Death of Lord Kitchener – 5th June 1916

As you will know 2016 is the year that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme launched on 1st July 1916, during World War 1.

 Lord Kitchener WW1 poster

However I was also intrigued to learn from some recent research that Lord Kitchener, made famous by the World War 1 recruiting poster above, died only weeks before this on the 5th June 1916, as the Framlingham Weekly News article below reported.

 Framlingham Weekly News Saturday 10th June 1916

Framlingham Weekly News – Saturday 10th June 1916

Lord Kitchener had been aboard the ship H.M.S Hampshire on its way to Russia when it sank west of the Orkneys, hit either by a mine or a torpedo.

Passengers on the afternoon train to Framlingham brought this message that caused a profound shock and the news spread very quickly throughout the town and neighbourhood.

Days long before mobile phones and social media spread the news instantly across the globe!

Simon Last

Posted in Framlingham, Lord Kitchener, World War 1 | Leave a comment

H F G Seargeant: 12 Churchill Street Leicester – Xmas 1909

On my way back from the Who Do You Think You Are? Exhibition in Birmingham this weekend I took a more leisurely journey home enjoying the sunshine and stopping at a few antiques fairs and centres en route, to see if I could find any interesting old postcards to research or that may be linked to Framlingham in Suffolk, Parham my One Place Study or LAST my One Name Study.

I had no luck finding anything directly linked to my own research, but I am always intrigued when I find amongst many old photo postcards any that have a name, address or even a date on the back, that may help me to research them further and possibly reunite them with a  family member – as in my recent Crippin & Co photo discovery and Canadian reunion!

The photo I found yesterday was taken at the Studios of S A C Williams of 90 Granby Street in Leicester as below:

H F G Seargeant photo 1909

On the back is written:

12 Churchill Street, Leicester, Xmas 1909

With best wishes for Christmas & the New Year

H F G Seargeant

H F G Seargeant photo 1909 reverse

Using this name and searching online birth records I have found the birth of a Harry Frederick G Seargeant in the March quarter of 1879 in the Peterbro’ Registration District – if this was my man he would have been aged 30 in 1909.

Looking at census records using this name and birth year I have found a Harry Frederick Goodyer Seargeant on the 1901 census, aged 22, living with his mother Mary Ann Seargeant and his siblings William Thomas Keach Seargeant aged 23, Grace Gandern Seargeant aged 20 and Joseph Edward Seargeant aged 14.

Harry’s occupation is given as a Sorting Clerk for the G.P.O and a Telegraphist.

1901 census Seargeant

Source Citation: Ancestry 1901 Census Class: RG13; Piece: 1462; Folio: 7; Page: 5

From this I have also found Harry’s entry in the British Postal Service Appointment Books, 1737-1969

Seargeant GPO record

Source: Ancestry – British Postal Service Appointment Books, 1737-1969

Harry’s baptism record from 15th April 1879 in Brigstock Northamptonshire shows his parents as William and Mary Ann Seargeant and using these details I have found a marriage in the September quarter of 1876 in the Thrapston Registration District for a William John Seargeant and a Mary Ann Keach – one of the middle names given to Harry’s brother William.

Using all this information I have found one family tree on Ancestry with a  possible match to Harry F G Seargeant and as it is marked as a private tree I can check no further details  at this stage, so I have sent a message to the owner to see if they can provide any more details about Harry, with a view to reuniting the photo if it is a positive match!

I will keep you updated on developments in due course.

Simon Last  


Posted in Granby Street Leicester, Leicester, SEARGEANT | 3 Comments

Eggs’ Unexpected Fall – Framlingham May 1916

Following my blog post in February this year about eggs being collected for the WW1 wounded several people commented to me about  the logistics that must have been involved to make the sure the eggs arrived in France still fresh and unbroken.

Further to this I have recently found the following article in the Framlingham Weekly News from Saturday 20th May 1916 captioned ‘Eggs’ Unexpected Fall’, which shows the transport of eggs around Framlingham was not always an easy one, let alone a journey to France or Belgium!

Framlingham Weekly News - Saturday 20th May 1916

Framlingham Weekly News Saturday 20th May 1916

The danger of using a 2-wheeled vehicle for the collection and conveyance of eggs on a large scale has once again been brought to notice by a scene in College Road on Tuesday, when hundreds of eggs were dislodged from the Co-operative Society’s cart in charge of John Scoggins and scattered about the road owing to the horse making a false step and falling. The accident – a somewhat costly one it is feared – was witnessed by several persons, and the curiosity of many others on hearing of it also took them to the spot.

The Framlingham & District Co-operative Society Ltd

John Bridges

The Framlingham & District Co-operative Society Limited had their main depot in Station Road from 1904 and was claimed to be the most successful egg collection society in England, handling nearly 5 million eggs each year by 1912.

Photo & Information curtesy of John Bridges and the Framlingham Historical Archive website:

Simon Last       

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

Crippin & Co Photographer – photo reunited!

