jacey: (blue eyes)
Yes, today is book day. Empire of Dust is out at last.

I confess I ordered a copy from Amazon just for the pleasure of having it appear in the post - y'know, like a real book! - and it arrived this morning, smack-bang on time.

I have a guest post on Worldbuilding from the Coffee Up over at Anne Lyle's blog.

And there's a review here on Jaine Fenn's Tales from the Garrett.

In other news, today would have been my favourite grandma's eleventy fourth birthday, so because you're probably sick of pictures of my book cover I give you Annie Bennett (nee Shaw) 4th November 1900 to October 1975
Grandma Annie Bennett 1957
jacey: (Default)
I'd forgotten this until I stumbled across again it this evening. It's the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts graduation video 2002, with my daughter G appearing briefly at 3.14 min  to 3.17 min. I told you it was brief. But what a talented lot, eh? She got her degree certificate handed to her by Paul McCartney.
jacey: (blue eyes)
I just spotted the date. One hundred and fifteen years ago today Thomas Bennett was born to Lilly and Fred Bennett in Barnsley.

Here's Tommy, aged about 21 or 22. I've not managed to trace the Bennett side back very far yet. My great great grandfather Matthew Bennett is as far back as I can go right now. he was born around 1854.

But I can go quite a bit further back for Lilly Bennett, born Lilly Kearsley in 1870 in Ickles, near Wickersley, Rotherham.

Lilly doesn't look like much of a charmer, does she? (Probably would have looked better with a full set of teeth.) But my mum says she was a sweet a gentle soul who was very hospitable and never had a bad word for anyone.

Anyhow, Lilly Kearsley is the daughter of Thomas Kearsley and Hannah Pashley. Thomas Kearsley is also a dead-end after another generation because he first pops up on the 1841 census as a 5 year old child living with his dad, William Kearsley, born 1816, but they are both living as lodgers in another household in Lowton Common in Lancashire and there's no sign of his mother Elizabeth. William eventually goes to work as 'railway servant'  in Leeds, remarries and ends up in Sandal, Wakefield. (Isn't it amazing how things fold back in on themselves. I used to be the branch librarian at Sandal library barely half a mile from where they lived.)

Thomas however ends up in the Sheffield/Rotherham steel area (as a labourer) where he meets Hannah Pashley who is working (on the 1861 census) at the Duke of Wellington pub on Greasbrough Road, Thornhill, Rotherham - a house newly opened in 1856. (Remember a while ago I pointed out Transcription Error of The Month where some hapless scribe had read Greasbrough as Grassmangle?)

I have much more luck tracing Hannah's line. In fact I can go back another four generations, but not through the Pashley line, My research jinks off through the maternal line again. How come it's the women who end up on official records while the men keep their heads down when anyone comes close with a pen and paper? Hannah Pashley is the daughter of Thomas Pashley and Esther Whinfrey of Ickles, a tiny village near Wickersley, now a suburb on the Tinsley side of Rotherham in the valley where all the steelworks are. It can't have been a pleasant environment to grow up in, especially as her father died in 1849 when she was only five and her mother, with five children between the ages of five and twelve was declared a pauper. By the 1851 census Hannah is living with William and Eizabeth Whinfrey, her uncle and aunt. Her older sister, Martha, is already working for a living by the age of ten, listed as a nurse on the 1851 census, servant to Henry & Sarah Wadsworth of Wickersley, who have 3 children under 4 yrs old.

The Whinfreys seem to be a large and close family. There are lots of aunts and uncles and I suspect that Esther must have relied on them to help with the children after she was widowed. Esther's parents were John Whinfrey (1780) and Anne MacKintosh (1784) and John's parents were Thomas Whinfrey, born 1746 in Tickhill, Doncaster. His wife was another Esther but I have nothing on her except her name.

Of course, as to professions... labourers all the way, once again, at least as far back as the earliest census of 1841. I really doubt I shall find any long lost heirs to the throne or romantic aristocratic French emigres, just solid working classes (or shifty un-working classes maybe).

The search continues.
jacey: (Default)
I just spotted the date. One hundred and fifteen years ago today that Thomas Bennett was born to Lilly and Fred Bennett in Barnsley.

