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

Sunday 7 April 2024

Family Grave - William, Amelia and Amy Shave

All Saint's Cemetery,
Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK.

"Sacred to the Memory of

William Shave Born Sept 26th 1821 - Died Oct 15th 1910
In Humble Thankfulness to God for a Happy Life.

And of
Amelia Ann Shave
his wife
Who Entered into Rest August 7th 1925,
Aged 91 Years
Thanking Our Heavenly Father for All His Love
Safe In the Arms of Jesus

Amy Ann Lucy Shave
Died Nov 2nd 1955
Aged 76 Years."

William Shave was born in 1821 in Holborn Middlesex, London to William Shave Snr a Printer, and Ann.

William Jr can be found on the 1841 census living in the home of Benjamin Barrett, a Printer at 30 John Street, Christchurch, Surrey, along with his father William, and younger brother Edwin. William Jr's occupation is listed as a Printer's Apprentice.

William next appears on the 1861 Census boarding at the house of William Savage, a Bookeeper at 11 Hunter Street, Bloomsbury, London. William is listed as being a Printer Presser.

Hunter Street, Bloomsbury, London.

By 1871 William had moved to the home of Samuel and Sophia Sutton at 45 Sidmouth Street, Marylebone, London, where his occupation is now listed as Printer and Stationer, Master in Partnership.

On 13th April 1874 at St Peters Church, Regent Square, London, William married Amelia Ann Beddoes in St Pancras, London.  

St Peter's Church,
Regent Square,

Amelia Ann Beddoes was born in 1834 in Surrey, England to parents John Beddoes, a Leather Dresser, and Amelia Ann Nash.  in 1841 young Amelia can be found living with her parents and younger siblings at her grandfather John Beddoes house in Webb Street, Bermondsey, London.

1851 finds Amelia as a Domestic Servant in the house of Solicitor George Johnson at 3 Heathcote Street, St Pancras, London. Amelia is still in the home and employ of Mr Johnson on the 1861 and 1871 Census returns.

By 1881 William and Amelia have moved to 3 Lloyd Street, Clerkenwell, London, where William is listed as being a Retired Printer and Stationer. Living with them is their one-year-old daughter Amy Ann Lucy, and Elizabeth Margaret Whitby a Domestic Servant.

William and his family have moved to 6 Craufurd Rise, Maidenhead Berkshire by 1891, along with their Domestic Servant Elizabeth Margaret Whitby. 1901 finds the family and Elizabeth Whitby at 18 Craufurd Rise. On the night of the Census staying with the family is Bertha Humphreys, a Monthly Sick Nurse.

On 15th October 1910, William was to pass away in Maidenhead Berkshire. On 19th October 1910 the following appeared in the Births, Marriages, and Deaths, column of the Maidenhead Advertiser:

"Shave - On October 15th, at 18 Craufurd-rise, Maidenhead, William Shave, late of Serle-street, Lincoln's Inn, aged 89. No flowers, by special request." - Maidenhead Advertiser, 19th October 1910.

The recently widowed Amelia can be found on the 1911 Census still living at 18 Craufurd Rise along with her daughter Amy and their loyal Domestic Servant Elizabeth Whitby.  Amelia followed her husband to their grave on 7th August 1925.

On Wednesday 12th August 1925 th following appeared in the Births, Marriages, and Deaths, column of the Maidenhead Advertiser:

"Shave - On August 7th at 18 Craufurd-rise, Amelia Ann, wife of the late William Shave, aged 91 years. Internment to-day (Wednesday) at 3.0 p.m., at the Cemtery. No flowers, by own request." - Maidenhead Advertiser, Wednesday 12th August 1925.

Amy is still living at 18 Craufurd Rise in 1939, along with her Domestic Servant Ada E Ching. Amy continued to live at 18 Craufurd rise until she joined her parents on 2nd November 1955.  Her Obituary in the Maidenhead Advertiser reads as follows:

"Miss Shave

After a short illness, Miss Amy Ann Lucy Shave died at Maidenhead Hospital on Wednesday evening last week. She was 76. Miss Shave, who was the only daughter of the late Mr. And Mrs. W. Shave, lived at 18 Craufurd Rise all her life.

She was one of the original members of the St, Mary's Parochial Church Council which was formed in 1922, and she was a regular member of the church congregation. Until the war began she tan a Bible class for young men, and up to the time of her death she held a women's meeting at Brock Lane Hall every Thursday afternoon.

Besides her monthly job of delivering church magazines for over 50 years, Miss Shave was the local secretary of the Bible Churchman Missionary Society. 

