Balaclava

William, the fourth child of Filey Draper and Postmaster William STORY, died at the age of 17 in the Crimea, a year or so after the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade. I have been unable to find any information about the part he played in what is sometimes referred to as “the first modern war”. Given his youth, I’m not surprised he is seemingly lost in the mists. I’m left imagining his path crossing one, or maybe both, of our Victorian wonder nurses, blessed Florence and irrepressible Mary. (Find their underwhelming pedigrees on FST here and here.)

Young William was one of about 25,000 British combatants who died in that conflict and as the preponderance succumbed to disease and neglect we can assume our Filey lad did too. Sevastopol fell in September 1855, the Russians retreated and several months of mopping up operations by the winning side ensued. The Treaty of Paris brought the war to an end on 30 March 1856.

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I have put a photograph of the headstone on FST as a “Memory”,

Two Brothers, Valued

At the  1861 Census, William JENKINSON was living at Hope Cottages, Filey, with his wife Frances and infant daughter Mary Elizabeth. His younger brother, Matthew, was in Mosey’s Yard with Jane née COATES and two children, William and Mary.

William was master of the yawl Hope, and in a gale on November 2nd that year he was lost.

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At the beginning of December two years later, Matthew was drowned from his coble in Filey Bay.  The Yorkshire Gazette of 5th December carried a vivid account of the tragedy.

Two Lives Saved by “The Hollon” Life-Boat

This life-boat only arrived at Filey last week, and was the gift of the Lord Mayor of York, by whom it was formally presented to the town of Filey on Thursday last. On Tuesday several cobles went off in the morning for the purpose of fishing. The wind was rising at the time, and about noon blew a gale from S.S.E., with a heavy sea running into the bay. Seeing that the cobles would return shortly from the fishing ground, the new life-boat was speedily got out, manned and launched, in readiness to render assistance. The arrival of the boats was watched with great excitement. One boat upset near the shore, and the crew, consisting of three men, were thrown into the sea. The poor fellows had to struggle for life, and eventually the despairing cries of those on shore were changed to joy as they saw the last of the three men washed upon the beach, the lives of all having been saved. Shortly afterwards, another coble came in sight, the storm, in the meantime, having increased. When some distance from the shore, a huge breaker lifted the frail boat as if it were a toy, upsetting it and throwing the crew into deep water. The life-boat sped to their assistance, and after great exertions, succeeded in rescuing two of the men from a watery grave.; but the third, named Matthew Jenkinson, was never seen after the boat upset. He has left a wife and four children.

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Two months after Matthew’s death, widow Jane took their fifth child to St Oswald’s to be baptized.

The Shipwrecked Mariner’s Society is now 178 years old and still “making a difference”.

One would expect Jane to receive more support from the Society but how much did the widows receive in today’s money? £6 5s. doesn’t seem a lot, does it?

There are several online calculators and those offering a single, and simple, answer usually satisfy curiosity. In this instance, Frances received £535 at 2016 prices. What’s that, roughly – two or three weeks’ wages?

The £535 figure is a calculation of the changing “real price” of a “commodity” valued at £6 5s over time, arrived at by multiplying the original sum by the annual percentage increase in “RPI”.

There are other ways to make the calculation, though, and they give wildly different figures.

Historic opportunity cost: £631

Assessing the labour value/labour earnings/labour cost of our commodity: £4,162

Income value/economic status: £5,606

Economic cost: £14,950

These terms are helpfully defined at Measuring Worth. For the two bereft Jenkinson families, I think “labour earnings” might be the most appropriate. So imagine Frances receiving about £4,000 and Jane £7,700. That would have helped a lot, perhaps, but both widows married again – Jane in 1870 to John PRESTON and Frances in 1872 to Thomas SEXTON.

William and Matthew’s parents have, like the CREASERs yesterday, loads of IDs to sort out on FamilySearch Tree. I have made a start but suggest you go to Filey Genealogy & Connections if you are interested in following the family fortunes in pedigree form.

SD ‘Research’

This was a fishing vessel that may have been just about worthy on a mill pond, but in heavy seas whipped by gale force winds, it put the crew of nine in the greatest danger, this day 1925. Had it pushed through the storm to Bridlington in deep water it might have survived but it grounded on Smithwick Sands and was overwhelmed by the waves. None of the crew survived and their bodies were never found.

Eight of the men were from Filey, five of them from one family. The ninth was James SOUTHERN, the boat’s engineer. Kath has a note in Filey Genealogy & Connections to the effect that James took the berth because he had six children and it was coming up to Christmas.

The tragedy is well described in Allen and Todd’s book, Filey – a Yorkshire Fishing Town, and you can read the extract at the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre website.

A plaque on the wall of St Oswald’s Church remembers all Filey fishermen who “perished at sea & whose bodies were never found” between 1901 and 1848. A quarter of their number was lost from Research. The eight have memorials in the churchyard – on four headstones. Jane Baxter CRIMLISK née JENKINSON asks us to think of her father, husband, two brothers and a cousin. (A third brother, James Henry Newby JENKINSON drowned in another place at another time.)