Here's Tommy, aged about 21 or 22. I've not managed to trace the Bennett side back very far yet. My great great grandfather Matthew Bennett is as far back as I can go right now. he was born around 1854.

But I can go quite a bit further back for Lilly Bennett, born Lilly Kearsley in 1870 in Ickles, near Wickersley, Rotherham.

Lilly doesn't look like much of a charmer, does she? (Probably would have looked better with a full set of teeth.) But my mum says she was a sweet a gentle soul who was very hospitable and never had a bad word for anyone.

Anyhow, Lilly Kearsley is the daughter of Thomas Kearsley and Hannah Pashley. Thomas Kearsley is also a dead-end after another generation because he first pops up on the 1841 census as a 5 year old child living with his dad, William Kearsley, born 1816, but they are both living as lodgers in another household in Lowton Common in Lancashire and there's no sign of his mother Elizabeth. William eventually goes to work as 'railway servant'  in Leeds, remarries and ends up in Sandal, Wakefield. (Isn't it amazing how things fold back in on themselves. I used to be the branch librarian at Sandal library barely half a mile from where they lived.)

Thomas however ends up in the Sheffield/Rotherham steel area (as a labourer) where he meets Hannah Pashley who is working (on the 1861 census) at the Duke of Wellington pub on Greasbrough Road, Thornhill, Rotherham - a house newly opened in 1856. (Remember a while ago I pointed out Transcription Error of The Month where some hapless scribe had read Greasbrough as Grassmangle?)

I have much more luck Tracing Hannah's line. In fact I can go back another four generations, but not through the Pashley line, My research jinks off through the maternal line again. How come it's the women who end up on official records while the men keep their heads down when anyone comes close with a pen and paper? Hannah Pashley is the daughter of Thomas Pashley and Esther Whinfrey of Ickles, a tiny village near Wickersley, now a suburb on the Tinsley side of Rotherham in the valley where all the steelworks are. It can't have been a pleasant environment to grow up in, especially as her father died in 1849 when she was only five and her mother, with five children between the ages of five and twelve was declared a pauper. By the 1851 census Hannah is living with William and Eizabeth Whinfrey, her uncle and aunt. her older sister, Martha, is already working for a living by the age of ten, listed as a nurse on the 1851 census, servant to Henry & Sarah Wadsworth of Wickersley, who have 3 children under 4 yrs old.

The Whinfreys seem to be a large and close family. There are lots of aunts and uncles and I suspect that Esther must have relied on them to help with the children after she was widowed. Esther's parents were John Whinfrey (1780) and Anne MacKintosh (1784) and John's parents were Thomas Whinfrey, born 1746 in Tickhill, Doncaster. His wife was another Esther but I have nothing on her except her name.

Of course, as to professions... labourers all the way once again at least as far back as the earliest census of 1841. I really doubt I shall find any long lost heirs to the throne or romantic aristocratic French emigres, just solid working classes (or shifty un-working classes maybe).

The search continues.



jacey: (Default)
Still doing some family history research. Transcription error of the day: Greasborough (Sheffield) transcribed as 'Grassmangle'. Dontcha just love it when they farm out these things to people with no local knowledge? No wonder the index is fucked.
jacey: (Default)
Still doing some family history research. Transcription error of the day: Greasborough (Sheffield) transcribed as 'Grassmangle'. Dontcha just love it when they farm out these things to people with no local knowledge? No wonder the index is fucked.
jacey: (Default)
I've been galloping through the generations - racing ahead with my family history on best Beloved's side of the family so this week I decided to take another look at my maternal side and see if I could get back any further beyond the Crows (or Crowes) and the Shaws that are almost within living memory.

It was this lot that sparked off my interest in the first place because i had photographs of my maternal grandmother's parents and grandparents.


