Website Link




Sunday, 6 January 2019

1919 - A Year In Review

Happy New Year to all.

As we welcome in the new year I thought it would be interesting to look back and see what was happening in the family in England 100 years ago in 1919. This was the year when George V was on the throne; the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, was leading a coalition government and Britain was recovering from the effects of World War 1.

Family Members and Locations

By 1919 there were approximately 500 family members in England and Wales. About 72% had the surname Titheridge, 13% the surname Titheradge, with the rest made up of the surnames Tidridge, Tytheridge, Tutheridge, Teatheredge and Titeridge.

At the start of 1919 about 50% of family members in England were still living in Hampshire, about 25% had migrated to the London area, with 15% in the south east of England in Essex, Sussex, Kent and Surrey while the rest were scattered around England and Wales.

Births Marriages and Deaths

1919 saw the arrival of just 6 new babies 3 Titheridges and 3 Titheradges.

Frank Leslie born to John and Grace Maud Titheridge in Hendon, Middlesex
Reginald Charles born to Reginald Frank and Violet Ethel Titheridge in Southampton
Victor W born to Ernest James and Mabel Emma Mary Titheridge in Fulham, London
Florence Belle born to William John and Florence Bella Titheradge in Islington, London
Margaret Amelia born to Alfred George and Emma Catherine Titheradge in Pancras, London
Thomas A Titheradge born to an unknown female in Plymouth

In 1919 there were 8 reported deaths in England and Wales

Baby Victor W Titheridge died in Fulham, London
4-year-old Arthur Sturdee Titheridge died in Sedgefield, Durham
Edward James Titheridge died in Winchester aged 66
James Teatheredge died in Wandsworth, London aged63
James Tytheridge died in Camberwell, London aged 86

There were also three deaths of soldiers.

40-year-old Regimental Sergeant Major Ainslie Burton Tytheridge of the Canadian Army Medical Corps died in a motorcycle accident in Thanet, Kent.
18-year-old Private George Henry Joseph Robert Tidridge of the Shropshire Light Infantry died in Fermoy Ireland.
38-year-old Alfred George Titheridge of Shedfield, Hampshire, formerly of The Hampshire Regiment and Wiltshire Regiment, died as a result of medical conditions caused by life in the trenches

Marriage was very popular in 1919 with 13 marriages taking place, presumably this was a result of the war ending and the soldiers coming home. Eleven of these had the surname Titheridge (6 female and 5 male) and two had the surname Titheradge.

Madge Titheradge 

In the 1919 newspapers the famous Titheradge acting family hit the headlines in many papers. Reviews of Madge Titheradge’s performance in two different plays were reported in January and February. Later in the year the film “Gamblers All” was released starring Madge Titheradge. Madge’s sister Frances Titheradge was also appearing on the English stage. Revues and plays by Madge’s brother, Dion Titheradge, were also performed in numerous theatres across the country. Madge hit the headlines again in August 1919 when she divorced her actor husband, Charles Quartermaine, on grounds of desertion and misconduct.

Newspaper reports

A search of the English newspapers produced some more mundane mentions of the family name. These included the following reports

Welcome home celebrations in Droxford for Admiral Deveton Sturdee and Commander Gieve, were held and “The Bishops Waltham Temperance Band”, under Mr Titheridge, headed the procession, and played some appropriate music as the procession made its way to the village green”
William Titheridge of Chase Road, Swanmore, a labourer, was fined 10 shillings for a lighting offence. On 21st June, at 11pm on the Corhampton Road, Droxford, he was caught riding a bicycle without a front light.
In Shedfield, Hampshire the Boy Scouts began their indoor training for the winter months with patrol leaders George Titheridge and Ernest Stacey.
Francis Titheridge, was charged with begging in Tunbridge Wells in February, in Portsmouth in May and June and in Petersfield in July.
Good Service Ribbons were given to members of the Women's Land Army Agricultural Section for serving King and country in time of hardship and distress. Recipients included E Tytheridge in the East Sussex Section.
At Queens College Southampton Louisa Tidridge passed her book keeping exam.
In Hampshire sporting success was achieved by Mr H J Tidridge who won a prize for bowling.
At Shedfield Miss Freda Titheridge, daughter of Mr and Mrs Noah Titheridge, married Private Greenway of the Leicester Regiment.

1919 Diary

In Swanmore, Hampshire our family diarist, 65-year-old George Titheridge, continued to record his diary throughout 1919. His diary is a list of births (confinements), marriages and deaths in the village of Swanmore, mixed with weather reports, cricket scores, village activities and a few references to world events. I love his diary, especially the fantastic way everyday life is mixed with world events. Below are a few of his entries from the year 1919.

8 Jan   George Alder found dead in ditch.
31 Jan   Old Mr Rowe found suffocated in his van.
28 Feb   Mrs F Blackman confined with twins one died.
24 Mar   Motor car accident at bottom of hill.
27 Mar   C Hart and E Emery summoned for poaching.
29 Mar   A severe snow storm. Times put on an hour.
20 May  A nice steady rain after 7 weeks dry.
28 Jun   Peace terms signed. Swanmore Cricket Club beat Eastleigh.
30 July   Four cottages burned down.
9 Aug   Still very hot. Very dry, hottest day registered in London 80 in shade.
5 Sep   W J Pink came home from the Rhine.
1 Oct   The first 10 shilling note received from the board.
27 Oct   Mr Read took away to the asylum.
1 Dec   Lady Astor the first Lady MP take her seat in the house of commons.

