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

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Edwin and Elizabeth Rogers - Maidenhead (Furze Platt) Steam Laundry

Memorial to Edwin Rogers, St Luke's Churchyard, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.
"In Loving Memory of Edwin Rogers.  Born December 18 1834.  Died April 16 1890.  A faithful servant of Jesus Christ and His Church.  And for many years a ringer in the belfry of All Saints, Boyn Hill.  This stone was erected by his family and friends.  Be Ye Also Ready.
Also Elizabeth Rogers. Born September 29 1835.  Died January 19 1921."
Edwin Rogers was born on 18th December 1834 in Hughenden, Buckinghamshire to Edward Rogers, a farmer, and his wife Elizabeth Hall.
On the 1841 Census, seven year old Edwin is living at Holmers Farm in Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire with his parents and siblings, Sophia, Eliza, Elizabeth and Hezekiah.  Sadly that same year Edwin's father, Edward, was to pass away.
By the 1851 Census, Edwin was an apprenticed blacksmith to Thomas Fox in Nettlebed, Oxfordshire.
In 1857 Edwin married Elizabeth Exlar in Henley.  In 1859 they celebrated the birth of their first child, a son, Edward.  In 1860 another son was born, Hezekiah.
Elizabeth (Bessy) Exler was born in Nettlebed, Oxfordshire in 1835 to Thomas Exler, a labourer, and his wife Ann Blackall.
In 1841, three year old Elizabeth is living in Nettlebed Common with her parents and siblings, Thomas, William, Moses and Richard.
1851, thirteen year old Elizabeth, listed as Bessy is still living with her parents and siblings in Nettlebed Common, Oxfordshire.

 1861 finds the not long married Edwin and Elizabeth Rogers living in Chaddleworth, Berkshire where Edwin is listed as being a blacksmith and ironmonger employing one man and one boy.  Apprenticed to Edwin at the time was fifteen year old George Barney.
By 1871, Edwin and Elizabeth had moved their family, which had since expanded to include, Eliza born in 1862, Ann born in 1865, Sophia born in 1867 and Martha born in 1870, to live in the High Street in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  Where Edwin worked as an iron monger, employing five men.
In 1879, Edward, now and engineer and engine fitter, married Sarah Ann Savin in London.
In 1881 the Rogers family is living and working at 94 High Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire were Edwin is listed as being a Master ironfounder.  By now the family had expanded to include, Elizabeth born in 1872, Rose born in 1876, Frederick born in 1878 and baby Edith born in 1880.
Edward and his wife Sarah Ann have moved to Battersea in London.
In 1882, Hezekiah Rogers, now and engineer and engine fitter married Maria Scarlett in London.
Sadly in 1883, Eliza Rogers passes away aged just twenty two.
Unfortunately in 1884 at the age of five, poor little Edith was assaulted by a fifteen year old bot by the name of Thomas Saunders, whilst she and her older brother Frederick were playing in Boyn Hill fields.   Edith was not injured in the assault and the case when to court.  The presiding judges decided to treat the case as common assault and ordered Thomas Saunders to complete two months of hard labour.
In 1886 at the age of 52, Edwin embarked on a new business venture when he opened Maidenhead Steam Laundry in what was previously a chicken farm in Furze Platt, Maidenhead, which is still trading today as Clean Linen Services.
Sadly on 16th April 1890 aged fifty six, Edwin passed away, leaving Maidenhead Steam Laundry under the control of his widow, Elizabeth.
The 1891 Census shows the recently widowed Elizabeth living at Maidenhead Stream Laundry along with her children, Elizabeth (listed as Lily E), Frederick and Edith.
Edward and Sarah and their children, Edward born 1882, Lily born 1884, Eva born 1887, Mable born 1890 and baby Frank born in 1891, had returned to Maidenhead and were now living in Furze Platt, not far from the steam laundry.
Hezekiah, his wife and children, Edwin born in 1885and Hezekiah Jr born in 1889.  However just a month after the 1891 Census was taken, Hezekiah Snr passed away.  He left his wife and children the sum of 3$6 after his death.
In 1900, Edith Rogers married Francis George Kearwell, a carpenter, in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  That same year Frederick Rogers married Mary Ann Nicholls.
By 1901 Elizabeth had moved to The Oaks, Courthouse Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, where she is living with her son Frederick and his wife Mary.  Frederick's occupations is listed as laundryman.
In 1911 Elizabeth, still living at The Oaks, Courthouse Road is listed as the caretaker of Maidenhead Laundry.
Sadly Elizabeth was a pass away on 19th January 1921.
Merry Christmas from Beneath Thy Feet
And a very Happy New Year.
Beneath Thy Feet will return after the New Year.

Sunday 22 December 2013

Cemetery Sunday - Buried Beneath The Holly Tree

St Luke's Churchyard, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

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Friday 20 December 2013

Flashback Friday - War Grave - Edward Norkett

**Originally posted 7th 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".
Edward Norkett was born in Maidenhead Berkshire in 1880 to Edward Norkett, an art metal worker and later Mayor of Maidenhead, and his wife Harriet Bissley

In 1881, one year old Edward is living with his parents and maternal aunts Catherine and Mary Ann Bissley in Broadway, Maidenhead.