This is George Crow and Eliza Lindley. They had ten kids including my great grandmother, Emma and I've managed to trace them on all the census returns back as far as 1861 when George and Eliza are 22 and 19, married with 9 month old Mary, so they must have married when Eliza was barely 18. They live at Dickinson Square, Darton. But I can't find any trace of them prior to that, either on the 1851 or the 1841 census, so I don't know anything about their family before their marriage. I can't trace birth certificates for either one of them via BMD (Birth Marriage Death) indexes but George was born in 1838 and the new registration act which started in 1837 was followed a bit patchily for the first few years.

OK... so the obvious thing is to get the marriage certificate which give the name and occupation of the fathers of the bride and groom. So I sent for it a few days ago and this morning the certificate arrives and... Eliza Lindley is the daughter of Thomas Lindley, a nailmaker. Now that's interesting because there were old deserted nailmakers workshops in Mapplewell village when my mum was growing up and I can remember them (just) standing derelict in the early 1950s.

But George? Nothing. Nada. Zip, Zilch. George doesn't have a dad.
It looks like he's a bastard... and now it looks as though the only way I'll find him is by going and staring at microfiches of the Darton Parish registers in Wakefield to find a Crow female having a baby out of wedlock in 1838. Hmmmm.... I'm not sure I'm that dedicated to the project.

I had a bit more luck with the Shaws though after a shaky start. Though I'm not sure you'd call it 'luck' exactly.


James Alfred Shaw, a miner by the age of 16 was the son of  Henry Shaw who started out life down the pit but ended up as a shopkeeper. I found a wife for Henry, Martha, on the 1881 census and was happy with that. And then found an earlier census which shows him as a widower with three children, living as a lodger at the home of Mary Yeardley (who is described as a simpleton!). One of those three children was James Alfred, so Martha wasn't in the blood-line I was looking for. I needed to know who the deceased wife was. Much searching later revealed her to be... Elizabeth Yeardley, so the simpleton is probably Elizabeth's mother and is in the bloodline.

So today I traced my family lines back to a simpleton and a bastard. Ho-hum!

Oh, wait a minute... I went back and checked again. The writing was scrappy. She wasn't a simpleton at all - she was a seamstress, but they've written it as sempstress. I'm almost disappointed.
jacey: (Default)
I've been galloping through the generations - racing ahead with my family history on best Beloved's side of the family so this week I decided to take another look at my maternal side and see if I could get back any further beyond the Crows (or Crowes) and the Shaws that are almost within living memory.

It was this lot that sparked off my interest in the first place because i had photographs of my maternal grandmother's parents and grandparents.


This is George Crow and Eliza Lindley. They had ten kids including my great grandmother, Emma and I've managed to trace them on all the census returns back as far as 1861 when George and Eliza are 22 and 19, married with 9 month old Mary, so they must have married when Eliza was barely 18. They live at Dickinson Square, Darton. But I can't find any trace of them prior to that, either on the 1851 or the 1841 census, so I don't know anything about their family before their marriage. I can't trace birth certificates for either one of them via BMD (Birth Marriage Death) indexes but George was born in 1838 and the new registration act which started in 1837 was followed a bit patchily for the first few years.

OK... so the obvious thing is to get the marriage certificate which give the name and occupation of the fathers of the bride and groom. So I sent for it a few days ago and this morning the certificate arrives and... Eliza Lindley is the daughter of Thomas Lindley, a nailmaker. Now that's interesting because there were old deserted nailmakers workshops in Mapplewell village when my mum was growing up and I can remember them (just) standing derelict in the early 1950s.

But George? Nothing. Nada. Zip, Zilch. George doesn't have a dad.
It looks like he's a bastard... and now it looks as though the only way I'll find him is by going and staring at microfiches of the Darton Parish registers in Wakefield to find a Crow female having a baby out of wedlock in 1838. Hmmmm.... I'm not sure I'm that dedicated to the project.

I had a bit more luck with the Shaws though after a shaky start. Though I'm not sure you'd call it 'luck' exactly.


James Alfred Shaw, a miner by the age of 16 was the son of  Henry Shaw who started out life down the pit but ended up as a shopkeeper. I found a wife for Henry, Martha, on the 1881 census and was happy with that. And then found an earlier census which shows him as a widower with three children, living as a lodger at the home of Mary Yeardley (who is described as a simpleton!). One of those three children was James Alfred, so Martha wasn't in the blood-line I was looking for. I needed to know who the deceased wife was. Much searching later revealed her to be... Elizabeth Yeardley, so the simpleton is probably Elizabeth's mother and is in the bloodline.

