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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

John Tytheridge’s Journey from Kent to South Africa

How the surname Tytheridge reached South Africa

John and Sarah Tytheridge (Tutheridge) of Kent

The story begins in Kent with John Tytheridge and Sarah Saunders in the early nineteenth century. John and Sarah had various versions of their surname spelt Tetheridge, Tutheridge and Tytheridge. They had 11 children born between 1820 and 1840. One of these children Elizabeth, born about 1828, had a son John Tytheridge who was born December quarter of 1847. In 1851 Elizabeth married Obed Wickens. The families were living in the villages of Sundridge and Chevening in Kent.

John Tytheridge born 1847

On the 1851 census John Tytheridge was living with his grandparents John and Sarah in Chevening Kent.

On the 1861 census John was living with his aunt and uncle, Benjamin and Margaret Talbot, in Chipstead Village, in the district of Chevening, Kent. Margaret was 34 (born in Sundridge about 1827) and John was 13 (born in Chevening in 1848)

On the 1871 census John Tytheridge was at Fulford Gate, Yorkshire and was now in the army as a private in the 7th Hussars at the York Cavalry Barracks.  John’s age was given as 22.

The Family of John and Caroline Tytheridge 

On 9 January 1873 John Tytheridge married Caroline Elise Clark at Hounslow, the witnesses at the wedding were James New and Mary Wickens. John remained in the army and the children of this marriage were born in various Army towns. The children were:

Carynthia Elise Tytheridge born March 1874 in Elham, Kent christened at Shorncliffe, Kent

John Stanley born 19 February 1876 in West Derby, Lancashire

Bertie Cecil born 12 April 1878 in Dublin

Harry Aubrey born  February 1880 in Tipperary, Ireland and died aged just a few weeks old with the death registered in June quarter Clogheen, Ireland

Reginald Jack born September 1881 in Eton, Berkshire

On the 1881 census Caroline and three children were at Staines Road Court, Wraysbury, Buckinghamshire but John was not at home, presumably he was posted somewhere with the army.

In January 1881 John was listed as a Junior Quarter Master in 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars. Early in 1882 Sergeant John Tytheridge, purchase his discharge from the British Army after serving 11 Years and 141 days. It was noted he was a regimental farrier major. The records suggest he was probably discharged in South Africa.

Arrival and Life in South Africa

On the 11 April 1882 the SS Drummond Castle set sail from the East India Docks, London to Cape Town, South Africa. On board were Mrs Tytheridge and her four children, Carynthia 8, John 6, Bertie 4 and Reginald 1 and a half. I cannot imagine travelling all that way on a boat with four small children. The Tytheridge family disembarked at Durban. Life was obviously hard in South Africa and later in 1882 John was declared insolvent.

The first South African family record found is Carynthia Elise, aged 16, marrying on 16 October 1890 to a wagon maker Albert Edward Water (or Waller) in Ladysmith, Natal, South Africa.

When the Second Boer war broke out it would appear that John and his two sons joined the South African forces.  There are records available for the “Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902” showing war medals given for the 2nd Boer war. The records show:-

John Tytheridge (Service number 1185) was Regimental Farrier Major in 1 Brabant's Horse The notes state: “QSA Clasps: We,W,CC,T”

J S Tytheridge (Service number 933) was Corporal in Kaffrarian Rifles. John Stanley was also listed as in 2nd Brabant’s horse and later in South African Constabulary.  He was a blacksmith and enlisted at Modderfontein on 27 December 1900 for 1 year at a wage of 5 shillings per day.  He was discharged on 26 December 1902, with an address in Johannesburg.

B C Tytheridge (Service number 895) was Corporal in Kaffrarian Rifles The notes state; “QSA Clasps: We,W,CC,T”.  Bertie enlisted on 5 November 1900, but no further details of his service were found.

So far no records have been found for the deaths of John and Caroline. There are no records for Reginald so it is probable that Reginald died young.

John Tytheridge’s Grandchildren via Bertie Cecil Tytheridge

John’s son Bertie was a carpenter after the Boer War. He married Lillian May and they had at least one child, a son also called Bertie Cecil. He was baptised on 6 August 1905 in the Cape of Good Hope. Sadly records show that 8 month old Bertie Cecil Tytheridge died on 27 September 1905 in Hallet Street, East London area of South Africa, cause of death Whooping Cough and Bronchitis. So far no further records of this family have been found.

John Tytheridge’s Grandchildren via John Stanley Tytheridge

John Stanley Tytheridge married Edith May Judson.  Edith was born 29 May 1878 and died in 2 January 1956 in Kabuli Newcastle, South Africa. John died some time before 1959. John and Edith had six children, they were:

Stanley John (1907 -1975)
Stanley was born 6 April 1907 in Memel and died 22 November 1975.  He was a farmer who resided in Rommel, Memel. He was single.

William Edward (1909 – 1954)
William was born 10 February 1909.and died 8 May 1954. He married Beatrice Purkiss (1916-1973) and they had two children.

Norman Victor (1910 – 1963)
Norman was born November 1910. He was a blacksmith who lived in Rommel.  He died 25 December 1963.  He was single.

Emily Beatrice (1912 – about 1959)
Emily was born about 1912 and died in 1959 in Pretoria area. She was single.

George Ernest (1914 – 1959)
George was born 1914.  He was a farmer in Rommel.  He was single.

Percy Cecil (1917 – 2011)
Percy was born 5 October 1917. He was a shunter on the South African Railways.  On 16 September 1942 he married Beryl Mavis Wright (born 20-3-1924). They had two or three children. Percy died 31 May 2011. It is possible that Percy may have married a second time to Thelma Doreen Ainsworth (1916 - 2002).

Pictures of Tytheridge Family Graves in South African

Edith May died 1956 aged 87
click here

Beatrice died 1973 aged 57
click here

Clive James Anthony died 1974 aged 32
click here

Stanley John died 1975 aged 68
click here

George Ernest died 2000 aged 41 and Thelma died 2002 aged 85
click here

Today there are still Tytheridges living in South Africa.

Finding records in South Africa has been difficult, so if you can provide any additional information please get in touch.  The task has been made more difficult by corruptions of the name during transcription of records to variations such as Lytheridge and Fytheridge.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Early Titheridge records from Hereford - January 1628

Cathedral in Hereford
Cathedral in Hereford

These days more and more genealogy records are appearing on line.  You would expect this would help to sort out some of the missing links in our family history which indeed they do. However in reality the increasing number of records tends to create as many mysteries as they solve.  An example of this is a batch of records that I saw on line for the first time last month.

Titheridge Records from Hereford St Peters

The records are early records from the Parish Church of St Peters in Hereford.

