Happy New Year. We aren’t planning a celebration here, just a quiet evening in with the cats. I really don’t know what happened to today. Once of those where I just don’t feel like I have go much done.
The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Seven Swan Memorial Inscriptions in Soho. Swan is a lovely surname! Memorial Inscriptions are invaluable to genealogists, and that is why I’m very slowly transcribing those in my local graveyards.
On the seventh day of 12 Days Wild I spotted a dead badger by the side of the road. I reported it to Badger Found Dead which is helping to evaluate the link between bovine tuberculosis and badgers.
I had an email later in the day to say that they would be collecting the remains.
My walk today was in Porthmadog and I didn’t take any pictures.
Daily lateral flow tests are still negative, despite how many family and friends seem to be infected at the moment so I am looking forward to our regular pub quiz tonight. I am also looking forward to the start of Operation Bletchley on Saturday. I will need to walk at least 80 miles in January, and solve up to 60 codes. It is great fun, and a good fund raiser for ABF The Soldiers Charity. I’d be very grateful if you would consider sponsoring me, just click on the link: https://events.soldierscharity.org/s/9699/25059
The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Six Geese were A-Laying at Bury St Edmunds School. It is thought that the boys played a game called Goose Latin, similar to Pig Latin. School records can be a very useful source.
This school admission book confirmed my great great aunt, Alice Green’s father’s name, and their address at the time. 
On the sixth day of 12 Days Wild I finished a wreath for the birds. I hope they like it! Pinecones smeared in lard and peanut butter, apricots, raisins and some seasonal greenery. I can see it from my office, and have already seen a few birds around.
I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am working on catching up.
I wasn’t sure what to do with the prompt “Conflict” until I noticed my great great uncle Jim Green at the top of my to-do list. Years ago I had found his WW1 service records on Ancestry, but had not spent much time looking through them. Here is what I found.
Jim was born in the summer of 1888 the third child of Frank and Mary Emma Green. Frank was a boot and shoe repairer. At the time of the 1891 census 2 year old Jim, his 7 month old brother George and his mother Mary Green are living in 2 rooms on The Fleet, Belper, Derbyshire. Mary was employed as a cheviner, that is embroidering patterns on stockings. Frank was not at home but I eventually found him as an inpatient at the Derbyshire General Infirmary.
Fast forward 10 years and the family are reunited. 10 year old George is noted as being an “imbecile”, and the family has four more sons, Charlie, Henry, Alfred and Thomas. They still live on The Fleet.
Jim left home and boarded with the Cooper family on Kilburn Road. He worked as a miner at Denby colliery. At the age of 24 he married Hannah Parkin on 5th April 1913 at the parish church in Belper.  He was apparently a keen footballer.
Just over a year after his marriage, before any children had arrived, on 4th September 1914 Jim joined the 5th battalion of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment, the Sherwood Foresters. He was described as being physically fit, 5’7″ tall with a 36″ chest.
Jim would have joined the regiment in Harpenden before moving to Braintree in November 1914. I am far from a war historian but if I have understood correctly the regiment arrived in France at the end of February 1915. They were involved in trench warfare at Ypres and around Hooge Chateau. Jim received a shell wound to his knee on 17th June 1915 but was back in action the same day. In October they were involved in the Hohenzollern redoubt, before being sent to Egypt in early 1916, but returning after only a few days. Jim was promoted to Lance Corporal in February.
Back in France the 5th battalion were ordered over the top at Gommecourt on the first day of the battle of the Somme in a diversionary attack. It was a warm misty morning as Jim waited in a shallow waterlogged trench with his fellow soldiers. A huge British mine filled No Man’s Land with smoke. Some of the 5th Sherwood Foresters reached German trenches and fought but were forced into shell holes to shelter close to the German front line. 20,000 men were killed or missing in action that day. Jim was one of them, his battalion suffering 80% casualties, just a few tricking back from shell-holes after dark.
It was not until 25th August that the army “struck off strength” and February 1917 before a pension was awarded to Jim’s widow Hannah. She did however receive his Victory Medal and 1914015 Star. I have not yet investigated whether she went on to marry again or have children.
Jim is listed on the Belper War Memorial and Thiepval memorial. Just one of many lives lost tragically young in the conflict known as the war to end all wars.
 Births Index (CR) England & Wales. RD Belper, [Derbyshire]. 3rd Q., 1888. GREEN, Jim. Vol 7b. p. 552. https://www.freebmd.org.uk/ : accessed 23 June 2010.
 War Office. Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’. GREEN, Jim. 1914. WO363. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: UK, British Army World War I Service Records, 1914-1920. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed 21 June 2012.
 Census records. England. St Peter, Belper, Derbyshire. 05 April 1891. GREEN, Mary. Head. PN 2744. FL 83. p. 28. http://ancestry.co.uk : accessed 19 September 2021.
