Too Many Cooks

On the 22nd October 1915, the Scarborough Mercury reported that Percy COOK, confectioner of West Avenue, Filey,  had been fined 10 shillings at the Police Court for “not having had lights properly shaded”. (I guess the authorities were afraid of Zeppelin raids and needed to set an example.)

Life was sweets for Percy and his occupation should have earned him the respect of the town’s children. It seems to have done the opposite. A few years ago Martin Douglas told me of a nasty rhyme that urchins would hurl at Percy. (Martin heard it from his mother.) They would enter his shop, chant the verse and make a quick exit, pursued by Percy.

Percy Cook said come and have a look

At my old chocolate shop,

The scales are rusty,

The chocolates are fusty,

And you’ve gone off yer nut.

(Not the best advertisement for British education if the last line referred to Percy’s mental state.)

Percy died in 1944, almost twenty years after his wife Mary Jane née MOODY. The couple married late, aged 33 and 40 respectively, and did not have little angels of their own.

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In loving memory of MARY, beloved wife of PERCY COOK, entered into rest Sep. 27th 1925, aged 57.

Go thou improve the present hour,

Be thankful for the past,

And let thy future movement tend

To calm and soothe the last.

Also of the above PERCY COOK, died June 10th 1944, aged 71.

On Filey Genealogy & Connections Percy stands alone. He was one of at least eight children born to John Frederick Cook, a cashier and bookkeeper, and Catherine JOHNSON. At the 1911 Census, remarkably, six of the siblings were living together at 1 St Paul’s Road in Bradford. All were unmarried. Ten years earlier, widowed Catherine ruled a roost of seven children, one of them Percy, at Cliff Bridge Place, Scarborough. He was the only one to fly the nest during the next decade.

So, why too many Cooks, given this generation’s unwillingness to submit to the genetic imperative? Well, an hour or two of sleuthing, brings in 15 MOODYs, who connect with several Filey fishing families (BAYES, COWLING, SCALES). FG &C has these folk but to check them all out on FamilySearch Tree and add the West Riding COOKs is a daunting task.

I noticed in passing one source that elaborated on the Bradford address, labeling it “Manningham Hall”. This seemed rather grand and I wondered if our humble confectioner had been something of a black sheep. In 1901 his sister Evelin (various spellings) was pursuing the same trade but ten years later told the census enumerator that she was a lodging house keeper.  A younger brother headed the St Paul’s household in 1911 and the Find My Past transcription gives his occupation as a “Trains Merchant”. Inspection of the page image reveals he dealt in pianos, as did brother Vernon William Alexander. A noble occupation, romantic even, but the world was changing and in 1939 Sydney had to file for bankruptcy.

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I looked again for a foothold on FamilySearch Tree and found Mary Jane MOODY Cook’s mother, Ann KNAGGS. Someone to build on…another day, perhaps.

A few words about Today’s Image. The concrete jumble below Flat Cliffs/Primrose Valley Holiday Park is the remains of a short promenade that was, I think, still functional in the 1950s. I have seen an old postcard showing an ice cream van parked on it. I haven’t discovered the purpose of the concrete “rings” yet. Someone must know.

Crushed

Elizabeth Cook was an Essex girl, born 1826, but fifteen years later she was living in Church Street, Filey, with her widowed mother and two younger siblings. Five years later, aged 20, she married Richard LORRIMAN, a joiner. I have found four birth registrations for three girls and a boy. Eliza, Warris, and Ada Susannah reached adulthood and married but the girls left it rather late to have families and Warris registered his wife’s death in the same quarter as the birth of their first child, Richard Henry. The motherless boy was shipped from Castleford in the West Riding to Filey, where he was raised by his grandparents, Richard and Elizabeth. (Warris married again and had several children with Elizabeth NORFOLK.)

About 20 years earlier the elderly couple had lost their second child, Mary Jane, to a freak accident that must have scarred them both. The death certificate records that she was “crushed by the fall of a mangle”. She was three years old.

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Richard Henry’s step-mother seems to have been happy to leave him in Filey. In 1891, aged 13, he was living with Richard and Elizabeth in Hope Street, a few doors away from where I am writing this post. Ten years later he had returned to the West Riding. He married either Eleanor COLE or Grace HIGOTT in Leeds towards the end of 1901 but when the 1911 Census was taken he was living alone in Westfield Road, Leeds, married rather than widowed, and childless. He worked as a coal merchant and died in the summer of 1921 aged 43.

Mary Jane is Mary Ann on Filey Genealogy and Connections but somewhat more connected to her few known forebears than on FamilySearch Tree. Only her baptism is recorded there – as a “Lorryman”. Several of the characters on her FG & C pedigree are scattered about the World Tree and I’ll try to bring them together in the next few days.

My thanks to Brenda Pritchard in Canada who sent me the copy of Mary Jane’s death certificate some years ago.

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.

WARDedSyd

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

WARDEe

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.

1916_WARDedsyd_cwgcIndex

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.

ESWfst

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.