Author: mike

Wedding Wednesday – Morris Hargreaves and Sheila Turner

Sheila Turner is my 2nd cousin 1x removed. Her parents are James Turner and Grace Matilda Waite. Our common ancestors are Thomas Turner and Mary Jane Carradice – my 2x great grandparents.

Sheila was born on 26 January 1939 and in the 1939 Register, taken at the outbreak of WW2, she is living with her parents at 26 Turner Street, Clitheroe, Lancashire.

Sheila married Morris Hargreaves at St. James’s Church, Clitheroe and the wedding was announced in the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times on 6 December 1957 (image from

Morris Hargreaves & Sheila Turner - CAT 6 December 1957 (1).pngMorris Hargreaves & Sheila Turner - CAT 6 December 1957 (2).png


The wedding took place at St. James’s Church, Clitheroe, last week of Miss Sheila Turner, younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Turner, of 26 Turner Street, Clitheroe, and Mr Morris Hargreaves, younger son of Mrs. and the late Mr. Hargreaves, of 2 Milneshaw Terrace, Grindleton.
Given away by her father, the bride wore a two-piece of coral pink brocade with white accessories, and carried a bouquet of white carnations.
Two friends of the bride, Miss Maureen Winterbottom and Mrs. Ann Carpanini were in attendance.
Miss Winterbottom wore a pale pink two piece with white accessories and Mrs. Carpanini wore a grey two piece with pink accessories. They both carried white prayer books.
Mr. Cecil Hargreaves, the bridegroom’s brother, was best man, the bride’s brother-in-law, Mr. Peter Walker, being the groomsman.
During the ceremony, performed by the Rev. J S Parry, the hymns “Lead us Heavenly Father” and “The Lord is My Shepherd” were sung. Mr. G Hitchen was at the organ.
Following a reception at the Starkie Arms Hotel, Clitheroe, the newly married couple left for a honeymoon in Blackpool, the bride travelling in a royal blue mohair coat with pink accessories.
Among the wedding gifts were a clock and linen from Clitheroe Shirtings, Ltd., Grindleton, where both the bride and bridegroom are employed.
Mr. and Mrs. Hargreaves will reside in Grindleton.

Sunday’s Obituary – Michael John Covington Gooch(1921-1945)

Michael John Covington Gooch is my wife’s 5th cousin 1x removed. His parents are John George Gooch and Beatrice Mabel Covington. Their common ancestors are David Gostelow and Mary Dawson – my wife’s 5x great grandparents.

Michael was born on 6 December 1921 in Bedford, Bedfordshire.

In 1941 Michael joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. His military service number was 132302.

Michael was killed in an aircraft accident on his 24 birthday – 6 December 1945. The following obituary is from the Bedfordshire Times and Independent of Friday 14 December 1945 (image from

Michael J C Gooch - Bedfordshire Times & IndependentAN OLD BEDFORDIAN’S FATAL CRASH

Killed on Twenty-Fourth Birthday

An aircraft accident off the Island of Sylt on Thursday of last week, his twenty-fourth birthday, cost the life of Flight-Lieut. Michael John Covington Gooch, R.A.F.V.R., B.A.F.O., the only son of Mrs. B.M. Gooch, of 13 Pemberley Avenue, Bedford, and the rest of his crew. It is understood that he was piloting his usual Mosquito aircraft while bombing at a low level over the sea, and was seen to crash about a mile away from the island.

An Old Bedfordian, Flight-Lieut. Gooch was at the School from 1933 until 1939, when he joined the staff of the Igranic Electric Company as a pupil engineer. In April 1941 he volunteered for duty with the Royal Air Force, receiving part of his training in Alabama, U.S.A., where he was made a Corporal in the United States Army Air Corps. After a further period of service in Canada, he retuned to this country and completed his training at Cranwell, gaining his wings and a commission. He later gained certificates as a navigator and instructor.
His navigator, Flight-Lieut. M. Holmes, and he were never separated on their tours of operational duty, which lasted until VE Day, and were both killed together.
Flight-Lieut. Gooch was a keen amateur photographer, and took pictures while operating with Coastal Command, many of which were published in the Press and on the screen.
On an armament course at the time of his death, he was one of the first pilots to fire rocket projectiles from an aircraft.

