Three Soldiers

Frederick Edmund Glanville SOUTHWELL was born in 1889, in Rothwell, Lincolnshire. His grandfather, Henry Glanville senior, was vicar there. To the family, he seems always to have been just Edmund. At the age of 21, he was with his widowed mother in Mitford Street, Filey, his occupation given as a Student of Law. The choice to follow his father into the legal profession must have been a difficult one to take. In 1908, Harry Glanville junior, a solicitor in London and estranged from his family, had died from a drug overdose. The coroner’s verdict was “suicide whilst temporarily insane”.

Edmund must have decided the law wasn’t for him and he became a schoolteacher instead. In short order, he found himself the head classics master at, arguably, the best grammar school in Hull. (As a Malet Lambert kid in the 1960s, I bowed the knee.)

It seems he didn’t wait long to answer his country’s call, enlisting in the front line 4th Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment, and serving as a Lieutenant.

He may have seen a great deal of action before he was killed on day two of the First Battle of the Scarpe. This engagement was one of several that are subsumed under a longer campaign, and it is “Arras” that can just be made out on the base of the family headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard.

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There is some contextual detail about Edmund’s last battle here. A local newspaper reported some brief details of his life and death.

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Edmund was accepted into the British army as Frederick Edward Granville SOUTHWELL. He is buried at Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun.

Edmund’s brother, Wilfrid, is remembered on the family stone, and on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres. I will attempt a post about him on the anniversary of his death in June.

The third soldier is Thomas Glaves JOHNSON who died this day, 1918, in “Plugstreet”.  For part of the war, Ploegsteert Wood was a relatively quiet area where wounded soldiers recovered from heavier fighting elsewhere. In April 1918, though, it became a battleground. Thomas served with the 4th Battalion South Staffordshires and you can read the Regiment’s War Diary entry for the 10th April here. More about Plugstreet here.

Over 11,000 soldiers are remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial and have no known grave. Thomas may be one of very few killed nearby. One has to wonder why his body wasn’t recovered for burial.

He is remembered also on the broken family headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard.

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also THOMAS GLAVES, son of the above T.H. AND M. JOHNSON, killed in the Great War, April 10th 1918, aged 19 years.

The SOUTHWELL brothers and Thomas are all represented on the FamilySearch Tree.

Edmund: LRR1-8K5

Wilfrid: LRR1-NC9

Thomas: L8R4-XHM

 

Beatrice Novelli

6_20170406WheelhouseHouseReflected1_6mThe houses on Cliff Top in Today’s Image, reflected in a Filey Sands tidepool, have been flipped and turned so that they “look right”. The tallest dwelling is the old Coastguard house at the end of Queen Street, named Cliff Point when retired surgeon Claudius Galen Wheelhouse lived there.

I have been researching the SOUTHWELL family for a post next week and found Cliff Point mentioned, so I’m taking the opportunity of the photo “anniversary” to introduce Beatrice.

Her birth was registered twice, in the December Quarter of 1855, and in the March Quarter of the following year. Her given names were Helen Beatrice. She died in 1923 and on her gravestone she is Beatrice Helen. It may have been a bureaucratic slip but perhaps her parents had a change of mind after registration because she is “Beatrice H”, aged 5 at the 1861 census. The family name was transcribed as NOVELLE that year, NOVELLI in 1871 and NOVELLO in 1881. Beatrice married into the SOUTHWELLs in 1888, a family that also fell prey to government clerks. Beatrice Helen and Harry Glanville had nine children and two of their sons were sacrificed in the mud of Flanders. One is not easily traced because the CWGC has him under a different name to the one his family preferred.

Augustin Novelli was born in Manchester and described as a “Counselling Physician” in 1871. He must have had a lucrative practice because his household that year contained eight servants and a governess.

The SOUTHWELL household in 1871 was also well populated with servants. Harry Glanville Senior, ten years younger than Augustin, had seven servants. Obviously, being a “Clergyman without care of souls” paid well. He died unexpectedly between an afternoon of rabbit shooting and an evening game of billiards. The Stamford Mercury reported on 11 July 1890 that he had…

…by his many estimable qualities of mind and heart, won for himself more than common esteem and affection from all classes.

Harry Glanville Junior, aged 19 in 1881, was enumerated in the village of his birth, Limber Magna in Lincolnshire, but was staying with relatives. He gave his occupation as “rabbit fancier”. He must subsequently have decided to get serious about a career. Ten years later he was a law student, married to Beatrice, a father of three, and an employer of seven domestic servants, including two stud horsemen and a groom. A fourth child was born in Caistor in 1892 and the fifth in South Hampstead the following year. The London adventure was short-lived and the last four children entered the world in Filey. In 1901 the family was living on the Crescent but in somewhat diminished circumstances. They only had two servants. Harry was now a solicitor but perhaps not a successful one. It isn’t clear what came first, marriage break-up or Harry’s fall into drug addiction, but in 1908, while living in London, he took an overdose of “veronol” and died. The coroner’s verdict was “suicide whilst temporarily insane”.

In 1911 Beatrice was living in a house named ‘Bohemia’, in Mitford Street, Filey. Her 21-year- old son, Edmund, a law student, was with her. When he left Filey, Beatrice moved into a bungalow at Cliff Point, where she was looked after by a housekeeper, Grace JENKINSON, who clearly became a good friend. In February 1923, Beatrice was staying with Grace, not many doors away at 93 Queen Street. She had her own room and on the evening of the 17th, while getting ready for bed, her nightdress was set alight by the gas fire. Her screams for help were quickly answered, the flames extinguished and Dr. SIMPSON called. Sadly the burns and shock were severe enough to cause her death three days later.

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To our dear mother, BEATRICE HELEN SOUTHWELL, born Oct 5 1855, died Feb 20 1923.