Historical Pensions Part 3- Greenwich Pensions continued

Edwin Gransden- Greenwich Pensioner

I found Edwin Gransden in a different way to finding George Lockwood. Unlike George, I wasn’t looking at census papers. Initially, I was trying to find Edwin Gransden’s arrival in Australia. Eventually, I found Edwin as a member of the crew on the Washington Irving arriving in Australia in 1855.

https://www.mutualart.com/Artwork/Ship-Washington-Irving/3975CAB96454A5CC

This early small piece of information made me start looking into how I could find out more about Edwin’s position as a member of the crew. How had he become a member of the crew? Had he sailed elsewhere, was this his first ship etc?

Researching the Merchant Navy is not easy and it is almost impossible to get some of the records in Australia, or at least it was more difficult than it is now. Ancestry was starting to put some of the records up as I was searching, but in this case, I engaged the services of a genealogy researcher in England to go and do some digging for me at the National Archives in London. Peter from Forefathers Research did an excellent job for me. Unfortunately, he is no longer undertaking research.

The original aim was to find out what ships Edwin had sailed on in England. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds. What we found, is that Edwin has sailed in the Merchant Navy for a few years between the ages of 16-18. Then Edwin had ended up in the Royal Navy for a couple of years before moving to Newcastle where he seemed to be continuing in the Merchant Navy. Finally, Edwin then immigrated to Australia, on a ship that he was a crew member on.

It was while researching this move into and then out of the Navy that I found out about Edwin’s pension. Like with George Lockwood earlier, I hadn’t realised that there was a difference between a Greenwich pension and a Chelsea pension, one to write about later, but finding the pension was pretty exciting.

Using the pension documents, I was able to find out that Edwin had sailed on two ships, the Firebrand and the Gorgon. The Firebrand was the main ship that Edwin had sailed on and was exciting because it was part of an experimental fleet that was using paddle steamers on some of the ships, including the Firebrand.

https://collections.rmg.co.uk/mediaLib/3/198/144/py0917.jpg

https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/140864.html

Edwin’s time on the Gorgon, also a paddle steamer, was probably just his transfer from the Firebrand to the hospital. Edwin was injured during the battle of Obligado in Brazil. To date, I have not been able to find out specifics about Edwin’s injury.

Edwin was given a partial pension, not a very large one as he had only served in the Royal Navy for a short time. He became an outpatient and moved to Newcastle. Whatever Edwin’s injury it obviously made him unsuitable for work in the Royal Navy but not in the Merchant Navy as he obtained his Merchant Navy ticket and continued to work on ships around the Newcastle area. Edwin did this until he immigrated to Australia.

Edwin’s pension was transferred to Australia with him and appears to have followed him to Sydney, Melbourne and finally Rockhampton. Certainly, the knowledge of Edwin’s death was noted in the pension books as the reason for cessation of his payment. There is a comment about his payment being transferred but, to date, I have been unable to find relevant documents in Australia to see how that transfer was managed.

Edwin only travelled on one other documented ship once he immigrated to Australia. On his move from Victoria to Rockhampton in Queensland, Edwin is recorded as working on the same ship as his brother Silas Gransden. It is probable that this is how Edwin and his wives moved from Sydney to Melbourne and later from Melbourne to Rockhampton.

Finding Edwin’s Greenwich pension helped me to find out so much more about Edwin than I could have hoped to ever find out without those records.

Ancestry.com Wo 22 – Royal Hospital Chelsea: Returns Of Payment Of Army And Other Pensions 1842-1883

Ancestry.com. UK, Naval Officer and Rating Service Records, 1802-1919 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

FindMyPast Merchant Navy Seamen BT114 http://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=tna%2fmsea%2fbtoth%2f4620365%2f00548&parentid=tna%2fbt113%2f2132922312%2f1

National Archives British Royal Navy & Royal Marines service and Pension Records, 1704-1919

National Archives ADM 38-8197 Muster Book of Her Majesty’s Ship Gorgon

National Archives ADM 38-750 Muster Book of Her Majesty’s Ship Firebrand 1 April to 30th June 1845

National Archives ADM 38-752 Muster Book of HMS Firebrand 1st Jul 1846-30 Sep 1846

National Archives ADM 38-752 Muster Book of HMS Firebrand 01 Apr 1846-31 Dec 1846

National Archives ADM 38-8110 Description Book of HMS Firebrand 07 Sep 1844- 17 Jun 1848

National Archives Wo 22 – Royal Hospital Chelsea: Returns Of Payment Of Army And Other Pensions 1842-1883 3210 4/2 3/12/46 Seaman Edwin Gransden transferred from Southampton 31/5/50 permanent pension

Fernleigh from Construction to Destruction- Part 1

Fernleigh was a house very close to where I live. I had no idea it existed until I read an obituary notice for Mary Atkins nee Annetts, my three times great grandmother.