Wedding Wednesday – Philip Trevor Hanson and Patience Joy Preston

Patience Joy Preston is my wife’s 3rd cousin. Her parents are George Eric Preston and Madge Robinson. The link between my wife and Patience is from Martha Espley – my wife’s 2x great grandmother.

Patience was born on 23 June 1925 in Basford, Nottingham.

Two days before her 24th birthday Patience married Philip Trevor Hanson on 21 June 1949 at St. Andrew’s Church, Nottingham. The wedding was announced in the Nottingham Evening Post on the same day (image from

Philip Trevor Hanson & Patience Joy Preston - Nottingham Evening Post 21 June 1949.png

Nottingham Bride

A director of Hanson’s, Ltd., and Hardy’s Kimberley Brewery, Ltd., Mr Philip Trevor Hanson, was married at St Andrew’s Church, Nottingham, today to Miss Patience Joy Preston, daughter of Mr and Mrs Eric Preston, of 22 Alexander Street, Nottingham.
The bridegroom is the son of the late Mr Harry Hanson and of Mrs Hanson, who now lives at 1 Drake Road, Seacroft, Skegness.
The Rev. R Deaville officiated, and the bride, who was given away by her father, wore ivory Chantilly lace over ivory taffeta. Her veil of silk net was held in place by a coronet of ivory lace and wheat ears, and she wore a single string of pearls and a pearl girdle. Her bouquet was of white orchids and stephanotis.
She was attended by her cousins, the Misses Patricia and Jane Robinson, and the bridegroom’s nieces, Angela and Cherry Hanson. They wore ivory silk net over ivory taffeta, with headdresses of pink cornflowers and daisies, and carried bouquets of pink cornflowers.
The best man was the bridegroom’s brother, Mr Desmond Hanson.
The bride served two years with the W.R.N.S. and is a member of Magdala Lawn Tennis Club and Wollaton Park Golf Club, while the bridegroom is vice-captain of Rushcliffe Golf Club.

Sunday’s Obituary – Joseph Gostelow (1858-1894)

Joseph Gostelow is my wife’s 3rd cousin 3x removed. His parents are Joseph Gostelow and Eliza White. Their common ancestors are David Gostelow and Mary Dawson – my wife’s 5x great grandparents.

Joseph was born in Spalding, Lincolnshire sometime in the 4th quarter of 1858. He was baptised at the Spalding church of St Mary & St Nicolas on 19 December 1858.

By the time of the 1881 census Joseph was following in the footsteps of his father and his occupation is given as “Master Mariner”.

On 6 Mar 1884 Joseph married Alice Mary Toynton at St Mary & St Nicolas church. Over the next 11 years they had seven sons:-
Joseph William
Frederick William

Joseph died on 22 December 1894, at the age of 36, when his boat was lost in the North Sea. The following newspaper report is from the Boston Guardian of 12 January 1895 (image from

Joseph Gostelow - Boston Guardian 12 Jan 1895

All hope has been abandoned of the safety of the schooner Mary Jane, Capt. Joseph Gostelow, which left Shields for Fosdyke Bridge on December 21st last with coal for the Spalding Gas Company, and has not been heard of since. She had a crew of four, all Spalding men, all of whom are stated to be single with the exception of the captain, who leaves a widow and four children. Capt. Gostelow was a member of the Boston Shipwreck Society.

None of the sons became mariners.

Wedding Wednesday – Fred Britliff and Beatrice Halgarth

Fred Britliff is my wife’s 2nd cousin 2x removed. His parents are George Britliff and Jane Kinsley. The common link between my wife and Fred is from John Britliff and Sarah Rack – my wife’s 3x great grandparents.