Over the Easter weekend I visited an Antiques Fair in Ingatestone in Essex and found several old family photographs for sale – sadly they usually have no family details written on the back and remain lost to the family history forever.

However I was intrigued by one group family photo with the photographer’s details of Crippin & Co – Spring Bank Pemberton and I was also delighted to find that someone had written George Thomas TAYLOR & family on the back.

George Thomas TAYLOR photo 28 3 16

George Thomas TAYLOR photo photographer details 28 3 16

George Thomas TAYLOR photo reverse 28 3 16

I was hooked and after speaking to the stall holder about family history and genealogy she very kindly sold me the photo for a £1, so I could take it way to investigate and hopefully reunite it with a family member.

The mention of Spring Bank Pemberton at first led me to believe that maybe this was an overseas photograph, possibly from Australia or America- however on searching Google I found mention of such place near Wigan in Lancashire.

Using this information I looked at the census records on Ancestry for any George Thomas TAYLOR’s from Lancashire and found a 1901 census record for a George Thomas TAYLOR aged 44, a Widower, working as a Colliery Cashier with children Edwin 21, Fanny 20, Herbert 17, Beatrice Annie 16, Mabel Alice 14. Ellen 12, George 10 and Gertrude Mary 7.

1901 census George Thomas TAYLOR

Source: Ancestry – 1901 Census Class: RG13; Piece: 3561; Folio: 9; Page: 10

My photograph shows a gentleman with eight children, so it all seemed to fit with this information. George Thomas TAYLOR had been born about 1857 in Golborne in Lancashire and using the ages on the census record it dated the photograph around 1895.

Researching further I found that George Thomas TAYLOR married Annie PITT in the April quarter of 1879 in the Leigh, Lancashire Registration District.

I then found the 1891 census with George Thomas aged 34 and Annie TAYLOR aged 33, which shows she died after 1891 and dates my photograph around 1895 as I suspected.

1891 census George Thomas TAYLOR

Source: Ancestry 1891 Census Class: RG12; Piece: 3058; Folio: 5; Page: 3; GSU roll: 6098168

My task now was to try and find an online family tree that mentioned this family and quite quickly I found a few trees that did include this George Thomas TAYLOR, including one that had a photocopied image of my actual photograph – I quickly dispatched massages to the owners of these family trees and have already received back two replies from family connections in Ontario in Canada and Queensland in Australia.

Hopefully once I have received some further information from them I will be able to establish the closest family connection to the TAYLOR family and I will be able to post off and reunite this amazing old photograph with a living relative.

This is why I enjoy genealogy so much – the unexpected finds and connections you can make right across the world!!

Simon Last 


Posted in Crippin & Co Spring Bank Pemberton, George Thomas TAYLOR, Wigan Lancashire | 5 Comments

WW1 1914 German postcard – transcription help needed!

Yesterday whilst visiting a local Antiques Fair in Essex I was looking through a large box of military related postcards on one of the stalls, to see if I could find anything linked to my WW1 research.

Amongst them I found an intriguing postcard of Kaiser Wilhelm dated 1914 with a message and his signature.

Wilhelm postcard front

Wilhelm postcard back

I am therefore thinking that this was possibly a morale boosting postcard shared with German Soldiers and wondered if anyone is able to help me transcribe the message to discover more.

Any help greatly appreciated

Simon Last


Posted in Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm, World War 1 | 1 Comment

The Hospital Band – in need of a kettle drum!

Whilst carrying out further research into the use of Easton Park Mansion as a Red Cross Hospital during WW1, I have found the following article from the Framlingham Weekly News dated 1st April 1916, entitled ‘The Hospital Band’

Easton postcard 1911 front

It makes interesting reading about the instruments used and I wonder who the reviewer was, who stated “It would require an extremely vivid imagination to discover “music” in the weird din created by the Easton band”:

 Framlingham Weekly News - Saturday 1st April 1916

Framlingham Weekly News – 1st April 1916

Simon Last

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

Easton Suffolk WW1 postcard – translation help needed?

As part of my research into the use of Easton Park Mansion in Suffolk as a Red Cross Hospital during World War 1, I have been researching old newspaper articles to try and find mention of specific wounded soldiers’ who were treated there, by name.

Easton 4 front 26 2 16

Another way I have been trying to pinpoint these men and nurses whom worked there is to find old postcards sent from Easton during 1914 and 1918, as I know the wounded men kept in contact with their relatives across the country in this way.

I have been lucky in finding two or three such postcards so far and using the names of the recipient and the sender have been able to put family trees and information together.

However one recent postcard that I have found was sent  from Easton park to a Miss Marion A Richards in North Wales with the message in welsh and I am not sure if it relates to a wounded solider or maybe a nurse who was working at the hospital.

Can anyone help me to translate this message to see if it provides any further clues?

Easton 4 back 26 2 16

Easton 4 welsh 26 2 16

It may of course have no relevance to my research at all, but any translation help that anyone can give me, will be very gratefully received and much appreciated.

Many thanks

Simon Last



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