1891 and Edward now aged eleven is living with his parents and younger siblings, John, Mary Ann and Amy in All Saints Avenue.
On the 1901 census, Edward is listed living with his parents and siblings at 6 All Saints Avenue, Maidenhead Berkshire.  Edward's occupation is listed as a blacksmith.
On 28th July 1904 Edward married Amy Ann Pattisson at St Mary's Le Park Chapel of ease in Battersea London, where Amy was living at the time, in Bolan Street.
Edward Norkett was an active member in St Luke's Church in Maidenhead, playing violin there as a child and later dedicating a wrought iron and gold leaf screen, made by himself, to the church in 1910.
Sometime after the outbreak of World War I, Edward enlisted with the Royal Army Service Corps.  The Royal Army Service Corps were responsible for land, coastal and lake transport; air dispatch; supply of food, water, fuel, and general domestic stores such as clothing, furniture and stationery; administration of barracks; the Army Fire Service; and provision of staff clerks to headquarters units.
Unfortunately I cannot trace Edward's Military Service Records.  He died from sickness on 25th March 1919.  His World War I Medal Card suggests that Amy applied for his Territorial Forces Medal after his death on 3rd May 1920.  The Territorial Force War Medal was a campaign medal awarded to members of the British Territorial Force and Territorial Force Nursing Services who served overseas in World War I; it is the rarest of the five British Great War medals.
Edward and Amy's only child Walter Edward Norkett was to serve with the Royal Army Service Corps during World War II, sadly he died during service sometime between 31st May and 4th June 1940, just two years after the death of his mother.  He is buried in Dunkirk Cemetery in France.
Maybe it was some small mercy that Amy died before Walter after losing her Edward to war service.


Tuesday 17 December 2013

Taphophile Tragics - The Neighbours

Monument to Ann Neighbour, Lucy Neighbour, Joseph Neighbour and Emily Neighbour, St Luke's Churchyard, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

'In Loving Memory Of Ann Neighbour who died March 31st 1886 aged 92 years.  Also Lucy Neighbour who died April 24th 1885 aged 6 months. Also Joseph Neighbour who died July 15th 1885 aged 22 years.  Also Emily Neighbour who died September 19th 1886 aged 4 months.  The Beloved Children of John and Jane Neighbour.'

Ann Neighbour was born in 1795 in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, wife of Joseph Neighbour, an agricultural labourer.

Ann can first be found on the 1841 Census living in Hambledon, Buckinghamshire (now Hampshire) with her husband Joseph, thirteen year old daughter Martha, who is employed as a sack maker, four year old son Joseph and one month old John.

In 1851 Ann and her family are still living in Hambledon where she and her husband Joseph are working as field labourers.  the younger Joseph is making his living as a teacher in a school and young John is attending school himself.  Sadly Ann's husband Joseph passes away in 1855, leaving her destitute with a young son to care for.

On the 1861 Census Ann is listed as an almswoman, a person in receipt of poor aid.  Living with her is her youngest son John, now nineteen and working as an agricultural labourer.  In 1862 John marries Jane Willis.  You can read more about their lives together here.

Ann continued to live with her son and daughter in law, Jane, until her death in 1886.


Joseph was born in Henley in 1863 to John Neighbour, an agricultural labourer, gardener and later publican, and his wife Jane Willis.

He first appears on the 1871 Census aged seven years, living with his parents, younger brothers Walter and Henry and his paternal grandmother Ann in Aldershot, Hampshire.

In 1881 Joseph, aged eighteen, is lodging in the home of Thomas Stedman and his wife Sarah at Gay's House Cottage, Holyport, Berkshire, where Joseph is working as a domestic groom for horses.  Sadly just four years after that Census was taken, Joseph died at the age of twenty two.

The Slough, Eton and Windsor Observer reported on August 1st 1885 -

"Forester's Funeral - The remains of Joseph Neighbour, aged 22, a member of the local Court of Foresters, were interred on Tuesday last in St. Luke's churchyard.  About 24 of the Foresters attended as a last mark of respect to the deceased, in addition to nearly 20 relatives.  The Rev, W. G. Sawyer officiated.  A large number of wreaths were sent by various friends."

Lucy Neighbour was born in the October of 1884 in Maidenhead to John and Jane Neighbour, sadly she passed away in the April of 1885 aged 6 months

Emily Neighbour was born in the May 1886 to John and Jane Neighbour, sadly she passed away in the September of 1886.

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Taphophile Tragics
Tombstone Tuesday

Sunday 15 December 2013

Cemetery Sunday - Alone

A lone small cross gravestone lent against a tree.
St Luke's Churchyard, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

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Friday 13 December 2013

Flashback Friday - War Grave - George James Devonshire

**Originally posted 31st October 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".
George James Devonshire was born in 1891 in Slough Buckinghamshire (now Berkshire) to William Herbert Devonshire, a butcher, and his wife Sarah Ann May.
In 1901 George and his family were living in Middle Green, Langley Marsh, Buckinghamshire.  However in 1911 George can be found working as a cowman on a farm and lodging with Emma Plum a 66 year old widow and her son Fred, in Hurley Village, Berkshire.
On 19th November 1915 George enlisted with the Royal Berkshire Regiment.  Unfortunately I can find no more information on George's time in the Royal Berks.
Sadly George was to pass away the day after World War I came to an end.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Taphophile Tragics - Henry and Elizabeth Hunter - The Reform Public House

