Civilian War Dead - Metropolitan Borough of Hackney

Discussion in 'WWII (1939 - 1945)' started by mugwortismy cat, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    When Half Hour prodded me into visiting my local cemetery (East London Cemetery in Plaistow) I took pictures of various memorials, in the main I didn't trust my tiny digital camera to take good pictures of engraved stone [plus my viewer was so tiny (and the sky rather overcast) that I couldn't tell if I had accurately captured the information anyway -- so luckily my friend with his fancy camera has taken pictures of such names and put them on a CD for me]. However, this memorial was not a challenge for photography skills as weak as mine ...

    East London Cemetery 001 75.jpg

    So, here is my latest project [may it not fall by the wayside like so many others]

    There are 105 names here [well, 101 names, 4 unidentified] -- this is not all the civilian war dead of Hackney, CWGC.org tells me that there are actually 750 of them. However, these are the civilians buried in two mass graves [I assume that they didn't have family around who could, or who could afford, to claim them and bury them elsewhere]. I do not know the location of the actual graves, but I don't think it is in this cemetery

    They are mainly listed in order of death date, though there are a few anomalies.

    I am not asking for help (yet) but I would like to post any findings (and frustrations) here [and would not spurn anyone who leapt in to set me straight or to add ideas/information etc etc]. I am hoping I will be able to tell a few stories ...
     
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  2. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Looking at the groups of names, they could well be families whose houses were hit and so they might not even have had remains to put in individual graves. Just knowing that they were in the houses might have been enough for them to have been accounted for. Again, those who were unidentified, might not have had any clues left as to who they had been. These thoughts are awful, but it so often sadly happened.

    It might be worth checking out directories of the time to see who the householders were to try to plot their addresses as well as using electoral registers.
     
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  3. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    That sounds a very special idea for a new project, Muggy.

    One source that might help in your research is the Metropolitan Police records from MEPO 4 at Kew, which can be downloaded free as 'digital microfilm' from The National Archives' website. There are certainly Second World War civilian casualty lists among these, for example MEPO 4/309, which contains list nos 72-127 from 1 February 1941 to 23 November 1943.

    You will probably find other relevant material by browsing in the catalogue. In Advanced Search, put in the date range 1939 to 1945, and the reference MEPO 4 in the 'Search within' box.

    To proceed with downloading, you have to pretend to shop: add the item to your shopping basket and then go to the checkout, but there is no charge! The files are big but if you have a good broadband connection that shouldn't be a problem.
     
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  4. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    That photo brings back memories.....one of the other memorials is to those drowned in the Princess Alice disaster on the Thames. If you want a potted history of the cemetery take a look at findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2162468

    Ann
     
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  5. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    I did have a look at findagrave before I went, but I didn't know about or see the Princess Alice memorial.

    I took pictures of a large war memorial put up in 1917 by the directors of the cemetery; no names on this, side 1 commemorates war dead (men) of the British Empire, side 2 the Allies [including Japan, Roumania, Montenegro], side 3 the wounded; and I completely forgot to photograph side 4 :confused:

    East London Cemetery 007 75.jpg

    Then there is a wall, which I think only has the soldiers of WW1

    East London Cemetery 014 85.jpg

    A memorial to the civilian dead of West Ham - here's a small section (see my camera is capable of close-ups)

    East London Cemetery 028 85.jpg

    A memorial to those killed at the launching of HMS Albion

    East London Cemetery 013 85.jpg

    So I have things to keep me occupied (when I am bored of my own family) for the next few years :)
     
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  6. Half Hour

    Half Hour Well-Known Member

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    What a lovely idea, mugswortismycat ():-) I believe one of my husband's relatives and spouse were civilian casualties however I am not 100% certain. I don't see them on the memorial but I am sure there are others who will be happy to find names of people they are searching.
    Thank you :)
     
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  7. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    It's good to see that the cemetery is still well kept - it looks like you have plenty to keep you going Mugswort :)

    Ann
     
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  8. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    What a lovely place to wander about in,...& learn.
     
