The Picton family

The Picton family, of whom the Revd David was killed by a hand grenade in 1916

Notes by Janet Gyford, updated September 2013 

Essex County Chronicle, 8 October 1915
page 8 (see xerox). ‘Soldiers’ concert’ Congregational Schoolroom. Lieut Col Seymour Williams presided. Singers ‘included Mrs Seabrook, Lance Corporal Webber and Pt Brooks. Miss Picton played the violin’. (Essex Weekly News, 15 October 1915 )
page 8. ‘Maldon Division Liberal Council. Presentation to Mr W Pinkham. Yesterday the annual meetings of the Maldon Division Liberal Council were held at Witham … afternoon meeting … Mr Sydney Velden, the new agent, was introduced to the members. After tea a general meeting … they were met in a social way and not to discuss party questions. The Government were doing their best, and he thought they were unanimous in according them hearty support … appreciation of Mr Tweedy Smith’s services in continuing his connection with the party in that Division … Resolution … supported by the Rev D M Picton and Mr D B Smith. 

Essex County Chronicle, 26 November 1915
page 8. ‘Congregational School, Mrs Picton presented a dressing case to Mr J W Jones, treasurer of the clothing club, and a set of brushes to Mr A Rudkin, librarian of the school, on the departure of each for the Army. The Rev D M Picton gave the men a pocket testament each’.

 Essex County Chronicle, 18 February 1916, page 8
‘Congregational Church’. Second anniversary of settlement of Rev Picton. Preaching.

 Essex County Chronicle, 16 June 1916
Including a full-length photo of the three Pictons). ‘Witham Bomb Tragedy. Inquest and funerals’. Deaths of Revd D M Picton Congregational minister, and Lieut James McLagan, R E, and serious injury to Mrs and Miss Picton’. Lieut billeted at the Manse with them. Showing a hand grenade at ten on night. The two of them killed outright. Mrs Picton injury to foot and Miss Picton to eye and arm. 17 panes of glass blown out of window.

Rev Picton 52, Lieut 22, of 3/1st Highland Field Co., attached to the 1/3rd Lowland Field Co. RE. Walter Coker chair of jury. Inspected scene etc. and viewed bodies. Jacob Marsden Picton, draper of Westminster Bridge Road, his brother. Lots of detail. The Lieut an expert.

‘Remarkable demonstration of sympathy’. Cortege from Manse, ministers etc. Down High Street to church. Flags half mast and blinds closed. Interment in All Saints. ‘It is long since such a general scene of mourning was witnessed in the town’. Rev E M Edmunds of Hadleigh, formerly of Witham, there. Address. Miss Winifred Drake at organ. Relatives from all over.

Sunday services described. Also ‘Capt Yuille, CF, at his open-air service, made an impressive allusion … also loss … McLagan’.

Letter of appreciation by WCW of Witham. Tragic. Loveable, happy knack of making friends.

 Essex Weekly News, 21 July 1916
page 6, col 6. The Picton Fund. The Picton Memorial Fund, the appeal for which was generously responded to by all classes, has now been closed, the sum contributed being £320. Mrs and Miss Picton are both making steady progress towards recovery from their injuries and shock.

Info from emails from the late Alan Smith. His mother was Gwyneth, nee Picton, Reverend David Picton’s daughter, and his father was Leslie Smith.

 11 December 2002.

Just a few words on them to amplify what you have about the bomb accident and their part in the family.

Grandpa David Picton was Welsh and, I think, was born in Cynwyl Elfed, a small village near Carmarthen. He was, again I think, a grand -son or -nephew of a brother of the General Picton who commanded the 3rd Division for Wellington in the Peninsular War and was killed at Waterloo and has a statue in Carmarthen. (Certainly his purported general’s sword came down to me but that is another story.)

Rev. David was pastor at Halesworth in Suffolk where he married Elizabeth Rignall and where my mother was born before they came to Witham. As a result of the accident my grandmother had various metal plates and tubes in her legs and my mother lost an eye and had bits of shrapnel in her legs. After the accident they both went to live with the Misses Butler who lived at Hollybank in Guithavon Valley.

Having been head girl at Milton Mount College (for the daughters of Congregational Ministers) then at Gravesend, she went on after the accident to the Royal Academy of Music where she won the medals for her years in piano and violin. Having married my father after WW1, her music as a farmer’s wife was limited, but much enjoyed, to running the Women’s Institute Choir and playing the piano at home.

