Wedding Wednesday – Edith Stephenson and Ernest Northcote Morfitt

Edith Stephenson is my wife’s 2nd cousin 2x removed. Her parents are Charles Stephenson and Emma Ramsey. Their common ancestors are Jospeh Lockington and Jane Slight, my wife’s 3x great grandparents.

Edith married Ernest Northcote Morfitt on 27 Jun 1907 and a report of the ceremony was published in the Hull Daily Mail.

Hull Daily Mail - 27 June 1907.pngPRETTY WEDDING AT STONEFERRY

A very pretty wedding, in which Stoneferry seemed greatly interested, took place this afternoon at St Saviour’s Church, Wilmington. The bridal parties were Miss Edith Stephenson, only daughter of Mr and Mrs C Stephenson, 144, Cleveland Street, and Mr Ernest Northcote Morfitt, of King’s Mill, eldest son of Mr and Mrs J Morfitt.

A bright, fully choral service had been arranged, as the bride has been closely associated with music, and as a compliment Mr Alvan B Young, LLCM, presided at the organ.

The bride was attired in a white silk eolienne dress, which was trimmed with orange blossom and very delicate lace. She also wore a bridal veil of orange blossom, and carried a shower bouquet composed of sweet peas and carnations.

There were four bridesmaids – Miss May E Morfitt, Miss Beatrice Lee – dressed in cream eolienne with crinoline hats, and they carried shower bouquets. Miss Fanny Morfitt and Miss Smailes were dressed in white silk with Napoleon hats. They carried baskets of flowers. The bride was given away by her father, and the bridegroom was accompanied by Mr W E Smailes as best man.

The Rev E V Dunn, the vicar, who conducted the service, was assisted by the Rev H J Boon.

Both the bride and the bridegroom are greatly respected in Stoneferry, and the church was full of well wishers. At several of the houses bunting was out, and flags were flying. The bride is a music teacher, and has many pupils.

The chancel of the church and the altar were adorned with flowers. A reception, at which there were about 300 guests, was afterwards held at the Oddfellows’ Hall. Both the bride and the bridegroom were the recipients of many presents.

Edith and Ernest had one child – George Ernest, born on 12 March 1908.

Sadly the couple only had eleven years of married life before Edith passed away on 15 December 1918.

Ernest remarried about eight years later to Elsie M Tasker – the marriage is registered in the December quarter of 1926.

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Military Monday – Richard James Taylor (1885-1918)

Richard James Taylor is the husband of my 3rd cousin 2x removed Mary Alice Dawson.

Richard was born on 4 March 1885 in Waddington, Lancashire to parents Henry Taylor and Mary Altham. My cousin Mary Alice was born on 6 February 1888 in Barrowford, Lancashire to parents Joseph Dawson and Alice Hartley. Or common ancestors are my 4x great grandparents John Dawson and Ann Watson.

Richard and Mary married on 30 December 1909 at St. Thomas’, Barrowford. They had two children – Dennis born in 1910 and Kenneth born on 8 November 1917 (they are my 4th cousins 1x removed)

In World War 1 Richard served in the 2nd/5th Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment. His service number was 241099 and he reached the rank of Sergeant.

During 1918 the 2nd/5th Battalion took part in The Battle of St. Quentin, The Actions at the Somme Crossings and The Battle of Rosieres.

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website Richard died of wounds on 12 April 1918 at the age of 33.

Richard is buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France. His headstone number is 3394 with the following inscription:-

WE LOVED HIM, OH WE LOVED HIM

BUT THE ANGELS LOVED HIM MORE

ONE OF THE BEST                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Richard was awarded the Military Medal – see the extract from The London Gazette of 23 May 1918 below. The Military Medal (or MM) was a medal awarded for exceptional bravery. It was awarded to the Other Ranks (N.C.O.’s and Men) and was first instituted on 25 March 1916 during The First World War, to recognise bravery in battle.