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  9. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    Thanks for this tip Huncamunca :)

    have now downloaded all (I hope) Casualty lists + Index, and the Met Police War Diaries.

    The unidentified casualty list is not digitised, though I am not sure what I would have been able to find on this, I now feel that the completist in me has been denied o_O
     
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  10. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    Ann, it is in the main a very well kept place:) and rather pleasant, however the West Ham memorial is at the back and the reason that I didn't post my picture of the whole memorial is that there was rather a lot of rubbish around it, despite a large bin nearby ... o_O

    [of course I probably should have tidied it up myself, I do that when I am in bookshops]
     
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  11. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    :mad: Frustration #1

    Electoral Registers [as transcribed on Ancestry]
    a) whoever said that running a document through OCR software was transcribing it? It may be a valid (and less daunting way) of dealing with a lot of text, but surely you then check it -- the human eye would never look at "Mary" and then read it as "Man-" because the tail of the 'y' was slightly faded
    b) either transcribe the address or don't -- most aren't, some are, and those that are are almost invariably wrong, and often completely nonsensical gibberish
    c) ensure the index is in the same order as the image transcribed ... please

    I have just spent, let's not say how long [A HUGE CHUNK OF MY LIFE:mad:], and I'm not even quite finished, going through a building of interest on one electoral register. It's an institution, so I have lots of people to consider, although only four of immediate relevance, and only two of those are on the memorial -- I kept thinking I'll just tidy up the spelling of that name, oh but also let's just get the address right too, oh no that person is missing -- oh, hang on, no they aren't but they are in the middle of a household in the neighbouring street ...

    It is possible for me to ignore these errors, download the image, prepare my own transcription ... why, oh why, did I feel the need to correct one whole image (2 actual pages) of an electoral register just because it offended my sense of aesthetics :oops: and/or ethics :rolleyes: ... it's not as if I have the time to correct them all ...:eek:
     
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  12. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    I have used OCR quite a lot over the years, and know exactly what you mean. Fine if the print is neat and in straight lines, but a nightmare when it curves at the side of a page or there is a fold in the paper :( Having said that, I've sometimes had a good laugh at the way some things have come over.......

    And I can quite understand how you want to 'tidy up' the transcription - it gets a bit compulsive after a while :rolleyes:

    Ann
     
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  13. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Oh yes it would (evidently), have you not read UK census transcriptions?

    This is what keeps people 'fixing up' newspapers in Trove.
     
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  14. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    :)Story #1

    Lidiana PALK

    Lidiana is not immediately relevant to the story of the memorial, she died in 1928, nor was she originally going to be my first story (that is actually even further back in time).

    My attempts to trace two women on the memorial were going nowhere (I was managing to eliminate candidates, but that was all); so I think, for now at least, their story lies in the story of the place they were living -- I won't go into that now, that is a story for later. In tracing through the electoral registers to find out (as far as possible) when these two women were living in this building, I stumbled upon an entry for Lidiana.

    I still have some electoral registers to track down, I can only tell you that Lidiana was not listed at this place in 1924, but she was listed in the electoral register for 1929.

    The entry reads "PALK, Lidiana (commonly called The Lady Haldon)"

    Lidiana was 72 when she died, therefore born c1856; though some online trees suggest c1870. This is what "The Anglo-African Who's Who and Biographical Sketchbook" (Wills, 1907 -- on Google books) has to say about Lord Haldon and his wife:

    "The present Lord Haldon was formerly Capt. in the 3rd Batt. Royal Fusiliers, and served with the I.Y. [?] in the South African War. He succeeded to the barony hi [sic] 1903. He married, in 1893, Miss Lidiana Amalia Crezencia Maichle, daughter of an officer in the Russian Army. Lady Haldon made a reputation on the stage as Mlle. Miska and is a talented musician, good horsewoman, and shot, and an amateur artist."

