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Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas Weddings

Kilmeston Parish Church
My maternal Grandparents, Kate France and William Westcott, were married 96 years ago on Boxing Day at Walton Breck Liverpool.  I always found it strange that they were married on Boxing Day.  When I discovered that Mike’s grandparents, Edward Hetrell Titheradge and Rose Warding Moss, were married on Christmas Day in 1896 I began to wonder why marriages took place on such special days.

Research shows that it was quite common to be married on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day in the 1800s because these were the days when traditionally the working classes had days off work.  During this period people would work 6 days a week and would not get paid for holidays and thus these days proved popular for marriage for economic reasons.  In London, in particular, churches offered free marriages and baptisms on Christmas Day and Easter Day, an added incentive for choosing this day.

Amongst our records we have found the following 17 family marriages that took place on 25th or 26th December , perhaps you can add some more or if they are your relatives tell us something about the individuals.

26th December 1783 at Kilmeston, Hampshire
Hannah Titheridge and Thomas Sutton
Hannah was born in 1763 in Kilmeston and was the daughter of Daniel Titheridge and Sarah Parson

25th December 1829 at Corhampton, Hampshire
Sarah Titheridge and Henry Luke Dillon.
Sarah was born in 1812 in Swanmore and was the daughter of William Titheridge and Hannah Prior

25th December 1859 at Alverstoke, Hampshire
Lucy Burgess and Henry Titheridge
Henry was born in 1834 in Alverstoke and was the son of Henry Titheridge and Agnes Taylor

25th December 1860 at Shedfield, Hampshire
Maria Titheridge and Peter Emery
Maria was born in 1842 in Droxford and was the daughter of John Titheridge and Sarah Withers

25th December 1862 at Portsea St Thomas, Hampshire
Elizabeth Bulgar and Williams Titheridge
William was born about 1832 and was the son of William Titheridge

25th December 1862 at St James Westminster, London
Sarah Ann Loop and Lewish George Titheradge
Lewish was born in1842 in Kensington, London the son of Henry Titheradge and Eliza Jenkins

25th December 1868 at Bishops Waltham, Hampshire
Eliza Titheridge and Charles Boulton
Eliza was born in 1850 in Swanmore and was the daughter of Richard Titheridge and Mary Ann Lasham

25th December 1871 at Portsmouth St Thomas, Hampshire
Mary Ann Phillips and Edward William Titheridge
Edward was born in 1849 in Gosport and was the son of Henry Titheridge and Agnes Taylor

25th December 1878 at Hinton Ampner, Hampshire
Emily Titheridge and Arthur Simpsons
Emily was born in 1853 in Hinton Ampner and was the daughter of Henry Titheridge and Clara Caelin

25th December 1878 at Acton St Mary, London
Louisa Elmer and Henry Alfred Titheridge
Henry was born in Cheriton, Hampshire in 1847 and was the son of Henry and Ann Titheridge

25th December 1891at Walworth St Peter, London
Harriett Eliza Titheridge and Caleb Stephen Collins
This was Harriett’s second marriage and she was the widow of George Marsh Titheridge

25 December 1898 at St John the Evangelist Kilburn, London
Edward Hetrell Titheradge and Rose Warding Moss aged 20
Edward was born in 1877 in Marylebone and was the son on Henry John Titheradge and Rose Warding Moss

26th December l1898 at Portsea St George, Hampshire
Florence Titheridge aged22 and Allan Angus Raines aged 26
Florence was born in Alverstoke in 1876 and was the daughter of James Titheridge and Eliza Williams

26th December 1902 at Aldershot, Hampshire
Minnie Catherine Titheridge and William Allen
Minnie was born in 1887 in Westbourne, Sussex and was the daughter of Francis and Alice Emma Titheridge

25th December 1904 at Plumstead St John the Baptist, London
Minnie Eliza Dunn and Leonard Tytheridge
Leonard was born in 1881 in Woolwich London and was the son of Daniel and Mary Tytheridge

26th December 1907 at Corhampton, Hampshire
Mary Ann Titheridge and Thomas Rumbold
Mary Ann was born in 1875 in Bishops Waltham and was the daughter of Richard Titheridge and Henrietta Cawte

25th December 1910 at Barnsbury St Andrew, London
Jessie Ada Kill and William Herbert Titheridge
William was born in 1888 in St Giles, London and was the son of Walter Titheridge and Emily Jane Carey

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Accidental Death of Henry Lewis Titheridge

Birth marriage and death records show that Henry Lewis Titheridge was born late in 1855 and christened in Cheriton parish church on Christmas Day 1855.  The records show him to be the elder son of James Titheridge and his second wife Charlotte Freemantle.  He was the four times great grandson of John Titheridge and Ann Quallat of Cheriton.
The death records show him to have died at an early age of 12, a few months before his thirteenth birthday with his death registered in September 1868 at Cheriton.    
The records do not show the sad story about his death.  Supplementing these records with articles from contemporary newspapers helps paint a picture of the life of our ancestors and the conditions in which they lived and worked. 

