Thursday, 23 January 2014

Imber Lost Village, Wiltshire

St Giles Church, Imber
 On Wednesday the 1st January 2014, on our way home from a few days away in the Motorhome at Devizes, we made our first visit ever to the Lost Village of Imber, on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire.
This village is open for a few days every year and we just never seem to have got to go before.

The day started off with rain and continued with rain !! Not the best conditions for a visit, but the Church and its friends couldn't have been more welcoming. The Church itself was warm and beautifully decorated for Christmas, the Bellringers were ringing the Bells and the lovely friends of the Church were serving nice cups of tea ! It was a brilliant visit, we loved it.

Inside the Church as you can see from the pictures I took, there are lots of information boards telling the story of Imber then and now, with lots of very old pictures of the original village and its people. There are also very interesting Boards telling you about the Wildlife that lives in and around Imber and on Salisbury Plain and the Conservation work that is going on there.

While I was doing my research about Imber for writing this Blog, I came across a brilliant site called Geograph where I found lots more pictures about Imber (plus more places around the UK) 
The site also had some good research and writing about Imber Church by Brian Robert Marshall, which I have copied below with his kind permission. Also some of the Pictures that he and others have taken, I have put on my Pinterest Board from this site, again with Brian's kind permission. Some of the pictures are great because as it was pouring with rain on our visit and wet and muddy, I wasn't able to take as many as I wanted or go exploring as much.
Kestrel sheltering from the rain

We are going to try and go back in better weather in the Summer, Brian has told me that often the village is open during August..see link below Imber Friends.
 IMBER Church and Village Pinterest Board

St Giles Church, Imber Written by Brian Robert Marshall

The church is on the site of an earlier mid 12th century building. The church as seen today is the result of building work carried out in the 13th and 15th centuries, and restorations dating from 1849 and 1895. It continued to serve its parishioners until 1943 when the entire village was depopulated to aid the war effort. The villagers were never allowed back and the village today is, most of the time, used for military training. An unusual feature of the exterior is the top of the tower which has five pinnacles. 
Many of the interior fittings have been removed to other churches. The font is now in Brixton Deverill, whilst the altar, communion rails and some pews are in Bratton, Other pews made it as far as Churchdown in Gloucestershire. The interior still has much of interest. 
The church is listed Grade I.... 
full details here.. Listed building Info
From 1943 until 2002 the church was maintained by the War Department and its successor the Ministry of Defence. Following being declared redundant, the church passed into the care of the Churches Conservation Trust in 2005. Much work spanning the years 2005 to 2009 has been carried out to conserve the building and its features. 
The church remains consecrated as a place of worship and services are held on certain days each year.
 The Wiltshire Times wrote a piece about the new Bells in February 2011
A week before Christmas 1943 the isolated village tucked deep in the folds of Salisbury Plain was requisitioned by the War Office. Villagers were told at the beginning of November that they had to pack up everything and leave.
The villagers, praised for the sacrifice they were making towards the war effort, were promised that their village would be returned to them after the Second World War. 
 With the Church building (St Giles) gradually falling into decline the Friends of Imber campaigned for its renovation.
After lengthy negotiations, the Government and the Church of England agreed to the facelift and at the beginning of 2007, under the control of the Churches Conservation Trust, the £200,000 restoration project began. Recently six new bells were installed and the peal rung for the first time in 60 years. 

Lots of people have written so much about this lost village on the internet, my best advice is if you are interested is to go and pay a visit yourself.....its free......and well worth taking the time to go....especially the Church of St Giles. Next opening time is Easter, for all up to date information about Imber Village and Church.... Click here   IMBER Friends

Till next time then................

Monday, 6 January 2014

Hawkins Family Pic

I came upon this picture above at a  local Car Boot sale in November with 5 or 6 others, and it wasn't until I sat down later in the afternoon to have a look at my finds from the morning, that I realized on turning it over that all the Childrens full names were written on the back, with their ages and the date the photo was taken !! I was over the moon, not very often that happens !

