Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Grandparents I Never Knew: Addendum 1

As I worked through the history and stories of Idris and Iris chronologically I  was loath to interrupt it when I found information that slotted into a past post rather than where I was at. I decided to put all the new information I discovered into this post as an addendum to that project. Yes, that is with the full knowledge that I may one day discover even more. There's a reason books have prologues right?

In the mean time, if you wish to catch up on their story you can find all the posts about Idris here.
The posts about Iris can be found here. Unfortunately, I have yet to link all of Iris' stories into one page.

Firstly, I now have a copy of Iris' marriage certificate to William Sargeant.


Though I knew many of these details, I did not have them all and it's always good to confirm sources. I'll transcribe the document here.

1936 marriage solemnized at Wesleyan Chapel, Cheddleton, district of Cheadle in the county of Stafford.

When Married: 19th December 1936

Name and Surname: William Sergeant
Age: 24 years
Condition: Bachelor
Rank or profession: Bricklayer, Journeyman (I believe.)
Residence at the time of marriage: 16 Heaton ave, Milton, Stoke on Trent
Father's name and surname: Joseph  Sergeant
Rank or profession of father: School caretaker (retired.)

Name and surname: Iris Griffiths
Age: 20 years
Condition: Spinster
Rank or profession: Mental hospital ward/maid
Residence at the time of marriage: "Marantha"Barford, Bridge Lane, Cheddleton.
Father's name and surname: Harold Emmanuel  Griffiths
Rank or profession of father: Minister

Married in the Wesleyan chapel, according to the rights and ceremonies of the Methodists. Certificate by me, James William Harrison (?) minister. John ? Steele, Registrar.

The marriage solemnized between William Sargeant and Iris Griffiths, in the presence of us, Harold E Griffiths and Joseph Sargeant.

Personal Observations:
1. The wedding date is the same as my own.
2. This puts William living in the same area as where Harold was ministering, which is no surprise considering the time line. I had previously wondered if William had lived in Wales though.
3. I don't know much about William's father, I may investigate this further in the future, but for now I have a very definite pile of research on other direct family members which  I still need to conduct.
4. Iris is listed as 20 here. This confirms my suspicions of her being born in 1916. Iris always lied about her age, to the point she couldn't remember her own.
5. I never knew Iris worked in a mental hospital. I wonder if her residence at time of marriage was a place very nearby (It would make sense if it was.) and if I might be able to one day figure out which hospital it was. This is of interest to me since my wife works in the mental health industry.
6. Although Harold often worked second jobs, it is interesting that by this point he is definitely listing his full time job as minister, not collier etc.
7. In the early days of my blogging I often put down Harold's middle name as Emmanuel with double M - as it is listed here. It was in fact a single M, Emanuel.

Secondly, here is the marriage certificate between Idris and Iris.


1938 Marriage solemnised at Bethel Gospel Templ, Wardend Road in the district of Bimingham, in the county borough of Birmingham.

When Married: December 24th 1938.
Name and surname: Idris Davies.
Age: 24.
Condition: Bachelor.
Rank or profession: Viewer at Aero works.
Residence at time of marriage: 45 Asquith Road, Wardend.
Father's name and surname: Price Davies.
Rank or profession of father: Coal miner.

Name and surname: Iris Sargeant.
Age: 22.
Condition: Widow.
Rank or profession: General Stores lift operator.
Residence at time of marriage: 78 Morris Road, Washwood Heath.
Father's name and surname: Harold Emmanuel Griffiths.
Rank or profession of father: Minister of religion.

Married in Bethel Gospel Temple, according to the rites and ceremonies of the Union of Gospel Churches by Certificate.

This marriage was solemnized between us. Idris Davies, Iris Sargeant. In the Presence of us
Harold E Griffiths, Edward I/(orJ) Davies.
And in the presence of (W. Myrddinn Lewis ?) authorized person for Bethel Gospel Temple.

Personal Observations:
1. As with many ancestors, they were married on  Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This was often a day off. In this case I believe Harold has to be in Stoke on Trent for the Sunday, where he was ministering at his church.
2. I had forgotten the wedding was in Birmingham, and not Stoke on Trent. Since it is a Bethel church, the likelihood is it was Pentecostal and one that Idris was ministering in at the time. An April 1937 article of Redemption Tidings records Idris as being part of an assembly in Birmingham.
3. I am not sure of Idris' job at this time. I recall a family member saying they thought he worked with planes at one point, and aero works would seem to fit in with this. I am not convinced I translated the word "Viewer" right.
4. It is good to see a confirmation of the fact Iris worked at General Stores, since this was a recollection her family had.
5. I am not sure what relation Edward Davies is to Idris, I will have to look into this. It does seem more likely that he is a relative, rather than just a friend.

The third piece of information I discovered is a small one.

Taken from Redemption Tidings Vol 4 Oct 1958
It is a small announcement celebrating Price and Annie Davies' (My Great Grandparents) 50th anniversary. In it is news of their family and the information pertaining to Idris and Iris is simply this: "Their second son, Idris, has a situation in Southern Rhodesia, and spends all the time he can in missionary work." 

I admit, the wording is a little strange, as it sounds like he is in crisis. As far as I can guess, they probably didn't know how to succinctly describe what Idris was doing in Southern Rhodesia (Now Zimbabwe.) Idris had a job and helped plant churches.

Idris' eldest daughter, Wendy, is also mentioned.

The fourth and final piece of information I gained since writing the blogs, also comes from the Redemption Tidings magazine.

Taken from Redemption Tidings Vol 23 Sespt 1947
In this brief report there is an even briefer mention of Idris sailing for Africa. "On July 15th a farewell service was held on behalf of our dear Bro. I. Davis (son-in-law to our pastor H. E. Griffiths) who sailed for South Africa."

Although they spelled Davies without the E, it is definitely Idris, as is confirmed by the article being about the Assemblies church in Milton and being pastored by Harold E Griffiths.

It does mean I am now going to have to search through all the old Redemption Tidings magazines for any mention of Davis, in case there are any more spelling mistakes in there!

That concludes the additional evidence and sources I have discovered since blogging about my grandparents stories. It's been a great adventure and I feel like I have learned significant things about them.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

November 11th - The Lost Of The War

I thought for this Veterans Day/Remembrance Day I would share a poem I wrote when I was 15. I rediscovered this on my visit to England, it was packed away in boxes in a friends attic. I was inspired to write the poem when our school visited the World War 1 and 2 memorials in France and Belgium. I still vividly remember the row upon row of graves, memorials and headstones.

I thought about editing the poem but decided I would leave it here as my own piece of family history.

There they lay in their thousands,
Each one with a story,
All died for their nation,
Whilst fighting for glory.


Only a gravestone,
With which to remember,
Those soldiers who fought,
To win us our splendour.

Red roses, pink roses,
All of them given,

To each one of those fighters,
Who now live in heaven.

Heads bow in silent respect
Our thoughts on the dead,
Who died for our peace,
Their last days living dread.