When this lovely large, group cabinet card sized photo arrived in the post, I was so pleased to see it was in better condition than I thought it was going to be, and what a big plus to have the photographer and the occasion printed on the back.
Good to be able to date it, this is 1887 Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee year. As I was unable to identify anyone in the photo I decided when I first saw it on Ebay that it would be great to research the photographer. Especially when I was unable to find any information out about W.S. Pandfield by Googling.
So I waited until it arrived and then put W S Pandfield in the search box on Ancestry, that was interesting, it came up with a Wyndham S Pandfield born 11 Feb 1887, surely he could likely be related? So scrolling down the matches and checking as I went, I came across an 1891 census record for a Wyndham S B(P)andfield born in 1843 in the West Indies and he and his family were living in Ombersley, Worcestershire. His wife’s name I wasn’t sure about as it was transcribed Bepie but it looked like Bessie to me, so I started a tree on Ancestry for the Pandfield family. Thinking to myself what a great name, I shouldn’t have any problems finding records for them. Ha How wrong I was! Some research was relatively easy and other research has been very very frustrating! It was just a matter of sifting through them all and matching up the clues or at least trying to.
So finally after quite a few hours of research I had Wyndham Stuart Pandfield born 1838-1843 in the West Indies, a British Subject. Then his wife was born as Betsey Godderidge on 11 July 1852 in Amington, Tamworth, Staffordshire. You would not believe how many variations of Pandfield. and Godderidge I have found. Their first names Wyndham and Betsey have not been much better either! More on these two later…..
On the 1891 census there were four children listed Florence B Pandfield aged 13, born 1878 in Evercreech, Somerset. William G Pandfield aged 11, born 1880 in Southampton, Hampshire. Wyndham S Pandfield aged 4 born 1887 in Wribbenhall, Worcestershire and Salisbury Pandfield aged 3 months born 1891 in Ombersley, Worcestershire. Gradually I had managed to add as much as possible to the family on the tree, so starting with the youngest child first:
Salisbury Eric Pandfield b 6 June 1890 in Ombersley, Warwickshire he was married in Lichfield, Staffordshire to Janet Elizabeth Hickman in the last quarter of 1926. Previous to his marriage I found him and his brother Wyndham together on the 1901 census as lodgers at Yew Tree Cottage, Shrawley, Worcestershire. Salisbury is 11 and his Wyndham 14, described as an Under Gamekeeper. Then in the 1911 census Salisbury is a Domestic Groom, living with Coachman William Bloxham and his family at The Lodge Moor House, Fillongley, Warwickshire.
Then three years later he served in WW1 and here’s some information on his exemplary service: **‘Salisbury enlisted on the 9th.May.1915 14 and also won the D.C.M., London Gazette 3.6.1919 (L/BDR. 831516 Salisbury, 241 Bde. R.F.A. T.F.) Also entitled to British War and Victory medals 3. His citation read: 831516 L/Bdr. S. Pandfield, 241st Bde., R.F.A., T.F. (Sparkhill, B’ham). (ITALY) He has been conspicuous for his continuous gallantry and good work at all times. He manifested his devotion to duty when, the route being shelled, he patrolled telephone wires and maintained communication from a forward outpost to the battery continuously, thus enabling the fire of his battery to be directed without break 15‘
The next record I found him and his wife on was the 1939 Register, they lived in Coulter Lane, Burntwood, Lichfield, Staffordshire and his occupation is a Male Mental Nurse. I wonder if his experiences during WW1 influenced this.
I have found no children of the couple. Salisbury’s wife Janet died in 1961 and he died on 17 May 1973 in the Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire.
Next is Wyndham Stuart Pandfield Jnr b 11 February 1887 he was married in April 1919 to Minnie Watkinson in Birmingham, Warwickshire. Previous to this he was a lodger with his brother Salisbury in the 1901 census and he too served during WW1: ‘**Pte. 34028 Wyndham Stuart Pandfield, served with the Wiltshire Regiment and was entitled to the British War and Victory medals 3‘
In the 1911 census he is living as a Boarder at the home of his sister Florence and husband Edward Osmund Sweeney, (very appropriately for his name Edward O Sweeney was a Detective on the Railway) Wyndham’s occupation was a Slaughterman for a Butchers. After the war he stayed in the Meat trade as in the 1939 register he and his wife Minnie were living at Ladypool Road, Birmingham with their two daughters Olive and Betty and his occupation was a Meat Manager. Wyndham died on 12 December 1950, his wife Minnie died in January 1971.