Aftermath of World War 1

1919 saw many men getting discharged from the army and  navy and returning home to family and loved ones. For other families it was a year of remembrance for those who had died in the war. On 18 July 1919 the cenotaph in London was unveiled to commemorate the dead of World War 1. On 11 November 1919 the first Remembrance Day was observed, with two minutes silence at 11.00 hours.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembering Those Who Served in World War 1

Today marks the marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1. It was described as “the war to end all wars" but alas this was not true and just under 21 years later our ancestors found themselves fighting in World War 2.

On Remembrance Day in 2014 I did a blog to remember all those who died in the World War 1
Today, on Remembrance Day, I would like to remember all those who served in the war. Many of those who survived returned with life changing injuries. All who survived experienced the awful horrors of war and suffered mentally. My own grandfathers both survived the war, but neither spoke about their horrific experiences, and I think this was the same in many families.

Throughout 2014- 2018 I have recounted the stories of some of these brave men in this blog and I have attached a link where these stories are available. Additional information is also available on our website .

Below is a list of the 84 family members known to have served in World War 1, sorted by surname. 
Thank you to all the men who served in World War 1

If your relative is missing from the list please let me know. 
If you would like to share your relative's war story please contact me or add a comment below.

Titheridge Surname

Alan James Edward Henry Titheridge - 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters) and Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry)

Albert Titheridge - Royal Navy

Albert James Henry Titheridge - 6th Essex Regiment
More information can be found about Albert at this link

Albert James Robert Titheridge - 17th Battalion, London Regiment (Poplar and Stepney)

Alfred Charles Titheridge - Grenadier Guards

Alfred Dudley Titheridge (from Australia) - Australian Engineers (1st Anzac Wireless Section / 4th Field Artillery Brigade)

Alfred George Titheridge - Hampshire Regiment   / Labour Corps
More information can be found about Alfred at this link

Alfred James Titheridge - Royal Sussex Regiment 2nd Battalion
More information can be found about Alfred at this link

Arthur Tetheridge - Middlesex (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) Regiment 12th and 13th Battalion

Arthur Charles Titheridge - Royal Marines
More information can be found about Arthur at this link and also at this link

Arthur Charles Titheridge - Hampshire Regiment 10th and 2nd Battalion

Arthur Horace John Titheridge - Royal Navy

Benjamin Titheridge - Royal Navy
More information can be found about Benjamin at this link

Benjamin James Titheridge - Merchant Navy

Cecil Baird Titheridge - Royal Navy

Charles Titheridge - Royal Army Medical Corps

Ernest Titheridge - 23rd Battalion London Regiment

Ernest George Titheridge - Army Service Corps

Frank H Tetheridge - York and Lancaster Regiment and Labour Corps.

Frank Henry Titheridge - Royal Sussex Regiment

Frederick James Titheridge - Army Service Corps

Frederick William Titheridge – 22nd Battalion County of London Regiment.

George Titheridge - Hampshire Regiment

George Titheridge - Royal Navy
More information can be found about George at this link and also at this link

George Henry Titheridge - Royal Marines

Harold Cecil Frank Titheridge - Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment

Harry Percival Titheridge – Grenadier Guards

Henry Titheridge - Royal Navy

Henry William Titheridge - Royal Navy from Gosport

Henry William Titheridge - Royal Navy from London.

Herbert John Titheridge - Royal Engineers.

Jack George Ralph Titheridge -  Royal Navy
More information can be found about Jack at this link

James Titheridge  - Royal Navy

James Bertram Titheridge – 7th Labour Corps, Royal Army Service Corps, York and Lancaster Regiment 2nd Battalion

James Francis Charles Titheridge - King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, 1st battalion
More information can be found about James at this link

James Henry Titheridge - Hampshire Regiment 1st battalion
More information about James at this link

James Herbert Titheridge - Royal Army Medical Corps

J F Titheridge - Royal Garrison Artillery

John Titheridge - Hampshire Regiment 1st Garrison and 19th Battalion

John Titheridge - Royal Marines

Joseph Titheridge - Royal Sussex Regiment 8th Battalion
More information about Joseph can be found at this link

Percy James Titheridge - Royal Army Medical Corps..

Reginald Titheridge - Bedfordshire Regiment and RASC

Reginald Frank Titheridge - Hampshire Regiment 2nd Battalion

Richard Titheridge - Hampshire Regiment

Rupert Titheridge - Royal Engineers

Samuel Titheridge - 4th London Regiment / Labour Corps

Sidney James Titheridge - Royal Garrison Artillery 172 Siege Battery

Walter Charles Titheridge - Royal Army Service Corps 14th Fd Butchery

Walter Edward Titheridge - Essex Regiment 8th Battalion and Northamptonshire Regiment 7th Battalion

Walter James Titheridge - Somerset Light Infantry 6th Battalion
More information about Walter can be found at this link and also this link

William Charles Titheridge - Hampshire Regiment

William Edward Titheridge - Wiltshire (Duke of Edinburgh’s) Regiment 6th Battalion

William Edward Titheridge (Canadian) – 44th Canadian Overseas Battery

William F Titheridge - Royal Engineers.

