Cemeteries and graveyards, full of love, betrayal, tragic deaths, murder and suicide. What will you find?...

Friday, 31 January 2014

Flashback Friday - War Grave - Frederick and Charles Stevens - Brothers in Arms

**Originally posted 12th December 2012**

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them".
Frederick James Stevens and Charles Stevens were born in Maidenhead, Berkshire in 1895 and 1893 to Charles W Stevens, a labourer in a sewage works and later Cooper's Brick Kilns, Pinkney's Green, and his wife Elizabeth Susan Cole.
In 1901 Frederick aged 5 and Charles aged 7 are living with their parents and sister Lily at No 5 Dolman's Buildings, King Street in Maidenhead Berkshire.
1911 and Frederick, now 15 and a caddy at a local golf course, is still living with his parents at No 5 Dolman's Buildings.  Charles, now a private in The Royal Berkshire Regiment, however can be found at Fort Burgoyne, The Red Huts, Military Quarters At Castle Hill And Broadlees in Dover.
Sometime afterwards Frederick joined his brother in 1st Battalion of The Royal Berkshire Regiment.

It seems that their father didn't take to their joining the war effort too well.  On 3rd October 1914, The Slough, Eton and Windsor Observer reported -

"Maidenhead.  Attempted Suicide

Worried about His Son At The Front.

Lying face downwards with a razor in his right hand and three gashes in his neck, a man named Charles Stevens was discovered in a semi-conscious condition on the common at Pinkney's Green.  For reasons which at present are unknown he had attempt to take his life, but the wounds were not sufficiently severe to serve his purpose, and he is now at the Maidenhead Cottage Hospital making rapid progress towards recovery.  When he is in a fit condition he will be brought before the magistrates to answer for his foolish action.   The man is 44 years of age and is in lodgings at Pinkney's Green.  He is employed at Cooper's Brick Kiln.  It is thought that among other things he has been worrying about his son at the front."
Unfortunately I have been unable to locate any military records for either Frederick or Charles.

Frederick was wounded in battle and sent to The General Hospital in Nottingham.  From his hospital ward Frederick penned a letter home.  The Reading Mercury reported on 9th January 1915 -

"Maidenhead Man Wounded - The following is an extract from a letter sent by Private F. Stevens of the 1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment (son of Mr. C. Stevens, 5, Dolman's-buildings, Maidenhead) who was badly wounded at the front,  and is now in the General Hospital at Nottingham: 'My upper jaw has been broken and my left eye is useless.  I have been in this hospital since November 22, and I am progressing as well as can be expected.  The hospital authorities cared for us very well this Christmas and I enjoyed myself very well under the circumstances.  The people od Nottingham are very good indeed to all the wounded here.'
Sadly Private Frederick was to die as a result of his wounds on January 12th 1915, aged just 21 years.
Charles rose to the rank of Lance Sergeant before he too was killed as a result of enemy action on 29th November 1917, aged just 25 years.  Charles in buried in the Moeuvers Communal Cemetery in France.  The Reading Mercury carried a notice of Charles's death on 22nd December 1917 -

"Acting Lance-Sergt Charles Stevens of the Royal Berks Regiment, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stevens of 5, Dolman's Buildings, King Street, Maidenhead, was killed on November 29th.  He had distinguished himself for bravery in the field in the earlier part of the war, and was the possessor both of the D.C.M. and the Military Medal."
Charles Stevens Sr died around the same time as Charles Jr in the last quarter of 1917.  Perhaps it was the death of his two sons that led him to his grave.  How heartbreaking for Elizabeth to lose two sons to war and then her husband not long afterwards.  Elizabeth finally joined her husband and sons in 1929 when she passed away aged 84.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Hawker Family - Bakers of Maidenhead