Someone once sold this for £2.50,but I only paid 50p each Pic
So the research began and here's what I have found out about this family.....
Parents names were William John Hawkins (b.Liverpool) and Elizabeth Dymott (b.East Cowes,Isle of Wight) who married in the last quarter of 1887 in Southampton, Hampshire.
1) Margaret Elizabeth Hawkins, the eldest child was born 9th March 1890 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland. She was Christened at St Peters Church in Liverpool on 27 June 1890. By the time of the 1891 Census the family had moved down south to live with Margaret's Grandparents (Elizabeth's parents) (Richard and Elizabeth Dymott) in Spear Road, Southampton.
At the beginning of 1892 Elizabeth gave birth to Twins 
2) Alice Caroline Dymott and 
3) Cecil Joseph Richard both births registered at South Stoneham, Hampshire
4) Ethel Minnie Hilda was next,in the 3rd quarter of 1893, another daughter, again registered South Stoneham, Hampshire
5) Edith May Eleanor The last child, another girl front left of photo, born on the 5th October 1894
Mother..Elizabeth Dymott was born in 1854 on the Isle of Wight, East Cowes to Richard Reeks Dymott (1827-5th Oct 1897) and Elizabeth Pope (1824-1909) Richard was a Carpenter Joiner, as was his father John before him, Richard's mothers name was Joanna. 
Both Richard and Elizabeth Pope were born in Poole, Dorset, and married in the Poole Parish Church St James on 26th January 1853. Elizabeth's father John Pope was a Mariner.
Richard Reeks Dymott, when he died left £38-18s to his widow, they lived in Spear Road, Southampton, Hampshire.
Father..William John Hawkins was born in 1848 in Liverpool, Lancashire to Joseph Bennett Hawkins a printer (1820 Liverpool-1860 Liverpool) and Margaret Wilson (1820 Liverpool-1890 West Derby)  He had a brother Alfred and a sister Alice Caroline. I have found a record dated 27th December 1870 of a William John Hawkins being a Second Mate in the Merchant services..see below.. and I do wonder if this is how William John and Elizabeth met, as she lived in Southampton, maybe he travelled there ? 

Joseph Bennett Hawkins and Margaret Wilson had married in 1846. Joseph Bennett's father William was an Officer in HMC and Margaret's father John was a Wine Merchant, her mothers name was Mary Ann Bickerstaff, and they had married on 10th August 1817 at St Nicholas Church, Liverpool.
Margaret Wilson also had a brother called John, who inherited from his father in 1863 and it was on his Will that John (The Son) was a Manager of a Steam Tug Company in Liverpool.
 In 1901 this Hawkins family lived in Earls Road, Southampton, the road backing onto Spears Road where Elizabeth's parents seemed to live most of their married lives at different numbers, so I do think that probably the picture was taken in one or the other gardens in Southampton.
William John Hawkins was a Wood Sawyer/Machinist in 1901/1911 at a Joinery works, he died in 1919 age 70. Elizabeth died in 1940 aged 85.
What happened to the Children ?
1) Margaret Elizabeth in the 1911 Census was working at Brockenhurst Park, New Forest, Hampshire as an Under Nurse. There seemed to be a lot of staff employed within the estate, it was a fantastic country House, that sadly was demolished in the 1960's and a newer version built, they hold weddings/horse shows there now.
Brockenhurst Park before demolition
Also in Brockenhurst in 1911 was a young man called Edwin Leonard Elford who was born in Lymington in 1882, working as a Chauffeur, they met and married in 1915 in Southampton. I haven't been able to find any children born to the couple, but I did find a Post Office record of Edwin being appointed in 1925. 
Edwin died on 22 June 1965 just after they had celebrated 50 years of marriage, Margaret Elizabeth herself died in June 1973 still in Southampton.
2) Alice Caroline Dymott Hawkins, never married but died in 1967 in Winchester, Hampshire. I found no other records online concerning her at all.
3) Cecil Joseph Richard married Elsie Winifred White (born 26 May 1891)  in 1920 in Southampton, Hampshire, I have found no conclusive proof online of any Children born. Cecil died on 19th March 1948 at home in Testwood Lane, Totton, Southampton, Hampshire leaving £1026 1s 6d to his widow. Elsie herself died in March 1974, still in Southampton.
4) Ethel Minnie Hilda married Ernest E Marsh in 1913 in Christchurch, Dorset. There are no conclusive records of any Children and there are several possible death dates for Ethel and Ernest, but nothing definate.
5) Edith May Eleanor was another one of these children who didn't marry, I have found her death record in April 1987 in Southampton, Hampshire aged 92. I found one record on Find My Past that might relate to this Edith May

