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Family Trees From The Garden of England

  • An elusive ancestor......

    For a WDYTYA? Q&A I was asked to seek a Charles David Stroud born 'Fenham, Kent' prior to the 1881 census who could not be found:

    Charles David Stroud merely gives his birthplace as 'Kent' in the 1891, 1901 and 1911 census returns. He is however consistent with his age. 27 on marriage in 1890, 28 in 1891, [age obscured in 1901 but could well be 38], 48 in 1911, 74 at death in 1937.

    I can see no reason why the 1881 candidate would be wrong - he has the right name, age [18], occupation and county of birth.

    Fenham could be a mistranscription. Maybe it is Lenham or 'Tenham' for Teynham but there are no obvious birth entries near these places in the GRO birth indexes. The writing of the F is quite distinct from other 'T's written on the page so it seems quite clear in being Fenham. Comparing a definite 'F' written in the same hand elsewhere it is exactly the same. Using the gazetteer on there is only Fenn Street as a place name beginning Fe in Kent. Another alternative is that it is a contraction of the place name Farningham.

    In 1901 Charles was living on Amberley Road. Further up the street was another Stroud household - was this a coincidence or a familial link?

    The other Stroud family was headed by Charles of Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Further investigations found that he did not have a brother named Thomas who could represent 'our' Charles's father. He did have an uncle called Thomas born c.1823 but he appears to die in 1856. There is no sign of a link to Kent so it seems this is a red herring.

    A Charles Stroud living in Ramsgate in 1871 as a nurse child was ruled out as in 1881 he is listed as Charles Holman, an adopted child of the couple who were caring for him in 1871.

    There is a Charles Stroud in Walthamstow in 1871 aged 8 son of Thomas, a labourer of Egerton, Kent. Charles's birthplace is given as Newington, Surrey. A brother was born in 1861 in Sutton at Hone, Kent and this was where the family were found in 1861- but recorded under the surname Duke.

    Searches for a Charles Duke birth around 1863 in the GRO indexes resulted in a Charles Benjamin Duke born in Newington but he was ruled out as he is in the census with his parents. There is a Charles Duke born in the Sevenoaks district in 1863. This district is only a few miles from Farningham and Sutton at Hone. However, the right candidate could be David Charles Duke whose birth is registered in Newington in the June quarter of 1863.

    This Charles's mother, Emma Duke, has her death recorded as Emma Stroud in early 1871.

    There is no sign of this Charles/David living under the surname Duke later on or another Charles/David Stroud with Newington as a birthplace.

    I would suggest investigating this Charles in more detail by buying the Newington birth certificate as it represents a strong candidate for the man you seek.



  • The Thurman Mystery - Using Historical Newspapers to solve family history problems

    When Charlotte Thurman married Albert Ramsey in 1903 at St Pancras Register Office she was 18 and residing at 100 Whitfield Street. Her father was deceased - no name was given for him but it was known that he had been a carpenter. At the time of the 1911 census she stated that she was born in Limerick around 1886.

    Charlotte clearly knew little about her father and it was not known who her parents were. There was no sign of a Charlotte Thurman born in Ireland in the 1901 census but there was a Charlotte Thurman in the 1891 census living with a Mary Stansfeld.

    1891 Census: 3 Bennett, Street, St Pancras, London

    Name Relationship to Head Status Age Occupation Where Born

    Mary STANSFELD Wife Mar 29 Dressmaker London, Marylebone

    William STANSFELD Son 12 London, St Pancras

    Edward ORAM Visitor S 23 Corn Porter London, St Pancras

    Charlotte THURMAN Visitor 3 London, St Pancras

    There was no trace of this child ten years later but there was a matching birth entry for this child being registered in Westminster. Therefore Charlotte's birth certificate was purchased which showed she was born on the 8th of April 1887 at 34 Compton Street, Soho, Westminster. She was the daughter of Frederick Thurman and Ada Sarah Thurman, late McGovern, formerly Lockwood. Frederick was a carpenter and joiner. Ada registered her daughter's birth on the 24th of May.

    So this Frederick Thurman was a carpenter which matched the limited information given by Charlotte at the time of her marriage.

    Ada had been married before and her marriage to Frederick confirmed that she was a widow.

