19th Century

Charles Alfred Mee & Family

I came across these photos and one letter at the Fleamarket held at the Royal Bath and West Showground a while ago now. So good to have such clear details on a Military photo. Those details also made it very easy to start a tree of the Mee family.

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First I looked for the HMS Princess Beatrice I came across three choices on the Naval History Website: Naval History Website

1)BEATRICE, hired trawler, Adty No 621. Built 1906, 173grt, Hull-reg H.922. Armament: 1-12pdr. In-service 9.14-1919.

2)BEATRICE, hired trawler, Adty No 362. Built 1907, 239grt, Milford Haven-reg M.212. Armament: 1-3pdr. In-service 8.14-1919 as a minesweeper. Renamed BEATRICE II 12.14. Served as BERGEN in WW2.

3)BEATRICE, hired drifter, Adty No 1425. Built 1905, 62grt, Lowestoft-reg LT.389. Armament: 1-3pdr AA. In-service 4.15-1919 as a net vessel. Renamed BEATRICE II 5.15, BEATRICE III 6.15.

Can anyone more experienced with Navy ships help me with ID of the ship, please?

Mee Family History. Working through and adding the immediate family was really interesting as my research took me off around the other side of the world to Australia!

Charles Alfred MEE was born in 1865 in Deptford, Kent, England as the second child of Joseph Hanson MEE and Georgiana Margaret Dora Brown, they had married in the Parish Church of St Micheal in Kirk Micheal, Isle of Man on 2 Aug 1859. Georgiana was born on the Isler of Man and baptised in the same Church. It does look an amazing Church holding a wonderful collection of Celtic Crosses and Slabs, you’ll find lots more information here: Kirk Micheal Church

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Kirk Micheal Church, Isle of Man

Also while I was researching Georgiana I came across the fabulous Isle Of Man Museum online & they have some terrific old photos, records and History on their website, direct link here: Isle of Man Museum

Charles had five siblings, Robert Joseph Henson, Florence Rachel, Herbert Hanson, Ernest Lawrence, and Edith Mary. The eldest Robert sadly died at 8 years of age (1868) in the Isle of Man and is buried there. When he was 27, he married Annie Rose PEPPERELL the daughter of Charles William PEPPERELL and Elizabeth Patience HARRIS, on 1 Dec 1892 in St John’s Church, Bedminster, Somerset, England. This Church is sadly no longer standing and has an interesting history, more here and great photos on the Church Crawler website: Church Crawler

Charles lived with his family in Deptford, London, England in 1871 then he was in Clapham, London in 1881 and Lambeth, London in 1891 still with his parents. His father Joseph was a Clerk to an Iron Company (1861) Then by 1901, he had moved to live in Sunderland, Durham now as head of the household with Annie Rose his wife. Charles served in the military between 1914–1925.  I found a record of him departing from Africa in 1925 (Described as a Marine Engineer). He arrived in Liverpool, England on 05 Jul 1925. He died in Jan 1933 in Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

Annie Rose PEPPERELL was born on 02 Dec 1865 in Camberwell, Surrey, England as the first child of Charles William PEPPERELL and Elizabeth Patience HARRIS. She had eight siblings, Alice, Charles Thomas, Margaret Eliza, George, Clara Elizabeth, Walter, Harry, and Sydney. She was 26 when she married Charles.

Annie Rose PEPPERELL lived in Lambeth, London in the 1881 census and in 1891 she lived in Streatham, London both with her family. She was living in Sunderland, Durham,  in 1901 with her husband. Then in the census of 1911, she was living in 24 St Mary’s Place, Kingsland, Southampton, Hampshire (Husband not at home) Again Annie was still living in Hampshire at the time of the 1939 Register now in Bournemouth not Southampton (Bournemouth is now in Dorset) (Widowed). Annie died in Oct 1942 in Christchurch, Hampshire. 

Charles Alfred Mee and his wife Annie Rose (Pepperell) had two children that I have found, but sadly their second born, a son Ernest George died at just a few months old in 1897. Their daughter Kate Winifred their first child born in 1895, is an interesting lady. I have found that in late 1921 she went across to Australia, arriving on the 5 December 1921, travelling on the ‘Suevic’ a ship owned by the White Star Line, she is described as a clerk, quite an adventure for a young lady on her own. She was 26 and unmarried. But she married soon after arriving in Victoria, Australia to Thomas Guthrie Dow, as the marriage record says 1921, so that must have been quite soon after her arrival.

1280px-SS_Suevic_(high_def)

The steamship and White Star Liner Suevic. via Wikipedia.

Now the thing is, how did she know Thomas Guthrie Dow? I’ve been searching through the military records and I have found that Thomas Guthrie Dow served in WW1 and was in England in Hospital in early 1917 with Trench Foot and then a bit later in 1917 after he had contracted Gonorrhea in London.

Reading workhouse and infirmary was taken over and transformed into a war hospital in 1915 (Image Picture Reading Libraries)

Reading workhouse and infirmary was taken over and transformed into a war hospital in 1915 (Image Picture Reading Libraries)

He was actually for a time in Reading War Hospital, Reading, Berkshire. I worked there back in the 1970s as a telephonist when it was then Battle Hospital, Reading is my home town. These are the most interesting pages of the military records I found about Thomas below, but you can read these in much more detail plus all the other pages via the link on the family tree on Ancestry:

 

 

So my thought is how could Kate Winifred have met him during his time in England in the war years? Did she do war work, did she work in a hospital? A mystery.