Monument to Henry and Elizabeth Hunter, St Luke's Churchyard, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.
"In Loving Memory Of Henry Hunter who died October 11th 1883 added 57 years - Asleep in Jesus - Also Elizabeth Hunter wife of the above who died June 26th 1903 aged 75 years."
Henry Hunter was born in 1827 in North Pickerham, Norfolk to John Hunter, an agricultural labourer, and his wife Elizabeth Simmons.
Henry first appears on the 1841 Census aged fifteen living with his parents and siblings, William, Harriet, Charles and Edward, in North Pickerham, Norfolk.
In 1851 Henry has left the family home to work for the Reverend Henry Say, the Rector of North Pickerham, as a groom.  Working in the same household as a cook was Elizabeth Mason, Henry's future wife.
Elizabeth Mason was born in 1828 in Wiggenhall, St Germans, Norfolk to John Mason, an agricultural labourer, and his wife Mary Ann Smith.
Elizabeth first appears on the 1841 Census aged thirteen years living with her parents and siblings, Mary, Sarah, Martha and George, in Wiggenhall, St Germans, Norfolk.
In the October of 1857, Elizabeth and Henry married.  Their first child, a son John Henry arrived soon after in 1858, followed closely be another son, George in 1860.  A daughter, Susan followed in 1862 and in 1863 a second daughter, Sarah arrived.
In 1861 Henry and his family have moved to Water Oakley Lodge in Bray, Berkshire, where Henry is working as a coachman for Sir Richard Hall-Say, the nephew of the Reverend Henry Say and the builder of Water Oakley Mansion (now called Oakley Court Hotel).  Living with the family at the time is Elizabeth's sister Frances.
1871 and the family is still living at Water Oakley Lodge where Henry is continuing his employment as a coachman for Sir Hall-Say.  Visiting the family at the time was Elizabeth's aunt, Susan Smith.
However in 1879 Henry had decided on a change of career and had become the Inn Keeper at The Reform, 44 Bridge Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire. John Henry had left the family home to work as a 2nd Coachman in London.  George is working as a barman at The Vine Hotel in Reading, Berkshire. I am unable to locate Susan on the 1881 Census. 
Sadly, just two years later, Henry was to pass away on 11th October 1883.
In 1888 Susan Hunter married Thomas Wright, a carpenter and joiner, in Maidenhead, Berkshire.
1891 and the widowed Elizabeth has taken over the running of The Reform public house, along with her son George.
Elizabeth and George are still running The Reform together in 1901, this time employing a live in bar keeper, Ernest Wheeler.  Just two years later in 1903, Elizabeth followed her husband to the grave.
The Slough, Eton and Windsor Observer reported on 4th July 1903 -
"Death Of An Old Resident - We regret to have to record the death of another old Maidenhead resident, Mrs. Elizabeth Hunter, that occurred at her residence, The Reform, Bridge Road on Friday Last.  Mrs. Hunter, who was 75 years of age, had resided at The Reform for over 20 years.  The house was kept by her late husband, Mr. Henry Hunter, from 1879 until his death in October 1883.  since the latter date, Mrs. Hunter has carried on the business with the help of her son, Mr. George Hunter.  The funeral took place on Tuesday at St. Luke's church.  The body was interred in the grave where lie the remains of the deceased's husband.  The mourners included Mr. George Hunter (son), Mrs. Wright (daughter)and Mr. Grinstead; and the following members of the Maidenhead Licensed Victuallers Society were also present:  Mr. J. Meeks (Chairman),  Mr. J. Maio, Mr. J. T. Cotton, Mr. Smith (Green Dragon), and Mr. W. A. Thompson (Secretary).  There were a large number of very handsome wreaths, including one from the Maidenhead Licensed Victuallers." 
George Hunter continued the run The Reform until 1907.

Sunday 8 December 2013

Cemetery Sunday - Snow Angel

Finch Family Grave, All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.
I realise that I have used this picture for Cemetery Sunday before, but unfortunately this week a family member suffered a health scare, so I haven't had a lot of time available for sorting through pictures.
Thank you.

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Friday 6 December 2013

Flashback Friday - War Grave - George Grove

**For the month of November in honour of Armistice Day we will be revisiting the local war graves I have researched.  This post was originally published 24th October 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".
George Grove was born in Bray Berkshire in 1883 to John Grove, a gardener, and Emma Styles.  From 1901 George and his brother Arthur Henry lived with their uncle and aunt George and Mary Hunter.  The break up of the Grove family was caused by the death of Emma in 1900.  John Grove spent the years leading up to his own death lodging in various public and common lodging houses.

Sometime after the outbreak of war George enlisted with the Worcestershire Labour Corps Regiment.  Labour Corps were generally made of of men who were not fit for service in the trenches.

Geogre was to pass away on 24th October 1918 in Wareham Dorset.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Taphophile Tragics - Dr Alfred and Frances Maria Playne

Monument to Alfred and Frances Maria Playne, St Luke's Churchyard, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

"In loving memory of Alfred Playne died Sept. 9th 1908. Aged 79 years.  Also Frances Maria his beloved wife died Sept. 21st 1871.  Aged 42 years. - The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God."

Frances Maria Playne was born Frances Maria Clifford in 1829 in Camberwell, Surrey to William Clifford, a newspaper agent and his wife Mary Maria Newcomb.

I cannot locate Frances or her family on the 1841 Census.  However, on the 1851 Census, Frances aged twenty two is living with her parents and her siblings, Joseph, Ellen and Emma, at 3 Bedford Terrace in Lambeth, Surrey.

Alfred Playne was born in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire in 1829 to Peter Playne, a woollen cloth manufacturer, and his wife Ann Dancey.

Again I am unable to locate Alfred on the 1841 Census.  Alfred appears on the 1851 Census as a medical student lodging in the home of Charles Gauneisen in Westminster, London.

In 1860 in Windsor, Berkshire, Frances married Alfred Playne, now a general practitioner doctor.  1861 finds the newly married couple living at 1 Northwick Terrace in Market Street, Maidenhead Berkshire.  Together,  Dr Alfred and Frances had six daughters, Mary born in 1861, Fanny Clifford born in 1863, Ellen Armitage born in 1865, Emma Clifford in 1867, Margaret Newcombe in 1868 and Lucette Golden in 1869. 

During the Census of 1871 Frances is visiting Miss Isabella Fleming and her family at The Grove in Cookham, next to The Ferry Inn. Sadly the original building burnt to the ground during the Cookham floods in 1919.

Dr Alfred is at home with his daughters during the 1871 Census at their property in the High Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

Sadly, two years after the birth of her youngest daughter Lucette, and a few months after the 1871 Census, Frances passes away aged just 42.

Dr Alfred remarried in 1874 to Sarah Seamark Suter from Kent.