Did she become a Teacher ?? I wonder.......
Again because I only rely on records that I can access online for my research into these pictures, I cannot find any other clues about her life.

I still find it quite amazing that just because of a few names we can find out so much about a their lives and Ancestors from the comfort of our own homes, we are very very lucky. There is lots more online about this family and the generations before, if you know the family or someone who is descended from them I will be more than happy to return the photo to where it belongs.

Till Next time then............................

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Happy Christmas & New Year

Thought I would end the year 2013 showing you a little of what's to come for 2014. Not long ago I acquired 3 more Victorian Albums with some photos inside. I am just working on the first one at the moment, but here's a sneak preview of some of the lovely pages to come....

Wishing all my friends and viewers a very Happy, Peaceful Christmas and New Year     xx

Till next time then ......................

Friday, 8 November 2013

War Animals in Memory

In Memory of the large and small Animals that played their part in our War History.

From the Elephants & Horses to the Slugs & Glowworms, they have all played their part in helping to save Human lives.

At the start of the War, WW1 the British Army owned about 25,000 Horses, but they recruited over 165,000 from Britain. More were purchased from America, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Portugal and Spain. They were trained as quickly as possible and known as ‘rough riders’ When they were ready they were formed into squadrons and sent to the Western Front.
The best were used by the cavalry, the cavalry men were instructed to take the weight off them as much as possible and take great care of them.
Lots of people have written about the role of Horses in War, 8 Million died in World War 1 alone, from exposure, disease or starvation.
We surely all remember the excellent film in 2011, by Steven Spielberg ‘War Horse’ a heart wrenching story that told the story of the Horse in war far better than the written word.

Testing for best protection from Gas WW1
Jimson the Mule, Boer War
The British Army purchased a large number of Mules from America in WW1. The Mule has incredible stamina & endured the terrible conditions in the front line better than the Horses could. The British owned over 200,000 Mules.
Brigadier-General Frank Percy Crozier who took part in the Battle of the Somme said "If the times are hard for human beings, on account of the mud and misery which they endure with astounding fortitude, the same may be said of the animals. My heart bleeds for the horses and mules." 

Elephants have been used over many years during war for combat and to carry soldiers, from charging the enemy to their role in the 20th century as an invaluable asset to be able to go where machines could not.
Sir William Slim, commander of the 14th army wrote about Elephants in the intro to “Elephant Bill” ‘They built hundreds of bridges for us, they helped to build and launch more ships for us than Helen ever did for Greece. Without them our retreat from Burma (After WW2)would have been even more arduous and our advance to its liberation slower and more difficult’
They were also used to help the war effort at home in Britain.
WW1 a Military Elephant pulls ammunition in Sheffield
WW2 RAF Sgt and Pigeon
In the late 19th & early 20th century, birds were used in military intelligence. During both World Wars Britain and America got together special Pigeon service units, with tens of thousands of birds. Pigeons were of prime importance during WW1, with anyone intentionally killing or harming a homing Pigeon being sent to jail for 6 months. There were over 16,00 Pigeons parachuted into Europe during WW2.
Hundreds of thousands of Pigeons saved countless lives during World War 1 and 2.
One of the well remembered ones was Gustav, who flew more than 150 miles back to England on D-Day to deliver the first official confirmation of the Normandy Landings. 

