Sorting through some old postcards today I found this card sent from Rome in Italy in 1910 to Henry LONGLEY at Tower House in Tunbridge Wells in Kent – in these strange days of Coronavirus this postcard struck a chord with me as so so many people across the world are unable to travel at this time and very few postcards will be sent home to relatives and friends.
What could I discover about the LONGLEY family and the sender of the postcard his loving Grandson Eric W L COOK?
I was quickly able to find the 1911 census record as below which showed Henry LONGLEY as Father in Law and a Widower aged 78 living at Tower House in Tunbridge Wells in Kent with his Son in law Herbert William COOK aged 40, his daughter Alice Gertrude COOK nee LONGLEY aged 42 and their children Eric William Longley COOK (the sender of the postcard) aged 12, Enid Margaret COOK aged 9 and Laurence Herbert COOK aged 1.
Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 4046; Schedule Number: 319 Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1911 England Census
Herbert William COOK’s occupation is shown as a Director of Education for the County Council – had his son Eric been on a school trip in 1910 when he sent the postcard as he would only have been aged 11 years?
The LONGLEY family originated from Henfield in Sussex and Henry LONGLEY had married Susannah Margaret DICK in the Chelsea Registration District in 1865 – they then had the following children including:
Susan Mary LONGLEY in 1867, Alice Gertrude LONGLEY in 1868, Lucy Margaret LONGLEY in 1870, John Arthur D LONGLEY in 1873, Frank Ernest LONGLEY in 1880 – the 1881 census record shows Henry LONGELY’s occupation as a Draper and Farmer of 28 acres employing 34 hands in Henfield in Sussex.
Source Citation: Class: RG11; Piece: 1105; Folio: 47; Page: 5; GSU roll: 1341260 Source Information: Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1881 England Census
Then I made an amazing discovery when researching Eric William Longley COOK further – he was born on 6th October 1898 and died on 20th April 1983 and he had a Naval career as shown on Wikipedia and became a Vice-Admiral as per the information here Eric Longley-Cook
On another website I have been able to find a photograph of Eric and further information about his Naval career during World War 2 at this link Eric Longley-Cook
Eric married Helga M LOWLES in the September quarter of 1920 in the Windsor Registration District and I will now investigate further to see if he had children.
As I always say to people you need very little information to get your family research started as this postcard very well proves!
My next mission is to try and reunite this lovely old postcard with a family member for their family archive – so if you have a connection please send me a message or email as I would love to hear from you.