The funeral notice for Mary Annetts read-

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28274767

I like to look at the places that my ancestors have lived at. So when I saw the details for Fernleigh Ryde I went looking for a place of that name. It didn’t take me long before I found an address, Fernleigh, Sherbrooke Road, Meadowbank. A few minutes later I was taking a walk to find a block of land that I thought would have nothing left of the house that I was looking for because I had never seen or heard of it and I had lived in that area for five years at that stage.

When I got to the place where the property was I was surprised to see that Fernleigh, to some extent, still existed.

Fernleigh Nursing Home, Meadowbank

This was the beginning of a fascination with this house. There was not a lot of the original house able to be seen from the street, just a few chimneys and some sections of sandstone. Large sections of the house were hidden from view behind some more modern red brick renovations. However, I wanted to know more. What had this house had to do with our family, when did it become a nursing home and what was the land like that the house had originally stood on?

First I went searching through my personal archives and family photos and memories. There were just tiny snippets of information including the possibility that Edward Atkins Jnr had built the house and some reference to photographs of the house that belonged to our family connections. But, no one knew much about the house. There was one potential reference to the house from a collection of family letters, but the details were too vague and others had attributed the description to another house ‘Eulalia’ that had been known to belong to the same family. However, the description didn’t really match that of Eulalia. It is possible that this description is that of Fernleigh, however, it is likely that the description is too late to be of Fernleigh.

On the basis of this information, and some information from another member of the Ryde District Historical Society, I went searching further to see what I could find out about Fernleigh.

The original site for the Fernleigh house was owned by William Balmain the assistant surgeon with the First Fleet. William was given a grant of land in 1799 which he called Meadow Bank.

Meadow Bank stretched from the Parramatta River back to the current Victoria Road and bounded by two creeks, Charity Creek and Archer Creek.
Current day Meadowbank

Balmain didn’t stay in Australia, instead he left Wentworth D’Arcy to act in his stead, as agent, with regards to his Meadow Bank property. D’Arcy sold the property to John Bennett, however the deeds to the estate never arrived from England to confirm the sale and purchase of the property.

Bennett was an ex-convict from Ireland. He had arrived on the Marquis Cornwallis in 1796. The wrangling over the Meadow Bank property went on for many years as Bennett attempted to finalise the purchase of the property. In 1824 Bennett unsuccessfully applied to the Governor and the Supreme Court for Justice hoping to finally receive the lands that he had paid for. During his lifetime Bennett was never to see a successful outcome.

John Bennett died in 1827 and his estate, including all of the troubles that went along with it, was passed on to Captain William Andrew Bennett, the nephew of John Bennett. Finally, on the 31st of December 1838, more than 10 years after the death of John Bennett the family received formal notification of their ownership of what was then called the Bennett farm. That farm included the lands of present-day Meadowbank.

During John Bennetts ownership of Bennett farm a section of the farm was sold off to the Darvell family, a prominent family of the area. When Captain William Bennett died in 1866 and the Bennett Farm was transferred to his wife Susan Bennett. Susan Bennett lived on the Bennett farm until her death in 1883. At this stage, John Bennett, son of William and Susan Bennett subdivided the Estate and sold off sections of the farm over a number of years.

1883 ‘Advertising’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 17 April, p. 11. , viewed 08 Feb 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28374653
Meadowbank Park Subdivision 1890.

Historical Pensions Part 2- Greenwich Pensions

Greenwich Hospital operated from 1692 to 1869. It was built on the instructions of Queen Mary II and designed by John Webb. Right from the start, there was a bit of controversy surrounding the hospital as it blocked the view of the Riverside from the Queen’s House. So, the building was split in two so that the view from the Queen’s House remained.

Greenwich Hospital London-
Albertistvan Creative Commons License

Pensioners were first admitted to the Hospital in 1705 and later the pensions of the Chatham Chest were transferred to the Greenwich Hospital to be maintained as outpatients of the hospital. As well as the hospital and administering the Greenwich pensions the hospital also had a school opened up in the grounds. The school was to educate the orphans of seafarers of both the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy.

As many sailors, over the years, died at the hospital some of the grounds were given over to a cemetery. The hospital was closed in 1869 and a few years later in 1875 all soldiers who had been interred at the hospital were moved and reinterred in Pleasuance Park.