William Henry Tetheridge - 3th Hussars
More information about William can be found at this link and also this link

William Henry Titheridge -  Royal Irish regiment

William Henry Titheridge - Royal Navy
More information about William can be found at this link

William Henry John Titheridge - Royal Navy
More information about William can be found at this link


Titheradge Surname

Alfred H Titheradge - 1st Dragoon Guards / Corps of Dragoons

Alfred Richard Titheradge - Royal Engineers Transport

Arthur Robert Titheradge - Royal Garrison Artillery.
More information can be found about Arthur at this link

Charles Edward Titheradge - Rifle Brigade
More information can be found about Charles at this link

Dion George Titheradge - Royal Field Artillery

Fabian William Titheradge - 5th London Regiment 2/London Regiment     Royal Fusiliers.

George Augustus Titheradge - Hampshire Regiment 1st Battalion

Gerald Arthur Titheradge - Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment and Labour Corps

Harold Edward Titheradge - 21st Battalion of London Regiment.

P Titheradge - Essex Regiment.

Walter Titheradge - Essex Regiment

William Charles Titheradge - Royal Navy Air Service

William John Titheradge - Royal Field Artillery

William Joseph Blaik Titheradge - Hampshire Regiment 15th battalion

Tidridge Surname

Alfred Tidridge - Welsh Regiment 3rd Battalion (also 9th Welch and 15th Welch)

Bertie Tidridge - Hampshire Regiment 2nd Battalion and 15th Battalion

Edward James Tidridge - Somerset Light Infantry
More information about Edward can be found at this link

Ernest Alfred Tidridge - Hampshire Regiment 14th battalion
More information about Ernest can be found at this link

James Alexander Tidridge - Royal Garrison Artillery 82nd Siege Battery

John Harry Tidridge - Lancashire Fusiliers. Small Arms School.

William Edward Tidridge - Machine Gun Corps.

William John Newman Tidridge - Hampshire Regiment 5th Battalion Infantry and South Staffordshire Regiment

Other Variations of the Surname

Ernest Teatheredge - Royal Navy

Alfred John Tutheridge - Army Veterinary Corps

Ainslie Burton Tytheridge - The Canadian Army Medical Corps, 1st Canadian Casualty Clearing Station

Edgar John Tytheridge - 2nd London Regiment / Labour Corps 676 Company.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

"Lambs to the Slaughter" - A view of WW1 by Private Edward Tidridge

Welsh Newspapers

The National Library of Wales offers free on-line access to the newspapers of Wales. I visited the website while researching my Welsh grandfathers, both of whom served in World War 1 in the 1st Monmouthshire Regiment and 7th Battalion South Wales Borderers. While I was searching the site, I thought it was worth entering the surname Tidridge, as I knew there was a Tidridge family in Swansea. I came across two fascinating newspaper articles on Edward Tidridge, a soldier at the start of the World War 1, who was wounded in the first few weeks of the war.

Edward Tidridge’s WW1 Story

On August 4th 1914 Great Britain declared war on Germany. The two newspaper articles about Edward were written just 2 months after World War 1 began. The articles told the story of Private Edward Tidridge from Swansea, who was in the Somerset Light Infantry when war was declared. The 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry was stationed at Colchester at the start of the war but were quickly mobilised and was among the first few groups of soldiers to leave England for France. On 22 August 1914 they landed at Havre and fought in the battle of Le Cateau, on 26th August, during the retreat form Mons.

In the article Edward recounted how they sailed across the channel, travelled by train, then marched 20 miles and then the regiment were quickly sent into action. Although Edward had been a soldier for 11 years he was unprepared for the horrors of this war and he described how awful it was “to hear the moans of the wounded and dying”. The battalion were forced to retreat to a village which was soon shelled by the Germans, including a shell landing on the church flying the Red Cross flag. They were ordered to leave the village and Edward was lucky to escape the shelling, but in the retreat he became separated from the regiment for four days before being reunited with them.

He went on to describe being 20 miles from Paris when the new order came again to advance. He described the horrors of war as the regiment drove the Germans back. “It was awful” he said, “The men marched for hours and were only allowed ten minutes' rest. The noise and din during the fighting was terrible”.

Edward and his comrades were in trenches for about four days. He said they suffered terribly, with the rain and the cold. On Tuesday 15th September 1914 they were supported by the guns of the French Artillery, at first the French guns were successful at shelling the Germans with no return of fire. The next day was not so lucky, the Germans returned the shell fire killing 8 French artillery men. The shells smashed into the trenches where the men of the Somerset Light Infantry were, killing an officer and 3 privates, with 10 privates wounded. Edward was among the wounded. He received a shrapnel wound to his foot. In addition, the trench gave way under the shell fire and Edward was buried for four hours before he was dug out. This was 16th September, the battalion only landing in France less than four weeks earlier.  Edward’s description of the last advance to positions along the Aisne reads, "We were led like lambs to the slaughter; it was slaughter, too; we had our work cut out. Fellows were being mowed down right around.”

Injured Edward was first taken to a village convent, then travelled by road and rail to a hospital where he was treated. He was transported to England by ship along with 1200 other men. Here he was taken to Southern General Hospital, University Buildings in Edgbaston, Birmingham before being allowed home to Swansea, returning home just 7 weeks after the start of war.

Newspaper Articles

The above is a summary of two articles in the Swansea papers. Please follow the two links below to The National Library of Wales to read the first-hand accounts of this soldier’s experiences of war. They are moving accounts of life in World War 1, one from a letter written by Edward and one from an interview with a reporter..