Granny Picton moved to a new house, Conwyl (?English version of Cynwyl) at 7, The Avenue at Witham in the 30’s where I stayed frequently as a boy. In the 50’s my first wife, Susie, and I lived in Conwyl and where my eldest daughter and son were born and where Susie sadly died. (My present wife, Jo, was a great friend of Susie’s and was good enough to take on me and two small children – we have had 5 ever since!)

8 Jan 2003

‘What I do know is that when my father, Leslie, came out of the army and decided to be a farmer, grandpa Ernest sent him to the Writtle Agricultural College to learn the business and then bought Mounts Farm at Rayne for him to run. My father and mother [Miss Picton] were married (1921) and lived at Mounts Farm where I spent most of my first two years. (Mounts Farm is miles from anywhere so I was born (1923) at the Misses Butler’s house, Hollybank, Guithavon Valley, Witham where granny Picton was then living)’.

Summary of various info about Leslie Ernest Walter Smith who in 1921 married Gwyneth Picton, dau of Rev Picton

Born c. 1895 Witham. In army 1919. Farmer afterwards; his father sent him to Writtle Ag Coll and then bought Mounts Farm, Rayne, for him

In 1921 married Gwyneth Picton, dau of Cong min who had been killed in accident with hand grenade at the Manse in 1917.

In 1925 went to father’s farm at Moulsham Hall (though also contin to run the Rayne farm). Joseph Ernest’s four farms put into partnership of Leslie and Esmond, probably in 1920s. In 1937 was of Moat farm and Whiteheads farm

Obit says till not long before 1954 farmed Moulsham Hall Gt Leighs with his brother and also at Rayne and at Whiteheads farm Witham Sold the first two not long before 1954 and moved to Littlestones, Avenue Road, Witham, and cont to farm Whiteheads,

Died August 1954 aged 59 when of Littlestones, Avenue Road

1930 electoral register
Elizabeth Mary Picton at Conwyl, The Avenue.


 Mrs Ena MacPherson, nee Beard, born 1915

“But the Manse, oh, did you hear about the Reverend Picton that lived there? (Q: Oh yes, with the hand, the hand grenade, yes. [killed 1916]. And I was the last one he held. My mother went there to tea that day, and he nursed me, I was one. And I’d just gone home, mother had taken me home, and that happened. (Q: Oh dear.) Dreadful. Mrs Picton used to sit behind us in the chapel.”

Gerald Palmer CBE, born 1910

“That same minister, a Reverend Picton, had officers billeted on him in the Manse, now 2 Newland Street. One evening, I think in June 1916, one of the officers took a grenade in to show them. He evidently mistakenly thought it was a dummy, and as he was explaining how it worked, he took out the pin. The officer and the minister were killed outright, his wife and daughter seriously injured. My parents somewhat foolishly took me next day to see the shattered windows of the house, and I remember being terribly upset by the affair.”

Mrs Annie Ralling, nee Baldwin, born 1900

“Then we had the Reverend Picton and he was killed during the First World War. A bomb went off near the War Memorial, you know. That first house there was the Manse at one time and there was a young officer and I think he was engaged to Mr Picton’s daughter and he was there describing the workings of a hand grenade and it exploded and blew the dining room. Miss Picton lost the sight of one eye and I think Mrs Picton was hurt in the foot and this young officer was killed and so was Mr Picton. Oh it was dreadful for the town. It was indoors in the dining room. The whole of the front of that house was blown out. [2 Newland Street]. Shelley’s, yes that’s right. He was ever such a nice man Mr Picton. He taught Connie Wright that I spoke about, and me, taught us to sing Aberystwyth, you know, Jesu, Lover of my Soul. We had to sing that to the Welsh tune because he was Welsh you see. He taught us how to sing it. Oh he was a wonderful man for singing. A very nice family. Miss Picton she married one of the Smiths, Leslie Smith. They used to live at Earlsmead.”

Pinkham’s Glove Factory. Names of people in photo M480 and M502

This information about people at the Glove Factory was collected and set out by the late Mrs Pat Vojak of Chalks Road. Her mother was the late Mrs Annie Hollick who had worked at the factory.

For the photos which are large and complicated, it seems wisest to use Pat’s own layouts and explanations, as below. They should make it possible to identify people where they are known.

Photo M480, a large group dating from 1947 or 1948.
M502 is a copy of the same photograph.

Here are:
(1) The photo itself
(2) A drawing of the heads, numbered
(3) A chart with names, where known.
(4) A typed list of names, which will show up in a search if needed.

