For many years I'd wondered about my father who'd died when I was 4 years old.
Everyone who knew him had said what a lovely man he was, which is all well and good
but doesn't really draw much of a picture. When my mother died I invested in a
halfways decent laptop and an internet connection and started trying to track down
information about him but without much luck.
But I did find that I enjoyed genealogy (gene-allergy as Mrs Riverdale has it), so, with the proviso that I wasn't going to spend any money on my hobby, I started to look at my father's ancestry only to find that once I'd got a couple of generations back all the work had been done by Black Country Connections.
I started to look at my maternal grandfather's family. My cousin had already done quite a lot of work there, and there's a brickwall when we get to the Channel Islands that neither love nor money can breach.
I turned to my maternal grandmother's family, the Hillmans, and was able to track back as far as William & Elizabeth Illman in the mid 18th century, but this wasn't enough for me, my appetite for genealogy wasn't sated, I needed more... and so was born my project to map the descendants of William & Elizabeth Illman - if only I knew which Elizabeth it was, was it, as most internet genealogists have it, Elizabeth Dolman, or was it that little known, and little reported, Elizabeth Whiskey? The best part of five thousand people later I still don't know the answer to that one, but there are a lot more questions answered in the following pages.
With the anniversary of the start of The Great War in my mind here are
those descendants of William & Elizabeth who served, and those who gave
their lives, in the
war to end all wars.
Hover the cursor here for more information.
|Trayton Anscombe||1896||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt.|
|Sidney H Arfield||1898||Survived||Middlesex Regt, Royal Field Artillery|
|Percy H Aukett||1885||Survived||Seaforth Highlanders|
|Alfred A Ayling||1886||Survived||Queen's Royal West Surrey Rgt, Royal Berkshire Regt.|
|Arthur J Ballard||1887||27/05/18||Lincolnshire Regiment, 2nd Bn.||France||Soissons|
|George Batchelor||1886||Survived||Army Service Corps.|
|Reginald P Birch||1891||Survived||Army Service Corps.|
|Bernard Brigden||1898||Survived||Army Ordnance Corps.|
|Ernest Brooker||1895||25/10/15||Royal Sussex Regiment, 9th Bn.||The Somme||Loos|
|Walter T Brookman||1899||Survived||Army Service Corps.|
|Stanley T Burrage||1885||Survived||Army Service Corps (Motor Transport)|
|Samuel E Butcher||1884||30/12/15||H.M.S. Natal||Cromarty Firth||Plymouth|
|Nathan Challis||1893||Survived||Manchester Regt.|
|Frederick W Coleman||1888||21/09/18||Royal Engineers, 13th Base Park Coy.||Alexandria||Alexandria (Hadra)|
|James Henry John Collins||1894||Survived||13th Btn. Royal Sussex Regiment|
|William Cooper||1885||Survived||Army Service Corps.|
|Percival P Dorrington||1896||Survived||Royal Navy, HMS Vivid|
|Alfred G Dumbrell||1889||31/05/17||The Royal Fusiliers, 11th Bn. 18th Division||Germany (P.O.W.)||Hamburg|
|Albert H Dutton||1891||Survived||Records too badly damaged for detail to be ascertained|
|Frederick M Emsley||1893||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt.||Awarded Military Medal|
|George W Emsley||1887||Survived||Royal Garrison Artillery|
|Thomas J Emsley||1882||Survived||Military Foot Police||Awarded Medaille Militaire|
|George H Etheridge||18879||Survived||Royal Veterinary Corps|
|Ernest C Fleet||1895||Survived||Army Service Corps.|
|John L Garner||1893||Survived||R.H.A. & R.F.A.||Bomb wound 1915 & G.S.W. 1918|
