Mary Dawson

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 http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

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.

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:-
Harry
Joseph William
Robert
Frederick William
Percy
George
Thompson

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 http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

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.

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 http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

HUSBAND’S TRAGIC DISCOVERYSkegness Standard - 4 July 1956

THOUGHT WIFE WAS IN BED: HE FOUND HER DEAD

FRISKNEY INQUEST VERDICT

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.”

Sleeplessness

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 http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

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.

Tuesday’s Tip – Probate Records

Tuesday’s Tip is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

What advice would you give to another genealogist or family historian, especially someone just starting out? Remember when you were new to genealogy? Wasn’t it great to find tips and tricks that worked for others?

Albert Edward Dawson is my 4th cousin 1x removed. His mother was Mary Dawson. Our common ancestors are John Dawson and Ann Watson, my 4x great grandparents.

As far as I can establish there was nothing significant or exceptional about Albert’s life. He was born on 12 January 1906 in Barrowford, Lancashire. In the 1911 census Albert is living at 42 Gordon Street, Colne, Lancashire, with his mother Mary, his widowed grandmother Ann Dawson (nee Hargreaves) and his uncle James (Mary’s brother).

I have a marriage for Albert sometime in the June quarter of 1931 in Burnley, Lancashire, to Doris Ainsworth.

In the 1939 Register Albert and Doris are living at 3 Park Hill, Barrowford, Lancashire. They are both described as a “cotton weaver.”

I haven’t been able to find a death record for Doris. It is possible that she remarried at some point. But I can’t find a matching record for a marriage either – so she remains a mystery for now.

However I have found a death for Albert Edward Dawson in Staincliffe, West Yorkshire, in the December quarter of 1972.

Straightforward on the face of it. However, my tip is to always check the probate records to see if there is a will. This can sometimes be very useful – you might find information about other relatives who are beneficiaries of the will; you might find that your relative died in a particular hospital or at home; you might find details of their last address; you should find some information about the value of the estate; and you might find other interesting information.

Which is precisely what happened in the case of Albert Edward Dawson. Below is the entry from the England & Wales National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) from www.ancestry.co.uk

albert-edward-dawson-probate

You will see that I now have the last known address of Albert at the time of his death – 1 Park Lane Cottages, Cowling, Keighley. Also that he was last known to be alive on 23 October 1972 and his dead body was found on 30 October 1972.

I don’t know the circumstances of his death or where his body was found.

There doesn’t appear to be anything in the newspaper archives at www.findmypast.co.uk. I have been to the library at Skipton to search their newspaper archives because some of the local papers are not included in the Find My Past records.

So far I haven’t been able to find any report of Albert going missing or of his dead body being found in suspicious circumstances or otherwise.

However I only know that there is something unusual about his death because of the information available from the probate records. So remember that the probate records can be a valuable genealogy resource.

Military Monday – William Dawson (1880-1939)

William Dawson is my great grandfather’s cousin. Our common ancestors are my 4x great grandparents John Dawson and Ann Watson.  He was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire on 9 October 1880 to parents Matthew Dawson and Ann Brigg.

William married Lucilla Whitaker on 29 February 1912. They had two children

• Matthew – born 19 September 1912

• Mary – born 9 March 1914

On 28 May 1918 William enlisted in Halifax at the age of 37 years 213 days. He was assigned to the 6th West Riding Regiment. At the time of his enlistment he was working as a ‘warp dresser’. His service number was 52089.

According to his service papers on www.ancestry.co.uk William left for France on 12 October 1918. He returned to England less than six weeks later on 20 November 1918 having received ‘gun shot wounds’ to both his thighs.

William was finally discharged on 6 May 1919 under King’s Regulation 392 (xvi) being no longer physically fit for war service.

The extract below indicates the degree of William’s disablement – and I think it says 38%. There are also some details of his pension and it looks like he was awarded £0.8s.3d per week from 7 May 1919 to be reviewed after 52 weeks. Also an allowance of £0.3s.6d per week for his two children from 26 May 1919.

William died about twenty years later – his death is registered in Q3 of 1939.