Friday, December 23, 2011

Thomas Edwin Hill 1986 to 1939 the story so far.......Family History

Tracing a relative - Thomas Edwin Hill

Thomas Edwin Hill was my grandfather and through documents I have I can try an illustrate what you can achieve with tracing his life.
I was lucky as my mother kept a few documents, so I started with looking for his death certificate. That told me what he died of, where he died and his age and date of birth. I needed to confirm his date of birth so I went looking for his birth certifcate, which I didn't have. I looked on the internet for our local Births, Marriages and Deaths, which in my case was Staffordshire BMD. I found a likely record and applied via , the internet for a copy about 7.50 GBP. The birth certificate came through, with an exact match, and it gave his mothers name, (Maiden) and fathers name. He was born in 1886.
So where to go next.........

Moving on from getting the Birth Certificate

1886 - Thomas Edwin Hill  ( My Granddad ) is born on 28th August 1886 at 13 Garden Place, East  Vale, Caverswall, Stoke on Trent. East Vale is now Longton.
His parents are shown in the 1891 census.......
1891 CENSUS - His parents moved to Wain Lea, Harriseahead, but his dad has a new job as a coal miner. William now aged 17 becomes a coal miner. Mary and Annie are at school, but there are 2 more family members, Thomas, aged 4 years (Grand-dad) and Alice aged 1.
1901 CENSUS - The family have moved to 27 South Street, Ball Green, Stoke on Trent. Thomas has now gone back to farming, Annie has become a Bosson, young Thomas, now 14 has become a miner. There is a new family member Miriam aged 9 years. William has now married and lives at 7 High Street, Mow Cop and has a 1 year old daughter Mary E. and son James 3 months
In 1901 Thomas is now 14, so you can presume that in a t least 5 or even 10 years time, he may be getting married ! - There are no more census details available

Does he get married ?

Well not quite, he joins the British Army, which means you now may be looking at developing your research further. 
1904 - Thomas Edwin Hill - now Soldier 20841 Signs up for 3 years in the colours and then 9 years in the reserve on 8.9.1904 to report to Lichfield barracks on 9.9.1904 at 10am.
He leaves the Army and is now a reservist for a further 9 years....
There is a marriage and I have the marriage certificate, which has more information on it...
1908 - The Parish Church, Norton in the Moors, on 5th July, sees the marriage of Thomas Edwin Hill a 21 year old collier to Elizabeth Ellen Fallows, 18 years. Witnesess were Alice Mary Hill, Willian Henry Hill and Richard George Fallows
1911 Census Now married for 2 years and living at 7 South Street, Ball Green, Norton in the Moors. It has 4 rooms, which would be know as 2 up, 2 down. Thomas is still in the mining industry. They now have a family,Thomas Richard Hill, 2 years and Edwin Arthur Hill, 2 months.
1914 - 113 Heavy Battery, RGA formed at Woolwich on 26 Sept 1914 and was armed with four 4.7" Quick Firing Guns. It went to France on 3 Oct 1914 and landed at Havre on 4 Oct 1914. On arrival it was attached to II Corps Heavy Artillery. It came into action on the Neuve Chapelle front and took part in the battle of La Bassee, opening fire on 26th October 1914, exactly one month after its date of formation. It remained in that area until the end of November 1914. II Corps then moved to the Ypres front and the battery was transferred to the Indian Corps.
1915 - The 7th Division was formed during September and very early October 1914

Thomas Edwin Hill - World War One

Thomas served in the Royal Garrison Artillery from 1904 to 1907, when he went on the reserve list for 9 years. He was a reserve gunner in the RGA at the commencement of World War One and went to France in August 1914. He sent postcards home and below is an example of an embroidered one. It was stuck in an album, so hiding the writing on it, i.e. the second example.
These cards capture the mood at the time and it is dated 1916
Card sent during World War One
Card sent during World War One

