Monday, 28 December 2020

Genealogy Goals for 2021

I haven't been as focused on genealogy during 2020 as I would have liked to have been even though I keep buying subscriptions and then feeling guilty because I am not making use of them.

So I Googled family history new year resolutions, genealogy goals etc. and whilst there were a few interesting ones they didn't quite hit the mark for me.

I know I want to make a habit of doing regular research (not sure where I will find the time but committing to the idea is a first good start). I also need to do some tidying up and make use of the above-mentioned subscriptions. I want to make more regular blog posts as that, at least, makes me write the research up. I also want to make sure I watch as many Legacy FamilyTree Webinars as I can now that I have a subscription for that too. So my goal ideas were regular research using research plans, so that I don't waste time drifting and not achieving anything, and tidying up and writing up my research. I often feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights. There's so much I could be doing but where to start? I love Amy Johnson Crow's WANDER idea, and I knew I wanted to make sure I was following that to give some structure to my research. It was then that I realised my genealogy goals could fit under these headings.


Genealogy Goals 2021

What do you want to find?

Focus on a different branch each month.

Analyse what you already have

Review your tree and all the sources for that month's branch.   

Have you squeezed every drop out of the sources you already have?

Note what is missing

Create a research plan as you do the above step.

Discover new records

20 minutes of research for 21 days per month for 2021.

Watch Legacy Family Tree Webinars on any research areas that you are not familiar with or need a refresher on.

Evaluate everything

Update family tree and write up for 'story' and a blog post if interesting enough.

Repeat as necessary

Complete research plan for that branch until completed or the month is up.

Then repeat from step 1.

As it happens I only know 11 of my 16 great, great grandparents so I will have one *wildcard* in case I find out one of the missing surnames.

Genealogy Goals 2021

Surname / Branch to research
























* Wildcard *

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Elizabeth Mitchell (1839-1919), Florence Isabel Mathews (1881-1942), June Duprez (1918-1984)

I was about to go to bed one-night last weekend when I thought, I'll just clear a couple of Ancestry Hints!

It was then that I discovered that Elizabeth Mitchell, daughter of Edward Mitchell and Hannah Buckler, hadn't disappeared into thin air but had remained in Australia after her half-siblings had returned back to England following the death of their father.

The hints showed an:
  • Elizabeth Mitchell marrying a Frederick Mathews in Victoria in 1858.
  • Elizabeth Matthews dying on 19 Jun 1919 in Ballarat, Ballarat City, Victoria, Australia.
Could this really be 'our' Elizabeth that I have been hunting for, for years?!?!?

I searched the Victoria births marriages and deaths to see if the father's names were mentioned but sadly they were missing.

Then I remembered that Australian death certificates mention parents names so I went back to search for the death of Elizabeth Matthews 1919.

Mitchell Edw

It was 'our' Elizabeth. But this was just the start of an exciting discovery.

Now I was convinced that it was our Elizabeth, I looked at some of the family tree hints. It was then that I noticed a death notice attached to one of Elizabeth and Frederick's children.

It read:


Collapsing in Gleneira rd Caulfield
yesterday Mrs Florence Isabel
Duprez, former Australian actress
widow of the late Fred Duprez, the
English comedian, and mother of
the Hollywood film artist, June
Duprez, died before medical aid
could be summoned. Mrs Duprez
who was about 60, returned recently
to Australia to see her relatives after
many years absence.

Before her marriage 30 years ago
Mrs. Duprez was Miss Florence
Mathews, niece of the late Julia
Mathews actress. Born at Ballarat
she was always interested in the
stage and one of her last appearances
was in Sweet Lavender produced
by the late Gregan McMahon.

Mrs Duprez was married in London,
where she lived for many years.
Her late husband wrote the play
"My Wife s Family" which ran for
many years in London. Returning to
Australia via America, Mrs Duprez
stayed in Hollywood for many
months with her daughter. While
there she witnessed the premiere of
"The Thief of Bagdad" in which
film June Duprez was seen here
recently. The film was made in
London but the final scenes were taken
in America and June Duprez
remained in Hollywood under contract
to Alexander Korda.

Since her return Mrs. Duprez had
been living in Glenferrie rd Kew.
The funeral will be private.

Original Source: The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Fri 16 Jan 1942 Page 5

Wow! Wow! Wow!

Could it really be true?