So today I traced my family lines back to a simpleton and a bastard. Ho-hum!

Oh, wait a minute... I went back and checked again. The writing was scrappy. She wasn't a simpleton at all - she was a seamstress, but they've written it as sempstress. I'm almost disappointed.
jacey: (Default)
I have had friends over from Canada who've never seen Doctor Who before, so we're watching New Who from the beginning again. Whoo-hoo. The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances is just as good eleventh time round... (lost track of how many times I've watched it with other people). We're into the second season now. 'School Reunion'  was great fun.

Been doing some more family history and I've broken the 1600s barrier for the first time on one of Best Beloved's family lines, but one of mine (George Crow/Crowe and Eliza Lindley) stubbornly refuses to reveral itself beyond my g-g-granparents who were born 1837 and 1840. I've sent for their marriage cert (1860) so in another few days or so I might find out what each of their fathers was called and where they lived at the time of the marriage.
jacey: (Default)
I have had friends over from Canada who've never seen Doctor Who before, so we're watching New Who from the beginning again. Whoo-hoo. The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances is just as good eleventh time round... (lost track of how many times I've watched it with other people). We're into the second season now. 'School Reunion'  was great fun.

Been doing some more family history and I've broken the 1600s barrier for the first time on one of Best Beloved's family lines, but one of mine (George Crow/Crowe and Eliza Lindley) stubbornly refuses to reveral itself beyond my g-g-granparents who were born 1837 and 1840. I've sent for their marriage cert (1860) so in another few days or so I might find out what each of their fathers was called and where they lived at the time of the marriage.
jacey: (Default)
So I got myself a subscription account to Genes reunited which gives be reasonable access to census data and vital records data that otherwise you have to pay-per-view for. As a result I can, until my sub runs out at Christmas, click on the website and search for family members hitherto unknown.
  
M f-list has all suffered from this already in that I've been posting random bits of family history... but... it's getting addictive.

Yesterday I found out about four genrations of Hitchmans that I hadn't known about...

Now if only I'd done some work as well.... Read more behind the cut


And here are the obligatory pics. This is the second William Hitchman Rose with two of his aunts taken in 1904
William Hitchman Rose & Aunts 1904

And this is William Hitchman Rose
William Hitchman Rose
jacey: (Default)
So I got myself a subscription account to Genes reunited which gives be reasonable access to census data and vital records data that otherwise you have to pay-per-view for. As a result I can, until my sub runs out at Christmas, click on the website and search for family members hitherto unknown.
  
M f-list has all suffered from this already in that I've been posting random bits of family history... but... it's getting addictive.

Yesterday I found out about four genrations of Hitchmans that I hadn't known about...

Now if only I'd done some work as well.... Read more behind the cut


And here are the obligatory pics. This is the second William Hitchman Rose with two of his aunts taken in 1904
William Hitchman Rose & Aunts 1904

And this is William Hitchman Rose
William Hitchman Rose
jacey: (Default)
Having had my own near-disaster this week with the fire in the kitchen, suddenly it all gets put into perspective when in researching more family history I come across this...

It's hardly surprising only seven out of thirteen survived, is it?
jacey: (Default)
Having had my own near-disaster this week with the fire in the kitchen, suddenly it all gets put into perspective when in researching more family history I come across this...

It's hardly surprising only seven out of thirteen survived, is it?
jacey: (Default)
Having posted about my grandpa and (previously) my grandma it seems a shame not to give my other family photros an airing. I've always made a point of collecting whatever family photos came my way - which is a Good Thing as my grandma would have let them all be lost or destroyed. In fact in giving them to a five year old child to play with (me) she might have been destroying them, but even then I knew they were special and I kept them safe. These are the pics that started me on my quest to collect family photos, which later turned into a proper family history project - ongoing, of course, because these things are never complete,

These are the oldest photos in the family collection. George Crowe and his wife, Eliza Lindley were my great-great granparents, George was born in 1838 and died in 1892, aged 54 years. (Sometimes the family was listed as Crow depending on the census taker or registrar of births marriages and deaths; not sure when the e arrived on the end of it.) They lived in Mapplewell, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. George would probably have been a miner - almost everyone male in the village was. He was certainly illiterate because his name is signed with a cross on a certificate.