Where does Thomas Edwin Hill go at the start of World War One

Well I have been trying to find out for a long time, as his pay book seems to suggest that was in he Royal Garrison Artillary, at Number 9 Stationary Hospital, which I know was at St Nazaire in France in 1914. He wasn't injured, so why was he at the hospital..I think he was staioned at the hsopital to guard it, n his role as a gunner.
I hav ebeen done to my local library and found his medal record on the internet and in 1914 he was attached to a statioanary hospital, not injured, I'll keep looking...
Medals Record for Thomas Edwin Hill 1914
Medals Record for Thomas Edwin Hill 1914 
In 1916 does he think things are getting a bit bad, and as a result makes a will:
What it does tell us is where the family are niow living, and that is 19 South Street, Ball Green, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire.  He does survive the war as this document shows:
The story so far - Looks like they are at Ball Green in 1920 and there is a gap until they move to 1 New Bulidings, Black Bull, Knypersley and buy the house which has a shop....
In 1947 he buys the house and shop for £ 485.00, having rented it from a Mr A Laws for 14/6 a week (73pence)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Connections through the internet and new family members found

You never know what the power of the internet has to offer - Last week I had an e-mail from a Marion McAdam and then a Facebook message.  She was wondering if she was related.  Well turned out she was and in the process we managed to establish that her father now had a brother and sister he never knew about.  Within 24 hours I had connected her via Facebook to her new relatives in America and yesterday, Sunday through the power of Skype they managed to talk to each other, Henley on Thames to Oregon in the Untied States.
I got this message from Marion,'We had the wonderful experience today of meeting Lynn, Dad;s half sister. Phew - very emotional. And you are the one we have to thank. SO THANK YOU Nigel, you have made us all very happy and it was really wonderful for my dad to meet his sister. They got on really well and the resemblance is there for all to see, I hope that my dad will be able to make the trip to Oregon before he is too much older so he can see where his dad lived. All very emotional but wonderful. Dad is going back to Somerset so hopefully you should hear from him by the end of the week x'
Great news = Merry Christmas to Marion, John and Liz

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Albert Bowers - Royal Navy World War Two - H.M.N.Z.S. ACHILLES - BATTLE OF THE RIVER PLATE

Through the power of the internet and the web site I have been in touch with some more relatives.  This has inspired me to do some more research, so I have been back to thge local library at Congleton, Cheshire, United Kingdom and looked up the article featured on the left about Albert Bowers.
It was on microfish, bit of a strain to read, but here goes:

It is from the front page of the Congelton Chronicle, Incorporated with the Congleton and Macclesfield Mercury.....


One of the heroes of the River Plate, Albert Bowers, son of Mrs and the late James Bowers of 140 Brook Street, Brown Lees, Biddulph.  As a hospital attendent he was in the engagement as a member of HMS 'Achilles' which played a leading role in forcing the 'Graf Von Spee' to take to refuge in Montevideo Harbour and eventually scuttle her.
S.B.P.O. Bowers, as a youth worked at Black Bull Colliery and is remembered in the district as a keen sportsman and regular church attender.  When aged 17 he was on the Primitive Methodist Church Plan in Biddulph.  He joined thr Navy as a young man of 20 and has now served eleven and a half years.  Following a period in the marines, he was transferred to HMS 'Achilles' and promoted Leading Sick Berth Attendent.  His fondness of sport has found ample expression in the Navy and in peace time he was a regular member of the Royal Navy Hospital team, winning many medals.  He is an excellent swimmer. He has a wife and baby who look forward to seeing him at their future home in Gillingham, Kent.

Brief history HMS then HMNZS Achilles

Some more info on HMS Achilles 

Whilst I was at the library I had a browse of the paper and if you fancied a night at the pictures you could go and see:
At the Premier
Hound of the Baskervilles
Starring Basil Rathbone

At the New Cinema - Royle Street, Congleton
The Magnificent Fraud
Starring Akim Tamiroff and Lloyd Nolan

Howver if you wre ill and suffering from influenza doctors, according to the advert were recommending OVALTINE....