So I off I went to search for the children of Elizabeth Mitchell and Frederick Matthews. After a bit of trial and effort and realising it was mainly Mathews not Matthews I came up with the following possible children and the youngest child was named Florence Isabel.

Elizabeth MATHEWS
Elizabeth MITCHELL & Frederick

(MATHEWS Elizabeth
Elizabeth & Frederick
4 Days old

Frederick William MATHEWS
Elizabeth MITCHELL & Frederick Geo.

Julia Louisa MATTHEWS
Elizabeth MITCHELL & Frederick Geor

Thomas Edward MATHEWS
Elizabet MITCHELL & Frederick Geor

Adolphus Augustus MATHEWS
Elizabeth MITCHELL & George Frederic

Elizabeth Ada MATHEWS
Elizabeth MITCHELL & Frederick Geo.

Sarah Ann Adelaide MATHEWS
Elizabeth MITCHELL & Frederick Geor

James Henry MATHEWS
Elizabeth MITCHELL & Frederick Georg

(James MATHEWS Death
Elizabeth MITCHELL & Frederick Ge
7 Months old

Elizabeth MATHEWS
Elizabeth MITCHELL & Frederick Georg

James Ernest MATHEWS
Elizabeth MITCHELL & Frederick Geor

Florence Isabel MATHEWS
Elizabeth MITCHELL & Frederick Geor

I then tried to find a marriage for Florence to Mr Duprez. FreeBMD came up with the goods:

Marriages June Quarter 1916
St. Giles 1b 1204
Duprez Frederick A
Mathews Florence I

Refine the search from marriages to births – change the name to Matthew and you get – June Duprez

Births June Quarter 1918
Kingston 2a 744
Duprez June A R Mother's maiden name: Matthews

To type this up I recreated all the searches again and noticed a little envelope next to her entry. Clicking on it leads to this message:

Postems for this entry:


Film actress June Duprez who appeared in a number of successful British films, particularly the 1940 Thief of Baghdad. Died in 1984.

I searched Trove to see what other evidence I could find to support the above. Here are all the entries I have found and noted so far starting from Frederick Matthews' death in 1900:

-----------------------26 Jan 1900----------------------- 

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Fri 26 Jan 1900 Page 3 Advertising


AFTER 14 days from the publication hereof
application will be made to the Supreme
Court of the Colony of Victoria, in its Probate
jurisdiction, that PROBATE of the WILL of
Ballarat, but lately of Burwood road, Hawthorn,
in the said colony, engineer, deceased, maybe
granted to Elizabeth Mathews, of Burwood road
Hawthorn aforesaid, the widow of the said
deceased and the sole executrix named in and
appointed by the said will
Dated this 25th day of January, 1900
RICHARD LAWSON CROSS, 457 Little Collins
street, Melbourne, proctor for the said executrix. 

-----------------------24 Dec 1903-----------------------

Punch (Melbourne, Vic. : 1900 - 1918; 1925) / Thu 24 Dec 1903 / Page 25

The Misses Mathews' juvenile ball was held at
Hawthorn on Wednesday, [?]2nd December, and
was a great success. The hall was prettily decorated
for the occasion. The fancy costumes
worn by the children were very handsome and
much admired. During the evening Mr. A. G.
Lumsden, on behalf of the pupils, presented
Miss Sadie Mathews with a gold chain and medallion
in appreciation of their esteem. 

[Note: I think Sadie Mathews might be Sarah Ann Adelaide Mathews]

-----------------------12 Jun 1907-----------------------

Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW : 1900 - 1954) / Wed 12 Jun 1907 / Page 3 / THEATRICAL TITBITS.

Our then mechanist in the Academy of
Music, Ballarat, was 'Old Mathews,'
a brother to the famous Julia Mathews, and our
scenic artist was 'Young Mathews,' old M.'s
son, and we had a daughter of old M.'s
playing small parts with us. I remember,
years after, I wanted a photo of Julia
Matthews for press purposes, and I journeyed
all the way to Ballarat for it, and I got it.
Dear old Bill gave it to me.

[Note: I believe 'Old Mathews' is Frederick George Mathews – he seems to have been in scenery design which might explain why the children were dancers and actresses]

-----------------------28 Apr 1910----------------------- 

Punch (Melbourne, Vic. : 1900 - 1918; 1925) / Thu 28 Apr 1910 / Page 28 / Advertising


MISS SADIE MATHEWS. Teacher of Elocution,
Theory, and Voice Cultivation. The first prizewinners
in the Open Scene, A.N.A. Competition
("The Man Who Stole the Castle"), Dagmar Thake
and Gladys Daniels, are pupils of Miss Sadie
Mathews. Miss Florence Mathews intends forming
a class for dramatic work-scenes and dialogues.
For particulars apply "Killala," Liddiard-street,
Glenferri .. and Glen's.