The story of Henry Lewis appears in two articles In the Hampshire Telegraph of 1868

The Hampshire Telegraph 26 September 1868

Fatal accident

ON Friday (yesterday) morning a boy named Titheridge in the employ of Messrs Vokes and Son corn seed and coal merchants, Winchester was employed to hold the coal sacks for the men to fill in the goods department at the railway station.  Relinquishing his work for a few minutes to have a game with some other boys in the yard they commenced running between the wagons.  In passing between the buffers another wagon was sent down which closed the whole of the wagons and he was severely crushed. As soon as it was discovered he was taken to hospital where he only survived a few minutes.

The Hampshire Advertiser 3 October 1868

Under Winchester and district local news

An inquest was taken on Saturday upon the body of Henry Lewis Titheridge, who met with an accident at the railway station on Thursday.  He was engaged by Messrs Vokes and Son, and whilst at work in the goods department he leant against a buffer of a railway truck, and within 2 feet of other trucks which had just been shunted.  Whilst so leaning the trucks were moved and he was crushed and being taken to hospital died very shortly after from the injuries.  Verdict Accidental Death”
What would current Health and Safety regulators make of a twelve year old boy working and playing on the railway lines?

Monday, 15 December 2014

The Flock House Boys (Albert and Kenneth Titheridge)

Flock House was an agricultural and farm training school situated 14 kilometers outside of Bulls in the Rangitikei district of New Zealand.  It was in operation from 1924 until 1987.  From 1924 to 1937 sons of British seamen who had been killed or wounded during World War 1 were brought to Flock House.  Here they were trained at the school and then placed on farms in New Zealand to start a new life.  The scheme was proposed so that sheep farmers in New Zealand could acknowledge the debt they owed to the British Navy, who had kept shipping lanes open during the war enabling New Zealand farmers to ship wool to England.  Between 1924 and 1937 over 600 seamen’s dependents were taken to this new life in New Zealand.  Boys (and later girls) were selected by an advisory committee in London.  Those selected were offered free passage to New Zealand, clothing and pocket money for six months and six months training at Flock House.  At Flock House they were offered a range of skills with aim of them eventually becoming farmers.   
Among these Flock House Boys were two of the sons of Arthur Charles Titheridge (from the last post).  We believe that by 1918 these two boys were orphans.  Their mother Bertha remarried in 1917 but died a year later in 1918. 
The first child to be selected for Flock House was Albert Edward Titheridge born to Arthur and Bertha in 1910 in Alverstoke.  At the age of 16 records show him to be a passenger in the 7th draft of boys and he sailed from Southampton on the Rotorua in 1926 to Wellington New Zealand.
Two years later he was followed by his brother Kenneth Edwin born in 1912 in Alverstoke.  At the age of 15 he was a passenger on the Rotorua and one of the 12th draft of Flock House boys.  He set sail from Southampton to Wellington on 20th January 1928 for a voyage lasting 42 days. His address is given as Shedfield Convalescent Home, Botley. 
We know both boys settled into life in New Zealand but only have sketchy details of what happened to them.  Albert is known to have married twice and had seven children and Kenneth also married and had children.  Did they keep in touch with their family back in England? that we do not know.  Perhaps some of our New Zealand cousins can fill in some of the gaps of what happened to these two brothers.

Monday, 8 December 2014

In Memory of Arthur Charles Titheridge 1883 – 1914 who died 100 years ago today

War Memorial in East Meon Hampshire

Today 8th December 2014 let us remember Arthur Charles Titheridge, Private in the Royal Marine Light Infantry (Po 11220) who died 100 years ago today in the First World War, the first family member to die in World War One

Arthur Charles Titheridge was descended from the Titheridges of Cheriton and was the five times great grandson of John Titheridge and Ann Quallat.

