GRANDADS FAMILY ANECDOTE 2: My Grandad was not so lucky.

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Egyptian Pharaoh
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GRANDADS FAMILY ANECDOTE 2: My Grandad was not so lucky.

Post by Grandad »

2: Grandad was not so lucky.
Thanks folks for your responses to my first tale and how we drifted into inherited family names.

In my first story, uncle Jim was lucky in WWII to survive his ship being sunk and 5 years a POW under the Germans. Jim (James) and his brother Fred (Frederick) were my mothers older brothers. As we discussed in my first story, they also inherited their fathers (my grandfathers) first names of James Frederick who I will refer to as 'JF' in this story.

There is confusion about his date of birth and I think he lied about it to get into work in his early years. There is a record of him claiming his DoB as 4 October 1884. In the April 1901 census he is a 'boy' of 15 on the coaster 'Mary Ann' which could make his DoB 1885. The April 1911 census records him as 24 yoa, married and father of 2 sons. This would put his DoB as October 1886 which I believe is his true birth year.

At that time he was an oyster dredger and a registered member of the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR). At the outbreak of WWI in August 1914 he was immediately called up for naval service and was drafted to the cruiser HMS Cressy. I may have told this story before but on the morning of 22 September 1914 the Cressy and sister ships Hogue and Aboukir were all torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine with considerable loss of life including that of my grandfather JF.
A picture of the ill fated HMS Cressy
I am proud that my Maternal Grandad, Able Seaman JF Wootton, is remembered on both the Maritime Memorial at Chatham in Kent and on the Memorial in Whitstable High Street, both of which I visited to record his name.
19140922 Chatham Naval Memorial.jpg
19140922 J F Wootton on Chatham Memorial 1.JPG
19140922 JFW Remembered on Whitstable Memorial 1.jpg
At that time, when 27 years of age, he had fathered two more children, my aunt Lillian and my mother who was just 11 months old. So my grandmother Alberta was left a widow with 4 young children to support.
A daunting task.
They all lived in Whitstable, a little town that I am very fond of, on the north Kent coast. Over the years when walking along the seafront I have seen what is claimed to be the last of the Whitstable Oyster yawls and the subject of a restoration project. I have often leaned over and touched the gunwale for no other reason than its connection to my beloved Whitstable.
The Oyster Yawl, F69 Favourite.
Oyster Yawl F69 Favourite built 1890.JPG
In my family history searches another Ancestry member had obtained a copy of JF's RNR service record which she copied to me. Imagine my surprise when reading his service record BEFORE WWI call up to find that he had worked on that very yawl, 'Favourite', and more than likely I touched the gunwale that my grandfather JF had touched more than 100 years ago.
Things like this give a feeling of connection to a grandfather I never knew.
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Re: GRANDADS FAMILY ANECDOTE 2: My Grandad was not so lucky.

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

All quite interesting

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Re: GRANDADS FAMILY ANECDOTE 2: My Grandad was not so lucky.

Post by Mad Dilys »

I can identify with that, I especially love touching something that a once belonged to a loved family member, very warm and satisfying feeling.
Smile! It confuses people

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