Edward Tidridge of Swansea

From census records I believe Edward James Tidridge was the son of Alfred Tidridge and Jane Wakely, although his unconfirmed date of birth was before they were married. According to his military records, he was born in February 1886 in St Mary’s Swansea. However, I have been unable to find any birth record for Edward, with any spelling variation of the surnames Tidridge or Wakely, even allowing for the fact that he may have lied about his age. His brother Alfred Tidridge was born in Swansea in December 1889. The 1891 census records him as Edwards James Tidridge Wakely born in Swansea; the 1901 census records him as Edward Tidridge and future references are under Edward Tidridge. Edward joined the Glamorgan Royal Garrison Artillery on 23 April 1903 with his age given as 17 years 2 months, service number 2180, rank gunner, previous occupation labourer. On 2 February 1905 he enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry. On the 1911 census he was a Private in the Somerset Light Infantry stationed in Malta.

After these newspaper accounts, written at the start of WW1, no records have been found for Edward (I have searched Tidridge and Wakely and all spelling variations). There is no marriage, no death record and no WW1 medal card, which should have been generated for all soldiers of WW1.

So, what happened to Edward? Did he go back to France with his regiment? Was he invalided out of,  the army? Did he emigrate and that is why there are no further records? Unfortunately, I have no answers to these questions.

If you can provide any further information about Edward, please  get in touch.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

World War 1 Conscription and Conscientious Objectors


In August 1914 England declared war on Germany and appealed to the men of Britain to volunteer for the army. Lord Kitchener’s famous “Your Country Needs You” poster encouraged a million men to volunteer by January 1915. However, by the start of 1916 the number of men volunteering had decreased, and men were urgently needed to replace those that had been killed or injured. Until 1916 England had always had a volunteer army but volunteers could no longer supply the men needed. On 2 March 1916 conscription (compulsory active service) was introduced and all single men aged 18 to 41 were forced to join the army, unless they were in an essential home occupation, were medically unfit or were a clergyman or teacher. By May 1916 this was extended to married men and extended again in 1918 to include men aged up to 51. Conscription was unpopular and there were demonstrations against it, but despite this over 2 million men were conscripted into the army. 

Conscientious Objectors

For some individuals joining an army and fighting was an abhorrent thought and it was against their beliefs to engage in war, believing life was sacred and killing someone was wrong. These individuals became known as conscientious objectors. Some of these joined the army under protest, agreeing to serve in non-combatant rolls such as stretcher bearers in the front line; others were forced to join the army and were sent to the front line in France anyway where refusing to follow an order could result in the death sentence; others were subject to court martial and imprisoned in the United Kingdom. Those that refused compulsory service were called absolutists, they were usually drafted into military service and if they refused to obey an order from an officer they were court martialled. Thousands of Conscientious Objectors were tried by court martial. To see if a member of your family was as conscientious objector go to the Imperial War Museum’s website “Lives of the First World War” where you can search a database of over 17,000 conscientious objectors.  

It was while “remembering” family members on this website that I came across the name “Charles Edward Titheradge”, listed as a conscientious objector. I had previously seen some of his military records, so I knew that he was imprisoned in Winchester for refusing to obey an order and that he had no medal card, but had not realised the significance of the information.

Charles Edward Titheradge 1890 – 1932

Armed with this new information I wanted to find out more about Charles, an individual who held such strong beliefs that war was wrong that he was willing to endure the very harsh treatment given to conscientious objectors rather than go against his principles and beliefs.

Charles Edward Titheradge was the son of James Henry Titheradge and Alice Butterworth and the grandson of Lewish George Titheradge. He was born on 29 May 1890 in the Pancras district of London. Charles had two younger brothers, Percival born 1896 and Walter born 1898. I believe both brothers joined the Essex Regiment in 1916. 

On the 1901 census Charles was living with his parents and two brothers at 60 Arlington Gardens, St Pancras, London. By the 1911 census the family had move out of central London and were living at 55 Brookdale Road, Walthamstow Essex. On the census Charles is shown as a decorative draughtsman.

On 2 April 1916 Charles married Catherine Louisa Armitage at the parish church in Walthamstow.  Their address was 106 Leucha Road, Walthamstow.

Charles Titheradge – the war years

When conscription began in 1916 Charles would have been among those who were called up. Men could apply to local Military Service Tribunals for exemption from conscription, but not many appeals were upheld. Unfortunately, the records for most of these tribunals were destroyed after the war by the order of the government. We know Charles was a member of the “No Conscription Fellowship”, NCF, an organisation to support those who objected to taking up arms. We can assume Charles was a pacifist who believed it wrong to kill another human, but whether this was a religious or moral stand is unknown. His appeal to the Military Tribunal was unsuccessful, and therefore he was called for military service.

Charles refused to comply with conscription and consequently was arrested on 25 May 1916. He appeared at the Magistrates Court and as an absentee (one who had refused to arrive at the army) he was handed over to the army. He was enrolled in the Rifle Brigade on 29 May 1916 service number 19675.   His service papers have the words “enrolment Record” crossed out and replaced with “Record of service” and the words “fitness of service on enrolment” changed to “fitness of service on joining”.  Charles would not sign the enrolment form. He refused to obey the order of a senior officer for which he was court martialled. His military records show he was convicted by the civil power of “Absentee Military Service Act” on 29 May. On 30 May 1916 he was convicted by District Court Martial, the charge being that when on active service disobeying a lawful command given by his superior officer. He was sentenced to one year Imprisonment with Hard Labour.

