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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Beautiful Northumberland and Titheridge / Titheradge Name


Eglingham War Memorial
This week my husband and I have been visiting the beautiful county of Northumberland with its amazing coast line and beautiful countryside. Birds, wildlife, photography and walking have filled our time but I could not resist getting in some family history too. For those of you unfamiliar with the geography of England, Northumberland sits on the border with Scotland over 300 miles north of Brighton and it couldn't be further away from the usual Titheridge / Titheradge abode in Hampshire and the south. However, we managed to find three links to the family name.


Our first family history visit was to Morpeth, once a small market town now a bustling town. 

The connection with the Titheradge family came about in World War 2. Mike's father Eric Norman Titheridge (Bob) was serving in the King's Royal Rifle Corp and they were stationed near Morpeth. It was here that he met Mike's Mum who lived in Morpeth. They were married on 13th May 1944. After the war they settled in Morpeth where Mike and his brother were born. The family lived in Morpeth until the early 1960s.

Mike and I wandered around Morpeth looking for familiar landmarks, family residences, churches, and gravestones.

River Wansbeck Morpeth
River Wansbeck stepping stones Morpeth

St Mary's Grave yard, Morpeth
St James the Great, Morpeth


Our second bit of family history was to visit the small village call Eglingham. Here we found the memorial which remembered those who lost their lives in World War 1.

Eglingham in Northumberland is not a place you associate with the surname Titheridge.  It is a small village situated 7 miles north west of Alnwick and 40 miles north of Newcastle.  It is about 350 miles north of Winchester in Hampshire - so why did one of our Titheridge ancestors leave Hampshire in the 1910s and head to Northumberland where neither he nor his wife had any known relatives? Presumably the answer has to be - to find work. On the Eglingham village war memorial the last name listed is Arthur Titheridge.  Arthur was born in West Meon, Hampshire, lived in East Meon, Hampshire and was killed in the Battle of the Falklands in 1914 aboard HMS Kent.  He is buried in Port Stanley in the Falklands, commemorated on the East Meon War memorial,  and at Canterbury Cathedral memorial to HMS Kent as well as being mentioned on the Eglingham memorial. Previous blogs have told his story  click here to read more.

War Memorial Eglingham
War Memorial Eglingham
War Memorial Eglingham

Distant Cousin

Our third family history visit was on the way home when we stopped near Newcastle for coffee with a distant Titheradge cousin and her daughter who we have been corresponding with for many years. Our distant cousin was born on the south coast but now resides in beautiful Northumberland.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

East Tisted Church War Memorial

A few weeks ago we visited the gardens at the National Trust property at Hinton Ampner in Hampshire. Realising we were just 9 miles away from East Tisted we made a detour on the way home to visit the village of East Tisted and its church of St James.

On the wall of the church we found what we were searching for - a Memorial plaque to the men of East Tisted killed in World War 1 and the first name on the plaque was Walter James Titheridge. To learn more about Walter see the last blog on 11th May.

Memorial Plaque inside East Tisted Church
Remembering Walter James Titheridge

East Tisted Church

East Tisted Church

East Tisted Church

Inside East Tisted Church

Inside East Tisted Church

Cottages East Tisted Village 

Friday, 11 May 2018

In Memory of Walter Titheridge who died in World War 1

Church at West Tisted, birth place of Walter 
Walter James Titheridge died in World War l in France on 11 May 1918, 100 years ago. This is his story.

Walter Titheridge’s Family 

Walter James Titheridge was born in West Tisted in 1898. He was the five times Great Grandson of John Titheridge and Ann Quallat of Cheriton. Walter was the youngest of six children born on 19 November 1898 to George Titheridge and Fanny Cooper of West Tisted. George and Fanny's children were:-

William George Titheridge born 1882 died 1962, married Daisy Ruffle
Dorothy Blanche Titheridge born 1887, married William Andrews
Albert Titheridge born 1890 died 1972, married Agnes Legg
May Titheridge born 1893, married Albert Whatmore
Ada Pamphylla Titheridge born 1896, married Thomas Bone
Walter James Titheridge born 1898 died 1918

On the 1901 census Walter was living with his parents and siblings at Upper Cottages New Tisted, and on 1911 census he was living with his parents and siblings at East Tisted. School records show he attended the school in East Tisted, starting on 11 January 1904 and leaving on 20 December 1912, age 14 to “go to work”. We do not know what his employment was.

Somerset Light Infantry

At some time during World War 1 Walter enlisted in Prince Albert's Somerset Light Infantry, 6th Battalion. He enlisted at Alton, army number 29310, but I have been unable to find the date of his joining up.

The 6th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry went to France in May 1915 and served on the Western Front throughout the war. In 1916 they fought at Delville Wood and Flers-Courcelette in the Battle of the Somme. In 1917 they were involved in the German retreat to the Hindenburg line, the Arras offensive and the Third Battles of Ypres. In 1918 the battalion suffered heavy casualties in The Battle of St Quentin and The Battle of the Avre.

21st March 1918

On 21 March 1918 the Germans began the Spring Offensive, a series of German attacks along the Western front in the Somme battlefield. The Battle of St Quentin took place from 21 March to 23 March with 72 German divisions in positions ready to attack in three waves. The British suffered a five hour artillery bombardment by over 6,600 artillery pieces with some 3.2 million shells landing on the British-held front during that first day of the attack. The German attack was assisted by the fog in the Somme battlefield with the British unable to see the movement of the Germans. Thousands of infantrymen left the German Front Line and appeared in the British forward positions without being seen. The 6th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry were part of the 14th Light division and were in the front line as the battle commenced. The explosives cut off telephone communication and the fog meant flares could not be used to communicate, hence the British troops in the front line were unable to communicate and call for artillery support. On 21st March 1918 the British suffered more than 38,000 casualties, the second worst day of losses in British military history.

6th Battalion SLI War diary for 21 March 1918

The last hours of the 6th Battalion Somerset Light Infrantry are recorded in the Battalion War Diary.
During March the Battalion were at Monteslourt, France
19th March
In the line   - Quiet 24 hours. Patrols out all night. New fire bays constructed.
20th March
In the line     Quiet 24 hours. Patrols winning. Casualties nil
21st  March
At 4.30 am the enemy opened an intense bombardment with all calibre shells, using a new kind of gas shell, the smell of which was not unpleasant, but had the effect of sleeping gas.
At 8.30 he finished gas shelling but continued with other shells.
It was very foggy, extra sentries were posted at all points.
All signal communication was cut by 7.40am.
At 10.20 news was received by runner - the enemy was in the front line.
Support companies, Battalion HQ moved into strong points “Egypt” where fighting immediately commenced.
2 pigeons were despatched and papers all burnt.
The enemy at 10.30 were streaming down the St Quentin Road from both flanks and poured into La Fozie Quarry.
At 10.35am he was reported to be pushing towards Benay and Cerizy.
1 officer, 6 runners and 3 signallers commenced to fight their way to Brigade HQ with the news to warn strong points.
1 officer reached Brigade HQ at 11.10am 2 runners arriving 10 minutes after. 1 signaller also got out successfully. After which this party were attached to 9 Scottish Rifles in reserve trenches behind Brigade HQ.
Estimated casualties 20 officers, 540 other ranks actually in the front line at the time of attack.