 Census records. England. The Derbyshire General Infirmary. 05 April 1891. GREEN, Frank.. PN 2740. FL 87. p. 1. http://ancestry.co.uk : accessed 19 September 2021.
 Census records. England. St Peter, Belper, Derbyshire. 31 March 1901. GREEN, Frank. Head. PN 3228. FL 69. p. 20. http://ancestry.co.uk : accessed 02 September 2010.
 Census records. England. Belper, Derbyshire. 02 April 1911. GREEN, James. RD 436. PN 20968. ED 06. SN 194. http://ancestry.co.uk : accessed 19 September 2021.
 Marriages (PR) England. Belper, Derbyshire. 05 April 1913. GREEN, Jim and PARKIN, Hannah. Collection: Derbyshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932. http://ancestry.co.uk : accessed 28 March 2021.
Happy New Year. We aren’t planning a celebration here, just a quiet evening in with the cats. I really don’t know what happened to today. Once of those where I just don’t feel like I have go much done. Operation Bletchley starts tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’d be very grateful if […]
Daily lateral flow tests are still negative, despite how many family and friends seem to be infected at the moment so I am looking forward to our regular pub quiz tonight. I am also looking forward to the start of Operation Bletchley on Saturday. I will need to walk at least 80 miles in January, […]
I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. This week the prompt is Multiples. As a young girl I really wanted a big brother and a twin sister. That to me seemed like the ideal […]
I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. This week the prompt is Multiples.
As a young girl I really wanted a big brother and a twin sister. That to me seemed like the ideal family set up., though I really can’t remember why. I think I was quite disappointed when I realised that this was not going to be an option. Instead I have 3 younger siblings, looking back I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are definite advantages to being the eldest, and I love them all dearly!
For a while it seemed possible that I might have twin siblings. When a doctor initially confirmed one of Mum’s pregnancies the doctor said he thought that either Mum was further on than she thought, or she was expecting twins. Later on one midwife thought she could hear two heartbeats and another thought she could feel two heads. Scans were not as commonplace back in the 1970s, and as we moved from Durham to Derbyshire during the pregnancy neither area offered a scan. The day before my sister was born the doctor (not the same one) said he wanted to be at the birth because he suspected twins. As Mum told me a few days ago, “To crown it all, my womb didn’t contract very quickly and a midwife said, “I wonder if there is another baby!!””
There wasn’t another baby, and no multiple births in my immediate family. Apparently though, when it was thought possible that Mum was expecting twins her mother-in-law mentioned that there were twins in her family. I haven’t done much research into my paternal grandmother (my Nanna’s) line, mainly because Dad’s cousin has researched quite extensively. Back in 2003 Bet sent me details of her shared lines, which I studied in great detail at the time. Time and life got in the way and I have not had the opportunity to really follow up my Bowler ancestors. This blog prompt has given me the push I needed to look further.
From what Mum remembered at least one of Nanna’s sisters or cousins had twins, so I spent some time this week trying to find out. Norah Bowler had three sisters, Elsie, Kit and Gladys. Of course, Bet had passed me plenty of information about her Mum and aunts.
Kit (Catherine Esther) Bowler married Frank Hopkinson. We have not found a connection between Frank Hopkinson and my grandfather Bob Hopkinson though I am convinced there must be. Kit and Frank had one daughter Glenda Hopkinson.
Gladys Bowler married Charles Curtis in 1941, and from the information that her niece Bet provided me it would seem that she had two daughters in 1943. This could be the twins in the family. I searched on FreeBMD for births with the surname Curtis and mothers maiden name Bowler, born after 1943 and sure enough the two girls are both listed as registered in the March quarter (i.e January, February or March) of 1943 in Derby. As far as I can tell both are still alive and so I will not say any more here, it wouldn’t be fair. However, if you are reading and recognise yourselves I would love to hear from you!
Elsie Bowler first had my Dad’s cousin Bet, and then married Richard Peake with whom she had four more children, but a year or more between each.
So amongst Nanna’s sisters one birth in eleven was twins, the NHS say that about 1 in 65 births is twins, but one set is not statistically significant. However, having non-identical twins can be a more likely if “non-identical twins run on the mother’s side of the family”. So the next step is to have a look at Nanna’s maternal cousins to see if any of them have multiple births. Of course as Nanna is my paternal grandmother this would not have affected whether I was to have twin siblings, only my maternal grandmother would have influenced this.
Nanna’s siblings were all individual births, no twins there. She had two maternal aunts, about whom I knew very little.
One of the maternal aunts was Minnie Green but it did not take me long at all to realise that she died in infancy. According to Bet, Nanna’s only other maternal aunt was Alice Green, born in 1901 who married Harry Foot. I found Alice on the 1939 register, single and living on her own in Belper, but then found her marriage to Harry I. Foot in the September quarter of 1948 on the GRO index. However as far as I can tell Alice and Harry did not have any children.
As far as I can tell then, just one set of twins, my first cousins once removed.