    Frederick Thurman married Ada Sarah McGovern on the 6th of December 1884 at St Margaret Westminster Parish Church. Frederick was aged 25 and a carpenter of 16 Dartmouth Street. His father, Richard, had also been a carpenter but he had died by this time. The occupation of Ada's father, John Lockwood, was also a carpenter. Like Richard Thurman, he too was deceased by this time. Ada was living at 18 Bassett Road, Notting Hill. The witnesses were John and Elizabeth Clancey.

    Frederick and Ada were sought in census returns after the date of their marriage but no sign of them could be found. On checking the indexes of deaths it was discovered that Frederick Thurman died in 1889 aged 30 in Youghal, County Cork, Ireland. Here was a connection to Ireland but Frederick was not from this country and the surname is not Irish. On looking for Frederick in earlier census returns it was established that he was born in London but his parents were from Suffolk.

    So clearly Charlotte did not remember her father for he had died by the time she was two - but what happened to her mother Ada. Why was Charlotte not with Ada in 1891?

    Ada Sarah Lockwood had married James McGovern in Shoreditch in 1881. James had been lodging in Lambeth in the 1881 census shortly before he married Ada. He was a 28 year old policeman from Clonaslee, Ireland.

    James McGovern died two years later. His death was registered in Wandsworth in the March quarter of 1883. The register of deaths for Metropolitan Police was checked for this year but no entry for James appeared so it seems he had left the police force by this time.

    Ada could not be found at the time of the 1891 census but her death was registered in Whitechapel in 1892. A record of her death was located in the Whitechapel Union Infirmary on the 15th of December at the age of 36. No cause of death was given but the word 'Inquest' was written. As an inquest was held into her death the British Newspaper Collection was searched which revealed the sad story of Ada's life. The newspaper entry revealed that Ada had met a leather-dresser in Hanbury Street on the 6th of December. She had told him that she was starving and so he had brought her to his home. Ada told him that she had been married twice -once to a policeman and then to a joiner. She had two children, one a boy aged eight, at a school at Leavesden and a girl aged three in the care of a woman named Stansfeld who lived near Middlesex Hospital. The girl could not be traced.

    The leather-dresser's wife, Jane Treeves, made up a bed for Ada, gave her food and 4d. The next morning Ada went on her way saying that she had employment at a confectioners on the High Street in Islington. She returned three days later saying she had fallen downstairs and injured her head. She subsequently went to Whitechapel infirmary in great pain after first being turned away from Highgate Infirmary. After being put to bed brain trouble appeared and death was found to be due to a fracture of the skull and cerebral haemorrhage.

    The newspaper entry revealed that Ada had another child. He had been born around 1884 and was in Leavseden. With this information the 1891 census was searched for a boy with the surname Thurman. In this way Ada's son, Frederick, was discovered.

    1891 Census: St Pancras District School, Leavesden, Hertfordshire

    Name Relationship to Head Status Age Occupation Where Born

    Frederick THURMAN Inmate 5 London, St Pancras

    The workhouse records for St Pancras were searched seeking reference to Ada and her children. No mention of Charlotte could be found but Ada had entered the workhouse on the 30th of January 1890 from 3 Crescent Place with a birth year of 1855. Ada said she had been working as a servant. She left the workhouse by her own request on the 5th of February.

    This information came from the Religious Creed but the actual Admissions Register did not survive for this date. This was the only reference to Ada in the workhouse records.

    Frederick had been admitted to the infirmary from the workhouse on the 4th of January 1890 at the age of 4 as he had ringworm. He was sent to Leavesden School on the 20th of February 1891. Frederick arrived at the school during the afternoon of the Friday. He was aged just 5 and his year of birth was given as 1886 in the admissions register. The details of his parents were not known and a remark next to his entry noted that he 'looks very delicate'.

    At some point, probably around 12 or 13, Frederick was sent out to service. He was sent back however on the 4th of July 1899. He stayed at Leavesden for a while longer before being sent to live with a Mr and Mrs Draycott of 53 Wellington Road on the 1st of February 1901. This was where Frederick was found at the time of the 1901 census a couple of months later.