It is probable that by 10.30 the 6th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry had almost ceased to exist.

Prisoner of War

Private Walter James Titheridge was one of the soldiers taken prisoner from the front lines on the 21 March 1918.  Details of this were first received in England in early July and published in a Somerset paper.
10 July 1918
Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser
The Captive Somersets
The following names have been received this week of Somersets now prisoners of war in Germany
A list of 32 names appeared in the paper among them
“29310 Titheridge”.

More information about Prisoners of War can be viewed on the website of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) . During the First World War 8 million soldiers were taken prisoner and interned in camps. In 1914 the ICRC established the International Prisoners-of-War Agency in Geneva, to which the warring States submitted, lists of prisoners. The Agency received 400,000 pages of documents: lists of prisoners’ names and records of capture, of transfers between camps and of deaths in detention. For each name listed, the Agency made out an index card. These indexes also contain enquiry cards, drawn up from the written requests for information submitted daily by relatives of the missing.

I have found 5 mentions of Walter as Prisoner of War.
  • There is a list of prisoners written in German.  Entry Number 146 shows "Titheridge Walter  gen. 6 Som.L.I. taken at Benay 21.3.18. Aus den felde. (translates to off the field). Place of birth Westtested 19.11.98."
  • In a document dated 24 July 1918 it lists Walter is mentioned again "Titheridge W 29310 SLI  Kriegslazarett"  (this translates to military hospital)
  • Another document written in German translates to "Titheridge W Private SLI without further information died 11.5.18 in field hospital in Foreste from dysentery buried at cemetery in Foreste."
  • A similar document is found at this link
  • The index card shows a request for information by Walter's mother, Fanny. The card has been updated as information is received from the Germans. It shows that the ICRC were notified of Walter being a prisoner on 3 July 1918, and notified of his death on 28 August 1918 with information communicated to the family on 1 October 1918

One cannot imagine the anguish of the family. Walter was reported as missing in March and it was July before the family  heard he was a prisoner of war. Then in October they learnt that Walter had died 3 months earlier.

Commonwealth War Grave

The Commonwealth War Grave site shows the following information for Walter:
29310 Private Walter James Titheridge. 6th Btn. Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry). Age: 19. Born: West Tisted, Hants. Enlisted: Alton, Hants. Resided: East Tisted. Died. Son of George and Fanny Titheridge, of "Creeper Cottage," East Tisted, Alton, Hants. died on 11th May 1918. Buried at Foreste Communal Cemetery Plot  I B 15.

The cemetery is in Foreste, a hamlet about 15 kilometres west of St. Quentin. Foreste Communal Cemetery was used by the 92nd Field Ambulance in April 1917 but the village fell into German hands in the summer of 1918. In the cemetery are 95 UK burials of the First World War.

Walter was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

East Tisted War Memorial

Walter is remembered on a memorial plaque that is in East Tisted church. Click here to see an image.  It reads

In honoured memory of the men of East Tisted
who gave their lives for God, King and Country
in the Great War 1914 – 1919

There are 3 names, the last one reads
Walter James Titheridge Private in Somerset Light Infantry
Died while a prisoner of war in Germany 11th May 1918

"Be thou faithful unto Death and I will give thee a crown of life” Rev 2.10

Church at East Tisted where the Memorial to Walter can be found

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Death in the Harvest Field – Mabel Titheridge 1888 - 1889

Cottages in Frogmore, East Meon

Infant Mortality 

I was recently transcribing some Portsmouth Burials records and found 26 burial records for our family pre 1904. I was surprised to see that of 62% of these were children, with 13 of the burials children below five years old.

One of these records was the burial of Mabel Tetheridge buried at St Mary, Porchester, Hampshire on 7 August 1889 aged 18 months. No known Titheridge families lived in Porchester, so I was intrigued to find out more about Mabel and her family and find out why they were in Porchester.

Francis Titheridge from East Meon

Mabel’s father was identified as Francis Titheridge of East Meon, Hampshire. Francis was born in 1854 youngest of the fifteen children of William Titheridge and Elizabeth Lee. In the 1861 census Francis was living with his parents in Frogmore, East Meon and in the 1871 census living with elder brother William at Old Down, East Meon.

In October 1877 23 year old Francis married Emily Jane Port in East Meon and they had one child Henry Titheridge born in 1879 in Midhurst district of Sussex. On the 1881 census Emily and son Henry are living in Farlingham, near Portsmouth, but Francis is missing from the census. A year later in 1882 Emily’s death is recorded in Midhurst Sussex. No further records are found for son Henry.

Four years later in 1886 Francis married 18 year old Alice Emma Langrish 14 years his junior. Alice was from Compton near Chichester. Francis and Alice had four children.

Minnie Catherine Titheridge born 1887 in Westbourne district of Sussex
Mabel Titheridge born 1888 Droxford district christened in East Meon
Florence Mary Titheridge born 1890 in East Meon
William George Titheridge born 1892 in Westbourne district of Sussex

Mabel’s death is recorded in 1889 in Fareham aged one and Florence’s death is recorded in 1892 in Midhurst district aged 2.

The one thing noticeable is the nomadic life style of the family moving from place to place in the Sussex / Hampshire border area. Francis was a farm labourer and presumably he moved to find work. In the 1891 census Francis and Alice are living in Compton, Sussex with children Minnie aged 4 and Florence aged 1. However by 1901 Francis is living on his own in Up Marden, Sussex.  I have no idea what has happened to Alice and son William. They are not found on 1901 or 1911 census and there are no death records found. Daughter, Minnie, married William Allen in 1904 in Aldershot.

The Death of Mabel Titheridge

The question "Why was Mabel and family in Porchester" was revealed in the local newspapers. It was August 1889 and harvest time and Mabel had been brought to Porchester with her parents Alice and Francis as they came to harvest the crops on a local farm. It was here that Mabel, who was already unwell, died.  The account in the local paper is below:

Portsmouth Evening News - 6 August 1889

Death in the Harvest Field
The Deputy County Coroner (Leonard Warner, Esq.) held an inquest on Monday at the Railway Hotel Porchester, upon the body of Mabel Titheridge 18 months who died suddenly on Saturday last. The evidence showed the deceased had been unwell for the past three months and was brought to Porchester by its parents a few days since, the latter being engaged harvesting on the  farm of Mr Curtis, and whilst thus employed slept in the shepherd’s hut on the farm.  The child did not appear to be any worse but at half past eleven on Saturday night the mother heard a gargling in the child’s throat and at once took it to Dr Brake at Porchester but before arrival the child had died. Medical evidence showed that death had arisen from natural causes and the Jury returned a verdict to that effect.