Pensioners who lived at Greenwich were given a blue uniform and a tricorn hat. However, if any of the mariners did anything that was against the rules they were given a yellow coat to wear. While wearing the yellow coat they were required to do menial tasks around the hospital. The bright colour of the coats led to the nickname- the canaries. Continued poor behaviour could result in expulsion from the hospital, like the mariner who sired nine illegitimate children while a resident.


A Greenwich Pensioner with a wooden leg, standing in a lands

Accommodation at the hospital was basic but good quality. It was certainly better than many of the sailors would be able to pay for anywhere else. However, this did not ensure the behaviour of the pensioners. The poor behaviour and the blue uniform resulted in the pensioners being given the nickname the ‘Greenwich Geese’.

I have two ancestors who received Greenwich pensions.

George Lockwood- Greenwich Pensioner

In the 1841 census, a 16-year-old George Lockwood was found at Greenwich with a lot of pensioners in their 40-60’s. Even though he was there in the census with a bunch of pensioners it didn’t at first cross my mind that George Lockwood was a pensioner himself. My 21st-century brain wasn’t really on-board with a 16-year-old boy being a pensioner. I think my assumption was that George was working at the hospital, particularly as I knew that later he worked as a barber.

Ancestry.com
Class: HO107; Piece: 489; Book: 17; Civil Parish: Greenwich; County: Kent; Enumeration District: Greenwich Royal Hospital For Seamen; Folio: 13; Page: 5; Line: 1; GSU roll: 306881

Once I started to do some research into the Greenwich Hospital I realised that George was probably there due to an injury. So, on researching through the Greenwich Pension records I finally found details about George being admitted to the hospital. These records told me that George had lost his left leg. George had been training and had last served on the William and Mary, a yacht built in 1807 and broken up in 1849.

George remained at the Greenwich Hospital for 6 years from 1841, the year of his injury, until 1847 when he was discharged. During this time George put his time, his youth and his access to a different way of life to use and became a barber. By the next census George was living outside of the hospital with his wife Louisa, he had become a hairdresser a profession that he continued, with some additions, until his death in 1900.

George became a well-loved and respected member of his community as shown by the obituary that I eventually found for him. One that I had struggled to find prior to knowing about George’s life as a pensioner as I had been unable to be sure that I had the correct obituary for George Lockwood.

A REAL “HANDY MAN”

DEATH OF A WELL-KNOWN GREENWICH WORTHY.

A remarkable man- a man who, in his time, has played many parts indeed- has just passed away in the person of Mr. George Lockwood of Claremont street Greenwich. Entering the Navy as a boy, he was only 16 when an accident on shipboard in Dublin Bay resulted in the loss of his leg, and he became an inmate of Greenwich Hospital. But although his active connexion with the Navy ceased at so early a period he did as much in his time to deserve the appellation of “handy man” as the handiest of them all. At the hospital he was appointed barber and such an artist did he become with the brush, and so apt with the razor, that it occurred to him that he could earn a living by their means outside the hospital walls, and left the institution on a pension of 14s per week. But a man on his diversity of gifts could not long be content with barbering alone, and Mr. Lockwood soon added to his accomplishments a fair knowledge of simple and ordinary ailments and to his barber’s stock in trade an assortment of drubs. Then he came to vend drapery, then stationary then hardware and shoemaking sundries, and so on, until his establishment became a local Whitley’s, and he himself the recognised authority on all manner of subjects. He was, in a way, the people’s trusted banker too, for during upwards of forty years he was the treasurer of the “Star of Kent” Foresters Court. The inside of his shop in Claremont Street was something of a wonder. There were there, exposed for sale, side by side on the counter and on shelves, cod-liver oil, and corsets, Kentish Mercury’s and cobbler’s wax, sewing cotton and sarsaparilla, paper collars and baby’s comforters, senna and stockings- Mr. Lockwood did a rattling trade in these garments on a Sunday morning at 1 2/3d per pair; who could afford to wash and darn at that price?- corn plasters and jam, tobacco and toffee, neckties and envelopes, boot soles and sausages- goodness knows what else. Standing at his shop door, with his wooden leg peeping from under his white apron, his was the most familiar figure for a wide area, as his personality was the most respected people roundabout had dealings with him from the time their mothers brought them in their arms for advice as to their little ailments, and medicine to cure them and lollipops to keep them good, and that they felt for him real love and held him in genuine respect was proved on Saturday, for when he was borne out in his coffin to be carried to the grave the mourning population of the neighbouring streets, tiny children and old folk stood about the door in ranks scores deep to see the last of their old friend. Mr Lockwood, who was 76 years of age, had in the course of his industrious life amassed a nice little fortune and has appointed as his executors Messrs. Andrew Holmes, of London-street, Greenwich, and W. E. Whitehouse, of Lewisham High-road.