The funeral service was held at St Mary's Church on Monday, followed by internment at Maidenhead Cemetery. Yesterday (Thursday) a memorial service was heed at St Mary's."  - Maidenhead Advertiser, November 11th 1955. 

Sunday 31 March 2024

Jesus Hospital - Thomas, Amelia and Edward Prince

Monument to Thomas Prince, Amelia Prince and Edward Prince, All Saints Churchyard, Boyne Hill, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.
"In Loving Memory Of
Thomas Prince
Who departed this life Feby 20th 1907
Aged 81 Years
Amelia Prince
Wife of the above who died Feby 5th 1912
Aged 88 years
-They Rest From Their Labours-
And Of
Edward Prince."
Thomas Prince was born in 1823 in Winterbourne, Berkshire to Thomas Prince, a Farm Labourer, and his wife Letitia Head.
Thomas first appears on the 1841 Census as a Labourer working on Charles Roby's farm in the village of East Hendred in Berkshire.

East Hendred, Wantage, Berkshire.

I am unable to locate Thomas in the 1851 Census, however, on 30th April 1854 in Wantage, Berkshire, Thomas married Amelia Cullimore.
Amelia Cullimore was born in 1831 in Peasemore, Berkshire to Thomas Cullimore, a farm labourer and his wife Amelia.
Amelia first appears on the 1841 Census aged 10, living with her parents and younger siblings in the village of Peasemore.  However, in 1851 Amelia can be found lodging in the home of James and Hannah Brewer in Peasemore.

Peasemore Village, Newbury,

Thomas and Amiela had two children prior to their marriage in 1855, William born in 1851, and Elizabeth born in 1852. Later in 1855 they welcomed a son they named Edward George, and Henry followed in 1858.

On the 1861 Census the family had moved next door to Thomas's parents in Winterbourne, Berkshire.  Thomas is listed as being and Agricultural Labourer. 
In 1871 Thomas and his family were still living near his farther Thomas Snr in Winterbourne. Letita doesn't appear to be living with the 75-year-old Thomas Snr, sharing his home are his daughter Sarah Gaddes and her 2-year-old son Charles Hill. Thomas Jr, now a Coachman, and Amelia had welcomed three further children, Mary Jane born in 1864, John born in 1866, and Charles born in 1869. Sadly, Elizabeth was to pass away in 1877 aged just 25.
William has left the family to work as a Journeyman Baker, for William Hughes at 102 Northbrook Street, Newbury Berkshire.

In 1879 Henry Prince marries Eunice Wallis Head in Newbury, Berkshire.

By 1881 Thomas and his family have moved to Tittle Row, Altwood Road, Maidenhead, where Thomas is listed as being a Domestic Servant Coachman. Edward now aged 24 is listed as a Builder's Labourer, and John aged just 16, a Gardener.  Henry is now living at Englemere Farm in Sunninghill, Berkshire, with his wife Eunice and their baby daughter Rose Lousie.  Henry is listed as being a Farm Servant. Mary Jane is working as a housemaid at Heywood Lodge, White Waltham, Berkshire.

In 1887, Edward married Annie Maria Holloway in Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

1891 finds Thomas and Ameila now living at 1 Flint Cottages, Boyn Hill, Maidenhead. Thomas has become a Gardener. Living with the family after the breakdown of his marriage is their son Henry, also a Gardener. Eunice has moved to Harmondsworth, Staines, along with the couple's children, Rose, Walter born in 1882, and little Eunice born in 1884. Eunice has listed herself as a widow, which was perhaps wishful thinking on her part. Henry on the other hand has listed himself as merely single.

Edward and his young family, Annie his wife and baby daughter Ethel May Maria, have moved to Boyn Hill, Maidenhead, where Edward is listed as a Farm Labourer.

Boyn Hill, Maidenhead, Berkshire

By 1901 Edward and Annie had moved to 5 St Mark's Road, Maidenhead, where Edward is now listed as a Builder's Labourer. Two further children have joined the family, Rose Emily born in 1895, and Albert Edward William. Boarding with the family is Edward Godfrey, a House Painter and Decorator.

Just six years before his passing, Thomas and Ameila can be found as inmates of the Jesus Hospital (Almshouses), Bray, Berkshire in 1901. Henry has since married Emily Jane Holmes and has moved to 109 Edgehill Street, Reading, Berkshire, with his new family.

Jesus Hospital, Bray, Berkshire, UK

Amelia is still a resident of the Jesus Hospital in Bray in 1911 aged 88, just before her passing in 1912. Edward can be found lodging in the home of John and Emma Gomme, Farm Cottages, Bray, Berkshire where Edward is now a Jobbing Gardener. Annie has moved with her children, Rose, Albert, Lillian born 1901, Jessica born, 1902, Cecil born 1905 and interestingly the lodger Edward Godfrey, to 66 Mount Street, Reading, Berkshire.

