A French Connection

Towards the end of 1810, the British vessel Neva was captured by the French. Richard CORTIS, second in command, found himself a prisoner of war.

Fifty-nine years later, a mariner called Richard Cortis was laid to rest in Hull’s General Cemetery. There is a photograph of his headstone at Billion Graves. He was eighty-three years old and so, if he is one and the same, would have been only 24 when living at Napoleon’s pleasure.

On census night 1861, Hull mariner Richard was with his son William, Filey’s doctor, at No.1 John Street. The household of twelve also contained three of Richard’s grandchildren, Jane Maria, 15, William Richard, 14, and Herbert Liddell, 5. The lives of all three, and their father’s, would end in Australia. Sadly, Richard did not live to see Herbert become a World Cycling Champion.

Last month, out of the blue, I received a set of photographs from Australia that included a picture of Richard.

courtesy H F Morrice Collection,

This appears to be a hand coloured studio photograph – so Richard would have had to be approaching sixty when it was taken. On the evidence of the kepi on the table, the uniform is French. Does this connect him to the other Richard? Were the French so impressed by Richard’s bravery that they honoured him with this dress uniform and sword upon release from prison? And many years later, after the invention of photography, he could still fit into it.

I am not going to speculate further on this image. Richard’s exploits and qualities as mariner, ship owner, hotel keeper, local “prime mover”  – and father – are impressive enough not to need a tale of derring-do and showmanship. But doesn’t he look handsome?

My thanks to Peter for sending the photographs. I will share the others over the next few weeks.

A Reduction in UK COVID-19 Deaths

There were 5,299 fewer UK deaths recorded at Worldometers today. The muppets at Public Health England have been forced to acknowledge the nonsense that Britons catching the supposed disease could never be cured, ever. Weeks and months after appearing to recover, Covid would nonetheless appear on certificates, whatever actually caused their deaths. A dumb, dishonest way to boost scamdemic fatalities. This at-a-stroke 11% drop in Covid deaths has not changed the rankings posted yesterday. Deaths per million have fallen from 686 to 608 but the UK keeps the top spot in my Table.

There are more apparently lethal countries: Belgium (854), Peru (657), Spain (611). There are a few “safer” countries than New Zealand, including Uganda and Vietnam (0.2 per million), Sr Lanka (0.5), Rwanda and Mozambique (0.6).

(If you are offended by my use of the term “muppets” for UK Regime Health Advisors please see Skepticat’s take on The Second Wave.)

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Cousin Thomas and Comrade Tom

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou may have noticed another CHAPMAN on the Gristhorpe War Memorial (Thursday’s post). Thomas William is a first cousin to Robert, and you can find him on the Shared Tree.

Serving in different regiments, it is unlikely that they ever fought side by side, but it seems that both the 12th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment and the 6th Scottish Borderers were at Delville Wood in July 1916. Allied forces were tasked with taking the wood “at all costs” and from the 15th July into August the fighting was brutal, a satanic mix of close combat exchanges and intense artillery barrages. If the bodies of the fallen were found, many could not be identified. Thomas was killed on 23 July and, as one of the “missing”, is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

A comrade of Thomas in the 12th Battalion was Tom CHAPMAN, son of John William and Eliza née CAMMISH. He was not related by blood to Thomas William and Robert. Tom may well have been struck down on the same day as Thomas. He died on 27 July from wounds received during the battle for “Devil’s Wood”. He is buried at La Neuville British Cemetery at Corbie and is remembered at a family grave in St Oswald’s churchyard. Find him on the Shared Tree.

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My Sweetheart Adelaide

It is a fair step from Scarborough Station to the top end of Peasholm Glen, but it’s no hardship for an old taphophile. The way passes through the wonderful Dean and Manor Road cemeteries.

On the right of the path as it slopes down to the tunnel under Manor Road, on the right, is the eye-catching “music stone”.

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Above this fond farewell, the dedication:-

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A leaflet produced by The Friends of Dean Road and Manor Road Cemetery tells us that Adelaide was born in France. Just “Arras” is inscribed on the stone and I wondered if she may have been an East Yorkshire girl. But no, her birthplace is given in the 1911 census as France – and she married as a mature woman in 1909, aged about 57. She is registered as Adelaide BELL so Vincent Charles White was perhaps her second or third husband. He was given only a few years to dote upon her. She died in 1915 and eighteen years would pass before they were “reunited”.

Vincent’s first wife, Mary WOOD, died the year before the sweethearts tied the knot. It isn’t clear if his first marriage produced any children. There is one birth registration, for “James Henry Traltles” WHITE in 1882 but the census in 1891 finds the couple visiting a family in Leicester, without children in tow. Ten years later Vincent and Mary are the only occupants of a house in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. (Mary is listed as “Pollie” but age and birthplace are consistent with the earlier census – and she dies as Mary.)