    1901 Census: 53 Wellington Road, St Marylebone, London

    Name Relationship to Head Status Age Occupation Where Born

    Arthur W DRAYCOTT Son S 24 Railway Clerk London, Hackney

    Constante FERRARE Serv S 32 General Domestic Italy

    Frederick THURMAN Serv S 15 Errand Boy London, Marylebone

    Frederick had found a position as an errand boy. His death was subsequently registered in St Pancras in 1908. The Leavesden records noted Frederick's next of kin as his mother, Ada, a widow of 43 Compton Street (this was the street where Charlotte had been born). A note was made that she died November 1893 - this was almost a year after Ada had actually died so it is possible that this was the date that they actually found out about Ada's death. No other relatives were known.

    The search for what happened to Charlotte continued. There was no sign of Charlotte or the woman she had been living with, Mary Stansfeld, in the 1901 census index. When Charlotte married she said she was living at 100 Whitfield Street. This address was checked in the census index but Charlotte was not listed there. However when checking the London Electoral Rolls it was discovered that Mary Stansfield [sic] was living at the address in 1905. This solved the mystery of what happened to Charlotte. The woman who Ada had placed Charlotte with had continued to care for the child until her marriage to Albert.

    They had been living at 11 Bramshill Gardens up to 1896 according to the Electoral Rolls but again there was no sign of them at this address in the 1901 census.

    I wonder if Charlotte and her brother were ever reunited or whether they had lost touch permanently. Charlotte clearly knew a few details of her parents from what Mary Stansfeld could tell her; for example, knowing that her father had been a carpenter and that her mother was Ada as she gave this name to her daughter. She had also perhaps been told that her father had died in Ireland and maybe this was where the idea that she had been born there came from. It is at least heartening to know that, despite Ada's death, Mary Stansfeld continued to care for Charlotte.



  • WW1 Memorial of St Augustine's College, Ramsgate

    Research into the names on the now demolised memorial to those Old Boys who fell in World War One.

    EDWARD BAGSHAWE died 20 July 1916 age 36, a Captain in the Yorks Regt son of the late Judge Bagshawe KC. Edward was born in Hampstead in 1879 to William and Harriet. He had retired from the Army in 1907 having served in South Africa in 1899-1900. but rejoined on the outbreak of the Great War. He was initially invalided home in 1915 but went out again in 1916.

    HERMAN KENTIGERN BICKNELL was the brother-in-law of the above. He died 24 July 1917 in Baghdad age 44, a Captain in the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry Son of Herman Bicknell; husband of Harriet Frances Bicknell, of 46, Lansdowne Rd., Notting Hill, London. His son Herman Bysshe Bagshawe Bicknell also fell. Herman had been born in Norwood in 1875, a month after his father had died. He was living in Ramsgate with his mother by 1881.

    PHILIP BRADNEY d31 July 1915, a Captain in the Somerset Light Infantry. Philip was born in 1880 in London the son of John, a magistrate, and his French wife.

    JAMES CARROLL a lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery died of wounds 26 March 1918. He was born in Blackheath and was a 14 year old boarder at the College in 1911.

    LEO CREAGH was killed in action the 20 December 1914, age 36, a Captain in the Manchester Regiment. Son of Surg. Maj. William Creagh (attd. R.H.A.), and Bertha Creagh, of Grangewood Lodge, Netherseale, Burton-on-Trent. He had fifteen years' service and served in the South African Campaign. Leo had been born in India and was a pupil at the College by the time of the 1891 census.

    LOUIS D'ABADIE died 31 July 1916 age 38, a private in the Royal Fusiliers. Son of Lt. Lucas D'Abadie and Ida D'Abadie, he had been born in Trinidad.

    BASIL DE FERRANTI died 12 July 1917 from wounds aged 26 a Major in the Royal Garrison Artillery. Son of Sebastian and Gertrude Ziani de Ferranti, of The Hall, Baslow, Derbyshire. He was awarded the Military Cross.

    JEAN DE MANDAT-GRANCEY died 4 December 1916 at the Somme. A brigadier who served in the French Army. Born 1896 in France.

    FRANK DINAN died 31 July 1917 2nd Lt RFA, aged 23. Commemorated in Ireland's Casualties of WW1.

    GEORGE DINAN died 9 September 1916, (Temp) 2nd Lt. of Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Son of John Dinan of Castle Martyr, Co Cork. Brother to the above Frank Dinan. Frank and George's father was a timber importer in Cork. The family were living there at the time of the 1911 census where the family employed an Austrian governess, a cook and a number of other servants.