George and Eliza Crowe
George and Eliza Crowe

Georga and Eliza had several children, My Uncle Tom (Grandma's last surviving brother) thought they had 3 boys and 5 girls, but the only boys he could name were Alf and Tom. Alf went to live in Thurnscoe and Tom went to Blackpool as foreman on the building of the new north promenade. The girls were Amelia (Williams); Lily (Grey); Anise (Dearnley) and Polly (Wigglesworth) - besides, my great grandma Emma (Shaw).

And this is Emma Crowe 1869 - 1952
Emma Crowe
George’s daughter, Emma Crowe, my great-grandmother, was born in 1869 and died in 1952  age 83. She died when I was two but I can remember her as a little wizened old lady, as my Nana. She never had the opportunity to go to school and remained illiterate all her life, though she used to hide it well. I wonder how she would feel if she knew her great-great grandson, (born 112 years later) was a first class Cambridge honours graduate, a Cooper Union Scholarship graduate and a Rome Scholar. How different life has become in just a few generations.

James Alfred Shaw 1865 - 1929
James Alfred Shaw

James Alfred Shaw was my great grandfather but he died a long time before I was born (mining related illness I think) and even my mum can't remember him as she was barely four when he died.

Emma Crow and James Alfred Shaw married on 25th May 1890 with their first baby already on the way - a not uncommon way to tie the knot according to all the family records so far.

He was the son of Henry Shaw, a miner at the time of his birth, but who gave his occupation as shopkeeper. Interestingly Henry was illiterate when signing James Alfred’s birth certificate with (X his mark) but by the time he signed the couple’s marriage certificate he seemed to be able to write for himself. Maybe he took advantage of the Workers’ Education classes which were becoming available in late Victorian England. James Alfred seemed to be able to read and write.

The couple lived a Pitt Square, Mapplewell (in two different, tiny, houses at different times) and brought up their large family. Elizabeth (Auntie Bippy) was the oldest, born in 1890. At the time of the 1901 census the couple were established in Pitt Square. James Alfred was 37, a coal hewer, and Emma, his wife, age 32. Their children were: Elizabeth age 11; Florence Annie, age 9; Alfred age 4; Elsie, age 3 and Annie (my grandma), age 2 months. They lost two children within a week of each other in the ‘flu epidemic. Elsie was one. Eliza, the last daughter, probably had not been born at the time of the census, neither had Tom, who was an afterthought, born in 1910.

Elizabeth went off into service at an early age, working for a doctor in Huddersfield, doing a spell as head waitress at the Arcadian Restaurant in Barnsley (the Co-op’s own restaurant) and then working in Blackpool before middle-aged marriage to Willie Thorpe. Annie (my Grandma) never laft home, but did domestic service - mostly at the Talbot Public House which was conveniently, just a couple of hundred yards away. This was also James Alfred’s ‘local’ and if he overindulged occasionally - at least he didn’t have far to stagger home.
jacey: (Default)
Having posted about my grandpa and (previously) my grandma it seems a shame not to give my other family photros an airing. I've always made a point of collecting whatever family photos came my way - which is a Good Thing as my grandma would have let them all be lost or destroyed. In fact in giving them to a five year old child to play with (me) she might have been destroying them, but even then I knew they were special and I kept them safe. These are the pics that started me on my quest to collect family photos, which later turned into a proper family history project - ongoing, of course, because these things are never complete,

These are the oldest photos in the family collection. George Crowe and his wife, Eliza Lindley were my great-great granparents, George was born in 1838 and died in 1892, aged 54 years. (Sometimes the family was listed as Crow depending on the census taker or registrar of births marriages and deaths; not sure when the e arrived on the end of it.) They lived in Mapplewell, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. George would probably have been a miner - almost everyone male in the village was. He was certainly illiterate because his name is signed with a cross on a certificate.