Edward was to pass away in Maidenhead in 1938 at the age of 84. Annie remained in Mount Street, Reading, until her death in 1967.

Sunday 24 March 2024

"No Greater Honour and No More Worthy" - James and Eleanor Burnham

All Saint's Cemetery,
Maidenhead, Berkshire UK


"In Loving Memory of James Burham Died 1914 and of his wife Eleanor Burham Died 1929 and of their grandaughter Veronica Stenberg Born 1929 Died 1993 a dear wife to Rudy Stenberg Born 1930 Died 2018."

James Burnham was born in 1852 in Maidenhead, Berkshire to parents William Burnham, a Printer and Stationer, and Matilda Brown. James was an active member in the Maidenhead community, a keen rower and a member of the Maidenhead Rowing Club, he also served as a volunteer fireman for the Maidenhead Fire Brigade, rising to the rank of Chief Officer before his death.

James first appears on the 1861 Census living in Maidenhead High Street with his parents and his four brothers, William, Joseph, Tom, and Frank. In 1867 their mother Matilda Burnham passed away aged 50. William was remarried in Maidenhead in 1868 to Jane Fenner.

Maidenhead High Street

1871 finds the family still living in Maidenhead High Street.  James's occupation is listed as a General Printer working for his father along with his elder brother Joseph, and younger brother Frank.

The 1881 Census shows James, now a Compositor living at 93 High Street Maidenhead with his father, stepmother and their Domestic Servant Lousia Madewell. Visiting the family is Jane's sister Elizabeth Fenner. 

Eleanor Burham was born Eleanor Eliza Davy in Maidenhead, Berkshire in 1854 to parents Ephraim Davy, a School Master, Town Clerk, and Clerk of the Board of Health for Maidenhead, and Frances Back.

Eleanor can be found on the 1861 Census living with her parents, siblings, and twin brother William Frances in Maidenhead High Street. 1871 finds the family have moved to Market Street in Maidenhead. By 1881 the family had moved to 1 York Villas. James Burnham married Eleanor Eliza Davy at Maidenhead in 1881.

Derelict York Villas since demolished. c2015 

1891 James and Eleanor had moved to 4 Grays Villa, The Crescent, Marlow Road Maidenhead. James is now listed as a Stationer.  Living with the family are their children, William James born in 1884, and Albert Victor born in 1888. Also living with the family are Eleanor's sister Louisa Harriet Davey, and brother Walter Milton Davey.

Marlow Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

1911 James and Eleanor have moved to 3 Craufurd Rise, Marlow Road, Maidenhead. Living with then is their son William James, now 27 years old, an assistant in his father's business.

James passed away in 1914 aged 63, Eleanor was to follow him in 1929 aged 76.

James was a well loved and respected member of the Maidenhead Community. The Maidenhead Advertiser reported on his funeral as follows:

"Funeral of Late Mr. James Burnham. Imposing and Impressive scenes.

No greater honour and no more worthy and appropriate tribute of respect for one who during his life had rendered most valuable service for the good of the community among who he lived, could have been accorded by that by the townspeople on Thursday afternoon at the funeral of late Mr. James Burham, who on the 27th July passed away at his residence, Hope Villa, Marlow-road, Maidenhead, after a long illness. Generally, there seemed to be a desire on the part of the inhabitants to publicly express their regret at the loss of a good fellow-citizen, and to pay their last respect to one who had been so highly esteemed, and who won the affection of all with whom he came into contact. Thousands of people of all classes were present in the streets and at the Cemetery, and the funeral was a profoundly impressive spectacle. The members of the Maidenhead Fire Brigade laid their late Chief Officer to rest with all honour due to a fireman, and, moreover the deceased, who had served with distinction in the Maidenhead Company of the Berkshire Volunteers, and who ranked as an hon, lieutenant of the Maidenhead companies of the Berkshire National Reserves, was accorded the privilege of a military burial."


 Further on in the article the Maidenhead Advertiser reported on the military salute at the graveside of Mr. Burnham:

"The ceremony had not yet concluded; the military rites had yet to be observed. The firing party fired three volleys over the grave and then the buglers of the Coldstream Band sounded the 'Last Pos.' And so with the greatest honour that could be accorded to a citizen-soldier, the mortal remains of one of Maidenhead's prominent townsmen was laid to rest."

