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

Tuesday 30 April 2013

William, Emma and Thomas Baxter - Labourers

Monument to William Baxter, Emma Baxter and Thomas Baxter, St James the Less Churchyard, Stubbings, Berkshire.

"Scared to the memory of William Baxter who died April 2nd 1899 aged 61 - Also of - Emma, his wife who died April 3rd 1911 Aged 60 years - For so he giveth his beloved sleep - Also Tom Baxter son of the above who died Oct 12th 1912 aged 38 years - Gone but not forgotten."

William Baxter was born in Coleshill, Berkshire on 21st November 1837 to Thomas Baxter, a general labourer, and his wife Sophia Neat.

He first appears on the 1841 Census aged 3 years living with his parents and elder siblings, Thomas, Eliza and Sarah in Coleshill, Berkshire.

In 1851 William is still living with his parents and elder siblings in Coleshill. Berkshire.  His younger sister Ellen was born in 1850.

I am unable to locate William on the 1861, however on 23rd October 1871 William marries Emma Walker at the parish church of St Peter and St Paul in Coleshill, Berkshire.  William's younger sister Ellen was one of the witnesses to the marriage.

Emma Walker was born in Coleshill Berkshire on 14th June 1851 to John Walker, a agricultural labourer and his wife Elizabeth Hill.  Emma first appears on the 1861 Census, aged 9 years living with her parents and younger brother John in Coleshill. Berkshire.

In 1871, aged 20 Emma is a domestic servant for the Archer family in Coleshill Berkshire.

In 1872 William and Emma had their first child, a son called Fred.  Fred was soon joined by his brother Thomas in 1875, sister Mary in 1878, brother Harry in 1879 and another brother William in 1880.  1881 find the family living in Wickensham Lodge Cottages in Farringdon, Berkshire.

By 1891 William and Emma have moved to Lee's Lane in Pinkney's Green, Berkshire along with Thomas, Harry and William.  Annie Baxter was born in 1884, followed by George in 1889.  Fred Baxter, aged 19 is a servant for Robert Mills, landlord of The Sawn in Streatley, Bradfield, Berkshire.  Mary Baxter, aged 14, is a servant for William Lowe, a baker and grocer of Burchett's Green, Berkshire.

In 1894 Fred Baxter marries Emma Jane Smith

William Baxter sadly passes away on 2nd April 1899.

1901 finds the recently widowed Emma, now working as a laundress and charwoman, living in Town Hall Cottages in Pinkney's Green Berkshire with her sons Thomas, William and George.  A few houses away Annie is s parlour maid for Edward Pemberton Pyott, a retired army colonel. Fred Baxter, now a gardener and his wife Emma (listed as Jane) can be found living in Streatley, Bradfield, Berkshire with their six year old daughter Annie.  Harry Baxter, now a coachman is boarding at the Claxton family's home at 20 Walgrove Road, Kensington London.

I am unable to find any trace of Mary Baxter after 1891.

In 1902 Thomas Baxter married Eleanor Mary Brett in Cambridgeshire.

In 1911 Emma Baxter, now aged 60 is living by herself in Town Hall Cottages.  Emma was to pass away on April 3rd 1911, the day after the 1911 Census was taken.  Thomas Baxter and his wife Eleanor Mary can be found living at Bakers Cottages, Pinkney's Green Berkshire, along with their children William Thomas Baxter aged six and frank Wellington Baxter aged five.  Thomas's listed occupation is, working in clay.  Coopers Brick and Title Kilns are large clay pits in the Pinkney's Green area.  It's possible that Thomas was one of the clay cutters for the pit.

Thomas Baxter was to pass away on 12th October 1912 aged only 38 years.  I wonder if Thomas's occupation had anything to do with his untimely death.

Sunday 28 April 2013

Cemetery Sunday - Her Charm and Loving Ways

Memorial to Elsie May Dean, All Saints Churchyard, Boyne Hill, Maidenhead Berkshire.