During the 19th & 20th centuries, Camels have been an essential part of helping the military in desert policing and patrol work especially in the Middle East and North Africa.

Painting of Imperial Camel Corps Brigade 1916

Dogs have been used through history, some trained in combat, others as trackers, scouts and sentries, some still continue now in the modern military.
During WW1 dogs were used to deliver vital messages too, approximately 1 million Dogs died in WW1.
A couple of well known Dogs were ‘Rags’ who was adopted into the 1st Div in 1918, he was a mixed Terrier, he remained their mascot until his death in Washington DC in 1936.
The other well known Dog was Sergeant Stubby 1916-1926, he was the most decorated War Dog of WW1 and the only Dog to be promoted to Sergeant through combat, America’s 1st War Dog. Stubby even captured a German spy !!

Military Dog wearing bullet proof coat in training

Far less well known than the larger animals are the slugs, who became very important for detecting poison gas. Cows, Rats, Mice, Guinea Pigs, Cats, Flies & Fleas were tested, but no good for this task.
They found that the Garden Slug when exposed to Mustard Gas, closed its breathing aperture to protect its lung membrane.
Also slugs can detect one particle per 10-12,000,000 particles of air (three times better than humans) The Slug was made available to the US Army for duty in the trenches in June 1918, saving countless lives.

Photo of Limax maximus the Great grey Slug.

Glowworms emit Bioluminescence, 10 give off equal to a road light in modern times.
These were a very unlikely War Animal, but they played a very vital role not just in the trenches, but on the battlefield also.
The soldiers collected Glowworms in their thousands and stored them in jars, they became portable lights for studying reports and battle maps and essential for troops for reading their very welcome letters from home.

European Glowworm...Lampyris noctiluca
Postcard of the Tunnellers Friends Monument
Yellow Canaries and White Mice
These were taken into tunnels for the miners, to test for bad air or poison.
There is a War Memorial to Canaries and White Mice in the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle. 

Cats lived with Soldiers in the trenches during WW1 to kill the mice & rats

In 2004 Princess Anne, the Princess Royal unveiled a war memorial in London’s Park Lane.

 It is dedicated to all the Animals and Insects that endured hardship with the Nation’s armed services.
The Princess Royal unveiled the bronze sculptures by David Backhouse of two Mules carrying battle equipment, and of a Stallion and a Dog which stands next to a curved wall of Portland stone carved with an array of Animal profiles.
It carries the inscription “Animals In War. This monument is dedicated to all the Animals that served and died alongside British and allied forces in Wars and campaigns throughout time. They had no choice” 

The PDSA Dickin Medal
To this date 64 Animals have received this medal, which is the Animal equivalent to the Victoria Cross
It was first awarded in 1943 and the most recent was Theo in 2012, a Springer Spaniel killed on duty in Afghanistan in 2011.

At the ceremony in 2004 for the new memorial one man left a wreath of poppies at the foot of the wall, with a handwritten note attached
“Dear Animals. You have smelt our fear. You have seen our bloodshed. You have heard our cries. Forgive us dear Animals that we have asked you to serve in this way in War.”

Jilly Cooper who wrote a book about the Animals war effort, and said at the ceremony.
"We never said thank you to them. Every other Common Market country in the world has.
"They died in their millions. They carried our food and our weapons and they were phenomenal.
"In the Blitz, dogs used to wake up their owners and take them to the shelters when they heard the sirens, and in the First World War horses would neigh when they heard enemy fire but would do nothing when they heard their own fighters going overhead.
"It's their sixth sense and it's amazing."

Jilly Coopers book is called "Animals In War"

Lest We Forget

Till next time then…………………………….

