Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Research Help - The Long, Long Trail

The Long, Long Trail - The British Army in the Great War was an invaluable tool as I tried to do some background research on my grandfather's WWI POW experiences http://www.1914-1918.net/

Recruitment Timeline
1914 - call issued for volunteers to join the army
May 1915 - upper age limit raised to 40
15 July 1915 - National Registration Act - men between the ages of 15 and 65 to find out what their occupations were
11 October 1915 - Derby Scheme - voluntary enlistment/semi conscripted, war pension introduced.
27 January 1916 - Military Service Act - All British males between the ages of 19 to 40 (on August 1915), unmarried or widower (on 2 November 1915) were conscripted. This came into force on 2 March 1916. Most males were conscripted to the army unless they expressed a preference for the navy.
1 September 1916 - Training Reserves formed.
25 May 1916 - Military Service Act extended to include married men
10 April 1918 - extension of Military Service Act, age of conscription lowered to 18.

The site has so much information in it that it's probably better to dip into it at a leisurely, timed pace than try to look at it all at once. You will find general information about WWI, the army and more specific information about army units, battles, maps, finding service records - to name but a few. It helps that the site is split into three main parts - Soldiers, The British Army and The Great War. Thanks to Chris Baker for giving us this wonderful resource.

My grandfather was in the Royal Naval Division which later became the 63rd RND. He was in the 189th Brigade. While the RND was originally under the command of the admiralty it transferred to the army in 1916 and I was able to find useful information at the site.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Scottish National War Memorial

Gorgeous building but some of the tourists need to be a bit more respectful and show more reverence. There's no photography allowed inside but people still tried while we were there, and I found that upsetting.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The year was - 1898

Since I am doing some research about my grandfather, John Wilson Hall, I thought I would take a look at the year of his birth - 1898. My grandfather was the second of six siblings, all of whom were born at the Schoolhouse, Drymen, Stirlingshire. His father John, was the schoolmaster and local registrar.

This photograph from my grandfather's WWI personal book shows his 4 sisters. Surprisingly there was no photograph of his parents or his brother. (Maybe they got separated since the pages are loose.)

Other family births in 1898 were few i.e. James McGeachie McEwan (brother-in-law of JWH) and Frances S. Hall (1st. cousin to JWH) and so far I have no deaths.

World Events
Royal Army Medical Corps formed within the British Army
Henry Lindfield - first fatality in a car accident on a public motorway.
Spanish-American War
First official game reserve established - Sabi Game Reserve in South Africa
First Italian Football League games played
Joshua Slocum completes a 3 year solo circumnavigation of the world
Pepsi-Cola given it's name
Marie & Pierre Curie announce discovery of radium
meat slicer invented by Wilhelm van Berkel
Will Kellog invents corn flakes
Klondike Gold Rush
Neon, Krypton and Xenon discovered

Some famous births
Alvar Aalto - Finnish architect
Dorothy Gish - actress
Golda Meir - PM of Israel
Norman Vincent Peale - minister
Henry Moore - sculptor
Peggy Guggenheim - art collector
George Gershwin - composer

Some famous deaths
Lewis Carroll - British writer
Charles Pelham Villiers - longest serving MP in British House of Commons
Aubrey Beardlesy - artist
Gustave Moreau - artist
William Gladstone - British PM
Otto von Bismarck - German statesman
Wilford Woodruff - 4th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I have almost finished the first proof of grandpa's WWI POW memories. There's a few areas I would love to know more about but info "out there" is somewhat slim. My grandfather also wrote about a memorial visit the British Legion made to Europe so maybe I might find some information in there on my next trip to Scotland. (We did not have time to scan/copy all of that story.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Family Obituary - William Seybourne Bailey

Death of Hong Kong Shipbuilder. (Singapore Free Press. 8 January 1936. Page 12)

Mr. W.S. Bailey's Forty Years of Residence

The death of Mr. William Seybourne Bailey, managing director of W.S. Bailey and Co., Ltd., Kowloon Bay, took place at the War Memorial Hospital, Hong Kong, on Dec. 27 after a short illness, at the age of 76 years.
A resident of the Colony for the past 40 years, the late Mr. Bailey was one of the best liked and most highly respected business men in the Colony, having earned the affection both of friends and the staff of the firm which he so successfully established and managed.
Born in Ireland, the late Mr. Bailey was formerly connected with the Australian coasting trade and with the China coast, before going to Hong Kong. The firm of W.S. Bailey and Co. was formerly Messrs. Bailey and Murphy before the deceased took over the sole interest.
For many years the firm has had a high standing as shipbuilders and repairers, specialising in smaller craft, which were regarded a s models of good workmanship.
Mr. Bailey was also the builder of several river gunboats from the Canton Government.
Mr. Bailey was a keen sportsman, and his speciality was boxing. He figured, as a young man, in many a hard-fought contest and was at one time light-weight champion of the Colony. Long after he had retired from the ring Mr. Bailey, as referee and general patron of the sport, was still one of the leading figures in Hong Kong boxing.
Mr. Bailey was also a keen swimmer and a fine long-distance runner. Until a few years ago, all through the summer he would swim his three or four lengths at the Victoria Recreation Club, and then off for a run, to keep himself fit.
Mr. Bailey enjoyed extraordinary good health until about three years ago but, while in England, he had rather a serious illness. Though from then onward he had to take things more easily than had been his custom, he still kept hard at work and in fair health. He was only in hospital for four days, and his passing was unexpected.
Mr. Bailey was a life member of the Institute of Engineers and Shipbuilders; past president of the Kowloon Resident's Association; a member of the Hong Kong Boxing Association and of the Hong Kong Club.
He was formerly a member of the Kowloon Bowling Green Club and was also a keen and generous supporter of St. Andrew's Church.
Mr. Bailey is survived by a widow and four young children, two of whom are in Hong Kong and two at school in Australia having left here only a few weeks ago.