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St. Sever Cemetery Extension (taken from CWGC website)

During the First World War, Commonwealth camps and hospitals were stationed on the southern outskirts of Rouen. A base supply depot and the 3rd Echelon of General Headquarters were also established in the city. Almost all of the hospitals at Rouen remained there for practically the whole of the war. They included eight general, five stationary, one British Red Cross and one labour hospital, and No. 2 Convalescent Depot. A number of the dead from these hospitals were buried in other cemeteries, but the great majority were taken to the city cemetery of St. Sever. In September 1916, it was found necessary to begin an extension, where the last burial took place in April 1920. During the Second World War, Rouen was again a hospital centre and the extension was used once more for the burial of Commonwealth servicemen, many of whom died as prisoners of war during the German occupation. The cemetery extension contains 8,348 Commonwealth burials of the First World War (ten of them unidentified) and in Block “S” there are 328 from the Second World War (18 of them unidentified). There are also 8 Foreign National burials here. The extension was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

On 23 April 1925 Mary Alice, Dennis and Kenneth emigrated to New Zealand. They sailed from Southampton heading for Wellington aboard SS Rotorua. I hope that they had a happy life in New Zealand.

A final note about the SS Rotorua – it seems that the ship was sunk on 11 December 1940 while sailing as part of Convoy HX92. She was struck by a torpedo from U-boat number U-96 about 110 miles northwest of St. Kilda, Outer Hebrides.

Those of you who read my blog regularly may recall that U-96 was also responsible for the sinking the Arthur F Corwin on 13 February 1941 – see post here.

So I was interested to find out what finally happened U-96

The boat’s final operational patrol commenced with her departure from St. Nazaire on 26 December 1942. Crossing the Atlantic for the last time, she then came back to the eastern side and after transferring a sick crew-member to U-163 on 3 January 1943, arrived at Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) on 8 February.

She spent most of the rest of the war as a training vessel. She was decommissioned on 15 February 1945 in Wilhelmshaven. When US Eighth Air Force attacked Wilhelmshaven on 30 March 1945, U-96 was sunk in Hipper basin. The remains of the U-boat were broken up after the war

Wedding Wednesday – Walter Croad and Margaret Woodward

Walter Croad is my 3rd cousin 1x removed. His parents are Norman Croad and Mary Booth. Our common ancestors are Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley, my 3x great grandparents.

Walter married Margaret Woodward on 20 December 1947. Below is a report of the wedding from the Barnoldswick & Earby Times of 24 December 1947.

Barnoldswick & Earby Times 24 Dec 1947.png

CROAD-WOODWARD

The marriage was solemnised at Holy Trinity Church on Saturday of Miss Margaret Woodward, daughter of Mr and Mrs P Woodward, of 107 Burnley Road, Colne, and Mr Walter Croad, eldest son of Mr and Mrs N Croad, of 34 Patten Street, Colne. The minister was the Rev R W L Huggins, and the organist Mr Davies.

The bridegroom is employed at Pillings’ foundry, and the bride is a weaver for Thomas Masons Ltd.

Given away by her brother-in-law, the bride was attired in a white silk gown, with net head-dress and white shoes. She carried a bouquet of pink chrysanthemums.

The bridesmaids were Miss Jenny Woodward (sister of the bride) and Miss Rita Walsh (friend of the bride). They wore blue silk gowns, with head-dresses and shoes to match. They carried bouquets of white chrysanthemums. There were also two small attendants, Miss Betty Harker, (niece of the bride), and Miss Gwendolene Croad, (sister of the bridegroom). They were attired similarly to the bridesmaids.

The bride’s mother chose a brown tweed coat with brown accessories, and the bridegroom’s mother wore a grey coat, with burgundy accessories.

The best man was Mr Harry Rushton, (friend of the bridegroom), and the groomsmen were Mr Norman Croad, (brother of the bridegroom), and Mr Charles Kinder (friend of the bridegroom).

