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

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.

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