In the remembrance of those killed in the world wars, it is easy to overlook those left behind whose “intended” never returned. Without a marriage record, how do we even know about the impact of such loss?
Family notes indicate that great aunt Edie (Neal, born 1887 Norwich) was one such. She is the one looking towards the camera in the masthead photo – taken about 1916, had the worst happened already or was something still dreaded? We don’t know even the name of the intended. Might their family have found and kept any letters exchanged? It is hard to see that there could be any record otherwise.
Although not noted, it is possible that great aunt Gertie (Howes, born 1891 Norwich) also lost her beau. Certainly she never married.
There are other reasons why women never marry, of course. The suffragette movement may have been in full swing, but women choosing to live alone was still hardly the done thing.
Others who fit the profile include:
- Possibly all 5 of the Jones sisters, second cousins twice removed: Daisy Isabel (born 1892 Bow, d 1970 Worthing), Elsie Emma (b 1895 Bow, d 1973 Worthing), Kathleen Frances (b 1888 Bow, died 1971 Wandsworth), Gertrude Ellen (b 1889 Bow, single at 1939). Kathleen and Elsie were both teachers.
- Alberta Gladys Briselden (born 1892 Reading), Ella Grace Briselden (born 1896 Catford), Lilian May Briselden (born 1902 Lewisham).
- Drucilla Kate Horwood (born 1896 Ilford).
A simple list of those family connections who lost their lives in the First World War. Apologies for any who should be here but aren’t – please provide info so it can be added. Roughly chronological.
- Charles William Bacon (d May 1915, Perth Cemetery Ypres), spouse of 2nd cousin twice removed Mary Ann Jessie Rainer.
- John William Gilham (d Aug 1915, Helles Memorial, Gallipoli), great uncle to Roy Shephard.
- Arthur William Gunton (d Jan 1916, Albert Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme), brother in law to 1st cousin once removed Ethel Williams.
- Leonard Charles Andrews (d May 1916, Battle of Jutland, Wireman 2nd Class onHMS Invincible) brother-in-law to Henry Neal.
- Isaiah Trask (d Jun 1916, Ypres grave marker says J Trask), Thomas Arthur Trask (d Sep 1916, Thiepval Memorial, Somme), stepsons of 2x great aunt Margaret Osborne.
- Clifford Pike Fabian (d Jul 1916, Thiepval Memorial, Somme) nephew-in-law of 1st cousin Kate Jane Watts.
- George (William Press) Watts (d Mar 1917, Arras Memorial), 1st cousin twice removed – son of Mary Watts.
- James Platford (d Apr 1917, Agny Military Cemetery), spouse of 1st cousin twice removed Anna Mary Watts.
- Ernest Woodcock (d Jul 1917, Ypres Menin Gate Memorial), father-in-law of 2nd cousin once removed Gordon Edward Feek.
- Walter Watts (d Sep 1917, Thiepval Memorial, Somme), 1st cousin twice removed – son of William and Anna.
- Thomas Harold Briselden (d Oct 1917, Beersheba War Cemetery, Israel), 1st cousin once removed to Muriel Shephard.
- Herbert James Fake (d Nov 1917, Gaza War Cemetery), nephew in law to 2x great gran Harriet Cutlock.
- Henry Gladstone Price (d Nov 1917, Gaza War Cemetery), great uncle to brother’s wife.
- James Frederick Stenning (d Dec 1917, Cambrai Memorial, Louverval), father-in-law to Muriel’s uncle.
- William Griffiths Davies (d Nov 1918, US Army), 1st cousin three times removed.
- Alfred Parrish (d Jul 1918), 1st cousin twice removed of Roy Shephard.
Briselden, Fake and Price are also mentioned in Stretching a connection to the grave, which features the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.
This list is definitely incomplete. Alphabetical.
- Ernest Henry Beasor, Corporal Royal Armoured Corps, died France Jun 1944 (Bayeux War Cemetery).
- George Alexander Beasor, Sergeant Royal Marines, died UK Aug 1941 (Manchester Philips Park Cemetery).
- Frank Henry Crundwell, RAF, lost at sea Apr 1941 (El Alamein memorial).
- John Thomas Liddiard, ARP, died Kent Jan 1940.
- Peter Scott died in Chester Jan 1945, age 58, having had a serious illness on his journey to Palestine earlier in the war.
- Jack Kenneth Siddens, Lt Col US Army died May 1943.
- Clarence Norman Vickery died in Italy 16th Oct 1944.
- William George Vickery died in Italy 13th Oct 1943.
- Cecil George Watts, Corporal Royal Engineers, died 18th May 1940 (buried Belgium).