Cyril Vincent COPPIN died aged only 29 in 1923 – is there a WW1 connection?

I have recently found a few old Memorial cards at a Car Boot Sale in Leigh on Sea in Essex and was intrigued by them, as the men had died quite young and not many years after the end of World war 1 in 1918 – so could their deaths have been a result of injuries received?

The first card is in ‘Affectionate Remembrance of Cyril Vincent COPPIN who died on 12th March 1923 aged 29, the beloved Husband of Mrs Beatrice COPPIN of 159 Linkfield Road in Isleworth.


The verse inside reads:

In Prime of years I was cut down, No Longer could I stay; Because it was my Saviour’s will, To call me hence away.

COPPIN 1.jpg

Having checked records online I found that Cyril Vincent COPPIN was born in the April quarter of 1893 in the Brentford Registration District.

The 1911 census shows Cyril Vincent COPPIN aged 18 living at 48 North Street in Isleworth and his occupation is shown as an Assistant Butcher – his parents were Walker and Elizabeth Mercy COPPIN and he has siblings Daisy Florence aged 16, Hilda Lilian aged 14, Herbert William aged 12 and Geoffrey Davis COPPIN aged 10.

COPPIN 1911 census.jpg

Source Information: 1911 England Census Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 6810; Schedule Number: 182

Walker COPPIN had married Elizabeth Mercy DAVIS in the June quarter of 1892 in the Brentford Registration District and his occupation in 1911 was a House Painter.

Cyril Vincent COPPIN had married Beatrice M REES in the June quarter of 1919, again in the Brentford Registration District, so was this possibly after his return from World War 1?

I then found a World War 1 Medal Card for Cyril Vincent COPPIN, which interestingly had the abbreviation SWB on it, which proved that he had been awarded the Silver War Badge for injuries received during the War and from this information I found a corresponding document.

COPPIN WW1 Medal card

Source Information: British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 Original data: Army Medal Office. WWI Medal Index Cards. In the care of The Western Front Association website.


Source Information: UK, Silver War Badge Records, 1914-1920 Original data: War Office and Air Ministry: Service Medal and Award Rolls, First World War. Silver War Badge. RG WO 329, 2958–3255. The National Archives, Kew, Surrey, England.

Cyril Vincent COPPIN was Gunner 931721 in the Royal Artillery (Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery) and the Silver War Badge listing confirms that he had been wounded – however it does not gives specific details of the injuries received and I am therefore intrigued to see if his death in 1923 aged 29 was as a result of these injuries.

To find out I will need to order a copy of his death certificate as I have been unable to find anything in the old newspapers online.

I was however able to find out that Cyril did return to his pre-war trade as a Butcher as I found him in a 1920 London City Business Directory, together with his address of 159 Linkfield Road in Isleworth.

COPPIN Butcher

Source Citation: London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; London City Directories Source Information: London, England, City Directories, 1736-1943

Also I was able to find that Cyril and Beatrice had one son Ronald V COPPIN who was born in the June quarter of 1921 in the Brentford Registration District and he went on to marry Lilian J M LANE in the March quarter of 1947 in the Uxbridge Registration District.

If anyone has a connection to the COPPIN family and would like this Memorial card to add to their family research it would be great to hear from them and I will post an update if I discover any new information regarding Cyril Vincent COPPIN and his time during World War 1.

Simon Last

Posted in 159 Linkfield Road, COPPIN, Isleworth, REES, Silver War Badge, World War 1 | 1 Comment

Old photograph dated August 1872 of Claude E LEWIS – could it be Claude Edmund LEWIS Clergyman?

A recent old photograph I found had the name Claude E LEWIS written on the reverse together with the date August 1872 and loving a challenge as I do could I possibly identify this Claude, his family and possibly any living relatives!

Claude E LEWIS photo 18 5 18

Firstly I looked for any births of Claude E LEWIS between 1862 and 1872 guessing that the boy in the photograph could be aged anything from 10 years downwards – I found one possible match for a Claude Edmund LEWIS born in the January quarter of 1863 (would make him aged about 9 in 1872) in the Shardlow Registration District – Shardlow spans the boundaries of the counties of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire so knowing that this photograph was taken by G & R LAVIS based in Regent Street, London and in Eastbourne, I was not sure if this could be my Claude.

Claude E LEWIS photo reverse 18 5 18

Therefore my next step was to check census records from 1871 onwards and the nearest match I could find in 1871 was for a Claude Edward LEWIS born about 1863 in Little Eaton in Derbyshire with parents Samuel and Susan LEWIS – was the middle name a transcription error?