The couple had a son John Pepperell Guthrie Dow on 29 Dec 1922, then on 26 August 1924 she arrived back in England, in Hull with her son John, he was almost two years of age. Thomas wasn’t mentioned on the passenger list just her and her son. Why? To visit family? Had she left her husband? She has stated on the passenger list that she was going to be staying at No3 Oates Road, Winton, Bournemouth. She obviously came home to her family.

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Then I was astonished to see she had twin boys in Nov 1925 called David and Eric, then after I had found this information I noticed a record pop up in the hints on Ancestry for her husband Thomas Guthrie Dow, he was killed accidentally while riding his bicycle in May 1925 only a few months before Kate Winifred had two sons were born.

Here are the details of his death, he was riding a Motorcycle that he had only owned and started riding two weeks previously, so wasn’t very experienced with it.

Proceedings of the Inquest held upon the body of Thomas Guthrie Dow on 3 June 1925:

 

 

 

 

55 (11)

His stepfather identified the body

55 (12)

His stepbrother was riding pillion on the motorcycle.

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His stepbrother John Trueman Brock

John Truman Brock, Thomas’s stepbrother had a fascinating life, a whole story in itself! See the notes I’ve added on his profile on Ancestry for more, but here’s some: ‘In May 1945 was sent to New Guinea and when the war ended in August 1945 he worked on organising the War Crimes Trials until December. Returned to Army Headquarters in Melbourne.
1947 – 1948 Rabaul and Hongkong as Judge Advocate for the trials for senior Japanese Officers. General Imamura – commander S-E Asian area sentenced to 10 years later remitted to 5 years. General Imamura was charged with cannibalism as the men under his command had eaten dead comrades when cornered in the Highlands of New Guinea. Brock stated that there was no basis for Imamura’s responsibility in this matter. Imamura was awarded the Military Cross during WW1 as an officer in the British Forces – a graduate of Sandhurst and Cambridge. During the War Crimes Trial, he was asked not to wear the MC. Hongkong – Hainan Island trials, 27 defendants charged with individual brutalities, starvation. General Adachi
So who’s the Daddy? I haven’t found a record of Thomas Guthrie Dow coming to the UK before his death in May 1925 and as Kate Winifred came over from Australia in August 1924, so who was the Twins Daddy I wonder? Do they have descendants?

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Sadly no writing on the back of this old photo

With the photos I also found this letter below still in its envelope:

47 Mee48

It wasn’t until I have completed some of the family tree that the identity of the sender and receiver became clear.

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This is such a lovely letter sent to Annie Rose Mee (Pepperell)by her Dad Charles William Pepperell from Sidmouth in Devon to her home in Southampton, Hampshire (He was born in the Sidmouth area)

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It’s a really nice letter and I would think from reading that they corresponded regularly, he had lost his wife in 1893 and never remarried. A few snippets for you here:

I received your last letter with portrait, which I think very good, wedding group picture not up to much I would not have one.
**************
Mrs Parry/Percy & I went to wire Bert yesterday & they saw a yacht race & she put her purse on her lap & getting up did not notice it fall to the ground, they looked for it but no good. It upset poor little Georgie terribly, but we shall make it right in time.
**************
Had tea in the hayfield close by, a night or two since, Twins & all; it put me in mind of old times, as we were in the next field to the one we made hay in every year when I was a boy.
***************
Weather has been beautiful but ended in a tremendous thunder storm last night, like a waterfall pouring off the house.
***************
He’s getting on well having been examined by the doctor yesterday, he says I am another man altogether from the man he saw in December. Must not smoke much.
***************
Kind Love to all in which Mrs Parry/Percy joins.
Your affectionate Dad
CW Pepperell”            

How nice I wonder if that is his lady friend? Also looks like there may have been family Twins before David and Eric were born to Kate Winfred too! Charles died in August of 1907 just a year later. 

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Charles William Pepperell living at the home of his cousin in 1901, a Clerk in the Bank. He was a widow.

Here’s the direct link to the tree I have compiled on Ancestry of the MEE family………….Mee Family Lynns Waffles

I have found some lovely old photos of the family on another public tree on Ancestry, so have borrowed some here below to show you all, aren’t they wonderful, I have also sent them a message in the hope of more information. David, one of the Twins is a mystery, did he die young? I can’t find a record of it? Maybe the owner of the tree will be able to help.

Annie Rose with eldest Grandson John Pepperrell Guthrie Dow

Annie Rose with the eldest Grandson John Pepperrell Guthrie Dow

Thomas Guthrie Dow 1920

Thomas Guthrie Dow 1920

Christmas 1930, John Pepperell Guthrie Dow & Eric Dow So where is David

Christmas 1930, John Pepperell Guthrie Dow & Eric Dow. So where is David?

Have you got connections to this family? Are they your Ancestors? Please do get in touch if you can help with any more information, via comments on this blog or by email via Contact Me at the top of the page.

Till next time then……….

 

 
  

 

4 replies »

  1. Hi Lynn, What a fascinating family history, but oh so sad in parts. Wonderful photo’s. You are so diligent in your research where you make it so interesting to read. I do hope you get some feed back from this family if there are any still alive Good luck. Hope all is well with you during these trying times. Enjoy your weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am a distant relative by marriage to Kate Winifred Mee and would very much like to get in touch with family members.

    Following the death of her son Eric Dow, I was sent several boxes containing Mee/Dow family papers and photographs. I would very much like this archival material returned to the family for safe keeping and enjoyment.

    The papers include letters written by Charles Mee to his wife Annie as well as papers relating to his career as a merchant seaman.

    thank you, Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

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