Doreen Hooker (later Mrs Smith), Shirley Brannen, Gladys Claydon (later Mrs Murton), Miss or Mrs Jiggins, Rosie Burch, Pat Driver (later Mrs Wright), Gladys Rushen, Ethel Ellis, Agnes Ellis, Doris Brown, Miss Hawkes (later Mrs Keeble), Blanche Parmenter (later Mrs Keeble), Barbara Brown (later Mrs Brown), Miss Cole (later Mrs Hammond), Miss Ewers (later Mrs Ladham), Miss ??? (later Mrs Emmens), Ada Smith, Nellie Edwards (later Mrs Barber), Miss Houson, Miss Jackson, Minnie Ottley, Freda Wade (later Mrs Ross and later Mrs Sach), Mary Hood, Herbert Keeble (manager), John Pinkham (son of owner), Leslie (Bert) Pinkham (owner), Mrs Pinkham (Leslie’s second wife), Richard Pinkham (owner’s son), John Scott, Cynthia Bickers (later Mrs Herbert), Miss ??? (canteen cook, later Mrs Driver), May King, Glynis Wright (later Mrs Owers), Edith Butcher, Joan Shelley, Edith Hawkes (later Mrs Keeble), Miss ??? (later Mrs Richmond), Marion Ottley, Gladys Clements, Cathy Barber, Bill King, Geoff Ellis, Jackie Ladkin, Jamie Andrews, Frank Taylor, Tommy Rushen, Billie Willsher, Mr Webb, Michael Smith, Fred Bell, John Albone, Vic Keeble, Reuben ???, Dolly King (later Mrs Meakins), Nell Howe, Edie Richards, Betty Rushen, Kit Shelley (later Mrs Burmby), Miss Balls, Violet Burch (later Mrs Clark), Ciss Newman (later Mrs Digby), Gladys Hayes (later Mrs Revett), Doris Parmenter, Eileen Jennings, Marlene Hayley, Eva Rushen, Glynis Claydon, Betty Hawkes, Pam Bright (later Mrs Boylan), Jean Horsnell, Kathy Andrews (later Mrs Larke), Amy Aylott.


Dr Henry Dixon of Witham and Rivenhall, 1787 to 1876. Notes about work on the text of his diaries.

Dr Henry Dixon of Witham and Rivenhall, 1787 to 1876

Notes made in July 2018 by Janet Gyford about the work done so far on the text of Dr Dixon’s diaries.

One copy of these notes will be posted on and another will be given to the Essex Record Office.

Further enquiries should be directed to Brian Simpson, of whom details are given below.

Dr Dixon wrote a very remarkable and opinionated diary, covering the dates 1834-1840 and 1842-1876. It combines his own life as a Dissenter and a Doctor and a farmer, with the social life of Mid Essex (and elsewhere) and the politics of Westminster and Europe. At the beginning and end of each annual volume, he wrote further notes, copies of letters, etc.

The work would have been given far more attention by historians, were it not for its great length. Also, the handwriting is sometimes unclear. These problems have so far prevented a complete typed version from having been prepared, although a number of people have worked towards it over the years.

The original volumes are deposited in the Essex Record Office at Chelmsford. The Record Office catalogue entry is below.

A8826 Diaries of Dr Henry Dixon of Witham, 1834-1840, 1842-1876; continuation probably by James Taber of Little Braxted, 1879, 1882-3; extracts and notes (2 vols.) by Maurice Smith, 1987.


The following people are the most relevant to the enterprise.

The late Dr Jim Denholm of Witham was given the volumes, I think by Mr James Taber. Dr Denholm cared for them and wrote occasional articles, particularly about the medical aspects. He eventually deposited them in the Essex Record Office

The late Maurice Smith of Witham produced a typescript of extracts while the volumes were in the possession of Dr Denholm. This was an enormous task to carry out on his own, and at one time it was wrongly thought to be a complete copy of the diaries. In fact it is an abbreviated version. Because it was done some time ago, it was made on an ordinary typewriter. I believe that Maurice’s original typescript is the one in the Record Office, deposited at the same time as the diaries themselves. Any other versions are carbon copies or photocopies.

Mrs Seona Ford of Witham ( is the daughter of the late Dr Jim Denholm, mentioned above. So she is now the depositor of the volumes in the Record Office, and is their owner. She keeps a concerned and helpful eye over progress.

Mrs Janet Gyford of Witham ( bought photocopies of the volumes (including the notes at the beginning and end) and paid or persuaded various people to make draft typescripts of some of the years in Microsoft Word, as well as typing some herself. These eventually covered the years 1834 to 1840 and 1842 to 1849 (there was no original for 1841). There are two main defects at the moment – they have not been checked for accuracy, and they still do not include the notes at the beginning and end of the volumes. On the other hand, they are at least in digital form, and could be passed to other people to make amendments and additions.