Friday, 27 September 2013

Jewell Suitcase Family Part 2

Click on this link below for Part 1 of Jewell Suitcase Family Blog
 Jewell Family Part 1

I couldn't help, not write a Part 2 about this Jewell Suitcase Family, there is such a lot of information on the records online about them. So I thought I would just write a brief bit about all the family members. I am contacting people who I think are descendants of these people in the many Photos to see if they can be returned to the family, hope I am lucky soon.
One resource that I have been able to make use of is this one  Cornwall Database Online they have the most fabulous information on their site, transcribed by volunteers I understand, do take a look if you are researching West Country ancestors. Another very interesting site if you are researching the Helston area in Cornwall is this one Helston History it cover also Porthleven and the Lizard

I will start with Jacob Jewell, he was born in 1856 to William Jewell born 1822 and died in 1896, a miner and Martha (Knight) born 1820 and died in 1892 William was one of ten children that I have found. Williams parents were John Jewell born 1806-died 1890 a Farm labourer and Patience (Groninan) born 1806-she died 1890 just a few weeks after John, as far as I can see they were all born in Cornwall.
There are photos of Jacob in uniform of some sort, but as yet I am not 100% certain if he was at sea, which looks the likely case, I have found conflicting records, it seems he died in about 1909, but I can't find out for certain, I do wonder if he died aboard ship, if he was a sea going chap.
Jacob Jewell married Mary Williams Warren on 29th November 1877, she was born 1856, died 1926, she was the daughter of William Warren a miner and Julia Williams and one of ten children.

Mary William Warren herself had ten children but in the 1911 census she was listed as being a widow, but also only 5 of her children were still living.
I have found 8 of those children

1.Ada Jane Jewell, born 6 June 1878, died 1897

2.Beatrice Mary Jewell, born 6 July 1880, christened 12 September 1880 at Nancegollan Chapel, Crowan (Weslyan Methodist) and sadly died in the last quarter of 1880.

3.Theresa Warren Jewell, who I wrote about in the previous Blog Part 1.

4.Beatrice Mary Jewell, named after baby who died, was born 22 January 1883, she went on to marry Joseph Frederick Ingleheart at the beginning of 1908, Have found Joseph, called Fred or Frederick in the family with his parents in Budock in the 1911 census (his mother had a total of 17 children but only 9 survived by 1911) Beatrice was with her Mum a Widow in Helston, Cornwall with their 2 daughters, Ethel Elise Ingleheart b 1908 and Frances Rose Cerita Ingleheart b 1909, in the census it says she had another child that had died, have found a Cybil C Ingleheart born and died in last quarter of 1910, but I can't be sure that this is the the child, and I have also found a later entry, a boy called Joseph H W Ingleheart born in 1913 but sadly died at just a year old in 1914.
Joseph Frederick was in the DCLI (Duke Cornwalls Light Infantry) during the War years, on the census his occupation was a gardener, he died in 1946 in Falmouth area of Cornwall, Beatrice died at the end of 1973 in Plymouth, Devon she was 90.
Ethel Elise Ingleheart m Alfred Roy Jeffrey 7th October 1939,Plympton,Devon.

5.Gordon William Jewell born 11 September 1884, married a Beatrice Maud Rowe in 1905 (causing a bit of confusion in the records it seems, as now there were 2 Beatrice M Jewell's listed !!) They had 3 children that I can find, Eliza Ada in 1907, Beatrice Maude in 1908 and a Boy Vivian Henry in 1909. Beatrice was with her parents Henry and Matilda and her 3 children in the 1911 census, while Gordon who I have found was an Insurance agent for a while, also he worked on the railways as a cleaner between August 1904 and August 1905, then turned to Painting and Decorating, was listed in 1911 at his Mum Mary's home, now the puzzle, were they just visiting or had they separated ? I wonder because in 1946 when Gordon William Jewell died he left his £335 to his brother Thomas Hedley Jewell, not his wife ? Beatrice Maud died on 7th January 1955 and left £2,820 to her son Vivian Henry Rowe Jewell a farmer.
Thomas Hedley and Gordon William in their younger days

6.Arthur Wesley Jewell born beginning of 1886, but sadly died late 1903, he was just 17.
Thomas Hedley and Gordon William with Partners and Mum Mary