If you can add any details about this family please get in touch email:

The story of Francis’s life after Mabel’s death will be the subject of later blog.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

In Memory of James Francis Charles Titheridge 1897 – 1918

Today we remember James Francis Charles Titheridge who died 100 years ago today aged 20.

James Francis Charles Titheridge

James was the six times great grandson of John Titheridge and Ann Quallatt of Cheriton, his ancestors were the Titheridges of Kilmeston.  James was born in the September quarter of 1897, the only son of James Titheridge and Gertrude Moss Midwinter. James’s mother Gertrude was from Hartley Wintney, Hampshire a small village 8 miles east of Basingstoke and it is in this village James was born.

In 1891 James’ father worked as a footman, in 1901 he was a servant and in 1911 he was a butler. The family moved around as James found employment with different employers. In 1901 the family were living at 5 Amity Terrace, Wimbledon, Surrey and in 1911 they were living at Rose Cottage, Holme Lacy, Herefordshire. Holme Lacy is a small village 6 miles south east of Hereford. By 1918 James’s parents, Gertrude and James, had moved 2 miles south to 2 West Villas, Fownhope, Herefordshire.

Military Service

James enlisted at Hereford in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, 1st Battalion (regimental number 25489) and was quickly promoted to the rank of Corporal.  I cannot find exactly when James enlisted but he probably enlisted in early 1916 and he arrived in France about August 1917.

The 1st Battalion Shropshire Light Infantry served entirely on the Western Front and in just about every major engagement. 1914 – 1916 saw the battalion in fighting in the Ypres area. They saw service on the Somme in 1916 and at Arras and Cambrai in 1917. By the start of 1918 James had been in France for about 4 months and in January of this year, the battalion was serving with the 5th Army. On March 21st, with the battalion just about annihilated at Lagnicourt, not one combatant officer was left and only 53 other ranks came out of the action. The battalion was completely re-formed within ten days of being virtually destroyed and was back in the line at Ypres and fought continuously in the salient until late August.

Killed in Action

James is reported as killed in action on 14 April 1918, three weeks after the devastating battle at Lagnicourt. Referring to the battalion war diaries on this date the battalion were at Molenaarelst Hoek 10km east of Ypres and 3km south of Tyne Cot. The diaries do not indicate any action on this date but the circumstances of his death are recorded in a home newspaper report.

Hereford Times 11 May 1918

Roll of Honour
Corporal J. F. C. Titheridge, Fownhope
Mr. and Mrs. Titheridge, of Fownhope, formerly of Holme Lacy have just suffered the loss of their only child, Corporal J. F. C. Titheridge, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, who was killed in France on April 14th. He was sitting just inside a dug out with a comrade when a shell dropped at the side of the entrance and blew back into the dug-out. He was hit on the head and killed instantaneously, and a man sitting next him was wounded. The Lieutenant of his company says he was a trustworthy N. C. O. and very keen at his work. Corporal Titheridge, who was an old boy of Hereford Bluecoat School, had been in France about eight months. He joined up at 18 and was 20 years of age at the time of his death. With Mr and Mrs Titheridge in their bereavement much sympathy is expressed.

His medal card shows he was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal and British Medal.

He is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West Flanders, Belgium. The Tyne Cot Memorial is around the eastern boundary of Tyne Cot Cemetery near the town of Leper in Belgium. It bears the names of some 35,000 men of the British and New Zealand forces who have no known grave, nearly all of whom died between August 1917 and November 1918.

James is also remembered at the village memorial at Holme Lacy, Herefordshire. A picture can be seen here.

Gertrude and James 

Gertrude and James continued to live in Fownhope at 2 West Villas until their death.  James died in 31 January 1939 and Gertrude died in 14 January 1954 aged 79. They are buried in St Mary’s Fownhope. On Gertrude’s death probate (£548) was given to her niece Elsie Pavey.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:  
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India 1877

George Sutton Titheradge (1848 - 1916)
Famous Victorian Actor 

Proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India 1877

Early in our family research we learnt that it was George Sutton Titheradge who proclaimed Queen Victoria as Empress of India. He was born in Portsmouth and lived from 1848 to 1916. He became a famous Victorian actor in England and Australia.

The information came from an article published in The Australian Dictionary of Biography. It said:
“In 1876 George joined the Chippendale Classical Comedy Company and late that year he played Hamlet at the Corinthian Theatre, Calcutta. He was the herald at Lord Lytton's durbar in Delhi and on 1 January 1877 announced Queen Victoria as Empress of India”

Delhi Durbar

The Delhi Durbar was a mass assembly organised by the British at Coronation Park, Delhi, India. It took place on 1 January 1877 to proclaim Queen Victoria as Empress of India. The Durbar was an official event attended by Lord Lytton, who was Viceroy of India, royalty from all the provinces of India and the senior British dignitaries; nearly 70,000 people attended. It was an extravaganza of pomp and ceremony.

A report at the time in the Illustrated London News gave the following description
“The Viceroy, who was accompanied by Lady Lytton and his daughters, ascended the dais and took his seat on the Imperial throne. The heraldic trumpeters sounded a flourish, and the Chief Herald, read the Imperial Proclamation in English; a translation in the Urdu language was read by the Foreign Secretary to the General Government of India. A salute of one hundred and one guns was fired by the artillery, and a feu de joie by the infantry. The Viceroy then delivered his speech, explaining the motives and consequences of this great political act. The National Anthem was played by all the military bands.”

Paintings of occasion by Prinsep can be seen at this link

 Conflicting stories

Nowhere was George Sutton Titheradge mentioned in the newspaper or other historical accounts of the event and I began to doubt the accuracy of my information. I found numerous images of the durbar, one showed the herald but he did not look like George. Later I found another picture with the label “The Imperial Assembly at Delhi: The Chief Herald (Major Barnes) Reading the Proclamation”. You can see it at this link . So if Major Barnes was the Chief Herald how did George fit in with this story?

In some old Australian newspapers from 1903 I found others questioning whether George, really had had the honour of proclaiming Queen Victoria Empress of India at the Delhi Durbar. The story quoted Mr Robert Howlett who said “In October 1876 I was stationed at Lucknow as trumpeter in the 13th Hussars, and I received instructions to proceed to Umballa for the purpose of being attached to the 11th Hussars, as I had been selected to act as one of the heralds at the Durbar at Delhi. Every other cavalry regiment in Bengal was also required to send a trumpeter.  At Umballa, we rehearsed the flourish of trumpets. In December we went to Delhi, and were attached to the staff of the Viceroy (Lord Lytton), who was present at the proclamation of the Empress at Delhi on January 1. The proclamation was read by Major Barnes, of the Native Cavalry, who was a clever linguist. He read the proclamation in English, Persian and Hindustani.”

