wedding photo (as you do), I sought light entertainment in the newspaper archives.  As I have done a few times before, I entered "Pates and Biggleswade" as search terms and sat back to await the results....and found the name of my illegitimate great-grandmother!!!!!!

Much excitement ensued, along with a transcription of the article.  It seems that greatx3 grandmother took the man to court and there it was in the Bedfordshire Times' Petty Sessions report: "Walter Roberts, labourer, Biggleswade, was charged by Mary Ann Pates, Biggleswade, with being the putative father of her illegitimate child.  He admitted paternity, and was ordered to pay 1s 6d, per week and 12s 6d costs."

That's filled a very large gap in the tree!  Now to sort out the puzzle of the great-grandmother's marriage....... that will take a very long time, not just the twenty-odd years it took to find her father.

More soon.