The Kentish Mercury, June 1 1900

FindMyPast The Kentish Mercury, June 1 1900

FindMyPast British Royal Navy & Royal Marines Service And Pension Records, 1704-1919

Greenwich Hospital out-pensioner candidate registers 1737-1859 ADM 6/303, George Lockwood

FindMyPast British Royal Navy & Royal Marines Service And Pension Records, 1704-1919

Entry Book of Pensioners ADM 73/069 George Lockwood

FindMyPast British Royal Navy & Royal Marines Service And Pension Records, 1704-1919 Rough Entry Book of Pensioners ADM 73/060 George Lockwood

Class: HO107; Piece: 489; Book: 17; Civil Parish: Greenwich; County: Kent; Enumeration District: Greenwich Royal Hospital For Seamen; Folio: 13; Page: 5; Line: 3; GSU roll: 306881

Ancestry.com. 1851 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

Ancestry.com. 1861 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

Ancestry.com. 1871 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1881 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

Ancestry.com. 1891 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.

Historical Pensions

I haven’t written many blog posts over the last year. I have taken on a new job and am trying to complete another degree. So, unfortunately, some of my family history time is currently being taken up. But, I have not stopped researching.

Currently, I am working on a talk for the Ryde District Historical Society (RDHS). I was at a conference where someone was giving a talk on resources from the U.K. Chelsea pensions came up and I thought, I know a bit about that. I can turn that into a much longer talk about Military Pensions in general and do that for the RDHS when I give my next talk. Little did I know!

When I first started to work on my talk I thought I would talk about the Chelsea pension but I had kept on reading about the fact that the Chelsea pension was only for those in the army. Yet, two of my most researched ancestors were from the Navy. They had pensions so I was confused. So the first thing I did was try to find out what there was for Navy people. I discovered the Greenwich Hospital and the Greenwich pension. Then, on further investigation, where once again, I had an ancestor that didn’t quite fit the bill, I found out about the Chatham Chest. So, now I am going to break up my talk into sections and try and give an overview of the Chatham Chest, the Greenwich Pension and Hospital and the Chelsea Pension and Hospital.

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection

The Chatham Chest

The Chatham Chest was established in 1590 by Sir John Hawkins, Sir Francis Drake and Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham, to provide pensions for wounded seamen in the Royal Navy. Pensions were payable according to the degree of severity of the injury that the seaman received. For example, £7 pa was paid in 1704 for half a limb lost but only £4 for the loss of a finger or thumb or an eye.

When a person was first injured they would receive a ticket called a ‘smart ticket’ to allow them to be provided with the first year of their pension effectively in advance. The term ‘Smart Money’ comes from this time.

Only those who paid into the chest were entitled to receive a pension from the chest if they were injured and how much they could pay varied depending upon what they earned. In general, every officer and Rating in the Navy was expected to pay 6d. But of course how easy that was depended upon the salary of the individual and whether or not the salary was being paid in the first place.

There were also fluctuations in how much the money in the chest was needed due to wars and of course, the chest was not free from corruption among those who looked after it. However, over the 224 years that the chest provided pensions it seems to have been relatively successful for many injured seamen. To find out more about the chest itself there is an excellent blog post here https://thedockyard.co.uk/top-ten-collections-chatham-chest/

In 1805 the administration of the chest and the chest itself were moved to the Greenwich Hospital.

My interest is, of course, to do with my ancestors. I was searching through ancestors who may have received benefits from the Greenwich Hospital when I came across Leonard Mosey. Leonard was baptised 8 July 1751 and buried 23rd of May 1793. So, his entire life was before the Greenwich pension. But, until I knew about the Chelsa Pension I didn’t know that there was any other sort of pension that someone could have. Then, when I found out about the Greenwich Pension it took a bit more hunting to find out about the Chatham Chest. So, it was only recently that I figured out that Leonard Mosey’s pension was from the Chatham Chest rather than anywhere else. This means that Leonard had to travel to Chatham every single year to obtain his pension. That alone is an interesting challenge for someone who lived in Yorkshire.