"Elsie May Dean 1913 - 1956 - Beloved wife of John and Mother of Adrian and Deirdre - Her charm and loving ways endeared her to all"

I have found very little out about Elsie May, but the verse on the gravestone intrigues me.  I wonder what kind of wife and mother she was.  Happy?  Always ready to a cuddle and a smile?  Did she always have a kind word for those around and was nothing too much trouble when it came to helping others. 

She was only 43 when she passed away.  Was she ill?  Did she have an accident?  Was her passing sudden and did she get to say goodbye to those that loved her so well.  How many mourned her passing and came to her funeral.

These are the question and many more that lie behind every gravestone in every churchyard and cemetery.  This is what keeps me interested in those that lie beneath our feet.

Friday 26 April 2013

Primroses for Daisy Maud Spencer

Memorial to Daisy Maud Spencer, All Saints Cemetery, Maidenhead Berkshire.

"In Loving Memory of Daisy Maud Spencer who died suddenly August 21st 1911 Aged 29 - Rest in Peace."

Daisy Maud Spencer was born in Cookham Berkshire in 1882 to Julius Spencer, a solicitors clerk, and his wife Sarah Jane Lloyd.  Daisy was the cousin of Sir Stanley Spencer.

Daisy first appears on the 1891 Census, aged 8 years old, living at Belmont Villa in Cookham, High Street (the house next door to Stanley Spencer's famous home Fernlea, however the villa's name has changed to Bellingho), with her parents and elder siblings Mabel Lloyd, an art student born in 1873, Lilly who was born disabled in 1875, and Violet Eleanor born in 1881.

Sadly Lily Spencer passes away in 1899 in Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

In 1901 the 18 year old Daisy is still living in Belmont Villa (next door to her 9 year old cousin Stanley Spencer), with her parents Julius and Sarah Jane.  Sadly in 1901 Violet Eleanor passes away aged only 20 years and in 1902 Julius passes away in Bournemouth, aged only 54 years.

The Reading Mercury reported -

"Death of Mr. Julius Spencer - The death occurred at Bournemouth Wednesday week, at the age of 54, of Mr. Julius Spencer a well-known and respected inhabitant of Cookham.  The funeral took place at Maidenhead Cemetery on Saturday afternoon and was attended by a large number of relatives and friends, the latter including many residents of Maidenhead and Cookham.  The deceased was on of the oldest continuous season-ticket holders on The Great Western Railway, travelling to London every day to attend at the office where he had been engaged for the past 30 years.  Among other duties, he held the post of vestry clerk to the united parishes of  SS Lawrence and Mary Magdalene Jewry.  The funeral service was conducted by the Rev. J. Stephen Barrass, rector of St. Lawrence Jewry." 

In 1903 Daisy was admitted to Bethlem Royal Hosptial for the Mentally Ill, possibly for depression.  Bethlem Royal Hospital was one Britain's oldest hospitals dealing with patients with mental health issues.  It's foundation can be traced as far back as 1247.

Daisy was released seven months later, however on 15th December 1909 she was admitted to Camberwell House Asylum, until her release on 8th June 1910.  This was not to be her last stay at a hospital for the mentally ill.

1911 finds the widowed Sarah still living in Belmont Villa with her daughter Mable Lloyd now a hospital nurse.

In 1911 Daisy was a patient at Essex County Asylum, her entry gives her age as 27 and her previous occupation as governess. On 10th April 1911 Daisy was admitted for a second time to Bethlem Royal Hospital.

Daisy's probate records states that she died on 21st August 1911 in Bethlem Royal Hospital in Southwark Surrey, leaving £500 to her sister Mabel. 

I cannot be certain for the reasons behind Daisy's admittance to those hospitals or even her death, but I suspect that depression of some sort had it's part to play, both in her life and her death.


Wednesday 24 April 2013

War Grave Wednesday - Commander Margot. W. Gore, MBE, DO

Memorial to Margot W. Gore MBE, DO, All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

"Aetheris Avidi. (Eager for the Air). - Cdr Margot W Gore MBE, DO - CO 15 Ferry Pilot Pool, Hamble 1941-5 - Born 24. 1. 1913 - Died 28. 8. 1993."