On 14 June 1916 Charles was sent to the Civil Prison in Winchester. Life was tough for conscientious objectors in prison, and 69 conscientious objectors died in prison.  Hard labour was the most severe sentence the courts could issue. The prisoners were put in solitary confinement for the first month and were not allowed to communicate with anyone. They were let out for half an hour exercise a day, but no communication was allowed. Charles’s records show that he spent nearly 3 months in prison in Winchester.

The records for 5 September 1916 reads “Transferred to Class W Army Reserve, Army orders 203-1916”. Class W reserve was used as a means of getting thousands of Conscientious Objectors out of prison and into useful civil employment. Charles became part of the home office scheme administered by the Brace committee which sent 250 conscientious objectors from prisons to Dyce Camp in Aberdeen at a quarry. The men were still in the army but had been released on condition they performed work of national importance – in this case breaking up granite to produce stones for roads. Most of these men were not use to physical labour and the work was tough. They were put up in a tented camp in poor conditions made worse by the weather. After the death of one of the prisoners the camp was closed down in October 1916. It is not clear what happened to Charles at this time whether he went back to prison or sent to work somewhere else.

The next entry in his records shows that on 23 November 1917 he was discharged from the army as no longer fit for service due to a condition Otitis Media which affects the middle ear. The doctors thought this was the result of a childhood illness. His total service was 1 year 179 days.  It is noted in his records that his pension entitlement was disallowed for misconduct and that he had no medal entitlement. On discharge his address was to be 48 Bunyan Road, Walthamstow and his intended employment a decorator of furniture / cabinetmaker.

Charles Titheradge – after the war

Life was probably hard for Charles after his release from the army. The war time prejudice against conscientious objectors continued for many years after the war.  Conscientious Objectors were nick name “conchies”. There was a stigma attached to being a conscientious objector - people regarded them as cowards and their families often suffered abuse as well as the men. The men were often despised for their views. These attitudes continued for many years after the war e.g. some job advertisements said no conscientious objectors should apply.

Charles continued to live in the London area until 1932 when he died on 8 August 1932, aged just 42 at 88 Ainslie Wood Gardens, Chingford, Essex. He was buried at Chingford Mount Cemetery on Saturday 13th August 1932. Probate records show he left £695 to his widow Catherine. Catherine and Charles had no children.

Catherine married again in December 1937 in Essex to Frederick C Conyard and lived until 1975, she died aged 84 in Southend-on-sea.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

When is a Tytheridge not a Tytheridge?

Several years ago, I was very excited when I found the name of Ernest Burrowes Tytheridge, listed under "Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1918" on the Ancestry website.
The details were transcribed from the original and read:
Name : Ernest Burrowes Tytheridge
Place of Birth:  Islington, Middlesex
Date of Death:  26 October 1914
Place of Death: France and Flanders
Enlistment Place:  London
Rank:  Rifleman
Regiment Royal Irish Rifles, 2nd Battalion
Regimental Number:  6486
Killed in Action

I followed my golden rule - "look at the original document and don’t believe any transcription". I found the image of an original document “Ireland, Casualties of World War I, 1914-1922” which contained the names of Irish men who fell in the Great War. The picture showed the page which remembered Ernest, and it confirmed the details of the previous transcription. The book of remembrance was beautiful, published in 1923 with the printed word surrounded by the most amazing ornate border designed by the artist, engraver and stain-glass window designer Harry Clarke.

My discovery of Ernest Burrowes Tytheridge was interesting because I didn’t know who Ernest Tytheridge was. So, began my search for Ernest. I looked for a birth- no Ernest Tytheridge, no Ernest Burrowes. I searched on the 1911 no sign of Ernest. I tried all possible spelling variations of the surname Tytheridge and found nothing. I looked in vain for a connection between Tytheridge and Burrowes but none was found. For several years I had labelled Ernest as "a problem to sort" and from time to time I would try some different search to try to find out who he was.

Recently I was updating my military records for our website, where I had Ernest Burrowes Tytheridge listed among the war dead. I realised that I had no medal card for Ernest, that seemed strange but I thought perhaps it was because he was in an Irish Regiment. As I was cross checking my data with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission I realised that Ernest was not listed there either. The alarm bells rang something was not right. It was at this point I had a brainwave - l entered just the Christian names “Ernest Burrowes” into the Commonwealth War Grave Commission website and the answer to the mystery was revealed. The entry read
“Ernest Burrowes TYTHERLEIGH”
Ernest was not a Tytheridge but a Tytherleigh !

To confirm this new discovery, I searched the surname Tytherleigh and found his medal card, his birth in 1884 Islington, his marriage to Georgina in 1910 and found the couple on the 1911 census in Finchley. So my Ernest Burrowes Tytheridge was not Tytheridge after all, the error had been made on the original Roll of Honour  just after World War 1 and then copied to another document.

I always pride myself on not making assumptions but as shown above even when you are careful things can go wrong. When doing genealogy research try to remember:
  • Always try to see the original document – don’t believe transcriptions 
  • Always try to cross reference your fact from two different sources
  • If something doesn’t seem right don’t blindly accept it; question it. (I should have had a warning alarm ringing and asked why no birth? why no medal card? why not in CWG site?)