I first found out about Leonard Mosey’s time in the Royal Navy when I found the details of his marriage. Leonard was married to Mary Dehane on the 2nd of May 1781 in Kildwick Parish, Yorkshire.

Galley style ship- the type of ship that Leonard Mosey would have sailed on. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/56777/56777-h/images/i_p211.jpg

Of course, I wanted to know more. I found some very limited information under the 1790 Universal Directory of Great Britain Index, which no longer seems to exist. But not really much. I did find that Leonards pension was that of 5s per day.

Eventually, I did a general search for Leonard Mosey in google books and came up with-

Lieutenant Leonard Mosey, late of His Majesty’s galley Cornwallis, in consideration of his sufferings, who on the 16th of November 1777, in the attack of Mud Island received a cannonball from the battery, and was thereby much wounded, and entirely lost the use of his right arm, so far as the shoulder.

13 Oct 1779 (date of Orders) 100 pounds.

Pensions Google Books, 1828. Parliamentary Papers: 1780-1849, Volume 17, Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons, H.M. Stationery Office. Digitised 15 Sep 2014. Accessed 11th Dec 2016https://books.google.com.au/books?id=RbpDAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA14&lpg=RA2-PA14&dq=Captain+Leonard+Mosey&source=bl&ots=8BZP9vfwR7&sig=ZuPryMw-9gyzFw2HMl0oljDiyzI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiq__Wz2unQAhXJI5QKHS5nCfcQ6AEIGTAA#v=onepage&q=Mosey&f=false

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection

Unfortunately, I have been able to find very little else about Leonard Mosey in the Chatham Chest documents. The books are available to look through on FindMyPast but they are unindexed and it is extremely difficult to figure out what book is likely to have what information, or when that information is likely to be in the books. The one book that was alphabetized and covered the time that Leonard was on their books, does not seem to have his name. The remaining books may well have his name but his details are not on the date of the Orders or on the date of his accident. So, although I have searched further, I have not yet found more information.

The Chatham Chest books are kept under the name of the Greenwich Hospital Books.

However, based on a declaration, made after Leonard Mosey’s death on the 31st of December 1793, it is obvious that Leonard was having trouble obtaining his pension.

“First these Declarants declare that they have been informed and believe that there was the sum of nineteen pounds or thereabouts due to the said deceased at the time of his death for half-pay as a Lieutenant in his Majestys Navy but they protest against being charged therewith until they shall receive the same.”

“Also these Declarants declare that they have been informed and believe that the sum of thirty-seven pounds or thereabouts was due to the said deceased at the time of his death for Pension Money but they protest against being charged therewith until they shall receive the same.”

National Archives United Kingdom PROB_31_843_844

So, what we can tell about Leonard Mosey from the pension records that I have been able to find?

Leonard Mosey was in the navy for a relatively short period of time. He can’t have been there for long as he was injured in 1777 and received his pension, due to that injury in 1779. Leonard was married two years later and was only 30 years old at that time. It is possible that Leonard was still in the navy at this time, but unlikely given he was allocated a pension. If he was able to work in the navy he would not have been granted a pension.

Leonard had been injured at the Battle of Mud Island. The battle of Mud Island was a battle that occurred in the American War of Independence. Instead of me giving an account of the Battle of Mud Island, part of the Siege of Fort Mifflin, I am including a video that will describe the situation much better than I can.

For more information on what the people on the Galley Cornwallis was doing during the ‘American Revolution’ the Naval documents can be read here-https://books.google.com.au/books?id=SR7jucF7h9UC&pg=PA324&lpg=PA324&dq=%22Galley+Cornwallis%22&source=bl&ots=LzvNxgqLqy&sig=ACfU3U1HxbDWaDcIBd2Mr9Av2163DexkKA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjjuM3oupHnAhXNQ30KHY3hCsAQ6AEwAXoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22Galley%20Cornwallis%22&f=false

Longbottom and the convicts of Canada Bay

A while ago I wrote a blog post about Longbottom and the Canadian Political Prisoners of the Longbottom Stockade. I was contacted by a reader who was putting together a documentary on the Canadian Convicts. Pierre kindly allowed me to put up a trailer for the documentary.