-----------------------08 Jun 1916-----------------------

Punch (Melbourne, Vic. : 1900 - 1918; 1925) / Thu 8 Jun 1916 / Page 42 / GREENROOM GOSSIP

Miss Florrie Mathews, a young: stage
aspirant who left Melbourne for London
two or three years ago, has ' achieved
some success in touring companies in
the English provinces. Miss Mathews has also
acquired a husband in the person of Mr.- Fred
Duprez, a clever young artist who is well •••and.
popularly known in vaudeville circles in
England. Mrs. Duprez is a niece of the late/Julia -
Mathews, and a cousin of Mr. T. Mathews
who manages several theatres in London.

-----------------------18 Apr 1923-----------------------

The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950) / Wed 18 Apr 1923 / Page 5 / Mainly About People.

A most enjoyable afternoon was spent 

at the residence of Mrs. W. Barnes, of
'Killala,' Bruce-street, Nedlands Park,
last, -week, to bid bon voyage to 
Miss Ada Coultas on the eve of her departure for
London. The rooms were tastefully
decorated with autumn flowers, and a very
dainty afternoon tea was served to over
30 guests. Musical items were rendered
by Miss Coultas in her usual artistic
manner, songs by Mrs. Rogers, and
orchestral pieces led by the Misses Du Boulay,
while the recitative portion was represented
by Mrs. McClintock, Miss Hallet, and
little Miss Mathews. 

[Note I believe Mrs. W. Barnes to be Elizabeth Mathews]

-----------------------10 Nov 1923----------------------- 

The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) / Sat 10 Nov 1923 / Page 1 / Family Notices

BARNS. —On October 28, to Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Barns, of 36 Perth-Fremantle-road, Nedlands —a son.

-----------------------17 Oct 1926-----------------------

Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954) / Sun 17 Oct 1926 / Page 28 / Motoring and Motoring

Mr. W. E. Barnes, of Bruce-street, Nedlands, has purchased a Fiat Model 503

-----------------------06 Sep 1931-----------------------

Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954) / Sun 6 Sep 1931 / Page 13 / The Social Whirl and Personal Pars on Prominent People Edited by Renee

at Temple Court last week
to bid bon voyage to Miss
Ada Matthews, who leaves
by the Ballarat for Europe
after an enjoyable-holiday
with her sister, Mrs. W. Barnes.
of Nedlands.
Amongst the guests were Mesdames
Barnes, McRostie, Harris, Darling,
Robinson, Bentley, Atkinson, Cunninghame,
Brown, Mcclintock and Faulkner,
and Misses S. Matthews, Gundill,
Pengelly, and .Burton

-----------------------26 Nov 1932-----------------------

The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950) / Sat 26 Nov 1932 / Page 3 / NEWS IN BRIEF


Adolphus Augustus Mathews, of 50
Bruce-street, Nedlands Park, who died
on September 24 last, left estate valued
at £2904. The sole legatee is his sister,
Miss Sarah Mathews.

-----------------------15 Sep 1932-----------------------

The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) / Thu 15 Sep 1932 / Page 1 / Family Notices

MATHEWS. — On September 14, 1932, at St. 

John of God Hospital, Subiaco, 
Adolphus Augustus Mathews, beloved brother of 
Sarah Mathews and Elizabeth Barnes (of Nedlands),
James Mathews (of Albany), 
Thomas Edward Mathews (of Melbourne), 
Julia Joyce (of Melbourne), 
Ada Mathews (of London), and
Florence Dupres (of London).

-----------------------02 Nov 1936-----------------------

The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950) / Mon 2 Nov 1936 / Page 6 / Young English Film Star's Link With Perth

Young English Film
Star's Link With Perth
Miss June Duprez, regarded
as one of the most promising
of Britain's dramatic
actresses, who is now appearing
in 'The Crimson Circle' at
Hoyts Regent Theatre, is- a
niece of Mrs. W. E. Barnes,
of Bruce-street, Nedlands, and
a sister of Mr. Charles
Manhattan Duprez, an
announcer at Station 6PR.

