South Wales newspaper lookup, please

Discussion in 'Newspapers & Other Publications' started by Moff, Jul 23, 2021.

  1. Moff

    Moff Well-Known Member

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    I would be very grateful if someone could find a newspaper report of my grandfather's death in Swansea in October 1940. His name was Alexander George Moffat (usually known as Alex G Moffat), and I've been told he died from injuries received from flying glass during an air raid.
     
  2. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    If you send me your email address in a 'conversation' I will forward the one I found for you.
     
  3. Moff

    Moff Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks! Think I've done it right... :)
     
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  4. Moff

    Moff Well-Known Member

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    Mollymay kindly sent me brief details of my grandfather's obituary in the Western Mail of 24th October 1940. Unfortunately there is no mention of the cause of death so it just appears as if he died of old age (he was nearly 86, but still working).
    My interest in this came about because someone posted in a Facebook group I belong to an article about Swansea's war dead, military and civilian, and he's not on the lists. The only reference I can find to his death online is a website where someone remembers it happening in 1942 (wrong!) and my father telling me about it and that the RAF wouldn't let him go home for the funeral.
    If anyone can find any other information, perhaps in another newspaper, I would be very grateful :)
     
  5. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    I see Alex appears twice on the 1939 register.

    1. @ Exchange Buildings, Swansea

    2. at home with his wife and children, @ Highfield Porteynon Swansea

    Have searched other papers and can only find one other report of his death, it is just a shorter version of the one @MollyMay found. Sadly it doesn't give the cause of death.
     
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  6. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    I can’t access anything in newspapers but clanmoffatt on line has he was the victim of enemy bombing in December 1940 at Swansea Glamorgan. He was a ship manager, ship owner.
     
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  7. kernowmaid

    kernowmaid Well-Known Member

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    I've just been reading the "Western Mail" from the 1940's (it's so easy to get distracted!) - sorry Moff, but I don't think there's a report.

    Even that early in the war, the papers weren't allowed to mention actual places and very few "events" - (I assume it was to keep up morale). They just say "a town in Wales", and "few casualties".

    One reporter was at an RAF demo when a real call-out occurred. He wrote that he couldn't tell the readers where the planes are based or where they were sent, but "rest assured that Wales is well protected by these brave pilots."

    Jane
     
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  8. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    Yes there was a piece in the paper about 30 tons of coal going missing of his ship the barquentine Darwin.

    Code:
    https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3671082/3671089/98/Moffat%20AND%20barqueutine%20Darwin
     
  9. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    I can't find anything with a cause of death either, but as Jane says, during the War there were many restrictions put on what could and could not be reported.
     
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  10. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    I note that Mr. A G Moffat of Swansea was a Chamber of Commerce delegate, along with others to Tasmania in 1909 and visited Zeehan on the West Coast, presumably to the mines there. Silver, lead and ore. :D
     
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  11. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    You may already have this, but there is an account of the "death and funeral" of Alex's wife which you can access at
    Code:
    https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3342278/3342286/
    There are a lot of names mentioned.
     
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  12. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    A cousin and her family were killed in an air raid in 1940 but as has been mentioned above, they didn't publish that kind of information at the time so there's nothing to be found in the papers.

    They were buried in a civilian casualty mass grave, however, so the circumstances of their deaths have been well-researched and recorded since.
     
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  13. Daft Bat

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

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    What does his death certificate say?
     
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  14. Moff

    Moff Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks to all who have replied. I'm inclined to agree with the view that full details of deaths wouldn't have been reported at the time. I've got most of the info about my grandfather, but there were some interesting new bits.

    I hadn't heard of the court case regarding the Darwin before, as it doesn't come up on the list of ships he owned or part-owned. However, I found it on crewlist.org.uk, where it states that the managing owner was T P Richards, a firm that Alex G used to work for.

    The obituary mentions (incorrectly) that he'd left a family from his first marriage. Wonder where the paper got that info from - unless it just means his in-laws, as there were no children? :rolleyes:

    He appears twice on the 1939 register because he was using a room in Exchange Buildings, where he worked, as a bedroom during the week.

    There are a number of mentions online about his trip to Australia, New Zealand and Canada with the Swansea Chamber of Commerce. Our family had a huge pile of his panoramic photos of the trip, but unfortunately my mother had a "funny turn" and threw them all away.

    The info on the Clan Moffat site came from me, except that it must be showing that the death was registered in the Dec quarter 1940 - the actual date was 22nd October according to his gravestone.

    I know who a lot of the people listed in the report of Alex G's first wife's funeral were, but still have to investigate the rest. Interesting times ahead, hopefully - I've just identified one that I didn't previously know :)

    I haven't got his death cert. The direct Moffat line has been so easy to trace via other family paperwork and a surprising amount of mentions online, that I've never felt that I needed to buy it. (I've never taken online stuff as correct unless I was able to find other information to confirm it.)
     
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  15. Daft Bat

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

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    I just admit that I have death certificates for all of my direct lines, where available - even for those who died in my lifetime. It just rounds off the picture for me. :)
     
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  16. Moff

    Moff Well-Known Member

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    As I have no one to leave my research to, it doesn't seem worth spending money on stuff that'll go straight in the bin when I'm gone :D I am seriously considering buying a couple of certs for my mother's side, though - no one there considerately provided written details of births and deaths like my father's side did :)
     
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  17. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Same.

    Now then...

    Are you absolutely sure, Moff? Because my great grandfather's second family have absolutely no idea that we all exist :D - and they've posted their family histories online. One day one of them is going to get a dna kit for Christmas and all the skeletons are going to come out the closet with one heck of a crash. :D

    Sometimes, if you are fairly certain about something, you miss glaring details, simply because you don't expect to find them. Says she, who after x number of years has just found their grandad had yet another sister (found only last week trawling through a burial register).
     
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  18. burt

    burt Where there's a will there's a way!

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    Yes, I second that. When I got married (now my ex wife),
    The night before, her elder brother, she was the youngest
    of eight, told us her father and mother had never married
    and her mother then deceased, had changed her name by
    Deed Poll because her father was still married to a lady in
    Wales by whom he had a family of five children!
    He after got back together with his wife and both families
    then got to know one another!
     
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  19. Moff

    Moff Well-Known Member

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    I'd be delighted if anyone could find me some relatives from my grandfather's first marriage, which was in 1886 to Jessie Florence Constable in Swansea. I had hoped that there might have been children, but can't find anything on FreeBMD for a Moffat birth with mother's maiden name Constable between 1886 and when Jessie died in 1898. Newspaper reports mention that she had been unwell for some time before that. No children were mentioned in the report of her funeral.

    My family in those days was well-off, mainly shipowners and shipping agents, and my grandfather Alex G Moffat was an authority on Norse place names, on which he used to lecture. He also owned a racing cutter yacht, the "Trixie Wee" and was commodore of the Corinthian Yacht Club. He was one of the first owners (if not the first owner) of a motor car in Swansea. In 1918 he was awarded the MBE for his wartime service as a section commander of the Swansea Special Constabulary. (Born in 1855, he was too old to fight in WW1.)

    Because of all this, being a rather well-known person in Swansea, his name appears frequently in newspapers and the Cambrian Index, but with no mention of family until after his second marriage to my grandmother Helen Rosevear Edmond-Jenkins in December 1914. A family announcement for the birth of their first child, Barbara, in 1915, was put in the South Wales Daily Post. If they announced my father's (their only other child's) birth in 1917 it doesn't appear in the Cambrian Index.

    If Alex G and Jessie had children, they kept them secret :D
     
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