Saturday, 31 July 2010

Blackmore: Ovel Family

The War Memorial commemorates three survivors of the First World War with the surname Ovel.

Six generations of the Ovel family have lived in Blackmore. James, born 1827 married Rebecca Wheal of Blackmore, and raised a family, of whom the eldest son was also James, born 1851. With his wife Ruth (nee Pond) they had 12 children. Albert, Ernest and Herbert were brothers. The family lived at Hyde Farm in 1881, The Poplars just after the First World War and The Green (which could have been the same property) in 1933.

Albert was the great grandfather of Donna Ovel, representing the sixth generation who kindly lent the Research Group the family tree and enabled the identification of the names of these survivors. Albert was born in 1897, so was only 21 when the War ended. He married Ethel Mary Root in 1922 but lived at The Poplars, recorded on the Electoral Roll in 1920, with his brother Herbert and parents James and Ruth. Other sisters may have lived there too who did not qualify for a vote.

Ernest and Herbert were Donna’s great great uncles. Their medal cards identify these men with the inscription on the War Memorial.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Blackmore: Newson Family

21 June 2010

My name is Sue Whitbread and my mother, whose maiden name was Newson, was born in Blackmore.

I am now trying to find out about the family. Having found the Blackmore Area Local History web page I understand that you are tracing the village history and hence I would appreciate the opportunity of talking to/visiting you.

A little bit of background for you:

My grandfather was Harry Newson.

My grandmother was Lucy Sutton.

My father was Frederick Warder (who came from Ingatestone) and used do deliveries for both the butcher (Stiff’s) and baker (Warder’s of Ingatestone).

My mother is Irene and she had two sisters, Evelyn and Winifred.

The last address I have for my grandparents living in Blackmore was “The Woodbines”, Fingrith Hall Road. (My grandparents moved from Blackmore to Brightlingsea.)

My grandparents were greatly involved with St.Laurence church.

To the best of my knowledge, as well as being a residence, the Woodbines was also where a doctor held surgery.

I hope to hear from you soon.


Sue Whitbread.

22 June 2010

Hello Sue

Thank you for your e mail. Perhaps you could let me know if you have any specific questions and I will try to answer them. I am very happy to post this data on the blog.

I am particularly interested to hear that you are a Sutton descendant. Are you able to tell me a little more about your grandparents connection with the church? What era would that be? Would they be related in any way to Ted (Edward) and David Sutton, victims of the First World War?



30 June 2010


Thanks for your prompt reply.

I don’t think I have any direct connection with Ted or David Sutton but this side of the family is a bit hazy. All I know for sure was that Lucy Sutton was living in Blackmore with her grandparents, Thomas & Jane Sutton, when they completed the 1901 census. I’m not sure who her mother was. I thought Lucy’s mother was called Sarah but I can find no connection for Sarah to Thomas & Jane Sutton.

My grandfather, Harry Newson, came from Radley Green and he married Lucy Sutton, from Blackmore, on 25th November 1914. The family were definitely living in Blackmore by 1930. I understand that Harry tended to the graveyard (digging graves. etc) rang the church bells and later became a Church Warden. I know that Lucy was authorised to sign marriage certificates as I know she signed the certificate at the wedding of Michael Ovel in 1950.

I am also trying to find out how the family managed the move from a cottage in Blacksmith Lane to the Woodbines in Fingrith Hall Road (a big step). I have heard that the Woodbines was requisitioned by the army during the Second World War and, when released from the army, went on the market for a low price. Have you any knowledge of the history of the Woodbines?

With regard your blog, if you could put my information on the pages it would be appreciated. Do you have enough to go on here or do you want me to find out more?

Regards Sue

17 July 2010

Dear Sue

Thanks for your E mail. Harry and Lucy Newson are mentioned in Mary Coller’s book, ‘Blackmore My 1920s Wonderland’ (page 22) as living at Woodbines, now a Grade II listed building. For more detail regarding this early 19th century brick building go to

You refer to their previous cottage being in Blacksmith Lane, now referred to as either The Alley or Blacksmiths Alley. I believe the local Parish Council is thinking about erecting a street nameplate but does not know its real name. Anything you have on this address would be useful.

