Last week, chatting to someone I met while out walking, I briefly told the story of Michael David WARE, the lad who died in a cliff fall (Michael Lost). In response, I was asked if I knew about the boy killed quite close to where I now live. It seems the event had somehow come to the attention of several people but nobody had come up with details. My questioner thought it had happened about 70 years ago.
I don’t know for certain, but the incident recalled may have involved George Gilbank WYVILL, who lost his life in 1917.
BOY DROWNED IN A POND.- George Gilbank Wyvill, aged 13, the son of Mr. J.W. Wyvill, of 3, Mitford-street, Filey, was playing with a companion named Frank Appleby, when he slipped into a brick pond, on land in the occupation of Mr. Appleby, of Manor Farm, Muston-road. The body was recovered by the use of grappling irons about an hour later. At the inquest held by Mr. H. Brown, deputy coroner, a verdict was returned that the boy was accidentally drowned.
Driffield Times, 25 August 1917
There is a Frank Appleby, two years younger than George, living a few of stones’ throws from Mitford Street in 1911. His father is not known but his grandfather, James was a farmer, residing in West Parade in 1911 and not on a Manor Farm. There is also an issue with George not being alone when the accident happened. His monumental inscription does not agree with the newspaper account.
‘We shall meet again’
In sad memory of GEORGE GILBANK, the dearly loved son of JOHN & RACHEL WYVILL, who was drowned in a brick pond while sailing a boat, Aug 16th 1917 aged 13 years.
‘No one stood around him
To bid a last farewell
No words of comfort could he leave
To those he loved so well’
The inscription was recorded by John and Maisie Crimlisk in 1977 (G394) but the stone was not found by the East Riding Family History surveyors in 2014 (No.2195).
I cannot find a Manor Farm along Muston Road but across the road from Grange Farm there was a brickyard that was working in 1911 and disused in 1926. Two ponds are shown and overlaying them on the Bing Aerial View gives support to the recently surfacing local memories of George’s drowning.
The fit of the ponds into the grassed amenity areas is almost perfect – but in which might George’s life have ended? He is said to have slipped so the pond by the Brick Works would be more likely. There is no indication of elevation change around the eastern pond.
George has an extensive pedigree on Filey Genealogy & Connections. Coincidentally, his grandfather is Crompton Wyvill who featured in a post just a few days ago (A Puzzling Mismatch). Find him also on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.