Monument to Ruth Hawker, Albert Hawker and Mary Ann Hawker, All Saint's Maidenhead Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.
"In Loving Memory of Ruth Hawker wife of John Hawker died Nov 4th 1865 aged 47 - Interred in Wesleyan Churchyard -
Albert Hawker fourth son of Ruth and John Hawker died July 8th 1892 aged 42.
Mary Ann Hawker second wife of John Hawker died May 26th 1896 aged 83"
Ruth Hawker was born Ruth Hester in Ascot, Berkshire in 1818 to Giles Hester, a wheelwright, and his wife Susannah Redrup.  In 1838 Ruth married John Hawker, a baker from Boyn Hill, Maidenhead.  In 1839 they celebrated the birth of their first child, a son, John Giles Hawker.
In 1841 the young family can be found living in Boyn Hill Maidenhead.  However by the 1851 Census Ruth and family had moved to Maidenhead High Street.  The family had since welcomed the births of Fanny, Mary Ann, William and baby Albert.  Living with the family at the time was seventeen year old George Smith, a baker's apprentice.
In 1861 the family was still living in Maidenhead High Street, Young John Giles, Albert and Frederick had joined the family bakery business and Fanny contributed to the household as a milliner (hat maker).  William has since become an apprentice draper in the household of Julius Neve.  Young Louisa, Frederick and baby Robert had joined the family. 
Sadly in 1862 Fanny passes away.
In 1863 Ebenezer, the last child of John and Ruth Hawker was born.  Sadly two after her youngest son's birth, Ruth passed away.  Later that same year, 1865, Mary Ann Hawker married George Jay, a master baker from Streatham, Surrey.
In 1869 John married his second wife, Mary Ann Brant, a dressmaker, in Eton, Berkshire.
Mary Ann Brant was born in Cookham Berkshire in 1812 to Thomas Brant and his wife Mary.
By 1871 John and his second wife Mary had moved to King Street along with Albert, Louisa, Frederick and Ebenezer.  Just three years later in 1874, later, Louisa married Henry Carter, a draper from Suffolk.  In 1875 they celebrated the birth of their first child, a son Archibald, followed by a daughter Ruth in 1878.  John Giles had since left the family home to become a missionary in East India.
1881 the family has moved again to 3 Lansdowne Villas, Norfolk Road, Maidenhead.  John is now listed as a retired baker, young Ebenezer is now an architect.  Living with John and Mary Ann is Louisa, her husband Henry and their two young children.  Frederick has followed his elder brother John in becoming a missionary in East India.
Twenty nine year old Albert is a pauper patient at Berks County Moulsford Lunatic Asylum, listed as a lunatic, where he remained until his death in 1892
John and Mary Ann had moved again by 1891, into Holly Cottage on Norfolk Road. 
Mary Ann passed away in 1896, John was to pass away three years later in 1899.
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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Cemetery Sunday - Cobweb Angel

Spider webs on angel monument at All Saint's Maidenhead Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

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Friday, 24 January 2014

Flashback Friday - War Grave - Pilot Offcier Gerard Hamilton Maffett

**Originally posted 5th December 2012**

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them".

Gerard Hamilton Maffett was born 11th June 1916 in Murree, India to Lieutenant-Colonel Reginald Ernest Maffett and his wife Gwendoline Mary de Rutzen.

Gerard was educated at Imperial Service College in Windsor, Berkshire.  In 1934 he finished his education and took a job with the Daily Mail in London.  Four years later Gerard enlisted with the Royal air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) as a U/T Pilot.  He started out flying Tiger Moths from White Waltham airfield near Maidenhead, Berkshire.  On 22nd June 1940 Gerard converted from Tiger Moths to Hurricane aircraft and joined 257 Squadron at Northolt on 7th July 1940.

Gerard flew on his first operation on 18th August 1940 where he is credited for destroying a Dornier Do17 aircraft and damaging a Heinkel He111.