George and Eliza Crowe
George and Eliza Crowe

Georga and Eliza had several children, My Uncle Tom (Grandma's last surviving brother) thought they had 3 boys and 5 girls, but the only boys he could name were Alf and Tom. Alf went to live in Thurnscoe and Tom went to Blackpool as foreman on the building of the new north promenade. The girls were Amelia (Williams); Lily (Grey); Anise (Dearnley) and Polly (Wigglesworth) - besides, my great grandma Emma (Shaw).

And this is Emma Crowe 1869 - 1952
Emma Crowe
George’s daughter, Emma Crowe, my great-grandmother, was born in 1869 and died in 1952  age 83. She died when I was two but I can remember her as a little wizened old lady, as my Nana. She never had the opportunity to go to school and remained illiterate all her life, though she used to hide it well. I wonder how she would feel if she knew her great-great grandson, (born 112 years later) was a first class Cambridge honours graduate, a Cooper Union Scholarship graduate and a Rome Scholar. How different life has become in just a few generations.

James Alfred Shaw 1865 - 1929
James Alfred Shaw

James Alfred Shaw was my great grandfather but he died a long time before I was born (mining related illness I think) and even my mum can't remember him as she was barely four when he died.

Emma Crow and James Alfred Shaw married on 25th May 1890 with their first baby already on the way - a not uncommon way to tie the knot according to all the family records so far.

He was the son of Henry Shaw, a miner at the time of his birth, but who gave his occupation as shopkeeper. Interestingly Henry was illiterate when signing James Alfred’s birth certificate with (X his mark) but by the time he signed the couple’s marriage certificate he seemed to be able to write for himself. Maybe he took advantage of the Workers’ Education classes which were becoming available in late Victorian England. James Alfred seemed to be able to read and write.

The couple lived a Pitt Square, Mapplewell (in two different, tiny, houses at different times) and brought up their large family. Elizabeth (Auntie Bippy) was the oldest, born in 1890. At the time of the 1901 census the couple were established in Pitt Square. James Alfred was 37, a coal hewer, and Emma, his wife, age 32. Their children were: Elizabeth age 11; Florence Annie, age 9; Alfred age 4; Elsie, age 3 and Annie (my grandma), age 2 months. They lost two children within a week of each other in the ‘flu epidemic. Elsie was one. Eliza, the last daughter, probably had not been born at the time of the census, neither had Tom, who was an afterthought, born in 1910.

Elizabeth went off into service at an early age, working for a doctor in Huddersfield, doing a spell as head waitress at the Arcadian Restaurant in Barnsley (the Co-op’s own restaurant) and then working in Blackpool before middle-aged marriage to Willie Thorpe. Annie (my Grandma) never laft home, but did domestic service - mostly at the Talbot Public House which was conveniently, just a couple of hundred yards away. This was also James Alfred’s ‘local’ and if he overindulged occasionally - at least he didn’t have far to stagger home.
jacey: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones posted about Henry Allingham, Britain's oldest man, one of the three surviving WW1 veterans in the UK, and the last living founder member of the Royal Air Force, who turned 112 today. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7439117.stm

I followed her link and read up on the amazing Mr Allingham.

It made my think of my own grandfather who would have been Henry's contemporary and who went through most of the First World War in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, being invalided out at Passchendale in 1917 with a leg injury that kept him in hospital for a year. He was a quiet man who always took the line of least resistance. Kind and gentle. Not academic, possibly due to lack of anything but basic schooling around the turn of the century. I never saw him read a book or write more than a shopping list or a very brief note in an awkward hand. The only book he ever owned was a very ancient, abused copy of Culpeper's Herbal, which I still have. I often wonder why he had that book. Had it belonged to a family member? Was it his only avenue of health care for the first fifty years of his life (pre NHS)?

After the First World War and his discharge form hospital (in Scotland for some reason) he returned home to Mapplewell in the West Riding of Yorkshire and went to work at the pit face at North Gawber Colliery. He married my gandma, Annie Shaw and my mum was born in 1925. He continued to work at North Gawber until his retirement in the mid 1950s. After retirement he bacame one of the first 'lollipop men' in Britain. (A schools crossing patrol officer, on duty to see children safely across the road at school time.)