Brian Simpson of Witham ( began by continuing the typing (after a discussion in the Witham Café with Janet Gyford). He now also has all the paperwork and digital material accumulated by her. This includes the photocopies of the original diaries, the transcripts made so far, and a copy of Maurice Smith’s extracts. Brian is continuing to make transcripts of the years that have not been typed hitherto. Enquiries may be addressed to him.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­There are also seven relevant articles in the Essex Review, as follows

They were taken by H N Dixon (no relation) from Dr Dixon’s writings begun in 1873. The articles are headed “Reminiscences of an Essex Country Practitioner a Century Ago”. Mainly they cover an earlier time in Dr Dixon’s life than his diary,

Essex Review, vol.xxiii, 1914, pages 189 to 202
Includes intro by H N Dixon. Also Dr D’s childhood, schooling, then medical training and qualification, and posts held before coming to Witham in 1809. Also poor economic condition of England.
Essex Review, vol.xxiv, 1915, pages 5 to 19
Includes people and politics. Beginning of time at Witham, as assistant. Thwarted romance with Miss Kemble, his master’s daughter. Time back home.
Essex Review, vol.xxiv, 1915, pages 92 to 97
He says Witham society tended to be divided between Church and Dissent, but he was acceptable to both (though see next article). Set up own practice which gradually grew. Treated landlady. Bought practice from a doctor who was leaving.
Essex Review, vol.xxiv, 1915, pages 119 to 126
Success. Good at shooting. Some restriction from his being a Dissenter. 1814 very very cold spell. Development of steam and gas. Fate of quill pens. Severe criminal laws. Visit of young Edwin Landseer – bad shot. Sale of EL pics later.
Essex Review, vol.xxv, 1916, pages 16 to 22
Mostly a discussion of European events late 18th and early 19th centuries, and oppression in Britain under George III. 19th century, Dixon’s success at his profession and as a radical. Farmers had good life after 1815 e.g. cock-fighting and prize-fighting.
Essex Review, vol.xxv, 1916, pages 70 to 78
Fighting and duelling. Fear during Napoleonic Wars. Long essay about ‘Misers and Hoarders’, especially Essex farmers etc.
Essex Review, vol.xxv, 1916, pages 108 to 116
Hardships of past compared to when he is writing (1870s). E.g. old taxes. Discussion of Prime Minister Pitt and his opponent Fox. Description of arson at Witham in 1828 and hanging of James Cook. Also Dixon’s suggestion that Edmund Potto, another suspect, was suffering from Monomania, and a description of the rest of Potto’s trial. Discussion of beer and drinking.



Mott, Ted

Notes on Ted Mott

See interview tapes 102, 103, 104, 105 and 106

Grandad Mott ?

Grandma Mott died c 1923
Grandparents William Wager === Agnes Hannah i.e. Granny Wager, midwife

Brought Ted up part of time.

Trafalgar Square
father, Mott, later in Maltings Lanemarried,

Ted born 1913 Guithavon Vall.

Split up c 1919

two of young sons died c 1920, ie Ted’s brothers)
Ted’s mother, Edith Emily Mott nee Wager

(was first marr to Smith)

Went as nanny in London after split

When Granny W died, her dau (Ted’s mother Edith) came back to look after William (Ted’s grandfather)

Then c 1933 she and Ted to Guithavon St where Ted married

1913 at 11 Guithavon Valley.

Parents. Split up when he was about five, six or seven. On Mott side he only knew his grandmother who died when he was about ten.
His mother was a Wager (Edith Emily) and her parents were William Wager (on the railway, big in the National Union of Railwaymen) and Agnes Hannah Wager (second marriage, previous one to Smith, known as Granny Wager, midwife).
After the split his mother went as a nanny in London and his father stayed in Witham, eventually in Maltings Lane.

School. Maldon Road school when went to Trafalgar Square.

Moved from Valley to farm near Kelvedon briefly, after brothers had died c 1920. Back to Witham (Trafalgar Square) soon after to grandmother Wager because parents split up and his mother went to London. Elsewhere says remembers Square in First World War so perhaps there by 1918 in fact.
Then when Ted’s grandma Wager died, mother came back to look after the grandfather, William Wager.
About 1933, he and his mother to 9 Guithavon Street. Lived there at first after married in 1941.
In 1947, into prefab at 12 Bramston Green.
When prefabs rebuilt in 1983, into 22 Bramston Green.

