A post for help on an Essex local history group peeked my interest this weekend, regarding a giant brass plate unearthed in a Benfleet garden. It’s inscribed “To Dr. & Mrs. George Simpson, Senior Medical Officer, Calr. From Mr. & Mrs. Magnus A. O. Williams, Calr. In affectionate remembrance. Hold ye the good – define it well. 1934”. Could I discover who these people were?
Charles EADE was born 5th May 1895 at Weeley Heath, Essex. He enlisted into the 2nd Bedfordshire Regiment on 24th Aug 1914 and died of wounds on 16th Jun 1915 (only eight days after arriving in France). He was 20 years old.
Richard COWELL was born in 1893 at Little Barford, Essex and died from Pneumonia whilst serving in the Labour Corps on 9th Nov 1918 age 25. His younger brother William was born in 1897 at Hadleigh, Essex and died 17th Dec 1915 whilst serving in the 9th Essex Regiment aged 18.
During the 1980’s my grandfather Steward Jackson HICKS was a Jack the Ripper researcher, or “Ripperologist” as they are known in the trade. I knew nothing of his grisly hobby until after his death in 1993, and decided now was the time to find out more.
Wittering Court in Daws Heath was used as a private asylum between 1914-1919, until it became the site of a scandal after one of the patients was found dead in her bed.
There were three residential properties built in the early 1900’s by Southend Waterworks Company in Thundersley, Essex, which were associated with the reservoir and two pumping stations: Reservoir Cottage, Pumping Station House and Pumping Station Cottage.
Alfred Charles NOAKES, wife Alice Martha WATERHOUSE and family appear to have been the first residents of Pumping Station Cottage after it was built in the early 1900’s.
Henry Hawksley AYRIS (Civil Engineer and grandson of John AYRIS, the first managing director of Southend Waterworks) and wife Violet Vashti FOX were most likely the second residents of Pumping Station Cottage, living there between 1918-1931 at least.
Henry CLARK (Water Inspector), wife Amelia Maud TODD and family were most likely the third residents of Pumping Station Cottage, living there in 1939.
George Edward CAREY (a Reservoir Keeper), wife Susan BALDWIN and family were the first occupants of Reservoir Cottage after it was built in the early 1900’s and they lived there until 1927/1928.
George William SHRIMPLIN (Waterworks Engine Driver), wife Matilda Carey THORINGTON and family were most likely the second residents of Reservoir Cottage, living there between 1928-1930.
Robert William NOAKES (General Foreman) and son were most likely the third residents of Reservoir Cottage, moving in during 1930.
Alfred BARDELL (Stationary Engine Driver), wife Louisa HULL and family were most likely the first residents of Burches Pumping Station House after it was built in the early 1900’s.
Fountain Benjamin LEDGER (London Fireman), wife Eliza BIGWOOD and family were most likely the second residents of Burches Pumping Station House, living there from 1920.
Aldred Arthur THURSTON (Engineer), wife Mahala Agnes Mary DUNNETT and family were most likely the third residents of Burches Pumping Station House, living there from 1923.
Frederick William GOLDING (Waterworks Reservoir Gauger), wife Louisa WHITEHALL and family were most likely the forth residents of Burches Pumping Station House, living there from 1930.
Ontario Genealogy Facebook group member “JM” asked for help deciphering the maiden name of the groom’s mother on a wedding certificate, the groom being one George Edward Frank SPEERS.
John Henry COOLLEDGE was born on 25th Jul 1884 at Purleigh, Essex. He enlisted into the Royal Navy as a Stoker in 1902 and was serving aboard HMS Cressy when war broke out. On 22nd Sep 1914 John’s ship was was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-9 whilst in the North Sea near Holland with the loss of 560 of her crew, including John. He was aged 30.
John Hugh COMPTON (aka Jack) was born 1st Aug 1897 at Walthamstow, Essex. He enlisted into the East Surrey Regiment during Sep 1914 aged 17 and was sent to France on 24th Mar 1915. Jack was killed in action just one month later on 25th April.
Intrigued by a photo of a gravestone slowly being swallowed up by a tree for Anne MOSELEY, the fourth wife of Henry MOSELEY, I decided to find out more. What I found was a man who had suffered many tragedies in his life, with the loss of three young wives and three of his children. Sadly, the only tree Henry left behind is the one now growing through his grave.