Barrow in Furness

Workday Wednesday – George Robert Newman (1881-1977)

Eva Gawthrop is my 3rd cousin 2x removed. Her parents are John Thomas Gawthrop and Annie Elizabeth Salisbury. Our common ancestors are John Gawthrop and Sarah Brown – my 4x great grandparents.

Eva was born on 9 May 1899 in Barrow in Furness, Lancashire.

In the 1939 Register, taken at the outbreak of WW2, Eva was living with her sister May Kirkby and family at Holker Street, Barrow in Furness. Eva was working as an “engine tracer (shipping)”. I had to look up the occupation to find out a bit more. The job involved tracing plans for the navy ships which were drawn up by the draughtsmen then photographed onto blueprints for building them. You had to be very accurate as you weren’t allowed to rub out any mistakes. You had a long period of training and supervision (a three year apprenticeship) and a great deal of practice before being allowed to work unsupervised.

Sometime in the March quarter of 1950 Eva married George Robert Newman in Barrow in Furness.

George Robert was a widower. He was born in 1881 and had married Nellie Key in 1908. They had one son, Leslie born in 1914. Nellie died at the age of 66 on18 January 1949.

So Eva and George Robert were a mature couple when they married. In fact George Robert had a long career as a Police officer in Hull, Yorkshire. At the time of his marriage to Eva her had been retired for almost 17 years. I found the following article in the Hull Daily Mail of Thursday 31 August 1933 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Hull Daily Mail - 31 Aug 1933.png

LEAVING HULL POLICE

Officer Who Served in Every Division

Today Hull bids an official farewell to one of its police chiefs, Superintendent George Robert Newman, who has been in the Force for nearly 29 years, and now retires on pension.
Mr Newman can lay claim to having served in each of the police divisions of the city at least once, and in some twice. Further, he has served under four Chief Constables: Major P. Malcolm, Mr George Morley, the late Captain Woods, and the present Chief Constable, Mr T. E. Howden.
Superintendent Newman joined the force in November, 1904, and after being at Wincolmlee station for about two years he was transferred to the Fire Brigade station. Here he remained for 14 years. In 1921 he was promoted to sergeant and transferred to the Central Division as a section sergeant.
In 1923 he again received promotion, this time to station sergeant, and took up duty at Norfolk Street station until 1925, when he was made an inspector and transferred to Wincolmlee. After a year he was again moved to the Central Station, remaining for two years.

IN CHARGE OF DIVISION
In 1928 he was raised to the rank of Chief Inspector, and was placed in charge of Crowle Street until 1929. He was then moved to Gordon Street, and placed in charge of the division. In the same year Mr Newman was appointed as Superintendent, and remained in charge of West Hull until his retirement.
Actually Superintendent Newman has served for 28 years and 9 months. During the past three years he has undertaken prosecutions for the police twice per week.
He is president of the International Police Association and the Police Temperance Society, while he is also interested in the Temporary Home for young people in Hull.
Mr Newman, who has earned the respect of everyone except lawbreakers, will remain in Hull after his retirement.

George Robert passed away at the age of 96 on 15 November 1977. Eva died 15 months later on 21 February 1979 at the age of 79.

RMS Cumberland – Postcard #19

Here is a very battered , torn and creased postcard which has been in my family for almost 70 years.  The card shows RMS Cumberland at Barrow in Furness

There is no publisher or printer information.

The postcard was sent from Barrow on 13 July 1942 to my grandparents, Mr & Mrs J Dawson, 7 Ellis Street, Brinsworth, Rotherham, Yorkshire.

Unfortunately I have no idea who sent the card. You will see that there are only some initials to indicate who wrote to my grandparents – they could have been friends or relatives, I simply don’t know.

The message says

Dear A & J

Everyone landed here OK and quite happy to be together. Sorry to say it looks like rain but hoping for better weather later as  the tide goes out.

All the best.

C. G. TD & MO

The message is intriguing. And I also wonder whether or not the RMS Cumberland is more important to the story than just appearing on the front of the postcard.

Does the use of the word ‘landed’ suggest that perhaps they travelled to Barrow in Furness on the RMS Cumberland?  Does the phrase ‘quite happy to be together’ suggest that before they arrived in Barrow then they were not together. Does ‘everyone’ mean a larger group of people than just C. G. TD and MO?

I did wonder if ‘they’ had been evacuated from Rotherham – but then I thought Barrow, with its shipyard, was probably not a place people were evacuated to. However this link on Wikipedia – Barrow Blitz – suggests that the last bombs of the blitz fell on Barrow in January 1942 and the last air-raid siren was sounded on 25 March 1942.

Also further research suggests that Rotherham did not loom large on German maps and only suffered two serious raids – both in August 1940. Maybe C. G. TD and MO came from somewhere else.

Anyway, I could go on trying to imagine the story behind the message on the postcard, but I need to just accept it as a piece of family history and leave it there.