WW1 Postcard Research – Nathaniel Thomas ROPER

I have recently bought a group of WW1 postcards on EBay and as always when they arrive I am just as intrigued by the names and addresses on the back, as much as the pictures or photos on the front – someone recently said in a comment on Twitter ‘Just one postcard keeps Simon Last out of mischief!’ – how right they are!

Several of these WW1 postcards were sent to a Mr and Mrs John BAKER from their son Jack, so I am now investigating to see if he survived the war or to try and find out any other information I can about his family.

Postcard 1 Postcard 1 reverse

Postcard 2   Postcard 3

Amongst the postcards was also a photo postcard of the WW1 grave of T ROPER who died on 1st May 1917 in Salonika – I have found his Commonwealth War Graves Commission Certificate which shows his service number as 16124 and that he was part of the 11th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment.

His full name was Nathaniel Thomas ROPER and he died on 1st May 1917 aged 20 – he was the son of Henry and Ellen ROPER of 103 Upper Green Lane, Birchills, Walsall,Staffordshire and he was a native of Kingswinford, Dudley in Worcestershire.

He is Remembered with Honour at Sarigol Military Cemetery in Kriston.

Postcard 4

I have also found him and his family on the 1911 census where Nathaniel and his father Henry’s occupations are shown as Carriage and Wagon Drivers – he also has a sister called Elsie aged 10.

His mother’s full name is Ellen Elizabeth and it states that Henry and Ellen ROPER had had 7 children, 6 of whom were still living.

1911 Census

More investigation is needed into the family of Nathaniel Thomas ROPER, but I have already managed to locate his name in four family trees on Ancestry and have sent them all a message asking if they would like a copy of this postcard for their family records and history – I hope someone replies as I would be delighted if I was contacted about a link to my own family tree.

I will keep you updated!




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Floods in Framlingham!

I have recently found this old postcard of the floods in Framlingham taken by John Self outside Bonney’s Bakery at the bottom of Fore Street – it was a while before I noticed the two gentlemen standing on the wall outside the cottage!

Framlingham Flood 1905

I was intrigued to see if I could find any information or reports about floods in Framlingham over the years in the local newspapers and although I believe the postcard photograph was taken in 1905, I found an interesting report from the Framlingham Weekly News of Saturday 26th August 1865.

Framlingham Weekly News 26 8 1865

A Flood! Such was the heavy fall of rain on Wednesday night and Thursday morning last, that the Mere was completely flooded and presented such a sight as rarely seen in winter!

The road at Saxtead Bottoms was quite impassable to pedestrians for several hours. This unfavourable weather will render most of the cut barley useless for anything but feeding purposes on the farm; and what wheat has not been got under cover, which we are sorry to find is not by any means a small quantity, will be almost, if not entirely spoiled.

Such a circumstance in the midst of harvest operations is not remembered by the oldest inhabitant of Framlingham. What, with high priced meat and the prospect of a dear soft loaf, will the poor husbandmen do with their largesses? We trust they will see the propriety of putting it by on account of these rainy days.

In August 1865 this amount of rain during the summer months seems to have been such a rarity – how times have changed!

Simon Last

www.charnwood-genealogy.com     charnwoodresearch@virginmedia.com

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Bloomville Hall Hacheston Suffolk – Postcard Research

A few months ago I bought a postcard listed as being from Hacheston in Suffolk, which had Bloomville Hall Hacheston written on the front.

Bloomville Hall Hacheston  Bloomville Hall Hacheston reverse

After searching the British Newspaper Archive website using this name I have been able to find various death and marriage notices, which mention Bloomville Hall in Hacheston and give an insight into the families that have lived there over the years.

Firstly I found the marriage on 6th May 1851 between Thomas ROSE and Harriet Anne HANBURY widow of Edward HANBURY Esq. of Bloomville Hall and sixth daughter of John COBBOLD Esq,

10 May 1851 Ipswich Journal

Ipswich Journal -Saturday 10th May 1851

Next I found an entry dated 2nd May 1873 announcing the death of Mary BARTHROPP in her 82nd year the only daughter of Nathaniel BARTHROPP of Bloomville Hall

6 May 1873 Ipswich Journal

Ipswich Journal – Tuesday 6th May 1873

From 6th May 1873 I found the death notice for William Woodger THURLOW the dearly beloved son of Thomas William and Amy THURLOW of Bloomville Hall aged 7 months and 13 days

11 September 1880 Ipswich Journal

Ipswich Journal – Saturday 11th September 1880

Finally I found a death from 23rd December 1900 for Thomas William THURLOW formerly of Bloomville Hall Hacheston aged 56 years

 29 December 1900 Ipswich Journal

Ipswich Journal – Saturday 29th December 1900

My next job is to check out all the census documents relating to Hacheston and Bloomville Hall, but these newspaper announcements have given me some really interesting names as a starting point.