In 1881 Dr Alfred and his second wife are living at his High Street property in Maidenhead, along with five of his daughters from his first marriage.  Working as a domestic servant for the family is Sarah Hammerton.  Mary Playne is living with her maternal aunt Ellen Clifford at 4 Clarence Crescent in Windsor, Berkshire.  Mary remained unmarried until her death in 1958.

In 1886 Dr Alfred and several other doctors from Maidenhead put forward a proposal for a Medical Association to help the poor of Maidenhead with the cost of healthcare.  Unfortunately the proposal was turned down as unsatisfactory.

In 1887 Ellen left the family home and married Walter Stanley Armitage, a surgeon, thus becoming Ellen Armitage Armitage. 

By 1891 Dr Alfred had become a magistrate as well as moving to Lynhames, Boyne Hill, Maidenhead. Two years later Fanny leaves the family home to marry Frederick Beames

Sadly Dr Alfred's second wife was to pass away in 1897.

Four years after the death of his second wife Dr Alfred has moved to 3 Boyne Hill Avenue where he is now listed as a retired surgeon. In 1908 Dr Alfred passes away.

On Saturday 21st November 1908 the Cheltenham Chronicle reported -

"Mr. Alfred Playne, M.B., J.P., youngest son fo the late Mr. Peter Playne, of Box House, Minchinhampton, who died on Sept 9th last aged 78 years, appointed his daughter Miss. Mary Playne, of The Wilderness, Maidenhead, and his nephew, Mr. Frances George Playne, of The Grange, Minchinhampton, solicitors, executors, by whom the estate is sworn at £16,223, 2s, 11d. gross, of which £14,149, 12s, 11d, is net personalty."

Taphophile Tragics
Tombstone Tuesday

Sunday 1 December 2013

Cemetery Sunday - Until The Day Breaks

"Until The Day Breaks"  War Grave, All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

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Friday 29 November 2013

Flashback Friday - War Grave - Charles Edward Cox *Updated Information*

**For the month of November in honour of Armistice Day we will be revisiting the local war graves I have researched.  This post was originally published 17th October 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".

When I first researched the life of Sapper Charles Edward Cox, it was difficult to find any information on him pre 1915.  However, after a lot of searching, I had a break through.

Charles Edward Cox was born in 1892 in Cork, Ireland to Charles Edward Cox, a retired army sergeant and postmaster, and his wife Elizabeth Stacey.

In 1901, the nine year old Charles can be found living with his parents at the Oxford Wood Barracks in Reading Berkshire.

The 1911 Census finds Charles lodging in the home of Albert Rippington in Compton, Berkshire where Charles is working as a Railway Porter for the Great Western Railway.

In 1915 in Maidenhead Berkshire Charles Edward Cox married Elsie Elizabeth May Groves, before moving into her family's home at 27 Grenfell Place Maidenhead.

Charles served with the Royal Engineers as a Sapper, a  soldier who performs a variety of military engineering duties such as bridge-building, laying or clearing minefields, demolitions, field defenses and general construction.

On 29th February 1920 (a leap year) Charles died of pneumonia at his home, aged just 28 years old.

Elsie never remarried and died in Maidenhead, Berkshire in 1975.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Taphophile Tragics - Frederick and Mary Beman - Bricklayer and Wife

Memorial to Frederick Beman and Mary Beman. St Luke's Churchyard, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

"Sacred To The Memory of Frederick Beman who died August 6 th 1883 aged 67 years.  Also of Mary wife of the above who died February 2nd 1885 aged 76 years. - come to me; all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest -"

Frederick, a bricklayer and plasterer, was born in 1816 in Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire, England to William Beman and his wife Margaret.

Mary Beman was born Mary Hutton in 1808 in Cookham, Berkshire, England to Joseph Hutton and his wife Anne

In 1838 in Maidenhead, Frederick married Mary Hutton.  Their first child, a son James, soon followed in 1840.  It later became apparent that little James was deaf.

The young couple first appear on the 1841 living in Ives Cottage, Forlease Lane, Maidenhead, Berkshire, along with their eight month old son, James.

1843 saw the birth of a daughter, Ann.  Followed in 1848 by a second daughter, Mary.

1851 and the family is still living at Forlease Lane in Maidenhead.  In 1853 a third daughter, Sophia was born.  Sadly in 1855, young James passed away aged 15.

1861, Frederick and his family are still living in Forlease Lane in Maidenhead.

In 1862, two men, Joseph Wise and Richard Scott were charged of having on the 6th December 1862 stolen 22 heads of cabbage to the value of 2s, 6d, the property of Frederick Beman of Bray Parish.

On the Tuesday the 26th June 1866 Frederick Beman accidentally fell from a scaffold whilst carrying out work on a building at Monkey Island, Bray, Berkshire, breaking his leg.

1871, Frederick and his family are still living at Forlease Lane, Maidenhead.  Mary Snr was now listed as being deaf.  Mary Jr has left the family home to work as a housemaid for Jane Beckwith in Marlow Road, Maidenhead.  Sophia is working from home as a dress maker.  On 4th July 1871, one of Frederick's labourers, George Henry Ford, suffered a fatal fall from some scaffolding at St Michael's Church in Bray.  Frederick reported to the inquiry  -

"I had been repairing the interior plastering of Bray Church, and Ford was my labourer.  I saw him go up the scaffold; he took a pail, turned round, and then jumped off the scaffold.  I did not see his foot slip.  It was a very damp morning, he had just been out to fetch us some beer, when he told me his foot slipped and he jumped to save himself."

George Henry Ford had badly broken his left thigh and despite immediate medical assistance being given, he later died from Erysipelas on 22nd July 1871.  A verdict of Accidental Death was recorded.

In 1872 Sophia married William Mayers, a sign writer and house painter.

In 1881, just two years before Frederick passed away, the family has moved to 47 Moffatt Street in Maidenhead.  Living with the family at the time is grand-daughter Sarah Beman.