I wonder if you have been able to consult sequences of Electoral Registers, held at the Essex Record Office [ERO] , to establish the year in which your relatives moved? A move to larger premises could have followed receipt of a legacy?

There are no Newson burials between 1893 and 1992 but several Sutton burials. I have a copy of the original register, the original of which is currently in the church safe and not in the county archives.

Turning to Lucy Sutton, I noted only male baptisms at Blackmore [ERO D/P 266/1/11] during the course of research into the men who served in the First World War, and likewise the Sunday School Admissions Register [ERO D/P 266/28]. However, I have one photocopied page from the Register and as luck would have it Lucy Sutton is recorded, as being baptised on 2nd July 1893. Her mother’s name should be recorded on the Baptism Register.

I have a link to the Sutton family:

A few years ago I undertook an investigation of the history of St Laurence Church. Looking at my notes I find that Mrs Newson was present at a Parochial Church Council meeting on 29th June 1939 which discussed, among other things, “the immediate necessity for darkening the church windows if Evening Service was to continue under war conditions” [ERO A10631 box 1]. No doubt there is much more material in this acquisition box bearing the names Mr & Mrs Newson.

The name Warder was well known in Ingatestone. Eric Warder was a long-term Parish Councillor, and Chairman of Ingatestone and Fryerning Parish Council I seem to recall. He was also a baker and had a shop (now an Italian restaurant) – where we used to buy Chelsea Buns or Bath Buns - and separate catering firm of renown, often getting jobs for family weddings. I remember one of them at the former Mountnessing W.I Hall in 1978. Oh how we remember the 1970s and the Prawn Cocktail!! Thanks for reminding me of those days.



Footnote: Harry Newson, from Radley Green, Highwood, had his daughter Winifred May, baptised on 4th May 1919 at Blackmore. His profession at the time was 'Soldier'.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Willingale: Community Archive Project

The village of Willingale has secured a Heritage Lottery Grant to investigate its history and create an archive. I attended the Launch Day’ of the ‘Willingale Community Archive Project’ last Sunday (18th July). On display at the Village Hall were numerous old photographs and postcards of the parishes of Willingale Doe and Willingale Spain, a copy of the Parish Register on microfiche and films depicting Willingale’s past. Many came to the event. The three-year project aims to collect and converse the memories of Willingale and provide the community with easy access to this wealth of information. The organisers tell me that as part of the HLF deal an Education Pack will be produced and a Project website will be created. This site will follow progress with interest.

For more on the ‘Willingale Community Archive Project’ go to and

Friday, 16 July 2010

Blackmore: Wilson Family

Another name listed on the War Memorial as one who served and survived the Great War:

Frederick Walter Wilson, bachelor, aged 20, ‘Soldier’, married Lily May Wardingham, a spinster, age 25, of St Augustine’s South Croydon, at St Laurence Church Blackmore on 15th March 1917. Her father, William, was a farmer. Frederick’s father, Walter Frederick Wilson describes his profession as ‘Master Baker’. [ERO D/P 266/1/6]

Friday, 9 July 2010

Blackmore: Sankey Family

Another name listed on the War Memorial as one who served and survived the Great War:

William Sankey was the brother in law of Ernest Maynard who died in the First World War. He married Gertrude Maynard at Blackmore in 1906. Their daughter, Violet May, was baptised privately at Blackmore on 13th May 1906 but died aged three weeks and was buried at Blackmore on 6th June. In the 1911 Census William Sankey, aged 28, is a ‘Groom Domestic’ living at Ivy Cottage, Stondon Massey. His place of birth is recorded as Bromley, Kent. His wife of four years, ‘Gerdlina’, age 26, was born at Blackmore. Ernest Maynard, the aforementioned, Gertrude’s brother was 21, a ‘gardener domestic’. By 1915 the family had moved to Blackmore. The baptism of George Jellico Sankey, records William Henry Sankey as a Chauffeur. His mother was Gertrude Frances Annie Sankey. The baptism took place at Blackmore on 1st August 1915. [Sources: ERO D/P 266/1/6, ERO D/P 266/1/11, Burial register in Church Safe].

