Sunday, 2 May 2010

Blackmore: Game Family

15 April 2010


I have just come across the Blackmore web site and the information about work to be carried out on the War Memorial.

I have an interest in the War Memorial because of the 'Game' connection and I have travelled to Blackmore in the past to take a firsthand look at it.

For you information Herbert Charles Game (one of those commemorated) was a distant relation of mine (1st cousin once removed). In the past I have provided what information I had about him to the Thiepval Memorial database which prior to that had no data about him. In my family history research I have so far not been able to find him or any of his immediate relations in the 1911 census, but his father is probably recorded in the 1910 electoral register for Blackmore.

His uncle, Herbert Game (my Grandfather), was also a casualty at the Battle of the Somme and was also a resident of Blackmore (Swallows Cross) where he married my Grandmother in 1909. The vicar at the ceremony was Walter Clayton Petrie - much mentioned on the web site. To the best of my knowledge the family was still living there at the time of my Grandfather's death in 1916 (they were certainly there in 1911 as recorded in the census). It is strange that he is not commemorated on the Blackmore memorial, but is on the memorial at Farnborough, Kent where my Grandmother moved to after his death.

I am also intrigued by the inscription for survivor Henry Game since no-one with that name was a member of the two 'Game' families living in Blackmore, but it could obviously be another ancestral line.

Since then I have discovered that Herbert Charles Game and his father, Charles Game, were probably residents of Doddinghurst.

Colin Game

15 April 2010

Hello Colin

Many thanks for your intriguing E mail in which you have confirmed two Herbert Game’s with Blackmore links. Our research to date had found both Herbert Games: one Herbert Charles, commemorated as fallen on our War Memorial; and the other, we established and dismissed as living Brentwood and connected with Farnborough in Kent.

As you may be aware, the Blackmore War Memorial contains not only the names of those with died in the Great War but also the survivors. Our research had established two possible H Game’s as survivors: a Henry, recorded in a contemporary Electoral Roll (1920) resident at Swallows Cross; and a Herbert, married on 6 October 1909 at Blackmore. Revd. Walter Layton Petrie was the Vicar who married your grandfather and grandmother.

Of your grandfather, we established from the Essex Regiment Museum the following information: “One candidate, now dismissed, fell in the Essex Regiment. He was born Cockfield, in Suffolk; lived at Brentwood; and, enlisted at Warley. A/Sgt Game was killed in action in France, aged 38, on 15.10.1916. He was the son of Robert and Sarah Ann Game and husband of Alice Louisa Game of Farnborough in Kent [source: Essex Regiment Museum database]”.

The 1910 Electoral Roll lists only Charles Games (with an ‘S’) which led us to the family composition of the 1911 Census showing Charles and father and Herbert Charles as son, viz:

Charles Games. Head. Married. M. 43. “Farm Labrour”. Born: Suffolk Capfield.
Martha Kate Games. Wife. Married 21 [years]. F 41. Born: Suffolk. Capfield
Herbert Charles Games. Son. Single. M 19. Cow Boy. Born: Suffolk. Capfield
Robert Henry Games. Son. Single. M 17. Cow Boy. Born: Suffolk. Capfield
Jane May Games. Daughter. F 12. School. Born: Suffolk Capfield
Alfred Thomas Games. Son. M 8. School. Born: Blackmore Essex
Ross Cocksedge. Nephew. Single. M 22. Horseman. Born: Suffolk Shimpling

The family lived at Swallows Cross on the edge of Blackmore next to Mountnessing and Doddinghurst. The centre of Doddinghurst parish is about a mile or so down the road through Wyatts Green.

In the census return we established for Capfield read Cockfield, near Lavenham. No such name of Capfield appears in the Shell Guide to Suffolk.

What is coincidental is the place of birth of the two Herbert Game’s at Cockfield but, then again, should that be surprising. Conjecturally brothers Herbert and Charles must have moved to the Blackmore area about 1901-1903.