Anyway here he is: Thomas Benett 1893 - 1977
In his KOYLI uniform. He made corporal eventually.
Cpl Thomas Bennett, KOYLI

And a wedding pc. Thomas Bennett and Annie Shaw. Date? Around 1922 I think.
Tommy Bennett and Annie Shaw

And then came Joan. It was quite unusual to have only one child in the 1920s I guess.

Tommy and Joan

And when the Second World War came along he joined Dad's Army
Tommy in Dad's Army

He used to tell me tall tales of things that had happened to him in his youth - oh how I wish I'd written them down. I remember something about his best friend eating a pie that had been set on a windowsil to cool by a neighbour and being chased down the street by the angry piemaker... and the story of him and the same best friend catching a train to Pontefract barracks to join the army when war broke out.
jacey: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones posted about Henry Allingham, Britain's oldest man, one of the three surviving WW1 veterans in the UK, and the last living founder member of the Royal Air Force, who turned 112 today. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7439117.stm

I followed her link and read up on the amazing Mr Allingham.

It made my think of my own grandfather who would have been Henry's contemporary and who went through most of the First World War in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, being invalided out at Passchendale in 1917 with a leg injury that kept him in hospital for a year. He was a quiet man who always took the line of least resistance. Kind and gentle. Not academic, possibly due to lack of anything but basic schooling around the turn of the century. I never saw him read a book or write more than a shopping list or a very brief note in an awkward hand. The only book he ever owned was a very ancient, abused copy of Culpeper's Herbal, which I still have. I often wonder why he had that book. Had it belonged to a family member? Was it his only avenue of health care for the first fifty years of his life (pre NHS)?

After the First World War and his discharge form hospital (in Scotland for some reason) he returned home to Mapplewell in the West Riding of Yorkshire and went to work at the pit face at North Gawber Colliery. He married my gandma, Annie Shaw and my mum was born in 1925. He continued to work at North Gawber until his retirement in the mid 1950s. After retirement he bacame one of the first 'lollipop men' in Britain. (A schools crossing patrol officer, on duty to see children safely across the road at school time.)

Anyway here he is: Thomas Benett 1893 - 1977
In his KOYLI uniform. He made corporal eventually.
Cpl Thomas Bennett, KOYLI

And a wedding pc. Thomas Bennett and Annie Shaw. Date? Around 1922 I think.
Tommy Bennett and Annie Shaw

And then came Joan. It was quite unusual to have only one child in the 1920s I guess.

Tommy and Joan

And when the Second World War came along he joined Dad's Army
Tommy in Dad's Army

He used to tell me tall tales of things that had happened to him in his youth - oh how I wish I'd written them down. I remember something about his best friend eating a pie that had been set on a windowsil to cool by a neighbour and being chased down the street by the angry piemaker... and the story of him and the same best friend catching a train to Pontefract barracks to join the army when war broke out.
jacey: (Jacey)
The Other Prince. Champion Mountain & moorland, Weatherby Show curca 1773I'm still rummaging through my photographs . [personal profile] heleninwales set me thinking about horses last week and [personal profile] mevennen continued the theme this week with her farrier post.

After posting a photo pf Prince, the first pony I rode back in 1956 I came across a photo of the other Prince, winning the Mountain & Moorland Championship at Weatherby Show in (around) 1973). This was taken with his owner, Margaret Harvey, pretty much an unforgettable character in her own right.

Margaret had been a debutante in her youth but when I knew her was a typical tweedy horsewoman with a booming voice, two golden retrievers and a stack of bills she tried to ignore.

She had a lot of equines, a few of them really good ones, including Prince, a Fell Pony gelding, and a really nice Dales pony mare called Bussy. (That's me and Bussy - right - at the Great Yorkshire Show in about 1973) Jacey and Bussy at the Great Yorkshire ShowMargaret bred two or three foals a year, mostly from her thoroughbred/appaloosa stallion Kestrel. I think the riding school was just an excuse to let her keep all her horses. She loved them all.