    EVELYN DORRELL died of wounds 14 October 1918 aged 22 a 2nd Lt. of Queens Royal West Surrey Regt. Son of Lt. Col. George Henry and Martine Marie Frances Dorrell, of 839, Hastings St. West, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Born at Horsell, Surrey, Evelyn joined the army on the 6 November 1917. Evelyn was a 15 year old schoolboy at St Augustines College in the 1911 census.

    FRANK DU MOULIN died just before the end of the war on 7 November 1918 aged 29. Whilst serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment he was attached to the East Yorkshires as an acting Lieutenant Colonel. The son of the late Louis Eugene and Katherine Parrell Du Moulin of Fishbourne Lodge, Chichester, Frank was born in India and had been a career soldier. (His father had died in the Boer War). He was educated in New Zealand as well as at Ramsgate and Wimbledon College and had been awarded the Military Cross quite recently before his death.

    ERIC DURLACHER was a Captain with the Worcester Regiment. He was killed in action 20 May 1917. Eric was born in Dorset in 1895 to Alexander and Margaret, he had attended St. Benedict's, Ealing, as well as St. Augustine's,. He was also a recipient of the Military Cross.

    R BASIL ELMSLEY was a lieutenant in the Canadian Engineers. He died 4 Oct 1918 aged 36. He is buried in Bourlon Wood Cemetery in France after he was killed instantly by a bomb dropped from enemy aircraft. Remy Basil had been born in Toronto, Canada.

    FRANCIS FERRERS a Lance Corporal with the Lancashire Fusiliers, Francis had been born in Essex. He died 21 March 1918 leaving a widow, Muriel and a 5 year old daughter.

    ROY HAMILTON Royal Irish Rifles No trace of him so far

    HAROLD HAYES-NEWINGTON a 2nd Lieutenant with the King's Liverpool Regiment. He was killed in action 10 March 1915 at Neuve Chapelle. Having been born in 1894 he was the son of Major C. M. Hayes Newington (late 22nd Cheshire and King's Regt.), of Ticehurst, Sussex, and 16, Merton Rd., Southsea, Hampshire. His mother was from Ireland and the family were living there in 1901. After attending St Augustine's, Harold went on to Sandhurst.

    CECIL G KELLY A gunner in the Royal Field Artillery, Cecil was born in 1878 the son of Bernard Kelly, MD and his wife Anne Dirham. He had been working as Chief Clerk in the Accountant-Auditor's Office, Guildhall when he enlisted in April 1917. He was killed in action at Havrincourt 27 September 1918.

    PAUL KENNA GB VC DSO 21 Lancers, a Brigadier General. Paul Aloysius Kenna was born in Everton in 1862. He attended St Augustine's for five years from 1874. He died from wounds received from a sniper's bullet on 30 August 1915 at Gallipoli. He had been awarded the VC in 1898 for riding a fellow officer to safety after the man's horse had been shot and had then assisted in the recovery of another officer's body who had died from his wounds. He was awarded the DSO for his services in the South African War. Paul Kenna had competed in the 1912 Olympics as a horse rider. He was descended from minor gentry from County Meath.

    GUSTAVE LAMARRE was born in France in 1896 and therefore fought with the French Army. He appears as a boarder at the College in the 1911 census. The only person of this name in the French casualties of WW1 was said to have been born in 1892 so I cannot be sure if it is the same man. This person died in 1914.

    GEORGE LEAKE MC His entry appears in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour

    HUGO MEYNELL served with the Essex Regiment and died of wounds on the 27th of September 1915. Hugo was born in London in 1889. The entry, below, regarding his death is taken from The Tablet:

    Second-Lieut. Hugo Charles Meynell, xxth Essex Regt., who died in France on September 27 from wounds received in action, was the only surviving son of the late Hugo Meynell, of Farley, Staffordshire, and of Mrs. Hugo Meynell, of 6o, Springfield Road, St. John's Wood, N.W. He was a grandson of the late Judge Meynell, of North Kilvington and the Fryerage, Yorkshire, and a nephew of Sir Francis Fleming, K.C.M.G. The late officer, whose age was twenty-six, was educated at St. Augustine's, Ramsgate, and received his commission in December, 1914. The priest who found him lying wounded on the field, and administered the Last Sacraments to him, writes :—" I am pleased to be able to say that he was quite happy and gay. I shall never forget his parting smile as I shook hands with him in the ambulance. With all his pain, his one thought was for his mother."