 I have now updated our website to remove all traces of Ernest, the Tytheridge who was a Tytherleigh, from both the Military Records Roll of Honour and from the list of Soldiers whoserved in WW1.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Smallpox and the Death of Joshua Titheridge 1741

Smallpox a common cause of death

In the 17th and 18th century smallpox was a common cause of death. It caused the death of rich and poor alike. It killed several reigning monarchs including Queen Mary II of England, Czar Peter II of Russia and King Louis XV of France. On 10th October 1562 Queen Elizabeth I was taken ill at Hampton Court Palace, with what was thought to be a bad cold, this developed into a violent fever. The queen had smallpox and it was feared that the she would die. Fortunately, Elizabeth survived the disease and was not too badly scarred. It is estimated that in Europe at this period 400,000 commoners died each year due to smallpox.

Smallpox is an infectious disease caused by a virus. It is an extremely contagious and deadly virus for which there is no known cure. The person is infectious from the when the fever develops until the last scabs fall off. Smallpox is transmitted from person to person contact and has an incubation period is 7 to 17 days. Smallpox causes a high fever, flu like symptoms of malaise, vomiting, headache and this is followed by a characteristic rash that develops 2 - 3 days later, the rash develops into pus filled blisters. Smallpox kills a third of those infected with the disease, while those who survive often suffer from bad scarring with deep pitted scars, most prominent the face.

Survivors of the disease were often called upon to try and nurse victims as it was known that no one could contract smallpox twice. In 1796 Edward Jenner, an English doctor, carried out an experiment that lead ultimately to the eradication of smallpox. He took pus from a milkmaid with cowpox and inserted it into a young boy. Later he exposed the boy to smallpox and no disease developed. The vaccine had been successful, and this was the start of vaccination against infectious diseases. Smallpox vaccination spread around the world and saved the lives of millions. In 1980 the World Health Organisation certified the global eradication of smallpox. The last naturally occurring case was in 1977.

Did Your Ancestors Die of Smallpox? 

The chances are you would not know your ancestors died of smallpox unless some kind parish clerk has recorded the cause of death in the burial registers. In the parish of Basingstoke in the 1740s the parish clerk has done just that. It shows that in 1741 there was an outbreak of smallpox in Basingstoke. In April 1741 there was one death due to smallpox and none between May and August. However, between 9th September and 30th September there were 15 smallpox deaths recorded. In the month of October the epidemic reached a peak and there were 61 smallpox deaths. The figures reduced to 29 deaths in November and just 5 smallpox deaths in December. In the 18th century Basingstoke was a small market town. Even by the end of the century there was only a population of 2,500, so the death of 105 individuals from smallpox in 1741 was quite a significant decrease in the population.

Joshua Titheridge

One of the individuals who suffered from this outbreak of small pox was Joshua Titheridge. The parish records show he was buried on 22 September 1741, buried in cloth and died from small pox.

So, who was Joshua? Joshua was baptised on 21 June 1701 one of 10 children born in Kingsclere, Hampshire to Joshua Titheridge and Margaret Butt (sometimes recorded as Bull). The Titheridge surname is also recorded as Titteridge, Tytheridge and Tetheridge. Joshua married Anne Moore on 3 November 1735 in Basingstoke and they had three children Anne who was born and died in 1735, a second daughter called Anne who was born in 1737 and John who was born in September 1740 and died in May 1741 just a few months before Joshua. Joshua was just 40 years old when he died from smallpox; his widow Ann lived another 40 years, her burial being recorded in December 1781 in Basingstoke. After the death of Joshua's nephew, Richard, in Basingstoke in 1785 the Titheridge line in Basingstoke dies out.

The Titheridges of Kingsclere and Basingstoke 

(Click on the family tree to enlarge it)

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Francis Titheridge 1854 -1941 (Part 2 covering 1901 to 1941)

Fareham Cemetery
This Blog continues the story of Francis Titheridge in the last blog (please read part 1 first). The story begins in 1901

1824 Vagrancy Act

To set the scene for Francis’s story you need to know about the Vagrancy Act. This act was passed in 1824 by the English Parliament making it an offence to sleep rough or beg. It was a law that criminalized those who were homeless and forced to beg for survival, irrespective of why the individuals were placed in this predicament. It meant anyone found begging could be arrested and sentence to imprisonment. Francis was one of the unlucky individuals who fell afoul of the act.

County Asylum 1901 – 1919

Four years after the last reference to Francis came the 1901 census, this was taken in April 1901. Francis was living on his own in Up Marden, Sussex occupation given as carter on farm and marital status single. By the 1911 census Francis is recorded as an inmate in West Sussex County Asylum in Graylingwell situated on the outskirts of Chichester. He was recorded as a farm labourer, 49 years old and a widower. Reviewing the records for the Asylum they show that Francis was admitted on 8 October 1901 and was discharged on 8 August 1918 stating he was recovered. With the advent of World War 1, the asylum was requisitioned to act as a military hospital with the patients being redistributed through other asylums within the south east. Francis’s records have Canterbury written on them, so we can assume he was transferred to Kent. It was here in Canterbury he was released in 1918. Can you imagine how he felt after release from the asylum after 17 years? England was now a country at war with Germany, Francis had no job, no means of support, and was miles from home.

Begging in Kent 1919

Six months after his release this article appeared in the Kent papers.

