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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

William Henry Tetheridge - The Brave Hussar

British Victory Medal awarded in World War 1 
to all those who entered a theatre of war.
 The London Gazette on 1 May 1918 reads

His Majesty the King has been pleased to award the Distinguished Conduct Meal to the undermentioned for gallantry and distinguished service in the field:

Sgt W H Tetheridge (Stockwell SW) of 13th Hussars - For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.  During a mounted attack a horse carrying a machine gun broke loose.  After several attempts he succeeded in catching it among the trenches occupied by the enemy and brought it in under heavy fire.  He showed splendid coolness and resource.

Identifying William Henry proved a challenge.  He was in fact William Henry Titheridge but was known throughout his 13 year military career as William Henry Tetheridge (or Tetherridge).  His military records and the 1911 census suggest his date of birth to be somewhere between late 1889 to January 1891.  In the end he was identified as William Henry Titheridge with his birth registered in March 1892.

So why was his age so wrong in all the official documentation? I think this is because on 29 June 1909 when William joined the army he was 17 years and 5months, I believe in 1909 an applicant had to be 18years old to join up.  It would appear likely that he added a little on to age so that he was the right age.  This was not uncommon and we know that his brother lied about his age to join the army in World War 1 (but that is another tale).

From the records available we have been able to piece together the following information. William Henry Titheridge was born in on 20 January 1892 at Hackney, London.  He was the seventh child of George Titheridge and Georgina Hanniball.   After leaving school William worked as a painter.

He joined the 11th Hussars (part of the cavalry) on the 29 June 1909 and later transferred to the 13th Hussars.  William served with the 13th Hussars in the following locations.

From 4 November 1910 to 18 November 1914 the 13th Hussars were in India.  At the outbreak of  World War 1 they were in Meerut, India as part of the 7th Meerut Cavalry Brigade.  They sailed from Bombay on 19th November1914, arriving at Marseilles on 14 December1914.  William’s medal card shows he first entered the war in France on 15 December 1914.

War time service saw the Hussars moving around.  At first they stayed in France until 26 June 1916 seeing action on the Western Front in France and Flanders.  The regiment fought both in the trenches and in their mounted role. 

On 27 June 1916 they were posted to Mesopotamia, which is modern day Iraq, for a short stay until 2 August 1916.  

On 3 August 1916 they went back to India until 20 November 1916.  

From 21 November 1916 they were in back in Mesopotamia where they remained until 4 March 1919.  Here the regiment was involved in the battle of Kut al Amars, the capture of Baghdad and the battle of Sharqat.

Early November 1917 found the 13th Hussars near Tekrit, a city in Mesopotamia located on the Tigris River 90 miles northwest of Baghdad.  The British troops were pushing Turkish forces out of Mesopotamia and at Tekrit the Turks made a stand in defensive positions.  On 5th November 1917 the British mounted a swift but costly attack on the city.  At the battle of Tekrit, which took place 5 miles north of Daur, the 13th Hussars made one of their cavalry charges.  During this action 6 men were killed, 22 men were wounded and over twenty horses killed.  As a result of the action two officers won the Military Cross, three men won the Military Medal and William Tetheridge was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.  The medal was awarded on 17 November 1917 for the action that took place on 5th November, but the information did not appear in the London Gazette until the 1 May 1918.

On 5 March 1919, while in Baghdad, William transferred from the 13th Hussars to the Royal Tank Corps and signed up for another 3 years military service.  He was eventually discharged from the army on 31 March 1922 with the rank of Sergeant.  He was described as being of good conduct.  His address on discharge was 143 Cornwallis Road, Brixton, London. 

As well as the DCM for bravery his medal card shows he was also awarded the British War Medal and British Victory Medal and 1915 star.

Just before he left the army William married Emma Eliza Masters on 12 September 1921 and they had two sons.  As for the surname Tetheridge, apart from his military service, William used his correctly spelt surname of Titheridge.

William died on 27 May 1951 in Wandsworth.

While researching this article I came across this amazing photograph of Sergeant William Tetheridge  DCM, please follow the link to take a look.



Sunday, 7 February 2016

Last Will and Testament of Ann Titheridge in 1730

St Andrews Church Kilmeston, Hampshire

Old wills can be a great source of information for the family historian.  The 18th century will of Ann Titheridge is a prime example of this, as in her will she lists all her seven living children and the married names of the daughters.

