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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

In Memory of George Titheridge and William Titheridge killed at the Battle of Jutland

Naval War Memorial at Portsmouth
One hundred years ago today, 31 May 1916, the Battle of Jutland took place.  This major encounter between the British and German navies took place about 60 miles off the coast of Denmark.  It was the largest naval battle in the First World War involving some 250 ships, 151 British and 99 German ships, and over 100,000 men.  Fourteen British ships and eleven German ships were sunk. 6094 British men lost their lives with 510 wounded.   2551 Germans lost their lives with 507 wounded.  It was a confusing battle with a huge loss of life and ended with neither side having certain victory. The Germans claimed victory as they had destroyed and damaged more ships.  The British claimed victory because they had kept control of the North Sea.  The British Fleet were led by Admiral Jellico and Admiral Beatty and the Germans by Admiral Reinhard.
Aboard the British Navy ships were at least 5 family members.  They were:
Arthur Horace John Titheridge (born 1887) aboard HMS Canada. Arthur was born in Alverstoke the son of Benjamin and Louisa Titheridge.
Benjamin James Titheridge (born 1884) aboard HMS Agincourt. Benjamin was born in Alverstoke the son of Benjamin and Louisa Titheridge.

George Titheridge (born 1892) aboard HMS Queen Mary (see below)

John Titheridge (born 1880) aboard HMS Agincourt. John was born in West Tisted son of Henry and Ann Titheridge

William Henry Titheridge (born 1873) aboard HMS Shark (see below)

On 31 May George Titheridge and William Titheridge died in the Battle of Jutland.

George Titheridge - HMS Queen Mary - died 31 May 1916 aged 24

George Titheridge was descended from the Titheridges of East Meon, Hampshire.  He was one of five children born to William Titheridge (b1865-d1912) and Sarah Titheradge (nee Earwaker).  He was born in East Meon on 25 February 1892 and before joining the navy he was a baker. William and Sarah’s children were all born in East Meon and they were:
William b1890
George born 1892
Rhoda Winifred Caroline born 1895
Alice May born 1900
Alfred Charles born 1909
George is remembered on the Naval War Memorial at Portsmouth.  He is also remembered on the War Memorials at East Meon, Hampshire and Fernhurst, Sussex, although I am yet to establish what his connection was to the latter village.

George was a cook’s mate on the battle cruiser HMS Queen Mary when she was sunk at the Battle of Jutland .  This extract, taken from the Official History; " Naval Operations" by Sir Julian S. Corbett in 1923, recounts the last moments of the Queen Mary before she was sunk
.....Thus the Queen Mary, at from 15,800 to 14,500 yards, became the target of both these ships. For about five minutes she stood it gallantly. She was fighting splendidly. The Germans say full salvoes were coming from her with fabulous rapidity. Twice already she had been straddled by the Derfflinger, when at 4.26 a plunging salvo crashed upon her deck forward. In a moment there was a dazzling flash of red flame where the salvo fell, and then a much heavier explosion rent her amidships. Her bows plunged down, and as the Tiger and New Zealand raced by her to port and starboard, her propellers were still slowly revolving high in the air. In another moment, as her two consorts were smothered in a shower of black debris, there was nothing of her left but a dark pillar of smoke rising stemlike till it spread hundreds of feet high in the likeness of a vast palm tree."

The casualties were 57 officers and 1,209 men killed; 2 officers and 5 men wounded



Inscription from the East Meon War Memorial

Fernhurst War Memorial
Inscription from the Fernhurst War Memorial

William Henry Titheridge - HMS Shark - died 31 May 1916 aged 43
William Henry was born in 1874 5th of 7 children born to William Titheridge (b1832-d1877) and Elizabeth Titheridge (nee Bulgar) in Alverstoke, Hampshire. William and Elizabeth’s children were:

Elizabeth Martha born 1863
Kate Emily born 1865
Annette born 1867
Sarah Eliza born 1872
William Henry born 1874
Frederick born 1877
Herbert John born 1883
Like George he is remembered on the Naval War Memorial in Portsmouth and also in the church at Alverstoke.

