The picture above is of my great great grandparents, John and Mary Stacey, and probably their 4 youngest children.
Their youngest son George was born in 1882 so that would date this photograph mid to late 1880s.
I will start my thoughts with John and Mary who are the maternal branch of my family.

Monday, 5 November 2012

More about Thomas Tirrell

I was recently contacted by Tara Quin who is the granddaughter of Thomas Tirrell.  She found me through this blog.   She tell me that Tommy (known as Jack) had 2 daughters called Janet and Barbara.  Tara is Barbara's daughter.

Apparently Tommy worked as  a military adviser to the Jordanian army after the war and when he retired he moved to near Rhyl in north Wales.  He was a jockey and raced for the army.  Tara kindly sent me some more photos of  her grandfather.  This one taken in Hamburg.  He loved horses and ran a horse society which had a big annual show.  He also liked to shoot and was a keen fishermen.

Tommy lived until 1994 and his wife Beryl lived into the new Millennium.  

This is another photo of Tommy and his wife Brenda on their wedding day in 1939 in Kent.

Tara also sent me Tommy's medal citations but as they are PDF files I cannot post them easily here but have scanned this section of one of them. He was a very brave and well thought of soldier and according to Tara he was a fabulous grandfather.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

William Cox

This is the last posting about my father William Cox.  In 1966 my parents decided to emigrate to Australia, probably not the best decision when they were both in their 40s.  My father arranged a job there through the people he worked for here in the uk.

The two photos below were taken at a farewell party their friends in England gave for them before they left.


 They left England on St Patrick's Day 17th March 1967 and arrived in Perth Western Australia about 6 weeks later. 

The photo below was taken on the ship. They had quite an eventful journey as there was trouble in the middle east at that time and they were on the last ship to sail through the Suez Canal before it was closed.  They could hear bombs going off when they stopped in Aden.  

A few months after my parents went to Australia my dad's sister Nora and her husband Harry decided to go too and their daughter Valerie and her family went with them.  This is Mum and Dad with Valerie and her two daughters at Perth Zoo.

Sadly, not long after starting his job there, Bill broke both his heels jumping down off a packing case and was off work for 4 months.  Later the following year he was taken ill with headaches and vomiting and it was thought that he had a brain tumour.  It turned out to be a large aneurism in one of the blood vessels in his brain which the surgeon attempted to tie off but it was too large to tie off completely. The following year, November 1969 Bill had another bleed from the aneurism and passed away on 19th November at the age of 49.  I hadn't seen him since they left over two years earlier but was able to go for his funeral as mum sent me the money.

This is the last picture I have of him which was taken after he had been ill for quite a while.  I was so shocked to see how grey he had become and how much weight he had lost.  I will always miss him and my children missed out on having a wonderful grandfather.  None of them were born at that time so he never saw them.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Elizabeth II Coronation 1953

Not a photo of my ancestors today.  This is one taken at a street party for the Queen's Coronation in 1953.  This was a party held in Birch Avenue in Romiley where my grandparents Samuel and Sarah Cox lived.  

On the front row are my cousin Valerie and I posing with spoons of jelly in our mouths and the little tot to the right of me, kneeling on the chair, is my brother Brian. 

No other family members on the photo and most of the children were grandchildren of the people living in the street.  Most of my grandparents neighbours were quite elderly.

Monday, 9 April 2012

More about William Cox

More pictures of my father Bill Cox taken during my childhood before my family emigrated to Australia.

This first photo of me with mum and dad was taken in early 1946 when I was a few weeks old.

There are photos of me with dad on the page about my grandfather Samuel Henry Cox.

The picture below of me and dad I think must have been taken on a holiday when I was about 2 years old.

Here are mum and dad playing golf  with my brother Brian who looks about 3 so taken in the early 1950s

Bill and Kay sitting on the beach at Cleethorpes. Don't know when this was taken.  Must have been a bit chilly as Bill is wearing his coat.  Also appears very formal wearing a shirt and tie on the beach.  