Ted was middle one of three boys, the others died of flu about 1920 (or maybe a bit earlier in fact)

Married Doris Eley in March 1941 at St Nicholas church. She was born at Bradwell and came to Chess Lane in about 1930 in her late teens with parents

Errand boy at Palmer’s saddlers when about 11 i.e.1924
1927 started at Lewis’s builders to go into the painting and decorating trade. [at 62 Newland Street] Stayed there 51 years (except for army 1940), till retired in 1980. Got taken over by Tanner and Wicks 1978

Son Keith

Died 23 June 2001.

Extracts from documents

1920 electoral register
Trafalgar Square: William Wager, Agnes Hannah Wager.
(not possible to tell whether there were others in the same house)

1930 electoral register
73 Maldon Road: William John Wager, Agnes Hannah Wager, Arthur Kemp, Thomas Samuel Smith.

1938 electoral register
9 Guithavon Street: Edith Emily Mott, Edgar George Mott.

1947 electoral register
12 Bramston Green: Edgar G Mott, Doris M Mott.

Springett, Irene

Notes on Irene Springett

See interview tape 207

Oddments, esp derived from her saying she lived in Cressing Road with her parents:

GRO Marriage index
1894 Oct/Nov/Dec
Wandsworth 1d 1123
Charles Robert Springett

GRO Marriage Index
1913 Oct/Nov/Dec
Braintree 4a 1680
Charles R Springett to Raven

GRO Birth index
1915 Jan Feb March
Braintree District 4a 1642
Irene S Springett
Mother’s maiden name was Raven

1938 electoral register
10 Cressing Road
Charles Robert Springett
Emily Alice Springett
Irene Sylvia Springett

Info from Brian Simpson of the Witham Springett family, Feb 2015.

Re Irene she is not a relative (that I have found so far) but I have done some research for you : She was still alive in 2012/3 as she was on the electoral register then as “Witham”

Her father was born in Stebbing (grandmother [Elizabeth Byford]) and was in Witham as per 1911 census. In fact I previously traced some of parents family back but as  yet non linked to my family. I believe they are linked but can not prove – a number of Springetts all moved to Rivenhall in the 1860’s from somewhere (I think brothers but have not found link as yet) a bit of a coincidence.  If I find anything / find a distant relative of Irene on Ancestry I’ll let you know.

Joslin, Cecil

Notes on Cecil Joslin, Cerine, 105 Braintree Road

He died 12 December 2005 aged 91. His brother Herbert died about a fortnight before.

Various conversations 2004. Tape made of one (interview tapes 197 and 198)

Born 1914 Braintree. Family came to Witham for Crittall job when Cecil about 10?, lived first in Manor Road.

Parents William (Bill) Joslin and Jessie Frances Kent

Sister older, Daisy Doris (Dot)
Daisy’s twin brother died of meningitis at 17, his friend also died.
Brother Herbert born 21 August 1919[?or 18], now lives 21 Highfields Road
Brought up as Baptists at Braintree.