At the Battle of Jutland William Henry was aboard the destroyer HMS Shark a Stoker 1st Class.  This extract from the Official History; " Naval Operations" by Sir Julian S. Corbett 1923, describes the last moments of HMS Shark.
"The division was led by Commander Loftus Jones in the Shark, the same intrepid officer who by his resolute dogging of Admiral von Ingenohl's cruiser screen at dawn on the day of the Scarborough raid had caused the whole High Seas Fleet to turn back to its base. Seeing the excellent chance that had fallen to him, he led off to make the most of it, followed by the Acasta (Lieutenant-Commander J. O. Barron), Ophelia (Commander L. G. E. Crabbe)—both officers had been with him in his previous exploit—and the Christopher (Lieutenant-Commander F. M. Kerr).  As they approached they could see that ahead of the flying cruisers a number of enemy destroyers were evidently developing an attack on Admiral Hood, but as soon as the Germans were aware of the Shark's direction they turned to protect Admiral Boedicker. A very hot engagement was the result. The Shark got off a torpedo at one of the cruisers, but she was quickly smothered with the fire of the squadron and its destroyers, and by the time Commander Jones knew he had frustrated the attack on Admiral Hood and had turned back, his boat was brought to a standstill. His old comrade, Lieutenant-Commander Barron, rushed up to take him in tow, but he would not hear of the Acasta, which was also badly damaged, being sunk for him, and ordered her to leave him. At this moment Captain P. M. R. Royds in the Canterbury appeared coming up to the rescue from the southeast. By turning to the southward he enticed the cruisers to chase, and for a while the Shark was left in peace. Presently, however, more destroyers, which Admiral Hipper had ordered to attack Admiral Hood in order to cover his retirement, came up and poured in a merciless fire. In a moment her after gun was hit, and its crew killed, and Commander Jones, who was himself controlling its fire, had a leg shot away at the knee. Yet he continued to encourage his men to fight the only gun he had left, when the Shark went down with her flag still flying."

The sinking of HMS Shark resulted in 7 Officers and 79 men killed and 2 men were wounded.

Panel at Portsmouth Naval Memorial

Memorial at Alverstoke parish church


As the nation commemorates the Battle of Jutland you will find numerous accounts of the battle on the Internet, in Newspapers and on TV programmes, including a fascinating program "Battle of Jutland" that was on BBC 2 last Sunday.  If you want to read more about the battle, the account on the Commonwealth War Graves website is a good place to start Battle of Jutland.
Portsmouth Naval Memorial

Portsmouth Naval War Memorial
"In honour of the Navy in the abiding memory of these ranks and ratings of this port who laid down their lives in the defence of the Empire and have no other grave than the sea"

If George or William are your relatives and you can tell us more about them please email or add a comment below.
Copyright © 2016 Ann and Mike Titheradge All rights reserved

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Our Talented Family Members

This week’s blog is celebrating family members with a talent for writing.  While searching the Internet recently I  came across a book written by a family member.  This stimulated me to look through Amazon to see how many authors I could find among the Titheridges, Titheradges, Tytheridges, Tidridges etc.

Below are a list of the books I found.  If you can add some more please do.  I am sure there are some books I've missed, perhaps there are some people writing under their married name or perhaps under a pen name or perhaps there are books that are just not publicised on the Internet.

As well as these current authors historically the family member who most famous for his creative talent was Dion Titheradge (1889 - 1934) brother of the famous actress Madge Titheradge.  Dion was a famous writer who wrote for the stage, especially plays, revues, sketches, film scenarios and songs. As previously mentioned in an earlier post Dion's son Peter Titheradge was also a talented writer for stage and radio.

Books found on Amazon are:

Cheating the Reaper by Tricia Titheridge
A biography publish October 2013
Click for details
Sit on it / The Christmas Monologues by Georgina Titheridge
published November 2010
Click for details
Hythe Pier and Ferry – A History by Alan Titheridge
published 1981
Click for details
The London Society of Rugby Football Union Referees - The First One Hundred Years by Tim Titheridge
Published 1994
Click for details
The Charles Darwin Memorial at Down House, Downe, Kent by Philip Titheradge
Paperback published in 1981
Click for details
Canada'S Constitutional Monarchy: An Introduction To Our Form Of Government By Nathan Tidridge
Published November 2011
Click for details
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent: Father of the Canadian Crown Author: by  Nathan Tidridge published 28 May 2013
 Click for details
The Queen at the Council Fire: The Treaty of Niagara, Reconciliation, and the Dignified Crown in Canada (Institute for the Study of the Crown in Canada) by Nathan Tidridge
published July 2015
Click for details

Please comment to add more names and titles if you know of other books. 

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Tragedy for James Titheridge and Lily Bess Hand

This post continues the theme of Infant Mortality from two weeks ago.  The story below shows the conditions that our ancestors endured and the consequences of these conditions.