Sunday 17 March 2024

And I Will Give You Rest - John and Mary Ann Thomas - Fairground Proprietors


All Saint's Cemetery,
Maidenhead, Berkshire,

"Come unto to me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, And I will give you rest.
In loving memory of John Thomas who passed peacefully away Nov 2nd 1914 aged 53 years.

Farewell dear wife my life is past.
I loved you well while it did last.
Mourn not for me, nor sorrow take.
But love my children for my sake.

A loving husband, a father dear.
A faithful friend when he was here.
He lived in hope and died in peace.
We hope his joys will never cease.

Mary Ann Thomas, wife of John Thomas, passed peacefully away July 17th 1935 aged 77.

Rest in Peace."

John Thomas was born in Walworth, Surrey in 1861 to parents Evan John Thomas, a Travelling Hawker from London, and Sarah Ann. On 23rd of August 1880 at Holy Trinity Church, Newington, Surrey, John Thomas married Mary Ann Smith.

Mary Ann Smith was born in Blackwater Hampshire in 1858 to parents William Smith, a Travelling Hawker and later a Steam Circus (Fairground) Proprietor, and Mary Ann.

In 1881 the newlyweds John and Mary Ann can be found living with Mary Ann's parents on Chertsey Road, Windlesham, Surrey, in three fairground carts. Both John and Mary Ann's occupation is listed as Games Assistant.

Types of Living Waggons

1891 finds both the Smith and Thomas families living in a collection of caravans on the Bath Road in the village of Colnbrook, Buckinghamshire. Living with John and Mary Ann are their children, Mary Ann born in 1881, Lavinia born in 1882, Sarah born in 1885, John (Jonto) born in 1887, and Lousia born in 1889.  Two further children were to join the family, Albert in 1891 and Willaim Lewis in 1892.

No trace of the family can be found on the 1901 Census, which is not unusual for travelling or fairground families. However, in 1904 Mary Ann was summoned to court in Windsor for noise nuisance at Windsor Fair. The Slough, Eton, and Windsor Observer reports as follows:

"Mary Ann Thomas, William Hastings, Samuel Jones, Richard M. Warrick; and William Biddell were summoned at Windsor under a new bye-law for causing to be made by an organ a loud and continuous noise to the annoyance of residents and passengers.

Detective officer McLain said: I went to the fair being held opposite the 'Duke of York' past Mr. Garlick's, in consequence of information received. On approaching I heard a great noise. There were a number of shows and roundabouts. There were organs to the shows and roundabouts, and the motive power was steam. The first show was in charge of Mrs. Thomas, and she was taking the money. I asked her who was the owner, and she said her husband was, and they lived at Church-street, Woking. There were cymbols [sic] attached to the organ and a whistle." Slough, Eton, and Windsor Observer, November 5 1904.

It was decided in court that the by-law could not be enforced on the vacant land the fair took place on and the case was dropped.

John and Mary reappear on the 1911 Census living in caravans at Fair Field, Guildford Street, Chertsey, Surrey. John is listed as being a Fair and Roundabout Proprietor and Mary Ann as an Assistant to the Business. Living nearby in another caravan is their son William Lewis Thomas, his wife Lillian, and their one-year-old son William. It is possible John and Mary Ann, and their son were in Guildford Street for the annual Black Cherry Fair, held in Chertsey.

Guildford Street, Chertsey, Surrey

Colourised Photograph of the Black Cherry Fair,
Chertsey, Surrey.

John was to pass away in Reading, Berkshire, on 2nd November 1914 aged just 53. Mary Ann passed away in Reading, Berkshire, aged 77 in 1935.

Sunday 10 March 2024

Left Me for a Little While - Jane Hughes


All Saint's Cemetery
Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK

All Saint's Cemetery
Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK

"In Ever Loving Memory of my dear wife Jane Hughes who left me for a little while on Febry 18th 1903 aged 66."

Jane Hughes was born Jane Green in 1837 in Dorchester, Oxfordshire, England. In 1859 Jane married Samuel John Hughes in Stepney, London.

The first record found on Jane and Samuel is the 1871 Census where Samuel is the Master and Jane is the Matron of the West Ham Union Workhouse. Samuel and Jane are still Master and Marton of the Union Workhouse in 1881, living with them are their daughter Caroline born in 1863, and their son Frank born in 1873. In 1891 their daughter Kate, a High School Mistress born in 1864 has joined her parents in living at the Workhouse.

By the 1901 Census both Samuel and Jane have retired to College Avenue in Maidenhead, Berkshire. Jane was to pass away on 18th February 1903. After that Samuel seems to disappear from the records.

Sunday 3 March 2024

Grandmother and Granddaughter - Eliza King and Helena Margaret Kempton

All Saint's Cemetery
Maidenhead Berkshire

"Eliza King. Born September 19th 1828 ~ Died April 9th 1915. Helena Maragret Kempton. Born January 19th 1890 ~ Died February 28th 1962."

