Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Aeroplane Crash In Blackmore, 24 September 1944

Four American airmen who were killed when their aeroplane crashed in a field in Blackmore on 24 September 1944 are to be commemorated on a Memorial to be placed in St Laurence Church.  It will be a visible and permanent reminder of the brave contribution made by 30,000 American Army Air Force personnel stationed in Essex between 1943-45. 

Neil McCarthy wrote in the September 2019 edition of ‘Church Matters’, the parish church magazine, “It was on the evening of 24 September 1944 that a Martin Marauder B26, attempting to reach its base at Matching Green while returning from France in appalling weather, disintegrated on impact in a field adjacent to Fingrith Hall Lane.  Two other planes in the same homeward-bound squadron also crashed elsewhere in Essex that night in almost identical circumstances as the Blackmore crash”.  See also: https://blackmorehistory.blogspot.com/2008/12/blackmore-notes-and-queries-3-americans.html

“For the first time, in 2016, the names of those onboard B26 aircraft, no 42-95823, “Baby Doll III”, were able to be known and honoured in the place where they died”.

The unveiling date of the Memorial has yet to be announced as Faculty (the permission to make changes to the church structure) has only recently been granted.  The wording, as commissioned, on the wall mounted plaque reads:

To the glory of God and in commemoration of
The United States Army Air Force Stationed at Essex Airfields
During World War II who died so we would remain free
This plaque is dedicated to the memory of
Of the 391st Bombardment Group who were killed
When their aircraft crashed in a Blackmore field
On 24th September 1944

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Blackmore: Church Restorations etc

An extract from The Essex Review, Volume 11, 1902

Blackmore.—The renovation of the church of St. Lawrence, which has occupied four years, is at length completed, and the restored building was publicly dedicated by the Bishop of St.. Albans on 9th June. The improvements include the entire re-framing of the roof of the nave, the re-building of the north arcade, re-erection of the north wall, renewal of the aisle roofs, and alterations in the chancel, new oak choir stalls, pulpit, lectern, and screen. A new organ and three painted windows have also been placed in the church. All the bells have been re-hung, and the tenor bell is re-cast. The unique spire and timber tower, which Mr. Chancellor has described as “the glory of Blackmore Church” (see E.R. viii. 65> 86), have been practically rebuilt, the old wood being utilised: as far as possible. A reference to the illustrations in Mr. Chancellor’s article above referred to, will show its peculiar three-storied character, which, with the dormer windows in the roof of nave, rendered the old priory church “a magnificent piece of carpentry.” Its dilapidated condition may be surmised from the fact that £2,500 has been expended on the restoration,, which has been carried out under the direction of Mr.Chancellor, in accordance with the historical associations of the ancient building. A strip of land has been given by Mr. T. R. Hull for enlargement of the churchyard. Altogether the sums given and collected are noteworthy in so small a parish, and are due chiefly to the untiring efforts of the Vicar, the Rev. W. L. Petrie

Monday, 1 July 2019

Blackmore: Church Restorations etc.

An extract from 'The Essex Review', Volume 1, 1892.

Blackmore.—A new organ in the Baptist Chapel was opened on April 27th, 1892, under the presidency of the Rev. G. Stevens, pastor.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Essex Parish Registers Indexed

The Essex Record Office has announced that Parish Registers in their keeping have now been indexed making it even easier to search entries and ancestors: http://www.essexrecordofficeblog.co.uk/time-for-an-index-essex-record-office-in-partnership-with-ancestry-com/

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Henry Fitzroy. Born Blackmore. June 1519

To commemorate the five hundredth anniversary of the birth of Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, in Blackmore a display has been mounted around the eight sides of the Font in the Priory Church of St Laurence telling his story and connection with the village.  The display will remain in place throughout the month following its 'unveiling' at the Blackmore Village Fayre over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend.  For those unable to see this in person, the eight panels are repeated below.

Henry Fitzroy
Born June 1519, Blackmore


Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII was born at Blackmore Priory in June 1519.  His mother, Bessie Blount, a lady in the retinue of Queen Catherine of Aragon, was one of the King’s mistresses.  “Without the birth of Henry Fitzroy, Bessie’s own affair would have probably gone unrecorded”.  When Bessie became visibly pregnant Thomas Wolsey discreetly dispatched her to Jericho House in Blackmore, the home of the prior Thomas Goodwyn.  “Bessie made her final appearance at court early in October 1518”.