I then looked at the 1881 census and found the same Claude now with the middle name Edmund instead of Edward, aged 18 born in Little Eaton Derbyshire as a ‘live in’ pupil at Felstead Grammar School in Dunmow in Essex  – this result was now getting closer to the London photographer possibly!!

In 1891 Claude E LEWIS was now aged 28 living in Hitchin in Hertfordshire as head of house but staying with him was a visitor called Thomas E LEWIS aged 24 who was born in Chigwell Row in Essex – interestingly Claude’s occupation is given as a Clerk in Holy Orders.

From this clue I have come across a reference to Claude Edmund LEWIS in the Cambridge Alumni as follows:

Adm. pens. at CORPUS CHRISTI, Oct. 2, 1882. Of Derbyshire. [Eldest s. of Samuel, of Edghill, Duffield (and Susan, dau. of the Rev. John Edmund Carr).] B. Feb. 13, 1863. Bapt. Mar. 1863, at Chigwell, Essex. Schools [Charterhouse], Felsted and Clifton College (1874). Matric. Michs. 1882; B.A. 1885. Ord. deacon (Colchester) 1886; priest (St Albans) 1887; C. of Hitchin, Herts., 1886-94. V. of St Catharine’s, Nottingham, 1894-1904. V. of Parwich with Alsop-en-le-Dale, Derbs., 1904-11. Lic. pr., dio. Southwell, 1911-16. Perm. to off. as C.-in-charge of Cascob, Radnor., 1924-47. Inherited Parwich Hall under the will of his cousin Sir Thomas William Evans, Bart., of Allestree Hall, Derbs., who died 1892. Joint patron of Parwich and Alsop-en-le-Dale. J.P. for Radnorshire, 1918. High Sheriff, 1921. Of Evancoyd, Walton, Radnorshire, in 1945. Died Dec. 7, 1947. Brother of Eric (1883), Gerald W. (1892), Thomas A. (1889) and Ernest C. (1884). (Clifton Coll. Reg.; List of Carthusians; Burke, L.G.; Fox-Davies, Armorial Families; Kelly, Handbook; Walford, 1907.)

Source Information: Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900 Original data: Venn, J. A., comp.. Alumni Cantabrigienses. London, England: Cambridge University Press, 1922-1954.

By the 1911 census Claude Edmund LEWIS had been married for ten years to Elizabeth Mary LEWIS (nee GRAY) and living with him was his mother Susan LEWIS aged 77 and one child Claud John Ledston LEWIS aged 5 – they are living in Ashbourne in Derbyshire and Claude’s occupation is a Clergyman. Claude married Elizabeth Mary GRAY in the January quarter of 1901 in Derbyshire.

Claude Edmund LEWIS 1911 Census.jpg

Source Information: 1911 England Census Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 21050

On the 1939 WW2 Register Claude is listed without the E on his name and his actual date of birth is given as 13th February 1863 and he is living in Radnorshire in Wales, working as Clerk in Holy Orders, living with Elizabeth his wife and other LEWIS family.

Claude Edmund LEWIS died on 7th December 1947 aged 84 in Radnorshire Wales.

Therefore could this intriguing photograph of a little boy holding his straw boater  in 1872 be Claude Edmund LEWIS the clergyman – if anyone has a family connection or any more information it would be great to hear from them and maybe the image can be hopefully reunited with a living LEWIS descendant.

Simon Last

Posted in Claude Edmund LEWIS, Clergyman, G & R Lavis Photographer, GRAY, Little Eaton Derbyshire, Radnorshire, Wales | 2 Comments

Gunner E H ROBINSON didn’t want to miss his post from home!

Another recent postcard find intrigued me as it appeared to have been sent by the writer E H ROBINSON to himself – however on reading the message in full it would seem he was sending the postcard home, in an envelope, to give his wife his correct full postal address so that he would not miss any post that she sent to him.

The postcard image shows Deepcut Camp where Gunner E H ROBINSON number: 133384 of the 436 Seige Battery was based and the message reads as follows:

Deepcut postcard front 6 4 18

Deepcut postcard reverse 6 4 18

Be sure and put 436 Seige Battery on your letters you missed putting the 436 on your last letter so I will close for tonight hoping you are all well as this leaves me the same with best love I remain your loving Husband Ephraim xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Deepcut postcard message 6 4 18

It obviously means that his previous letter from home had been delayed getting to him and understandably he did not want this to happen again – having solved that mystery I was now keen to discover more about Ephraim and to see if he survived WW1.