On 6th August 1883, Frederick passes away, followed by his wife Mary on 2nd February 1885.

Taphophile Tragics
Tombstone Tuesday

Sunday 24 November 2013

Cemetery Sunday - Air Transport Auxiliary Graves

ATA - Air Transport Auxiliary Graves, All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.
Throughout World War Two many personnel lost their lives whilst transporting planes, some of them damaged in battle, to various locations around Britain and France.

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Friday 22 November 2013

Flashback Friday - War Grave - Corporal Ronald Victor Smith of the Royal Air Force

**For the month of November in honour of Armistice Day we will be revisiting the local war graves I have researched.  This post was originally published 10th October 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".
Ronald Victor Smith was born in Maidenhead Berkshire in 1893 to Issac Smith, a builder's foreman and Louisa Morgan.
In 1911, aged 18,  Ronald is living with his aunt and uncle, George Henry and Amelia Knott, along with his brother Sydney Herbert Smith.  At that time Ronald's occupation was listed as an electrician.
Sometime after 1911, Ronald enlisted with the Royal Air Force.  Sadly he was to die either from injuries or illness on 28th November 1918, seventeen days after the end of World War One, aged just 25.


Tuesday 19 November 2013

World War Two: Anthony Montague and Guy Henry Garrett-Cox - Brothers in Arms.

Sometimes when you set out to research a person you stumble onto tales of bravery and tragedy.  This is one such story.

What intrigued me about this family at first was the fact that Lance Corporal Anthony Montague Garrett-Cox is the only war grave in the small churchyard of St Luke's Church in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  Why was Anthony here on his own when his comrades in both world wars that died at home were buried at All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery?

Details where few and far between.  I managed to find out through the Commonwealth War Graves commission that Anthony's parents were R Garrett-Cox and Gladys Irene Garrett-Cox of Maidenhead.  Their double barrelled surname, instead of making research easier, made it much harder.  Through searching the name via Google I discovered that a second Garrett-Cox, Lieutenant G H Garrett-Cox, had served and died in the Second World War and was commemorated along side Anthony on the Maidenhead War Memorial.  This was too much of a coincidence, they had to be related in some way.

Searching with the forename Garrett and the surname Cox, I was able to find Lieutenant Guy Henry Garrett-Cox's information on the Commonwealth War Graves website.  Lieutenant Guy Henry Garrett-Cox served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve aboard the H.M.S Helca and died on 12th November 1942.

Guy Henry and Anthony Montague were brothers.  Both were born in Maidenhead to Samuel Henry Reuben Garrett-Cox, A music professor and organist at St Luke's Church in Maidenhead, and Gladys Irene Carter.  Guy Henry had been born in 1911 and Anthony Montague in 1914.  They were Reuben and Gladys's only children.

Just before the outbreak of World War Two on 1st May 1939, Guy Henry married Rosemary Simpson-Hayward in Celyon, Colombo.  In 1941 they celebrated the birth of their son, Martin Hayward Garrett-Cox.

Anthony enlisted with the Intelligence Corps of the British Army and was sent to Mauritius.  Guy enlisted with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and was stationed on the H.M.S Helca.

During his time in Mauritius, Anthony was attacked and left for dead, he returned home to England where he was sent to hospital.  Sadly the attack in Mauritius left more than physical scars for Anthony and on 4th August 1941, Anthony took his own life.  The Derby Evening Telegraph reported on 6th August 1941 -


The suggestion that his mind may have been affected by an attack in Mauritius three years ago was made at the Westminster Inquest, to-day, on Lance Corporal Anthony Montague Garrett-Cox, aged 26, of the Intelligence Corps, who shot himself through the head with a revolver.

His father, Mr, Reuben Garrett-Cox, of Maidenhead, said that in Mauritius his son had been struck on the head eight times with a motor jack, and left for dead. 

He was in hospital for three months.

Recording a verdict that the Lance Corporal 'committed suicide while of unsound mind.' The coroner said that the Mauritius injury might have had some bearing on the state of his mind."

It must have been a terrible shock for Anthony's parents and brother.  To get their loved one back from the brink of death, only to lose him three years later.  Sadly, tragedy was about the strike the family again.  Just fifteen months later, Mr and Mrs R. Garrett-Cox were to lose their only surviving child, Guy.

Between the 11th and 12th November 1942, the H.M.S Helca was torpedoed just off the coast of Morroco by a German U-Boat U-515.   Of the 838 men aboard, 556 were rescued, 12 known to have been killed and 273 reported missing, presumed killed.  It is not clear whether Lieutenant Guy Henry Garrett-Cox was one of the known dead or those missing, but what is clear is that Lieutenant Guy never returned home.  Guy Henry Garrett-Cox's body was never recovered.  He is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial and the Maidenhead War Memorial.

For more information on the torpedoing of the H.M.S. Helca and the resulting rescue efforts, please click here.

Samuel Henry Reuben Garrett-Cox passed away in 1966 in Maidenhead and Gladys Irene passed away in 1980 in Chiltern and Beaconsfield.  The loss of both their sons must have weighed greatly upon them.

Unfortunately I do not know what became of Guy's wife Rosemary.

Taphophile Tragics
Tombstone Tuesday

Sunday 17 November 2013

Cemetery Sunday - The Fallen

Commonwealth War Grave of Lance Corporal A. M. Garrett- Cox Intelligence Corps.  4th August 1941 aged 26.
Son of R, Garrett-Cox and Gladys Irene Garrett-Cox of Maidenhead.

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Friday 15 November 2013

Flashback Friday - War Grave - Joseph Henry Edwards

**For the month of November in honour of Armistice Day we will be revisiting the local war graves I have researched.  This post was originally published 3rd October 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".