The 17-year-old actress, who was
married in September of last year
to Dr. Guy Beauchamp, a Harley
street physician, is the daughter of
Mr. Fred Duprez, the famous
English comedian. Mrs. Barnes is Mrs.
Duprez's sister.

'Even as a small child June
showed undoubted talent,' said Mr.
Charles Duprez, when discussing his
actress sister. Mr. Duprez has been
out from England for only three
months. 'She was originally
destined for a musical career, and at
the age of 15 gave recitals at the
Wigmore Hall, London. She also did
some work for the British Broad
casting Commission,' he added.

Stage Experience
June, however, was hankering
after a stage career, and in spite of
the opposition of her father, joined
the Croydon Repertory Theatre and
played all sorts of parts, from old
women to 'Tondeleyo' in 'White

It was while site was playing with
this company that she met Dr.
Beauchamp, then practising in
Nuneaton, and became his wife.
When she returned from her
honeymoon she appeared in a small
part in 'The Amateur Gentleman.'
The attention she attracted resulted
in her being cast for the lead in
'The Cardinal,' opposite Matheson

Emotional Gifts
Speaking of the filming of one scene
in this picture, a prominent English
film critic writes: 'June Duprez has
that gift, so seldom found in younger
British actresses, of letting herself go
completely and sweeping right; into
the deepest emotions on demand.

Each time she finished the scene
her lashes were wet with tears—
and they were real tears.'

With her leading role in 'The
Crimson Circle,' with Hugh Wakefield 
and Noah Beery, June Duprez
definitely achieves front rank stardom
in British films.

'Besides her really startling 
dramatic power, she has a dark, unusual
beauty, and, a rare thing in a
woman, a deep and beautifully 
modulated voice,' says the same- critic.
'So many young English girls have
not only too much restraint for really
dramatic acting, but also those
dreadfully 'naice' voices.'

'I think it is her intention to
carry on with her film career in
spite of her marriage,' said her
brother, 'She loves her work so much
and has just begun to be definitely
established Her husband realises
this, and realises, too, that she is
very young, and has raised no
objections to her acting.

-----------------------02 Aug 1941-----------------------

Mirror (Perth, WA : 1921 - 1956) / Sat 2 Aug 1941 / Page 16 / Of Interest To Ladies

Mrs. G. V. Purdue entertained an 

old school friend Mrs. Florence
Duprez, mother of film star June
Duprez, at dinner at the Adelphi this

-----------------------03 Jul 1941-----------------------

The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) / Thu 3 Jul 1941 / Page 8 / American Visitor Welcomed.

American Visitor Welcomed. 

Mills. W. FAUCKNER was the
hostess at an enjoyable afternoon
at the Hotel Adelphi on Tuesday
to welcome Mrs. Florence Duprez,
who has just arrived from America
on .a visit to her sister, Mrs. W.
Barnes, of Nedlands. Mrs. Duprez
is the mother of June Duprez, who
is appearing in "The Thief of Bagdad.
The lounge was arranged with
roses and Iceland poppies. Among
those invited to welcome the guest
of honour were Lady Wittenoom,
Mesdames Harry Graham, Darling,
G. Purdie. W. McCrostie, E. Smyth,
Maurice Buck, Allen, H. Baker, 
Camper, W. Barnes, Misses du Boula?,
Ida Geddes and Ada and Sadie

-----------------------05 Jul 1941-----------------------

The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) / Sat 5 Jul 1941 / Page 8 / MOTHER OF FILM STAR.


Mrs. Duprez in Perth.

WHEN June Duprez, who is known
to Perth picturegoeers by her
work in the Technicolour films, "Four
Feathers" and "The Thief of Bag
dad," went in search of her first
screen role, she took her own test
with her and walked out with a
contract. This story was told
yesterday by her mother. 
Mrs. Florence Duprez. who 
is visiting her sister.
Mrs. W. Barnes, of Nedlands.

In private life Mrs. Guy Beauchamp,
wife of a Harley-street
specialist. Miss Duprez belies her
French-sounding name. Her mother
was born in Australia, but became
a citizen of the United States when
she married the American comedian,
Fred Duprez. Both June and her
brother Hatton (whose voice, by the
way, was heard over local radio
stations about five years ago) were born
in England. Her first big part was
in "Four Feathers," for which she
was selected by Alexander Korda
from 200 applicants. Her latest
picture, "The Thief of Bagdad," was
started at the Denham Studios,
interrupted by the war, and finished
in Hollywood, where Miss Duprez
is now living.