Ephraim Hodgson ROBINSON was born in the April quarter of 1888 in Clitheroe Registration District in Lancashire and the 1891 census shows him aged 2 living in Easington in Yorkshire with his mother Margaret a widow aged 35 and his siblings Mary aged 10, John aged 7, Thomas aged 5 and Herbert aged 1.

By the 1911 census Ephraim was aged 23 and working as a Farm Labourer Slaidburn  in  Clitheroe and his actual birth place confirmed as Tosside in Yorkshire, which is on the border with Lancashire.

I have found Ephraim’s WW1 Service Record which shows he enlisted in 1916 aged 28 and his address at that time was Tile House in Wigglesworth, Long Preston in Yorkshire and his occupation was now shown as a Roadman – the documents state that he was married and I have discovered that he married Mary A LAMBERT in the April quarter of 1912 in Clitheroe Registration District.

From this marriage I have so far found one son George E ROBINSON who was born in the April quarter of 1913, again in the Clitheroe Registration District.

I was then so pleased to find that Ephraim Hodgson ROBINSON survived WW1 as records show that he died in September 1966 aged 78 in Staincliffe in Yorkshire – I now need to do some more research to see what happened to his wife Mary and his son George to see if I can possibly reunite this lovely old postcard with a living relative.

I will keep you updated!!

Simon Last

Charnwood Genealogy



Posted in Clitheroe, Deepcut Camp, LAMBERT, One Name Study, Postcard, ROBINSON, Seige Battery, Tosside, World War 1, WW1 postcard | 3 Comments

Brother William Carleton BARRETT – Reuniting a face with a name on a fantastic WW1 project!

Following a fascinating and informative AGRA (Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives) visit to Freemasons Hall in London last month, I was therefore intrigued to recently find this lovely photographic postcard with lots of information written on the back!

William Carleton BARRETT postcard front

The photograph states the following:

Brother William Carleton BARRETT Captain in Merchant Services

Initiated in St Botolph’s Lodge 10th October 1892

Drowned 22nd May 1917 – Boat torpedoed by German Submarine in Channel during Great War 1914-18

The only Brother lost by St Botolph’s Lodge 588

William Carleton BARRETT postcard reverse

During our visit to Freemasons Hall Susan the Archivist and Records Manager very kindly welcomed enquires about any Masonic connections we found during future research and when I contacted her earlier this week she was very helpful in providing further avenues of research I could pursue.

One of the most interesting leads was the link to the ‘The Masonic Great War Project’ where she said that there was already an online profile containing lots of information about William Carleton BARRETT, his family and life, but unfortunately there was no photograph available to be linked to this profile.

I have now contacted the website project directly and offered copies of the photograph to be added to his profile and if no relative can be found to reunite the photograph, Freemasons Hall have expressed their interest in adding it to their ever growing archive.

Here is the link to the  The Masonic Great War Project , but in the meantime here are a few details about William Carleton BARRETT that you may find interesting:

William Carleton BARRETT was the son of James Carleton BARRETT, Surgeon, R.N. of Baltimore, Ireland; At the time he joined Freemasonry in 1892 he was living at 2 Park Road Villas, Peterborough and is listed as a Captain in the Merchant Marine Service. He married Letitia Kate SUMNER in 1899 and one daughter Eileen born on 7th October 1896, but who unfortunately died young on 16th November 1901.

To find out more about his Masonic and Naval career please follow the link above……

As always I find it very rewarding when these old photographic postcard finds can be reunited with a  family member or indeed add a face to information in other researcher’s projects and on their websites.

Simon Last

Posted in AGRA, BARRETT, Medals, Merchant Service, Old Photograph, One Name Study, Postcard, St Botolphs Lodge, The Masonic Great War Project, World War 1, WW1 Photograph, WW1 postcard | Leave a comment

Another long shot, but could you have a connection to any of these old photographs?

Following previous blog posts on old photographs that I have found on my travels and some being sent off to new homes or people with a surname connection, I am now sharing ten more that I have recently found and hope someone might make a link!

Could you have a connection? Do you recognise a familiar face from your own family tree? Do you have a particular interest in any of the photographic studios shown? – if you do please get in touch, as I would love to reunite / rehome any many as possible – although I know this is a long shot!!

1 20 3 18


2 20 3 18


3 20 3 18


4 20 3 18


5 20 3 18


6 20 3 18


7 20 3 18


8 20 3 18


9 20 3 18.jpg


10 20 3 18


I hope to hear from someone with a connection and will keep you updated!!

Simon Last

Posted in Anthony Percival, Birkenhead, HARDY, JACKSON, Liverpool, Old Photograph, One Name Study, Plymouth, Torquay, VANDERBILT | 1 Comment

UPDATE: Looking for a DIX family from Staffordshire not Suffolk!