Fred was born on 7 April 1872 in Bottesford, Lincolnshire. He was the first of at least eleven children born to George and Jane.

On 10 August 1898 Fred married Beatrice Halgarth at St. Magdalene’s Church, Fleet, Lincolnshire. The Lincolnshire Free Press published details of the wedding on 16 August 1898 (image from

Fred Britliff and Beatrice Halgarth - Lincolnshire Free Press 16 August 1898.png

MARRIAGE OF MR F BRITLIFF – The marriage of Mr F Britliff, police constable, with Miss Beatrice Halgarth, eldest daughter of Mr Wm. Halgarth, Bull Hotel, Fleet, was solemnised at St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Fleet, on Wednesday last. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a dress of French grey, trimmed with white moire and chiffon, a white chip hat, trimmed with ostrich tips and chiffon. She was attended by two bridesmaids, Misses Edith and Maud Halgarth, sisters of the bride. Their dresses were electric blue, trimmed with silk and chiffon, white chip hats, trimmed with moire ribbon and ostrich tips. They carried bouquets of choice flowers, gifts of the bridegroom. Mr Arthur Halgarth acted as best man. The service was conducted by the Rev W H James, assisted by his curate, and the bells rang merrily. The presents were numerous and useful.

Sunday’s Obituary -Josephine Irene Seale (nee Gooch) 1927-2006

Josephine Irene Gooch is my wife’s 5th cousin 1x removed. Their common ancestors are David Gostelow and Mary Dawson – my wife’s 5x great grandparents.
The following obituary is available on the Internet.

000324746_20061216_1Seale, Josephine Irene (nee Gooch), died on December 10, 2006, at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia with her two sons, Martin and David, by her side. Josephine was born on June 14, 1927, in Spalding, Lincolnshire, the youngest daughter of Harry and Irene Gooch. A local beauty, known for her lovely singing voice, Josephine left Spalding to be educated at Bedford and then the Guild Hall School of Music and Drama in London. She then embarked on a theatrical and cinematic career that was punctuated by her marriage to a dashing, young doctor, Guy Screech. Guy was enlisted in the SAS, a Special Forces unit of the British Army, and the couple was soon off to Malaya where Guy fought the communist insurgency, and Josephine worked as a clerk for military intelligence. Malaya was also where Josephine appeared in her last movie, “A Town Like Alice,” sharing the screen with Peter Finch and Virginia McKenna.
As Josephine frequently reminded Martin in later years, her route to cinematic stardom was cut short by his birth in 1956. By then the family was back in England, and planning to immigrate to Canada. After several years in West Vancouver, and the birth of her second son, David, the family headed back to Malaya. After two more glorious years in the tropics, a brief return to Vancouver, and the end of her first marriage, Josephine settled in Victoria with both of her sons.
Shortly after Josephine’s second marriage to Peter Seale, she moved to a magnificent old house at 1926 Crescent Rd in Victoria, and for many years the house became synonymous with Josephine’s hospitality, and, in particular, her magnificent Boxing Day parties. After she and Peter parted ways, Josephine went to work at the Emergency Department of the Jubilee Hospital, and she continued there until close to retirement age. In her spare time, she returned to her first love, the theatre, and appeared in numerous productions at the Langham Court Theatre. She also traveled back to England on an almost annual basis to spend time with family and friends, particularly her beloved friend Maggie.
In the 1970’s Josephine met the man who brought her substantial happiness in the latter half of her life. Harry Housser was a charming lawyer whose generosity of spirit and love of a good party, perfectly complemented Josephine’s glamour and outgoing personality. Although they were wise enough to maintain separate residences during their 20-year relationship, their bond was strong, and Josephine grieved deeply when Harry died in 1995.
Another challenge faced by Josephine was the loss of a substantial portion of her sight in the early 1990’s. Within a very short period of time Josephine went from somebody who could zip around in her Mini Minor (albeit, in a rather hazardous fashion) to somebody who was forced to listen to her books rather than read them. This resulted in a long-standing relationship with the talking books section of the public library (to whom she was grateful to the end), and a change in lifestyle that she absorbed with courage and grace.
In her early days Josephine was an actress by profession; later on it was by inclination. In combination with her natural eccentricity and personal charm, this made her a welcome, if sometimes controversial, addition to any social gathering. She was fond of casually outrageous opinions about affairs of the day delivered with a mock seriousness designed simultaneously to irritate and amuse. She was a strong and unusual personality that people naturally gravitated to. For all of this she was loved by her family and friends, and will be sorely missed.
Josephine is survived by her sons Martin and David Screech, David’s wife Jean and their children.