Following a reception at the Co-operative Cafe, where 37 guests were entertained, the bridal pair left for Blackpool, where they will spend their honeymoon, the bride travelling in a blue tweed coat, with navy blue accessories. On their return they will reside at 107 Burnley Road, Colne. Among the many handsome and useful presents received by Mr and Mrs Croad were a fruit dish and cake stand from the bride’s workmates.

Sunday’s Obituary – Norman Thornton (1912-1937)

Norman Thornton is my 3rd cousin 1x removed. His parents are Thomas Gawthrop Thornton and Ellen Quinliven. Our common ancestors are my 3x great parents Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley.

Norman was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire – his birth is registered in the September quarter of 1912.

I don’t have any information about Norman until his marriage to Mary Burland in Sheffield sometime in the September quarter of 1935.

I recently found the following report in the Sheffield Independent on 22 May 1937

Norman Thornton - 22 May 1937.png

GAS SUICIDE

Pincers Used To Turn Bracket Tap

Suicide during a state of depression due to domestic unhappiness, was the verdict given by Mr Alan P Lockwood, Sheffield Deputy Coroner, on Norman Thornton (24), grocers’ assistant, who was found gassed at his home in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Thornton, who was employed at Glossop Road branch of Sheffield and Ecclesall Co-operative Society, had not been at work this week. The branch had been closed Monday and Tuesday, since when Thornton had not been seen.

Thomas Thornton, 63 Ronksley Road, Shiregreen, said that his son was married in September, 1935, but they had not been happy. They had been separated, but came together again five months ago. His son’s wife had been in a convalescent home for the past fortnight.

Police-sergt, W Parnham said he went with the last witness to his son’s house, and by means of a ladder got to the bedroom. He found the young man dead. He had a flexible gas pipe in his mouth, connected to a gas bracket. Near him were a pair of pincers which he had evidently had to use to turn the tap on.

A sad end to a short life and what seems like an unhappy marriage.

I haven’t yet been able to find what happened to Norman’s wife Mary.

Wedding Wednesday – Alban Arthur Birch and Connie Jackson

Alban Arthur Birch is my wife’s 3rd cousin. His parents are Arthur Birch and Sarah Fitzgerald. Their common ancestor is Martha Espley, my wife’s 2x great grandmother.

Alban was born in Burnley, Lancashire on 5 August 1916. He was the only child of Arthur and Sarah Birch.

On Alban’s 23rd birthday he married Connie Jackson at St James Church, Briercliffe, Lancashire.

The wedding was reported in the Burnley Express on 12 August 1939.

Burnley Express 12 Aug 1939.png

Briercliffe St. James’s Church was the scene of a pretty wedding last Saturday morning between Mr Alban Arthur Birch, son of Mr and Mrs A Birch, of 200, Burnley Road, Accrington, and Miss Connie Jackson, only daughter of Mr and Mrs T S Jackson, of 12, Burnley Road, Briercliffe. The bride, who was given away by her father, was charmingly attired in a gown of white satin with veil of embroidered net held in place by orange blossom. She carried a bouquet of pink roses and lillies of the valley. She was attended by a matron of honour, Mrs M Jones, of London, friend of the bride, and a bridesmaid, Miss Gwen Dewhurst, cousin of the bride, who wore dresses of lavender taffeta with head-dresses and shoes to tone, and carried bouquets of pink carnations. The best man was Mr James Hargreaves, friend of the bridegroom, while Mr Eliot Andrews and Mr B Spencer (friends of the bridegroom) were groomsmen. Mr G Dewhurst was the usher. The ceremony was performed by the Rev A B Dex, MA, who also rendered appropriate organ music. A reception luncheon was held at Storey’s Cafe, and afterwards the newly-wedded pair left for a honeymoon in Scotland, the bride travelling in a moss green coat with black accessories. Among numerous presents received were some from the staff of W H Dean and Son, where the bride and bridegroom are employed. Mr and Mrs Birch will reside at 1, Bedfordshire Avenue, Burnley.