There is no surviving record of Henry Fitzroy’s baptism anywhere.  It is possible that the ceremony was held here at Blackmore around this Font.  Cardinal Wolsey was a godparent. He was absent from Court from 19 June to 29 June 1519.  Wolsey had been godparent for the boy’s half-sister Mary, the only surviving child born of Queen Catherine.   Could this font have been the place where the ceremony quietly took place?
Royal Visitor

Henry VIII is alleged to have been a frequent visitor to Jericho House where Bessie stayed after Fitzroy’s birth.  The King is said to have given orders not to be disturbed hence the expression used in Court, “He has gone to Jericho”.  The Priory was one of the King’s “Houses of Pleasure”.   (The present Jericho Priory was rebuilt c.1712.)   Bessie Blount may have later had a daughter by the King around 1520 at Blackmore.  She was married off to Gilbert Tailbois (or Tailboys), who hailed from a rich Lincolnshire family.  They may have married in April 1522 because “the king began to be conspicuously generous to Gilbert Tailboys”.

Henry Fitzroy Coat of Arms


Blackmore Priory was dissolved in 1527 because of its immoral goings-on.  In that year there were only four Canons in residence.   From “the records of the dissolution … it does appear that the prior was somewhat more worldly than he should have been”: its debts ran to one third of the annual income.   Perhaps the expenditure was higher than usual, sheltering a future King?  Cardinal Wolsey was granted the income from the dissolution.

Much admired and spoilt by Henry VIII, Henry Fitzroy was, by the age of six, created Duke of Richmond with the titles Earl of Nottingham and Duke of Somerset.   This placed Henry Fitzroy in an honoured position because the title held precedence over all other Dukes except potential legitimate sons of the King.   By doing so, Henry VIII had elevated his son’s position in society such that he would be a more eligible bachelor.   By the age of eight Henry Fitzroy was Admiral of England, Ireland and Normandy.

Early Marriage & Early Death

Thomas Howard was the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, a very powerful and ambitious man in the court of Henry VIII.  He brought about the marriage to Henry VIII of his nieces, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard and for good measure his daughter Mary was married to Henry Fitzroy.  Henry Fitzroy died in 1536 of tuberculosis.  He was 17 years old.  His body was buried at Thetford Priory but later transferred to Framlingham Church in Suffolk, where it lies in an ornate tomb alongside other members of the Norfolk family.  Had he survived the course of English history could have changed and Fitzroy crowned Henry IX.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Blackmore: Copyhold Farm. Reader's Request For Information

Hello  I am trying to find out some details of the Tucker family and Copyhold Farm, Blackmore.  The 1901 Census shows them as living in Cornwall.  The 1911 in Hertfordshire.  In 1903 there was a birth at Copyhold Farm, and two deaths one in 1905 and 1906.  I think that they may have leased the farm but any information that you may know would be greatly appreciated.  As I live in Western Australia, it is difficult for me to visit the Essex Records Office and I find their website unhelpful.
Many thanks
Kind Regards
Lyn Tucker

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Ancestry DNA Result

The results are in. My wife bought me an Ancestry DNA kit for Christmas, perhaps to settle a query as to how much local heritage I have. Knowing that on all four sides of my family my relations were born within the last 200 years, probably, not further away from where I live in the Colchester area, Middlesex and Cambridgeshire there was always a question as to whether my family jumped the English Channel in 1066.  The results are as expected except an indication of Norwegian or Swedish heritage.

I don't usually share personal history on this blog, but know that family historians look by and might be interested in this topic.

Do please share any comments you have about DNA testing.  We are interested here to learn from those who have done the test, not the outcomes of paternity suits.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

High Ongar: Wheatsheaf Pub Demolition

The public house formerly known as The Wheatsheaf, for some while derelict, is currently being demolished. This photograph taken just after 7.00am today.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

High Country History Group: High Country History Group Programme 2019

High Country History Group: High Country History Group Programme 2019: The High County History Group meets on the fourth Thursday evening in the month at Toot Hill Village Hall, starting at 8pm. The programme for 2019 has just been published online.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Blackmore: Village Hall Golden Anniversary

Blackmore Village Hall is fifty years old.  It was officially opened on 22 January 1969.  These documents, from the archive of the then Vicar Revd. Montague Knott, show the agenda for the opening event and the prayers of dedication. The final document is a Newsletter of events coming up.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Blackmore. Festival of Nine Lessons with Carols. 22 December 1968

Fifty years ago, on Sunday 22 December 1968, Revd. Monty Knott led a traditional Carol Service at Blackmore.  This is the Order of Service.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Blackmore. Remembrance 100. Twenty-one days. Twenty-one names. (21) Arthur John Nash