Eliza King was born Eliza Taplin in Thame, Oxfordshire, England on 19th January 1828. In 1859 Eliza married Thomas Beckensale King, an Outfitter of clothing, in Eton, Berkshire, England.

The newly married couple can be found on the 1861 Census living at 24 Gold Street, Northampton, Northamptonshire, England, along with their 8-month-old son Thomas Taplin King, their servant Annie Hillyard, and Thomas's Assistant Outfitter, Thomas Sands.

Gold Street, Northampton,

Eliza and Thomas's daughter Helena Eliza King was born in 1864 in Maidenhead, Berkshire. On the 1871 Census she is listed as Eleaner E King, aged 7, a visitor at the home of Charles Denison, a Shorthand Clerk living at 5 Park Terrace, Islington, London.

By 1871 the family had moved to Harcourt Villa, Broadway, Maidenhead, England, where the family had expanded to include, William born in 1863, Frank born in 1867, and Herbert Sidney born in 1868.

On the 1881 Census, Helena can be found living with her mother, elder brother Thomas Taplin, and younger brother Herbert Sidney at Harcourt Villa, Broadway, Maidenhead, Berkshire. Thomas Sr, now listed as a Commercial Traveller, can be found at Blossoms Hotel, 10 Foregate Street, Cheshire, 

Blossoms Hotel, Foregate Street, Cheshire.

Helena married William Kempton, a Grocer's Assistant in Maidenhead in 1887. Their son Lionel Francis Kempton was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire in 1889, and their daughter Helena Margaret Kempton followed on 19th January 1890.  The young family can be found on the 1891 Census living at 51-53 High Street, Maidenhead.

High Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

1891 sees Thomas King, now without an occupation, and Eliza now a running a registry office for domestic servants, living at 5 Elm Terrace Broadway, with their servant, Fanny Matthews.  Thomas Beckensale King passed away in Maidenhead, Berkshire in 1898 aged 67.

The recently widowed Eliza can be found living at 44 Broadway, Maidenhead on the 1901 Census, along with her 12-year-old grandson Lionel. Living at 42 Broadway were Helena Eliza Kempton, an assistant in her mother's domestic servant registry business, Helena Margaret aged 11, Nora born in 1892, and William Herbert born in 1894.  By 1901 William Kempton Snr was a patient at Berkshire District Lunatic Asylum (Fair Mile Hospital) in the village of Cholsey. William was to pass away at Fair Mile Hospital on 25th February 1930.

Ward at Fair Mile Lunatic Asylum c1920s

By 1911 Helen Eliza Kempton had moved in with her mother at 44 Broadway, Maidenhead, Berkshire, along with her daughter Helena Margaret then aged 21, and her son William Herbert then aged 17.  On the 9th of April 1915, Eliza King was to pass away, leaving 44 Broadway to her daughter and granddaughter.

The 1939 Register shows both Helena Eliza and her daughter Helena Margaret still living and working from 44 Broadway. Lodging with them is Hylda Fox, a Confectionary Shop Manager, and her young son Cyril E Smallbone. 

Helena Eliza was to lose her daughter Helena Margaret on 28th February 1962 aged 72.  She was laid to rest with her grandmother at All Saint's Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

Helena Eliza was to be reunited with William when she passed away on 1st September 1962 aged 97, they are buried together a short distance from Eliza King and Helena Margaret Kempton.

Sunday 25 February 2024

First Australian Infantry Force - Private Norman Edwin Sheldon

All Saint's Cemetery
Maidenhead, Berkshire

All Saint's Cemetery
Maidenhead, Berkshire


"A. I. F Australia 8022 Pte N. E. Sheldon, 16th Btn, Born Feb 2nd 1897, Died March 31st 1918. And of his brother, Harold Percival Sheldon Born May 5th 1887, Died Jan 5th 1972. Also of Maude beloved wife of Harold born Sept 6th 1888 (death obscured)."

Pte. Norman Edwin

Norman Edwin Sheldon was born on 2nd February 1897 in Gloucestershire, England to parents John Henry Sheldon, a Farmer, and Hettie Elizabeth. Norman can be found on the 1901 Census, aged 4, living with his parents and elder sister May at The Laurels, Rangeworthy Road, Gloucestershire. At that time Harold does not appear to be living with his family.