    This was Lidiana's 2nd marriage by all accounts (including The Peerage); and you can see on FreeBMD, in Mar 1893 in Westminster, Lawrence William PALK married Lidiana Amalia C Maichle DREW.

    However, I can also see on FreeBMD, in Dec 1886 in the Strand, the marriage of Lidiana Crezencia A DREW or MISKA, to either Erik Frederik B FORSSELL or Edouard Paul L o/w Paul GUEDONNET.

    I've run out of time to investigate further as I must sleep {I have an appointment tomorrow morningo_O}, but I have noted an entry for Lidiana and Lawrence William PALK on TNA (looks suspiciously like divorce proceedings)

    I may continue this later ... if you are interested ;)
     
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  15. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    And this is from the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 10th March 1928.
    The Hon. Lawrence Palk, whose sentence for a petty jewellery theft is reported today, bears a good West Country name. His father, the third Lord Haldon, is a descendant of Sir Robert Palk, one-time Governor of Madras, who concluded an unfortunate Treaty at Hyderabad with the Niram in 1766, and after whom the Palk Straits between India and Ceylon are named. The first Lord Haldon, whose title connotes the West Country, too, was a Devonshire M.P. from 1854 to 1880. The present Lord Haldon, now 59, was at Eton, succeeded his father in 1903 and was a captain in the Royal Fusiliers, served in South Africa with the Imperial Yeomanry. His heir, the Hon. Lawrence, is 32, and the latter’s mother, Lidiana Amelia Crezencia, was daughter of Colonel J. W. Maichle, formerly of the Russian Army under the Tsarist regime.
    I can have a look and see if I can find more later.

    Ann
     
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  16. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Google brings forth lots of info also.
     
  17. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    Have done a little more digging re: Lidiana

    1) Firstly I have found her in the 1891 census living at the Hotel Continental, Regents St, as Lydiana MISKA, she is married, b c 1855, in Switzerland (most online sources I had previously seen assume she is Russian as her father served in the Russian Army)

    2) Marriages: I definitely count 3, as I say everyone else only has 2!

    Husband 1: Mr D.F. Drew, bit of a mystery so far (though I haven't tried hard), I did see a tree online which suggested he was American [?], the Peerage says merely that he and Lidiana married before 1893 and that he died before 1893, and that he lived in America

    Husband 2: Eri(c)k Fredri(c)k Botoid Forssell, married 1886 at the Register Office, Strand, Lidiana is happy to admit to being a divorced woman at this time, so no need for Mr Drew to have died.
    Lidiana files for divorce in 1890, citing her husband's adultery and cruelty (including 3 occasions when the police were involved); during 1891 the petition having not been served to her husband who is apparently 'avoiding' it, degree nisi is granted (Decree absolute in 1892) -- Lidiana is at a hotel in Cairo during the search for Erik, and hires a man called Harry Stammers from Clapham to hunt him down.
    At some stage Erik must have decided to get involved, a report from the Queen's Proctor accuses Lidiana herself of adultery with Lawrence William Palk at the Hotel Continental, and at other places unknown -- and, a standard cheap shot that seems to be required in such documents, various other men unknown in places unknown [Lidiana's petititon uses almost identical phrasing -- one named woman, specific place, unknown women, unknown places].
    There is a note that the decree is rescinded and cancelled (I think those were the terms) as if Lidiana's adultery meant that her husband was innocent! I think this must be in regard to maintenence etc.; she also had to pay costs to the Queens Proctor. I assume however, that they were still divorced, I think the word dissolved was used at some stage but I wasn't sure if the marriage was dissolved or the decree -- (probaby should re-read the documents, or get someone else to explain them)

    Husband 3: Lawrence William Palk (Baron Haldon), I have found the Marriage Allegation but not the actual marriage register. The named church was St James Piccadilly, Lidiana's name is given as Maichle, and Drew has been added in (no mention of Forssell), it is claimed she is a widow.
    There are two documents relating to divorce proceedings between Lawrence and Lidiana, in 1902 and 1905
    I might make time to read these documents later, but I surmise that a divorce from Lord Haldon explains the phrase that first drew my attention, "commonly called The Lady Haldon" -- as in, she doesn't really have the right to use the title anymore but she persists in doing so ...

