Category: On This Day...

On This Day - 9th April

Category: On This Day...

On 9th April 1882, my great-grandmother, Alice Dando, nee Free, was born in Hadstock, a village in Essex not far from Saffron Walden. Her father, Stephen Free, was 66 years old when she was born and was much older than her mother, who was his second wife. Sadly Stephen died within the year but her mother lived until 1921.

Alice had a nickname of Benny and is pictured aged 4. My dad remembers her as a sweet, kind, very petite lady. She died in 1954 at the age of 71 and was cremated at Efford Crematorium in Plymouth.

Alice Free, aged 4
Alice Free, aged 4

Today also marks the passing of my great-uncle, Charles Henry Martin in 1942. He was born in 1903 in Twerton-on-Avon, Bath, Somerset, and married my great-aunt, Nellie Gertrude Hibbitt, in 1927. Charles was in the royal navy and reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Sadly during WWII, his ship, HMS Hermes, was sunk by the Japanese off Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka). Most of the survivors were rescued by a nearby hospital ship, although 307 men from Hermes were lost, including Charles.

Charles and Nell never had any children. He is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial on Plymouth Hoe on Panel 63, Column 1.

Charles Henry Martin
Charles Henry Martin

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On This Day in 1873

Category: On This Day...

Not only is it the 49th anniversary of my Grandpa Hibbitt's (Charles George Hibbitt) death today but I have only just realised that his father, Alfred Charles Newbold Hibbitt, was baptized on this day in 1873, exactly 99 years before my Grandpa died.

Baptism of Alfred Charles Newbold Hibbitt
Baptism of Alfred Charles Newbold Hibbitt

Alfred was actually born in 1869 but he wasn't baptized until he was four years old. I have had a question mark over Alfred's paternity for a little while due to the lack of DNA matches beyond him, although the hiccup could possibly have occurred at his father's generation instead. His father, being an only child, makes it difficult to establish which generation the non-paternal event can be attributed to.

We have plenty of DNA matches on Alfred's mothers' side (Pitcher) but going back on the Hibbitt side or on his purported grandmother's side (Newbold) has proved fruitless in terms of the DNA. His father was supposedly born in the Rutland area and Alfred was born in Birmingham. We have very few meaningful DNA connections to Rutland but a number of matches which converge in the Midlands area which I have yet to tie down.

It's possible that Alfred's parents didn't immediately get around to having him baptized for any number reasons. A younger brother, William Henry Hibbitt, wasn't baptized until he was two when it appears he was very close to death. Alfred was baptized just over a fortnight later when the matter might have felt more pressing to his parents so the 'late' baptism may have no connection to any questionable parentage at all.

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Remembering Grandpa

Category: On This Day...

Funeral flowers placed on the grave of Charles George Hibbitt
Funeral flowers placed on the grave of Charles George Hibbitt

On this day in 1972, my Grandpa, Charles George Hibbitt, died aged 73, at South Hams Hospital in Kingsbridge, Devon.

He was buried with his sister, Nellie, at Drake Memorial Park in Plymstock on 12th October. I drive past this cemetery when I visit my parents and I still pay my respects at the grave from time to time.

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On This Day in 1869 and 1959

Category: On This Day...

I have only just realized that one of my dad's grandfathers was born on this day, 2nd August, and the other died on this day.

Alfred Charles Newbold Hibbitt was born on 2nd August 1869 at Back 20, Chester Street, Birmingham, Warwickshire. He joined the Royal Navy in 1885 and went on to become a Chief Petty Officer in the Coastguards. He was invalided out in 1920 and died in 1928.

Alfred Charles Newbold Hibbitt with his daughter, Nellie
Alfred Charles Newbold Hibbitt with his daughter, Nellie

Charles Llewellyn Ernest Elbert Dando died on 2nd August 1959 at Moorhaven Hospital, Ugborough, Totnes, Devon. His death certificate shows he died of pulmonary oedema and pneumonia, left heart failure, anaemia and carcinoma of the prostate. He was born at 86 Regent Street, London, on 4th June 1876 and worked as a dentist for half a century.

Charles Llewellyn Ernest Elbert Dando with his wife, Alice
Charles Llewellyn Ernest Elbert Dando with his wife, Alice, at Goodrington

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Appointment at the Palace

Category: On This Day...

Original phonogram sent on 15th July 1919 to Lt C N Ellen
Original phonogram sent on 15th July 1919 to Lt C N Ellen

Exactly one hundred years ago today a special communication was received by a young Lt Cyril Norman Ellen requesting his presence at Buckingham Palace on the 24th July 1919. The phonogram was sent from the Lord Chamberlain's office to Harvey's grandad who was to receive his DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) from King George V. It must have been a very proud moment.

Cyril Ellen wearing his medals in 1925
Cyril Ellen wearing his medals on his wedding day in 1925


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Rembembering my Grandpa Geake

Category: On This Day...

William Hellyer Geake
William Hellyer Geake (known as Bill)

Today marks the 25th anniversary of my Grandpa Geake's death. Here he is in front of his house at Crelake Park in Tavistock Devon.

Bill Geake
Bill Geake (25.4.1917 - 18.6.1994)

And here Grandpa is sitting in the chair next to me at our house - Christmas time 1983.

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Remembering my Granny

Category: On This Day...

Phyllis Grace Geake, nee Weaver
Phyllis Grace Geake, nee Weaver

It's hard to believe we lost my Granny Geake 14 years ago today. I still miss her loads.

Grave
Grave plaque at Drake Memorial Park, Plymstock


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Honouring my Great-Uncle: D-Day Veteran

Category: On This Day...

Edward Carlyle Savory
Edward Carlyle Savory

Honouring my Great-Uncle, Edward Carlyle Savory, who was in the US 29th Division Artillery HQ Bty on D-Day, arriving on Omaha Beach at 14:10 hours on the afternoon of 6th June.

After the war, Uncle Eddie married my Great-Aunt, Eileen Geake, having met her in Tavistock, Devon, where he had been stationed for some time before crossing the Channel.

General Eisenhower inspecting the US troops in front of St Eustachius Church in Tavistock
General Eisenhower inspecting the US troops in front of St Eustachius Church in Tavistock


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Remembering George Harvey who fell at the Battle of Amiens

Category: On This Day...

George Harvey
George Harvey (1884-1918)

On the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Amiens, we remember Harvey's great-grandfather, George Harvey, who was wounded on 8th August 1918.

He was a Sapper in B Company, 9th Battalion, Canadian Engineers and received a gunshot wound to the shoulder whilst the '3rd Canadian Division successfully attacked the enemy positions between the Andrea Ravine and Hangard, inclusive, at 4.20am. During the course of the operations, Lieut. Byron, and 4 O.R.s [Other Ranks] who were with a party, under command of Lieut. Jones, were wounded.'

George was taken to No. 9 General Hospital at Rouen where he succumbed to his wounds and died on 10th August. He is buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension in Rouen.

Headstone of George Harvey
The Headstone of George Harvey in St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France

George is commemorated on the War Memorial in his home town of Newlyn in Cornwall and is also memorialized on a stone in the wall of the Centenary Primitive Methodist Church, which is situated at the top of Boase Street where he lived in 1909.

Stone in Memory of George Harvey
The Stone laid in Memory of George Harvey in the Wall of the Centenary Primitive Methodist Church in Newlyn

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Remembering Granny Hibbitt

Category: On This Day...

Ivy Alice Dando (1927)
Ivy Alice Dando (1927)

Remembering my Granny Hibbitt on the anniversary of her death, seen here in 1927, probably on Grandpa's bike.

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