Previous posts about Longbottom can be found here
http://gransdenfamily.com/longbottom-gransdens-in-the-concord-area/ and here
http://gransdenfamily.com/more-about-longbottom/

Obituary

Deaths of Old Settlers.- Several old settlers in different parts of the colony have laterly passed away. Among the number is Mr. W. Dorset, senior of Wellington, who for several years occupied the position of Provincial Auditor, and was a Justice of the Peace. He was seventy-five years of age, and was one of the oldest Wellington settlers, being one of the three brothers who arrived in 1840. Another Wellingon settler, Mr. Robert Lucas, has died from the effects of a fall from his horse. He was well and favourably known in connection with the Commissariat Department in Wellington, whence he removed to the Wairarap where he carried on the business of auctioneer, land and commission agent. At Waimea West Nelson, Mrs Bolton has died after a prolonged illness. She was a daughte of the late Mr Henry Redwood. At Waimate Mrs. J. W. Gaitt, one of the first inhabitants of the district, died last week at the age of seventy-two.
[Source: PRESS, VOLUME XXVII, ISSUE 3666, 10 APRIL 1877]

Ryde Remembers

Today the Ryde Remembers Book Launch occurred at Willandra in Ryde. The Ryde Remembers book launch was to launch a book about the Honour Rolls that can be found in schools, churches, parks etc that commemorate the fallen from WW1 and WW2. The focus was mainly on those from WW1, however, many places had Honour Rolls from both so both Wars were included.

Ryde Remembers Book Launch

I was one of the contributors to the book and it was wonderful to see the book come to fruition through the hard work of so many people. If anyone wants a copy the book will shortly be available through the Ryde District Historical Society at http://www.rydehistory.org.au

Ryde Remembers

Gransdens go to War

100 years since the end of World War 1. It is time to write about a Gransden experience of War.

Lest We Forget!

 

Private Stimpson Alfred Gransden enlisted on the third of November 1915. Within months he had participated in the Battle of Pozieres and become a member of the 4th Machine Gun Company.  In this position, he participated in the first Battle of Bullecourt where he was wounded and went missing. For the remainder of the First World War, Stimpson Gransden was moved from one Prisoner of War camp to the next.

Private Stimpson Alfred Gransden No. 3830, 4th Australian Machine Gun Company, 4 Section, 4 Brigade, 4 Division, Late of the 27th Battalion went missing since the 11th of April 1917[i]. There were very few details in the telegram, just, “Reported missing since April 11th 1917”. It was enough that the local newspaper printed a photograph of Stimpson Gransden, captioned “The Late Private S. A. Gransden[ii]”.

Like many war-torn families, Louisa Gransden, mother to Stimpson Gransden, wrote to the Red Cross, asking them to help her to find her son[i]. Only a few days later Louisa received another telegram. Again Louisa unfolded a telegram to see the words “Reported Missing[ii]”. This telegram was to inform Louisa that her son Oliver Alfred Gransden had also gone missing on the 11th of April 1917[iii].

The Red Cross kept in touch and helped many hundreds of family members like Louisa Gransden. Their volunteers and workers wrote back to Louisa and her family to reassure them that they would search for both of her sons. They sent her commiserations on the loss of two soldiers during the war. They also let her know, that it would take many weeks before the German lists would show her sons names, searching would take time.[iv]

After almost two months Louisa finally heard back from the Red Cross. Both of her sons had been taken prisoner during the first Battle of Bullecourt. The telegram read;

“We are today in receipt of a cable from the Red Cross Commissioners stating the above soldier is a Prisoner of War in Lazarett Verden Aller, Germany, slightly wounded in the leg.

A few days ago we notified Mrs. Gransden that your other son, Private O.A. Gransden, 2165 of the 48th Bttln was also a Prisoner. We feel sure the knowledge that although your boys are prisoners in Germany, they are alive will comfort you a little”.[i]

Many things had sent Louisa’s sons to war. The family lived on a farm in South Australia[ii]. It was not a well off-farm and both boys had little to look forward to other than a life of farm labouring. By joining up, both boys could look forward to adventures and would possibly get the opportunity to meet their cousins who lived in England. They would also gain skills and knowledge that may help them expand beyond the confines of the farm for work, once the war was over. After the elder boy, Stimpson had joined up, it was only a matter of time before the younger son, Oliver, also joined up. It was a source of happiness to both men, that within months of the younger man joining they had been able to spend a short time with their cousin, in Kent England, in between spells on the Continent at War[iii]. This was an experience that neither boy had ever thought they would be able to have, living, as they did, on a small farm in rural South Australia.

Oliver and Stimpson Gransden

When Stimpson had first joined the 27th Battalion, he had joined with a group of many young men from South Australia[iv]. It was not long before they were on their way to the Western Front. Stimpson joined the Battalion as a member of the 9th Reinforcements and like many others, his first experience of war was when he entered the front line trenches, for the first time on the 7th of April and later fought at the battle of Pozieres[v]. By November that year, Stimpson had moved to the 4th Australian Machine Gun Company[vi].