Now we come to the eldest brother William Godridge Pandfield b1880 in Southampton, Hampshire. After the 1891 census I couldn’t find him on the 1901 census, but after more research, I found this amazing website with an astonishing amount of information about William and also some information about his two brothers Military Service, see the other reports above **: http://www.shrawley.org.uk/war-roll.html ‘William enlisted in the Worcestershire Regiment in March 1900 . In March 1901 William a Private was serving in the 4th Battalion stationed at Ramillies Barracks, North Camp, Aldershot, Hampshire, his age is given as 21. Later in the year, he served as a Corporal with the Worcestershire Company, 17th Mounted Infantry in South Africa and was awarded the Queens South Africa Medal with clasps for Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902 .
By the time of the 1911 census, he is a Sergeant serving overseas with the 2nd Battalion Worcesters who were stationed at Jhansi, India. On the 8th February 1913, the Battalion entrained in two special troop trains at Jhansi and proceeded via Agra and Delhi to Karachi for embarkation, arriving there on 11th February and embarked per H.T. Rewa the same day, sailing for Southampton on 12th February 1913 arriving at the latter place on the morning of the 4th March and disembarked on the 5th March after an absence on foreign service of 17 years and 4 months.
On arrival at Aldershot, the Battalion was quartered in Corunna Barracks. The Battalion settled down to hard work at Aldershot in the 5th Brigade as part of the 2nd Division. It was widely known that the European situation was dangerous and all ranks were perfected in their training for war.
The order for mobilization was received at Aldershot in the evening of August 4th 1914, and during the ensuing week, all ranks of the 2nd Worcestershire were busily employed in completing their preparations for War.
Early on the morning of August 13th CQMS Pandfield with the rest of the 2nd Battalion marched down to the Government siding at Aldershot and entrained. The two trains which carried the Battalion left Aldershot at 0700 and 0800hours respectively and three hours later arrived at Southampton Docks. The two half-battalions were embarked on board the transports “Lake Michigan” and “Herschel.” All the rest of that day the ships lay in Southampton Docks. Not until after nightfall did the first of the two transports sheer off and steam down the quiet Southampton Water.
CQMS Pandfied saw much action with the 2nd Battalion during 1914 from Mons, the Retreat from Mons, Marne, Aisne, Langemarck, Gheluvelt and Nonne Bosschen. For his gallantry and ability (Aisne 1914) he was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Conduct in the Field (Army Routine Orders 8th January 1915). His citation read:
For gallantry and ability during the advance through a very difficult country under heavy fire. Rendered valuable assistance to Company Commander.
He was appointed CSM on the 1st October 1914 8.
Wounded in action at Richebourg on 16th May 1915, he was admitted to 11 Stationary Hospital, Rouen on the 8th May 1915 with a gunshot wound to his leg. Transported to England per H S St. Andrew on the 19th May 1915. He was admitted to 2nd Southern General Hospital, Bristol on the 21st May 1915 9 and the following day admitted to the 2nd Western General Hospital Manchester 10. William re-embarked on the 2nd October 1915. returning to the Battalion on the 6th October 1915.
For service in the field he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on the 18th December 1915, list 62 issued with Army Routine Orders 25th December 1915 (London Gazette 10th January 1916).
William Godridge Pandfield was a highly thought of soldier as the following extract from the diary of Captain C.H. Pigg, O.B.E., M.C. shows.
After breakfast, the platoons fell in for inspection. Near me, that fine old soldier, Second Lieutenant W.G. Pandfield, D.C.M., was inspecting the remnants of his platoon. As Company Sergeant-Major of ‘A’ Company he had helped me wholeheartedly in the previous October; sometime after I joined he had left for home to train for a commission.
On the 21st of August 1916. 2 Lieutenant Pandfield was killed in action near Longueval 12. The following extract from 2nd Battalions War Diary for 21st August.
Relief orders came in during the morning but were cancelled soon afterwards and we received orders for a small attack in conjunction with the Glasgow Highlanders on the German Line, which an aeroplane had reported to have been considerably strengthened during the previous night.
The Glasgow Highlanders attacked but did not take the trenches. Our attack did not develop as there was such a short time in which to organize it.
The Glasgow Highlanders suffered heavy losses during this action and the affair caused considerable feeling. On the evening of 22nd August, the 2nd Worcesters were relieved and were drawn back into the reserve trenches. Between 20th – 23rd August, the casualties suffered by the 2nd Worcestershire amounted to 18 men killed and 35 wounded.