26 July 1952 to Kath. Daughter Celia (tel 502565)
Mother died a few years after.

See photos M2092-M2114, M2145-M2152
Crittall ones are as follows:
5 millionth window 1978
M2109. Invitation to Cecil Joslin for celebration for Crittall’s 5 millionth window.
M2110. Celebration for Crittall’s 5 millionth window. Group of four touring exhibition. Left to right, lady from Witham office, Towrie Horne from Silver End, unknown, Cecil Joslin. Doesn’t include Sir Charles Villiers (according to email 18 Aug 2004 from Churchill Archives centre where his papers are)
M2111. Celebration for Crittall’s 5 millionth window. Socialising with drinks. Left foreground in striped tie is Towrie Horne from Silver End. Right foreground, Cecil Joslin. Doesn’t include Sir Charles Villiers (according to email 18 Aug 2004 from Churchill Archives centre where his papers are)
M2112. Group of three at presentation for Crittall’s 5 millionth window. In front of exhibition. Left to right, Cecil Joslin, Towrie Horne from Silver End, and unknown. Doesn’t include Sir Charles Villiers (according to email 18 Aug 2004 from Churchill Archives centre where his papers are)
M2113. Group of three at presentation for Crittall’s 5 millionth window. In front of exhibition. Left to right, Cecil Joslin, unknown, Towrie Horne from Silver End. Doesn’t include Sir Charles Villiers (according to email 18 Aug 2004 from Churchill Archives centre where his papers are)
M2114. Group of three and crowd at presentation for Crittall’s 5 millionth window. In front of exhibition. Foreground, left to right, unknown, Cecil Joslin, Towrie Horne from Silver End. Doesn’t include Sir Charles Villiers (according to email 18 Aug 2004 from Churchill Archives centre where his papers are)
Cecil’s retirement 1979:
M2145. Retirement presentation to Cecil Joslin at Crittall’s (no. 2 on film). Cecil Joslin on left and foreman Michael Moore on right (Cecil said he was a lovely fellow). Pile of windows also.
M2146. Retirement presentation to Cecil Joslin at Crittall’s (no. 3 on film). Cecil Joslin on left and foreman Michael Moore on right (Cecil said he was a lovely fellow). Pile of windows also.
M2147. Retirement presentation to Cecil Joslin at Crittall’s (large group, no. 5 on film).
M2148. Retirement presentation to Cecil Joslin at Crittall’s (no. 6 on film). Cecil Joslin on his own with others in background. Windows in pile.
M2149. Retirement presentation to Cecil Joslin at Crittall’s (no. 7 on film). Left to right, (1) ‘Basky’ (in charge of getting window together, later went to Colchester), (2) — Bickers from Silver End, (3) ???, (4) Bill Bowers (of Witham, went to Silver End, brother of Horticultural Society man), (5) Bill King (now in home in Kelvedon). (6) ??? (man who was a bit slow).
M2150. Retirement presentation to Cecil Joslin at Crittall’s (no. 8 on film). On left is Fred Bretton, previously foreman, then under-manager. On right is Cecil. Others in background.
M2151. Retirement presentation to Cecil Joslin at Crittall’s (no. 9 on film). Left to right, Bill King (went to school with Cecil at Witham), Cecil, (??? from Coggeshall).
M2152. Bill Joslin (father of Cecil) in Rectory Lane with Dobbin the horse. There was a smallholding there near Rivenhall Rectory with chickens etc, also grew vegetables and took them to London.

Spall, especially Fred, father of Peter

Conversation with Peter Spall and his wife Betty, May 2004

Also see interview tape 196.

Copies of some of his photos etc. are M2036-M2049

Fred Spall was Peter’s father.

Cutting from EADT
Aug 18 1935[?], ‘Mr Fredk Spall, proprietor of a small garage beside the main London Road at Rivenhall near Witham has completed the construction of a cycle combination which he believes will, if taken up, form a valuable contribution to air raid precautions. The entire cost of construction was less than £7’

This was his motorcycle ambulance, which he patented. Did take it to a Heinkel crash at Langford and took the bodies to Maldon. Had various mementoes from there including pilot’s goggles, boot, etc.
He was a Special Constable in 1939 and in Observer Corps. Was injured in the bomb explosion in Cressing Road in October 1940 which killed Mr Burmby, and spent some time in Black Notley hospital. He had been phoned to go and stand there and keep the crowd away. Mr Bull was up a pole. When the bomb exploded Mr Bull’s hat blew off and Mr Spall was injured and taken to Black Notley Hospital. So out of action for a while and didn’t pursue the motorcycle ambulance idea as much as might.

Fred was from Colchester and his wife Olive came from Brightlingsea.
Peter’s mother Olive was a Primitive Methodist and they married in the P.M. church at Brightlingsea in 1928. It closed soon after. When they came to Witham they joined the ordinary Methodists.
At first Fred was chauffeur at Langham Hall and lived at Cosgrove House there. Then went to Wickham Bishops.
Their sons: Stanley born 1919, John born 1930 (both at Langham) Peter born 1932 (at Wickham Bishops).
While at WB he founded the Corner garage at Rivenhall, kept it till after World War 2. Next to the Prince of Wales.
Came to Witham in 1935 and called their house at 59 Rickstones Road Cosgrove, after the Langham House.
Then moved further down Rickstones Road in 1948, to 24, the bungalow next to the evangelical church. Afterwards sold it to the church for the minister.
Peter went to the Church School as infant, 1953-1957, Miss Welland was head.
Betty went to teach there later, 1953-1957/8, and Miss Welland still there at first, then left and Maurice Smith came. Miss W very fierce.

Thompson family, especially George, father of Ken

Thompson family, especially George, father of Ken.

See interview tape 195 with Ken.