Harold Percival Sheldon was born on 5th May 1887 in Fredericktown, Canada and can be found living with his parents in his birth town aged 4 on the 1891 Census of Canada

On the 1911 Census Norman can be found as a pupil at Townsend Academy, a private boys' school in Harptree, Somerset. His elder brother Harold, now a Bank Clerk, has since moved to England and is listed as a visitor at his cousin Percy Henry Sheldon's house at 25 Wheelwright Road, Gravely Hill, Erdington, Warwickshire. 

At some point before 1917 Norman and his parents emigrated to Cookernup, a small town in the south of Western Australia, where he worked as a Farmer. On the 8th May 1917, Norman enlisted at Bunbury city in Western Australia, and from there on 5th June 1917 he was sent to the 28th Battalion 21st Reinforcements then on to Machine Gun School on 25th June 1917. On the 18th October 1917, Norman was moved to the 16th Battalion, 27th Reinforcements. On the 31st January 1918 Norman arrived in England to the 13th Training Battalion at Codford Wiltshire, where unfortunately on the 14th March he was taken ill with Measles and Scabies and was admitted to the 3rd New Zealand General Hospital, Codford, a military hospital on the western rim of Salisbury Plain.

Ward at the 3rd New Zealand General Hospital,
Codford, Wiltshire. A postcard from 1917.

Later, on 26th March Norman was transferred to the Sailsbury Isolation Hospital, this time for Scarlet Fever, where he finally succumbed to the disease on 31st March 1918 aged just 21 years. Norman was then buried at All Saint's (Maidenhead) Cemetery in Section A Grave 5Y. 

~ ~ ~

In 1916 Harold married Alice Maude Plainstowe in Maidenhead, Berkshire. Alice was born on 6th September 1888 in Wycombe March, Buckinghamshire, to parents John Henry Plaistowe and Edith Mary Ball. In on 10th February1919 Harold and Maude welcome their only child, son Norman John Plaistowe Sheldon, who can be found on the 1939 England and Wales Register as a student at Leicester University, residing at Queen's Hall, student accommodation at the time. Norman passed away on 30th September 1991 at Westminster, Greater London.  Unfortunately, the only record I can find of his wife Hilary Mary is her death on 13th May 2016

Harold and his wife Maude can be found on the 1939 England and Wales Register living at Westmount, 40 Belmont Park Avenue, Maidenhead, Berkshire. Harold occupation listed as a Bank Manager and Maude as Unpaid Domestic Duties. Living with them at Westmount is Maude's mother Edith and 16-year-old Mabel Gammon, their domestic servant.  Harold passed away at Maidenhead on 5th January 1972 aged 84 years. He was followed by his wife Maude in 1973.


Thursday 7 May 2015

Muriel Thompson - The Sinking of the Lusitania

All Saints Cemetery
Maidenhead Berkshire

"Also of Muriel, dearly-loved youngest daughter of the above (Nathan Curtis Thompson).  Drowned by the sinking of The Lusitania.  May 7th 1915.  - Is All Well With The Child? - It Is Well."

Muriel was born in Maidenhead Berkshire in 1884, the youngest daughter of Nathan Curtis Thompson, a master grocer and his wife, Charlotte Disney.

In her teenage years Muriel attended Wallasey Grange Boarding School for Girls in Westgate-on-Sea in Kent, living at Eyrie House in Roxburgh Road.  By the 1911 Census Muriel had returned to the family home in Fifeld, near Holyport, Maidenhead Berkshire.

In the winter of 1913 Muriel travelled to Miami, Florida to spend time with friends where she remained for eighteen months before booking her return journey on the C Deck of the Lusitania.  It was on the 1st May 1915 at New York, Pier 54 that she alighted the Lusitania for the journey home to England. On 22nd April 1915 the Germany Embassy had issued a warning to all those who intended to travel on the Lusitania.

NOTICE! Travellers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and her allies; that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or any of her allies, are liable to destruction in those waters and that travellers sailing in the war zone on the ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk.
Imperial German Embassy”

Lusitania pictured in 1907

On Friday May 7th 1915, The Lusitania passed in front of the German U-boat U'20 eight miles off the coast of Kinsale, Ireland. She was torpedoed and sank in just 18 minutes at 2:30pm. Of the 1,959 passengers and crew aboard only 761 survived. Muriel was among those missing after the tragedy.  Her loss was reported both in England and America.

On Wednesday 12th May 1915 The Palm Beach Post reported:

"Miss Thompson Lost Life In Sinking Of Lusitania

Name Is Not Included In Published List Of Survivors - Spent Winter With Friends Here.

Miss Muriel Thompson, who was returning home to England on the Lusitania after a winter spent in Miami with friends here, was among those lost when the great vessel sank beneath the waves off Kingsdale [sic] last Friday afternoon, shattered by German torpedoes.  Published lists of those saved have not contained her name, while lists in New York papers give her name among those who drowned.