7.Thomas Hedley Jewell born in 1887 was single still in the 1911 census and living at home with Mum, but he married a Hilda May Geach (born 24 September 1895) at the beginning of 1934, he was 47 and she was 38, Thomas Hedley died on 16 October 1963 at 151 Charlestown Road, St Austell, leaving £311.9s to his widow Hilda May Jewell. I cannot be certain that either of them married before meeting each other, there are a couple of possibilities for Thomas Hedley, so maybe. But I have found a Hilda May Geach born in the right year in the 1901 census living in St Austell, so I think she was a spinster when they married, I have found no children for them at all.  Hilda May Jewell died in 1970 in Plymouth, Devon.
Gordon with brother Hedley and a Mr Jones in later years
8.Cerita Maud Jewell born 5 January 1890, married a Gilbert Campbell Blight on Christmas Day 1907 in Helston area. Gilbert was born in 1883 in Kensington, London. In the 1911 census they lived at Bay View Terrace, Porthleven, Cornwall. Would have been a fabulous view from there looking out to sea. Gilbert was a grocery assistant. Then the war came and he joined the Army the Royal Fusilliers, he was wounded out in 1917 and demobbed in 1919. He put down in the records next of kin was his father Amos Blight, not his wife. When he died on 1st December 1949 he left everything to a friend in the grocery trade, not his widow, so maybe they had separated ?
A possible child a Richard J Blight born 1913 and sadly died 1917, may belong to them, mother is listed as Jewell.
Cerita Maud Blight died in Newton Abbot, Devon in December 1974.
 I have so many of this family's pictures, that honestly I didn't know where to start sorting. Here are a few more mixed pictures that you might like to see..
Gordon with his Dog Peter taken at Charlestown

This is Em' who seems to have been Gordon's partner in later years

1938 2nd from right is Theresa,so she must have made a trip back from US

1938 Another pic with Theresa in middle right

And another family pic taken 1938 for Theresa's visit

This is one of Theresa taken in the US with 3 of her Grandchildren

Beatrice 2nd left at back,Fred,Cerita,Gordon and lovely to see Mum Mary in the Front centre

Picture above was taken possibly not long before Mum Mary died in 1926, Gordon would have been about 42, so looks about right.
This Pic is still the best of the Jewell Family all together
This picture taken before they all went their seperate ways...................
Hedley left back..Theresa in centre back, Gordon right back.
Beatrice left front, with arm on Mums knee and Cerita on the front right.........
If you know any Jewell family decendants please let me know, would love for these pictures to go back to the Family Jewell, I shall keep looking............

Click on Link below for more Jewell Pics on Pinterest Board
 Jewell Suitcase Family..
Click on link below if you have missed Part 1 of this Jewell Family
Jewell Suitcase Family Part 1 Blog 

Till next time then...........

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Lt Cdr Charles Gordon Victor Davies M.B.E.

A few weeks ago I came across a few old letters and bills among a box of allsorts under a stall at the Car Boot, some were still in their envelopes, majority being addressed to a Gordon Davies Esq, Highlands, Horsell Park, Woking, Surrey, postmarked 1946 to 53 , when I got them home I found one was addressed to Mr C.G.V.Davies, The Fleetway House, Farringdon Street, London E.C.4.  So I looked it up ‘Amalgamated Press’ ….  interesting…then another letter says ‘Dear Lieutenant Commander Davies’ now that could be really interesting !
So I have since been on and off trying to find out what I could about this man and here are my findings so far…
Charles Gordon Victor Davies was born on 22 June 1904 Stamford Hill, Hackney District, Greater London and died aged  93 on 1st December 1997 in St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, Surrey.
His parents were Arthur Charles Davies 1877-1963 and Mary Florence Cramp 1876-1957  They married on July 2nd 1900 at St Phillip the Evangelist, Islington, London.