On 31st August 1940, nine Hurricanes took off from Martlesham Heath at 8:25am ordered to patrol Debden at 15,000 feet.  The Squadron climbed towards Debden, but encountered two large formations of Junkers Ju88 aircraft at 14,000 feet with several formations of Messerschmitt Bf110s at 16,000 feet.  Unable to catch up with the Junkers Ju88s the squadron pursued the Messerschmitt formations.  At least six Messerschmitt Bf110s were destroyed, however the squadron suffered the loss of two Hurricanes.  One of those was Gerard's P3175, which crashed into the foreshore at Stone Point, Walton-on-the-Naxe, Essex at around 8:50am.  Gerard was able to bail out of his stricken aircraft but his parachute failed to open due to the low altitude.  Gerard was killed on impact.

Gerard's elder brother John Francis Maffett, Wing commander with the RAF was also killed in action on 12th February 1942.  He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Egham, Surrey.

Reginald Ernest Maffett passed away in 1949 and Gwendoline Mary in 1975 aged 100 years.

Between 1972 and 1973 the remains of Gerard's crashed Hurricane, including the instrument panel and windscreen, together with an almost complete engine and the remains of the three wooden propeller blades were recovered.  They're now displayed in The Battle of Britain Museum in Hendon, London.

They gave their tomorrows for our todays.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Taphophile Tragics - Charles Quibell Rogers

Monument to Charles Quibell Rogers, All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.
"In Memory Of Charles Q. Rogers died March 9th 1950 aged 73"
Charles Quibell Rogers was born in 1876 in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, to Charles Rogers, a pork pie maker, and his wife Mary Quibell, a provisions dealer.
Charles first appears on the 1881 Census, aged five years, living with his parents, elder sisters Elizabeth and Sarah, twin sister Emma Rachel, and younger sister Edith, in Sage Cross Street in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
In 1891, fifteen year old Charles, now a pie maker, is boarding in the home of Arthur Barrett, a confectioner and baker at 109 Charmwood Street, St Margaret's, Leicestershire.  Charles's twin sister Emma is working as a general domestic servant in the home of Charlotte Rose at 65 Princess Street, Leicester, Leicestershire.
In 1898, Charles married Emma Holmes, the widow of Frederick Holmes, in Shardlow, Derbyshire, taking on Emma's two children from her previous marriage, Frank and Florence Holmes.
A year later in 1899, Charles's twin sister Emma Rachel married John Wayness Cheyne, a plumber and gas fitter, in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
Charles's new family can be found on the 1901 Census, living at 12 Oakleys Road, Long Eaton, Derbyshire, where Charles's occupation is now listed as a bread maker.
Emma Rachel and her husband John Wayness can be found living at 68 Granstead Road,  Colchester, Essex.
By 1911 Charles and his family had moved to 57 Oakleys Road in Long Eaton, Derbyshire.  Charles is now working as a confectioner fro the Co-operative.  Frank and Florence are working in the lace making and mending industry.
I am unable to locate Emma Rachel and her family on 1911 Census.
Charles Quibell Rogers was to pass away on 9th March 1950 in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  His twin sister Emma Rachel Cheyne died aged eighty five years old in Chelmsford, Essex on 28th July 1961.
I wonder what brought Charles to Maidenhead and why he lies alone in All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery.
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Sunday, 19 January 2014

Cemetery Sunday Blog Hop - All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery

All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

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Friday, 17 January 2014

Flashback Friday - War Grave - James Henry Golding

**Originally posted 28th November 2012**

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them".
James Henry Golding was born in London in 1876 to John Golding and Mary Eacott, a mangle and needlework woman.  Sometime between James's birth and 1881 Mary was widowed.