Something was wrong with our original story about George. It was one of those puzzling queries I kept coming back to and it is only recently that I have sorted out the mystery.

Proclamation at Calcutta

The clue came in an English newspaper reference that said the formal proclamation took place on New Year’s Day 1877 at Calcutta, Bombay, Madras and Delhi.

An article in an Australian newspaper gave the answer,George read the proclamation not at the big Durbar in Delhi but at another proclamation in Calcutta:

The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA) 8 January 1903. 

“Mr. F. H. Pollock, lessee and manager of the Theatre Royal, Adelaide, said: "Titheradge and I went out from England together for the season at the Corinthian Theatre, Calcutta, just before the durbar in 1877. He was leading man, and I was managing. Titheradge was a fine elocutionist, and he was chosen by Lord Lytton, who was then Viceroy of India, to read the proclamation. The appointment caused a lot of jealousy. Titheradge after wards received a parchment roll from the authorities at home. It was signed by Queen Victoria, and expressed her Majesty's thanks for his services at the durbar. Titheradge read the proclamation from a platform erected on the Midan (an open space), in the presence of-a-vast crowd. Every person in our theatrical company had a ticket for a seat close to the platform. This was at Calcutta not Delhi.”

A picture of the occasion can be found at this link .

George Suttton Titheradge’s Personal view

George Sutton Titheradge
(1848 - 1916)
Some newspaper interviews with George later in his life confirmed that he read the proclamation at Calcutta.

Evening News (Sydney NSW)  12 June 1897

“While I was in India I had a very curious experience. I was engaged by the Indian Government as the Herald to read the proclamation of Her Majesty as Empress of India at Calcutta. It was the first time I had ever spoken in the open air. I have often won bets since about the number of people I have addressed at once, as the largest theatre only hold from 3000 to 4000 people. I always win. I should say there were at least 200,000 people present including troops.”

Sunday Times (Sydney NSW) 29 June 1913

 “It is with, a feeling of pride, that I recall the fact that it was my voice which pronounced the words proclaiming Queen Victoria to be the Empress of India. Hanging on the wall of my study, is a framed testimonial, presented to me by the Government of India, in honour of the occasion, and whenever my eye falls on it pleasant memories of my roving past float before me. It is the one link that binds me to a land where I spent many happy years.”

The testimonial referred to above read "Under command of his Excellency the Viceroy and Governor-General this certificate is presented in the name of her most gracious Majesty Victoria, Empress of India, to George Sutton Titheradge Esq, in recognition of his distinguished service as herald at the Durbar held for the Proclamation of the Imperial title at Calcutta, on January 1, 1877."

Monday, 26 March 2018

Letter from George

George Titheridge 1892 - 1916

Portsmouth Naval Memorial 

On May 31st 1916 HMS Queen Mary sank at the Battle of Jutland with the loss of over 1260 lives. Among those who died was 24 year old George Titheridge, son of William Titheridge and Sarah Earwaker of East Meon. On the hundred year anniversary of his death I wrote an article in memory of George, which can be read here.

George’s great niece, Penny Smith, contacted me to share some photos of her treasured possessions relating to George, a letter, a postcard, his medals and will. She has kindly given her permission for me to share these pictures here on the blog.

George Titheridge’s Family 

George was one of five children born to William Titheridge and Sarah Earwaker. George was born in the village of East Meon Hampshire on 25 February 1892 and christened on 3 April 1892. His siblings were William born 1890, Rhoda Winifred Alice born 1894, Alice May born in 1900 and Alfred Charles born in 1909.

In the 1901 census George was living with his parents and siblings at Tigwell Cottages in East Meon. By the 1911 census George had left home and was working as a baker, residing at 7 Gloucester Street, Southsea, while his parents and siblings were living. at Crofton Manor Cottages in Stubbington. In 1912 when George was 20 his father died leaving Sarah with two young children to support, Alice aged 12 and Alfred aged 3. By 1916 widowed Sarah had moved back to East Meon and was living at Stoney Lands.

George joins the Navy

In 1914, December four months after Britain declared war on Germany, George joined the Royal Navy, joining up for twelve years. His Naval record shows that first he served on HMS Victory I from 4 December 1914 until 28 April 1915, first as an acting Cook’s mate then being promoted to a Cook’s Mate. On the 29th April 1915 he was transferred to HMS Queen Mary.

HMS Queen Mary

HMS Queen Mary was a battlecruiser, built between 1911 and 1913, the last battleship to be built before World War I. In January to February 1915, she was under refit at Portsmouth before returning to sea. It was around this time that George transferred to HMS Queen Mary. She was in the 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron and commanded by Cecil Irby Prowse.

In May 1916 she participated in the Battle of Jutland, the largest fleet action of the war. In the early part of the battle on 31st May she was hit twice by the German battlecruiser Derfflinger. Her magazines exploded shortly afterwards, sinking the ship. Of 1289 crew there were only 20 survivors.

George was just 24 years old when he died. George is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, East Meon War Memorial and Fernhurst War Memorial.

In 1991 the wreck of the Queen Mary was discovered in pieces on the floor of the North Sea. Queen Mary is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 as it is the grave of 1,266 officers and men.

Treasured Mementos

My thanks to Penny Smith for permission to share these photographs below relating to George

George’s Letter home

At the end of April 1915, just before he went to sea on HMS Queen Mary, George sent a letter home to his widowed Mum, Sarah. I have transcribed it and below is a picture of the original. Note the beautiful hand writing and his kindness to his widowed mother saying she could take whatever she needed so she didn't run short.

6 A Mess

My Dear Mother

Just a line to let you no I am getting on alright. I am going to sea this week on Queen Mary Battle ship still don’t worry about me I shall be alright it might be some time before I see you again about six month I expect. I think I am going to the North Sea or Turkey I don’t no yet it’s a pity I couldn’t get up last week I am sending the money I got on me will you put it by till I returns should any thing happen to me I leave everything to you but I am not going away with that fear its my duty and I must go should anything happen while I am way if you are short of money use mine don’t be afraid I don’t mind I don’t want you to go short of anything while I have got money. I don’t expect I shall be going before the end of the week so write back I shall be writing again before I go and I will give you my address.

From your ever loving Son George

You can take 6/- shilling for yourself out of it and help yourself if you want any more I don’t care it you use the lot rather them see you go short. I hope Bill Jack and Rose is alright.