Jurors Lists for William Seybourne Bailey
1899 Merchant. Bailey's Engineering Agency. 17 Praya Central.
1900 Merchant. Bailey's Engineering Agency. 17 Praya Central.
1901 17 Praya Central, Hong Kong, China
1902 Merchant. Bailey's Engineering Agency. Hong Kong Hotel
1903 Merchant. Bailey's Engineering Agency. Hong Kong Hotel
1904 17 Praya Central, Hong Kong
1905 Merchant. Bailey's Engineering Agency. W.S. Bailey & Co. Hok-un
1906 Bailey's Engineering Agency. (does not show address)
1907 Bailey & Co Hong Kong Hotel
1908 Engineer. Bailey & Co., 20 Connaught Road.
1909 Engineer. Bailey & Co. Highlands, Kowloon
1910 Bailey & Co, Highlands, Kowloon


Postcard of the Hong Kong Club Building c. 1905.
"Twentieth Century Impressions of Hong Kong, Shanghai, etc." by Arnold Wright vol 1. page 242 has a good description of the company W.S. Bailey & Co.
Here's a few details
Founded - 1897 by W.S. Bailey
Partnership - 1900 with Mr. E.O. Murphy
First order - 50 foot steam launch "Ida"for the Hong Kong Steam Laundry Company
1905 - upwards of 2,500 men employed in the yard
Some other ships built - Kwong Chow, Kwong Tung, Loong Sheung.
Customers included Messrs. Markwald & Co., the Imperial Chinese Navy, Standard Oil Co. of New York, Manila Govt.,
Non ship related - metal work for Kowloon-Canton Railway Terminal Station (1914)

"The senior partner, Mr. Bailey, was born in Dublin and served his apprenticeship as an engineer with the Australian Steam Navigation Company, of Sydney, N.S.W. He came to Hong Kong in 1890 and joined the Hongkong, Canton and Macao Steamboat Company Ltd., in whose steamers Honan and Heungshan he served until he started in business for himself. Mr. Bailey is a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London."
At the time the entry was written his partner Mr. Murphy was vice-president of the Institute of Marine Engineers, London.

St. Andrews Church c. 1906 shortly after it was built.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Family Obituary - William Field

William Field, longtime Valley resident http://gazettenet.com

South Hadley - William F. Field, 89, formerly of Amherst, passed way on Sunday, May 22, 2011.
He was born in Los Angeles, Calif., the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Field. He was schooled in Philadelphia and held degrees from Westchester University, Temple University and the University of Maryland. He held an honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts.
He was employed at the University of Massachusetts, first as a teacher and later as Dean of Students, a position he held until he retired in 1988. He served for many years as Moderator of the Amherst Town Meeting. He enjoyed wood working, and designed and built parts of his home and much of the furniture it contained. His principal pleasures involved his home, his family and his dogs.
He was married in 1949 to the former Helen P. Long, who survives him. He is survived also by a son, Jonathan A. Field of Ft. Scott, Kan.; daughters, Nancy A. Field and her husband James Becker of Windsor, Conn., and Margaret J. Light and her husband Richard of Pelham; and grandsons, Tim, Alex and Jake Light of Pelham.
It was his wish that no funeral or memorial services be held. His family will gather at a later date to celebrate his life. It was his wish also that those who wish to remember him do so in the form of kindnesses to others. Obituary and Memorial Register at www.douglassfuneral.com

This is one of those "related through marriage" i.e. his wife Helen is my cousin. Her grandfather and my great-grandfather were brothers. We had a good phone conversation a few summers ago about Hall cousins we both knew.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Family Obituary - Jessie Joyce Lee

Sometimes it can take a while for an obituary/tribute to pop up on-line. Even though I have been typing in my cousin's name every few months it only showed up (for me) yesterday at www.tributes.com

Jessie Joyce Lee
Born: December 10, 1922
Died: August 23, 2009
Residence : Concord, CA

Joyce Lee a 56 year Bay Area resident, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday August 23, 2009. Joyce was born in Australia and moved to San Francisco in 1953. Over the years she had a full and happy life, had many friends, and was always ready to lend a helping hand. Beloved wife of the late Robert Lee; loving mother of Michael Lee; grandmother of David, Corinne and fiance Ryan, and Jason Lee; daughter of the late David and Nora McEwan; cousin of Shiela Oconnor of Michigan, dear friend of Theresa Greco and her beloved dog Poopsie.
Friends may visit Wednesday August 26 from 9am at Duggen's Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Ave, Daly City and are invited to attend the Funeral Mass at 11am at St.Bruno Church, 555 San Bruno Ave, San Bruno. Committal to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the San Francisco S.P.C.A.

I had been in contact with her grandson a few years ago, but that fell apart when I mislaid his e-mail and the paperwork I had printed out. This is one of those moments when I feel really inefficient with regards to family paperwork and contacting. My grandmother (aunt to Joyce) would probably roll in her grave :(

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fireman's Memorial - London

In a previous posting I said I would try and stop at the Fireman's Memorial when I went to London. It's across the street from St. Pauls Cathedral.