In 1881 James Henry is living with his mother Mary, elder brother John and uncle Caleb Eacott at 7 Portland Place, West Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire
In 1891 census James is an errand boy, living with his mother at 6 West Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire.  I am unable to locate him on the 1901 census, but in 1906 James married Elizabeth Maynard in Eton.  In 1908 they had a daughter Amy Ethel.  By 1911 James was a postman working and living in Maidenhead Berkshire.
James Henry enlisted with the 3rd Royal Berkshire Regiment on 16th January 1914  However a problem that had plagued James since he was 27 years old was to cut his service short when he was discharged as no longer being fit for service on 13th July 1915.  His Amy Pension Record states,
"Reason for discharge: Chronic suppurative disease of the middle ear.
He appears to be dull and stupid.  Probably on account of defective hearing which is only ½ of normal.  There is no discharge from the ears at present, but the ear specialist reports that there is a dry perforation with much destruction of membrane in both ears & that no improvement is likely.
Not fault of nor aggravated by service
Discharged as permanently unfit."
However in 1918 it seems that there was a change of mind as his record states,
"The Pension Appeal Tribunal decided on 22nd Nov 1918 that this man’s unfitness was aggravated by military service is consequence of the present war."
James continued to work at Maidenhead Post Office until this death on 5th Jaunary 1919

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Taphophile Tragics - Robert and Ledger Julia Smith of Portsea, Hampshire

Monument to Roger Smith and Ledger Julia Smith, St Peter's Churchyard, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England.

"In Memoriam.  Of your charity, pray for the souls of Robert Smith who died March 23 1884 aged 79 years and of his wife Ledger Julia who died June 2 1888 aged 84 years.  The oldest members of this congregation.  The first received into the Church after the establishment of the Mission in 1845. - Jesu, Mary, Joseph Mercy - R. I. P."

Robert Smith, a hair dresser, was born in Portsea, Hampshire in 1806 to Robert Smith and his wife Margaret.  Robert was Christened on 9th July 1806 at St Mary's church in Portsea.

On 6th October 1823 in the same church, Robert married Ledger Julia Hayes.

Ledger Julia Hayes was also born in Portsea, Hampshire around 1804 to Lawrence Hayes and his wife Elizabeth.

The couple celebrated the birth of their first child, a son Robert Hayes, in 1826, followed by a daughter Julia in 1828.  A second son, Henry Hayes was born in 1831, followed by a third son, Rueben in 1833.  Stephen was born in 1836 and Lawrence John followed in 1838.  Finally just before the 1941 Census, baby Rosa was born.

Robert and Ledger appear on the 1841 Census living in Spittal Street in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.  Sadly just two years after the Census was taken, little Rosa Smith passed away.  But joy came to the family again in 1844 when little Georgina was born.

By 1851, Robert and Ledger, along with their younger children Stephen and Georgina, had moved to Exmouth Street in Finsbury, London.  Robert Hayes Smith and his younger brother Lawrence John, both hair dressers had remained at Spittal Street in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.  Reuben, a shop boy is lodging in the home of Thomas Daniel in Cass Street, St George in the east, Stepney, London.  I have been unable to trace Julia or her younger brother Henry.  I believe Henry may have passes away between 1848 and 1850, but I cannot find anything conclusive.

By 1861, Robert, Ledger and their youngest daughter, Georgina had moved to St Peter's Street in Finsbury, London.  Stephen had left the family home and married his wife, Jane Savel in Bethnal Green in 1857.  They celebrated the birth of their daughter, Georgina in 1861.  On the Census they can be found running the Lord Raglen Arms in Tranmere, Cheshire.

By 1871 Robert and Ledger had moved to 10 Stanhope Street, St Pancras, London, where Robert now aged sixty five is still working as a hair dresser.  Georgina has left the family to work as a school mistress at 16 Whitehall Street, Birmingham.

In 1881, now both in their mid seventies and retired, Robert and Ledger have returned to Marlow, living in Cambridge Place.  Sadly just three years after the Census was taken, in 1884, Robert passed away.  His wife Ledger Julia followed him to the grave just four years later in 1888.

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

Blog Hop - Cemetery Sunday - Resting

'Resting', All saints Maidenhead Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

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Friday, 10 January 2014

Flashback Friday - War Grave - Driver William John Thomas Hall

**Originally posted 21st November 2012**

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them".

