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.

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.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Sarah Ann (Sally) Mycock

Sarah Ann Mycock was my paternal grandmother.  She was born in Marple, Cheshire on 24th July 1880.  She was one of 14 children of Edward and Ann Selina (Godber) Mycock.  Sadly only 8 of them survived beyond infancy.  I have only been able to trace 10 of them.  All the ones who died in infancy were between censuses and the family moved around a lot so not sure where to look for their births.
Of the eight who survived to adulthood there were five girls and three boys.  Sarah Ann had five older siblings.

According to my cousin who sent me this photograph, it was taken in 1898 when Sarah was 18 years old.

On the 1901 census she was working as a live in domestic servant for a family in Romiley, which is the village where I was born.

The house where she was living is just two streets from where she lived when I was a child.

Below is a photograph of the house I took a few years ago.  Not a very grand house and certainly not a house where the owners would have servants now.  The head of the household was a 24 year old married woman with two young children who was from London.  He husband must have been away. Her sister was living with her and Sarah was the only servant.

In 1903 Sarah Ann married Bertis Cheetham at All Saint's Church in Marple.  Bertis was 10 years her senior.  They had one son Norman Joseph who was born in 1904.  Bertis died in 1911 at the age of 40.  After the death of her husband Sarah Ann would help women in labour and also used to lay out the dead.  I don't think she had any formal training.  She delivered my cousin Valerie in 1944 and I believe she was present when I was born but did not actually deliver me.

The photo on the left was taken in the mid 1940s I think, maybe around the time I was born.  The one on the right is of Sarah with son Norman (top right) and his wife Joyce (bottom right) and two daughters Karen and Pauline (front).  I think they were born in 1947 and 1948 so this must have been around 1950 - 51.

In 1919 Sarah married my grandfather, Samuel Henry Cox, at the Register Office in Stockport and the following year my father William Cox was born.  Two years later they had a daughter Nora.

I was born at my grandparents house as my mother was living there because my father was still in the army as he had not yet been demobbed after the war.  They lived at 38 Birch Avenue in Romiley.  Even though we moved out when I was less than two I have fond memories of the house as my brother Brian and I and also my cousin Valerie (Nora's daughter) used to spend a lot of time there as our parents all worked.  We used to go there for our lunch from school, which was not very far away, and also spent the school holidays there.  Such a lot of happy memories and excellent home cooked meals (although I did not like the parsley sauce).  She did make great soups and egg custard.  I even remember in my teens when I was off on hikes with the guides, that she would ask me to call round before leaving to have a bowl of warming pea and ham soup or a meat and vegetable broth with lots of barley in it.  She had a big old cooking range and there was always a pot of something very wholesome on the hob.

This is Valerie on the gate of 38 Birch Avenue during the 1950s

Below is a recent photo of the house taken a few years ago.  A new front door, wall and garden gate.

The only other photograph I have of Sarah was taken at Valerie's wedding on 15th June 1963 in Harrogate, Yorkshire. Sarah is looking very fashionable fifth from the left.  She was dressed a lovely pale grey suit with a pink blouse and had her first pair of nylon stockings and slip on shoes at the age of 83.  The young lady standing next to her is me and second from the right of me with the wedding cake on her head is my mum and dad is standing behind and to her left.  To the right of mum is one of Sarah's nieces, Millie who was the daughter of her sister Hannah. 

Sarah died on 19th May 1973,at the age of 92,  in London where her son Norman had taken her to live with him when she was unable to look after herself.  He was the only one left as my father and his sister Nora has emigrated to Australia on 1967, where sadly my father died in 1969 at the age of 49.

Monday, 19 March 2012

More Tirrell sisters

I have already told you what I know of two of my grandfather's sisters.  There were seven in all but I only have photographs of two others.

Violet was born on 15th April 1900 in Claycross, Derbyshire. She married Rowland Shore  in 1928. My mother told me they had a daughter called Hazel and I think they may have had more children but my mother didn't remember.  This photograph was taken when Violet was quite young.  She died on 5th November 1992 at the age of 92.  She is buried with her husband Rowland in Maltby, Yorkshire.

The other sister I have photographs of is Lily.  Lily was born on 4th February 1903 in Epworth , Lincolnshire.  She married Harry Singleton in 1921 and made a lovely bride as you can see from the photograph.  The other photograph is of Lily with her son Harry who was born in 1922.  Lily died in 1997 at the age of 94 years.


As I said I don't have photos of the other sisters and know very little about them.  

The second sister Elizabeth was born on 17th May 1891 in Chapel-en-le-Frith in Derbyshire.  She married Frank Davis in 1911 and they had four daughters.  Sadly Frank was run over by a bus on a foggy day in December 1925 and died in hospital on 27th December.  Elizabeth remarried in 1928.  She married  Sidney Shore who was the brother of her sister Violet's husband.  Elizabeth died in 1962 at the age of 81. 