Arthur John Nash
War Memorial: Place and inscription
Blackmore War Memorial: Pte. A. Nash Essex
Church Window: Arthur J Nash
Ongar & District War Memorial Hospital Roll of Honour (Blackmore) as A J Nash [ERO A10815]
Essex Regiment. 2nd Battalion. Service No: 27552 [CWGC]
Service Details:
Enlisted: Epping [WFA]
No medal card for Arthur, John, Arthur John or John Arthur Nash in Essex Regt. [Ancestry.com]
Personal and family information:
Son of Mrs Eliza Chumbley, Blakmore, Ingatestone, Essex [source: Essex Regiment Museum database]
Born High Ongar in 1882, he was the son of Eliza Nash, who was probably widowed soon after his birth, and who in 1884 married William Chumbley of Blackmore. 
Arthur John Nash was baptised 6th August 1882 at High Ongar. He was the son of John Henry and Eliza Nash. The father’s occupation is blank which suggests a death [ERO D/P 68/1/11].  There is no record of a burial at High Ongar [ERO D/P 68/1/24].
Walter Thomas, the son of William Thomas and Eliza Chumbley was baptised at High Ongar on 30th November 1884 [ERO D/P 68/1/11]. 
1881 Census: [possible record of Eliza’s first marriage]
15 Hind St. Poplar, London, Middlesex, England
John H. Nash.  Married.  [Age] 24 . Railway Engine Stoker.  [Born] Poplar, Middlesex, England.
Eliza Nash.  Wife.  [Age] 23. [Born] Ongar, Essex, England.
1891 Census.
High Ongar, 15 High Ongar St.
Thomas Chumbley.  Head.  Married.  [Age] 30.  Agri. Lab.  [Born] Chigwell.
Eliza Chumbley.  Wife.  Married.  [Age] 33.  [Born] High Ongar.
Arthur Nash.  Son.  [Age] 8.  Scholar.  [Born] High Ongar.
Walter Chumbley.  Son.  [Age] 6.  [Born] High Ongar.
Wm. Jeremiah Chumbley.  Son.  [Age] 2.  [Born] High Ongar.
Emily Chumbley.  Dau.  [Age] 0.  [Born] High Ongar.
1901 Census.
Arthur Nash not present.
William Chumbley.  Head.  Married.  [Age] 40.  Lab [agr mach].  [Born] Bethnal Green.
Eliza Chumbley.  Wife.  Married.  [Age] 43.  [Born] High Ongar.
William Chumbley.  Son.  [Age] 12.  [Born] High Ongar.
Emma Chumbley.  Dau.  [Age] 10.  [Born] High Ongar.
Alfred Chumbley.  Son.  [Age] 8.  [Born] High Ongar.
Bertha Chumbley.  Dau.  [Age] 6.  [Born] High Ongar.
Leonard Chumbley.  Son.  [Age] 2.  [Born] Stanford Rivers.
Bertie Chumbley.  Son.  [Age] 1.  [Born] Blackmore.
1911 Census.
Blackmore Parish:
William Chumbley.  Head.  Married 27 years.  [Age] 49.  Farm Labourer.  [Born] Bethnel Green.
Eliza Chumbley.  Wife.  Married.  [Age] 53.  [Born] High Ongar Essex.
Arthur Nash.  Son.  Single [Age] 28.  Farm Labourer.  [Born] High Ongar Essex.
Walter Chumbley.  Son.  Single.  [Age] 26.  Farm Labourer.  [Born] High Ongar Essex.
Alfred Chumbley.  Son.  [Age] 17.  Farm Labourer.  [Born] High Ongar Essex.
Bertha Chumbley.  Daughter.  [Age] 15.  Servant Domestic.  [Born] High Ongar Essex.
Leonard Chumbley.  Son.  [Age] 12.  School.  [Born] Stanford Rivers Essex.
Herbert Chumbley.  Son. [Age] 10.  School.  [Born] Blackmore Essex.