Arthur was the 4th of 8 children born to Charles Titheridge and Ann Garret who lived in West Meon, Hampshire but later moved to Frogmore, East Meon.
Charles and Ann’s children were

           Ellen, born 1877 in West Meon
Emily Rosetta, born 1879 in West Meon
Esther, born 1881 in West Meon
Arthur Charles, born 1883 in West Meon
Albert, born 1885 in East Meon
May, born 1885 in East Meon
Ada Florence, born 1889 in East Meon
Gertrude Adelaide, born 1897 in East Meon
Arthur was born on 2 June 1883 and christened in West Meon on 15 July 1883. In 1891 census he is recorded as aged 7 living with his parents and siblings in Frogmore, a small hamlet that is part of the village of East Meon in Hampshire.

Arthur was a farm labourer when he joined the Royal Marines Light Infantry Division on 5th January 1901.  On enrolment he was described as 5foot 5 inches with fresh complexion, brown hair and eyes.  On his enrolment records his date of birth is given as 2 June 1881 – either he lied about his age to enable him to join up or there was a clerical error! In 1900 the annual pay for a private in the marines was 21 pounds 5 shillings and 10 pence per year.  On the 1911 census Arthur was still in the marines and he was aboard ship in Portland Dorset. His records show him to be very good in conduct and ability throughout his career.

Arthur Charles married Bertha Merritt on 26th August 1905 in East Meon.  They had seven children (and there was one more child who died before 1911)

Arthur George Roland, born 1907 in Alverstoke no more known about him
           Bertha Rosa, born 1908 in Alverstoke no more known about her
Albert Edward, born 1910 in Alverstoke emigrated to New Zealand
May I, born 1911 in Alverstoke died 1911
Kenneth Edwin, born 1912 in Alverstoke emigrated to New Zealand
John Titheridge, born 1913 in South Shields died 1913
Arthur S C, born 1915 in Alnwick died 1919 in Sedgefield 

In October 1914 Arthur found himself aboard HMS Kent as it left Portsmouth and set sail for the Falklands.  Here HMS Kent met the German navy and became involved in the conflict known as the Battle of the Falklands on 8 December 1914.

The German fleet had, on 1st November, defeated the Royal Navy at the Battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile.  This resulted in the loss of two Royal Navy warships, HMS Monmouth and HMS Good Hope, with the loss of nearly 1,600 lives, while the German Squadron had seen just three men injured during the battle.  The German commander Admiral Von Spee decided to attack the British base at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, believing it was undefended.  The British had however deployed a pair of battle cruisers, HMS Invincible and HMS Inflexible, cruisers Canarvon, Cornwall and Kent; two light cruisers, Bristol and Glasgow; and an old vessel, Canopus. These were under the command of Vice Admiral Sturdee and were on orders to find Von Spee’s squadron and retaliate for the defeat in Coronel.  When the German ships Nurnberg and Gneisenau reached the Falklands early on 8th December they were surprised to see warships in the harbour and to be fired upon by HMS Canopus.  Von Spee decided to retreat and Vice Admiral Sturdee ordered his ships to pursue the Germans.  His battle cruisers caught up the Germans and opened fire.  Sturdee sent his light cruisers to chase down Nurnberg, Dresden and Leipzig.  HMS Kent chased down Nurnberg and at 17.00 hours opened fire.  Kent’s shells raining down on Nurnberg caused major damage and a fire broke out at 18.02, after another half hour the Nurnberg surrendered.  Kent’s crew lowered the life boat to pick up survivors, just 12 men were picked up before the ship sank at 19.26 and five of these later died.  During the battle four German cruisers were sunk with Von Spee's flagship, Scharnhorst, sinking rapidly first, followed by Gneisenau, Nurnberg and Leipzig.  Ten British sailors died during the battle, while none of the British ships were badly damaged.  However 2,200 German sailors were killed or drowned.  The only German ship to escape was the Dresden. As a result of the battle German commerce raiding on the high seas was brought to an end and Vice Admiral Sturdee’s victory was a morale booster for the British, reversing the earlier devastation at Coronel.

During the battle Nurnberg had hit HMS Kent thirty eight times but this did not cause significant damage.  However one 4.1 inch shell struck HMS Kent close to the gun in Casemate A3.  Described thus by Adrian Beaumont in his book on HMS Kent

“The explosion killed and wounded all of the gun’s crew.  Worst still it happened while they were in the act of reloading.  One man was holding a bagged cordite propellant charge and it caught fire.  Those not already killed were horribly burnt by the fireball from the burning cordite.  The expanding fireball spread down the ammunition hoist into the magazine where a considerable amount of explosive remained”

A fire ensued but the magazine was flooded before the fire could destroy the ship.  Among the injured was Arthur.  Five men died on the 8th and 3 died later of wounds received.  The medical report with a list of casualties says

“Private Arthur Charles Titheridge R.M.L.I. was gun layer of the 6" gun in A3 casemate.  He was severely burnt about the head, face, trunk and limbs.  He was brought to the sick bay where picric acid dressings were applied and morphia administered but he died of shock at 11.40pm on 8th December."