In his will, he left effects of £308 11s 1p to his mother, Betsy Pandfield, widow of 83 Dolphin Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham (Administration Birmingham 8 December)
The eldest child was Florence B Pandfield. Born 1877 in Evercreech, Somerset. What a fascinating and frustrating journey to find her birth registration details as firstly I wasn’t entirely sure if she was born in 1877 or 1878, so after looking at all the records on every site possible, she could not be found. So the only explanation was that she wasn’t born as Pandfield, so could Betsey have had her before she met Wyndham S Pandfield? So I searched all the possible sites again for a Godderidge and also all the many variations, but still no luck. So I gave up for the moment.
Following the records through her life wasn’t too difficult starting with the 1891 census, just like the rest of the family. In 1901 I found her as a Servant, Confectionery & Breadmaker, living at the home of Arthur Bosley and his family who was a Shopkeeper. Then next we have Florence marrying Edward Osmond Sweeney (1871-1923) in April 1904. Edward was a Detective on the Railway, working for Great Western Railways. They had one son in 1906 called Edward Lawrence Sweeney. In the 1911 census they are living in Mayfield Rd, Tyseley, Nr Birmingham. Florence’s brother Wyndham was also living with them. Edward Snr died early in 1923 and the next record I found Florence on was the 1939 Register and that was the turning point. She was living at 83 Dolphin Road, Birmingham, a small terraced house just off the Lea Road. Her son Edward, now aged 33, was a Railway Goods Clerk working for the Great Western Railway just like his father had. On the right side of his entry it says ‘GWR. ARP Service Ambulance’. Florence’s son Edward married Constance Vera Dewis in 1947. Florence died in January 1958 she was 80.
In the 1939 Register Florence’s birth date was given as 10 September 1877. So at last I had an exact date to try and find her birth registration entry. As on the census entries it states she was born in Evercreech, Somerset, I tried to narrow it down by adding and subtracting different things in the search boxes on the different sites to Shepton Mallet registration District as that is right next door to Evercreech and I certainly did a happy dance when I came across this entry! Then looking on the GRO I believed I had found her with Mum’s maiden name being Goderidge : STRIDE, FLORENCE BESSIE GODERIDGE GRO Reference: 1877 D Quarter in SHEPTON MALLET Volume 05C Page 519. So I sent for the PDF copy from the GRO, I just had to didn’t I? When it arrived after 4 days I was thrilled. Exact same Birth date of 10 September 1877 and Florence was born Florence Bessie Stride her father was Jesse Stride and her Mum was Bessie Goderidge (Betsey Godderidge) it states that Jesse was a Baker. So now after some more research I have two possibilities for a Jesse Stride, nothing is ever easy is it ha ha.
The first Jesse Stride I have found was born in Evercreech in 1855 and he married Emily Newman on the 18 December 1877, just after Florence was born. He was a Labourer in the 1881 census. Next I have a Jesse Stride also born in Evercreech but in 1840, in the 1861 census he was a School Master living at home with his family, his father was James a Carpenter/Wheelwright and his Mum Ann (his Step Mum) was a Straw Bonnet Maker. In 1881 he was a widower lodging in Barcombe, Sussex and was a Railway Time Keeper. I have added both fathers to the family tree on Ancestry for the moment in the hope that I might be able to eliminate one of them or even both of them if there is another Jessie Stride somewhere that might match up. Now the puzzling thing is that I found this report on the British Newspaper Archives for May in 1877 about BAKERS in Shepton Mallett and this Jesse Stride was fined, but which one was he or was he a new number 3?
This last few days I have been researching both of the Jesse Stride’s to try and confirm or eliminate one of them and actually I believe now that Florence Bessie’s father was Jesse Stride/Stryde number 2 born in 1840.
This is what I have found: Firstly Jesse gets married on 16 Sep 1869 to Susanna Biggin. Their first child was a daughter born on the 12 July 1870 Catherine Ann/Annie Stryde (1870-1958) Then on around 20 April 1872, another daughter, she was just two months old when she died, buried on the 24 Jun 1872 in Melcombe Regis, Weymouth, Dorset. Where the family were living at the time. Her name was Florence Bessie Stride. Then they had a son in July quarter of 1873 called Albert George Stryde. The children were all born in Weymouth, the family were living there and Jesse was working as a Clerk the same as he was described on his marriage certificate.