|Ernest W Graham||1891||18/10/16||Border Regiment, 12th Bn. attd. 1st Bn. East Lancashire||France||Thiepval|
|Philip S Haines||1891||Survived||The Queens Royal Regt, Labour Corps|
|Sidney Haines||1899||Survived||Norfolk Regt. 4th Reserve Battery|
|Harry Head||1897||17/4/18||North Staffordshire Regiment 2nd/5th Bn.||Belgium||Ploegstreet Memorial|
|Alfred A Heasman||1891||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt.|
|George W Heffer||1888||Survived||Royal Garrison Artillery|
|Albert H Hillman||1891||Survived||Hampshire Yeomanry, Queens Own Yorkshire Dragoons, Chinese Labour Corps|
|Alfred Hillman||1874||Survived||Royal Navy, HMS Vivid|
|Alfred J Hillman||1899||Survived||West Yorkshire Regt.||Military Medal awarded|
|Arthur Hillman||1889||Survived||Machine Gun Corps, Army Service Corps|
|Charles Hillman||1887||Survived||Royal Navy, HMS Bruce|
|Charles Hillman||1891||26/04/18||Army Service Corps, 2nd Aux. Bus. Coy.||Aire, France||Aire Communal|
|David C Hillman||1895||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt, Royal Engineers|
|Eric J Hillman||1891||Survived||19th Hussars|
|Ernest E Hillman||1881||Survived||Northamptonshire Regt.||1919 awarded M.S.M.|
|Frank Hillman||1893||25/09/15||Royal Sussex Regt. 9th Bn.||France||Loos Memorial|
|George Hillman||1883||Survived||Royal Marine Light Infantry|
|James Hillman||1898||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt, Machine Gun Corps.|
|Percy D Hillman||1899||23/09/1918||Lincolnshire Regt. 7th Bn. & 129th Coy. Labour Corps||France||La Targette British Cemetery, Neuville-St. Vaast|
|Percy S Hillman||1893||30/08/18||London Regiment (The Rangers) 12th Bn.||France||Hem Farm, Hem-Monacu|
|Reginald S Hillman||1898||Survived||Royal Field Artillery|
|William E Hillman||1888||Survived||Royal Navy, HMS Excellent|
|Albert G Hounsom||1877||12/05/15||Royal Sussex Regiment, 2nd Bn.||Aubers, France||Chocques Military|
|Ernest E Hounsom||1887||Survived||Army Service Corps.|
|Francis J Jenkins||1895||Survived||Sussex Yeomanry, Royal Engineers|
|Clifford Kensett||1899||Survived||Discharged having lied about his age.|
|Norman Kensett||1896||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt. Royal Field Artillery|
|Charles Laker||1886||Survived||Royal Marines|
|Charles A Laker||1894||Survived||Reserve Labour Corps 301st Coy.|
|Charles J Laker||1893||Survived||The Queen's Regt.|
|Charlie Laker||1894||Survived||Royal Marine Artillery|
|Ernest Laker||1888||02/09/18||Royal Fusiliers & 2nd Bn. London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)||France||Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal|
|Harold C Laker||1892||Survived||Kings Shropshire Light Infantry/Royal Flying Corps|
|Henry C Laker||1894||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt./Hampshire Regt.|
|Herbert Laker||1886||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt.|
|Leonard T Laker||1888||1919||R.A.M.C.T.||Died from T.B. acquired whilst serving in Salonika.|
|Reginald J Laker||1895||Survived||Royal Field Artillery|
|Robert F Laker||1900||Survived||Merchant Marine|
|Thomas Laker||1877||Survived||Royal Marines|
|William F Laker||1892||Survived||A.S.C or Norfolk Regt. Middx. Regt.|
|Alfred J Lefeaux||1878||Survived||Royal Engineers|
|Joseph H Lefeaux||1885||15/01/19||Royal Navy, HMS Blenheim||At sea||Portsmouth Naval Memorial|
|Ernest S Lelliott||1882||19/12/16||Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment), 4th Bn.||Etaples Military Hospital||Etaples Military|
|Sidney Lelliott||1893||Survived||Royal Marine Artillery|
|Alfred C Loveland||1897||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt, Royal Irish Rifles|