Arthur is buried in Stanley Cemetery in the Falkland Island, Grave Number 783 and there is a commemorative plaque at the Cemetery to the men who lost their lives.

In England Arthur is remember on several war memorials:

Canterbury Cathedral has a plaque to remember the fallen from HMS Kent. It reads

To the glory of God and in memory of
T Spence Sergt R.M.L.I.
W S Kind Private R.M.L.I.
W Wood Private R.M.L.I.
A C Titheridge Pte R.M.L.I.
G Snow Private R.M.L.I.
S Kelly Private R.M.L.I.
G A Duckett Off Std
W Young Seaman R.N.R.
of HMS Kent who fell in actions off the Falkland Islands 8th December 1914
The table is erected by the Captain Officers and men of HMS Kent.

War Memorial in East Meon

In East Meon, his home village, the village war memorial, which is a cross in the centre of the village, bears Arthur's name.
He is also remembered on the war memorial at Eglingham parish in Alnwick, Northumberland the area where his last two children were born.

War Memorial in East Meon
Memorial services are being held today to remember the men who lost their lives in the Falklands 100 years ago.  In Canterbury Cathedral there is a memorial service and in the Falkland Island a memorial will be unveiled at Stanley Cemetery providing details of how seamen lost their lives defending the Falkland Islands during the First World War

 I have just found the most amazing booklet which I would recommend if you have an interest in HMS Kent.  It is produced by Canterbury Cathedral and tells all about HMS Kent and the Battle of the Falklands including pictures and first-hand accounts. It is by Adrian Beaumont and is called “HMS Kent her part in the Battle of the Falklands".  It can be viewed on line at

Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Sad Tale of Gertrude Titheridge

Village of Frogmore, Hampshire
where Gertrude Titheridge lived before 1909
Last week Ancestry.Co released some records on Lunatic Asylum patients from 1846 to 1912.  A quick search of the Lunacy Patients Admission Registers found 5 Titheridges and 1 Titheradge who had spent time in a lunatic asylum between these dates (4 women and 1 man).  These registers were kept by the Lunacy Commission.  In 1808 an act of parliament had provided money to build county asylums, although many poor people with mental illness or criminally insane were still  in prisons or workhouses.  It is was in 1845 that the Lunacy Act and County Asylum Act forced counties to build asylums for these individuals and these asylums were overseen by the Lunacy Commission.  By 1900 many lunatic asylums had around 1000 patients. 
The record that caught my eye, and made me sad, was the one below from Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum situated in Knowle, Fareham in Hampshire.

Gertrude Adelaide Titheridge admitted 13 July 1909 and died 21 December 1943

So who was Gertrude who spent 34 years in an asylum?

Our records show Gertrude Adelaide Titheridge was the youngest of 8 children born to Charles Titheridge and Ann Garrett.  She was born 20 years after her eldest sibling and 7 years after the nearest sibling.  Gertrude was baptised on 29 March 1897 at East Meon, Hampshire. Originally Charles and Ann had come from West Meon but around 1885 had moved to Frogmore a hamlet to the eastern side of the main village of East Meon.  Charles was originally an agricultural labourer but on the 1901 census he is a railway labourer.  In the 1901 census Gertrude was aged four and at home with her parents and 11 year old sister Ada in Frogmore.  Sometime between 1901 and1905 Gertrude’s mother died, and in 1905 her father Charles remarried to Hannah Gregory in East Meon.  It was four years after this marriage that 12 year old Gertrude was committed to the Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum where she spent the rest of her life.  It is hard to find an entry for a patient in a lunatic asylum on the 1911 census because they did not put the full name just initials, but knowing Gertrude was there we have now found the entry. The entry on this census states “lunacy from birth”.  We do not know the exact reason she was there.  Children could be admitted to an asylum for many reasons; according to an article on this, reasons could include epilepsy, mania, dementia etc.  By the time Gertrude was eighteen her father had died, as well as her elder brother killed in WW1.  How sad that a twelve year old should be placed in an asylum for the rest of her life.

Is anyone related to Gertrude and can tell us why she was in the asylum?