George’s Postcard home 

This is the post card of the Queen Mary sent home to his sister Rhoda at some time between April 1915 and May 1916

George’s medals 

George was awarded the following three war medals pictured below:
1914-15 Star awarded to all who served in any theatre of war against Germany between 5th August 1914 and 31st December 1915
Victory Medal
British War Medal awarded to those who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918

George’s will

George left his money to his mother, a sum of £65 18s 10d. Attached to the probate form was a note forbidding any money to be given to the Germans and their allies.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Titheridge surname in the Poor Law Union Gazette

Alverstoke Parish Church 

The Poor Laws

In 1834 the government reformed the poor law system, joining parishes into Poor Law Unions, an early local government unit. These Poor Law Unions took over responsibility for administering poor relief and existed in England from 1834 to 1930. Each Poor Law Union was run by an elected Board of Guardians. Every Union had its own workhouse and poor relief was intended only to be given in the workhouse. The Poor laws aimed to discourage the poor from seeking relief by forcing them to enter the workhouse; if a person didn’t want to enter the workhouse they did not really need relief. There were exceptions were made for the old, sick, and widows with dependent children.

The Poor Law Gazette

Poor relief was expensive to the unions and if a family were in need of poor relief because the breadwinner had deserted the family then the unions wanted to find the absconder. To help find the deserters the paper “The Poor Law Union Gazette” was established in 1842 on the recommendation of the Poor Law Commissioners. It gave information on people who were being sought because they have deserted their families. It was published weekly and distributed to other unions throughout the country and sold for two pence. Each Union published a list of people they were seeking. Information was encouraged by a substantial reward. A typical entry would list the name of the person being sought, who they had deserted and where they might have gone.

We have found two Titheridge Family members who appear in The Poor Law Gazette, both listed under the parish of Alverstoke, Hampshire.

James Titheridge of Alverstoke

In the Poor Law Union Gazette on 17th August 1878 the following entry appear for James Titheridge, from Alverstoke. It reads:

“James Titheridge, lately residing on the Little Beach, Gosport. 41 Years of age, 5 feet 11 inches high, thinly built, hair light brown, eyes blue, complexion fair, visage long, thin light whiskers, and has a peculiar look with right eye: Bracelet, half moon and star in blue ink on right wrist, scald mark on one of shin bones; dressed in black felt hat, black cloth walking coat, Bedford cord trowsers and vest, lace-up boots, and mauve and black necktie. He is a Cooper by trade, and has a brother working in Deptford Dockyard.
One Pound Reward; information to the Clerk or to Mr Geo. Pearman, Relieving Officer, April 1878.

James was obviously elusive as they continued to publish James’ name until 3 June 1882, although the description did change to

“James A Titheridge, a cooper by trade, about 44 years of age, nearly 6 feet high, of slight build, light brown hair, blue eyes, fair complexion and thin light whiskers when he ran away. A bracelet mark in blue ink on right wrist. Has relations in Deptford Dockyard and Royal Clarence Victualling Yard, Gosport. Wife and six children.”

We have been able to identify James as one of nine children born in 1838 to Henry Titheridge and Agnes Taylor in Alverstoke. James married Eliza Williams in Portsmouth, St Thomas in July 1866 and they had seven children, two of whom died young. James and Eliza were living together on the 1871 census at 29 King Street Alverstoke with children Georgina Rhoda Agnes and James Henry. In the 1881 census Eliza is living on her own at 3 Lord Nelson Passage, Alverstoke with five children Rhoda 13, Henry 11, George 8, Eliza 6 and Florence 5 (the two eldest children are now known by their second names).  James had an older brother, Henry, who left Alverstoke for London in 1860. On the 1871 census Henry was working a cooper in Deptford, hence James’ connection to Deptford Dockyard.

There is no further record of James that we have identified beyond the 1871 census. We cannot find him on the 1881 census and we can find no record of his death.

Richard Titheridge of Alverstoke

The second record we found in The Poor Law Gazette was on 5 December 1885 under the Parish of Alverstoke and it reads

“Richard Tetheridge was formerly a cooper in Royal Clarence Victualling Yard, about 50 years of age, fresh complexion, proportionately built. Wife and 5 children. This man may now be working at Deptford Dockyard in an assumed name.”
One pound Reward:. Information to Mr C Pearman, Alverstoke; or to Superintendent Catchlove, Police Station, Gosport who hold the warrant”.

This appeared in the Gazette from 5 December 1885 until 4th September 1886.

Unfortunately we don’t know if he was found. We also don’t know who Richard was. There is a possibility that he is the cousin and the brother in law of James above but we cannot say with certainty. The age, occupation and number of children do not match but we cannot find another Richard Titheridge to fit the bill. So the identity of Richard remains a mystery.

If you can add any more information to this story please let us know.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

The Birth of a New Surname Variation – Tedridge

A Misspelt Surname

Two months ago I was in Cardiff Registry Office waiting to register the death of my aunt.  At the counter was a gentleman in a very heated argument with the Registrar’s Assistant. He was waving a birth certificate in one hand and a driving licence in the other hand.  His complaint was that he had registered the birth of his child a few weeks ago and the surname on the certificate was spelt wrongly, despite the fact that he had given the registrar his driving licence to spell the surname. The assistant politely told him that when he registered the birth he was given the chance to check the certificate.  Since he had confirmed the accuracy of the certificate at that time the surname could not be changed. The only option was to change the name by deed poll at a cost. This incident took place in 2017 when we can all read and write - no wonder surname changes happened historically.

Ernest Percival Tedridge

The surname Tedridge is an illustration of how misspelling can create a new surname.  There is no record of anyone born with the surname Tedridge before 1912.  In September 1912 the birth of Ernest Percival Tedridge was registered in Southampton.  His birth certificate shows he is the son of Amelia Tedridge, hotel waitress of Southampton. He was born on 26 August at 1a Chilworth Road, Shirley Warren, Southampton.  The birth was registered by J C Young who described themselves as “occupier 1a Chilworth Road”, it was not registered by the parents or other relative. Since there are no Tedridges before this birth we can only conclude that the mother was in fact Amelia Tidridge not Amelia Tedridge.  Amelia Minnie Tidridge was born in 1891 one of eleven children born to Harry John Tidridge and Emma Louise Newman.  Harry and Emma Tidridge lived in Silverdale Road, Southampton just 3 miles away from where Ernest was born.

The Tedridge Surname

It therefore appears the birth of Ernest was erroneously registered as Tedridge.  Ernest kept his new surname and went on to marry Elsie. Their children and following generations kept the new family name of Tedridge.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

A Tidridge Wedding

Recently someone commented that one of my posts was not very cheerful. On reflection this is true and many of the blogs cover sad stories. The reason is that it seems easier to find bad news in the papers and records than good news. I've written about war deaths, accidental deaths, murder, railway accidents, cemeteries, infant mortality, suicides and tuberculosis and I still have lots more of these sort of tales! However this is my 100th family history blog - so to celebrate I have found a happy story!

So here is an article that appeared in the Hampshire Telegraph over 84 years ago, giving a very full description of a Hampshire wedding that took place in Southampton in 1933.