They show the following records

26 January 1628 Thomas Tytheredg marries Elizabeth Davis at Hereford, St Peters

Thomas and Elizabeth then go on to have the following children all baptised in Hereford, St Peters

  • Thomas Tetheridge baptised 16 December 1629
  • William Tetheridge baptised 1635
  • John Tetheridge baptised 1636
  • James Tetheridge baptised 1638
  • William Tetheridge baptised 1640

There are no other records for the family name in Herefordshire - no future births, no marriages, no burials. The only other early records I have in Hereford is in 1798 when a parcel of meadow called “Titheridge Moore” is sold in the parish of Staunton upon Wye, Herefordshire 10 miles from Hereford .

How do the Hereford record relate to the Hampshire Records?

These records from Hereford cover the years 1628 to 1640 and pre-date our main family records of John Titheridge and Ann Quallett who marry in Cheriton in 1664. However they do not predate our earliest records of Richardus Tetridge of Avington / Chilcomb Hampshire who died in 1542.

So the records raise the following questions:

  • What happened to this family after 1640?
  • Are the Hereford family related to our Hampshire Titheridges who lived over 100 miles away?

If you can provide any records to give the answers to the questions raised please get in touch

Friday, 13 October 2017

Titteridge and Titeridge - extinct surnames?

Titteridge / Titeridge

Titteridge is one of the rarest versions of our family surname. I believe it is now extinct – but if you know otherwise please let me know. This version is sometimes spelt Titeridge and sometimes Titteridge. A search of these surnames on genealogy websites gives you quite a lot of records but most of the records are erroneous forms of the surname Titheridge. Some of these errors come from transcribing the records while other errors are erroneously written in the original documents. There are three main sources of the Titteridge / Titeridge surname.

Titteridge / Titheridge in Kingsclere and Basingstoke

The earliest records are between 1688 and 1755 when there are records of Titheridges in Kingsclere and Basingstoke, Hampshire.  These surnames are sometimes written as Titheridge and sometimes Titteridge.  No records have been found in the area after 1755.  I have no idea if or how these individuals are related to the main family of Titheridges from Cheriton.

Early Titteridges in London

In the early eighteenth century the surname Titteridge appears in the Westminster area of London.  The name occurs in the Westminster Births, Marriages and Deaths records between 1693 and 1766 and the Westminster Rent books for the period 1717 – 1765. No records for these families have been found after 1766. Records for these times are limited and when found can be difficult to read and often uninformative.  I have been unable to establish where these Titeridges / Titteridges have come from.
Are they native to London and not related to our family tree?
Are they related to the main Titheridge family from Cheriton?
Have they migrated from Kingsclere and Basingstoke area?
I do not know the answer to the questions posed so if you have the records that will give the answers please get in touch. Tracing family history often leads to a series of questions rather than answers.

Titeridges of Salisbury

There is one Titeridge / Titteridge family group that I can trace with certainty and these originate in Salisbury, Wiltshire.  Both spellings are used within the family but the one with a single ‘t’ is the most common. I do not know if this family group is related to the Titheridges of Cheriton.

The first reference to the name is in 1770 when Thomas and Mary Titteridge are in Salisbury. They have five children

  • Elizabeth baptised 14 June 1770 in Salisbury St Thomas buried February 1773
  • Charlotte baptised 8 June 1771 in Salisbury St Edmund
  • Sophia baptised 4 November 1772 Salisbury St Edmund buried 15 May 1775
  • Lucy baptised 4 February 1775 in Salisbury St Thomas
  • Thomas baptised 20 March 1777 in Salisbury St Thomas

On 19 January 1780 the wife of Thomas is buried at Salisbury St Edmund. Six weeks later on 2 March Thomas married again to a widow Mary Langtry. There are no known children to the second marriage. In October 1794 Thomas took a third wife Fanny Boniface in Sherborne, Dorset. Thomas’s daughter Lucy had married Edward Amos three years earlier in Sherborne. Thomas senior stayed in the Salisbury area as evidenced from hospital admissions in March and June 1799 and again in April 1808. Thomas died sometime before 1813 and his widow Fanny (Frances) was buried in Shaftesbury Holy Trinity on 29 January 1813.

The Titeridges of Andover 

Thomas’s son, also called Thomas, was a hatter and he moved from Sherborne to Andover.  He married Mary New in Andover parish church on 30 October 1800. Thomas and Mary had ten children all baptised in Andover between 1802 and 1820.  The children were

  • Ann baptised 19 April 1802.  Ann married a man called Chandler who died young leaving her a widow to bring up her children. Before she was married she had a daughter Eliza Titeridge born 31 July 1820 in Andover.
  • Henry baptised 8 February 1804 buried in 1805
  • Mary baptised 5 October 1807 died 1884 in Andover unmarried
  • Sarah baptised 29 April 1808 died 1877 in Epsom Surrey unmarried
  • Elizabeth baptised 30 March 1810 buried 12 April 1810
  • William baptised 20 March 1811 died in 1879 in Epsom (see below)
  • Eliza baptised 7 September 1814 buried 15 July 1819
  • Edward  baptised 29 May 1816 a twin buried 1 February 1817
  • Thomas baptised 29 May 1816 a twin buried 9 November 1816
  • James baptised 24 November 1820 died December 1857

Mary died in Andover in 1850 aged 76 and Thomas died in Andover in 1853 aged 76.

William Titeridge and family

William Titeridge was the only child to carry on the surname.  He married Jane Gilbert in Andover on 8 September 1836. Later they moved to Stepney / Tower Hamlets area of London. William and Jane had four children

  • William Henry born 1 August 1837 Andover and Christened on 30 August.  When William was 25 he emigrated to the USA arriving on 5 July 1862. He was known to be living in Brooklyn in 1867 and 1872.  He died aged 35 on 5 April 1873 in Kings, New York
  • Eliza baptised 6 May 1839 Andover died in Andover in 1915 and remained unmarried
  • Henry baptised 1841 in Andover died in Cornwall in June 1918 (see below)
  • Jane baptised 25 July 1845 in Stepney London and buried in Stepney on 27 December 1846

William’s wife, Jane, died in Stepney in March 1850 and William married a second time to Elizabeth Lambert on 19 June 1852  at Holy Trinity church Mile End and they had three children

  • Frances Alfred  born September 1853 in Stepney and died March 1855 in Stepney
  • Marian Frances baptised 15 February 1855 in Stepney St Dunstan married to Arthur Curtis on 17 November 1877 at St Paul Bow Common.
  • Alice Maud  born September 1857 in Stepney unmarried and buried 22 April 1937 in Bethnal Green

Elizabeth died in Stepney in 1877 and two years later William died in Epsom, Surrey.

Henry and Maria Titeridge – the last of the line

William and Jane’s son, Henry, was a bachelor for many years before marrying at the age of 60 to a widow. Henry grew up in Andover and later moved to London. On the 1871 census he is a bachelor working as a shorthand writer in a solicitor’s office and living in Mary-le-Bow with a visitor Maria Hitchcock of Andover who is married. Thirty years later at the age of 60 Henry, an insurance clerk, marries a widow Maria Hitchcock (nee Hickman) in June 1901 in Devon.  If you have an interest in Maria I recommend visiting the Hampshire Record Office where there are letters written by Maria to Mr Bennett remembering life in Andover in days gone by.  I partially read them over 20 years ago and one day I will go back and find out more. Henry died in Jun 1918 in St Columb, Cornwall aged 77. His will shows he left his money £1953 12s 11d to Maria. Maria died in Andover in Jun 1930 aged 91.