He had an older brother Arthur Reginald born in 1902, sadly I have found he died 4 Jan 1929 only 27, I don’t know why,  and a younger sister Muriel May Victoria born 1909 who never married and died 21 Sept 2007 age 98.
The whole family seemed to live at ‘Highlands’ Horsell Park, Horsell, Surrey, they obviously moved out of London sometime after the 1911 census, where they were living at Portland Avenue, Stamford Hill.
 But not Arthur Reginald, his address at death was given as ‘Waldens’ 4 Walden Park Road, Horsell, Woking, Surrey, he left £1,192.15s to his Mum and Dad in his will. So lived close by.
Father Arthur was listed as a Clerk thoughout his life and in 1911 census was Meat Commission Salesman Clerk and when Father Arthur died in 1963 he left £10,477.3s all to his son Charles Gordon Victor, Company director.

Most of his employment and service information below is what I have found at
When Charles was  a young man he attended the London School of Economics and had a career in Banking and Finance, can’t seem to find out where.
Then around 1940-1 he joined the Royal Navy **
He was apparently based from 6.2.1941 to late 1945 at HMS Orlando (Royal Naval Base, Greenock ***)
From the beginning of 1943 he was Staff officer (Operations) for Flotilla Duties, which is when he received his M.B.E.
About 1945 it states that he became a Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (Supplementary)
His medals/awards as listed on   are:
1.1939-45 Star
2.Atlantic Star
3.Burma Star
4.Defence Medal
5.War Medal 1939-45
6.Legion of Honour (France) ? Liberation of France ?
And also he was awarded the M.B.E. on 11.6.1942. Received at Investiture 3.11.1942 from King George V1
I have tried but am unable to find out why he was awarded the M.B.E.
**They state on their website that he was a Special Branch Officer in 1941 employed on staff etc, duties ashore, having not received any training of an executive nature, but did undergo a course at the RN College, Greenwich, London.
***H.M.S.Orlando was based at Naval House Clarence St Greenock which was the HQ of the Flag Officer Clyde. The Bay Hotel in Gourock was used as office accommodation. It was the beginning of RN activities on the Clyde many of which became bases with their own HMS names.

Charles Gordon Victor Davies was known to all his friends and colleagues as Gordon it seems and although he never married he seems to have had a very interesting life, touring around the world, having lots of friends in high places too, in the letters he received are thanks for the flowers sent to a lady in New Zealand and other places, all from ladies, a letter from the French Consul about him organizing dinner for Polish Officers at the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Club at 52 Pall Mall, London, several letters sent to him at that address one in particular mentioning the B3 Escort Group, its seems he may have been a part of that as he was arranging the dinner and invites (Nov 1946) and it reads that he was a part of this group!

Info about the B3 Escort Group below from Wikipedia …………..
HX 228 was an east bound convoy of 60 ships, plus local contingents, which sailed from New York on 28 February 1943 bound for Liverpool and carrying war materials.
The Mid-Ocean Escort Force group B3 joined the convoy from St Johns. The escort group was led by Commander AA Tait of HMS Harvester; the other ships of this group were the destroyers HMS Escapade, ORP Burza and ORP Garland and the corvettes HMS Narcissus and FNFL ships Aconit, Renoncule and Roselys. The group was backed by the escort carrier USS Bogue and 2 destroyers which sailed from Argentia on 5 March.
Arrayed against them in the North Atlantic were three U-Boat patrol lines, Wildfang, Burggraf and Neuland, although in the event only a re-configured Neuland, comprising 13 U-boats, engaged HX 228.
In early March the U-boat rakes came in contact with SC 121, which was several days ahead of HX 228, and engaged it. The Admiralty diverted HX 228 north-east to avoid the conflict and thus straight into the Neuland patrol area.
HX 228 arrived safely at Liverpool on 15 March 1943.
The RNVR Officer's Club at 52 Pall Mall, opposite St Jame's Palace had some very distinguished visitors over the years and members, Lieut The Hon W.W.Astor was a chairman and it had a welfare fund to help RNVR officers and their dependants in need, the club had around ten thousand members in 1946.Of who 2.700 were Doctors that held commissions in the RNVR, the British Medical Jouirnal at the time says 'they served with great distinction and in all classes of ships all over the world '