 James Titheridge of Portswood was born in 1856 the son of John Titheridge and Mary Ashton, he was the sixth child of eleven children. He was also the grandson of Maria Titheridge of Cheriton who was mentioned in an earlier post.  James married Lily Bess Hand on 6 September 1890 at West Dean, Wiltshire. James seems to have had many different occupations these being listed as a railway porter, blacksmith and bricklayer labourer on different censuses. We do not know when James died but Lily died in 1914 in Southampton.  James and Lily had 10 children born between 1892 and 1909

Their children were

  • Reginald Frank born on 14 May 1892 died in 1930 in Southampton and married to Violet Ethel Burton in 1919 (They had 1 known child)
  • Francis Ethel born 1893 married James Biddlecombe in 1913
  • Florence Lily born 7 November 1894 – nothing more known
  • Amelia Kathleen born 1896 died 1897
  • Edith Anna born 1898 – nothing more known
  • Violet Winifred Mary born in 1899 died in 1917 aged 17
  • Victor James born in 1901 and died in 1986 in Bournemouth (no known children)
  • Albert Edward Charles born in 1903 died in 1941 in Southampton. Married Violet Taylor in 1935. (They had 3 known children)
  • William John born in 1904 and died in 1978 in Southampton (no known children)
  • Frederick Sydney born in 1909 –nothing more known

Tragedy struck the family in July 1897 when nine month old Amelia developed diarrhoea and two days later died. The illness was caused by the insanitary condition of the property.  The story is best told by these two extracts from the report in the local paper.

Hampshire Advertiser - Saturday 17 July 1897  
The Coroner’s Warning to Property Owners

 “An inquest was held on Thursday morning at the Coroner’s Court concerning the death of an infant child named Amelia Kathleen Titheridge, whose parents reside in Brooklyn Road, Portswood.  Lily Bessie Titheridge, wife of James Titheridge a brick-layer’s labourer gave evidence to the effect that the deceased child was nine months old, and was first taken ill on Sunday morning, and in the afternoon the diarrhoea came on. She continued poorly, but slept all night. On Monday morning the child seemed very ill and the witness went to the relieving officer for a medical order, and took it to Dr Ive’s surgery.  A little later Dr Ives came to see the child, and prescribed brandy, milk and a hot bath. She followed the doctor’s orders, but the child continued ill from the complaint and died early on Tuesday morning in strong convulsions. There were bad smells in the house, and the sanitary inspector visited the premises on the previous Thursday and found that the drain was stopped. That was rectified.

Dr Ives stated that he attended the deceased child on receipt of a medical order, and found her in a state of collapse. He prescribed, but the child did not rally and died before he saw her again, from convulsions following diarrhoea which must have been accelerated by the insanitary condition of the house. The deceased was a fine child. He had since made a post mortem examination, and he found all the organs healthy and the body will nourished.

 Dr Barns, medical officer of Health for the borough, spoke of the difficulty in dealing with the drainage of the district where the child died and said that the owner of the house in question has done all that was possible in the matter.”

“The Coroner remarked that owing to the neglect of proper sanitary requirement they might get an epidemic which would do the town an immense amount of harm and it was now known for its heathy conditions.  The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony and hoped the Sanitary Authority would take steps to see that the proper sanitary measures were not neglected in the district.
The Coroner said Dr Harris would do all he could and it was their duty to assist him in every possible way.”

If you can add any more to this story please leave a comment

Monday, 9 May 2016

A Family Tragedy for Arthur and Ada Titheridge

Swanmore Churchyard
As discussed in the last blog  infant mortality even in the early 1900s was high and life expectancy even in Edwardian Britain was low. As genealogists we see the deaths recorded in the records but rarely do we get to find the story behind the death records.  Below is the sad story of one family.

Arthur Edwin Titheridge was the 8th of 9 children born to William Titheridge and Sarah Ann Keeling.  Arthur was christened on 31 January 1870 at Swanmore.  He spent his youth in the village and appeared on the 1871, 1881 and 1891 census living with his parents and siblings in Swanmore.

On 1 January 1901 Arthur Edwin Titheridge married Ada Cornelia Botley, Hampshire.  The 1901 census shows Arthur, a farm labourer aged 30, living at Winchester Street, Botley with his new wife Ada C Titheridge. 

Arthur and Ada had 4 children only one of whom survived to adulthood.

Edward Arthur born September 1901
William Henry born 5 December 1902
Hilda Dorothy born 10 January 1904 and died 30 May 1913 aged 9 (known as Dolly)
Elsie May born 8 February 1905 and died on 24 February 1905 aged 2 weeks

Two of the children died before they reached their first birthday. Edward Arthur died aged 11 months and was buried on 1st July 1902; Elsie May died on died on 24 February 1905 aged 2 weeks
When Hilda Dorothy was 9 years old there was an awful accident.   It was the 28 May 1913 when tragedy struck and little Hilda Titheridge, known by the family as Dolly, got burnt.  She died of her injuries on 30 May 1913 at Winchester hospital.  The story is best revealed by the newspaper report taken form Portsmouth Evening News 3 June 1913

“At the Royal Hampshire County Hospital at Winchester on Monday afternoon an inquest was held on the body of Hilda Dorothy Titheridge who lately lived with her father, Arthur Edward Titheridge, at Ivydale Cottages, Swanmore and who died in the hospital on Saturday evening from the effects of burns.

