Geoffs Genealogy Update 4 December 2014
Thursday December 4th, 2014 | Geoff
When I concluded my post last month I said I’d let you know next time about the research I did in October. In fact I’ll go one better than that and tell you about my treeing exploits (such as they are) over the past two months. First, though, I have a tale of woe to relate, because on 20 October the mother board on my trusty old pc died on me, so I needed to invest in a new machine.
In truth this was not such a great shock to me, as I had been thinking about buying a new machine for some while, but this forced the issue. A spec for the new machine was drawn up in a trice by my resident expert, and before long I was back in business with loads of extra storage capacity and an up to date, faster machine.
Fortunately I had backed up what I regarded as the most important data on my old machine, so I was able to get back up and running pretty qiuickly, but realistically it is hard to maintain backups of everything, and so it has taken me a while to reinstall my music, and some of the other files which, although less important, are still of value to me. The job isn’t finished as I write this, but hopefully I’ll be able to get it all sorted in the next few days, with the help of my son, of course.
You may recall that in my October post I mentioned the case of Philip Lancelot Bathurst as follows:
Just after the outbreak of the Great War Philip Lancelot Bathurst signed up at Ashstead to serve in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, but he was to have what I would regard as a lucky break when he failed his medical. He had already undergone varicocele surgery, and was deemed to be “not likely to become an efficient soldier on medical grounds”. It seems that the surgery had not completely cured his medical problem. We will never know whether Philip was pleased at his discharge, or disappointed not to be able to serve, but on 3 January 1915 he was discharged from the army.
Well, quite unexpectedly during November I came across some more information about Philip and his WW1 military career. I was looking at the WW1 records on the Find My Past website, to see what they have uploaded recently, when I found that this site holds two WW1 medal cards for Philip. This was a considerable surprise to me, in view of the fact that he had been discharged from the Royal Fusiliers as unfit for service, but it seems to be the case that after these events Philip enlisted with the 6th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. As I have not been able to trace his service record I cannot say when he enlisted, but it seems that in June 1915 he was serving as a 2nd Lieutenant at Gallipoli, which qualified him for the award of the 1914-15 Star medal.
It appears from these records that Philip later attained the rank of Captain, and during his service was mentioned in despatches. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, which I gather was the equivalent of the modern British Empire Medal, and also received Territorial Force Efficiency medals, suggesting that he was involved with the territorial forces for a lengthy period.
In November my research focussed on the records of the Shoreditch Board of Guardians, and in particular those relating to Shoreditch Workhouse. I was aware that my grandmother – Alice Louisa Holliday (1891-1982) was in the workhouse as a child, and I wanted to find out more about this part of her life.
These records are available to search on Ancestry.co.uk, as part of the London Metropolitan Archives archive. They are not indexed, so you have to search them page by page, just as we old hands had to do in pre-internet days. If that sounds a bit arduous, I must say that at least you don’t have to travel to London to do the job, and when you have had enough you can break the job and come back to continue it when it suits you, which we couldn’t do in those far off days.
It took me several weeks to search all the records I wanted to look at, but now I can see that my great grandparents fell on very hard times in the period 1895 – 1905, and they and their children had many spells in the workhouse. As my grandmother was a young child at the time she did not stay with her parents in the workhouse, but was moved to the children’s home at Hornchurch in Essex, which one can only think would have been an upsetting experience for her.
As well as finding Alice in these records I also found three of her siblings – Sydney, George and Frederick. Alas, Sydney and George died in childhood, but Frederick went on to serve in the Royal Navy, and enjoyed a full life.
I have entered all this data into a spreadsheet, and now need to update my records with the information.
The records I researched were as follows:
- Parish of St Leonard Shoreditch Register of Admissions & Discharges 15 Nov 1892 – 01 Oct 1900, Source Ref SHBG/139/003
- Parish of St Leonard Shoreditch Register of Admissions & Discharges 23 Mar 1900 -05 Aug 1905, Source Ref SHBG/139/006
- Shoreditch Board of Guardians; Infirmary Later St Leonards Hospital, Hoxton Street, Admissions & Discharges 14 Mar 1891- 1 May 1894, Source Ref SHBG/146
- Shoreditch Board of Guardians; Infirmary Later St Leonards Hospital, Hoxton Street, Admissions & Discharges Males Jan 1902- Feb 1903. Source Ref SHBG/149/011
- Children in Shoreditch Workhouse 29 Mar 1898 to 15 Dec 1900 – Admissions & Discharges. Source Ref SHBG/170/001
- Shoreditch Board of Guardians; Register of Children Sent to Service, 1889-1906, Source Ref SHBG/166
- Shoreditch Board of Guardians; Children in the Workhouse, 1900-1903 – Register of Children. Source Ref SHBG/170/002A
- Shoreditch Board of Guardians; Cottage Homes Hornchurch Admittance And Discharge, 1904-1913, Source Ref Not stated
- Board of Guardians; Hornchurch Children´s Home Admissions & Discharges, 1893-1897, Source Ref SHBG/161/002
- Board of Guardians; Hornchurch Children´s Home, Register of Children 1889-1913, Source Ref SHBG/161/004
I also found my grandmother as a young girl in the London Metropolital Archives school records on Ancestry, which was exciting. It is apparent that her education was a fragmented affair, but I can tell you that she was certainly no slouch in the arithmetic or spelling and handwriting departments, right through her old age.
The Ancestry website holds a sizeable number of Board of Guardians and schools records covering many of the London borough, so it may be well worthwhile for you to have a look at them. Certainly the time that I invested in this research was well rewarded.