"Now-or-Never" Ship.

Mrs. Duprez left England on June
3, 1940, on the "now-or-never" ship.
President Roosevelt, which was sent
to Galway by the United States
Government to bring home American
citizens stranded by the war. She
carried nearly 800 passengers, many
of whom had to sleep in the dining
saloons. Mrs. Duprez sailed at two
days' notice.

Discussing the film colony's war
work, Mrs. Duprez said that 
Ronald Colman and his wife, 
Benita Hume, were leaders of an 
unceasing effort to which all the stars 
Her own daughter spent her spare
time sewing and knitting for the
Red Cross Society and, with many
other stars, had taken part in a
three-week benefit season of Noel
Coward plays.

-----------------------17 Jan 1942-----------------------

The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) / Sat 17 Jan 1942 / Page 1 / Family Notices

DUPREZ (Florence).--On January 15 

1942, suddenly, at Melbourne, sister of
Ada, Sadie, James, Julia, Elizabeth (Mrs.
W. E. Barnes) and W. E. Barnes,
mother of Hatton and June (Mrs.
Beauchamp) and Dr. Guy Beauchamp.

-----------------------22 Jan 1942-----------------------

Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) / Thu 22 Jan 1942 / Page 25 / AUSTRALIA AND THE PACIFIC

Mrs. Florence Isabel Duprez, 

former Australian actress, widow
of Fred Duprez, the English
comedian, and mother of the
Hollywood film artist June Duprez,
collapsed and died at Caulfield
(Vic.) last week. Mrs. Duprez, who
was about 60, returned recently to -
Australia to see her relatives after
many years' absence.

-----------------------13 Mar 1950-----------------------

The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) / Mon 13 Mar 1950 / Page 30 / Family Notices

MATHEWS: On March 11. 1950, at Perth. James Ernest. the beloved husband of Mary Mathews, devoted father of Jean (Mrs. Merrifield, Albany) and Ada (Victoria Park)- and father-in-law of Lance; aged 69 years.

-----------------------14 Mar 1950-----------------------

The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) / Tue 14 Mar 1950 / Page 25 / Family Notices

MATHEWS: On March 11. passed away at St. Margaret's Hospital. James. loved brother of Elizabeth Barnes, Ada and Sadie Mathews.

-----------------------14 Mar 1950-----------------------

The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) / Tue 14 Mar 1950 / Page 25 / Family Notices

MATHEWS: A Presbyterian Cremation Service for the late Mr. James Ernest Mathews, of 15 Cardiff-street, Victoria Park. and formerly of the W.A.G.R., will be held in the Karrakatta Crematorium Chapel at 11 o'clock THIS (Tuesday) MORNING. The Funeral Cortege is appointed to leave our Service Chapel. 664 New castle-street, Leederville, at 10.45 o'clock. ARTHUR J. PURSLOWE AND CO. Tel. B2649.

-----------------------14 Mar 1950-----------------------

The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) / Tue 14 Mar 1950 / Page 25 / Family Notices

MATHEWS: On March 11. passed away at St. Margaret's Hospital. James, loved brother of Elizabeth Barnes, Ada and Sadie Mathews.

-----------------------03 Sep 1952-----------------------

The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) / Wed 3 Sep 1952 / Page 20 / Family Notices

THE RELATIVES of the Late 

MRS. W. BARNES and the late
kind friends for their floral
tributes and expressions of
sympathy in their recent sad
bereavements. Their heartfelt
thanks to Mrs. Callcott, Mrs.
Ralph, Mrs. Purdue, Mrs. Allen,
Mrs. Radford; also 
Rev. C. Cameron and Nedlands
Presbyterian Ladies' Guild. Will all
please accept this as a personal
expression of gratitude.

I think it is clear from the above newspaper articles that this family structure is correct. That means that June Duprez is my 3 cousin 3 times removed. I am beyond excited given that one of my favourite things is 1940s movies. She knew Nigel Bruce and his wife, was in a film with Cary Grant and starred in a movie with Sabu!!!

I can't explain how much I LOVE Trove and thank you to those people on Ancestry who, by growing their family trees at Ancestry, have caused a hint to pop up and has allowed me to discover this exciting branch of my family.

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Sullivan Family of Ireland, England, USA and Australia

There is so much family information in this news report that I thought I would transcribe it and add to the blog in case anyone searches for these names.

