A Simpson Survivor

When widow Sophia Barbara SIMPSON filled out the 1911 census form she noted the seven children born to her, of whom six had died. Her son Fred, aged 26 and a fish merchant, was living with her at Yarmouth House in Church Street, with Susie SAYERS, 22, a servant.

Frederick William didn’t set eyes on his three older siblings. One of three brothers called David had lived for just eight hours. Two younger brothers died when Fred was no more than three, so perhaps he couldn’t remember either of them. His sister Charlotte Ann, known as Lottie, was born about fifteen months before Fred but died when he was seventeen.

Fred was over thirty when he married Florence ARMSTRONG in 1916. About a year later he joined the Royal Naval Air Service, entering as an Aircraftsman II and transferring to the RAF in April 1918. It isn’t clear from his rather sparse service record what his duties were, but the RNAS during the time of conflict was mainly involved with reconnaissance of the coast, searching for U-boats. He survived the war and wasn’t discharged until the end of April 1920. His record tells us he was 5 feet 7 inches tall, had brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. There was a small scar on his right eyebrow. Had he become a casualty, Florence would have received a telegram at Yarmouth House.

When the Second World War was about to begin, Fred and Florence were recorded in Scalby, just outside Scarborough. He was described as a retired herring curer but was only 54 years-old. He had almost 30 years ahead of him, and Florence a few months longer than that.

I have put them on the Shared Tree and added the stone remembering Fred’s father and sister Lottie as a memory.

Quite by chance, six years ago today I was walking near Scalby and photographed the Beck that flows to the sea a few hundred metres north of 360 Scalby Road, Fred and Florence’s home in 1939.

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Scalby Beck (Sea Cut): approximate viewpoint 54.304799, -0.410488

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