The next major conflict that Stimpson participated in was the Battle of Bullecourt. Stimpson was part of the 4th Australian Machine Gun Company. Stimpson and the other members of the 4th Australian moved forward at 4am. The Company experienced heavy machine gun fire almost immediately. Although the Company achieved their first and second objectives they were unable to hold their positions due to a strong counterattack and failing supplies. At 12.30pm the Company was forced to retire leaving behind the majority of their men, including Simpson Gransden and more than 100 others. Of the 4th Australian Machine Gun Company, in the first Battle of Bullecourt, just over 10% of men, officers and equipment made it back to their own lines[vii].

After the Battle of Bullecourt Stimpson and many of his fellow soldiers were officially classified as missing. The Redcross, during this time, spent many weeks looking for the Gransden men, and thousands of other soldiers who had gone missing, in this battle and in others. It took them almost three months to find Stimpson Gransden and others who had gone missing that day, including Stimpson’s brother Oliver Arthur Gransden of the 48th Infantry Battalion[viii]. The wait for news meant that many family members were both in mourning and still waiting for news of their loved ones. This was a difficult situation for families to be in, particularly as they had their own work to do at home. Louisa, in particular, was looking after an unwell husband and running the family farm.[ix]

Stimpson and his brother never saw battle again. They were moved from one Prisoner of War Camp to the next until the end of the War when they were repatriated back to England and then onto Australia. During this time Stimpson experience starvation, deprivation and mistreatment. He remained cheerful in the very few letters and postcards that he was allowed to write home, but he also made it clear that he was surviving on the Redcross parcels, that he was receiving, of food and clothes.[x]

On the 17th of June 1919, Stimpson was discharged from a Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia. He had spent just 14 months in the trenches fighting against the Germans. The remainder of his three years and 283 days was spend as a Prisoner of War. Stimpson returned home to a hero’s welcome and a loving family. His time during the war had changed him, it had changed his family and the lives of everyone around him.

Stimpson and Agnes Gransden

[i] Ibid.

[ii] National Archives of Australia. Gransden Stimpson Alfred : SERN 3830 : POB Port Broughton SA : POE Adelaide SA : NOK M Gransden Louisa. https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=4669823 (Accessed 27th Apr 2017)

[iii] Authors Collection. 2003 Oral History, interview between Christina Bean and Kathleen Welch.

[iv] Australian War Memorial, 27th Infantry Battalion, awm.gov.au. https://www.awm.gov.au/unit/U56108/ (Accessed 27th April 2017)

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Opcit National Archives of Australia. Gransden Stimpson Alfred : SERN 3830 : POB Port Broughton SA : POE Adelaide SA : NOK M Gransden Louisa. https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=4669823 (Accessed 27th Apr 2017)

[vii] Australian War Memorial, AWM4 24/9/10- April 1917. RGDIG1007720. https://www.awm.gov.au/images/collection/bundled/RCDIG1007720.pdf (Accessed 28th Apr 2017)

[viii] Opcit South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau 1916-1919. Ref SRG 76/1/2453.

[ix] Ibid.

[x] Opcit South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau 1916-1919. Ref SRG 76/1/2375

 

 

Bibliography

1917 ‘THE LATE PRIVATE S.A GRANSDEN.’, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954), 26 May, p. 39. , viewed 22 Apr 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87607631

Australian War Memorial, AWM4 24/9/10- April 1917. RGDIG1007720. https://www.awm.gov.au/images/collection/bundled/RCDIG1007720.pdf (Accessed 28th Apr 2017)

Australian War Memorial, 27th Infantry Battalion, awm.gov.au. https://www.awm.gov.au/unit/U56108/ (Accessed 27th April 2017)

Authors Collection. 2003 Oral History, interview between Christina Bean and Kathleen Welch.

National Archives of Australia. Gransden Stimpson Alfred : SERN 3830 : POB Port Broughton SA : POE Adelaide SA : NOK M Gransden Louisa. https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=4669823 (Accessed 27th Apr 2017)

South Australia Library (SLA). South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau 1916-1919. Ref SRG 76/1/2453. Packet Number. 2453 Private 2165 48th Infantry Battalion https://sarcib.ww1.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/soldier/oliver-arthur-gransden

South Australia Library (SLA). South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau 1916-1919. Ref SRG 76/1/2375. Packet Number. 2375 Private 3830 27th Infantry Battalion. Viewed 23 Apr 2017 https://sarcib.ww1.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/soldier/stimpson-alfred-gransden

 

 

[i] Opcit. SLA. Ref SRG 76/1/2375.