We discovered her riding school in Menston when I joined the college riding club. I ended up on the rota more often than most because having passed my driving test at age 17, I was one of the few people at college who could drive the minibus legally. (Note I didn't say safely as I never could reverse the damn thing on wing mirrors.)

Jacey and Eileen in Menston 1975Even after leaving college and getting married i continued to drive up to Menston to ride at Margaret's because i still had friends there. This is me and Eileen Gomersall (Now Eileen Jack.)

Damn me but after saying I never forgot a horse's name, I can't remember the name of the brown hunter I'm riding. He was 16.2 and a very decent ride. Eileen is on Kestrel, the stud stallion. He could be a bit evil on the ground, but was a fantastic ride if you weren't scared of him.

This was the summer of 1975 and I remember the day so clearly because we'd just come back from taking a party of kids (Best Beloved's school) to Belgium and the night we got back I was given the news that my grandma had got terminal cancer. This was the first time I'd been threatened with losing a loved one to a long slow illness and life was suddenly about to get very weird.

So this was the calm before the storm.

A couple of days after getting the news I went to Menston for - probably - the last time. I'd got my arms sunburned on the ferry home and it was another scorching day, so Eileen is wearing my T Shirt and I'm wearing her long sleeved shirt to keep the sun off.

Grandma Bennett. Annie bennett, 1900 -1975Annie Bennett. 1900 - 1975.
My maternal grandmother.
When this photo was taken she was the same age as I am now.
That's scary!
jacey: (Jacey)
The Other Prince. Champion Mountain & moorland, Weatherby Show curca 1773I'm still rummaging through my photographs . [personal profile] heleninwales set me thinking about horses last week and [personal profile] mevennen continued the theme this week with her farrier post.

After posting a photo pf Prince, the first pony I rode back in 1956 I came across a photo of the other Prince, winning the Mountain & Moorland Championship at Weatherby Show in (around) 1973). This was taken with his owner, Margaret Harvey, pretty much an unforgettable character in her own right.

Margaret had been a debutante in her youth but when I knew her was a typical tweedy horsewoman with a booming voice, two golden retrievers and a stack of bills she tried to ignore.

She had a lot of equines, a few of them really good ones, including Prince, a Fell Pony gelding, and a really nice Dales pony mare called Bussy. (That's me and Bussy - right - at the Great Yorkshire Show in about 1973) Jacey and Bussy at the Great Yorkshire ShowMargaret bred two or three foals a year, mostly from her thoroughbred/appaloosa stallion Kestrel. I think the riding school was just an excuse to let her keep all her horses. She loved them all.

We discovered her riding school in Menston when I joined the college riding club. I ended up on the rota more often than most because having passed my driving test at age 17, I was one of the few people at college who could drive the minibus legally. (Note I didn't say safely as I never could reverse the damn thing on wing mirrors.)

Jacey and Eileen in Menston 1975Even after leaving college and getting married i continued to drive up to Menston to ride at Margaret's because i still had friends there. This is me and Eileen Gomersall (Now Eileen Jack.)

Damn me but after saying I never forgot a horse's name, I can't remember the name of the brown hunter I'm riding. He was 16.2 and a very decent ride. Eileen is on Kestrel, the stud stallion. He could be a bit evil on the ground, but was a fantastic ride if you weren't scared of him.

This was the summer of 1975 and I remember the day so clearly because we'd just come back from taking a party of kids (Best Beloved's school) to Belgium and the night we got back I was given the news that my grandma had got terminal cancer. This was the first time I'd been threatened with losing a loved one to a long slow illness and life was suddenly about to get very weird.

So this was the calm before the storm.

A couple of days after getting the news I went to Menston for - probably - the last time. I'd got my arms sunburned on the ferry home and it was another scorching day, so Eileen is wearing my T Shirt and I'm wearing her long sleeved shirt to keep the sun off.

Grandma Bennett. Annie bennett, 1900 -1975Annie Bennett. 1900 - 1975.
My maternal grandmother.
When this photo was taken she was the same age as I am now.
That's scary!

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