Article from Kent and Sussex Courier - 28 February 1919
Headline: “Tunbridge Wells Borough Bench – Not Wanted”
Francis Titheridge was charged with begging alms on Mount Ephraim 25th February. P.C. Huckstep stated that when searched at the Police Station a sum of 5 shillings and ten and a half pence in coppers was found on the prisoner. The Chief Constable (Mr Charles Prior) said complaints had been received of defendant’s conduct. He first gave his age as 80, then 70 and finally 69 years. Upon promising to leave the town Titheridge was sentence to one day’s imprisonment, the chairman telling him that he was not wanted in Tunbridge Wells.

Begging in Hampshire 1919-1928

Three months later 64-year-old Francis made it home to Hampshire. A series of newspaper articles tell his story over the next nine years.

Article from Hampshire Telegraph - 30 May 1919
Headline: Havant and Emsworth News of the District – Occasional Court
On Monday, before Mr. S. E. Mills, an elderly vagrant name Francis Titheridge was charged with begging. P.C. Old arrested him in Market Lane about nine o’clock. He was calling at houses telling a tale about having been invalided from the Army and trying to raise a breakfast. Prisoner, who admitted the charge, was sentence to one day’s imprisonment.

Article from Hampshire Telegraph - 6 June 1919
Headline: Petersfield and District – Prison for Beggar
An elderly man named Francis Titheridge was brought before Dr Cross at the Police-court, on Monday, charged with begging in the High Street the previous evening. P.C. Arnold gave evidence, and accused, who was before the court for a similar offence only a week or two ago, was sentenced to seven days’ imprisonment.

Article from Hampshire Telegraph - 24 November 1922
Headline: Fareham and District – Begging at Porchester
At a special Police Court at Fareham on Tuesday, before Mr V. T. Keen, two men named Francis Titheridge and William Henry Walker, were charged with begging at Porchester on the previous day. P.C. Hill deposed to seeing the accused calling from house to house. Titheridge pleaded guilty and there being four previous convictions against him, he was sent to prison for seven days, while Walker who pleaded not guilty and against whom there was no previous offence, was sentenced to one day’s imprisonment.

Article from Portsmouth Evening News - 30 November 1923
Headline: Gosport Light Police Court
Francis Titheridge (82), a tramp of no fixed abode, was questioned by P.C. Seamark for begging alms in Oak Street, Gosport, on November 29, when 5 shillings in coppers were found in his possession. Titheridge, who bears a bad record, was sent to prison for a month.

Article from Portsmouth Evening News - 8 January 1924
Headline: Court Gosport Police - A Beggars “Rest”
With a very bad record as a rogue and vagabond, Francis Titheridge (77), a tramp, was given a ticket of admission to the House of Industry, and told that must stop there. From the evidence of P.C. Kemp, the prisoner begged alms in Upper South Street on Monday, with excuse that he wanted to get enough money for a bed, but when searched 7shillings 7 pence was found in his possession.

Article from Hampshire Telegraph - 26 October 1928
Headline: Petersfied and District Old Enough to Know Better
Francis Titheridge (86) was brought before Dr Cross (presiding) and Mr. E. J. Baker at the Petersfield Police Court on Tuesday charged with absconding from the Petersfield Poor Law Institution on Sunday and taking with him goods to the value of 1 pound 10 shillings, the property of the guardians. The accused pleaded guilty. Mr W. Ixer, Master at the Institution, said that on Sunday morning the accused was missing. He was found by the police at Havant and taken by P.C. Turrell to Petersfield. He said he only wanted to get out to see his sister. Supt Ellis said there were numerous convictions against the accused, mostly under the Vagrancy Act. He was 86 of age, and old enough to know better. In answer to the Chairman (Dr Cross), accused express his willingness to go back to the Institution and remain there.

Fareham Poor Law Institution 1939 – 1941

In 1939 a register was taken of everyone in Britain. Francis was recorded at Fareham Poor Law Institution, 52 Wickham, Fareham
The entry reads: Francis Titheridge patient born 25 December 1846

Francis’ death was recorded in March quarter of 1941 in Gosport District, Hampshire aged 94. His actual age was 87.

Francis was buried on 1st April 1941 at Fareham Cemetery in grave 3572. His gravestone is no longer standing but an X on the right of the picture below marks the position of the grave.

Francis's burial place in Fareham Cemetery
- marked with an X

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Francis Titheridge 1854 -1941 (Part 1 covering 1854 to 1897)

Chichester  Cathedral
Francis lived in villages near Chichester
This is the life story of Francis Titheridge. It will be told in two consecutive blogs.

 A few months ago, Francis was just a name on a family tree with a date of birth and marriage. After a chance reading of a newspaper article I became curious and started to investigate this individual. Amazingly for a poor agricultural labourer I have found over 35 references to Francis in historical records. His life story has been constructed from records in various sources (Birth Marriage Death Records, Parish Records, Censuses, 1939 Register, Newspapers, Military Records, Asylum Records, Petty Session Records and Cemetery Records).

The records show life was not kind to Francis, life was hard and set in a time when social services did not exist and support for the poor and mentally ill was lacking.

Francis Titheridge of East Meon

Francis was born in 1854 in the Hampshire village of East Meon. He was the youngest of fifteen children born to William Titheridge and Elizabeth Lee; his parents were in their late forties when he was born. He was born 27 years after William and Elizabeth’s first child and 5 years after his nearest sibling. On the 1861 census he was living with his parents at Frogmore, East Meon and on the 1871 census he was living with his older brother in Old Down, East Meon. After this time Francis’s age is very inconsistent on documents, with his year of birth varying from 1839 – 1856. To confuse matters further his name is sometimes abbreviated to Frank.