Jane Tirrell was born in 1892 also in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire.  She moved to Hampshire where she married James Heath in 1910, as far as I know they had four children.  I do not know when Jane died. 

The last daughter was Eliza Rose who was born on 23rd May 1904 in Ecclesall, Yorkshire, sadly she only lived a few weeks, dying in the September quarter of that year. 

I have already written about my grandfather's brother Joseph George.  The final sibling was another brother, Frank who was born in 1897 in Woodford, Northamptonshire and as yet I have no information about him. 

One thing I have noticed while writing my blog, which I hadn't noticed before is that Herbert and two of his sisters died at the age of 81, as did his mother.  His father didn't quite make it as he died at the age of 80 and his sister Violet died at 92 and Lily at 94.  Looks like there might be a longevity gene in the Tirrell family as my mother lived to be 89 years old. 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Tirrell sisters

My granddad, Herbert William Tirrell had seven sisters.  I do not know very much about them all but do have a few photographs.  Today I will tell you about Florence and Frances Beatrice (known and Beatrice), because I have a photograph of them together.

Florence was the second child of Joseph and Esther Tirrell and my grandfather's eldest sister.  She was born on 17th September 1889 in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire.  She married George Jarvis in 1910 in Easthampstead, Berkshire.  I have found 6 possible children for Florence and George born between 1912 and 1927.  Not sure if they are all theirs except for Gwendoline born in 1926 as she is in the photograph below.

Florence with husband George Jarvis

 Florence worked as a nurse in Rotherham. Here she is on the right. 

 Frances Beatrice was born on 19th July 1896 in Woodford, Northamptonshire.  She married William Barber in 1921 and they had one daughter Betty in 1928.  William died in 1931 and Beatrice later married Alfred Seton in 1938.  Beatrice died in 1978 at the age of 81.

This is Beatrice with daughter Betty.

This is Florence's daughter Gwendoline with Florence (centre) and Beatrice.  Gwendoline's husband John is standing behind them. This photograph was taken in 1976.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Thomas Joseph Tirrell

Thomas was the eldest son of Joseph and Olive (Scraggs) Tirrell who I wrote about yesterday. Thomas was born in 1910 in the Rotherham area.

I found this photograph in my late mother's belongings last year when I was in Australia.  I don't remember ever seeing it before and neither did my brother.  There is nothing written on the back of it to tell us who it is.  When I cam home I sent a copy to my mum's sister, auntie Joan, to see if she knew.   She immediately recognised it as her cousin Tommy Tirrell and told me he was a soldier who had received medals in World War II.

A search in the Times Archive found the following awards which he received during the war.  The fuller details are published in the London Gazette.

August 27 1940:  Battery Sergeant Major Thomas Joseph Tirrell, 2 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery.  British expeditionary force.  Distinguished Conduct Medal

Feb 10 1943:  Lieutenant Thomas Joseph Tirrell, 1 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, Middle East Campaign (Egypt & Libia)  Military Cross.  Also Bar to Military Cross.

Apr 14 1945: Temporary Major Thomas Joseph Tirrell, 3 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, for gallantry in North West Europe, second Bar to Military Cross.

So obviously a very able soldier who was well decorated.

As for his bride in this picture, I can only find one marriage of a Thomas J Tirrell to Brenda Bowers which was in the September quarter of 1939 in Eastry, Kent.  Maybe he was stationed there and they married before he went away to war.  I have found a record of one child born in 1941.  When Tommy received his Military Cross  he was living in Deal, Kent so I think maybe this was his marriage.   So far I have been unable to find a death record for Tommy.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Joseph George Tirrell

Joseph George was my grandfather Herbert's elder brother and the eldest child of my great grandparents Joseph and Esther (Spencer) Tirrell.  He was born on 23rd March 1887 in Rochford, Essex.  He married Olive Elizabeth Scraggs on 3rd July 1909 in Maltby, Yorkshire.  Joseph and Olive had 10 children, all born in the Rotherham area of Yorkshire between 1910 and 1930.  Joseph died in 1930 at the age of 43.

This photograph was among my grandfather's belongings and nobody knew who the people in it were.  I only found out when one of the people I met on the internet through family history research sent me a photograph of her grandfather George Tirrell.  I think they must have called him George to distinguish him from his father Joseph.  Mum always referred to him as Uncle George.

I think this is a fascinating photograph and have been unable to find out the occasion.  It was obviously to celebrate some event and maybe a competition for the best decorated bicycle.  The flag at the front has pictures which look like King Edward VII and King George V with their wives on it.  Tied to the saddle is what appears to be a tank.  Could it be to celebrate the end of World War 1?  If anybody has any ideas I would be pleased to hear them.   I did send the photo to one of the family history magazines a few years ago and it was published but the person who wrote about it didn't really have any more idea than I have.