    IAN MILLAR served with the Machine Gun Corp. This man appears to be Ian Arthur Millar who was born in Dublin in 1897. He was living in Cranbrook, Kent by 1911. From his medal card roll he was firstly in the East Kent Mounted Rifles before joining the Royal Irish Rifles. His first entry into the battlefield was in Gallipoli in July 1915 and he was killed on the 30th of September 1916.

    FRANCIS O'BRIEN was with the East Surrey Regiment and was killed in action on the 16th of August 1916. He had been born in Dover in 1894 to an Irish father and was living on Grange Road in Ramsgate in 1901. By 1911 he was an army student at Wimbledon Catholic College.

    JAMES O'BRIEN was an older brother to the above, being born in 1890 at Folkestone. He was killed in action on the 21st of December 1914. Like his brother he had joined the army as a career soldier as he was already serving with the Royal Munster Fusiliers in 1911.

    WILLIAM O'MALLEY died the 9th of April 1917. He was a lieutenant with the Royal Field Artillery. William was born in 1892 in Clapham and was a boarder at the College in 1911. 10 years earlier William was a patient at Great Ormond Street Hospital. He was there for a month due a diseased mastoid bone.

    HUBERT POWNALL was a lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, going to the front in April 1915 after enlisting the previous November. He was gassed a few months later and sent home, returning in May 1916. He was killed in action the 23rd of July 1916 at the age of 26.

    OSMOND PRENTIS was born in Maidstone in 1875. He was killed in action on landing at Galliopli on the 28th of April 1915. He had joined the Royal Navy by 1891 rising to the position of Commander by the time of his death. He had married Edith in 1904.

    CHARLES ROOPE served with the Royal Fusiliers and died the 1st of July 1916 having only been at the front a little over 3 months. Charles was aged 32 the only son of Mr and Mrs Charles Roope of the Isle of Wight.

    WILLIAM SCHOENER or Wilhelm, was born in Trinidad in 1895 and was in the Royal Air Force or Royal Flying Corps as it was known in WW1. No trace of an entry for him can be found in the Commonwealth War Graves database however.

    CG AUSTIN SIBETH Charles George Augustine Sibeth died of wounds the 9th of August 1915 a little over two months after arriving in France. He had been born in London in 1881 and trained as a civil engineer so it is perhaps unsurprising that he served with the Royal Engineers.

    ALFRED TOLHURST was in the RAF being killed in action on the 6th of October 1917 aged 18 and is buried in Northfleet Cemetery in Kent.

    ERIC WHITEHEAD was killed in an aeroplane accident the 3rd of May 1918 at the age of 18. He had joined the RFC as a cadet the previous May.

    CYRIL WICKHAM of the Royal Fusiliers died the 15th of January 1915. He was born in Hampshire and was already a Captain by the time of the 1911 census when he was aged 32.

    WILLIAM WICKHAM was a Captain with the Scots Guards. He died the 31st of October 1914. William was 39 years old and the son of Capt. H. L. Wickham and the Hon. Mrs Wickham, of Down Grange, Basingstoke. William was an elder brother to the above Cyril Wickham.

    C. OSCAR WILSON Charles Oscar enlisted as a private soldier at the outbreak of war, joined

    the Essex Regiment on 23rd July 1915 and obtained a commission and served with the 5th Battalion Essex Regiment in Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine. He was killed at the age of 23 in Gaza on the 26th March 1917, known as The First Battle of Gaza (26th – 27th March) whilst serving under Colonel Gibbons who gave an address at the opening of the War Memorial in 1921. He spoke of how Oscar was trusted and respected by his men and would have, and indeed did, follow him into the jaws of death. He said that Oscar had a sunny, cheerful nature and whatever the danger

    his cheery voice could be heard making light of it all. The War Memorial even states that he died in the evening of March 26th 1917. He is buried at the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Gaza. Charles was the son of William and Elizabeth of Heath Cottage, Wickham Bishops, Essex. Elizabeth had been born in Cork, Ireland and Oscar's younger brother, Eric, was a boarder at St Augustine's at the time of the 1901 census.

    WILLIAM J WOLSELEY William was a 15 year old schoolboy in Ramsgate in 1901. He was killed in action on the 11th of March 1915 after being at the front for just three weeks. The son of Edward and Florence, he was born in Weybridge, Surrey and had left for Canada in 1913 but returned to England on the outbreak of war.