Miss Thompson made many friends here during the winter which she spent at the home of Mrs. J. B. Patterson at 234 Thirteenth Street."

It seems the confusion over those named on the lists gave Muriel's family false hope.  On Saturday 15th May 1915 the Reading Mercury reported:

"Miss Muriel Thompson Missing.

Among the missing victims of the Lusitania is Miss Muriel Thompson, youngest daughter of Mrs. N. C. Thompson of Firfield, [sic] Bray, near Maidenhead, and sister of Messers. P. and S. Thompson.  Miss Thompson had been in America about eighteen months, and was on her way home in the ill-fated vessel.  Members of the family have visited Ireland, but have failed to find any trace of Miss Thompson and they fear that she went down with the vessel and was drowned."

Of the 1,198 people killed during the sinking of the Lusitania, only 289 bodies were ever recovered.  Muriel was not one of them.  Eventually Mrs Thompson was to give up the search for her daughter.  On Saturday 29th May 1915 the Reading Mercury carried the following announcement:

"Deaths -

Thompson - On the 7th inst., by the sinking of the Lusitania, Muriel, dearly loved youngest daughter of the late Mr. N. C. Thompson and Mrs. N. C Thompson Firfield, [sic] Holyport, Berkshire."

Friday 18 July 2014

Flashback Friday - Emma, Edward and Edward Simmonds - Mother, Father and Son

Monument to Emma Simmonds, Edward Simmonds and Edward Simmonds, Bray Parish Cemetery, Holyport Berkshire.

"In Loving Memory Of
Emma Simmonds
Died Feb 17th 1917. 
Also of Edward
husband of the above
Died Dec 20th 1920. 
Also of Edward
son of the above
Died Jan 22nd 1917."

Emma Simmonds was born Emma Johnson in 1846 in Bray Berkshire to Frederick Johnson, a labourer and his wife Charlotte.

On the 1861 Census, Emma is listed aged fourteen living with her parents and siblings at Oakley Green.  Living a few houses away was Edward Simmonds and his family.

Edward Simmonds was born in 1849 in Bray Berkshire to William Simmonds, a wheelwright and his wife Caroline Allen.  Edward and Emma married in Cardiff in 1875.  They can be found on the 1881 Census living at 20 Topaz Street, Cardiff Wales with their three young daughters, Louisa aged four, Charlotte aged two and five month old Elizabeth.  At that time Edward was working as a carpenter, but he was soon to follow in his father's footsteps.

In 1891 Edward and Emma have moved back to Fifield in Berkshire and Edward is working as a wheelwright.  The family has expanded to include eight year old Caroline, six year old Albert, four year old George and two year old Edward.

In 1901 the family are still living in Fifield, but Emma is now listed as Louisa E.  Albert is now a domestic gardener and George is an apprentice wheelwright.  Living next door is Emma's spinster sister Sarah Johnson.

By 1911 Edward has followed his brother Albert into the gardening business, yet he is still living at home in Fifield with Edward and Emma.

After the outbreak of World War I, Edward Jr enlisted with the Devonshire Regiment.  Sadly he was to die as a result of service, either through injury or illness on 22nd January 1917 in Eton Buckinghamshire.  He is buried in a Commonwealth War Grave at St Peter's Churchyard in Burnham Buckinghamshire I picture of Edwards gravestone can be found here.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - William John and Mary Ann Hamaton - West End Farm and the White Hart Maidenhead

Monument to William John Hamaton and Mary Ann Hamaton, St Michael's Churchyard, Bray, Berkshire, England.

"To The Memory Of
William John Hamaton
Died Novr 13th 1862
Aged 70 Years
Fear God And Keep His Commandments:
For This Is The Whole Duty Of Man.
Also Mary Ann
Reclict of the above
Departed this life March 7th 1876
Aged 82 Years."
William John Hamaton was born on 29th February 1792 to William Hamaton and his wife Elizabeth Dobbs.  William was christened on 30th March 1792 at St Michael's Church in Bray, Berkshire.  At the same church on 1st May 1817 William married Margaret Randall. 
I am unable to find any further information on William and Margaret.  However, some time before 1850 William marries Mary Ann Dancer and started up West End Farm in Warfield, Berkshire.
On the 1851 Census both William and Mary Ann appear living at West End Farm in Warfield were William is listed as farming 80 acres and employing 4 labourers.
On 21st July 1856 William took over the licence for the White Hart Public House, High Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire, where they can be found on the 1861 Census.  A year later William was to pass away.
On the 1871 Census the widowed Mary Ann has moved to Flackwell Heath, Wycombe to live with her sisters Rosanna and Ann.  Five years later Mary Ann was to join her husband in his grave.
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Sunday 13 July 2014

Cemetery Sunday - Weep Not My Husband Dear I Pray

St Michael's Churchyard
Bray, Berkshire, England
To The Memory Of
Harriet wife of
Mr. Wm Chapman
Who Died Dec 19th 1841
Aged 30 Years.
Also their infant child
Aged 5 months
Weep Not my Husband dear I Pray,
It was Jesus called us both away.
With my sweet babe upon my breast
I now enjoy perpetual rest."