Hampshire Telegraph 14 July 1933

A Hedge End Wedding Party

Miss Ethel Clark and Mr Walter Tidridge were the bride and bridegroom

Considerable interest was shown in the marriage which was solemnized at the Parish Church of St John’s, on Thursday afternoon in last week, between Miss Ethel Frances Clark, daughter of the late Mrs Clark and of Mr G Clark, of Hillsbrow, Hedge End, and Mr Walter Sidney Tidridge. The Rev. Evan Jones, Vicar of Hedge End, officiated and Mr F Stafford Silverlock was at the organ. The bride, who was given away by her father, was attired in a bridal gown of ivory crepe-de- Chine with veil and coronet of orange blossom. She also wore a crystal necklace (the gift of the bridegroom) and carried a shower bouquet of white carnations. There were seven bridesmaids, the Misses Daisy Tidridge (sister of the bridegroom), Amy Barfoot, Mabel Barfoot, Ella Farmer, Peggy Goodall, Myra Farmer (nieces of the bride), and Florence Sawyer (friend of the bride). The elder bridesmaids wore floral georgette dresses with tiaras of carnation petals and pearls and carried bouquets of pink carnations, while the smaller bridesmaid wore dresses of eau-de-nil crepe suede with small caps of net and buttercups, and carried posies of choice yellow flowers.  The bridegroom’s gifts of the elder bridesmaids were butterfly wing and silver compacts from Rio, while the little ones received necklaces also from Rio. As the bride and bridegroom left the church Master Donald Goodall, on behalf of his father who was unable to attend, presented a floral horse shoe to the bride.  Mr George Tidridge (brother of the bridegroom) was best man. The bridegroom’s mother wore a dress of grey with coatee and a navy blue hat to tone. She also carried a bouquet of lilies. A reception was held at the St John’s Room, the wedding cake being made by Miss Wells, a friend of the bride. Later the happy couple left for Sway, the bride travelling in a dress of cherry red  crepe-de-Chine with brown coat and hat.

Walter Tidridge was the youngest of eleven children born to Harry Tidridge and Emma Newman between 1884 and 1905 in Southampton.  Walter was born on 13th August 1905.  It was 6th July 1933 when Walter married 26 year old Ethel Frances Clark at Hedge End, Southampton.

What makes the story extra happy is that Walter and Ethel went on to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary in 1983.  When Walter died in 1990 the couple had been married for an amazing 57 years.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Titheridge (1857 – 1918)

Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Titheridge R.V.O.  R.N. was a well-respected naval officer who died 100 years ago today. This is his life story.

Benjamin Titheridge’s Family

Benjamin Titheridge was born 26 June 1857, one of 13 children born to William Henry Titheridge and Elizabeth Ann Baird. The family lived in Alverstoke, Hampshire at 11 Stocks Yard in 1861 and 9 Forton Road in 1871.

Benjamin was twenty five years old when he married Louisa Pope on 26 March 1882 at Portsea, All Saints. They had seven children:

  • Ruth Titheridge born 1882 died 1899 aged 16
  • Benjamin James Titheridge born 1884 died 1951, married Eva Wells
  • William George Titheridge born 1886 died 1890 aged 4
  • Arthur Horace John Titheridge born 1887 died 1963, married Celia Walker
  • Ethel Louisa Titheridge born 1892 married, Thomas Potts
  • Beatrice Dorothy Pamela Titheridge born 1893, married Frederick Gibbins
  • Harry Percival Titheridge born 1899 died 1970, married Edna West

Benjamin’s wife Louisa died on 18 December 1906, leaving Benjamin with three children under 14. A year after Louisa’s death Benjamin married Lizzie Rebecca Phillips on 28 December 1907 at Forton, St Johns.

Benjamin and family lived at a variety of addresses around Alverstoke and later Southampton.  Their known addresses are:

  • 1886 Stoke Road, Gosport
  • 1891 38 Prince Alfred Street, Gosport 
  • 1906 Park Road, Gosport 
  • 1907 15 Forton Road, Gosport
  • 1911 49 Millais Road, Itchen, Southampton
  • 1912 115 Obelisk Road, Woolston, Southampton

Benjamin Titheridge’s Naval Career

Benjamin joined the Royal Navy sometime between 1871 and 1875.  This was a career that was also followed by two of his brothers, James and John. Benjamin remained in the Royal Navy until his retirement in 1912. His service number was 53111. His naval records show he was promoted to Gunner on 20 March 1885; promoted to Chief Gunner on 20 February 1904; and promoted to Lieutenant on 30 September 1909.

The records also show glowing reports about him and show he was an excellent seaman. These are as some of the comments by his superiors. In 1886 it is recorded “very good, smart respectable recommended for promotion”. In December 1890 his superior wrote “very good specially recommended for advancement”. In 1910 he is described as “A first rate officer. Quiet and firm. Very strongly recommended” and “all very good, zealous and good manager of men”

It is known that he served on the following Navy vessels

  • In 1881 HMS Wolverine
  • In 1885 HMS St Vincent 
  • In 1887 HMS Craysfoot 
  • In 1895 HMS Orlando
  • In 1901 HMS Trafalgar
  • In 1901 His Majesty’s Yacht Osborne
  • In 1908 His Majesty’s Yacht Alexandra

On 2 November 1909 he was made a member of the Royal Victorian Order, this is a British honour given by the monarch to people who have served them. The Royal Victorian medal was presented by King Edward VII.  The entry appears in the London Gazetter on Tuesday 9 November 1909 and reads
“Chancery of the Royal Victorian Order, St James’s Palace, November 9 1909.
The King has been graciously pleased to make the following appointments to the Royal Victorian Order to take effect from the dates noted:
To be a member of the 5th class
2 November 1909 Lieutenant Benjamin Titheridge, Royal Navy, His Majesty’s Yacht Alexandra”

Lieutenant Benjamin Titheridge MVO was placed on the retired list on 26 June 1912.  With the approach of World War 1 on 2 August 1914 Benjamin was reappointed to “HMS Pomone” Royal Naval College at  Dartmouth. HMS Pomone was used as a training ship. Benjamin continued on the staff of the naval college and on 30 September 1917 he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander.

Benjamin Titheridge’s Death

Benjamin died 23 January 1918, aged 60, at his home at 115 Obelisk Road, Woolston, Southampton after developing pneumonia. He was buried in St Anne’s Hill Cemetery, Gosport (Plot 31a 113).  He was survived by his wife Lizzie who died in 1929 at Southampton.

A photograph of Benjamin’s grave can be seen at the following link War Graves Photographic Project

The following funeral notice appeared in the local paper.