Researching the life of J.H Edwards was certainly difficult and frustrating.  At first all I had to go on was a surname, some initials and a date of death.  But I managed to find the man behind those sketchy details.

Joseph Henry Edwards was born in Cox Green, Maidenhead Berkshire in 1889 to Thomas Edwards, gardener, and Sarah Ann Hollins.  In the early 1900s Joseph became a baker, however he was soon in trouble with the law.  In 1910 Joseph was charged and convicted of being drunk and disorderly and assaulting a police officer.  He was sentenced to serve a short term at Reading Prison, where he can be found on the 1911 census.  Seems Joseph did not learn his lesson, in 1912 he was again charged with being drunk and disorderly.  The Chronicle reported,

"Too Many Drinks
At Maidenhead Police Court on Wednesday, before Mr.T G Wyatt and Mr. C A Vardy, a baker named Joseph Henry Edwards, of Courthouse Lane, [now Courthouse Road] was charged with being drunk in incapable in Boyne Hill Avenue, Maidenhead, in the early hours of that morning.  He was found by P.C. Gunter at 1.15 lying in the road, helplessly drunk.  The constable picked him up and brought him to the police station.
Prisoner told the Bench that he supposed he must have had one or two drinks too many.  There was a previous conviction against him in 1910 for being drunk and disorderly and assaulting the police.  A fine of 2s 6d and costs or 7 days hard labour was imposed. Defendant said he had no money and was removed in custody."

On 31st August 1914 Joseph signed up to serve in the Royal Berkshire Regiment.  Unfortunately Joseph's questionable behaviour continues throughout his service with the Royal Berks.  On 20th July 1915 Joseph was sentenced to, '14 days detainment for breaking out of the billet' (soldiers sleeping quarters).  Then on 15th November 1915 Joseph was found to be, 'Absent from the Corps Parade when proceeding to the trenches'.  Joseph was Court Martialled on 3rd December 1915 and given a 9 month suspended sentence, to be reviewed on 28th May 1916.

Joseph returned to active duty, however from the 25th August - 14th September 1916 he spent time at Bellahouston Military Hospital in Glasgow Scotland with Valvular Disease of the Heart.  Joseph was then discharged from the army as no longer being physically fit for service on 27th October 1916, he was awarded a pension of 10s.

It wasn't long before Joseph was serving his country again.  Three months after being discharged due to heart disease, Joseph re-enlisted on 3rd January 1917 with the Royal Engineers in Reading Berkshire.  Later that month on 16th Joseph married Lydia Kate Palmer.  Joseph's war service records indicate that on 27th August 1917 he was again sentenced to 56 days, which was later mitigated to 28 days, unfortunately the records are unclear as to why.  However, Joseph was again discharged due to no longer being physically fit for war service on 28th August 1918  He was awarded a pension of 11s for 13 weeks.

On 1st February 1919 Joseph wrote a letter enquiring as to whether he was entitled to the King's Certificate for his time serving in the Royal Engineers.

Joseph died on 10th February 1921, he left behind his widow Lydia and their three children, Kathleen Ellen, Frederick John and Joan Cecily.  Joan was born after her father's death on 21st April 1921.

Joseph certainly was a character who seemed to have lead a rather eventful life.  I have really enjoyed my glance into his life.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Taphophile Tragics - The Fuller Family

Monument to Charles John Fuller, Emily Charlotte Fuller, Elizabeth Rebecca Fuller, Joseph Fuller and Alice Hambly Fuller, St Luke's Churchyard, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

"To The Memory Of Charles John Fuller died Decr 16th 1872 aged 3 weeks - Of such is the kingdom of heaven - Also Emily Charlotte Fuller died March 9th 1884 aged 23 years - Whom the Lord loveth the Lord chasteneth - Also Elizabeth Rebecca Fuller wife of Joseph Fuller died November 4th 1884 aged 54 years - Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also and he praiseth her - Also Joseph Fuller passed away March 11th 1917 aged 91 years - Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord - Also Alice Hambly Fuller second wife of the above died Jan 13th 1927 - Asleep in Christ."

Joseph Humpfry Fuller was born in Maidenhead in 1826 to John Humpfry Milhern Fuller and his wife Charlotte.

The Fuller family in Maidenhead established Fuller, Story and Company and built Bell Brewery in Maidenhead in 1852.

I have been unable to locate Joseph before his marriage to Elizabeth Rebecca Silcock in Droxford, Hampshire in 1859.

Elizabeth Rebecca Silcock was born in Ingoldisthrope, Norfolk, to George Silcock and his wife Mary Chadwick.

The first record of Elizabeth I was able to find, after her christening, was the 1851 Census where she is living in Heacham, Norfolk with her widowed mother Mary and her younger siblings, Martha and Francis.

1861 finds the newly married Joseph and Elizabeth living at the flour mill on Ray Mill Island, Maidenhead, Berkshire, along with their 10 month old daughter Emily Charlotte. 

Joseph and Elizabeth's family continued to grow, in 1862 they welcomed their first son Francis Joseph, 1864 saw the birth of their second daughter Jessie Mary, 1865 another daughter Annie Grant was born and another daughter Gertrude Elizabeth in 1866.  A second son Alfred Bell was born in 1868 followed by another daughter, Marion in 1870.  Sadly a third son Charles John was born in 1872 only to pass away three weeks later.

In 1871 Joseph and his family are still living at Ray flour Mill in Maidenhead Berkshire.

In 1881 Francis Joseph as left the family to work as a clerk at a corn exchange in Clapham London and Alfred has been sent to a boarding school in Hove, Sussex.  Joseph, Elizabeth and their remaining children have moved to Calcut House, Craufurd Rise, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

Sadly just three years after the census was taken, both Emily Charlotte and Elizabeth Rebecca where dead.

In 1886 in Barton Regis, Gloucestershire, Joseph married his second wife, Alice Hambly Edmonds.