The Sun, New York, USA
July 21, 1894


Did the Public Administrator Search the Third Assembly District.

Dennis Sullivan, a member of the Produce Exchange, a bachelor, died in the fall of 1889, leaving his estate of $60.000 to sister, Sarah Ann Sullivan, whom he made sole executor of his will. She had about $50,000 of it left on her death, on Jan. 8. 1892. She left no will and no near relatives and the Public Administrator took charge of the estate. A large part of the earth has since been scoured at his instance, and with some young lawyers to aid him, to find some of her distant relatives. When all have returned from the chase the matter of determining who are the heirs was sent to William H. Willis as referee. Mr Willis made a report that the estate should go to Michael Cussen, a first cousin, a school teacher, and to Cussen's half-sister, Ellen Donovan, both of Melbourne, Australia, who came on to prove their claims of kinship.

The Sullivans came from county Clare, Ireland, from which place their nearest of kin emigrated from thirty to forty years ago, and with the exception of the two Australian cousins, all trace of the family has been lost. One first cousin, Ann Malone, left for service in England thirty-six years ago, but trace of her was lost in London. James Sullivan, another first cousin, came to this country in the forties and served through the war. In 1867 he boarded at the house of a Mrs. Dyer, in Pacific street, Brookly. Patrick Sullivan, an uncle, came here in 1860 and drifted to the West or South but traces of him was lost four years after his arrival, when he ceased to write home.

The Public Administrator opposed the confirmation of the report on the ground that it had not shown that the other relatives are dead and have left no issue. Surrogate Fitzgerald reserved the decision.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Stalag 383 - The Bull Ring Club - Birmingham P.O.W.'s

Stalag 383 - The Bull Ring Club

Names mentioned include:

  • Cpl John Brotherton
  • Johney Carrol
  • Len Sutton
  • Cpl Farrington
  • Sgt Teddy Abdail

Escape from Stalag 383 (success)

Stalag 383

POW Escape


Before war's end the Germans decided to move the whole of the NCOs camp 383, across the R. Danube away from the advancing American front. 20 to 30 of us, classed as escapees, all who had escape records, were the last personnel out to be moved from the camp.

At around 8 pm at night the Germans, moved us under an escort of motorcycled armed infantry, they sent back into the empty camp sections of troops with military dogs to ferret out, with the occasional hand grenade thrown under random huts, any attempted men in hiding.

Five of us who were determined to get away, at the first opportunity, hung together. We had a good idea of the lie of the land outside the camp from previous experience. We chose a spot about one KILO from the camp, where the high track to the village as of Hohenfels dropped to a wooded slope of Pine trees. Our plan was for all five of us to drop behind to the rear of the column of troops and POWs. When we arrived at the chosen spot I sat down in the middle of the track with two fingers down my throat, acting as a very sick character. Fortune was with us because there was only one rather plump young German sentry behind us. We had arranged for two of the lads to attend to things such as this happening, however one of my pals in the regiment Cpl BILLY COOPER, who was a Battalion Boxer was waiting the chance. As I was slumped in the middle of the tracks, being so terribly sick, the young sentry thumped me in the back and shouted “Rouse” move on. I remembered hearing his rifle and bayonet clattering on the track after Billy had connected to his chin.

We were up and down the slope and into the small trees fast! Knowing it was very difficult to hit targets at dusk or darkness. Shots were fired but no harm done, the Germans would not leave the column for a few. We five did not turn back but followed the whole column forward, and reach the village before them. After climbing a hill behind the village, we lay on the roof of a thatched house, built into the side of the hill and watched with delight the whole parade of Germans, motor transport and POWs pass on beneath us, in the pale moonlight, we were free.

We then retraced our steps back to the camp and actually lived in one of the empty guard boxes and Hohenfels itself eventually meeting up with the American troops, then by DAKOTA aircraft to Brussels from Nuremberg and from Brussels by LANCASTER bombers to be home weeks before the war finished.

Would not have missed one second, plus many more events and thrills,

Love Uncle Alf x

(Sorry I could not type these)

Escape from Stalag 383 - October 1943




After our unsuccessful attempt to escape over the wire, our next attempt on the night of October the 9th (successful) 1943 took us, Sgt. A. W. Brough A&SH [Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders] and W.O. J. Quinn RAF through the camp wire and after many interesting experiences, on an adventure of one week to unfortunate arrest at Trier on the Luxembourg borders in Koblenz area.

(Method of ESCAPE).