Hampshire Telegraph 01 February 1918


The funeral of Lieutenant-Commander Benjamin Titheridge, M.V.O., R.N., took place at Ann’s Hill Cemetery on Monday afternoon with naval honours.  The coffin enclosing the remains had been brought from Sholing, where Lieutenant-Commander Titheridge died, to the Gosport railway station.  It was there met by a Naval funeral party under the command of Lieutenant Sidney Crabb R.N. and there was a large attendance of commissioned and warrant officers.  The coffin was placed on a Naval field-gun carriage, on which it was borne to the cemetery. The following officers being the pall bearers:  Lieutenant-Commander G H Colwill M.V.O. R.N.,  J E Edwards R.N.,  G Hogg R.N.,  R Arnold R.N.,  J H Jarvis,  H W Eason R.N.,  and A Gamblin  R.N., Commander Shrubsole R.N.R. represented the Commander in Chief.  Following the gun carriage were private mourners, who included Messers A Titheridge and H Titheridge (sons).  Mrs T S Potts and Mrs F J Gibbins (daughters).  Lieutenant Titheridge and Mr Jack Titheridge (brothers).  Mrs Emma Bryan, Mrs Talford and Mrs Godden (sisters).  Mr Will Godden and Mr Cecil Titheridge (nephews).  Messers J Redman, W A Phillips and Talford (brothers in law) and Beal (Southampton).  At the cemetery the cortege was met by the Rev. C Carey, M.A., Vicar of St Johns Forton, by whom the service was conducted. At the close three volleys were fired over the grave, and the “Last Post” sounded.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Tuberculosis a Common Cause of Death

Cause of death

Have you ever looked at the cause of death of your ancestors? 

There are several places you can research this. The easiest way, is to buy a death certificate. These can now be obtained electronically from the GRO website for £6 each ( GRO link )If death was unexpected or suspicious you may find the inquest reported in the local papers. These articles are free to search but cost to access the articles ( Newspaper link  ). Occasionally the minister at the church recording the burials may add cause of death, especially if it is something unusual. You may also find some details in old hospital records ( example of hospital records )

Research shows that in 19th and first half of the 20th century the cause of death was very different from today. Today the main causes of death are heart disease, cancer, stroke whereas in the nineteenth century one of the biggest cause of death was tuberculosis, followed by other infections such as pneumonia and diarrhoea. Simple infections often had deadly results. It was only in 1928 that the first commercial antibiotic was discovered and it was 1940s before antibiotics were routinely distributed among the general public. Death also occurred much earlier and in 1915 the average life expectancy was 48 for males and 54 for females compared with 79 and 83 today.


Tuberculosis (TB) is one of these infections that took the lives of many people. In the nineteenth century the disease tended to affect young adults and was more prevalent in women than men. It is known by many names and you will also see it written as tuberculosis, TB, Consumption, Phthisis, White Plague and Potts disease. Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that mainly attack the lungs but other parts of the body are also attacked. It leads to a persistent cough and other symptoms may include losing weight and appetite and a fever. The disease is spread through the air, so a person suffering TB can pass it on by coughs or sneezes. For most people the body’s immune system attacks the bacteria and you don’t get ill, but the disease can lie dormant for years. Before 1949 the only known treatment for TB was rest, good food, gentle exercise and time. In many cases this did not work. It was 1949 before the antibiotic, streptomycin, was first used to cure a patient. Treatment is now antibiotics taken over a long period of time. Between 1851 and 1910 nearly 4 million people died in England from TB.

So far I have come across two young family members who have died of TB.

Alfred William Tutheridge (1906 -1923)

Alfred William Tutheridge was born in the Peckham district of London on 21 February 1906, son of Alfred John Tutheridge and Jemima Alice Thomsett. He was one of one of seven children. Alfred was christened on 15 Jun 1911, with three of his siblings, at Christ Church, Greenwich. The 1911 census shows the family living at 42 Marlston Street, Greenwich, later they moved to 6 Fingal Street. Alfred was admitted to the Greenwich Union Infirmary with TB and hospital records show he died there on 27 January 1923 aged just 16. He was buried on 2nd February 1923 at Greenwich Cemetery. Later in the same grave are buried his father Alfred William (1929), his mother Jemima Alice (1942) and his sister Florence Maud (1933).

Sophia Tytheridge(1826 - 1853)

Sophia Tytheridge was born Sophia Cunningham about April 1826 in Liverpool. The 1841 census shows her living with her aunt and uncle, John and Catherine Courtney and her mother and two sisters. Nineteen year old Sophia married William Henry Walter Tytheridge at St Luke’s Chelsea on 24 May 1845. William was a senior clerk in the General Record Office of Somerset House. The family were relatively well off, with William described as a gentleman on the baptism records. Sophia and William lived at 23 St John’s Terrace Kensington and other addresses in Chelsea. There were three children from the marriage Henry Burton Holdup Tytheridge born 1847, Walter Robert Tytheridge born 1849 and Elizabeth Sophia Tytheridge born June 1853.

Sophia developed TB around the time of the birth of baby Elizabeth. She died as a result of this six months late on 13th December 1853 age just 27 years. The death certificate records the cause of death as “Phthisis 6 months certified”. Sophia was buried on 20 December at the Brompton Cemetery London. Her Uncle John Courtney had died just two months earlier and when Sophia died her Aunt Catherine requested Sophia be buried in the family plot. Her letter reads “I request my grave be opened to receive the remains of my niece Mrs Sophia Titheridge on 20th December” signed Catherine Courtney of 3 Old Cottages Brompton. Later in the same grave were buried Catherine (1879), Sophia’s mother Elizabeth Sophia Cunningham (1885) and Sophia's sisters Elizabeth and Anne Cunningham (1899).

After Sophia’s death husband William was left with three children to look after, Henry 6, Walter 4 and Elizabeth 6 months. By the 1861 census he had employed a governess, Caroline Sarah Dredge, to look after the children. In December 1862 William married the governess Caroline who was twenty years his junior. It was 1880 when Caroline died and 1886 when Willliam died.

These are just two of our ancestors who were victim of Tuberculosis. If you have ancestors that contracted TB please tell their story in the comments section below.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

William Titheradge Trade Unionist and Labour Councillor

Below is a newspaper report of the death of one of the Titheradge family members in Portsmouth in 1955. William is one of our ancestors who was an active Trade Unionist and member of the Labour Party.

Portsmouth Evening News on 4 April 1955

Death of Councillor W J Titheradge

"Councillor William Joseph Blaik Titheradge of 51 Cedar Grove, Copnor died at his home on Saturday afternoon after two weeks illness.  He was 59.

He had served on the City Council for nearly eight years as a Labour member.

A native of Portsmouth he had been engaged in the Dockyard as an electrical wireman since 1909 apart from service in World War 1 with the Portsmouth Battalion (15th Hants) in France and Germany.

He was a member of the Transport and General Workers Union and for more than 12 years was Secretary of Portsmouth branch No 296. He also served as a member of the Executive of the Portsmouth Labour Party.

Councillor Titheradge was first elected to Portsmouth City Council as a representative of St Mary Ward in November 1945. He was defeated in May 1949, regained the seat at a by-election in February 1950 but was unsuccessful at the 1951 election. In 1952 he regained St Mary Ward and in 1953 on the redistribution of the wards was allocated to Paulsgrove. He was due to seek re-election next month.