1891 census
PRO RG 12/1425, f.56, p.21, schedule126, Church Street
James Thompson    Head    M    36    Labourer    born Essex, Witham
Rachel Thompson    Wife    M    34        born Essex, Witham
Florence Adams    Dau        8    Scholar    born Essex, Witham
Charles James Thompson    Son        5        born Essex, Witham
William Ed Thompson    Son        3        born Essex, Witham
Ethel G Thompson    Dau        1        born Essex, Witham
Samuel Adams    Bro in law    S    36    Labourer    born Essex, Writtle

1891, July, August or September (web site,
George Frederick Thompson was born in Braintree Registration District (ref 4a 634)

1901 census
PRO RG 13/1725, f.58, p.7, schedule 47, Church Street
James Thompson    Head    M    48    Engine Driver Stationary Engine (worker)    born Essex, Witham
Rachel Thompson    Wife    M    47        born Essex, Witham
Florie [sic] Thompson    Day    S    18        born Essex, Witham
Charlie Thompson    Son    S    15    Builders’ labourer (worker)    born Essex, Witham
William Thompson    Son    S    13    Ordinary agricultural labourer    born Essex, Witham
Ethel Thompson    Dau    S    11        born Essex, Witham
George Thompson    Son        9        born Essex, Witham
Ernest Thompson    Son        7        born Essex, Witham

Witham Roll of honour, 1914-1918 War
Includes the following Thompsons who served and survived. PW means Prisoner of War.
E W Thompson (PW)
R E Thompson (PW)
G Thompson (PW)

Info from Ian Hook, Essex Regiment Museum, in email
I have a 34141 L/Cpl GF Thompson, 9th Essex, a POW from Witham, recorded as helped by the Essex Regiment Prisoners of War Fund. He was entitled to the British War and Allied Victory Medals (National Archive Ref WO329/1377 as a Private.

Papers loaned by Ken Thompson and scanned in (on computer under world war 1)
25 May 1917. Letter to James Thompson, GT posted as wounded, missing, after action on 9 April 1917.
7 July 1917. Letter to James Thompson. GT of 9th Bn Essex was ‘wounded in action prior to capture by the Germans (Gun shot wound arm and shoulder)’.
18 December 1918. Discharge certificate issued at Warley. GT 34141. Enlisted 23 November 1915. First posted to Essex Yeomanry. Wound stripes, one, chevron blue two. Discharged because no longer physically fit. Served 2 years and 314 days with the Colours and 77 days in the Army Reserve. Born 1891. Height 5ft 10½ins. Scars right shoulder and left buttock. Fresh complexion, blue eyes, brown hair. Stamped on back Witham Local Food Office, Ration book issued 18[or 19?].1.19.
1922. Papers from Pensions Appeal Tribunal. Appeal is against 7/6 weekly allownce for 156 weeks plus terminal gratuity of £40. Of Chipping Hill, Witham. First attestation 23 Nov 1915. Mobilised 8 2 16. Final discharge 18.12.18. Served army res 3 months 23 Nov 1915 to 7 Feb 1916. With colours 8 2 1916 to 18 12 1918. In France 29 Dec 1916 to 9 April 1917. Prisoner of War 10 April 1917 to 6 Sept 1918. Grounds for appeal – wound in right shoulder preventing full weeks work and very painful at work. Disabilities on entry. Right testicle removed by abdominal operation. During service, on 18 Sept 1916 admitted to hospital in Aldershot with eczema for 9 days. On repatriation after being PoW, entered 1st London General Hospital, Camberwell, for four days. More details.

1919, All Saints tombstones
No. 405, Rachel and James Thompson, gives:
Rachel the beloved wife of James Thompson, passed away Aug 18 1919 aged 62 years
Also of James Thompson who passed away July 9 1933 aged 78

1920 electoral register
Includes the following Thompsons:
Emma Thompson, Mill Lane
Maria Thompson, Church Street
Henry Charles Thompson, Church Street
Annie Thompson, Church Street
James Thompson, Church Street
George Frederick Thompson, Church Street
William Edward Thompson, Church Street
Reginald Thompson, 9 Braintree Road

1922    Thompson George, coal merchant, Chipping Hill
1926    Thompson George, coal merchant, Chipping Hill
1929    Thompson George F, coal & coke merchant; cartage contractor; firewood logs ; estimates given; local agent for Mason’s cement, Braintree road, Chipping Hill. T N 106

1930 electoral register
Includes the following Thompsons (there are probably others: I didn’t look through all the streets, I was only looking for certain ones, and just put down any others I came across at the same time)
3 Chalks Road
George Frederick Thompson, Ann Thompson
43 Church Street
Maria Thompson (also Alexander and Annie Camilia Wenden)
84 Church Street
James Thompson (also John William and Lena Lackenby)
34 Cressing Road
Charles Henry Thompson, Annie Thompson (also Emily Woodwards)
47 Cressing Road
Ernest Walter Thompson, Annie Elizabeth Thompson (also George Frederick Allen)
91 Cressing Road
Emma Thompson

