Casualties of War

Phyllis Ritchie and Kenneth Simpson CLARKE were aged six and five when their mother, Norah Mary née RITCHIE was killed by Walther SCHWEIGER, captain of U-20, and his crew. She was not alone. Another twelve hundred people aboard RMS Lusitania perished with her.

Phyllis was born in Fife, Scotland and her husband, Francis William Clarke, was a Hull man. The family of four plus servant Ellen STANWELL was caught by the 1911 census in South Street, Cottingham. Francis, a printer’s commercial traveller, provides the Filey connection – he was a nephew of William STORY who had died in an earlier war, at Balaclava in the Crimea.

Two Mariners

The year before Elizabeth’s parents married, Richard Fox YOUNG was trying to drum up custom.

Elizabeth, Filey-born, would marry a sailor from her father’s home town, Scarborough, but William HUNTLEY may have been a disappointment to her. In 1871 they were living on the Crescent in Filey with Elizabeth’s maiden aunt Mary WILLIAMSON. William’s status – “mariner unemployed”. He must, however, have brought home a load of bacon subsequently because their address at the next two censuses was Ambrosia Villa on the Foreshore.

During their occupation, the house never rang with the voices of children, not theirs at least. William died from here in 1898 and three years later Elizabeth had downsized to a modest terrace property in Mitford Street.  Aged seventy-five, she told the 1901 census enumerator that she was “living on her own means”, and offered the name of a servant – Sarah Ann KNAGGS, 39.

Abstract 98 · Street Art

War Casualties

Benjamin Watson STORRY married Emily HUNTER at St Oswald’s on this day in 1904. Four children and thirteen years later, he was killed in Flanders. (See Ypres III.)

Courtesy Graham Featherstone

Ben’s widow died in 1962, aged 79. Her place on the FamilySearch Shared Tree will perhaps remain unoccupied until her father marries. (Thomas HUNTER L87F-L6C.)

Private Stanley Idris BENNETT, known as “Mick”, was serving with the King’s Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster) when he died in 1941. His name is in the St Oswald’s burial register and he is with a group of comrades of various nationalities in the churchyard.

I think he was the youngest of seven children born in Wales to Thomas, a coal miner, and Mary Jane DAVIES. Mary was a widow in 1911 and the Commonwealth War Graves entry for Mick indicates that she may have moved to London before the war began.

I have put Walter Edwin with the Flixton family of Beecroft and Sarah (born FRANKISH), even though the GRO Births Index gives his mother’s maiden surname as STOKER. I couldn’t find a birth registration for a “just Walter” that fitted the census family. And he joins my growing army of the disappeared.

Ethel is my first LEAF, and I was delighted to discover she had a sister called Ivy. She is a singleton in FG&C but an older sister, Edith Elizabeth, is elsewhere in the database. Both have a note that they are daughters of hairdresser Alfred Dixon Leaf and Zillah. The family moved to York after the first two girls had been baptised at St Oswald’s. Edith died in York aged four but three other girls, Lillie, Ivy and Ida, made it to the 1970s. Ethel married a cabinet maker, Nelson CRAVEN, in 1920. I don’t know anything about their lives together. Ethel’s death was registered in Wharfedale in 1967. She was 78 years old.

Catherine had six children with fisherman William WILLIS in the twelve years their marriage lasted. Their youngest, Elizabeth, was six months old when William died and nine when she was orphaned.

Water 57 · Martin’s Ravine