Then tragedy, just shortly after son Albert was born Susanna died, she was just 30 years old. Maybe as a result of the birth of her son? So Jesse turns to his widowed Step Mum Ann to help with his children’s care, (his biological Mum Elizabeth (Salmon) had died when he was just 3) they were both so young. In the 1881 census we see Jesse working in Sussex as a Railway Time Keeper and described as a Widower. His two young children are back in Evercreech, Somerset living with their widowed Step Grandmother Ann. Then on a visit home he decided to become a Baker and stay in Evercreech to be near his family. Being a Baker didn’t quite work out though did it! (re Newspaper article above) While he was being a Baker he must have started a relationship with Betsey, and she became pregnant and they had a daughter on 10 Sep 1877, I’ve not found a marriage of the couple, and so they call her Florence Bessie the same as the daughter he’d lost in 1872. The question is what happened next? Why did they split up I wonder? Because just two years later Betsey is expecting her second child William, who was born in Southampton in 1880 and the father of William was Mr W S Pandfield or was it? And what happened next to Jesse and his two children?
I think I have found a possible death for Jesse in 1887: STRYDE, JESSE 39 GRO Reference: 1887 S Quarter in CHIPPING SODBURY Volume 06A Page 126. I haven’t found him on any census after 1881, so that would confirm, but without a certificate obviously I cannot be sure. His daughter Catherine Ann was a Toy Shop assistant in Brighton, Sussex in the 1891 census then shortly after she married a Charles Shaw, an Insurance man. They had two daughters Winifred Violet 1892–1902 and Cecily Edith Kathleen 1896-1985. Jesse’s son Albert George Stride 1873-1930 I found at age 18 in St Antoine Ward, Quebec, Canada. He was described as the son of John Stryde and his wife Susanna/Susan. John is an Inn Keeper born in England and he is Jesse’s older brother. I found that John and his wife married in 1864 and had two small children when they emigrated in 1869 to Canada. I found them on the 1871 census. John was a Joiner/Carpenter. So it was good that Albert had family to support his new life in Canada. Albert died in Canada in 1930.
Now to the parents, firstly Betsey or Betsy or Bessie or even Bepie Godderidge or Goderidge or Goodridge or Goddridge or the many others I’ve found! Finally I found her birth record on the GRO: GODDERIDGE, BETSEY PEGG GRO Reference: 1852 S Quarter in TAMWORTH UNION Volume 06B Page 251. She was born in 1852. I found her Baptism Record for 15 August 1852 which stated her Birth date as being 11 Jul 1852. Was good to have mothers maiden name of Pegg on the registration and because of that I found her parents William Godderidge 1821-1889 and Jane Pegg 1828-1901, the family all lived and were born in Amington, Tamworth, Staffordshire. Betsey was one of 12 children and her father William was first an Agricultural Labourer or Ag Lab on the census of 1851. By 1861 he was working as a Brick Maker, very likely to be Gibbs and Canning as it was close to where they lived then. In 1866 on his eldest daughters marriage certificate it says he was an Overseer at Brickyard. Then 1871 he was working as a ….Maker, it’s unreadable but likely a Brick Maker? Then in 1881 he was a Coal Miner Banksman (Likely to be a supervisor at the mine there)
On the website below it says about Tamworth Industry: ‘Tamworth had grown rapidly by the 19th century, with a thriving coal industry, tape mills, ceramics and brickworks‘. On his son Joseph’s marriage certificate in 1893 he was described as Deceased and his occupation was a Terra Cotta Burner, which ties in with the company of Gibbs and Canning. More info here from: https://www.tamworthheritagetrust.co.uk/gibbs-canning ‘For over 100 years Gibbs and Canning provided employment for people in Glascote, Amington, Polesworth and the general district. Hundreds of people worked there, and the noises and smells of industry filled the local area. They even had their own railway lines with connections to the main lines, and links to the canal………..The products from the clay works went all over the country and all round the world. It made parts for some very famous buildings, and some beautiful buildings. Its building products can also be seen in the local area, especially on houses in the Glascote and Amington area. They also produced many other things made from clay including sinks, bottles, bricks, tiles, chimney pots, garden urns and fountains. They even produced some pieces of colourful majolica.
So back to Betsey, she was with her family in the 1861 census but in the 1871 census I have struggled to find a match, this is the most likely I think. Named Elizabeth Godderidge.
She is working and living as a Servant at the home of Thomas Dumolo who was unmarried and described as a Colliery Proprietor and Farmer (I believe it was the Colliery at Kettlebrook owned by the Dumolo Family) his sister Clara was his Housekeeper. Not 100% sure of this but it seems the most likely record for Betsey. Her name on the census is Elizabeth G(a)dderidge, so maybe they thought that Betsey was short for Elizabeth, correct birth place too, being Amington, so home was just 4 miles away.
