Another postcard mystery solved – Miss M SHACKLETON of Parham

My latest Parham postcard addition was sent to Miss M (Marg) SHACKLETON, North Green, Parham from George in America in January 1914.

Parham postcard front 5 2 16

Parham postcard reverse 5 2 16

I have now researched Miss Marg SHACKLETON a bit further and found a marriage report for her in the Framlingham Weekly News from Saturday 22nd April 1922.

Framlingham Weekly News - Saturday 22nd April 1922

Framlingham Weekly News – Saturday 22nd April 1922

Miss Margaret Teresa SHACKLETON only daughter of Mr and Mrs John and Alice M SHACKLETON of Parham married Mr John James MARKWELL from Framlingham in Parham Church.

Her bridesmaids were Misses Elsie and Winifred MANN cousins from London and Mr C T WRIGHT was Best Man.

Miss SHACKLETON was a teacher at Parham School and was also a member of the Parham Church Choir.

I have also found John and Alice with their only child Margaret on the 1911 census living at 100 East India Dock Road in Poplar in London, which shows John was born in Leeds, Alice in Aldeburgh and Margaret in Portsmouth.

1911 census John SHACKLETON

Source:Ancestry – 1911 census Poplar ED 12 Piece 1728

John’s occupation is shown as Shipping Agent to Training Ship Arethusa National Refuge for Homeless and Destitute Children and I have website with more information about this ship at

Therefore the family must have moved to North Green in Parham after the 1911 census and before Margaret received the postcard in January 1914.

I will now research further to see what other information I can find in the local papers about this Parham family!

Simon Last      

Posted in Parham, SHACKLETON, Suffolk, Training Ship Arethusa | Leave a comment

Eggs For Our WW1 Wounded!

Whilst carrying out research for my World War 1 Framlingham and Aldeburgh books, I read many different books and articles on the subject and have always been fascinated by the logistics that would have been involved in transporting the men, supplying them with uniforms and equipment, delivering them post and feeding them on a daily basis.

I was therefore interested to find an article in the Framlingham Weekly News from 29th January 1916 asking for Framingham’s help as follows:

Framlingham Weekly News  Saturday 29th January 1916

Framlingham Weekly News – Saturday 29th January 1916


An urgent appeal has reached us from British Base Hospitals in France, where a large number of our most seriously wounded men are lying too ill to be sent back to this country, for new-laid eggs for our brave men after their terrible operations in hospital. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND are required every week in order that these gallant men may be given a chance of recovery from the wounds, which they have so nobly borne on our behalf.

The National Egg Collection for our wounded Soldiers and Sailors, with Her Majesty Queen Alexandra as its Patron, with the commendation of the Army Council and with approval and grateful appreciation of the War Office, is doing its utmost to supply this number of eggs every week.

The people of Framlingham and District have contributed largely to the National Egg Collection in the past, and they are asked to re-double their efforts, in order that the number of eggs supplied to the Base Hospitals may be kept up steadily all the year round.

Those who cannot supply eggs are asked to send cash donations with which eggs may be purchased to the nearest official Controller, Mrs Brunger, College Road. The address of the local Depot is Messrs Carley & Co, Market Hill.

I wonder what the Framlingham response was to this request and how many hundreds of eggs were collected in the town and transported to the Base Hospitals in France during the war?

Simon Last       


Posted in Framlingham, Suffolk, World War 1 | Leave a comment

Update: Sister or Sister in Law? – is this a postcard with a family connection!

Further to my blog post last week about a postcard that I had found at an Antiques shop in Suffolk with a family connection, I have been thrilled to make further family connected discoveries over the last few days!

Knowing that many online postcard dealers now list their postcards for sale, not only by the picture on the front, but also by the genealogy surnames on the back I decided to search BANTHORPE postcards on eBay, to see if I could find any matches.

You can’t imagine my delight when some BANTHORPE  results matched and on closer inspection I found that three of them were addressed to a Miss BANTHORPE. Two of these cards were listed with the same seller as ‘Buy It Now’ items, so I took the plunge and bought those two, which arrived in the post yesterday.