The brief evidence taken showed that the child, aged 9, went out into the garden, stating that she was going to do some hoeing between the gooseberry bushes.  Immediately afterwards she screamed, and her cousin, Georgina Kate Titheridge, rushing out, she found her all alight.  She threw a rug over the burning child and put out the flames, and then sent for her father and Dr Whittindale.  The latter, after dealing with the burns ordered the child’s removal to Winchester; whither she was taken in a motor car.  The next day she was seen at the Hospital by her father, and she then told him that, she was lighting a piece of paper at a couch fire, when her frock caught alight.  Mr Titheridge had left a heap of rubbish burning in the garden and both he and his niece had warned the child against going near it.  The doctor stated that the child was dreadfully burned about the face head arms and hands and that death was due to heart failure, with absorption of poison from the burns. 

A verdict of “accidental death” was returned.”

Their only surviving child, Willian Henry, died in Dover, Kent in 1985 aged 82.  Arthur died in March 1954 in Winchester aged 84 and his wife Ada died in June 1954 in Surrey South Western aged 77.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy

In the Victorian era childhood mortality rates were high.

Looking at the records for our family name (Titheridge, Titheradge, Tytheridge, Tidridge and Teatheredge) between 1860 and 1900  they show that
one out of every seven children born died before their first birthday,
one out of every five children born died before there 5th birthday
one out of every four children died before they reached adult hood (21years).

It was not until the 1920s that these figures started to improve. The table below shows the mortality rates for children across the decades.

In 1860 the average life expectancy of people with our family names (Titheridge, Titheradge, Tytheridge, Tidridge and Teatheredge) was 25 years and this has gradually risen to 72 years by the 1960s as shown in the graph below.  Today the average life expectancy is 79 years.


Childhood mortality rates from 1860s to 1950s for Titheridge/ Titheradge etc. family members


Percentage of Babies who died before 1st birthday

Percentage of Children who died before 5th birthday

Percentage of children who died before adulthood










































Life Expectancy 1860 to 1969 for Titheridge/ Titheradge etc. family members

There are many factors that contributed to these mortality rates.

In the Victorian era disease was a problem and epidemics could kill thousands of people in a short time. Diseases like smallpox, cholera, Tuberculosis (TB) and polio were common and at times these reached epidemic levels.

Public health was an issue, especially in the cities which grew rapidly and slums developed. Houses were damp, overcrowded, dirty and people lived, slept, cooked and ate in filthy, unhygienic conditions. There was lots of poverty and poor families lived crowded together into single room accommodation without sanitation and ventilation.   Public health was a huge issue with air, water and sanitation of unsatisfactory standards. There was a lack of clean water supplies and  lack of safe sewage disposal.

For the poor diet was another issue, with the poor having unhealthy diets and much of the food available was contaminated.

Health and Safety was also an issue both at work and home.  Employers had no duty to safeguard the health of their employees.  Children were expected to work and often these were long hours in dangerous jobs. 

There are many of our families who suffered from this high infant mortality rate, below are the details of just two such families.

William and Amelia Titheridge of East Tisted, Hampshire

William Titheridge born in West Tisted in 1842, he married Amelia Pointer in 1870. The family lived in East Tisted in Hampshire and in later life moved to the Guildford area.
William and Amelia had 7 children born over a seventeen year period (1871 – 1888) of these 4 of them died under the age of 5 and were all buried in East Tisted.
Alfred born East Tisted 1873 died 1875
Alice born East Tisted 1876 died 1880
Ada born East Tisted 1877 died 1880
Walter born 1881 Bentworth died 1882
Three sons did survive beyond childhood
Arthur born West Tisted 1871 lived to the age of 40
Herbert born Bentworth 1883 lived to nearly 100
Edward born 1888 in Bramley Surrey died aged 91

Albert and Catherine Titheridge of Southwick Sussex

Another family that were suffered a high mortality rate were Albert James Titheridge born in 1866 in Droxford and Catherine West.  The couple lived in Southwick Sussex where they had 11 children over an 18 year period (1892 - 1910)
Five of the children died under the age of one, with a sixth child dying aged 21.
The children were
twin girls born 1895 and died 1895
Dorothy Kate born 1896 died 1897
Twins William Ernest and Winifred Mabel born in 1898, William died in 1898 and Winfred died in 1899
The surviving children were
Nora born 1892
Alfred James born in 1894 (killed in World War 1 aged 21)
Beatrice born 1900
Lilian Margaret born in 1905
Bernard Oliver born in 1907 died 1978
Leonard Harry born 1910 died 1976