The language of these old wills seems strange but there were certain rules that had to be followed.  In the 18th century a will had to be in writing and it had to be signed by the testator.  It had to contain a clear and explicit statement of the testator's intention and sanity (if the testator was insane the will was invalid).   The testator's will also recorded their identity and abode and the date when the will was made and generally included the date published.   Bequests form the main body of the will, with the testator concluding by nominating their residuary legatee.  Pious statements, religious bequests and instructions are also a standard part of a will. These could include instructions to the executor to where or how to bury their body.  Testators often then explicitly revoke any prior wills.  Finally, the testator would sign and seal the document, either with their signature or, if illiterate or too weak, with a simple mark. A seal, although not essential, gave force to the document as a formal deed.  This final act must have been witnessed, by two or more witnesses who these should not benefit from the will. The witnesses would in turn add their signatures or marks to the will. (If there were lands involved three or four creditable witnesses were required). The 1730 will below of Ann Titheridge of Kilmeston, Hampshire follows these rules.
This is the last will and testament of Ann Titheridge
In the name of God, Amen, the Eleventh Day of September 1730.  I Ann Titheridge Widow of the parish of Kimpston in the County of Southton, being very sick and weak in body, but of Perfect Mind and Memory thanks be given unto God.  Therefore calling unto Mind the Mortality of my Body and knowing that it is appointed for all people once to die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament, that is to say, principally and first of all I give and recommend my Soul into the hands of God that gave it And my body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in decent Christian Burial at the discretion of my executors, not doubting, but at the General Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the Powers of God, And as touching such worldly estates wherewith it hath pleased Almighty God to bless me in this Life I  give demise and dispose of the former in the following Manner and Form.
Imprimis I give and bequeath to my welbeloved son John Titheridge one shilling of good and lawful money of England. Item I give to my welbeloved daughter Ann Allen, one shilling of good and lawful money of England. Item I give my well beloved son Daniel Titheridge one shilling of good and lawful money of England. Item I give my well beloved daughter Elizabeth Poell one shilling of good and lawful money of England. Item I give my well beloved daughter Sarah Gill one shilling of good and lawful money of England. Item I give my well beloved son William Titheridge one shilling of good and lawful money of England. Item I give my well beloved daughter Mary Titheridge my Gold Rings, Beds with all things belonging thereto  and all other household goods and money by her freely to be possessed and enjoyed.  And I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke, and disanul all and ever other former Testaments, Wills, Legacies and Requests and Executors by me in any ways before named Willed and Bequeathed, ratifying and confirming this and no other, to be my last Will and Testament.  In witness whereof I have herewith put my hand and seal the day and year as above written.
Signed sealed publish pronounced and declared, by the said Ann Titheridge as her last will and testament in their presence of us the subscribers
The mark of David X Frod
The mark of James X Shugnell
William Thong
The mark of Ann X Titheridge

The name "Kimpston" was the old name for Kilmeston: the term "Imprimis" means first: the term "item" means also:  Southton is an abbreviation for Southampton, the county of Hampshire was originally called the County of Southamptonshire.

So who was Ann Titheridge? She was the daughter in law of John Tytheridge and Ann Quallat who lived in Cheriton and are the ancestors of most of the Titheridge family.  John and Ann’s eldest son, John, was born in 1669 at Cheriton and he married Ann Brewer on 29 March 1692 at Chertion.  Shortly after the marriage they moved to Kilmeston, 2 miles away, and here they had 9 children between1695 and 1711.  The children were
     John born 1695 who married Elizabeth Chase
     Daniel born 1697 who married Ann Marshall
     Ann born 1700 who married Thomas Allen
     Sarah born 1701 who married William Gill
     Elizabeth born 1702 who married James Powell
     William born 1705 who died 1706
     Mary born 1707   (no records of death or marriage have been found but still alive in 1730)
     William born 1709 (no records of death or marriage have been found but still alive in 1730)
     James born 1711 who died aged 6 1717

In 1711 after the birth of his last child John died in Kilmeston.  Ann continued to live in Kilmeston with her children.  Ann died in 1730 and was buried on 21 September 1730 ten days after making this will.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Wordless Wednesday 12 - Old Alresford

St Mary the Virgin Church in Old Alresford
5 February 2016

Church in Old Alresford.  Family members
spelling the name Tetheridg appear in Old Alresford
around 1644, and individuals spelling their name
Titheridge are present in Old Alresford around 1761

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