|Percy G Luxford||1885||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt.|
|Ebenezer W Mann||1893||Survived||Army Service Corps.|
|George C Marchant||1882||Survived||South Staffordshire Regt.|
|Reuben A Maynard||1877||Survived||Labour Corps.|
|Rupert C G Middleton||1891||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt.||1917 M.i.D (x2), 1918 awarded M.C., 1919 awarded Croix de Guerre|
|Ernest Mitchell||1891||15/10/16||King's Shropshire Light Infantry, 5th Bn.||The Somme||Thiepval|
|James Mobsby||1880||Survived||Royal Garrison Artillery|
|Percival T J Moore||1878||Survived||Royal Garrison Artillery|
|Alfred A Nash||1883||Survived||Kent Cycle Brigade, Machine Gun Corps||Served in Afghanistan|
|William H Nash||1880||15/10/18||1st Queen's Regt.||Died of 'flu whilst a P.O.W. in Germany||Cologne Southern Cemetery|
|Daniel J Newman||1896||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt.|
|William T Owers||1890||22/03/18||Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) 8th Bn.||The Somme||Poziere|
|Tom Packham||1890||Survived||Royal Engineers||Awarded Greek Military Cross & Military Service Medal, Mentioned in Despatches|
|Harry Page||1882||22/12/16||East Kent Rgt. (The Buffs)||Died of intestinal blockage||Struma Military Cemetery|
|Ernest Parker||1894||15/08/15||Royal Sussex Regiment, 4th Bn.||Gallipoli||Helles Monument|
|Ernest A Parker||1897||Survived||Royal Field Artillery||G.S.W. in Right leg|
|Sidney J Patching||1889||Survived||Royal Engineers|
|George Penfold||1881||31/12/17||Hampshire Regiment, 10th Bn.||Greece||Sarigol Military Cemetery, Kriston|
|Cecil V Pluckrose||1896||Survived||Royal Navy|
|Peter Pope||1891||23/09/15||Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 8th Bn.||France||Loos Memorial|
|Joseph I Powell||1882||28/12/17||131st Heavy Bty. Royal Garrison Artillery||Mory, France||St. Leger|
|Thomas E Rathborn||1898||09/10/18||Royal Sussex Regiment, 16th (Sussex Yeomanry) Bn.||Harlebeke, Belgium||St. Leger|
|Arthur A Smith||1887||Survived||Royal Army Medical Corps, 9th Field Amb.|
|Arthur F Stenning||1896||Survived||Royal West Kent Regt.|
|William J Stenning||1880||03/10/17||Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 6th Bn.||Merseburg P.o.W camp, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany||Berlin South-Western|
|Robert W Tanner||1896||13/08/16||East Surrey Regiment, 9th Bn.||France||Thiepval Memorial|
|Herbert Thorns||1889||Survived||King's Royal Rifle Corps||Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal|
|Albert C C Tilley||1891||Survived||Eastern N.C.C.||Consc. Obj. but served in France. Served 1 yr Hard Labour for disobeying a lawful order|
|John Tree||1875||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt. 3rd Bn, 8th Bn & 51st Bn.||Gassed 1917|
|Horace J Twine||1878||Survived||Royal Army Medical Corps|
|Ernest Vigar||1881||Survived||Queens Regt.|
|William A Vigar||1896||Survived||Royal Field Artillery|
|Ernest G Walker||1893||Survived||6th Bn, Queen's Royal West Surrey Regt.|
|Alfred A Waller||1896||Survived||Royal Sussex Regt. & M.G.C.||Contracted malaria in Salonika. Twice volunteered for an extra year's retention.|
|Henry A Wicker||1892||Survived||Royal Field Artillery|
|William L Williamson||1889||Survived||Royal Field Artillery|
|Charles M Woollven||1891||29/07/18||Royal Sussex Regiment, 4th Bn.||Grand Rozoy, France||Soissons Memorial|
This isn't a definitive list, some records may be missing, my apologies if I've missed your ancestor.
A tale of idleness, drunkeness and violence
Hover the cursor here for more information.