End of the line

Despite the birth of 23 descendents of Thomas Titeridge the end of the line for the surname came in the June 1937 when Thomas's great granddaughter, Alice Maud, died in Bethnal Green aged 79, she was the last of the Titteridges.

Titeridge Family Tree
Family Tree of Thomas Titeridge 1750 to 1937

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Tough Justice for William Titheridge

The story of a child’s punishment for stealing some turnips

Two hundred years ago life for the poor was hard. Rural communities who relied on agriculture were suffering from decreased employment because of increased efficiency of agriculture, enclosures and mechanisation. A typical agricultural labourer earnt just ten shillings a week and feeding a family on these wages was tough. This was made more difficult because the Napoleonic wars with France had increased the price of basic commodities.

When ends did not meet people were placed in the workhouse but with the increasing numbers needing assistance ‘outdoor relief’ was given, which meant money was given to the individuals directly to assist them rather than admit them to the workhouses. The Overseer determined how much each person received and for what reason. East Meon in Hampshire was one such rural village hit by the changes in Agriculture. The East Meon Overseers book for the period between 1819 to 1826 is still in existence and can be viewed at the Hampshire Archives. During this period outdoor relief was given to 333 parishioners, among the individuals listed as getting handouts is Thomas Titheridge.

Thomas Titheridge (b about 1774 – d1846) had married Jane Tee (b1776 – d about 1831) on 25 September 1803 in Bishops Waltham.  From 1805 they lived in the village of East Meon.  They had six children all born in the village.

  • William (b1805 – d1866)
  • Ann (b1807 – d1824)
  • Henry (b1808 – d ?)
  • Harriet (b1811 - d1831)
  • James (b1818 – d ?)
  • Maria.(b1820 – d1833)

It is because there was great deal of poverty that crime was high as people tried to survive the conditions. It is not surprising that people living in such harsh conditions found themselves on the wrong side of the law. Crime was punished harshly, with the pillory, transportation to Australia and prison being among the common sentences. Children were often treated in the same way as adults, receiving similarly harsh punishments.

By 1819 Thomas’ son, William, was the eldest child in a family of five children struggling to make ends meet. In December 1819 William found himself on the wrong side of the law and he appeared at the Epiphany Quarter Sessions in Winchester.  Quarter Sessions were held four times a year and here lesser crimes were dealt with by local Justices of the Peace.

The Quarter Sessions Records read:

“William Titheridge, aged 13, committed December 29 1819 by Thomas Butler Esq. and Rev John Baynes, clerk, for 124 days imprisonment for having stolen a quantity of turnips, the property of William Weeks at Eastmeon, whereby he was adjudged to pay the penalty of ten shillings which he did not have.”

It is hard for us to understand this degree of punishment for an adult yet alone a boy of 13 - over 3 months in prison for such a minor crime is incomprehensible to us today.

William went on to marry Elizabeth Lee in East Meon on 28 July 1827 and they had 15 children all born in East Meon between 1827 and 1854.
East Meon Cross Street

High Street East Meon

Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Tidridge Family of Cork

William and Mary Tidridge of Cork with family around 1906
From left to right: Back row: Louisa (Lou), Ann, William (father), Mary (Molly)
Middle row: John or William, Ruth, Mary (mother), Harriot, John or Wiliam, Elizabeth
Front row sitting: James Alexander.
This photograph has been published by kind permission of Bob Powell

Tidridges in Eire

It was over 15 years ago when I first came across a reference on the Internet to someone with the surname Tidridge living in Doneraile. My first question was “Where is Doneraile”?  The answer to this question is that it is a small village about 30 miles north of Cork in southern Ireland. My next questions were “Who are these Tidridges in Eire?” and “Are they related to the Tidridge family group living in Bishop’s Waltham in the early nineteenth century?”

The Tidridges of Bishops Waltham Hampshire

The Tidridges of Bishops Waltham, Hampshire were a family I had done a lot of research on in the past. The surname Tidridge was first used in Bishops Waltham by the children of William Titheridge and Priscilla Pargent. The four children Fanny (1806 – 1866) William (1809 – 1873) Charles (1812 – 1862) and Henry (1815 - 1868) were all born with their births registered with the surname Titheridge but they were all using the surname spelt Tidridge by the time of their death and in the case of Henry he was also using the name spelt Tidridge by the time of his marriage to Ann Newell in 1840. Henry Tidridge and Ann Newell had 11 children and it is one of their sons William who emigrated to Eire.

William Tidridge (1845 – 1929)

William was the fourth child born to Henry and Ann in Bishops Waltham, Hampshire on 13 December 1845. On the 1851 census William was aged 5 and living with his family at 223 High Street in Bishops Waltham and by the 1861 census he was 15 and working as a “pot boy” at the local inn, The Crown Hotel in St Georges Square, Bishops Waltham.
On 22 December 1870 William signed up for the army for 12 years in the Rifle Brigade, giving his age as 19 years 2 months. In fact he was 25years when he enlisted, but I have no idea why he would have lied about his age or alternatively how he could be so confused over his age. The 1871 census sees him in the 2nd Battalion of the Princes Own Rifle Brigade at Hougham, Dover still claiming to be 19 years old.  At the end of William’s twelve years’ service he re-engaged in the army for a further 10years. Throughout his career he gained promotion, first to corporal in 1874, Sergeant in 1878, Colour Sergeant in 1882.  He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal on 25 May 1889 and the Ashantee Medal and Clasp for Coomassie. He was finally discharged from the army on 16 November 1891.