    So, that is the story of Lidiana Palk -- it may be nice to flesh this out a bit more, but I have other priorities ... like a war memorial to research
     
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  18. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    There is a marriage for an Amalia Lily Maichle in 1881 in Westminster St. Margaret, London with a Delos Fenimore Drew on the same page.

    This from Trove. Although by the time it was reported in the Tazmanian news it was already 2 years old.

    Advocate (Tazmania) Tuesday 6 May 1930

    An Adventurous Career. - LORD HALDON - WORKED ON GOLDFIELDS.
    LONDON, Sunday.—The "Daily Express" reveals that Lord Haldon, whose wife's death was reported yesterday as the result of falling over a cliff, has had an adventurous career, including manual work on the Australian goldfields. When he inherited it, not a penny piece was attaching to his title. For some years Lord Haldon continued to be known as Lawrence Palk. He went to Australia in the hope of rebuilding the family fortunes, and afterwards served in the Imperial Yeomanry in the south African War. When he made money on the goldfields he went to Sydney, and qualified as a, mining engineer. Ho rejoined the army in the World War.

    The Haldons were living at Brixton in poor circumstances. A cable yesterday stated that a boy told the Brighton police on Thursday that he had seen a woman fall over the cliff 100 feet high at Black Rock. A search revealed the body of an elderly, well-dressed woman, whose identity was a mystery till Lord Haldon identified the remains as those of his wife, who was Lidiana Amelia Crezencia, daughter of Colonel Jacob Matichle, late of the Imperial Russian Army. They were married in 1893, and have one son, the Hon. Lawrence Edward Broomfield Palk. Lord Haldon, who said he could not account for his wife going to Brighton, and that she had been suffering from sleeplessness, has recently been living in furnished apartments in the London suburb of Brixton.
     
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  19. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    Thanks for that Chimp:), good finds!

    After I was supposed to have stopped looking at Lidiana, well, I didn't ... I performed one more quick internet search and found an article in PapersPast from 1922
    http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=NA19221021.2.52.3

    It seems that despite the two divorce proceedings (which I still haven't read) that Lidiana and Lawrence were still married, although there had been a separation agreement in 1920. She was trying to get maintenance and he couldn't afford it. Apparently, he was still hoping to divorce her, on the grounds that she was already married when he married her ... but is he referring to Mr Drew or Mr Forssell?

    And, for now, I will leave it there, though I suspect there is much more to find out ... nothing to stop anyone else doing more digging ;)

    Also, I thought you might like to see this: Mlle. Miska in 1886

    mllemiska.jpg
     
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  20. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    I am still working on electoral registers, due to the problems mentioned in a previous post I can't just type in the name of the Institution I am looking for -- I'll never find it :confused: -- luckily I have some names to look for, and one or two other tricks to try, but they don't all get me to the right place, never mind, a hunt stirs the blood:D .... and I'll let you know when I get too despondent:)

    Also, I thought I'd look at the 1911 census --- the Lodgekeeper in 1911 was still there in 1940, so it's not entirely irrelevant -- anyway, as I mentioned I am looking at the whole history of the place [I will tell you what it is called later -- in a proper story ;) -- though I am sure you will be able to find out if you really can't wait ... but please if you do don't blab to everyone else]

    For now I am going to share with you a (slightly edited) version of a householder's schedule ....

    Margaret McSWINEY or SWINEY; Resident of ... the last 18 years, All alone in the world, all loved ones gone; 78 years next June; Single always; [children] none; Governess since the age of 15 years old, in England but never so in Foreign Countries of Europe. Recurring stipend from ...; Born in London Spitalfields 79[?] Eden[?] Street 1833 June 17th at my Father's business[?] house; Infirm through Rheumatic Gout these last 8[?] years

    Some bureaucratic type has crossed through some of her comments in red pen:rolleyes:
     
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