Sunday’s Obituary – Olive Mary Kitching (nee Atkin)1891-1956

Olive Mary Atkin is my wife’s 4th cousin 2x removed. Her parents are Edwin William Atkin and Ann Gostelow. Their common ancestors are David Gostelow and Mary Dawson – my wife’s 5x great grandparents.

Olive was born on 15 October 1891 in Friskney, Lincolnshire.

On 20 April 1920 Olive married Frank Kitching. They had three daughters over the next five years:-

Joyce Edith
Margaret Olive
Gwendoline May

Frank’s occupation was a “miller and baker”. In the 1939 Register (taken at the outbreak of WW2) the family were living at The Mill, Friskney, Lincolnshire.

All three daughters married between 1947-1951.

By the end of 1956 their lives would be changed by two tragedies.

The following story is from the Skegness Standard of Wednesday 4 July 1956 (image from

HUSBAND’S TRAGIC DISCOVERYSkegness Standard - 4 July 1956



A story of mental ill-health, aggravated by the tragic death of her daughter, was revealed at the inquest on Friday on Mrs. Olive Mary Kitching, aged 64, of the Mill, Friskney, who was found hanging from the foot of a bed at her home on the previous Tuesday night.

A verdict of “Suicide while the balance of her mind was disturbed” was recorded by the Spilsby Deputy Coroner (Mr. J.C. Walter), who heard how the husband, Mr. Frank Kitching, the local miller, returned home at 10.30pm, thinking his wife was in bed, and had his supper and undressed for bed before making the tragic discovery.

Evidence of identification was given by the husband, who said that when he left home at about 6.25pm on Tuesday his wife seemed all right and in her usual state of health. He retuned home at 10.30pm and saw the evening paper on the mat inside the door.
He read the paper whilst having his supper, his wife having apparently gone to bed.
At about 11.15pm he went upstairs to bed and did not bother to switch on the bedroom light, but got undressed first. Just before getting into bed he noticed that his wife was not in bed, so he looked in the other rooms for her.

“Was Very Upset”

Switching on the light in the back bedroom he saw his wife hanging from the foot of the bed by a scarf which was round her neck.
He lifted her up, untied the scarf and laid her on the floor. She was cold and stiff and he realised she was dead. He telephoned for a doctor and also for Mr. Clow, a neighbour.
Mr. Kitching told the Coroner his wife had had a mental illness some fifteen or twenty years ago. She got better but was very upset again last year when they lost a daughter in tragic circumstances.
She seemed to get over that but the previous Thursday she had told him “I believe I have got that depression coming again.”
She seemed to improve, however, and he thought it would be all right to leave her. She had no physical illness and was very active for her age.
She often went to bed early if he was going out and left him to get his own supper and he thought nothing of it when he returned home that night and found she had gone to bed.

Doctor’s Evidence

Dr. Mary Margaret Trayers, of Wrangle, said she was called to the house at 11.40pm and found Mrs. Kitching in the back bedroom, lying on the floor with a pink scarf round her neck. She formed the opinion that she had been dead about five hours.
In her mouth was a small green handkerchief, which she removed with P.C. Welch’s assistance. There was a mark round her neck caused by the body having been hanging from the bedpost.
Replying to the Coroner, Dr. Trayers said deceased’s feet were not on the floor. The body was almost in a stooping position with the knees bent.
The Coroner asked if one would lose consciousness quickly if there was anything round the neck, and the doctor replied “Yes, and the handkerchief would accelerate that.”