Amalgamated Press, Fleetway House.
The earliest connection with this company is 14th July 1948 in the letters that I have, someone from the firm writing to him acknowledging receipt of letters and his memoirs numbers 1-6 it also says in the 6 page letter about the other Directors, so it seems he was one of the Directors of the company from as early as 1948 and definitely through to the mid 1950’s.They published lots and lots of well known comics etc like 'Roy of the Rovers'.
I would love to know if they published his memoirs but again after lots of searching I have drawn a blank.
There is also a letter about the new ‘Lion Annual’ dated 25th March 1953 from the office of Amalgamated Press.

When I was on my internet hunt for information I also found records of a chap who bought a lot of Gordon Davies possessions after he died in 1997, including cigar boxes with attached notes from Winston Churchill and quite a few other items all with links and signatures from Winston Churchill or his Clementine Churchill or his Secretary Grace Hamblin. Christmas cards, books, letter from House of commons from Winston Churchill to Commander Davies, there was quite a selection of stuff it seems. I think that he sold a lot of it at Auctions and on Ebay and probably what I found are the odds and ends that nobody wanted and they have taken these few years to filter through the system and end up at a Car Boot!  So he definitely had friends in high places !!

Some other interesting things from the collection I got is one of his Taxi bills for July 1951..
 Another letter is addressed to him at Nugent Road, Southbourne, Bournemouth not far from us her in Christchurch, he must have been visiting as these are mostly large detached houses.

Another a Telegram to him (First Class Passenger) aboard the SS Strathaird, from a lady confirming her presence at a reunion at the Ivy Restaurant in London
The SS Strathaird typical ports of call were Port Said, Aden, Bombay, Colombo, Freemantle, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
One of the ladies wrote to him from her holiday with friends in Cheshire..letters ends 'Well I shall keep all the details for when I see you again.
I hope you're not working too hard and that you think of me sometimes...
Another letter dated March 18th 1953 speaks about him arranging a car for someone who has a seat in the Abbey for the Coronation !!

This small picture not written on was also in the box, I am wondering could this be Gordon?? fits my image of him, a man about town, traveller, nice gent ....................

So all in all some really interesting finds about a very interesting man and his life…………
Till next time then.......................................

After I posted this Blog I found a chap who was asking for information about Gordon Davies, so I sent him the link to my Blog in an email and had a wonderful reply with a bit more info about him.
Richard actually wrote the research notes that I quoted in Blog at and also is connected with this wonderful site  Naval Historical Collectors Research Association 
great if you need any Naval info especially for Family History.
The most wonderful thing was that Richard actually acquired  Gordon's Medals and sent me a picture and also he had a Photo of Gordon which he sent me also, and after comparing them I am sure now Gordon is the chap in my photo above taken by the ship waving !! How amazing is that ? and I nearly didn't pick up the photo, just something told me it might be him !           Photos below..............

 My very grateful thanks to Richard for the photos and reply.
All the letters etc that I have about Gordon, Richard has bought from me, so that he can add all the info together to write a more detailed account of our mans service history and life.
Bit more info from Richard "
Navy List HMS Orlando entry for Gordon. His name appears about half-way down the right hand column – shows him as a staff officer (operations) with the flotillas (destroyers, corvettes, etc). 

 Many Many thanks again Richard...
Amazing the information a few old letters can generate...........
This is latest info from Richard, he has found out more info about one of the letter writers to Gordon....."I spent a lot of time looking in the wrong places but I have now established that it was Wren 2nd Officer Robina Hope Brooks, who served with Gordon at HMS Orlando from 1942. She was a petty officer when she was appointed 3rd Officer in 1941; she was promoted in 1944.
I’ve found that Robina Hope Brooks served as a WRNS officer in the Queen Mary, sailing between Greenock and New York in 1944-45. She was born in Scotland in 1915 and was still in the Wrens in 1948"

Many thanks to Richard for letting me know to add to Blog, these letters are certainly keeping him busy....................