1933, All Saints tombstones
No. 405, Rachel and James Thompson, gives:
James Thompson who passed away July 9 1933 aged 78

1933    Thompson George F. coal & coke merchant; cartage contractor; firewood logs; estimates given; local agent for Mason’s cement, Braintree road, Chipping Hill. T N 106
1937    Thompson George F. Coal and coke merchant cartage contractor firewood logs, buyer and seller of old Tudor tiles and bricks. Local Agent for Masons cement. Braintree Road, Chipping Hill. Phone 106. [in form of advert]

c 1939 (info from Dave Theobald, Nov 2005
Maud Theobald (nee Skingsley) moved into 3 Chalks Road from Romford area, with family including Dave (b c 1935), after her husband George Theobald died. It had previously been occupied by George Thompson and family, but they were moving away to 9 Braintree Road. Re the Skingsley grandparents, Arthur and Emily – Arthur couldn’t write and his wife had to hold his hand if he had to write his name.
1 Chalks
2 Ada Smith
3 George Thompson and Argie (nee Skingsley, sister of Maud Theobald), then Theobalds
4 Rudkins
5 Skingsley
6 Dazley

Photos of Scheveningen hospital
Now given to Ian Hook at Essex Regiment Museum.

Emails with Sheila Ellis

Following is a reply from an email to Sheila Ellis who gave me two photos of a WW1 Hospital at Scheveningen in Holland, that George Thompson had given her. She thought he might be on them but according to his son Ken he isn’t. He gave them her because she was a Rudkin and the inscription on the back of one of them mentions a Rudkin ie. ‘Scheveningen Holland. Where I met Pte[?] Rudkin about April 1918 in Hospital’. The other just had the caption ‘Hospital Scheveningen Holland’. This is not in George Thompson’s writing. So someone else must presumably have given them to him.

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 05:52:10 EST
Subject: George Frederick Thompson

Hello Janet,

George Frederick Thompson, who gave me the photographs was the coal merchant, who had his yard in Braintree Road, close the the railway station. (Now Ramdsen Mills)
He handed them to me when I was working in the local bank and thought that one of the soldiers might be one of my relatives (Edward Rudkin). They apparently met whilst in hospital in Holland during WW1. I left the bank in 1974 so it would be around this date or a bit earlier.

Thurgood family


Interview tape 194 is of John Thurgood who was born in 1922, I think in Terling. But I’m afraid I don’t know his relationship to the people. mentioned below.

Thurgood, carriers etc of Terling

Info from directories. May not be complete or even accurate ! Taken from rough and fairly illegible notes done in a hurry in relation to Spurge’s box which was addressed to Mrs T and sent by Ts (see photos M1058, M1059, M1062, M1068, M1069, P33/7A, P34/15, P154/18, P154/19

1874    None
1878    William, carrier and shopkeeper
1890    Charles, carrier, to Witham daily; William, shopkeeper
1899    Edward, carrier; William, PO
1906    William, post; and William, carrier to Witham daily
1910    William subpostmaster (and carrier?); Charles, farmer
1914    Hewitt Thurgood Witham daily; John carrier?; William, shopkeeper and post office.
1922    Charles to Witham daily et al.; Mrs Susanna, shopkeeper


Ewers family

Ewers family. Conversation with various members, 29 March 2004

Recorded on tape 193 but not transcribed

Moses Ewers from Mundon married Lilian Hawkes of Witham in 1920s. The Hawkes were carpenters. There were Shelleys from Witham in her ancestry too.

After Mundon they went to Hole Farm and then to Whiteheads Farm while their 11 children were young.

Their children included
Violet (Midge), Mrs Maxfield, of Powershall End, Witham, will be 83 in May 2004
Dorothy, Mrs Surridge, of Cressing Road, Witham
June, Mrs Baxter, of Goldhanger
Eric, the youngest still alive now, ?in 60s, husband of Chris, phone 562748, live just outside Coggeshall

The children went to school in Faulkbourne

Photos M837 and M841 of the carnival include Violet as an attendant at the Carnival Queen in 1939.

Miss Ewers, later Mrs Ladham, at the glove factory in 1947 or 1948 in photos M480, M502, is not related

Colin Ewers in photo M859 is a nephew of Eric etc.,