Military Monday – Jack Hurtley Thompson (1921-1941)

Jack Hurtley Thompson is my 1st cousin 1x removed. His parents are Alfred Clark Thompson and Rhoda Hurtley. Our common ancestors are James Hurtley and Ellen Paley – my great grandparents.

Jack was born in Cononley, West Yorkshire and his birth is registered in the June quarter of 1921.

Jack joined the Merchant Navy and was serving on the British motor tanker Arthur F Corwin as a 5th Engineer when it was sunk on 13 February 1941.

Unknown

Arthur F Corwin

The Arthur F Corwin was part of Convoy HX106 sailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Liverpool, England. Forty one merchant ships departed Halifax on 30 January 1941 – they were escorted by a series of armed military vessels at various times during the journey.

According to reports on the Internet the Arthur F Corwin was a straggler from the convoy. It was attacked and damaged by two torpedoes from U-boat U-103 at 16.25 hours on 13 February 1941. The U-boat then left the burning tanker in a sinking condition southeast of Iceland.

At 19.50 hours the same day, U-96 came across the stricken wreck of Arthur F Corwin, which was still afloat, and sank her with two further torpedoes.

There were no survivors.

I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like for Jack and all his crew mates.

Jack is commemorated on the Cononley War Memorial and also on the Tower Hill Memorial, near Tower Bridge in London.

CONONLEY_04

Cononley War Memorial

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Tower Hill Memorial

Sunday’s Obituary – Arthur Frederick Lord (1906-1946)

Arthur Frederick Lord is my 4th cousin 1x removed. His parents are Charles Lord and Sarah Lonsdale. Our common ancestors are Isaac Kighley and Ellen Jackson, my 4x great grandparents.

Arthur was born on 20 January 1906 in Rochester, Kent. In the 1911 census he is living at 190 High Street, Rochester.

As far as I can establish Arthur joined the Merchant Navy as a cadet in June 1921. His identity certificate number was 209328 (see below) and he was serving on the SS Gothic Star (Official No. of ship 108793).

Arthur F Lord - Cadet Certificate.png

I don’t have a comprehensive record of Artur’s service in the Merchant Navy but I do know that he obtained a Certificate of Competency as Second Mate on 11 May 1927.

Arthur F Lord - 2nd Mate Certificate.png

On one of his stays back in the UK Arthur married Hazel Walkem sometime in the March quarter of 1934 in Woolwich, London. Later that year their only child, David, was born on 28 December, also in Woolwich.

When the 1939 Register was taken in September that year Hazel and David are living at Lee Mount, Shoreditch Road, Taunton, Somerset. Arthur doesn’t appear in the register – he was presumably away at sea.

Moving forward seven years to 1946 we find Arthur working as a Chief Officer aboard Screw Steamer Rembrandt – a ship built by Lithgows Ltd in Glasgow, Scotland. The Rembrandt was launched as a cargo ship on 30 August 1940, its first owner was the Bolton Steam Shipping Co. Ltd in London.

201608302116290.2. Capetan-antonis ex Rembrandt 1940-8-30

Screw Steamer Rembrandt

Now this is where my story about Arthur Frederick Lord reaches its conclusion. According to the Deaths at Sea Register Arthur disappeared on 19 November 1946 sometime between 11.30am and 4.00pm. He was presumed to have fallen overboard. The latitude and longitude co-ordinates given in the register – Latitude 36º 26´N : Longitude 18º 19´E – put the ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea – somewhere between Greece and Malta and North of Lybia.

Arthur F Lord - Death at Sea (1).png

Arthur F Lord - Death at Sea (2).png

Arthur F Lord - Death at Sea (3).png

Arthur F Lord - Map.png

In his will Arthur left effects totalling £1241 11s 3d to Albert Leslie Binns, chartered accountant. This was his brother-in-law, husband of his sister Florence May.

Arthur F Lord - Probate.png