Returning then to (your) Herbert Game. He gives his place of residence at the time of marriage as Blackmore. It opens another sheet of names who we are commemorating – that will surprise the other researchers! His name however is not recorded on the War Memorial because in all probability he was not living in Blackmore but in Kent.

And what about Henry of Swallows Cross? Was he ‘Robert Henry’ the brother of Herbert Charles?

Finally I attach our page of notes on Herbert Charles Game. If you can add anything we would be most grateful. [This page will be published in final form on]



18 April 2010

The Project Team have come up with a little more information regarding Herbert Game.

CWGC Certificate:

In the 1911 census Herbert appears with his wife in Billericay RD.

Travelling south, the parish boundary lies well to the east of the Mountnessing Road until about 100 yards from Swallows Cross, where it swings in to the east verge. So the houses to the east of the cross are in Mountnessing parish, while Chivers Farm, to the south of the Doddinghurst Road, is in Doddinghurst.


19 April 2010

Hi Andrew

Thanks for all the data which you have been sending me; to be honest most of it is not new to me. Some commentary :

Firstly the Charles Game/ Herbert Charles Game family. As you have gathered the 1911 census is wrong to name them as Games. They must have moved to the Blackmore area after 1901 as the whole family is still living in Cockfield in that year according to the census. Their direct Game ancestors (all living in Cockfield) can be traced back to 1590. The 1911 census is also wrong with regard to Jane May Games as her correct name is Iona May Game (from BDM). Charles had two other daughters Rebina Martha born in 1890 and Edith Jane born in 1896. I do not know what happened to her after 1901. By 1911 Edith seems to have already left home and was living in Wandsworth (presumably as a servant girl). Interestingly Edith Jane Game was a witness at my grandfather Herbert Game's marriage as was a 'Minnie' Miller, a surname that appears often in Blackmore.

Secondly my Grandfather Herbert Game. I don't know when he moved to the Blackmore area, but as you suggest presumably at about the same time as his brother, Charles or more likely afterwards. I also don't know where he was between 1891 (Cockfield according to the census) and 1909 when he married in Blackmore; he does not appear in the 1901 census (there are several Herbert Game entries, but they do not have the right criteria). I believe he may have been in Ireland, where his wife was born and lived otherwise I don't see how they could have met his wife. His friend, brother-in-law and witness at his marriage was certainly there at that time.

He was living in Swallow's Cross in 1910 because it’s the birthplace of my uncle, Albert Game. In 1913 he was living in Green Lane Cottages, Ongar Road, Brentwood, the birthplace of my Father; presumably that's in Brentwood rather than Blackmore or Doddinghurst.

I do not believe he ever actually lived in Farnborough, Kent as possibly inferred from the CWGC and the Essex Regiment entries. I actually visited the Essex regiment museum and had a long discussion with their database administrator and there are some oddities about the service record data they have. His actual record cannot be found in the National Archives, presumably one of the 'burnt series'.

My Grandmother, Herbert's wife certainly did live in Farnborough from about 1915 when she moved from Essex. I think she moved there (at about or after Herbert enlisted) to be with her parents being pregnant at the time with Herbert's last child. The fact that Herbert enlisted at Warley supports this as otherwise he would surely have enlisted in Kent? Up to 1914 her parents had never lived in Kent. I have no idea why they moved there and their story and movements are extremely complicated as her father was in the Navy and moved around coastguard stations. I won't bore you with any of that data. All of this convinces me that he lived in Essex until his enlistment. In any case, I guess his involvement with Blackmore was of only about 10 years duration.

Thirdly Henry Game.
He is a complete mystery ! The fact that he was in the same small area as the two families suggests he must be related, but I cannot find anyone who matches unless it is Robert Henry as you have suggested. I believe Robert may have married in 1926 (Ongar RO registration) so it’s a possibility. The unit is also rather odd - you'd expect Essex or Suffolk. I tried to do some research on him and the unit, but got nowhere.

Sorry about the over-long e-mail, but it is obviously of interest to me.

Regards, Colin

19 April 2010


Many thanks for your interesting E mail which I will edit and post on the website soon.



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