Life in Cork

By the time William left the army he was married to an Irish girl from Cork. On leaving the army he became sexton at the Church of Ireland (Anglican) church of St Mary Shandon in Sunday’s Well, a suburb of Cork City, Eire. He died in Cork on 29 September 1929 age 83 and is buried in St Finbarr's Cemetery, Glasheen, Cork. Interestingly the age on his death record is now correct with his birth year, unlike during his army years.
It was on 27 June 1882, while he was still in the army, that William married Mary Baker Brown in Cork. In 1901 and 1911 census William and Mary were living at Strawberry Hill Lane in Cork with their children. William and Mary had ten children.  All of these were born in Cork, with the exception of Ann, William and Elizabeth who were born in Westmeath 150 miles north of Cork.  The children were:
John Harry (1883 – 1946)
Born 18 January 1883. Married Evelyn Davis in Elham Kent in 1911. John and Evelyn had two sons Lionel and William born in Elham. John served with Lancashire Fusiliers in World War 1.The family emigrated to Canada after the war.
Ann Amelia (1885 – 1930)
Born 15 February 1885. Known as Annie. Married Thomas Joseph Kerr September 1914 in Cork and they had 6 children.
William Alfred (1887 – 1969)
Born 5 September 1887. Known as Bill. Married Helen Geraldine Rea in June 1909 in Cork.  They had no children. They emigrated back to England.
Elizabeth Jane (1889 -1956)
Known as Lizzie. Born 5 July 1889. Died in Cork aged 67 in Sept 1956. Never married. She did however look after her sister’s Ann’s children when he sister died in 1930.
Mary Alice (1892 ?)
A twin known as Molly. Lived in Cork.  Married Richard Osmond Powell in September 1920 and had two sons.
Louisa Francis (1892 -1942)
A twin known as Lou. Married Rev John Hartley Roundhill in September 1922 in Cork.  They had no children.
James Alexander (1894 – 1961)
Known as Jim. James served in the Royal Garrison Artillery in 82nd Battery in World War 1. He was discharged on health grounds. He married Mary Dymphna Walsh (May) of Doneraile in Kensington, London in 1925. They then moved back to Eire. They had no children.
Ruth Lydia (1896 – 1977)
Lived in Cork and never married.
George Tidridge (1898 – 1898)
Died as a baby
Harriet Edith ( 1899 – 1980)
Known as Edie. Married George Harley Bishop in December 1938 in Cork and had one daughter

Tidridges of Doneraile

It was James Alexander and his wife May who I first found reference to in Doneraile.  They had a shop High Street.  In Michael Shine's book on Doneraile he writes:

“Tidridge: This was a very tasty shop run by Mr James Tidridge and his wife May, whose maiden name was Walsh. They sold newspapers and magazines, comics and journals of all description (and one-penny ice cream - either "pink or white"). He also did groceries and cigarettes and confectionery. He came to Doneraile as a carpenter to the mill and was a very able craftsman.”

So indeed this family in Doneraile came from Cork and originally from Bishops Waltham family.  It would appear there are no longer individuals with the Tidridge surname living in Eire, however some of the descendants are still there and we would love to hear from them if they read this.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

1935 Wedding of Violet Gwenda Titheridge

The Wedding of Violet Gwenda Titheridge 1935

Today I came across a newspaper article giving a lovely description of a Titheridge wedding that took place 82 years ago. The description of the wedding was so thorough that you could almost picture it. I was also surprised to see the article included a complete list of wedding gifts received and who had given them. All the weddings on the page were written up in the same way so it was obviously the fashionable thing to do. I would be worried about giving too small a gift if this was to happen today!

Here is the newspaper article of the wedding.

Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser 02 August 1935

 "Hartfield Wedding

A wedding of considerable local interest took place at Hartfield Parish Church on Saturday, when Miss Violet Gwenda Titheridge, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Titheridge, of Perryhill, Hartfield, was married to Mr Ronald Arthur Boorman, son of the late Mr. and the late Mrs Boorman, of Tunbridge Wells, and of Shepherds Hill, Coleman’s Hatch. The bride and bridegroom are both well-known and very popular in the village.

The bride who was given away by her father, was attired in white lace with ruffled silk with veil and wreath of orange blossom and carried a bouquet of white carnations and pink rosebuds. Her ornament was a gold and crystal necklace.  She was attended by four bridesmaids and one small page. They were Miss Joan Titheridge (sister), Miss Eileen Betterton and Misses Marcelle and Audrey Shoesmith (friends), and Master Malcolm Adams (nephew).  The two eldest were in pale pink dresses with large crinoline hats to match, and carried bouquets of pale yellow rosebuds.  The two younger maids were in long Victorian dresses of pale green sylmira, with pink rosebud head-dresses, and they carried Victorian posies.  They wore crystal necklaces, the gifts of the bridegroom.  The small page was in a green silk suit with a white silk blouse.  His gift from the bridegroom was a gold tie pin. 

The bride’s mother was dressed in blue crepe-de-chine, with navy silk marocain coat and hat to match. Mr Alfred Adams the bridegroom’s cousin, was best man. 

The Rector, the Rev. H. A. James, officiated at the ceremony, which was choral.  The hymns, “O Perfect Love” and “Love Divine” were sung, and as the bridal party left the church the Wedding March was played by Mr. T Floyd, the organist, while a merry peal was rung on the church bells by the local band of ringers.  About forty guests attended the reception at the Anchor Hotel, and later the happy couple left by car for Hastings, where the honeymoon is being spent.  The bride travelled in a pale blue crepe-de-chine dress with coat and hat to match.  The future home of Mr and Mrs Boorman will be at Stone Cottage, Hartfield.
List of Presents
Bride to Bridegroom, gold wrist watch: Bridegroom to Bride, silver dressing table set: Bride’s Father, tea service and bouquets; Bride’s mother, silver teapot …..”

The list of presents carries on with the giver listed and then present.  Presents were silver jam pot and spoon, cheque, cut glass trinket set, fruit set, picture, singer sewing machine, bath towels, linen tablecloth and serviettes, cheque, dinner service, cut glass salad bowl and servers, hand painted butter dish and silver knife, treasury note, hand crocheted afternoon tea cloth, bath towels, salad bowl and servers and salad knife, bath towels, table runner, glass cake dish, engraved biscuit barrel and “spot” honey jar, Treasury note, bedroom towels, marmalade jar, sweet dishes, pillow cases, tablecloth, table knives, biscuit barrel, pyrex dish, embroidered bed set, pyrex dishes, cooling pyrex dishes, hand crocheted table centre, clock, case of teaspoons and sugar tongs, lemonade set, chromium fruit dish, set of pillow cases and bolster, hand worked afternoon tea cloth, hand worked tray cloth, cruet, pin cushion, sandwich set, tea tray and cloth, silver plated jam spoon and butter knife, fruit dish, vases, powder bowl, jam pot, ware bowl, embroidered pillow cases, jam pot and spoon, wine glasses and old Derby china, tea tray, case of silver egg spoons.

Who was Violet Titheridge?

Violet Gwenda Titheridge was the six times great grand daughter of John Titheridge and Ann Quallat.  Her parents were James Forder Titheridge and Alice A Jukes.  James was born in Froxfield, Hampshire in 1882 and can be found on the 1891and 1901 census living in Sages Lane, Froxfield. In 1901 James was working as a gardener. After this he moved around and in June 1911 married Alice in the Mere district of Wiltshire.  Violet was born here on 17 August 1912.  James was probably in the army in WW1. By 1921 the family was living in the Alton district of Hampshire where Violet's sister Joan was born.  At some point after 1921 the family moved to Hartfield, Sussex. It was here that Violet married Ronald in 1935. On the 1939 register Violet and Ronald are living in Stone Cottage, Hartfield, with their one year old son and Ronald is working as a postman.  A second child was born a few years later.  Ronald died in 1979 in the Uckfield area and Violet died in 1998 in Haywards Heath area of Sussex.

In case you think the name Hartfield, Sussex sounds familiar it is because this was the home of A. A. Milne author of the Winnie the Pooh books and now a tourist spot visited by Winnie the Pooh fans who come to see local places associated with the books including Pooh bridge where Pooh dropped Pooh Sticks. A. A. Milne lived in Hartfield, one mile from Violet and Ronald, from 1925 until he died in 1956.