William John Thomas Hall was born in 1873 in Kilburn, London, to William Thomas Hall, a fly proprietor, and his wife Ruth Shepard

A fly proprietor or flyman was a man who drove a one horse, light two wheeled carriage (a Fly).  Much like today's mini cabs.  Being a Fly Proprietor, William would have owned several Flys and employed people to drive them.

William first appears on the 1881 Census, aged seven, living with his parents and younger siblings at 28 Red Lion Yard, Watford, Hertfordshire.  at that time his father's occupation is listed as a hatter.

By the 1891 Census, William snr has changed his occupations to fly proprietor and his son William has joined in the family business, which is now in Hastings, Sussex.

In 1896 William married Annie Elizabeth Saunders in Hastings Sussex. In 1897 they celebrated the birth of their first child, a daughter, Elise.  In 1900 twins Ivy and Dorothy were born.

In 1901 the young family can be found living at 134 London Road, Hastings, Sussex.  Living at 132 is William's parents and younger siblings and at 138 is William's brother Henry and his young family.  All are working the in the coaching industry.

In 1905 William and his wife Annie celebrated the birth of another daughter, Winifred.

By 1911 the family has moved to 31 Tower Road, St Leonards by the Sea, Hastings, Sussex

William served as a Driver for the Royal Engineers until his death on 11th November 1917, a year before the war was to end.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Taphophile Tragics - Together In Sweet Slumber - Richard John Smith and Mary Ranger

Monuments to Richard John Smith and Mary Ranger, St Peter's Churchyard, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England.

"Richard John son of Humphrey Hugh Smith R.N.  Born 1st August died 20th 1897."

Little Richard John Smith was the first child born to Humphrey Hugh Smith, a Vice Admiral in the Royal Navy and author of A Yellow Admiral Remembers and An Admiral never forgets, and his wife Blanche Scott Murrey on 1st August 1897 in Kensington, London.  Vice Admiral Humphrey and Blanche went on to have two surviving children from their marriage.

Vice Admiral Humphrey remarried after his first wife's death to Jean Ellis Hugh Mackintosh.  He served in the Royal Navy throughout World War One and sadly died on 26th September 1940 when the merchant steam vessel he was aboard, the S.S. Manchester Brigade, was sunk by U-Boat U-137 just off the coast of Malin Head, Ireland.  Of the 60 aboard, only 4 survived the sinking.


"In Loving Memory of Mary Ranger of Woodburn who departed this life on the 24th day of Sepr 1887 aged 14 years."

Mary Ranger was the third child born to Alfred Ranger, an engine fitter, and his wife Martha, in 1876 in Stantonbury, Buckinghamshire.

Mary first appears on the 1881 Census, aged seven years, living with her parents and siblings at 46 Buckingham Street, Wolverton Station, Buckinghamshire.  Sadly young Mary was to pass away six years later aged just fourteen.

Little Richard and young Mary now lie side by side in a small but pretty churchyard in the village of Marlow.

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Sunday, 5 January 2014

Cemetery Sunday - St Peter's Church, Marlow, Buckinghamshire

Spooky Carved Stone Face, St Peter's Church, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England.
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Friday, 3 January 2014

Flashback Friday - War Grave - Private Lawrence Cyril Winstone

**Originally posted 14th November 2012**

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them".
Lawrence Cyril Winstone was born in 1900 in Maidenhead, Berkshire to Frederick Thomas Winstone, a general labourer, and his wife Alice Mary Burton.

In 1901 Lawrence appears on the Census aged just six months old, living with his parents and elder siblings at 68 Reform Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

By 1911 the yen year old school boy Lawrence was living at 52 Waldeck Terrace, Reform Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire.
In 1918 Lawrence enlisted with the Royal Warickshire Regiment, 5th Battalion.  Sadly only 3 months into service Lawrence was wounded.  Lawrence was then sent to 16 Northumberland Voluntary Auxiliary Hospital (Later Ashington General Infirmary), where he succumbed to his injuries on 11th October 1918, just one month before the Great War ended.
Ashington Hospital

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