Friday 11 July 2014

Flashback Friday - Mary and Richard Gorton of Chuffs Farm Holyport

Monument to Mary Sarah Gorton and Richard Gorton of Chuffs Farm, Bray Parish Cemetery, Holyport Berkshire.

"Sacred To The Memory Of
Mary Sarah
beloved wife of Richard Gorton
(of Chuffs Farm Holyport)
Who died August 10th 1904
Aged 76 years.


Richard Gorton
Who died July 29th 1915
Aged 85 years."

Mary Sarah Gorton was born Mary Sarah Snook in 1830 in West Knoyle, Wiltshire to William Snook, a farmer, and his wife Jane Ovens.

Mary lived on her parents farm until her marriage to Richard Gorton, a farmer and baker in 1853 in Highworth Wiltshire.

Richard was born in 1831 in Highworth Wiltshire to Charles Gorton, a baker, and his wife Jane Yeats.

Richard, Mary and their family of twelve children moved around Wiltshire farming until the late 1890s when they moved to Holyport in Berkshire to run Chuffs Farm and Diary.  The 1901 Census shows Richard and Mary living at Chuffs Farms with their daughter Mary.  However Mary Sarah was to pass away three years later.

The 1911 Census shows widowed Richard living with his spinster daughter Mary at 8 Broadway, Maidenhead, Berkshire.  Richard was to pass away in 1915.

Their daughter Mary was to pass away in 1929, 14 years after the death of her father.  Unfortunately I have been able to trace her place of burial.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Julia Anne Hornblower Cock MD

Monument to Julia Anne Hornblower Cock MD, Longden Cemetery, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England.

"In Beloved Memory Of
Julia Anne Hornblower Cock MD
Born 22 Feb 1860
The Lord Giveth And The Lord Hath Taken Away
Died 7th Feb 1914
And was interred at Rookwood
Are They Glad Because They are At Rest."
A friend of mind photographed the above monument whilst visiting a local cemetery and asked whether I would be interested in researching the life of Julia Anne Hornblower Cock.
Julia Anne Hornblower Cock was born on 22nd February 1860 to James Cock, a tanner, and his wife Ellen Lloyd.  Julia was christened on 19th March 1860 at St Mary's Church, Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
Copyright David Dixon.
Julia first appears on the 1861 Census, aged one year and living with her parents and elder siblings at The Baths in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
By 1871 the family had moved to Beauchamp House on The Mount in Shrewsbury.
In 1877 Julia decided to embark on her career in the medical profession which at the time was a male dominated profession.  Julia was one of a few pioneering women who were determined to open up the profession to women.
The 1881 Census finds the twenty one year old Julia a medical student at Bedford college for girls in London.  At the time Julia is boarding at the home of Eliza A Townsend, head of the college, at 79 Gower Street, Finsbury, London. 
The 1891 Census finds the now qualified surgical physician Julia living at 15 Manchester Square in Marylebone, London along with her general servant Mary Jones.  Another lady physician, Jessie Crossfield is living a few houses away at 23 Manchester Square.  It is possible the Julia and Jessie attended the same college.
Between 1887 and 1892 Julia worked as a member of the in-patient and out-patient staff at a hospital for women.  In 1896 Julia took up the position of joint lecturer at the London (Royal Free Hospital) School of Medicine for Women.
By 1901 Julia had moved to 15 Nottingham Place, Marylebone, London  where she lived along with her two servants Mary Walton and Clara Barnard.  In 1903 Julia became the Dean of the London (Royal Free Hospital) School of Medicine for Women.
By 1911 Julia had moved to Sussex where she is listed as joint head of the household with another lady doctor, Louisa Woodcock at Colesbrook, Watersfield, Pulborough, Sussex.
Julia never married and passed away after suffering from a long illness three years later in 1914 six months before England declared war with Germany.
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Sunday 22 June 2014

Cemetery Sunday - A Blasting Wind

"Fresh as the grass our bodies stand,
And flourish bright and gay.
A blasting wind sweeps o'er the earth,
And fades the grass away."



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