Bertha Chumbley married Alfred Godding, another victim of the First World War also commemorated on the War Memorial at Blackmore.
Date of Death:
23rd October 1916
Where died:
Killed in action France 23.10.1916  [source: Essex Regiment Museum database]
Place of Burial or Commemoration:
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial. Pier & Face 100
List of Sources:
Ancestry.com, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Essex Record Office, Essex Regiment Museum, Western Front Association.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Blackmore. Remembrance 100. Twenty-one days. Twenty-one names. (20) Ernest Charles Martin

Ernest Charles Martin
War Memorial: Place and inscription
Blackmore War Memorial: Pte. E. Martin Essex
Church Window: Ernest C Martin
Ongar & District War Memorial Hospital Roll of Honour (Blackmore) as E C Martin [ERO A10815]
Essex Regiment. 11th Battalion. Service No: 14241 [CWGC]
Service Details:
Born:  Holloway, Middlesex,
Enlisted:  Warley, Essex
Residence:  Blackmore, Essex [Military genealogy.com]
No military record found 100114
Medal cards of two Ernest Martins exist, but both show that they were demobilised at the end of the war.  An Ernest Charles Martin was discharged due to sickness 6/1916, and so cannot be a candidate.
Personal and family information:
Blackmore Ernest Martin baptised 9th August 1886 (born 15/12/1880). His parents were Charles, an agricultural machine owner, and Emma [ERO D/P 266/1/11].
1881 Census. Blackmore
Charles Martin.  Engine Proprietor & Driver (Agric). [Age] 47. [Born] Gt Baddow
Emma Martin. Wife. [Age] 42. [Born]. Ripley, Surrey
Henry Martin. Son. Ag Lab. [Age] 18. [Born] Gt Baddow
Cornelius Martin. Son. Scholar. [Age] 13. [Born] Writtle, Essex
Walter Martin. Son. Scholar. [Age] 10. [Born] Writtle, Essex
Arthur Martin. Son. Scholar. [Age] 5. [Born] Writtle, Essex
Ernest Martin. Son. [Age] 3m. [Born] Blackmore
No record of family on 1891 or 1901 census in Blackmore.
Charles Martin, Proprietor of steam thrashing machines Kelly's Directory 1890 and 1906
Date of Death:
27th September 1916
Where died:
Wounded 9/15. Killed in action. France. 27.9.1916. No known grave. [source: Essex Regiment Museum database]
Place of Burial or Commemoration:
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial. Pier & Face 10D
List of Sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Essex Record Office, Essex Regiment Museum. Soldiers who Died in the Great War.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Blackmore. Remembrance 100. Twenty-one days. Twenty-one names. (19) Herbert Charles Game

Herbert Charles Game
War Memorial: Place and inscription
Blackmore War Memorial: Pte. H. Game E. Surrey
Church Window: Herbert C Game
Ongar & District War Memorial Hospital Roll of Honour (Blackmore) as H C Game [ERO A10815]
East Surrey Regiment. 9th Battalion. Service No. 1040.  [CWGC]
Service Details:
Medal rolls: E Surrey R Pte 1040 K in A
Victory/British E 263 B p. 145
15 star E/1/4 B1 p. 56

First served [1] France 25/8/1915.  No contact address.
Personal and family information:
Charles, the father of Herbert Charles, was born Q3 1868 Cockfield [FreeBMD], and was living there in 1881 [census].  He married Martha Kate Campen Q1 1890 in Cosford RD, which includes Cockfield [FreeBMD].  Martha’s birth was also registered Q3 1871 Cosford. 

The 1911 Census records:
Charles Games. Head. Married. [Age] 43. “Farm Labrour”. [Born] Suffolk Capfield.
Martha Kate Games. Wife. Married 21 [years]. [Age] 41. [Born] Suffolk. Capfield
Herbert Charles Games. Son. Single. [Age] 19.  Cow Boy.  [Born] Suffolk. Capfield
Robert Henry Games. Son. Single. [Age] 17.  Cow Boy.  [Born] Suffolk. Capfield
Jane May Games.  Daughter.  [Age] 12. School. [Born] Suffolk Capfield
Alfred Thomas Games.  Son. [Age] 8.  School.  [Born] Blackmore Essex
Ross Cocksedge. Nephew. Single.  [Age] 22.  Horseman.  [Born] Suffolk Shimpling
For Capfield read Cockfield, near Lavenham.

The 1910 Electoral Roll for Blackmore has Charles Games as a voter living at Swallows Cross.
Colin Game (a descendant) says that Jane May Games should read Iona May Game.