Are you related to Violet and can add to this story?  If so please get in touch.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Ernest Alfred Tidridge died 4 August 1917 - “Lest we forget”

Ernest Alfred Tidridge 1898 -1917

Southampton Cenotaph
Southampton Cenotaph

Southampton Cenotaph

In a quiet Southampton park is the cenotaph with the names of the men of Southampton who died in World War 1. Among the names is ERNEST ALFRED TIDRIDGE. The names are fading as the stone deteriorates and at the start of the 21st century it was decided to add glass panels to the memorial.  A glass wall consisting of eight large panels was built alongside the Cenotaph engraved with the names of the World War I casualties and, in addition, those from Southampton who had died in later conflicts. The memorial Wall included a total of 2,368 names from the First World War.

Behind each name is a story of a life wasted by the ravages of war. On 4th August 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the death of Ernest Alfred Tidridge, let us remember him. This is his story

Ernest Tidridge’s Family

Ernest Alfred Tidridge was the son of Harry John Tidridge (1863 - 1944) and Emma Louisa Newman (1862 - 1939) of 2 Silverdale Road, Southampton. Harry was a church verger at St Mark's Church Southampton. Harry and Emma had 11 children. The children were

  • Edward Harry Francis Tidridge (1884-1971) emigrated to USA and married Ellen Connor
  • Annie Louisa (Sis) Tidridge (1886-1949) emigrated to USA married Harold King
  • William John Newman Tidridge (1888-1969) married Ethel Merefield
  • George Harold Tidridge (1889 – 1973)
  • Amelia Minnie Georgina Tidridge (1891-1936) married Ernest Seward
  • Bertie Tidridge (1893-1958) married Bertie Leamon
  • Daisy Lillian Tidridge (1896-1966)
  • Ernest Alfred Tidridge (1898-1917)
  • John H Tidridge (1900-1900)
  • Louisa Ellen (Lulu) Tidridge (1903-1981) (married John Place
  • Walter Sidney Tidridge (1905-1990) married Frances Clark

Joining the Royal Hampshire Regiment

Ernest’s elder brother, William, had enlisted with the Royal Hampshire Regiment within 8 days of war being declared in 1914, with brother Bertie joining up later.  Ernest probably enlisted in late 1915.  He first served with the 2nd Battalion and then the 14th Battalion of the Royal Hampshire Regiment. He did not enter a theatre of war until after the beginning of 1916 as he was only awarded the British War and Victory Medals.  We are unsure when Ernest was transferred from one battalion to the other but he was serving with the 14th when he died. The 14th (Service) Battalion was raised in Portsmouth. It was sent to France in March 1916 and  took part in the Battle of the Somme .

3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele)

Ernest's Battalion was moved to Ypres area where in July 1917 they took part in the Third Battle of Ypres. The Third Battle of Ypres was a series of operations rather than one battle and is more commonly known as Passchendaele after the Flemish village which was the final objective.

The first of these battles, the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, began on 31 July 1917. The 14th Hampshire Battalion were in action as part of 41st Division’s attack from just northwest of Wieltje towards St Julien – a distance of around 3,000 yards.

The war diary of this battalion is very concise and limited in detail. In the build up to the attack it shows the battalion were at Houlle (30 miles west of Ypres) from 22nd June where they underwent training, practising for the attack to come.  On 15th July they moved closer to the front and again on 23rd July they moved closer again.  They continued to do training exercises, digging mock trenches and practising attacks. On 30th July they moved to the assembly positions in and behind the bilge trench. The entries for 31st July at Hill Top Sector shows that they advanced at 3.50am from the assembly position.  They attacked and captured three German Lines.  The 116th Brigade took the village of St Julien but were forced to give it up due to enemy artillery fire and vigorous counter-attacks. However, 14th Hampshires managed to hold on to their positions outside the village, until relieved on 4 August. By the end of the first day, 31st July, the battalion had captured 2 Field Guns and one 4.5 Howitzer, 17 Machine Guns and over 200 prisoners.  The cost was high however - 2 officers killed, 3 wounded, 1 died of wounds and for the other ranks 17 killed; 1 died of wounds; 156 wounded; 42 missing.  About one-fifth of the Battalion was killed or wounded that day.  It is likely Ernest was one of the wounded on this day.

This account on the Hurst War Memorial Website  gives a good account of the action.

“14th Battalion formed part of 116 Brigade whose mission was to attack the German trenches opposite St Julien, a tiny Belgium farming village. At 4am. shrill whistles blew and the men rushed forward across No Man's Land before the German counter barrage could hit them. After reaching the firm ground of Admiral's Road, a farm track in No Man's Land, they pushed on across shell torn fields, occasionally diving into shell holes for protection. They reached the first objective of Caliban Trench, the old German front line, which had already been taken by the 11th Royal Sussex Battalion. The 14th Hampshires passed through them as they consolidate the position. It was still only 4.30am. and the Battalion continued its advance towards Juliet Farm and beyond that to the village of St Julien, the objective of the day. The attack was held up by machine guns of German defenders still clinging on to some of the pillboxes and by 9 a.m. heavy rain had set in and lasted for the next five days. With the help of tanks the 14th Hampshires overcame these defences and went on to capture and hold the village of St Julien.”

Died of Wounds

Ernest died of wounds at the Casualty Clearing Station at Dozinghem on 4 August 1917 aged 19. This was one of three casualty clearing stations set up in July 1917, in readiness for the forthcoming offensive.   Ernest's death was probably as a result of wounds sustained during the attack of 31st July at Pickhelm Ridge, although the battalion also suffered further casualties on the first 2 days of August.

Ernest was buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Westvleteren, Belgium.  The village is north of Poperinge. He is buried in Plot 2, Row C Grave 7.  There are now 3,174 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in the cemetery and 65 German war graves from this period

A picture of Ernest's grave can be seen at the following link

His War grave reads:
In Memory of  E. A. Tidridge, Private 35264
14th Bn. Hampshire Regiment
who died on Saturday 4th August 1917 age 19

Ernest Tidridge on Southampton Cenotaph
Ernest Tidridge's name on Southampton Cenotaph

Glass screens attached to Southampton Cenotaph
Glass Screens added to Southampton Cenotaph
Ernest Tidridge name on Southampton Cenotaph
Ernest Tidridge's Name on glass screen
at Southampton Cenotaph

Memorial to men of Royal Hampshire Regiment
Memorial to the men of the Royal Hampshire Regiment
in Winchester Cathedral

Lines from "For the Fallen" By Robert Binyon 1914

They shall not grow 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 morning
We will remember them.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Joseph Titheridge died 31 July 1917 – “He died for Freedom and Honor”

JosephTitheridges's name
insribed on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres

On 31st July 1917 Joseph Titheridge lost his life in the World War 1 battlefield in the Third Battle of Ypres known as Passchendaele.  