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Stondon Massey: Church Roof Appeal

Rising prices mean that the small congregation at Stondon Massey church is faced with a £5,000 shortfall following completion of essential work to retile the nave roof.

Roofing Contractors have advised that the heating oil used to fire the new tiles and the price of the imported lead has been the main reason why costs have risen since the indicative estimate given last year. More work to the roof structure also proved necessary once the old tiles were stripped off.

The Norman Grade I listed church of St Peter and St Paul has stood on the “stone hill” on the outskirts of Stondon Massey village since about 1130. It has long been associated with the Elizabethan composer, William Byrd, an ardent Catholic who lived in Stondon Massey for the last thirty years of his life, dying on 4 July 1623. Although he probably never crossed the threshold to receive an Anglican communion, inevitably his body was laid to rest in the churchyard, as requested in his last Will and Testament. Byrd’s memorial, unveiled nearly 100 years ago, is on the nave wall. We have the Edwardian Rector of the village, Revd. Reeve, to thank for his bringing to local and national recognition this great composer, who is now remembered at the annual William Byrd Memorial Concert held at the church by the Stondon Singers (to be held 6 July 2010 at 8pm).

Re-roofing the nave will ensure that the small country church is watertight for generations to come. The present Rector, Revd. Toni Smith, is appealing for funds to bridge the gap.

It is our turn to remember and protect this legacy and honour those who have worshipped in this little church over many centuries, through both bad times as well as good.

£5,000 is urgently needed.

Do help if you are able, as have the many generations who have gone before us. Do come and see for yourself. The church is open for services and on the 2nd Sunday in the month until September from 2.30 to 4.30pm.

Donations would be welcomed. Please send cheques payable to St Peter & St Paul Church PCC to Blackmore Vicarage, Church Street, Blackmore, Ingatestone, Essex. CM4 0RN.

Thank You.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Blackmore: War Memorial Project (13)

In an earlier update ( ) I reported that we had six names of survivors carved on the War Memorial that we were having difficulty identifying. Many of them were as a result of doubts over the letters ‘C’ or ‘G’. The Group has whittled the list down to just one unidentified name: S Ball. Who is he? Can you help?

Pte C Hasler Essex turned out to be George Hasler (

Sec Lt G V Jasper M.G.C. turned out to be Charles Victor Jasper (

Pte C Wray. Labour C. turned out to be George Wray. (

Sgt./Mec. C. Pratt R.A.F. is believed to be Arthur Cecil Pratt. (

A/M L. Ingram R.N.E.S. was found on the 1922 Electoral Roll as living at Wyatts. His name is Leslie Ingram.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Blackmore: Pagram Family

The service record of Cpl. J. Pagram R.A.S.C. - Jubilee Major (aka Major Jubilee) Pagram – was found during the course of research into the names of those carved as survivors on the War Memorial.

He had already served 1 year in the 4th Essex, before joining up in May 1915. On discharge in 1919 he was Cpl. and motor driver in the RASC, service no. 101609. He married Lilian Maud McLaren on 3rd June 1912, and they lived at Little Jessops.

Thursday, 1 July 2010


Welcome to this month’s round-up of local history and heritage in and around Blackmore, Essex.

Blackmore War Memorial

This morning Blackmore’s War Memorial is screened and fenced off from the public with a notice ‘Cleaning In Progress’. Work will be under way very soon to re-carve the names of those listed who fell or served in the First World War. The work of the Blackmore War Memorial Research Project Group is complete – save for any new discoveries – with most of the findings published online and created in a first draft in book form.

Brentwood War Memorial

With Armed Forces Day held very recently, Brentwood Borough Council has come in for some stick from the local newspaper over the state of the town’s War Memorial at the junction of Shenfield Road and Middleton Hall Lane. Work is to commence on its restoration soon.

Doddinghurst Surgery

Local residents are to have a new surgery built. The price of improving the facilities for thousands of patients is to build the premises on identified green belt land.

New Photos

Buttsbury Church:


Ingatestone Hall:

For an extensive list of links to other sites go to: