Imagine my shock on receiving my great great great great grandfather’s death certificate to find that he had hung himself. According to the certificate he had ‘hung himself with a hempen cord in his own dwelling house being lunatic’. He was a joiner and there had been no sign in the census of anything untoward.
During the past six months I have found some more extended family members who took part in military conflicts. If you can add anything to any of these or have a photo of anyone I’d love to hear from you. As always any sources can be obtained by contacting me. Previously I have detailed other family members involved with the military that can be seen here: Anzac day, Anzac Day 2015, ANZAC Day 2016 and ANZAC day 2017 – Additional family military personnel.
Robert was the son of Robert Collier (1797 – 1870) and his wife Elizabeth. His grandparents were James Collier and Ann Walton. Robert (married to Elizabeth) was a brother of Francis Collier (married to Mary Wardleworth for the Collier descendants). Robert (1797 – 1870) migrated to America. His son Robert was a private in the 50th Regiment in Pennsylvania. He was discharged on 2 June, 1865 after 1 year. His wife Charity applied for a widow’s pension which is how we know he enlisted.
Nesbitt and Robert Gregg
Nesbitt and Robert Gregg were two of the sons of William Gregg and Eleanor Nesbitt (we think Nesbitt is probably her maiden name). They were born near Raphoe in County Donegal, Ireland and migrated to Pennsylvania in the 1840s (at different dates). They both were in the civil war draft registration.
Spencer Murch Mumby
Spencer was the third husband of Esther Rowe and she in turn was the second wife of Benjamin Scarfe. Benjamin had been previously married to Elizabeth Johnstone, a sister of Andrew Alexander Johnstone (who married Annie Hood) and daughter of John Joseph Johnstone and Elizabeth Pattison. Elizabeth died after child birth. Spencer was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th Hampshire Corp in 1879. When he married Esther in 1899 in London he was ‘of New York’ and the son of the late Colonel Mumby, JP.
Edward Harold Row
Grandson of Mary Ann Kent and Joseph Row, Mary Ann was the daughter of Robert Kent and Jenny Pront and Robert the son (I believe) of John Kent and Mary Warren of Tavistock. Edward was a clerk when he joined the Royal Artillery in 1886 and served in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) from 1887 to 1890.
Emil Lyell Joseph Austin
Husband of Vera Selina Stokes who was the daughter of Elizabeth Ann Sims (the Boyd side) and William Henry Thomas Stokes. Emil enlisted on 21 May 1918 toward the end of WWI and the war ended before he was sent overseas. He was an engineering apprentice when he enlisted.
David Scott Boyd
David was the son of John Boyd and Jessie Watt and the great grandson of James Boyd who married Mary Brown. David was a merchant seaman in WWI.
Douglas Gordon Elliot Brown
Douglas was the husband of Evelyn Watt Boyd Young who was the niece of the above David Scott Boyd. He was a pilot in the 485 (NZ) Squadron, RAF New Zealand airforce and became a squadron leader.
Walter Herbert Castle
Elizabeth Britnell was the grandmother of Walter. She was the grand-daughter of Jonah Britnell and Charlotte Rush. Walter enlisted in the army service corp in England in 1917. He was 38 years old and married to Amy Caroline Bird.
Angus Henry Gregg
Angus was the grandson of Richard Gregg and Catherine McKay and the genealogy connection here is interesting. Richard was from near Raphoe in County Donegal and Catherine was from the Isle of Skye – who is the connection? Or is it both? Angus enlisted in 1917 when he was (probably) 17 years old. (His birth was registered in 1900 in Victoria so he could have been born earlier). He was a private with the AIF. He married Beatrice May Evans in London in 1919 when he said he was 23. When he died in 1973 he was said to be 72 suggesting a date of birth of 1900.
Noel was born in Wardleworth, near Rochdale in Lancashire, in 1915. He was the great grandson of Ellen Collier (daughter of Francis Collier and Mary Wardleworth) and James Hilton. His family emigrated to Australia when he was twelve years old. He enlisted in Adelaide in the RAAF at the outbreak of WWII and served until 1948. He was an NCO.
Arthur Cuthbert Turner
He was the great grandson of Henry Gardiner Turner and Judith Sloggett (Sluggett) born in 1904 in St Kilda, Victoria. He married Doris May Stapleton in Victoria in 1929. He enlisted as a Flying Officer in the RAAF in 1943 when he was thirty-nine years old. Arthur died in 1989 when he was eighty-five years old.
There has been a large gap between posts as I’ve had a lot of work on and been doing some courses but hopefully posts will be more frequent going forward.
Francis was the father of John Collier who emigrated to Australia with his wife Ann Schofield and their son Francis in 1840. Francis was living with his wife Mary and their children Ann, Betty and Robert at the time of the 1841 census. He was a weaver aged 45 and Mary was aged 50, remembering that ages of adults were rounded down to the nearest five in the 1841 English census.
Following on from my ANZAC day posts in 2014 and 2015 I have found additional family members who fought in various 20th Century wars. As always I’d love to hear from anyone who is related, interested, connected, has more information or photos. Unfortunately this post is lacking in images.
Emil Lyell Joseph Austin
Emil was the husband of Vera Selina Stokes, she was the daughter of Elizabeth Ann Sims and William Henry Thomas Stokes. This is on the Boyd side of the family. Emil was the son of James Henry and Lucy Austin. He joined up on 21 May 1918 in Adelaide, South Australia long before he married Vera. Although he only made training camp at Mitcham he managed several late and absent charges. The war ended before he was sent overseas.
Robert Stanley Barnicott
Robert was on the Baldwin side of the family, through Maria Roberts. He was the son of Catherine Casbard and Walter Nicholas Barnicott. He married Cassandra Tovee in 1914. He enlisted on September 6, 1914 at Tower Hamlets, London in the navy. He was initially on the President II and then the Dacdalus at Dunkirk. He was a machine ruler when he enlisted.
Edward Ethelbert Nelson Bertram
Again on the Baldwin / Roberts side of the family Edward was the son of Eliza Ann Dartnall and Edward Ethelbert Bertram. He was married to Ethel Annie Beddoes in Stourbridge, England in 1903. He enlisted in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force on June 20, 1916. He said that he had previously been in the Australian Light Horse. He was a mining engineer.
Percy Victor Bertram
Percy, brother to Edward, also enlisted in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force. He joined up a week later and said that he had been born in Melbourne, Australia whereas he appears to have been born in Cambridge, England. He also that he had previously served in the Australian Light Horse. He married Edith Armfield in 1904 in Kensington, England.
Henry George Eyre
Henry was born in 1889 in London, the son of William James Eyre and Charlotte Seals. This is again on the Baldwin / Roberts side of the family as Henry’s grandmother was Mary Roberts (sister to Maria) who married Henry Eyre. Henry married Florence Caroline Dowsett in 1914. He was a munitions worked when he enlisted on December 11, 1915. He was a signaller at HQ 84 Brigade, R.G.A.
John Frederick Fiedler
John joined up as John Frederick Fielder and although initially saying he was Lutheran on his attestation papers, this was crossed off and replaced with Church of England, probably trying to play down his German background which was two generations away. He was the son of John Augustus Fiedler and Selina Stothers and was born in North Fitzroy in 1891. He enlisted in the 46th battalion on January 17, 1916. He was a metal worker. He suffered a gunshot wound to the head in 1917 but survived.
Henry Angelo Hallpike
Also on the Baldwin / Roberts side of the family Henry was the son of Jamie Maria Dartnall and Vincent Henry Hallpike. Henry had married Alice Maud Middleton in 1912 in Kennington, Surrey. He enlisted on 26 June 1916 in the navy and was on the same two ships as his cousin Robert Barnicott.
On the Collier side of the family, Albert was the son of Andrew Alexander Johnstone and Annie Hood. He was born in 1878 in Pleasant Creek,Victoria and enlisted on February 2, 1915 at Box Hill and assigned to the 21st Battalion and sent to Gallipoli. He was invalided back to Australia in March 1916 after a few bouts of influenza, heat stroke then defective eyes.
Godfrey Gleeson Johnstone
On the same side of the family Godfrey was born in New Zealand in 1895, the son of Robert Johnstone and Anastasia Gleeson. He was a second Lieutenant in the 22nd Squadron, Royal Flying Corp and was killed in action on January 30, 1918. He is remembered with honour at Merville, Community cemetery France.
John Sanders Johnstone
John was a cousin of Godfrey and son of Adam Bryden Johnstone and Margaret Fotherington Huddell. He was also born in New Zealand but in 1888. He was a rifleman in the New Zealand Rifle Company Reinforcements H Company. He survived the war and married Irene Elsie Clark in 1921.
Melville was a brother of the above Godfrey and was also in the Royal Flying Corp. He was a captain in the 27th Squadron and was killed in action on July 16, 1917. He is remembered with honour at Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, France.
Still on the Collier side of the family, but on the Britnell part. Norman was the son of Emily Swan and Robert Ray Quail born in Bairnsdale in 1894. He was a gunner on enlistment and promoted quickly to lieutenant. He embarked on the Aeneas on 3 October 1916. He went from the 119th Howitzer Battery, to the 4th DAC, then the 11th FAB then to France where he was gassed on 25 October 1917. He was wounded again on 10 July 1918, rejoined his unit, then wounded again. He was discharged 26 July 1918. He was awarded the Military Cross on 16 September 1918 for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. “When his battery in close support of the infantry came under very severe fire at close range, he showed cool courage whilst clearing the casualties and reorganizing the team. His timely service was of great value to the battery”.
Robert Arthur Quail
Robert was the older brother of Norman mentioned above. Robert was born in 1888 in Bairnsdale. He enlisted on July 10, 1915 and was in the 7th 21st Reinforcements.
Florence Elizabeth Roberts
Florence was the daughter of Robert George Roberts and Elizabeth Atkinson. She was born in 1880 in Middleton in Teesdale district, her father was a Wesleyan minister and the brother of Maria Roberts who married Joseph Baldwin. She enlisted on October 3, 1915 as a nurse but resigned in October 1916 to nurse her sick sister. She then re-enlisted and spent time in Genoa, Italy.
Arthur Welsley Roberts
Arthur was a brother to Florence mentioned above. He was born in 1893 in Knaresborough, Yorkshire. I only have his medal card from which I know he enlisted on September 11, 1914 and was discharged on March 10, 1917. He was in a Yorkshire & Lancashire Regiment.
Robert George Roberts
Robert was brother to Florence and Arthur above. He was born in 1882 in Blyth, Northumberland. He was initially a Sergeant in the 12th Yorkshire & Lancashire Regiment then promoted to Lieutenant. From his medal card I know he was in Egypt in 1915.
Stanley Halford Roberts
Another brother to the above three, Florence, Arthur and Robert, Stanley was born in 1883 in Blyth, Northumberland. When he enlisted on August 9, 1915 he was a secretary. He was a Sergeant in East Africa with the 622 Company and was a driver.
Frank Atkinson Roberts
Frank was another brother to the above four. He was born in 1886 in Whitby, Yorkshire and enlisted in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Forces in Edmonton, Canada on January 20, 1915. He married Muriel Lousie McLaren in Ottowa, Canada on January 27, 1922.
Claude was born in 1894 in Geelong and was the older brother of Leo Vincent mentioned below. Much taller than his younger brother he was a wood cutter by profession. He enlisted at Geelong on January 26, 1916 and was assigned to the 9th Reinforcements of the 2nd Pioneer Battalion, then in mid 1917 transferred to the 37th Battalion. He was then returned to Australia as unfit, amongst other things he had phitisis and died in Heidelberg in 1923 aged 28 years.
Leo Vincent Zimmer
Leo was the husband of Adeline Myra Johnstone. She was the daughter of Andrew Johnstone and Nellie Lindsey. Leo was a jockey and the son of Ernest Zimmer and Mary Bolger. He was born in 1901 in Geelong and enlisted on May 29, 1916 at Geelong in the 4/2nd Cyclists AIF. He was promoted to Lt. Corporal and wounded in action in France on August 10, 1918 and invalided home to Australia.
William James Zimmer
Another brother to Claude and Leo, William was born in 1884 and married Catherine Mary Stratton in 1913. He joined the 29th Battalion B Company on July 12, 1915. He was a labourer. He was transferred to the 32nd Battalion on August 12, 1918.
Keith Desmond Collier
Keith was the son of Harold James Collier and Jessie Victoria Longmore and was born in 1924 in Box Hill, Victoria. He served with the RAAF as an aircraftman.
Louis James Collier
Louis was the brother of the abovementioned Keith. He was born in 1922 in Victoria. He was a lance corporal in the SIGS 4 Australian Division.
Dempster, Alexander Elder
Alexander was the son of William Dempster and Ellen Mary Owen and was born at Birkenhead in 1908. William was the son of Jessie Johnstone and John Dempster so for the family out there, the Collier – Johnstone side of the family. Alexander was a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Welch Fusiliers. He was killed on June 23, 1941 and buried in Belfast City Cemetery.
How does a person I’m investigating become something more than the others I am researching? Sometimes someone gets under your skin and you want to know more. The Johnstone family as a whole has been a bit like that for me lately. My great-grandmothers brother Andrew has certainly captivated me and I will write about him soon. However his daughter Dorothy Lindsay Johnstone has recently captured my interest.