Let us remember him and the sacrifice he made.

This is his story.

Joseph Titheridge’s family

Joseph Titheridge was born in the Edmonton district of London to George Titheridge and Georgina Hanniball.  He was the six times great grandchild of Ann Quallat and John Titheridge.  Joseph was one of 10 children born to George and Georgina two of which had died in childhood.  The children were:

  • Ruth (1883 – 1971)
  • George David (1884 - 1885) died age 1
  • Samuel (1885 - 1957) married Maud Clifford
  • Mary (1886 - ?) married Victor Callick
  • Lily (1888 - ?) married Albert Boorman
  • Joseph (1889- 1917)
  • William Henry (1892 -1951) married Emma Masters
  • Daisy (1895 - ?)married Frederick Warren
  • Rose (1897 – 1904) died age 7
  • Ernest (1900 -1976) married Elsie Judge

Joining 8th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment

Joseph joined up in October 1914 joining the 8th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, his regimental number was 4739.  The 8th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment were formed at Chichester in September 1914 as part of Kitchener’'s Army.  Initial volunteers were from all over Sussex.  The battalion was under strength when it arrived in Colchester in October 1914 so further men were recruited from the London area (hence Joseph ended up in the Sussex Regiment).  On 4th February 1915 it became the Pioneer Battalion of 18th Eastern Division, a role it would keep for the rest of the war.  Pioneers acted as a compromise between infantry and engineers.  Ordinary infantry training was kept up, as pioneers were liable to be used as infantry when the need arose.  The main work of the pioneers was in construction and maintaining the trenches, making and repairing roads and construction of light railways.  This work was often in the front line, usually at night and consequently under shell and sniper fire.

French Battlefields

In May 1915 the 8th Battalion moved to Salisbury Plain and then crossed to France on 24th July 1915 landing at Boulogne.  The 8th Battalion moved to the Somme front, and took over trenches in the Mametz-Montauban sector.  They remained in this quiet sector until the Battle of the Somme taking part in the attack on Montauban on 1st July 1916.  The battalion was engaged in various actions during the Battles of the Somme between July 1916 and early 1917 these included Capture of Trones Wood; The Battle of Delville Wood; The Battle of Thiepval Ridge; The Battle of the Ancre Heights; Capture of Schwaben Redoubt and Capture of Regina Trench.

The battalion stayed on the Somme until the Spring of 1917, when it moved to the Arras front.  Here it took part in the fighting on the Hindenburg Line at Héninel, and at Chérisy on 3rd May 1917.

Belgium Battlefields

The 8th battalion Royal Sussex Regiment then moved to Flanders, to take part in the Third Battle of Ypres known as Passchendaele at the end of July 1917.  They were attached to the 53rd Brigade 18th Eastern division.  General Haig's primary objective was to dislodge the Germans from their dominant positions on the high ground near the Belgium town of Ypres, Haig then envisaged an advance on Belgian coastal ports from where German U-boats threatened Allied shipping. The Third Battle of Ypres was a series of actions that were fought from 31 July to 6 November 1917, with about 275,000 allied troops and 220,000 Germans dying in the battle. The campaign won the allied forces only small gains.

On 31 July, after a fortnight's intense bombardment of German positions, nine divisions of the Fifth Army assaulted the high ground to the north-east of Ypres, and made good progress across Pilckem Ridge, but by late afternoon German counter-attacks had regained much ground and wet weather had set in.  Ceaseless unseasonal rain in the following days turned the shell-damaged ground into a quagmire, severely hampering the movement of advancing men, the relocating of artillery, and the carrying of casualties and supplies.

Killed in Action at Pilckem Ridge

The 8th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment fought along the Menin Road in the Battle of Pilckem Ridge on 31 July 1917 on the first day of the third battle of Ypres.  It was here that Joseph was killed in action.  Reading the war diary for the battalion it clear that they were under heavy attack from the German guns.  At the end of the day the diary lists the wounded and dead, there were 45 wounded 3 dead.  Unusually this war diary lists the name of every soldier wounded and killed whatever their rank (usually the officers are named and the men are just numbers of casualties).

Private Joseph Titheridge has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres in Belgium.  His name is on panel 20. The monument list the names of 55,000 men who were lost without trace during the defence of the Ypres Salient in WW1.

To see pictures of the Menin Gate Memorial see the link below

Joseph was awarded postumeously the Victory Medal, British Medal, 1915 Star Medal.

Death Plaque

In 1916 the British Government decided to create a memorial for the next of kin of men who had died.  This bore  Britannia on it (symobolising British imperial power and unity), with Poseidon’s trident (symbolising British naval dominance) and a laurel wreath (symbolising victory).  Each bronze plaque was inidividually cast with the soldier's name in a rectangluar box, they were nicknamed “Death Plaque “.  It was inscribed with the words "He died for Freedom and Honor”.  Joseph’s parents, like all next of king, received a Death Plaque and a scroll.  A picture of this is below (although it is no longer in the family).  

Joseph Titheridge's Death Plaque and Memorial Scroll
Reproduced by kind permission of John Tidridge
Cap badge of the Royal Sussex Regiment

A poem of Remembrance   -    In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Stage Name

Ann Titheradge in Google Alerts

This week I was rather surprised to see the name “Ann Titheradge” appear in my Google Alerts, which I use to monitor new occurrences of the Titheradge surname on the Internet.  Closer examination revealed that it was referencing an Ann Titheradge, actress who lived 1916 to 2004.  Examination of my records showed there was no Ann Titheradge born at this time nor subsequently did an Ann (other than me) marry into the Titheradge family.

Who was Ann Titheradge?  

Research showed that this was one of the grandchildren of the Victorian actor George Sutton Titheradge and niece of the famous Madge Titheradge and Dion Titheradge.  She chose to take her mother’s maiden name as a “stage name”, thus providing good publicity for her acting career and identifying that she was part of the talented Titheradge dynasty.

Ann Titheradge - Actress

Actress “Ann Titheradge” was not only not a Titheradge she was also not called Ann.  She was christened Patricia Ann Cochrane daughter of Evelyn (Eve) Titheradge and Frank Cochrane both of whom appeared on the stage in the early 20th century.  Evelyn and Frank had three daughters Primrose born in 1922 and twins Patricia Ann and Pamela Madge born 16 February 1916 in St George Hanover Square district of London.  Patricia married John Alfred A Pannell in 1960 in Marylebone, London.  John and Patricia had no children.  John died in the Brighton area in 1975.  Around 1990 Patricia was living in Hove, Sussex.  She lived until she was aged 87 when she died in Glamorganshire, Wales in 2004.  The 1939 register, taken at the start of World War 2, has her recorded as Patricia A Titheradge, corrected to Patricia A Cochrane with Ann Titheradge written beside.