After much thought and frustrating attempts, a very simple and effective solution came to our aid, namely (CLOUDS).

Our camp was on high ground in Bavaria, near the village is of HOHENFELS, and in October 1943, low CLOUDS at times covered the hilltops. On this particular Sunday night (I believe) I was sitting at the end of the block of camp huts, contemplating how we would ever beat the 10' high by 10' thick barbed wire fences and the German sentries. When I heard to my right a few Australian and British POWs bartering with the German sentries through the wire. I suddenly realised that the low clouds over the camp was going to be our method of escape.

Some weeks before October we had stolen from a FRENCH working party, a large pair of wire cutters, these we had hidden under the floor of our hut, wrapped in grease in a sandbag. I dashed into the hut and said to Jimmy “Get the wire cutters quick” tonight we are going!

I realise that if I could enlist the help of some of the lads on the wire, to puff away at cigarettes, while talking to and also following these two German sentries on their beats, Jimmy and I could cut through the inner and outer wire, when no cigarettes could be seen. The wire would not be observed by the sentries, and we would only have the inner Rolled 'DANERT' wire to press down. We would also cut the wire near the large wooden fence posts, which threw a shadow from the perimeter lights across a track and part of the approach to dead ground that led to a small hill a quarter of a mile from the camp, our first target.

This plan succeeded and we cut through the wire at right angles Ex

THEN pulled it back into place after to avoid detection. Both inner and outer fences. (We beat fences and A.R.C and roving searchlights).

We wore old overalls over our army and RAF tunics plus Sgt stripes and identification discs. We got clean away and sat near breathless but full of success on the small wooded hills and watched and heard the German troops, military dogs, and motor transport & lights round the area of our escape.

We then headed for our next important target, which was the railway and station at Paarsburge [Parsburge?] around 15 km across very hilly terrain, and across the river Regen [not sure about this name/location] (We crossed this river around dawn among a herd of cattle, unobserved, along with the cattle bells, and the young cow herder, also German sentry on the bridge).

At Paarsberge station we slept for an hour or so under the hedge lining the rail track soaked in the morning dew and was woken by an empty Horse Transport Troop Train that pulled in. The destination tickets or it's carriages mentioned Belgium, we decided this one was for us so we cancelled all other thoughts of Switzerland or Russia or every other possible borders, and climbed into an empty horse stall carriage, left the doors ajar and retired to its darkest corner. Shortly after this rail workers were tapping on the wheels with hammers, a good sign that this train was going somewhere. Lo and behold in about 10 minutes, we were off on our way.

First Nuremberg next Amsbach, here at night we stopped for a couple of hours on the next line and watched a whole German regiment of troops and equipment entraining for possibly France, a few feet away. We stayed on the train the whole of our journey through the whole Siegfried line, airfields and defence lines, manned by troops at all roads and railway junctions and bridges, even waving at the troops as we passed through looking like, we hoped German railway workers.

Our unfortunate downfall however was (WATER). We had at the camp, hidden away 3 haversacks of concentrated rations and one of water bottles. Sadly in our hast to get through the wire Jimmy grabbed 2 haversacks of rations, none of water, our last good drink had been from the River Regan and our rations were only biscuits, raisins, prunes, tin of spam, old bread, emergency Choc army.

We crossed the R.Rhine at Heidelberg to the Kaiserslautern, then Saarbr├╝cken, here I wanted to cross the E. Saar and try for METZ in France but Jimmy had frostbitten feet from when he had been shot down in the N. Sea on Coastal Command and was not up to possible long marches. However, we got back into our wagon, the next stop TRIER. Here whilst searching for water on the main Station we were taken at gunpoint, by a German guard into the main station for water, we believed he was not aware of our identities however after going a short distance through the corridors and blackout curtains, we were confronted with a brilliantly lit waiting room full of German troops sleeping and awake waiting for a troop train. I believe the way we drank our water, the game was up. One young officer spotted the one RAF button on Jimmy's tunic and shouted “those men are Fallschirmspringers (“parachutists”). We were arrested at bayonet point and 'Schmeissers'.

Eventually taken to a German H.Q. Chateau near KOBLENZ, interrogation, then to a number of prisons at Kaiserslautern, FORBACH and LIMBURG. Escorted by German troops and eventually by a German (Feldwebel) to whom we refused our parole then without our feet in French Sabot (wooden shoes) no socks. Taken through numerous adventures back to Hohenfels.