She said she had twice attended Mrs. Kitching for depression and sleeplessness. A year ago it was arranged that she should enter a mental hospital as a voluntary patient, but she improved so much that eventually she did not go.
The body bore no marks of violence except that round her neck, and death was due to asphyxiation.
Frank Bentley Clow, produce merchant, of Bentley House, Friskney, said he received a telephone call from Mr. Kitching and ‘phoned the police. He had known Mrs. Kitching for 40 years and she suffered from depression after he daughter’s death. He had never heard her threaten to take her own life.
Another neighbour, Sidney Brant, wheelwright and undertaker, of “Sunniholme.” Friskney, said he had known deceased for fifty years and she had at times suffered from depression and had recently withdrawn from public life.
P.C. Welch said the scarf round Mrs. Kitching’s neck had been knotted to form two loops. She appeared to have dropped back.
Although he searched the house he could find no note.
The Coroner said it was evident that deceased had taken her own life whilst the balance of her mind was disturbed.

So a very said story indeed – bit it left me with an unanswered question. What were the tragic events that lead to the death of Frank and Olive’s daughter?

Further research revealed that their daughter Margaret Olive had married Terence Rogers in 1947. I discovered the following article in the Cheshire Observer of Saturday 28 May 1955 (image from

NO TRACE OF HANDBRIDGE WOMANCheshire Observer - 28 May 1955

Who Has Been Missing Since 10th May

There is still no trace of 32-years-old Mrs. Margaret Olive Rogers, of 19 Eaton Avenue, Handbridge, who has been missing from her home since 7.15am on Tuesday, May 10th.
Mrs. Rogers’s description is as follows: Height, 5ft. 3in.; slim build; pale complexion (looks ill); operation scars on front of throat; fair hair and blue eyes.
She was wearing a light green skirt and blouse, a black cardigan, a grey belted overcoat, nylon stockings, and red, flat-heeled shoes.

I couldn’t find any other newspaper reports about the disappearance.

Sadly I was able to find an entry in the National Probate Calendar which confirms that Margaret Olive was last seen alive on 10 May 1955 and her dead body was found on 31 May 1955 at Cheese Wharf, Sealand Road, Chester.

National Probate Calendar

A very sad story indeed for this Sunday Obituary post.

Wedding Wednesday – Roy Hugh Blackburn and Barbara Walmsley

Roy Hugh Blackburn is my 5th cousin. His parents are Arthur Blackburn and Mary Lizzie Dawson. Our common ancestors are John Dawson and Ann Watson – my 4x great grandparents.

Roy was born in Burnley, Lancashire on 12 July 1931. In the 1939 Register (taken at the outbreak of WW2) Roy was living with his parents at Church Street, Trawden, Lancashire.

On Saturday 29 November 1952 Roy married Barbara Walmsley at Trawden Parish Church. The wedding was announced in the Burnley Express on Wednesday 3 December 1952 (image from

Roy Hugh Blackburn & Barbara Walmsley - Burnley Express 3 December 1952.png

The wedding took place at Trawden Parish Church on Saturday of Mr. Roy Hugh Blackburn, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Blackburn, of 4 Church Street, Trawden, and Miss Barbara Walmsley, of “Windsor House,” 59 Skipton Road, Colne, a stepdaughter of the late Mr. R. Williams. The Vicar of Trawden (Rev. G. H. Richards) officiated. The bride wore a gown of white silk net and lace embroidered with pearls. Her headdress was of white velvet in Tudor style, also stitched with pearls, and she carried a bouquet of lilies of the valley. Her uncle, Mr. W. Helliwell, gave her away. Miss Margaret Hartley was bridesmaid. Mr. John Alfred Fletcher was best man and Messrs. J. Thwaites and N. Storey groomsmen. Organist was Mr. W. Driver. A reception was held at the Crown Hotel, Colne, after which the bridal pair left for their honeymoon at Blackpool. They will reside at “Windsor House,” 59 Skipton Road, Colne.