PC Mullins was on duty in Prince’s Street, Brighton on the night of Thursday,
1 March 1900. At about midnight he passed the Marlborough Hotel and heard
a man and woman quarrelling inside. The woman said: ‘Don’t, Tom’, twice,
and the man said: ‘You are a lazy woman’, to which she replied: ‘I know I am.’
He resumed his beat and passed by again an hour later, but a few minutes
later returned with PC Puttick. Standing near the door, Puttick heard raised
voices and a man say: ‘You ought to be killed’, then something indistinct
and then: ‘You I’ll kill you.’ A woman’s voice twice pleaded: ‘Oh, don’t’
and then there was a thud and the sound of someone walking about. Puttick
knocked at the door but no one responded. As the noise had ceased he walked
away. He had heard similar quarrels there before and recognised the voices
of Thomas Packham, the landlord, and his wife. What he almost certainly
heard on this occasion was Lucy Packham being killed.
At four that morning, Thomas Packham went to the bedroom of his housekeeper, a Mrs Bertha Virgo, and asked her to go to the bar where his wife was either dead or dying. She found the 33-year-old victim lifeless, her head resting on broken bottles and her feet close to the beer pumps. Mr Packham, 34, clearly drunk, stood over his wife moaning: ‘Luce, Luce, do come back.’
The family’s doctor, Douglas Ross, was summoned but confirmed the heavily-bruised Mrs Packham was dead. The police were called and Tom Packham was taken to the police station, appearing later that day before the magistrates. Mrs Virgo testified that the couple had been quarrelling continuously since she had worked for them (she had slept in the hotel for seven weeks) and she had frequently had to intervene to prevent Packham from striking his wife. Dr Ross said he could see nothing that could have caused the injuries, although the many bruises on her body were consistent with her having been attacked and beaten. He thought Packham had been drunk and not fit to be left alone, so after he called the police the body was moved to an upstairs room and locked in.
The Marlborough itself was the venue for the three-hour inquest on Mrs Packham held two days later. The victim’s father, Edward Vigar, a butcher of Southover Street, stated that Packham treated Lucy brutally, had often knocked her about, threatened her with a revolver he kept in their room and had on one occasion tried to cut her throat. Lucy was intemperate but never drunk. Packham frequently was, but after his violent outbursts would be repentant and give Lucy presents. She would not leave him because of their three children.
The coroner’s jury found that Mrs Packham had died of a cerebral haemorrhage caused by her husband’s violence and returned a verdict of wilful murder by him. Packham was placed in Lewes gaol. On 26 March, he appeared before Brighton magistrates for the fourth time. Evidence was given that the couple had married in 1888 and had lived in Coleman Street and Washington Street before taking the Marlborough in 1895. Witnesses testified that he was frequently violent towards his wife. They said that he has frequently sworn at her and threatened her publicly. At one time he had struck her with a copper stew pan and thrown her into a 7 foot deep dust pit; also that he was violent towards their children. He replied in response that she was dirty and idle, a claim admitted by her father. Evidence from three former potmen confirmed the succession of physical and verbal abuse. Packham denied striking his wife on the fateful night, claiming he was on the other side of the bar when she fell.
The trial began at Lewes on 30 June 1900 before Mr Justice Mathew. In spite of the overwhelming evidence against his client, the highly persuasive Mr (later Sir) Edward Marshall Hall was able to convince the all-male jury that the tragedy had been mainly due to drink.
The jury took only 22 minutes to decide that the evidence against Tom Packham was insufficient and returned a verdict of manslaughter. The judge looked slightly surprised when they added a recommendation for mercy. But for that, the four-year penal servitude sentence he handed down would have been a great deal longer.
A framed account of the tragedy which unfolded on the premises so long ago is on the wall above the fireplace in one of the ground floor bars — but it takes some years away from the unfortunate Lucy, stating that she met her end in 1897.
Mrs Packham is said to still be present at the Marlborough Hotel; she is not seen but her presence continues to be felt by the bar staff. The Paranormal Research Society have visited the premises.