Patricia Cochrane's Acting Career

Using historical newspapers it has been possible to follow Patricia's (Ann's) acting career.  Patricia and twin Pamela started ballet dancing aged 10.  At the age of 16 they started creating an act with various dance routines but this didn't last long so while Pamela continued with her dancing career Ann went to the Embassy Theatre London where the Embassy School of Acting was based.  Her acting career began in 1934 aged 18 with small roles.  From September 1935 she started to get more important roles appearing in the play “The Dominant Sex”.  Between 1936 and February 1939 she worked in the Coventry Repertory Theatre where she took on over 100 roles playing varying characters from school girls to old women.  She obtained one interesting role in a play “Nina” which required two identical actresses.  Patricia’s twin Pamela played the second role, she had now given up dancing and was also an actress using the stage "Pamela Titheradge".  Patricia appeared in the Nottingham Theatre in October 1939 and continued to appear on stage until June 1940.  There are no newspaper references to her acting during the rest of the war time but there is a reference that during the war she moved to London and drove ambulances in the Blitz, but I have been unable to confirm this with any documentation.  After the war she reappeared on the stage in Birmingham and London between 1945 and 1948. Plays included “Wishing Well”, “This Was A Woman” and “Life With Father”.  Later she made her debut in films and appeared in a three movies "Shooting Star" (1949), "Gone to Earth" (1950) and "The Mysterious Count" (1951).  It appears her acting career ceased in 1951.

Important Lesson for genealogist

This blog illustrates the important lesson that if you are doing genealogy don’t automatically accept anything on the Internet  - you must confirm it with documentation and evidence.  Remember things are not always what they seem as illustrated by –not really “Ann Titheradge” but actually Patricia of Titheradge descent!

Do you have additional information?

If you have any information or photographs of Patricia Ann Cochrane / Patricia Ann Pannell / Ann Titheradge actress please contact us by email or add a comment below.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Madge Titheradge on Film

Madge Titheradge
Famous Actress 1887 -1961
Madge Titheradge, a famous actress in the early twentieth century, is our most famous family member.  Photographs of her abound on the internet but recently while looking at the Imperial War Museum site in London I came across a 35mm film with Madge filmed in 1917.  Madge was like our film stars of today and was cheered and admired by fans wherever she went.  The hundred year old silent film shows her selling war bonds to help the World War 1 war effort.  Before giving you the link to the film here is a little bit of the history behind the film.  I found this fascinating as never before had I thought about how Britain paid for the war.

“Tank Banks” – World War 1 Fund Raising

Tanks were a new invention that first appeared in World War 1 in the Battle of the Somme.  In November 1917 the Tank Corps achieved its first success at Cambrai, France.  The news of this success meant the public wanted to see this new war machine, thereby creating a fundraising opportunity for the British Government.  A committee initiated a very successful ‘Tank Bank’ campaign.  Six Mark IV tanks toured the towns and cities of England to promote the sale of government war bonds and war savings certificates.  The touring tanks would arrive in cities with great fanfare and speeches.  They would spend a week in a town and young ladies would sell war bonds from a table inside the tank.  It became a competition, enhanced by the newpaper's reporting, with the town or city that invested the most money per capita winning a tank.  West Hartlepool won the tank raising over £31 per capita and in total over two million pounds were invested in tank banks.

The fund raising began in London reported in The Times on 24th November
“The establishment to of a tank bank in Trafalgar Square on Monday should do a great deal to stimulate public interest in the sale of the bonds.  The tank will be the central feature of a novel war exhibition.  Intending purchasers of bonds will be able to go inside the tank to buy them”

On 26 November 1917 a battle scarred tank, brought over from France, was displayed in Trafalgar Square.  It was an immediate success.

On 27 November The Times reported
“Tank Bank Opened - Brisk Day in Trafalgar Square
The Tank War Saving Bank in Trafalgar Square is an assured success.  From the hour of opening ceremony yesterday morning until the light failed in the afternoon there was a continuous procession of people eager to buy the bonds or certificated handed out from the interior of the monster.”

The Papers continued to report on the success and reported on the involvement of the stars of the theatre.
“The fifth day of the campaign was the best day yet with over £156,000 subscribed by people from all walks of life.  A woman tendered a cheque for £7,000 worth of bonds, a man bought four separate £1,000 bonds and four Irish men each paid £100.  The subscriptions continued and hearty cheers were raised when an American sailor invested £25, an old man walked up to the window and asked for certificates to the value of £100."This is all I can do to help", he said, "but I do it willingly in memory of four boys of mine who have given all they could   their lives". 
At noon, George Robey brought a large party of theatrical performers into the square who all bought bonds at the tank, while Miss Madge Titheradge recited 'The Song of England' from the top of it.  By the end of the day £156,560 had been taken. It had been an excellent day”

The Film of Madge Titheradge Selling War Bonds

To see the film of Madge selling War Bonds click the link below to the Imperial War Museum Site.  If you don’t want to watch all of the film Madge appears 3.10 minutes into the film for about 45 second

The 5 minute film was made on 5 December 1917 and has 5 sections covering recent events.  The narrative on the Imperial War Museum website describes the relevant bit of the film thus
“Miss Madge Titheradge recites "The Song of England" a poem by Alfred Noyes.  George Robey sells £4,000 worth of War Bonds.  Mr Robey, 'The Prime Minister of Mirth', addresses the crowd from the top of the tank, presumably introducing Miss Titheradge, who recites the poem with appropriate gestures.  In the background the National Gallery is decorated with a huge bill-board recording the sales of War Bonds in 'Provincial England'.  George Robey buys some bonds from Miss Titheradge, now sitting at a table alongside the tank - she laughs gaily, watched by a numerous crowd of admirers”

Hope you enjoy and find this piece of history interesting.

Friday, 9 June 2017

In Memory of Arthur Robert Titheradge died at Ypres 9 June 1917

Today, 9 June 2017, let us remember Arthur Robert Titheradge Gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery 234th Siege Battery who died 100 years ago today in the First World War, the only member of the Titheradge branch of the family to die in World War One.  

This is the story of Arthur and his family.

Arthur’s Parents and Siblings 

Arthur Titheradge was the eldest son of Robert Arthur Titheradge and Alice Amelia Marion Viney.  He was one of seven children, five of whom reached adulthood.  The picture to the left is the only picture we have of Arthur, it was taken around 1900 and shows Robert and Alice with 4 of their children, Arthur is top right.  The family lived in London and all the children were all born in Paddington area.  The children were

Arthur Robert Titheradge born 2 February 1887, died 9 June 1917 in Ypres, France.
William Charles Titheradge born 10 July 1888, died September 1963 in Cuckfield, Sussex. 
Walter James Titheradge born 31 May 1890; died aged 2 in September 1892 in Paddington.
Laura Marion Titheradge born 10 July 1893, London; died when less than a year old in March 1894.
Dorothy Alice Titheradge born 11 July 1896, died December 1977 in Paignton, Devon.
Eric George Titheradge born 5 July 1898, died in 1957 in Simonstown, South Africa.
Winifred Marion Titheradge was born 18 August 1902, she died in 1955. 