Vincent was a musician for most of his working life but perhaps not a very accomplished one. He seems to have wandered the land seeking work and, although offering titles like “Professor” and “bandmaster” to Victorian data gatherers he may have had to lower his sights on occasion.

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Vincent was living at 34 Green Lane, Newby when he died and a brief notice in the Leeds Mercury the following year announced the gross value of his estate to be £1,335. His “net personalty” was just £251.  But, hey, he spared no expense for his departed sweetheart.

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I haven’t yet found Vincent or Adelaide on the FamilySearch Tree. I’ll keep looking.

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Blood Red

UK Column

The first segment of today’s UK Column news bulletin deals with the attempts of a state to put down citizen protests with brutal violence. If Bashar al-Assad treated his people this way the European media would be hammering readers and viewers with righteous condemnation – and the Axis of Evil would be raining its missiles upon Syria. But because it is Macron…

I wonder how many of the 27 EU nations are providing goons to maim and kill on French streets.

And to think there are British politicians desperate for their people to remain shackled to the  European Union. (Just think how lethal the organization will be when it achieves “military unification”. Remember, its unelected bureaucrats make all the rules we will die by.)

Betrayal

You wouldn’t know it from MSM coverage but most of the yellow vest protests in France are peaceful. Paris is the biggest and most frightening anomaly. There is evidence that much of the citizen violence, destruction and looting is done by agents provocateurs. Rural France seems to prefer peaceful civil disobedience and the police don’t intervene.

Meanwhile, in London yesterday, the “ordinary people” asking for the Brexit they voted for were quiet and dignified. None were arrested. The police didn’t have quite such an easy time with Antifa. Although very one-sided, this video gives some sort of “balance”.

A Note from Canary

Nine days of December and in my ten chosen cities 51% of days have been warmer than the ten year average for the month. However, the cold days have been more extreme than the warm in both the northern and southern hemispheres. In the North the daily maximum temperatures are, overall,  .6°F lower than the 2008 to 2017 average for December 1st to 9th. In the South, they are 1.5°F lower. Anomalously warmest city – Rome (winter); coldest – Buenos Aires (summer).

Plenty of time for change this month – but Grand Solar Minimum has its beak in front at the moment. Graphs and histograms to follow early next month.

Unintended Consequences

The recent missile attack on Syria by 4 Israeli F-16s was instrumental in the downing of a Russian Il-2 reconnaissance plane. The official Federation narrative accuses one of the F-16s of “hiding” behind the much larger aircraft. The Syrian surface to air missile, locked onto the Israeli jet, turned sharply in the last seconds and brought down the Il-2. The Israeli Defence Force claims that the four F-16s were in Israeli airspace when the fatal explosion took place.

One of the parties is lying. Perhaps both are. Missing from the Russian claim is any mention of the French frigate that was initially thought to be responsible for bringing the Il-2 down. The notion that the French committed a warlike act to draw a violent response from Russia, prompting FUKUS to pile in to avenge a NATO member is a bit far-fetched, but not impossible when you consider the human sacrifices globalists are prepared to make to get things rolling.

If that was the plan, it failed. Putin doesn’t take that sort of bait.

I have a not too distant memory of Hilary Clinton pressing for a no-fly zone over Syria. I know American Psychos feel entitled but that was ridiculous. But now, for a short while at least, there is a no-fly zone over Syria. Imposed by Russia. American and Israeli aircraft beware.

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Photo of S300 missile system ©PressTV

Another Russian response to the Israeli assault a few days ago is to revive the agreement to deliver S-300 missiles to Syria. Ever conciliatory, Putin put delivery on hold a few months ago when Israel objected, calling it an act of aggression. Vladimir Vladimirovich must have decided enough is enough.

I hope Russia, on Thursday, will renew the NOTAMS that effectively create the no-fly zone (that seems to have gone under the BBC’s radar), and get the S-300s operational on Syrian soil asap. At the very least, Netanyahu will be given some time to reconsider, though he blusters that his policies towards (against) Syria will not be changing. Time will tell.

A Little Known Soldier

Edward Sydney WARD is publicly remembered in three places in Filey. His death in France is noted on the headstone of his grandparents and Aunt Emily in St Oswald’s churchyard.

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If the War Memorial in Murray Street is honouring his sacrifice it omits his middle initial and misspells the family name.

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The plaque in St Oswald’s that lists the men of this parish who laid down their lives for their country in the Great War honours Edward Ward of the 5th Yorkshire Regiment.