As a member for the Paulsgrove Ward he was interested in the many problems of the new estate and contributed largely to the inauguration of the Hillsley Road bus service.

He leaves a widow one son and one daughter.

The funeral service will be held at Copnor Methodist Church on Tuesday followed by interment at Milton Cemetery."

William Joseph Blaik Titheradge

William Joseph Blaik Titheradge was the eldest of four sons born to Joseph Blaik Titheradge and Ada Caroline Matthews in Portsmouth. His middle name “Blaik” is named after his grandmother Mary Ann Blaik. He was born 8 May 1895 but was christened at the same time as two younger brothers at Portsea, St Mary on 6th December 1900. The family’s address was given as 42 Railway View, Fratton where the family were still living on the 1901 census.

In 1904 two of his siblings died aged 4 and 2. In the same year William's father Joseph died leaving Ada with two children to support, William aged 9 and Walter aged 5. Joseph had been a leading stoker in the Royal Navy and as result the boys were sent to a Naval Orphanage in Commercial Road, Portsmouth after their father's death . When that closed they went to Swanage orphanage. The grave of William’s parents and brothers is in Kingston Cemetery a photograph can be seen at this link below

The 1911 census sees 15 years old living William living with his mother and maternal grandmother at Liverpool Street, Fratton, his occupation given as messenger.

With the outbreak of World War 1 William joined up and served in the Hampshire regiment. He joint the 15th Battalion which was raised in Portsmouth in 1915 and this was one of the many Pals Battalion, known as "Pompey Pals Battalion". He was a private, regimental number 55417 and was awarded the Victory Medal and British Medal.

After the war in 1920 William married Emma Dorothy Higgins in Portsmouth. They had two children a boy and a girl.  On the 1939 Register William and Emma are living at 51 Cedar Grove with their young daughter while their son is away from the hazards of Portsmouth and living and going to school in the New Forest

William enjoyed an active life in both the Labour Party and Trade Union movement. He died on 2 April 1955. Probate records show he left his widow Emma £1872 3s 6d. Emma survived him by 19 years dying in 1974 in Portsmouth.

If you can add anything to this story please get in touch. 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

The Unusual Use of Surnames in Two Cousins

The surnames of Titheradge, Hine and Emblin

Kingston Cemetery - Brambles Plot
Titheradge family grave on the very back row

George and Elizabeth Emblin

George Emblin was a naval man who resided in Portsea in 1841. George had married Elizabeth Harrow in Stoke Dameral, Devon in January 1813. On the 1841 census George and Elizabeth had seven children, including two girls Sarah and Emma. Sarah was baptised on 6 March 1825 in Portsea St Mary and Emma was baptised 30 January 1827 in Portsea St John.

Sarah Isabella Emblin

The eldest sister, Sarah, married in Alverstoke, Hampshire on 13 January 1848.  She married George Robert Titheradge, an accountant and son of Christopher Titheradge. George and Sarah had 8 children born between 1848 and 1864.  The children were
•           George Sutton Titheradge born 1848 died 1916 in Australia (George became a famous actor)
•           Ernest Montague Titheradgen born 1850 died 1851 aged 1
•           Augustus Fabian Titheradge born 1852 died 1877 aged 25
•           Sarah Ann Elizabeth Adela Titheradge born 1853, married Frederick Watts
•           Blanche Titheradge born 1857, married George Watts
•           Herbert Hine Titheradge born 1 December 1859 died 1926, married Emma Watts
•           Annie Ada Titheradge born 1862
•           Robert Titheradge born 1864 died as an infant in1864

Sarah died in the June quarter of 1864 either in childbirth or shortly after childbirth. In 1867 George remarried to Sarah Perren.

One thing that struck me was the very distinctive names given to some of the children and the use of Sutton, Montague, Fabian and Hine as middle name. I knew Sutton was the surname of their paternal grandmother, Martha Sutton and that Fabian was surname of paternal great grandmother, Mary Fabian, but I had no idea about Montague and Hine. The origin of the name Hine came from unexpected source as you will see.

One other unusual thing is that 3 of the siblings, Herbert, Blanche and Sarah (known as Adela), married into the Watts family of Bungay in Suffolk.

Emma Emblin

Sarah’s younger sister, Emma, married four years later when she was 25. Emma married Thomas Merit Hine, a gunner in the Royal Navy, on 25 October 1852 at Portsea, St Mary. Emma and Thomas had 6 children born between 1852 and 1866. The children were
•           William Hine born 1852
•           Montague Hine born 1857
•           Herbert Titheradge Hine birth registered Jan 1860
•           Ada Hine born 1862
•           George Martin Hine born 1864
•           Henry (or Harry) Augustus Hine born 1866

Emma lived until 1902 and died at the age 75 at The Yorkshire Grey public house Portsmouth where she and Thomas were living with their son Herbert, the proprietor of the pub.

Two Herberts and the Unusual Use of Surnames

There is a noticeable similarity in the names of the children of these two sisters, both sisters use Montague, Herbert, Ada, George and Augustus. 

More surprising is the fact that when Sarah and Emma both had sons around December 1859 they both gave their son the same first name, Herbert. More unusual is the fact that each added a middle name that was the married surname of their sister. This is certainly not something I’ve ever come across before

Hence we have two cousins born very close together one called Herbert Hine Titheradge and one called Herbert Titheradge Hine. Imagine the confusion for the grandparents trying to differentiate the two grandsons!

Herbert Titheradge

Herbert Hine Titheradge worked as a tailor. He married in 20 November 1881 in Bungay, Suffolk to Emma Watts. They had 3 children Blanche born 1889, Alice born 1892 and George Augustus born 1896. The first two children were born in Maldon, Essex and the third child was born back in Portsmouth. Herbert continued to live in Portsmouth until his death. He died suddenly on 22 March 1926 in Portsmouth aged 66.  Herbert is buried in the family grave in Kingston Cemetery. The records show it is a brick grave in Brambles plot (row 1 grave 10 ) and contains  Herbert Hine died 1926 with 5 others  - George Robert Titheradge (Herbert’s father died 1871), Sarah Isabella (Herbert’s mother died 1864), Augustus Fabian (Herbert’s brother died 1877), Robert (Herbert’s brother died 1864) and Emma (Herbert’s wife died 1936).

Herbert Hine

Herbert Titheradge Hine was in the navy and worked as a ships steward. Herbert married Maria Laura Bond in 1884 in Portsea. They had eight children.  In later life Herbert worked as a Hotel proprietor. Herbert died on 2 May 1932 age 72 in Portsea. The family continued to use the surname Titheradge as a middle name for at least one of their children Leslie Titheradge Hine born and died in1889.

Please get in touch if you can add any more to the story.