First Marriage to Emily Jane Port 1877 -1882

On 13 October 1877 Francis married Emily Jane Port in East Meon. They had one child Henry born March 1879. On the 1881 census Emily and son Henry are living in Farlingham near Portsmouth, however Francis is not with them and I cannot find him on the census. Tragedy struck in 1882 when Francis was widowed, Emily’s death is registered in the December quarter in Midhurst, Sussex. In East Meon church yard there is (or was) a headstone for her, the inscription reads "To the memory of Emma Jane Titheridge, who departed this life 24 Oct 1882, age 31". She was married as Emily Jane but her death was registered as Emma Jane. There is no further record of the son Henry.

Army Service 1882-1883

On 5 December 1882 Francis joined the army, less than 3 months after Emily’s death. He joined the Royal Artillery as a driver at Fort Rowner, Gosport and was found fit for service. He was described as five feet four and half inches, 130 pounds with a fair complexion, dark blue eyes and brown eyes, age 23 years 11 months, with Methodist as his religion. The form notes “Scar above left orbit which he states is the result of an injury from a fall ten years ago”. The army did not suit Francis and he managed just 219 days of service of which 55 were spent in hospital. His service record shows on 28 February 1883 he had a fall off his horse at drill and had a contusion of his arm and was in hospital for 22 days. Released on 22 March just six days later he was re-admitted to hospital for a dislocated shoulder. He spent 33 days in hospital being released on 30 April. On 12 May he left his sentry post and was then subject to court martial for “leaving sentry post and injuring clothing” He was tried and sentenced on 24 May. On 28 May he was brought before a Medical Board and was found “unfit for service for defective intellect”. It states the deficient intellect was due to an accident before enlistment. It is noted that he was slovenly and bad tempered. He was invalided out of the army on 10 July 1883.

Court Appearance 1885

Article from Horsham Petworth Midhurst and Steyning Express – 27 January 1885
Headline: Petersfield Theft from the Workhouse
Francis Titheridge, a pauper, pleaded guilty to stealing a cape, value 6 shillings, the property of the Guardians of the Petersfield Union, on the 5th inst. – Prisoner had been an inmate of the workhouse, and, on leaving, took with him the cape, which was used by a pauper who came into the town on errands. The prisoner took the cape to Chichester and sold it for 1 shilling to a general dealer. – A previous conviction was proved and prisoner was sentenced to three months hard labour.

Second Marriage to Alice Emma Langrish 1886 – 1892

Three years in later in 1886 32-year-old Francis married 18-year-old Alice Emma Langrish from Compton in Chichester. The couple lived on the Sussex Hampshire border and led a very nomadic life with Francis working as a labourer and moving around regularly.
Minnie Catherine was born on 1 April 1887 in the Westbourne district Sussex, probably in West Marden
Mabel was born in the June quarter in Droxford but christened in East Meon, Hampshire on 4 November 1888. The family were living at Coombe, East Meon
Mabel was 1 year old when she died. Mabel’s death was registered in Fareham and she was buried at St Mary, Porchester, Hampshire on 7 August 1889.  (A previous blog has already told of the death of daughter Mabel).
Florence Mary was born in East Meon and christened on 8 January 1890. The family were living at Drayton, East Meon
The 1891 census shows Francis and Alice with children Minnie and Florence at South Street, Compton, Sussex
On 19th October 1891 Minnie started school at Stoughton, Sussex having come from a school at Compton
William George was born in the March quarter in Westbourne and christened in Stoughton, Sussex on 20 Mar 1892. The family were living in Walderton, Stoughton.
On 25 March 1892 Minnie left school at Stoughton Sussex for an unknown destination.
Florence Mary was just two years old when she died on 18 September 1892. Florence’s death was registered in Midhurst, Sussex and she was buried at Heyshott, Sussex.

It appears that Alice and Francis separated sometime between 1892 and 1894. On the 1901 and 1911 census Alice is living in Aldershot with Robert Cannings. They are calling themselves man and wife, although there is no record of a divorce from Francis and no record of marriage to Robert. On the censuses there are 11 children recorded living with Alice and Robert all with the surname Cannings. However Minnie born in 1887 and William born in 1892 are Alice’s children from the marriage with Francis and should be called Titheridge. The first child registered to Robert and Alice is born in 1894. In 1904 daughter Minnie reverts to the Titheridge surname when she marries a soldier William Allen in Aldershot, she gives her age as 19 but she was only 16.

Arson Charge 1897

After 1892 the next record of Francis is found in a newspaper article of 1897.

Article from Portsmouth Evening News - 09 February 1897
Headline: Farm Fire at East Meon - Charge of Arson
At Petersfield, on Monday, Francis Titheridge was charged on suspicion with arson. On Saturday night a fire occurred at Coombe Farm, East Meon, the stable being gutted and three horses burnt to death. Prisoner had had charge of the horses for one week, and was allowed to sleep in the stable. He was seen looking at the fire, refusing, it was alleged, to assist at extinguishing it, and when told that the horses were in the stable, exclaimed, “Oh let them burn”. He was remanded.
The article only says "suspicion of arson" and that he was remanded. Inspection of Petersfield Petty Sessions Minute Book at the Hampshire Record Office showed that Francis was remanded until 11th February and on this appearance the case against him was dismissed.

Story to be continued in next Blog……