Alice Hambly Edmonds was born 3rd Aril 1838 to Henry Edmonds, a merchant and his wife Elizabeth.  Alice's father died when she was young, leaving her mother a widow at the age of 27.  Through the 1861 Census until her marriage to Joseph, Alice lived with her uncle George Edmonds, a chemist and druggist in Surrey.

In 1891 Joseph and his second wife Alice are living at 2 Craufurd Terrace in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  Joseph's children from his first marriage have all left home to live in various locations throughout the UK.

On 12th June 1894 at St Luke's Church, Jessie Mary Fuller married John Edward Gripper, a retired corn merchant twenty years her senior.

In 1901 Joseph and Alice are boarding in the home of John Vokes, a stone mason, at 3 Clifton Terrace, St Thomas, Hampshire.

By 1911 Joseph and Alice had moved to Hillsboro House, Gringer Hill, Maidenhead, Berkshire.  The house still stands today and is currently subject of a planning dispute.  The current owner wishing to demolish Hillsboro House and it's Coach House to erect apartment housing.  The planning office is against this.

Six years later Joseph passes away on 11th March 1917.  His second wife Alice followed him to the grave in 1927.

Taphophile Tragics
Tombstone Tuesday

Sunday 10 November 2013

Cemetery Sunday - Cliveden War Cemetery

Cliveden War Cemetery, Cliveden House, Near Taplow, Buckinghamshire, England.
For a previous post on Cliveden War Cemetery, please click here.

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Friday 8 November 2013

Flashback Friday - War Grave - Reginald John Pope

For the month of November in honour of Armistice Day we will be revisiting the local war graves I have researched.  This post was originally published 26th September 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".
Reginald John Pope was born in 1901 in Whymondham Norfolk to Elias Pope and Sarah Betts, Crockery Hawkers.  Reginald's family were Gypsies, travelling folk who sell their wares up and down the country.  On the 1911 Census the family are shown living in 'A gypsy caravan at Blackamore Lane, Maidenhead, Berkshire', with their eight children, many of whom, including Reginald were attending a local school. 
Reginald served in the 4th Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment and may have fought in the Battle of Megidoo,  sadly he died in Maidenhead on 19th October 1918.  The fact that Reginald has a Commonwealth War Grave suggests that he died as a result of injury or illness sustained during his war service.  Unfortunately I have been unable to track down any of Reginald's war service records, which is not surprising as many WWI records were destroyed or damaged by fire during the Blitz.

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Taphophile Tragics - Ann Ballantine

Monument to Ann Ballantine, St Luke's Churchyard, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

"In Loving Memory of Ann widow of Joseph A Ballantine of Bristol who feel asleep Sept 3rd 1884 aged 77 years."

Ann Ballatine was born in Somerset, England in 1807.

I first found her and her husband, Joseph Arthur Ballantine, an accountant, on the 1851 Census living at Richmond House in Bristol, Gloucestershire.  Living with them at the time are their six children, Jane, Arthur, Joseph, Harriet, Edmund, and Ellen as well as their niece and nephew Elizabeth and Thomas Jackson. In 1852 the family welcomed another daughter, Sarah.

Sadly in 1856 Joseph Arthur Ballantine passed away in Swansea.

Five years later in 1861 the widowed Ann is still living in Bristol with five of her children, Jane and Arthur had left the family by 1861.  Harriet had married James Whyte, a provisions store owner in 1859 and had a daughter Annie Harriet born at sea in 1861.  Still living with the family is Ann's niece Elizabeth Jackson.

In 1871 Ann can be found living at 11 Devon Place in Newport, Wales with her son Joseph and youngest daughter Sarah.

1881, just three years before Ann's death is can be found living with her son Joseph and her daughter Ellen at 24 St Mary's Road, Kensington, the lodgings house run by her eldest daughter, Jane Ballantine.

Ann was to pass away on 3rd September 1884 in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

Taphophile Tragics
Tomnstone Tuesday

Sunday 3 November 2013

Cemetery Sunday - Lean On Me

Fallen gravestone propped against a footstone, St Luke's Churchyard, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

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Friday 1 November 2013

Flashback Friday - Sextons of Holyport Berkshire

**Originally posted 5th October 2012**

Monument to Frederick, Annie Elizabeth and Mary Sexton, St Michael's Churchyard, Bray, Berkshire.

"In loving memory of Frederick Sexton of Holyport, who died July 1st 1883 in the 40th year of his age. 'Thy will be done'. 
Also Annie Elizabeth Sexton the beloved daughter of the above, who died September 25th 1886 at Caracas South America in the 21st year of her age. 'In the midst of life we are in death.' -  'It is the Lord let him do what seemeth him good.' 
Also of Mary Sexton, wife of the above, who died Aug 17th 1928 in the 88th year of her age.  Her end was peace."

I was immediately drawn to this gravestone because of the surname Sexton.  Sexton has another meaning other than simply a name.  Sexton - an occupation: A person who looks after a church and churchyard, typically acting as bell-ringer and gravedigger.  Although it turns out the occupants are Sexton's in name only.

Frederick Sexton was born in Bray, Berkshire in 1844 to James Sexton, a carpenter and Elizabeth Sargent Smith.  On the 1861 census Frederick can be found as a Private in the 10th (Prince of Wales Own) Royal Hussars at the Cavalry Barracks, Barrack Street, East Wymer, Norfolk.

In 1865 in Middlesex Frederick, now a carpenter, married Mary Fenemore, not long after, the first of their six children was born, Annie Elizabeth.

Annie Elizabeth died in Caracas, Venezuela, South America on 25th September 1886.  Unfortunately I am unable to find out what Annie was doing in South America or why she died.

Mary Sexton was born Mary Fenemore in Oxfordshire 1841 to James Fenemore, a pound keeper and his wife Caroline. 