Margot Wyndham Gore was born in East Preston, Sussex on 24th January 1913.  She was one of only two female Commanding Officers in the ATA, Air Transport Auxiliary, the other being Marion Wilberforce.  This was highly unusual and at the beginning of the ATA many felt that women pilots were taking the jobs of male pilots.  C. G. Grey, editor of The Aeroplane, an influential magazine of the time reported -

"The menace is the woman who thinks that she ought to be flying a high-speed bomber  when she really has not the intelligence to scrub the floor of hospital properly."

However as more and more women joined the war effort and qualified to fly, they were slowly accepted.  Margot Gore herself was quoted as saying on the subject -

"I never had anybody say anything derogatory to me or nasty, in any way, [there was] surprise... particularly later on when we came in four-engines.  They did look very startled when a rather small person got out of a very big aircraft."

Margot was one of only four female ATA pilots that received and MBE for their services to their country in it's hour of need.

Margot sadly passed away on 28th August 1993 in Henley aged 80 years.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Taphophile Tragics - Joseph and Sarah Hammerton - Grocers

Memorial to Joseph and Sarah Hammerton, All saints Churchyard, Boyne Hill, Maidenhead Berkshire.

"In Memory Of - Joseph Hammerton - Born April 14 1810 - Died June 30 1861 - Thou art with me;  Thy rod and they staff comfort me.  Also Sarah - wife of the above - Born March 1 1814 - Died January ?? 1875 - Rest illegible."

Joseph Hammerton was born on 14th April 1810 in White Waltham, Berkshire.

Sarah Hammerton was born Sarah Harbut on 1st March 1814 to George Harbut and his wife Ann Smith.

On 14th April 1846 Joseph Hammerton and Sarah Harbut married in the parish of Bryanston Square in Middlesex

Joseph first appears on the 1841 Census as a grocer living with his wife Sarah, born in Chilworth, Hampshire and their children , Sarah born in 1848 and Joseph born in 1850, in Pope's Lane in Maidenhead Berkshire.  Sadly Pope's Lane no longer exists, but at the time is was a small cramped alley way full of shops and houses.

In 1861, just a few months before Joseph's death, the family have moved to the High street in Maidenhead.  Lucy Ann had been born in 1853 and George Andrew in 1853.  Sadly Joseph Snr passed away on 30th June 1861.

1871 finds the widowed Sarah and her children, Joseph, Sarah and Lucy still living and working at the grocer's shop in Maidenhead High Street.  Unfortunately I am unable to trace George Andrew on the 1871 Census, but he does appear on the 1881 Census as a valet for the Byles family in London.

Sadly Sarah was to join her husband in the grave as she passed away in the January of 1875

Just a year after her mother's death, Lucy Ann Hammerton marries Samuel Rudd in Brighton.  In 1881 Lucy, her husband Samuel, their daughter Sarah Lucy and son Samuel are living at 4 Cambridge Gate Mews in London.  Visiting them at the time is Lucy's elder brother Joseph, who is currently an unemployed messenger.

In 1881 Sarah Jnr is working as a domestic servant for Doctor Alfred Playne working from the High Street in Maidenhead. 

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Wednesday 10 April 2013

Wednesday's Child - Herbert Victor Penford

Taphophilia is a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries.

Gravestone monument to Herbert Victor Penford, All Saints Churchyard, Boyne Hill, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

"In loving remeberance of Herbert Victor Penford born 25th December 1880.  Died 7th July 1881 - Asleep in Jesus."

Little Herbert Victor was born on 25th December 1880 to Edward Penford, a general labourer and Fanny Harrington, a laundress.

Herbert or Hubert as he appears on all records, except his gravestone, appears on the 1881 Census aged only 3 months old, living with his parents and elder brother Edward Henry at his maternal grandmother, Mary Harrington's house at 6 Princes Street in Maidenhead Berkshire.

Sadly little Herbert passes away on 7th Jul 1881 aged just 6 months old.

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