An Occupational Hazard?

Frederick Andrew CULLEY and Annie LANGFORD married in 1881 and brought nine children into the world. The first three births were registered in Somerset, the others in Scarborough. I think only the last two, Walter Edgar and Sydney Horace, were born in Filey. The family headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard is a sad one. Both parents died at 86 – having mourned the deaths of at least five of their children. One boy died at 14 months, the Great War took two young men, “middle age” two more (though we would say 37 and 43 are “young”). The first name on the headstone is  Sydney Horace who “died as a result of an accident”, a few months before his 19th birthday.

I couldn’t find a newspaper report of the fatal accident but towards the end of 1916, The Driffield Times offered a snippet of Filey news –

Sydney H. CULLEY, son of Mrs. Culley, Vernon House, aged fourteen, has been successful in passing a railway clerkship examination.

Earlier that year Annie had received letters informing her of the two who died “on active service”, so perhaps seeing her youngest making good progress raised her spirits. Did you wonder about the absence of Mr. Culley? Annie and Frederick were still married at the 1911 Census but, it seems, living apart. Annie was a “Clothier” at 1, Union Street, aged 50. Ten years later she was given the honour of opening the Memorial to the Fallen in Murray Street.

But back to Sydney. His death was registered in Selby, a small town of no great distinction. My only memories of it are of the Trans-Pennine train rumbling slowly over the old bridge spanning the River Ouse, and the sight of the Abbey – rare beauty on this rather grim northern journey. Of course, I’m jumping to a conclusion thinking Sydney died on the railway. Perhaps somebody reading this may know what happened to him.

There were three Culley girls. Rhoda Susan died aged 74 in 1969. She did not marry. I haven’t researched Edith Madeline or Dorothy Winifred yet.

There are only three Culleys on Filey Genealogy and Connections and they are not “joined up”. I have added a few sources to the FamilySearch Tree. The casualties of war have had LaF Wiki pages for a while but I haven’t had a chance to update them.

TwoCulleys

Reginald Vernon CULLEY 1882- 1916

Thomas Joseph CULLEY 1888-1916

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