Robert and Alice and family moved around the Paddington area of London on a regular basis. 
1886 Robert and Alice were residing at 4 Caroline Place, Bayswater when they married.
1887 at Arthur’s birth the family were living at 172 Queens Road.
1890 at Walter’s birth, the family had moved to 41 Caroline Place.
1891 on the census Robert and Alice and three children are living at 86 Westbourne Park Road, Paddington, 
1896 at Dorothy’s birth, they were at 186 Queens Road Paddington.  They were still at this address on the 1911 census.
1914 Robert and Alice have moved to 20 Grosvenor Avenue East Sheen, but are still keeping the property in Queens Road as a business premises. 

Robert started working life in the Royal Navy leaving in 1885.  After leaving the navy In 1887 his occupation was given as caretaker but by 1890 it had changed to stationer.  By 1891 he is a bookseller and is known to have also sold ecclesiastical goods and books at his shop at 186 Queens Road.  By 1910 he also published books, evidenced by a book recently on sale on eBay “100 Photographs of London published by Titheradge of 186 Queen’s Road”.  There is picture available on the web of an advertising bookmark which referred to Titheradge and Co as bookbinders, book sellers and stationers.  The bookmark advertises Onoto fountain pens at a cost of ten shillings and six pence.  Robert was known to be a friend and business neighbour of William Whiteley founder of the William Whiteley Limited retailers whose department store became the Whiteleys shopping centre. 

Robert died aged 54 on 19 September 1915 leaving £553 6s 3d in his will, his widow Alice lived another 28 year dying in 1943.

Arthur’s life before the army

Arthur attended St Matthews National School in Westminster for junior boys.  He was admitted on 20 October 1890 aged 3 years and 9months.  He had left school by the time he was 15 and in 1902 was appointed as a boy clerk for the Postal Service Savings Bank.  In February 1907 he was appointed as an assistant clerk working for the Board of Education. 

From my research I get the impression that Arthur had grown up in a very intellectual family with a much better education than the average family of the time.  The family appear to have a great love of books, they are greatly involved in the church and are very talented musically.  Both Arthur and his brother William are both known to play the organ and William also studied music.  All this is quite an achievement considering Robert was educated in the “Orphan Working School” in Maitland Park after the death of his father who was a painter (decorator).

Arthur met his wife Mabel Catherine Bramley at church, where he was the organist and she sang in the choir.  Twenty four year old Robert married Mabel on 6 September 1911 at the parish church of St Matthews Bayswater, at the time of the wedding he was living at 39 Bank Place, Bayswater.  His brother William was witness at the wedding.

Just over a year later Arthur and Mabel’s daughter Enid Marion Titheradge was born on 10 November 1912.

Arthur’s Military Service - World War 1

Arthur was 29 when he was called up to the army to fight in World War one.  On 1 June 1916 he enlisted for the duration of the war.  On his enrollment papers he was described as being five foot six and three quarters with a 36 inch chest.  He joined the Royal Garrison Artillery with the rank of gunner.  During his training in 1916 he passed signalling on 1 September and signalling telephoning on 18 September both first class passes. He became part of the 234th Siege battery.  Siege batteries were deployed behind the front line and tasked with destroying enemy artillery, supply routes, railways and stores. Siege Batteries were equipped with heavy Howitzer guns sending large calibre high explosive shells in high trajectory.  The Siege Batteries were most often employed in destroying or neutralising the enemy artillery, as well as putting destructive fire down on strongpoints, dumps, store, roads and railways behind enemy lines. 

Arthur was posted to France on 25 January 1917.  He sailed from Southampton and arrived at Le Havre on 26 January 1917. He was to spend just 134 days in France and Belgium, 38 days of which he was injured and in hospital.

His first injury was on 18 February when he was admitted to hospital. having been injured in the field. He spent a month on the wounded list until he was discharged to duty on 19 March 1917.  

Arthur re-joined the 234th siege battalion and on 1st June 1917 he was wounded in the field and admitted to hospital.  We are yet to find out exactly where he was fighting but according to his daughter Enid he was killed at Ypres.  I have found a record that the 234th siege battery were involved in action at Messines, Flanders on the 6th June, Messines being 6 miles south of Ypres.  The Battle of Messines took place on the 7th June 1917.  Another reference states that as a preliminary to the Battle of Messines there was artillery bombardment of the German Lines, beginning on 21 May, involving 2300 guns and heavy mortars, which was one of the heaviest artillery bombardment on the war.  It therefore seems likely the Arthur was involved in this action preliminary action.

Arthur’s records show that after his injury he was moved to The Canadian General Hospital at Etaples, France (near Boulogne) some 80 miles away from Ypres.  Injured soldiers were moved away from the front lines to the hospital. Etaples being a place selected for a hospital because it was relatively safe from attack and had railway access to the battlefields.  Robert died at Etaples of his wounds on 9 June 1917.  His service record does not state the nature of his wounds but the cemetery records say “died of wounds (gas)”.  He is buried in the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery at Etaples, Plot 25, Row H, Grave 268 a cemetery which contains 10,771 burials from World War 1.  

Arthur’s medal card shows that he was awarded two medals The Victory Medal and The British Medal.

Arthur’s daughter Enid had the memorial scroll commemorating her father.  Memorial scrolls were sent to the next of kin of those killed in action. It reads 
“He whom this scroll commemorates was numbered among those who, at the call of King and Country, left all that was dear to them endured hardness, faced danger, and finally passed out of the of men by the path of duty and self-sacrifice, giving up their own lives that others might live in freedom. Let those who come after see to it that his name be not forgotten

It appears the family did not know where Arthur was buried and in 1921 Arthur’s sister Dorothy wrote to the war graves commission to ask where her brother was buried, below is a scan of their reply.

Life for those left behind

Arthur’s widow Mabel Catherine was left with four and half year old Enid to bring up alone From Arthur’s will we know that he left £334 10s 2d.  We assume Mabel was reasonably well off as we have several share certificates belonging to her.  At the time of Arthur’s service she was living at 4 Park Lane Wallington Surrey and after his death at 7 Dalmore Road West Dulwich London.  

Three years after Arthur was killed on Mabel remarried to Sydney Herbert Clark on 18 December 1920 at the parish church of St Luke’s West Norwood London.  They lived in 140 Bingham Road, Addiscombe, Croydon in 1925 and in 1931 they were living in Holmfield, 6 Green Head Lane, Dalton, later moving to Rotherfield in East Sussex.

Enid did not know her father, she had been just three and a half when her father joined the army and four and a half when he died.  When her mother remarried Enid gained a step father who she adored and referred to him as “her beloved step father" and Sidney’s family treated her as if she was their own grandchild.  Enid went on to be a Prep School teacher and remained unmarried.  She died in 2004 aged 92.

If you can add anything to the story please get in touch by email or comment. 

Arthur's Memorial Scroll

Letter stating where Arthur is buried
Letter awarding Arthur's medals

Marriage certificate for Arthur and Mabel