[ii] South Australia Library (SLA). South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau 1916-1919. Ref SRG 76/1/2453. Packet Number. 2453 Private 2165 48th Infantry Battalion https://sarcib.ww1.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/soldier/oliver-arthur-gransden

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Opcit SLA. Ref SRG 76/1/2375.

 

[i] South Australia Library (SLA). South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau 1916-1919. Ref SRG 76/1/2375. Packet Number. 2375 Private 3830 27th Infantry Battalion. Viewed 23 Apr 2017 https://sarcib.ww1.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/soldier/stimpson-alfred-gransden

[ii] 1917 ‘THE LATE PRIVATE S.A GRANSDEN.’, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954), 26 May, p. 39. , viewed 22 Apr 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87607631

WEDDING BELLS LOCKWOOD-LAWRENCE.

North Auburn Methodist Church was the scene of a very pretty wedding on August 1, 1925, when Miss Marjorie Lockwood, of Auburn, was married to Mr. Stanley Lawrence, third son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Lawrence, of “Ashley,” Smithfield. Rev. W. N. Lock officiated. The bride’s smart frock of ivory charmante was trimmed with silver lace and shell pink ostrich feather. Her tulle veil, which was hand-embroidered by her aunt, Mrs. Condle, was fastened with silver bandeaux and orange blossom, and she carried a pretty shower bouquet of roses and snowdrops, which, together with a diamond brooch, was the gift of the bridegroom. Tile bridesmaids were Miss Doris Lockwood, who wore a charming frock of pleated lemon georgette, with black georgette hat, and carried a bouquet to tone. Miss Evelyn Lockwood, whose pretty frock of eau de nil crepe do chine was hand-embroidered, also wore a black georgette hat, with bouquet to tone, and Misses Hilda Lockwood and Thelma Sclater were frocked alike in shell pink crepe de chine, embroidered, and wore black hats trimmed to match; they carried gold baskets of mignonette, maidenhair, and violets. Their bouquets and gold bangles were the gifts of the bridegroom. Mr. Stanley Coleman was best man and Mr. Wesley Morrison groomsman. The bride was given away by her father, and during the signing of the register, an uncle of the bride, Mr. Laurie Barber, sang “Because. Mrs. A. E. Hunt aunt of the bride, officiated at the organ.

Stanley Lawrence and Marjorie Lockwood at their wedding 1 Aug 1925.

After the ceremony, the bride’s mother who wore a smart frock of black charmante, trimmed with silk tassel and, embroidery, entertained about seventy guests at St. Phillip’s Hall, where the usual toasts were honoured at the breakfast, and the evening finished with a dance.

During the evening, the bride and groom left by car for the South Coast, the bride’s frock being of hand-embroidered navy morocaln, worn with fur stole and cinnamon felt hat. Many handsome gifts were received, amongst them being several cheques. The bride’s gift to the bridegroom was a Jacobean smoker’s pedestal. Mr. and Mrs. S. G. Lawrence Intend taking up residence at Ryde.

1925 ‘WEDDING BELLS’, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), 21 August, p. 3. , viewed 22 Sep 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103759333

Ice on the Horizon

I had forgotten about this story. It was one of the stories that I wrote when I was doing the Family History Diploma. This story is about Edwin Gransden and one of his experiences on the ship that migrated to Australia on. Edwin was an ‘Able Seaman’ on the Washington Irving when it came across ice one morning.

The call came out- ice ahoy! The air was heavy with the scent of frost and the call of men looking out at the horizon. The wind was blowing fresh and strong and the scent of salt had permeated everything. It could not be avoided. The deck was slippery and the ropes hard to hold in his hand. Each step was treacherous with the ice and the cold building up, with the wind was blowing us along at a good speed.

All the sailors were watching. Ice could sneak up on you, going through the side of the ship like a knife. This was the worst time to have ice on the horizon. No daylight and fast winds meant that ice could suddenly catch a ship unawares.

Many of the passengers were up. They were on the decks getting underfoot and wanting to see a sight to them that was exciting and different. But for the sailors, it was another matter. We knew what that could mean. Ice could be the death of a ship. At least as the sun rose the visibility may get better helping to keep us away from the threat of the ice.

The shouting rose to a crescendo as more and more ice appeared. By 4am we were surrounded. Myself and others had climbed the slippery masts and bought the sails down. We needed to slow the ship and take it slowly through an icy passage of it would be our last passage.