Interestingly the 1911 census shows Tom Packham living in Brighton with his children Tom & Edith aged 20 & 17 respectively, obviously no hard feelings held.
A footnote to the story concerns the son, Tom; He trained as an electrician and volunteered for the Territorial Forces in 1910, he was re-mustered in 1915, served in the Balkans, where he won the Greek Military Cross and was Mentioned in Despatches, then Egypt where he won the Meritorious Service Medal.
Thanks to womenofbrighton.co.uk and Douglas d'Enno's Brighton Crime & Vice 1800 - 2000
From the backstreets of Barkingside
to a Gloucestershire village via the seven seas and a river.
Hover the cursor here for more information.
George Mobsby, born July 31st 1847 in Barkingside Essex, was the son
of James Mobsby, an agricultural labourer, and Lucy Burtenshaw, the daughter
of James Burtenshaw, a labourer. His father died two years after his birth.
He may have been educated at the Union School at Anerley, Surrey and then, after a period of labouring (see 1861 census), was apprenticed to the Mercantile Marine in 1863.
He had an interesting time at sea, being wrecked in the brig Valeria in the Sea of Marmora in 1864, wrecked again in the ship Meridian in the Atlantic in 1865, was in the ship Libya during the Abyssinian Expedition in 1867 and then was wrecked in the S.S. Sylvia off Gibraltar in 1867. In 1869 he joined the Yangtse River Service and became an Admiralty Pilot under Admiral Willes (see "Who's Who in China" and "Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed & Official Classes for 1909").
He served on the Yangtse through the Boxer Rebellion and on into the
20th century including piloting H.M.S.Glory to Hankow in 1903, for which
he received the congratulations of Admiral Sir Cyprian Bridge and the Admiralty
and was appointed Companion of St Michael & St George for
to His Majesty's Navy as Senior Pilot on the Yangtse River (The London Gazette).
The Admiralty published his survey of the Yangtse from Woosung to Hankow, a work for which he was commended by Hydrographer. He also published various papers on the Yangtse and its shipping.
He was well regarded on the Yangtse as the following extracts show.
From Some Recollections by Admiral Sir Cyprian Bridge G.C.B.
The river changes surprisingly, according to the time of year. In some places
during the high river months there are sixty feet of water in a channel
across which men can wade in the low river season. Shifting of channels is
frequent. For much of its course, charts of the river would be useless to
the navigator, who has to depend on the knowledge and experience of the
river pilots. Most of these pilots were Englishmen ; and the efficient
manner in which they performed their work was remarkable. Amongst them
Mr Mobsby, C.M.G., held a prominent place, and was known to and respected
by many officers of H.M. ships, both as a skilful pilot and as a highly
patriotic British subject.
From The Naval Review Vol XXXVII. No.3 August 1949
Ichang is 1,000 miles up river from Shanghai and 400 above Hankow. The journey by steamer from the river's mouth to either place was all plain sailing except that, in those days, there were no lights on the river and a famous pilot named Mobsby was reputed to be the only man who was competent to navigate after dark. This expert was credited with knowing several thousand magnetic courses by heart for every reach of the river in the 600 miles between Shanghai and Hankow. Less gifted river-farers usually anchored at dusk, as far as steamer traffic was concerned.
In his diaries Sir Ernest Satow, British Envoy in Peking (1900 - 06) mentions Mobsby several times in his account of journeys to and fro between Nanking & Hankow in November 1902.
On November 18th 1882 he married Emily Burtenshaw in the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Shanghai, China. They had three children, Florence Emily (1884 - 1917), Ada Georgina (1885 - 1957) and George Albert (1893 - 1971) all born in China.
George left the Yangtse a comparatively wealthy man and retired to England, firstly to Eastbourne then, possibly after the death of his elder daughter Florence in 1917, to Frampton Cotterell in Gloucestershire where he died in 1925, followed by his wife Emily in 1937. They are buried in the churchyard of St. Peter in that village.