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In loving memory of JANE B. CRIMLISK, born 1885, died Sep 20th 1931. Also of her husband GEORGE J. CRIMLISK, born 1885, and her father and brothers JOHN R. JENKINSON, born 1862, ROBERT JENKINSON, born 1890, GEORGE F. B. JENKINSON born 1897, WILLIAM C. CAMMISH, born 1895. All drowned in the RESEARCH disaster.

The brothers Edwin Chapman and George JENKINSON, cousins to ‘Jack Sled’, are on a stone by the church, and Joseph Edward COLLEY with his parents and a sister, Amelia. William Cappleman CAMMISH has a second mention on another family stone.

I couldn’t find Ted and George on the FamilySearch Tree but the other lost Jenkinsons are gathered here.

The rustbucket on which they perished is recalled on Filey Promenade and you can see where she went down on a ‘thumbnail’ chart at Wreck Site.

Polygon Wood

PolygonWood

Before the Great War began the wood may have had this exact shape – but probably a different mix of tree species. It was fought over in October 1914 by, amongst other regiments, the 2nd Worcesters. When they returned in September 1917 –

…the aspect of the scene at dawn was very different from what it had been three years before. The open fields had been beaten into a desolate expanse of boggy shell-holes. Such trees as still stood had been stripped and broken. On the skyline to the left, a mere stubble of bare tree trunks marked the site of Polygon Wood.

The Battle for the Wood “raged” throughout the day of the 26th and in the hours of dark the area was subject to an intense bombardment.

…as dawn broke at 5am the artillery of both sides suddenly ceased their fire. For some minutes all remained under cover, then, as the guns did not recommence, men
ventured cautiously from their defenses and gazed around in wonder. The intense bombardment of two days and nights had beaten the whole area into a different
appearance. Such landmarks as had existed beforehand had disappeared. The surface of the ground from Stirling Castle to Gheluvelt had been churned up afresh, the whole
landscape was even more desolate and repulsive than before.

Source

The battle for Polygon Wood was effectively over. “Intermittent sniping alone
continued throughout the day of Thursday the 27th of September.”

Perhaps it was a sniper’s bullet that ended the life of Private Harold CRIMLISK of Filey, fighting with the 6th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment.

Harold is buried at Cement House Cemetery, about 12 kilometers distant from where he fell. There is a small cemetery at Polygon Wood and this source offers a gallery of 14 photographs showing the difference a hundred years make.

Harold and some of his forebears may be found in Filey Genealogy & Connections and on the FamilySearch Tree.  He also has a page on the Looking at Filey Wiki.

Hale Mary

Francis CHEW (or CHOW) was named after the father he never met. Francis Senior and his brother were drowned in January 1808.

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There is a verse inscribed on the stone that has long been covered by an accumulation of soil. When the Crimlisks did their survey of the monuments in 1978 they relied on George Shaw’s Rambles Round Filey, 1886, to quote it in full (and kindly gave him a credit).

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Sacred to the Memory of FRANCIS & JAMES CHOW who were drowned Jan·y 14th 1808, the former aged 30, the latter 24 years.

‘Most epitaphs are vainly wrote;

The dead to speak it can’t be thought;

Therefore, the friends of those here laid,

Desired that this might be said.

That rose two brothers, sad to tell,

That rose in health, ere night they fell –

Fell victims to the foaming main;

Wherefore awhile they hid remain.

Friends for them sought, and much lament,

At last the Lord to those them sent.

So child and widow they bemoan

O’er husband’s and o’er father’s tomb.’

Young Francis had an older brother but it would appear from the singular child of the verse that he had died before the father.

I made a start today on putting the CHEWs on FST and if you click the link you will notice the curious appearance of two women called Mary EDMOND who would become the grandmothers of John Francis CHEW.

The two Marys are not related by blood but one of them, the wife of John JENKINSON, was the niece of Ann EDMOND who featured in a post a few days ago.

Young Francis married Mary JENKINSON, the daughter of John and Mary Edmond II, on Christmas Eve 1832. Nine years on, to the day, this Francis was lost at sea. There are records of three children – Mary Ann who didn’t quite make it to her fortieth year, Elizabeth who died aged about three and John Francis who fell nine years short of his natural span.

Their mother, though, kept going through her long widowhood and saw in the 20th century.

She was only 26 when her husband died so it is perhaps surprising she didn’t marry again. In 1861 she was housekeeper to her father who was giving shelter to a couple of his grandchildren. John was still around in 1871, giving his age as 83, still cared for by daughter Mary. His granddaughter Elizabeth JENKINSON was with them, busy making dresses.

John died a year later and so did Mary’s daughter Mary Ann. At the 1881 Census, Mary was caring for her three HANSON grandchildren, aged 18, 15 and 12. Ten years later the King Street cottage was occupied by just Mary, now 76, and Frank Hanson, a 27-year-old Joiner who would marry Mary Jane COWLING that summer.

In 1881 Mary had kept a shop to support her young family and she possibly kept it going through her seventies. She was obviously made of stern stuff. Hail Mary!