I will keep you updated on developments and any new discoveries!

Simon Last



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More SPINDLER postcards with a family link discovered!

Further to my blog post in April about a postcard I had found on eBay sent to a Lewis SPINDLER who is connected to my paternal Great Grandmother’s  family tree in Westleton and Dunwich in Suffolk, I have been really pleased to find another three postcards this time sent to Mrs L SPINDLER.

It is great because the senders have dated all three postcards:

The first is dated 10th April 1913 and appears to be sent from Canada – possibly showing the sender on front in photograph:

Spindler 1 12 6 15  Spindler 1 reverse 12 6 15

The second is dated 1st August 1918 arranging a meeting at 2pm on the following day:

Spindler 3 12 6 15  Spindler 3 reverse 12 6 15

The third is dated 1st January 1919 and has an interesting photograph on the front:

Spindler 2 12 6 15  Spindler 2 reverse 12 6 15

I am now investigating further, but believe all these postcards were sent to Lewis SPINDLER’s wife Ada either by Lewis or other family members – I will keep you updated on anything I discover!


charnwoodresearch@virginmedia.com      http://www.charnwood-genealogy.com

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Parham Bridge in Suffolk – Then and Now!

Here is an old postcard I found in Suffolk last weekend showing Parham Bridge in Suffolk, the village I am researching for my One Place Study that was posted in 1911.



Parham Bridge 7 6 15  Parham Brdige Reverse 7 6 15

I was able to take a quick couple of photos of the same view today, which has not changed much over the years!

IMG_2768  IMG_2772.JPG

I am always looking for information or old photographs of the village so if you can help please get in touch – many thanks.


charnwoodresearch@virginmedia.com     http://www.charnwood-genealogy.com

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Fifty Years as Organist – update

Further to my recent blog  about Mr and Mrs T J Wright who had been organists at St Michael’s Church in Framlingham for fifty years, I have received some new information about the family.
John Bridges from the Framlingham Historical Society has very kindly sent me some items from the James Breese Collection that mentions the family.
Thomas’s father Samuel W Wright had a Music Warehouse in Wells Close Square in Framlingham (where the Paddy and Scotts Café is now situated) and the receipt below dated 19th March 1892 gives a lot of detail about the business.

From James Breese Collection

John also very kindly sent me a programme from a concert in the Castle Hall in Framlingham from Monday 10th February 1868, which states that Samuel W Wright has great pleasure in announcing his Annual Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Music.
The conductor is Mr S W Wright and the Piano Forte is played by Mr G Sothern and Miss Wright.
From John BridgesThese documents prove that the Wright family played a large part in the musical life of Framlingham for many years and is with thanks to the James Breese Collection that they have been saved for future generations to see.
Simon Last


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Another postcard find! – Miss Annie LAST of East End Farm, Stonham Aspall, Suffolk

Many postcard sellers now list postcards for sale not only by the picture on the front but also by the name and address of the receipiant on the back, which is great for all of us that are carrying out a One Name Study into a surname. However some surnames are easier to search than others with LAST not being one of those, because as soon as you enter the word LAST into the search options many other items appear containing this word!

However last week I thought I would have another go at this search and after trawling through many unrelated items I struck gold and found a postcard listed addressed to Miss Annie LAST of East End Farm in Stonham Aspall in Suffolk – as it was a ‘Buy it Now’ item I wasted no item and pushed the button.

image image

The postcard duly arrived in the post with a postmark form 1904 and a pleasant scene of Blackpool Sands on the front – immediately I started my investigations into Annie LAST to find out more about her and her family and to see if we were linked in any way!

Annie was born in 1875 in Combs in Suffolk the daughter of George and Maria Thirza LAST (nee FEARVEARYEAR) who married in 1863 – the 1891 and 1901 census records show Annie living in Stonham Aspall in Suffolk with siblings including William, Ellen, Harry, Laura, Mabella, Benjamin, Frank, Alice and George.

As the postcard had been sent from Blackpool by a Nellie could this have been her sister Ellen?

I then looked to see if Annie appeared in my own extended family tree, which she did and it appears she is my 5th cousin 2x removed – however it appears that her mother Maria FEARVEARYEAR’s line also has a LAST connection as her Grandmother was a Frances LAST who was 2nd cousin 5x removed!

As  I have struck lucky on eBay with two family related postcards in the last fortnight I am keeping my fingers crossed to discover a third one with a connection!

Simon LAST



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