Tombstone Tuesday – George Isaac Dawson and Constance Mabel Dawson (nee Austin)

This memorial plaque for George Isaac Dawson and Constance Mabel Dawson (nee Austin) is at the Shoalhaven Memorial Gardens and Lawn Cemetery, Worrigee, New South Wales, Australia. I took the photograph on a recent visit there.


George Isaac Dawson is my grand uncle – a brother of my grandfather. He was born on 22 December 1900 in Keighley, West Yorkshire and baptised on 27 January 1901. His parents were James Dawson and Emma Buckley.

At the age of 22 George (or Ike as he was always known to me) emigrated to Australia on board the ship Orsova, sailing from London on 15 September 1923 bound for Fremantle.

Constance Mabel Austin was born in 1907 in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Her parents were Thomas Edward Austin and May Annie Mezelia Boosey.

Within four years of arriving in Australia George married Connie and they went on to have four children. I previously wrote about their wedding here. I also recently discovered another photograph of their wedding day in my collection.


George and Connie eventually settled in the town of Nowra, New South Wales – about 160km south west of Sydney.

When he emigrated to Australia George’s occupation was listed as “Assistant Engineer”. I have learnt from one of my cousins in Australia that George went out there because the company he worked for back in the UK was relocating to Australia.

In later life George took up painting – here he is with a couple of his watercolours.


George passed away on 24 February 1990 and Connie died on 20 June 1993.

Wedding Wednesday – Wilfred Gawthrop and Alice Margaret Hacking

Wilfred Gawthrop is my 2nd cousin 2x removed. His parents are Joseph Gawthrop and Mary Ellen Snowden. Our common ancestors are Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley – my 3x great grandparents.

Wilfred was born on 1 July 1892 in Trawden, Lancashire.

In the 1911 census Wilfred was working as a “shop assistant to butcher”. By the time of the 1939 Register, taken at the outbreak of WW2, Wilfred was a “master butcher”.

On 23 April 1935 Wilfred married Alice Margaret Hacking at St. Michael and All Angels’ Church, Foulridge, Lancashire. Details of the wedding were in the Nelson Leader on 26 April 1935 (image from

Wilfred Gawthrop and Alice Margaret Hacking - Nelson Leader 26 April 1935.png

A Pretty Wedding

On Tuesday last, a very pretty wedding was solemnized at St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Foulridge, by the Vicar (Rev J Gough MA), the contracting parties being Mr Wilfred Gawthrop, eldest son of the late Mr Gawthrop and Mrs Gawthrop, of 85, Keighley Road, Colne, and Miss Alice Margaret Hacking, eldest daughter of the late Mr C L Hacking and Mrs Hacking, of “Micklethorn,” Foulridge. The bride, who was given away by her uncle, Mr Giles Collinge, was most charmingly dressed in an ivory silk ninon gown with a Brussels net veil and wreath of orange blossom, with shoes to tone. She carried a wreath of Madonna lillies. The train bearers were Miss B Gawthrop and Miss E Gawthrop (nieces of the bridegroom). She was attended by her sister Miss F M Hacking, and Mrs T Bannister (Blackpool), matron of honour, cousin of the bride, who were attired in dresses of pastel shades of Brussels net, with hats and shoes to tone, and carried bouquets of tulips. Mr J Pickles (friend of the bridegroom) acted as best man, and Mr T Bannister (Blackpool), cousin of the bride, was groomsman.
The hymn “Gracious spirit, Holy Ghost,” was sung, and Mr C Spencer, officiating at the organ, played Mendelssohn’s Wedding March. Mr A Hargreaves, rang a peal on the bells. A reception was held at the Cross Keys, East Marton.
The happy couple were the recipients of many handsome and useful presents. Mr and Mrs Gawthrop later left for a tour of the South, where the honeymoon is being spent.