Betsey’s story continues with the birth of her first child Florence Bessie in 1877, then her first son William Godridge Pandfield in 1880 born in Southampton, Hampshire. Next was Wyndham Stuart Pandfield Jnr born in 1887 in Bewdley, Worcestershire and lastly Salisbury Eric Pandfield born in 1890 in Ombersley, Worcestershire. So that brings us around to the 1891 census back where I started. Unfortunately whatever variations I’ve put in I was unable to find Betsey in the 1901. Then in the 1911 census I again couldn’t find her, this was getting silly, so I did a wider search and just chose the 1911 England census and entered Pandfield with variations as a surname, it came up with just 4 results and I found her, her name was Betsy Pandfield on it and she had shaved 14 years off her age and was listed as being born in 1866! She was a Housekeeper for two single gentlemen farmers Robert George Pell and John Rawlings. As often happens when researching, less sometimes results in more, especially if Ancestors fib about their age!
So I thought, lets try the same for the 1901 and it wasn’t quite so easy, I had no matches but putting in and taking out different spellings and yes, I found her! I found her by taking out the d in Pandfield with nothing else in any box except female, it came up with 288 matches and thankfully she was the second one on the list! As you can see below she was Housekeeper to a young couple and their 5 children, I imagine this could have been her first job after her husband Wyndham had died in 1896, so she wanted to make a good impression and she obviously did by shaving 9 years off of her age! As you can see the place of birth is different too but it is definitely her as I cannot find another match for this particular lady before or after the 1901 census, our Betsey was the only fit despite that.
In 1916 her son Wyndham Stuart Pandfield left his money £308 (over £24,000 in today’s money) to his mother Betsy Pandfield, widow of 83 Dolphin Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham. I wonder if she was still working somewhere? She was obviously not doing a live in job anymore. With help from my lovely friend Simon of Charnwood Genealogy, he found her on the electoral rolls for the Midlands and still at the same address in 1920, 22, living on her own. Then in 1925, her daughter Florence has moved in with her, and from 1927 daughter Florence (a Widow by now) and her son Edward are living with Betsey and in 1933 when she died, the house was then taken over by her daughter Florence and son Edward, and then after 1949 his new wife joined them, it was where Florence died in 1958. I think Edward and his wife had moved into their own place by then.
So now we come to the big question, Who is Wyndham Stuart Pandfield? Quite honesty he is still a mystery to me! It says he was born in the West Indies on the various census records but I have been unable to find anything that confirms or denies this. He must have been an interesting man I think though as all these Newspaper articles below mention him being involved in the local community in one form or another, but I just haven’t been able to trace his birth or his family.
The Phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison in 1877, he made lots of improvements in the 1880’s and in it’s later form from 1887 was called a Gramophone.
However the Pandfield family story doesn’t end here. There was one census that I still hadn’t been able to find them on, the 1881. So using all the websites on the 1881 England census, I looked for any male born in the West Indies as this was the one consistent thing running through what I knew about Wyndham and I added born 1840 + /- 5 years. 269 matches on Ancestry, narrowing them down by looking through for a spouse called Betsey or anything similar I came across a Jas. (James) Stevens born 1841 in West Indies and married to Bessie Stevens born 1851 in Tamworth, Warwickshire and they had two children Florence 3 and William 1, both born Southampton. The family were living in Frome, Somerset, an area that Betsey knew as Florence was born in Evercreech, Somerset. Jas Stevens occupation was a Plumber.
So the first theory I had was that there had been a mistake on the census or they were using another name to keep them out of the limelight, if that was true then why? I can’t find a James Stevens born in West Indies to match him other than this record. I have also searched the British Newspaper Archives to see if he had been a naughty boy but no luck at all. Does anyone have any suggestions? I wondered if William’s birth certificate might help to fill in a gap, so I have sent for a PDF copy. It will be interesting to see where and maybe why he was born in Southampton. So now the wait……Part 2 of this family history to follow, I am determined to complete their story.
Meanwhile, has anyone a suggestion as to what this might say?
I have suggestions from friend Simon of Charnwood Genealogy: ‘Post Haste to the rescue’ Election ? He also found this about the celebrations for the Jubilee in Bewdley at the time:
Oooooooo the PDF birth certificate has arrived!!!!! Look out for part 2 of this family story coming soon!
Till next time then…………….