Further to my recent blog post about a DIX family photograph I had recently found that was unconnected to my own family tree, I am now pleased to say that the photograph has now been reunited with the correct family.

DIX and RINGROSE photo 6 3 18

DIX and RINGROSE photo reverse 6 3 18

When researching for my previous blog I found a family tree on Ancestry that contained the names DIX and RINGROSE as written on the reverse of the photograph so I sent a message to the tree owner to find out more.

It was great to then hear back from Daniel who instantly knew the names on the photograph and confirmed there was indeed a connection to his family tree and he kindly provided the following details:

The Mrs RINGROSE in question is undoubtly Florence RINGROSE nee DIX whio is known in my family as “Aunt Floss” – she and her husband, Frank RINGROSE, only had one son, Frank Rudolph RINGROSE who sadly died (unmarried) in a flying accident during WW2, so there aren’t any living descendents. However Floss and Frank were very close to their neice and nephew – my grandmother and great uncle – who died in 2012 and 2016 respectively. Frank and Floss are still fondly remembered in the family to this day.

Daniel acts as the archivist for his family so I have sent the photograph on to him for his family records and he kindly sent me two photographs of Florence ‘Floss’ RINGROSE and her husband Frank in later life, which he has very kindly given me permission to share on this update blog post.

01 Floss Dan EVANS 20 3 18

Florence ‘Floss’ RINGROSE nee DIX

02 Frank & Floss RINGROSE Dan EVANS 20 3 18

Frank and  Florence RINGROSE

I have also further investigated the sad death of Florence’s son Frank Rudolph RINGROSE in World War 2 and found the following newspaper reports:

RINGROSE Walsall Observer, and South Staffordshire Chronicle Saturday 27th November 1943

Walsall Observer and South Staffordshire Courier Saturday 27th November 1943

RINGROSE Walsall Observer, and South Staffordshire Chronicle Saturday 6th May 1944

Walsall Observer and South Staffordshire Courier Saturday 6th May 1944

RINGROSE Walsall Observer, and South Staffordshire Chronicle - Saturday 4th December 1943

Walsall Observer and South Staffordshire Courier Saturday 4th December 1943

Many thanks to Daniel for sharing his family information with me and it is great to know that this old family photograph is now back with the relatives where it belongs.

Simon Last


Posted in DIX, One Name Study, Postcard, RINGROSE, Walsall Staffordshire, World War 2 | Leave a comment

Looking for a DIX family from Staffordshire not Suffolk!!

Having DIX  ancestors in my paternal family tree from Dunwich in Suffolk I was intrigued to recently find a super old photo postcard with writing on the back which read:DIX and RINGROSE photo 6 3 18

Mr & Mrs George DIX my God Mother Mrs RINGROSE Mum & Dad

DIX and RINGROSE photo reverse 6 3 18

Was this George DIX a possible connection to my own Suffolk Dix relatives!!

However on further investigation I firstly looked for a marriage record for a DIX to a RINGROSE and found that Florence E DIX married Frank RINGROSE in the December quarter of 1922 in the Walsall Registration District.

Florence Emily RINGROSE nee DIX died on 22nd March 1986 aged 91, again in the Walsall Registration District and her date of birth is shown as 16th August 1894.

Using her year of birth of 1894 I found Florence DIX on the 1911 census aged 16, occupation Milliner living with:

Father George DIX aged 53 an Engine Drive on the Railways born in Stowe in Staffordshire

Mother Mary DIX aged 52 and three brothers George aged 22, Arthur aged 20 and Frederick aged 13 – their address was 26 William Street in Walsall Staffordshire.

I also found a passenger list to Canada in 1957 which shows Florence E and Frank RINGROSE and confirms Frank’s date of birth as 11th January 1890 and their address was 273 West Bromwich Road in Walsall in Staffordshire – their occupations are shown as Retired and Housewife.

I have also found one child for Florence and Frank a son Randolph F RINGROSE born in the September quarter of 1923 again in the Walsall Registration District.

As far I am know there is no link to my own Suffolk DIX family and on a quick scan of family trees on the Ancestry website I have found an amazing family tree for the RINGROSE family which has lots of photos, but none of Florence Emily DIX and Frank H RINGROSE, so I will be sending a message to see if they would like a copy if my old photo postcard to add to their family tree research – it would be great if they know who the mystery God Child is and where the photo may have originated from!!

I will keep you updated on developments……….

Simon LAST


Posted in 26 William Street, 273 West Bromwich Road, DIX, One Name Study, Postcard, RINGROSE, Walsall Staffordshire | Leave a comment