On the 1861 census, Mary was a house servant in Holyport, Maidenhead, Berkshire.  When Frederick passed away in 1883, Mary became a young widow of 45 with six children to support, the youngest only being 2 years old.  Mary remained in Maidenhead until sometime around the 1911 Census when she can be found living in Clacton on Sea with her youngest daughter Ellen and her husband, Leonard Phillips.

Tuesday 29 October 2013

Taphophile Tragics - Alfred Moore Cooper

Monument to Alfred Moore Cooper, St Luke's Churchyard, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.
"In Loving Remembrance Of Alfred Moore Cooper - Late of ware, Hertfordshire - Died July 15th 1873 aged 28 years ~I know that my redeemer liveth~"
Alfred Moore Cooper was born in Ware, Hertfordshire in 1844, to George Cooper, a corn merchant, and his wife Martha Moore.
On the 1851 Census, six year old Alfred is living with his parents and siblings George and Rosa, in the home of his maternal grandfather George Moore at Cannons, Baldock Street, Ware, Hertfordshire.
In 1861 the sixteen year old Alfred, now a Brewer's Clerk is living with his family in High Field, in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire.
1871, just two years before Alfred's passing, the twenty six year old is now a corn merchant, living in Amwell End, Ware, Hertfordshire with his younger sister Rosa.  At the same time Alfred's parents have moved to live in Pinkney's Green, Maidenhead, Berkshire.
On 15th July 1873, Alfred passes away aged just twenty eight years old in Marylebone, London.
After Alfred's death, Rosa moved to Maidenhead to live with her parents.  However her father George Cooper was to die in 1876 aged fifty three.  In 1881 Rosa and her widowed mother, Martha are living in North Town, Maidenhead, Berkshire.
Was Alfred away from home on business when he passed away?  Was his death due to natural causes or something else?  These are the things that keep me up at night.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Cemetery Sunday - St Luke's Churchyard

St Luke's Churchyard, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

Friday 25 October 2013

Flashback Friday - Vivian Charlotte Lewis - Died In Her Racing Car

**Originally posted 2nd October 2012**

Monument to Vivian Charlotte Lewis, All Saints Churchyard, Bisham Berkshire.

"In Loving Memory of Vivian Charlotte wife of David Lewis Born 22 April 1923 - Died in her racing car at Brighton Speed Trials 14th September 1963"

Vivian Charlotte Lewis was born Vivian Charlotte Hordern on 22nd April 1923.  Search on her life has proved difficult as the spelling of her first name constantly changed throughout official records.  All that is known of Vivian's life is that she married David Lewis in 1952 in Westmister.

Sadly due to the manner of her passing, a lot is known about her death.

"London, Saturday holiday markers saw a woman racing driver killed when her car somersaulted and burst into flames at Brighton today.
The car hit a kerb, exploded and crashed into a children's playground on the promenade.
The driver Mrs Vivenne [sic] Lewis, 35 [sic] of Cookham Dean, Berkshire, was competing in the Brighton speed trials when her Jaguar hit the kerb and went out of control.
Flames shot 20ft into the air as it exploded
Two timing marshals narrowly escaped as parts of the wreckage landed a few yards from their desk. Some of the timing equipment was damaged.
Racing was stopped for 40 minutes after the crash - the first fatality in the 58 year history of the trials.
Mrs Lewis was married but had no children" - The Sydney Morning Herald 15th September 1963.


Seems Vivian was lying about her age, as she died aged 40, not 35.

On that day Vivian was racing a 1958 Tojeiro Jaguar that she shared with her husband.  The actual car that was involved in the accident was sold, restored and recently came up for sale at auction.

Vivian's car restored

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Taphophile Tragics - Ellen and Ellen Mary Gould Box - Mother and Baby

Monument to Ellen and Ellen Mary Gould Box, St Luke's Churchyard, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.
"In fondest memory of Ellen Box dearly loved and loving wife who died September ? 1882 aged 25 years.  Also of Ellen Mary Gould Box who died September 1? 1882 aged 13 days."
There are verses engraved under each dedication, however they were too worn to read.
Ellen Box was born Ellen Turton in Hillingdon, Middlesex, the eldest child of George Turton, a grocer and his wife Elizabeth Randell.
Ellen first appears on the 1861 Census, aged four, living with her parents and two younger brothers James and Ebenezer at the family run grocery shop in Hillingdon, Middlesex.
In 1871, Ellen, now fourteen is still living with her parents at their grocery shop in Hillingdon, Middlesex.  Sadly young Ebenezer passed away in 1863 aged only two years.  But the Turtons had welcomed two sons and three daughters into their family since Ebenezer's passing, William, Alfred, Fanny, Mary and Emily.
In 1881 at the age of twenty four, Ellen is still living with and working at her parent's grocery shop.  The family has expanded to welcome a further two sons and two daughters, Ernest, Herbert, Alice and Edith.  Later that same year Ellen married Ebenezer Gould Box, a woollen merchant from Maidenhead, In Newington, London.
Soon after their marriage Ellen was expecting their first child together, a daughter Ellen Mary Gould Box.  Sadly tragedy was to strike the young family.  Ellen was to pass away first early in September 1882 followed by her baby daughter by mid September.  I am guessing that Ellen succumbed to complications after the birth of her daughter.  Both died in Chelsea, London.  I am unsure why they came to be buried in a Maidenhead churchyard as Ebenezer continued to live out of the area until his own death.
In 1886 Ebenezer married again, to Elizabeth Binns.  Their own family was to be touched by infant mortality.  In the early part of 1888 they celebrated the birth of their first child, a son, Reginald Ebenezer Gould Box.  Sadly baby Reginald was to pass away before his first birthday at the end of 1888.  Ebenezer and Elizabeth had a second son, Lewis S Box in 1894.

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