His existence in the CWGC Index is sparely recorded.

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The 5th Yorks (Alexandra) Battalion War diary is, as one would hope, more forthcoming, telling us that Ted was seriously wounded by a bomb while helping to guard a trench on September 18th; he died the following day. It notes that he was moved from his grave in Bottom Wood, Fricourt, to Dantzig Alley British Cemetery after the Armistice. This all too brief account has a photograph and some family information that points us in the right direction, though giving his age as 20 doesn’t confirm what we know from the St Oswald’s headstone.

It says he was born in Leeds. That is what the Census enumerator was told in 1901 and 1911 when, aged 7 and 17, he was living first at 1 East Parade, Filey with grandparents Edward and Rebecca WARD and then at 2 West Parade with the recently widowed Rebecca. In 1911 plain “Edward Ward” was working as a “Grocer’s Vanman”.

The War Diary informs us that Ted “was the nephew of Mrs Dove, 29 Cambridge Street and had been brought up from early age by his grandmother, Mrs E. Ward, of Filey. Shortly before the outbreak of war they came to reside in Bridlington, young Ward having secured a position at Messrs Ouston’s (grocers), King Street, Bridlington.” Mrs Dove was, I’m almost certain, Ann Elizabeth née WARD, Mrs E. Ward’s daughter. (Rebecca died in May 1919 at 29 Cambridge Street, Bridlington.)

Though some pieces are falling into place I cannot find a record of Edward Sydney’s birth. It is frustrating not being able to calculate his relationship to Ronnie Dove  (last Friday’s post). It should be easy, but of 64 Edward WARDs born in England in the four years 1893 to 1896, the GRO Online Index offers the births of only two registered in Leeds – Edward Laurence in March 1894 and Edward Arthur in December 1896. A third, plain Edward, was registered in Bramley in September 1896.

So, a young man who died for his King and Country at the age of 20 or 22, can’t yet be placed fairly and squarely with his forebears on the FamilySearch Tree. “The system” gave him an ID five years ago.

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The picture is much the same on Filey Genealogy and Connections but Kath does have a record of baptism for him – in 1910 – with a note stating, “An adult when he was baptised. No other information given!”

Grandfather Edward John, who took part in “the Baltic, the China, the Crimean and the New Zealand wars”, is a little more connected here.

Today’s Image…

…was taken this morning on my first stroll along the promenade in ten days, grateful (as you may imagine) to have reached old age.

If It Wasn’t for Bad Luck…

In the space of just over a year (1889/90) Robert Jenkinson WATKINSON saw his first three children die. A few months after burying the third his fishing boat was involved in a collision off St. Abbs Head and he drowned. He may or may not have known that his wife, Annie Elizabeth, was pregnant with their fourth child. Not surprisingly, she called the boy Robert Jenkinson.

In 1901 Annie and her son were living in Queen Street, with her father Jonah RICKABY and brother Denton. Ten years later the widow was an inmate at the Scarborough Workhouse in Dean Road, 46 years old, her occupation given as Domestic Servant. Robert was still living in Queen Street with Jonah and Denton, following his grandfather’s trade of Bootmaker/Dealer.

At the beginning of 1912 Jonah died – and at the end of the year Annie Elizabeth was released from her life of sadness and loss.

Her surviving son’s last job before he went to war was Verger at St. John’s Church in Filey. A hundred years ago he was with the 10th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. He was killed by a bomb, dropped at night from an aero plane on the unlit camp at Thieushouk, north-east France.

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This satellite view shows the farm on which the bomb fell. It is now the Vannobel Jean Horse Riding School. Less than a mile to the north is the Bertenacre Military Cemetery where Robert lies with the 37 comrades who died with him in the explosion. Their names are listed here.

The War Diary of the 10th Battalion is available online and reveals the relative worth of human life and grass.

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Robert Jenkinson is remembered in Filey Churchyard with his grandparents William WATKINSON and Mary nee JENKINSON.

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The East Yorkshire Family History Society transcription (entry 826) reads:-

In loving memory of WILLIAM WATKINSON, the beloved husband of MARY WATKINSON, died April 6th 1911, aged 71 years. “His end was peace.” Also of the above MARY WATKINSON, died Jan 1st 1926 aged 80 years. At rest. Also ROBERT J. WATKINSON, his grandson, Verger of St John’s Church of this town. Died in his country’s cause, Aug. 18th 1917 aged 26 years.

Robert Jenkinson WATKINSON senior is represented on FamilySearch Tree (minimally) but you will have to look on Genealogies to see Robert junior in the context of several generations. I have created a LaF Wiki page for the soldier and over the next day or two I’ll expand his family on FST.