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Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Tidridge Family of Cork

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

Tidridges in Eire

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

The Tidridges of Bishops Waltham Hampshire

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

William Tidridge (1845 – 1929)

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

Life in Cork

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

Tidridges of Doneraile

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

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

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

Saturday, 19 August 2017

1935 Wedding of Violet Gwenda Titheridge

The Wedding of Violet Gwenda Titheridge 1935

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

Here is the newspaper article of the wedding.

Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser 02 August 1935

 "Hartfield Wedding

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

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

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

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

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

Who was Violet Titheridge?

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

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

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

Friday, 4 August 2017

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

Ernest Alfred Tidridge 1898 -1917

Southampton Cenotaph
Southampton Cenotaph

Southampton Cenotaph

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

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

Ernest Tidridge’s Family

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

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

Joining the Royal Hampshire Regiment

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

3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele)

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

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

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

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

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

Died of Wounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lines from "For the Fallen" By Robert Binyon 1914

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