Joseph George is the one on the left but I have no idea who the man in uniform is or the young girl.  Maybe one of Joseph George's daughters.

This is the photo sent to me by Joseph George's granddaughter.  It certainly looks like the same person in the photograph above.  Obviously a studio photo with the backdrop of Nelson's Column.  Wonder if he ever visited London?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

1935 wedding

This is a wedding photograph of  Norah Stobbart Butler and Arthur Thomas Roberts which took place on 5th August 1935 in Ravenfield.   Norah was my mother's half first cousin.  The half is because her father and my grandmother had the same father but different mothers.  Don't relationships get difficult at times?.  It is going to be worse now with all the divorces and remarriages there are.  

My mother Kathleen is the young bridesmaid standing next to the groom. She was 13 years old at the time and she told me her dress was pale green. At the front right is my grandmother Evelyn with daughter Joan who was 6 years old.  Granddad is 7th from the right at the back. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Herbert & Evelyn Tirrell

I have previously written about Herbert William Tirrell, my maternal grandfather, and the tragic loss of his wife Edith and his second marriage to Evelyn Davis.

Herbert, Evelyn and his daughter Kathleen lived in Wickersley, Yorkshire in a bungalow which Herbert built himself.  He worked as a miner and later as a pipe layer for the local authority.

I have fond memories of visits to Wickersley when I was a child.  These were generally in the summer holidays.  Herbert was a very keen gardener and I am sure they must have been practically self sufficient.  He had half an acre of garden and grew all his own vegetables and fruit.  At the side of the house there was an orchard with, as far as I can remember, apples, pears, plums and damsons.  We used to help collect the fruit in the summer and the apples were stored for the rest of the year in a dugout air-raid shelter in the garden.   He grew soft fruit too and I can remember especially the delicious sweet gooseberries.

He also kept chickens and had a pigsty where he had 2 pigs which he fattened up and sold some to the local butcher and the rest was kept for family use.  He had a dog and there were always cats around.

111 Northfield Lane, Wickersley.  To the right of the house you can see the orchard.  The front garden had a flower border and a hedge that was always neatly trimmed.

Here is Herbert with his chickens, I used to help collect the eggs.  I used to steer clear of the pigsty as Herbert's son, my uncle Walter, once tried to put me in there with the pigs.  He is only 10 years older than me and was a terrible teaser when he was in his teens.  Herbert and Evelyn also have a daughter Joan. 

This was taken in Cleethorpes I think on a day trip to the seaside.  Behind Herbert are his wife Evelyn, daughter Joan and her husband Ken.  Unfortunately Ken is the only one visible. 
They all look rather overdressed for the beach. I think this must have been taken in the 1950s.  

Here Herbert is pictured with some of his work colleagues.

Trying out son Walter's motorbike.
 This is my auntie Joan's wedding in 1953. 
I was her bridesmaid, but unfortunately I am not in this photograph as it was taken at a later date because a lot of the wedding photos did not turn out very well.  Herbert and Evelyn are on the right. 

 These two photos were taken in 1967 shortly before my parents emigrated to Australia.  Above I am sitting with my parents and grandparents in their garden and below playing with the dog. 

My grandfather Herbert died on 6th April 1976 just a week before his 82nd birthday.  

Evelyn died on 10th January 1979 at the age of 77.  She had been looked after by daughter Joan for several years following a stroke and eventually was in a nursing home.  This picture shows her meeting her great grandchildren.  At the back is my mother and my auntie Joan and in front are my daughter Sophia, me, grandma and my son Darius.  Although she wasn't mum's real mother I had always known her as grandma and she was a lovely caring lady. 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Family resemblance

Today I am posting two photographs.  One of my mother Kathleen Tirrell, as she was then, in her uniform during World War II and one of her second cousin Ruby Gwendolin Madge Tirrell which must also have been taken in the 1940s.  I think they are second cousins and it is taken me quite a while to work out the relationship.  I think they share great great grandparents, Thomas Tirrell (1834 - 1908) and his wife Eliza Toseland (1840 - 1909) who lived in Orlingbury, Northamptonshire.

Kathleen, born in 1922, was the granddaughter of their son Joseph.  Ruby (born 1922) was the granddaughter of their son Walter.  Ruby was born in the USA as her parents emigrated there in the early 20th century.  Kathleen and Ruby never met and I doubt they ever even heard of each other.  The photo of Ruby was sent to me by her granddaughter who I met on the internet whilst researching my family history.

I think there is a remarkable likeness between them.  Not only features but they both have the thick curly hair of my grandfather Herbert William Tirrell.

Kathleen Lilian Tirrell

Ruby Gwendolin Madge Tirrell