    Although he does not appear on the Old Boys' Memorial Michael Thunder, grandson of Augustus Pugin, is buried in St Augustine's Churchyard. He died the 24th of September 1916 from burns sustained in a flying accident on the previous day.



  • St Augustine's Church WW1 Memorial

    The World War One memorial plaque in St Augustine's Church, Ramsgate lies just above your head in front of you as you enter through the front door. After researching the names recorded on it there appear to be some curious anomolies. If anyone has an ancestor recorded on this plaque I would love to hear from you.

    The first puzzling name is C Cassidy. This seemed likely to be Charles Cassidy who was born in Holborn in 1882. He was living in Ramsgate in 1911 with his Spanish wife and two children. His son named one of his sons Michael Bernard, no doubt after his uncle who is also recorded on the plaque. However on the Cassidy family grave in the Churchyard Michael is commemorated but Charles is also recorded but having died in 1912. Therefore he can't possibly have died in WW1. It is not clear who this C Cassidy was as there is no one of this name in the CWGC database as having died in the war with the Loyal North Lancs regiment. There is also no one with this regiment of this name in medal card rolls.

    The next mystery is G Darling of the Royal Navy. There are no Darlings who served with the Navy who were killed in WW1. There were two men born in Ramsgate who were in the Navy. One was Alfred Joseph Grifford Darling born 1894 and a John James Darling born 1891, who was baptised at St Augustine's in May 1891. There was a George Darling who was confirmed in the parish in 1909 but nothing more can be found about him.

    Another curiosity is Joseph De Paiva. He never actually came to Ramsgate as he left his native Finchley for Canada in 1912. He was killed in 1915. His connection to the town seems to be through his mother who moved here at some point after 1911 and died here in 1931.

    There are also men recorded on the plaque who seem to have survived the war. James Heideman died in Tavistock in 1933 so despite the inscription on the plaque stating that it listed men who fell in the Great War this does not seem to be true.

    There is also the curious case of the Jannotti brothers. 3 brothers from the same family died in the war but only one of them is listed on the plaque.

    Mystery also surrounds H McDonald who served with the Army Service Corps. There is no trace of a man of this name with this regiment in the War Graves Commission database. There was a Reginald Allan McDonald born in Ramsgate who served with the regiment and died on the 9th of May 1918. This man's parents were John and Edith McDonald who married at St Augustine's so it could be that 'H McDonald' was their son.

    It is also unclear who R Taylor who served with the Essex Regiment was. The only R Taylor who served with this regiment in the CWGC database was from Essex and he was living in that county with his family in 1911. His parents were still there after the war. This seems unlikely to be the man on the memorial as there appears to be no connection to Ramsgate. The John Taylor listed on the memorial had a brother, Richard, born 1899. A Richard F Taylor (Richard's middle name was Fred) died in 1940 in Essex and an R Taylor with the Essex Regiment is recorded in the Medal Rolls. So it is possible this was John's brother but this has not been proven.

    The last unknown is H Woodward who served with the Buffs. There are two men who served with the Buffs and died in WW1 from Ramsgate with this surname - Herbert Howard b1890 and Henry b1882. It is unclear which man the memorial refers to.

    If there is anyone out there who can help with the above mysteries or is related to anyone on the plaque I would be delighted to hear from you.



  • Postcard sent day before the outbreak of WW1

    I will be uploading this postcard to the Imperial War Museum's digital archive - Lives of the First World War.

    This postcard was sent by my great-grandfather, Arthur Howlett, the day before War was declared whilst he was exercises in Folkestone with the TA. He was sent straight to the front as part of the BEF and taken prisoner of war in 1917. He survived the war and came home to marry in 1920 and had five children.

    Although he has written 1913 on the front of the postcard the post mark clearly reads 3 August 1914. It was sent to his father, Arthur Howlett senior, at Wellpond Green, Standon, Hertfordshire.

    It reads "Dear Mother and Father, I am sending few to you in hoping to find you in good health and happy as I am. I am getting used to camp life more. All we can hear now is war they [us] us to get ready for it so be at ready. I wonder if you can pick me out of these leave men I got a pipe on me, a fine fellow. This is all, I send my love to 'u ma n all at home' your son Arthur"

    What stories will you tell of your ancestors? Get involved at




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