The photo above on the left was taken in Regents Park in London when we stopped for a few hours to do a bit of sight seeing on the way to Margate for a holiday in either 1957 or 1958 I think.  The one on the right is in Margate, my brother Brian, me and dad.  Below Bill rowing a boat which I think might also have been in Margate.

Bill was always a bit of a joker and the photos below were taken in Harrogate in 1963 while we were there for my cousin Valerie's wedding.

The one on the left he is impersonating Tommy Cooper and on the right he is giving mum and haircut!


Friday, 6 April 2012

Beryl Ingham

When I was growing up I was often told that my granddad Samuel Henry Cox was related to George Formby. While researching I discovered that it was George's wife Beryl Ingham who he was related to.

Samuel was the son of William Cox and Hannah Ingham.  Hannah's parents were John Ingham and Mary Whittaker.  John and Mary had 10 children, Hannah being the ninth.  Their fourth daughter Mary had an illegitimate son, John James Ingham.

John James Ingham and his wife, Elizabeth Ann Jackson, had two daughters.  May was born on 20th May 1899 and Beryl was born on 9th September 1901 in Alliance Street Baxenden, Lancashire.  My grandfather Samuel and Beryl were first cousins once removed and she was my second cousin once removed. Their father John James was landlord of the Bull Inn in Darwen.

At the age of 11 Beryl won the all England Step Dancing Title and later formed a clog dancing act with her sister May called the Two Violets.  

In 1923, when they were performing in Castleford in West Yorkshire, she met George Formby.  They were married on 13th September 1924 at Wigan Register Office.  George's real name was George Hoy Booth, and his father James Booth was also a music hall artist and also used the name George Formby.

From all the biographies of George it is clear that Beryl was a very strong woman and was the driving force behind his career and really kept him under her thumb.  She starred with him in some of his films and also decided which actresses could star in his films. She found many of them a threat and was very jealous.

More information about George and Beryl can be found here

And here is a link to George and Beryl performing together in the 1935 film Isn't Love A Very Funny Thing

Beryl died of leukaemia on 24th December 1960.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

William Cox - India

These are Christmas greetings sent by my father William Cox to his family when he was in India.  I was always under the impression that he drew them and he was good at drawing but I read somewhere that this sort of telegram could be bought  from local "artists".  I still like to think they were his work.  The first was sent at Christmas 1943 and was sent to my grandparents and Nora and Stanley.  Nora was his sister and Stanley was his elder brother's eldest son who lived with his grandparents.

The second was sent a year later.

Whether or not Bill was the artist here or not,  he was definitely the writer of these two poems which he wrote about his thoughts on India.

Monday, 2 April 2012

More about my father William Cox

These photos were taken in India during World War II.  
Bill with the military band.

 This photo has been labelled by Bill.  "Drums, Retreat - beating."  
I cannot pick him out on the photograph unfortunately.

The second one is labelled "Band and Drums" 
Bill is standing in front of the man who is centre in the group of 5 on the back row. 

This one is just labelled "Drums" 
Bill is 4th from the right at the back. 

This group of photos show my handsome father in his dress uniform. Doesn't he look great!


Friday, 30 March 2012

World War II

During World War II my father Bill Cox served in the army, spending most of his time in India and reaching the rank of quartermaster sergeant.  I have quite a collection of photographs from his time in India.  Some in his regular uniform and some in dress uniform which I think they wore if they were in the band. I do not know which instrument he played.  The photos here I think were taken in the UK except for the group of four.  Tomorrow I will post more photos of Bill in his dress uniform. 

 I believe the photo on the left below was taken in 1939 when Bill had first joined the army. The one on the right shows Bill with his sergeant stripes, seated right.


In this photo Bill is second from the right on the back row.  This photo was taken after the war at his demob in 1946.

This is a more relaxed photo of Bill with his regiment.  He doesn't appear to have any stripes on his uniform here so maybe a very early photo.  Bill is marked with a X.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

My father William Cox 1920 - 1969

My father William Cox was born on 13th May 1920 in Romiley, Cheshire. He was the son of Samuel Henry Cox and Sarah Ann Mycock.

The first picture I have of him was taken when he was 15 months old, my grandmother mother had written on the back of it "Willie Cox 15 months old".  Why didn't all our ancestors write the info on the back of photos. (I must admit though that I am guilty of omitting this too.)  I don't know what happened to the blond hair as he was quite dark as an adult.

The next picture I have of dad was a school photo which I have copied (with consent) from a book published in 1999 written and published by Frank Beard (a local man and ex-pupil) about Romiley Primary school, where dad and I were both pupils.  The photo was taken in 1933 when Bill was 13 years old.  Pupils stayed at school until they were 14 at that time.  There was no secondary school in the village.
William (known to all as Bill) is the second boy from the left on the back row.  Also in the photo are two of Bill's cousins, Harold Mycock is third from the left on the row in front of Bill and Emily Mycock is second from the left on the front row.  Which of my grandma's brothers they belonged to I don't know but they all lived in the village.  The photograph is labelled wrongly as it says William is first left next to Mr Slater but he is second from him.

The photo below is of Bill and his friend Les Howard and it was taken at Blackpool Pleasure Beach when they were about 17 years old.  Not a real motorbike just a photographer's prop.  Bill is on the back of the bike.

Bill and Les, together with two other school friends formed a band called the Savoy Melody Makers.  Bill played the piano, Les was the drummer, Frank Ernell was guitarist and Frank Higginbottom played the saxophone.  They regularly played for dances at Romiley public Hall and also played for afternoon tea dances at the Savoy cinema in the village.

Frank Higginbottom later found fame and appeared on television with a group called the Keynotes and on the Billy Cotton Band Show. He also had success on tv adverts (The Esso Blue Dealer and Milky Bar Kid). He went on to join the Adam singers backing starts like Perry Como and Max Bygraves.

No such fame for Bill but he was always very popular playing in the local pubs for sing-alongs and never had to buy his own beer.

Bill is first from the left at the back here standing next to his friend Les.  This photo was given to me by mum but all she wrote on it was Savoy Melody Makers.  I didn't know there were so many of them or who the others are.  I knew Les and always called him uncle Les.  He used to come to our house to practice for the band with dad.  I think the man top right might be Frank Higginbottom.

I will write more about dad later.  

Monday, 26 March 2012

Mycock Connections.

I have a few odd pictures to add to my grandmother Sarah Ann Mycock, family.  First I will go back to a place as I do not have a photograph of the person.  Sarah's maternal grandfather was Asa Godber.  Asa was born in about 1825 in Basford in Nottinghamshire, he was the son of James and Ann (Burrey) Godber.  He married Emma Kirk in Ilkeston, Derbyshire on 12th May 1846.  They had 5 children and Ann Selina, my great grandmother, was the eldest.  Emma died of consumption at the age of 41 in May 1867

The picture below is of the house where Asa lived in 1881 with his second wife Ann.  It is called Warren Lodge and is in the village of Compstall in the centre of the Etherow Country Park.  I took this photo about 6 years ago.  It is a tiny house but I suppose it was big enough for two as Asa's children had all left home by then.
Asa was found dead in bed in 1889 at the age of 63. Cause of death heart disease.

The next photo is of my grandmother's sister Hannah's daughter Mary Edith who was born on 17th September 1904.  Her father was Herbert Cubitt.  She had an older brother Fred who sadly drowned in the canal in Romiley in 1918 at the age of 15.  There was also another daughter Millicent who was born in 1908 and I have mentioned her before as she is on the photograph taken at my cousin Valerie's wedding in 1963.

I knew Mary Edith as auntie Edie, although she was my father's first cousin so maybe that made her my second cousin.  Edie was my god mother and when I was a baby my mother used to take me to visit her every week in my pram.  As I grew older I would visit her myself and in my early teens when I no longer wanted to go on holiday with my parents I would go and stay with auntie Edie.  She was married to Arthur Goodwin and they had no children of their own so I think she must have liked having me there.  I remember is the 1950s she had a wind up gramophone and had the record of Ruby Murray singing Softly Softly which she would play over and over again and sing along to it.  The first  photo of Edie must have been taken when she was quite young.  I think the second one may have been taken sometime in the 1950s or early 1960s. Edie died on 27th December 1998 at the age of 94.  Also a mention here that Edie's sister Millie and her husband didn't have any children either.


The other photo I have is of one of grandma's sisters, Maud.  Maud was born in 1884 in Marple, Cheshire. Maud  married  William Edward Lambert in 1905.  In this photos top left are William Edward and Maud at their grandson's christening.  Centre back is the baby's father and mum Annie is seated with the baby.  I don't know when it was taken.  The baby's mother Annie bears an uncanny resemblance to my cousin Valerie.

Just one more mention of one of grandma's siblings here.  No photograph but a sad story of her sister 2 year old Matilda who was born in 1887.  My cousin was told the story that Matilda had been struck by lightning and died whilst playing in Bonnie Fields in Romiley at the age of two years six months.  I just had to research this when I started family history but all her death certificate said was that she died of convulsions.  The newspaper report said that that she was apparently healthy but became convulsed and died the next day despite the attention of a medical gentleman.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Samuel Henry Cox

Samuel Henry Cox was my paternal grandfather. He was born at 5 Alliance Street, Accrington in Lancashire on 26th April 1983.  He was the eldest child of William and Hannah Cox.  William was originally from Spetisbury in Dorset and the son of a shepherd, Thomas Cox.  Together with his brother and some other young men from the village, William traveled to Lancashire looking for work in the cotton mills as the agricultural work in Dorset was becoming harder to find and paid very little.  There he met and married Hannah Ingham on 11th November 1882.  They had four children, three daughters followed Samuel. they were Beatrice, Florence and Rhoda.

The is a recent photograph of Alliance Street where Samuel was born.

By 1901 the family had moved to Blackpool where William was a house painter and Samuel was working as a cart driver.  In 1911 they were living in Cheadle Heath, Stockport and William was now a yarn dyer and Samuel a coal dealer.

Later Samuel moved to Romiley and was a lodger in my great grandmother Ann Selina Mycock's household and he was working in a cotton mill.  He married my grandmother Sarah Ann Cheetham, nee Mycock on 1st November 1919 in Stockport.  This was Samuel's first marriage at the age of 36.  My father William was born the following year and his sister Nora two years later.

Samuel was a quiet man and liked nothing more then going sitting in the pub at the end of the road, with a half pint and playing dominoes.  He always had his dog Squip with him.  I think he used to go to get out of the way of my grandmother.  I don't think they got on very well in later years and I believe that after Nora was born they slept in separate rooms, so maybe they never got on.  Grandma always slept in the front room downstairs.  Granddad played the piano and also taught my father to play.

Above is the Stock Dove public house where granddad used to spend his time. It is at the end of the road where my grandparents lived.

To the right is an old picture of it.  The walls were stripped of their paint in recent years but I remember them being a pale yellow or cream colour.  As with lots of pubs at that time there used to be a bowling green behind it but when I was a child it was just a patch of derelict land. There is now a small block of flats there.

Samuel died on 18th February 1959 at the age of 75. He had a bad chest for many years which may have been caused by working in the cotton mill.

 The photo above shows me sitting on the wall with my granddad, his dog Squip and my cousin Valerie. I think this was taken in the summer of 1947. It is opposite the house we moved into when we left my grandparents house.

To the right I am sitting on granddad's lap in the back garden of our house in Cherry Tree Close, Romiley. Also in this picture is my father William.