Herbert Game is a name occurring more than once. Another, Herbert Game (H C Game’s uncle), 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 15th October 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].
Date of Death:
16th August 1916
Where died:
Killed in action at the Battle of the Somme [CWGC]
Place of Burial or Commemoration:
Thiepval Memorial.  Pier and Face 6B. [CWGC]
List of Sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Essex Regiment Museum, Free BMD, Colin Game a descendant of the person commemorated.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Blackmore. Remembrance 100. Twenty-one days. Twenty-one names. (18) William Edward Rudling

William Edward Rudling
War Memorial: Place and inscription
Blackmore War Memorial: Pte. W. Rudling.
Church window: William E Rudling.
Ongar & District War Memorial Hospital Roll of Honour (Blackmore) as W E Rudley, (probably on account of the fact that it was several years after the conclusion of the Great War that the Hospital was built) [ERO A10815].
Suffolk Regiment. 2nd Battalion.  Service No: 27046. [CWGC]
Service Details:
Born: Blackmore, Essex
Enlisted: Epping [SDGW]
Medal card: Victory/British K/1/103 B15 p. 2956 [Ancestry.com]
Personal and family information:
Brother of Mr. A. Rudling, of 10, Elm Park, Brixton Hill, London. [CWGC]
The name does not appear on the 1881 census for Blackmore, or having been born in Blackmore.  Perhaps a later resident.
William Edward Rudling was baptised on 27th April 1879 at St Michael’s Church, Thorpe-le-Soken (Tendring district), Essex.  His parents were William (a painter) and Sarah.  The priest records the place of residence as ‘Thorp’ [ERO D/P 8/1/6].
The 1901 census lists William Rudling, age 22, as a grocer’s assistant.  He gives his birthplace as Thorp-le-Soken, and lived in Church Street with John Martin (also born Thorpe-le-Soken) and family, in what is now Longbeam Cottage. 
1911: Living in Blackmore, age 30 (so was 8 years older than in 1901!)
Date of Death:
16th August 1916
Where died:
Killed in action in the Battle of the Somme.
Place of Burial or Commemoration:
Thiepval Memorial.  Pier and Face 2A.
List of Sources:
Ancestry.com, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Essex Record Office, Soldiers who Died in the Great War,

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Blackmore. Remembrance 100. Last Chance to See Moving Tribute

The Poppy Trail and Display in the churchyard of St Laurence, Blackmore, has attracted many visitors over the last fortnight.  Many have commented that it is a "moving tribute" to those who served in the First World War, whose Centenary of its ending was marked on 11 November.  Photographs taken this afternoon.  This is the last opportunity to see the work before it is dismantled on Wednesday 21 November. Can be seen during the shortening daylight hours.

Blackmore. Remembrance 100. Twenty-one days. Twenty-one names. (17) Albert Edward Barker

Albert Edward Barker
War Memorial: Place and inscription
Blackmore War Memorial: Pte. A. Barker Essex
Church window: Edward Barker
Ongar & District War Memorial Hospital Roll of Honour (Blackmore) as E Barker [ERO A10815]
Essex Regiment. 2nd Battalion.  No. 32975 [CWGC]
Service Details:
There are several men by the name of Albert Edward Barker who served in the Essex Regiment.  Blackmore’s fallen victim is:

Albert Edward Barker
Essex Regiment 2nd Battalion
Born: Romford
Lived: Blackmore
Enlisted: Epping
Killed in action. France. 10.10.1917
No Known Grave  [Source: Essex Regiment Museum database]
Personal and family information:
Son of Edward and Amy Barker; husband of Lily Quilter (formerly Barker), of 2, Marion Villas, Oldchurch Rd., Romford. [CWGC]

1911 Census.  This Romford born man was an off licence holder in Camberwell, South East London.  His wife, Lily, three years older than him, aged 32, assisted him in the running of the business. At that time they had two children, Lilian Amy, aged 7, and Edward Leslie, aged 5, who were both at school.  Staying with them on the night of the census was a visitor and monthly nurse, Emma Langstone, aged 64, from Maldon Essex.  The family were all born in Romford. 

1881 Census. Records Lilly Langstone b. 1879 Dagenham, daughter of George & Emma, living Chigwell.

Listed (erroneously) as absent voter at The Bull on the 1918 Electoral Register (because he had died) [ERO C/E 2/1/1].

Baptism of daughter at St Laurence Blackmore: 31st January 1913.   Doris Emma, daughter of Albert Edward & Lily Barker, Licensed Victualler [ERO 266/1/17]

Kelly’s Directory 1914 records the landlord of The Bull Blackmore as Albert Edward Barker.  In 1917 we find the landlady as publican: Mrs Lily Barker. [http://www.deadpubs.co.uk/EssexPubs/Blackmore/bull.shtml].  Given the trade undertaken in the 1911 census this appears to be the link between the man and Blackmore.
After Albert’s death Lily remarried and moved presumably from Blackmore back to Romford. Her surname was Quilter.
Date of Death:
10th October 1917 [CWGC]
Where died:
Died at Peolcappelle. [CWGC]
Place of Burial or Commemoration:
Commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.
List of Sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission, deadpubs.co.uk, Essex Record Office, Essex Regiment Museum.