The first postcard is dated June 19th 1907 and is addressed to Miss BANTHORPE at Gordon Hospital, Ward No.19, Vauxhall Bridge Road, London

Banthorpe front 1 30 1 16

Banthorpe back 30 1 16

However I know this was my Miss BANTHORPE, as on the bottom left hand side was written ‘Rowanhurst’, the same address as on the card I had found in Suffolk, but even more exciting was the fact that the postcard had been sent by the SLEE family, who Ellen Mary BANTHORPE had been working for on both the 1901 and 1911 census records

Ellen Mary Banthorpe 1901 census

Source Ancestry: 1901 England Census Class; RG13; Piece: 468; Folio: 6; Page: 4

Ellen Mary Banthorpe 1911 census

Source: Ancestry 1911 census Class: RG14; Piece: 2280

The message on the card reads:

With very best wishes for your speedy recovery From F & G SLEE – All quite well

The second postcard was sent on 3rd October 1907 to Miss BANTHORPE C/o Miss SLEE at Rowanhurst, Atkins Road, Clapham Park

Banthorpe front 2 30 1 16

Banthorpe back 2 30 1 16

This card reads:

Dear H, Many thanks for letter and kind wishes. We shall be very pleased to see you on Sunday. What grand weather we are having at present with kind regards from Mr & Mrs C, with love from your friend

It is amazing that I have found a further two BANTHORPE postcards with a family connection, simply from taking the research from my first Suffolk purchase postcard further and I am still watching one more BANTHORPE postcard that the bids end on later tonight – fingers crossed for a winning bid!

The moral of this story is search, search, search, as you never know what you will find with a family connection – when or where!!

Simon LAST

Posted in BANTHORPE, Dennington, Suffolk | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sister or Sister in Law? – is this a postcard with a family connection!

Recently on a visit to Suffolk I was visiting an Antiques shop that had a few boxes of postcards for sale, being unable to resist a rummage I found a postcard of St Mary’s Church in Dennington in Suffolk addressed to a Miss E BANTHORPE.

Bells immediately rang in my mind, as I was knew that this surname had a connection to my own family tree and also to my Framlingham War Memorial World War 1 research in 2011 – although the card had been sent to an address in London the picture of Dennington church on the front was enough of a clue for me to make a purchase, to research in more detail once I was back at home!!

Banthorpe postcard Dennington 1906 front 23 1 16

Banthorpe postcard Dennington 1906 reverse 23 1 16

The postcard was addressed to a Miss E BANTHORPE, Rowanhurst, Atkins Road, Clapham Park, London SW and the message was:

Dear Sister, Just a card to let you know I received the little parcel quite safely for my birthday & thank you very much – we are all quite glad to hear Leah seemed better when you saw her. Love to you from us all Clara

On looking at my own family tree I could see that I had some E BANTHORPE’s from Dennington, including an Elizabeth, Emma and an Ellen. I then thought this would be quite easy, as I just needed to look for the one with a  sister called Clara!

However none of them had a sister with this name so I decided to investigate their brothers to see if any of them had married a Clara and bingo I found that George BANTHORPE, the brother of Ellen Mary BANTHORPE, had married a Clara STOPHER on the 29th October 1903 in Dennington in Suffolk.

Therefore Clara had addressed the card to ‘Dear Sister’ even though she was her sister-in-law and this term of affection showed real close bonds within the family.

I then looked to see if I could find Ellen Mary BANTHORPE, who I now though was the E BANTHORPE on the postcard and found her in the 1901 census living at Rowanhurst in Atkins Road in Clapham aged 33, working as a Housemaid Domestic.

Ellen Mary Banthorpe 1901 census

Source Ancestry: 1901 England Census Class: RG13; Piece: 468; Folio: 6; Page: 4. 

I then found her ten years later on the 1911 census still living and working at the same address:

Ellen Mary Banthorpe 1911 census

Source Ancestry: 1911 Census Class: RG14; Piece: 2280 

I also found the 1911 census in Dennington showing her brother George BANTHORPE living at Maypole Green, working as a Horseman on a Farm living with his wife Clara of 7 years and children Elsie Maud aged 4 and Doris Clara aged 3 months:

George Banthorpe 1911 census

Source Ancestry: 1911 Census Class: RG14; Piece: 10742; Schedule Number: 37 

Ellen Mary BANTHORPE worked for the SLEE family in London for many years and never married and died on the 11th April 1951 aged 83 – I also found a Probate record for her in 1952 which confirmed her address at death as 24 College Road in Framlingham in Suffolk, although she died at 29 College Road – maybe a relatives house?

Probate was granted to William George MEADOWS a shop assistant and this is where the BANTHORPE name links with the two MEADOWS brothers I had researched, that were killed in World War 1 and are named on the Framlingham War Memorial.

Framlingham War Memorial L to S

Ellen Mary BANTHORPE had ten siblings and her sister Elizabeth had married a Reuben MEADOWS – Reuben and Elizabeth had six children including Reuben MEADOWS who was killed on 28th September 1916, Ernest William MEADOWS who was killed on 22nd March 1918 and William George MEADOWS the person granted probate in Ellen’s will.

e w meadows

Ernest Meadows

Source: Framlingham Weekly News newspaper

Therefore William George MEADOWS was the nephew of Ellen Mary BANTHORPE.

How am I connected? Well using the Ancestry Relationship calculator Ellen Mary BANTHORPE is the great-aunt of husband of my 1st cousin 1x removed

I do also have a photograph that I was sent whilst  researching the Framlingham War Memorial,  which shows Elizabeth MEADOWS (nee BANTHORPE) with her surving siblings which means that one of the ladies sitting either side of her would be Ellen Mary BANTHORPE, the lady named on the postcard I discovered was sent to!

Elizabeth Banthorpe


It is always a great result to prove a connection between a postcard and my family tree, to see a relatives writing and to find out more about their day to day lives and hopefully I will be lucky enough to find more cards on my travels to research over the coming months and years!!

Simon LAST


Posted in BANTHORPE, Dennington, MEADOWS, Postcard, Suffolk, World War 1 | 3 Comments

Easton Suffolk WW1 Red Cross Hospital

Following my research into the names on the Framlingham War Memorial, my latest project is investigating the use of Easton Park Mansion in Suffolk as a Red Cross Hospital during World War 1 – I am trying to find out more about the men and women who worked there and also the soldiers that were treated there during the war years.

 Easton Park Mansion postcard 2 11 15

The Framlingham Weekly News newspapers are proving to be an invaluable resource and it is interesting to see that most weeks during the war the Duchess of Hamilton placed a regular thank you column to local people for their contributions and donations to the hospital.

 Framlingham Weekly News - Saturday 29 January 1916

29th January 1916

If anyone has any family stories or memorabilia about Easton Park Mansion and its use as a Red Cross Hospital during World War 1 that they would be willing to share for this project, I would be very pleased to hear from you.

Many thanks

Simon Last     

Posted in Easton, Suffolk, World War 1 | 2 Comments

1906 Postcard lovers secret code!

Having recently obtained another bundle of postcards just before Christmas on closer inspection, I was interested to find two sent to a Gunner COONEY in Sheerness in Kent – one is dated 31st July 1906 and the other 8th August 1906 both with a Northampton postmark.

The intriguing thing about these two postcards are the messages that are obviously written in some  sort of lovers code to stop prying eyes at Gunner COONEY’s barracks!

Postcard 1 front 6 1 16.jpg

Postcard 1 back 6 1 16

Has anyone seen this code writing before and if so can you help to decipher these messages?

Postcard 2 front 6 1 16

Postcard 2 back 6 1 16

I am also interested to try and find out more about Gunner COONEY and his possible WW1 service.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks


Posted in World War 1 | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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