3 weeks (bunker arrest)

(Made another ATTEMPT by cutting a small tunnel under the floorboards of the cell (at Hohenfels) BUT CAUGHT) HARDLINES) (AGAIN)

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Related? Please upload your DNA to GEDmatch

I have had my DNA tested with a couple of companies but not with Ancestry.  

Today, I have had what I think (and hope) is a genius idea.  

I am adding the following picture to profile pictures on Ancestry for all blood relatives. I have used GEDmatch as it is pretty universal rather than using the companies I actually tested with.

Anyone want to join me and see if we can get some confirmed matches?

Also, does anyone have any success stories/tips for DNA matching with Ancestry or any of the other companies, please?

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

1869 (July) List of Europeans & East Indians in the East Indian Railway - page 54

1st July January 1869
Page 54
List of Europeans and East-Indians in the Company's Service.--(Continued.)
First date of Appointment.
In what District.
Salary per mensem.
Amount paid in
England per month.
Amount of
Paid in

Rs. As. P.
£. s. d.

£. s. d.

1865 Sept. 14
Phillips, R.P.
Sleeper Examiner
Board of Agency,  Patna
350 0 0
3 0 0

1867 July 1
Phillips, G.P.
Traffic Dept., Howrah
80 0 0

1866 Mar. 8
Phillips, Thos.
Jub. Line, Rewah Divn, Sutna
300 0 0
2 0 0

1867 Jan. 21
Phillips, M
Loco. Dept., Howrah
60 0 0

1866 May 1
Philpotts, Wm. E.
Traffic Dept., Howrah
150 0 0

1863 Oct. 4,
Pickford, Walter
Loco. Dept. Sahibgunge
300 0 0

1862 Feb. 12
Pigot, E. R.
Station Master
Traf. Dept., Pakowr
195 0 0
… ...
1 16 0

1866 Nov. 20
Pilkington, Ed.
Loco. Dept., Allahabad
196 5 9

1866 Dec. 4
Pilley, Fras.
C. & W. Dept., Howrah
275 0 0

1860 July 16
Pinniger, Edwd.
E.T. Dept., Khanoo Junction
250 0 0
2 10 0

1866  Jan. 16
Pinto, Chas.
Loco. Dept., Jumalpore
40 0 0

1868 Oct. 13
Pitts, C. W. H.
Allahabad District, Allahabad
120 0 0
80 0 0

1866 Oct. 20
Pizzey, Leonard
Loco. Dept., Cawnpore
80 0 0

1865 Dec. 15
Platel, Jos.
Traffic Dept., Howrah
100 0 0

1867 April 29
Platel, Jos.
Ditto, Ditto
100 0 0

1868 Nov. 8
Platner, Dan.l
Ditto, Mirzapore
60 0 0

1865 Oct. 20
Pollard, C.
Loco. Dept., Allahabad
218 2 9
6 0 0

1866 Mar. 21
Polybank, A.
Ditto, Raneegunge
90 0 0

1867 July 6
Pollott, A. H.
Ditto, Buxar
10 0 0

1857 Mar. 4
Porter, H.G
Clerk of Works
Allahabad Dist., Allahabad.
400 0 0
… ...
4 0 0

1863 Nov. 10
Porthouse, Andrew
Loco. Dept., Buxar
240 0 0
8 0 0

1861 Sept. 9
Poulson, Geo. Alfred
Traf. Dept., Howrah
150 0 0

1868 Nov. 17
Powell, Thos.
Loco. Dept., Cawnpore
60 0 0

1858 Sept. 1,
Powell, Fras.
Cawnpore Dist., Bhowpore
250 0 0
… ...
2 0 0
On leave for 6 months 15/3/69
1866 Dec. 24
Power, Jas.
Traf. Dept., Jumalpore
150 0 0

1857 June 15
Powell, G. E.
Howrah District
60 0 0

1863 Nov. 7
Power, Edward
Loco. Dept., Allahabad
20 0 0

1862 Dec. 8
Power, Alfred
Ditto, Howrah
180 0 0

1865 Dec. 13
Power, Thos.
Loco. Dept., Cawnpore
80 0 0

1867 July 11
Poynton, Geo.
Ditto, Howrah
90 0 0

1866 Sept. 19
Pratt, John
Store Dept., Bally
70 0 0

It seems they decided not to print a new book for July but hand wrote the changes on to a January 1869 copy. I have used italics to try and show the handwritten changes.


Hope it helps someone.